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Research Methodology-A Theoretical Approach

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Nowadays, due to the importance of research in all fields, research methodology has become a part of curriculum for all subjects. Today many students from rural areas find their places in reputed institutes. When we handled classes for them, we found that they were finding difficulty in understanding the fundamental theoretical information of research, as there were too many technical words used throughout the Advanced Research Methodology books. Having seen this as an opportunity to serve such students from rural background, we have developed a simplified version of Research Methodology text, which would be easier for any first time reader to understand the basics of research with ease.

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INTRODUCTION

ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY AND INTERNET IN RESEARCH WORK

Gone are the days where students need to search the library for hours to find the appropriate books that are relevant to their research studies. Today we are living in a modern digital world where any information can be obtained in a few minutes of time using the World Wide Web �the internet.

Today internet is extensively used and freely available to hundreds of millions of people around the world. India is the 3rd fastest growing market when it comes to broadband connection after

China and USA1. I usually find this in the Limitation section of the Dissertations, which states that �due to time constraint......�, now in this digital era, this statement will become a thing of past.

If you analyse the political manifesto of leading political parties in Tamil Nadu, in India, you will find a promise of offering laptops to all higher education and college students by the government of

Tamil Nadu free of cost. This will once again revolutionize the penetration of technology and internet even to the remotest part of the country.

 

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6 Research Methodology: A Theoretical Approach

According to Oxford Dictionary, research is a �study and investigation to discover facts�.

According to Redman and Mory, �systematized effort to gain new knowledge� is called research.

(c) Objectives of Research

1. It is used to discover answers to the questions through the application of scientific procedures.

2. To discover the hidden truth that has not been discovered.

3. It is used to gain familiarity (or) in-depth knowledge in a phenomenon (or) concept (known as exploratory / formulative research).

4. To find accurately the characteristics of a particular individual, group, or situation (known as descriptive / conclusive research).

5. It is used to find frequent occurrence of something (known as diagnostic research).

6. To test a hypothesis (an assumption which may or may not be proved).

(d) Criteria of a Good Research

Generally, the accuracy of the research findings depends upon the experience of the researcher.

1.

2.

3.

4.

The objective of the study or research should be clearly defined.

 

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IDENTIFICATION OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

AND DEFINING THE OBJECTIVES OF

THE STUDY

TOPICS COVERED

Unit-2.1 Identification of research problem

Unit-2.2 Writing research objectives

UNIT-2.1

IDENTIFICATION OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

In any research study, the researchers should decide in the very beginning as to what they are going to investigate. In order to know this, the researchers have to gain knowledge on the particular subject, which they intend to investigate. To gain sufficient knowledge on the selected subject, the researcher can do the following:

� Review (study) all the literature related to his subject

� Undergo Critical evaluation of previous studies done on the same subject.

Once the researcher is able to get complete knowledge on the selected subject, State the research problem from information gathered pertaining to the selected topic. The research problem should be of interest to the researcher and beneficial to a certain section of people or community. Say for instance business community of a particular industry. Such defined problem statement should be researchable, feasible, and done ethically. And it must in some way add to the existing body of knowledge.

 

Ch_3_F.pdf

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16 Research Methodology: A Theoretical Approach

5. Specify the sampling process and sample size.

6. Develop a plan of data analysis.

(c) Classification of Research Design (Fig. 3.1)

Research Design

Exploratory

Conclusive

SOURCES:

1. Secondary data

2. Focus group

3. Brain storming

4. Expert survey

Descriptive

Casual / Experimental

Sources

SOURCE:

Experimental data

Surveys

Telephone Interview

∑ Traditional

∑ CATI

(Computer Assisted

Telephone Interview)

Personal interview

∑ In-Home

∑ Mall Intercept.

∑ CAPI (Computer

Assisted Personal Interview)

Observation

Mail Interview

∑ Traditional

∑ E-Mail

(Electronic Mail)

∑ Mechanical observation

∑ Personal observation

Fig. 3.1 Classification of Research Design

Research design can be classified into:

A. Exploratory research design (or) qualitative research design

B. Conclusive research design (or) quantitative research design

A. Exploratory Research Design

It is a research design used for defining a problem or an objective. It relies on secondary data for the identification and formulation of research problem statements.

 

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50 Research Methodology: A Theoretical Approach

Example:

Question asked in the questionnaire: Do you shop on-line? Yes / No.

Online

Shopping

Tally Mark

No. of Respondents

Proportion (%)

Yes

17

(17/30) ¥ 100 = 57

No

13

(13/30) ¥ 100 = 43

30

100 %

n (Sample Size)

By just having a glance at the table, we can see that more than 50% of people shop online. But we don�t know how far this data is reliable to believe this conclusion. Now we are converting this assumption into a hypothetical statement as follows:

Hypothesis: More than 50% of people shop online.

The above statement is called hypothesis / assumption. In order to know whether the above statement is true or false, we conduct �Hypothesis Testing�.

(b) Types of Hypothesis

Generally, two statements or assumptions or hypotheses are formed.

� Null Hypothesis (H0)

� Alternative Hypothesis (Ha /H1)

Null hypothesis

Technically, a null hypothesis is an assumption where the difference between the sample mean

[arithmetic mean of the sample data] and the population mean [arithmetic mean of the population data] is nil.

 

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#

RESEARCH PLAN, RESEARCH REPORT

AND REFERENCING SYSTEM

TOPICS COVERED

Unit-5.1 Research plan

Unit-5.2 Designing a research report

Unit-5.3 Referencing system

UNIT-5.1

RESEARCH PLAN

As a part of this section of their proposal, many researchers find it useful to produce a schedule for their research using a Gantt chart. Developed by Henry Gantt in 1917, it provides a simple visual representation of the activities that are proposed to be carried out by the researcher in his or her research project, each being plotted against a time line. The time we estimate each task�s start and finish times are represented by its position on the time line. During the period of study, a student / researcher should maintain a continuous contact with his / her Research Guide. Usually, a research plan is included in the research proposal. It also comprises of an estimated research budget as shown below:

Research Budget

Expenses

Conducting research costs money. Research Planning also includes Research Budget.

Hence it is sensible to budget the expenses and see whether the researcher can meet the cost of research budget comfortably.

 

Bibliography_F.pdf

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

BOOKS

1. Naresh K. Malhotra, Marketing Research � An Applied Orientation, Ed.4, Pearson Education

Inc., New Delhi, 2004.

2. C.R.Kothari, Research Methodology � Methods & Techniques, Ed. 2, New Age International

(P) Ltd., New Delhi, 2004.

3. M.G.Parameswaran, Understanding Consumer Building Powerful Brands Using Consumer

Research, Ed. 1, Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited, New Delhi, 2003.

4. P.K. Vishwathan, Business Statistics � An Applied Orientation, Ed.1, Pearson Education Inc.,

New Delhi, 2003.

5. R.P. Hooda, Statistics for Business & Economics, Ed.3, McMillan India Limited, New Delhi,

2003.

6. Philip Kotler, Marketing Management, Ed.11, Pearson Education Inc., New Delhi, 2004.

7. Amir D. Aczel and Jayavel Sounderpandian, Complete Business Statistics, Ed.5, Tata McGrawHill Publishing Company Limited, New Delhi, 2002.

8. Rajan Saxena, Marketing Management, Ed.2, Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited,

New Delhi, 2002.

9. Thomas M. Heffernan, A student�s guide to studying psychology, Ed.3, Psychology Press, page - 66 to 76.

 

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