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RESEARCH

METHODS

Lecture 19
RESEARCH DESIGN:
ELEMENTS
Research Design
• A master plan specifying the
methods and procedures for
collecting and analyzing the data.
• A strategy or blueprint that plans
the action for carrying through the
research data.
Elements
• Series of components of
research design
1. Purpose of the Study
• Study can be exploratory, descriptive,
and explanatory.
• Present study can’t be exploratory. We
have already covered long distance.
• Can be either descriptive or
explanatory.
• Who, what, where, when, or how
much?
• Why? Explain the relationship.
Purpose determines how
rigorous the study will be
• Decide about the purpose.
• Within explanatory 
• Correlational: identification of factors
associated with the problem.
• Causal: establish definite cause-and-
effect relationship.
• Help in deciding the mode of
observation.
2. Unit of Analysis
• Refers to the level of aggregation of the
data during data analysis stage.
• Is it at the individual, or at group, or at
organization level.
• Raise the motivation level of employees.
Collect data from individual employees.
Aggregate analysis of information collected
from individuals. Unit of analysis is
individual.
• Study two person interaction – then several
two person groups will become the unit of
analysis (husband-wife, supervisor-
subordinate, teacher-student – dyads)
• Group effectiveness – unit of analysis is
group. Comparing different departments in
the work organization.
• Research question determines the unit of
analysis. Affects the data collection
methods, sampling.
• Unit of observation. Information provider.
Sometimes observe indirectly.
3. Time Dimension
• Make observation more than one time i.e.
over a long period.
• Cross-sectional studies.
• Longitudinal studies. Repeated over an
extended period. Employees behavior
before and after top management change
• Panel studies
• Cohort studies
4. Researcher Control of Variables
• Researcher’s ability to manipulate
variables.
• Experimental design.
• a. Non-contrived: natural environment. Field
experiment. Correlational studies.
• b. Contrived: artificial setting. Causal
• Ex-post-facto design. No control over the
variables. Report only what has happened
or what is happening. Survey research.
5. Mode of observation
• Depending upon the type of study
(qualitative or quantitative, descriptive
or causal, cross-sectional or
longitudinal, contrived or non-
contrived) researcher decides about
the mode of observation.
• Survey, experiment, field observation,
case study, focus group,
communication analysis.
6. Sampling Design
• Selecting some of the elements in the
population and draw conclusions
about the total population.
• Population element is the subject on
which measurement is being taken.
• Has its advantages and disadvantages.
• Selection of appropriate sampling
design.
7. Observation Tools
• Questionnaire
• Interview schedule
• Interview guide
• Check list
• Researcher will specify the
instrument along with justification
of its appropriateness.
8. Field Data Collection
• Depending on the mode of
observation, the researcher will
outline the procedure.
• Field team selection, training,
supervision.
9. Data Processing and
Data Analysis
• Manual vs. mechanical data
processing.
• Quantification of data. Data reduction
(score index), tabulation.
• Data analysis plan: use of statistics,
interpretations
Survey Research:
An Overview
• Method of gathering primary data based on
communication with a representative
sample of individuals.
• Survey requires asking people
(respondents) for information, using either
verbal or written questions.
• Collect data on telephone, face-to-face, or
other communication media.
Steps in Conducting
Surveys
• Researcher follows a deductive
approach.
• Begins with theoretical or applied
research problem and ends with
empirical measurement and data
analysis.
• Six broad steps:
1. Decide on
the Type of Survey
• Type of survey  Mail, interview, telephone,
computer assisted. What is appropriate?
• Develop the instrument: questionnaire or
interview schedule. Both are list of questions.
• Questionnaire: respondents read the
questions themselves and mark answers on
the questionnaire.
• Interview schedule: questions read to the
respondent by an interviewer, who also
records the answers.
2. Plan How to Record
Data
• Researcher thinks ahead how the
data shall be recorded and
organized for analysis.
• Pilot test survey instrument on
similar population.
3. Decide on
Target Population
• Get sampling frame
• Decide on sample size
• Select the sample
4. Do the Field Work

• Locate sampled respondents in


person, telephone, or by mail.
• Conduct interviews or administer
questionnaires
• Carefully record the data.
5. Data Processing
• Enter data into computers
• Data cleaning
• Tabulation
• Perform statistical analysis on
data.
6. Research Report
• Describe methods and findings in
research report
• Present findings to others for
critique and evaluation
RESEARCH
METHODS

Lecture 19