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What is Research?

The search for knowledge through objective and systematic method of finding solution to a problem is research.

Research refers to the systematic method consisting of enunciating the problem, formulating a hypothesis, collecting the facts or data, analysing

the facts and reaching certain conclusions.

Objectives of Research

To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new insights

into it (Exploratory or Formulative research studies);

To portray accurately the characteristics of a particular individual, situation or a group(known as descriptive research studies);

To determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it is associated with something else (diagnostic research


To test a hypothesis of a causal relationship between variables (such studies are known as hypothesis-testing research studies).

Objectives of Research

Research extends knowledge of human beings, social life and environment.

Research brings to light information that might never be discovered fully during the ordinary course of life.

Research establishes generalizations and general laws and contributes to theory building in various fields of knowledge.( law of demand . Principles of mgmt)


Research verifies and tests existing facts and theory, improves knowledge and facilitates decision making

General laws, developed through research may enable us to make reliable predictions of events yet to happen

Research aims to analyze interrelationships between variables and to derive causal explanations.


Applied research aims at finding solutions to problems (social unrest, unemployment, poverty) Research aims at developing new tools concepts and theories for a better study of unknown phenomena. Research aids planning and thus contributes to national development. (health, edn,welfare,agri..) Analytical studies process various data for rational decision making for number of business and nonbusiness organizations.

The basic types of research are as follows:

Descriptive (Ex post facto ) vs. Analytical Research Applied vs. Fundamental Research (Pure/Basic) Conceptual vs. Empirical Research Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research Other types of Research

Descriptive vs. Analytical


Fact finding enquiries and surveys

Collection of present information

Researcher can only report about the existing facts

Ex: frequency of shopping, preference of people







information and facts

by the researcher.

Applied vs. Fundamental Research (Pure/Basic)

Applied: For the purpose of applying or testing theory and evaluating its usefulness in solving practical problems.

Basic: solely for the purpose of theory development

and refinement (laboratory or scientific research)

Conceptual vs. Empirical Research

Conceptual: related to some abstract ideas or theory. Used by philosophers to develop new concepts or to re interpret the existing ones

Empirical Research: relies on experience or

observation. Data based, conclusions being

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research

Quantitative: based on the measurement of quantity or amount (expressed in terms of quantity) census, degree of influence

Qualitative Research: relating to quality or kind.

(to know the underlying motives)

Motivation Research

Attitude or Opinion Research

Research Process


(Research Methodology)
Identification of the research problem Review of the literature Formulation and statement of hypothesis Preparation of the research design Sampling Data collection Analysis of the data Testing of hypothesis Generalization and interpretation Writing the research report

Define the Research Problem
Review concepts and theories
Review previous research findings

Formulate Hypothesis

Research design (including sample design)

Collect data (execution)

Analyze Data (test hypothesis if any)


Interpret and report

Research process in flow chart

Review concepts And theories Define research problem Review previous research finding



Design research

Collecting data

Analyze data

Interpret and report



= feedback = feed forward



Research design is the conceptual structure within which research is conducted;

It is the arrangement of conditions for collection and

analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance

to the research purpose with economy in procedure.

It constitutes the blue print for the collection, measurement

and analysis of data

The design decisions happen to be in respect of:

What is the study about? Why is the study being made? Where will the study be carried out? What type of data is required? Where can the required data be found? What periods of time will the study include? What will be the sample design? What techniques of data collection will be used? How will the data be analyzed? In what style will the report be prepared?

Need for Research design

It facilitates the smooth sailing of the various research operations,

It facilitates thought processing and avoids misleading conclusions.

Thoughtlessness in designing the research project

may result in rendering the research exercise futile.

Features of Good design

It should be flexible, appropriate, efficient, economical and so on

The means of obtaining information; The availability and skills of the researcher and his staff, if any;

The objective of the problem to be studied;

The nature of the problem to be studied; and

Important concepts relating to Research design

1. Dependent and independent variables A concept which can take on different quantitative values is called a variable. As. such the concepts like weight, height, income are all examples of variables 2. Extraneous variable Independent variables that are not related to the purpose of the study, but may affect the dependent variable are termed as extraneous variables

3. Control The technical term 'control' is used when we design the study minimising the effects of extraneous independent variables 4. Confounded relationship When the dependent variable is not free from the influence of extraneous variable(s), the relationship between the dependent and independent variables is said to be confounded by an extraneous variable(s).

5. Research hypothesis When a prediction or a hypothesized relationship is to be tested by scientific methods, it is termed as research hypothesis 6. Experimental and non-experimental hypothesis-testing research Research in which the independent variable is manipulated is termed 'experimental hypothesis-testing research' and a research in which an independent variable is not manipulated is called 'non-experimental hypothesis-testing research' 7. Experimental and control groups

8. Treatments The different conditions under which experimental and control groups are put are usually referred to as 'treatments' 9. Experiment The process of examining the truth of a statistical hypothesis, relating to some research problem, is known as an experiment 10. Experimental unit(s) The pre-determined plots or the blocks, where different treatments are used, are known as experimental units.

Different Research Designs

1.Research design in case of exploratory research studies

2.Research design in case of descriptive and diagnostic research studies, and

3. Research design in case of hypothesis-testing

research studies

Exploratory Research Design

The main purpose of such studies is that of formulating a problem for more precise investigation or of developing the working hypotheses from an operational point of view. The major emphasis in such studies is on the discovery of ideas and insights. Generally, the following three methods in the context of research design for such studies are talked about: The survey of concerning literature; The experience survey and The analysis of 'insight-stimulating' examples.

The survey of concerning literature happens to be the most simple and fruitful method of formulating precisely the research problem or developing

hypothesis. Hypotheses stated by earlier workers may

be reviewed and their usefulness be evaluated as a

basis for further research.

Experience survey means the survey of people who have had practical experience with the problem to be studied. The object of such a survey is to obtain insight into the relationships between variables and new ideas relating to the research problem. Thus, an experience survey may enable the researcher to define the problem more concisely and help in the formulation of the research hypothesis. This survey may as well provide information about the practical possibilities for doing different types of research.

Analysis of 'insight-stimulating' examples is also a fruitful method for suggesting hypotheses for research. It is particularly suitable in areas where there is little experience to serve as a guide. This method consists of the intensive study of selected instances of the phenomenon in which one is interested Thus, in an exploratory of formulative research study which merely leads to insights or hypotheses, whatever method or research design outlined above is adopted, the only thing essential is that it must continue to remain flexible so that many different facets of a problem may be considered as and when they arise and come to the notice of the researcher.

Descriptive and Diagnostic Research Design

Descriptive research studies are those studies which are concerned with describing the characteristics of a particular individual, or of a group, whereas diagnostic research studies determine the frequency with which something occurs or its association with something else. In descriptive as well as in diagnostic studies, the researcher must be able to define clearly, what he wants to measure and must find adequate methods for measuring it along with a clear cut definition of 'population' he wants to study

The design in such studies must be rigid and not flexible and must focus attention on the following:

Formulating the objective of the study (what the study is about and why is it being made? Designing the methods of data collection (what techniques of gathering data will be adopted? Selecting the sample (how much material will be needed? Collecting the data (where can the required data be found and with what time period should the data be related?) Processing and analysing the data. Reporting the findings.

3. Research design in case of hypothesis-testing

research studies
(Causal research/experimental))

Professor R.A. Fisher's name is associated with experimental designs. Beginning of such designs was made by him when he was working at Rothamsted Experimental Station (Centre for Agricultural Research in England). As such the study of experimental designs has its origin in agricultural research. Such studies require procedures that will not only reduce bias and increase reliability.

Methods of Data Collection

Sources of data

Primary sources Secondary sources

Primary source

Focus group Survey Field test Interview Observation

They are collected directly from the respondents

Secondary data

Data that already exists They may not answer specific question to the researcher

Advantages of secondary data

Helps in identifying, clarifying and redefining the research problem

Hold a solution to the problems Provide alternative method that can be used for primary research

Generates information for better creativity


Lack of availability Lack of relevance Inaccurate data Insufficient data

Methods of collecting primarydata

Observation Interviewing Mail survey Experimentation Projective technique


Becomes scientific when it:

Serves a formulated research purpose Is planned deliberately Is recorded systematically Is subject to checks and control on validity


It is both physical and mental activity It is selective It is purposive and not casual

Types of observation

Participant observation: the person who are observed should not be aware of researchers purpose. Non participant observation Direct observation: observation of an event personally when it take place In direct observation Controlled observation Un controlled observation

Observation tools and Recording devices

Schedule Field observation log: in the form of card or diary. When observation is made a rough copy is made and at the end of the day it is recorded.

Mechanical devices

Suitability and application

It is used to study:

The behavior of the human beings, life style customs and manner, interpersonal relationship.

The behavior of other living creature Physical characteristic Flow of traffic and parking problem Movement of material/ products through plant


Directness Data is received from the natural setting Suitable method for studying subjects who are unable to articulate meaningfully.

Helps to capture the whole event


In depth and detail of information that can be secured Percentage of response and quality of information is more. Interviewer can also gather supplemental information like

economic level, living conditions etc..

The accuracy and dependability of answers given by the respondent can be checked by observation

Flexible and adaptable to individual situation.

Types of interview

Structured, directive interview: made with a detailed standardized schedule Unstructured or non directive interview: interviewer encourages the respondent to talk freely about a given topic. Focused interview: semi structured where the investigator attempts to focus the experience of to which respondent have been exposed. Clinical interview: to know individuals personal experience. Depth interview: lengthy procedure designed to encourage free expression


A survey of the resident of a new extension on why they happened to select that particular area and on their likes and dislikes about it. A poll of students at a university on their preference among three candidates who are running for the presidency of students union A survey of manufacturing companies scattered over southern India on wage policy. A survey of financial analysis of merchant bankers to learn their prediction on capital market developments in India in 2000 A.D