Read this article to learn about:- 1. Meaning of Research 2. Objectives of Research 3. Significance 4. Structure 5. Characteristics 6. Importance.
- Meaning of Research
- Objectives of Research
- Significance of Research
- Structure of Research
- Characteristics of Research
- Importance of Research in Management Decision
1. Meaning of Research:
Research is an academic activity and such as the term should be in a technical sense. Research is defined as human activity based on intellectual application in the investigation of matter.
According to Clifford Woody:
“Research comprises of defining and redefining problems, formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions making deductions and reaching conclusions; and at last carefully testing the conclusions to determine whether they fit the formulating hypothesis”.
Definition of research- way of thinking, research is one of the ways to find answers to your questions, critical examination of different aspects of professional work, habit of questioning what we do, systematic examination of observed information.
Grinnell has defined research as:
The word ‘research’ is composed of two syllables, re and search. The dictionary defines the former as a prefix meaning again, a new or over again and the latter as a verb meaning to examine closely and carefully, to test and try, or to probe. Together they form a noun describing a careful, systematic, patient study and investigation in some field of knowledge, undertaken to establish facts or principles.
Lundberg has Defined Research as:
Scientific methods consist of systematic observation, classification and interpretation of data. Now, obviously, this process is one in which nearly all people engage in the course of their daily lives. The main difference between our day-to-day generalisations and the conclusions usually recognised as scientific method lies in the degree of formality, verifiability, rigorousness, and general validity of the latter.
Criteria of Good Research:
One of expects scientific research to satisfy the following criteria:
1. Purpose clearly defined,
2. Research process detailed,
3. Research design thoroughly planned,
4. Limitations frankly revealed,
5. High ethical standards applied,
6. Adequate analysis for decision-maker’s needs,
7. Findings presented unambiguously,
8. Conclusions justified,
9. Researcher’s experience reflected.
In other words, we can state the qualities of good research as under:
(i) Good research is systematic.
(ii) Good research is logical,
(iii) Good research is an empirical.
(iv) Good research is a replicable.
2. Objectives of Research:
The purpose of research is to discover answers to questions through the application of scientific procedures. The main aim of research is to find out the truth which is hidden and which has not been discovered as yet.
Though, each research study has its own specific purpose, we may think of research objectives as falling into a number of following broad groupings:
1. To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve a new insight into it (studies with this objects in view are known as exploratory or formulate research studies).
2. To reveal accurately the characteristic of a particular individual, situation or a group (studies with this object in view are termed as descriptive research studies).
3. To find out the frequency with which something occurs or associates with something else (studies with this object in view are termed as diagnostic research studies).
4. To test a hypothesis of a causal relationship between variables (such studies are termed as hypothesis- testing research studies).
5. To achieve new insight into a phenomenon (Formulative Research).
6. To determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it is associated with something else.
7. To test a hypothesis of causal relationship between variables.
3. Significance of Research:
The role of research in different fields of applied economics, whether related to business or to the economy as whole, has greatly increased in modern times. Research, as an aid to economic policy, has gained added importance, both for government and business.
Research provides the basis for nearly all government policies in our economic system. For instance, government’s budgets rest in part on an analysis of the needs and desires of the people and on the availability of revenues to meet these needs.
The cost of needs has to be equated to people revenues and this is a field where it is most needed. Through research we can devise alternative policies and can as well examine the consequences of each of these alternatives.
Decision-making may not be a part of research, but research certainly facilities the decisions of the policy maker. Government has also to chalk out programmes for dealing with all facets of the country’s existence and most of these will be related directly or indirectly to economic conditions.
The plight of cultivators, the problems of big and small business and industry, working condition, trade union activities, the problems of big and small business and industry, working conditions, trade union activities, the problem of distribution, even the size and nature of defense services are matters requiring research.
These days nearly all government maintains large staff of research technicians or experts to carry on this work.
Thus, in the context of government, research as a tool to economic policy has three distinct phases of operation, viz.:
(i) Investigation to economic structure through continual compilation of facts;
(ii) Diagnosis of events that are taking place and the analysis of the forces underlying them; and
(iii) The prognosis, i.e., the prediction of future development.
Research has its special significance is solving various operational and planning problems, of business and industry. Operations research and market research, along with motivational research, are considered crucial and their result assists, in more than to way in taking business decisions. Market research is the investigation of the structure and development of a market for the purpose of formulating efficient policies for purchasing, production and sales.
Operations research refers to the application of mathematical, logical and analytical techniques to the solution of business problems of cost minimisation or of profit maximisation what can be termed as optimization problems.
Motivational research of determining why people behave as they do is mainly concerned with market characteristics. In order words, it is concerned with the determination of motivations underlying the consumer (market) behaviour.
All these are of great help to people in business and industry who are responsible for taking business decisions. Research with regard to demand and market factors has great utility in business. Given knowledge of future demand, it is generally not difficult for a firm, or for and industry to adjust it supply schedule within the limits of its projected capacity.
Market analysis has become an integral tool of business policy these days. Business budgeting, which ultimately results in a projected profit and loss account, is based, mainly on sales estimate which in turn depends on business research.
Once sales forecasting is done, efficient production and investment programme can be set up around which are grouped the purchasing and financing plans. Research, thus, replaces intuitive business decisions by more logical and scientific decisions.
Research is equally important for social scientists in studying social relationships and in seeking answers to various social problems. It provides the intellectual satisfaction of knowing a few things just for the sake of knowledge and also has practical utility for the social scientist to know for the sake of being able to do something better or in a more efficient manner. Research in social sciences is concerned both with knowledge for its own sake and with knowledge for what it can contribute to practical concerns.
“This double emphasis is perhaps especially appropriate in the case of social science. On the one hand, its responsibility as a sciences is to develop a body of principles that make possible the understanding and prediction of the whole range of human interactions. On the other hand, because of its social orientation, it is increasingly being looked to for practical guidance in solving immediately problems of human relations.”
1. Research inculcates Scientific and inductive thinking and it promotes the development of logic habits of thinking.
2. Research provides the basis for nearly all government policies in our economic system.
3. Research helps to solve various operational and planning problems by business and Indian Marketing Research/ Operational Research/ Demand Forecasting Research.
4. Research is equally important for scientists.
In addition to what has been stated above, the significance of research can also be under keeping in view the following points:
1. To those students who are to write a master’s or Ph.D. thesis, research many mean a c. or way to attain a high position in social structure.
2. To philosophers and thinkers, research may mean the outlet for new ideas and insight.
3. To professionals in research methodology, research may mean a source of livelihood.
4. To analysts and intellectuals, research may mean the generalisations of new theories.
Hence, the research is the function of knowledge for the sake of knowledge and important source of providing guidelines for solving different business, governmental and social problems.
4. Structure of Research:
Most research projects share the same general structure. You might think of this structure the shape of an hourglass. The research process usually starts with a broad area of interest, the initial problem that the researcher wishes to study. For instance, the researcher could be interested in how to use computers to improve the performance of students in mathematics. But this initial interest is far too broad to study in any single research project (it might not even be addressable in a lifetime of researcher).
The researcher has to narrow the question down to one that can reasonably be studied in a research project. This might involve formulating a hypothesis or a focus question.
For instance, the researcher might hypothesise that a particular method of computer instruction in mathematics will improve the ability of elementary school students in a specific district. At the narrowest point of the research hourglass, the researcher is engaged in direct measurement or observation of the question of interest.
Once the basic data is collected, the researcher begins to try to understand it, usually by analyzing it in a variety of ways. Even for a single hypothesis there are a number of analyses. Researcher might typically conduct. At this point, the researcher begins to formulate some initial conclusions about what happened as a result of the computerised math programme.
Ethics in Research:
Ethics are norms or standards of behaviour that guide moral choices about our behaviour and our relationships with others. Goal of ethics in research is to ensure that no one is harmed or suffers adverse consequences from research activities. Ensure the client receives ethically conducted and reported research. Follow ethical standards when designing research protects the safety of research team ensure the research team follows the design.
In other words, ethics are the rules for distinguishing between right and wrong, such as the Golden Rule, a code of professional conduct like the Hippocratic Oath, a religious creed like the Ten Commandments, or wise aphorisms like the sayings of confucius. Ethics are norms for conduct that distinguish between or acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
Ethics focuses on the disciplines that study standards of conduct, such as philosophy, theology, law, psychology, or sociology. For example, a ‘medical ethicist’ is someone who studies ethical standards in medicine. Finally, one may also define ethics as a method, procedure, or perspective for deciding how to act and for analysing complex problems and issues.
For instance, in a complex issue like global warming, one may take an economic, ecological, political, or ethical perspective on the problem. While an economist might examine the cost and benefits of various policies related to global warming, an environmental ethicist could examine the ethical values and principles at stake in the issue.
Why is it Important?
1. Some of ethical norms promote the aims of research, such as knowledge, truth, and avoidance of error. For example, prohibitions against fabricating, falsifying, or misrepresenting research data promote the truth and avoid error.
2. Since research often involves a great deal of cooperation and coordination among many different people in different disciplines and institutions, many of these ethical standards promote the values that are essential to collaborative work, such as trust, accountability, mutual respect, and fairness. For example, many ethical norms in research, such as guidelines for authorship, copyright and patenting policies, data sharing policies, and confidentiality rules in peer review, are designed to protect intellectual property interests while encouraging collaboration.
3. Many of the ethical norms help to ensure that researchers can be held accountable to the public. For instance, federal policies on research misconduct, on conflicts of interest, on the human subjects’ protections, and on animal care and use are necessary in order to make sure that researchers who are funded by public money can be held accountable to the public.
4. Ethical norms in research help to build public support for research. People are more likely to fund research project if they can trust the quality and integrity of research.
5. Many of the norms of research promote a variety of other important moral and social values, such as social responsibility, human rights, and animal welfare, compliance with the law, and health and safety. Ethical lapses in research can significantly harm to human and animal subjects, students, and the public.
Character of Significance of Research:
The characteristics of significance of research are:
1. Research incriminates scientific and inductive thinking and it promotes the development of logical habits of thinking.
2. Research provides the basis for nearly all government policies in our economic systems. The research as an aid to economic policy has gained added importance both for government and business.
3. The role of research in different fields of applied economics whether connected to business or to the economy as a whole has greatly increased in modern times.
4. It helps to solve different operational and planning problems of business and industry. For example; Marketing Research/Operational Research/Demand Forecasting.
5. Research is equally important for scientists.
Thus, the research is the origin of knowledge for the sake of knowledge and important source of providing guidelines for solving various business and social problems.
5. Characteristics of Research:
The characteristics of the research are following steps:
(a) Systematic Approach:
Each step of your investigation be so planned that it leads to the next step. Planning and organisation are part of this approach. A planned and organised research saves your time and money.
It implies that true Research should attempt to find an unbiased answer to the decision-making problem.
A reproducible research procedure is one, which an equally competent researcher could duplicate, and from it deduces approximately the same results. Precise information regarding samples-methods collection etc.., should be specified.
It furnishes three important tasks- It avoids collection of irrelevant information and saves time and money. It compares the information to be collected with researcher’s criteria for action. It enables to see whether the research is proceeding in the right direction.
Research is not only affected by the factors, which one is investigating but some other extraneous factors also. It is impossible to control all the factors. All the factors that we think may affect the study have to be controlled and accounted for.
For Example: Suppose we are studying the relationship between incomes and shopping behaviour, without controlling for education and age, it will be a height of folly, since our findings may reflect the effect of education and age rather than income.
6. Importance of Research in Management Decision:
The role of research has greatly increased in the field of business and economy as a whole. The study of research methods provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to solve the problems and meet the challenges of today’s modern pace of development.
Three factors stimulate the interest in a scientific research for decision-making:
(i) The manager’s increased need for more and better information.
(ii) The availability of improved techniques and tools to meet this need.
(iii) The resulting information overload.
The usefulness and contribution of research in assisting marketing decisions is so crucial that it has given rise to the opening of a new field altogether called ‘marketing research’.
Marketing research is basically the systematic gathering, recording and analysing of the facts about business problems with a view to investigate the structure and development of a market for the purpose of formulating efficient policies for purchasing, production and sales. Research with regard to demand and market factors has great utility in business. Market analysis has become an integral tool of business policy.
Once sales forecasting is done, the Master Production Schedule (MPS) and Material Requirement Planning (MRP) can be efficiently done within the limits of the projected capacity based on the MPS budgetary control can be made more efficient, thus replacing subjective business decisions with more logical and scientific decisions.
Modern industry with its large-scale operations tends to create a gulf between the customer and the manufacturer. Particularly when business is too big and operations are too far-flung, one cannot depend upon casual contacts and personal impressions. Research methodology has been developed as the tool by which business executives keep in touch with their customers.
If an entrepreneur has to make sound decisions, he must know who has customers are and what they want. To a certain extent, he relies on his salesmen and his dealers to supply him with market information but in recent years, more and more firms/executives have turned to research methodology as a medium of communication between the customer and the company.
Marketing research is the link between the manufacturer and the consumer and the means of providing consumer-orientation in all aspects of the marketing function. It is the instrument of obtaining the knowledge about the market and consumer through objective methods, which guard against the manufacturer’s subjective bias.
Many Researchers define marketing research as gathering, recording and analysing of all facts about problems relating to the transfer and sale of goods and services from producer to consumer. Research methodology is an essential prerequisite for consumer oriented marketing.
It is necessary for developing the marketing strategy where in factors under the control of the organisation, viz., product distribution system, advertising, promotion and price can be utilised so as to obtain maximum results in the context of the factors outside the control of the organisation, viz., economic environment, competitor and laws of land.
7. Importance of Knowing how Research is Done:
The study of research methodology gives the student the necessary training in gathering material and arranging or card-indexing them, participation in the field work when required, and also training in techniques for the collection for data appropriate to particular problem, in the use of statistics questionnaires and controlled experimentation and in recording evidence, sorting it out and interpreting it.
In fact, importance of knowing the methodology of research or how research is done stems from the following consideration:
1. For one who is preparing himself for a career of carrying out research, the importance of knowing research methodology and research techniques is obvious since the same constitute the tools of his grade. The knowledge of methodology provides good training especially to the new research worker and enables him to do better research.
It helps him to develop disciplined thinking or a ‘bent of mind’ to observe the field objectively. Hence, those aspiring for careerism in research must develop the skill of using research techniques and must thoroughly understand the logic behind them.
2. Knowledge of how to do research will inculcate the ability to evaluate and use research results with reasonable confidence. In other words, we can state that the knowledge of research methodology is helpful in various fields such as government or business administration, community development and social work where persons are increasingly called upon to evaluate and use research results for action.
3. When one knows how research is done, then one may have the satisfaction of acquiring a new intellectual tool which can become a way of looking at the world and of judging every day experience. Accordingly, it enables us to make intelligent decisions concerning problems facing us in practical life at different points of time. Thus, the knowledge of research methodology provides tools to look at things in life objectively.
4. In this scientific age, all of us are in many ways consumers of research results and we can use them intelligently provided we are able to judge the adequacy of the methods by which they have been obtained. The know ledge of methodology helps the consumer of research results to evaluate them and enables him to take rational decisions.
Problems Encountered by Researcher in India:
Researchers in India, particularly those engaged in analytical research are facing various problems. Some of the researchers in India encounter various problems.
The important problems are as follows:
1. The lack of scientific training in the research methodology is greatest impediment for the researchers in our country. Many researchers take a leap in the dark without knowing research methods.
2. There is insufficient interaction between the university research departments on the one side and business establishments, research institute and government department on the other side. Efforts should be made to develop satisfactory liaison among all concerned for better and realistic researches.
3. Most of the business research units in our country do not have the confidence that the material supplied by them to researchers will not misused and such they are often reluctant in supplying the needed information to the researchers.
4. The research studies overlapping one another are undertaken quite often for want of adequate information. This results in duplication of resources.
5. Many researchers in our country also face the difficulty of adequate and timely secretarial assistance, including computer assistance. UGC must play important role in solving this difficulty.
6. There is also the difficulty of the timely availability of published data from various government and other agencies doing this job in our country.
7. Library management and functions is not satisfactory at any places and match of the time and energy of researchers are spent in tracing out books, journals reports.