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1.

THE NATURE OF
RESEARCH

Elena Polo,
PhD Candidate
2 MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE SUBJECT

An overview of the main concepts of the


research methodology/methods
Formulating a guide on planning, designing
and implementing a research project in a
specific field of study and/or of interest

Scientific research
Individual study
Application for grants
WHY DOING RESEARCH???

Generating new knowledge for the public


and other interested groups
Developping actual and/or debatable
political/social/economic issues
Transforming an hypothesis into a
conclusion and/or a theory
One of the world biggest industries
(Booth et al., 2008)
TYPICAL RESEARCHERS

Businesses and coorporates


Public sector agencies
Consulting firms
Research Institutes/ Think Tanks
Government organizations
Non-government/Non-per-profit/Civil
society organizations
Independent researchers and consulters
Methods and methodology
Policy-making process
Study
Market research
Walliman (2001): Wrongly
Just collecting facts with no real purpose
Reordering facts and information without
interpretation
3 MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF
RESEARCH
Systematically collected data
Systematically interpreted data
Real and clear purpose: find out and make
confident results
Ghauri (2005):
Logical relationship, not just belief, meaning
and limitations/assumptions
Multiple purposes: describing, explaining,
understanding, criticising and/or analysing
SOME OTHER CHARACTERISTICS

Transdisciplinary research
Virtuous cycle theory-practice
Double hurdle (Mode1, Mode2 knowledge
creation) Universities/Businesses
Mode 3: knowledge production human
being relevance
DEPENDS ON THE
CASE/STUDY/PROJECT
WISH TO DO RESEARCH???

1. Formulate and clarify your research topic


2. Critically review the literature
3. Understand your philosophy and approach
4. Formulate your research desing
5. Negotiate access and adress ethical issues
6. Plan your data collection and collect the
data using one or more of:
Sampling data Observation/Semi-structured
and in-depth interviews/Questionnaires
Secondary data
7. Analysing data using one or both
Quantitative methods
Qualitative methods
8. Write your research project and prepare your
presentation
Own beliefs and feelings
Multi-stage process research process
Rational and straightforward

Initially big ideas little or no relevance???


Revisiting each stage more than once!!!
Refining your ideas
EXPLORING RESEARCH

Basic facts
Creating a general idea
Formulating questions to be answered
Generating new ideas for research
Possibility to make/fulfill the research
Developping measured methods
COMPONENTS OF A GOOD RESEARCH

Formulating a question (observation/open


question/earlier evidences)
Creating an hypothesis
Predicting/ Expectations
Testing (hypothesis to the reality)
Analysing (results of each step and of
total research)
DESCRIPTIVE RESEARCH

Detailed overview
Generating new data
Clear steps or processes
Creating a typology/trend/theory
EXPLICATIVE RESEARCH

Testing hypothesis
Discussing theory
Defending or contesting theory
Other issues/aspects relating theory
INDUCTIVE METHOD

Single facts to general theory


Experiments, observation, statistical
methods

1) Observating
2) Formulating hypothesis
3) Generalising
4) Verifying
DEDUCTIVE METHOD

Analytical method, mathematical


General truths to specific conclusions

1) Identifying the problem


2) Specifying terms and theoritical
assumptions
3) Deducting the hypothesis
4) Testing the hypothesis
TYPES OF RESEARCH

1. Qualitative research
Exploring and/or understanding social problems/issues
Few study in the field
Need for new approaches of study

2. Quantitative research
Testing objective theories through correlation between
variables (measured )
3. Mix methods
(both methods independently are not efficient)