1. Philosophy of research
The philosophy of research is associated with the clarification of the assumption about the nature and source of knowledge. All studies are based on some kind of assumptions about the world and ways of understanding the world. There is no consensus among philosophers on the most appropriate ways of understanding the world; therefore, it is expected to clarify the philosophy you have chosen to understand your research problem.
In simple words, research philosophy refers to your belief about how data should be collected, analyzed and used. Consequently, it is clarification of the philosophy of fishing is a starting point for the choice of research methods.
Positivism and phenomenology are the two main contrasting research philosophies related to business studies. Positivism is an objective approach that is based on facts and quantitative data. Phenomenology, on the other hand, takes into account subjective human interests and focuses on meanings rather than on hard data. You have to specify in your dissertation what philosophy you are following.
2. Types of research
The research methods also depend on the type of research according to the purpose of the study. Specifically, according to its purpose, the studies can be classified as applied research or fundamental research.
Applied research, also known as action research, aims to find a solution for immediate and specific problems. Consequently, the findings of the applied studies are valuable at practical levels and can be applied to address specific problems.
Fundamental research, on the other hand, also known as basic research or pure research, aims to contribute to the general reach of knowledge in the area of research without immediate practical implications. The results of the fundamental studies can not be used to solve immediate and specific business problems.
3. Research focus.
The research approach is another important element of the research methodology that directly affects the choice of specific research methods. The research approach can be divided into two categories, inductive and deductive. If you decide to find answers to specific research questions asked at the beginning of the research process, you would be following an inductive approach. Alternatively, if you choose to achieve the research objective (s) through test hypotheses, your research approach can be specified as deductive. The choice between the two depends on a set of factors such as the area of study, the philosophy of the research, the nature of the research problem and others.
4. Research design.
The research design can be exploratory or conclusive. If you only want to explore the research problem and do not want to present definitive and conclusive evidence of the research problem, the design of your research would be exploratory. The conclusive research design, on the other hand, aims to provide final and conclusive answers to the research question. The conclusive investigation is divided into two subcategories.
5. Methods of data collection.
There are two types of data: primary and secondary. The primary data is a type of data that never existed before, therefore, it was not previously published. Primary data is collected for a specific purpose, that is, analyzed critically to find answers to research questions. Secondary data, on the other hand, refers to a type of data that has previously been published in magazines, magazines, newspapers, books, online portals, and other sources.
Dissertations can be based only on secondary data, without the need for primary data. However, the opposite is not true, that is, the research can not be completed using only primary data, and the collection and analysis of secondary data is mandatory for all dissertations.
The primary methods of data collection can be divided into two categories: qualitative and quantitative.
The main differences between qualitative and quantitative research methods can be summarized in the following points:
First, concepts in quantitative research methods are usually expressed in the form of variables, while concepts in qualitative research methods are expressed in motives and generalizations.
Second, quantitative research methods and measures are usually universal, as formulas for finding the mean, median, and mode for a data set, whereas, in qualitative research, each investigation is addressed individually and develop individual measures to interpret the primary data taking into account unique characteristics of the investigation.
Third, data from quantitative research appear in the form of numbers and specific measures, and in qualitative research, data can be found in words, images, transcripts, etc.
Fourth, the results of research in quantitative research can be illustrated in the form of tables, graphs and pie charts, while the results of research in qualitative studies are usually presented in the analysis using only words.
The most popular qualitative methods of data collection and analysis in business studies are interviews, focus groups, observation, case studies, games and role plays, etc.
Popular quantitative methods of data collection and analysis, on the other hand, include correlation analysis, regression analysis, mean, mode and median, and others.
Sampling is a principle that specifies the conditions and guides the selection process of the members of the population to participate in the study and contribute as sources of primary data. The choice of sampling method determines the accuracy of the research results, the reliability and the validity of the study and has immense implications for the overall quality of the study.