Research Design and Methods in Social Sciences Research

Research Design and Methods in Social Sciences Research

Kavita Gupta
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-6859-3.ch007
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A research design is a deliberate, well-organized technique that a researcher follows when conducting a scientific study. It is the coexistence of previously identified elements with any additional knowledge or data that leads to a reasonable end result. In simpler terms, research design is a glue that keeps the research endeavor together. The present chapter focuses on quantitative research design, qualitative research design and mixed method design. This chapter will help the budding researcher to have a deeper understanding of research designs therein enabling the researcher to utilize them for their purpose of research.
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A research design is the arrangement of the conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure (Selltiz, Deutsch and Cook, 1962, p. 50).

A research design is a plan, structure and strategy of investigation… to obtain answers to research questions or problems. It includes an outline of what the investigator will do from writing the hypotheses …to the final analysis of data. (Kerlinger & Lein, 1986, p. 279)

Research Approach

Frequently, the terms “research approach” and “research designs” are used interchangeably. The term “research approach” refers to the strategy for investigating the topic under investigation using either structured (quantitative) or unstructured (qualitative) approaches, or a combination of both. It aids in determining the existence or lack of manipulation and control over variables, as well as group comparisons. Various instruments, strategies, procedures, or processes are used to acquire or review data or information in a research approach.


Characteristics Of Research Design

  • 1.

    It is a plan that specifies the sources and types of information relevant to the research problem.

  • 2.

    It is a strategy specifying which approach will be used for gathering and analyzing the data.

  • 3.

    It includes the balancing of the research scope with time and cost-budget parameters.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mixed Method Research Design: This design aims at providing in-depth findings by combining quantitative and qualitative approaches in a single research study.

Research Design: A well-planned conceptual framework that enables the researcher to collect high-quality relevant unbiased data by using authentic and credible sources thereby to achieve valid conclusions.

Quantitative Research: Quantitative research focuses on numerical objective data obtained through statistics of quantity of responses gathered from large sample sizes.

Qualitative Research: Qualitative research focuses on non-numerical subjective data obtained through analysis of concepts, opinions or experiences of responses gathered from small sample sizes.

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