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RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 4 CREDITS

SUBJECT CODE - MB0050 ASSIGNMENT SET-1


Q1. How is a research problem formulated? Formulating the Problem The selection of one appropriate researchable problem out of the identified problems requires evaluation of those alternatives against certain criteria, which may be grouped into: Internal Criteria Internal Criteria consists of: 1) Researchers interest: The problem should interest the researcher and be a challenge to him. Without interest and curiosity, he may not develop sustained perseverance. Even a small difficulty may become an excuse for discontinuing the study. Interest in a problem depends upon the researchers educational background, experience, outlook and sensitivity. 2)Researchers competence: A mere interest in a problem will not do. The researcher must be competent to plan and carry out a study of the problem. He must have the ability to grasp and deal with int. he must possess adequate knowledge of the subject-matter, relevant methodology and statistical procedures. 3)Researchers own resource: In the case of a research to be done by a researcher on his won, consideration of his own financial resource is pertinent. If it is beyond his means, he will not be able to complete the work, unless he gets some external financial support. Time resource is more important than finance. Research is a time-consuming process; hence it should be properly utilized. External Criteria 1) Research-ability of the problem: The problem should be researchable, i.e., amendable for finding answers to the questions involved in it through scientific method. To be researchable a question must be one for which observation or other data collection in the real world can provide the answer. 2)Importance and urgency: Problems requiring investigation are unlimited, but available research efforts are very much limited. Therefore, in selecting problems for research, their relative importance and significance should be considered. An important and urgent problem should be given priority over an unimportant one. 3) Novelty of the problem: The problem must have novelty. There is no use of wasting ones time and energy on a problem already studied thoroughly by others. This does not mean that replication is always needless. In social sciences in some cases, it is appropriate to replicate (repeat) a study in order to verify the validity of its findings to a different situation. 4) Feasibility: A problem may be a new one and also important, but if research on it is not feasible, it cannot be selected. Hence feasibility is a very important consideration. 5) Facilities: Research requires certain facilities such as well-equipped library facility, suitable and competent guidance, data analysis facility, etc. Hence the availability of the facilities relevant to the problem must be considered. 6) Usefulness and social relevance: Above all, the study of the problem should make significant contribution to the concerned body of knowledge or to the solution of some significant practical problem. It should be socially relevant. This consideration is particularly important in the case of higher level academic research and sponsored research. 7) Research personnel: Research undertaken by professors and by research organizations require the services of investigators and research officers. But in India and other developing countries, research has not yet become a prospective profession. Hence talent persons are not attracted to research projects. Each identified problem must be evaluated in terms of the above internal and external criteria and the most appropriate one may be selected by a research scholar. Q2. What are the characteristics of good research design? Characteristics of a Good Research Design 1. It is a series of guide posts to keep one going in the right direction. 2. It reduces wastage of time and cost. 3. It encourages co-ordination and effective organization.

4. It is a tentative plan which undergoes modifications, as circumstances demand, when the study progresses, new aspects, new conditions and new relationships come to light and insight into the study deepens. 5. It has to be geared to the availability of data and the cooperation of the informants. 6. It has also to be kept within the manageable limits The research designer understandably cannot hold all his decisions in his head. Even if he could, he would have difficulty in understanding how these are inter-related. Therefore, he records his decisions on paper or record disc by using relevant symbols or concepts. Such a symbolic construction may be called the research design or model. A research design is a logical and systematic plan prepared for directing a research study. It specifies the objectives of the study, the methodology and techniques to be adopted for achieving the objectives. It constitutes the blue print for the collection, measurement and analysis of data. It is the plan, structure and strategy of investigation conceived so as to obtain answers to research questions. The plan is the overall scheme or program of research. A research design is the program that guides the investigator in the process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting observations. It provides a systematic plan of procedure for the researcher to follow elltiz, Jahoda and Destsch and Cook describe, 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. There are a number of crucial research choices, various writers advance different classification schemes, some of which are: Experimental, historical and inferential designs (American Marketing Association). Exploratory, descriptive and causal designs (Selltiz, Jahoda, Deutsch and Cook). Experimental, and expost fact (Kerlinger) Historical method, and case and clinical studies (Goode and Scates) Sample surveys, field studies, experiments in field settings, and laboratory experiments (Festinger and Katz) Exploratory, descriptive and experimental studies (Body and Westfall) Exploratory, descriptive and casual (Green and Tull) Experimental, quasi-experimental designs (Nachmias and Nachmias) True experimental, quasi-experimental and non-experimental designs (Smith). Experimental, pre-experimental, quasi-experimental designs and Survey Research (Kidder and Judd). These different categorizations exist, because research design is a complex concept. In fact, there are different perspectives from which any given study can be viewed. They are: The degree of formulation of the problem (the study may be exploratory or formalized) The topical scope-breadth and depth-of the study(a case or a statistical study) The research environment: field setting or laboratory (survey, laboratory experiment) The time dimension(one-time or longitudinal) The mode of data collection (observational or survey) The manipulation of the variables under study (experimental or expost facto) The nature of the relationship among variables (descriptive or causal) Q3. How case study method is useful to Business Research? Case Study as a Method of Business Research In-depth analysis of selected cases is of particular value to business research when a complex set of variables may be at work in generating observed results and intensive study is needed to unravel the complexities. For instance, an in-depth study of a firms top sales people and comparison with the worst sales people might reveal characteristics common to stellar performers. The exploratory investigator is best served by the active curiosity and willingness to deviate from the initial plan, when the finding suggests new courses of enquiry, might prove more productive Case study of particular value when a complex set of variables may be at work in generating observed results and intensive study is needed to unravel the complexities. For example, an in-depth study of a firms top sales people and comparison with worst salespeople might reveal characteristics common to stellar performers. Here again, the exploratory investigation is best served by an active curiosity and willingness to deviate from the initial plan when findings suggest new courses of inquiry might prove more productive. It is easy to see how the exploratory research objectives of generating insights and hypothesis would be well served by use of this technique. Making Case Study Effective John Dollard has proposed seven criteria for evaluating such adequacy as follows: i) The subject must be viewed as a specimen in a cultural series. That is, the case drawn out from its total context for the purposes of study must be considered a member of the particular cultural group or community. The

scrutiny of the life histories of persons must be done with a view to identify thee community values, standards and their shared way of life. ii) The organic motto of action must be socially relevant. That is, the action of the individual cases must be viewed as a series of reactions to social stimuli or situation. In other words, the social meaning of behaviour must be taken into consideration. iii) The strategic role of the family group in transmitting the culture must be recognized. That is, in case of an individual being the member of a family, the role of family in shaping his behaviour must never be overlooked. iv) The specific method of elaboration of organic material onto social behaviour must be clearly shown. That is case histories that portray in detail how basically a biological organism, the man, gradually blossoms forth into a social person, are especially fruitful. v) The continuous related character of experience for childhood through adulthood must be stressed. In other words, the life history must be a configuration depicting the inter-relationships between thee persons various experiences. vi) Social situation must be carefully and continuously specified as a factor. One of the important criteria for the life history is that a persons life must be shown as unfolding itself in the context of and partly owing to specific social situations. vii) The life history material itself must be organised according to some conceptual framework, this in turn would facilitate generalizations at a higher level. Q6. Write sort notes on the following:

A:

Median: A median is described as the numeric value separating the higher half of a sample, a population,

or a probability distribution, from the lower half. The median of a finite list of numbers can be found by arranging all the observations from lowest value to highest value and picking the middle one. If there is an even number of observations, then there is no single middle value; the median is then usually defined to be the mean of the two middle values.[1][2] In a sample of data, or a finite population, there may be no member of the sample whose value is identical to the median (in the case of an even sample size), and, if there is such a member, there may be more than one so that the median may not uniquely identify a sample member. Nonetheless, the value of the median is uniquely determined with the usual definition. A related concept, in which the outcome is forced to correspond to a member of the sample, is the medoid. At most, half the population have values less than the median, and, at most, half have values greater than the median. If both groups contain less than half the population, then some of the population is exactly equal to the median. For example, if a < b < c, then the median of the list {a, b, c} is b, and, if a < b < c < d, then the median of the list {a, b, c, d} is the mean of b and c; i.e., it is (b + c)/2. The median can be used as a measure of location when a distribution is skewed, when end-values are not known, or when one requires reduced importance to be attached to outliers, e.g., because they may be measurement errors. A disadvantage of the median is the difficulty of handling it theoretically.

B : Standard deviation : Standard deviation is the most important measure of dispersion. It satisfies most of the
properties of a good measure of dispersion. It was introduced by Karl Pearson in 1893. Standard deviation is defined as the mean of the squared deviations from the arithmetic mean. Standard deviation is denoted by the Greek letter Mean deviation and standard deviation are calculated from deviation of each and every item. Standard deviation is different from mean deviation in two respects. First of all, algebraic signs are ignored in calculating mean deviation. Secondly, signs are taken into account in calculating standard deviation whereas, mean deviation can be found from mean, median or mode. Whereas, standard deviation is found only from mean. Standard deviation can be computed in two methods 1. Taking deviation from actual mean 2. Taking deviation from assumed mean. Formula for finding standard deviation is (x-x)2 / N Steps 1. Calculate the actual mean of the series x / N

2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Take deviation of the items from the mean ( x-x) ( x-x)Find the square of the deviation from actual mean2 / N Sum the squares of the deviations ( x-x)2 Find the average of the squares of the deviations ( x-x)2 / N Take the square root of the average of the sum of the deviation

Standard deviation can be obtained by three methods. 1. Direct method 2. Short cut method 3. Step deviation

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 4 CREDITS


SUBJECT CODE - MB0050 ASSIGNMENT SET-1
2 . What is the meaning of Hypothesis? Discuss types of Hypothesis. According to Theodorson and Theodorson, a hypothesis is a tentative statement asserting a relationship between certain facts. Kerlinger describes it as a conjectural statement of the relationship between two or more variables. Black and Champion have described it as a tentative statement about something, the validity of which is usually unknown. This statement is intended to be tested empirically and is either verified or rejected. It the statement is not sufficiently established, it is not considered a scientific law. In other words, a hypothesis carries clear implications for testing the stated relationship, i.e., it contains variables that are measurable and specifying how they are related. A statement that lacks variables or that does not explain how the variables are related to each other is no hypothesis in scientific sense. Criteria for Hypothesis Construction: Hypothesis is never formulated in the form of a question. The standards to be met in formulating a hypothesis: It should be empirically testable, whether it is right or wrong. It should be specific and precise. The statements in the hypothesis should not be contradictory. It should specify variables between which the relationship is to be established. It should describe one issue only. Nature of Hypothesis : A scientifically justified hypothesis must meet the following criteria: It must accurately reflect the relevant sociological fact. It must not be in contradiction with approved relevant statements of other scientific disciplines. It must consider the experience of other researchers. The Need for having Working Hypothesis: A hypothesis gives a definite point to the investigation, and it guides the direction on the study. A hypothesis specifies the sources of data, which shall be studied, and in what context they shall be studied. It determines the data needs. A hypothesis suggests which type of research is likely to be most appropriate. It determines the most appropriate technique of analysis. A hypothesis contributes to the development of theory Characteristics of Good Hypothesis: 1. Conceptual Clarity 2. Specificity 3. Testability 4. Availability of Techniques 5. Theoretical relevance

6. Consistency 7. Objectivity 8. Simplicity Types of Hypothesis: There are many kinds of hypothesis the researcher has to be working with. One type of hypothesis asserts that something is the case in a given instance; that a particular object, person or situation has particular characteristics. Another type of hypothesis deals with the frequency of occurrence or of association among variables; this type of hypothesis may state that X is associated with Y. A certain Y proportion of items e.g. urbanism tends to be accompanied by mental disease or than something are greater or lesser than some other thing in specific settings. Yet another type of hypothesis asserts that a particular characteristics is one of the factors which determine another characteristic, i.e. X is the producer of Y. hypothesis of this type are called causal hypothesis. Null Hypothesis and Alternative Hypothesis: In the context of statistical analysis, we often talk null and alternative hypothesis. If we are to compare method A with method B about its superiority and if we proceed on the assumption that both methods are equally good, then this assumption is termed as null hypothesis. As against this, we may think that the method A is superior, it is alternative hypothesis. Symbolically presented as: Null hypothesis = H0 and Alternative hypothesis = Ha Suppose we want to test the hypothesis that the population mean is equal to the hypothesis mean ( H0) = 100. Then we would say that the null hypotheses are that the population mean is equal to the hypothesized mean 100 and symbolical we can express as: H0: = H0=100 If our sample results do not support these null hypotheses, we should conclude that something else is true. What we conclude rejecting the null hypothesis is known as alternative hypothesis. If we accept H0, then we are rejecting Ha and if we reject H0, then we are accepting Ha. For H0: = H0=100, we may consider three possible alternative hypotheses as follows:

The null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis are chosen before the sample is drawn (the researcher must avoid the error of deriving hypothesis from the data he collects and testing the hypothesis from the same data). In the choice of null hypothesis, the following considerations are usually kept in view: Alternative hypothesis is usually the one which wishes to prove and the null hypothesis are ones that wish to disprove. Thus a null hypothesis represents the hypothesis we are trying to reject, the alternative hypothesis represents all other possibilities. If the rejection of a certain hypothesis when it is actually true involves great risk, it is taken as null hypothesis because then the probability of rejecting it when it is true is (the level of significance) which is chosen very small. Null hypothesis should always be specific hypothesis i.e., it should not state about or approximately a certain value. Generally, in hypothesis testing we proceed on the basis of null hypothesis, keeping the alternative hypothesis in view. Why so? The answer is that on assumption that null hypothesis is true, one can assign the probabilities to different possible sample results, but this cannot be done if we proceed with alternative hypothesis. Hence the use of null hypothesis (at times also known as statistical hypothesis) is quite frequent. Q3. Explain the sampling process. A part of the population is known as sample. The method consisting of the selecting for study, a portion of the universe with a view to draw conclusions about the universe or population is known as sampling. A statistical sample ideally purports to be a miniature model or replica of the collectivity or the population constituted of all the items that the study should principally encompass, that is, the items which potentially hold promise of affording information relevant to the purpose of a given research.

Sampling helps in time and cost saving. It also helps in checking their accuracy. But on the other hand it demands exercise of great care caution; otherwise the results obtained may be incorrect or misleading. Sampling Procedure- The decision process of sampling is complicated one. The researcher has to first identity the limiting factor or factors and must judiciously balance the conflicting factors. The two among various criteria governing the choice of the sampling technique: (1) Purpose of the Survey: What does the researcher aim at? If he intends to generalize the findings based on the sample survey to the population, then an appropriate probability sampling method must be selected. The choice of a particular type of probability sampling depends on the geographical area of the survey and the size and the nature of the population under study. (2) Measurability: The application of statistical inference theory requires computation of the sampling error from the sample itself. Probability samples allow such computation. Hence, where the research objective requires statistical inference, the sample should be drawn by applying simple random sampling method or stratified random sampling method, depending on whether the population is homogenous or heterogeneous. Factors that affect choice of sample The size of the population: If the population to be studied is quite large, sampling is warranted. However, the size is a relative matter. Whether a population is large or small depends upon the nature of the study, the purpose for which it is undertaken, and the time and other resources available for it. Amount of funds budgeted for the study: Sampling is opted when the amount of money budgeted is smaller than the anticipated cost of census survey. Facilities: The extent of facilities available staff, access to computer facility and accessibility to population elements in another factor to be considered in deciding to sample or not. When the availability of these facilities is limited, sampling is preferable. Time: The time limit within the study should be completed in another important factor to be considered in deciding the question of sample survey. This, in fact, is a primary reason for using sampling by academic and marketing researchers.

Characteristics of a Good Sample The characteristics of a good sample are described below: Representative ness: a sample must be representative of the population. Probability sampling technique yield representative sample. Accuracy: accuracy is defined as the degree to which bias is absent from the sample. An accurate sample is the one which exactly represents the population. Precision: the sample must yield precise estimate. Precision is measured by standard error. Size: a good sample must be adequate in size in order to be reliable.

Q4. Distinguish between Schedules and Questionnaire Questionnaire: This is a very commonly used method of collecting primary data. Here information is collected through a set of questionnaire. A questionnaire is a document prepared by the investigator containing a set of questions. These questions relate to the problem of enquiry directly or indirectly. Here first the questionnaires are mailed to the informants with a formal request to answer the question and send them back. For better response the investigator should bear the postal charges. The questionnaire should carry a polite note explaining the aims and objective of the enquiry, definition of various terms and concepts used there. Besides this the investigator should ensure the secrecy of the information as well as the name of the informants, if required. Success of this method greatly depends upon the way in which the questionnaire is drafted. So the investigator must be very careful while framing the questions. The questions should be:

a)

Short and clear Few in number Simple and intelligible Corroboratory in nature or there should be provision for cross check Impersonal, non-aggressive type Simple alternative, multiple-choice or open-end type

In the simple alternative question type, the respondent has to choose between alternatives such as Yes or No, right or wrong etc. For example: Is Adam Smith called father of Statistics? Yes/No b) In the multiple choice type, the respondent has to answer from any of the given alternatives. Example: To which sector do you belong? Primary Sector Secondary Sector Tertiary or Service Sector c) In the Open-end or free answer questions the respondents are given complete freedom in answering the questions. The questions are like What are the defects of our educational system? The questionnaire method is very economical in terms of time, energy and money. The method is widely used when the scope of enquiry is large. Data collected by this method are not affected by the personal bias of the investigator. However the accuracy of the information depends on the cooperation and honesty of the informants. This method can be used only if the informants are cooperative, conscious and educated. This limits the scope of the method. Schedules: In case the informants are largely uneducated and non-responsive data cannot be collected by the mailed questionnaire method. In such cases, schedule method is used to collect data. Here the questionnaires are sent through the enumerators to collect information. Enumerators are persons appointed by the investigator for the purpose. They directly meet the informants with the questionnaire. They explain the scope and objective of the enquiry to the informants and solicit their cooperation. The enumerators ask the questions to the informants and record their answers in the questionnaire and compile them. The success of this method depends on the sincerity and efficiency of the enumerators. So the enumerator should be sweet-tempered, good-natured, trained and wellbehaved. Schedule method is widely used in extensive studies. It gives fairly correct result as the enumerators directly collect the information. The accuracy of the information depends upon the honesty of the enumerators. They should be unbiased. This method is relatively more costly and time-consuming than the mailed questionnaire method. Q5. What are the problems encountered in Interview? Answer: Interview Problems In personal interviewing, the researcher must deal with two major problems, inadequate response, non-response and interviewers bias. Inadequate response Kahn and Cannel distinguish five principal symptoms of inadequate response. They are: partial response, in which the respondent gives a relevant but incomplete answer non-response, when the respondent remains silent or refuses to answer the question irrelevant response, in which the respondents answer is not relevant to the question asked inaccurate response, when the reply is biased or distorted and verbalized response problem, which arises on account of respondents failure to understand a question or lack of information necessary for answering it.

Interviewers Bias The interviewer is an important cause of response bias. He may resort to cheating by cooking up data without actually interviewing. The interviewers can influence the responses by inappropriate suggestions, word emphasis, tone of voice and question rephrasing. His own attitudes and expectations about what a particular category of respondents may say or think may bias the data. Another source of response of the interviewers characteristics (education, apparent social status, etc) may also bias his answers. Another source of response bias arises from interviewers perception of the situation, if he regards the assignment as impossible or sees the results of the survey as possible threats to personal interests or beliefs he is likely to introduce bias. As interviewers are human beings, such biasing factors can never be overcome completely, but their effects can be reduced by careful selection and training of interviewers, proper motivation and supervision, standardization or interview procedures (use of standard wording in survey questions, standard instructions on probing procedure and so on) and standardization of interviewer behaviour. There is need for more research on ways to minimize bias in the interview. Non-response Non-response refers to failure to obtain responses from some sample respondents. There are many sources of nonresponse; non-availability, refusal, incapacity and inaccessibility. Non-availability Some respondents may not be available at home at the time of call. This depends upon the nature of the respondent and the time of calls. For example, employed persons may not be available during working hours. Farmers may not be available at home during cultivation season. Selection of appropriate timing for calls could solve this problem. Evenings and weekends may be favourable interviewing hours for such respondents. If someone is available, then, line respondents hours of availability can be ascertained and the next visit can be planned accordingly. Refusal Some persons may refuse to furnish information because they are ill-disposed, or approached at the wrong hour and so on. Although, a hardcore of refusals remains, another try or perhaps another approach may find some of them cooperative. Incapacity or inability may refer to illness which prevents a response during the entire survey period. This may also arise on account of language barrier. Inaccessibility Some respondents may be inaccessible. Some may not be found due to migration and other reasons. Nonresponses reduce the effective sample size and its representativeness. Methods and Aims of control of non-response Kish suggests the following methods to reduce either the percentage of non-response or its effects: 1. Improved procedures for collecting data are the most obvious remedy for non-response. Improvements advocated are (a) guarantees of anonymity, (b) motivation of the respondent to co-operate (c) arousing the respondents interest with clever opening remarks and questions, (d) advance notice to the respondents. 2. Call-backs are most effective way of reducing not-at-homes in personal interviews, as are repeated mailings to no-returns in mail surveys. 3. Substitution for the non-response is often suggested as a remedy. Usually this is a mistake because the substitutes resemble the responses rather than the non-responses. Nevertheless, beneficial substitution methods can sometimes be designed with reference to important characteristics of the population. For example, in a farm management study, the farm size is an important variable and if the sampling is based on farm size, substitution for a respondent with a particular size holding by another with the holding of the same size is possible. Attempts to reduce the percentage or effects on non-responses aim at reducing the bias caused by differences on non-respondents from respondents. The non-response bias should not be confused with the reduction of sampled size due to non-response. The latter effect can be easily overcome, either by anticipating the size of non-response in designing the sample size or by compensating for it with a supplement. These adjustments increase the size of the response and the sampling precision, but they do not reduce the non-response percentage or bias.

Q6. Write sort notes on the following: A:Dispersion : Dispersion is the tendency of the individual values in a distribution to spread away from the average. Many economic vari8bleSilke income, wage etc., are widely varied from the mean. Dispersion is a statistical measure, which understands the degree of variation of items from the average. Objectives of Measuring Dispersion: Study of dispersion is needed to: 1. To test the reliability of the average 2. To control variability of the data 3. To enable comparison with two or more distribution with regard to their variability 4. To facilitate the use of other statistical measures. Measures of dispersion points out as to how far the average value is representative of the individual items. If the dispersion value is small, the average tends to closely represent the individual values and it is reliable. When dispersion is large, the average is not a typical representative value. Measures of dispersion are useful to control the cause of variation. In industrial production, efficient operation requires control of quality variation. Measures of variation enable comparison of two or more series with regard to their variability. A high degree of variation would mean little consistency and low degree of variation would mean high consistency. Properties of a Good Measure of Dispersion : A good measure of dispersion should be simple to understand. 1. It should be easy to calculate 2. It should be rigidly defined 3. It should be based on all the values of a distribution 4. It should be amenable to further statistical and algebraic treatment. 5. It should have sampling stability 6. It should not be unduly affected by extreme values. Measures of Dispersion: 1. Range 2. Quartile deviation 3. Mean deviation 4. Standard deviation 5. Lorenz curve Range, Quartile deviation, Mean deviation and Standard deviation are mathematical measures of dispersion. Lorenz curve is a graphical measure of dispersion. Measures of dispersion can be absolute or relative. An absolute measure of dispersion is expressed in the same unit of the original data. When two sets of data are expressed in different units, relative measures of dispersion are used for comparison. A relative measure of dispersion is the ratio of absolute measure to an appropriate average. The following are the important relative measures of dispersion. 1. Coefficient of range 2. Coefficient of Quartile deviation 3. Coefficient of Mean deviation 4. Coefficient of Standard deviation.