Examine A Research Study
BTM 7303, Assignment 2
DuBose, Justin Z.
Dr. Susan Petroshius
15 October 2017
One of the most fundamental and important aspects of scholarly research and writing is the ability to examine an existing research study. Successfully building on this skill and mastering the requirements of independent, original, and objective analysis and examination allow the scholar to formulate opinions which synthesize existing literature and build upon it as well. This short paper provides an examination on an article which analyzes the effects of non-smoking regulations upon various hospitality-industry businesses within five counties of New York State (Hyland, 2013).
Justification of the Need for the Study
Extensive study has been undertaken in recent decades to determine the impact of smoking upon individual health. For example, just within the introduction to this article, the authors cite multiple existing studies which have examined various aspects of the health effects of smoking. Just within the opening paragraph, the authors cited recent studies examining the adverse health effects of smoking and second-hand smoke (“Draft of Report on Secondhand Smoke Released”, 1997) and workers risk for lung cancer (Siegel, 1993). The authors also cite previous studies which specifically address the improvement in workers’ health when smoke-free regulations are implemented in hospitality-industry businesses (Eisner, 1998). These studies provide the initial justification for the study by examining previous studies on the subject and providing a context for this study.
Furthermore, the authors clearly articulate how their study is the next logical step in this research field by establishing a justification which not only builds upon those previous studies, but also expands on them. Within the article, the authors state that “despite the apparent health benefits, such [non-smoking] regulations spur considerable debate over a potential side effect – which is that the local hospitality-industry economy will be adversely affected” (Hyland, 2013). The authors further justify the need for their study by highlighting conflicting research results between research conducted by independent scholars and those hired by the tobacco industry. They note, importantly, that every independent research study which meets rigorous research criteria “concluded that bars and restaurants experienced no negative sales or employment effects from smoke-free regulations” (Hyland, 2013). The justification and basis for expanding upon this research is extensive and well-articulated.
Theory Guiding the Research
While the authors never explicitly stated their theory employed which guided their research, it can readily be concluded that they employed the theory of “statistical synthesis” in compiling their study on the subject (Mertens, 2015). This theory, also known as meta-analysis, is “one statistical approach to research synthesis that uses additional analyses to aggregate the findings of studies and reach conclusions about the overall effect of an independent variable" (Mertens, 2015). The independent variable in this study is obviously the “presence or absence of smoke-free regulations” (Hyland, 2013). Thus, by employing the theory or methodology of meta-analysis the authors are using analysis built upon existing studies but which seeks to reach new and further conclusions about the impact of this independent variable on statistical data gathered from the hospitality industry in the area being researched.
Problems Being Addressed & Purpose of Study
Throughout the article, the authors state the problems being addressed by their research: namely, whether or not smoke-free regulations are actually bad for hospitality-industry businesses in these five counties in New York State. Most pointedly, they note that policy-makers continually proclaim that smoke-free regulations are bad for business, and therefore fight against implementing such policies. However, they note, “considerable evidence” exists which concludes that smoke-free regulations are, in fact, not bad for business (Hyland, 2013).
In addressing that problem, the authors note the purpose of their study by saying that “we set out to assess changes in taxable sales and employment in restaurants and hotels in five counties in New York State that have implemented smoke-free dining regulations since 1995” (Hyland, 2013). In adequately addressing that purpose, their primary research question being addressed throughout their research was how, if at all, do smoke-free regulations impact taxable sales and employment in the hospitality industry in these five counties of New York State? All their various analysis centered around addressing and answering that question to satisfactorily solve their research problem.
In addressing their research problem and answering their research question, the hypothesis of the author is that “the best indicators available to detect evidence of an adverse economic effect of smoke-free regulations” are employment data and taxable sales data from the business types in question (Hyland, 2013). Thus, the article provided a synthesis and analysis of such data. The quality of their analysis and assessment was very high and thorough as there were detailed charts and data for population, date of regulation implementation, demographics, income, numbers of hospitality establishments, changes in numbers after smoke-free regulations were enacted, payroll amounts, sales data, and other detailed statistical information relevant to the research. Throughout the article, the authors consistently maintained a detailed and focus attention to their research problem and purpose.
Justification of Methodology & Design
As noted in the previous paragraph, their hypothesis was that “the best indicators available to detect evidence of an adverse economic effect of smoke-free regulations” are employment data and taxable sales data from the business types in question (Hyland, 2013). This provided the greatest justification for their methodology and design of employing statistical synthesis of compiled data which was relevant to their research problem. The authors not only explained their methodology and design, but also carefully employed their methodology and design to meet their research objectives. This methodology and design fit well into the “hourglass theory” of research whereby researchers begin with an overview of their issue and gradually narrow their scope as appropriate methodology is employed until a conclusion is reached based upon the outcome of data analysis (Dane, 2011).
Krathwohl Chain of Reasoning
The Krathwohl Chain of Reasoning is followed well by these authors throughout their research (Krathwohl, 2005). Krathwohl lays out a chain of reasoning which follows the pattern of linking to previous research, and then explaining your own rationale for research. From there, you state your hypothesis and designs and methodology to meet that hypothesis. Next, you thoroughly address your research procedure including participants, situation, points of focus, records, and time, all of which provide your research data. Once your data is compiled, you then analyze it and formulate your own conclusions and link those conclusions to future studies on the subject. While the researchers did not explicitly follow each step as laid out sequentially by Krathwohl, every element of this chain of reasoning was present. This made the study very logically laid out and easy to follow.
“Weak Links” & Future Studies
While this research was very logical and thorough, the authors did acknowledge a certain weakness in their analysis. This acknowledgement was that the primary potential limitation in their research was the possibility that aggregate data may include taxable-sales data from businesses which would be exempt from the smoke-free regulations (Hyland, 2013). This “weak link”, however, would have, in no way whatsoever, been significant enough to alter the statistical significance of their own conclusions. The data analysis led them to fail to reject their initial hypothesis and to conclude that smoke-free regulations do not have a negative impact on hospitality-industry business in these areas of New York State. Future studies could build upon the aggregate data in this research study to broaden the geographic scope of the research beyond this five-county area of New York State and provide more detailed and extensive data on the subject.
This article was not only thorough, but logically and methodically conducted and easy to follow. The research remained focused and objective and the conclusions were solidly based upon the conclusions of the data. My own research studies, as I build and work toward my dissertation, will closely resemble this thought pattern and research design. The “chain of reasoning” described by Krathwohl was extremely helpful and provides an excellent framework in which to work and one which I will seek to employ in my own writing and research.
Dane, F.C. (2011). Evaluating research: Methodology for people who need to read research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
“Draft of Report on Secondhand Smoke Released,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 227 (April 2, 1997), p. 1026.
Eisner, M.D., Smith, A.K., &Blanc, P.D. (1998) “Bartenders’ Respiratory Health after Establishment of Smoke-Free Bars and Taverns”. .Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 280, No. 22, 1909-1914. Retrieved on October 15, 2017.
Gelso, C. J. (n.d.). "Applying Theories to Research: The Interplay of Theory and Research in Science" (F. T. Leong & J. T. Austin, Eds.). In The Psychology Research Handbook: A Guide for Graduate Students and Research Assistants (pp. 455-466). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412976626.n32
Hyland, A., Puli, V., Cummings, M., & Sciandra, R. (2003). “New York's smoke-free regulations: Effects on employment and sales in the hospitality industry”. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 44(3), 9-16. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/209703335?accountid=28180
Krathwohl, D.R. & Smith, N.L. “Concepts Fundamental to Proposal Writing”. In Concepts Fundamental to Proposal Writing (pp. 31-42). Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. Doi: http://geography.unt.edu/~lnagaoka/geog4800/Reading_Questions/Krathwohl%20&%20Smith%202005%20Chap%203
Mertens, D.M. (2015). Research and evaluation in education and psychology: Integrating diversity with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Siegel, M. (1993) “Involuntary Smoking in the Restaurant Workplace: A Review of Employee Exposure and Health Effects”.Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 270, 490-493. Retrieved on October 15, 2017.
NG, LR, NCU, USAR
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