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Literature review on research methods

Literature review on research methods

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Published by Nazish Sohail

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Published by: Nazish Sohail on Dec 14, 2011
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The research methods are divided into three broad categories; quantitative,qualitative and participatory research method. These research methods have differentapproach, techniques and tools to conduct a research (Collis et al, 2009). Quantitativemethods are the main focus in the development research while qualitative andparticipatory research methods based on desirable outcomes. These traditional methodsare now considered as outdated ones. New tools and solutions are continuouslydeveloped and integrated to mix these research methods (Creswell, 2003).Mayoux (2005) suggested that quantitative methods are derived fromexperimental and statistical methods of research. They measure the objectivity of the datato find out the truth or falsehood of a developed hypothesis. This method is based on themeasurement of what is happening to how many people. The tools used in these methodsare large scale surveys and analysis of the same with statistical techniques. Thehypothesis is formed before conducting the surveys and the questionnaires are developedin the basis of those questionnaires.
The qualitative research methods originated from sociology, anthropology,history, and geography. These methods widely differ from the quantitative researchmethods. The qualitative research techniques focuses on developing understandings aboutthe real time environment and processes involved. The questions and hypothesis isdeveloped on the basis of these understandings. The qualitative research methodologiesfocus on the selection of small scale cases that are investigated by using a combination of 
formal and informal methods like interviews, observations, and the newly introducedtools like photography and video footages (Grunow, 1995). The questions developed inthis research are open ended in nature and are subject to change over time to fill the needsof research due to the variability of reality. Different sampling methods like purposivesampling techniques are used in this type of research. This research needs long terminvolvement of the researcher based on his skill to collect data and analyze it (Porter &Desai, 2005).Johnson and Mayoux (1998) indicated that the participatory methods originatedfrom the developme
nt activism like NGO’s and social movements in the various fields of 
life. This research is conducted not to find out the knowledge base about the particularsubject but to investigate social change and empowerment in the society and culture. Theparticipatory research methods emphasizes on the investigation of a subject and voicingover the issues of the social groups who lacks the abilities and opportunities to speak upin the development and implementation of decisions. They further identified that this typeof research involves small focus groups, participatory workshops and individual diariesthat are used in their discussions.The larger groups are further divided into small homogeneous groups. This typeof research uses the diagram tools from farmer-led research, system analysis as well asoral and visual tools. These tools help in the efficient discussion among the ill-literategroup participants and cross language groups. Sharing allows the participants to discusstheir issues more efficiently in this research method. The understanding is developed
from their discussion and the decisions are then formulated and implemented (Johnson &Mayoux, 1998).Various organizations use research especially market research to stay fine tunedin the markets. The market research helps the organizations to identify the potentialmarkets to penetrate, the needs and wants of the customers and the methods of how tomeet those needs and want more efficiently and effectively. The market research alsoallows the organizations to find out new ideas of marketing their products and services tomake them more accessible to the customers. Another most important advantage or focusof market research is to find out who your competitors are and how to position yourself inorder to remain competitive in the markets. The market research can be conducted by theorganizations without having advanced skills.The organizations employ questionnaires, survey and checklist methods in theirmarket research when they need to quickly find out lots of related information from thepeople and interpreting that information in the best interest of the company. Thesemethods are usually inexpensive to administer, easy to analyze and interpret, theorganization can reach large number of people in a small time frame and there arenumber of tools available in the market which are ready to use by these organizations.But these tools have drawbacks as well. Among them are the lack of interest by theparticipants, biased answers of the participants and these research tools might not conveythe full story to the researcher (McNamara, 2011).

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This is a really nice one: very helpful.
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