01-Unit1 - Research Methodology Unit 1 Unit 1 An...

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Unformatted text preview: Research Methodology Unit 1 Unit 1 An Introduction to Research Structure 1.1 Meaning and Definition of Research Objectives 1.1.1 Research and scientific method 1.1.2 Characteristics of Research 1.2 Purpose of research 1.3 Types of Research 1.3.1 Pure Research 1.3.2 Applied Research 1.3.3 Exploratory Research 1.3.4 Descriptive Research 1.3.5 Diagnostic Study 1.3.6 Evaluation Studies 1.3.7 Action Research 1.4 Research Approaches 1.5 Significance of research in Social and Business Sciences Self Assessment Questions I 1.6 Summary 1.7 Terminal Questions 1.8 Answers to SAQs and TQs 1.1 Meaning and Definition of Research Research simply means a search for facts – answers to questions and solutions to problems. It is a purposive investigation. It is an organized inquiry. It seeks to find explanations to unexplained phenomenon to clarify the doubtful facts and to correct the misconceived facts. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 1 Research Methodology Unit 1 The search for facts may be made through either: Arbitrary (or unscientific) Method: It’s a method of seeking answers to question consists of imagination, opinion, blind belief or impression. E.g. it was believed that the shape of the earth was flat; a big snake swallows sun or moon causing solar or lunar eclipse. It is subjective; the finding will vary from person to person depending on his impression or imagination. It is vague and inaccurate. Or Scientific Method: this is a systematic rational approach to seeking facts. It eliminates the drawbacks of the arbitrary method. It is objective, precise and arrives at conclusions on the basis of verifiable evidences. Therefore, search of facts should be made by scientific method rather than by arbitrary method. Then only we may get verifiable and accurate facts. Hence research is a systematic and logical study of an issue or problem or phenomenon through scientific method. Young defines Research as “a scientific undertaking which, by means of logical and systematic techniques, aims to: (a) Discover of new facts or verify and test old facts, (b) Analyze their sequences, interrelationships and causal explanations, (c) Develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories which would facilitate reliable and valid study of human behaviour. (d) Kerlinger defines research as a “systematic, controlled, empirical and critical investigation of hypothetical propositions about the presumed relations among natural phenomena. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 2 Research Methodology Unit 1 Objectives: After studying this lesson the students should be able to understand: Research and scientific method Characteristics of Research Purpose of research Different types of Research Research Approaches Significance of research in Social and Business Sciences 1.1.1 Research and Scientific Method Research is a scientific endeavour. It involves scientific method. “The scientific method is a systematic step-by-step procedure following the logical processes of reasoning”. Scientific method is a means for gaining knowledge of the universe. It does not belong to any particular body of knowledge; it is universal. It does not refer to a field of specific subject of matter, but rather to a procedure or mode of investigation. The scientific method is based on certain “articles of faith.” These are: Reliance on Empirical Evidence: Truth is established on the basis of evidence. Conclusion is admitted, only when it is based on evidence. The answer to a question is not decided by intuition or imagination. Relevant data are collected through observation or experimentation. The validity and the reliability of data are checked carefully and the data are analyzed thoroughly, using appropriate methods of analysis. Use of Relevant Concepts: We experience a vast number of facts through our sense. Facts are things which actually exist. In order to deal with them, we use concepts with specific meanings. They are symbols representing the meaning that we hold. We use them in our thinking and communication. Otherwise, clarity and correct understanding cannot be achieved. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 3 Research Methodology Unit 1 Commitment of Objectivity: Objectivity is the hallmark of the scientific method. It means forming judgement upon facts unbiased by personal impressions. The conclusion should not vary from person to person. It should be the same for all persons. Ethical Neutrality: Science does not pass normal judgment on facts. It does not say that they are good or bad. According to Schrödinger “Science never imposes anything, science states. Science aims at nothing but making true and adequate statements about its object.” Generalization: In formulating a generalization, we should avoid the danger of committing the particularistic fallacy, which arises through an inclination to generalize on insufficient or incomplete and unrelated data. This can be avoided by the accumulation of a large body of data and by the employment of comparisons and control groups. Verifiability: The conclusions arrived at by a scientist should be verifiable. He must make known to others how he arrives at his conclusions. He should thus expose his own methods and conclusions to critical scrutiny. When his conclusion is tested by others under the same conditions, then it is accepted as correct. Logical reasoning process: The scientific method involves the logical process of reasoning. This reasoning process is used for drawing inference from the finding of a study or for arriving at conclusion 1.1.2 Characteristics of Research It is a systematic and critical investigation into a phenomenon. It is a purposive investigation aiming at describing, interpreting and explaining a phenomenon. It adopts scientific method. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 4 Research Methodology Unit 1 It is objective and logical, applying possible test to validate the measuring tools and the conclusions reached. It is based upon observable experience or empirical evidence. Research is directed towards finding answers to pertinent questions and solutions to problems. It emphasizes the development of generalization, principles or theories. The purpose of research is not only to arrive at an answer but also to stand up the test of criticism. 1.2 Purpose of Research The objectives or purposes of research are varied. They are: Research extends knowledge of human beings, social life and environment. The search is for answers for various types of questions: What, Where, When, How and Why of various phenomena, and enlighten us. 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. Research verifies and tests existing facts and theory and these help improving our knowledge and ability to handle situations and events. General laws developed through research may enable us to make reliable predictions of events yet to happen. Research aims to analyze inter-relationships between variables and to derive causal explanations: and thus enables us to have a better understanding of the world in which we live. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 5 Research Methodology Unit 1 Applied research aims at finding solutions to problems… socioeconomic problems, health problems, human relations problems in organizations and so on. Research also aims at developing new tools, concepts and theories for a better study of unknown phenomena. Research aids planning and thus contributes to national development. 1.3 Types of Research Although any typology of research is inevitably arbitrary, Research may be classified crudely according to its major intent or the methods. According to the intent, research may be classified as: 1.3.1 Pure Research It is undertaken for the sake of knowledge without any intention to apply it in practice, e.g., Einstein’s theory of relativity, Newton’s contributions, Galileo’s contribution, etc. It is also known as basic or fundamental research. It is undertaken out of intellectual curiosity or inquisitiveness. It is not necessarily problem-oriented. It aims at extension of knowledge. It may lead to either discovery of a new theory or refinement of an existing theory. It lays foundation for applied research. It offers solutions to many practical problems. It helps to find the critical factors in a practical problem. It develops many alternative solutions and thus enables us to choose the best solution. 1.3.2 Applied Research It is carried on to find solution to a real-life problem requiring an action or policy decision. It is thus problem-oriented and action-directed. It seeks an immediate and practical result, e.g., marketing research carried on for developing a news market or for studying the post-purchase experience of customers. Though the immediate purpose of an applied research is to find Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 6 Research Methodology Unit 1 solutions to a practical problem, it may incidentally contribute to the development of theoretical knowledge by leading to the discovery of new facts or testing of theory or o conceptual clarity. It can put theory to the test. It may aid in conceptual clarification. It may integrate previously existing theories. 1.3.3 Exploratory Research It is also known as formulative research. It is preliminary study of an unfamiliar problem about which the researcher has little or no knowledge. It is ill-structured and much less focused on pre-determined objectives. It usually takes the form of a pilot study. The purpose of this research may be to generate new ideas, or to increase the researcher’s familiarity with the problem or to make a precise formulation of the problem or to gather information for clarifying concepts or to determine whether it is feasible to attempt the study. Katz conceptualizes two levels of exploratory studies. “At the first level is the discovery of the significant variable in the situations; at the second, the discovery of relationships between variables.” 1.3.4 Descriptive Study It is a fact-finding investigation with adequate interpretation. It is the simplest type of research. It is more specific than an exploratory research. It aims at identifying the various characteristics of a community or institution or problem under study and also aims at a classification of the range of elements comprising the subject matter of study. It contributes to the development of a young science and useful in verifying focal concepts through empirical observation. It can highlight important methodological aspects of data collection and interpretation. The information obtained may be useful for prediction about areas of social life outside the boundaries of the research. They are valuable in providing facts needed for planning social action program. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 7 Research Methodology Unit 1 1.3.5 Diagnostic Study It is similar to descriptive study but with a different focus. It is directed towards discovering what is happening, why it is happening and what can be done about. It aims at identifying the causes of a problem and the possible solutions for it. It may also be concerned with discovering and testing whether certain variables are associated. This type of research requires prior knowledge of the problem, its thorough formulation, clear-cut definition of the given population, adequate methods for collecting accurate information, precise measurement of variables, statistical analysis and test of significance. 1.3.6 Evaluation Studies It is a type of applied research. It is made for assessing the effectiveness of social or economic programmes implemented or for assessing the impact of developmental projects on the development of the project area. It is thus directed to assess or appraise the quality and quantity of an activity and its performance, and to specify its attributes and conditions required for its success. It is concerned with causal relationships and is more actively guided by hypothesis. It is concerned also with change over time. 1.3.7 Action Research It is a type of evaluation study. It is a concurrent evaluation study of an action programme launched for solving a problem for improving an exiting situation. It includes six major steps: diagnosis, sharing of diagnostic information, planning, developing change programme, initiation of organizational change, implementation of participation and communication process, and post experimental evaluation. According to the methods of study, research may be classified as: 1. Experimental Research: It is designed to asses the effects of particular variables on a phenomenon by keeping the other variables constant or Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 8 Research Methodology Unit 1 controlled. It aims at determining whether and in what manner variables are related to each other. 2. Analytical Study: It is a system of procedures and techniques of analysis applied to quantitative data. It may consist of a system of mathematical models or statistical techniques applicable to numerical data. Hence it is also known as the Statistical Method. It aims at testing hypothesis and specifying and interpreting relationships. 3. Historical Research: It is a study of past records and other information sources with a view to reconstructing the origin and development of an institution or a movement or a system and discovering the trends in the past. It is descriptive in nature. It is a difficult task; it must often depend upon inference and logical analysis or recorded data and indirect evidences rather than upon direct observation. 4. Survey: It is a fact-finding study. It is a method of research involving collection of data directly from a population or a sample thereof at particular time. Its purpose is to provide information, explain phenomena, to make comparisons and concerned with cause and effect relationships can be useful for making predications 1.4 Research Approaches There are two main approaches to research, namely quantitative approach and qualitative approach. The quantitative approach involves the collection of quantitative data, which are put to rigorous quantitative analysis in a formal and rigid manner. This approach further includes experimental, inferential, and simulation approaches to research. Meanwhile, the qualitative approach uses the method of subjective assessment of opinions, behaviour and attitudes. Research in a situation is a function of the researcher’s impressions and insights. The results generated by this type of research are either in non-quantitative form or in the form which cannot be Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 9 Research Methodology Unit 1 put to rigorous quantitative analysis. Usually, this approach uses techniques like depth interviews, focus group interviews, and projective techniques. 1.5 Significance of Research in Social and Business Sciences According to a famous Hudson Maxim, “All progress is born of inquiry. Doubt is often better than overconfidence, for it leads to inquiry, and inquiry leads to invention”. It brings out the significance of research, increased amounts of which makes progress possible. Research encourages scientific and inductive thinking, besides promoting the development of logical habits of thinking and organization. The role of research in applied economics in the context of an economy or business is greatly increasing in modern times. The increasingly complex nature of government and business has raised the use of research in solving operational problems. Research assumes significant role in formulation of economic policy, for both the government and business. It provides the basis for almost all government policies of an economic system. Government budget formulation, for example, depends particularly on the analysis of needs and desires of the people, and the availability of revenues, which requires research. Research helps to formulate alternative policies, in addition to examining the consequences of these alternatives. Thus, research also facilitates the decision making of policy-makers, although in itself it is not a part of research. In the process, research also helps in the proper allocation of a country’s scare resources. Research is also necessary for collecting information on the social and economic structure of an economy to understand the process of change occurring in the country. Collection of statistical information though not a routine task, involves various research problems. Therefore, large staff of research technicians or experts is engaged by the government these days to undertake this work. Thus, research as a tool of government economic Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 10 Research Methodology Unit 1 policy formulation involves three distinct stages of operation which are as follows: Investigation of economic structure through continual compilation of facts Diagnoses of events that are taking place and the analysis of the forces underlying them; and The prognosis, i.e., the prediction of future developments Research also assumes a significant role in solving various operational and planning problems associated with business and industry. In several ways, operations research, market research, and motivational research are vital and their results assist in taking business decisions. Market research is refers to the investigation of the structure and development of a market for the formulation of efficient policies relating to purchases, production and sales. Operational research relates to the application of logical, mathematical, and analytical techniques to find solution to business problems such as cost minimization or profit maximization, or the optimization problems. Motivational research helps to determine why people behave in the manner they do with respect to market characteristics. More specifically, it is concerned with the analyzing the motivations underlying consumer behaviour. All these researches are very useful for business and industry, which are responsible for business decision making. Research is equally important to social scientist for analyzing social relationships and seeking explanations to various social problems. It gives intellectual satisfaction of knowing things for the sake of knowledge. It also possesses practical utility for the social scientist to gain knowledge so as to be able to do something better or in a more efficient manner. This, research in social sciences is concerned with both knowledge for its own sake, and knowledge for what it can contribute to solve practical problems. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 11 Research Methodology Unit 1 Self Assessment Questions State whether the following are true or false: 1. Research is a repetitive search. 2. Applied research gives a solution to problem. 3. Scientific method is systematic. 4. Objectivity is not required for all types of research. 5. Pure research is not fundamental research. 1.6 Summary Research simply means a search for facts. The search for facts may be made through either arbitrary (or unscientific) method or scientific method. Young defines Research as “a scientific undertaking which, by means of logical and systematic techniques, aims to: Discover of new facts or verify and test old facts, analyze their sequences, interrelationships and causal explanations, develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories which would facilitate reliable and valid study of human behaviour. Kerlinger defines research as a “systematic, controlled, empirical and critical investigation of hypothetical propositions about the presumed relations among natural phenomena. The scientific method is based on certain “articles of faith.” These are: 1. Reliance on empirical evidence: 2. Use of relevant concepts 3. Commitment of objectivity 4. Ethical neutrality 5. Generalization 6. Verifiability 7. Logical reasoning process Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 12 Research Methodology Unit 1 Research is directed towards finding answers to pertinent questions and solutions to problems. It emphasizes the development of generalization, principles or theories. The purpose of research is not only to arrive at an answer but also to stand up the test of criticism. The purpose of research is to extend knowledge of human beings Research establishes generalizations and general laws and contributes to theory building in various fields of knowledge. Research verifies and tests existing facts and theory and these help improving our knowledge and ability to handle situations and events. 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: and thus enables us to have a better understanding of the world in which we live. Applied research aims at finding solutions to problems… socio-economic problems, health problems, human relations problems in organizations and so on. Research also aims at developing new tools, concepts and theories for a better study of unknown phenomena. Research aids planning and thus contributes to national development. Pure Research is undertaken for the sake of knowledge without any intention to apply it in practice. Applied Research is carried on to find solution to a real-life problem requiring an action or policy decision. It is thus problem-oriented and action-directed. Exploratory Research is also known as formulative research. It is preliminary study of an unfamiliar problem about which the researcher has little or no knowledge. Descriptive Study is a fact-finding investigation with adequate interpretation. Diagnostic Study is similar to descriptive study but with a different focus. Evaluation Studies is a type of applied research. Action Research is a type of evaluation study. The role of research in applied economics in the context of an economy or business is greatly increasing in modern times. Research also assumes a significant role in solving various operational and planning problems associated with business Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 13 Research Methodology Unit 1 and industry. Research is equally important to social scientist for analyzing social relationships and seeking explanations to various social problems. 1.7 Terminal Questions 1. Define the following: i) Scientific Method ii) Research iii) Applied Research iv) Exploratory Research v) Descriptive Study vi) Diagnostic Study vii) Action Research 2. What is the meaning of research? 3. What are the articles of faith in scientific method? 4. What are the features of research? 5 What are the purposes of research? 6 What are the types of research? 7. What is the significance of research in social and business sciences? 1.8 Answers to SAQs and TQs SAQs 1. True 2. True 3. True 4. False 5. False Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 14 Research Methodology Unit 1 TQs 1) i) Section 1.1.1 ii) Section 13.3 iii) Section 1.3.2 iv) Section 13.3 v) Section 1.3.4 vi) Section 1.3.5 vii) Section 1.3.7 2) Section 1.1 3) Section 1.1.1 4) Section 1.2. 2 5) Section 1.2. 6) Section 1.3 7) Section 1.5 Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 15 ...
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