Statistics is the basic tool to deal with responses from questionnaire survey.
As safety climate is widely accepted as employees’ “shared perceptions with regard to safety policies, procedures, and practices”, it is reasonable to infer that safety climate is first and foremost a social construct, i.e., it is derived from employees’ interpretation of safety infrastructure in the workplace.
Therefore, qualitative research methods, such as interview and archival analysis, which are based on social constructionism, would be appropriate at the first investigation stage.
To accomplish this investigation, it would need theoretical support from domains such as social psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, organizational behavior, management, and construction project management.
I chose a mixed methods approach to deal with this topic, not only because of the request by my supervisor but also because of my belief that multiple methods of different nature help gain a comprehensive understanding with regard to the topic given its complexity.
As I had no industrial experience, I could not locate the practical issue.
To compensate for that deficiency, I talked to industry practitioners and read through industry reports.
This was the exact research approach I used in the Ph D thesis. But the most important thing is that, the research methods chosen are dependent on the research problem, rather than the other way around.
In choosing and using research methods, I strongly suggest you talk to senior colleagues who have used similar research approaches. Reading and learning cannot be emphasized more during the Ph D journey.
My research topic was how to generate a positive safety climate on construction sites so that construction workers’ safety behavior can sustain.
Basically, it dealt with factors at individual and collective levels which affect construction workers’ behavior, perception, and cognition.