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EMM 4302 RESEARCH TOPIC 1: RESEARCH

METHODOLOGY APPROACHES &


P R O F. DAT O ’ D R . M U J A H I D B I N A H M A D Z A I D I
P R O F. M A DYA D R . D I A N DA R I N A I N DA H B I N T I DA R U I S
PROCESS

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LEARNING OUTCOMES:
After Completing this course the students should be able to;

 Assess information and material, to support the research project


 Determine suitable approach or methodology for the research
and experiment
 Organise the research experiment, monitor and manage the
progress effectively

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COURSE CONTENTS
DAY TOPICS / ACTIVITY
1 Research approaches and process: a quick glance
Ethics of research
2 Designing a research; topic selection, formulating a research,
reviewing literatures, managing literatures and citations
3 Designing a research; methods of inquiry, quantitative and qualitative
methods, data collection
4 CELEBRATION 1: Individual presentation
5 Processing and displaying data and results
6 Writing a research report
7 GRAND CELEBRATION: Group presentation

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A QUICK GLANCE
Topic outline
1. Research definition and philosophy
2. The research process: an eight-step model
3. Types of research/ Nature of research
4. Quantitative vs. Qualitative
5. The research wheel

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RESEARCH DEFINITION AND PHILOSOPHY

 Research is one of the ways to find


answers to your questions (Kumar, 2005)
 Research philosophy refers to the
systematic search for existence,
knowledge, values, reason, mind, and
language within a framework of a set of
philosophies
 Unbiased and objective
 Valid and reliable

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KUMAR (2005) FURTHER CITED…
‘research is a structured inquiry that utilises acceptable scientific
methodology to solve problems and creates new knowledge that is
generally applicable’ (Grinnel 1993).
Lundberg (1942) draws that the main difference between our day-to-day
generalisations and the conclusions usually recognised as scientific
method lies in the degree of formality, rigorousness, verifiability and
general validity of the latter.
Burns (1997) defines research as ‘a systematic investigation to find
answers to a problem’.
According to Kerlinger (1986: 10), ‘scientific research is a systematic,
controlled empirical and critical investigation of propositions about the
presumed relationships about various phenomena’.
Bulmer (1977: 5) states: ‘Nevertheless sociological research, as research, is
primarily committed to establishing systematic, reliable and valid
knowledge about the social world.’
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WHAT IS ‘NOT’ RESEARCH?
 Just collecting facts or information with no clear purpose.
 Reassembling and reordering facts or information without
interpretation.

WHAT IS RESEARCH THEN?


 Something that people (Researchers/scientists) undertake
in order to find things out in a systematic way, there by
increasing their knowledge’ (Saunders et al. (2009).
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
1. To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new
insights into it (known as exploratory or formulative research
studies);
2. To determine the frequency with which something occurs or with
which it is associated with something else (known as diagnostic
research studies);
3. To test a hypothesis of a causal relationship between variables
(known as hypothesis-testing research studies).

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THE EIGHT-STEP MODEL

PHASE I DECIDING WHAT TO RESEARCH


 Step I Formulating a research problem

PHASE II PLANNING A RESEARCH STUDY


 Step II Conceptualizing a research design
 Step III Constructing an instrument for data collection
 Step IV Selecting a sample
 Step V Writing a research proposal

PHASE III CONDUCTING A RESEARCH STUDY


 Step VI Collecting data
 Step VII Processing and displaying data
 Step VIII Writing a research report

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CHARACTERISTICS

Controlled
Rigorous
Systematic
Valid and verifiable
Empirical
Critical
WHAT DOES ‘ SYSTEMICALLY’ AND ‘ TO FIND OUT ’ SUGGEST?

 Systematic suggests that research is based on logical relationships and not just
beliefs. Rainfall and election win !!

 To find out things suggests multiplicity of possible purposes of research e.g.


 describing,
 explaining,
 understanding,
 criticizing, and
 analyzing
TYPES OF RESEARCH

1. Basic/fundamental vs. Applied


2. Descriptive vs. Analytical
3. Quantitative vs. Qualitative
4. Conceptual vs. Empirical
5. Others e.g. action research, historical research,
laboratory research

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BASIC/FUNDAMENTAL VS. APPLIED

Sources: Easterby-Smith et al. (2008); Hedrick et al. (1993)


DESCRIPTIVE VS. ANALYTICAL

Descriptive Analytical
 Describe characteristics of oExplain characteristic(s) of
group(s) group(s)
 Answer “What?” oAnswer “Why?”
 Comparison group(s) not oRequire comparison
required group(s)
 No hypothesis needed oHypothesis needed

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QUANTITATIVE VS. QUALITATIVE

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CONCEPTUAL VS. EMPIRICAL

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MEASURE OF GOOD RESEARCH

1. systematic

2. logical

3. empirical

4. replicable

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1. The purpose of the research should be clearly defined and common concepts be
used.
2. The research procedure used should be described in sufficient detail to permit
another researcher to repeat the research for further advancement, keeping the
continuity of what has already been attained.
3. The procedural design of the research should be carefully planned to yield
results that are as objective as possible.
4. The researcher should report with complete frankness, flaws in procedural design
and estimate their effects upon the findings.
5. The analysis of data should be sufficiently adequate to reveal its significance
and the methods of analysis used should be appropriate.
6. The validity and reliability of the data should be checked carefully.
7. Conclusions should be confined to those justified by the data of the research and
limited to those for which the data provide an adequate basis.
8. Greater confidence in research is warranted if the researcher is experienced,
has a good reputation in research and is a person of integrity.

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COMMON PROBLEMS FOR RESEARCH SCHOLARS IN ENGINEERING
1. The lack of a scientific training in the methodology of research is a great
impediment for research scholars across the world.
2. There is insufficient interaction between the university research
departments on one side and industries and research institutions on the
other side.
3. Most of the industrial units do not have the confidence that the material
supplied by them to researchers will not be misused and as such they are
often reluctant in supplying the needed information to researchers.
4. Research studies overlapping one another are undertaken quite often for
want of adequate information.
5. There does not exist a code of conduct for researchers and inter-university
and interdepartmental rivalries are also quite common.
6. There is also the difficulty of timely availability of published research
data from various government and other agencies doing this job.

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REFERENCES
Kumar, R. 2005. Research Methodology, A Step-by-Step Guide for
Beginners. 2nd Edition. Sage Publications Ltd: Malaysia.
Nallaperumal, K. 2013. Engineering Research Methodology A
Computer Science and Engineering and Information and
Communication Technologies Perspective.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259183120
Some notes and images from the public domain.

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