In research practice, three types of design are used most often – fixed, flexible, and mixed-method. The first is a form of work in which an appropriate theoretical framework is already defined and the course of action is planned. A flexible design is an exploratory approach that does not imply a clear structure of work; it is based on the received data. Therefore, in this design, the planned and obtained results may differ. Finally, a mixed-method design includes the elements of fixed and flexible approaches and allows for a wider list of procedures, thereby expanding the range of results due to different data types. All of these designs are similar in preparation processes because an evidence base is the foundation of any research. However, they have more differences than similarities because the data collection and analysis mechanisms, sampling approaches, measurement methods, and tools involved are distinctive.
The aforementioned designs have specific methods that match the peculiarities of the research process in each type. The basis of a fixed design is a quantitative method based on the use of special measurement tools to obtain results in numerical ratios, for instance, in statistical correlations. A flexible design is associated with a qualitative method in which the information received from the target participants plays a more important role than calculations. With this method, the individual views and opinions of the members involved are the background for the evaluation. A mixed-method design is a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods where both calculations and information from participants are used for analysis and interpretation. An example of such a method is the matching of data collected from participants with numerical calculations to identify objective sequences.
The Design, Method, and Design Method for the Research Problem
The research problem under consideration concerns the inability of some entrepreneurs to adequately understand their work purposes and power, which, in turn, is reflected in the inability to serve God responsibly and follow biblical covenants. Since the analysis of such a topic does not allow identifying a specific theoretical framework to apply and plan the possible outcome of the assessment, a flexible design seems the most appropriate. As Spangenberg (2017) argues, Christian values are often treated differently by entrepreneurs, which explains a flexible design as a rational approach. Consequently, regarding the research method, a qualitative strategy is acceptable for solving the proposed problem. According to Rhodes and Pullen (2017), many entrepreneurs ignore biblical norms and build the entrepreneurial process based on an individual vision that can be different from that of Christianity. Therefore, information from the participants involved is the main tool for analysis, and numerical calculations are irrelevant in such a context.
Regarding the design method, phenomenology is a suitable approach for such a study. Grimes and Bennett (2017) draw attention to entrepreneurs’ distinctive knowledge of what power is and how businesses should be managed to serve God responsibly. A phenomenological approach is based on analyzing the experiences of the members involved, and specific actions and behaviors can be assessed to identify general trends. Participants can report whether they adhere to some restrictions on the use of power, which, as Ceiling (2018) notes, is a natural occurrence in Christian entrepreneurship. Thus, a flexible design, a qualitative method, and a phenomenological design method should be utilized to address the problem in question.
Cailing, R. M. (2018). Fear God and keep his commandments: Foundation for a relationship with God. Review & Expositor, 115(2), 254-263. Web.
Grimes, M. A., & Bennett, R. H. (2017). Christ-centered leadership: God-honoring leadership for committed Christians. Journal of Biblical Integration in Business, 20(1), 24-35.
Rhodes, C., & Pullen, A. (2017). Critical business ethics: From corporate self‐interest to the glorification of the sovereign pater. International Journal of Management Reviews, 20(2), 483-499. Web.
Spangenberg, I. J. (2017). Is God a ventriloquist and is the bible God’s dummy? Critical reflections on the use of the bible as a warrant for doctrines, policies and moral values. Scriptura: Journal for Contextual Hermeneutics in Southern Africa, 116(2), 208-223. Web.