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Research Methodology

BY Dr. J K SACHDEVA

BY

Dr. J. K. SACHDEVA

M.B.A. (FINANCE), PGDMM, PH. D (DEVELOPMENT STUDIES)


  

Ex-SUPERINTENDENT OF CUSTOMS (P), Mumbai
FACULTY, GNIMS, Matunga, Mumbai Hon Editor – Journal of Global Economy MEMBER

INDIAN SOCIETY OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS

     

VISITING FACULTY/COUNSELOR ITM, KHARGHAR IGNOU, STUDY CENTRE, SATHEYE COLLEGE, VILLE PARLE JDC-BYTCO, NASIK Chetana Institute of Management and Research, Bandra (E) SPECIAL SPEAKER ON MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS ALL INDIA RADIO FM , IGNOU-GYAN VANI PROGRAMMES

Contact me
 9892728281  26670461  sachdevajk@hotmail.com  www.rcssindia.org

. to become a critical consumer of information.  As a graduate student preparing for a thesis or dissertation…  To be able to both design and implement your thesis or dissertation as well as future studies that interest you..  To be able to read and understand the empirical literature in your field..Benefits of research to whom  As a graduate student.

and studies undertaken by your institution..  As an educated citizen . evaluations..Benefits to whom  As a future practitioner…  To be able to intelligently participate in research projects.  . To understand the difference between scientifically acquired knowledge and other kinds of information.

Merely transporting facts from one resource to another doesn’t constitute research.What Research Is Not  Research isn’t information gathering:   Gathering information from resources such books or magazines isn’t research. No contribution to new knowledge although this might make existing knowledge more accessible. No contribution to new knowledge.  Research isn’t the transportation of facts:   .

”1 .What Research Is  Research is: “…the systematic process of collecting and analyzing information (data) in order to increase our understanding of the phenomenon about which we are concerned or interested.

often influenced by discipline .What’s the Difference Between “Method” and “Methodology”? Method:  Techniques for gathering evidence  The various ways of proceeding in gathering information Methodology:  The underlying theory and analysis of how research does or should proceed.

and Method    “a research method is a technique for (or way of proceeding in) gathering evidence" while "methodology is a theory and analysis of how research does or should proceed" and "an epistemology is a theory of knowledge" .Epistemology. Methodology.

"It is the theory that decides what can be observed."  Albert Einstein .

Research Characteristics 1. Requires collection and interpretation of data. 3. 7. Follows a specific plan or procedure. 2. 4. Often divides main problem into subproblems. Accepts certain critical assumptions. question. . Cyclical (helical) in nature. 6. Originates with a question or problem. Guided by specific problem. Requires clear articulation of a goal. or hypothesis. 5. 8.

In general. .Research Projects  Research begins with a problem. Advance knowledge.  This problem need not be Earth-shaking. good research projects should:    Address an important question.  Identifying this problem can actually be the hardest part of research.

Comparing data sets. Problems with yes / no answers. Correlating data sets. .Research Project Pitfalls  The following kinds of projects usually don’t make for good research:     Self-enlightenment.

A thoroughly planned design that is as objective as possible.   . The process to be clearly explained so that it can be reproduced and verified by other researchers.High-Quality Research (1 of 2)  Good research requires:  The scope and limitations of the work to be clearly defined.

. All limitations be documented. Data be adequately analyzed and explained. All findings be presented unambiguously and all conclusions be justified by sufficient evidence.High-Quality Research (2 of 2)  Good research requires:     Highly ethical standards be applied.

. Literature reviews. Professional conferences.Sources of Research Problems     Observation. Experts.

 Identify subproblems:     .Stating the Research Problem  Once you’ve identified a research problem:   State that problem clearly and completely. Determine the feasibility of the research. Add up to the total problem. Small in number. Must be clearly tied to the interpretation of the data. Completely researchable units.

concerned with developing. exploring. or testing theories) .Research  Acquisition of Knowledge Knowledge v/s Information (Theoretically.

Theory What exists?  Why exists? What will happen in future?   .

bottom approach)  Deductive Reasoning ( more general to more specific or top down approach) .How to acquire Knowledge?  Inductive Reasoning ( works moving from specific observation to broader generalisation.

Deductive Reasoning Theory Hypothesis Observation Confirmation .

Inductive Reasoning Theory Hypothesis Pattern Observation .

our observations are theory laden  .  There is interdependence of observation and theory.Positivism Goal of Knowledge is to describe the phenomena that are experienced.

      

Scientific thought Francis Bacon
Rene Descartes John Stuart Karl Popper Thomas Kuhn Feyer bend Steven Hagen

Hypotheses

Hypotheses are tentative, intelligent guesses as to the solution of the problem.

There is often a 1-1 correspondence between a subproblem and a hypothesis. Hypotheses can direct later research activities since they can help determine the nature of the research and methods applied.

Delimitations

All research has limitations and thus certain work that will not be performed. The work that will not be undertaken is described as the delimitations of the research.

Definitions  Define each technical term as it is used in relation to your research project. at least know what you’re talking about. .  This helps remove significant ambiguity from the research itself by ensuring that reviewers. while they may not agree with your definitions.

Assumptions  Assumptions are those things that the researcher is taking for granted.  Overlooked assumptions provide a prime source of debate about a research project’s results. .  For example: a given test instrument accurately and consistently measures the phenomenon in question.  As a general rule you’re better off documenting an assumption than ignoring it.

Importance of the Study  Many research problems have a kind of theoretical feel about them. it will prove difficult to convince others that the problem in question is worth study. Such projects often need to be justified:  What is the research project’s practical value?  Without this justification. .

Hypotheses. . Literature review. Definitions.Research Proposals  Research proposals are documents that describe the intended research including:        Problem and subproblems. Assumptions. Importance. Delimitations.

Literature Review  A literature review is a necessity. Begin with the most recent articles you can find.  Without this step. Keep track of relevant articles in a bibliography. Don’t be discouraged if work on the topic is already underway. Start searching professional journals.  When performing the review:     . you won’t know if your problem has been solved or what related research is already underway.

  Professional conferences and journals often have each article reviewed by multiple people before it is even recommended for publication. The IEEE and ACM digital libraries are good places to start looking for legitimate research.  . Many trade magazines are not peer reviewed.Literature Review Pitfalls (1 of 2)  Be very careful to check your sources when doing your literature review.

Literature Review Pitfalls (2 of 2)  The Internet can be a good source of information.  . Make sure you verify the claims of any documentation that has not been peer reviewed by other professionals in the computing industry. It is also full of pseudo-science and poor research.

Processes & Methodologies    Research Process. . Common Methodologies. Methodology Comparison.

 This isn’t a weakness of the process but is part of the built-in error correction machinery.Research Process  Research is an extremely cyclic process. it can be difficult to determine where to start and when to stop. Because of the cyclic nature of research.  .  Later stages might necessitate a review of earlier work.

 The question needs to be converted to an appropriate problem statement like that documented in a research proposal. .  This doesn’t mean that someone else doesn’t already have an answer.Step 1: A Question Is Raised  A question occurs to or is posed to the researcher for which that researcher has no answer.

Step 2: Suggest Hypotheses  The researcher generates intermediate hypotheses to describe a solution to the problem. .  This is at best a temporary solution since there is as yet no evidence to support either the acceptance or rejection of these hypotheses.

  Existing solutions do not always explain new observations. The existing solution might require some revision or even be discarded. .Step 3: Literature Review  The available literature is reviewed to determine if there is already a solution to the problem.

Step 4: Literature Evaluation  It’s possible that the literature review has yielded a solution to the proposed problem. then additional research activities are justified.  This means that you haven’t really done research. .  On the other hand. if the literature review turns up nothing.

This might entail only data gathering. but it could also require the creation of new measurement instruments.  .  The means of data acquisition will often change based on the type of the research problem.Step 5: Acquire Data  The researcher now begins to gather data relating to the research problem.

Step 6: Data Analysis  The data that were gathered in the previous step are analyzed as a first step in ascertaining their meaning. the analysis of the data does not constitute research.   This is basic number crunching. As before. .

Keep in mind that data analysis that suggests a correlation between two variables can’t automatically be interpreted as suggesting causality between those variables. .Step 7: Data Interpretation  The researcher interprets the newly analyzed data and suggests a conclusion.   This can be difficult.

This is one of the self-correcting mechanisms associated with the scientific method.Step 8: Hypothesis Support  The data will either support the hypotheses or they won’t. .   This may lead the researcher to cycle back to an earlier step in the process and begin again with a new hypothesis.

 Two commonly used research methodologies:   .  The individual steps within the methodology might vary based on the research being performed.Common Methodologies  Methodologies are high-level approaches to conducting research. Qualitative. Quantitative.

description Build theories Unknown variables Small sample Observations. interviews Inductive . prediction Test theories Known variables Large sample Standardized instruments Deductive Explanation.Methodology Comparison Quantitative       Qualitative       Explanation.

An Overview of Empirical Research Methods Descriptive (Qualitative)  Ethnography  Case Study  Suvey/Sampling  Focus Groups  Discourse/Text Analysis  Quantitative Description  Prediction/Classification Experimental (Quantitative)  True Experiment  Quasi-Experiment  Meta-Analysis .

Assessing Methods     Research Question(s) is/are key Methods must answer the research question(s) Methodology guides application Epistemology guides analysis .

Ethnographies + + - Observational field work done in the actual context being studied Focus on how individuals interrelate in their own environment (and the influence of this environment) Difficult to interpret/analyze Time consuming/expensive Can influence subject behavior .

Case Studies + + + - Focus is on individual or small group Able to conduct a comprehensive analysis from a comparison of cases Allows for identification of variables or phenomenon to be studied Time consuming Depth rather than breadth Not necessarily representative .

Survey Research + + - An efficient means of gathering large amounts of data Can be anonymous and inexpensive Feedback often incomplete Wording of instrument can bias feedback Details often left out .

etc. users Small group interaction more than individual response Helps identify and fill gaps in current knowledge re: perceptions. Does not give statistics Marketing tools seen as “suspect” Analysis subjective . feelings. attitudes.Focus Groups + + + - Aid in understanding audience. group.

audience. making analysis difficult . production.Discourse/Text Analysis + + + - Examines actual discourse produced for a particular purpose (job. and text Schedule for analysis not demanding Labor intensive Categories often fluid. school) Helps in understanding of context.

Quantitative Descriptive Studies + + + + - Isolates systematically the most important variables (often from case studies) and to quantify and interrelate them (often via survey or questionnaire) Possible to collect large amounts of data Not as disruptive Biases not as likely Data restricted to information available .

Discourse/Text Analysis + + + - Examines actual discourse produced for a particular purpose (job. school) Helps in understanding of context. and text Schedule for analysis not demanding Labor intensive Categories often fluid. making analysis difficult . production. audience.

Quantitative Descriptive Studies + + + + - Isolates systematically the most important variables (often from case studies) and to quantify and interrelate them (often via survey or questionnaire) Possible to collect large amounts of data Not as disruptive Biases not as likely Data restricted to information available .

education to predict behaviors Need substantial population Restricted range of variables can cause misinterpretation Variables cannot be added together.Prediction and Classification Studies Goal is to predict behaviors:  Prediction forecasts and interval variable (Diagnostic/TAAS scores) Classification forecasts a nominal variable (Major selection after taking 2311) Important in industry. must be weighted and looked at in context of other variables  + - .

Prescientific Coding schemes often arise from interplay between data and researcher’s knowledge of theory Positive Aspects of Descriptive/Qualitative Research . allows for subjects to interact with environment Can use statistical analysis Seeks to further develop theory (not to influence action).    Naturalistic.

not representative Seen as more “subjective.” less rigorous Beneficial only in terms of initial investigation to form hypothesis Problems with Descriptive/Qualitative Research .     Impossible to overlay structure Impossible to impose control Subject pool often limited.

Experimental Research: True Experiment + + + - - Random sampling. or selection. of subjects (which are also stratified) Introduction of a treatment Use of a control group for comparing subjects who don’t receive treatment with those who do Adherence to scientific method (seen as positive. too) Must have both internal and external validity Treatment and control might seem artificial .

except that the subjects are not randomized. Intact groups are often used (for example. a pretest may be employed. students in a classroom).Experimental Research: QuasiExperiment + + + - - Similar to Experiment. To draw more fully on the power of the experimental method. Employ treatment. and scientific method Act of control and treatment makes situation artificial Small subject pools . control.

Meta-Analysis + + + + - Takes the results of true and quasi-experiments and identifies interrelationships of conclusions Systematic Replicable Summarizes overall results C/C apples and oranges? Quality of studies used? .

Positive Aspects of Experimental Research      Tests the validity of generalizations Seen as rigorous Identifies a cause-and-effect relationship Seen as more objective. less subjective Can be predictive .

Problems with Experimental Research     Generalizations need to be qualified according to limitation of research methods employed Controlled settings don’t mirror actual conditions. unnatural Difficult to isolate a single variable Doesn’t allow for self-reflection (built-in) .

Testing the Waters    How do you come up with a good research question? How do you determine if the method you plan to use will answer your question? What epistemology should you use to analyze data? .

Quantitative Methods      Samplingst Testing of Hypothesis Chi Square Test ANOVA Multivariate Analysis .

 Thanks .

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