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Research Methodology

Dr. Faraz Akram


What Research is not?

What is a Research?
Types of Research
Research Methods & Research Methodology
What Research is not?
Research is not:
Information Gathering:
Gathering information from sources such as books or magazines
is not research
Searching out published research results in libraries (or the
No contribution to new knowledge

Rearranging/Transportation of Facts:
Merely transporting facts from one resource to another doesnt
constitute research
No contribution to new knowledge although this might make
existing knowledge more accessible

While both of these are tools used during research, they

are not sufficient for research
Research is not:
Accidental Discovery
1. Accidental discovery may occur in structured research process
2. Usually takes the form of a phenomenon not previously noticed
3. May lead to a structured research process to verify or understand the

Playing of words

A sales gimmick
What is a Research?
What is Research?

Any honest attempt to study a problem systematically or to add to mans

knowledge of a problem may be regarded as research.
(Theodorson and Theodorson 1969 cited in Reber 1995, p.663)

The aim, as far as I can see, is the same in all sciences. Put simply and
cursorily, the aim is to make known something previously unknown to
human beings. It is to advance human knowledge, to make it more certain
or better fitting
. . . the aim is, as I have said, discovery.
(Elias 1986, p.20)
Research Defined and Described

Research is the systematic approach to obtaining and

confirming new and reliable knowledge

Systematic and orderly (following a series of steps)

Purpose is new knowledge, which must be reliable

This is a general definition which applies to all disciplines

The illustrated guide to a Ph.D.

Research is creating new knowledge

Starts with a question or problem

Accepts certain basic assumptions or theories
Requires unbiased data collection and analysis
Expects critical interpretation
Performs validation
Needs clear documentation and presentation
Leads to further research
Why undertake Research?

To investigate some existing situation or problem.

To provide solutions to a problem.
To explore and analyse more general issues.
To construct or create a new procedure or system.
To explain a new phenomenon.
To generate new knowledge.
A combination of two or more of any of the above.
(Hussey and Hussey 1997)
What Makes People do Research?

To get a research degree (PhD.) along with its benefits like better
employment, promotion, salary etc.
To get a teaching position in university
To become scientist in a research institution
So solve unsolved and challenging problems
To get the joy of doing something creative
To acquire respectability
To get recognition
Curiosity to find new things
To serve society/humanity by solving problems
Importance of Research

Quality research is the lifeblood of any scientific

discipline. Without it, disciplines would stagnate,
failing to advance past their current limits and
(Wann 1997 p.17)
Research Classifications

System # 1:
Basic research
Applied research
System # 2:
Quantitative research
Qualitative research
System # 3:
Experimental research
Nonexperimental research
Basic vs. Applied Research

Basic Research Applied Research

Gathering Knowledge for Aims at finding a solution for an

knowledge sake immediate problem facing a
society or an
industrial/business organization
Basic Research
Gathering Knowledge for knowledge sake
Basic research is an investigation on basic principles and reasons for
occurrence of a particular event or process or phenomenon.
Pure Research
Fundamental Research
Discovery of new knowledge;
Theoretical in nature

Why are materials like that?

What are they?
How does a crystal melt?
Why is sound produced when water is heated?
Why do we feel difficult when walking on seashore?
Why are birds arrange them in > shape when flying in a group?
Basic Research cont..
Fundamental research leads to a new theory or a new property of
matter or even the existence of a new matter, the knowledge of which
has not been known or reported earlier. For example, fundamental
research on

(1) Astronomy may leads to identification of new planets or stars in our galaxy
(2) Elementary particles results in identification of new particles,
(3) Complex functions may leads to new patterns or new properties associated with
(4) Differential equations results in new types of solutions or new properties of
solutions not known so far
(5) Chemical reactions leads to development of new compounds, new properties of
chemicals, mechanism of chemicals reactions, etc.,
(6) Medicinal chemistry leads to an understanding of physiological action of various
chemicals and drugs,
(7) Structure, contents and functioning of various parts of human body helps us
identify the basis for certain diseases.
Basic Research: More Examples
An investigation looking at whether stress levels influence how
often students engage in academic cheating

A study looking at how caffeine consumption impacts the brain

A study assessing whether men or women are more likely to suffer

from depression

Notice in all of these examples, the goal of the research

is to simply increase the amount of knowledge on a
topic, not to actually come up with a practical solution
to a problem.
Applied Research
Applied research aims at finding a solution for
an immediate problem facing a society or an
industrial/business organization
Central purpose is to solve an immediate problem
Improved products or processes
Interpretation of results relies upon Basic Research

Applied research refers to scientific study and research that seeks to

solve practical problems. Applied research is used to find solutions
to everyday problems, cure illness, and develop innovative
Applied Research: Examples
Investigating which treatment approach is the most effective for
reducing anxiety
Researching which strategies work best to motivate workers
Studying different keyboard designs to determine which is the most
efficient and ergonomic
A hospital might conduct applied research on how to prepare patients
for certain types of surgical procedures.
Improve agricultural crop production
Treat or cure a specific disease
Improve the energy efficiency of homes, offices, or modes of
Basic research lays down the foundation for the applied science that
Many practical solutions to real world problems have emerged
directly from basic research. For this reason, the distinction between
basic research and applied research is often simply a matter of time.
Quantitative and
Qualitative Research

Generally non-numerical data
Numerical, measurable data (Interpretive and descriptive)
Based on numbers and Based on written or spoken
mathematical calculations narratives
Aims to explain, predict or Aims to explain and gain insight
control and understanding of
A question such as 'how many people prefer design A', clearly hints
that the conclusion must be based on some numerical analysis and
numerical data collection.

A question such as 'why people prefer design A' suggests a more

qualitative approach. Asking people why they prefer design A is
considered qualitative.
Quantitative Qualitative
It is numerical, non descriptive, It is non numerical, descriptive,
applies statistics or math and applies reasoning and uses words
uses numbers The aim is to get meaning, feeling
The results are often presented in and describe the situation
tables and graphs Qualitative data can not be
It is conclusive graphed
It is exploratory
Research Methods
Research Methodology
Method vs. Methodology
Methodology and Method are often (incorrectly) used interchangeable

Methodology the study of the general approach to inquiry in a given

Method the specific techniques, tools or procedures applied to
achieve a given objective
Research methods in include regression analysis, mathematical analysis,
operations research, surveys, data gathering, etc.
Research Methods
Research methods may be understood as
all those methods/techniques that are used
for conducting research.
Research methods can be put into the following three groups:
1. In the first group we include those methods which are concerned with the
collection/ acquisition of data; these methods will be used where the data
already available are not sufficient to arrive at the required solution;
2. The second group consists of those mathematical/statistical techniques which
are used for establishing relationships between the data and the unknowns;
3. The third group consists of those methods which are used to evaluate the
accuracy of the results obtained.
Research Methodology
Research methodology is a way to
systematically solve the research problem;

A science of studying how research is done scientifically.

In it we formulate the various steps that are to be adopted by a
researcher in studying his research problem along with the
logic behind them.
It is necessary for the researcher to know not only the research
methods/techniques but also the methodology.
Basic Scientific Method

New Questions Arise

Question Identified

Results Interpreted Hypotheses Formed

Data Collected Research Plan

Closed-loop conceptualization of the research process

(Drew, Hardman, and Hart, 1996)
Research Methodology Framework

Ethics Followed at Every Step


Critical Interpretation
Checking for Validity

Data Collection, Data Analysis

Design of Experiment
Research Steps

1 Topic Selection

2 Defining Research Problem

3 Literature review and reference collection

4 Assessment of current status of the topic chosen

5 Formulation of hypothesis

6 Research Plan/Design

7 Actual Investigation/Data Collection

Ethics is
followed at
8 Data Analysis

Interpretation of results
every Step 9
10 Writing Report/Paper