A Critical Review of Empirical Research Articles

7 pages
1786 words
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
Critical thinking
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The primary objective of this article is to give a brief overview of three peer-reviewed empirical research articles namely; User-Generated Content as Research Mode in Tourism and Hospitality Applications: Topics, Methods, and Software'', 'Transformative Learning Theory: A Systematic Review of Travel and Tourism Scholarship'', and 'Twenty-Five Years of Word-of-Mouth Studies: A Critical Review of Tourism Research". The article also discusses the methodological choice, research strategy and data collection methods used in each journal by justifying how each item fits into a particular category (qualitative, exploratory or case study). The paper ultimately gives a conclusion by presenting the implications of the research on my proposed research project. It highlights the methodological approaches used that I would I would also employ in writing my area of research, lesson learned and the research design that is suitable for my study.

Lu, W. and Stepchenkova, S., 2015. User-generated content as a research model in tourism and hospitality applications: Topics, methods, and software. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 24(2), pp.119-154.

Over the past, a lot of information has been generated by the people who consume the services of tourism and hospitality. However, this information has never been collected for analysis. Hence, the article discusses how Lu and Stepchenkova systematically reviewed the application of User-Generated Content (UGC) in the research of tourism and hospitality. The article describes how the duo surveyed by collecting 122 peer-reviewed items that used UGC as a data source from libraries and internet sources. The article explains how the research study investigates how UGC is used in addressing the scope of tourism and hospitality issues; and the methods employed in UGC data that helps in achieving the primary objectives of the research. The article also discusses the software that has been used in collecting UGC and in the extraction of vital information from large UGC data sets, and its advantages and disadvantages. The research article also explains the emerging topics and setbacks in UGC research and proposes some of the means of overcoming those challenges.

The authors used a qualitative method in carrying out their research since they collected a broad range of data using UGC as a data source and eventually made an analysis. The strategy employed by the researchers is systematic review approach. They used this method to appraise the total outcome of the research that used UGC as a data source in tackling some of the problems in tourism and hospitality. Klassen, Jadad, and Moher (1998) defined a systematic review as a type of literature review in which there is a critical analysis of multiple research studies using pre-determined methods before the formulation of research questions and subsequently finding and analyzing studies that answer the research questions in a structured methodology. By employing this data collection method, they used Google Scholar to gather literature (articles, conference proceedings, books, abstracts, etc.). They also used professional societies, websites and university libraries to get the articles (Maslow and Redner 2008). The systematic review approach was essential in the study since it minimized the effect of false negatives by using multiple search terms including "user-generated content," social media, etc. in different combinations with words such as tourism, and hospitality (Jasco 2008).

The research is very influential on a research project that I am planning to do in the future particularly about methodological approaches and research designs. It gives incites on the best research methodology that would be suitable for my study. Based on the outcome of the survey, I would quickly adopt a qualitative method in my study. The research design used in the article is also evident and vividly outlines the process of data collection and analysis. Based on the review of the survey, I would quickly adopt a qualitative research design since my research would primarily be comprised of data collection from libraries and analysis to determine the effects of tourism on the environment.

Stone, G.A. and Duffy, L.N., 2015. Transformative learning theory: A systematic review of travel and tourism scholarship. Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism, 15(3), pp.204-224.

Transformational education has been a major area of study in travel and tourism research in the recent past. The successful study of this new academic agenda fully lies on how to facilitate transformational education that is theory driven. The article discusses John Mezirows transformative learning theory (TLT), its usefulness and how it is applicable in guiding this agenda. The article also systematically reviews travel and tourism research by employing the use of TLT as the primary means of identifying strategies that would help in successful implementation of this theoretical framework. It discusses how fifty-three articles were collected and reviewed. Unfortunately, only fourteen of this articles were collected from tourism journals. This is a clear indication that research that utilizes TILT in travel and tourism sector has not developed to the required standards. The article discusses methods of data collection and analyzes and interprets the results. Based on the results presented in the article, Stone and Duffy suggest that tourism classroom should be advanced to understand the theoretical basis of TILT.

The research method employed by Stone and Duffy in their review was qualitative since it entailed an analysis of the articles collected from different websites. Furthermore, they only knew roughly in advance what they were looking for, and their projective aim was complete and detailed. The duos were the data gathering instrument and the data collected was in the form words; these are some of the characteristics of qualitative research as portrayed in the study. The strategy of the result was simplistic and easy to understand. The paper started with an abstract that gave an overview of its content, followed by an introduction, discussion of transformative learning theory, methods of data collection, database and analysis, and discussion and conclusions. Hence, there was a regular smooth flow of ideas in the article. The primary method of data collection employed by the duo was an action research (systematic and replicable methods). As discussed by Crowther, Lim, and Crowther in 2010, systematic and reproducible methods play an integral role in data collection since it enables facilitation of synthesis of existing literature on the topic. It is also useful in identification of the right direction for research. The criteria for data collection, determination of data sources and reporting of findings that related to transformative learning in travel and tourism was developed by adopting a preferred reporting item for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) (Crowther et al. 2010; Moher et al. 2009). The data collection method was suitable for the qualitative study since it used credible sources, determined the credibility of the articles collected and covered the gaps that could have been experienced when other methods would have been used. The primary source of data in the research article was EBSCO Host. Different materials were gathered from this website using ERIC, Academic Search Complete, Hospitality and Tourism Complete, etc. The reports were collected using snow ball method to ensure that they were credible and comprehensive. Snow ball method is used to skim the references from each article to identify the ones that meet the standard format.

Accordingly, the most significant practical contribution of this research is that it provides essential empirical data on the articles that are imperative in understanding Transformative Learning Theory (TILT) and the means for determining the effectiveness of these reports. The research design is simplistic and comprehensive hence it facilitates the smooth collection of data, analysis, and interpretation of results. A second implication of the study on my research project derives from the uniqueness of the research methods used by Stone and Duffy (2015). They used systematic and replicable methods that were essential in enabling the structured review to enhance the analysis of the articles collected. The sources of the materials were also reliable and enabled the researchers to validate the credibility of those journals by using snow ball. Although my research project shares some essential features with the research article, it falls sort of a comprehensive diagnostic tool (given its qualitative nature). The research project portrays an effective research design and efficient methods of data collection that I would adopt in my research project.

Confente, I., 2015. Twentyfive years of wordofmouth studies: A critical review of tourism research. International Journal of Tourism Research, 17(6), pp.613-624.

The topic of word of mouth (WOM) that relates to tourism industry has been discussed in several leading journals for the last 25 years. However, this discussion has been lacking thorough synthesis of the articles and an analysis of the approach and the direction taken by the research. WOM is a conversation between two people primarily a receiver and a communicator where the receiver receives a noncommercial information that relates a brand. The primary objective of this empirical research article is to address that deficiency by collecting and analyzing 25 years of research following this stream by using a literature review technique known as the paradigm funnel. This tool enables researchers to reconcile the observations and assumptions made during research while assessing the methods and implicit assumptions that underlie a particular stream of literature (Nairn, Berthon and Money 2007). It highlights the distribution of investigation effort at a point in time. Hence it explains how a community as a whole is solving a problem or tackling an issue. According to Mangold, Miller, and Brockway (1999), WOM communication is an essential force in marketplace hence it has prompted firms to measure and control it. The paper is structured systematically beginning with literature background section that introduces the topic of WOM related to the tourism sector and the paradigm funnel approach. Under the methodology section, the paper discusses the effectiveness of the paradigm funnel technique about the review. It then discusses how the articles are selected for consideration and the review process. The paper eventually analyzes and interprets the data collected and discusses the gaps.

Confente employed a qualitative research method for collecting, analyzing and interpreting data by paradigm funnel. The method is qualitative since it is used to gain an understanding of word of mouth (MOW) by doing a thorough synthesis of the articles collected. The method plays a pivotal role in providing insights into MOW and in developing ideas or hypothesis for the research. A systematic review of the materials collected is used in the research. This is achieved by data collection using paradigm funnel, analysis of the data and interpretation. The study design is systematic since it states the set objectives of the research with pre-defined eligibility way for studies. It is also explicit, reproducible and attempts to identify all studies that would meet the right criteria. Some other qualitative features of the research design that are portrayed in the article are an assessment of the validity of the findings of the investigation and systematic presentation, and synthesis of the characteristics and finding...

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