MB 0050: Research Methodology
1)How is a research problem formulated?Ans)
The problem selected for research may initially be a vague topic. Thequestion to be studied or the problem to be solved may not be known. Hence theselected problem should be defined and formulated. This is a difficult process. Itrequires intensive reading of a few selected articles or chapters in books in orderto understand the nature of the problem selected. The process of defining a problem includes:
1. Developing title:
The title should be carefully worded. It should indicate thecore of the study, reflect the real intention of the researcher, and show on what isthe focus e.g., “Financing small-scale industries by commercial banks.” This showsthat the focus is on commercial banks and not on small-scale industries. On theother hand, if the title is “The Financial Problem of Small-scale industries”, thefocus is on small-scale industries.
2. Building a conceptual model:
On the basis of our theoretical knowledge of the phenomenon under study, the nature of the phenomenon, its properties /elements and their inter-relations should be identified and structured into aframework. This conceptual model gives an exact idea of the research problemand shows its various properties and variables to be studied. It serves as a basisfor the formulation of the objectives of the study, on the hypothesis to be tested.In order to workout a conceptual model we must make a careful and critical studyof the available literature on the subject-matter of the selected research problem.It is for this reason; a researcher is expected to select a problem for research in hisfield of specialization. Without adequate background knowledge, a researchercannot grasp and comprehend the nature of the research problem.
3. Define the Objective of the Study:
The objectives refer to the questions tobe answered through the study. They indicate what we are trying to get throughthe study. The objectives are derived from the conceptual model. They state whichelements in the conceptual model-which levels of, which kinds of cases, whichproperties, and which connections among properties – are to be investigated, butit is the conceptual model that defines, describes, and states the assumptionsunderlying these elements. The objectives may aim at description or explanationor analysis of causal relationship between variables, and indicate the expectedresults or outcome of the study. The objectives may be specified in the form of either the statements or the questions.
2)What are the characteristics of good research design?Ans)
Horton and Hunt have given following characteristics of scientific research:1.
That is factual observations which other observers cansee and check.2.
That is describing what really exists. It means truth or correctness of a statement or describing things exactly as they are and avoiding jumping tounwarranted conclusions either by exaggeration or fantasizing.3.
That is making it as exact as necessary, or giving exact number ormeasurement. This avoids colourful literature and vague meanings.4.
That is attempting to find all the relevant data, or collectingdata 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.
That is free being from all biases and vested interests. It meansobservation is unaffected by the observer’s values, beliefs and preferences to the