Research Methods

Topics: Research, Quantitative research, Research methods Pages: 18 (4907 words) Published: December 19, 2008
Introduction of research and research methods

What is research method? As a matter of fact, according to Saundra et al. (2003), the term method in the entire research process or project can be considered as tool or technique which help researcher obtain, collect and analyze data or different types of information. To be more specific, Saundra et al. (2003) point out that in order to fulfill different research projects and objectives, couples of methods have to be properly utilized, in this case, these approaches usually include questionnaire, observation and interviews. What is the nature of research? Saundra et al. (2003) argued that the genuine research should be defined as a project that the outcomes or objectives can be obtained and achieved in a systematic manner. Ghauri and Gronhaug (2002) discussed that in the process of conducting a research, there are two phases that have to be focused. The first is the research itself should be systematically designed and the second is the research objectives have to be clearly defined. Also, Saundra et al. (2003) stressed that in a well-structured research, each research method has to be carefully explained so as to be better implemented in the data collection process. In addition to justifying the different research methods, Ghauri and Gronhaug (2002) mentioned that the relevant problem, error and limitation that emerge in each method application need to be discussed as well.

Brief review of research methods that used in this research project

In terms of different data collection methods, there are several primary research methods that frequently used in most research projects and to achieve different purposes separately. The research data and statistics can be effectively collected through conducting different research methods like observation, interview and questionnaire, in some cases, the secondary data may also available to researcher and Saunders et al. (2003) mentioned that when the research projects are associated with some large organizations or on national level, the secondary might be more likely to become the major source of information. However, in undertaking this research project, the first three methods are mainly utilized in terms of collecting essential data and achieving research objectives.

Introduction of the types of data

Quantitative data

Apart from the research methods alternatives, the data that collected through these three measures can also be divided into two types: quantitative and qualitative data. Morris (1999) discussed that quantitative data can be regarded as the result of all different research methods. The quantitative data can be always demonstrated in the form of frequency of occurrences or some numerical sores and prices. For the analyzing phase of quantitative data, however, there are quite a few specialized computer-based software ranging from Excel to some software packages like Minitab and SPSS (Robson, 2002).

Qualitative data

In comparison with quantitative data, the other type of data--qualitative data, however, is much more likely to be associated with certain concept or notion and the qualitative data itself often rich in meaning and closely link with researcher’s personal subject-related exploration process (Robson, 2002). Dey (1993) mentioned that the qualitative data refer to the “number depend on meaning”, but in some cases, the level of the clearness of our concept and subject would have great influence on the usefulness of data that collected. Saunders et al. (2003) argued that because of the interrelationship between qualitative data and its related collection process and research topic, the nature of qualitative data would have much implication on the collection process and analyzing phase.

The difference between qualitative data and quantitative data

Dey (1993) and Healey and Rawlinson (1994) surmised the major differences between quantitative data and qualitative data. They point out that...
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