3.3 Data Collection
This section introduces the issues about data collection, which includes data source, data collection techniques, access, sample selection, and data analysis methods and so on.
3.3.1 Data Source
There are two sources of data including secondary data and primary data. Secondary data are information collected by others for purposes that can be different from ours, while primary data are original data collected by us for the research questions at hand (Ghauri and Gronhaug, 2002). In this research, data will be collected from both the secondary source and the primary source. On the one hand, the data will be collected from public sources such as books, published journal articles, reports and websites. On the other hand, the data will be also collected from the some Chinese SMEs that are selected in the sample of this research.
22.214.171.124 Secondary Data Collection
Sauders et al (2003) divide secondary data into three main subgroups: documentary data, survey-based data and those compiled from multiple sources. It has a lot of advantages in processing my research. Secondary data is the data which has been collected by someone else for a separate purpose, and is then used by other researcher. The value of secondary research is in what it can bring to the author as a basis for the work and individual contribution.
Commonly, secondary data come from printed sources (Books, Magazines, Journals, and trade Newspapers) and in electronic sources (CD-ROM encyclopaedias, Software packages, or online services, such as the Internet.) Books are general resource to provide relevant theory support for the study. Journals are a useful resource for information on a daily basis. They could provide the latest views and development in the particular area of study. The Internet is also very helpful for the data collecting, especially professional websites
Advantages of Secondary Data Collection
The most important factor determining me to use the secondary data is that it is easy to do and helps to save both time and money. My research dissertation has to be completed within three months, which implies constraints from the budget, time, and some other factors. Usually, it is much less expensive to use secondary data than to collect the primary data. Furthermore, the verification process is more rapid and the reliability of the information and conclusion is greatly enhanced.
Disadvantages of Secondary Data Collection
Although secondary data collection is very useful for us to collect the existing information, the information collected through this method may be incomplete. Using this technique requires people to be quite clear about what they are looking for and this technique is restricted to the data that already exist. It is not a flexible way to collect data. If you are not clear about what you are looking for, you may spend much time but not collect the data you need. So this method of documentation should be used base on the assumption that you have the clear objective about what kind of data you want to collect.
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