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Research Design

Research Design: Definition
 A research design is a
framework or blueprint for
conducting the research
project. It details the
procedures necessary for
obtaining the information
needed to structure or solve
a research problems.
Components of a Research
 Purpose of the study

 Type of investigation

 Extent of researchers interference

 Study setting

 Unit of analysis

 Time horizon
 Sampling design
 Data collection methods

 Measurements & data analysis
Purpose of the study:
A Classification of Research Designs

Research Design

Exploratory Conclusive
Research Design Research Design

Descriptive Causal
Research Research

Cross-Sectional Longitudinal
Design Design

Single Cross- Multiple Cross-
Sectional Design Sectional Design
Exploratory & Conclusive Research

Exploratory Conclusive
Objective: To provide insights and  To test specific hypotheses and 
understanding. examine relationships.

Character­ Information needed is defined  Information needed is clearly 
istics: only loosely. Research process  defined. Research process is 
is flexible and unstructured.   formal and structured. Sample is 
Sample is small and non­ large and representative. Data 
representative.  Analysis of  analysis is quantitative.
primary data is qualitative.

Findings  Tentative. Conclusive.

Outcome: Generally followed by further  Findings used as input into 
exploratory or conclusive  decision making.
A Comparison of Basic Research

Exploratory Descriptive Causal
Objective: Discovery of ideas  Describe  general  Determine cause 
and insights characteristics or  and effect 
functions relationships

Characteristics: Flexible, versatile Marked by the prior  Manipulation of 
formulation of  one or more 
specific hypotheses independent 
Often the front  Preplanned and 
end of total  structured design Control of other 
research design mediating 
Expert surveys Secondary data
Methods: Pilot surveys Surveys Experiments
Secondary data Panels
Qualitative  Observation and 
research other data
Uses of Exploratory Research
 Formulate a problem or define a
problem more precisely
 Identify alternative courses of
 Develop hypotheses
 Isolate key variables and
relationships for further
 Gain insights for developing an
approach to the problem
Methods of Exploratory Research
 Survey of experts
 Pilot surveys .

 Secondary data analyzed

in a qualitative way.
 Qualitative research .
Use of Descriptive Research
 To describe the characteristics of
relevant groups, such as consumers,
salespeople, organizations, or market
 To estimate the percentage of units in
a specified population exhibiting a
certain behavior.
 To determine the perceptions of
product or samples’ characteristics.
 To determine the degree to which
variables are associated.
 To make specific predictions
Methods of Descriptive Research
 Secondary data analyzed in a
quantitative as opposed to a
qualitative manner
 Surveys

 Panels

 Observational and other data
Uses of Casual Research
 To understand which variables are
the cause (independent variables)
and which variables are the effect
(dependent variables) of a
 To determine the nature of the

relationship between the causal
variables and the effect to be
 METHOD: Experiments
Type of Investigation
 Causal
 The study in which the researcher
wants to delineate the cause of one
or more problems is called a causal
 Correlation
 The study in which the researcher is
interested in delineating the
important variables associated with
the problem, the study is called as
correlation study.
Extent of researchers
 Degree of interference by
the researcher for
manipulating & control of
variables either in natural
or lab settings
 Minimal
 Moderate

 excessive
Study settings
 Contrived
 Study conducted in artificial
 Causal studies are normally in
contrived settings
 Non contrived
 Natural environment where work
proceeds normally.
 Correlation studies are normally
conducted in non contrived settings.
Unit of analysis
 Individual
 Dyads
 Groups
 Teams
 Departments
 Organizations
 Cultures
 countries
Time horizon
 Cross sectional
 Longitudinal
Cross-sectional Designs
 Involve the collection of
information from any given
sample of population elements
only once.

 In single cross-sectional
designs, there is only one
sample of respondents and
information is obtained from
this sample only once.
 In multiple cross-sectional
designs, there are two or more
samples of respondents, and
information from each sample is
obtained only once. Often,
information from different samples is
obtained at different times.

 Cohort analysis consists of a series
of surveys conducted at appropriate
time intervals, where the cohort
serves as the basic unit of analysis.
A cohort is a group of respondents
who experience the same event
within the same time interval.
Consumption of Various Soft Drinks
by Various Age Cohorts

Percentage consuming on a typical
Age day
1950 1960 1969 1979
8-19 52.9 62.6 73.2 81.0
20-29 45.2 60.7 76.0 75.8 C8
30-39 33.9 46.6 67.7 71.4 C7
40-49 23.2 40.8 58.6 67.8 C6
50+ 18.1 28.8 50.0 51.9 C5
C1 C2 C3 C4

C1: cohort born prior to 1900 C5: cohort born 1931-40
C2: cohort born 1901-10 C6: cohort born 1940-49
C3: cohort born 1911-20 C7: cohort born 1950-59
C4: cohort born 1921-30 C8: cohort born 1960-69
Longitudinal Designs
 A fixed sample (or samples) of
population elements is
measured repeatedly on the
same variables
 A longitudinal design differs

from a cross-sectional design
in that the sample or samples
remain the same over time
Longitudinal and Cross-Sectional Designs

Evaluatio Cross-Sectional Longitudinal
n Criteria Design Design

Detecting Change - +
Large amount of data - +
collection - +
Accuracy + -
Representative Sampling + -
Response bias
Note: A “+” indicates a relative advantage over the
other design, whereas a “-” indicates a relative
 Ms.Joyce the owner of a small
business ( a women’s dress
boutique) has invited a consultant
to tell her how her business is
different from similar small
business with in a sixty mile
radius with respect to use of the
most modern computer
technology, sales volume, profit
margin and staff training.
 Develop the research design.
 Mr.Paul the owner of several
restaurants in southern Tamilnadu
is concerned about the wide
difference in their profit margin. He
would like to try some incentive
plan for increasing the efficiency
levels of those restaurants that lag
behind. But before he actually
does this, he would like to be
assured that the idea would work.
He asks a researcher to help him
 A manager is intrigued
why some people seem
to derive joy form work
and get recognized by it
while others find it
troublesome and
 Develop a research design
for the above