Q1. a. Explain the types of research. b. What is the significance of research in social and business sciences?
According to the intent, research may be classified as:
a) Pure Research
• It is undertaken for the sake of knowledge without any intention to apply it in practice.
• It is undertaken out of intellectual curiosity or inquisitiveness. It is not necessarily problem-oriented. It aims at extension of knowledge.
b) Applied Research
• It is carried on to find solution to a real-life problem requiring an action or policy decision.
• It is thus problem-oriented and action-directed. It seeks an immediate and practical result, e.g., marketing research carried on for developing a new market or for studying the post-purchase experience of customers.
c) Exploratory Research
• It is also known as formulative research. It is preliminary study of an unfamiliar problem about which the researcher has little or no knowledge. It is ill-structured and much less focused on pre-determined objectives.
• It usually takes the form of a pilot study. The purpose of this research may be to generate new ideas, or to increase the researcher’s familiarity with the problem or to
make a precise formulation of the problem or to gather information for clarifying concepts.
d) Descriptive Study
• It is a fact-finding investigation with adequate interpretation. It is the simplest type of research. It is more specific than an exploratory research.
• It aims at identifying the various characteristics of a community or institution or problem under study and also aims at a classification of the range of elements comprising the subject matter of study
e) Diagnostic Study
• It is similar to descriptive study but with a different focus. It is directed towards discovering what is happening, why it is happening and what can be done about.
• It aims at identifying the causes of a problem and the possible solutions for it. It may also be concerned with discovering and testing whether certain variables are associated.
• This type of research requires prior knowledge of the problem, its thorough formulation, clear-cut definition of the given population, adequate methods for collecting accurate information, precise measurement of variables, statistical analysis and test of significance.
f) Evaluation Studies
• It is a type of applied research. It is made for assessing the effectiveness of social or economic programmes implemented or for assessing the impact of developmental projects on the development of the project area.
• It is thus directed to assess or appraise the quality and quantity of an activity and its performance, and to specify its attributes and conditions required for its success. It is concerned also with change over time.
g) Action Research
• It is a type of evaluation study. It is a concurrent evaluation study of an action programme launched for solving a problem for improving an existing situation.
• It includes six major steps: diagnosis, sharing of diagnostic information, planning, developing change programme, initiation of organizational change, implementation of participation and communication process, and post experimental evaluation.
According to the methods of study, research may be classified as:
a) Experimental Research: It is designed to assess the effects of particular variables on a phenomenon by keeping the other variables constant or controlled.
b) Analytical Study: It is a system of procedures and techniques of analysis applied to quantitative data. It may consist of a system of mathematical models or statistical techniques applicable to numerical data. Hence it is also known as the Statistical Method
c) Historical Research: It is a study of past records and other information sources with a view to reconstructing the origin and development of an institution or a movement or a system and discovering the trends in the past.
d) Survey: It is a fact-finding study. It is a method of research involving collection of data directly from a population or a sample thereof at particular time. Its purpose is to provide information, explain phenomena, to make comparisons and concerned with cause and effect relationships can be useful for making predications
Significance of research in social and business sciences –
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, increase amounts of which makes progress possible. Research encourages scientific and inductive thinking, besides promoting the development of logical habits of thinking and organization.
The role of research in applied economics in the context of an economy or business is greatly increasing in modern times. 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 the people, and the availability of revenues, which requires research. Research helps to formulate alternative policies, in addition to examining the consequences of these alternatives.
• Research also facilitates the decision making of policy-makers, although in itself it is not a part of research.
• Research also helps in the proper allocation of a country’s scare 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.
• Research also assumes a significant role 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 is 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.
All these researches are very useful for business and industry, which are responsible for business decision making. Research is equally important to social scientist for analyzing social relationships and seeking explanations to various social problems. It gives intellectual satisfaction of knowing things for the sake of knowledge. It also possesses practical utility for the social scientist to gain knowledge so as to be able to do something better or in a more efficient manner.