So your team knows there is a need for research. You have zeroed in on the various stakeholders and what their possible requirements can be. After carefully analysing the situation, the problem definition is clear and the very crucial DNA of the research has finally been jotted down. Kudos to you and your team! But what next? Where and how should youmove forward with the researchafter this? The key lies in proceeding systematically.
Depending upon the problem in hand your research team needs to take a call on what type of research should it carry out? If the problem is not very clear an exploratory or formulative research is conducted in order to achieve new insights like frequency of an activity or say people’s preferences.Techniques such as Delphi, focus groups, experience surveys and projective techniques are used to gain clarity. The descriptive approach is used when the hypothesis is clearly stated. The major purpose here is describing the state of affairs as it exists at present. Its main characteristic is that the researcher has no control over the variables. He can only provide answers to questions like what has happened or how has it happened. The methods used in this approach include comparative and correlational. It is often described as Ex post facto research. Causal research, on the other hand, is used to understand the cause and effect relationship. The AB analysis is used in this method of research.
These are the most general form of researches put to use. Others include applied research where you find the solution to an immediate problem faced by the society such as identifying social, economic or political trends affecting an institution, fundamentalresearch like those concerning human behaviour carried on with a view to make generalizations. Conceptual research is related to any abstract idea used to develop new concepts or to reinterpret existing ones. On the other hand,empirical research is one which relies on experience.Evidence gathered through empirical research is today considered to be the most powerful support possible for agiven hypothesis. Research can also be analytical where the researcher has to critically evaluate the material using the facts and information available.
Having understood the various forms of research it is imperative for the team to recognize what kind of research methodology would best suit its research. Only then will the team be able to take the next step in pursuit of its answers. Research will always be a crucial part of progress because it is only when efforts are put in understanding a problem that relevant results come out. The vital instinct of inquisitiveness often aids in finding solutions to unanswered problems.However, for any research to be successful it is necessary to ask the right questions. After all, formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution.