Scientific Method of Research
the scientific method of research refers to the works or steps which are to be followed while conducting research. Such a process helps to carry forward the research work and draw reliable conclusions. There are a few processes of scientific research. In this content topic, we will discuss the most widely used process of scientific research.
- Realizing a problem: First of all, a researcher should feel the problem for undertaking research. Problems are created due to a change in the environment or any other reason. The researcher should realize and be worried about such a problem. Realization can be made through feeling, study, experience, and observation. Even though the researcher is not able to find out the problem but he/she can feel uneasiness in the environment.
- Identification of problem: after realizing the problem, the researcher should try to find out the causes of the problems and the actual problem. The researcher should find out the problem and causes through the collection of information and analysis of the situation. Research should define such problems that help to minimize time and cost. Thus, the researcher should clearly identify the problem. For example, if the sale of the company is decreased then a decrease in the sale is a symptom so the researcher should find out the causes of the decrease in the sale. It may be due to a lack of sales employees motivation, incompetent sales force, etc.
- Review of literature: literature review refers to the study of previous research and documents. The researcher should find out the study gap from the review of the literature. It helps to define the problem and find out the methods which are suitable to study the research problem and issues. It also guides the researcher in the method of conducting research. It shows the way to conduct the research and way of concluding it. It simultaneously helps to develop a theoretical framework.
- Hypothesis formulation: hypothesis refers to the estimated result of the research. It is estimated on the basis of past studies. It presents the relationship between two variables in the testable form. Researchers find out the problems and related factors of the problem through a literature review. On the basis of the facts found from the literature review, the researcher formulates a hypothesis. It helps to determine the methods to be used and data to be collected. The hypothesis may not be always accepted. Sometimes, it may be rejected. Hypothesis helps to systematize the result and draw conclusions.
- Research design: research design is a framework of research. Research work is completed based on research design. It helps to collect evidence in less time and cost. Research design depends on the objectives of the research. It clarifies the way of collecting data, method of analysis, and bases of research. Research design is prepared before initiating research. Researchers should find out appropriate research design based on the research problem.
- Collection of data: a collection of information on the basis of research problems and objectives is referred to as data collection. It is the work performed in the field/outside the organization. The success of research depends largely on data collection. Reliable data collection helps to draw reliable conclusions. A researcher should develop a questionnaire, schedule for an interview, or observation for collecting data. But data collection differs on the basis of objectives, research design, and need. The researcher should decide what sort of data and information are essential, before data collection.
- Data analysis: a researcher classifies all the collected data and information on the basis of their feature and nature. Classified data are then collected, tabulated, and presented in charts. Such presented data are analyzed using mathematical, statistical, financial, and accounting tools. Most of the researchers use statistical tools for the analysis of data. Mean, median, mode, and standard deviation are descriptive statistical tools and t-tests, z-tests, and x square tests are used to test a hypothesis. They are known as inferential statistical tools. The use of statistical tools depends on the research objective, research design, and nature of data.
- Interpretation and generalization: after the analysis of the data, certain results are found and those results to be explained so that we can draw conclusions about the hypothesis. Whatever the conclusions are drawn, they are considered as theories. Such conclusions are applied in all the similar organizations which are regarded as a generalization. Conclusions without hypothesis are discussed on the basis of previous theories. Such discussions create new issues and require further research.
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