The most important processes in a research project are the analyses and interpretation of the data

The most important processes in a research project are the analyses and interpretation of the data. If the process of analysis of the data is not done carefully, using the most appropriate methods, the interpretations and recommendations may be erroneous. This section covers the methods and procedures used for analysing the primary data. This is discussed under the two headings of qualitative data analysis and quantitative data analysis.

4.8.1 Quantitative data analysis
The method of data collection for the quantitative data was the closed questions from the survey questionnaires. The electronic survey questionnaires employed for the HODs were run via SurveyMonkey for two reasons, firstly that this group had been a large sample and secondly to save time and resources to travel throughout Namibia since a third of the HODs of UNAM are stationed throughout the country. After the SurveyMonkey system was closed which was after 15 working days, the electronic survey questionnaires closed questions response data were transferred to a statistical tool known as Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The closed questions responses of the Pro/Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Deans and HODs were analysed with the aid of SPSS. The open-ended questions responses from the Pro Vice-Chancellors, Deans and HODs were analysed under the heading qualitative data analysis and were first coded according to certain themes (responses) and then grouped together before they were analysed with the aid of SPSS.

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4.8.2 Qualitative data analysis
Before embarking on research it is of importance to decide on an inductive or deductive approach. The deductive approach applies when existing theories are used to shape the quantitative research. On the other hand, an inductive approach applies when a theory is to be built on the data collected. This study opted for a deductive approach, because the data collected are used to develop a normative leadership model to guide organisational transformation at UNAM and NUST.

The first step in the analysis of the data collected was to transcribe the audio recorded semi-structured interviews in detail. The transcribing was done by a professional. To eliminate the problems associated when transcribing is done by a third person (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2016), the researcher carefully validated the transcribed date for errors that might have occurred during the transcribing process. The strategy employed was that the researcher is familiar with the content of the interview, the researcher regular listened to the audio recorded interviews and made notes on them. Document summaries were reviewed to analyse the statutes and acts of the two public institutions of higher learning in Namibia.

There are various approaches and techniques to analyse qualitative data (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2016). These analytical techniques are Template Analysis, Thematic Analysis, Explanation Building and Testing, Grounded Theory Method, Narrative Analysis, Discourse Analysis and Content Analysis and quantifying qualitative data. With a template analysis all the transcribed data from interviews, observations and open questions of the survey questionnaires are coded before themes are identified (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2016). In contrast, with a Thematic Analysis, themes and patterns are searched transversely through all transcribed data. The Explanation Building and Testing is used as an analytical approach when the emphasis is on building/ testing explanations. There are three types of techniques in this approach, namely, analytical induction, deductive explanation building and pattern testing. Narrative analysis is a group of analytical approaches to analyse several aspects of a storyline. Discourse analysis, on the other hand, analyse the social effects of the use of language. Content analysis codes and categorises of qualitative data in order to analyse them qualitatively.

This study opted for a thematic analysis, because themes and patterns were searched for amongst all the transcribed interviews, open-ended question responses in the survey questionnaires, and the acts and statues of UNAM and NUST. The responses to the semi structured interviews and open questions for the survey questionnaire were first transcribed. The acts and statues of UNAM and NUST was coded before the search for theme and subthemes will be commented on. Document summaries were conducted to analyse the statutes and acts of the two public institutions of higher learning in Namibia. The transcribed data from the interviews, open ended questions from the survey questionnaires and the document analysis of the acts and statutes were categorised according to certain main themes which were identified based on the research questions for this study. The second step was to dissect the data for specific properties that characterised each theme. For this study the first step was to categorise the data to determine the style of leadership perceived to be operating at UNAM and NUST. Thereafter the data was examined in detail to find evidence of the style of leadership in place at UNAM and NUST. This process continued until no new themes and properties came to the fore.
The SPSS system gave a summary of the responses of the closed questions of the survey questionnaires employed for the Pro Vice-Chancellors, Deans and HODs. These responses from the open questions of the survey questionnaire and the document analysis of the acts and statutes were treated to the same procedures for data analysis as had been done with the transcribed interviews. The last stages of the research process consists of the following parallel stages according to Miles, Huberman & Saldana (2014). The stages are data condensation, data display and the drawing and verifying of conclusions.

4.9 ETHICAL CONSIDERATION IN THE COLLECTION OF THE DATA FOR THE MIXED-METHOD RESEARCH

Ethical considerations include the recognition of matters concerning plagiarism, confidentiality and the right to privacy, vulnerability of respondents and UNAM’s ethical code compliance with national legislation and value-driven behaviour in the execution of the research. Information obtained during the data collection phase and the analysis thereof were regarded as confidential and treated as such. Anonymity of participants, if desired, was respected. The researcher, throughout this study maintained his objectivity. The results of this study will be shared with all the participants and the dissertation will be placed in the public domain once it has been approved by UNAM.

Approval and permission were obtained from UNAM and NUST, before their premises were entered to conduct the investigation. The Ethical Clearance Certificate, issued by UNAM, served as consent to enter UNAM’s premises to collect data. The researcher then visited the gatekeeper of NUST, the Registrar, to introduce himself and to acquaint himself with the documents and letters needed to apply for consent to carry out the research at NUST. During the follow up meeting with the Registrar, copies of the Ethical Clearance Certificate, the proposal with a cover letter were submitted to the Registrar of NUST. The application letter for consent to collect data at NUST stated the purpose of the visit, a request for permission, details of the target sample group and the methods of data collection.

After the letter of consent was received from NUST the researcher wrote an informed consent letter to all the targeted respondents. The informed consent letter included, inter alia, the personal information of the researcher, title of the research topic, purpose of the research, the type of instruments that would be employed for the specific targeted sample, a guarantee of confidentiality and the right to withdraw from participation during any stage of the proceedings. Furthermore the letter requested for the participants’ permission to participate in this study and notice that the interview would be audio recorded.

The usual ethical principles were observed for collection of data and the write up thereof for this study, including protection from harm and the participants’ right to privacy. The letters of informed consent were sent to the UNAM participants with the ethical clearance certificate from UNAM attached. The letter of consent from the Registrar of NUST, the ethical clearance certificate from UNAM and the informed letter of consent were sent to the NUST participants. When the attachment was received with the “consent to participate” encircled, by email or by the researcher in person, the researcher made appointments for the interviews with the participants through their gatekeepers or with the participant in person. Then the survey questionnaires were delivered to the Pro/Deputy Vice-Chancellor and the Deans. The informed consent request was mailed to all the HODs at UNAM and NUST. The reasons for mailing the informed consent request were twofold. The entire population of HODs at UNAM and NUST were sampled. A quarter of the HODs for UNAM are stationed outside Windhoek at their regional campuses and centres.

After the consent form encircled “consent to participate” was received back by the researcher, the survey questionnaire was sent via SurveyMonkey to the HODs. To enhance the return rate of the electronic survey questionnaire, phone calls were made, where practically possible and also to introduce the researcher in person to motivate the participants to complete the survey questionnaires. To protect the confidentiality of the respondents and the raw data, the statisticians who run the quantitative data with the aid of SPSS signed a letter of confidentiality. A similar confidentiality letter was employed for the expert who assisted with the analysis of the qualitative data with the aid of ATLAS.ti. The professional secretary that transcribed the data completed a certificate of confidentiality too.