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Business Research Methodology

This book is the result of my teaching experience in the subject BUSINESS RESEARCH METHOLDOGY and

working experience in RESEARCH & STATISTICS to Sikkim Manipal University,Udupi students for about 8

years.It is designed to meet the requirements of students at Bachelor’s, Masters and Ph D levels in

Engineering and Management(M E, MCA MBA and Ph D in Project Management,Engg,Computer

Applications and Business Administration).

The main highlight of the book is the theoretical and numerical solved problem approach framed by the

author with many theoretical concepts .This book has a large number of problems solved in some

chapters & many questions with answers and explanations.

I thank various International software makers in the field of Statistics which made me enable to work on tricky NUMERICAL PROBLEMS involving data and almost all theoretical concepts r covered in this book

related to Business Research Methodology.

There are many problems and all theoretical concepts related to Statistics framed by myself and can be best suitable for Bachelors,Masters & Ph D students during their RESEARCH WORK in the three fields mentioned below:










which is a compulsory subject for Commerce students .Even the higher level students and bachelor level students can also read it as it contains a lot of numerical problems framed by me.


Research – Qualities of Researcher – Components of Research Problem – Various Steps In

Scientific Research – Types of Research – Hypotheses Research Purposes - Research Design –

Survey Research – Case Study Research.


Data Collection – Sources of Data – Primary Data – Secondary Data

- Procedure Questionnaire – Sampling Methods – Merits and Demerits – Experiments –

Observation Method – Sampling Errors - Type-I Error & Type-II Error.


Statistical Analysis – Introduction To Statistics – Probability Theories – Conditional Probability,

Poisson Distribution, Binomial Distribution and Properties of Normal Distributions – Hypothesis


– One Sample Test – Two Sample Tests / Chi-Square Test, Association of Attributes - Standard

Deviation – Co-Efficient of Variations .


Statistical Applications – Correlation and Regression Analysis – Analysis of Variance – Partial

and Multiple Correlation – Factor Analysis and Conjoint Analysis – Multifactor Evaluation –

Two-Factor Evaluation Approaches.


Research Reports – Structure and Components of Research Report

– Types of Report, Characteristics of Good Research Report, Pictures and Graphs, Introduction


are the 5 chapters with various sub-topics covered in this book. All theories are given and explained and all formulae are also covered in this book in Statistics section of the subject.

I feel that this is a unique book as there are theory,formulae & numerical problems solved with all possible steps.








Author’s name is Srinivas R Rao, born and done his school level education in Mangalore,Karnataka in a

reputed private school Canara High School and PUC(+2) from Canara PUC in Science stream with PCMB

as main subjects.

Later, pursuing LL.B(5 Years) course passed the degree in 1999 and done Diploma in Export

Management ,Diploma in Customs and Central Excise , Diploma in Business Administration and some

important IT subjects like MS-Office,Internet/Email,Visual Basic 6.0,C,C++,Java,Advanced Java,Oracle

with D2K,HTML with Javascript,VBscript and Active Server Pages.

Joined as a FACULTY for students in a small computer Institute in 2002 July and later after 4 months

worked in a company by name CRP Technologies(I) .P.Ltd as Branch Manager(Risk Manager) for

Mangalore,Udupi and Kasargod areas from January 26 2003 to June 11 2007.In the year 2005 pursued

MBA distance education course. Currently working as a FACULTY in Sikkim Manipal University , Udupi

centre for BBA & MBA students and teaching numerical subjects like Statistics/Operations Research(Mgt Science/Quant. Techniques for Mgt)/Accounting and several numerical and difficult oriented subjects

for distance education students in their weekend contact classes from July 2010 till present day.








Research – Qualities of Researcher – Components of Research Problem – Various Steps In

Scientific Research – Types of Research – Hypotheses Research Purposes - Research Design

– Survey Research – Case Study Research.


Data Collection – Sources of Data – Primary Data – Secondary Data

- Procedure Questionnaire – Sampling Methods – Merits and Demerits – Experiments –

Observation Method – Sampling Errors - Type-I Error & Type-II Error.


Statistical Analysis – Introduction To Statistics – Probability Theories – Conditional

Probability, Poisson Distribution, Binomial Distribution and Properties of Normal

Distributions – Hypothesis Tests

– One Sample Test – Two Sample Tests / Chi-Square Test, Association of Attributes -

Standard Deviation – Co-Efficient of Variations .


Statistical Applications – Correlation and Regression Analysis – Analysis of Variance –

Partial and Multiple Correlation – Factor Analysis and Conjoint Analysis – Multifactor

Evaluation – Two-Factor Evaluation Approaches.


Research Reports – Structure and Components of Research Report

– Types of Report, Characteristics of Good Research Report, Pictures and Graphs,

Introduction To SPSS.



Research – Qualities of Researcher – Components of Research

Problem – Various Steps In Scientific Research – Types of Research –

Hypotheses Research Purposes - Research Design – Survey Research –

Case Study Research.


Data Collection – Sources of Data – Primary Data – Secondary Data

- Procedure Questionnaire – Sampling Methods – Merits and Demerits –

Experiments – Observation Method – Sampling Errors - Type-I Error &

Type-II Error.


Statistical Analysis – Introduction To Statistics – Probability

Theories – Conditional Probability, Poisson Distribution, Binomial

Distribution and Properties of Normal Distributions – Hypothesis Tests

– One Sample Test – Two Sample Tests / Chi-Square Test, Association of

Attributes - Standard Deviation – Co-Efficient of Variations .


Statistical Applications – Correlation and Regression Analysis –

Analysis of Variance – Partial and Multiple Correlation – Factor Analysis

and Conjoint Analysis – Multifactor Evaluation – Two-Factor Evaluation




Research Reports – Structure and Components of Research Report

– Types of Report, Characteristics of Good Research Report, Pictures and

Graphs, Introduction To SPSS.





1 Meaning, Objectives And Types Of Research

2 Qualities Of Researcher

3 Significance Of Research

4 Research Process

5 Research Problem

6 Features, Importance, Characteristics, Concepts And Types Of

Research Design

7 Case Study Research

8 Hypothesis And Its Testing

9 Sample Survey And Sampling Methods

1.1 Meaning Of Research:

Research in simple terms refers to search for knowledge. It is a

scientific and systematic search for information on a particular topic or

issue. It is also known as the art of scientific investigation. Several social

scientists have defined research in different ways.

In the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, D. Slesinger and M.

Stephension (1930) defined research as “the manipulation of things,

concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to extend, correct

or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in the construction of

theory or in the practice of an art”.

According to Redman and Mory (1923), research is a “systematized

effort to gain new knowledge”. It is an academic activity and therefore the

term should be used in a technical sense. According to Clifford Woody

(kothari, 1988), research comprises “defining and redefining problems,

formulating hypotheses or suggested solutions; collecting, organizing


and evaluating data; making deductions and reaching conclusions; and

finally, carefully testing the conclusions to determine whether they fit the

formulated hypotheses”.

Thus, research is an original addition to the available knowledge,

which contributes to its further advancement. It is an attempt to pursue

truth through the methods of study, observation, comparison and

experiment. In sum, research is the search for knowledge, using objective

and systematic methods to find solution to a problem.

1 Objectives Of Research:

The objective of research is to find answers to the questions by

applying scientific procedures. In other words, the main aim of research

is to find out the truth which is hidden and has not yet been discovered.

Although every research study has its own specific objectives, the research

objectives may be broadly grouped as follows:

1. To gain familiarity with new insights into a phenomenon (i.e.,

formulative research studies);

2. To accurately portray the characteristics of a particular individual,

group, or a situation (i.e., descriptive research studies);

3. To analyse the frequency with which something occurs (i.e.,

diagnostic research studies); and

4. To examine the hypothesis of a causal relationship between two

variables (i.e., hypothesis-testing research studies).

2 Research Methods Versus Methodology:

Research methods include all those techniques/methods that are

adopted for conducting research. Thus, research techniques or methods

are the methods that the researchers adopt for conducting the research


on the other hand, research methodology is the way in which

research problems are solved systematically. It is a science of studying how

research is conducted scientifically. Under it, the researcher acquaints

himself/herself with the various steps generally adopted to study a

research problem, along with the underlying logic behind them. Hence, it


is not only important for the researcher to know the research techniques/

methods, but also the scientific approach called methodology.

3 Research Approaches:

There are two main approaches to research, namely quantitative

approach and qualitative approach. The quantitative approach involves

the collection of quantitative data, which are put to rigorous quantitative

analysis in a formal and rigid manner. This approach further includes

experimental, inferential, and simulation approaches to research.

Meanwhile, the qualitative approach uses the method of subjective

assessment of opinions, behaviour and attitudes. Research in such a

situation is a function of the researcher’s impressions and insights. The

results generated by this type of research are either in non-quantitative

form or in the form which cannot be put to rigorous quantitative analysis.

Usually, this approach uses techniques like indepth interviews, focus group

interviews, and projective techniques.

4 Types Of Research:

There are different types of research. The basic ones are as follows.


Descriptive Versus Analytical:

Descriptive research consists of surveys and fact-finding enquiries

of different types. The main objective of descriptive research is describing

the state of affairs as it prevails at the time of study. The term ‘ex post

facto research’ is quite often used for descriptive research studies in social

sciences and business research. The most distinguishing feature of this

method is that the researcher has no control over the variables here. He/she

has to only report what is happening or what has happened. Majority of

the ex post facto research projects are used for descriptive studies in which

the researcher attempts to examine phenomena, such as the consumers’

preferences, frequency of purchases, shopping, etc. Despite the inability

of the researchers to control the variables, ex post facto studies may also

comprise attempts by them to discover the causes of the selected problem.

The methods of research adopted in conducting descriptive research are

survey methods of all kinds, including correlational and comparative



Meanwhile in the Analytical research, the researcher has to use the

already available facts or information, and analyse them to make a critical

evaluation of the subject.


Applied Versus Fundamental:

Research can also be applied or fundamental in nature. An attempt

to find a solution to an immediate problem encountered by a firm, an

industry, a business organisation, or the society is known as applied

research. Researchers engaged in such researches aim at drawing certain

conclusions confronting a concrete social or business problem.

On the other hand, fundamental research mainly concerns

generalizations and formulation of a theory. In other words, “Gathering

knowledge for knowledge’s sake is termed ‘pure’ or ‘basic’ research”

(Young in Kothari, 1988). Researches relating to pure mathematics or

concerning some natural phenomenon are instances of Fundamental

Research. Likewise, studies focusing on human behaviour also fall under

the category of fundamental research.

Thus, while the principal objective of applied research is to find a

solution to some pressing practical problem, the objective of basic research

is to find information with a broad base of application and add to the

already existing organized body of scientific knowledge.


Quantitative Versus Qualitative:

Quantitative research relates to aspects that can be quantified or

can be expressed in terms of quantity. It involves the measurement of

quantity or amount. Various available statistical and econometric methods

are adopted for analysis in such research. Which includes correlation,

regressions and time series analysis etc,.

On the other hand, Qualitative research is concerned with

qualitative phenomena, or more specifically, the aspects related to or

involving quality or kind. For example, an important type of qualitative

research is ‘Motivation Research’, which investigates into the reasons

for certain human behaviour. The main aim of this type of research is

discovering the underlying motives and desires of human beings by using


in-depth interviews. The other techniques employed in such research

are story completion tests, sentence completion tests, word association

tests, and other similar projective methods. Qualitative research is

particularly significant in the context of behavioural sciences, which aim

at discovering the underlying motives of human behaviour. Such research

helps to analyse the various factors that motivate human beings to behave

in a certain manner, besides contributing to an understanding of what

makes individuals like or dislike a particular thing. However, it is worth

noting that conducting qualitative research in practice is considerably a

difficult task. Hence, while undertaking such research, seeking guidance

from experienced expert researchers is important.


Conceptual Versus Empirical:

The research related to some abstract idea or theory is known as

Conceptual Research. Generally, philosophers and thinkers use it for

developing new concepts or for reinterpreting the existing ones. Empirical

Research, on the other hand, exclusively relies on the observation or

experience with hardly any regard for theory and system. Such research

is data based, which often comes up with conclusions that can be verified

through experiments or observation. Empirical research is also known as

experimental type of research, in which it is important to first collect the

facts and their sources, and actively take steps to stimulate the production

of desired information. In this type of research, the researcher first

formulates a working hypothesis, and then gathers sufficient facts to prove

or disprove the stated hypothesis. He/she formulates the experimental

design, which according to him/her would manipulate the variables, so as to

obtain the desired information. This type of research is thus characterized

by the researcher’s control over the variables under study. In simple term,

empirical research is most appropriate when an attempt is made to prove

that certain variables influence the other variables in some way. Therefore,

the results obtained by using the experimental or empirical studies are

considered to be the most powerful evidences for a given hypothesis.


Other Types Of Research:

The remaining types of research are variations of one or more of

the afore-mentioned type of research. They vary in terms of the purpose

of research, or the time required to complete it, or may be based on some


other similar factor. On the basis of time, research may either be in the

nature of one-time or longitudinal time series research. While the research

is restricted to a single time-period in the former case, it is conducted over

several time-periods in the latter case. Depending upon the environment

in which the research is to be conducted, it can also be laboratory research

or field-setting research, or simulation research, besides being diagnostic

or clinical in nature. Under such research, in-depth approaches or case

study method may be employed to analyse the basic causal relations.

These studies usually undertake a detailed in-depth analysis of the causes

of certain events of interest, and use very small samples and sharp data

collection methods. The research may also be explanatory in nature.

Formalized research studies consist of substantial structure and specific

hypotheses to be verified. As regards to historical research, sources like

historical documents, remains, etc. Are utilized to study past events or

ideas. It also includes philosophy of persons and groups of the past or any

remote point of time.

Research has also been classified into decision-oriented and

conclusion-oriented categories. The decision-oriented research is always

carried out as per the need of a decision maker and hence, the researcher has

no freedom to conduct the research according to his/her own desires. On

the other hand, in the case of Conclusion-oriented research, the researcher

is free to choose the problem, redesign the enquiry as it progresses and

even change conceptualization as he/she wishes to. Operations research is

a kind of decision-oriented research, where in scientific method is used in

providing the departments, a quantitative basis for decision-making with

respect to the activities under their purview.

5 Importance Of Knowing How To Conduct Research:

The importance of knowing how to conduct research are listed below:

i. The knowledge of research methodology provides training to new

researchers and enables them to do research properly. It helps them

to develop disciplined thinking or a ‘bent of mind’ to objectively

observe the field;

ii. The knowledge of doing research inculcates the ability to evaluate

and utilize the research findings with confidence;


iii. The knowledge of research methodology equips the researcher with

the tools that help him/her to make the observations objectively;


iv. The knowledge of methodology helps the research consumers to

evaluate research and make rational decisions.

6 Qualities Of A Researcher:

It is important for a researcher to possess certain qualities to

conduct research. First and foremost, he being a scientist should be firmly

committed to the ‘articles of faith’ of the scientific methods of research.

This implies that a researcher should be a social science person in the

truest sense. Sir Michael Foster cited by (Wilkinson and Bhandarkar, 1979)

identified a few distinct qualities of a scientist. According to him, a true

research scientist should possess the following qualities:

(1) First of all, the nature of a researcher must be of the temperament

that vibrates in unison with the theme which he is searching. Hence, the

seeker of knowledge must be truthful with truthfulness of nature, which

is much more important, much more exacting than what is sometimes

known as truthfulness. The truthfulness relates to the desire for accuracy

of observation and precision of statement. Ensuring facts is the principle

rule of science, which is not an easy matter. The difficulty may arise due

to untrained eye, which fails to see anything beyond what it has the power

of seeing and sometimes even less than that. This may also be due to the

lack of discipline in the method of science. An unscientific individual

often remains satisfied with the expressions like approximately, almost,

or nearly, which is never what nature is. A real research cannot see two

things which differ, however minutely, as the same.

(2) A researcher must possess an alert mind. Nature is constantly

changing and revealing itself through various ways. A scientific researcher

must be keen and watchful to notice such changes, no matter how small or

insignificant they may appear. Such receptivity has to be cultivated slowly

and patiently over time by the researcher through practice. An individual

who is ignorant or not alert and receptive during his research will not

make a good researcher. He will fail as a good researcher if he has no keen

eyes or mind to observe the unusual changes behind the routine. Research


demands a systematic immersion into the subject matter by the researcher

grasp even the slightest hint that may culminate into significant research

problems. In this context, Cohen and Negal cited by (Selltiz et al, 1965;

Wilkinson and Bhandarkar, 1979) state that “the ability to perceive in some

brute experience the occasion of a problem is not a common talent among

men… it is a mark of scientific genius to be sensitive to difficulties where

less gifted people pass by untroubled by doubt”.

(3) Scientific enquiry is pre-eminently an intellectual effort. It

requires the moral quality of courage, which reflects the courage of a

steadfast endurance. The process of conducting research is not an easy

task. There are occasions when a research scientist might feel defeated or

completely lost. This is the stage when a researcher would need immense

courage and the sense of conviction. The researcher must learn the art of

enduring intellectual hardships. In the words of Darwin, “It’s dogged that

does it”.

In order to cultivate the afore-mentioned three qualities of a

researcher, a fourth one may be added. This is the quality of making

statements cautiously. According to Huxley, the assertion that outstrips the

evidence is not only a blunder but a crime (Thompson, 1975). A researcher

should cultivate the habit of reserving judgment when the required data

are insufficient.

7 Significance Of Research:

According to a famous Hudson Maxim, “All progress is born of

inquiry. Doubt is often better than overconfidence, for it leads to inquiry,

and inquiry leads to invention”. It brings out the significance of research,

increased amount of which makes the progress possible. Research

encourages scientific and inductive thinking, besides promoting the

development of logical habits of thinking and organisation. The role of

research in applied economics in the context of an economy or business

is greatly increasing in modern times. The increasingly complex nature

of government and business has raised the use of research in solving

operational problems. Research assumes significant role in the formulation

of economic policy for both, the government and business. It provides

the basis for almost all government policies of an economic system.

Government budget formulation, for example, depends particularly on the


analysis of needs and desires of people, and the availability of revenues,

which requires research. Research helps to formulate alternative policies,

in addition to examining the consequences of these alternatives. Thus,

research also facilitates the decision-making of policy-makers, although

in itself is not a part of research. In the process, research also helps in the

proper allocation of a country’s scarce resources.

Research is also necessary for collecting information on the social

and economic structure of an economy to understand the process of change

occurring in the country. Collection of statistical information, though

not a routine task, involves various research problems. Therefore, large

staff of research technicians or experts are engaged by the government

these days to undertake this work. Thus, research as a tool of government

economic policy formulation involves three distinct stages of operation:

(i) investigation of economic structure through continual compilation

of facts; (ii) diagnosis of events that are taking place and analysis of the

forces underlying them; and (iii) the prognosis i.e., the prediction of future

developments (Wilkinson and Bhandarkar, 1979).

Research also assumes significance in solving various operational

and planning problems associated with business and industry. In several

ways, operations research, market research and motivational research

are vital and their results assist in taking business decisions. Market

research refers to the investigation of the structure and development of

a market for the formulation of efficient policies relating to purchases,

production and sales. Operational research relates to the application

of logical, mathematical, and analytical techniques to find solution to

business problems, such as cost minimization or profit maximization, or

the optimization problems. Motivational research helps to determine why

people behave in the manner they do with respect to market characteristics.

More specifically, it is concerned with the analysis of the motivations

underlying consumer behaviour. All these researches are very useful for

business and industry, and are responsible for business decision-making.

Research is equally important to social scientists for analyzing

the social relationships and seeking explanations to various social

problems. It gives intellectual satisfaction of knowing things for the sake

of knowledge. It also possesses the practical utility for the social scientist

to gain knowledge so as to be able to do something better or in a more


efficient manner. The research in social sciences is concerned with both

knowledge for its own sake, and knowledge for what it can contribute to

solve practical problems.

2 Research Process:

Research process consists of a series of steps or actions required for

effectively conducting research. The following are the steps that provide

useful procedural guidelines regarding the conduct of research:


Formulating the research problem;


Extensive literature survey;


Developing hypothesis;


Preparing the research design;


Determining sample design;


Collecting data;


Execution of the project;


Analysis of data;


Hypothesis testing;

(10) Generalization and interpretation, and

(11) Preparation of the report or presentation of the results.

In other words, it involves the formal write-up of conclusions.

3 Research Problem:

The first and foremost stage in the research process is to select and

properly define the research problem. A researcher should first identify

a problem and formulate it, so as to make it amenable or susceptible to

research. In general, a research problem refers to an unanswered question

that a researcher might encounter in the context of either a theoretical or

practical situation, which he/she would like to answer or find a solution

to. A research problem is generally said to exist if the following conditions

emerge (Kothari, 1988):

i. There should be an individual or an organisation, say X, to whom

the Problem can be attributed. The individual or the organization is

situated in an environment Y, which is governed by certain uncontrolled

variables Z;


ii. There should be at least two courses of action to be pursued, say A1

and A2. These courses of action are defined by one or more values of

the controlled variables. For example, the number of items purchased

at a specified time is said to be one course of action.

iii. There should be atleast two alternative possible outcomes of the said

courses of action, say B1 and B2. Of them, one alternative should be

preferable to the other. That is, atleast one outcome should be what the

researcher wants, which becomes an objective.

iv. The courses of possible action available must offer a chance to the

researcher to achieve the objective, but not the equal chance. Therefore,

if P(B / X, A, Y) represents the probability of the occurrence of an


outcome B when X selects A in Y, then P(B1 / X, A1,Y) ≠ P (B1 / X,



A2, Y). Putting it in simple words, it means that the choices must not

have equal efficiencies for the desired outcome.

Above all these conditions, the individual or organisation may be

said to have arrived at the research problem only if X does not know what

course of action to be taken is the best. In other words, X should have a

doubt about the solution. Thus, an individual or a group of persons can

be said to have a problem if they have more than one desired outcome.

They should have two or more alternative courses of action, which have

some but not equal efficiency. This is required for probing the desired

objectives, such that they have doubts about the best course of action to be

taken. Thus, the components of a research problem may be summarised


i. There should be an individual or a group who have some difficulty

or problem.

ii. There should be some objective(s) to be pursued. A person or an

organization who wants nothing cannot have a problem.

iii. There should be alternative ways of pursuing the objective the

researcher wants to pursue. This implies that there should be more

than one alternative means available to the researcher. This is because

if the researcher has no choice of alternative means, he/she would

not have a problem.


iv. There should be some doubt in the mind of the researcher about

the choice of alternative means. This implies that research should

answer the question relating to the relative efficiency or suitability of

the possible alternatives.

v. There should be a context to which the difficulty relates.

Thus, identification of a research problem is the pre-condition

to conducting research. A research problem is said to be the one which

requires a researcher to find the best available solution to the given problem.

That is, the researcher needs to find out the best course of action through

which the research objective may be achieved optimally in the context of

a given situation. Several factors may contribute to making the problem

complicated. For example, the environment may alter, thus affecting the

efficiencies of the alternative courses of action taken or the quality of the

outcomes. The number of alternative courses of action might be very large

and the individual not involved in making the decision may be affected by

the change in environment and may react to it favorably or unfavorably.

Other similar factors are also likely to cause such changes in the context

of research, all of which may be considered from the point of view of a

research problem.

4 Research Design:

The most important step after defining the research problem is

preparing the design of the research project, which is popularly known

as the ‘research design’. A research design helps to decide upon issues

like what, when, where, how much, by what means etc. With regard to

an enquiry or a research study. A research design is the arrangement

of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to

combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure.

Infact, research design is the conceptual structure within which research

is conducted; it constitutes the blueprint for the collection, measurement

and analysis of data (Selltiz et al, 1962). Thus, research design provides

an outline of what the researcher is going to do in terms of framing

the hypothesis, its operational implications and the final data analysis.

Specifically, the research design highlights decisions which include:


1. The nature of the study

2. The purpose of the study

3. The location where the study would be conducted

4. The nature of data required

5. From where the required data can be collected

6. What time period the study would cover

7. The type of sample design that would be used

8. The techniques of data collection that would be used

9. The methods of data analysis that would be adopted and

10. The manner in which the report would be prepared

In view of the stated research design decisions, the overall research design

may be divided into the following (Kothari 1988):

a. The sampling design that deals with the method of selecting items

to be observed for the selected study;

b. The observational design that relates to the conditions under which

the observations are to be made;

c. The statistical design that concerns with the question of how many

items are to be observed, and how the information and data gathered

are to be analysed; and

d. The operational design that deals with the techniques by which the

procedures specified in the sampling, statistical and observational

designs can be carried out.

4.1 Features Of Research Design:

The important features of Research Design may be outlined as follows:

i. It constitutes a plan that identifies the types and sources of

information required for the research problem;

ii. It constitutes a strategy that specifies the methods of data collection

and analysis which would be adopted; and

iii. It also specifies the time period of research and monetary budget

involved in conducting the study, which comprise the two major

constraints of undertaking any research


4.2 Concepts Relating To Research Design:

Some of the important concepts relating to Research Design are

discussed below:

1. Dependent And Independent Variables:

A magnitude that varies is known as a variable. The concept

may assume different quantitative values like height, weight, income etc.

Qualitative variables are not quantifiable in the strictest sense of the term.

However, the qualitative phenomena may also be quantified in terms of the

presence or absence of the attribute(s) considered. The phenomena that

assume different values quantitatively even in decimal points are known

as ‘continuous variables’. But all variables need not be continuous. Values

that can be expressed only in integer values are called ‘non-continuous

variables’. In statistical terms, they are also known as ‘discrete variables’.

For example, age is a continuous variable, whereas the number of children

is a non-continuous variable. When changes in one variable depend upon

the changes in other variable or variables, it is known as a dependent

or endogenous variable, and the variables that cause the changes in the

dependent variable are known as the independent or explanatory or

exogenous variables. For example, if demand depends upon price, then

demand is a dependent variable, while price is the independent variable.

And, if more variables determine demand, like income and price of the

substitute commodity, then demand also depends upon them in addition

to the price of original commodity. In other words, demand is a dependent

variable which is determined by the independent variables like price of the

original commodity, income and price of substitutes.

2. Extraneous Variables:

The independent variables which are not directly related to the

purpose of the study but affect the dependent variables, are known as

extraneous variables. For instance, assume that a researcher wants to

test the hypothesis that there is a relationship between children’s school

performance and their self-confidence, in which case the latter is an

independent variable and the former, a dependent variable. In this context,

intelligence may also influence the school performance. However, since

it is not directly related to the purpose of the study undertaken by the


researcher, it would be known as an extraneous variable. The influence

caused by the extraneous variable(s) on the dependent variable is

technically called the ‘experimental error’. Therefore, a research study

should always be framed in such a manner that the influence of extraneous

variables on the dependent variable/s is completely controlled, and the

influence of independent variable/s is clearly evident.

3. Control:

One of the most important features of a good research design is

to minimize the effect of extraneous variable(s). Technically, the term

‘control’ is used when a researcher designs the study in such a manner that

it minimizes the effects of extraneous variables. The term ‘control’ is used

in experimental research to reflect the restrain in experimental conditions.

4. Confounded Relationship:

The relationship between the dependent and independent variables

is said to be confounded by an extraneous variable, when the dependent

variable is not free from its effects.

5. Research Hypothesis:

When a prediction or a hypothesized relationship is tested by

adopting scientific methods, it is known as research hypothesis. The

research hypothesis is a predictive statement which relates to a dependent

variable and an independent variable. Generally, a research hypothesis

must consist of at least one dependent variable and one independent

variable. Whereas, the relationships that are assumed but not to be tested

are predictive statements that are not to be objectively verified, thus are

not classified as research hypotheses.

6. Experimental and Non-experimental Hypothesis Testing Research:

When the objective of a research is to test a research hypothesis,

it is known as hypothesis-testing research. Such research may be in the

nature of experimental design or non-experimental design. The research in

which the independent variable is manipulated is known as ‘experimental

hypothesis-testing research’, whereas the research in which the independent


variable is not manipulated is termed as ‘non-experimental hypothesis-

testing research’. For example, assume that a researcher wants to examine

whether family income influences the school attendance of a group of

students, by calculating the coefficient of correlation between the two

variables. Such an example is known as a non-experimental hypothesis-

testing research, because the independent variable - family income is not

manipulated here. Again assume that the researcher randomly selects

150 students from a group of students who pay their school fees regularly

and then classifies them into two sub-groups by randomly including 75 in

Group A, whose parents have regular earning, and 75 in Group B, whose

parents do not have regular earning. Assume that at the end of the study,

the researcher conducts a test on each group in order to examine the effects

of regular earnings of the parents on the school attendance of the student.

Such a study is an example of experimental hypothesis-testing research,

because in this particular study the independent variable regular earnings

of the parents have been manipulated.

7. Experimental And Control Groups:

When a group is exposed to usual conditions in an experimental

hypothesis-testing research, it is known as ‘control group’. On the other

hand, when the group is exposed to certain new or special condition, it is

known as an ‘experimental group’. In the afore-mentioned example, Group

A can be called as control group and Group B as experimental group. If

both the groups, A and B are exposed to some special feature, then both

the groups may be called as ‘experimental groups’. A research design may

include only the experimental group or both the experimental and control

groups together.

8. Treatments: