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Purpose of the Assignment: The purpose of this assignment is to have you evaluate sociological research design. You will do this by identifying flaws

Purpose of the Assignment:

  • The purpose of this assignment is to have you evaluate sociological research design. You will do this by identifying flaws and proposing solutions to those flaws in validity, reliability, and generalizability found in the research methodology of the provided research scenario. You will also demonstrate your sociological understanding of groups and leadership. 
  • Through this assignment, you will practice skills necessary to evaluate research you could possibly come across in real-world situations (in the news, social media, in current/future jobs, etc…). 

Research Scenario:

  • Here are the results of a rather poorly designed sociology study that investigated group leadership dynamics. The study suffered from significant methodological flaws, limiting the reliability and generalizability of the findings. The researcher chose a small convenience sample from personal friends. The sample had 8 women and 3 men. Participants were given a brief questionnaire with open-ended questions and no survey. None of the participants was a group leader themselves. Each participant defined “group” and “leadership” according to their own personal understanding of the terms. Despite these limitations, the study reported some preliminary observations, which should be interpreted with caution. 

Group Leadership Styles

  • The study explored different leadership styles observed within groups. Based on self-report questionnaires, participants reported a mix of authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire leadership styles in their groups. No definitions of these leadership styles were provided to participants.

Communication Patterns

  • Participants provided anecdotal evidence of various communication patterns within their groups. Some groups reported open and effective communication, fostering collaboration and decision-making. Conversely, others mentioned challenges with communication, such as dominance of certain members or lack of participation. (Anecdotal
    evidence is personal stories that are collected because they seem interesting and related to the topic.)

Group Cohesion

  • The study assessed group cohesion by asking participants to describe their
    perceived sense of unity and cooperation within their groups. The results indicated a range of
    experiences, with some groups reporting high levels of cohesion and others reporting low levels.

Impact of Leadership on Group Performance

  • Participants were asked about the perceived impact of leadership on group performance. While some participants believed that effective leadership positively influenced group outcomes, others reported no significant relationship
    between leadership and performance. There was no standardized measurement of performance.

Gender and Leadership

  • The study explored the potential influence of gender on leadership dynamics within the groups. participants provided subjective accounts of gender-related experiences in the workplace, including stereotypes and biases they think might impact leadership roles.

Results of this Study

  • The study only provides preliminary and insufficient insights into group leadership dynamics. Future research with improved research methods is necessary to deepen our understanding of group leadership and its impact on various outcomes.
  • Introduction (Paragraph 1): Identify 3 flaws in the research design that might impact the validity, reliability, and generalizability of the research outcomes. Explain why they are flaws. Define all terms and concepts (use your materials and in-text citations).
  • Flaw 1 (Paragraph 2): describe how the research design could be improved to address and eliminate flaw 1  (use your materials and in-text citations).  
  • Flaw 2 (Paragraph 3): describe how the research design could be improved to address and eliminate flaw 2  (use your materials and in-text citations).  
  • Flaw 3 (Paragraph 4): describe how the research design could be improved to address and eliminate flaw 3  (use your materials and in-text citations).  
  • Conclusion (Paragraph 5): Answer the following questions.
    • What do you think would be a good way to study group leadership dynamics?
    • What aspects of groups and leadership do you think are the most important to study?
    • What specific research methodologies would you choose?

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