The basic types of research are given below:
Type # 1. Pure Research:
Pure research includes developing and testing theories and hypothesis that are intellectually challenging to the researcher but it may or may not have practical application at the present time or in the future. Thus, such work often involves the testing of hypotheses containing very abstract and specialised concepts.
Type # 2. Qualitative Research:
Qualitative research is concerned with qualitative phenomena, i.e., phenomenon relating to or involving quality or kind. Qualitative research is exploratory (i.e., hypothesis-generating). Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behaviour and the reasons that govern human behavior. Qualitative research relies on reasons behind various aspects of behaviour.
It investigates the why and how of decision-making, not just what, where, and when. It differs from quantitative research in many ways. First, sampling is typically not random but is purposive.
That is, cases are chosen based on the way that they typify or do not typify certain characteristics or participate in a certain class. Secondly, the role of the researcher is key. Researchers must reflect on their role in the research process and make this clear in the analysis. Thirdly, data analysis differs considerably. Researchers must carefully code data and discern themes in a consistent and reliable way.
Qualitative research is highly useful in policy and evaluation research, where understanding why and how certain outcomes were achieved is as important as establishing what those outcomes were. Qualitative research can yield useful insights about programme implementation—were expectations reasonable?
Type # 3. Quantitative Research:
Quantitative research is based on the measurement of quantity or amount. Quantitative research is more focused and aims to test hypotheses. Quantitative research is the systematic scientific investigation of quantitative properties and phenomena and their relationships.
The objective of quantitative research is to develop and employ mathematical models, theories and/or hypotheses pertaining to natural phenomena. The process of measurement is central to quantitative research because it provides the fundamental connection between empirical observation and mathematical expression of quantitative relationships.
Quantitative research is widely used in both the natural sciences and social sciences, from physics and biology to sociology and journalism. It is also used as a way to research different aspects of education. It is applicable to those phenomenon’s that can be expressed in terms of quantity.
I. Survey that concludes that the average patient has to wait two hours in the waiting room of a certain doctor before being selected.
II. An experiment in which group x was given two tablets of Aspirin a day and Group y was given two tablets of a Placebo a day where each participant is randomly assigned to one or other of the groups.
The numerical factors such as two tablets, percent of elements and the time of waiting make the situations and results quantitative.
Type # 4. Conclusive Research:
Exploratory research gives rise to several hypotheses which you will have to test for drawing definite conclusions. These conclusions when tested for validity lay the structure for your decision-making. Conclusive research is used for this purpose of testing the hypotheses generated by exploratory research.
Conclusive research can further be classified as:
(a) Descriptive Research or Analytical:
Descriptive research, also known as statistical research, describes data and characteristics about the population or phenomenon being studied. Descriptive research answers the questions who, what, where, when and how. Although the data description is factual, accurate and systematic, the research cannot describe what caused a situation.
Thus, descriptive research cannot be used to create a causal relationship. In other words, descriptive research can be said to have a low requirement for internal validity.
In other words, descriptive research is designed to describe something. For example, the characteristics of users of a given product- the degree to which product use varies with income, age, sex or other characteristics; or the number of persons who saw a specific television commercial. Descriptive studies differ in the degree to which a specific hypothesis is the guide. It allows both implicit and explicit hypotheses to be tested depending on the research problem.
A cereal company may find its sales declining. On the basis of market feedback the company may hypothesise that teenage children do not eat its cereal for breakfast. A descriptive study can then be designed to test this hypothesis.
(b) Experimental Research:
Experimentation will refer to that process of research in which one or more variables are manipulated under conditions, which permit the collection of data and which show the effects. Experiments will create a situation so that a researcher can obtain the particular data, needed and can measure the data accurately. Experiments are artificial in the sense that the situations are usually created for testing purposes.
Thus, the ability to set up a situation for the purpose of observing and recording accurately the effect on one factor, when another is deliberately changed, permits you to accept or reject hypothesis beyond reasonable doubt. If the objective is to validate the cause and effect relationship among variables in a resounding manner, then undoubtedly experiments are much more effective than descriptive technique.
Thus, we can conclude that- Research methodology minimises the degree of uncertainty involved in management decisions. Research lays the structure for decision-making. Research is not synonymous with common sense. Research is characterised by— systematic, objective, reproducible, relevance, and control. The role of research in the important areas of management has been briefly covered.
The areas include marketing, production, banking, materials, human resource development, and government. Research process involves the five important steps— problem definition, research design, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of results. All these steps have been explained in detail with their key elements.
We have dichotomised the types of research into—exploratory, and conclusive. While exploratory research enables the researcher to generate hypotheses, they are tested for validity by the conclusive research. Conclusive research could be further divided into – descriptive, and experimental. While the descriptive procedures merely test the hypotheses, the experimental research establishes in a more effective manner the cause and effect relationships among variables.
Type # 5. Exploratory Research:
Exploratory research is a type of research conducted because a problem has not been clearly defined. Exploratory research helps to determine the best research design, data collection method and selection of subjects.
Given its fundamental nature, exploratory research often concludes that a perceived problem does not actually exist. The objective of exploratory research is to gather preliminary information that will help define problems and suggest hypotheses.
Many times a decision-maker is grappling with broad and poorly defined problems. If an attempt is made to secure better definitions by analytic thinking, it may be the wrong approach and may even be counterproductive in the sense that this approach may lead to a definitive answer to the wrong question.
Exploratory research uses a less formal approach. It pursues several possibilities simultaneously and in a sense it is not quite sure of its objective.
Exploratory research is designed to provide a background, to familiarise and as the word implies just ‘explore’, the general subject.
A part of exploratory research is the investigation of relationships among variables without knowing why they are studied, it borders on an idle curiosity approach, differing from it only in that the investigator thinks there may be a pay-off in the application somewhere in the forest of questions.
The purpose of an exploratory research may be:
1. To generate new ideas,
2. To increase the researcher’s familiarity with the problem,
3. To make a precise formulation of the problem,
4. To gather information for clarifying concepts,
5. To determine whether it is feasible to attempt me study.
Three typical approaches in exploratory research are:
(a) The literature survey.
(b) The experience survey,
(c) The analysis of ‘insight stimulating’ cases.
The literature surrey is fast, economical way to develop a better understanding of a problem area in which you are investigating and have limited experience and knowledge. It also familiarises you with past research results, data sources, and the type of data available.
The experience survey concentrates on persons who are particularly knowledgeable in the particular area. In this representative samples are not desired. A covering of widely divergent views is better. Researchers are not looking for conclusions: they are looking for ideas.
The analysis of ‘insight stimulating’ cases in exploratory research mainly concerns with the study and analysis of impending motivational cases.
Type # 6. Basic and Applied Research:
Basic research is intended to expand the body of knowledge in a field or to provide knowledge for use of others. Applied research is used for solving a particular problem or guiding a specific decision.
(a) Basic Research:
Basic research is driven by a scientist’s curiosity or interest in a scientific question. The main motivation is to expand man’s knowledge, not to create or invent something. There is no obvious commercial value to the discoveries that result from basic research. Basic research is also called fundamental or dumb research. Basic research has, as its primary objective, the advancement of knowledge and the theoretical understanding of the relations among variables.
It is exploratory and often driven by the researcher’s curiosity, interest, and perception. It is conducted without any practical end in mind, although it may have unexpected results pointing to practical applications. The terms ‘basic’ or ‘fundamental’ indicate that, through theory generation, basic research provides the foundation for further, sometimes applied research.
As there is no guarantee of short-term practical gain, the researchers may find it difficult to obtain funding for basic research. The U.S. Bureau of census is the world’s largest fact gathering agency. All its data are for use by others including market.
For example, basic science research problem for answers to questions such as:
I. How the universe did begin?
II. What are protons, neutrons, and ‘electrons composed of?
III. How do slime molds reproduce?
IV. What is the specific genetic code of the fruit fly?
(b) Applied Research:
Applied research is designed to solve practical problems of the modern world, rather than to acquire knowledge for knowledge’s sake. One might say that the goal of the applied scientist is to improve the human condition. The primary aim for applied research is discovering, interpreting, and the development of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge on a wide variety of scientific matters of our world and the universe.
For example, applied researchers may investigate ways to:
I. Improve agricultural crop production,
II. Treat or cure a specific disease,
III. Improve the energy efficiency of homes, offices, or modes of transportation.