Role of Research in Knowledge Generation

Topics: Scientific method, Research, Science Pages: 8 (2339 words) Published: December 26, 2012
Research is committed to creating knowledge that is relevant to policy issues, and engaging stakeholders in the translation of research for effective and innovative changes in policies. By critically assessing and synthesizing research findings, hence provide authoritative and relevant perspective for decision makers. Several classifications of research will be examined in oder to exhaust their role in knowledge generation.

Fundamental Research
The main purpose of these types of research is to obtain empirical data which can be used to formulate, expand or evaluate a theory. It is not actually directed in design or purpose towards the solution of practical problems. The main aim is to expand the frontiers of knowledge without the intention of having practical applications. However, the results may be applied eventually to practical problems that have social values. An example is hotel management where all the advances made in this area are dependent upon basic researches in foods and nutrition, catering and hospitality. In the same way, the progress made in business administration practices has been related to progress in the discovery of economics theories, administrative theories and management theories. Primary concern of basic research is to create knowledge solely for the sake of knowledge. Its design is not in any way hampered by considerations of special usefulness of the findings.

Applied Research
Unlike basic research, this type is directed towards the solution to an immediate, specific and practical problem. It is the type of research which is conducted in relation to actual problems and under the conditions in which they are found in practice. Applied research can be used to solve problems at appropriate level of complexity. Take for instance in the area of business management, or administration, you can depend on basic research for discovering the more general laws of management or administration, but you have to employ applied research to determine how these laws operate in the real situation if scientific changes are to be affected in our lives. It can be deduced that there is no sharp line of demarcation between basic and applied research. This is because applications of theory help in solving practical problems. It is possible to apply the theories of administration or organization in business management. On the other hand, basic research can also depend upon the findings of applied research to complete the theoretical formulations for example an organizational experiment could shed some light on a learning theory. At the same time, observations in a practical situation serve to test theories and may lead to the formulation of new theories.

Quantitative and Qualitative Research
According to Leedy (1995) Quantitative research is an inquiry into a social or human problem, based on testing a theory composed of variables measured with numbers or figures and analyzed with statistical procedures in order to determine whether the predictive generalizations of the theory hold true. He also defines Qualitative research is an enquiry process of understanding a social or human problem, based on building a complex, holistic picture formed with words reporting detailed views of information, and conducted in a natural setting. Whereas quantitative research, sometimes referred to as the traditional, the positivist, the experimental or the empiricist approach, is typically used to answer questions about the relationships among measured variables with the purpose of explaining, predicting and controlling phenomena;

Role of Research in Knowledge Generation
Research contributes to the development of theories by discovering broad generalizations or principles. It becomes evident therefore that a researcher deals with a wide range of associations, from concrete day to day activities and problems to a philosophical level of search for truth.

Search for Truth.
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