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RESEARCH: BASIC

CONCEPTS
COVERAGE

1. Definition
2. Characteristics of Research
3. Dimensions of Research
4. Research Methodology
DEFINITION
• Common understanding of “research”
• Data collection/assembly ≠ research
• Formal definitions:
1. Leedy & Ormrod:
- Systematic process of collecting & analyzing
information
- to increase our understanding of a phenomenon
2. Saunders, et al:
- Something undertaken to find out things in a
systematic way, thereby increasing knowledge
CHARACTERISTICS OF RESEARCH

1. Starting point: question or problem


2. Clear articulation of a goal
3. Specific plan of procedures
4. Data collection & interpretation
5. Statement of study limitations
6. Clear presentation of findings & conclusions
DIMENSIONS OF RESEARCH

• 4 dominant dimensions in scientific research:


1. Purpose of research undertaking
2. Application of overall research findings/results
3. Type of information gathered & analyzed
4. Time element in research conduct
DIMENSIONS OF RESEARCH
Research Classification Accdg. to Purpose
- Formal research is conducted w/ one or
combination of ff. purposes:
• Description
• Explanation
• Exploration
1. Descriptive Research
- Entails precise measurement & reporting of
characteristics of a phenomenon or population
under study
- Can be either quantitative or qualitative
DIMENSIONS OF RESEARCH

2. Explanatory Research
- discovery & reporting of relationship among
different aspects of a phenomenon
- may be capable of predicting or estimating scores
on 1 variable from info about other variable(s)
- attempts to clarify “why” & “how” of relationship
- Correlational research: a sub-category
- emphasizes discovery/establishment of existence of a
relationship/association/interdependence between
aspects
- generally quantitative
DIMENSIONS OF RESEARCH

3.Exploratory Research
- attempts to develop an initial, rough understanding
of a phenomenon
- conducted for a problem not yet clearly defined
- draws definitive conclusions only w/ extreme
caution
- often relies on secondary data and often uses
qualitative approaches
- not typically generalizable to population
DIMENSIONS OF RESEARCH
Research Classification Accdg. to Results Application
• Basic
• Applied
1. Basic Research
- a.k.a. pure or theoretical research
- undertaken to increase knowledge, not to solve a
problem
- Seeks new ways of thinking
- No immediate, direct benefit from it
- Involves developing & testing theories & hypotheses
- May ultimately contribute to practical problem solutions
DIMENSIONS OF RESEARCH

2. Applied Research
- seeks to solve practical problems
- in social sciences: goal is to improve human
condition
- in business: may focus on uncovering unmet needs
- in accountancy: useful in developing education
policies, professional qualifications, etc.; addressing
regulatory issues and problem areas in professional
practice.
DIMENSIONS OF RESEARCH

Comparison of Basic & Applied Research


CATEGORY BASIC RESEARCH APPLIED RESEARCH
Purpose Produce knowledge for Produce knowledge for
understanding action
Discipline Usually confined to 1 Often multidisciplinary
discipline
Audience Intended for scholarly Intended for policy
audience or specialists makers & scholarly
audience
Coverage Often narrow in focus as it Often comprehensive as it
strives for precision strives for solution to real-
life problem
DIMENSIONS OF RESEARCH
Research Classification Accdg. to Information Type
• Quantitative
• Qualitative
1. Quantitative Research
- systematic empirical investigation of
• Quantitative properties of subject matter or phenomenon &
• Relationships of these properties
- measures atittudes, behaviors, perceptions (measurement is
central to it)
- usual objective: develop & use mathematical models to test
hypotheses & generate theories
- used widely in social sciences (economics, psychology,
political science, etc.)
DIMENSIONS OF RESEARCH

2. Qualitative Research
• Explores attitudes, behavior & experiences
• Uses interviews, focus groups
• Attempts to get in-depth opinion
• Studies subjects in their natural settings
• More subjective research form: researchers may
introduce own bias to form complete picture
• Qualitative & quantitative researches often used in
tandem
DIMENSIONS OF RESEARCH

Comparison of Quantitative & Qualitative Research

Quantitative Qualitative
Category Research Research
Aim Classify & count Complete/detailed
attributes, construct description of attributes
statistical models
Design Careful design of study Design emerges as study
aspects before data unfolds
collection
Data-gathering Tools (e.g., Researcher is data-
instrument questionnaires) used to gathering instrument
collect numerical data
DIMENSIONS OF RESEARCH
Quantitative Qualitative
Category Research Research
Data Type Numbers & statistics Words, pictures, objects
Degree of Partiality Relatively objective: Relatively subjective:
precise measurement individual’s
interpretation
Use of Data Quantitative data more Qualitative data richer in
efficient in testing meaning, but time
hypotheses; but may consuming & less
miss contextual detail generalizable
Researcher’s Researcher tends to be Researcher tends to be
Participation objectively separated subjectively immersed in
from subject matter subject matter
DIMENSIONS OF RESEARCH

Research Classification Accdg. to Time Dimension


• Cross-sectional
• Longitudinal
1. Cross-sectional Research
- Involves observation of population or its subset
at a defined time
- Quick: doesn’t follow development of each
subject studied
DIMENSIONS OF RESEARCH

2. Longitudinal Research
- Involves repeated observations of same variable
or set of variables over a time period
- Often studies changes, trends over time
- Tracks people/other subjects & observes
differences
- More costly & time-consuming
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
- refers to philosophy behind design & conduct of
research
- different from research method: tools of data
collection & techniques of data analysis
- Also called research paradigm: reflects researcher’s
set of beliefs
- Comprises 3 elements:
1. Ontology
2. Epistemology
3. Perspective of researcher with respect to conduct
of study
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Ontology
• the way researcher views the nature of reality as reflected in dualism, i.e.,
reality characterized by opposites:
- true or false
- objective and subjective
- fixed & changing
- universal & particular, etc.

Epistemology
• researcher’s view on nature of knowledge
• dominant schools of thought:
- rationalism (knowledge is accessible through reason)
- empiricism (knowledge is uniquely determined by experience & derived from
perception through senses)

• Ontological view is associated to one’s epistemological assumptions


RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Research Perspectives
- include:
• Positivist
• Interpretive
• Criticalist
• Post-modernist
1. Positivist: reality can be perceived through senses & can be
realized through experience
2. Interpretive: access to reality is through social constructions,
e.g., language, consciousness & shared meanings
3. Critical: social reality is historically constituted, produced &
reproduced by people
4. Post-modernist: critical revisiting or rethinking of the past.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY RESEARCH


METHODS

ONTOLOGY EPISTEMOLOGY

PERSPECTIVE

Interrelationships of Research Methodology, Its Elements & Research Methods


RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Sources of Knowledge (or Ways of Knowing)


- area w/ impt. bearing on research
methodology
- include:
- 1. Sensory experience
- 2. Agreement w/ others
- 3. Expert opinion
- 4. Logic
- 5. Scientific method