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The role of SMEs in rwanda from 1995 to 2010

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par Clotilde MUKAMUGANGA
National University of Rwanda - A0 2011

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3. 6. Data collection methods and instruments

The information from the primary data was obtained through a structured questionnaire and an interview schedule and documentary search was applied as to obtain secondary data.

3.6.1. Questionnaire

Kenneth D. Bailey (1987: 93) defines questionnaire as a list of questions generally mailed or handed to the respondents and filled in by her with no help to the interviewer. The questionnaire contained both open and closed ended questions were addressed to the respondents. With open-ended questions were kept to the minimum so as to enable the respondents to focus on aspect of the research. With open -ended questions, the respondents had to give personal responses or opinions in their own words whereas with close-ended questions, respondents were given different alternatives to choose from.

According to Kendall (1992:135), a questionnaire is information guttering technique that gathers information about; attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and characteristics from several respondents in the enterprise, who may be affected by a given phenomenon or system.

The whole process of distributing questionnaires was as follows: the researcher first contacted the managing director of the enterprise about the issue before the process started. At this stage, researcher gave the manager a pre-test questionnaire to fill. This helped researcher to test the understandability of the respondents in relation to questions asked. By the help of pre-tests, the researcher was able to identify the gaps in the questionnaire and made corrections where necessary.

After the pre-test questionnaires were collected and necessary corrections made, questionnaires were distributed to the respondents for filling. The questionnaire distribution protocol in the enterprise was organized in a way that facilitated the process of collecting them.

Here the researcher deliberately selected few of the staff members only from the enterprise and some of the population around it; to whom the questionnaires were given for both distribution and collection after being filled out. In a few cases, the researcher had to be personally present to aid the respondents' complete questions.

The advantages of close- ended questions are that the answers are standard, and can be compared from person to person. Therefore, are much easier to code and analyze; and often can be coded from the questionnaire, saving time and money. Further, the respondent was often clear about the meaning of the question and could often tell the answer for what was demanded.

3. 6. 2. Interview Schedule

According to Bailey (1978:93) an interview is an instrument that is not given directly to the respondents, but is filled in by an interviewer who reads the questions to the respondent. In case where the researcher had access to the respondents, she interviewed them and responses were filled in the interview schedule.

For better organization of the interview exercise,the researcher madeappointments with the respondents in order to have access to them.

During the interview process, the researcher had a list of questions that she read to the respondent' s responses, the researcher prepared a separate schedule as this would later facilitate the coding process.

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