ELEMENTS OF

RESEARCH DESIGN

1
BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

FORMULATION
OF PLAN

PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION

FIELD
WORK

OBSERVATION
(IDENTIFICATION
(BROAD AREA OF
OFRESEARCH
BROAD AREA
OFINTEREST
RESEARCH
IDENTIFIED)
INTEREST)

PROBLEM
DEFINITION

IDENTIFICATION
OF VARIABLES

GENERATION
OF
HYPOTHESIS

SCIENTIFIC
RESEARCH
DESIGN

NO

DATA
COLLECTION,
ANALYSIS
&
INTERPRETATION

DEDUCTIONS:
HYPOTHESIS
SUBSTANTIATED?
RESEARCH QUESTION
ANSWERED?

YES

REPORT
REPORT
BRM
5:
ELEMENTS
OF
RESEARCH
DESIGN
WRITING
PRESENTATION

MANAGERIAL
DECISION
MAKING

2

ANALYSIS

PRELIMINARY
DATA GATHERING
(INTERVIEWS,
LITERATURE
SURVEY)

FORMULATION
OF THEORATICAL
FRAMEWORK

ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN
WHAT IS SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH DESIGN
IT IS…..
 A PLAN FOR SELECTING THE SOURCES AND TYPES OF
INFORMATION USED TO ANSWER THE RESEARCH
QUESTION

A FRAMEWORK FOR SPECIFYING RELATIONSHIPS
AMONG THE STUDY’S VARIABLES

A BLUEPRINT THAT OUTLINES EACH PROCEDURE FROM
THE HYPOTHESES TO THE ANALYSIS OF DATA

PROVIDES ANSWERS TO ISSUES SUCH AS:
– TECHNIQUES TO BE USED TO GATHER DATA
– WHAT KIND OF SAMPLING WILL BE USED
– HOW WILL TIME & COST CONSTRAINTS BE DEALT
WITH
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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH DESIGN
AIM
TO DESIGN THE RESEARCH IN SUCH A WAY
THAT REQUIRED RESEARCH DATA CAN BE
GATHERED AND ANALYSED TO ARRIVE AT A
SOLUTION

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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH DESIGN
HELPS TAKE DECISIONS RELATED TO:

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY (DESCRIPTIVE OR CAUSAL)

TYPES OF INVESTIGATION (OBSERVATIONAL OR SURVEY)

EXTENT OF RESEARCHER INTERFERENCE APPROPRIATE TO
THE RESEARCH (MINIMAL OR MANIPULATIVE)

STUDY SETTING (RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT)

MEASUREMENT AND “MEASURES” TO BE ADOPTED

UNIT OF ANALYSIS TO BE ADOPTED

SAMPLE DESIGN (PROBABILITY/NON PROBABILITY, SAMPLE
SIZE)

TIME HORIZONS (CROSS SECTIONAL OR LONGITUDINAL)

DATA COLLECTION METHODS TO BE ADOPTED
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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN
IDENTIFICATION OF PURPOSE OF STUDY

POSSIBLE TYPES
EXPLORATORY

DESCRIPTIVE

ANALYTICAL (HYPOTHESIS TESTING)

CASE STUDY ANALYSIS
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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

EXPLORATORY STUDY

UNDERTAKEN WHEN NOT MUCH IS KNOWN ABOUT THE
SITUATION AT HAND OR NO INFO IS AVAILABLE ON HOW SIMILAR
ISSUES HAVE BEEN RESOLVED IN THE PAST

INVOLVES EXTENSIVE PRELIMINARY WORK DONE TO GAIN
FAMILIARITY WITH PHENOMENA IN THE SITUATION BEFORE
DEVELOPING A MODEL AND SETTING UP A DESIGN FOR
COMPREHENSIVE INVESTIGATION

WHEN COLLECTED DATA REVEALS SOME PATTERN REGARDING
PHENOMENA OF INTEREST, THEORIES ARE DEVELOPED AND
HYPOTHESES FORMULATED FOR SUBSEQUENT TESTING

ALSO NECESSARY WHEN SOME FACTS ARE KNOWN BUT MORE
INFO IS NEEDED FOR DEVELOPING A VIABLE THEORATICAL
FRAMEWORK

SOME QUALITATIVE STUDIES WHERE DATA IS COLLECTED
THROUGH OBSERVATIONS ARE EXPLORATORY IN NATURE
BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

7

ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN
EXAMPLES OF EXPLORATORY STUDIES

ESTABLISHING IMPORTANT FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE
THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN IN ORGANIZATIONS

ESTABLISHING IF THE WORK ETHICS OF A SUBSIDIARY
FACILITY WOULD BE DIFFERENT TO THOSE AT THE
MAIN FACILITY

STUDIES RELATED TO “QUALITY OF LIFE”

STUDIES RELATED TO ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR IN
DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, RACES, COMMUNITIES, ETC

STUDIES RELATED TO FEASIBILITY OF INTRODUCTION
OF A NEW PRODUCT

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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

DESCRIPTIVE STUDY

UNDERTAKEN TO ASCERTAIN AND BE ABLE TO DESCRIBE
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE VARIABLES OF INTEREST IN A
SITUATION ie WHEN CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS ARE KNOWN TO
EXIST AND ONE WANTS TO BE ABLE TO DESCRIBE THEM BETTER BY
OFFERING A PROFILE OF THE DIFFERENT FACTORS INVOLVED SUCH
AS AGE, JOB STATUS, EDUCATIONAL LEVEL, ETC
USUALLY INVOLVE LEARNING ABOUT AND DESCRIBING
CHARACTERISTICS OF A GROUP OR CHARACTERISTICS OF
ORGANIZATIONS THAT FOLLOW CERTAIN COMMON PRACTICES
GOAL IS TO OFFER TO THE RESEARCHER A PROFILE OR TO DESCRIBE
RELAVENT ASPECTS OF A PHENOMENA OF INTEREST FROM AN
INDIVIDUAL, ORGANIZATIONAL, INDUSTRY ORIENTED OR OTHER
PERSPECTIVE
CHARACTERISTICS OF A DESCRIPTIVE STUDY:

DEVELOP UNDERSTANDING OF A GROUP’S CHARACTERISTICS IN
A GIVEN SITUATION

THINK SYSTEMATICALLY ABOUT ASPECTS IN A GIVEN SITUATION

OFFER IDEAS FOR FURTHER PROBE AND RESEARCH

HELP MAKE CERTAIN SIMPLE DECISIONS
BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

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EXAMPLES OF DESCRIPTIVE STUDIES

PROFILING OF CLIENTS IN A BANK WHOSE LOAN
PAYMENTS ARE OUTSTANDING TO DECIDE WHICH
CATEGORIES OF CLIENTS SHOULD BE MADE
INELIGIBLE FOR LOANS IN FUTURE

SEEKING INFORMATION ABOUT COMPETITORS
BEFORE EVOLVING A PRICING, SALES, DISTRIBUTION
OR ADVERTISING STRATEGY

POSSIBLE INTERNAL REACTION WITHIN AN
ORGANIZATION TO INTRODUCTION OF ANY NEW
POLICIES OR POLICY CHANGES

USUALLY BASED ON QUANTITATIVE DATA
BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

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ANALYTICAL STUDY
(HYPOTHESES TESTING)

USUALLY EXPLAIN

THE NATURE OF CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS OR

ESTABLISH THE DIFFERENCES AMONG GROUPS OR

THE INTERDEPENDENCE OF TWO OR MORE
FACTORS IN A SITUATION

EXPLAIN THE VARIANCE IN THE DEPENDENT VARIABLE OR TO
PREDICT ORGANIZATIONAL OUTCOMES

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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

EXAMPLES OF ANALYTICAL STUDIES

ESTABLISHING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ADVERTISING AND
INCREASE OF SALES (BY TESTING THE HYPOTHESIS: “IF
ADVERTISING IS INCREASED, THEN SALES WILL ALSO GO
UP”)

PREDICTING FACTORS THAT WILL SIGNIFICANTLY ACCOUNT
FOR DECISION TO BUILD A HOUSE IN A PARTICULAR AREA

ESTABLISHING DIFFERENCES IN BEHAVIOR PATTERNS ON
THE BASIS OF SEX

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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

CASE STUDY ANALYSIS
INVOLVE IN-DEPTH CONTEXTUAL ANALYSES OF
MATTERS RELATED TO SIMILAR SITUATIONS IN
OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
NOT FREQUENTLY RESORTED TO AS A PROBLEM
SOLVING TECHNIQUE BECAUSE FINDING THE
SAME PROBLEM IN ANOTHER COMPARABLE
SETTING IS DIFFICULT
IN QUALITATIVE TERMS, ARE USEFUL IN APPLYING
SOLUTIONS TO CURRENT PROBLEMS BASED ON
PAST PROBLEM SOLVING EXPERIENCES
ALSO USEFUL IN UNDERSTANDING CERTAIN
PHENOMENA AND GENERATING FURTHER
THEORIES FOR EMPERICAL TESTING

BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

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TYPE OF INVESTIGATION
CAUSAL

DONE WHEN IT IS NECESSARY TO ESTABLISH A DEFINITIVE
CAUSE & EFFECT RELATIONSHIP

UNDERTAKEN WHEN RESEARCHER WANTS TO DELINEATE ONE
OR MORE FACTORS THAT ARE CAUSING A PROBLEM TO OCCUR
eg DOES SMOKING CAUSE CANCER ? ?

CORELATIONAL

DONE WHEN MERE IDENTIFICATION OF THE IMPORTANT
FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROBLEM WILL SUFFICE eg
ARE SMOKING AND CANCER RELATED
OR
ARE SMOKING, DRINKING AND CHEWING TOBACCO
ASSOCIATED WITH CANCER ? IF SO, WHICH OF THESE
CONTRIBUTES MOST TO THE VARIANCE IN THE DEPENDENT
VARIABLE
WHETHER A STUDY IS CAUSAL OR CO-RELATIONAL DEPENDS
ON TYPE OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS ASKED AND HOW THE
PROBLEM IS DEFINED
BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

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EXAMPLES OF CAUSAL & CORELATIONAL
STUDY QUESTIONS

CAUSAL
FEARS OF AN EARTHQUAKE PREDICTED RECENTLY
IN THE MUZAFFARABAD FAULT ZONE WERE
INSTRUMENTAL IN AN UNPRECEDENTED NUMBER
OF HOUSE OWNERS IN THE CITY TRYING TO SELL
THEIR PROPERTIES

CORELATIONAL
INCREASE IN INTEREST RATES AND PROPERTY
TAXES, RECESSION IN THE COUNTRY AND THE
PREDICTED EARTH QUAKE CONSIDERABLY
SLOWED DOWN THE BUSINESS OF REAL ESTATE
AGENTS IN MUZAFFARABAD
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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

EXTENT OF RESEARCHER INTERFERENCE
WITH THE STUDY
INVOLVES INTERFERENCE BY THE RESEARCHER WITH
THE NORMAL FLOW OF WORK AT THE WORKPLACE
ALSO HAS A DIRECT BEARING ON WHETHER THE STUDY
IS CAUSAL OR CORRELATIONAL
CORELATIONAL STUDY IS CONDUCTED IN THE
NATURAL ENVIRONMENT OF THE ORGANIZATION
WITH MINIMAL INTERFERENCE BY RESEARCHER
WITH NORMAL FLOW OF WORK
IN STUDIES CONDUCTED TO ESTABLISH CAUSE &
EFFECT RELATIONSHIPS, RESEARCHER
MANIPULATES CERTAIN VARIABLES TO STUDY THE
EFFECTS OF THIS MANIPULATION ON THE
DEPENDENT VARIABLE OF INTEREST

BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

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EXTENT OF RESEARCHER INTERFERENCE WITH THE STUDY

MINIMAL INTERFERENCE
– LITTLE OR NO INTERFERENCE WITH
NORMAL ACTIVITIES

MODERATE INTERFERENCE
– MANIPULATION OF NORMAL COURSE OF
EVENTS TO STUDY EFFECTS

EXCESSIVE INTERFERENCE
– MAY ALSO INTERFERE WITH THE
SETTING TO STUDY EFFECTS
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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

EXTENT OF RESEARCHER INTERFERENCE WITH THE STUDY

TERMS RELATED TO RESEARCHER’S CONTROL
ARRANGEMENTS

EXPERIMENTAL GROUP. A GROUP FORMULATED BY
THE RESEARCHER ON WHICH EFFECTS UNDER STUDY
ARE SPECIFICALLY APPLIED

CONTROL GROUP. A GROUP WHICH IS NOT
SUBJECTED TO ANY MANIPULATION AND ALLOWED TO
EXPERIENCE ANY EFFECTS UNDER STUDY IN A NATURAL
ENVIRONMENT

EFFECTS OF APPLICATION OF PHENOMENA BEING
RESEARCHED ARE STUDIED BY COMPARING THE
RESULTS OF ITS APPLICATION ON THE EXPERIMENTAL
GROUP WITH THOSE DISPLAYED ON THE CONTROLLED
GROUP
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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN
STUDY SETTING

NON CONTRIVED

STUDIES DONE IN NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS
WHERE WORK PROCEEDS NORMALLY

GENERALLY DONE IN CASE OF CORRELATIONAL
STUDIES

FIELD STUDIES. CORELATIONAL STUDIES DONE
WITHIN ORGANIZATIONS WITH NO INTERFERENCE
TO THE NORMAL ROUTINE OR WORKING ARE
CALLED FIELD STUDIES
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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN
STUDY SETTING
CONCERNS THE ENVIRONMENTS IN WHICH THE STUDY IS UNDERTAKEN
AND MAY BE CONTRIVED OR NON CONTRIVED

CONTRIVED STUDY SETTING


ENVIRONMENTS ARE ADAPTED TO MEET THE NEEDS OF A
RESEARCH PROJECT
SUCH SETTINGS USED IN CAUSAL STUDIES
FIELD EXPERIMENTS. STUDIES CONDUCTED TO
ESTABLISH CAUSE & EFFECT RELATIONSHIP USING THE
SAME NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS IN WHICH EMPLOYEES
NORMALLY FUNCTION. HOWEVER, RESEARCHER MAY
MANIPULATE THE INDEPENDENT VARIABLE
LAB EXPERIMENTS. EXPERIMENTS DONE TO ESTABLISH
CAUSE & EFFECT RELATIONSHIPS BEYOND THE
POSSIBILITY OF THE LEAST DOUBT BY CREATION OF
ARTIFICIALLY CONTRIVED ENVIRONMENTS IN WHICH ALL
EXTRANEOUS FACTORS ARE STRICTLY CONTROLLED WITH
SIMILAR SUBJECTS BEING CHOSEN TO RESPOND TO
CERTAIN MANIPULATED STIMULI
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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN
EXAMPLES OF STUDY SETTINGS

ISSUE

A BANK MANAGER WANTS TO ANALYSE THE
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INTEREST RATES AND BANK
DEPOSIT PATTERNS OF CLIENTS

FIELD STUDY

THE TWO ISSUES ARE CO-RELATED BY LOOKING AT
DEPOSITS INTO DIFFERENT KINDS OF ACCOUNTS AS
INTEREST RATES CHANGED.

THIS IS A FIELD STUDY IN A NON CONTRIVED SETTING
WITH NO INTERFERENCE TO THE NORMAL WORK ROUTINE
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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN
EXAMPLES OF STUDY SETTINGS

FIELD EXPERIMENT

TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE AND EFFECT RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN INTEREST RATE AND THE INDUCEMENTS IT
OFFERS TO CLIENTS TO SAVE AND DEPOSIT MONEY, FOUR
BANK BRANCHES ARE SELECTED AND FOR ONE WEEK,
INTEREST RATES ARE CHANGED TO 9%, 8% AND 10% IN
THREE OF THE BRANCHES AND REMAIN UNCHANGED AT
5% IN THE FOURTH BRANCH.

THIS IS A FIELD EXPERIMENT SINCE ONLY THE INTEREST
RATE HAS BEEN MANIPULATED WHILE ALL ACTIVITIES
CONTINUE IN NORMAL AND NATURAL WORK
ENVIRONMENTS

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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

LAB EXPERIMENT

TO ESTABLISH THE CAUSAL CONNECTION BETWEEN INTEREST
RATES AND SAVINGS AN ARTIFICIAL ENVIRONMENT IS CREATED
BY RECRUITING 40 BUSINESS MANAGEMENT STUDENTS. THEY
ARE SPLIT INTO 4 GROUPS AND EACH GROUP IS GIVEN CHIPS
THAT COUNT FOR $1,000 WHICH THEY CAN USE TO BUY THEIR
NEEDS OR INVEST FOR THE FUTURE AS DESIRED BY THEM.

AS INCENTIVE, INTEREST ON SAVINGS IS OFFERED BUT IS
MANIPULATED AT DIFFERENT RATES FOR DIFFERENT GROUPS TO
ESTABLISH THEIR RESPONSE PATTERN

HERE, A LAB ENVIRONMENT HAS BEEN CREATED WITH A
CONTRIVED SETTING, MAXIMUM RESEARCHER INTERFERENCE
AND MANIPULATION OF THE INDEPENDENT VARIABLE WHILE
TRYING TO CONTROL OTHER EXTRANEOUS (NUISANCE) FACTORS
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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

UNIT OF ANALYSIS

REFERS TO THE LEVEL OF AGGREGATION OF
THE
DATA
COLLECTED
DURING
THE
SUBSEQUENT DATA ANALYSIS STAGE

COMMON UNITS OF ANALYSIS
INDIVIDUAL
DYADS ie TWO PERSON GROUPS
GROUP
DIVISION
INDUSTRY
COUNTRY, ETC
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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN
TIME HORIZON

CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDIES

STUDY IN WHICH DATA IS GATHERED JUST ONCE PERHAPS
OVER A PERIOD OF DAYS OR WEEKS OR MONTHS

GENERALLY
STUDIES

(BUT

NOT

ALWAYS)

RESORTED

TO

IN

FIELD

LONGITUDINAL STUDIES

STUDY IN WHICH DATA IS COLLECTED AT MORE THAN ONE
POINT IN TIME LONGITUDINALLY ACROSS A PERIOD OF TIME

SUCH STUDIES TAKE MORE TIME, EFFORT AND COST BUT HELP
IN IDENTIFICATION OF CAUSE AND EFFECT RELATIONSHIPS

USUALLY RESORTED TO IN EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS WHEN DATA
IS REQUIRED BEFORE AND AFTER MANIPULATION OF
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VARIABLES
BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

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BRM 5: ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN

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