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Research Design

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Discuss the following statement: "The researcher should always attempt to develop an optimal design for every research project."


Research has been defined in a number of different ways. A broad definition of research is given by Martin Shuttleworth (2008), "In the broadest sense of the word, the definition of research includes any gathering of data, information and facts for the advancement of knowledge." Another definition of research is given by Creswell (2008) who states that "Research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue". It consists of three steps: Pose a question, collect data to answer the question, and present an answer to the question. In addition, the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines research in more detail as "A studious inquiry or examination; especially investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws".

In overall, research is the systematic investigation into existing or new knowledge. It is used to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm the results of previous work, solve new or existing problems, support theorems, or develop new theories. A research project may also be an expansion on past work in the field. In order to test the validity of instruments, procedures, or experiments, research may replicate elements of prior projects, or the project as a whole. The primary purposes of basic research (as opposed to applied research) are documentation, discovery, interpretation, or the research and development of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge. Approaches to research depend on epistemologies, which vary considerably both within and between humanities and sciences. There are several forms of research: scientific, humanities, artistic, economic, social, business, etc.

Scientific research relies on the application of the scientific method, a harnessing of curiosity. This research provides scientific information and theories for the explanation of the nature and the properties of the world. It makes practical applications possible. Scientific research can be subdivided into different classifications according to their academic and application disciplines. Besides, scientific research is a widely used criterion for judging the standing of an academic institution, such as business schools, but some argue that such is an inaccurate assessment of the institution.

Research in the humanities involves different methods such as for example hermeneutics and semiotics, and a different, more relativist epistemology. Humanities scholars usually do not search for the ultimate correct answer to a question, but instead explore the issues and details that surround it. Context is always important, and context can be social, historical, political, cultural or ethnic. An example of research in the humanities is historical research, which is embodied in historical method.

The goal of the research process is to produce new knowledge or deepen understanding of a topic or issue. Therefore, it is very important for the researcher to develop an optimal design for every research project. The research process is designed after having identified the variables in a problem situation and developed the theoretical framework. There are ten basic aspects of research design which are the purpose of the study, the types of investigation, the extent of researcher interference, the study setting, the unit of analysis, the time horizon, the measurement, the data collection methods, the sampling design, and the data analysis.

To be noted, the sophisticated the research, the more cost and time are needed to get the solution. So, the research design is specifically asking by each aspect in order to maximize the accuracy of the solution commensurate with the larger investment of resources.

1. Purpose of study:

This is a method of solving problem, where the phenomena of study are understood digging more information in that study. There are three nature of study, which are explanatory, descriptive, or hypothesis testing. It is depends on the stage which knowledge about the research topic. The purpose of study is the stage where we design the decisions, whether we choose explanatory stage which we attempt to explore new areas of organizational research, or descriptive stage where we try to describe certain characteristics of the phenomena on which main interest, or hypothesis testing stage where we examine whether or not the conjectured relationships have been substantiated and an answer to the research question has been obtained.

2. Type of investigation:

A researcher should determine whether a causal or a co-relational study is needed to find an answer to the issue at hand. The former is done when it is necessary to establish a definitive cause and effect relationship. However if all that the researcher wants is a mere identification of the important factors associated with the problem then a correlation study is called for. In the former case the researcher is keen on delineating one or more factors that are undoubtedly causing a problem. In other words the intention of the researcher conducting a causal study is to be able to state that variable X cause's variable Y. so when variable X is removed or altered in some way, problem Y is solved.

Quite often however it is not just one or more variables that cause a problem in organizations. Given the fact that most of the time there are multiple factors that influence one another and the problem in a chainlike fashion, the researcher might be asked to identify the crucial factors associated with the problem rather than establish a cause and effect relationship. The study in which the researcher wants to delineate the cause of one or more problems is called a casual study.

3. Extent of researcher interference:

This case is normal occurrence in normal working environment. There are two types of interference; the study undertaken is either causal or correctional. Causal relationship means the studies conducted is to establish the cause and effect relationship. This type of relationship is where the researchers try to manipulate certain variables in order to study the effects of such manipulation on the dependent variables of the study. The correlation study is applied in the natural environment of the organization with the minimal



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