This is the third installment in a series on our research project regarding the future of Canada Post. Our assignment for this week is to write about the framework of the research, but I have to admit that I am not inspired by this topic, even though I will concede that the theoretical framework is extremely important to all research.
I searched for a definition of research framework, only to find many academic papers that seemed impossible to distill into something useful. For the best example of the framework we will be using, I suggest you read my teammate’s blog at eculhane09.wordpress.com. She does a great job of defining the classical pieces of research framework.
In my quick and dirty terms, your research framework should expand and explain the methodologies you will be using – including timelines and the steps you will be taking to make the research objective, reliable and relevant. In our case, our methodology will be to use secondary (statistical research) provided by the federal government, as well as primary research in the form of surveys and personal interviews.
I am going to post the final copy of the research proposal once I finish this entry, so you will have to be the judge as to how reliable and/or relevant or research will be. However, I have found myself becoming frustrated with the quality and quantity of federal research that has been completed on Canada Post, so I want to talk about the potential (ir)relevance of that information.
As I mentioned in a previous entry, it is reasonable to assume that Canada Post Corporation has been aware of the need to renew Canada’s public postal service strategy for some time. So it is not surprising to find out that there was a “secret” study done on the advantages and profits of offering of postal banking and other diversified services through the crown corporation. Unfortunately, when this research finally became available, they found that 701 of 811 pages were redacted by the federal government.
Discovering the absence of this research is obviously problematic for a project that requires timely and relevant secondary research. However, when I put on my other hat as a politician and community representative it is downright frustrating and infuriating because we have a government that is hiding relevant information on potential diversification strategies just days before slashing public services and jobs.
Thankfully, the government is not the only potential source of this kind of research. This is a paper available from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. I should also point out that I did not build this blog as a showcase for my righteous indignation with government decision-making, but as you can see in this case, even if I was an apolitical researcher I would have good reason to doubt the reliability of federal research and decision-making on the future of Canada Post.
I will leave it there for now, except to provide our long-awaited final research proposal. Wish us luck and please do not hesitate to point out potential problems. I am most obviously a soapbox preacher first and a researcher second.