04-Unit4 - Research Methodology Unit 4 Unit 4 Research...

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Unformatted text preview: Research Methodology Unit 4 Unit 4 Research Design Structure 4.1 Meaning Objectives 4.2 Needs of Research Design 4.2.1 4.3 Characteristics of a Good Research Design Components of Research Design 4.3.1 Experimental and Non-experimental Hypothesis Testing Research 4.4 Different Research Designs 4.5 Research Design for Studies in Commerce and Management 4.5.1 Research Design in Case of Exploratory Research Studies 4.5.2 Research Design in case of Descriptive and Diagnostic Research Studies 4.5.3 Research Design in case of Hypothesis testing Research Studies 4.5.4 Principles of Experimental Designs 4.5.5 Important Experimental Designs 4.5.6 Formal Experimental Designs Self Assessment Questions 4.6 Summary 4.7 Terminal Questions 4.8 Answers to SAQs and TQs 4.1 Meaning of Research Design The research designer understandably cannot hold all his decisions in his head. Even if he could, he would have difficulty in understanding how these are inter-related. Therefore, he records his decisions on paper or record disc by using relevant symbols or concepts. Such a symbolic construction may Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 44 Research Methodology Unit 4 be called the research design or model. A research design is a logical and systematic plan prepared for directing a research study. It specifies the objectives of the study, the methodology and techniques to be adopted for achieving the objectives. It constitutes the blue print for the collection, measurement and analysis of data. It is the plan, structure and strategy of investigation conceived so as to obtain answers to research questions. The plan is the overall scheme or program of research. A research design is the program that guides the investigator in the process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting observations. It provides a systematic plan of procedure for the researcher to follow elltiz, Jahoda and Destsch and Cook describe, “A research design 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.” Objectives: After studying this lesson you should be able to understand: Needs of Research Design Characteristics of a Good Research Design Components of Research Design Experimental and Non-experimental Hypothesis Testing Research Different Research Designs Research Design for Studies in Commerce and Management Research Design in Case of Exploratory Research Studies Research Design in case of Descriptive and Diagnostic Research Studies Research Design in case of Hypothesis testing Research Studies Principles of Experimental Designs Important Experimental Designs Formal Experimental Designs Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 45 Research Methodology Unit 4 4.2 Needs of Research Design The need for the methodologically designed research: a. In many a research inquiry, the researcher has no idea as to how accurate the results of his study ought to be in order to be useful. Where such is the case, the researcher has to determine how much inaccuracy may be tolerated. In a quite few cases he may be in a position to know how much inaccuracy his method of research will produce. In either case he should design his research if he wants to assure himself of useful results. b. In many research projects, the time consumed in trying to ascertain what the data mean after they have been collected is much greater than the time taken to design a research which yields data whose meaning is known as they are collected. c. The idealized design is concerned with specifying the optimum research procedure that could be followed were there no practical restrictions. 4.2.1 Characteristics of a Good Research Design (1) It is a series of guide posts to keep one going in the right direction. (2) It reduces wastage of time and cost. (3) It encourages co-ordination and effective organization. (4) It is a tentative plan which undergoes modifications, as circumstances demand, when the study progresses, new aspects, new conditions and new relationships come to light and insight into the study deepens. (5) It has to be geared to the availability of data and the cooperation of the informants. (6) It has also to be kept within the manageable limits 4.3 Components of Research Design It is important to be familiar with the important concepts relating to research design. They are: Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 46 Research Methodology Unit 4 1. Dependent and Independent variables: A magnitude that varies is known as a variable. The concept may assume different quantitative values, like height, weight, income, etc. Qualitative variables are not quantifiable in the strictest sense of objectivity. However, the qualitative phenomena may also be quantified in terms of the presence or absence of the attribute considered. Phenomena that assume different values quantitatively even in decimal points are known as ‘continuous variables’. But, all variables need not be continuous. Values that can be expressed only in integer values are called ‘non-continuous variables’. In statistical term, they are also known as ‘discrete variable’. For example, age is a continuous variable; where as the number of children is a noncontinuous variable. When changes in one variable depends upon the changes in one or more other variables, it is known as a dependent or endogenous variable, and the variables that cause the changes in the dependent variable are known as the independent or explanatory or exogenous variables. For example, if demand depends upon price, then demand is a dependent variable, while price is the independent variable. And if, more variables determine demand, like income and prices of substitute commodity, then demand also depends upon them in addition to the own price. Then, demand is a dependent variable which is determined by the independent variables like own price, income and price of substitute. 2. Extraneous variable: The independent variables which are not directly related to the purpose of the study but affect the dependent variable are known as extraneous variables. For instance, assume that a researcher wants to test the hypothesis that there is relationship between children’s school performance and their self-concepts, in which case the latter is an independent variable and the former, the dependent variable. In this context, intelligence may also influence the school performance. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 47 Research Methodology Unit 4 However, since it is not directly related to the purpose of the study undertaken by the researcher, it would be known as an extraneous variable. The influence caused by the extraneous variable on the dependent variable is technically called as an ‘experimental error’. Therefore, a research study should always be framed in such a manner that the dependent variable completely influences the change in the independent variable and any other extraneous variable or variables. 3. Control: One of the most important features of a good research design is to minimize the effect of extraneous variable. Technically, the term control is used when a researcher designs the study in such a manner that it minimizes the effects of extraneous independent variables. The term control is used in experimental research to reflect the restrain in experimental conditions. 4. Confounded relationship: The relationship between dependent and independent variables is said to be confounded by an extraneous variable, when the dependent variable is not free from its effects. Research hypothesis: W hen a prediction or a hypothesized relationship is tested by adopting scientific methods, it is known as research hypothesis. The research hypothesis is a predictive statement which relates a dependent variable and an independent variable. Generally, a research hypothesis must consist of at least one dependent variable and one independent variable. Whereas, the relationships that are assumed but not be tested are predictive statements that are not to be objectively verified are not classified as research hypothesis. Experimental and control groups: W hen a group is exposed to usual conditions in an experimental hypothesis-testing research, it is known as ‘control group’. On the other hand, when the group is exposed to certain new or special condition, it is known as an Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 48 Research Methodology Unit 4 ‘experimental group’. In the afore-mentioned example, the Group A can be called a control group and the Group B an experimental one. If both the groups A and B are exposed to some special feature, then both the groups may be called as ‘experimental groups’. A research design may include only the experimental group or the both experimental and control groups together. Treatments: Treatments are referred to the different conditions to which the experimental and control groups are subject to. In the example considered, the two treatments are the parents with regular earnings and those with no regular earnings. Likewise, if a research study attempts to examine through an experiment regarding the comparative impacts of three different types of fertilizers on the yield of rice crop, then the three types of fertilizers would be treated as the three treatments. Experiment: An experiment refers to the process of verifying the truth of a statistical hypothesis relating to a given research problem. For instance, experiment may be conducted to examine the yield of a certain new variety of rice crop developed. Further, Experiments may be categorized into two types namely, absolute experiment and comparative experiment. If a researcher wishes to determine the impact of a chemical fertilizer on the yield of a particular variety of rice crop, then it is known as absolute experiment. Meanwhile, if the researcher wishes to determine the impact of chemical fertilizer as compared to the impact of bio-fertilizer, then the experiment is known as a comparative experiment. Experiment unit: Experimental units refer to the predetermined plots, characteristics or the blocks, to which the different treatments are applied. It is worth mentioning here that such experimental units must be selected with great caution. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 49 Research Methodology 4.3.1 Experimental Unit 4 and Non-Experimental Hypothesis Testing Research When the objective of a research is to test a research hypothesis, it is known as a hypothesis-testing research. Such research may be in the nature of experimental design or non-experimental design. A research in which the independent variable is manipulated is known as ‘experimental hypothesis-testing research’, where as a research in which the independent variable is not manipulated is termed as ‘non-experimental hypothesistesting research’. E.g., assume that a researcher wants to examine whether family income influences the social attendance of a group of students, by calculating the coefficient of correlation between the two variables. Such an example is known as a non-experimental hypothesis-testing research, because the independent variable family income is not manipulated. Again assume that the researcher randomly selects 150 students from a group of students who pay their school fees regularly and them classifies them into tow sub-groups by randomly including 75 in Group A, whose parents have regular earning, and 75 in group B, whose parents do not have regular earning. And that at the end of the study, the researcher conducts a test on each group in order to examine the effects of regular earnings of the parents on the school attendance of the student. Such a study is an example of experimental hypothesis-testing research, because in this particular study the independent variable regular earnings of the parents have been manipulated 4.4 Different Research Designs There are a number of crucial research choices, various writers advance different classification schemes, some of which are: (1) Experimental, historical and inferential designs (American Marketing Association). Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 50 Research Methodology Unit 4 (2) Exploratory, descriptive and causal designs (Selltiz, Jahoda, Deutsch and Cook). (3) Experimental, and expost fact (Kerlinger) (4) Historical method, and case and clinical studies (Goode and Scates) (5) Sample surveys, field studies, experiments in field settings, and laboratory experiments (Festinger and Katz) (6) Exploratory, descriptive and experimental studies (Body and Westfall) (7) Exploratory, descriptive and casual (Green and Tull) (8) Experimental, ‘quasi-experimental designs’ (Nachmias and Nachmias) (9) True experimental, quasi-experimental and non-experimental designs (Smith). (10) Experimental, pre-experimental, quasi-experimental designs and Survey Research (Kidder and Judd). These different categorizations exist, because ‘research design’ is a complex concept. In fact, there are different perspectives from which any given study can be viewed. They are: (1) The degree of formulation of the problem (the study may be exploratory or formalized) (2) The topical scope-breadth and depth-of the study(a case or a statistical study) (3) The research environment: field setting or laboratory (survey, laboratory experiment) (4) The time dimension(one-time or longitudinal) (5) The mode of data collection (observational or survey) (6) The manipulation of the variables under study (experimental or expost facto) (7) The nature of the relationship among variables (descriptive or causal) Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 51 Research Methodology Unit 4 4.5 Research Design for Studies in Commerce and Management The various research designs are: 4.5.1 Research design in case of exploratory research studies Exploratory research studies are also termed as formulative research studies. The main purpose of such studies is that of formulating a problem for more precise investigation or of developing the working hypothesis from an operational point of view. The major emphasis in such studies is on the discovery of ideas and insights. As such the research design appropriate for such studies must be flexible enough to provide opportunity for considering different aspects of a problem under study. Inbuilt flexibility in research design is needed because the research problem, broadly defined initially, is transformed into one with more precise meaning in exploratory studies, which fact may necessitate changes in the research procedure for gathering relevant data. Generally, the following three methods in the context of research design for such studies are talked about: 1. The survey of concerning literature happens to be the most simple and fruitful method of formulating precisely the research problem or developing hypothesis. Hypothesis stated by earlier workers may be reviewed and their usefulness be evaluated as a basis for further research. It may also be considered whether the already stated hypothesis suggests new hypothesis. In this way the researcher should review and build upon the work already done by others, but in cases where hypothesis have not yet been formulated, his task is to review the available material for deriving the relevant hypothesis from it. Besides, the bibliographical survey of studies, already made in one’s area of interest may as well as made by the researcher for precisely formulating the problem. He should also make an attempt to apply concepts and theories developed in different research contexts to the area in which he is himself working. Sometimes the works of creative writers also provide Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 52 Research Methodology Unit 4 a fertile ground for hypothesis formulation as such may be looked into by the researcher. 2. 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. For such a survey, people who are competent and can contribute new ideas may be carefully selected as respondents to ensure a representation of different types of experience. The respondents so selected may then be interviewed by the investigator. The researcher must prepare an interview schedule for the systematic questioning of informants. But the interview must ensure flexibility in the sense that the respondents should be allowed to raise issues and questions which the investigator has not previously considered. Generally, the experience of collecting interview is likely to be long and may last for few hours. Hence, it is often considered desirable to send a copy of the questions to be discussed to the respondents well in advance. This will also give an opportunity to the respondents for doing some advance thinking over the various issues involved so that, at the time of interview, they may be able to contribute effectively. 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. 3. Analyses of ‘insight-stimulating’ examples are also a fruitful method for suggesting hypothesis 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 instance of the phenomenon in which one is interested. For this purpose the existing records, if nay, may be examined, the unstructured interviewing may take place, or Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 53 Research Methodology Unit 4 some other approach may be adopted. Attitude of the investigator, the intensity of the study and the ability of the researcher to draw together diverse information into a unified interpretation are the main features which make this method an appropriate procedure for evoking insights. Now, what sorts of examples are to be selected and studied? There is no clear cut answer to it. Experience indicates that for particular problems certain types of instances are more appropriate than others. One can mention few examples of ‘insight-stimulating’ cases such as the reactions of strangers, the reactions of marginal individuals, the study of individuals who are in transition from one stage to another, the reactions of individuals from different social strata and the like. In general, cases that provide sharp contrasts or have striking features are considered relatively more useful while adopting this method of hypothesis formulation. Thus, in an exploratory of formulative research study which merely leads to insights or hypothesis, 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. 4.5.2 Research design in case of descriptive and diagnostic research studies Descriptive research studies are those studies which are concerned with describing the characteristics of a particular individual, or of a group, where as diagnostic research studies determine the frequency with which something occurs or its association with something else. The studies concerning whether certain variables are associated are the example of diagnostic research studies. As against this, studies concerned with specific predictions, with narration of facts and characteristics concerning individual, group of situation are all examples of descriptive research studies. Most of Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 54 Research Methodology Unit 4 the social research comes under this category. From the point of view of the research design, the descriptive as well as diagnostic studies share common requirements and as such we may group together these two types of research studies. 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. Since the aim is to obtain complete and accurate information in the said studies, the procedure to be used must be carefully planned. The research design must make enough provision for protection against bias and must maximize reliability. With due concern for the economical completion of the research study, the design in such studies must be rigid and not flexible and must focus attention on the following: 1. Formulating the objective of the study 2. Designing the methods of data collection 3. Selecting the sample 4. Collecting the data 5. Processing and analyzing the data 6. Reporting the findings. In a descriptive / diagnostic study the first step is to specify the objectives with sufficient precision to ensure that the data collected are relevant. If this is not done carefully, the study may not provide the desired information. Then comes the question of selecting the methods by which the data are to be obtained. While designing data-collection procedure, adequate safeguards against bias and unreliability must be ensured. Which ever method is selected, questions must be well examined and be made unambiguous; interviewers must be instructed not to express their own opinion; observers must be trained so that they uniformly record a given item of behaviour. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 55 Research Methodology Unit 4 More often than not, sample has to be designed. Usually, one or more forms of probability sampling or what is often described as random sampling, are used. To obtain data, free from errors introduced by those responsible for collecting them, it is necessary to supervise closely the staff of field workers as they collect and record information. Checks may be set up to ensure that the data collecting staffs performs their duty honestly and without prejudice. The data collected must be processed and analyzed. This includes steps like coding the interview replies, observations, etc., tabulating the data; and performing several statistical computations. Last of all comes the question of reporting the findings. This is the task of communicating the findings to others and the researcher must do it in an efficient manner. 4.5.3 Research Design in case of Hypothesis-Testing Research Studies Hypothesis-testing research studies (generally known as experimental studies) are those where the researcher tests the hypothesis of causal relationships between variables. Such studies require procedures that will not only reduce bias and increase reliability, but will permit drawing inferences about causality. Usually, experiments meet these requirements. Hence, when we talk of research design in such studies, we often mean the design of experiments. 4.5.4 Principles of Experimental Designs Professor Fisher has enumerated three principles of experimental designs: 1. The principle of replication: The experiment should be reaped more than once. Thus, each treatment is applied in many experimental units instead of one. By doing so, the statistical accuracy of the experiments is increased. For example, suppose we are to examine the effect of two varieties of rice. For this purpose we may divide the field into two parts Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 56 Research Methodology Unit 4 and grow one variety in one part and the other variety in the other part. We can compare the yield of the two parts and draw conclusion on that basis. But if we are to apply the principle of replication to this experiment, then we first divide the field into several parts, grow one variety in half of these parts and the other variety in the remaining parts. We can collect the data yield of the two varieties and draw conclusion by comparing the same. The result so obtained will be more reliable in comparison to the conclusion we draw without applying the principle of replication. The entire experiment can even be repeated several times for better results. Consequently replication does not present any difficulty, but computationally it does. However, it should be remembered that replication is introduced in order to increase the precision of a study; that is to say, to increase the accuracy with which the main effects and interactions can be estimated. 2. The principle of randomization: It provides protection, when we conduct an experiment, against the effect of extraneous factors by randomization. In other words, this principle indicates that we should design or plan the ‘experiment in such a way that the variations caused by extraneous factors can all be combined under the general heading of “chance”. For instance if we grow one variety of rice say in the first half of the parts of a field and the other variety is grown in the other half, then it is just possible that the soil fertility may be different in the first half in comparison to the other half. If this is so, our results would not be realistic. In such a situation, we may assign the variety of rice to be grown in different parts of the field on the basis of some random sampling technique i.e., we may apply randomization principle and protect ourselves against the effects of extraneous factors. As such, through the application of the principle of randomization, we can have a better estimate of the experimental error. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 57 Research Methodology Unit 4 3. Principle of local control: It is another important principle of experimental designs. Under it the extraneous factors, the known source of variability, is made to vary deliberately over as wide a range as necessary and this needs to be done in such a way that the variability it causes can be measured and hence eliminated from the experimental error. This means that we should plan the experiment in a manner that we can perform a two-way analysis of variance, in which the total variability of the data is divided into three components attributed to treatments, the extraneous factor and experimental error. In other words, according to the principle of local control, we first divide the field into several homogeneous parts, known as blocks, and then each such block is divided into parts equal to the number of treatments. Then the treatments are randomly assigned to these parts of a block. In general, blocks are the levels at which we hold an extraneous factors fixed, so that we can measure its contribution to the variability of the data by means of a two-way analysis of variance. In brief, through the principle of local control we can eliminate the variability due to extraneous factors from the experimental error. 4.5.5 Important Experimental Designs Experimental design refers to the framework or structure of an experiment and as such there are several experimental designs. We can classify experimental designs into two broad categories, viz., informal experimental designs and formal experimental designs. Informal experimental designs are those designs that normally use a less sophisticated form of analysis based on differences in magnitudes, where as formal experimental designs offer relatively more control and use precise statistical procedures for analysis. Informal experimental designs: Before and after without control design: In such a design, single test group or area is selected and the dependent variable is measured Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 58 Research Methodology Unit 4 before the introduction of the treatment. The treatment is then introduced and the dependent variable is measured again after the treatment has been introduced. The effect of the treatment would be equal to the level of the phenomenon after the treatment minus the level of the phenomenon before the treatment. After only with control design: In this design, two groups or areas (test and control area) are selected and the treatment is introduced into the test area only. The dependent variable is then measured in both the areas at the same time. Treatment impact is assessed by subtracting the value of the dependent variable in the control area from its value in the test area. Before and after with control design: In this design two areas are selected and the dependent variable is measured in both the areas for an identical time-period before the treatment. The treatment is then introduced into the test area only, and the dependent variable is measured in both for an identical time-period after the introduction of the treatment. The treatment effect is determined by subtracting the change in the dependent variable in the control area from the change in the dependent variable in test area. 4.5.6 Formal Experimental Designs 1. Completely randomized design (CR design): It involves only two principle viz., the principle of replication and randomization. It is generally used when experimental areas happen to be homogenous. Technically, when all the variations due to uncontrolled extraneous factors are included under the heading of chance variation, we refer to the design of experiment as C R Design. 2. Randomized block design (RB design): It is an improvement over the C Research design. In the RB design the principle of local control can be applied along with the other two principles. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 59 Research Methodology Unit 4 3. Latin square design (LS design): It is used in agricultural research. The treatments in a LS design are so allocated among the plots that no treatment occurs more than once in any row or column. 4. Factorial design: It is used in experiments where the effects of varying more than one factor are to be determined. They are especially important in several economic and social phenomena where usually a large number of factors affect a particular problem. Self Assessment Questions I State whether the following statements are true or false. 1. A research design is a logical and systematic plan 2. Exploratory research studies are also called formulative research studies 3. Descriptive research is concerned with describing the features of a particular individual or group. 4.6 Summary A research design is a logical and systematic plan prepared for directing a research study. In many research projects, the time consumed in trying to ascertain what the data mean after they have been collected is much greater than the time taken to design a research which yields data whose meaning is known as they are collected. Research design is a series of guide posts to keep one going in the right direction. It is a tentative plan which undergoes modifications, as circumstances demand, when the study progresses, new aspects, new conditions and new relationships come to light and insight into the study deepens. Exploratory research studies are also termed as formulative research studies. The main purpose of such studies is that of formulating a problem for more precise investigation or of developing the working hypothesis from an operational point of view. Descriptive research studies are those studies which are concerned with Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 60 Research Methodology Unit 4 describing the characteristics of a particular individual, or of a group, where as diagnostic research studies determine the frequency with which something occurs or its association with something else. 4.7 Terminal Questions 1. What is research design? 2. Why research design is needed in research? 3. What are the characteristics of a good research design? 4. What are the components of a research design? 5. What are the different types of research designs? 6. What are the features of an exploratory research design? 7. How is a research design made incase of descriptive and diagnostic research studies? 8. What are the principles of experimental designs? 4.8 Answers to SAQs and TQs SAQs I 1. True 2. True 3. True TQs 1. Section 4.1 2. Section 4.2 3. Section4.2.1 4. Section 4.3 5. Section 4.4 6. Section 4.5.1 7. Section 4.5.2 8. Section 4.5.4 Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 61 ...
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