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RESEARCH METHODOLOGY:

AN INTRODUCTION

MEANING OF RESEARCH

Research in common parlance refers to a search for knowledge. Once can also define
research as a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic. In fact,
research is an art of scientific investigation. The Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current
English lays down the meaning of research as a careful investigation or inquiry especially
through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge. Redman and Mory define research as a
systematized effort to gain new knowledge.

Some people consider research as a movement, a movement from the known to the unknown. It is
actually a voyage of discovery. We all possess the vital instinct of inquisitiveness for, when the
unknown confronts us, we wonder and our inquisitiveness makes us probe and attain full and
fuller understanding of the unknown. This inquisitiveness is the mother of all knowledge and the
method, which man employs for obtaining the knowledge of whatever the unknown, can be
termed as research.
Research is an academic activity and as such the term should be used in a technical sense.

According to Clifford Woody research comprises defining and redefining problems,


formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions; collecting, organising and evaluating data; making
deductions and reaching conclusions; and at last carefully testing the conclusions to determine
whether they fit the formulating hypothesis. D. Slesinger and M. Stephenson in the Encyclopaedia
of Social Sciences define research as the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the
purpose of generalising to extend, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in
construction of theory or in the practice of an art.

Research is, thus, an original contribution to the existing stock of knowledge making for
its advancement. It is the pursuit of truth with the help of study, observation, comparison and
experiment. In short, the search for knowledge through objective and systematic method of
finding solution to a problem is research. The systematic approach concerning generalisation and
the formulation of a theory is also research. As such the term research refers to the systematic

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method consisting of enunciating the problem, formulating a hypothesis, collecting the facts or
data, analysing the facts and reaching certain conclusions either in the form of solutions(s)
towards the concerned problem or in certain generalisations for some theoretical formulation.

NATURE AND IMPORTANCE OF RESEARCH:

All progress is born of inquiry. Doubt is often better than over-confidence, for it leads to inquiry,
and inquiry leads to invention is famous Hudson Maxim in context of which the significance of
research can well be understood. Increased amounts of research make progress possible. Research
inculcates scientific and inductive thinking and it promotes the development of logical habits of
thinking and organization. The role of research in several fields of applied economics, whether
related to business or to the economy as a whole, has greatly increased in modern times. The
increasingly complex nature business and government has focused attention on the use of research
in solving operational problems. Research, as an aid to economic policy, has gained added
importance, both for government and business.

Research provides the basis for nearly all government policies in our economic system.
For instance, governments budgets rests in part on an analysis of the needs and desires of the
people and on the availability of revenues to meet these needs. The cost of needs has to be
equated to probable revenues and this is a field where research is most needed. Through research
we can devise alternative policies and can as well examine the consequences of each of these
alternatives. Decision making may not be a part of research, but research certainly facilitates the
decisions of the policy maker.

Government has also to chalk out programmes for dealing with all facets of the countrys
existence and most of these will be related directly or indirectly to economic conditions. The
plight of cultivators, the problems of big and small business and industry, working conditions,
trade union activities, the problems of distribution, even the size and nature of defence services
are matters requiring research. Thus, research is considered necessary with regard to the
allocation of nations resources. Research has its special significance in solving various
operational and planning problems of business and industry. Operations research and market
research, along with motivational research, are considered crucial and their results assist, in more
than one way, in taking business decisions. Market research is the investigation of the structure
and development of a market of the purpose of formulating efficient policies for purchasing,

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production and sales. Operations research refers to the application of mathematical, logical and
analytical techniques to the solution of business problems of cost minimization or of profit
maximization or what can be termed as optimization problems. Motivational research of
determining why people behave as they do is mainly concerned with market characteristics. In
addition to what has been stated above, the significance of research can also be understood
keeping in view the following points:

1. To those students who are to write a masters or Ph.D.thesis, research may mean a careerism or
a way to attain a high position in the social structure;
2. To professionals in research methodology, research may mean a source of livelihood.
3. To philosophers and thinkers, research may mean the outlet for new ideas and insights;
4. To analysts and intellectuals, research may mean the generalizations of new theories.
Thus, research is the fountain of knowledge for the sake of knowledge and an important source of
providing guidelines for solving different business, governmental and social problems. It is a sort
of formal training which enables one to understand the new developments in ones field in a
battery way.

TYPES OF RESEARCH

The basic types of research are as follows:

1 Descriptive vs. Analytical: Descriptive research includes surveys and fact-finding


enquiries of different kinds. The major purpose of descriptive research is description of the state
of affairs as it exists at present. In social science and business research we quite often use the term
Ex post facto research for descriptive research studies. The main characteristic of this method is
that the researcher has no control over the variables; he can only report what has happened or
what is happening. Most ex post facto research projects are used for descriptive studies in which
the researcher seeks to measure such items as, for example, frequency of shopping, preferences of
people, or similar data. Ex post facto studies also include attempts by researchers to discover
causes even when they cannot control the variables. The methods of research utilized in
descriptive research are survey methods of all kinds, including comparative and co-relational
method. In analytical research, on the other hand, the researcher has to use facts or information
already available, and analyse these to make a critical evaluation of the material.

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2 Applied vs. Fundamental: Research can either be applied (or action) research or
fundamental (to basic or pure) research. Applied research aims at finding a solution for an
immediate problem facing a society or an industrial/business organisation, whereas fundamental
research is mainly concerned with generalisations and with the formulation of a theory.
Gathering knowledge for knowledges sake is termed pure or basic research. Research
concerning some natural phenomenon or relating to pure mathematics are examples of
fundamental research. Similarly, research studies, concerning human behaviour carried on with a
view to make generalisations about human behaviour, are also examples of fundamental research,
but research aimed at certain conclusions (say, a solution) facing a concrete social or business
problem is an example of applied research. Research to identify social, economic or political
trends that may affect a particular institution or the copy research (research to find out whether
certain communications will be read and understood) or the marketing research or evaluation
research are examples of applied research. Thus, the central aim of applied research is to discover
a solution for some pressing practical problem, whereas basic research is directed towards finding
information that has a broad base of applications and thus, adds to the already existing organized
body of scientific knowledge.

3 Quantitative vs. Qualitative: Quantitative research is based on the measurement of


quantity or amount. It is applicable to phenomena that can be expressed in terms of quantity.
Qualitative research, on the other hand, is concerned with qualitative phenomenon, i.e.,
phenomena relating to or involving quality or kind. For instance, when we are interested in
investigating the reasons for human behaviour (i.e., why people think or do certain things), we
quite often talk of Motivation Research, an important type of qualitative research. This type of
research aims at discovering the underlying motives and desires, using in depth interviews for the
purpose. Other techniques of such research are word association tests, sentence completion tests,
story completion tests and similar other projective techniques Attitude or opinion research i.e.,
research designed to find out how people feel or what they think about a particular subject or
institution is also qualitative research. Qualitative research is especially important in the
behavioural sciences where the aim is to discover the underlying motives of human behaviour.
Through such research we can analyse the various factors which motivate people to behave in a
particular manner or which make people like or dislike a particular thing. It may be stated,
however, that to apply qualitative research in practice is relatively a difficult job and therefore,
while doing such research, one should seek guidance from experimental psychologists.

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4 Conceptual vs. Empirical: Conceptual research is that related to some abstract idea(s)
or theory. It is generally used by philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts or to
reinterpret existing ones. On the other hand, empirical research relies on experience or
observation alone, often without due regard for system and theory. It is data-based research,
coming up with conclusions which are capable of being verified by observation or experiment.
We can also call it as experimental type of research. In such a research it is necessary to get at
facts first hand, at their source, and actively to go about doing certain things to stimulate the
production of desired information. In such a research, the researcher must first provide himself
with a working hypothesis or guess as to the probable results. He then works to get enough facts
(data) to prove or disprove his hypothesis. He then sets up experimental designs which he thinks
will manipulate the persons or the materials concerned so as to bring forth the desired
information. Such research is thus characterised by the experimenters control over the variables
under study and his deliberate manipulation of one of them to study its effects. Empirical research
is appropriate when proof is sought that certain variables affect other variables in some way.
Evidence gathered through experiments or empirical studies is today considered to be the most
powerful support possible for a given hypothesis.

5 Some Other Types of Research: All other types of research are variations of one or
more of the above stated approaches, based on either the purpose of research, or the time required
to accomplish research, on the environment in which research is done, or on the basis of some
other similar factor. Form the point of view of time, we can think of research either as one-time
research or longitudinal research. In the former case the research is confined to a single time-
period, whereas in the latter case the research is carried on over several time-periods. Research
can be field-setting research or laboratory research or simulation research, depending upon the
environment in which it is to be carried out. Research can as well be understood as clinical or
diagnostic research. Such research follows case-study methods or indepth approaches to reach the
basic causal relations. Such studies usually go deep into the causes of things or events that interest
us, using very small samples and very deep probing data gathering devices. The research may be
exploratory or it may be formalized.

The objective of exploratory research is the development of hypotheses rather than their testing,
whereas formalized research studies are those with substantial structure and with specific
hypotheses to be tested. Historical research is that which utilizes historical sources like

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documents, remains, etc. to study events or ideas of the past, including the philosophy of persons
and groups at any remote point of time. Research can also be classified as conclusion-oriented and
decision-oriented.
While doing conclusion oriented research, a researcher is free to pick up a problem, redesign the
enquiry as he proceeds and is prepared to conceptualize as he wishes. Decision-oriented research
is always for the need of a decision maker and the researcher in this case is not free to embark
upon research according to his own inclination. Operations research is an example of decision
oriented research since it is a scientific method of providing executive departments with a
quantitative basis for decisions regarding operations under their control.

NATURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF RESEARCH

1. Scientific Method:

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Research uses scientific method to find facts or to provide solutions to scientific problems. The
researcher needs to follow a systematic procedure to conduct research. There is a set of
procedures that have been tested over a period of time and are thus suitable to use in research.
This means each step in the research procedure must follow the other.

Scientific research in any field of knowledge cannot be conducted in a haphazard manner.


Scientific research cannot be merely based on one s beliefs and imagination. To get the best
possible research results, the researcher need to adopt the scientific method of inquiry or
investigation.

2. Objective and Logical:


The scientific research is objective and logical in nature. Research is based on valid procedures
and principles.
There is a need to collect relevant, accurate and objective data to investigate into the research
problem. Researchers need to make every possible effort to avoid bias in data collection. After
collection of objective data, the researcher needs to systematically process the data, analyse and
interpret it, and arrive at logical conclusions. Wherever required, the researcher needs to
systematically verify the findings and conclusions.

3. Applied and Basic Research:


The research can be broadly classified into two broad groups:

Applied Research
Basic Research

Applied research is designed to solve practical problems of the modern world, rather than to
acquire knowledge for knowledge sake. The goal of applied research is to improve the human
condition. It is generally used to solve a particular problem. For instance, a social research can be
conducted to study the problem of unemployment in rural areas and based on the research
findings, appropriate measures can be taken by government authorities to reduce the problem of
unemployment.

Basic or fundamental research is driven by a scientist curiosity or interest in a scientific question.


The main goal of basic research is to expand man s knowledge. There is no obvious commercial
value to the discoveries that result from basic research. For instance, basic research can be
undertaken to study the origin of the universe. Basic research lays down the foundation for the
applied science that follows.

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4. Empirical Nature of Research:

Research can be based on direct experience or observation by the research. Empirical is


undertaken to study certain situations or events based on experiments, observations and surveys.
In empirical research, the researcher develops a hypothesis and then collects data to prove it or
disprove it.

5. Generalisation:
Research findings can be applied to larger population. A researcher can conduct a research on a
sample of respondents that represent the universe. The sample selection must be done
systematically so that it properly represents the whole population or the universe. The research
findings based on sample population can then be generalised and applied to the whole universe.
Therefore, generalisation takes place when research findings based on sample responses are
applied to whole population.

6. Controlled Nature of Basic Research:


In real life experience there are many factors that affect an outcome. A single event is often the
result of several factors. When similar event is tested in research due to the broader nature of
factors, some factors are taken as controlled factors while others are tested for possible effect. In
pure sciences it is very easy to control certain factors because lab experiments are conducted.

However, it is difficult to perform controlled laboratory experiments in the case of social science
research, although to a limited extent laboratory experiments are possible in social science as
well.

7. Development of principles and Theories.


A systematic research helps to develop new principles and theories. Such principles and theories
can be useful to several organisations to manage and deal with people and things in a better way.
The general laws or theories developed through research may enable us to make reliable
predictions of events which have not yet occurred.

8. Multipurpose Activity:
Research is a multipurpose activity. It helps to discover new facts or verify old facts. It helps not
only to predict future events, but also may help to control such events. It establishes casual
relationship between variables. It also helps to develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories,
which would facilitate reliable and valid study of human behaviour and other aspects.

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9. Manipulation of Concepts:
The researcher tries to manipulate things or concepts. The manipulation or purposeful control of
things or concept is one with a definite purpose so as to arrive at statements of generality. D
Slesinger and M. Stephenson in The Encyclopdia of Social Sciences define research as the
manipulation of things, concept or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to extend, correct or
verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in construction of theory or in the practice of an
art.
For instance, a researcher may manipulate the environment in a workplace such as lighting or
layout or seating arrangement to find out its impact on the productivity of the employees.

10. Quantitative and Qualitative Research:


Research undertaken to measure quantity or amount is called as quantitative research. For
instance, research undertaken to find out the number of unemployed graduates or the number of
unemployed in general. On the other hand, research, which is undertaken to find out the quality of
a particular situation or phenomenon is called as qualitative research. For Instance, a research
undertaken to find out the reasons as to why employees remain absent from work, or why people
behave in certain manner. The motivational research is an important type of qualitative research.
Qualitative research is especially important in the behavioural sciences where the main aim is to
find out the underlying motives of human behaviour.

11. Research a Process:


Research is a systematic process. It involves a number of steps. The main steps include:
Formulating the research problem or situation.
Development of a hypothesis.
Preparing the research design.
Determining sample design.
Collecting of data.
Analysis of data
Testing of Hypothesis.
Generalisation and Interpretation.
Preparation of report or thesis.
Follow up of Report.

OBJECTIVES OF RESEARCH

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Researcher undertake research with definite objectives. Some of the important purposes or
objectives of research are briefly stated as follows;

1. To find solutions to problems:


Research can be undertaken to find solutions to solve specific problems. For instance, an
organisation may initiate research to find solution to the problem of declining sales of their
product in the market. An educational institution can undertake research to find out the cases of
low attendance of poor results. A government organisation may undertake research to solve the
problem of water scarcity in a particular area or district or to ascertain the impact of slums on the
quality of life in a particular city, and such other research activities. The research enables to find
appropriate solutions to specific problems, which in turn helps to improve the quality of
performance in various organisations or institutions.

2. To verify and test existing laws and theories:


Research may be undertaken to verify and test existing laws or theories. Such verification and
testing of existing theories helps to improve the knowledge and ability to handle situations and
events. This is true when the existing theories may not be sufficient or relevant to handle certain
situations and events and therefore through research, improvements or modifications can be made
in the existing law or theories.

3. To obtain information:
Research is undertaken to obtain information, which may be not easily obtained during the
ordinary course of functioning of an institution or an organisation. For instance, marketing may be
undertaken to understand the changes in consumer behaviour. A firm may undertake product
research to bring about improvements or modification in the existing product on the basis of
feedback obtained from consumers, dealers and others.

4. To extend Knowledge:
Researchers undertake research to extend the existing knowledge in physical sciences as well as
in social science. The knowledge can be enhanced by undertaking research in general and by
fundamental research in particular.

5. To establish generalisation and general laws:

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Research can be undertaken to establish generalisations and general laws in a particular society. In
other words, statements of generality can be stated through research. For instance, various laws,
principles and models have been developed through research. The AIDA, model the law of
demand and supply, the law of gravitation etc, has been developed through observation,
experimentation and other models of research.

6. To predicts events:
Research may be undertaken to predict future course of events. For instance, research may be
undertaken to find out the impact of growing unemployment of educated youth on the social life
of the society in future. The findings of such research research would not only indicate the
possible impact but also would make the concerned authorities to take appropriate measures to
reduce unemployment to reduce the growth of population, and the overcome the negative
consequences as and when they take place.

7. To analyse inter-relationships:
Research may be undertake to analyse inter-relationships between variables, so as to drive casual
explanation, which in turn would enable to have a better understanding of our society and the
universe in which we live. Researcher often develop hypothesis and test them to analyse the
casual relationship between variables. For example, a researcher may study casual relationship
between advertising and sales i.e. to find out whether or not advertising causes higher sales.

8. To develop new tools and concept:


Research helps to develop new tools and concepts for a better study of an unknown phenomenon.
For this purpose exploratory research is undertaken to achieve new insights into such
phenomenon.

9. To develop new principles and theories:


A systematic research helps to develop new principles and theories. Such principles and theories
can be useful to several organisations to manage and deal with people and things in a better way.
The general laws or theories developed through research may enable us to make reliable
predictions of events which have not yet occurred.

10. To develop innovative ideas:


Research may be undertaken to generate innovative ideas for the welfare of mankind. For
instance, research may enable an organisation to develop innovative ideas in respect of:

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New and improved products.
Improved organisation structure.
Better technology.
New sources of raw material, etc.

NEED AND IMPORTANCE OF RESEARCH IN BUSINESS


1. Product Development:
Through marketing research, a business firm can identity the customer requirements and therefore
it is possible to design new models or to modify existing products to satisfy the customers. For
instance, through marketing research a car manufacturing company may out that the customers
look for features, after sale service, re sale value, right price, fuel efficiency, and so on.
Accordingly, the product will be designed and marketed.

Also, with the help of research and development, the car company would make every possible
effort to develop the car with the best possible features at the right prices depending upon the
target customers.

2. Reduction in Costs:
Research in business helps a firm to reduce costs. The research may indicate the areas where high
costs are involved. It may be possible for the firm to cut down the costs in certain areas.
Therefore, cost reduction will improve the overall efficiency of the organisation, i.e. the
organisation will be in a position to achieve higher returns at a lower cost.

3. Marketing Mix Decisions:


Marketing research enables a firm to arrive at sound marketing mix decisions with respect to
product, price, promotion and physical distribution.
a) Product Decisions: As mentioned earlier, marketing research enable a firm to design
the right product to satisfy customer requirements.
b) Pricing Decisions: Marketing research enables a firm to analyse competitors pricing,
customers, price sensitiveness etc., and accordingly, the firm can fix the right prices.
For instance if the customers for a particular product are not price sensitive, the firm
may charge a higher price, especially when it enjoys a good image in the market.
c) Promotion mix Decisions: Marketing research may enable a firm to adopt effective
promotion mix (publicity, advertising, sales promotion etc.) If promotion mix research

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is not conducted, the firm may give more emphasis on certain elements of promotion
mix, thereby ignoring the other elements.
d) Place Decisions: Marketing research may also enable the firm to take appropriate
place decisions, with reference to area of distribution, channel selection, incentives to
channel intermediaries etc. For instance, the firm may increase marketing efforts in
those areas where it gets low sales or if the existing channels are not effective, it may
select alternative channels etc.

4. Customers Relationships:
Marketing research may help the firm to develop good relations with its customer, especially the
priority customers. Research can help the customers to collect valuable inputs about the priority
customers. Based on the inputs, the firm can adopt various relationship techniques such as
package of loyalty incentives, one to one marketing, effective after sale service incentives for
customers suggestions etc.

5. Dealer Relationships:
Nowadays firm need to build, maintain and enhance corporate image in the minds of stakeholders
customers, dealers, employees and others. For instance consumer research may enable the firm
to obtain feedback on customer requirements and expectations and accordingly the company
would make the right efforts to satisfy customer and develop good image in the minds of
customers. Also dealers research enables the company to obtain feedback on dealer requirements
and expectations and thus the company would make efforts to enhance dealer satisfaction, which
in turn would make efforts to develop good image of the firm in the minds of minds.

6. Competitive Advantage:

Through research a company can take proactive decisions such as introduction of new models,
introduce price changes undertaken innovative promotional schemes and so on. The proactive
decisions can confer competitive advantage to the firm.

Also, through research the firm can find out the strengths of the competitors, which make certain
buyers to prefer competitors, which make certain buyers to prefer competitors brands. Based on
competitors research the firm can improve its market vis--vis that of the competitors, and thereby
enhance its competitive advantage.

7. Human Resource Plans and Policies:


Research may be undertaken to frame effective HR plans and policies in respect of:

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Recruitment and Selection
Training to employees
Performance appraisal
Promotion and Transfers
Compensation Plans, etc.

8. Financial Management:
Research may be undertaken for efficient management of Finance. Financial management covers
two broad areas:

Sources of funds
Application of funds
Proper research may enable a company to determine the best sources of funds, and to ensure
proper application of funds for working capital and fixed capital.

9. Market Expansion:
With the help of marketing research inputs the company can identify the markets that have good
potential. Accordingly, the marketer can enter in new markets. Entry in new markets can be
undertaken with the help of appropriate marketing activities such as promotional activities
publicity, advertising, salesmanship, and sale promotion etc.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Methodology implies more than simply the methods you intend to use to collect data. It is often
necessary to include a consideration of the concepts and theories which underlie the methods.

The process used to collect information and data for the purpose of making business decisions.
The methodology may include publication research, interviews, surveys and other research
techniques, and could include both present and historical information.

In simple terms, methodology can be defined as, giving a clear cut idea on what methods or
process the researcher is going to use in his or her research to achieve research objectives. In
order to plan for the whole research process at a right point of time and to advance the research
work in the right direction, carefully chosen research methodology is very critical. In other words;

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what is Research methodology can be answered as it maps out the whole research work and gives
credibility to whole effort of the researcher.

More over methodology guides the researcher to involve and to be active in his or her particular
field of enquiry. Right from selecting the topic and carrying out the whole research work till
recommendations; research methodology drives the researcher and keeps him on the right track.
The entire research plan is based on the concept of right methodology. Further, through
methodology the external environment constitutes the research by giving an in depth idea on
setting the right research objective, followed by literature point of view, based on that chosen
analysis through interviews or questionnaires findings will be obtained and finally concluded
message by this research.

On the other hand from the methodology, the internal environment constitutes by understanding
and identifying the right type of research, strategy, philosophy, time horizon, approaches,
followed by right procedures and techniques based on his or her research work. Research
methodology acts as the nerve centre because the entire research is bounded by it and to perform a
good research work, the internal and external environment has to follow the right methodology
process.

Methodology is the systematic analysis of the methods applied to a field of study. It comprises the
theoretical analysis of the body of methods and principles associated with a branch of knowledge.

A methodology does not set out to provide solutions. Therefore, it is not the same thing method.
Instead, it offers the theoretical base for understanding which method, set of methods or so called
best practices can be applied to specific case. For example, it may indicate the method that can
be used to collect data to solve the problem of declining sales.

Research methodology is a systematic way to solve a problem. It is a science of studying how


research is to be carried out. Essentially, the procedures by which researchers go about their work
of describing, explaining and predicting phenomena are called research methodology.

It is also defined as the study of methods by which knowledge is gained. Its aim is to give the
work plan of research. Research methodology is a way to systematically solve the research
problem. It may be understood as a science of studying how research is done scientifically. In it
we study the various steps that are generally adopted by a researcher in studying his research
problem along with the logic behind them. It is necessary for the researcher to know not only the
research methods/techniques but also the methodology.

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Researchers not only need to know how to develop certain indices or tests, how to calculate the
mean, the mode, the median or the standard deviation or chi-square, how to apply particular
research techniques, but they also need to know which of these methods or techniques, are
relevant and which are not, and what would they mean and indicate and why. Researchers also
need to understand the assumptions underlying various techniques and they need to know the
criteria by which they can decide that certain techniques and procedures will be applicable to
certain problems and others will not.

All this means that it is necessary for the researcher to design his methodology for his problem as
the same may differ from problem to problem. For example, an architect, who designs a building,
has to consciously evaluate the basis of his decisions, i.e., he has to evaluate why and on what
basis he selects particular size, number and location of doors, windows and ventilators, uses
particular materials and not others and the like. Similarly, in research the scientist has to expose
the research decisions to evaluation before they are implemented. He has to specify very clearly
and precisely what decisions he selects and why he selects them so that they can be evaluated by
others also.

DEFINITIONS

Merriam- Webster Dictionary provides two definitions on research methodology as follows:

1. The analysis of the principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline.

2. The systematic study of methods that are, can be, or have been applied within a discipline.
Research methodology is the name of the methods and ways through which a research process is
going to be completed and measured.

FEATURES OF RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

1. Systematic Process:
Research methodology is a systematic process of analysing selecting the best method to
conduct research. The research methodology process consists of the following main
stages:
Identification of research design.
Formulation of research design.
Designing the sample.
Collection of data.

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Processing of data.
Analysis and Interpretation.
Drawing conclusions and providing recommendation.
Preparation of Research Report.

2. Purpose of Research Methodology:


The main purpose of research methodology is to select the best method to conduct the
research. After selecting the research methodology, the researcher proceeds to collect the
data, analyse it, and draws conclusions and recommendations order to solve the research
problem. In the final analysis research methodology helps to solve the research problem in
a systematic manner.

3. Reliance on Empirical Evidence:


Research methodology involves a systematic process to find a solution to the research
problem. The solution to a problem is found not on the basis of intuition or imagination.
The research methodology involves collection of data through survey, observation or
experimentation. The collected data is analysed and accordingly conclusions are drawn.
The conclusions are based on empirical evidence and not on imagination or on one own
build belief.

4. Commitment to Objectivity:
Research methodology is objective in nature because it makes use of scientific methods to
collect and analyse data. Objectivity involves forming a judgement based on accurate
facts. The researcher examines the facts in a scientific manner. Objectivity also ensures
that the conclusions drawn do not vary from one person to another.

5. Verifiability:
Research methodology ensures that the conclusions drawn by the researcher are verifiable.
With the help of research methodology, the researcher is in a position to justify the
conclusions. When others verify the researcher conclusions under the same conditions,
then they are accepted as correct. The verification through replication by others may either
confirm established conclusions of the researcher or modify them or even invalidate them.
Therefore, the researcher must expose the method and conclusions to critical scrutiny.

6. Ethical Neutrality:
Research methodology is based on ethical neutrality. It aims at making correct statements
about facts. The researcher should not be biased and distort the facts. For a researcher,
truth should be primary objective. Distortion of facts will not help the researcher to solve

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the researcher problem. Distortion of facts may even aggravate the research problem
especially in the case of commercial research.

7. Development of Principles and Theories:


Systematic research methodology helps to develop new principles and theories. The
principles and theories can have universal application. This means, the research findings
can be used by several organisation to manage and deal with the people and things in a
better way. The general theories develop through research also enable the researcher to
make reliable predictions of events, which have not yet occurred.

8. Multipurpose Activity:
Research methodology is a multipurpose activity. It helps to discover new facts or verify
old facts. It helps not only to predict future events, but it also helps to control such events.
It establishes casual relationship between two or more variables. It also helps to develop
new scientific tools, concepts and theories, which would facilitate reliable and valid study
of human behaviour and other aspects.

9. Use of Induction and Deduction Methods:


Research Methodology makes use of induction and deduction methods to arrive at logical
conclusions.
Inductions method follows the logical reasoning process. It is a process of
reasoning whereby, the researcher arrives at universal generalisation from
particular facts. The method involves studying several individual cases and then
drawing a generalised conclusion. Conclusions drawn from induction are tentative
interferences and they are subject to further confirmation based on more evidence.
Deduction method is a reasoning process of applying generally accepted principles
to a specific individual case. It involves application of a general phenomenon to a
individual phenomenon. It establishes a logical relationship between a major
premise and a minor premise and thereby arrives at a conclusion.

10. Limitations or Constraints:


The effectiveness of research methodology in social sciences affected due to certain
constraints. Some of the constraints are:
Social science deal with human beings their behaviour and social life. The
human behaviour cannot be predicted with accuracy.
The research methodology in social sciences is affected by the problem of bias of
researcher and the respondents. Some researcher may draw biased conclusions

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depending upon their likes, dislikes, feelings and emotions. The respondents may
also give biased responses.
There are also problems relating to sampling. The selected sample may be small in
size and may not represent the universe and therefore the data collected from the
sample respondents may be inadequate to solve the research problem.

STAGES IN SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PROCESS


Scientific research is a systematic process undertaken to study the research problem and to arrive
at conclusions. Each research problem is unique and requires a special emphasis and approach.
One way to face the uniqueness of every problem is to tailor the research work according to needs
of each problem.

The scientific research process consists of a consequence of steps that have to be followed while
understanding a research project:

1. Identifying and Selection of Research Problem:


Identification or formulation of research problem is the first and the most important step of
research process. The problem formulation is like an identification of a destination before
undertaking a journey. It is often said that a well-defined problem is half solved.

Before formulating the research problem the research must think what the problem is, why it is
a problem, and for whom the problem is. Precise definition of the problem would help the
researcher to collect the relevant data for solving the research problem. The researcher would be
in a better position to arrive at suitable conclusions based on the analysis of data collection and
accordingly solutions can be designed to solve the problem to deal with a particular situation.

The following are some of the essentials of the good problem formulation:

a) Researchable - the problem can be investigated through the collection and


analysis of data.
b) Interesting the problem keeps the researcher involved it throughout the research
process.
c) Purposeful the of which must be useful to solve the problem or situation.
d) Understandable well formulated and logically structure with main questions
and sub questions.

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e) Manageable fits the researchers skills, resources, and restrictions.
f) Ethical does not embarrass or harm the research respondents and the society.

2. Review of Literature:
The researcher should undertake extensive literature survey relating to the problem. He may
consider various publications such as journals, books, research reports, and other publish
matter. Particularly, the researcher should go through similar research studies that were
conducted previously; such review of literature would provide a good insight into the
problem.

3. Formulation of Hypothesis:
The researcher should formulate the hypothesis. The hypothesis is a tentative assumption made to
test its logical or empirical consequences. The hypothesis should be formulated on the basis of
insights and knowledge about the problem. The hypothesis may prove to be either wrong or right.

For instance, the researcher studying the declining sales trend, may hypothesize that sales are
declining because:

Product price is too high and / or


Middlemen are not getting adequate margin, and / or
The product is becoming obsolete.

If the test of the first hypothesis leads to its acceptance, one conclusions is that product price is
too high. If it is rejected, the researcher concludes that the price is not too high and proceeds to
test the other hypothesis. Thus, the hypothesis guides the research effort and suggests what data
are required.

4. Research Design:
The researcher must prepare a research design. It is a logical and systematic plan prepared for
conducting a research study. It can be called as a blue print for collection, measurement and
analysis of data. The research design provides guidelines to researcher regarding the time period
within which research is conducted, the type of data is to be collected, the techniques of data
collection and data analysis and so on.

The research design must include the following aspects:

A clear statement of the research problem.


The sources of data collection.
The time period of research study.

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The area or place where research is to be conducted.
The resources required to conduct the research.
The techniques of data collection.
The techniques of data analysis.
The universe of research.
The sample size of respondents, if any,
The aims or objective of the research.

5. Designing the Questionnaire:


If the researcher cannot solve the problem with the help of secondary data, observation and
experimentation, then he should make efforts to collect the primary data from the field for which
he requires a questionnaire. While designing a questionnaire the following points must be kept in
mind:

What type of information is required?


What type of technique will be used for conducting the research, i.e, whether
telephone interview, personal interview or mail?
There should be proper wording and proper sequence questions.

6. Sampling Design:
Generally it is not possible to collect the data from each member of the universe or population
under the study due to limitations of time, effort and money. Therefore the researcher need to
select a sample of respondents that represent the universe. Sampling design is a plan to select the
appropriate sample to collect the right data so as to achieve the research objectives. A sample
represents those individuals chosen from the population of interest as subjects in an experiment or
to be respondents to a survey.

There are certain essentials of a good sampling design:


The sample must be representative of the universe.
The sample must be decided depending on the research objectives.
The researcher must use proper method of sampling to select a sample.
The sample size must be economical or cost-effective.
There must be proper sampling plan.
The sample size should be suitable to collect relevant data.
The sample unit must be selected properly.
The sampling frame must be up-to-date to collect information of members of the
universe.
The sample size must be flexible and not rigid.

7. Collection of Data:

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Problem solving is essentially a process of collecting information. The data can be collected from
various sources primary and secondary. While collecting data care should be taken of:

Information is up-to date and free from bias.


It is objective and relevant to the needs of the problem.
It is complete in all aspects.

8. Processing of Data:
The collected data is mostly available in a raw form and therefore, it needs to be processed.
Processing of data involves:

a) Editing it helps to weed out unwanted and irrelevant data. It also helps to check
errors and omissions in data collection.
b) Coding it involves assigning codes to the categories or responses. It is required
especially when the sample size is large and when there is large number of
responses.
c) Classification It refers to grouping of data under different categories or classes
such as age, gender, education, area tec. It facilitates tabulation of data.
d) Tabulation It involves transferring of classified data in a tabular form.
Tabulation of data facilitates analysis and interpretation of data.

9. Data Analysis:
Organisation of data is generally followed by its analysis and interpretation. The purpose of
analysing data is to establish a relation between the information and problem. Analysis review the
data in the light of hypothesis or research problem. It is difficult to demarcate a line between
analysis and interpretation. They quite often overlap and so it is difficult to find out the end of
analysis and the beginning of interpretation. Interpretation refers to analysis of generalization of
results. It enables to clear the meaning and implication of study. It enables to link findings with
research problem and arrive at logical conclusions.

10. Hypothesis Testing:


After analysis and interpretation of data, the researcher must be in a position to test the
hypothesis. The researcher should find out whether or not the research findings support the
hypothesis or prove to be contrary. Various test such as Chi-square, F-test etc. have been
developed for such testing. The testing of hypothesis will result in either accepting it or rejecting
it.

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11. Preparation of Research Report:
The research findings and conclusions are presented with the help of research report. The research
report is divided into three parts:

a) Preliminary Contents which includes title of the report, letter of authorization,


letter of transmittal and the table of contents (index).
b) Main Body which includes introduction, methodology, findings, limitations if
any, conclusions and recommendations.
c) Concluding Part which includes appendix and bibliography.

12. Follow up of Report:


The researcher should submit the report to concerned authorities. For instance, doctorate thesis is
to be submitted to guide for approval and then to the concerned university. A business research
report is to be submitted to the concerned management of business organisation. The researcher
should find out whether his report is accepted, whether his recommendations are accepted and
implemented. If implemented whether the recommendations are successful in solving the
problem.

HYPOTHESIS

Hypothesis is a principal instrument in research


Most research is carried out with the deliberate intention of testing hypothesis

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Decision makers need to test hypothesis to take decisions regarding alternate courses of action
In Social Sciences, hypothesis testing is often used for deciding whether a sample data offers
support for certain generalizations
Hypothesis-testing, thus, enables us to make probability statements about population parameters

MEANING OF HYPOTHESIS

Simply, a mere assumption to be proved or disproved


But for a researcher, hypothesis is a formal question that he intends to resolve
Definition: A proposition or a set of propositions, set forth as an explanation for the occurrence
of some specified group of phenomena asserted merely as a provisional conjecture to guide some
investigation or accepted as highly probable in the light of established facts
Often hypothesis is a predictive statement capable of being tested by scientific methods, that
relates an independent variable to some dependent variable
Ex: students who receive counselling will show greater increase in creativity than students not
receiving counselling; or Car A is performing as well as Car B
In sum, hypothesis is a proposition which can be put to test to determine its validity

CHARACTERISTICS OF A HYPOTHESIS

1) Hypothesis should be clear and precise. If the hypothesis is not clear and precise, the
inferences drawn on its basis cannot be taken as reliable.

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2) Hypothesis should be capable of being tested. In a swamp of un-testable hypothesis,
many a time the research programs have bogged down. Researcher may do some prior
study in order to make hypothesis a testable one. A hypothesis is testable if other
deductions can be made from it which, in turn, can be confirmed or disproved by
observation.
3) Hypothesis should state relationship between variables, if it happens to be a relational
hypothesis.
4) Hypothesis should be limited in scope and must be specific. A researcher must
remember that narrower hypotheses are generally more testable and he should develop
such hypothesis.

5) Researchers should state hypothesis as far as possible in most simple terms so that the
same is easily understandable by all concerned. But one must remember that simplicity
of hypothesis has nothing to do with its significance.

6) Hypothesis should be consistent with most known facts i.e., it must be consistent with
a substantial body of established facts. In other words, it should be one which judges
accept as being the most likely.

7) Hypothesis should be amenable to testing within a reasonable time. One should not
use even an excellent hypothesis, if the same cannot be tested in reasonable time for
one cannot spend a life-time collecting data to test it.

8) Hypothesis must explain the facts that gave rise to the need for explanation. This
means that by using the hypothesis plus other known and accepted generalizations, one
should be able to deduce the original problem condition. Thus hypothesis must
actually explain what it claims to explain; it should have empirical reference.

Basic Concepts of Hypothesis:


1. Null Hypothesis and Alternative Hypothesis
2. The Level of Significance

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3. Type I and Type II Errors
1. Null Hypothesis and Alternative Hypothesis:
If we are to compare Method A with Method B about its superiority and if we proceed on the
assumption that both methods are equally good, then this assumption is termed as the Null
Hypothesis
As against the above, we may think that the Method A is superior or that the Method B is inferior,
we are then stating what is termed as Alternative Hypothesis
Alternative Hypothesis is usually the one which we wish to prove and the Null hypothesis is the
one which we wish to disprove
Thus, a null hypothesis represents the hypothesis we are trying to reject, and the alternative
hypothesis represents all other possibilities

2. The Level of Significance:


In the context of hypothesis-testing, the level of significance is an important concept
It is always some percentage (usually 5%)
This implies that the null hypothesis will be rejected, when the sampling result (observed
evidence) has less than 0.05 probability of occurring if the null hypothesis is true
That is, the 5% level of significance means that the researcher is willing to take as much as a 5%
risk of rejecting the null hypothesis when it happens to be true

3. Type I and Type II Errors:

Basically two types of errors are possible:

Type I Error we may reject the null hypothesis when it is true; and

Type II Error we may accept the null hypothesis when in fact the null hypothesis is not true

That is, Type I error means rejection of the hypothesis which should have been accepted and Type II
error means accepting the hypothesis which should have been rejected

Steps in Hypothesis-testing:
To test a hypothesis means to state (on the basis of data the researcher has collected) whether or
not the hypothesis seems valid

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In hypothesis testing the main question is whether to accept the null hypothesis or not to
accept the null hypothesis?
Steps for hypothesis testing refer to all the steps we take for making a choice between rejection
and acceptance of the null hypothesis
1. Making a formal statement
2. Selecting a significance level
3. Deciding the distribution to use
4. Selecting a random sample
5. Calculation of the probability
6. Comparing the probability
1. Making a Formal Statement:
Consists in making a formal statement of the null hypothesis and also the alternative hypothesis
Ex: The average score in an aptitude test at the national level is 80. To evaluate a states education
system, the average score of 100 of the states students selected on random basis is 75. The state
wants to know if there is a significant difference between the states scores and the national scores.
Hypothesis may be stated as follows:
Null hypothesis: population mean = 80
Alternative hypothesis: population mean is not equal to 80

2. Selecting a Significance Level:


The hypothesis are tested on predetermined level of significance and should be specified
Generally, either 5% level (0.05) or 1% level (0.01) is adopted.

3. Deciding the distribution to use:


The next step is to determine the appropriate sampling distribution
Generally, follow the principles of Normal Distribution.

4.Selecting the Random Sample:


Select the random sample and compute an appropriate value
The sample should furnish the empirical data.

5.Calculation of the Probability:


The next step is to calculate the probability that the sample result would diverge as it has from
expectations, if the null hypothesis were in fact true.

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6.Comparing the Probability:

The next step is to compare the probability thus calculated with the specified value (the
significance level)
If the calculated probability is equal to or smaller than the significance level, then reject the null
hypothesis (i.e. accept the alternative hypothesis); but if the calculated probability is greater, then
accept the null hypothesis

Statistical Tests of Hypothesis


Tests of hypothesis are also known as tests of significance

They are classified as:

1. Parametric Tests or Standard Tests ex. are z-test, t-test, F-test etc. and are based on the
assumption of normality
2. Non-Parametric Tests or Distribution-free tests of hypothesis

Research Design

A major issue in research is the preparation of the research design of the research project
Decisions regarding what, where, when, how much, by what means, concerning an enquiry or a
research study constitute a research design

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Research Design Definition
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

Is the conceptual structure within which research is conducted; it constitutes the blueprint for the
collection, measurement and analysis of data.

More explicitly:

i. What is the study about?


ii. Why is the study being conducted?
iii. Where will the study be carried out?
iv. What type of data is required?
v. Where can the required data be found?
vi. What period of time will the study include?
vii. What will be the sample design?
viii. What techniques of data collection will used?
ix. How will the data be analyzed?
x. In what style will the report be prepared?

Research Design has the following parts:

i. The Sampling Design which deals with the method of selecting items to be observed for
the given study
ii. The Observational Design which relates to the conditions under which the observations
are to be made
iii. The Statistical Design which concerns with the question of how many items are to be
observed and how the information and data gathered are to be analyzed
iv. The Operational Design which deals with the techniques by which the procedures
specified in the sampling, statistical and observational designs can be carried out.

In brief, a research design must contain:

a. A clear statement of the research problem


b. Procedures and techniques to be used for gathering information
c. The population to be studied

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d. Methods to be used in processing and analyzing data

Research Design Important Concepts:


1. Dependent and Independent Variables
2. Extraneous Variable
3. Control
4. Confounded Relationship
5. Research Hypothesis
6. Experimental and Non-experimental Hypothesis-testing

Dependent & Independent Variables:

A concept which can take on different quantitative values is called a variable. Ex: weight, height, income
etc., are examples of a variable

Qualitative phenomena (the attribute) are also quantified on the basis of the presence or absence of the
concerning attribute

Dependent variable (DV) if one variable depends upon or is a consequence of the other variable, it is
termed as a DV

And the variable that is antecedent to the DV is termed as the Independent variable IV

1.Dependent & Independent Variables:


Ex: if we say that height depends upon age, then height is the DV and age is the IV. Further, if height also
depends upon the individuals sex then, height is the DV and age and sex are the IVs

2. Extraneous Variable:
IVs that are not related to the purpose of the study, but may affect the DV are termed as Extraneous
Variable (EV)

Ex: suppose the researcher wants to test the hypothesis that there is a relationship between childrens
gains in social studies achievement and their self-concept. Here, self-concept is an IV and social studies
achievement is a DV. Intelligence may as well affect the social studies achievement, but since it is not
related to the purpose of the study, it will be termed as an EV.
Therefore, a study must be always so designed that the effect upon the DV is attributed entirely to the IVs
and not to some EV.

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3. Control:
One important characteristic of a good research design is to minimize the influence or effect of the EV.
The term Control is used when we design the study minimizing the effects of extraneous variables

4. Confounded Relationship:
When the DV is not free from the influence of the EVs, the relationship between DV and IV is said to be
confounded by the EV

5. Research Hypothesis:

When a prediction or a hypothesized relationship is to be tested by scientific methods, it is termed as a


Research-Hypothesis
The Research-Hypothesis is a predictive statement that relates an IV to a DV

6. Experimental and Non-Experimental Hypothesis testing research:

When the IV is manipulated it is an experimental design


Research in which the IV is not manipulated is called Non-experimental hypothesis-testing research
But now ,suppose that the researcher randomly selects 50 students from a group of students who are to
take a course in statistics and then divides them into two groups by randomly assigning 25 to Group A,
the common program, and 25 to Group B, the special program. At the end of the course, he administers a
test to each group in order to judge the effectiveness of the training program on the students
performance. This is an example of experimental hypothesis testing because the IV (the type of training
program) is manipulated.

TYPES OF RESEARCH DESIGNS


1. Exploratory
2. Descriptive & Diagnostic
3. Experimental
1. Exploratory Research Design:
Also known as Formulative Research Design
Main purpose is that of formulating a problem for precise investigation or developing
hypotheses from an operational point of view
Major Focus discovery of new ideas and insights

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Exploratory studies must have flexibility in design to provide opportunity for considering
different aspects of a problem under study
Exploratory Research Design
The following 3 methods are used:
The survey concerning literature
The experience survey
The analysis of insight-stimulating examples
1. The Literature Survey
The most simple and useful method of formulating the research problem or
developing a hypothesis
Hypotheses stated by earlier workers may be reviewed and their usefulness
evaluated as a basis for further research
Use the bibliographical survey of studies already done in ones area of interest for
formulating the problem
An attempt must be made to apply concepts and theories

Experience Survey
Is the survey of people who have had practical experience with the problem
The object is to obtain insight into relationships between variables and new ideas
relating to the research problem

Analysis of insight-stimulating examples


The method consists of the intensive study of selected instances of the
phenomenon in which one is interested
For this purpose, existing records may be examined; unstructured interviews with
experts may be conducted; etc.

2. Descriptive & Diagnostic Research Design:


Descriptive Studies are those which are concerned with describing the characteristics
of a particular individual or of a group.
Studies concerned with specific predictions, with narration of facts and characteristics
concerning individual, group or situation are ex.'s of descriptive research studies
Diagnostic Studies determine the frequency with which something occurs or its
association with something else
Studies about whether certain variables are associated, are ex.s of diagnostic studies
The research design here must focus 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

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3. Hypothesis-Testing research design
Generally known as Experimental Studies where the researcher tests the hypothesis of
causal relationships between variables
Such studies require procedures that not only reduce bias and increase reliability but will
permit drawing of inferences about causality
Prof. R A Fishers name is associated with experimental designs.
He developed certain experimental designs for testing hypothesis

Principles of experimental designs


The three important principles are:
1. Principle of Replication
2. Principle of Randomization
3. Principle of Local control
Principle of Replication
The experiment should be repeated more than once to ensure that each treatment is applied
in many experimental units instead of one.
By doing so the statistical accuracy is increased
Principle of Randomization
Provides protection against the effect of extraneous factors in an experiment.
That is, we design the experiment in such a way that the variations caused by extraneous
factors can all be combined under the general heading of chance.
Principle of Local Control
Here the extraneous factor, 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
Important Experimental Designs
There are several designs:
Informal Experimental Designs
Formal Experimental Designs
Informal Experimental Designs
1. Before-and-after without control design
2. After-only with control design
3. Before-and-after with control design
Formal Experimental Designs
1. Completely Randomized design
2. Randomized block design
3. Latin Square design
4. Factorial design

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METHODS OF DATA COLLECTION
Essentially two types:
1. Primary data are those which are collected for the first time and are original in
character
2. Secondary data are those which have already been collected by someone else and
which have through some statistical analysis

Collection of Primary Data


Primary data may be collected thru:
Experiments
Surveys (sample surveys or census surveys)
Observation
Personal Interviews
Of the above, the important ones are:
1. Observation Method
2. Interview Method
3. Thru Questionnaires/Schedules
I. Observation Method
Observation becomes a scientific tool and the method of data collection, when it
serves a formulated research purpose, is systematically planned and recorded and is
subjected to checks and controls on validity and reliability
Under observation the information is sought by way of investigators own direct
observation without asking from the respondent
Main advantages are:
Subjective bias is eliminated
The information relates to what is currently happening
This method is independent of respondents willingness to respond
Main Limitations are:
It is expensive
The information provided by this method is very limited
Unforeseen factors may interfere with the observation task

Types of Observation:
Essentially two types:
1. Structured vs. Unstructured Observation
2. Participant vs. Non-participant Observation

Structured vs. Unstructured Observation:

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Structured Observation when the observation is characterized by a careful definition of the units to
be observed, the style of recording the observed information, standardized conditions of observation
and the selection of pertinent data of observation
Unstructured Observation when it takes place without the above characteristics

Participant vs. Non-participant:


This distinction depends upon the observers sharing or not sharing the life of the group he is
observing

II. Interview Method


The Interview Method of collecting data involves presentation of oral-verbal stimuli and reply in terms
of oral verbal responses

Personal Interview:
PI Method requires the interviewer asking questions in a face-to-face contact with the person.
Collecting information thru PI is structured the use of a set of predetermined questions and
highly standardized techniques of recording.
Thus, the interviewer in a structured interview follows a rigid procedure, asking questions in a
form and order prescribed
In unstructured interviews there is a flexibility of approach to questioning
Unstructured interviews do not follow a system of pre-determined questions and standardized
techniques of recording information

Focused Interview to focus attention on the given experience of the respondent and its effects

The Interviewer has the freedom to decide the manner and sequence of questions to elicit/explore
reasons and motives. The main task is to confine the respondent to a discussion of issues

Clinical Interview is concerned with broad underlying feelings or motivations or with the course of
an individuals life experience. Eliciting information is left to the interviewers discretion

Non-Directive Interview the interviewer's function is simply to encourage the respondent to talk
about the topic with a bare minimum of direct questioning. The interviewer often acts as a catalyst to
a comprehensive expression of the respondents feelings and beliefs

Advantages:

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1. More information and in greater depth can be obtained
2. Resistance may be overcome by a skilled interviewer
3. Greater flexibility an opportunity to restructure questions
4. Observation method can also be applied to recording verbal answers
5. Personal information can be obtained
6. Possibility of spontaneous responses and thus more honest responses
Disadvantages:
1. Expensive method
2. Interviewer bias
3. Respondent bias
4. Time consuming
5. Under the interview method the organization required for selecting, training, and
supervising the field staff is complex with formidable problems
6. Establishing rapport to facilitate free and frank responses is very difficult

Data Collection through Questionnaires:

Popular in major studies


Briefly a Questionnaire is sent (by post) to the persons concerned with a request to answer the
questions and return the Questionnaire.
A Questionnaire consists of a number of questions printed in a definite order on a form.
The Questionnaire is mailed to respondents who are expected to read and understand the
questions and write down the reply in the space provided
Merits of Questionnaire Method

1. Low cost even when the universe is large and is widespread


2. Free from interviewer bias
3. Respondents have adequate time to think thru their answers
4. Respondents who are not easily approachable, can also be reached conveniently
5. Large samples can be used
Demerits:
1. Low rate of return
2. Respondents need to be educated and cooperative
3. Inbuilt inflexibility
4. Possibility of ambiguous replies or omission of items

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5. This method is slow

Features of a Questionnaire:
Questionnaire is the heart of a survey needs to be carefully constructed
Need to understand the features of the Questionnaire its general form, question sequence and
question formulation and the wording of the questions:
1. General Form
May be either structured or unstructured
Structured Questionnaires are those in which there are definite, concrete, predetermined
questions
The questions are presented with exactly the same wording and in the same order to all
respondents
The form of the questions may be either closed (yes or no) or open (inviting free responses
Structured Questionnaires may also have fixed alternative questions in which responses are
limited to the stated alternatives
Thus, a highly structured Questionnaire is one in which all the questions and answers are
specified and comments in the respondents own words are held to the minimum
Unstructured Questionnaire when the above characteristics are absent, it is known as a
unstructured Questionnaire
The Interviewer is provided with a general guideline on the type of information to be obtained
2. Question Sequence
Proper sequence is needed to elicit valid responses
Sequence must be clear that is, the relation of one question to the next
To establish rapport and to gain cooperation from the respondent difficult questions,
personal questions etc should preferably come at the appropriate time rather than at the
beginning
3. Question Formulation & Wording
Phrasing the questions must be clear and unambiguous
Questions should be impartial and unbiased
Should be easily understood
Should be simple (one idea at a time)
Should be concrete

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Form of questions may be multiple choice or open-ended

Data Collection thru Schedules:


Very similar to the Questionnaire method
The main difference is that a schedule is filled by the enumerator who is specially appointed
for the purpose
Enumerator goes to the respondents, asks them the questions from the Performa in the order
listed, and records the responses in the space provided.
Enumerators must be trained in administering the schedule
Other Methods of Data Collection

1. Warranty Cards
2. Distributor or Store Audits
3. Pantry Audits
4. Consumer Panels
5. Mechanical Devices
6. Depth Interviews
7. Content Analysis
8. Projective Tests

Collection of Secondary Data


Published data are available in:

1. Publications of State/Central govt.s


2. Publications of International Bodies
3. Technical and Trade Journals
4. Books, Magazines and Newspapers
5. Reports/Publications of various organizations (banks, stock exchanges, business houses, etc)
6. Reports by scholars, Universities, etc
7. Public records, Historical Documents, etc

Secondary Data must possess the following characteristics:

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Reliability of data may be tested by checking:
Who collected the data?
What were the sources of the data?
Was the data collected properly?
Suitability of data data that are suitable for one enquiry may not be necessarily suitable in
another enquiry.
Therefore, the researcher must scrutinize the definition of various terms and units of
collection. Also, the objectives, scope and nature of the original enquiry must be studied.
Adequacy of data the data will be considered inadequate, if they are related to an area which
may be either narrower or wider than the area of the present enquiry

SAMPLING DESIGN
Census & Sample Survey
All the items in any field of inquiry constitute a Universe or Population
A complete enumeration of all items in the population is known as Census Inquiry
Most times census inquiry is not practically possible
Sample Survey of a few items of the population

The respondents selected should be representative of the total population


The sampling process is called the sampling technique

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The survey so conducted is known as the sample survey
The researcher must prepare a sample design for his study that is, how a sample should
be selected and what size such a sample would be

Steps in Sample Design:

The following are crucial:

1. Type of Universe define the set of objects, technically called the Universe, to be studied
2. Sampling Unit sampling unit may be a geographical one (district, city, village) or it may
be a social unit (family, club, school) or it may an individual
3. Source List also known as sampling frame from which the sample is to be drawn. It
contains all items of a universe
4. Size of Sample refers to the number of items to be selected from the universe to
constitute a sample; a major issue here is the size should neither be excessively large nor
too small. An optimum sample is one which fulfills the requirements of efficiency,
representativeness, reliability and flexibility
5. Budgetary Constraint cost considerations have a major impact upon decisions relating
to the size of the sample
6. Sampling Procedure finally, the type of sample to be used, that is, the technique to be
used in selecting the items for the sample. There are several sample designs, from which
the researcher can choose.

Criteria of Selecting a sampling Procedure:

There are two costs involved in a sampling analysis the cost of collecting the data and the cost
of an incorrect inference resulting from the data
The researcher, therefore, must be aware of the two causes of incorrect inferences:

a) Systematic bias

b) Sampling error

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A systematic bias results from errors in the sampling procedures and it cannot be reduced or
eliminated by increasing the sample size
Sampling Errors are the random variations in the sample estimates around the true population.
Generally, sampling errors decreases with the increase in the size of the sample

TYPES OF SAMPLE DESIGNS

All the sample designs are based on two factors the representation basis and the element
selection technique

Representation Basis the sample may be probability sampling or non-probability sampling.


Probability sampling is based on the concept of random selection; non-probability sampling is
non random sampling.

Element Selection Basis the sample may be either restricted or unrestricted. Unrestricted
sampling is when each element is drawn individually from the population at large. Restricted
sampling is when all other forms of sampling are used.

Thus, sample designs are basically of two types:

1. Probability Sampling

2. Non-Probability Sampling

1. Non-Probability Sampling:

Is that sampling procedure which does not afford any basis for estimating the probability that each
item in the population has of being in included in the sample?

Also known as deliberate sampling, purposive sampling and judgment sampling

Here, items for the sample are selected deliberately by the researcher, that is, purposively choose
the particular units of the universe for constituting a sample on the basis that the small mass that
they select out of a huge one will be representative of the whole.

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Ex.s if the economic condition of people living in a state are to be studied, a few towns and
villages may be purposively selected for intensive study on the principle that they can be
representative of the entire state.

Here, personal element (bias) has a great chance of entering into the selection of the sample

However, if the investigators are impartial, work without bias and have the necessary experience
the results obtained may be tolerably reliable.

Sampling Error cannot be estimated and the element of bias is always

This is why; this design is rarely adopted in large inquiries of importance

Quota Sampling is also an example of non probability sampling. Under quota sampling the
interviewers are simply given quotas to be filled from the different strata

Very convenient and inexpensive

2. Probability Sampling:

Also know as Random sampling or Chance sampling

Under this design, every item of the universe has an equal chance of inclusion in the sample

It is a lottery method in which individual units are picked up from the whole group not
deliberately but by some mechanical process

It is blind chance alone that determines whether one item is selected or not

The results obtained from probability or random sampling can be assured in terms of probability,
that is, we can measure the errors of estimation or the significance

Random sampling ensures the law of statistical regularity (which states that if on an average the
sample chosen is a random one, the sample will have the same composition and characteristics as
the universe)

This is why it is considered as the best technique of selecting a very representative sample

In sum, Random sampling:

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1. Gives each element in the population an equal probability of getting into the sample; and
all choices are independent of one another
2. Gives each possible sample combination an equal probability of being chosen
How to select a Random Sample

In actual/ideal practice the Random Sample is taken by the following process: write each of the
possible samples on a slip of paper, mix these slips in a box/container and then draw as a lottery.
In complex and large universes this is practically possible.

An easier method is without taking the trouble of enlisting all possible samples on paper slips,
we can write the name of each element of a finite population on a slip of paper, put the slip into a
box and mix them thoroughly and then draw (without looking) the required number of slips.

In doing so we must make sure that in successive drawings each of the remaining elements of the
population has the same chance of being drawn

This procedure will also result in the same probability for each possible sample

Thus, to draw a sample from a finite population is easy, with the aid of random number tables,
only when lists are available and items are readily numbered

Complex Random Sampling Designs

Systematic Sampling: the most practical way of sampling is to select every ith item on a list; an
element of randomness is introduced into this kind of a sampling by using random numbers to
pick up the unit with which to start.

Ex.s if a 4% sample is desired, the first item would be selected randomly from the first 25 and
thereafter every 25th item automatically be included in the sample. Thus, in systematic sampling,
only the first unit is selected randomly and the remaining units of the sample are selected at fixed
intervals.

The merits of systematic sampling are:

It is an improvement over simple random sampling because the sample is spread more
evenly over the entire population
It is easier and less expensive
Can be used in large population

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The demerits are:

If there is a hidden periodicity in the population


Stratified Sampling: if a population from which a sample is to be drawn does not constitute a
homogeneous group, stratified sampling is applied in order to obtain a representative sample;
here, the population is divided into several sub populations that are individually more
homogeneous (these sub populations are called strata).

Cluster Sampling: if the total area of interest happens to be a big one, a convenient way to take a
sample is to divide the area into a number of smaller non overlapping areas and then to randomly
select a number of these smaller areas (called clusters), with the ultimate sample consisting of
all units in these clusters.

Area Sampling: if clusters happen to be some geographic subdivisions, then it is better known as
area sampling
Multi-stage Sampling: is a further development of the principle of cluster sampling.
Ex. suppose we want to investigate the working efficiency of nationalized banks in India and we
want to take a sample of few banks for this purpose the first stage is to select large primary
sampling units such as States then we select certain districts and interview all the banks in the
chosen districts. This is two-stage sampling design

Conclusion

Normally one should resort to simple random sampling because under it, bias is generally
eliminated and the sampling error can be estimated. But purposive sampling is more appropriate
when the universe happens to be small.

At times several methods of sampling may be used in the same study.

DATA TABULATION

The data after collection has to be processed processing means editing, coding, classification
and tabulation of the collected data, so that they are amenable to analysis.
Analysis refers to the computation of certain measures, along with searching for patterns of
relationships among data groups.
In other words, analysis of data is performed with the purpose of summarizing the collected data
and organizing these in such a manner that they answer the research question (s)

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Processing Operations
The following are the processing operations:

1. Editing
2. Coding
3. Classification
4. Tabulation

Editing

Editing is the process of examining the collected data (especially in surveys) to detect
errors and correct these where possible
Involves a careful scrutiny of the completed questionnaires/schedules
Editing can take place at two stages: i) field editing and ii) central editing
Field editing consists of reviewing of the questionnaire forms by the investigator for
completing (translating or rewriting) what the respondent has written in abbreviated and/or
illegible form; should not correct the errors of omission.
Central editing should take place when all forms/schedules have been completed and
returned
Editors may correct the obvious errors such as an entry in the wrong place, etc

Coding

Refers to the process of assigning numerals or other symbols to answers so that responses
can be put in to a limited number of categories or classes.
Such classes should be appropriate and have the characteristic of exhaustiveness, that is,
there must be a class for every data item; and also mutual exclusivity, meaning that a
specific answer can be placed in one and only one cell in a given category set.
Coding is necessary for efficient analysis
Coding decisions should usually be taken at the designing stage
Coding is usually done by hand and the usual method is to code in the margin with a color
pencil or to transcribe the data taken from the questionnaire to a coding sheet.

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Classification

Classification of data is the process of arranging data in groups or classes on the basis of
common characteristics
Data having a common characteristic are placed in one class and in this way the entire data
gets divided into a number of groups or classes

Classification is of two types:


1. Classification according to Attributes
2. Classification according to Class Intervals
1. Classification according to attributes
It is classified on basis of common characteristics which can be either descriptive
(such as literacy, sex, honesty) or numerical (like weight, height, income)
Descriptive characteristics refer to qualitative phenomenon, which cant be
measured quantitatively only their presence or absence in an individual item can
be observed
2. Class Intervals
The numerical characteristics refer to quantitative phenomenon which can be
measured thru some statistical unit data relating to income, production, age,
weight are examples
Such data are classified on the basis of class intervals each group of class
interval, thus has an upper and a lower limit, known as class limits
The difference between two classes is known as the class magnitude
The number of items which fall in a given class is known as the frequency
All the classes/groups, with their respective frequencies taken together and put in the form of a
table are described as group frequency distribution or simply frequency distribution

Important points to consider:


i. How many classes should be there? (typically 5 15 classes are usual)
ii. How to choose class limits? (normally, class limits should be located at multiples of 2, 5,
10, 20, 100, etc)

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Class intervals may be stated thus:
Exclusive Type Class interval:
10 20
20 30
30 40
40 50
These are known as exclusive because, the upper limit of a class interval is excluded and
items with values less than the upper limit (but not less than the lower limit) are put in the given
interval
Inclusive Type Class interval
11 20
21 30
31 40
41 50
In the inclusive type class interval the upper interval is also included in the class interval

iii. How to determine the frequency of each class?


Can be done by tally sheets or mechanical devices

Tabulation

When a mass of data has been collected, it becomes necessary to arrange it in a concise
and logical order
Thus, tabulation is the process of summarizing raw data and displaying it in a compact
form, for further analysis
Tabulation is essential for:
It conserves space and reduces explanatory and descriptive statement to a minimum
It facilitates the process of comparisons
It facilitates the summation of items and the detection of errors and omissions
It provides a basis for various statistical computations

Principles of Tabulation:
1. Should have a clear, concise title, which is self explanatory
2. Should be distinctly numbered, for easy reference

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3. The column headings (captions) and row headings (stubs) of the table should be clear and
brief
4. Explanatory footnotes, if any, concerning the table should be placed directly beneath the
table
5. Sources of the table must be indicated just below the table
6. Usually the columns are separated by lines, which make the table more readable and
attractive
7. Those columns whose data has to be compared should be kept side by side. So also the
percentages and/or averages close to the data
8. It is important that all column figures be properly aligned. Decimal points and + or minus
signs should be in perfect alignment
9. Abbreviations should not be used
10. Table should be made as logical, clear, accurate as possible
11. Total of rows should normally be placed in the extreme right column and that of the
columns should be placed at the bottom
12. The arrangement of the categories in a table may be chronological, geographical,
alphabetical, etc., to facilitate computation

ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION OF DATA

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PRESENTING RESULTS: Written and Oral Reports
Written Research Report

Short report
For well-defined, limited-scope problems with straight-forward methodology
Usually 5 or fewer pages
Formats
Findings summary (graphical or tabular) attached to letter of transmittal
Business letter
Internal memorandum
Short Report (Memorandum)
Reason for writing
Answer direct inquiry with specific answer and supporting detail
Expository style with brevity and directness
Attach detailed materials as appendices when needed
Long report
Technical report
Management report
Long Report Components

Prefatory Items
Letter of transmittal
Title page
Authorization letter
Executive summary
Table of contents
Introduction
Problem statement
Research objectives
Background
Methodology
Sampling design
Research design
Data collection

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Data analysis
Limitations
Conclusions
Summary conclusions
Recommendations
Appendices
Bibliography

Written Report Considerations

Order of report
Sentence outline
Topic outline
Comprehensibility

Readability indices
Pace
Tone
Presentation of Statistics

Text paragraph format


Semi-tabular format
Tabular format
Graphical format
Graphical Formats

Line graphs
Area charts
Pie charts
Bar charts
Pictographs/Geo-Graphics
3-D graphics
Oral Presentations
Preparation
Length
Content

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Style
Scripted
Extemporaneous
Audiovisuals
Type
Role
Content
Opening
Findings and conclusions
Recommendations
Delivery
Vocal characteristics
Physical characteristics
Audiovisual Aids

Chalkboards
Whiteboards
Handout materials
Flip charts
Slides
Overhead transparencies
Computer-drawn visuals
Computer animation

WRITING BUSINESS REPORTS AND PROPOSALS


Objectives
Discuss the structure of informational reports.
Explain the structure of analytical reports.
List the most popular types of visuals and discuss when to use them.
Clarify five principles of graphic design to remember when preparing visuals.
Identify and briefly describe five tools that writers can use in long reports to help readers
stay on track.

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Deciding on Length and Format
When selecting a format, you have four options:

Preprinted form
Memo
Letter
Manuscript
Organizing Informational Reports
To arrange your material, use a topical organization such as

Importance
Spatial orientation
Sequence
Geography
Chronology
Category

COMPLETING FORMAL REPORTS AND PROPOSALS


Objectives

List the three tasks involved in completing reports and proposals, and briefly explain what
is involved in revising them.
Explain the prefatory parts of a formal report
Describe four important functions of a formal reports introduction, and identify the
possible topics it might include.
Discuss the four areas of specific information that must be covered in a proposal.
List four questions to ask when proofing visual aids.

Revising Formal Reports and Proposals

Revise by evaluating both content and organization.


Review for style and readability.
Edit and rewrite your message clearly and concisely.

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Refer to Chapter 6 for more tips on revising and proofreading.

Deciding on Report Format

Formal reports
Can be short or long
Can be direct or indirect
Can be informational or analytical
Can be external or internal
The parts you use depend upon what type of report it is.
For long reports, prefatory parts should have their own pages.
Components of a Formal Report

Prefatory parts
Text parts
Supplementary parts

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INDEX

What is Research
Objectives
Types of Research
Significance of Research
The Research Process
Introduction to Telecommunication
Objective of Research
Introduction to Samsung
Research Methodology
Research Design
Data Collection
Hypothesis
Questionnaires
Limitation to the Research
Bibliography

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