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According to Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill (2012), different research philosophies can be selected to conduct research, namely; Positivism, Interpretivism, Realism, Subjectivism, Pragmatism, and Objectivism, Functionalist Interpretive, Radical structuralist, and Radical humanist philosophies. The positivist philosophy (Positivism) was used in this research in line with the research questions and objectives. The Positivism research philosophy is based on a collection of numerical data which permits statistical analysis, therefore, it helps in determining research findings that are based on facts and are determined objectively (Bryman & Bell, 2011). The objective of this study was focused to analyse the perception of professionals in financial institutes around the world regarding the potential of bitcoin as a currency or as an investment for the future. Therefore it was necessary to obtain the perception of several professionals in the financial institutes around the world via quantitative research using questionnaires. Gratton and Jones (2004: 26) stated that “Deductive research is more generally associated with positivist and quantitative research.” As the research was intended to be completed using quantitative research and data analysis therefore it was appropriate to select Positivism in line with the literature related to the research methodology. Moreover, the deductive research approach enables researchers to carry out statistical analyses, which were required to analyze the quantitative data.
Selected Methodology and its Justification
The methodology of this research is primary which is based on a quantitative research method to address the research aim and objectives. The quantitative research method was selected by the Positivism research philosophy and Deductive research approach (Gratton & Jones, 2004). The research aim and objectives necessitated that primary data be collected to analyze the perception of professionals in the financial institutes around the world regarding the potential of bitcoin as a currency or as an investment for the future. However, due to the limited availability of time and resources, it was not possible to use qualitative research methods such as interviews. Therefore questionnaire was used as a quantitative research method because it enabled the researcher to collect data from a large sample of respondents within limited time and resources.
Sampling Method and Size
A sampling method that is suitable to use in this study is the non-probability or non-random sampling method. As per Saunders et al. (2011: 223), “Non-probability sampling (or non-random sampling) provides a range of alternative techniques to select a sample based on your subjective judgment.” Some of the non-probability methods are; convenient sampling, snowball sampling, purposive or judgmental sampling, self-selection sampling, and quota sampling. In this research, the convenient sampling method is the non-probability sampling method which was used to select the research sample. As this research is based on primary data collected from a sample of professionals in financial institutes around the world, therefore as per literature it was appropriate to select convenient sampling to select the participants most conveniently. As limited time and resources were available therefore selecting the participants most conveniently was appropriate. A sample size of 60 respondents was selected based on convenient sampling, where 30 male and 30 female professionals in financial institutes around the world were selected using convenient sampling.
Data collection method
The data collection method was primary as the research aim necessitates that data be collected directly from 60 employees working in financial institutes around the world. As per Saunders (2011: 119) in positivism research philosophy the data collection techniques which can be used are, “highly structured, large samples, measurement, quantitative”. Given this quantitative data collection method was employed in this study, where a closed-ended questionnaire is used to collect quantitative data from the 60 participants suggested above.
The questionnaire was constructed after reviewing the past literature and the questions were developed to seek the perception of professionals in the financial institutes around the world regarding the potential of bitcoin as a currency or as an investment for the future. The questionnaire was comprised of dichotomy-based questions, where the respondents were asked to select yes or no answer choices (Bryman & Bell, 2011). The closed-ended questionnaire was distributed online via sharing the link to the online questionnaire with the selected respondents on social media platforms. A pilot study was performed initially to evaluate the construct validity of the constructed questionnaire. As per literature, 10 percent of the sample size is selected in the pilot study, and 10 percent of the 60 sample size was 6 (Field, 2013). Therefore the pilot study was conducted by collecting questionnaire responses from 6 respondents on social media platforms. After ensuring the construct validity of the constructed questionnaire the questionnaire was used to conduct a full-fledged study using 60 respondents (Creswell, 2009).
Data analysis method
The quantitative data in the form of closed-ended responses were analyzed using descriptive analysis by utilizing frequency distribution analysis. As per Walliman (2010: 117), “frequency distribution simply shows the values for each variable expressed as a number and as a percentage of the total of cases.” Therefore by using frequency distribution the percentage of different answer choices selected by the respondents was identified, where the most frequently selected answer choices represented the opinion of the majority. The frequency distribution of the quantitative data was conducted on the SPSS and the results were expressed in tables, bar charts, and pie charts. The results output tables of the SPSS analysis are provided in the Appendix section.
Various ethical dimensions were covered in this research. Informed consent from all the participants was obtained to ensure that they understand the purpose of the research and they were willing to participate. Besides, confidentiality and data security were also ensured during all stages of this research by keeping the names and details of the participants anonymous, while keeping data in password-protected files and locked cabinets. The university guide was followed during the research process to avoid ethical misconduct such as plagiarism. According to Vera and Nelson plagiarism is defined as, the “use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's original work” (2007: 65). To avoid plagiarism while reviewing the past literature the reviewed text was properly referenced, cited, and page numbers were mentioned with quotation marks when a quotation was copied from another source.
Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2011). Business Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Creswell, J. (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.
Field, A. (2013). Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics, SAGE.
Gratton, C., & Jones, I. (2004). Research Methods for Sport Studies. Psychology Press.
Saunders, M. N. (2011). Research Methods for Business Students, 5/e. Pearson Education India.
Saunders, M. N., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2012). Research Methods for Business Students. London: Pearson.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2009). Research Methods for Business Students. Prentice Hall.
Vera, S., & Nelson, R. S. (2007). Library plagiarism policies, Association of College & Research Libraries, p. 65.
Walliman, N. (2010). Research Methods: The Basics. Routledge.