The Impact of the Transparent Chocolate Supply

4 / 5. 1

The Impact of the Transparent Chocolate Supply

Category: Business

Subcategory: Design

Level: Masters

Pages: 3

Words: 825

This research attempts to lighten the effect of a transparent chocolate supply chain on cocoa farmers in Nigeria. Little research has been conducted on the influence of a transparent supply chain on cocoa farmers, thereby calling for the researcher to choose an exploratory research design to accomplish the research objectives.

The Epistemological Stance
The research will rely on the epistemological stance of interpretivist paradigm in which the aim will be to place the analysis of the data in context. This paradigm is focused on understanding the topic the way it is from individuals’ subjective experiences (Lewis 2015, p. 474). It will apply meaning-oriented methodologies like participant observation and interviews that depend on a subjective connection between the researcher and the study subjects or participants. Thus, various theories and concepts that already exist are used to complete the iterative procedure between the data gathering and analysis.

Research Approach
The qualitative approach will be applied in understanding how cocoa farmers are affected by a transparent chocolate supply chain. The approach will help explore and find out issues of the problem to be studied because little information is known about the topic. The qualitative approach is relevant for this study because it will help the investigator comprehend participants and the sociocultural settings in which they coexist. It enables the disparities and complexities of research contexts and components like cocoa farmers being studies to be examined and represented (Egels-Zandén and Hansson 2016, p. 380). Within the qualitative approach, the inductive reasoning will be used to generate new concepts arising from the analyzed data. The inductive logic will help the researcher approach the study with an open mind with no ideas predetermined concerning what will be generated, and conduct the research and use the data to make conclusions about how a transparent chocolate supply chain impacts cocoa farmers.


Research Strategies
The research strategies will involve action research and grounded theory. In regards to the action research, the research finds it relevant to enhance collaboration with the study subjects to diagnose and solve the problem at hand Darder (2015, p. 64). In this case, the cocoa farmers and stakeholders within the chocolate supply chain are welcome together to work towards determining the answer to the problem identified. Besides, the grounded theory is also considered relevant for this study. Here, the focus is to apply the inductive logic to develop theories and insights to the problem being studied. The grounded theory will help the researcher develop an explanatory context with which to comprehend the situation under examination, which is to understand how a transparent chocolate supply chain affects cocoa farmers.

Data Collection
The face-to-face interview and focus groups are the two data gathering methods appropriate for this study. Focus groups entail arranging and carrying out discussions, which result in the understanding of the perceptions, cultural values, and attitudes of research participants like the cocoa growers. Because many planters are not literate and they are spread across the nation, the investigator will work with two Cocoa Farmers Cooperatives. A typical cooperative will have about 700 members. The study subjects of every focus group will include 15 growers each and, therefore, the samples anticipated will be 30 growers in total because of the two focus groups organized.

Sample Selection
The aims are to obtain cocoa farmers in cooperatives, with the membership for the at least five years. Also, the sample will be divided based on gender to enhance the sample representativeness. The top executives of the cocoa farmers’ cooperatives will be called upon in the focus group discussions due to their influence to moderate the sessions and guarantee continuous information sharing. The ultimate objective of this process is to know the extent of knowledge of cocoa farmers in regards to the chocolate supply chain and their perceived tasks in ensuring a transparent supply chain, including fair pricing of product shipment (Egels-Zandén and Hansson 2016, p. 383). The interviewees with the selected cocoa farmers will further offer in-depth understanding of the matters raised by the other farmers in the focus groups. These interviews will be structured as open-ended questions that will make farmers to share freely the factors surrounding cocoa growing.

Data Analysis
The data generated from the focus groups and interviews will be reduced and represented, and researcher will draw inferences and validation of the inferences made. All the results and activities of the focus group will be examined. The examined results will be transcribed into a written format, and the irrelevant data collected will be sieved from the required ones. Next, as noted by Darder (2015, p. 67), the researcher will code the data into various categories that have common features depending on the participants’ discussion results.

Validity, Reliability, and Ethical Issues
The investigator visualizes some ethical concerns during the contact with the focus groups. A member of the focus group may perceive that he or she is coerced by the cooperative leader to participate in the discussion against his or her desires. Attaining the trust of all the members and acquiring the relevant experience are important ways of alleviating the ethic concern. Again, the confidentiality of the information given by the focus groups is not guaranteed because the researcher has no full control of the activities of the focus group during the discussion (Artal and Rubenfeld 2017, p. 110). Remaining open to the study participants can be an effective method of ensuring confidentiality. However, no any issue of political concern is expected in this study because all the cocoa farmers’ cooperatives would want to enhance their profitability and the quality of cocoa products produced.

Artal, R. and Rubenfeld, S., 2017. Ethical issues in research. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 43, pp.107-114.
Darder, A., 2015. Decolonizing Interpretive Research: A critical bicultural methodology for social change. International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, 14(2), pp.63-77.
Egels-Zandén, N. and Hansson, N., 2016. Supply chain transparency as a consumer or corporate tool: The case of Nudie Jeans Co. Journal of Consumer Policy, 39(4), pp.377-395.
Lewis, S., 2015. Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Health promotion practice, 16(4), pp.473-475.

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