Part 1: Evaluation of Two Different Qualitative Methods
This portion of the assignment seeks to critically assess two potential qualitative approaches that might be employed to respond to the DBA/PhD research question. The topic of the research is the assessment of the impacts of Just-In-Time strategy in the supply management of BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi. The methodologies, namely grounded theory and case study, which are assessed both on strength and weakness are applicable to this quality study. Beginning with a research problem, both grounded theory and case studies move on to research questions, data collecting, data analysis, data interpretation, and presentation of the research findings (Morgan, 2022). In spite of this, their approaches vary greatly (Hazra, 2022). For instance, a case study studies a current phenomenon inside a real-world scenario, particularly when it is difficult to distinguish between the scenario and the phenomenon (Liu, 2022). According to academics, a case study aims to clarify and investigate specific phenomena in qualitative complex (Morgan, 2022). A case study is typically required when the study is concentrated on a specific and distinctive constrained system (Banfield et al., 2022). The case study generally employs a mixed strategy of data collection, including both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods (Davis, 2022). A case study’s exceptionality is determined by the research done on the relevant subject. In addition, a research framework directs a case study to evaluate a complex contemporary issue using a variety of data sources (Myeong et al., 2022).
1.1 Case Study
If the goal of the research is to address the “how” and “why” questions, a case study is essential (Vu et al., 2022). Additionally, it can be used in situations where dictating behavioral occurrences is impossible. The case study may be group or individual, complex or straightforward (Wu et al., 2022). Additionally, there are various methods for gathering data and analyzing the case study (Myeong et al., 2022). Symptomatically, the case study’s implementation and data collecting are influenced by the researcher’s skill. As a result, the researcher needs to be able to pose questions and interpret the data (Banfield et al., 2022). The researcher must also comprehend the prepositions and questions of the case study and conduct the investigation with flexibility and objectivity.
The case study includes a protocol for information gathering. The case study’s overview, field methods, and research questions should all include this protocol (Liu, 2022). When doing the case study, the researcher should take the aforementioned elements into account (Morgan, 2022). For a case study, data analysis comprises evaluating, tabulating, and categorizing research findings to ascertain whether they support the study’s hypothesis (Vu et al., 2022). Additionally, there are no particular methods for examining the results of the case study. But the results of the case study should be properly analyzed as follows: (1) the analysis ought to make use of all pertinent study findings. (2) The analysis should list the key competing theories and analyze each competing theory. (3) The analysis should offer solutions to the case study’s objective(s). (4) The analysis should concentrate on the researcher’s past expertise in the subject matter (Vu et al., 2022). However, this strategy needs to be unbiased and objective.
The case study gives thorough details on the relevant phenomenon. The case study, for instance, can have a specific narrative detailing a phenomenon. A case study also helps readers to naturally extrapolate from specific experiences, suggesting that individuals can comprehend and share the social viewpoints of others (Davis, 2022). A case study approach provides a comprehensive analysis and frequently clarifies the social background. The case study does not involve any altering of social settings, trials, or treatments (Wu et al., 2022). The case study typically takes into account natural phenomena related to people’s actual circumstances. A case study also requires less funding than surveys and experiments. However, the cost of the case study varies on the kind and length of the investigation (Vu et al., 2022).
It is appropriate to conduct a case study while creating new theories. Case studies are most effective at inductively identifying additional variables and hypotheses (Banfield et al., 2022). Quantitative research techniques don’t have these characteristics. The case study research approach takes into account complex casual linkages, such as equality, path dependency, and complex interaction effects (Liu, 2022). For instance, a case study facilitates equality by producing generalizations that are dependent on certain research topics.
The generalization of study results based on a single case is not permitted by case studies. Because of this, the case study approach cannot result in scientific advancement (Vu et al., 2022). The case study approach is important for creating hypotheses. As a result, it has little bearing on developing and testing hypotheses. Additionally, the case study approach used for verification is biased (Wu et al., 2022). As a result, the methodology yields results consistent with the researcher’s predetermined notions. In contrast to practical and concrete (context-dependent) information, the case study method offers theoretical and general (context-independent) knowledge (Morgan, 2022). The researcher finds it challenging to formulate and condense general theories and prepositions utilizing specific case studies.
When compared to quantitative research methods, case studies frequently present insufficient evidence, making it impossible for researchers to address all study difficulties and make a scientific conclusion (Banfield et al., 2022). Furthermore, because case studies focus on human experience, they rely on subjective data such as researchers’ observations and statements (Wu et al., 2022). As a result, data constantly varies in accordance with respondents’ thoughts, feelings, and descriptions.
1.2 Grounded Theory
According to the definition of grounded theory, it is a hypothesis that is discovered using information gleaned from social research. Identification and theory generation are the goals of grounded theory (Ahmady and Khani, 2022). For the study of human behavior, grounded theory is essential (Cai et al., 2022). The grounded approach also emphasizes evidence over theory. According to some academics, the grounded theory is a method for gathering qualitative data and using that data to create a theory that defines a certain occurrence (FitzGerald and Mills, 2022). Others claim that when a researcher is interested in a comprehensive theory of a phenomenon of interest, it is essential (Han et al., 2022). When there is little information about the contextual elements influencing people’s lives, researchers employ grounded theory (Tian et al., 2022).
There are several methods for gathering data that make up the grounded theory. These strategies are focus groups and semi-structured in-depth interviews (Li et al., 2022). Research data collection and analysis aid in identifying and evaluating elements connected to the phenomenon of interest (FitzGerald and Mills, 2022). Typically, the interview’s data are transcribed, coded, and evaluated using continuous comparison (Tian et al., 2022).
Grounded theory has a number of benefits. For instance, it comprises a specific description and narrative regarding group interpretation, interpersonal interactions, or a particular activity, which adds to the intricacies of the phenomena (Ahmady and Khani, 2022). Scholars of grounded theory information may obtain a naturalistic generalization of a particular field of study (Li et al., 2022). Grounded theory also provides social context and enables a broad interpretation. For grounded theory, it is not essential to manipulate the social environment, tests, or therapies (Cai et al., 2022). Therefore, compared to other methods like surveys and experiments, grounded theory is less expensive.
However, the budget for grounded theory is determined by the sort of research and its length (Tian et al., 2022). The theory has a hermeneutic spiral or tightening, which enables the creation of a theory that accurately interprets the research findings (Li et al., 2022). Additionally, during the research process, grounded theory takes the researcher’s perspectives into account (Ahmady and Khani, 2022). It gives scholars the opportunity to use their knowledge and principles to develop a new theory for their chosen field of inquiry.
The process is easy. Due to this simplicity, new researchers may find the method to be stress-free (Tian et al., 2022). But in reality, the approach calls for originality, a lot of effort, and substantial experience. Once more, the grounded theory is missing a predetermined research sampling strategy (Cai et al., 2022). As a result, when analyzing data, the researchers always use strict theoretical sensitivity. The hypothesis uses coding, which is inefficient in terms of energy and time (Ahmady and Khani, 2022). Without any theory, a researcher might, for example, follow a difficult coding technique.
1.3 Most Relevant Qualitative Method to the Research
Grounded theory is ideal for the current research based on the weaknesses and strengths of qualitative methods. For this reason, the study adopted a qualitative approach to understanding the effects of the Just-In-Time strategy on the supply chain management of BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi. A structured interview is one of the best instruments for data collection for grounded theory. Li et al. (2022) argue that a naturalistic context of grounded theory can consider interview data as the foundation where scholars can get insights about experiences and beliefs. Typically, the naturalist context distinguishes interview data of the research from its context. As a result, the framework indicates that the data offer an unaltered representation of participants’ understanding. The interview is suitable when a researcher is interested in learning about decision-making, perspectives, and beliefs.
For this reason, it is suitable for getting insights into the effects of the Just-In-Time strategy in the supply chain management of BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi. Interviews help the researchers to get insights into the phenomenon based on the research questions. Furthermore, the structured interview permits comparison between the answers of participants. By using the structured interview, it is possible to determine how the Just-In-Time strategy influences the supply chain management of BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi. The structured interview approach reaches a large population, making the process of collecting data faster, and making it an appropriate data collection instrument for the study.
Part 2: The Use of Cross-Sectional Study in Collecting and Analyzing Data
The semi-structured interview was conducted with the assistant manager of BOROUGE, Abu Dhabi, who had vast experience after and before the introduction of the just-in-time approach in the company’s supply chain management. The data collection instrument (questionnaire) consisted of specific research questions related to the impacts of the just-in-time strategy in the supply chain management of BOROUGE. The questionnaire used is included in Appendix A. The interview was conducted upon the consent of the assistant manager of BOROUGE. Consequently, the interviews were recorded as illustrated in Appendix B.
Furthermore, the themes and insights from the interviews were analyzed. This part covers the data collection process, sample size, and the research’s relevancy. The chapter ends by discussing the process of data analysis. The section begins with the epistemological background of the data analysis. As a result, a comprehensive exploration of the collected data follows, providing insights into the meaning of the themes of the study.
2.1 Sample Size
The researcher focused on one data collection exercise for every research task. For this reason, the researcher involved one participant during the interview. The participant engaged was the assistant manager of BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi. Assistant manager was chosen based on his vast experience in the company. Studies show that engaging top workers of an organization provide reliable information about the organization, particularly in companies where a person deals with many people (Almowil et al., 2022). Therefore, assessing the effects of the just-in-time approach in supply chain management from assistant manager offers crucial information on how the strategy influences the performance of petroleum companies.
Additionally, the participant (assistant manager) had worked in the company for more than five years. Therefore, he was vast with all activities of BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi. During the visit to the company (interview), the researcher observed in the supply chain management department how the just-in-time approach affects the general performance of the BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi. The observation supported the information provided by the assistant manager. Hence, the data is sufficient based on its profundity and extensiveness of information.
2.2 Analysis of Data
The researcher transcribed and recorded the collected data. The collected data was represented in one MS Word document, interviews, and notes. According to the grounded theory strategy, the researcher obtains codes and assesses them to get the themes of the study (Banfield et al., 2022). The initial research question evaluated the experience of assistant manager in supply chain management to ascertain the relevancy of the data to research themes. Grounded theory is characterized by its interactive, iterative, inductive, and comparative (Cai et al., 2022).
Additionally, grounded theory analysis simplifies the coding of insights and themes associated with research data. Recognizing the associations according to research data is fundamental to the research in circumstances with limited hypotheses and findings specific to a particular organization (Davis, 2022). Therefore, assessing a specific phenomenon based on the participants’ opinions justifies grounded theory because it offers research data that can generalize the same settings (FitzGerald and Mills, 2022). The grounded theory analysis is well-matched with the interview’s naturalistic framework (Han et al., 2022). Upon the data transcription, the researcher coded the data to identify insights and themes associated with the research. The identified research themes are presented in Appendix D. Through this discussion, developing theories and themes emerged from collected data. The first phase of analysis was the coding of the collected data. The transcription involved a comprehensive examination, which helped identify the critical points from the data. Subsequently, the open codes were assigned to essential research points—the researcher used to constant comparison method to recognize prevailing theories emerging from categories. Figure 1 demonstrates the significance of the JIT strategy in supply chain management based on the insights and themes of collected data.
Figure 1: The importance of the JIT system in supply chain management as revealed by prevailing research concepts
The additional data from memos supported the prevailing insights and themes and how they relate to each other. Moreover, the researcher categorized theoretical notes according to the ideation of their concepts (Morgan, 2022). Typically, ordering research themes is the foundation of theories’ formulation via matching data fragments. Based on the categorization, the researcher exploited connections originating from the primary data category. Furthermore, the researcher utilized an inductive strategy to develop the integrated concept. The primary aim of the present research was to determine the impacts of the JIT system in the supply chain management of BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi. The primary category (effectiveness of the JIT approach) and associated themes originate from the research data.
2.3 Effects of JIT Approach on Supply Chain Management
Based on the finding, incorporating the JIT strategy in supply chain management in BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi, increased the company operations’ efficiency. Assistant manager recognized the effectiveness of the JIT approach in supply chain management. Moreover, assistant manager highlighted various advantages of JIT. For example, the JIT strategy assists the company in reducing its storage and insuring of raw materials. Furthermore, it enhances production, meeting customers’ expectations and demands. Assistant manager also pointed out the company’s challenges, such as managing suppliers, customers’ expectations, quality, and sustainability of the goods. The mitigation of risk is another factor that affects the company. Additionally, access to data is also a stumbling block in meeting the demand and expectations of customers. However, the incorporation of the JIT approach in supply chain management leads to the reduction of the impacts of these difficulties and challenges.
Part 3: Reflection in Regard to Part 2
3.1 Strength and Weakness
Reflection and self-assessment are excellent learning techniques that enable students to analyze their skills and knowledge and identify their areas for improvement. It has been demonstrated that self-evaluation and reflection on one’s abilities and skills enhance learning and improve student performance. As part of qualitative research, I was required to interview a respondent and submit a reflection on my interviewing and preliminary analytic skills. The study aimed to assess the impact of the Just-In-Time strategy in the supply chain management of BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi. The participant involved in the study was a male assistant manager at BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi.
Furthermore, the challenges and difficulties the researcher experienced during the study would enable the researcher to advance his career. Grounded theory is a suitable technique for researchers conducting research in organizations. In most circumstances, people debate the effectiveness of the interview as an instrument of data collection (Myeong et al., 2022). Such people argue that an interview is an imperfect technique for assessing the phenomenon of a study (Tian et al., 2022).
Nonetheless, the researcher exploited a neo-positivist stand in the present study, which counteracted constructivists’ concerns. As a result, the grounded theory supported the naturalistic basis of the research instrument, resulting in the extension of the epistemological characteristics of the research. The research technique the researcher selected is appropriate for the qualitative research method. For this reason, the researcher is interested in using it in future studies. The research’s epistemological concept helps scholars obtain valid and reliable data. Additionally, the success of grounded theory in the present study indicates that the analysis is fundamental in future organizational studies.
The element of neutrality exhibited in the grounded theory is significant. As a result, it allows the researcher to avoid making decisions without consulting the literature. Thus, the neutral nature makes the researcher assess the data based on an unbiased perspective. For this reason, the grounded theory analysis gives honest opinions of the participants, implying the conclusion about the phenomenon is based on the participants’ views. The nature of grounded theory enables the researcher to approach the subjective matter as an academician (Vu et al., 2022). Even though the just-in-time strategy is effective in supply chain management, it is also associated with some demerits (Wu et al., 2022). For instance, there is over-dependency on suppliers, which puts the company at risk of failing to meet customer demands and expectations (Ahmady and Khani, 2022).
Furthermore, the strategy requires more planning. The organization must understand sales trends to make the JIT approach effective. The grounded theory’s safeguards make it possible for an organization’s senior employees to collect information because it overcomes issues that relate to inauthenticity (Myeong et al., 2022). The participants provided their candid views based on their experiences and thoughts. Therefore, nothing manipulated them to offer favorable responses. Thus, the grounded theory approach convinced the researcher that the strategy was the best research methodology for organization research.
Even though there was various merit in the research instrument employed in this study, the researcher experienced different difficulties. Categorization was one of these challenges. The categorization requires stringent guidelines for arranging codes into categories. Therefore, in the absence of these rules, the scholar has the liberality to dictate the research’s direction (Wu et al., 2022). As a result, it offers some freedom and results in research ambiguity.
Additionally, the grounded theory analysis generates a large volume of data, which is challenging to analyze. For example, the research comprised bulky data such as reviews and transcripts. Hence, it was problematic analyzing this kind of data. Therefore, if a researcher does not have experience handling such data, the researcher may wrongly interpret such data. For this reason, analyzing such data requires sufficient preparation for successfully conducting the study. After engaging in the present result, the researcher is equipped with the necessary skills for successfully analyzing grounded theory data.
The present research unearthed various weaknesses and strengths. The primary strength of the grounded theory is its epistemological basis. Additionally, the naturalistic context used in this research allows a bypass of constructivist issues. The information originating from the interview can be distinguished from the interviews. Again, the data collection approach provides independent data, which justifies the data’s integrity. According to the findings, GT is a suitable research methodology for conducting a study in an organization. The sample size for this research methodology is limited, resulting in its weakness. However, the participants’ experiences provide weight to the research, but the small sample size somewhat affects the reliability and validity of the study (Myeong et al., 2022). For instance, one participant’s opinion makes it impossible to generalize the research findings.
The researcher recognized specific areas for enhancement in research skills. Moreover, the research data originated from a single participant, which makes it challenging to arrive at a general conclusion. For this reason, the researcher performed a training analysis to develop a professional development strategy. The researcher discussed the participant’s reviews with the supervisors to determine development prospects.
The research accomplished its primary objectives. The study’s main aim was to determine the impacts of the just-in-time strategy in the supply chain management of BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi. The JIT strategy’s adoption in supply chain management at BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi, improved business operations. Assistant manager acknowledged the value of the JIT strategy for supply chain management. Additionally, assistant manager emphasized several JIT’s benefits. For instance, the JIT method helps the business reduce the number of raw commodities it stores and insures.
Moreover, it improves output while satisfying consumer expectations and requests. Assistant manager also discussed the business’s difficulties, including controlling suppliers, customer expectations, product quality, and sustainability. An additional element that has an impact on the company is risk reduction. Meeting consumer demand and expectations is further complicated by a lack of data availability. However, applying the JIT strategy to supply chain management reduces the effects of these difficulties and challenges.
After playing the audio, I realized I had not used the proper voice tones and pitch. My voice was shaking at first, which I thought might have been anxiety-related. I maintained eye contact, but as I became more conscious of my body language, I noticed that my hands were moving a lot. I must put more effort into this in the future. Lack of readiness was another area where I felt inadequate. For instance, I was unprepared for classifying working practices’ effects into excellent and adverse effects. This categorization was provided to me by the respondent, and I utilized it to create more inquiries. I believe that if I had thoroughly reviewed the previously published material and determined both the positive and negative effects of workplace practices on employee goals, I might have been more aware of two types of impacts. My inability to use the verbatim method was another flaw. I should have used verbatim because it is regarded as precise and incredibly reliable. Because qualitative research is criticized for lacking validity and dependability, the respondent was not given access to the interview transcript to get his confirmation of the written transcript. I failed to succeed in doing this. Additionally, I believe that I am unable to let the participant end the interview whenever they choose. I noticed that the respondent was preoccupied with checking his watch yet unsure how to end the session.
3.2 Development Needs for Qualitative Researchers
The belief that qualitative research is simpler than quantitative analysis makes some scholars think that conducting qualitative research is simple know-how. As a result, they find it challenging to choose it as their research methodology (Almowil et al., 2022). This section reveals what I learned when carrying out the study. Qualitative research enables the researchers to develop their writing, data collection, and analysis skills. Other skills encompass the capability to revolve in philosophical debates and be reflective.
The introspection led to the identification of some areas that require improvement. I want to conduct a mock interview with my fellow students in the future to make sure I am well-prepared for the discussion and do not forget terminology and phrases during the interview. I will reassure my respondents that they are free to end the interview at any time to maintain the principles of research ethics. The necessity for readiness in development is one of the most important. It is necessary to make the questions more understandable so that respondents can answer them without needing to ask for clarification, which will save time. I believe I should engross myself in reading before conducting the interview.
Additionally, I believe that learning the verbatim approach will help me better grasp nonverbal cues and the deeper meanings behind the respondents’ statements. In the future, I want to use it to add pauses and sounds. In my future analyses, I also intend to consider non-verbal cues.
Weak spots have been detected, which are used to determine the priorities and needs for future development. I wish to concentrate on these concerns and improve my qualitative research and interviewing techniques. Overall, the process was smooth, and I gave a good interview that might be viewed as suitable and meeting the requirements.
The report consists of three parts, namely an evaluation of two different qualitative methods (Part 1), using one of the qualitative techniques to collect and analyze data (Part 2), and the reflection on part two of the report (Part 3). Two qualitative techniques (grounded theory and case study) were evaluated based on their weakness and strength. According to the characteristics of these two qualitative methods, the grounded theory stood for assessing how the effectiveness of the JIT system in supply chain management at BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi. The data were collected using semi-structured interviews, in which the researcher approached the assistant manager of BOROGUE, Abu Dhabi, and briefed the assistant manager about the research.
The collected data was interpreted and analyzed using continuous comparison. As a result, the information was organized into seven themes: quality, meeting, decreasing, sustaining, delayed production, churn rate, and increased productivity. Based on the research, the JIT system is crucial in the supply chain management of BROGUE. For example, it enabled the company to enhance its relationship with its suppliers and customers, maximizing its profit—furthermore, in Part 3, the qualitative researcher’s strengths, weaknesses, and development needs.
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