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Research Methodology

Q.2 What is sampling. Discuss the types and process of sampling.

Sampling: Sampling basically means selecting people or objects from a "population" in order
to test the population for something. It is the process of selecting units from a population
of interest so that by studying the sample we may fairly generalize our results back to the
population from which they were chosen. In many experiments, sampling an entire
population as part of a research experiment is impossible, due to the time, expense and
sheer number of other factors. Sampling has advantages: a) It involves a smaller amount
of subjects, which reduces investment in time and money. b) Sampling can actually be
more accurate than studying an entire population c) Statistical manipulations are much
easier with smaller data sets, and it is easier to avoid human error when inputting and
analyzing the data.

Types of Sampling
Sampling methods are classified as either probability or non-probability. In probability samples,
each member of the population has a known non-zero probability of being selected. Probability
methods include random sampling, systematic sampling, and stratified sampling. In non-
probability sampling, members are selected from the population in some nonrandom manner.
These include convenience sampling, judgment sampling, quota sampling, and snowball

1. Random sampling: Random sampling is the purest form of probability sampling. Each
member of the population has an equal and known chance of being selected. When there
are very large populations, it is often difficult to identify every member of the population.
2. Systematic sampling: It is often used instead of random sampling. It is also called an
Nth name selection technique. After the required sample size has been calculated, every
Nth record is selected from a list of population members. Its only advantage over the
random sampling technique is simplicity. Systematic sampling is frequently used to select a
specified number of records from a computer file.
3. Stratified sampling: It is commonly used probability method that is superior to random
sampling because it reduces sampling error. A stratum is a subset of the population that
share at least one common characteristic. Examples of stratums might be males and
females, or managers and non-managers. Random sampling is then used to select a
sufficient number of subjects from each stratum. Stratified sampling is often used when one
or more of the stratums in the population have a low incidence relative to the other stratums.
4. Convenience sampling : It is used in exploratory research where the researcher is
interested in getting an inexpensive approximation of the truth. The sample is selected
because they are convenient. This non-probability method is often used during preliminary
research efforts to get a gross estimate of the results, without incurring the cost or time
required to select a random sample.
5. Judgment sampling: It is a common non-probability method. We select the sample
based on judgment. This is usually an extension of convenience sampling. When using this
method, a researcher must be confident that the chosen sample is truly representative of the
entire population.
6. Quota sampling: It is the non-probability equivalent of stratified sampling. We first
identify the stratums and their proportions as they are represented in the population. Then
convenience or judgment sampling is used to select the required number of subjects from
each stratum.
7. Snowball sampling is a special non-probability method used when the desired sample
characteristic is rare. It may be extremely difficult to locate respondents in these situations.
Snowball sampling relies on referrals from initial subjects to generate additional subjects.

Process of Sampling

The sampling process involves the following seven tasks:

1. Defining the population: It involves defining the population by specifying a) Elements

b) Sampling units c) Extent d) Time

2. Selecting the sampling frame: The sampling frame is selected in such a way that it
consists of almost all the sampling units. A sample is selected in such a way that it has
all the characteristics of the population.

3. Specifying the sampling unit: The sampling unit is the basic unit that contains elements
of the target population ..

4. Specifying the sampling method: The sampling method depicts how the sample units
are selected. The most important decision in this method is to determine, which of the
two- probability and non-probability samples .is to be chosen.

5. Determining the sample size: This method includes the decision. about the number of
the elements to be chosen.

6. Specifying the sampling plan:. All the expected issues in relation to the sampling
survey must be answered by the sample plan.

7. Selecting the sample: This is the final step in the sample process is the actual selection
of the sample elements. It mainly depends on the sampling plan and the sample size

Q. 4 What is data collection? Explain the observation, interview and other methods of
data collection.

Data Collection : Data collection is a term used to describe a process of preparing and
collecting data. Data Collection is obtaining useful information to establish a factual basis for
making decisions. The purpose of data collection is to obtain information to keep on record, to
make decisions about important issues, to pass information on to others. Primarily, data is
collected to provide information regarding a specific topic. Data collection usually takes place
early in a project and is formalized through a data collection plan which contains the following

1. Pre collection activity – Agree goals, target data, definitions, methods

2. Collection – data collection
3. Present Findings – usually involves some form of sorting[3] analysis and/or presentation.

When preparing data collection plan, we try to eliminate subjective choices by operationally
defining the parameters needed to do the job correctly.

Methods of Data Collection: There are multiple ways to collect data. The ideal situation is to
collect from more than one source and to collect more than one type of data.

Observation : Observation means viewing or seeing. Observation method of data collection is

different from such casual viewing. Observation may be defined as a systematic viewing of a
specific phenomenon. Observation is a classical method of scientific enquiry. Observation
becomes scientific, when it (a) serves a formulated research purpose, (b) is planned
deliberately, (c) is recorded systematically, and (d) is subjected to checks and controls on
validity and reliability. Observations as a method of data collection has certain characteristics.

1. It is both a physical and a mental activity.

2. Observation is selective. A researcher does not observe anything and everything, but
selects the range of things to be observed on the basis of the nature, scope and
objectives of his study.
3. Observation is purposive and not casual. It is made for the specific purpose of noting
things relevant to the study.
4. It captures the natural social context in which persons behaviour occur.

5. Observation should. be exact and be based on standardized tools of research such as

observation schedule, precision instruments etc.
Types of Ob servati on

Observation may be classified in different ways. It may be classified into (a) participant
observation (b) non-participant observation (c) direct observation and (d) indirect observation,
(e) controlled observation and (f) uncontrolled observation.
Observation has certain advantages:-

1. The main virtue of observation is its directness

2. Data collected by observation may describe the observed phenomena as they occur in
their natural settings.

3. Observation is more suitable for studying subjects who are unable to articulate
meaningfully, e.g., studies of children, animals, birds, etc.

6. Observation makes it possible to capture the whole event as it occurs. Observation is

less demanding of the subjects and has less biasing effect

7. Mechanical devices may be used for recording data in order to secure more accurate
Interviewing is one of the most common methods for collecting data in qualitative research. It is
a data-collection technique that involves oral questioning of respondents, either individually or
as a group. Interviews allow participants to provide rich, contextual descriptions of events. The
process of interviewing is time-consuming, and the quality of data often is dependent on the
aptitude of the interviewer. Before selecting interviewing as a data collection method, the
researcher has to determine whether the research question can be answered appropriately by
interviewing people. The type of interview will be determined by the research question,
methodology. Interviews can either be structured or unstructured. In a structured interview, the
researcher asks explicit questions consistently of all participants. In an unstructured interview,
the researcher asks open-ended questions. The researcher's probes then are related directly to
the participant's answers. An interview generally consists of three stages. The first portion
includes introductions, provides an overview of the process, and builds trust. The middle of the
interview usually is where the bulk of useful data is derived. The final portion of the interview
should be a summary of the participant's responses.

Advantages of Interviewing: There are several real advantages to interviewing.

a) First, this method is the depth and detail of information that can be secured. It far
exceeds mail survey in amount and quality of data that can be secured.
b) Interviewer can do more to improve the percentage of responses and the quality of
information received

c) Interviewer can gather other supplemental information like, living conditions etc.
d) Interviewer can use special scaring devices, visual materials to improve the quality of
e) Accuracy and dependability of the answers given by the respondent can be checked
by observation and probing.

f) Interview is flexible and adaptable to individual situations.

Limitations: Interviewing is not free from limitations. Its greatest drawback is that it is costly,
both in money and time. Interview poses the problem of recording information obtained from the
respondents. Interview calls for highly skilled interviewers.
Other Methods:
Questionnaire: A self-administered questionnaire is a data collection tool in which written
questions are presented that are to be answered by the respondents in written. Questionnaires
are a widely used method of collecting information. They can be a cost effective way to reach a
large number of people or a geographically diverse group.

Focus group discussions (FGD): A focus group discussion allows a group of 8 - 12 informants
to freely discuss a certain subject with the guidance of a facilitator or reporter.

Projective techniques: When a researcher uses projective techniques, he asks an informant

to react to some kind of visual or verbal stimulus.


Q. 8 What is research? Explain the objectives, types and approaches of research


Innumerable questions go on arising in our mind. Whenever such questions arise we seek
answers to them. Whenever we encounter problems, we try to find solutions to them. Seeking
answers to questions and finding solutions to problems have been the basis of human progress.
A systematic search for an answer to a question or a solution to a problem is called research.

Defin ition of Res earch

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 propositions and to correct the misconceived
Ch arac teris tics o f R esearc h
There are various characteristics of research:
1. Research is a systematic and critical investigation into a phenomenon.

2. It is not a mere compilation, but a purposive investigation.

3. It adopts scientific method

4. It is objective and logical. It is based upon observable experience or empirical

5. Research is directed towards finding answers to pertinent questions and solutions to
6. It emphasizes the development of generalization..
Objectiv es of Resear ch
The objectives or purposes of research are:-

1. Research extends knowledge The bodies of knowledge have been developed by

research in general and pure or fundamental research.

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

3. Research establishes generalizations and contributes to theory.

4. Research verifies and tests existing facts and help improving our knowledge and ability
to handle situations.

5. Research aims to analyze inter-relationships between variables and derives causal


Type of Research The type of research depends on the field in which the specific research
study is performed. The different types of research are as follows:

• Fundamental: This research is mainly concerned with identifying certain important

principles in a specific field. It intends to find information that has a broad base of
applications. Examples of fundamental research are, John Robinson's Imperfect
Competition Theory in Economics, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory in Motivation

• Applied: This research aims at finding a solution to an immediate problem facing the
society or an industrial organisation. It is supposed to find a solution to some basic
practical problem. It suggests corrective methods to minimize a social or business

• Descriptive: The descriptive research is a fact-finding approach that simplifies a cross-

sectional study of any present condition. For example, in India, problems related to
industrial relations Me being scrutinized using an inter-disciplinary approach.

• Historical: Historical research studies bygone social effects that may have given rise to
current situations, for example. studying the' current state of labour in India based on
past Labour Union movements in the Indian economy. to formulate the Indian Labour

Approaches of Research

These are two approaches:

1 Quantitative Approach

This approach involves the creation of data in quantitative terms. It can be further be classified

• Inferential approach: This approach forms a database to infer. This usually means a
survey research in which a model of population is studied.

• Experimental approach: This approach attempts to establish a cause-effect relationship

among the groups of subjects that make lip the research study.

• Simulation approach: This entails the creation of an artificial environment within which relevant
information and data 'can be produced.

2 Qualitative Approach

This approach is concerned with the subjective assessment of human attitude, opinions and
behaviour. It generates results either in a non-quantitative form or. as nun-numerical data.

Ethnographic approach: This is concerned with studying an entire culture. The researcher
studies an integral cultural group in a natural setting over a specific period of time.

Phenomenological approach: This focuses on the subjective experiences of people over a

long period of time. It aims 'at understanding the. 'lived experience' of the individuals being

Q.10 What is report writing? Discuss the steps in report writing. Present a layout of a
good research report.

Res earch Writing

A research report is a formal statement of the research process and its results. It narrates
the problem studied, methods used for studying it and the findings and conclusions of the study.

The purpose of a research report is to communicate to interested persons the methodology and
the results of the study in such a manner as to enable them to understand the research process
and to determine the validity of the conclusions. A research report is a narrative but authoritative
document on the outcome of a research effort. It presents highly specific information for a
clearly designated audience. It is non persuasive as a form of communication.

Steps in Report Writing

There is no such particular format suitable for report writing. The usual steps are as follows:

• Logical analysis of the subject matter: It is the first step in report writing that
concentrates on the development of a subject.

• Preparation of the final outline: Outlines are the framework upon which long written
works are constructed. They are an aid to the logical organisation of the material and a
reminder of the points to be stressed in the report. It is thus, the next step after logical
analysis, in writing reports and facilitates the basic designing of a report.

• Preparation of the rough draft: This is the most important step when the researcher
starts to jot down all that he has done in the context of his research study. It comprises
.information about the procedure adopted in collecting data, the technique of analysis
used, the findings.

• Rewriting and polishing the rough draft: This is the most difficult step of all formal
writing. While rewriting and polishing from the point of view of a logical development, the
researcher should check if the material presented has unity and cohesion and
consistent. .

• Preparation of the final bibliography: The next task is to prepare the final bibliography.
The bibliography is generally appended to the research report.
Layout of Report
The layout of the research report is of utmost importance because the reader should be able to
grasp logically what has been said and not feel lost in the bulk findings mentioned in the

Report Outline

A. Preparatory items
1. Title page
2. Researcher's declaration
3. The certificate of the research Supervisor
4. Preface/Acknowledgements
5. Table of contents
6. List of tables
7. List of graphs and charts
8. Abstract or
B. Body of the report
1. Introduction

(a) Theoretical background of the

(b) topic
Statement of the Problem
(c) Review of Literature
(d) The Scope of the Present study
(e) The Objectives of the study
(f) Hypotheses to be tested
(g) Definition of concepts

2. The design of the study

a) Methods of data collection
(b) Sources of data (c) Sampling plan
(d) Data Collection instruments (e) Filed work
(f) Data Processing and analysis plan (g) An overview of the report
(h) Limitations of the study
3. Results: Findings and Discussion
4. Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5. Bibliography
6. Appendix
(a) Copies of data collection instruments (b) Technical details on sampling plan (c) Complex
tables (d) Glossary of new terms used in the report
Q. Explain sample size and its determination.

If the size of the sample is too small, it may not serve to achieve the objectives and if it is too
large, the cost may be very big.. Therefore, the size should not be very big or very small. Size
should be large enough to give a confidence interval of the desired width and some logical
process must select the size of the sample before taking it from the population.

Following points should be kept in mind to determine the size of the sample:-

• Nature of universe: Universe may be homogenous or heterogeneous in nature. If the

universe. is homogenous, a small amount of sample can serve the purpose. But if the nature
is heterogeneous, a large amount of sample. will serve the purpose.

• Number of classes proposed: If many groups are to be formed, a large sample would
be required because a small sample may not be able to provide a reasonable number
of items in each group.

• Nature of study: If items are to be intensively and continuously studied, the sample
should be small.

• Type of sampling: A small random sample may be much superior to a large but badly
selected sample.

• Standard of accuracy and acceptable confidence level: If the standard of accuracy or

the level of precision is to be kept high, then the sample should be large.

• A vailability of Finance: The size of the sample depends on the amount of money
available for the study purposes.

• Other considerations: Nature of units, size of the population, size of questionnaires,

availability of trained investigators, the .conditions under which the sample is being
conducted and the time available for completion of the study are other considerations
while selecting the size of the sample.

Determination of Sample Size

There are two ways of determining the size of the samples. They are:

1 Determination of Sample Size Through The Approach Ba sed on Precision Rat e

and Confidence Level
Whenever a sample study is' made, there. arises some sampling errors' that can be controlled
by selecting a sample of appropriate size. The researcher needs to specify his requirement
according to the estimates concerning the population parameters. We can determine the
sample size so. that the specified precision is ensured. There are two situations for determining
the sample size: They are

Sample size when estimating a mean: The confidence interval for the universal mean, , is

given by µ

Sample size when estimating a percentage or proportion: To find the sample size for the
estimation of a proportion is similar to in the context of estimating the mean. Firstly, the
precision is specified and the confidence level is worked out

2 Determination of Sample Size through the Approach Based on Bayesian Statistics

The Bayesian approach for the determination of sample size is to find procedure for finding the
optimal value of 'n' or the sample under this approach is as under:
1 Find the expected value of the sample information for every possible n.
2. Workout the reasonably approximated cost of taking a sample for every n.

3. Compare the Expected Value of the Sample Information and the cost of the sample for
every possible n.
For a given sample size (n): (EVSI)- (cost of the sample) = expected net gain (ENG)