The Lived Experiences and Perspectives of Individuals Confined to a Wheelchair Regarding Their Experiences in the Hiring Process in an Attempt to Obtain Employment: A Phenomenology
The Perspectives of Individuals Confined to a Wheelchair Regarding Their Experiences in Obtaining Employment: A Phenomenology Study
Dissertation Proposal (Research Methods)
CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODS
The research methodology developed for this study will focus on assessing the experiences of Individuals Confined to a Wheelchair (ICW) when looking for full-time employment. Most of the ICW encounter multiple barriers and unwarranted biases, which will act as the foundation for gathering increased information on the subject (Dong et al., 2012). Consequently, given the different hindrances, the assessment will be based on conducting a qualitative phenomenological study focusing on both the perception and experiences of the ICW when searching for full-time employment. The focus will be the examination of the lived experiences and perceptions of ICW in their attempt to obtain employment, especially given their position (Dwertmann, 2016). The research will use interviews and documents in the determination of the different experiences of the ICW. Moreover, the target population will be individuals confined to wheelchairs in Brevard County, Florida. Moreover, as an additional key aspect alluding to the importance of the study, the research will also expound on the comprehension of the factors that help people with visible disability to be successful in gaining employment.
Research Methodology and Design
The research design ensures that the research question is covered through the exploitation of the identified research methodology. Notably, for this study, the research designs considered included descriptive, exploratory, and casual. As identified by Creswell & Creswell (2017), descriptive research would assist in the describing specific attributes of the ICWs as the primary population being studied. Additionally, it would focus on comprehensive evaluation and explication of the acquired data. On the other hand, the utilization of exploratory research fixates on the research question and the gaps existing in previous studies as the basis of formulating outcomes (Fluid Surveys, 2014). Typically, the design encourages the collection of conclusive data on the subject issue instead of formulating substandard findings. Finally, as compared to the other two designs, casual research suits a quantitative research method and would demand the evaluation of the ICW experiences and perspectives using established strategies and frameworks (Castellan, 2010). More importantly, the casual approach primarily fixates on explicating the source and effect of apparent associations between variables.
Therefore, based on the different attributes about the considered research designs, the choice utilized for this study will be exploratory as it will advocate for the collection of increased information on the ICW’s experiences and perspectives of seeking for full-time employment in addition to substantial comprehension to apply in an advanced examination of the study issue (Leggett et al., 2016). Additionally, the qualitative research methodology selected for the study will ensure efficient tackling of the research question using a blueprint that covers how data is collected, measured, and scrutinized. The exploratory approach utilized for the study will focus on the acquisition of insights and comprehension of further scrutiny of the research question. The purpose for utilization the qualitative research is the methodology’s persistence in being systematic and countering existing barriers in the collection of data (Abusabha & Woelfel, 2003). Still, the research approach used will be ideal given that the research will be aiming at the assessment of the experiences and perceptions of ICW in their efforts to acquire full-time employment.
The collective focus of the qualitative methodology approach is identifying barriers and challenges faced by ICW in their efforts to acquire employment as the primary research question and the predefined objectives. Therefore, based on the methodology’s focus on the research question and objectives, the study will entail an examination framework relying on the influence of implements utilized in the collection of information and the analysis of the discoveries (Golafshanai, 2003). Additionally, the information utilized in the study will meet the principles of qualitative research where all the acquired information for the investigation will focus on providing practical outcomes concerning the perceptions and experience of ICW concerning the bias and barriers to full-time employment (Marshall & Rossman, 2014). As part of the methodology, the research tools to apply in directing the evaluation will be questionnaires and interviews. Resolutely, the principles and philosophies of the research design will help in the understanding and documentation of the perspective and experiences of ICW as a necessity for comprehending the different barriers and biases they encounter when searching for employment and in setting such as company interviews (Marshall & Rossman, 2014; Saunders et al., 2009).
On the other hand, the research philosophy utilized for the study will be phenomenological. The phenomenological approach to the study is a conviction defining the varying ways to apply in data collection, analysis, and application. The reason for selection of phenomenology is its focus on the evaluation of frameworks of experience, which aligns with the purpose of the study where ICW’s encounters and perspectives are crucial (Padilla-Díaz, 2015). Therefore, for the study, the phenomenological research philosophy will scrutinize the advents of activities and entities as they are depicted based on human experience and the implications they have on people based on their descriptions of these encounters and collective perspective (Padilla-Díaz, 2015). Typically, phenomenology has multiple strengths including its focus on establishing the comprehensive nature of an experience, which makes its crucial for a deeper understanding of the ICW’s encounters when searching for employment.
Positivism was among the alternatives considered for study given its extensive application in contemporary research. In fact, positivists embrace the stability of reality stating that it can be observed and described through the utilization of hypotheses that utilize purpose without interfering the phenomena being scrutinized (Johnson, 2018). However, unlike phenomenology, positivism mostly uses quantitative data, which influences its reliability but demands for a further formulation of scientific assumptions. Consequently, the research will utilize a qualitative research methodology and phenomenological philosophy given that approach attention to detailed descriptions of the ICWs’ experiences and perspectives (Heoffdling & Martiny, 2016). Still, the amalgamation of both will make it less complex to identify and define existing themes in the information provided by the participants (Saunders et al., 2009; CIRT, 2017). The findings of the research design and methodology will assist in the exposure of apparent misconceptions on the treatment of ICWs in formal or workplace settings since the discoveries will be strictly based on personal experiences and perspectives.
Population and Sample
The target population for the study will comprise the primary group of people that are important to the interests of the study (Saunders et al., 2009). Consequently, the study population will be ICW with full-time employment or have participated in interviews within the last two years in Brevard County, Florida. Essentially, it is from this target population that the researcher will draw a sample of participants acting as representatives in the provision of information on the larger group. Additionally, the decision to set a time frame of two-years is based on ensuring a certain level of consistency in the hiring procedures, interviewing, and diversity methodologies (Gofashani, 2003). Moreover, it will be easier for the participants to recall their experiences from at least two years ago thus provide quality and comprehensive information. Moreover, given such consistency, it will be easier for the researcher to examine and identify apparent similarities and differences in the experiences of people who went through the different process of acquiring full-time employment.
Given that the study is qualitative in nature, no formal guidelines will prevail in the establishment of the sample size, particularly during this phase of the evaluation (Saunders et al., 2009). Additionally, criteria will be utilized in the decision-making process on the participants to utilize in the assessment. Consequently, the sample size will be open to alterations and categorize towards the instigation of the study. Even so, sampling will take place until saturation is realized, that is, up until the point where the researcher will establish that any additional efforts towards data collection are not bringing any new discoveries (Palinkas et al., 2015; Etikan et al., 2016). Resolutely, the target sample size will be a minimum of 20 ICW fitting the predefined criterion and willing to take part in the research. Using the information provided by these participants, the research will compare and contrast their experiences in an attempt to identify any discrepancies in the successful acquisition of employment and in situations where finding a job failed.
The instrumentation and materials utilized for the study will allude to the methods and implements used in the acquisition of data. Some of the data collection instruments considered for the study included questionnaires, surveys, focus groups, interviews, observation and literature searches (Marshall & Rossman, 2014). However, the instruments selected for the study on the ICW experiences in obtaining employment include interviews, questionnaires, and literature search. First, the acquisition of primary data will entail the use of open-ended questions in both the questionnaires and interviews where the participating ICW will contribute by providing comprehensive responses to the different queries based on their understanding and perception of the experiences when obtaining full-time employment (Leggett et al., 2016). However, the primary instruments set for the study are unique and will not be subject to any form of tests given the nature of the study. Nonetheless, as set out by Hoffding and Martiny (2016), the standards of phenomenological interviews will apply, and a semi-structured format will be utilized.
As highlighted earlier, the participants of the study will be ICW with some substantial information in their experiences when attempting to secure employment since the investigation will aim at exploiting the established data collection instruments for comprehensive insight on the subject issue. The utilization of open-ended questions will assist the subjects to respond to the different questions by providing personal perceptions and experience without any limitations on the amount of information to provide or withhold (Fluid Surveys, 2014). Even so, the application of the approach will form a firm basis for the comparison and contrast on the different responses (Dikko, 2016). Additionally, since the participants will be representing the larger group of ICW in Brevard County, Florida, they will be encouraged to acknowledge the significance of the experiences and perceptions.
The majority of the processes utilized in the acquisition of information will rely on the internet where the researcher will exploit different implements and services provided by platforms such as Skype or GoTo Meetings to assist in conducting face-to-face interviews using the standard queries formulated for the primary data instruments. Upon approval by the IRB and Dissertation Chairman, an article for recruitment to the study will be emailed to a local mobility company to include in their newsletter asking volunteers to participate in the investigation. Consequently, the ICW who decide to volunteer will be requested to complete the questionnaire designed by the researcher. The data acquired from the initial questionnaire will apply in the selection of the sample to be utilized based on the compilation of demographic information (Guion et al., 2011). The selected individuals will participate in semi-structured interviews to provide data on their personal experiences when job hunting. Notably, some of the participants willing to participate in the study might be unable to sit down for interviews. Consequently, the questionnaires concerning their experiences and perspectives will be sent through e-mail requesting them to provide the feedback after filling. Decisively, the questions utilized for both the interviews and questionnaires will request the participants to provide comprehensive information regarding jobs they obtained and those that failed.
The preliminary stages of the study will focus on obtaining written approval by Medical Mobility to form the basis for reaching potential participants. Following this, the research will oversee the sending of a newspaper-type article (designed to be included in an electronic newsletter) providing descriptions of the researcher, the nature of the investigations being conducted, and the type of volunteers the researcher is seeking. However, before its circulation, the dissertation chairman, the IRV, and Medical Mobility Company will approve the article. As an integral part of the article, instructions on how to respond if interested in the investigation will be provided.
The instructions will include requests for the participants to email the researcher through their NCU email address. After this, the researcher will proceed by sending an email to the potential subjects, which will include more specifics and a comprehensive description of the study. Some of the important information to be included will be the estimated amount of time the participant will require in the involvement and the information they will need to submit to the researcher, for instance, resume, application letter, among others. Additionally, the participants will receive a link to the questionnaire, which will be accessible on SurveyMonkey.com. Additionally, the participants will be made to understand the need for completing the questionnaire and submitting it. Upon establishing a group of qualified individuals, the participants will be selected randomly to take part in the interviews. The chosen individuals will receive an email from the researcher requesting them the best time for them to be interviewed based on their availability.
As explained, in situations where it is impossible to conduct in-person interviews, implements such as Skype, GoTo Meetings, among others will be utilized. More so, for the in-person interviews, the accessibility through wheelchairs will be considered. All the interviews will start by an acquisition of consent, a guarantee of autonomy and the recording of permissions based on the medium selected by the respondent for their interviews. The research will also be keen to note the expressions, body language, and changes in speech patterns by observing the participants during the participants with notes of the same being part of the final transcript. More so, the participants will receive copies of their transcript to confirm accuracy in interpretation and transcription.
Finally, documents such as resume, application/cover letters, and approved transcripts of the interview will be subject to additional coding through the utilization of software programs such as NVivo or Dedoose. The coding will be aligned with phenomenological questions referring to the evolution of certain experiences and perceptions. The entry of the information will continue until the achievement of data saturation, which is expected to occur when the interviews for the target sample are completed and the information obtained is entered into the software.
Data Collection and Analysis
The primary data will include transcribed interviews, application/cover letters, and resume all contributing to the description of the participants’ experiences. The approach will create a firm foundation for the triangulation of information and examination of the data that was available before the first job interview based on the companies applied for each subject. The triangulation of information will assist in augmenting the validity of information acquired (Guion et al., 2011; Bolarinwa, 2015)). According to the Psychology Dictionary, triangulation is the procedure utilized in the approval of a hypothesis through the collection of information and conducting a comparative analysis (Nugent, 2013). It entails the collection of information in the form of applications, resumes, and data on different job interviews in addition to the similarities and differences (Bekhet & Zauszniewski, 2012). Every possible piece of information will be acquired from the ICW participating in the study to establish every bit of detail on the similarities and differences in experience.
The primary assumption will be that all the individuals participating in the investigation acquired jobs using the right and typical channels such as job fairs, boards, and other customary employment websites. Therefore, the individuals selected may be subject to elimination if the channels used were the Veterans’ Administration or a Vocational Rehabilitation Facility. The research question focuses on ICW that acquired employment using personal efforts and without the assistance of government initiatives or any comparable help.
The second assumption is that all the individuals participating in the study were already confined to a wheelchair when interviewed for the employment opportunity they currently possess. It will enable the researcher to assess the hiring process and the different tactics utilized in notifying the employer of their physical challenges and how they did it. The primary idea of the research is to understand if the applicants integrated any factors in an attempt to comfort the interviewer’s concerns on their physical challenges during the hiring process. Still, the research will look to establish whether the different elements of the job description were discussed in addition to any sensible accommodations that may be required needed and the interview style utilized to finish the job interview.
The primary limitations prevalent for this study emanate from the research methodology selected for the study given it is qualitative in nature. First, only a small number of individuals will be utilized for the study even though the interviews will continue until the realization of data saturation using the identified number of participants selected (Malterud et al., 2016; Palinkas et al., 2015). Second, the geographical area to be utilized for the study is an additional limitation. The participants selected for the study will be only those that live and work in Brevard County, Florida, which limits understanding the employment experiences of other people with physical challenges. Third, the types of jobs that people have are also a limitation. Industries such as tourism might not have many ICW while other such as engineering have a large number, which could result in biases in the results.
The primary delimitation of this research is the lessening of the target population to only individuals confined to wheelchairs. The researcher purposes to assist individuals with disabilities in how to acquire jobs. Nonetheless, it is a very wide group of people entailing groups with other varying disabilities, that is, emotional, psychological, and learning. The research focuses on those with visible disabilities that cannot be overlooked during the hiring process. As compared to the invisible disabilities, the sample does not have the opportunity to disclose their disability. The inclusion of all visible disabilities would provide a large population overwhelming the researcher due to the lack of a practical sample size.
The research will ensure moral standards are upheld during the varying processes and practices of the study on ICW experiences in obtaining employment. Therefore, as the essential element of the comprehensive ethical procedure, three principles will be utilized in an attempt to ensure the study is ethical. These include beneficence, respect for human dignity, and justice (Saunders et al., 2009).
Informed Consent and Search for Approval
The researcher will give informed consent by signing IRB certified documents, which they will receive prior to any developments of the study. Second, approval from the IRB and dissertation chairman will be among the preliminaries of the study
Assure no Harm
Additionally, the principle of beneficence will apply in the assurance that the research will not result in any form of harm that will entail abstaining from any form of exploitation when dealing with the ICW. On the other hand, the researcher will observe a risk to benefit ration through ensuring the study solely makes a positive impact as compared to exposing the ICWs to threats.
Self-Determination and Full Disclosure
The principle of human dignity will aim at making sure the ICW participating in the study understand and enjoy their right to self-determination and full disclosure. Still, there will be no coercing of participants for their participation to the study with the initial steps including a full explanation of the nature of the study as part of the initial agreements (Marshall & Rossman, 2014). Lastly, the principle of justice will allude to the fair treatment of the participants and the maintenance of privacy through anonymity and confidentiality. The participants will be assigned an alphabetic identifier to apply in the study and all demographic information transcripts.
The proposed research will utilize the qualitative methodology and more specifically, the phenomenological research philosophy. The selection of the subject methodology was based on the study’s primary research question that focuses on the experiences of ICW during the hiring process. Notably, all the participants of the study will be confined to a wheelchair; a factor that should have been prevalent during their application of the current jobs for the employed and ought to have been in their fields for two years or less. The participants will be volunteers that respond to an article published electronically by Medical Mobility. The responders will receive a screening questionnaire that will determine the selection of ICW to participate in the research.
The preliminary plans before any recruitment will entail the completion of CITI certification, IRB approval, and Dissertation Proposal by the researcher. The standard and ethical guidelines will apply including the signing of consents by participants, maintaining the confidentiality and security of information, and application of lettered and numbered identifiers for the different participants and their companies. Still, qualitative software will assist in the coding of data and establishment of comparable factors. Triangulation of the different forms of information will prevail in an attempt to augment face validity of the investigation. Finally, a compilation of the collected data and analysis by the research will facilitate the completion of the dissertation manual and collective documentation for submission to the committee.
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