September 2009 Intake
Reference Number: 27364
Submitted on Jan 29th 2012
Question: A security manager employed at a large store is concerned at the extent of shoplifting in the store and has undertaken a piece of research which examines the problem. The research project has been written up as ' Research About Shoplifting'. You are asked to write a critical review of this research, which focuses particularly on the methodology of the study.
Word Count 2798
The advancements made in Criminological and Social research and the astounding results have provided and continue to provide our modern society with answers about both crime and its causes and social issues. These findings are used daily by a wide cross section of society to improve every facet of our lives (Department of Criminology 2010). Today’s researchers are competent and use a variety of research methods, often together to change a research finding into a valuable insight that influences a decision (Department of Criminology 2010). Consequently, some of these research findings are sometimes critically reviewed for shortcomings strengths and future improvements. Moreover, this Critical Review focuses on the methodological aspects of a piece research ‘About Shoplifting’ done by a security manager employed at a large store. The review questions whether the research problem was clearly stated. It then considers the purpose of the research. Next, it examines suitability of the choice of methods, and the reliability and validity of the research data. Furthermore, it questions whether the statements made by the researcher follow from the records that were used. It goes on to consider what ethical problems arose and whether the researcher properly addressed those problems. Additionally, there are suggestions made to the improvement of the research project, and highlights how these changes might strengthen the project. Lastly, it concludes that the researcher used excellent research methods, but failed to follow the criteria of conducting a research project, thereby causing the research project‘ About Shoplifting’ to be lacking in several areas, and the findings invalid. Aims and purpose of Research
Generally, it is important that a researcher is clear about the purpose of the research undertaken and clearly state the research problem (Bell, 2010). The individual researcher in this review states that the research problem is ‘Shoplifting’ and the purpose of the research is to study ‘shoplifting by customers’. ‘However, because of some background knowledge the researcher also generated three hypotheses’ (Andrews 2003 as cited White, 2009). 1. ‘Shoplifting is a big problem’.
2. ‘Most theft is committed by customers and not much is committed by staff’. 3. ‘Most shoplifting is committed by females’.
‘Hypotheses make statements about relations between variables and provide a guide to the researcher as to how the original hunch might be tested’ (Bell, 2010:32). ‘Hypotheses are predicted answers to research questions, and they can help provide focus and direction to your study’ (White, 2009:57). Clearly, the generated hypotheses suggest that the researcher is biased, and that previous experience and prior knowledge from reviewing related literature instead of assisting, deferred focus from the research problem of shoplifting. Alternatively, the researcher dismissed the relevance of some previous research on shoplifting, and made a concluding statement before the start of his research. Thus, the researcher presented the aims and objectives of this research in an ambiguous manner that suggests a lack of knowledge about the purpose and foresight of the project. He did not know which aspect to investigate interaction, intervention process or something else (Bell, 2010:203).
Accordingly, the researcher explains how the problem was investigated, by using one aspect...