Hallmarks of Scientific Research

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HALLMARKS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
 
Successful managerial decisions are seldom made on hunches or on trail and error method. The sound and effective decisions are always made on the basis of scientific research. Scientific research focuses on solving problems in a step _by _step logical, organized and rigorous manner in each step of research viz., identifying problem, gathering data, analyzing it and in arriving at a valid conclusion. Organizations may not always be involved in the scientific research due to various reasons like - simple problems which can solved with previous experience, time contingency, lack of knowledge, resource constraints etc., However the scientific research performed in a rigorous and systematic way leads to repeatable and comparable research findings. It also enables the researchers to arrive at accurate, dependable and subjective findings. The hallmarks or distinguishing characteristic features of scientific research are as follows:  

Purposiveness
 
The research is conducted with a purpose. It has a focus. The purpose of the research should be clearly mentioned in an understandable and unambiguous manner. The statement of the decision problem should include its scope, its limitations and the precise meaning of all words and terms significant to the research. Failure to mention the purpose clearly will raise doubts in the minds of stakeholders of the research as to whether the researcher has sufficient understanding of the problem.  

Rigor
 
Rigor means carefulness, scrupulousness and the degree of exactness in research investigation. In order to make a meaningful and worthwhile contribution to the field of knowledge, research must be carried out rigorously. Conducting a rigorous research requires a good theoretical knowledge and a clearly laid out methodology. This will eliminate the bias; facilitate proper data collection and analysis, which in turn would lead to sound and reliable research findings.  

Testability
 
Research should be based on testable assumptions/hypotheses developed after a careful study of the problems involved. The scientific research should enable the testing of logically developed hypotheses to see whether or not the data collected support the hypotheses developed.  

Replicability
 
Research findings would command more faith and credence if the same results are evolved on different set of data. The results of the test hypothesis should be supported again and again when the same type of research is repeated in other similar circumstances. This will ensures the scientific nature of the research conducted and more confidence could be placed in the research findings. It also eliminates the doubt that the hypotheses are supported by chance and ensures that the findings reflect the true state of affairs.  

Precision and Confidence
 
In management research the findings are seldom definitive due to the fact that the universe of items, events or population are not taken as such but based on sample drawn from universe. There is a probability that the sample may not reflect the universe. Measurement errors and other problems are bound to introduce an element of error in the findings. However the research design should ensure that the findings are as close to the reality as possible so that one can have confidence in the findings.

Precision refers to the closeness of the finding to ‘reality’ based on sample. It reflects the degree of accuracy or exactitude of the results on the basis of the sample to what exactly is in the universe. The confidence interval in statistics is referred here as precision.

Confidence refers to the probability that the estimation made in the research findings are correct. It is not enough if the results are precise but it is also important to claim that 95% of the time the results would be true and there is only a 5% chance of the results being wrong. This is known as confidence level. If the precision and...
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