Methods of Research: Tribal Clashes in Kenya

Methods of Research: Tribal Clashes in Kenya


Multiple factors have been identified regarding why most Kenyans engage in tribal clashes, but no viable solutions have been brought forward. This has been contributed by lack of proper and effective research in finding the root courses of these problems.

Using Mixed Method Approach to Conduct Research on Tribal Clashes

Mixed method approach involves usage of both qualitative and quantitative data. It uses the strength of both methods to answer research questions. Mixed method tackles a research question from any relevant angle, making use of previous research and more than one type of investigative purpose (Cope, 2009).

When conducting this research, formulation of the research will take the leading role. At this point, we shall assess relevant literature to the topic of study. The purpose of literature review will be summarizing previous research so as to build a foundation on our research. It will also help to avoid unnecessary duplication of work already done by other researchers. Ideas on how to gather relevant data and usage of appropriate methods will also be identified through the literature review. Hypothesis formulation will also take place at this point. Its ultimate purpose will be to provide direction hence bridging the gap between the problem and evidence.

Research design then follows in suit. For the research, quantitative data will be collected by means of conducting a survey. Structured questionnaires will be issued in attempt of realizing this objective. On the other hand, qualitative data will be gathered through observations and interviews. The interviews to be conducted will be unstructured to help in gathering the precise information as possible. Observations will be made based on how the respondents answer their questions and any non-verbal cues that they make. All these are aimed at determining the reasons and outcomes of the tribal clashes in Kenya.

When presenting the questionnaires and conducting interviews, random selection criteria will be used. The random criteria will give anyone that was affected by the clashes an equal opportunity to take part in the research process (Corbetta, 2003). Among the people to be involved are individuals above the age of 18 years. This is because they have a clear understanding of the events that occurred during this time. Most of the youths between the ages of 18 – 35 years are believed to have participated actively in the clashes. On the other hand, people above the age of 40 years are believed to have been displaced in huge numbers. Most of them did not have the strength and might to fight back hence had to flee for their lives.

Data collection then comes in as another significant phase. There are several questions which can be included in the questionnaires. Among them is how the tribal clashes started? Why more people got involved in the process? How things were before the clashes surfaced? What consequences have been brought by the clashes? What has the government has done so far with regard to tribalism? What are your views on the best ways of curbing such future occurrences?

Using unstructured interviews will also serve as a favorable way of obtaining the desired information. This is because it involves informal conversation that involves broad topics which can help in joining the dots. Unstructured interviews are carried out on a complementary basis to help draw more experiential account of people’s perceptions towards their colleagues (Corbetta, 2003). Their ethnic beliefs, perception on tribalism and stand on influential figures in the society are also revealed.

All the information that is gathered will be processed for analysis. This entails search for meaningful links among the facts that have surfaced in the course of the research. Joining the dots will be paramount before any conclusion is made. When making the conclusion, one needs to recall the hypothesis or research objective. This helps in clarifying how the data obtained relates to the hypothesis of the bigger issue. The hypothesis may be accepted, rejected or modified (Merrill, & West, 2009). At this stage, noting the limitations of the study is paramount. For example, problems with the sample and influence of other variables that could not be controlled.

Reporting the findings will entail the final part of the research. Here, there is stating of concrete information that was gained through the research or if the research was inconclusive. There is demonstration of how the research has added knowledge in the area of study. Indication of further research that might be pursued is also revealed.

Ethical Issues when Conducting Research

Among the ethical issues to consider is that researchers should not misuse their positions as professional scientists for fraudulent purposes. This means that they should not mislead respondents involved in the research process. For instance, while conducting a research regarding the tribal clashes that took place in Kenya, the purpose purported should not be misleading. A researcher might mislead respondents in such a case so as to obtain the most suitable information possible (Buchanan, 2004). Respondents need to know precisely what the information will be used for after it is provided.

Fabrication and falsification is another ethical issue that should be considered while conducting this form of research. The tribal clashes that took place came along with various affiliations. A researcher might be in favor of a certain party that took part in the clashes. As a result of this aspect, he or she might tend to fabricate the information gathered based on his own interests.

The process of conducting this research should also not expose respondents on any form of risk. Any information provided should not be disclosed as to where it originated from. Pinpointing at an individual might put his or her life in danger depending on the nature of information provided. Such instances would arise if a respondent was to disclose the people that fueled the clashes.

Researchers should not coerce or deceive respondents into serving as research subjects. Respondents should give the required information based on their will. The researcher should not force them to give out any information even if he suspects that they are hiding something.

No researcher should discriminate respondents based on their sex, religion, race and ethnic background among others. Being bias might hinder adequate and effective research from being conducted. The people being discriminated upon might be the ones with the most important information for the research to be concluded efficiently (Buchanan, 2004).

Use of faulty data gathering procedures is another ethical issue that needs to be addressed. It is upon a researcher to choose on the most appropriate method based on the research problem at hand. Some may use faulty procedures so as to avoid gathering of the actual occurrences that transpired.

Non publication of data is also considered as an ethical issue. Researchers might fail to publish the data collected based on various grounds (Buchanan, 2004). This is unethical act since respondents have the mandate of knowing what transpired through the process that they were subjected to.



Buchanan, E. A. (2004). Readings in virtual research ethics issues and controversies. Hershey,    PA: Information Science Pub..

Cope, M. (2009). Qualitative GIS a mixed methods approach. Los Angeles [Calif.: SAGE.

Corbetta, P. (2003). Social research theory, methods and techniques. London: SAGE        Publications.

Merrill, B., & West, L. (2009). Using biographical methods in social research. Los Angeles:         SAGE.


Do you need an Original High Quality Academic Custom Essay?