The researcher should not begin data collection until the research questions have been identified clearly and literature review has been conducted. The data collection methods with these research questions should be decided at the forefront of researcher’s thoughts.
The researcher also needs to think about access and sampling issues. If the research requires the researcher to gain access of some organisation, prior permission to conduct work should be taken at the earliest. The researcher also needs to gain access to people. The few issues mentioned above leads to sampling considerations like:
- Who should be studied on in order to find out the research questions?
- How easy it is to gain access to a sampling frame?
- What kind of sampling strategy would be employed for eg probability sampling, quota, theoretical, or convenience sampling?
- Can the choice of method of sampling be justified?
At this stage if the researcher is using case study design, he/she certainly needs to find out more about the organisation that he/she needs to investigate like the financial position of the company, if it has been in news in recent times, information like its premises and the market conditions it faces
A wide variety of sources on web can provide with all this information. The largest multinationals often make their annual reports accounts available through homepages.
Newspaper like Financial Times can also be accessed on the Web. Newslink is a collection of links to countries and then to newspapers across the globe. This could be found at:
Also while preparing for data collection, the researcher should consider if there are any ethical concerns in regard to the research.