Research Design Literature Review Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Research Methods Literature Review

A literature review on an identified research topic or issue is an important element when conducting a study regardless of whether the study employs qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods research design. The significance of conducting a literature review is attributable to the several functions and roles the review plays in the research process. Literature review is crucial when conducting a study because it’s a means of synthesizing prior research and demonstrating how current research fits into the existing body of evidence on the research issue (USC Libraries, 2017). This paper provides a review of literature on how different research methods can be utilized to conduct research. The discussion will also include a comparison of the paradigms or worldviews that are inherent in the methodology of different research designs. The various categories that will be examined in this paper include non-experimental, quantitative experimental, qualitative, and mixed methods research methodologies.

Topic, Research Question, and Hypothesis

The topic that will form the basis for this literature review on research methods is the role of emotional intelligence in leadership development and understanding leadership. This is an important topic of research because emotional intelligence has emerged as one of the most significant area of social science research in relation to leadership. Since this concept was introduced in the 90’s, it has been integrated in several areas of practical application including the field of leadership. However, there is an increased need to understand the role of this concept in leadership development and understanding the leadership process. An understanding of the role of emotional intelligence in leadership development is crucial towards promoting its smooth integration in the field of leadership as well as enhancing leadership effectiveness.

The research question for this study is, “How does emotional intelligence influence leadership development and understanding of leadership?” This research question will help determine the role of emotional intelligence in leadership through examining whether the concept of emotional intelligence has any positive links to leadership. In this regard, the researcher has identified two research hypotheses that will guide the study as follows:

Hypothesis 1: Emotional Intelligence has a positive association with leadership development.

Hypothesis 2: Emotional Intelligence has a positive association with Understanding Leadership.

Literature Review on Research Methods

The identified research question and hypothesis can be examined/tested through the use of different kinds of research methods. There are various research methodologies that are employed in social science research including non-experimental, quantitative experimental, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches.

An example of a non-experimental research methodology that can be applicable in this study is descriptive research design. According to Williams (2007), descriptive research approach is a study design that evaluates the situation as it exists in the present situation. This research approach entails identification of a specific phenomenon through an observational basis. Additionally, a descriptive research approach can involve the examination of the correlation between two or more research phenomena. Salaria (2012) contends that descriptive research focuses on examining the research issue or phenomena based on practice beliefs, relationships, processes, trends, or conditions. As a result, descriptive research methodologies are based on surveys and questionnaires. For this research topic, descriptive research approach will be utilized to examine the relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership development and understanding leadership. This process would entail conducting a survey, which utilizes questionnaires to collect data from an identified sample. Therefore, this approach will be useful in this study because it will enable the researcher to explore the relationship between the variables included in the study.

An example of a quantitative experimental research approach is pretest-posttest control group method, which is commonly used in behavioral research. Hunter, Jensen & Rodgers (2014) state that pretest-posttest control group research design involves comparing groups or evaluating change emerging from experimental treatments. Through this approach, research participants are randomly assigned to different groups and conditions. The groups are then measured before and after exposure to the experimental treatments. For this study, participants will be randomly assigned to two groups where one will be trained on emotional intelligence while the other will not. Each group will be required to demonstrate their understanding of leadership and leadership development during the research. The…

Sources Used in Document:


Cameron, R. (2009, August). A Sequential Mixed Model Research Design: Design, Analytical and Display Issues. International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 3(2), 140-152.

Hunter, J.E., Jensen, J.L. & Rodgers, R. (2014). The Control Group and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Methods and Measurements in the Social Sciences, 5(1

McCusker, K., & Gunaydin, S. (2015). Research Using Qualitative, Quantitative or Mixed Methods and Choice Based on the Research. Perfusion, 30(7), 537-542.

Salaria, N. (2012, April-June). Meaning of the Term – Descriptive Survey Research Method. International Journal of Transformations in Business Management, 1(6), 1-7.

Strydom, H. (2013). An Evaluation of the Purposes of Research in Social Work. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 49(2), 149-164.

USC Libraries (n.d.). The Literature Review. Retrieved online:

Williams, C. (2007, March). Research Methods. Journal of Business & Economic Research, 5(3), 65-72.


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