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Research methodology

  1. Research Methodology MSU 07506 by Bonaventure Mshibika 1
  2. The Meaning of research • Research means finding answers to the questions. • It is a systematic search for truth. • Through research, new and original information, ideas about the world we live in, are obtained. • Research is a search for knowledge. • Research is defined as a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information to fill in gaps in knowledge on a specific topic. 2
  3. The Meaning of research contd…. 5 Key Characteristics: • Systematic – research process • Logical – induction/deduction • Empirical – evidence based • Reductive – generalisation • Replicable – methodology 3
  4. The Meaning of research contd…. • Research is systematic, because it follows certain steps that are logical in order. These steps are: 1. Understanding the nature of problem to be studied and identifying the related area of knowledge. 2. Reviewing literature to understand how others have approached or dealt with the problem. 3. Collecting data in an organized and controlled manner so as to arrive at valid decisions. 4. Analyzing data appropriate to the problem. 5. Drawing conclusions and making generalizations. 4
  5. Amount of knowledge Advancement of Technology Utility of Applications Quality of Life Basic Research Applied Research Application Development Curiosity 5
  6. Objectives of Research • To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new insights into it. – Exploratory or formulative research studies • To portray accurately the characteristics of a particular individual, situation or group. – Descriptive research studies • To determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it is associated with something else. – Diagnostic research studies • To test a hypothesis of a causal relationship between variables. Hypothesis-testing studies The general objectives of Research are: 6
  7. Types of Research • Descriptive Vs Analytical Research • Applied Vs Fundamental Research • Quantitative Vs Qualitative Research • Conceptual Vs Empirical Research • Other Types:  Based on time (one-time research and Longitudinal research)  Based on environment (Field-setting research, Laboratory research and simulation research)  Based on objective (Exploratory research and Formalized research The basic types of research are as follows: 7
  8. Descriptive Vs Analytical Research • Descriptive research includes surveys and fact- finding enquiries of different kinds. The major purpose is to describe the state of affairs as it exists at present. The researcher has no control over the variables. He only reports what happened or what is happening. • In Analytical research, the researcher uses facts or information already available and analyze these to make a critical evaluation of the material/phenomenon. 8
  9. Applied Vs Fundamental Research • Applied research at finding a solution for an immediate problem facing a society, industry or an organization. It is a.k.a action research • Fundamental research is mainly concerned with generalization and with the formulation of theory. It is a.k.a Pure or Basic research 9
  10. Quantitative Vs Qualitative Research • Quantitative research is based on the measurement of quantity or amount. It is applicable to phenomenon that can be expressed in terms of quantity or numerical terms • Qualitative research is concerned with qualitative or categorical phenomena. It is a.k.a attitude/opinion research. Analysis of words, sentences, stories etc. 10
  11. Conceptual Vs Empirical Research • Conceptual research is the one which is related to some abstract ideas or theory. It is generally used by philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts or to interpret the existing ones • Empirical research relies on experience or observation alone, often without due regard for system or theory. It is data-based research coming up with conclusions which are capable of been verified by observation or experiment. It is a.k.a Experimental type of research. 11
  12. Research Approaches Two basic approaches 1. Quantitative approach Three sub-categories for this  Inferential approach  Experimental approach  Simulation approach 2. Qualitative approach 12
  13. Research Methods Vs Methodology • Research methods are all those methods / techniques that are used for conducting a research. That is, data collection methods, statistical techniques which are used for establishing relationships between the data and the unknown, and those methods which are used to evaluate the accuracy of the results obtained. • Research methodology is a science of studying how research is done scientifically. It involves the steps that are generally adopted by the researcher in studying his research problem along with the logic behind them. 13
  14. Sources and Types of research data • Sources: Primary sources Secondary sources • Types  Primary data vs secondary data  Qualitative vs quantitative data  Cross-sectional data, time series data and Longitudinal/panel data 14
  15. Data collection methods • Questionnaire (mail, self-administered, website,etc) • Direct Field Observation (Participant or non- participant) • Opinionnaire • Focus Group Discussion • Interview (face-to-face, telephone, in-depth, focused, structured, unstructured, etc.) • Key informants • Documentation • Experimentation 15
  16. Research Techniques Vs Methods • Research techniques refers to the behavior and instruments we use in performing research operations such as making observations, recording data, techniques of processing data, etc. • Research Methods refer to the behavior and instruments used in selecting and constructing research techniques 16
  17. Research Techniques Vs Methods Type Methods Techniques Field Research Participant observation Interactional recording, possible use of tape recorder, photographic techniques, etc. Personal interview Interviewer uses a detailed schedule with open and closed questions Non-Participant direct observation Observational behavior scales, use of score cards, etc. 17
  18. Research Techniques Vs Methods Type Methods Techniques Library Research Analysis of documents Statistical compilations and manipulations, reference and abstract guides, content analysis, etc. Analysis of historical records Recording of notes, content analysis, tape and film listening and analysis, historical sites visits and analysis 18
  19. The Research Process • Formulating the research problem • Extensive Literature review • Developing the hypothesis/Research questions • Preparing the research methodology (research design and sample design) • Collecting the data • Analyze the data (and test the hypothesis if any) • Generalization and interpretation of the results • Preparation of the report or presentation of the results 19
  20. RESEARCH PROCESS Define Research Problem Review Concepts And theories Review Previous Research findings Formulate hypothesis Design Research (Including Sample Design) Collect Data Analyse Data Interpret and report FF F F F FF I II III IV V VI VII F FF Feed Back Feed Forward Review the literature 20
  21.  Purpose clearly defined.  Research process detailed.  Research design thoroughly planned.  High ethical standards applied.  Limitations frankly revealed.  Adequate analysis for decision maker’s needs.  Findings presented clearly.  Conclusions justified.  Researcher’s experience reflected. Criteria of a Good Research
  22. Criteria of a Good Research contd…. In other words we can state the qualities of a good research as follows: • Good research is systematic: - Structured with specified steps to be taken in a specified sequence in accordance to well defined set of rules • Good research is logical: - Guided by rules of logical reasoning (induction and deduction) • Good research is empirical: - Data based • Good research is replicable: - Methodology 22
  23. Problems in Research  Uncontrollable variables  Human tendencies  Time and money  Lack of computerization  Insufficient interaction between university research departments and business establishments  Lack of confidence on the part of business units to give information
  24. • Research topic refers to subject, issue or area of under study. It is a broader picture where someone wants to carry out the study. • Research title refers to heading, label or tag of the research. It describes what the study is about. It portrays a quick summary of the key idea(s) in a research proposal or report. A title is like a „min skirt‟ – It is long enough to cover what is supposed to cover and short enough to reveal what is not required to be shown. • Research topics and titles are formulated from research ideas and questions Research Topic Vs Research Title
  25. Research Idea 1. Job recruitment via the internet 2. Advertising and share prices 3. The future of trade unions Research Question 1. How effective is recruiting for new staff via the internet in comparision with the traditional methods. 2.How does the running of a TV advertising campaign designed to boost the image of a company affect. 3. What are the strategies that trade unions should adopt to ensure their future viability?
  26. • Identify what interests or puzzles you in an area of study • Identify the key words for the topic • Define the topic • Formulate the topic Example of topics:  Terrorism incidences in Kenya  Prevalence of thieves in Arusha City Steps in Topic Selection
  27. • It is researchable • It attracts the interest of the researcher • It makes a contribution to knowledge • It is provocative i.e it is open to to varied views and interpretations • It is clear and focused Qualities of an effective research topic
  28. • Choosing a topic that is too wide • Choosing a topic that is too complex • Poor timing • Limited accessibility to required materials and respondents Challenges encountered in research topic selection
  29. • Identify the key words for the title • Reflect on the key issues: - Dependent and independent variables, objectives, etc. • Formulate the title: - Try to link the key variables using terms such us; “The effect of…, The impact of…, An assessment of…, Analysis of…, Determinants of…, etc. • Evaluation – if the dependent and independent variables can be identified (title should be clear and specific) Steps in Title Selection
  30. • It should be brief and specific. (scope) • It should be in line with the set objectives • It should be clear and unambiguous. (conceptual) • It should reflect a relationship between the dependent and independent variables • The title should portray an issue that is researchable. • It should be precise. (words) • It should be catchy. (Attractive) Qualities of an effective research title
  31. • Choosing a title that is not specific. – Title which is open to varied interpretations. Eg. Crime in Arusha • Writing a title that is too wordy • Poorly formulated titles. Eg. Understanding drug abuse in Tanzania. („‟Word understanding”???) • Lack of consistency Challenges encountered in research title selection
  32. Research Proposal • A research proposal is a statement expressing an intention to carry out research. It specifically states:  What type of research one is going to do  Why one is going to do a research  How that research is going to be carried out  When it will be carried out  How much it will cost 32
  33. Contents of a research proposal A research proposal includes three main chapters: • Chapter One: Introduction (Background of the problem, Statement of the problem, Research objectives, Hypothesis/ research questions, Scope of the study, Significance/justification of the study, theoretical framework, limitations of the study,) • Chapter Two: Literature review (theoretical review and empirical review) • Chapter Three: Research Methodology (research design and sample design) References, budget, time frame and other appendices are includes after chapter three 33
  34. • It is expected to introduce chosen research problem / topic covering its origin, meaning, purpose, developments at international / national / regional level and its present status. • The very idea of this component in the research proposal is to acquaint readers with the research problem.
  35. Background of the study • In research the term „background‟ refers to the setting or position of the study. It is a brief overview of the problem the researcher aspires to tackle. • It helps to convince that the problem or opportunity exists and that it should be addressed • It demonstrates the researcher‟s view of the research problem • It shows that the researcher knows the study area as he/she is familiar with what has preceded. 35
  36. Qualities of an effective Background to the study • It is brief and specific • It engages the interest of the reader • It gives the reader a preview of the research problem • It gives the reader an idea of the how the proposal is structured • The language used is simple and straightforward • It is informative and persuasive 36
  37. Steps in writing an effective background to the study • Reflection • Brainstorming • Material compilation • Formulation 37
  38. RESEARCH PROBLEM What is a research problem?  The term „problem‟ means a question or issue to be examined.  Research Problem refers to some difficulty /need which a researcher experiences in the context of either theoretical or practical situation and wants to obtain a solution for the same.
  39. HOW DO WE KNOW WE HAVE A RESEARCH PROBLEM?  Stakeholders‟ complaints  Conversation with organization‟s staff  Observation of inappropriate behaviour or conditions in the organization  Deviation from the organization‟s target  Success of the competitors  Relevant reading of published material (trends, regulations)  Organization‟s records and reports.
  40. SOURCES OF PROBLEMS  Reading (Literature review)  Academic Experience  Daily Experience  Exposure to Field Situations  Consultations  Brainstorming  Research  Intuition  Stakeholders‟ concerns  Declarations (e.g. world declaration of the Rights of children),conferences, workshops and seminars.  Research themes given by funding agencies e.g. WB, IMF, USAID
  41. CRITERIA OF SELECTION Factors  Internal / Personal criteria – Researcher‟s Interest, Researcher‟s Competence, Researcher‟s own Resource: finance and time.  External Criteria or Factors – Researchability of the problem, Importance and Urgency, Novelty of the Problem, Feasibility, Facilities, Usefulness and Social Relevance, Research Personnel.
  42. Identification / Selection of the Problem Formulation of the Problem  There are two ways of stating a problem: Posting question / questions Making declarative statement / statements IDENTIFICATION / SELECTION OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
  43. Steps in defining a Problem 1. Statement of the problem in a general way 2. Understanding the nature of the problem 3. Surveying the available literature 4. Developing ideas through discussions 5. Rephrasing the research problem
  44. • A research problem refers to an issue or concern that puzzles the researcher. • Proposed research topic should have a genuine need for investigation. • Do the following need an investigation ? o High turn over of employees of a reputed five star hotel affecting its revenue. o An increasing trend of farmers‟ suicides in a particular region. o Decelerating sales trend of a well known and popular automobile company affecting its sales revenue. o An increase in military expenditure in a particular country Yes
  45. Statement of the Problem • The research topic should be narrowed to a specific research problem and statement. • Choose a particular aspect, a particular time and area or a combination of both can narrow down a research problem. • The problem statement should clearly show the knowledge gap that the research intends to close. 45
  46. Statement of the Problem In stating a problem: • Try as much as possible to quantify the problem. Eg. Don‟t simply say many households live below poverty line: say say how many or what percent, where, and at what time period, etc. • Continue with whether there is any study on this issue, what was established, and what is missing (gap in knowledge or practice). List at least two studies • Provide a convincing argument that available knowledge is not sufficient to address the problem. • Explain why further research in necessary and how your information is going to be used in solving the problem. 46
  48. REVIEW OF LITERATURE  A literature review is the comprehensive study and interpretation of literature related to a particular topic. “…it evaluates a body of writings about a specific topic…” Knopf (2006)  It is an extensive survey of all available past studies relevant to the field of investigation.  It gives us knowledge about what others have found out in the related field of study and how they have done so.
  49. PURPOSE OF REVIEW  To gain a background knowledge of the research topic.  Enables the researcher to identify the gaps of the study  To identify the concepts relating to it, potential relationships between them and to formulate researchable hypothesis.  To identify appropriate methodology, research design, methods of measuring concepts and techniques of analysis.  To identify data sources used by other researchers.  To learn how others structured their reports.  It helps in delimiting the research problem.
  50. SOURCES OF LITERATURE  Books and Journals  Electronic Databases Bibliographic Databases Abstract Databases Full-Text Databases  Govt. and Industry Reports  Internet  Research Dissertations / Thesis
  51. Points To Be Kept In Mind While Reviewing Literature. Read relevant literature. Refer original works. Read with comprehension. Read in time. Index the literature.
  52. What to look for in the literature? To be able to summarize and evaluates the state of knowledge on a particular subject, literature review must address four tasks: 1. Determine what each study has examined, beginning with the purpose, methods, and findings. 2. Determine what each study has concluded. 3.Summarize the collective results by organizing results of the review into 3 categories: – what the existing studies have in common, – what the existing studies disagree about, (area of debate) – what the existing studies overlooked or ignored. 4. Reach a judgment about the quality of the literature overall: – What are the key findings that appear to be valid, – Where is more work needed? GAPS?? (questions no one has attempted to answer) 52
  53. Framing contribution to Knowledge • Literature review is an attempt to summarize the existing state of knowledge, and/or to frame the expected contribution of the study to the existing knowledge. • The contribution might be in the form of: – New factual information, a new theoretical proposition, – A new policy proposal. – Information or reasoned argument that changes our degree of confidence in an existing belief. – New methodological approach of carrying out a research. 53
  54. Common Mistakes in Reviewing Literature (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996) • Researchers not clearly relating the findings of the literature review to their own study; • Researchers not taking sufficient time to define and identify the best sources related to the topic • Researchers relying on secondary sources rather than primary sources • Researchers accepting another researcher‟s findings and interpretations as valid, rather than examining them critically by considering all aspects of the research including context, design and analysis • Researchers reporting isolated statistical results rather than synthesizing them • Researchers not considering contrary findings and alternative interpretations in synthesizing literature. 54
  55. Statement of Research Objectives Defining Problem, Results in Clear Cut Research Objectives.. Analysis of the Situation Symptom Detection Problem Definition
  56. Conceptual Framework • Literature review should come up with and/or justify important variables/factors of the study. • Based on the variables identified, a conceptual model is developed, which demonstrates how one theorizes or makes logical sense of the relationships among variables. • Qn: Differentiate Conceptual framework from theoretical framework and analytical framework as used in research 56
  57. ESTABLISHMENT OF RESEARCH OBJECTIVES  Research Objectives are the specific components of the research problem, that you‟ll be working to answer or complete, in order to answer the overall research problem. - Churchill, 2001  The objectives refers to the questions to be answered through the study. They indicate what we are trying to get from the study or the expected results / outcome of the study.
  58. ESTABLISHMENT OF RESEARCH OBJECTIVES • The objectives should be formulated in operational/measurable terms with reference to the issue(s) upon which the research focuses. • General objective: This is the overall aim/goal of the research. • Specific objectives: These are the concrete issues in the research that are directly addressed by the methodology and which are followed in order to achieve the general objective. 58
  59. ESTABLISHMENT OF RESEARCH OBJECTIVES  Research Objectives should be clear and achievable.  The objectives may be specified in the form of either statements or questions.  Generally, they are written as statements, using the word “to”. (For example, „to discover …‟, „to determine …‟, „to establish …‟, etc. )  Research objectives must be “SMART” (i.e Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/Realistic, Time bound)
  60. Research Question 1. Why have org‟s introduced team briefing? 2. How can the effectiveness of team briefing methods be measured? 3. Has team briefing been effective? Research Objective 1. To identify org‟s objectives for team briefing schemes 2. To establish suitable effectiveness criteria for team briefing methods 3.To describe the effectiveness of team briefing
  61. Importance of Research Objectives • Guide decisions in selection of respondents, research instruments and the study area. • Influence all component of the research design including data analysis and report writing • Help to limit the scope of literature review • Serve to clarify the variables of the study • They serve as a guide for evaluation • Facilitate sequencing of research activities 61
  62. Challenges Faced in Specific Objectives Formulation • Lack of clarity/ focus of what to accomplish • Over ambitious – Too many objectives, too wide scope not in line with available resources (time and finance) • Objectives do not follow a logical order • Unrelated objectives • Being not specific 62
  64. HYPOTHESIS  Research Hypothesis is a predictive statement that relates an independent variable to a dependent variable.  It states the researcher‟s expectations concerning the relationship between the variables in the research problem  After collecting data, a researcher can support the hypothesis or reject it  Hypothesis must contain at least one independent variable and one dependent variable.
  65. Types of Hypotheses • Conceptual Hypothesis: Statement about the r/ship between theoretical concepts. These are mainly ideas that can never be directly tested because they can not be measured. They must be operationalized or made measurable before they are tested. Examples?? • Research Hypothesis: A statement about expected r/ship between observable or measurable events. Examples?? • Statistical Hypothesis: Statement about an expected r/ship between the numbers representing statistical properties of data. They are of two types; Null Hypothesis (H0) and Alternative Hypothesis (H1). Examples??? 65
  66. Directional Vs Non-Drirectional Hypothesis • Directional Hypothesis: In stating the hypotheses, the terms such as positive, negative, greater/less than etc. give the direction of relations: E.g. The higher the education level, the higher the income. • Nondirectional hypothesis: These are postulate relationships, with no sense of direction. E.g. There is a relationship between Education level and Income 66
  67. Research questions • There are issues that the researcher seeks to answer. • They are related to the research objectives • They guide the research process by addressing the variables of the study • They are mainly used in qualitative research/ studies 67
  68. Significance of the study • This section outlines the significance or importance of the issue at hand. It provides:  The rationale, timeliness and/or relevance of the study  Who are to benefit and how they are going to be benefited  Possible contribution to the fund of knowledge  Possible implications Question: How does Significance of the study differ from justification of the study? 68
  69. Limitations of the study • This section indicates challenges anticipated or faced by the researcher. This includes time and financial limitations that influenced the scope of the study, data inaccessibility, and unanticipated occurrences. • The researcher should make an attempt to state how the challenges were overcome. 69
  70. A detailed blueprint specifying how the research will be carried out Description / location of the study area. Selection of company / enterprise. Data source. Selection of quantitative parameters. Selection of qualitative parameters. Selection of respondents. Data collection instrument. Respondents contact method. Data analytical tool. Scope of the study. Duration of the study.
  71. 71 We shall Discuss Research Design and Methodology as a separate topic later