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Showing posts with label Research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Research. Show all posts
Whether we are aware of it or not, we are surrounded by research. Educators, administrators, government officials, business leaders, human service providers, health care professionals, regularly use social research findings in their jobs. Social research can be used to raise children, reduce crime, improve public health, sell products, improve workers’ efficiency, or just understand one’s life. Assume for the moment that you are the Manager of a restaurant. You are experiencing a significant turn over in your waiter/waitress pool, and long-time customers have been commenting that the friendly atmosphere that has historically drawn them to your door is changing. What will you do? Where will you try to solve this problem? The problem of high turn over and decline in the friendly atmosphere at the restaurant has to be researched.
The study of research methods provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to solve the problem and meet the challenges of a fast-paced decision-making environment. A systematic inquiry whose objective is to provide information to the problems (be they managerial as in our example) is one way to explain research.

What is Research?
General image of the research is that it has something to do with the laboratory where scientists are supposedly doing some experiments. Somebody who is interviewing consumers to find out their opinion about the new packaging of milk is also doing research. Research is simply the process of finding solutions to a problem after through study and analysis of the situation factors. It is gathering information needed to answer a question, and thereby help in solving a problem. We do not do study in any haphazard manner. Instead we try to follow a system or a procedure in an organized manner. It is all the more necessary in case we want to repeat the study, or somebody else wants to verify our findings. In the latter case the other person has to follow the same procedure that we followed. Hence not only we have to do the study in a systematic manner but also that system should be known to others.

Definition & Value Of Research

Whether we are aware of it or not, we are surrounded by research. Educators, administrators, government officials, business leaders, human service providers, health care professionals, regularly use social research findings in their jobs. Social research can be used to raise children, reduce crime, improve public health, sell products, improve workers’ efficiency, or just understand one’s life. Assume for the moment that you are the Manager of a restaurant. You are experiencing a significant turn over in your waiter/waitress pool, and long-time customers have been commenting that the friendly atmosphere that has historically drawn them to your door is changing. What will you do? Where will you try to solve this problem? The problem of high turn over and decline in the friendly atmosphere at the restaurant has to be researched.
The study of research methods provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to solve the problem and meet the challenges of a fast-paced decision-making environment. A systematic inquiry whose objective is to provide information to the problems (be they managerial as in our example) is one way to explain research.

What is Research?
General image of the research is that it has something to do with the laboratory where scientists are supposedly doing some experiments. Somebody who is interviewing consumers to find out their opinion about the new packaging of milk is also doing research. Research is simply the process of finding solutions to a problem after through study and analysis of the situation factors. It is gathering information needed to answer a question, and thereby help in solving a problem. We do not do study in any haphazard manner. Instead we try to follow a system or a procedure in an organized manner. It is all the more necessary in case we want to repeat the study, or somebody else wants to verify our findings. In the latter case the other person has to follow the same procedure that we followed. Hence not only we have to do the study in a systematic manner but also that system should be known to others.

Posted at 9:20 PM |  by Unknown
The nature of research problems could vary. Problems may refer to some undesirable situation or these may refer to simply a curiosity of the researcher that may be agitating his or her mind. For example, in a recent BA/BS examination of the Punjab University 67 percent of the students failed. That is a colossal wastage of the resources, hence an undesirable situation that needs research to find a solution. The researcher may come up with a variety of reasons that may relate with the students, the teachers, the curricula, the availability of books, the examination system, the family environment of the student, and many more. So a study may be carried out diagnose the situation, and the recommendations to be applied to overcome the undesirable situation of mass failure of students. In the same examination result one finds that girls have captured a good number of top positions; and that is happening for the last couple of years. One gets curious and tries to do research for finding out the reasons. This is an academic problem but certainly a research problem. Conducting such research offers the pleasure of solving a puzzle. Why the girls are catching most of the top positions in different examination? This might be a puzzle that the research may like to explain. Such findings make a good contribution to the body of knowledge i.e. making some good discoveries as part of the basic research. Finding answer to any enigma is self satisfying.

The researchers try to make use of their findings for generating theories and models that could be used for understanding human behavior and the functioning of different structures both at the micro (organizational) and macro (societal) level. Therefore, research may be considered as an organized, systematic, data based, critical, objective, scientific inquiry or investigation into a specific problem, undertaken with the purpose of finding answers or solutions to it. In this way research provides the needed information that guides the planners to make informed decisions to successfully deal with the problems. The information provided could be the result of a careful analysis of data gathered firsthand or of the data that are already available with an organization.

The value of research for policy makers, planners, business managers, and other stakeholders is that it reduces uncertainty by providing information that improves the decision-making process. The decision making process associated with the development and implementation of a strategy involves four interrelated stages:
1. Identifying problems or opportunities;
2. Diagnosing and assessing problems or opportunities;
3. Selecting and implementing a course of action; and
4. Evaluating thee course of action.
Identifying problems and solutions to the same problems is in fact applying the research findings to overcome an undesirable situation. Initially a problem may appear to be simply a ‘tip of the iceberg’ but the study by a professional might help locating the magnitude of the issue as well as its solutions. Such research is usually referred to as applied research, which shall be discussed in detail in the coming lectures.

What is the value of Research?

The nature of research problems could vary. Problems may refer to some undesirable situation or these may refer to simply a curiosity of the researcher that may be agitating his or her mind. For example, in a recent BA/BS examination of the Punjab University 67 percent of the students failed. That is a colossal wastage of the resources, hence an undesirable situation that needs research to find a solution. The researcher may come up with a variety of reasons that may relate with the students, the teachers, the curricula, the availability of books, the examination system, the family environment of the student, and many more. So a study may be carried out diagnose the situation, and the recommendations to be applied to overcome the undesirable situation of mass failure of students. In the same examination result one finds that girls have captured a good number of top positions; and that is happening for the last couple of years. One gets curious and tries to do research for finding out the reasons. This is an academic problem but certainly a research problem. Conducting such research offers the pleasure of solving a puzzle. Why the girls are catching most of the top positions in different examination? This might be a puzzle that the research may like to explain. Such findings make a good contribution to the body of knowledge i.e. making some good discoveries as part of the basic research. Finding answer to any enigma is self satisfying.

The researchers try to make use of their findings for generating theories and models that could be used for understanding human behavior and the functioning of different structures both at the micro (organizational) and macro (societal) level. Therefore, research may be considered as an organized, systematic, data based, critical, objective, scientific inquiry or investigation into a specific problem, undertaken with the purpose of finding answers or solutions to it. In this way research provides the needed information that guides the planners to make informed decisions to successfully deal with the problems. The information provided could be the result of a careful analysis of data gathered firsthand or of the data that are already available with an organization.

The value of research for policy makers, planners, business managers, and other stakeholders is that it reduces uncertainty by providing information that improves the decision-making process. The decision making process associated with the development and implementation of a strategy involves four interrelated stages:
1. Identifying problems or opportunities;
2. Diagnosing and assessing problems or opportunities;
3. Selecting and implementing a course of action; and
4. Evaluating thee course of action.
Identifying problems and solutions to the same problems is in fact applying the research findings to overcome an undesirable situation. Initially a problem may appear to be simply a ‘tip of the iceberg’ but the study by a professional might help locating the magnitude of the issue as well as its solutions. Such research is usually referred to as applied research, which shall be discussed in detail in the coming lectures.

Posted at 9:19 PM |  by Unknown
Research produces knowledge which could be used for the solution of problems as well as for the generation of universal theories, principles and laws. But all knowledge is not science. The critical factor that separates scientific knowledge from other ways of acquiring knowledge is that it uses scientific approach. What is this approach? Or what is science? When most people hear the word science, the first image that comes to mind is one of test tubes, computers, rocket ships, and people in white lab coats. These outward trappings are part of science. Some sciences, such as the natural sciences deal with the physical and material world. Some other sciences involve the study of people – their beliefs, behavior, interactions, attitudes, institutions, and so forth. They are sometimes called soft sciences. This is not that their work is sloppy or lack rigor but because their subject matter, human social life, is fluid, formidable to observe, and hard to measure precisely with laboratory instruments. The subject matter of a science (e.g. human attitudes, protoplasm, or galaxies) determines the techniques and instruments (e.g. surveys, microscopes, or telescopes) used by it.

Science is a way to produce knowledge, which is based on truth and attempts to be universal. In other words science is a method, a procedure to produce knowledge i.e. discovering universality/principles, laws, and theories through the process of observation and re-observation. Observation here implies that scientists use “sensory experiences” for the study of the phenomena. They use their five senses, which are possessed by every normal human being. They not only do the observation of a phenomenon but also repeat the observation, may be several times. The researchers do so because they want to be accurate and definite about their findings Re-observation may be made by the same researcher at a different time and place or done by other professionals at some other time or place. All such observations are made in this universe where a normal professional human being can go, make the observation and come back. Therefore we are focusing on this universe not on the one hereafter. By repeating the observation, the researchers want to be definite and positive about their findings. Those who want to be definite and positive are often referred to as positivists. The researchers do not leave their findings into scattered bits and pieces.

Rather the results are organized, systematized, and made part of the existing body of knowledge; and this is how the knowledge grows. All this procedure for the creation of knowledge is called a scientific method, whereby the consequent knowledge may be referred to as scientific knowledge. In this way science refers to both a system for producing knowledge and the knowledge produced from that system. Since the subject matters of the researchers differ, therefore, we have the diversification of different sciences: broadly natural or physical sciences and human sciences.

Scientific Method Of Research & Its Special Features

Research produces knowledge which could be used for the solution of problems as well as for the generation of universal theories, principles and laws. But all knowledge is not science. The critical factor that separates scientific knowledge from other ways of acquiring knowledge is that it uses scientific approach. What is this approach? Or what is science? When most people hear the word science, the first image that comes to mind is one of test tubes, computers, rocket ships, and people in white lab coats. These outward trappings are part of science. Some sciences, such as the natural sciences deal with the physical and material world. Some other sciences involve the study of people – their beliefs, behavior, interactions, attitudes, institutions, and so forth. They are sometimes called soft sciences. This is not that their work is sloppy or lack rigor but because their subject matter, human social life, is fluid, formidable to observe, and hard to measure precisely with laboratory instruments. The subject matter of a science (e.g. human attitudes, protoplasm, or galaxies) determines the techniques and instruments (e.g. surveys, microscopes, or telescopes) used by it.

Science is a way to produce knowledge, which is based on truth and attempts to be universal. In other words science is a method, a procedure to produce knowledge i.e. discovering universality/principles, laws, and theories through the process of observation and re-observation. Observation here implies that scientists use “sensory experiences” for the study of the phenomena. They use their five senses, which are possessed by every normal human being. They not only do the observation of a phenomenon but also repeat the observation, may be several times. The researchers do so because they want to be accurate and definite about their findings Re-observation may be made by the same researcher at a different time and place or done by other professionals at some other time or place. All such observations are made in this universe where a normal professional human being can go, make the observation and come back. Therefore we are focusing on this universe not on the one hereafter. By repeating the observation, the researchers want to be definite and positive about their findings. Those who want to be definite and positive are often referred to as positivists. The researchers do not leave their findings into scattered bits and pieces.

Rather the results are organized, systematized, and made part of the existing body of knowledge; and this is how the knowledge grows. All this procedure for the creation of knowledge is called a scientific method, whereby the consequent knowledge may be referred to as scientific knowledge. In this way science refers to both a system for producing knowledge and the knowledge produced from that system. Since the subject matters of the researchers differ, therefore, we have the diversification of different sciences: broadly natural or physical sciences and human sciences.

Posted at 8:46 PM |  by Unknown
The researcher’s goal is to formulate more precise questions that future research can answer.Purpose of Doing Research Exploratory research may be the first stage in a sequence of studies. A researcher may need to know enough to design and execute a second, more systematic and extensive study.  If we ask someone why he or she is conducting a study, we might get a range of responses: “My boss told me to do”“It was a class assignment”; “I was curious.” There are almost as many reasons to do research as there are researches. Yet the purposes of research may be organized into three groups based on what the researcher is trying to accomplish – explore a new topic, describe a social phenomenon, or explain why something occurs. Studies may have multiple purposes (e.g. both to explore and to describe) but one purpose usually dominates.
Exploratory/Formulate Research
You may be exploring a new topic or issue in order to learn about it. If the issue was new or the researcher has written little on it, you began at the beginning. This is called exploratory research. Initial research conducted to clarify the nature of the problem. When a researcher has a limited amount of experience with or knowledge about a research issue, exploratory research is useful preliminary step that helps ensure that a more rigorous, more conclusive future study will not begin with an inadequate understanding of the nature of the management problem. The findings discovered through exploratory research would the researchers to emphasize learning more about the particulars of the findings in subsequent conclusive studies.

Exploratory research rarely yields definitive answers. It addresses the “what” question: “what is this social activity really about?” It is difficult to conduct because there are few guidelines to follow.
Specifically there could be a number of goals of exploratory research.

Goals of Exploratory Research:
1. Become familiar with the basic facts, setting, and concerns;
2. Develop well grounded picture of the situation;
3. Develop tentative theories, generate new ideas, conjectures, or hypotheses;
4. Determine the feasibility of conducting the study;
5. Formulate questions and refine issues for more systematic inquiry; and
6. Develop techniques and a sense of direction for future research.
For exploratory research, the researcher may use different sources for getting information like (1)
experience surveys, (2) secondary data analysis, (3) case studies, and (4) pilot studies.
As part of the experience survey the researcher tries to contact individuals who are knowledgeable about a particular research problem. This constitutes an informal experience survey.
Another economical and quick source of background information is secondary data analysis. It is preliminary review of data collected for another purpose to clarify issues in the early stages of a research effort.
The purpose of case study is to obtain information from one or a few situations that are similar to the researcher’s problem situation. A researcher interested in doing a nationwide survey among union workers, may first look at a few local unions to identify the nature of any problems or topics that should be investigated.
A pilot study implies that some aspect of the research is done on a small scale. For this purpose focus group discussions could be carried out.
b. Descriptive Research
Descriptive research presents a picture of the specific details of a situation, social setting, or relationship. The major purpose of descriptive research, as the term implies, is to describe characteristics of a population or phenomenon. Descriptive research seeks to determine the answers to who, what, when, where, and how questions. Labor Force Surveys, Population Census, and Educational Census are examples of such research.
Descriptive study offers to the researcher a profile or description of relevant aspects of the phenomena of interest. Look at the class in research methods and try to give its profile – the characteristics of the students. When we start to look at the relationship of the variables, then it may help in diagnosis analysis.

Goals of Descriptive Research
1. Describe the situation in terms of its characteristics i.e. provide an accurate profile of a group;
2. Give a verbal or numerical picture (%) of the situation;
3. Present background information;
4. Create a set of categories or classify the information;
5. Clarify sequence, set of stages; and
6. Focus on ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘when,’ ‘where,’ and ‘how’ but not why?

A great deal of social research is descriptive. Descriptive researchers use most data –gathering techniques – surveys, field research, and content analysis.

Explanatory Research
When we encounter an issue that is already known and have a description of it, we might begin to wonder why things are the way they are. The desire to know “why,” to explain, is the purpose of explanatory research. It builds on exploratory and descriptive research and goes on to identify the reasons for something that occurs. Explanatory research looks for causes and reasons. For example, a
descriptive research may discover that 10 percent of the parents abuse their children, whereas the explanatory researcher is more interested in learning why parents abuse their children. Goals of

Explanatory Research
1. Explain things not just reporting. Why? Elaborate and enrich a theory’s explanation.
2. Determine which of several explanations is best.
3. Determine the accuracy of the theory; test a theory’s predictions or principle.
4. Advance knowledge about underlying process.
5. Build and elaborate a theory; elaborate and enrich a theory’s predictions or principle.
6. Extend a theory or principle to new areas, new issues, new topics:
7. Provide evidence to support or refute an explanation or prediction.
8. Test a theory’s predictions or principles

Purpose of Doing Research

The researcher’s goal is to formulate more precise questions that future research can answer.Purpose of Doing Research Exploratory research may be the first stage in a sequence of studies. A researcher may need to know enough to design and execute a second, more systematic and extensive study.  If we ask someone why he or she is conducting a study, we might get a range of responses: “My boss told me to do”“It was a class assignment”; “I was curious.” There are almost as many reasons to do research as there are researches. Yet the purposes of research may be organized into three groups based on what the researcher is trying to accomplish – explore a new topic, describe a social phenomenon, or explain why something occurs. Studies may have multiple purposes (e.g. both to explore and to describe) but one purpose usually dominates.
Exploratory/Formulate Research
You may be exploring a new topic or issue in order to learn about it. If the issue was new or the researcher has written little on it, you began at the beginning. This is called exploratory research. Initial research conducted to clarify the nature of the problem. When a researcher has a limited amount of experience with or knowledge about a research issue, exploratory research is useful preliminary step that helps ensure that a more rigorous, more conclusive future study will not begin with an inadequate understanding of the nature of the management problem. The findings discovered through exploratory research would the researchers to emphasize learning more about the particulars of the findings in subsequent conclusive studies.

Exploratory research rarely yields definitive answers. It addresses the “what” question: “what is this social activity really about?” It is difficult to conduct because there are few guidelines to follow.
Specifically there could be a number of goals of exploratory research.

Goals of Exploratory Research:
1. Become familiar with the basic facts, setting, and concerns;
2. Develop well grounded picture of the situation;
3. Develop tentative theories, generate new ideas, conjectures, or hypotheses;
4. Determine the feasibility of conducting the study;
5. Formulate questions and refine issues for more systematic inquiry; and
6. Develop techniques and a sense of direction for future research.
For exploratory research, the researcher may use different sources for getting information like (1)
experience surveys, (2) secondary data analysis, (3) case studies, and (4) pilot studies.
As part of the experience survey the researcher tries to contact individuals who are knowledgeable about a particular research problem. This constitutes an informal experience survey.
Another economical and quick source of background information is secondary data analysis. It is preliminary review of data collected for another purpose to clarify issues in the early stages of a research effort.
The purpose of case study is to obtain information from one or a few situations that are similar to the researcher’s problem situation. A researcher interested in doing a nationwide survey among union workers, may first look at a few local unions to identify the nature of any problems or topics that should be investigated.
A pilot study implies that some aspect of the research is done on a small scale. For this purpose focus group discussions could be carried out.
b. Descriptive Research
Descriptive research presents a picture of the specific details of a situation, social setting, or relationship. The major purpose of descriptive research, as the term implies, is to describe characteristics of a population or phenomenon. Descriptive research seeks to determine the answers to who, what, when, where, and how questions. Labor Force Surveys, Population Census, and Educational Census are examples of such research.
Descriptive study offers to the researcher a profile or description of relevant aspects of the phenomena of interest. Look at the class in research methods and try to give its profile – the characteristics of the students. When we start to look at the relationship of the variables, then it may help in diagnosis analysis.

Goals of Descriptive Research
1. Describe the situation in terms of its characteristics i.e. provide an accurate profile of a group;
2. Give a verbal or numerical picture (%) of the situation;
3. Present background information;
4. Create a set of categories or classify the information;
5. Clarify sequence, set of stages; and
6. Focus on ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘when,’ ‘where,’ and ‘how’ but not why?

A great deal of social research is descriptive. Descriptive researchers use most data –gathering techniques – surveys, field research, and content analysis.

Explanatory Research
When we encounter an issue that is already known and have a description of it, we might begin to wonder why things are the way they are. The desire to know “why,” to explain, is the purpose of explanatory research. It builds on exploratory and descriptive research and goes on to identify the reasons for something that occurs. Explanatory research looks for causes and reasons. For example, a
descriptive research may discover that 10 percent of the parents abuse their children, whereas the explanatory researcher is more interested in learning why parents abuse their children. Goals of

Explanatory Research
1. Explain things not just reporting. Why? Elaborate and enrich a theory’s explanation.
2. Determine which of several explanations is best.
3. Determine the accuracy of the theory; test a theory’s predictions or principle.
4. Advance knowledge about underlying process.
5. Build and elaborate a theory; elaborate and enrich a theory’s predictions or principle.
6. Extend a theory or principle to new areas, new issues, new topics:
7. Provide evidence to support or refute an explanation or prediction.
8. Test a theory’s predictions or principles

Posted at 8:37 PM |  by Unknown
 Some researchers focus on using research to advance general knowledge, whereas others use it to solve specific problems. Those who seek an understanding of the fundamental nature of social reality
are engaged in basic research (also called academic research or pure research or fundamental research). Applied researchers, by contrast, primarily want to apply and tailor knowledge to address a
specific practical issue. They want to answer a policy question or solve a pressing social and economic problem.

Basic Research
Basic research advances fundamental knowledge about the human world. It focuses on refuting or supporting theories that explain how this world operates, what makes things happen, why social relations are a certain way, and why society changes. Basic research is the source of most new scientific ideas and ways of thinking about the world. It can be exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory; however, explanatory research is the most common.

Basic research generates new ideas, principles and theories, which may not be immediately utilized; though are the foundations of modern progress and development in different fields. Today’s computers could not exist without the pure research in mathematics conducted over a century ago, for which there was no known practical application at that time. Police officers trying to prevent delinquency or counselors of youthful offenders may see little relevance to basic research on the question, “Why does deviant behavior occur?” Basic research rarely helps practitioners directly with their everyday concerns. Nevertheless, it stimulates new ways of thinking about deviance that have the potential to revolutionize and dramatically improve how practitioners deal with a problem.
A new idea or fundamental knowledge is not generated only by basic research. Applied research, too, can build new knowledge. Nonetheless, basic research is essential for nourishing the expansion of knowledge. Researchers at the center of the scientific community conduct most of the basic research.

Applied Research
Applied researchers try to solve specific policy problems or help practitioners accomplish tasks. Theory is less central to them than seeking a solution on a specific problem for a limited setting. Applied research is frequently a descriptive research, and its main strength is its immediate practical use.
Applied research is conducted when decision must be made about a specific real-life problem. Applied research encompasses those studies undertaken to answer questions about specific problems or to make decisions about a particular course of action or policy. For example, an organization contemplating a paperless office and a networking system for the company’s personal computers may conduct research to learn the amount of time its employees spend at personal computers in an average week.

Basic and Applied Research Compared
The procedures and techniques utilized by basic and applied researchers do not differ substantially.
Both employ the scientific method to answer the questions at hand.
The scientific community is the primary consumer of basic research. The consumers of applied research findings are practitioners such as teachers, counselors, and caseworkers, or decision makers such as managers, committees, and officials. Often, someone other than the researcher who conducted the study uses the results of applied research. This means that applied researchers have an obligation to translate findings from scientific technical language into the language of decision makers or practitioners.
The results of applied research are less likely to enter the public domain in publications. Results may be available only to a small number of decision makers or practitioners, who decide whether or how to put the research results into practice and who may or may not use the results.
Applied and basic researchers adopt different orientations toward research methodology. Basic researchers emphasize high standards and try to conduct near-perfect research. Applied researchers make more trade-offs. They may compromise scientific rigor to get quick, usable results. Compromise is no excuse for sloppy research, however. Applied researchers squeeze research into the constraints of an applied setting and balance rigor against practical needs. Such balancing requires an in-depth knowledge of research and an awareness of the consequences of compromising standards.

Types of Applied Research
Practitioners use several types of applied research. Some of the major ones are:
i) Action research: The applied research that treats knowledge as a form of power and abolishes the
line between research and social action. Those who are being studied participate in the research process; research incorporates ordinary or popular knowledge; research focuses on power with a goal of empowerment; research seeks to raise consciousness or increase awareness; and research is tied directly to political action.
The researchers try to advance a cause or improve conditions by expanding public awareness. They are explicitly political, not value neutral. Because the goal is to improve the conditions of research participants, formal reports, articles, or books become secondary. Action researchers assume that knowledge develops from experience, particularly the experience of social-political action. They also assume that ordinary people can become aware of conditions and learn to take actions that can bring about improvement.
ii) Impact Assessment Research: Its purpose is to estimate the likely consequences of a planned change. Such an assessment is used for planning and making choices among alternative policies – to make an impact assessment of Basha Dam on the environment; to determine changes in housing if a major new highway is built.
iii) Evaluation Research: It addresses the question, “Did it work?” The process of establishing value judgment based on evidence about the achievement of the goals of a program. Evaluation research measures the effectiveness of a program, policy, or way of doing something. “Did the program work?” “Did it achieve its objectives?” Evaluation researchers use several research techniques (survey, field research).
Practitioners involved with a policy or program may conduct evaluation research for their own information or at the request of outside decision makers, who sometime place limits on researchers by setting boundaries on what can be studied and determining the outcome of interest. Two types of evaluation research are formative and assumptive. Formative evaluation is built-in monitoring or continuous feedback on a program used for program management. Assumptive evaluation looks at final program outcomes. Both are usually necessary.

The Uses of Research and Overview

 Some researchers focus on using research to advance general knowledge, whereas others use it to solve specific problems. Those who seek an understanding of the fundamental nature of social reality
are engaged in basic research (also called academic research or pure research or fundamental research). Applied researchers, by contrast, primarily want to apply and tailor knowledge to address a
specific practical issue. They want to answer a policy question or solve a pressing social and economic problem.

Basic Research
Basic research advances fundamental knowledge about the human world. It focuses on refuting or supporting theories that explain how this world operates, what makes things happen, why social relations are a certain way, and why society changes. Basic research is the source of most new scientific ideas and ways of thinking about the world. It can be exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory; however, explanatory research is the most common.

Basic research generates new ideas, principles and theories, which may not be immediately utilized; though are the foundations of modern progress and development in different fields. Today’s computers could not exist without the pure research in mathematics conducted over a century ago, for which there was no known practical application at that time. Police officers trying to prevent delinquency or counselors of youthful offenders may see little relevance to basic research on the question, “Why does deviant behavior occur?” Basic research rarely helps practitioners directly with their everyday concerns. Nevertheless, it stimulates new ways of thinking about deviance that have the potential to revolutionize and dramatically improve how practitioners deal with a problem.
A new idea or fundamental knowledge is not generated only by basic research. Applied research, too, can build new knowledge. Nonetheless, basic research is essential for nourishing the expansion of knowledge. Researchers at the center of the scientific community conduct most of the basic research.

Applied Research
Applied researchers try to solve specific policy problems or help practitioners accomplish tasks. Theory is less central to them than seeking a solution on a specific problem for a limited setting. Applied research is frequently a descriptive research, and its main strength is its immediate practical use.
Applied research is conducted when decision must be made about a specific real-life problem. Applied research encompasses those studies undertaken to answer questions about specific problems or to make decisions about a particular course of action or policy. For example, an organization contemplating a paperless office and a networking system for the company’s personal computers may conduct research to learn the amount of time its employees spend at personal computers in an average week.

Basic and Applied Research Compared
The procedures and techniques utilized by basic and applied researchers do not differ substantially.
Both employ the scientific method to answer the questions at hand.
The scientific community is the primary consumer of basic research. The consumers of applied research findings are practitioners such as teachers, counselors, and caseworkers, or decision makers such as managers, committees, and officials. Often, someone other than the researcher who conducted the study uses the results of applied research. This means that applied researchers have an obligation to translate findings from scientific technical language into the language of decision makers or practitioners.
The results of applied research are less likely to enter the public domain in publications. Results may be available only to a small number of decision makers or practitioners, who decide whether or how to put the research results into practice and who may or may not use the results.
Applied and basic researchers adopt different orientations toward research methodology. Basic researchers emphasize high standards and try to conduct near-perfect research. Applied researchers make more trade-offs. They may compromise scientific rigor to get quick, usable results. Compromise is no excuse for sloppy research, however. Applied researchers squeeze research into the constraints of an applied setting and balance rigor against practical needs. Such balancing requires an in-depth knowledge of research and an awareness of the consequences of compromising standards.

Types of Applied Research
Practitioners use several types of applied research. Some of the major ones are:
i) Action research: The applied research that treats knowledge as a form of power and abolishes the
line between research and social action. Those who are being studied participate in the research process; research incorporates ordinary or popular knowledge; research focuses on power with a goal of empowerment; research seeks to raise consciousness or increase awareness; and research is tied directly to political action.
The researchers try to advance a cause or improve conditions by expanding public awareness. They are explicitly political, not value neutral. Because the goal is to improve the conditions of research participants, formal reports, articles, or books become secondary. Action researchers assume that knowledge develops from experience, particularly the experience of social-political action. They also assume that ordinary people can become aware of conditions and learn to take actions that can bring about improvement.
ii) Impact Assessment Research: Its purpose is to estimate the likely consequences of a planned change. Such an assessment is used for planning and making choices among alternative policies – to make an impact assessment of Basha Dam on the environment; to determine changes in housing if a major new highway is built.
iii) Evaluation Research: It addresses the question, “Did it work?” The process of establishing value judgment based on evidence about the achievement of the goals of a program. Evaluation research measures the effectiveness of a program, policy, or way of doing something. “Did the program work?” “Did it achieve its objectives?” Evaluation researchers use several research techniques (survey, field research).
Practitioners involved with a policy or program may conduct evaluation research for their own information or at the request of outside decision makers, who sometime place limits on researchers by setting boundaries on what can be studied and determining the outcome of interest. Two types of evaluation research are formative and assumptive. Formative evaluation is built-in monitoring or continuous feedback on a program used for program management. Assumptive evaluation looks at final program outcomes. Both are usually necessary.

Posted at 8:35 PM |  by Unknown
Another dimension of research is the treatment of time. Some studies give us a snapshot of a single, fixed time point and allow us to analyze it in detail. Other studies provide a moving picture that lets us follow events, people, or sale of products over a period of time. In this way from the angle of time research could be divided into two broad types:

a. Cross-Sectional Research. In cross-sectional research, researchers observe at one point in time. Cross-sectional research is usually the simplest and least costly alternative. Its disadvantage is that it cannot capture the change processes. Cross-sectional research can be exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory, but it is most consistent with a descriptive approach to research.

b. Longitudinal Research. Researchers using longitudinal research examine features of people or other units at more than one time. It is usually more complex and costly than cross-sectional research but it is also more powerful, especially when researchers seek answers to questions about change. There are three types of longitudinal research: time series, panel, and cohort.

i. Time series research is longitudinal study in which the same type of information is collected on a group of people or other units across multiple time periods. Researcher can observe stability or change in the features of the units or can track conditions overtime. One could track the characteristics of students registering in the course on Research Methods over a period of four years i.e. the characteristics (Total, age characteristics, gender distribution, subject distribution, and geographic distribution). Such an analysis could tell us the trends in the characteristic over the four years.

ii. The panel study is a powerful type of longitudinal research. In panel study, the researcher observes exactly the same people, group, or organization across time periods. It is a difficult to carry out such study. Tracking people over time is often difficult because some people die or cannot be located. Nevertheless, the results of a well-designed panel study are very valuable.

iii. A cohort analysis is similar to the panel study, but rather than observing the exact same people, a category of people who share a similar life experience in a specified time period is studied. The focus is on the cohort, or category, not on specific individuals. Commonly used cohorts include all people born in the same year (called birth cohorts), all people hired at the same time, all people retire on one or two year time frame, and all people who graduate in a given year. Unlike panel studies, researchers do not have to locate the exact same people for cohort studies. The only need to identify those who experienced a common life event.

The Time Dimension in Research

Another dimension of research is the treatment of time. Some studies give us a snapshot of a single, fixed time point and allow us to analyze it in detail. Other studies provide a moving picture that lets us follow events, people, or sale of products over a period of time. In this way from the angle of time research could be divided into two broad types:

a. Cross-Sectional Research. In cross-sectional research, researchers observe at one point in time. Cross-sectional research is usually the simplest and least costly alternative. Its disadvantage is that it cannot capture the change processes. Cross-sectional research can be exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory, but it is most consistent with a descriptive approach to research.

b. Longitudinal Research. Researchers using longitudinal research examine features of people or other units at more than one time. It is usually more complex and costly than cross-sectional research but it is also more powerful, especially when researchers seek answers to questions about change. There are three types of longitudinal research: time series, panel, and cohort.

i. Time series research is longitudinal study in which the same type of information is collected on a group of people or other units across multiple time periods. Researcher can observe stability or change in the features of the units or can track conditions overtime. One could track the characteristics of students registering in the course on Research Methods over a period of four years i.e. the characteristics (Total, age characteristics, gender distribution, subject distribution, and geographic distribution). Such an analysis could tell us the trends in the characteristic over the four years.

ii. The panel study is a powerful type of longitudinal research. In panel study, the researcher observes exactly the same people, group, or organization across time periods. It is a difficult to carry out such study. Tracking people over time is often difficult because some people die or cannot be located. Nevertheless, the results of a well-designed panel study are very valuable.

iii. A cohort analysis is similar to the panel study, but rather than observing the exact same people, a category of people who share a similar life experience in a specified time period is studied. The focus is on the cohort, or category, not on specific individuals. Commonly used cohorts include all people born in the same year (called birth cohorts), all people hired at the same time, all people retire on one or two year time frame, and all people who graduate in a given year. Unlike panel studies, researchers do not have to locate the exact same people for cohort studies. The only need to identify those who experienced a common life event.

Posted at 8:33 PM |  by Unknown
Reviews vary in scope and depth. Different kinds of reviews are stronger at fulfilling different goals of review. The goals of review are:

1. To demonstrate a familiarity with a body of knowledge and establish credibility. A review tells the reader that the researcher knows the research in an area and knows the major issues.
A good review increases a reader’s confidence in the researcher’s professional competence, ability, and background. 

2. To know the path of prior research and how a current research project is linked to it. A review outlines the direction, ability, and background of research on a question and shows the development of knowledge. A good review places a research project in a context and demonstrates its relevance by making connections to a body of knowledge.

3. To integrate and summarize what is known in an area. A review pulls together and synthesizes different results. A good review points out areas where prior studies agree, where they disagree, and where major questions remain. It collects what is known to a point in time and indicates the direction for future research. No reinventing the wheel. No wastage of effort.

4. To learn from others and stimulate new ideas. A review tells what others have found so that a researcher can benefit from the efforts of others. A good review identifies blind alleys and suggests hypotheses for replication. It divulges procedures, techniques, and research designs worth copying so that a researcher can better focus hypotheses and gain new insights.

5. Identification of variables. Important variables that are likely to influence the problem situation are not left out of the study.

6. Helps in developing theoretical framework.

Goals of A Literature Review

Reviews vary in scope and depth. Different kinds of reviews are stronger at fulfilling different goals of review. The goals of review are:

1. To demonstrate a familiarity with a body of knowledge and establish credibility. A review tells the reader that the researcher knows the research in an area and knows the major issues.
A good review increases a reader’s confidence in the researcher’s professional competence, ability, and background. 

2. To know the path of prior research and how a current research project is linked to it. A review outlines the direction, ability, and background of research on a question and shows the development of knowledge. A good review places a research project in a context and demonstrates its relevance by making connections to a body of knowledge.

3. To integrate and summarize what is known in an area. A review pulls together and synthesizes different results. A good review points out areas where prior studies agree, where they disagree, and where major questions remain. It collects what is known to a point in time and indicates the direction for future research. No reinventing the wheel. No wastage of effort.

4. To learn from others and stimulate new ideas. A review tells what others have found so that a researcher can benefit from the efforts of others. A good review identifies blind alleys and suggests hypotheses for replication. It divulges procedures, techniques, and research designs worth copying so that a researcher can better focus hypotheses and gain new insights.

5. Identification of variables. Important variables that are likely to influence the problem situation are not left out of the study.

6. Helps in developing theoretical framework.

Posted at 8:19 PM |  by Unknown
When beginning a review, researcher may decide on a topic or field of knowledge to examine, how much depth to go into, and the kind of review to conduct. There are six types of review:

1. Self-study reviews increase the reader’s confidence. A review that only demonstrates familiarity with an area is rarely published but it often is part of an educational program. In addition to giving others confidence in a reviewer’s command of field, it has the side benefit of building the reviewer’s self confidence.

2. Context reviews place a specific project in the big picture. One of the goals of review is creating a link to a developing body of knowledge. This is a background or context review. It introduces the rest of a research and establishes the significance and relevance of a research question. It tells the reader how a project fits into the big picture and its implications for a field of knowledge. The review can summarize how the current research continues a developing line of thought, or it can point to a question or unresolved conflict in prior research to be addressed.

3. Historical review traces the development of an issue over time. It traces the development of an idea or shows how a particular issue or theory has evolved over time. Researchers conduct historical review only on the most important ideas in a field.

4. Theoretical reviews compare how different theories address an issue. It present different theories that purport to explain the same thing, then evaluates how well each accounts for findings. In addition to examining the consistency of predictions with findings, a theoretical review may compare theories for the soundness of their assumptions, logical consistency, and scope of explanation. Researchers also use it to integrate two theories or extend a theory to new issues. It sometimes form a hybrid – the historical theoretical review.

5. Integrative review summarizes what is known at a point in time. It presents the current state of knowledge and pulls together disparate research reports in a fast growing area of knowledge.

6. Methodological reviews point out how methodology varies by study. In it researcher evaluates the methodological strength of past studies. It describes conflicting results and shows how different research designs, samples, measures, and so on account for different results.

Where to find the Research Literature
• Computer: on line systems.
• Scholarly journals.
• Books – containing reports of original research, or collection of research articles. READERS or Book of Readings.
• Dissertations.
• Government documents.
• Policy reports and presented papers.
• Bibliographic indexes.
Referencing Electronic Sources:
• Ahmad, B. (2005) Technology and immediacy of information. [on line]
Available http://www.bnet.act.com

What are The Types of Reviews

When beginning a review, researcher may decide on a topic or field of knowledge to examine, how much depth to go into, and the kind of review to conduct. There are six types of review:

1. Self-study reviews increase the reader’s confidence. A review that only demonstrates familiarity with an area is rarely published but it often is part of an educational program. In addition to giving others confidence in a reviewer’s command of field, it has the side benefit of building the reviewer’s self confidence.

2. Context reviews place a specific project in the big picture. One of the goals of review is creating a link to a developing body of knowledge. This is a background or context review. It introduces the rest of a research and establishes the significance and relevance of a research question. It tells the reader how a project fits into the big picture and its implications for a field of knowledge. The review can summarize how the current research continues a developing line of thought, or it can point to a question or unresolved conflict in prior research to be addressed.

3. Historical review traces the development of an issue over time. It traces the development of an idea or shows how a particular issue or theory has evolved over time. Researchers conduct historical review only on the most important ideas in a field.

4. Theoretical reviews compare how different theories address an issue. It present different theories that purport to explain the same thing, then evaluates how well each accounts for findings. In addition to examining the consistency of predictions with findings, a theoretical review may compare theories for the soundness of their assumptions, logical consistency, and scope of explanation. Researchers also use it to integrate two theories or extend a theory to new issues. It sometimes form a hybrid – the historical theoretical review.

5. Integrative review summarizes what is known at a point in time. It presents the current state of knowledge and pulls together disparate research reports in a fast growing area of knowledge.

6. Methodological reviews point out how methodology varies by study. In it researcher evaluates the methodological strength of past studies. It describes conflicting results and shows how different research designs, samples, measures, and so on account for different results.

Where to find the Research Literature
• Computer: on line systems.
• Scholarly journals.
• Books – containing reports of original research, or collection of research articles. READERS or Book of Readings.
• Dissertations.
• Government documents.
• Policy reports and presented papers.
• Bibliographic indexes.
Referencing Electronic Sources:
• Ahmad, B. (2005) Technology and immediacy of information. [on line]
Available http://www.bnet.act.com

Posted at 8:18 PM |  by Unknown
A good theoretical framework identifies and labels the important variables in the situation that are
relevant to the problem identified. It logically describes the interconnections among these
variables. The relationships among the independent variables, the dependent variable(s), and if
applicable, the moderating and intervening variables are elaborated.
The elaboration of the variables in the theoretical framework addresses the issues of why or how
we expect certain relationships to exist, and the nature and direction of the relationships among
the variables of interest. At the end, the whole discussion can be portrayed in a schematic
diagram. There are six basic features that should be incorporated in any theoretical framework.
 These features are:

1. Make an inventory of variables: For developing a framework it appears essential to
identify the factors relevant to the problem under study. These factors are the empirical
realities which can be named at some abstract level called concepts. The concepts taking
more than one value are the variables. In other words the researcher makes an inventory
of relevant variables. The variables considered relevant to the study should be clearly
identified and labeled in the discussion.

2. Specify the direction of relationship: If the nature and direction of relationship can be
theorized on the basis of the findings of previous research, then there should be an
indication in the discussion as to whether the relationship should be positive or negative.

3. Give a clear explanation of why we should expect the proposed relationships to exist.
There should be clear explanation of why we would expect these relationships to exist.
The arguments could be drawn from the previous research findings. The discussions
should state how two or more variables are related to one another. This should be done
for the important relationships that are theorized to exist among the variables. It is
essential to theorize logical relationship between different variables.

 4. Make an inventory of propositions: Stipulation of logical relationship between any two
variables means the formulation of a proposition. If such relationships have been
proposed between different variables, it will result in the formulation of a number of
propositions. Let us call such a collection of propositions as an inventory of propositions.
Each proposition is backed up by strong theoretical argumentation.

5. Arrange these propositions in a sequential order: one proposition generates the next
proposition, which generates the next following proposition, which in turn generates the
next following proposition, and so on. This is an axiomatic way of the derivation of
propositions. Resultantly it will provide us a sequentially arranged set of propositions
which are interlinked and interlocked with each other. Theory, if you remember, is an
interrelated set of propositions. Therefore, the present interrelated set of propositions
relevant to a particular problem is in fact a theoretical framework explaining the
pathways of logical relationships between different variables.

6. Schematic diagram of the theoretical model be given: A schematic diagram of the
theoretical framework should be given so that the reader can see and easily comprehend
the theorized relationships.

Example:
Research Question: Why middle class families decline in their size?
By following the guidelines discussed earlier let us develop a theoretical framework.

1. Inventory of variables: Education levels of the couples, age at marriage, working
women, rationalism, exposure to mass media of communication, accessibility to health
services, practicing of family planning practices, aspirations about the education of
children, shift to nuclear families, mobility orientation.

2. Specify the direction of relationship: Higher the education higher the age at marriage.
Higher the education of women greater the chances of their being career women. Higher
the education more the rationalism. Higher the education more selective the exposure to
mass media of communication. Higher the education more the accessibility to health
services. Higher the education more the practicing of family planning practices. Higher
the education of the parents the higher their aspirations about the education of their
children. Higher the education of the couple greater thee chances of shifting to nuclear
families. Higher the education of the couples the higher their mobility orientation.

3. Give a clear explanation of why we should expect the proposed relationships to exist.
For example higher the education higher the age at marriage. One could build up the
argument like this: For purposes of getting high levels of education the youngsters spend
about 16 years of their life in educational institutions. Let us say they complete their
education at the age of 22 years. After completing education they spend 2-3 years for
establishing themselves in their careers. During this period continue deferring their
marriage. By the time they decide about their marriage they are about 25 years.
Compare this age at marriage with the age at marriage of 16 years. Obviously with this
higher age at marriage there is a reduction in the reproductive period of women.
Similarly we can develop logic in support of other proposed relationships.

4. Make an inventory of propositions. The proposed relationships under item 2 about
could be the examples of propositions.

5. Arrange these propositions in a sequential order. These propositions can be arranged
sequentially.

The Components of the Theoretical Framework

A good theoretical framework identifies and labels the important variables in the situation that are
relevant to the problem identified. It logically describes the interconnections among these
variables. The relationships among the independent variables, the dependent variable(s), and if
applicable, the moderating and intervening variables are elaborated.
The elaboration of the variables in the theoretical framework addresses the issues of why or how
we expect certain relationships to exist, and the nature and direction of the relationships among
the variables of interest. At the end, the whole discussion can be portrayed in a schematic
diagram. There are six basic features that should be incorporated in any theoretical framework.
 These features are:

1. Make an inventory of variables: For developing a framework it appears essential to
identify the factors relevant to the problem under study. These factors are the empirical
realities which can be named at some abstract level called concepts. The concepts taking
more than one value are the variables. In other words the researcher makes an inventory
of relevant variables. The variables considered relevant to the study should be clearly
identified and labeled in the discussion.

2. Specify the direction of relationship: If the nature and direction of relationship can be
theorized on the basis of the findings of previous research, then there should be an
indication in the discussion as to whether the relationship should be positive or negative.

3. Give a clear explanation of why we should expect the proposed relationships to exist.
There should be clear explanation of why we would expect these relationships to exist.
The arguments could be drawn from the previous research findings. The discussions
should state how two or more variables are related to one another. This should be done
for the important relationships that are theorized to exist among the variables. It is
essential to theorize logical relationship between different variables.

 4. Make an inventory of propositions: Stipulation of logical relationship between any two
variables means the formulation of a proposition. If such relationships have been
proposed between different variables, it will result in the formulation of a number of
propositions. Let us call such a collection of propositions as an inventory of propositions.
Each proposition is backed up by strong theoretical argumentation.

5. Arrange these propositions in a sequential order: one proposition generates the next
proposition, which generates the next following proposition, which in turn generates the
next following proposition, and so on. This is an axiomatic way of the derivation of
propositions. Resultantly it will provide us a sequentially arranged set of propositions
which are interlinked and interlocked with each other. Theory, if you remember, is an
interrelated set of propositions. Therefore, the present interrelated set of propositions
relevant to a particular problem is in fact a theoretical framework explaining the
pathways of logical relationships between different variables.

6. Schematic diagram of the theoretical model be given: A schematic diagram of the
theoretical framework should be given so that the reader can see and easily comprehend
the theorized relationships.

Example:
Research Question: Why middle class families decline in their size?
By following the guidelines discussed earlier let us develop a theoretical framework.

1. Inventory of variables: Education levels of the couples, age at marriage, working
women, rationalism, exposure to mass media of communication, accessibility to health
services, practicing of family planning practices, aspirations about the education of
children, shift to nuclear families, mobility orientation.

2. Specify the direction of relationship: Higher the education higher the age at marriage.
Higher the education of women greater the chances of their being career women. Higher
the education more the rationalism. Higher the education more selective the exposure to
mass media of communication. Higher the education more the accessibility to health
services. Higher the education more the practicing of family planning practices. Higher
the education of the parents the higher their aspirations about the education of their
children. Higher the education of the couple greater thee chances of shifting to nuclear
families. Higher the education of the couples the higher their mobility orientation.

3. Give a clear explanation of why we should expect the proposed relationships to exist.
For example higher the education higher the age at marriage. One could build up the
argument like this: For purposes of getting high levels of education the youngsters spend
about 16 years of their life in educational institutions. Let us say they complete their
education at the age of 22 years. After completing education they spend 2-3 years for
establishing themselves in their careers. During this period continue deferring their
marriage. By the time they decide about their marriage they are about 25 years.
Compare this age at marriage with the age at marriage of 16 years. Obviously with this
higher age at marriage there is a reduction in the reproductive period of women.
Similarly we can develop logic in support of other proposed relationships.

4. Make an inventory of propositions. The proposed relationships under item 2 about
could be the examples of propositions.

5. Arrange these propositions in a sequential order. These propositions can be arranged
sequentially.

Posted at 8:11 PM |  by Unknown
Schematic Diagram of the Theoretical Model framework should be given so that the reader can see and easily comprehend the theorized relationships.

Example:
Research Question: Why middle class families decline in their size?
By following the guidelines discussed earlier let us develop a theoretical framework.

1. Inventory of variables: Education levels of the couples, age at marriage, working women, rationalism, exposure to mass media of communication, accessibility to health services, practicing of family planning practices, aspirations about the education of children, shift to nuclear families, mobility orientation.

2. Specify the direction of relationship: Higher the education higher the age at marriage. Higher the education of women greater the chances of their being career women. Higher the education more the rationalism. Higher the education more selective the exposure to mass media of communication. Higher the education more the accessibility to health services. Higher the education more the practicing of family planning practices. Higher the education of the parents the higher their aspirations about the education of their children. Higher the education of the couple greater thee chances of shifting to nuclear families. Higher the education of the couples the higher their mobility orientation.

3. Give a clear explanation of why we should expect the proposed relationships to exist. For example higher the education higher the age at marriage. One could build up the argument like this: For purposes of getting high levels of education the youngsters spend about 16 years of their life in educational institutions. Let us say they complete their education at the age of 22 years. After completing education they spend 2-3 years for establishing themselves in their careers. During this period continue deferring their marriage. By the time they decide about their marriage they are about 25 years.
Compare this age at marriage with the age at marriage of 16 years. Obviously with this higher age at marriage there is a reduction in the reproductive period of women. Similarly we can develop logic in support of other proposed relationships.

4. Make an inventory of propositions. The proposed relationships under item 2 about
could be the examples of propositions.

5. Arrange these propositions in a sequential order. These propositions can be arranged
sequentially.

6. Schematic diagram of the theoretical model be given Voluntary Job Turnover:
• Inventory of variables:
• Equity of pay, job complexity, participation of decision making, job satisfaction, job performance, labor market conditions, number of organization, personal characteristics, expectation of finding an alternatives, intentions to quit, job turnover.
• Apply all the components of theoretical framework

Schematic Diagram of the Theoretical Model

Schematic Diagram of the Theoretical Model framework should be given so that the reader can see and easily comprehend the theorized relationships.

Example:
Research Question: Why middle class families decline in their size?
By following the guidelines discussed earlier let us develop a theoretical framework.

1. Inventory of variables: Education levels of the couples, age at marriage, working women, rationalism, exposure to mass media of communication, accessibility to health services, practicing of family planning practices, aspirations about the education of children, shift to nuclear families, mobility orientation.

2. Specify the direction of relationship: Higher the education higher the age at marriage. Higher the education of women greater the chances of their being career women. Higher the education more the rationalism. Higher the education more selective the exposure to mass media of communication. Higher the education more the accessibility to health services. Higher the education more the practicing of family planning practices. Higher the education of the parents the higher their aspirations about the education of their children. Higher the education of the couple greater thee chances of shifting to nuclear families. Higher the education of the couples the higher their mobility orientation.

3. Give a clear explanation of why we should expect the proposed relationships to exist. For example higher the education higher the age at marriage. One could build up the argument like this: For purposes of getting high levels of education the youngsters spend about 16 years of their life in educational institutions. Let us say they complete their education at the age of 22 years. After completing education they spend 2-3 years for establishing themselves in their careers. During this period continue deferring their marriage. By the time they decide about their marriage they are about 25 years.
Compare this age at marriage with the age at marriage of 16 years. Obviously with this higher age at marriage there is a reduction in the reproductive period of women. Similarly we can develop logic in support of other proposed relationships.

4. Make an inventory of propositions. The proposed relationships under item 2 about
could be the examples of propositions.

5. Arrange these propositions in a sequential order. These propositions can be arranged
sequentially.

6. Schematic diagram of the theoretical model be given Voluntary Job Turnover:
• Inventory of variables:
• Equity of pay, job complexity, participation of decision making, job satisfaction, job performance, labor market conditions, number of organization, personal characteristics, expectation of finding an alternatives, intentions to quit, job turnover.
• Apply all the components of theoretical framework

Posted at 8:10 PM |  by Unknown
Ethics are norms or standards of behavior that guide moral choices about our behavior and our relationships with others. The goal of ethics in research is to ensure that no one is harmed or suffers adverse consequences from research activities. This objective is usually achieved. However, unethical activities are pervasive and include violating nondisclosure agreements, breaking respondent confidentiality, misrepresenting results, deceiving people, invoicing irregularities, avoiding legal liability, and more.

As discussed earlier, ethical questions are philosophical questions. There is no general agreement among philosophers about the answers to such questions. However the rights and obligations of individuals are generally dictated by the norms of society. Societal norms are codes of behavior adopted by a group; they suggest what a member of a group ought to do under given circumstances. Nevertheless, with changing situations people continue differing with each other whereby societal norms may undergo changes. Codes and regulations guide researchers and sponsors. Review boards and peer groups help researchers examine their research proposals for ethical dilemmas. Responsible researchers anticipate ethical dilemmas and attempt to adjust the design, procedures, and protocols during the planning process rather than treating them as afterthought. Ethical research requires personal integrity from the researcher, the project manager, and the research sponsor.

General Rights and Obligations of Parties Concerned
In most research situations, three parties are involved: the researcher, the sponsoring client (user), and the respondent (subject). The interaction of each of these parties with one or both of the other two identifies a series of ethical questions. Consciously or consciously, each party expects certain rights and feels certain obligations towards the other parties.

Rights to Privacy
All individuals have right to privacy, and researchers must respect that right. The privacy guarantee is important not only to retain validity of the research but also to protect respondents. The confidentiality of the survey answers is an important aspect of the respondents’ right to privacy. Once the guarantee of confidentiality is given, protecting that confidentiality is essential. The researcher protects the confidentiality in several ways;
• Obtaining signed nondisclosure documents.
• Restricting access to respondent identification.
• Revealing respondent information only with written consent.
• Restricting access to data instruments where the respondent is identified.
• Nondisclosure of data subsets.
Privacy is more than confidentiality. A right to privacy means one has the right to refuse to be interviewed or to refuse to answer any question in an interview. Potential participants have a right to privacy in their own homes including not admitting researchers and not answering telephones. To address these rights, ethical researchers do the following:
• Inform respondents of their right to refuse to answer any questions or participate in the study.
• Obtain permission to interview respondents.
• Schedule field and phone interviews.
• Limit the time required for participation.
• Restrict observation to public behavior only.
The obligation to be truthful: When a subject willingly agrees to participate, it is generally expected that he or she will provide truthful answers. Honest cooperation is main obligation of the respondent or the subject.

Research Methods Ethical Issues In Research

Ethics are norms or standards of behavior that guide moral choices about our behavior and our relationships with others. The goal of ethics in research is to ensure that no one is harmed or suffers adverse consequences from research activities. This objective is usually achieved. However, unethical activities are pervasive and include violating nondisclosure agreements, breaking respondent confidentiality, misrepresenting results, deceiving people, invoicing irregularities, avoiding legal liability, and more.

As discussed earlier, ethical questions are philosophical questions. There is no general agreement among philosophers about the answers to such questions. However the rights and obligations of individuals are generally dictated by the norms of society. Societal norms are codes of behavior adopted by a group; they suggest what a member of a group ought to do under given circumstances. Nevertheless, with changing situations people continue differing with each other whereby societal norms may undergo changes. Codes and regulations guide researchers and sponsors. Review boards and peer groups help researchers examine their research proposals for ethical dilemmas. Responsible researchers anticipate ethical dilemmas and attempt to adjust the design, procedures, and protocols during the planning process rather than treating them as afterthought. Ethical research requires personal integrity from the researcher, the project manager, and the research sponsor.

General Rights and Obligations of Parties Concerned
In most research situations, three parties are involved: the researcher, the sponsoring client (user), and the respondent (subject). The interaction of each of these parties with one or both of the other two identifies a series of ethical questions. Consciously or consciously, each party expects certain rights and feels certain obligations towards the other parties.

Rights to Privacy
All individuals have right to privacy, and researchers must respect that right. The privacy guarantee is important not only to retain validity of the research but also to protect respondents. The confidentiality of the survey answers is an important aspect of the respondents’ right to privacy. Once the guarantee of confidentiality is given, protecting that confidentiality is essential. The researcher protects the confidentiality in several ways;
• Obtaining signed nondisclosure documents.
• Restricting access to respondent identification.
• Revealing respondent information only with written consent.
• Restricting access to data instruments where the respondent is identified.
• Nondisclosure of data subsets.
Privacy is more than confidentiality. A right to privacy means one has the right to refuse to be interviewed or to refuse to answer any question in an interview. Potential participants have a right to privacy in their own homes including not admitting researchers and not answering telephones. To address these rights, ethical researchers do the following:
• Inform respondents of their right to refuse to answer any questions or participate in the study.
• Obtain permission to interview respondents.
• Schedule field and phone interviews.
• Limit the time required for participation.
• Restrict observation to public behavior only.
The obligation to be truthful: When a subject willingly agrees to participate, it is generally expected that he or she will provide truthful answers. Honest cooperation is main obligation of the respondent or the subject.

Posted at 8:00 PM |  by Unknown
Now Criteria For Good Measurement that we have seen how to operationally define variables, it is important to make sure that the instrument that we develop to measure a particular concept is indeed accurately measuring the variable, and in fact, we are actually measuring the concept that we set out to measure. This ensures that in operationally defining perceptual and attitudinal variables, we have not overlooked some important dimensions and elements or included some irrelevant ones. The scales developed could often be imperfect and errors are prone to occur in the measurement of attitudinal variables. The use of better instruments will ensure more accuracy in results, which in turn, will enhance the scientific quality of the research. Hence, in some way, we need to assess the “goodness” of the measure developed.

What should be the characteristics of a good measurement? An intuitive answer to this question is that the tool should be an accurate indicator of what we are interested in measuring. In addition, it should be easy and efficient to use. There are three major criteria for evaluating a measurement tool:
validity, reliability, and sensitivity.

Validity is the ability of an instrument (for example measuring an attitude) to measure what it is supposed to measure. That is, when we ask a set of questions (i.e. develop a measuring instrument) with the hope that we are tapping the concept, how can we be reasonably certain that we are indeed measuring the concept we set out to do and not something else? There is no quick answer. Researchers have attempted to assess validity in different ways, including asking questions such as “Is there consensus among my colleagues that my attitude scale measures what it is supposed to measure?” and “Does my measure correlate with others’ measures of the ‘same’ concept?” and “Does the behavior expected from my measure predict the actual observed behavior?” Researchers expect the answers to provide some evidence of a measure’s validity.

What is relevant depends on the nature of the research problem and the researcher’s judgment. One way to approach this question is to organize the answer according to measure-relevant types of validity. One widely accepted classification consists of three major types of validity: (1) content validity, (2) criterion-related validity, and (3) construct validity.

Criteria For Good Measurement

Now Criteria For Good Measurement that we have seen how to operationally define variables, it is important to make sure that the instrument that we develop to measure a particular concept is indeed accurately measuring the variable, and in fact, we are actually measuring the concept that we set out to measure. This ensures that in operationally defining perceptual and attitudinal variables, we have not overlooked some important dimensions and elements or included some irrelevant ones. The scales developed could often be imperfect and errors are prone to occur in the measurement of attitudinal variables. The use of better instruments will ensure more accuracy in results, which in turn, will enhance the scientific quality of the research. Hence, in some way, we need to assess the “goodness” of the measure developed.

What should be the characteristics of a good measurement? An intuitive answer to this question is that the tool should be an accurate indicator of what we are interested in measuring. In addition, it should be easy and efficient to use. There are three major criteria for evaluating a measurement tool:
validity, reliability, and sensitivity.

Validity is the ability of an instrument (for example measuring an attitude) to measure what it is supposed to measure. That is, when we ask a set of questions (i.e. develop a measuring instrument) with the hope that we are tapping the concept, how can we be reasonably certain that we are indeed measuring the concept we set out to do and not something else? There is no quick answer. Researchers have attempted to assess validity in different ways, including asking questions such as “Is there consensus among my colleagues that my attitude scale measures what it is supposed to measure?” and “Does my measure correlate with others’ measures of the ‘same’ concept?” and “Does the behavior expected from my measure predict the actual observed behavior?” Researchers expect the answers to provide some evidence of a measure’s validity.

What is relevant depends on the nature of the research problem and the researcher’s judgment. One way to approach this question is to organize the answer according to measure-relevant types of validity. One widely accepted classification consists of three major types of validity: (1) content validity, (2) criterion-related validity, and (3) construct validity.

Posted at 7:49 PM |  by Unknown
Parallel Form Reliability know When responses on two comparable sets of measures tapping the same construct are highly correlated, we have parallel-form reliability. It is also called equivalent form reliability. Both forms have similar items and same response format, the only changes being the wording and the order or sequence of the questions. What we try to establish here is the error variability resulting from wording and ordering of the questions. If two such comparable forms are highly correlated, we may be fairly certain that the measures are reasonably reliable, with minimal error variance caused by wording, ordering, or other factors.

Internal Consistency of Measures
Internal consistency of measures is indicative of the homogeneity of the items in the measure that tap the construct. In other words, the items should ‘hang together as a set,’ and be capable of independently measuring the same concept so that the respondents attach the same overall meaning to each of the items. This can be seen by examining if the items and the subsets of items in the measuring instrument are highly correlated. Consistency can be examined through the inter-item consistency reliability and split-half reliability.

(1) Inter-item Consistency reliability: This is a test of consistency of respondents’ answers to all the items in a measure. To the degree that items are independent measures of the same concept, they will be correlated with one another.

What is The Parallel Form Reliability

Parallel Form Reliability know When responses on two comparable sets of measures tapping the same construct are highly correlated, we have parallel-form reliability. It is also called equivalent form reliability. Both forms have similar items and same response format, the only changes being the wording and the order or sequence of the questions. What we try to establish here is the error variability resulting from wording and ordering of the questions. If two such comparable forms are highly correlated, we may be fairly certain that the measures are reasonably reliable, with minimal error variance caused by wording, ordering, or other factors.

Internal Consistency of Measures
Internal consistency of measures is indicative of the homogeneity of the items in the measure that tap the construct. In other words, the items should ‘hang together as a set,’ and be capable of independently measuring the same concept so that the respondents attach the same overall meaning to each of the items. This can be seen by examining if the items and the subsets of items in the measuring instrument are highly correlated. Consistency can be examined through the inter-item consistency reliability and split-half reliability.

(1) Inter-item Consistency reliability: This is a test of consistency of respondents’ answers to all the items in a measure. To the degree that items are independent measures of the same concept, they will be correlated with one another.

Posted at 7:45 PM |  by Unknown
Surveys require asking people, who are called respondents, for information, using either verbal or written questions. Questionnaires or interviews are utilized to collect data on the telephone, face- face, and through other communication media. The more formal term sample survey emphasizes that the purpose of contacting respondents is to obtain a representative sample of the target population. Thus, a survey is defined as a method of gathering primary data based on communication with a representative sample of individuals.

Steps in Conducting a Survey
The survey researcher follows a deductive approach. He or she begins with a theoretical or applied research problem and ends with empirical measurement and data analysis. Once a researcher decides that survey is an appropriate method, basic steps in a research project can broadly be divided into six sub-steps.

Survey Research An Overview

Surveys require asking people, who are called respondents, for information, using either verbal or written questions. Questionnaires or interviews are utilized to collect data on the telephone, face- face, and through other communication media. The more formal term sample survey emphasizes that the purpose of contacting respondents is to obtain a representative sample of the target population. Thus, a survey is defined as a method of gathering primary data based on communication with a representative sample of individuals.

Steps in Conducting a Survey
The survey researcher follows a deductive approach. He or she begins with a theoretical or applied research problem and ends with empirical measurement and data analysis. Once a researcher decides that survey is an appropriate method, basic steps in a research project can broadly be divided into six sub-steps.

Posted at 7:38 PM |  by Unknown
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