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ASSIGNMENTS

MB 0034
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
(3 credits)
Set I
Marks 60
Each question carries 10 marks

1. Explain the different types of research.

Types of Research
Although any typology of research is inevitably arbitrary. Research may be
classified crudely according to its major intent or the methods. According to the
intent research may be classified as:

Pure Research
It is undertaken for the sake of knowledge without any Intention to apply it in
practice, e.g., Einstein's theory of relativity, Newton's contributions, Galileo’s
contribution, etc. It is also known as basic or fundamental research. It is
undertaken out of intellectual curiosity or inquisitiveness. It is not necessarily
problem-oriented. It aims at extension of knowledge. It may lead to either
discovery of a new theory or refinement of an existing theory. It lays foundation
for applied research. It offers solutions to marry practical problems It helps to find
the critical factors in a practical problem. It develops many alternative solutions
and thus enables us to choose the best solution
Applied Research
it is carried on to And solution to d real-life problem requiring an action or policy
decision. It is thus problem-oriented and action-directed, It seeks an immediate
and practical result, e.g., marketing research carried on for developing a news
market or for studying the post-purchase experience of customers. Though the
immediate purpose of an applied research is to find solutions to a practical
problem, it may incidentally contribute to the development of theoretical
knowledge by loading to the discovery of new facts or testing of theory or a
conceptual clarity. It can put theory to the test. t may aid in conceptual
clarification !t may integrate previously existing theories
Exploratory Research
It is also known as formulative research. It is preliminary study of an unfamiliar
problem about which the researcher has little or no knowledge. It is ill-structured
and much less focused on pre-determined objectives. It usually takes the form of
a pilot study. The purpose of this research may be to generate new ideas, or to
increase the researcher's familiarity with the problem or to make a precise
formulation of the problem or to gather information for clarifying concepts or to
determine whether it is feasible to attempt the study. Katz conceptualizes two
levels of exploratory studies. "At the first level is the discovery of the significant
variable in the situations; at the second, the discovery of relationships between
variables."
Descriptive Study
It is a fact-finding investigation with adequate interpretation. It is the simplest type
of research. It is more specific than an exploratory research. It aims at identifying
the various characteristics of a community or institution or problem under study
and also aims at a classification of the range of elements comprising the subject
matter of study. It contributes to the development of a young science and useful
in verifying focal concepts through empirical observation. It can highlight
important methodological aspects of data collection and interpretation. The
information obtained may be useful for prediction about areas of social life
outside the boundaries of the research. They are valuable in providing facts
needed for planning social action program.
Diagnostic Study
It is similar to descriptive study but with a different focus. It is directed towards
discovering what is happening, why it is happening and what can be done about.
It aims at identifying the causes of a problem and the possible solutions for it. It
may also be concerned with discovering and testing whether certain variables
are associated. This type of research requires prior knowledge of the problem, its
thorough formulation, clear-cut definition of the given population, adequate
methods for collecting accurate information, precise measurement of variables,
statistical analysis and test of significance.
Evaluation Studies
It is a type of applied research. It is made for assessing the effectiveness of
social or economic programmes implemented or for assessing the impact of
developmental projects on the development of the project area. It is thus directed
to assess or appraise the quality and quantity of an activity and its performance,
and to specify its attributes and conditions required for its success. It is
concerned with causal relationships and is more actively guided by hypothesis. It
is concerned also with change over time.
Action Research
It is a type of evaluation study. It is a concurrent evaluation study of an action
programme launched for solving a problem for improving an exiting situation. It
includes six major steps: diagnosis, sharing of diagnostic information, planning,
developing change programme, initiation of organizational change,
implementation of participation and communication process, and post
experimental evaluation.

According to the methods of study, research may be classified as:


1.Experimental Research: It is designed to asses the effects of particular
variables on a phenomenon by keeping the other variables constant or
controlled. It aims at determining whether and in what manner variables are
related to each other.
2. Analytical Study: It is a system of procedures and techniques of analysis
applied to quantitative data. It may consist of a system of mathematical models
or statistical techniques applicable to numerical data. Hence it is also known as
the Statistical Method. It aims at testing hypothesis and specifying and
interpreting relationships.
3. Historical Research: It is a study of past records and other information
sources with a view to reconstructing the origin and development of an institution
or a movement or a system and discovering the trends in the past. It is
descriptive in nature. It is a difficult task; it must often depend upon inference and
logical analysis or recorded data and indirect evidences rather than upon direct
observation.
4. Survey: It is a fact-finding study. It is a method of research involving collection
of data directly from a population or a sample thereof at particular time. Its
purpose is to provide information, explain phenomena, to make comparisons and
concerned with cause and effect relationships can be useful for making
predications

2. Discuss the criteria of good research problem.

Horton and Hunt have given following characteristics of scientific research:


1. Verifiable evidence: That is factual observations which other observers can
see and check.
2. Accuracy: That is describing what really exists. It means truth or correctness
of a statement or describing things exactly as they are and avoiding jumping to
unwarranted conclusions either by exaggeration or fantasizing.
3. Precision: That is making it as exact as necessary, or giving exact number or
measurement. This avoids colourful literature and vague meanings.
4. Systematization: That is attempting to find all the relevant data, or collecting
data in a systematic and organized way so that the conclusions drawn are
reliable. Data based on casual recollections are generally incomplete and give
unreliable judgments and conclusions.
5. Objectivity: That is free being from all biases and vested interests. It means
observation is unaffected by the observer's values, beliefs and preferences to the
extent possible and he is able to see and accept facts as they are, not as he
might wish them to be.
6. Recording: That is jotting down complete details as quickly as possible. Since
human memory is fallible, all data collected are recorded.
7. Controlling conditions: That is controlling all variables except one and then
attempting to examine what happens when that variable is varied. This is the
basic technique in all scientific experimentation - allowing one variable to vary
while holding all other variables constant.

3. Describe the procedure used to test the hypothesis

To test a hypothesis means to tell (on the basis of the data researcher has
collected) whether or not the hypothesis seems to be valid. In hypothesis testing
the main question is: whether the null hypothesis or not to accept the null
hypothesis? Procedure for hypothesis testing refers to all those steps that we
undertake for making a choice between the two actions i.e., rejection and
acceptance of a null hypothesis. The various steps involved in hypothesis testing
are stated below:
Making a Formal Statement
The step consists in making a formal statement of the null hypothesis (Ho) and
also of the alternative hypothesis (Ha). This means that hypothesis should clearly
state, considering the nature of the research problem. For instance, Mr. Mohan of
the Civil Engineering Department wants to test the load bearing capacity of an
old bridge which must be more than 10 tons, in that case he can state his
hypothesis as under
Null hypothesis Ho: μ =10 tons
Alternative hypothesis Ha: μ>10 tons
Take another example. The average score in an aptitude test administered at the
national level is 80. To evaluate a state's education system, the average score of
100 of the state's students selected on the random basis was 75. The state
wants to know if there is a significance difference between the local scores and
the national scores. In such a situation the hypothesis may be state as under: ,
Null hypothesis Ho: μ =80
Alternative hypothesis Ha: μ = 80
The formulation of hypothesis is an important step which must be accomplished
with due care in accordance with the object and nature of the problem under
consideration. It also indicates whether we should use a tailed test or a two tailed
test. If Ha is of the type greater than, we use alone tailed test, but when Ha
is of the type "whether greater or smaller" then w. use a two-tailed test.
Selecting a Significant Level The hypothesis is tested on a pre-determined level
of significance and such the same should have specified. Generally, in practice,
either 5% level or 1 % level is adopted for the purpose. The factors that affect the
level of significance are: •The magnitude of the difference between sample; •The
size of the sample; •The variability of measurements within samples; •Whether
the hypothesis is directional or non - directional (A directional hypothesis is one
which predicts the direction of the difference between, say, means). In brief, the
level of significance must be adequate in the context of the purpose and nature
of enquiry. Deciding the Distribution to Use After deciding the level of
significance, the next step in hypothesis testing is to determine the appropriate
sampling distribution. The choice generally remains between distribution and the
t distribution. The rules for selecting the correct distribution are similar to those
which we have stated earlier in the context of estimation. Selecting a Random
Sample & Computing an Appropriate Value Another step is to select a random
sample(S) and compute an appropriate value from the sample data concerning
the test statistic utilizing the relevant distribution. In other words, draw a sample
to furnish empirical data. Calculation of the Probability One has then to calculate
the probability that the sample result would diverge as widely as it has from
expectations, if the null hypothesis were in fact true. Comparing the Probability
Yet another step consists in comparing the probability thus calculated with the
specified value for a, the significance level. If the calculated probability is equal to
smaller than a value in case of one tailed test (and a/2 in case of two-tailed test),
then reject the null hypothesis (i.e. accept the alternative hypothesis), but if the
probability is greater then accept the null hypothesis. In case we reject Ho we run
a risk of (at most level of significance) committing an error of type I, but if we
accept Ho, then we run some risk of committing error type II.

4. Write a note on experimental design

Professor Fisher has enumerated three principles of experimental designs:

1. The principle of replication: The experiment should be reaped more than


once. Thus, each treatment is applied in many experimental units instead of one.
By doing so, the statistical accuracy of the experiments is increased. For
example, suppose we are to examine the effect of two varieties of rice. For this
purpose we may divide the field into two parts and grow one variety in one part
and the other variety in the other part. We can compare the yield of the two parts
and draw conclusion on that basis. But if we are to apply the principle of
replication to this experiment, then we first divide the field into several parts, grow
one variety in half of these parts and the other variety in the remaining parts. We
can collect the data yield of the two varieties and draw conclusion by comparing
the same. The result so obtained will be more reliable in comparison to the
conclusion we draw without applying the principle of replication. The entire
experiment can even be repeated several times for better results. Consequently
replication does not present any difficulty, but computationally it does. However,
it should be remembered that replication is introduced in order to increase the
precision of a study; that is to say, to increase the accuracy with which the main
effects and interactions can be estimated.

2. The principle of randomization: It provides protection, when we conduct an


experiment, against the effect of extraneous factors by randomization. In other
words, this principle indicates that we should design or plan the `experiment in
such a way that the variations caused by extraneous factors can all be combined
under the general heading of "chance". For instance if we grow one variety of
rice say in the first half of the parts of a field and the other variety is grown in the
other half, then it is just possible that the soil fertility may be different in the first
half in comparison to the other half. If this is so, our results would not be realistic.
In such a situation, we may assign the variety of rice to be grown in different
parts of the field on the basis of some random sampling technique i.e., we may
apply randomization principle and protect ourselves against the effects of
extraneous factors. As such, through the application of the principle of
randomization, we can have a better estimate of the experimental error.

3. Principle of local control: It is another important principle of experimental


designs. Under it the extraneous factors, the known source of variability, is made
to vary deliberately over as wide a range as necessary and to his needs to be
done in such a way that the variability it causes can be measured and hence
eliminated from the experimental error. This means that we should plan the
experiment in a manner that we can perform a two-way analysis of variance, in
which the total variability of the data is divided into three components attributed
to treatments, the extraneous factor and experimental error. In other words,
according to the principle of local control, we first divide the field into several
homogeneous parts, known as blocks, and then each such block is divided into
parts equal to the number of treatments. Then the treatments are randomly
assigned to these parts of a block. In general, blocks are the levels at which we
hold an extraneous factors fixed, so that we can measure its contribution to the
variability of the data by means of a two-way analysis of variance. In brief,
through the principle of local control we can eliminate the variability due to
extraneous factors from the experimental error.

5. Elaborate the ways of making a case study effective.

John Dollard has proposed seven criteria for evaluating such adequacy as
follows:

i) The subject must be viewed as a specimen in a cultural series. That is,


the case drawn out from its total context for the purposes of study must
be considered a member of the particular cultural group or community.
The scrutiny of the life histories of persons must be done with a view to
identify thee community values, standards and their shared way of life.
ii) The organic motto of action must be socially relevant. That is, the
action of the individual cases must be viewed as a series of reactions
to social stimuli or situation. In other words, the social meaning of
behaviour must be taken into consideration.
iii) The strategic role of the family group in transmitting the culture must
be recognized. That is, in case of an individual being the member of a
family, the role of family in shaping his behaviour must never be
overlooked.
iv) The specific method of elaboration of organic material onto social
behaviour must be clearly shown. That is case histories that portray in
detail how basically a biological organism, the man, gradually
blossoms forth into a social person, are especially fruitful.
v) The continuous related character of experience for childhood through
adulthood must be stressed. In other words, the life history must be a
configuration depicting the inter-relationships between thee person's
various experiences.
vi) Social situation must be carefully and continuously specified as a
factor. One of the important criteria for the life history is that a person's
life must be shown as unfolding itself in the context of and partly owing
to specific social situations. vii) The 'life history material itself must be
organized according to some conceptual framework, this in turn would
facilitate generalizations at a higher level.
6. What is non probability sampling? Explain its types with examples.

Non-probability sampling or non-random sampling is not based on the theory of


probability. This sampling does not provide a chance of selection to each
population element.

Advantages: The only merits of this type of sampling are simplicity, convenience
and low cost.

Disadvantages: The demerits are it does not ensure a selection chance to each
population unit.
The selection probability sample may not be a representative one. The selection
probability is unknown. It suffers from sampling bias which will distort results.
The reasons for usage of this sampling are when there is no other feasible
alternative due to non-availability of a list of population, when the study does not
aim at generalizing the findings to the population, when the costs required for
probability sampling may be too large, when probability sampling required more
time, but the time constraints and the time limit for completing the study do not
permit it.
ASSIGNMENTS
MB 0034
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
(3 credits)
Set II
Marks 60
Each question carries 10 marks
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of secondary data?
Advantages of Secondary Data
Secondary sources have some advantages:
1) Secondary data, if available can be secured quickly and cheaply. Once
their source of documents and the report are located, collection of data
is just matter of desk work. Even the tediousness of copying the data
from the source can now be avoided, thanks to Xeroxing facilities.
2) Wider geographical area and longer reference period may be covered
without much cost. Thus the use of secondary data extends the
researcher’s space and time reach.
3) The use of secondary data broadens the data base from which
scientific generalizations can be made.
4) Environment and cultural settings are required for the study.
5) The use of secondary data enables a researcher to verify the findings
based on primary data. It readily meets the need for additional
empirical support. The researcher need not wait the time when
additional primary data can be collected.
Disadvantages of Secondary Data
The use of a secondary data has its own limitations.
1) The most important limitation is the available data may not meet our
specific need. The definitions adopted by those who collected those data
may be different; units of measure may not match; and time periods may
also be different.
2) The available data may not be as accurate as desired. To assess their
accuracy we need to know how the data were collected.
3) The secondary data are not up-to-date and become obsolete when they
appear to print, because of time lag in producing them. For example,
population census data are published two or three years later after
compilation, and no new figure will be available for another ten years.
4) Finally, information about the whereabouts of sources may not be
available to all social scientists. Even if the location of the source is
known, the accessibility depends primarily on proximity. For example,
most of the unpublished official records and compilations are located in
the capital city, and they are not within the easy reach of researchers
based in far off places.
2. Explain the prerequisites and advantages of observation.
Advantages of Observation
Observation has certain advantages:
1) The main virtue of observation is its directness: It makes it possible
to study behaviour as it occurs. The researcher need not ask
people about their behaviour and interactions: he can simply watch
what they do and say.
2) Data collected by observation may describe the observation
phenomena as they occur in their natural settings. Other methods
introduce elements or artificiality into the researched situation for
instance, in interview; the respondent may not behave in a natural
way. There is not such artificiality in observational studies,
especially when the observed are not aware of their being
observed.
3) Observations is more suitable for study subjects who are unable to
articulate meaningfully, e.g. studies of children, tribal, animals, birds
etc.
4) Observations improve the opportunities for analyzing the contextual
back ground of behaviour. Further more verbal resorts can be
validated and compared with behaviour through observation. The
validity of what men of position and authority say can be verified by
observing what they actually do.
5) Observations make it possible to capture the whole event as it
occurs. For example only observation can provided an sight into all
the aspects of the process of negotiation between union and
management representative.
6) Observation is less demanding of the subjects and less biasing
effect on their conduct then questioning.
7) It is easier to conduct disguised observation studies than disguised
questioning.
8) Mechanical devices may be used for recording data in order to
secure more accurate data and also of making continuous
observations over longer periods.

3. Discuss the stages involved in data collection.


The stages involved in data collection
The researcher should prepare a mailing list of the selected respondents by
collecting the addresses from the telephone directory of the association or
organization to which they belong.
A covering letter should accompany a copy of the questionnaire. Exhibit 7.1 is
(V1) a copy of a covering letter used by the author in a research study on
‘corporate planning’. It must explain to the respondent the purpose of the
study and the importance of his cooperation to the success of the project.
Anonymity may be assured.
Alternative Modes of Sending Questionnaires
There are some alternatives methods of distributing questionnaires to the
respondents. They are: (1) personal delivery, (2) attaching questionnaires to a
product (3) advertising questionnaire in a newspaper of magazine, and (4)
news stand insets.
Personal Delivery
The researcher or his assistant may deliver the questionnaires to the potential
respondent with a request to complete them at their convenience. After a day
or two he can collect the complete questionnaires from them. Often referred
to as the self-administered questionnaire method, it combines the advantages
of the personal interview and the mail survey. Alternatively, the
questionnaires may be delivered in person and the completed questionnaires
may be returned by mail by the respondents.
Attaching Questionnaire to a product
A firm test marketing a product may attach a questionnaire to a product and
request the buyer to complete it mail it back to the firm. The respondent is
usually rewarded by a gift or a discount coupon.
Advertising the Questionnaires
The questionnaire with the instruction for completion may be advertised on a
page of magazine or in section of newspapers. The potential respondent
completes it tears it out and mails it to the advertiser \. For example, the
committee of bank customer service use this method. Management studies
for collecting information from the customers of commercial banks in India.
This method may be useful for large-scale on topics of common interest.
News-Stand Inserts
This method Involves inserting the covering letter, questionnaire and self
addressed reply-paid envelope into a random sample of news-stand copies of
a newspaper or magazine.
Improving the Response Rate in a Mail survey
The response rate in mail surveys is generally very low more so in developing
countries like India. Certain techniques have to be adopted to increase the
response rate. They are:
Quality Printing: The Questionnaire may be neatly printed in quality light
coloured paper, so as to attract the attention of the respondent.
Covering Letter: The covering letter should couched in a pleasant style so as
to attract and hold the interest of the respondent. It must anticipated
objections and answer them briefly. It is a desirable to address the
respondent by name.
Advance Information: Advance Information can be provided to potential
respondent by a telephone call or advance notice in the newsletter of the
concerned organization or by a letter. Such preliminary contact with potential
respondents is more successful than follow up efforts.
Incentives: Money, Stamps for collection and other incentives are also used
to induce respondents to compare and return mail questionnaire.
Follow-up-contacts: In the case of respondent belonging to an organization,
then may be approached through some one in that organization is known as
researcher.
Larger sample size: A larger sample may be drawn than the estimated
sample size. For example, if the required sample size is 1000, a sample of
1500 may be drawn. This may help in the researcher to secure an effective
sample size closer to the required size.
4. Briefly explain the types of interviews.
The interview may be classified into: (a) structured or directive interview,
(b) unstructured or non-directive interview,(c) focused interview, (d) clinical
interview and (e) depth interview
Structured or Directive Interview
This is an interview made with a detailed standardized schedule. The
same questions are put to all respondents and in the same order. Each
question is asked in the same way in each interview, promoting
measurement reliability. This type of interview, used for large-scale
formalized surveys.
Advantages: This interview has certain advantages. First, Data from one
interview to the next one are easily comparable. Second, recording and
coding data do not pose any problem, and greater precision is achieved.
Lastly, attention is not diverted to extraneous, irrelevant and time
consuming conversation.
Limitation: However, this type of interview suffer from some limitations.
First, it tends to lose the spontaneity of natural conversation. Second, the
way in which the interview is structured may be such that the respondent’s
view are minimized and the investigator’s own biases regarding the
problem under study are inadvertent introduced. Lastly, the scope for
exploration is limited
Unstructured or Non-Directive Interview
This is the least structured one. The interviewer encourages the
respondent to talk freely about a give topic with a minimum of prompting
or guidance. In this type of interview, a detailed pre-planned schedule is
not used. Only a broad interview guide is used. The interview avoids
channeling the interview direction. Instead he develops a very permissive
atmosphere. Question are not standardized and ordered in a particular
way.
This interviewing is more useful in case studies rather than in surveys. It is
particularly useful in exploratory research where the lines of investigations
are not clearly defined. It is also useful in gathering information on
sensitive topics such as divorce, social discrimination, class conflict,
generation gap, drug-addiction etc. It provides opportunity to explore the
various aspects of the problem in an unrestricted manner.
Focused Interview
This is a semi-structured interview where the investigator attempts to
focus the discussion on the actual effect of a given experience to which
the respondents have been exposed. It taken place with the respondents
know to have involved in a particular experience, e.g., seeing a particular
film, viewing a particular program on TV., involved in a train/bus accident,
etc.
The situation is analyzed prior to the interview. An interview guide
specifying topics relating to the research hypothesis used. The interview is
focused on the subjective experiences of the respondent, i.e., his attitudes
and emotional resource regarding the situation under study. This focused
interview permits the interviewer to obtain details of personal reactions,
specific emotions and the like.
Clinical Interview
This is similar to the focused interview but with a subtle difference. While
the focused interview in concerned with the effects of specific experience,
clinical interview is concerned with broad underlying feeling or motivations
or with the course of the individual’s life experiences.
Depth Interview
This is generally a lengthy procedure designed to encourage free
expression of affectively charged information. It requires probing. The
interviewer should totally avoid advising or showing disagreement. Of
course, he should use encouraging expression like “uh-huh” or “I see” to
motivate the respondent to continue narration. Some time the interviewer
has to face the problem of affections, i.e. the respondent may hide
expressing affecting feelings. The interviewer should handle such situation
with great care.

5. Describe the principles involved in the table construction.


There are certain generally accepted principles of rules relating to
construction of tables. They are:
1) Every tables should have a title. The tile should represent a
succinct description of the contents of the table. It should be clear
and concise. It should be place above the body of the table.
2) A number facilitating easy reference should identify every table.
The number can be centered above the title. The table number
should run in consecutive serial order. Alternative tables in chapter
1 be numbered as 1.1, 1.2,1…….., in chapter2 as 2.1, 2.2,
2.3…………and so on.
3) The caption (or column heading) should be clear and brief.
4) The units of measurement under each heading must always be
indicated.
5) Any explanatory footnotes concerning the table itself are placed
directly beneath the table and in order to obviate any possible
confusion with the textual footnoted such reference symbols as the
asterisk (*) Danger(+) and the like may be used.
6) If the data in a series of table has been obtained from different
sources, it is ordinarily advisable to indicate the specific source in a
place just below the tables.
7) Usually lines separated columns from one another. Lines are
always drawn at the top and bottom of the table and below the
captions .
8) The column may be numbered to facilitate reference.
9) All column figures should be properly aligned. Decimal points and
‘plus’ and ‘minus’ signs should be in perfect alignment.
10)Columns and rows that are to be compared with one another
should be brought closed together.
11) Totals of rows should be placed at the extreme right column and
totals of columns at the bottom.
12)IN order to emphasize the relative significance of certain
categories, different kind of type, spacing and identifications can be
used.
13)The arrangement of the categories in a table may be chronological,
geographical, alphabetical or according to magnitude. Numerical
categories are usually arranged in descending order of magnitude.
14)Miscellaneous and exceptions items are generally placed in the last
row of the table.
15)Usually the larger number of item is listed vertically. This means
that a table length is more than its width.
16)Abbreviations should be avoided whenever possible and ditto
marks should not be used in a table.
17)The table should be made as logical, clear, accurate and simple as
possible.
6. Write a note on contents of research report.
The outline of a research report is given below:
1. Prefatory Item
• Title page
• Declaration
• Certificates
• Preface/ acknowledgment
• Table of contents
• List of tables
• List of graphs/ figures/ charts
• Abstracts or synopsis

2. Body of the Report


• Introduction
• Theoretical background of the topic
• Statement of the problem
• Review of literature
• The Scope of the study
• The objectives of the study
• Hypothesis to be tested
• Definition of the concepts
• Models if any
• Design of the study
• Methodology
• Method of data collection
• Sources of data
• Sampling Plan
• Data collection instruments
• Field work
• Data processing and analysis plan
• Overview of the report
• Limitation of the study
• Result: Findings and discussions
• Summary, conclusions and recommendations
3. Reference Material
• Bibliography
• Appendix
• Copies of data collection instruments
• Technical details on sampling plan
• Complex tables
• Glossary of new terms used.