Research Methodology- Methods and Techniques
By C.R. Kothari
A way of examining your practice…...
Research is undertaken within most professions.
More than a set of skills, it is a way of thinking: examining critically the various aspects of your professional work.
It is a habit of questioning what you do, and a systematic examination of the observed information to find answers with a view to instituting appropriate changes for a more effective professional service.
DEFINITION OF RESEARCH
When you say that you are undertaking a research study to find answers to a question, you are implying that the process;
* is being undertaken within a framework of a set of philosophies ( approaches); * uses procedures, methods and techniques that have been tested for their validity and reliability; * is designed to be unbiased and objective .
Means approaches e.g. qualitative, quantitative and the academic discipline in which you have been trained. Validity:
Means that correct procedures have been applied to find answers to a question. Reliability:
Refers to the quality of a measurement procedure that provides repeatability and accuracy. Unbiased and objective:
Means that you have taken each step in an unbiased manner and drawn each conclusion to the best of your ability and without introducing your own vested interest. Bias is a deliberate attempt to either conceal or highlight something.
Adherence to the three criteria mentioned above enables the process to be called ‘RESEARCH’.
However, the degree to which these criteria are expected to be fulfilled varies from discipline to discipline and so the meaning of ‘research’ differs from one academic discipline to another.
The difference between research and non-research activity is, in the way we find answers: the process must meet certain requirements to be called research.
We can identify these requirements by examining some definitions of research.
The word research is composed of two syllables, re and search. Re: is a prefix meaning again, anew or over again
Search: is a verb meaning to examine closely and carefully, to test and try, or to probe.
Together they form a noun describing a careful, systematic, patient study and investigation in some field of knowledge, undertaken to establish facts or principles.
Research is a structured enquiry that utilizes acceptable scientific methodology to solve problems and create new knowledge that is generally applicable. Scientific methods consist of systematic observation, classification and interpretation of data.
Although we engage in such process in our daily life, the difference between our casual day- to-day generalization and the conclusions usually recognized as scientific method lies in the degree of formality, rigorousness, verifiability and general validity of latter.
CHARACTERISTICS OF RESEARCH:
Research is a process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting information to answer questions. But to qualify as research, the process must have certain characteristics: it must, as far as possible, be controlled, rigorous, systematic, valid and verifiable, empirical and critical. - Controlled
- In real life there are many factors that affect an outcome. The concept of Control implies that, in exploring causality in relation to two variables (factors), you set up your study in a way that minimizes the effects of other factors affecting the relationship.
This can be achieved to a large extent in the physical sciences (cookery, bakery), as most of the research is done in a laboratory. However, in the social sciences (Hospitality and Tourism) it is extremely difficult as research is carried out on issues related to human beings living in society, where such controls are not possible. Therefore in Hospitality and Tourism, as you cannot control external factors, you attempt to...