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“The systematic investigation

into and study of material
and sources in order to
establish new facts and
reach new conclusion”

(Oxford Dictionary)
Steps in the research
The steps in the research process are,
identification and definition of the problem or
opportunity, planning the research design, selecting
a research method, selecting a sampling procedure,
data collection, evaluating the data and finally
preparing and presenting the research report.
Steps in the Research Process
Identifying and Defining Problem/ Opportunity

Planning the Research Design

Selecting a Research Method

Selecting a Sampling Procedure

Data Collection

Evaluating the Data

Preparing and Presenting the Research Report

Overview of Research
Research Design

A master plan that

specifies the methods
and procedures for
collecting and analyzing
needed information.
Tasks Involved In a Research Design

Define the Information Needed

Design the Exploratory, Descriptive, and

Explanatory Research
Specify the Measurement and Scaling have a
Procedures detailed

Construct a Questionnaire

Specify the Sampling Process and the

Sample Size

Develop a Plan of Data Analysis

A Classification of Research Designs
Exploratory Explanatory
Research Descriptive Research

Secondary Experience Pilot Case

Data Surveys Studies Studies

See next slide

A Classification of Research Designs

Study Descriptive Explanatory
Longitudinal Research Research

Secondary data
Survey Observation
Exploratory Research

• Usually conducted during the initial stage

of the research process
• Purposes
– To narrow the scope of the research topic,
– To transform ambiguous problems into well-
defined ones
Exploratory Research Techniques

• Secondary Data Analysis

– Secondary data are data previously collected &
assembled for some project other than the one
at hand
• Pilot Studies
– A collective term for any small-scale exploratory
research technique that uses sampling but does
not apply rigorous standards
– Unstructured, free-flowing interview with a
small group of people
Exploratory Research Techniques

• Case Studies
– Intensively investigate one or a few
situations similar to the problem
• Experience Surveys
– Individuals who have knowledge about
a particular research problem are
Descriptive Research

A researcher starts Descriptive research, when he may have a

Highly developed idea about a Social Phenomenon
Want to describe
Descriptive research presents a picture of the specific detail of
a situation
Social Setting
It Examines who, what, when, where and how
Common Characteristics of
Descriptive Studies

• Build on previous information

• Show relationships between variables
• Representative samples required
• Structured research plans
• Require substantial resources
• Conclusive findings
Explanatory Research

When you encounter an issue that is already known

and have a description of it, you might began to
wonder why things are the way they are
The desire to know “WHY” to explain is the
purpose of explanatory research.

For Example, a descriptive researcher may discover that

10 percent of parents abuse their children, whereas the
explanatory researcher is more interested in learning
Exploratory Research Conclusive Research
• Secondary Data •Descriptive and
Analysis Explanatory
• Focus Groups

Conclusive Research • Secondary Data
•Descriptive and Analysis
Explanatory • Focus Groups
Comparison of Research Designs
Exploratory Descriptive Causal

Purpose ID problems, gain Describe things Determine cause-

insights and-effect

Assumed Minimal Considerable Considerable

Degree of Very little High High
Flexibility High Some Little
Sample Non-representative Representative Representative
Research Relaxed Formal Highly controlled
Cost Low Medium High
Findings Preliminary Conclusive Conclusive


Choose a Topic

 Personal Experience

 Personal Curiosity

 The State of Knowledge in a field

 Personal Values
Refine a Topic into
Research Question

Refine and narrow down a topic sufficiently into a problem

of Question
Although the problem is identified in a broader
perspective, it needs to be defined specifically in terms of
what is to be researched. It is important to define the
problem in a precise manner. A well defined problem gives
the researcher a proper direction for carrying out
investigation. It also helps in utilizing the resources
provided for the research effectively.
Refine a Topic into
Research Question

• A researcher can focus his efforts on collecting

relevant information, if the problem is defined properly.
• Some research problems such as conducting a survey on
the newspaper reading habits of a given sample of the
population can be clearly defined.
• But if a company wants to define a research problem
such as declining sales, it needs to define the research
problem further through exploratory research.
Preparing the Statement of
Research Objectives
Formal research statement.
As precise as possible.
Objectives act as guidelines for various steps in
the research process.
The objectives of the research must be brief and

• Once the objectives and research questions

are identified, a researcher has to develop a
hypothesis statement that reflects these
research objectives.
Developing the hypothesis

• A hypothesis is a statement based on some

presumptions about the existence of a
relationship between two or more variables
that can be tested through empirical data.
• When a researcher is developing a hypothesis,
he/she will try to assume an answer for a
particular research question and then test it
for its validity.

Developing the hypothesis
• A hypothesis normally makes the research question
clearer to the researcher. The formulation of a
hypothesis allows the researcher to make a
presumption or “guess” and can thus ensure that all
the relevant aspects of the research are included
in the research design.
‘why are the sales of refrigerators are going up in
winter? In this case the hypothesis could be
“the sales of refrigerators are going up during winter
due to off-season discounts’. This makes the
research question much clearer.
Planning the Research Design

• Planning the research design is a crucial step in

the research design process. A research design
is the actual frame work of research that
provides specific details regarding the process
to be followed in conducting the research.
• The research is designed based on the
objectives formulated during the initial phases
of the research.
Planning the Research Design

The research design includes all the details

regarding the research such as
• Where the information should be obtained
• The time and budget allotted for conducting
the research
• Select the appropriate measurement
• Sampling process.
Selecting the Research Method

• After developing an appropriate research

plan, it is important for the researcher to
select a proper research method.
• There are four basic methods of conducting a
research study.
 Secondary data studies
 Surveys
 Experiments
 Observation
• Preparing the questionnaire.
• Collecting the data through telephone.
• Gathering the data from internet.
• Collecting the data through the personal
interview method.
• Using the mailed questionnaire method
• Advantages and disadvantages
Conducted for studying cause-and-
effect relationships.
Analyzing the sales targets achieved by
individual salespersons by manipulating their
monetary rewards is a typical example of
Example ….
• Test marketing conducted by companies to
test the viability of their new product in the
market is a form of business experimentation.
Secondary Data Studies
Concerned with the analysis of already existing data that
is related to the research topic in question.

Analyze the future sales of a product.

For instance, for the cell phone wave protector
research, secondary data regarding the
telecommunications setup, mobile networking, the
waves used for communication for communication in
wireless telephony and its effects, may be essential
for assessing the future sales trends of the cell
phone wave protector.
Observation Techniques
Respondents are observed without any
interruption by the observers

The advantage of this method is that the

observers do not depend on the respondents for
their responses as they are only observed and are
not asked to participate in the research process.

Although the observation technique is useful, it

cannot be used for studying several other factors
such as motivation, attitudes and so on.
Selecting the Sampling
 Once the researcher selects the research method that
is most appropriate for the research, he needs to
develop a sampling procedure.

 Sampling is a process that uses a small number of items

or a small portion of a population to draw conclusions
regarding the whole population.

 A sample can be considered as a a subset of a larger set

called the population.

 A well defined sample has the same characteristics as

the whole population.
Selecting the Sampling
• When the research is conducted on such a sample the
results obtained will represent the characteristics of
the whole population.
• Another important aspect of sampling is to decide on
the size of the sample.
• The bigger the sample size the greater will be its
• But for practical reasons, it is not feasible to select
large samples.
• A sample can be selected in two ways from a population.
through probability sampling
through non-probability sampling
Probability Sampling
& Non Probability Sampling.

When the subsets of a population are chosen in such a

way that it ensures a representative cross section by
giving every element in the population a known chance
of being selected, it is called probability sampling.

When subsets of a population in which little or no

attempt is made to ensure a representative cross
section are chosen, it is called non probability

• Once a researcher decides on a sample, he needs to

obtain data from this sample.
Data Collection
• The researcher collects the data from the
units in this sample. As there are several
research techniques, there are a number of
data collection methods as well.
• In the survey method the data is collected by
asking the respondents to fill out a
questionnaire administered to them.
• In the observation technique the respondents
are just observed without their direct
participation in the research.
Data collection done in
Two stages
 Pre-testing
 Main study
Pre-testing involves collecting the data from a
small sub sample
Test whether the data collection plan for the main
study is appropriate.
This help the researchers to minimize any
potential errors that may crop up during the main
If the results of a pre-test are not appropriate
for decision making, then the researcher may
consider altering the research design.
Evaluating the data
The most important aspect of data evaluation is to
convert the data collected into a format which will
facilitate the Readers in effective decision making.
The reason for analyzing the data is to obtain
research results and to prepare the research report.
Evaluation of data normally starts with editing and
coding the data
Editing is undertaken to verify the data and check
for any potential errors or for any inconsistencies
and so on.
Another task of editing is to remove any errors that
may have cropped up during the interview such as
recording the answers under the wrong columns of a
questionnaire and so on.
Data Analysis

The interpretation of the data that has been

collected by using different analytical
techniques according to the requirements of
the Study is called analysis.

• Several statistical tools are used for data

analysis, in order to make the analysis suitable
for effective decision making.
The last and major phase that comes into picture
is the preparation of a research report. The
research reports can be presented either in
Oral Format.
Written Format.
Brief description of the objectives of the
Summary of the research design adopted.
Summary of the major findings
Conclude with the limitations and
Preparing and Presenting the
Research report

Information that can aid in efficient

decision making.
Carefully analyze the information
obtained and present it according to the
requirements of the study.
Research report should be developed
most efficiently and it should portray the
research findings most effectively.
Preparing and Presenting the
Research report
• Researchers fill the research reports with all
the technical values.
• The amount of information provided in the
research report should be based on the
requirements of the Study.
• A research report also acts as a historical
document, in the sense that the researchers
may refer to this document in the future if a
research on the same lines is being conducted
sometime in the future.