Research Methods – Meaning, Importance, Different Methods and Tips
The selection of appropriate research methods is essential for conducting research in a systematic manner. Many schools and college students pursuing an MBA or PhD. from the National University of Ireland face difficulty in the selection of methods for investigation.
They are unaware of the techniques that could be used for a different purpose in research. Therefore, we have provided a complete overview of the research method that will help students in making the right choice of methods for performing an investigation.
But before getting to know about the different types of research methods, you need to first understand what is research method and its importance?
What are the research methods?
The research method can be defined as the design of a systematic procedure by a researcher for facilitating the investigation on specific topics or subjects. It is a strategy that is formulated by the investigator for performing different tasks during research.
The main purpose of selecting a specific research method is to conduct investigations in a systematic manner and obtain a positive outcome. The research method can also be referred to as the number of tools and techniques used for performing a thorough investigation of specific issues and for finding a suitable solution for the same.
What is the Importance of the research methods?
The research method has great significance as
- It helps in executing research in a systematic manner.
- An appropriate research method is important for achieving pre-determined goals.
- It assists the investigator in addressing and helps them in finding a solution to a particular problem. The research method is important as it enables the reader to ensure the reliability and validity of the information.
- Techniques used for performing study help the researcher in developing an understanding of the relationship between cause and effect.
- It is the choice of right methods for research which provides the researcher with ease in reaching the conclusion and helps them in making the right decision.
- The research method section in the academic paper allows the reader to gain knowledge about strategies used for facilitating the study.
- Appropriate research enables you to analyze the behavior pattern among various components of the study.
After, knowing about the meaning and importance of research methods, let’s have look at different types of research methodology.
What are the Different types of research methods?
The 7 different types of research methods are :
1. Quantitative research
Quantitative research is a type of investigation in which numerical data about the phenomenon is gathered it is the nature of problem or subject which will help you in determining the type of research you should conduct.
The main benefit of Quantitative research is that using the statistics can make a comparison between different data set. Students for performing Quantitative research require expertise and knowledge about the field of mathematics as well as statistics.
2. Qualitative research
It involves gathering facts related to the topic chosen for investigation.
The main benefit of performing the qualitative investigation is that it assists you in gathering the huge amount of facts and evidence related to specific situations.
Major drawback of Qualitative research is that it consumes a lot of time because if there can be a delay in completing the project
3.Design used for investigation
Research design is the strategy that is designed by a researcher for combining the different variables in a systematic manner. It is an appropriate research design which will help you in the identification of the research problem.
Research design in the method section enables the reader to get insights about the techniques which would be used for Acquiring, analyzing and interpreting information.
You will be able to get the answers to your questions only by utilizing a suitable research design. Few well-known research designs are experimental, descriptive, explanatory and exploratory.
(a) The explanatory research design will assist you in providing a brief description of the situation.
(b) Exploratory research design is most suitable for discovering the unseen facts of the study.
(c) Experimental research design is generally utilized for performing experiments.
(d) Descriptive research design you can utilize for performing an in-depth investigation on a particular issue. It is the research design that will help you in providing detail information about the phenomenon.
Tip: Before the selection of the research design you are required to first established objectives of performing a study. Research design can also be utilized for structuring a research paper
4. Inductive and deductive research approach
Research approach mainly consists of the belief of different people about the strategies which can be utilized for performing an investigation. The two most popular research approaches are:
A.)Inductive: This research approach mainly emphasizes on creation of a new model or hypothesis. New theories are developed by using the facts gathered during the time of the investigation. In the inductive research approach, first observations are done and new theories are developed at the end of the investigation.
The main advantage of using the inductive research approach is that it provides you ease in making decisions by analyzing the pattern of responses.
B.)Deductive: It is the approach that is mainly concerned with the Testing of theories or concepts. The main benefit of the deductive research approach is that it will allow you to discover the phenomenon about which you are already aware of. You need to make a choice of research approach considering the nature of the problem.
The deductive research approach mainly emphasizes the accumulation of information which is supported by perception which operates from general to specific.
C.)Mixed approach: In a few types of investigation you can apply both inductive and deductive research approaches. The key advantage of a mixed approach is that it will help you in developing an in-depth understanding of the issue.
Tips: You should make a choice of research approach considering the nature of the problem.
5. Research philosophy
Research philosophy is all about the perspective of different authors about the techniques that can be utilized for performing various tasks during the investigation. By developing the understanding of different research philosophies you can facilitate study in a systematic manner. Well, known research philosophies are
(a) Interpretivism: It is the research philosophies that will assist you in interpreting the findings in a systematic manner. This research philosophy also assists the researcher in developing the interest of the reader in research. The interpretivism research approach enables the investigator to see the issue from different perspectives. It mainly emphasizes on generating the meaning from the huge amount of data.
(b) Positivism: This research philosophy is based on the belief that knowledge about specific things can be gathered by observing things in the surroundings. If you select the positivism research philosophy then in such case your role will be restricted to the accumulation of facts and interpretation of data in a proper way.
6. Primary and Secondary Method of data collection
The primary method of data collection mainly involves the accumulation of the facts directly by the researcher. The techniques which you can apply for collecting the primary data include
(a) Interview: As per this technique investigators ask certain questions directly from participants. It is considered to be one of the best methods for collecting primary data, a researcher can judge the reliability of information by analyzing the facial expression or behavior of the respondent.
(b) Focus group: This technique of data collection is very much useful when you intend to gather detailed information on a specific subject. It is the method of data collection that is utilized in marketing research. In this method, Ten to twelve people are targeted and discussion is held with them by investigation on a particular topic. The focus group technique of data collection assists the researcher in gathering information about the views of different people about a specific problem.
(c) Questionnaire: The questionnaire form consisting of certain Questions related to the subject is designed by the researcher. Then the questionnaire form is being transferred to the participants for providing the response. In the questionnaire form, you can include both open and close-ended questions. Open-ended questions are generally utilized for allowing the respondent to express their views or opinions. Close end questionnaire technique helps the researcher ion getting relevant. In close-ended questions, respondents have to select one option from different alternatives.
- While designing the questions you are required to consider the nature of the target respondent.
- Before preparing questionnaire you should be aware of the objective of the study.
- Ethical issues also need to be considered while drafting the questionnaire.
- No personal question which could harm the dignity of people should not be included.
- Secondary data are collected by utilizing books, online articles, magazines, etc.
7. Sampling Techniques
(A) Probability and non-probability sampling techniques
Sampling is basically a procedure of making a selection of a few people from a wide population. The selection of the right sample size is very much essential for generating proper outcomes. The two most popular techniques are:
- Probability sampling:
The main objective of probability sampling is to provide every individual to get selected. Some of the best technique utilized for the purpose of sampling is random, cluster, purposive, systematic, etc.
The main advantages of the probability sampling technique are that it helps you in eliminating biases. It also helps in eliminating human error.
- Non –probability sampling:
It basically includes the utilization of a subset of the population for representing the entire population. The few most popular non-probability sampling technique are convinced, accidental, etc.
(B) Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analysis
Analyzing the data is very much crucial for pulling out meaningful information. Data analysis is an act of refining the data in order to discover new information. Well, known techniques that are utilized for data analysis are Qualitative: It is the technique that is mainly utilized for analyzing non-numerical facts.
- In the Qualitative technique, you can use thematic analysis for analyzing the information. In this technique, you are required to construct themes on the basis of different Responses provided by respondents. It is the thematic analysis technique that will help you in determining the way different responses are provided by participants.
- Quantitative data analysis: This technique is utilized for analyzing numerical facts. It is the method that involves the statistical analysis of numerical facts.