August 21, 2019

What are the different types of Research?

  1. Basic research (fundamental or pure research)
    1. Driven by scientific curiosity or interest in a scientific question.
    2. The main motivation is to expand knowledge, not to create or invent something.
    3. No obvious commercial value to such discoveries.
    4. Objective of the research is to provide models and theories regarding some phenomenon.
    5. Examples:
      1. How did the universe begin?
      2. What are electrons composed of?
  2. Applied research/Practical/Need-based/Action-based research
    1. Research that seeks to solve practical problems.
    2. Applies the existing knowledge, theories and methods to solve particular issues.
    3. Practical application of concepts provided by basic research.
    4. Tries to solve the existing problems faced by businesses, society and government.
    5. Examples:
      1. Treat or cure a particular disease
      2. How to remove a particular weed from crops.
  3. Exploratory research/Formulative research
    1. Intends merely to explore the research questions and does not intend to offer final and conclusive solutions to existing problems.
    2. Conducted in order to determine the nature of the problem, not intended to provide conclusive evidence, but helps to have a better understanding of the problem.
    3. Result in a range of causes and alternative options for a solution of a specific problem.
    4. No rigorous methodology, small sample sizes.
    5. Provides the basis for conclusive research.
    6. Basic objective of this research is to explore the unknown facts or phenomena that are not previously defined.
    7. Conducted for a problem that has not been clearly defined.
    8. Helps to determine the best research design, data collection method and selection of subjects.
    9. The results of exploratory research are not usually useful for decision making by themselves, but they can give significant insights into a given situation.
    10. Not generalizable to the population at large.
    11. It can be quite informal, relying on secondary research such as reviewing available literature and or data, or qualitative approaches such as informal discussions with consumers, employees, management or competitors, and more formal approaches through in-depth interviews, focus groups, projective methods, case studies etc.
    12. Eg: Role of social networking in marketing communication channels.
    13. Role of CSR on consumer behaviour in pharma domain.
    14. Advantages:
      1. Flexibility and adaptability to change.
      2. Ground work – leading to future studies.
      3. Identification of worthy research problems at early stages.  
    15. Disadvantages:
      1. Result in qualitative information – subject to bias.
      2. Modest sample – may not represent actual population – can not be generalised.
      3. Not useful for decision making on practical problems.
  4. Conclusive research
    1. Larger sample sizes, modern analytical tools and statistical methods are utilised in conclusive research.
    2. Generate findings that are practically useful in reaching conclusions or decision making.
    3. Provides a way to verify and quantify findings of exploratory studies.
    4. Different alternatives can be identified and evaluated and the best one can be selected concerning the given situation – supports decision making.
    5. Two major categories: descriptive and causal.
      1. Descriptive/Statistical research
        1. Research which tries to explain the characteristic features of the population under study.
        2. Concerned with answering the questions like who, what, when, where and how regarding a phenomenon or situation.
        3. Can be carried out in all areas which are quantitative in nature.
        4. Eg: What are the distinctive traits of organisational culture in XYZ.
      2. Causal/Experimental/Explanatory
        1. Identify causes behind any effect.
        2. It determines the effects of dependent variable due to the changes in independent variable.
        3. Can be conducted in order to assess impacts of specific changes on existing norms, various processes etc.
        4. Experiments are the most popular method of data collection.
        5. Two similar groups are chosen for measuring the experimental effects.
        6. The group which is exposed to treatment is called experimental group and the group which is kept constant is called control group.
        7. After the treatment is imposed on the experimental group, the effect is measured by comparing it with control group.
        8. Eg: Teaching methods
        9. Eg: To assess the impact of FDI in economic growth of India.

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