research methodology

Topics: Sampling, Scientific method, Research Pages: 8 (2915 words) Published: September 22, 2013
Research Methodology vs Research Methods
Methodology and methods are two terms which have been used interchangeably often by scholars. The practice is unfortunate because they are not the same. The former refers to philosophy and the latter refers to technical procedures applied to conduct research. The word methodology comprises two nouns: method and ology, which means a branch of knowledge; hence, methodology is a branch of knowledge that deals with the general principles or axioms of the generation of new knowledge. It refers to the rationale and the philosophical assumptions that underlie any natural, social or human science study, whether articulated or not. Simply put, methodology refers to how each of logic, reality, values and what counts as knowledge inform research. On the other hand, methods are the techniques and procedures followed to conduct research, and are determined by the methodology (i.e. sampling, data collection, data analysis and results reporting, as well as theories, conceptual frameworks, taxonomies and models). Even the focus and intent of the research, and the actual research questions themselves, are shaped by the methodology (McGregor, 2010). In methodology we study the various steps that are generally adopted by a researcher in studying his research problem along with the logic behind them. It is necessary for the researcher to know not only the research methods/techniques but also methodology. (Kothari, 2004).

The following are the systematic analysis of the principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed in research which define methodology: 1. Formulating the Research Problem
The definition of research question is the most important step when undertaking any research as they give direction to the research method applied (Yin, 2003). Sebastian et al, (2011) explains that it requires an open mind while framing the research question. At the same time the researcher is required to familiarize with potential research methods and build awareness of their requirements. A researcher must examine all available literature to get himself acquainted with the selected problem.

2. Literature Review
A literature review discusses published information in a particular subject area, and sometimes information in a particular subject area within a certain time period. Comprehensive knowledge of the literature of the field is essential to most research papers. Literature reviews provide you with a handy guide to a particular topic and can give you an overview or act as a stepping stone. They also provide a solid background for a research paper’s investigation. Depending on the situation, the literature review may evaluate the sources and advise the reader on the most pertinent or relevant (The Writing Center, 2010-2013). For purposes of literature review abstracting and indexing journals,conference proceedings, government reports, books etc must be tapped depending on the nature of the problem.

3. Developing a Working Hypothesis
Hypothesis is a statement of the predicted relationship between two or more variables. As a reseracher you do not know about a phenomenon but you do have a hunch(theory) to form the basis of certain assumption or guesses. You test these by collecting information that will enable you to conclude if your hunch was right. The verification process have one of the three ouytcomes, right, partially right and wrong. Without this process of verification, you cannot conclude anything about the validity of your assumptions. Hence hypotheses is a hunch, assumption, suspicion, assertion or an idea about a phenomenon, relationship or situation, the reality or truth of which you do not know. These hypotheses form the basis for enquiry (Slideshare, 2013).

4. Preparing Rearch Design
Research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a particular manner that aims to combine...

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6. Kothari. (2004). Research methodology: Methods and Techniques Second Edition. Jaipur,India: New Age International Publishers Limited.
7. McGregor, J. A. (2010). Paradigm, Methodology and Method: Intellectual Integrity in Consumer Ccholarship. International Journal of Consumer Studies 34 .
8. Sebastian Reiter, G. S. (2011). Strategy for Delayed Research Method Selection: Deciding Between Grounded Theory and phenomenology. Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods Volume 9 .
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11. Statistics and Probability Dictionary. (2013). Retrieved September 15th, 2013, from Stat Trek, University of Liverpool:
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15. Yin, R. (2003). Case Study Research:Design and Methods 3rd edn. Thousand Oaks, CA,US: SAGE Publishers.
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