Section 2: Research Methodology

This Professional Development Plan will follow a qualitative approach; as human behaviour can be difficult to quantify, particularly when studying and researching yourself (Jenn & Kenn Visocky O’Grady, 2017). The explorative study will take a triangulation method of literature review, primary research and self-reflection, alongside the use of theoretical models. Focusing on myself in a professional context, I will reflect and self-assess upon the literature and theorist throughout. This will also incorporate primary research findings on the feedback I have received. I will be following a self-ethnography strategic method. The strategy helps identify the relationship between human behaviours and culture. This focuses on myself in a work, career and professional aspect. This deep level of study can “provide a personal lens into the world of the user” (Jenn & Kenn Visocky O’Grady, 2017). Typically, ethnographic methods need ethical consideration, however as this is a self-analysis this is not needed. The basis of an ethnographic study is participant observation, the researcher is part of the setting to understand those in the study (Moerman, 2016). Jenn & Kenn Visocky O’Grady (2017) talk about basic research as a “method to gain new knowledge within a specific area, or research undertaken to satisfy the curiosity or personal interest of the researcher”. I will be using this approach as I hope to gain insights of myself as I immerse myself within the research findings. Understanding and gaining new knowledge on how to reach my goals and develop myself professionally and personally.


To gain an array of research I will use multiple forms of secondary research (see fig 1), this will allow me to compare insights and theorist. Along my secondary research I will conduct primary research from friends, family and professional relationships.

The analytic methods to be used in this study will consist of discourse and content analysis. Content analysis is typically used to analyse qualitative data. Within secondary research it can highlight trends, common themes and patterns (Stemler, 2000). This will be used to identify strengths, potential weaknesses, opportunities for improvement and threats to myself. Whilst there are five traditional forms of discourse analysis, Manu Bhatia (2018) summarises this as a method used to “analyse interactions with people”. With a social context in focus, it focuses on the communication between the researcher and respondent. “Discourse analysis also looks at the respondent’s day-to-day environment and uses that information during analysis” (Bhatia, 2018). During this study, I am the researcher, respondent and participant.


The strategy, data collection methods and analysis methods are selected to keep a personal approach. The context remains the same, focusing on how I can grow and achieve my career goals. This will include how I interact in professional environment and context, leading to observations allowing me to gage areas of improvement.