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Research

Methodology
Dr. Imdad Ali Khowaja, Ph.D.
What is Research?
 The word research comes from the French
“researcher” (to search again or survey) and is
defined as a careful, systematic, patient
investigation undertaken to discover or establish
facts and relationships.
 Is defined as a highly intellectual human
activity used in the investigation of nature and
matter and deals specifically with the manner
in which data is collected, analyzed and
interpreted
Definitions:

“A careful investigation or inquiry specially


through search for new facts in any branch
of knowledge”

“The manipulation of things, concepts or


symbols for the purpose of generalizing to
extend correct, verify knowledge whether
that knowledge aids in construction of
theory or in the practice of an art”
“Research is systematic process of finding
answer to question by working within a frame
work of set of philosophies, using methods
that have been tested for validity and reliability
and attempting to be unbiased and objective”

 Research is enquiry, investigation or


experimentation aimed at discovering
new facts.

 It starts form understanding problem, go f


or information, and enhance existing
knowledge
This research has made human capable of
changing from one revolution of certain
sciences (natural and social) into another.
This zealousness of knowing things has
enabled us to cope with and manage
changes, and as it has been, it will remain to
exist on way or the other, as there is no end
to inter activeness of problem-solution till the
end of phenomenon of the world.
Difference between Methodology & methods
Methodology & methods, two terms are often
treated as synonyms. Methodology is broader
and envelops methods. It is understanding the
social-organizational context, philosophical
assumptions, ethical principals and political
issues of the enterprise of researchers who use
methods.
Methods are set of specific techniques for
selecting cases, measuring and observing
aspects of social life, gathering and refining
data, analyzing data and reporting on results.
Features of Research:
• Always directed towards solution of the
problem.
• Based on empirical (i.e experimental,
observed or practical) evidence.
• Systematic, objective, controlled and logical.
• Systematic:
Because there is a definite set of procedures
and steps which you will follow. There are
certain things in the research process which
are always done in order to get the most
accurate results.
Cont.
• Objective:
there is a structure or method in going
about doing research. It is a planned
procedure, not a spontaneous (natural)
one. It is focused and limited to a specific
scope
• A never ending process.
• Involves the quest for answers to unsolved
problems.
Scope of Research:
In the scope of research enquires, we have also to consider
whether a research is a positive or a normative science.

Positive science only explains what is (means


describes)

Normative science tells us what ought to be, i.e. right or


wrong of a thing. (means evaluates)

For instance that a researcher, while making conclusions


use a certain principle, it is positive science, but when we
ask researcher “ ought they use this criterion” we enter
into the field of normative research.
Why Research Conducted?
 To solve the management /organization
problems.
 To taste new product and services.
 To gain competitive advantage.
 To enhance profit.
 To reduce operational cost.
 To provide information avoiding future
business problems.
 To priorities strategies for future.
 To strengthen the consumer/producer
ability to predict future demands.
Aspects of Research Problems:
Every Research has two aspects:
Aspects of Study About Study of
Study Population People Individuals, They provide you with the
organizations, Groups, required information or you
Communities collect information from or
about them

Subject Area Problem Issues, situations,


Associations, needs,
Population Composition,
profiles, etc

Program Contents, structure, out


comes, attributes,
stratification, consumers, Information that you
Service Providers, etc need to collect to find
answer to your
research questions
Phenome Cause-and-effects
non relationships, the study
of phenomenon itself,
etc
What are some of the Limitations
Encountered when Doing or Thinking of
Doing a Research Project?
 Time constraints
 Financial consideration
 Anticipating and avoiding problems
 Equipment limitations
 Human resource limitations
 “Out of the box” thinking
 “In the box” thinking
How to Select an Appropriate Method?
 What is the nature of the problem being
investigated?
 Is the problem being investigated subjective
or objective?
Subjective Based upon:
 Personal opinions, assumptions,
interpretations and beliefs
 Commonly found in the Encyclopedias,
textbooks, news reporting
Objective Based upon:
Observation of measurable facts.
Commonly found in the Newspaper editorials, blogs,
biographies, comments on the Internet
For example:
“80% of Pakistanis do not pay income tax. These people
believe that in return government not provide the basic
facilities”. (ABC, 2014)
In this quote the first statement is objective. It is a
measurable fact that 80% of Pakistani do not pay income
tax. However, the second statement is ABC’s personal
point of view and is entirely subjective.
In short, the objective is suitable for decision making and
reporting while the subjective is not usually in the decision
making and is not suitable in the reporting.
 Four types of research methods:
 Qualitative
 Quantitative
 Mixed (qualitative and quantitative)
 Critical and action oriented

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 Qualitative
Qualitative Research on the other hand generates non-
numerical data. Focuses on gathering of mainly verbal data
rather than measurements. Gathered information is then
analyzed in an interpretative manner, subjective,
generalized or even diagnostic.
 Quantitative
Quantitative research generates numerical data or
information that can be converted into numbers only
measurable data are being gathered and analyzed.
Qualitative Research is ideal for earlier phases of research
projects while for the latter part of the research project,
Quantitative Research is highly recommended. Quantitative
Research provides the researcher a clearer picture of what
to expect in his research compared to Qualitative Research.
Qualitative Research is primarily subjective in approach
as it seeks to understand human behavior and reasons
that govern such behavior. Researchers have the tendency
to become subjectively immersed in the subject matter in
this type of research method.
In Quantitative Research, researchers tend to remain
objectively separated from the subject matter. This is
because Quantitative Research is objective in approach in
the sense that it only seeks precise measurements and
analysis of target concepts to answer his inquiry.
Some studies make use of both Quantitative and
Qualitative Research, letting the two complement each
other. If your study aims to find out, for example, what the
dominant human behavior is towards a particular object or
event and at the same time aims to examine why this is
the case, it is then ideal to make use of both methods.
What are some of the Common Methods
of Qualitative Research?
 Surveys
 Longitudinal (i.e.Trend studies, Panel
studies)
 Cross-sectional, correlation (i.e to compare
many different variables at the same time.)
 Experimental
 Quasi-experimental
 Ex-post facto research
 Quasi-experimental
Involves selecting groups, upon which a variable is
tested, without any random pre-selection processes. It is
very useful method for measuring social variables

For example, to perform an educational experiment, a


class might be randomly divided by alphabetical
selection or by seating arrangement. The division is
often convenient and, especially in an educational
situation, causes as little disruption as possible.

After this selection, the experiment proceeds in a very


similar way to any other experiment, with a variable
being compared between different groups, or over a
period of time.
What are some of the Common Types of
Quantitative Methodology?

 Biographical
 Phenomenological
 Ethnographical
 Case study