Research Methodology: Definition and its types

Home Articles Research Methodology: Definition and its types

Methodology is defined as a method used in a particular field or area. In research methodology, there are different methods used to help in various steps of research process. These are some principles that guide on how to do something. Methodology consist various models that are used by project managers or department managers that helps them in implementing their plans and strategies. These methods are proven methods. They are used because they are reliable. The methods are tested, observed and validated. Validity of a research should be greater because it provides stronger support to your research.

Result methodology provides different ways to solve a problem. This problem is also known as research problem. There are different procedures to answer different research problems. Using a methodology helps in carry out the task systematically.

Research methodology should be selected before starting the research because it helps from starting the project to finishing the project. It helps you to choose the manner in which you will collect the data and the manner in which you will assemble the data. There are main three types research methodologies, they are qualitative research, quantitative research and mixed methods.

1. Qualitative Research – Qualitative research is a type of research that gives an idea about the intentions and motivation behind the research. It collects non-numeric data. It tells us about the characteristics, definitions, its advantages and disadvantages, etc. it gives the in-depth information about it. Quality is the main factor that is searched rather than the quantity. The data that is collected is usually unstructured or semi – structured. Methods to collect qualitative data are group discussions, individual interviews, observations, etc.
      • Interview – In this method, face to face interviews are conducted. This is the best information gathering tool that helps to clear all the doubts and answers all the questions like why, how and what. Even the respondent does not hesitate while individual interviews are conducted. It is also a great chance to study the interviewee’s body language.
      • Group Discussions – Group discussions are carried out with a small group of respondents that are related to the department you are researching on. It helps in saving time as many persons are simultaneously interviewed rather than interviewing everyone one by one. Now-a-days, this can be done through an online survey where the interviewer is not physically required.
      • Observations – Observations are carried out to search systematic information. More information can be gathered through observing. A person can make up things in the interview but while observing we can see things clear which can give us better understanding.

2. Quantitative Research – In quantitative research, numeric data is collected or the data that can be converted into statistics is also gathered. It is data that can be measured it includes facts and figures. There are different types of quantitative research methods like descriptive research, experimental research, correlational research, casual - comparative research, etc.
      • Correlational Research – As the name suggested relationship is check among two variables. Minimum two variables are used and how change in one variable will affect or influence the other is checked. It is done to study the changes that can occur. This information is used mathematically to draw conclusion out of it.
      • Experimental Research – In experimental research, experiments are conducted to prove a hypothesis. Hypothesis is a statement that is based on one’s theory which has not been proved. Therefore, experiments are done in order to validate the hypothesis.  
      • Casual comparative Research – In casual – comparative method, comparison of two variables is studied and not their relationship with each other. They are individually studied and are tested under same circumstances. Later their results are compared.

3. Mixed methods – It is the combination of qualitative research methods and quantitative research methods. In this type of methodology, both the numeric (statistics or facts and figures) and non-numeric data (interviews, observations, online survey, group discussions, etc.) is collected. Mixed methods are used by those who need to study both the research types qualitative and quantitative.
There are different ways to solve a problem and the way to solve a problem is chosen at the beginning. Similarly, the research methodology should also be decided beforehand. Doing so will help you by providing guidance. So, choose a methodology that suits your criteria.