Research Methodology – Introduction

Research Definition – Research is a careful investigation or inquiry specifically through a search for new facts in any branch of knowledge. It is an original contribution to the existing stock of knowledge making for its advancement.

Research can simply be defined as a task of searching from available data to modify a certain result or theory.

Research Methodology refers to

– A systematic study

Defining a problem

– Formulating a Hypothesis

– Collecting and Analyzing data

– Deductions and Conclusions

Objectives of Research –

♦ To gain familiarity or achieve a new insight towards a certain topic.

♦ To verify and test important facts

♦ To analyze an event, process or phenomenon

♦ To identify the cause and effect relationship

♦ To find solutions to scientific, non-scientific and social problems

♦ To determine the frequency at which something occurs

What makes people do research?

♦ Desire to get a research degree

♦ Desire to solve unsolved and challenging problems

♦ Desire to get the intellectual joy of doing creative work

♦ Desire to be of service to the society

♦ The desire for innovation and recognition

Types of Research

It can be broadly categorized into two categories –

Pure or Fundamental Research – It is based on the Question ‘Why things happen?’

Action or Applied Research – It is based on the Question ‘How things happen?’ 


research methodology

Research Methods Vs Research Methodology

Research methods are all those methods and techniques that are used for the conduction of research. It refers to the methods the researchers use in performing research operations.  It can be put under three groups –

  1. Methods concerned with the collection of data

  2. Statistical techniques used for establishing a relationship between variables.

  3. Methods to evaluate the accuracy of the results.

Research Methodology – is a way to systematically solve a research problem.  It is a science of studying how research is done scientifically.  Essentially it is the procedure by which the researchers go about their work of describing, evaluating and predicting phenomenon. It aims to give the work plan of research.  It provides training in choosing methods materials, scientific tools and techniques relevant to the solution of the problem.

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Research Process

It consists of a logical sequence of steps or actions that are necessary to effectively solve a research problem.


Research Process

(i) Formulating the Research Problem The researcher must choose the problem he wants to study and decide the area of interest and subject matter he would inquire about.

(ii) Extensive Literature Survey – After choosing the research problem an extensive literature survey is done and a brief summary of the problem is written down.

(iii) Development of working hypothesis – A working hypothesis must be stated in clear terms. It can be developed through the following approaches:-

Finding about the origin of the problem and studying its objectives

By discussing the problem with colleagues and experts

By examining past data and records

By review of similar studies and similar problems

(iv) Preparing the research design – The research is designed depending upon its utility and appropriateness for a particular research problem. It involves consideration of the following:-

The means of obtaining the information

The availability and skills of a researcher

Accuracy, Reliability, and Validity of the data

The time available for research and the costs related to the research

(v) Determining the sample design – Sampling can either be probability sampling or non-probability sampling. The researcher must carefully choose the sampling procedure and sample size and must also look out for sampling errors.

(vi) Collecting the Data – There is a need for reliable and accurate data to carry out effective research. Data collection may be done by any of the following methods:-

Observation

Interview

Telephonic Interviews

Questionnaire

Schedules

Other Methods

(vii) Execution of research – The research must be systematically executed in order to collect correct and accurate data.

(viii) Analysis of Data – Analysis of data involves the application of many tools and techniques to the raw data to make meaningful and useful interpretations. The main task includes the establishment of categories, tabulation of data and drawing out statistical inferences.

(ix) Hypothesis testing – After analyzing the data the researcher tests the hypothesis formulated by him in the earlier stages.

(x) Generalizations and Interpretations – The hypothesis testing may be favourable or unfavourable . The researcher arrives at generalizations based on the result of the hypothesis testing.

(xi) Preparation of the research report – The layout for a research report should be in the order:-

Preliminary Pages – The research report must contain the full title, foreword and acknowledgment in the preliminary pages.

Main body or text – The main text must contain an introduction,  summary of findings, main report and conclusion.

End Matter – The end matter of the report must contain appendices in respect of all technical terms and data used in the report and must end with a bibliography.

Features of a Good Research Study

♦ It should be Systematic – A research must be structured with specified steps in a specified sequence, according to well-defined set of rules.

♦ It should be Logical – A research must be guided by logic reasoning and the logical process of induction and deduction.

♦ It should be Empirical – The research must be related to one or more aspects of real-life situations.

♦ It should be Replicable – Other people must be able to verify and replicate the original research report.

 ♦ The purpose of the research should be clearly defined and common concepts used.

 ♦ The research procedure should be well described in detail to permit replication.

 ♦ The Design should be planned to yield results that are objective.

 ♦ The researcher must report with complete frankness and flaws.

 ♦ The analysis of data must be adequate and the method of analysis should be appropriate.

 ♦ Conclusions must be confined to those justified by the data and limited to those for which data is not adequate.

 ♦ The Researcher is experienced, has a good reputation and is a person of integrity.

Importance of Research Methodology

♦ Research inculcates scientific and inductive thinking and promotes the development of logical habits of thinking and organization.

♦ Research plays a dynamic role in several fields and it has increased significantly in recent times, it can be related to small businesses and also to the economy as a whole.

♦ Most of the Government Regulations and Policies are based on and are a result of intensive research.

♦ Its significance lies in solving various planning and operational problems.

♦ It aids in decision making.

♦ It involves the study of cause and effect relationships between various variables and helps to identify behaviour/patterns/trends in certain variables. 

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