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RESEARCH FUNDAMENTALS

MEANING OF RESEARCH
Research in common parlance refers to a search for knowledge. One can also define research as a
scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic. In fact, research is an art of
scientific investigation. The Advanced Learners Dictionary of !rrent "nglish lays down the meaning of
research as a caref!l investigation or in#!iry specially thro!gh search for new facts in any $ranch of knowledge.
Redman and %ory define research as a &systemati'ed effort to gain new knowledge.( )ome people consider
research as a movement from the known to the !nknown. It is act!ally a voyage of discovery. *e all possess the
vital instinct of in#!isitiveness for, when the !nknown confronts !s, we wonder and o!r in#!isitiveness makes
!s pro$e and attain f!ll and f!ller !nderstanding of the !nknown. This in#!isitiveness is the mother of all
knowledge and the method, which man employs for o$taining the knowledge of whatever the !nknown, can $e
termed as research.
In short,
It means search for knowledge
It is an art of scientific investigation
It is an organi'ed en#!iry in search of facts*
It is a scientific++ and systematic search for pertinent*** information on a specific topic or an effort
to gain new knowledge
It is an acae!ic acti"it#**** that needs form!lating hypotheses, collecting data on relevant varia$les,
analy'ing and interpreting res!lts and reaching concl!sions either as sol!tions or certain
generali'ations leading to form!lation of theories.
***$ertinent % relevant information $ased on o$,ectives of research
****Acae!ic acti"it# $eca!se it is a &st!dy( done in an instit!tion, either ed!cational or commercial.
Research is an academic activity and such a term should be used in a
technical sense. According to Clifford Woody research comprises defining
and redefining problems, formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions;
collecting, organizing and evaluating data; making deductions and reaching
conclusions to determine whether they fit the formulating hypothesis.
D.lesinger and !.tephenson in the "ncyclopedia of ocial ciences define
research as the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the
purpose of generalizing to e#tend, corrector verify knowledge, whether that
knowledge aids in construction of theory or in the practise of art.$
%esearch is thus an original contribution to the e#isting stock of
knowledge making for its advancement. &t is the pursuit of truth with the
help of study, observation, comparison and e#periment. &n short, the search
for knowledge through ob'ective and systematic method of finding solution
to a problem is research. (he systematic approach concerning generalization
and the formulation of a theory is also research. As such the term
)research* refers to the systematic method consisting of enunciating the
problem, formulating a hypothesis, collecting facts or data, analyzing the
facts and reaching certain conclusion either in the form of solutions
towards the concerned problem or in certain generalization for some
theoretical formulation.
O&'ECTI(E OF RESEARCH
The p!rpose of research is to isco"er ans)ers thro!gh the application of scientific proce*res. The main aim
of research is to find o!t the tr!th which is hidden and which has not $een discovered as yet. Tho!gh each
research st!dy has its own specific p!rpose, we may think of research o$,ectives as falling into n!m$er of $road
gro!ping-
To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achie"e ne) insi+hts into it .st!dies with this o$,ect in view
are termed as e/ploratory or form!lative research st!dies.
To portray acc!rately the characteristics of a partic*,ar ini"i*a,, sit*ation or a +ro*p +studies
with this ob'ect in view are known as descriptive research studies,;
(o determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it
is associated with something else +studies with this ob'ect in view are
known as diagnostic research studies,.
To test a hypothesis of a cas!al relationship between variables +such studies are known
as hypothesis-testing research studies,.
S*!!ari-ation of this )o*, ha"e,
./ To e/tend knowledge of h!man $eings, social life 0 environment
0/ To $ring to light new 1 hidden information 0 $e a $asis for innovation
1/ To esta$lish generali'ations and contri$!te to theory $!ilding
2/ To verify and test e/isting facts and theories
3/ To make relia$le predictions and forecasts
4/ To analy'e inter2relationships $etween varia$les and to derive ca!sal e/planations
5/ To identify pro$lem areas 0 find sol!tions for $etter decision2making
6/ To identify marketing opport!nities and constraints
7/ To help in form!lation of policies and constraints
.8/ To help in the optimal !tili'ation of reso!rces
RESEARCH METHODS "s RESEARCH METHODOLOG9
Research %ethods Research %ethods refers to a,, those techni:*es *se ;# the researcher *rin+ the co*rse of st*#in+ his
research pro;,e! or con*ctin+ his research operations
Research Techni:*es refers to the $ehavior and instr!ments we !se in performing research operations s!ch as
making o$servations, recording data, processing data etc !sing #!estionnaire, candid camera, tape recorder etc
"g. 3. In Li$rary Research, res. method can $e analy'ing iiry data, and res. techni#!e can $e ta$!lation 0
statistical compilation.
"g. 4. In 5ield Research, res. method can $e personal interview and res. techni#!e can $e !sing a sched!le and
tape recorder.
Research !ethos can ;e p*t into three +ro*ps<
Methos concerne )ith the co,,ection of ata
Statistica, techni:*es *se for esta;,ishin+ re,ationships ;et)een the ata an the *n=no)ns
Methos *se to e"a,*ate the acc*rac# of the res*,ts o;taine
Research %ethodology Research %ethodology
Research !ethoo,o+# is a )a# to s#ste!atica,,# so,"e the research pro;,e!
It is a science of st*#in+ ho) research can ;e one scientifica,,#
It inc,*es ;oth research !ethos an ho) to app,# research techni:*es
Research methodology may vary from research to research $ased on the pro$lem
Research methodology implies not only the research methods $!t also considers the ,o+ic $ehind the methods
we !se in the conte/t of o!r research st!dy and e/plains why we are !sing a partic!lar method or techni#!e any
why we are not !sing others so that research res!lts are capa$le of $eing eval!ated either $y the researcher
himself or others.
"g. *hy personal interview method was preferred over mail #!estionnaire 6 time constraint, smaller sample,
higher response rate.
T9$ES OF RESEARCH
&asic research "s/ app,ie research<
. &asic research- it is called f!ndamental research, theoretical research or p!re research, $eca!se it is done for
the sake of on,# knowledge enhancement.
It is not directly involved with practical pro$lems and ignores the aspects of commercial potential.
It is mainly concerned with generali'ations and with the form!lation of theories 1 principles.
There is no intention to apply this research in practice.
"g. Research st!dies concerning some nat!ral h!man $ehavior carried on with a view to make generali'ations
a$o!t h!man $ehavior 6 %aslows 7ierarchy of 8eeds Theory in %otivation9 theories on performance 0
rewards 9 p!nishment and learning etc.,
0 App,ie research- It is also called decisional research. Applied research aims at finding a sol!tion to an
immediate pro$lem faced $y any $!siness organi'ation.
It is, therefore, concerned with act!al 1real life sit!ations and offers sol!tions to $!siness pro$lems that takes
into acco!nt all the commercial considerations.
"g.3 A company marketing health drinks to overcome maln!trition pro$lem in children may want to cond!ct a
market st!dy to know the effectiveness of its ad campaign
%arket research is an e/ample of applied research that has a practical pro$lem solving approach
"g.3 *hy has sales dropped in last #!arter:
"g.4 7ow to develop a new market for a prod!ct
"g.; *hat is the c!stomer profile for the cheap car segment:
0/ Descripti"e research<
The ma,or p!rpose of descriptive research is description of the state of affairs, as it e/ists at present.
It is fact finding investigation that escri;es the characteristics of the s!$,ect !nder st!dy.
"g.3 A st!dy may $e cond!cted to determine the demographic characteristics of a cons!mer gro!p that helps
derive a cons!mer profile like gender, age, income, ed!cation level etc.,
"g.4 A st!dy that descri$es the life2style of people like shopping ha$its, where they shop, what they $!y, how
they make payment etc.,
"g. ; A st!dy that descri$es media !sage $y people like T< viewing ha$its, maga'ines they read, movie going fre#!ency
etc.
This research has got specific applications in forecasting, media planning etc
0/. Ana,#tica, research > !se facts or information already availa$le on the varia$les, and analy'e these to make
a critical eval!ation of the data material.
"g. Analy'ing the facts o$tained in a descriptive st!dy to draw meaningf!l concl!sions.
1/ E?p,orator# Research
This kind of research is carried o!t at the $eginning of a st!dy when the pro$lem is vag!e or not clear. It helps
identify possi$le ca!ses of a pro$lem and eliminate the !nlikely reasons and help g!ide the research to
investigate f!rther on the more important reasons.
"g. Decline in sales of a companys prod!ct may $e d!e -2
inefficient service
improper price
inefficient sales force
ineffective promotion
improper #!ality
"/ploratory st!dies are preliminary that help eliminate !nlikely reasons and g!ide f!rther research on more
likely factors like #!ality, price and service $ack !p.
"/pert s!rvey, foc!s gro!ps, case st!dies are vario!s methods !nder e/ploratory research.
2/ Ca*sa, Research
This is cond!cted to determine the ca!se and relationship $etween varia$les. "g. "ffect of advertisement on
sales
This involves e/perimental designs to $e implemented !nder field conditions. )ome of the common
e/perimental designs are i= >!rely post design, ii= ?efore 6 after design, iii= 5actorial design, iv= Latin s#!are
design, v= "/2post facto design etc., .will $e done later=
3/ E?>post facto research
This is also !sed $y researchers to discover ca!ses after or d!ring an incidence9 hence also called e?>post facto
research % i.e., an e!pirica, en:*ir# for sit!ations that is happening or that which has already happened.
"g.3. )!rvey methods, correlation st!dies etc that try to find o!t reasons for drop in sales, prod!ct fail!re,
relationship $etween ad e/pendit!re and sales etc.,
"g. 4. "n#!iry into the )atyam scandal9 financial irreg!larities of the past and its effect on the present 9 what can
$e done now to salvage the sit!ation 9 val!a$le lessons for the f!t!re to prevent rec!rrence
4/ @*antitati"e "s @*a,itati"e Research
4/. @*antitati"e Research is $ased on the meas!rement of #!antity or amo!nt. It is applica$le to a
phenomenon that can $e e/pressed in terms of #!antity. "g. Research aimed at finding proportion or percentage
falling !nder a certain age gro!p or income gro!p.
Descriptive research and ca!sal research st!dies falls in this category
4/0 @*a,itati"e research is concerned with #!alitative phenomenon and aspects that involves #!alitative
meas!res and is partic!larly important in $ehavioral sciences which aims to discover the !nderlying motives of
h!man $ehavior and hence applied e/tensively in marketing research. "g. Discovering the motives for likes
and dislikes in people, opinion of people a$o!t a prod!ct 1 company etc
"/ploratory research st!dies fall in this category. "g. 5oc!s gro!p st!dy on diffic!lties ho!se wives face in
washing clothes may give val!a$le inp!ts for developing efficient detergents to $e !sed in washing machines.
5/ Concept*a, Research "s E!pirica, Research
5/. Concept*a, Research is a st!dy related to a$stract ideas, theory or concept. It is generally !sed $y
philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts or to reinterpret e/isting ones.
"g. @rowth of retail ind!stry may $e attri$!ted to increasing yo!th pop!lation in !r$an and r!ral demography
and higher disposa$le incomes. This concept may $e developed with secondary research $ased on works of
vario!s a!thors.
5/0 E!pirica, Research relies on e/perience, o$servation or act!al st!dies done in the field. It is data $ased
research, coming !p with concl!sions which are capa$le of $eing verified $y f!rther o$servation or e/periment.
In s!ch a research, it is necessary to get facts first2hand, at their so!rce. A hypothesis $ased on concept!al
research st!dies can g!ide s!ch a research. The resarcher then works to get eno!gh facts to prove or disprove
his hypothesis.
"g.3 A concept!al st!dy can esta$lish relationship $etween high profile $randing and niche marketing. A field
s!rvey, which is an empirical st!dy can $e cond!cted to determine this with a g!iding hypothesis. )!ch st!dies
have helped hristian Dior, @!cci to adopt niche marketing
as their retail marketing strategy
"g. 4 a!sal research st!dies that esta$lishes relationship $etween varia$les s!ch as promotion and sales.
CRITERIA OR CHARACTERISTIC OF A GOOD RESEARCH
*hatever $e the type of research, it is important that they meet the common criteria of scientific research
!ethos/ 5ollowing are the criteria of good research-
./ Goo research is s#ste!atic an scientific<
The p*rpose of the research sho!ld $e clearly defined
Research sho!ld $e is str*ct*re with specific steps to $e
taken in an orderly se#!ence
reative thinking can $e employed $!t not +*ess )or= an int*ition
It sho!ld $e o;Aecti"e in its approach
It sho!ld $e free fro! persona, ;iases
It sho!ld $e done with hi+h ethica, stanars
Its ,i!itations sho!ld $e frankly revealed
0/ Goo research is ,o+ica,<
It is g!ided $y logical reasoning and logical process
oncl!sions sho!ld $e limited to those for which the data provide an ade#!ate $asis.
1/ Goo research is e!pirica,-
It pertains to real sit!ations
5act!al investigation is possi$le
Its validity can $e checked thro!gh relia$le so!rces and evidences
It is possi$le to descri$e, interpret and e/plain the phenomenon $ased on field evidence
2/ Goo research is rep,ica;,e B repro*ci;,e-
It means the research cond!cted can $e repeate any n!m$er of times $y different organi'ations within
reasona$le time with similar res!lts
It sho!ld $e +enera,i-a;,e, i.e., similar res!lts in identical sit!ations
3/ Goo research st*# !*st faci,itate !ana+e!ent ecision
!a=in+<
Its ,i!itations sho!ld $e frankly revealed
The st!dy sho!ld present findings *na!;i+*o*s,#
oncl!sions sho!ld $e limited to what the data provides on an ade#!ate $asis.
4/ Goo research re,ies on e?perience, rep*tation an inte+rit# of the researcher/
>ride and capa$ility of the researcher is reflected in his1her research work
0/./. &*siness Research is defined as the systematic and o$,ective process of gathering, recording and
analy'ing the data in order to provide information to -2
iC ai in !ana+e!ent ecision !a=in+ D an
iiC so,"e !ana+e!ent pro;,e!s
First, Literally re-search means &search again( 6 It denotes a patient st!dy wherein the researcher takes another
more caref!l look at the data generated $y research to discover all that he wants to know a$o!t the s!$,ect.
Secon, systematic means the data is collected and analy'ed in an organi'ed manner to attain the highest degree
of acc!racy. i.e., the data is not int!itive or hapha'ardly gathered9
Thir, objective means the role of the researcher has to $e detached and impersonal rather than a $iased attempt
to prove a preconceived idea. ?ias red!ces the val!e of the data considera$ly. 7ence, witho!t o$,ectivity,
research is val!eless9
Fo*rth, implicit in the a$ove definition is that the approach to research sho!ld $e with a scientific
temperament to make the findings valid9
Fifth, the a$ove definition to research points o!t that its o$,ective is to facilitate the managerial decision2
making process for all aspects of business: finance, marketing, 7R, prod!ction etc., The definition is not
restricted to one aspect of $!siness alone.
Res/ In Finance< financial analysis, capital str!ct!re, %0A for e/pansion plans, inventory control, f!nding,
pro,ect appraisal etc
M=tn+/Res < pricing, advertising, channels of distri$!tion, prod!ct res. merchandising, retailing, c!stomer
satisfaction, R% etc
Res/ In HRD < training re#., employee t1o, work2life $alance st!dies. O? st!dies, employee motivation st!dies
etc
Res/ In $ro*ction< TA% st!dies, prod!ct design, process improvement, a!tomation etc
Si?th, it is an essential tool for management in pro$lem2solving and decision making activities as ?R generates
the necessary #!alitative and #!antitative information !pon which to $ase decisions.
Se"enth, research also reduces the risk of making wrong decisions.
"g., A company might think that the inade#!ate incentives to its sales force is the reason for poor sales
performance. ?!t the real reason co!ld $e poor morale among sales force d!e lack of proper recognition of
performance.
Fina,,#, $!siness research sho!ld $e an aid to managerial ,!dgment, not a substitute .
O;Aecti"es of &*siness Research
./ To identify pro$lem areas
0/ To promote $etter decision making
1/ To get inp!ts for innovation
2/ To help in new prod!ct development 0 modify e/isting ones
3/ To $etter !nderstand competitive environment
4/ To identify $!siness opport!nities and constraints
5/ To help in forecasting
6/ To help in form!lation of policies and strategies
7/ To help develop $!siness plans
.8/ To help in optimal !tili'ation of reso!rces
0/1 &*siness Research $rocess is a set of nine steps which defines the tasks to $e accomplished in cond!cting a
$!siness research st!dy, that incl!des pro$lem form!lation, cost of research, so!rces of information, research
design form!lation, sample design, sample si'e, field work organi'ation, data analysis, and report preparation
Distinction ;et)een Mana+e!ent an Research $ro;,e!
Mana+e!ent $ro;,e! involves & *hat needs to $e done: (.
Research $ro;,e! involves in determining what information needs to $e provided and how can the information
$e o$tained:(
E+<
Sit*ation Ana,#sis Mana+!nt $ro;,e! Research $ro;,e!
./ >rod!ct is o$solete Introd!ce new prod!ct Design a test market
0/ 8o rep!rchase Increase rep!rchase
$ehavior in cons!mers
Assess c!rrent
rep!rchase level
STE$S IN THE $ROCESS OF RESEARCH
./ $RO&LEM DISCO(ER9
It involves a search for ca!sation among symptoms, pro$lems, and decisions. A symptom is a condition that
indicates the e/istence of a pro$lem, and we, m!st $e caref!l not to conf!se this with a pro$lem. )ymptoms
occ!py an essential place in the pro$lem2solving process, for the !nderlying pro$lem. A problem e/ists
whenever one faces a #!estion whose answer 6 or a need whose f!lfillment 6 involves do!$t and !ncertainty. If
there is no answer or sol!tion, there is no pro$lem .altho!gh the conse#!ences might $e terri$le=9 and if there is
only a single possi$le answer or sol!tion, there is no pro$lem. A decision is a determination or resol!tion of a
#!estion. In the terms of a $!siness e/ec!tive, a decision is the determination of a co!rse of action to $e taken.
%any ro!tines or repetitive decisions to which marketing research is applied often invoke a comple/ of
pro$lems, and considera$le work is entailed in the choice of the $est availa$le co!rse of action.
?!siness pro$lems are not fo!nd $y s!rprise or accidental circ!mstances. The persons who find pro$lems are
sensiti'ed to $e on the alert and are prepared to find them. Always there is evidence that the searching mind
penetrates with insight. O!r a$ilities can go $eyond int!ition or a si/th sense. 5ort!nately, there are means
availa$le to sharpen o!r capacities in pro$lem discovery. 5irst, an !nderstanding of the different types of
diffic!lties or symptoms which may call for decisions is !sef!l. )econd, provision of a marketing information
system may often signify the e/istence of the pro$lem to a decision maker.
2. PROBL! "#$%$&$O%
The first step in any marketing research pro,ect is to define the pro$lem. In defining the pro$lem, the
researcher sho!ld take into acco!nt the p!rpose of the st!dy, the relevant $ackgro!nd information, what
information is needed, and how it will $e !sed in decision making. >ro$lem definition involves disc!ssion with
the decision2makers, interviews with ind!stry e/perts, analysis of secondary data, and, perhaps, some #!alitative
research, s!ch as foc!s gro!ps. Once the pro$lem has $een precisely defined, the research can $e designed and
cond!cted properly.
1/ RESEARCH O&'ECTI(ES
The research o$,ective is a statement, in as precise terminology as possi$le, of what information is needed.
The research o$,ective sho!ld $e framed so that o$taining the information will ens!re that the research p!rpose
is satisfied.
Research o$,ectives have three components-
3. Research 'uestion: It specifies the information the decision maker needs. The research #!estion asks what
specific information is re#!ired to achieve the research. If the research #!estion is answered $y the research,
then the information sho!ld aid the decision maker.
4. "evelopment of hypotheses: A hypotheses is a possi$le answer to a research #!estion. The research
determines which of these alternative answers is correct. There are three steps to develop the hypotheses
a. The researcher can draw on previo!s research to generate hypotheses for f!t!re large2scale research efforts.
The research p!rpose might $e deciding whether to cond!ct the large2scale st!dies.
$. )econd so!rce is theory from s!ch disciplines as psychology, sociology, marketing or economics. Th!s, the
economic theory might s!ggest the importance of price in e/plaining a loss of retail sales.
c. The most important so!rce of developing hypotheses is the managers e/perience with related pro$lems,
co!pled with knowledge of the pro$lem sit!ation and the !se of ,!dgment.
;. Research boundaries: 7ypotheses development helps make the research #!estion more precise. Another
approach is to indicate the scope of the research or the research ;o*naries/ 5or e/ample, is the interest in
c!rrent c!stomers only or in all potential c!stomers:
(. "evelop )ypotheses model
Development of an approach to the pro$lem incl!des form!lating an o$,ective or theoretical framework,
analytical models, research #!estions, hypotheses, and identifying characteristics or factors that can infl!ence
the research design. This process is g!ided $y disc!ssions with management and ind!stry e/perts, case st!dies
and sim!lations, analysis of secondary data, #!alitative research, and pragmatic considerations.
2/ RESEARCH DESIGN
The research pro$lem having $een form!lated in clear terms, the researcher will $e re#!ired to prepare a
research design, i.e. he will have to state the concept!al str!ct!re within which research wo!ld $e cond!cted.
The preparation of s!ch a design facilitates research to $e as efficient as possi$le yielding ma/imal information.
?!t how all these can $e achieved depends mainly on the research p!rpose. Research p!rposes may $e gro!ped
into fo!r categories, vi'.,
.i= "/ploration
.ii= Description
.iii= Diagnosis
.iv= "/perimentation
A fle/i$le research design, which provides opport!nity for considering many different aspects of a
pro$lem, is considered appropriate if the p!rpose of the research st!dy is that of e/ploration. ?!t when the
p!rpose happens to $e an acc!rate description of a sit!ation or of an association $etween varia$les, the s!ita$le
design will $e one that minimi'es $ias and ma/imi'es the relia$ility of the data collected and analy'ed. There
are several research designs, s!ch as, e/perimental and non2e/perimental hypothesis testing. "/perimental
designs can $e either informal designs .s!ch as $efore2and2after witho!t control, after2only with control $efore2
and2after with control= or formal designs .s!ch as completely randomi'ed design, randomi'ed $lock design,
Latin s#!are design, simple and comple/ factorial designs=, o!t of which the researchers m!st select one for his
own pro,ect.
The preparation of the research design, appropriate for a partic!lar research pro$lem, involves !s!ally
the consideration of the following-
.i= the means of o$taining the information
.ii= the availa$ility and skills of the researcher and his staff .if any=
.iii= e/planation of the way in which selected means of o$taining information will $e organi'ed and the
reasoning leading to the selection
.iv= the time availa$ility for research and
.v= the cost factor relating to research, i.e. the finance availa$le for the p!rpose.
3/ RESEARCH METHOD
In dealing with any real life pro$lem it is often fo!nd that data at hand are inade#!ate, and
hence, it $ecomes necessary to collect data which differ considera$ly in conte/t of money
costs, time and other reso!rces at the disposal of the researcher.
>rimary data can $e collected either thro!gh e/periment or thro!gh s!rvey. If the researcher cond!cts an
e/periment, he o$serves some #!antitative meas!rements, or the data, with the help of which he e/amines the
tr!th contained in his hypothesis. ?!t in the case of a s!rvey, data can $e collected $y any one or more of the
following ways-
.i= By observation: This method implies the collection of information $y way of investigators own
o$servation, witho!t interviewing the respondents. The information o$tained relates to what is
c!rrently happening and is not complicated $y either the past $ehavior or f!t!re intentions or attit!des
of respondents. This method is no do!$t an e/pensive method and the information provided $y this
method is also very limited. As s!ch this method is not s!ita$le in in#!iries where large samples are
concerned.
.ii= Through personal interviews: The investigator follows a rigid proced!re and seeks answers to a set of
pre2conceived #!estions thro!gh personal interviews. This method of collecting data is !s!ally carried
o!t in a str!ct!red way where o!tp!t depends !pon the a$ility of the interviewer to a large e/tent.
.iii= Through telephone interviews: This method of collecting information involves contacting the
respondents on telephone itself. This is not a very widely !sed method $!t it plays an important role in
ind!strial s!rveys in developed regions, partic!larly, when the s!rvey has to $e accomplished in a very
limited time.
.iv= By mailing of questionnaires: The researcher and the respondents do not come in contact with each
other if this method of s!rvey is adopted. A!estionnaires are mailed to the respondents with a re#!est
to ret!rn after completing the same. It is the most e/tensively !sed method in vario!s economic and
$!siness s!rveys. ?efore applying this method, !s!ally a >ilot )t!dy for testing the #!estionnaire is
cond!cted which reveals the weakness, if any, of the #!estionnaire. A!estionnaire to $e !sed m!st $e
prepared very caref!lly so that it may prove to $e effective in collecting the relevant information.
.v= Through schedules: Bnder this method the en!merators are appointed and given training. They are
provided with sched!les containing relevant #!estions. Data are collected $y filling !p the sched!les $y
en!merators on the $asis of replies given $y respondents. %!ch depends !pon the capa$ility of
en!merators so far as this method is concerned. )ome occasional field checks on the work of the
en!merators may ens!re sincere work.
The researcher should select one of these methods of collecting the data taking into consideration the nature of
investigation, objective and scope of the inquiry, financial resources, available time and the desired degree of
accuracy. Tho!gh he sho!ld p!t attention to all these factors $!t m!ch depends !pon the a$ility and e/perience
of the researcher.
4/ DATA COLLECTION
The research design has a wide variety of methods to consider either singly or in com$ination. They can $e
gro!ped first according to whether they !se seconar# or pri!ar# so!rces of data.
Seconar# ata are already availa$le, $eca!se they were collected for some p!rpose other than solving the
present pro$lem.
$ri!ar# ata are collected especially to address a specific research o$,ective. A variety of methods,
ranging from #!alitative research to s!rveys to e/periments, may $e employed.
5/ SAM$LING METHODS
There are different types of sampling designs $ased on two factors vi'., the representation $asis and the element
selection techni#!e. On the representation $asis the sample may $e pro$a$ility sampling or it may $e non2
pro$a$ility sampling. >ro$a$ility sampling is $ased on the concept of random selection, whereas non2
pro$a$ility sampling is Cnon2random sampling. On element selection $asis, the sampling is non2random
sampling. On element selection $asis, the sample may $e either !nrestricted or restricted. *hen each sample
element is drawn individ!ally from the pop!lation at large, then the sample so drawn is known as C!nrestricted
sample, whereas all other forms of sampling are covered !nder the term Crestricted sampling. The following
chart e/hi$its the sample designs
"lement selection techni#!e
Bnrestricted sampling
Representation $asis
>ro$a$ility sampling 8on2pro$a$ility
sampling
)imple random sampling 7apha'ard sampling
or convenience sampling
Restricted sampling omple/ random sampling, >!rposive sampling .s!ch
.s!ch as cl!ster sampling, as #!ota sampling,
systematic sampling, ,!dgment sampling=
)tratified sampling etc.=
*. Probability samplin+
a. Simple random sampling.
b. Systematic random sampling.
c. Stratified random sampling
d. luster sampling
e. !ulti stage sampling
2. %on-probability samplin+
a. "udgment sampling
b. #uota sampling
c. onvenience sampling
,. -.. O# ./0L. $% R.0R/)
In research when the concepts to $e meas!red are comple/ and a$stract and we don not possess the standardi'e
meas!red tools. Alternatively, we can say that while meas!ring attit!de and opinions, we face the pro$lem of
their valid meas!rement. A researcher may face similar pro$lem. To avoid this pro$lem the scaling techni#!e is
!sed. Different types of scaling methods are-
./ Ratin+ sca,es
a. The graphic rating scale
b. The itemi$ed rating scale
0/ Ran=in+ sca,es
a. !ethod of paired comparison
b. !ethod of rank order
1/ Ar;itrar# sca,e
2/ Differentia, sca,e EThr*stone>t#pe sca,eC
3/ S*!!ate sca,es ELi=ert sca,eC
7/ DATA $ROCESSING
Data processings total task in carrying o!t the analytical program is to convert cr!de
fragments of o$servation and responses into orderly statistics for interpretation. The seven
stages of data processing are given $elow-
3. "ata preparation. There are three preparation stages necessary in either man!al or comp!ter processing-
editing, classifying and coding. An additional stage with comp!ters is card p!nching.
4. Pro+rammin+. "very data2processing ,o$, whatever the method !sed, needs preplanning that specifically
lays o!t directions to the persons doing ta$!lating .man!ally= or to the machinery .with comp!ters=. This
descri$es specifically the partic!lar operations to take place, with what e#!ipment, $y whom, and so forth.
;. .ortin+. All the $its of data have to $e classified together with the other $its that are of the same nat!re, $y
$eing sorted into gro!ps.
D. /ountin+. *hen the preparatory work has $een done, the individ!al o$servations can $e co!nted and
acc!m!lated in s!$totals of the prescri$ed classifications.
E. .ummari1in+. The vario!s s!$totals and totals are $ro!ght together and s!mmari'ed in ta$les that will
e/hi$it the data in an informative manner.
F. /omputations. *hen comp!ters are employed, vario!s calc!lations %ay $e performed with the data d!ring
the ta$!lation operations. *hen other methods are !tili'ed, the comp!tations are performed as separate
stages s!$se#!ent to the preparation of ta$les.
G. /ontrol. %eans for making proper checks of the acc!racy of the data processing are practically essential.
This incl!des e/amination of the coding and, if machines are !sed, the card p!nching and programs. Also, a
$ase total of the n!m$er of #!estionnaire or other data forms $eing processed sho!ld $e determined $efore
the processing $egins, there$y providing a total with which to verify whether each data $reakdown, or
analysis, totals to e/actly this $ase fig!re.
.8/ DATA ANAL9SIS
After the data have $een collected, the researcher t!rns to the task of analy'ing them. The analysis of data
re#!ires a n!m$er of closely related operations s!ch as esta$lishment of categories, the application of these
categories to raw data thro!gh coding, ta$!lation and then drawing statistical inferences. The !nwieldy data
sho!ld necessarily $e condensed into as few managea$le gro!ps and ta$les for f!rther analysis. Th!s, researcher
sho!ld classify the raw data into some p!rposef!l and !sa$le categories. oding operation is !s!ally done at this
stage thro!gh which the categories of data are transformed into sym$ols that may $e ta$!lated and co!nted.
"diting is the proced!re that improves the #!ality of the data for coding. *ith coding the stage is ready for
ta$!lation. Ta$!lation is a part of the technical proced!re wherein the classified data are p!t in the form of
ta$les. The mechanical devices can $e made !se of at this ,!nct!re. omp!ters ta$!late a great deal of data,
especially in large in#!iries. omp!ters not only save time $!t also make it possi$le to st!dy large n!m$er of
varia$les affecting a pro$lem sim!ltaneo!sly.
Analysis work after ta$!lation is generally $ased on the comp!tation of vario!s percentages, coefficients etc., $y
applying vario!s well2defined statistical form!lae. In the process of analysis, relationships or differences
s!pporting or conflicting with original or new hypothesis sho!ld $e s!$,ected to tests of significance to
determine with what validity data can $e said indicate any concl!sions. 5or instance, if there are two samples of
weekly wages, each sample $eing drawn from factories in different parts of the same city, giving two different
val!es, then o!r pro$lem may $e whether the two mean val!es are significantly different or the difference is ,!st
a matter of chance. Thro!gh the !se of statistical tests we can esta$lish whether s!ch a difference is a real one or
is the res!lt of random fl!ct!ations. If the difference happens to $e real, the inference will $e that the two
samples come from different !niverses and if the difference is d!e to chance, the concl!sion wo!ld $e that the
two samples $elong to the same !niverse. )imilarly, the techni#!e of analysis of variance can help !s in
analy'ing whether three or more varieties of seeds grown on certain fields yield significantly different res!lts or
not. In $rief, the researcher can analy'e the collected data with the help of vario!s statistical meas!res.
../ RESEARCH RE$ORT
5inally, the researcher has to prepare the report of what has $een done $y him. *riting of report m!st done with
great care keeping in view the following-
.3= The layo!t of the report sho!ld $e as follows-
.i= the preliminary pages.
.ii= the main te/t and
.iii= the end matter
In its preliminary pages the report sho!ld carry title and date followed $y acknowledgments and foreword. Then
there sho!ld $e a ta$le of contents followed $y a list of ta$les and list of graphs and charts, if any, given in the
report.
The main te/t of the report sho!ld have the following parts-
.a= %ntroduction: It sho!ld contain a clear statement of the o$,ective of the research and an e/planation of the
methodology adopted in accomplishing the research. The scope of the st!dy along with vario!s limitations
sho!ld as well as stated in this part.
.$= Summary of findings: After introd!ction there wo!ld appear a statement of findings and recommendations
in non2technical lang!age. If the findings are e/tensive, they sho!ld $e s!mmari'ed.
.c= !ain report: The main $ody of the report sho!ld $e presented in logical se#!ence and $roken2down into
readily identifia$le sections.
.d= onclusions: Towards the end of the main te/t, researcher sho!ld again p!t down the res!lts of his research
clearly and precisely. In fact, it is the final s!mming !p.
At the end of the report, appendices sho!ld $e enlisted in respect of all technical data. ?i$liography, i.e., list of
$ooks, ,o!rnals, reports etc., cons!lted, sho!ld also $e given in the end. Inde/ sho!ld also $e given specially in a
p!$lished research report.
.4= Report sho!ld $e written in a concise and o$,ective style in simple lang!age avoiding vag!e e/pressions
s!ch as Cit seems, C there may $e, and the like.
.;= harts and ill!strations in the main report sho!ld $e !sed only if they present the information more clearly
and forci$ly.
.D= alc!lated Cconfidence limits m!st $e mentioned and the vario!s constrains e/perienced in cond!cting
research operations may as well $e stated.
@UESTIONNAIRE
It is a method of comm!nication
It is a too, or instr*!ent to gather data from respondents in a s!rvey sit!ation
Definition
A #!estionnaire is a set of #!estions designed to generate the data necessary to
accomplish a research pro,ect.
A!estionnaire can $e classified into fo!r main types
i= str!ct!red .non disg!ised= 1direct #!estionnaire
ii= str!ct!red .disg!ised= 1indirect #!estionnaire
iii= non 2str!ct!red .non disg!ised= 1direct #!estionnaire
iv= non2str!ct!red .disg!ised= 1indirect #!estionnaire
A str*ct*re @*estionnaire is a formal list of #!estions framed so as to get facts.
The interviewer asks the #!estions strictly in accordance with a
pre 6 arranged order.
A str!ct!red A!estionnaire is of t)o t#pes
a= disg!ised and $= non 6 disg!ised
*hen the o$,ect or p!rpose of the s!rvey is re"ea,e it is called
non % is+*ise t#pe
*hen the o$,ect or p!rpose of the s!rvey is !ndisclosed 1 not revealed it is called as
is+*ise t#pe
iC Str*ct*re non % is+*ise B irect :*estionnaire is one when the listing of #!estions is
in a pre2arranged order and where the o$,ect or p!rpose of en#!iry is re"ea,e or made
known to the respondent.
%ost marketing research st!dies !se this type of #!estionnaire which is also simply referred
to as F:*estionnaireG/
A!estions are str!ct!red to o$tain facts
The interviewer asks the #!estions strictly in a pre arranged order
*idely !sed in %R
A!estions are presented e/actly with same wording 0 same order
to all respondents
The p!rpose of #!estionnaire 1 s!rvey is made known to respondents
iiC Str*ct*re an is+*ise :*estionnaire
This is least !sed in %R $!t !sed in ,o!rnalism
This type of #!estionnaire is !sed to know the peoples knowledge when a direct
!ndisg!ised #!estion co!ld prod!ces a $ias in his or her reply
In this type of #!estionnaire what comes o!t is &what does a respondent know( rather
than what he feels.
onse#!ently, the p!rpose of the s!rvey is not revealed
"g. <ery often people protest 1 comment on vario!s iss!es like ?a$ri %as,id, Haveri water
disp!te, @ovts li$erali'ation policy, Art of living etc., A !ndisg!ised #!estionnaire reveals
the p!rpose of the st!dy, and also gives m!lti choices which co!ld $ias a persons reply.
*hereas an open ended #!estion that asks &*hat do yo! know a$o!tI..( 9
&7ow do yo! think the @ovt sho!ld solve the pro$lem:
&*hat options are now availa$le : 9 etc., p!rely foc!ses on the persons tr!e knowledge on
the s!$,ect.
iiiC Non>str*ct*re an is+*ise :*estionnaire
7ere the #!estions are not str!ct!red and the p!rpose of the st!dy is not revealed1
concealed .disg!ised=.
The open ended #!estions contain a vag!e stim!l!s s!ch as pict!res, incomplete sentences etc
)tim!l!s is standardi'ed $y the researcher $!t the respondent is allowed to answer in an *nstr*ct*re
manner
$roAecti"e techni:*es follow this method.
An individ!al is asked to e/pand or descri$e or $!ild a story which is an indication of
the respondents $asic perception.
Three common types in this category are
aC )or association D ;C sentence co!p,etion D cC stor# te,,in+
E+/ A pict!re of a woman man!ally washing clothes and an open ended #!estion &>lease
descri$e the pict!re( co!ld $e a standard stim!l!s. The respondents are re#!ired to $!ild a
story !pon this which $rings o!t his $asic perception on the task of washing clothes.
i"C Non>str*ct*re an non>is+*ise :*estionnaire
7ere the p!rpose of the st!dy is clear, i.e., to pro$e a persons mind. .non2disg!ised=
The #!estions are open ene/ The initial part of the #!estions are consistent,
thereafter the interview $ecomes highly !nstr!ct!red as the interviewer pro$es more
deeply.
)!$se#!ent answers $y the respondent will determine the direction of the interview.
The #!estions asked $y the interviewer varies from person to person.
Thro!gh !nstr!ct!red pattern and open ended type of #!estions an e/perienced interviewer elicits fairly
acc!rate responses
This method is employed in &epth inter"ie)(.
The freedom permitted to the interviewer is the !aAor a"anta+e in this method.
The isa"anta+e of this method is that it is time cons!ming, and the respondent may
not cooperate. It re#!ires a highly skilled
interviewer. oding of open ended answers may also pose a challenge.
"g. Do yo! own a car : *hy o #o* )ant or o not )ant to own a car,
may $e the standard opening #!estions. Thereafter, this response is
f!rther pro$ed to find o!t the real reason for wanting or not wanting to
own a car which gives insights into car ownership. This type of st!dy is
employed in e/ploratory research. This helps in gaining inp!ts for
facilitating a p!rchase, form!lating promotional messages, highlighting
prod!ct feat!res, service $ack!ps etc.,
2/1/0/0 A"anta+es of str*ct*re non % is+*ise :*estionnaire or
2/1/0/0 A"anta+es of a :*estionnaire
3= It facilities the collection of information in a systematic and orderly manner as the
#!estions have $een form!lated in advance
4= )ince the #!estions asked $y each interviewer happens to $e identical and are asked in
the same order, the information is generally not distorted on acco!nt of varying
characteristics of different interviewers i.e., less interviewers $ias.
;= A str!ct!red approach, impersonal and standardi'ed calls for a straightforward and
simple approach on the part of interviewers . As s!ch, even ,ess :*a,ifie
interviewers can $e deployed in the s!rvey.
D= )!ch a #!estionnaire makes it far easier to eit, ta;*,ate H interpret the ata.
E= )!ch a #!estionnaire can $e preteste so that s!ita$le modifications can $e made in
phrasing #!estion or in the se#!ence or $oth.
F= Large no. of respondents can $e covered scattered in a large geographical area.,
especially in mail #!estionnaire
G. "conomical way of data collection 6 per !nit cost is low
J. Anonymity of respondent can $e maintained
Disa"anta+es of :*estionnaire
3. The level of #!estionnaire may not match the intelligence level of the respondent
4. The non2response rate is high in mail #!estionnaire
;. A mail #nnaire need not necessarily $e filled $y the act!al respondent, and we will not
know who has filled the #nnaire
D. Illegi$le and incomplete #nnaires are likely to $e high in mail s!rveys. Also,
am$ig!ities cannot $e clarified in mail s!rvey.
E. )t!dies re#!iring spontaneo!s response and o$servation of researcher not possi$le in
mail s!rvey
LIMITATION
)!ch a #!estionnaire is not in a position to elicit answers from respondent re.
motivation 0 personal reasons for his $ehavior. This is done $y disg!ised
#!estionnaires in #!alitative st!dies.
"g. In2depth interview.
Characteristics of a +oo :*estionnaire
3= 7as a good heading along with o$,ect of en#!iry clearly stated.
4= arries necessary instr!ctions
;= It is $ased on the o$,ectives of the s!rvey
D= *ell arranged se#!ence of #!estions
E= "licits o$,ective answers capa$le of ta$!lation
F= 7as clarity
G= 7as limited no. of #!estions
J= 7as good format2si'e, appearance, margin, spacing to look good on good #!ality
paper with good printing motivating respondents to answer.
A/ Unstr*ct*re @*estions > Open>ene :*estions that respondents answer in their o)n
words.
"g2 *hat is yo!r occ!pation : 2222222222222222222222
*hy do yo! think people shop in department stores.:2222222222222222222
222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222
&/ Str*ct*re :*estions
iC M*,tip,e choice :*estions
>lease tick the $rand of )hampoo yo! normally !se.
a= linic, $= hik, c= )!nsilk d= 7ead 0 sho!lder,
e= Any other, >lease specifyKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK2
iiC Dichoto!o*s @*estions 6 has only two response alternatives.
"g 6 Les, 8o 9 Agree, Disagree etc.
)ometimes ne!tral alternative needs to $e incl!ded
"g2 Dont Hnow, $oth or no opinion
Do yo! intend to $!y a new car within the ne/t si/ months:
KKKKyes KKKKK8o, KKKKKKK dont know
iiiC Sca,es
Do yo! intend to $!y a new car within the ne/t si/ months:
Definite,# $ro;a;,# Unecie $ro;a;,# Definite,#
Ii,, not ;*# )i,, not ;*# )i,, ;*# )i,, ;*#
. 0 1 2 3
4/ Choosin+ :*estion )orin+
2 a"oi a!;i+*o*s )ors
eg. Do yo! think distri$!tion of soft drink is ade#!ate:
Instead- 7ave yo! ever faced o!t of stock sit!ation of ?rand M soft
Drink : Les 9 8o 9 This can $e f!rther simplified
2 *se orinar# )ors
)implify 6 Do yo! think soft drinks are readily availa$le when yo! want to $!y them:
> a"oi ,eain+ :*estions
Do yo! think as a patriotic Indian yo! sho!ld $!y @ilette:
?etter2 *hen yo! $!y a ra'or, do yo! choose Indian or Imported $rands:
5/ Deter!inin+ orer of :*estions
./ Openin+ :*estions sho!ld $e simple, interesting 0 check e,i+i;i,it# of the
candidate to answer #!estions
"g2 )!ppose the respondent is re#!ired to $e a grad!ate, then the opening #!estion
can eliminate non grad!ates.
0/ Diffic*,t :*estions to $e incl!ded later 0 sho!ld $e a few in n!m$er
1/ Lo+ica, orer 6 se#!ence and flow to make interview smooth
2/ A"oi cro)in+ of :*estions that conf!se respondent
6/ For!at H ,a#o*t
2 5ormat, spacing 0 positioning sho!ld $e comforta$le to read.
2 A!estionnaire may $e in several parts if long.
2 >refera$ly it is $est to have ,!st one pa+e
E?terna, So*rces of Seconar# ata <
Go"t/ $*;,ication
3= Registrar @eneral of India 6 >op!lation ens!s Report
4= entral )tatistical Organisation .)O=6)tatistical A$stracts of
India. 2 Ann!al )!rvey of ind!stries
2 "stimates of 8ational >rod!ct savings 0 capital
formation
;= >lanning commission reports 2 ?asic statistics relating to
Indian economy
D= Reserve ?ank of India Reports 2 *holesale price inde/
Non Go"ern!ent/ $*;,ication
3= Indian otton %ills 5ederation 2 )tatistics on cotton te/tile
ind!stries
4= )tock e/change directories 2financial a1c, key profita$ility
ratios of listed companies
;= ?!rea! of offee ?oard 2 offee prod!ction statistics
D= oir ?oard, R!$$er ?oard, )ilk ?oard etc2 Ann!al reports
E= The )teel A!thority of India Ltd .)AIL= 2 )tats for iron or steel
Ind!stry
F= 5II 6 5ed. Ind. h. om 0 Ind!stry. >eriodic ?!lletins
IA 2 Indo Am. h. ommerce 0 >!$lications
AII 6 Ass. h. omm. 0Ind!stry of India