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Department of Studies in Electronics & Communication Engg.,
University B.D.T. College of Engineering
Visveswaraya Technological University, Davanagere-4
Karnataka, India
Dr.T.D. Shashikala
12-2-2024
Suggested Learning Resources: Books
1.C.R. Kothari, Gaurav Garg, Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques, New
Age International, 4th Edition, 2018
2.Ranjit Kumar, Research Methodology a step-by-step guide for beginners. (For the
topic Reviewing the literature under module 2), SAGE Publications, 3 rd Edition, 2011
1. Research Methodology:
• Introduction,
• Meaning of Research,
• Objectives of Research,
• Motivation in Research,
• Types of Research,
• Research Approaches,
• Significance of Research,
2. Research Methods versus Methodology:
• Research and Scientific Method,
• Importance of Knowing How Research is
Done, Research Process,
• Criteria of Good Research, and
• Problems Encountered by Researchers in
India.
3. Defining the Research Problem:
• Research Problem
• Selecting the Problem
• Necessity of Defining the Problem
• Technique Involved in Defining a
Problem, An Illustration
Module-1
Introduction
1. Research Methodology:
Research
Research is the systematic exploration and analysis of information to
gain knowledge and understanding in a specific area.
Research is the organized process of seeking and understanding
information to learn more about a particular topic.
“A careful investigation or inquiry specially through search for new
facts in any branch of knowledge.”
- The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary
“Science (research) is nothing else but refinement of everyday thinking.”
-- Einstein
“Diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to
discover or revise facts, theories, applications.”
-- Webster
Fig : The research flow diagram
MEANING OF RESEARCH
Research is the systematic pursuit of new knowledge through
inquiry and investigation.
Research involves systematically
defining problems,
formulating hypotheses,
collecting and analyzing data, and
drawing conclusions or solutions.
26/2/2024
EX for defining problems
• The climate crisis, Making water clean
• Students need an easier way to lock their lockers
• Dogs need a way to go to the bathroom inside homes
• Teachers need a better way to erase chalkboards
• Parents need a way to store lunchboxes in the refrigerator
• Addressing the need to protect the natural environment while providing
society and human welfare
EX for collecting and analyzing data
• Investigating the Effectiveness of Different Cooling Techniques
for Electronic Devices
• Investigating the Performance of Different Modulation Schemes
in Wireless Communication Systems
EX for formulating hypotheses,
• If I water plants daily they will grow faster
• Daily exposure to the sun leads to increased levels of happiness
• Increasing the Bandwidth of Wireless Communication Systems
Improves Data Transmission Speeds
Isaac Newton's Radiant Prisms
White sunlight is a mixture of all the colors in the visible spectrum,
and each color refracts at a different angle when a beam of sunlight
passes through a glass prism
Formulate your own hypotheses
EX for drawing conclusions or solutions
• Optimizing the Energy Efficiency of HVAC Systems in
Commercial Buildings
• Addressing the Impact of Social Media on Adolescent Mental
Health
• When I left the house this morning, the kitchen was totally clean
and all the dishes were done.
Proving education was a major force for social change with regard to
slavery.
Frederick Douglass, a pioneer in American education
OBJECTIVES OF RESEARCH
Research aims to uncover hidden truths by applying scientific methods to
answer questions, with objectives falling into various categories.
1. Gain familiarity or insight into a phenomenon (exploratory/formulative
research).
2. Accurately portray characteristics of individuals, situations, or groups
(descriptive research).
3. Determine frequency or associations (diagnostic research).
4. Test hypotheses on causal relationships between variables (hypothesis-
testing research).
FROM TEXT BOOK
The objectives of research include:
1.Exploring new phenomena or relationships.
2.Testing existing theories or hypotheses.
3.Describing and understanding complex phenomena.
4.Solving practical problems.
5.Generating new knowledge.
6.Providing insights for decision-making.
MOTIVATION IN RESEARCH
Government directives, employment conditions, curiosity, desire for
understanding causal relationships, and societal trends drive individuals to
engage in research.
1. Curiosity to explore unknown areas.
2. Desire to solve practical problems.
3. Intellectual challenge and pursuit of knowledge.
4. Contribution to academic or scientific advancement.
5. Personal or professional development.
6. Societal impact and making a difference
What does it mean by research in your opinion?
TYPES OF RESEARCH
1. Descriptive Vs. Analytical:
 Descriptive research, aims to describe characteristics of a population or
phenomenon.
 Ex post facto research, a type of descriptive research, involves no control
over variables, focusing on reporting past or present occurrences.
 It often measures items like shopping frequency or preferences, Ex consumer
preferences for a particular brand of smartphone.
 Analytical research uses existing data for critical evaluation.
 Ex a study that analyzes the relationship between socioeconomic factors and
academic performance among students in urban schools.
2. Applied Vs. Fundamental:
 Applied research addresses immediate societal or organizational
problems.
 Seeks solutions for specific social, economic, or business issues
 Aims to discover practical solutions
 EX developing a new drug to treat a specific medical condition
 Fundamental research focuses on theory formulation and generalizations.
 Pure or basic research gathers knowledge for its own sake.
 Contributes to scientific knowledge
 Aimed at advancing knowledge and understanding fundamental
principles.
 Ex studying the behavior and properties of a specific type of subatomic
particle
3. Quantitative Vs. Qualitative:
 Quantitative research focuses on measuring quantity or amount.
 Involves the collection and analysis of numerical data.
 It aims to understand reasons behind human behavior, often through
methods like motivation research.
 Techniques include in-depth interviews, word association tests, and
projective techniques.
EX market research, educational assessment, economic analysis,
psychological studies, public health surveys, financial analysis, environmental
monitoring
 Qualitative research focuses on understanding behaviors, motivations, and
contexts through non-numerical data.
 Applying qualitative research can be challenging in practice.
 Guidance from experimental psychologists is advisable when conducting
such research
 qualitative researchers gain rich insights into the complexities of human
experiences and social phenomena.
EX Participant Observation, Narrative Inquiry, Content Analysis,
Case Study  In-depth examination of a single individual, group, or
organization
4. Conceptual Vs. Empirical:
 Conceptual research deals with abstract, concepts, ideas or theories.
 It involves studying existing information on a topic without focusing on
specific empirical data or observations.
 It's commonly used by philosophers and thinkers to develop or reinterpret
concepts.
EX Sir Issac Newton. He observed his surroundings to conceptualize and
develop theories about gravitation and motion.
Einstein is widely known and appreciated for his work on conceptual
research.
 Empirical research relies on experience or observation.
 It focuses on data and conclusions verifiable by observation or experiment.
 It involves obtaining firsthand facts to prove or disprove hypotheses.
 Researchers manipulate variables to study effects, demonstrating control
over the study's elements.
 Empirical research provides strong support for hypotheses through evidence
gathered from experiments or studies
EX Laboratory Testing, Environmental Testing, Structural Testing, Data
Analysis, The Effects of Exercise on Mental Well-being: A Quantitative Study
5. Some Other Types of Research:
1. Research approaches vary based on purpose, time, environment, or other
factors.
2. Time-wise, research can be one-time or longitudinal.
3. It can be conducted in field, laboratory, or simulated settings.
4. Clinical or diagnostic research investigates causal relations using case
studies or in-depth approaches.
5. Exploratory research develops hypotheses, while formalized research tests
specific hypotheses.
6. Historical research uses historical sources to study events or ideas of the
past.
7. Research can be conclusion-oriented, allowing flexibility, or decision-
oriented, aimed at satisfying decision makers' needs.
8. Operations research, an example of decision-oriented research, provides a
quantitative basis for executive decisions.
11/3/24
Research Approaches
Refer to the overall strategy or plan adopted to conduct research
27/2/2024
Two Research Approaches: Quantitative and Qualitative
Quantitative Approach:
 Involves numbers for rigorous analysis.
 Includes inferential, experimental, and simulation methods.
Inferential Approach:
 Uses samples to infer population characteristics.
 Often through surveys.
Experimental Approach:
 Controls variables to observe effects.
Simulation Approach:
 Creates artificial settings to study dynamic behavior.
 Useful for predicting future scenarios in various fields.
Example: Market Research Survey
Qualitative Research
 Focuses on subjective assessment.
 Relies on researcher's insights.
 Results aren't rigorously quantified.
 Techniques include
• Focus groups
• Projective techniques
• Depth interviews
Example: Ethnographic Study of Workplace Culture,
Qualitative Study on Homelessness
Significance of Research
Facilitates progress by promoting inquiry and invention.
Cultivates scientific and logical thinking, fostering organized thought
processes.
1. Role of Research in Applied Economics
 Essential in addressing operational challenges in business and
government due to increasing complexity.
 Gains importance in economic policy-making for both
governmental and business sectors.
2. Research in Government Policy:
 Essential for crafting economic policies, like budgets.
 Determines needs, revenue, and costs.
 Vital for exploring policy alternatives and their impacts.
 Aids decision-making by offering insights into economic and social
issues.
 Helps address challenges ranging from agriculture to industry and
defense.
 Involves ongoing data collection, event analysis, and future trend
prediction
3. Research in Business and Industry:
 Essential for solving operational and planning problems.
 Includes operations, market, and motivational research.
 Assists in decision-making by providing insights into market dynamics and
consumer behavior.
 Aids in optimizing strategies for cost minimization or profit maximization.
 Helps in setting up efficient production and investment programs based on
sales forecasts.
4. Research in Social Sciences:
 Key for studying social relationships and solving social problems.
 Offers intellectual satisfaction and practical benefits.
 Strives to advance knowledge and provide practical solutions.
 Aims to understand and predict human interactions.
 Provides guidance for immediate human relations issues.
Research Significance
 Helps students advance in their careers.
 Provides livelihood for research professionals.
 Offers an outlet for new ideas to thinkers.
 Fosters creativity in literary work.
 Generates new theories for analysts.
 Acts as a fountain of knowledge for solving diverse problems.
 Enhances understanding of field developments through formal training.
Research holds significant importance in various domains:
1. Advancement of knowledge and understanding.
2. Innovation and technological development.
3. Decision-making in academia, industry, and policymaking.
4. Addressing societal challenges and improving quality of life.
5. Enhancing critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
6. Validation and improvement of existing theories and practices.
13/3/24
2. Research Methods versus Methodology:
Research methods
 Specific techniques for conducting research.
Research methodology
 Overarching/encompassing/In-depth framework guiding the entire research
process.
28/2/2024
Research Methods
Research methods include techniques for collecting data, analyzing it, and
solving problems, organized into three categories: data collection, data
analysis, and problem-solving methods.
Data Collection: Methods for gathering additional data when existing
information is inadequate for reaching a solution.
Statistical Analysis: Techniques for establishing relationships between data
and unknown variables.
Accuracy Evaluation: Methods for assessing the precision of obtained results
Research Methodology
 Systematic problem-solving approach in research.
 Understanding steps and rationale (reasons/logic), Crucial for researchers.
 Methodology design varies with the research problem.
 Encompasses technique selection and justification.
 Includes defining the problem, hypotheses, data collection, and analytical
techniques.
Research and Scientific Method
Research
Systematic inquiry aimed at generating new knowledge, solving problems, or
answering questions through the collection and analysis of data.
Scientific Method
A systematic approach used by scientists to formulate hypotheses, conduct
experiments or observations, collect empirical evidence, analyze data, and draw
conclusions.
It involves systematic observation, measurement, experimentation, and
validation of hypotheses through empirical evidence
Experimental research tests ideas, but results can be criticized if the experiment
is poorly designed or interpreted.
 Uses real evidence.
 Applies important ideas.
 Sticks to facts.
 Aims for fairness and accuracy.
 Makes probable predictions.
 Shares methods for scrutiny and replication.
 Seeks general scientific theories.
Importance of Knowing How Research is Done
1. Learning research methods is crucial for clear thinking and objective
observation.
2. Mastering these methods enables confident utilization of research findings in
various fields.
3. Knowledge of research methods aids in understanding daily experiences and
making wise decisions.
4. Understanding research methods facilitates wise judgment of research findings
and informed decision-making.
Research Process
Understanding the research process is essential before delving into research
methods and techniques.
Define
Research
problem
Review
concepts
&
theories
Review
previous
research
findings
Formulate
hypothesis
Design
research
(including
sample
design)
Collect
Data
(Executi
on)
Analysis
Data ( Test
Hypothesis
if any)
Interpret
& report
FF
FF
F
FF F
F F
LS
Feed Back
Feed Forward
1. Identifying/formulating the Research Problem:
Defining the topic, research questions, and objectives.
 Research problems may involve natural states or variable relationships.
 Researchers select a specific area of interest.
 Problems are refined for clarity and feasibility.
 Discuss the problem with colleagues or experts.
 Seek guidance from a mentor.
 Administrative agencies in organizations identify and discuss problems with
researchers.
 Study existing literature to understand the problem and identify data.
 Refine the problem for clarity and objectivity, defining relevant terms as
needed.
"Examining the Relationship Between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability in Tropical Rainforests"
2. Extensive literature survey:
Conducting a thorough review of existing studies, theories, and findings
related to the research problem, in indexed journals, Academic journals,
conference proceedings, government reports, books etc.
3. Development of working hypotheses or Research Questions:
Developing clear, testable statements or inquiries to guide the research.
 Discuss with colleagues and experts to understand the problem's origins
and goals.
 Examination of available data for trends and clues.
 Review similar studies for insights.
 Conduct field interviews for practical understanding.
4. Preparing the research design/ Designing the Study:
The research design preparation typically involves considering:
 How to gather information
 The researcher's and staff's capabilities
 Organization of information-gathering methods and rationale behind
selection
 Time constraints
 Financial resources available
5. Determining Sample Design/ Collecting Data:
Gathering relevant data through observation, experimentation, surveys,
interviews, or other methods.
Inquiry in any field considers all items, termed as the 'population,' but often
only a sample is feasible due to time, cost, and practical constraints.
The researcher plans how to pick a sample from a population, either with
known inclusion probabilities (probability samples) or unknown probabilities
(non-probability samples), using techniques like random or convenience
sampling.
Important Sample Designs 
5.1 Deliberate sampling:
 Purposeful selection of units to form a representative sample.
 Convenience Sampling: Selection based on accessibility, potentially
leading to bias.(non-probability)
 Judgement Sampling: Selection guided by the researcher's judgment,
often used in qualitative research for hypothesis development.
5.2 Simple random sampling:
 Random sampling is like a fair game where every item has the same
chance to be picked.
 Whether you're choosing 300 items from 15,000 or even from an
infinite group, each item has an equal shot at being selected.
 Methods like a lottery or random number tables help ensure fairness.
 Each pick is independent and equally likely, just like flipping a fair
coin.
5.3. Systematic sampling:
 Systematic sampling involves selecting every nth item from a list or
population.
 A random starting point is chosen within the list.
 Selecting a random starting point and then selecting every nth element until
the desired sample size is obtained.
5.4. Stratified sampling:
 Used for diverse populations to get a fair sample.
 Divides population into groups (strata) based on characteristics.
 Samples chosen from each stratum.
 If samples are randomly selected from each group, it’s called stratified
random sampling.
5.5 Area sampling
 Like cluster sampling for large areas.
 Divides area into clusters.
 Randomly selects clusters, includes all units within.
 Helpful without population list.
 Enhances efficiency in field interviews.
5.6. Multi-stage Sampling:
 Builds on cluster sampling for large inquiries.
 Selects primary units like states, districts, towns, and families.
 If random sampling is used at each stage, it's called multi-stage random sampling.
5.7. Sequential Sampling:
 Sample size dynamically determined based on survey progress.
 Often used in statistical quality control acceptance sampling plans.
6. Collecting Data:
Real-life problems often have inadequate data, requiring appropriate collection.
Various methods differ in cost, time, and resources available to the researcher.
Primary Data Can be obtained via experiment or survey.
 Observation: Investigator observes without interviewing, limited and costly.
 Personal Interview: Rigid procedure with pre-set questions, depends on
interviewer's skill.
 Telephone Interviews: Contacting respondents by phone, useful for time-
sensitive surveys.
 Mailing Questionnaires: Questionnaires sent by mail, extensively used but
requires careful preparation.
 Schedules: Enumerators fill schedules based on respondent replies, reliability
depends on enumerator competence with occasional field checks.
7. Execution of the project:
 Vital for reliable data.
 Requires systematic approach and timeline adherence.
 Structured questionnaires need coding.
 Proper selection and training for interviewers.
 Regular monitoring ensures diligence.
 Statistical control maintains accuracy.
 Addressing non-cooperation may involve sub-sampling and expert help.
8. Analysis of data:
 Involves several operations: establishing categories, coding, tabulation, and
drawing statistical inferences.
 Raw data condensed into manageable groups and tables.
 Categories classified for usability, then coded for tabulation.
 Editing improves data quality for coding.
 Tabulation organizes data into tables, often done by computers to save time.
 Involves computing percentages, coefficients, etc., using statistical formulas.
 Tests of significance determine if relationships or differences support
hypotheses.
 Statistical tests establish if observed differences are real or due to chance.
 For example, analysis of variance helps compare results from different seed
varieties.
 Various statistical measures assist researchers in analyzing collected data.
9. Hypothesis-testing:
 Analyze data to test hypotheses.
 Use statistical tests like Chi-square, t-test(µ), or F-test(σ).
 Results: either accept or reject hypotheses.
 If no initial hypotheses, use data-based generalizations for future research.
10. Generalizations and interpretation:
 Confirming a hypothesis leads to theories.
 Research finds general conclusions.
 Findings can be explained using existing theories interpretation.
 This leads to new questions and more research.
11. Preparation of the report or the thesis:
The researcher must prepare a carefully written report. Attention to detail is
crucial in writing the report. Key considerations include:
1. The report layout consists of three parts: Preliminary pages, Main text, End
matter
Preliminary pages include:
Title and date
Acknowledgments and foreword
Table of contents
List of tables and graphs
The main text comprises:
a) Introduction: Objective, methodology, scope, and limitations.
b) Summary of findings: Non-technical overview of results and
recommendations.
c) Main report: Presented in logical sections.
d) Conclusion: Recapitulates research results clearly and precisely
At the end of the report:
a) Appendices list technical data.
b) Bibliography includes consulted sources.
c) Index, particularly in published reports.
2. Write the report concisely and objectively using simple language, avoiding
vague expressions like "it seems" or "there may be.“
3. Use charts and illustrations in the main report only if they clarify
information effectively.
4. Include calculated confidence limits and mention constraints faced during
research operations.
Criteria of Good Research
1.Clearly define the research purpose and use common concepts.
2.Describe the research procedure in enough detail for replication.
3.Plan the research design carefully for objective results.
4.Report procedural flaws transparently and assess their impact on findings.
5.Ensure adequate data analysis to reveal significance, using appropriate
methods.
6.Limit conclusions to those supported by the research data.
7.Research confidence increases with experienced, reputable, and integrity-
driven researchers.
Qualities Of A Good Research
1. Good research is systematic
 Research follows a structured process with defined steps and rules. It encourages
creative thinking but avoids guessing and intuition when drawing conclusions
2. Good research is logical
 Logical reasoning, employing both induction and deduction, is essential for informed
decision-making.
3. Good research is empirical
 Research is connected to real situations, using concrete data to ensure validity of
findings.
4. Good research is replicable
 This characteristic allows research results to be verified by replicating the study and
thereby building a sound basis for decisions.
Problems Encountered by Researchers in India.
1. Lack of scientific training in research methodology
 Shortage of competent researchers
 Research conducted without understanding proper methods
 Methodologically weak work prevalent
 Research outcomes often not reflecting reality accurately
 Urgent need for systematic training in research methodology
 Proposal for short, intensive courses to address this need
2. Insufficient interaction between university research departments and
businesses, government, and other research institutions
 Untapped primary data due to lack of proper contacts
 Need for improved liaison among stakeholders for better research
 Proposal for a university-industry interaction program to exchange
ideas and apply research findings
3. Lack of confidence among businesses regarding the misuse of supplied
materials by researchers
 Reluctance to provide necessary information
 Secrecy concept hindering research access
 Need to build confidence that business data will be handled
responsibly
4. Overlapping research studies due to inadequate information
 Resulting in duplication and wastage of resources
 Solution: Regular compilation and revision of research subjects and
locations
 Emphasis on identifying immediate industry-related research problems
in applied science
5. Absence of a code of conduct for researchers
 Common occurrence of inter-university and inter-departmental rivalries
 Proposal for developing a code of conduct to address these issues
6. Researchers lack adequate and timely secretarial and computational assistance
 Resulting delays in research completion
 Urgent need for efficient secretarial support
 Call for University Grants Commission to address this issue
7. Inadequate library management and functioning at many locations
 Researchers spend excessive time and energy locating books, journals, and
reports
 Need for improved organization and accessibility of library resources
8. Libraries face challenges in obtaining timely copies of old and new
Acts/Rules, reports, and government publications
 Particularly felt in libraries located away from major cities
 Need for regular and speedy supply of governmental publications to
all libraries
9. Challenge of obtaining timely access to published data from government and
other agencies
 Researchers encounter discrepancies in published data due to variations
in coverage by different agencies
10. Challenges with conceptualization and data collection processes
Defining the Research Problem
3. Defining the Research Problem:
Research problem: Difficulty faced by a researcher in a theoretical or practical
situation requiring a solution.
Conditions for existence:
1. 'I' exists as an individual, group, or organization within environment 'N'
defined by uncontrolled variables, Yj.
2. At least two courses of action, C1 and C2, are available.
3. There are at least two possible outcomes, O1 and O2, with one being
preferable.
4. Courses of action offer differing probabilities of achieving the objective:
P(Oj | I, Cj, N) with P(O1 | I, C1, N) ≠ P(O1 | I, C2, N).
"I" faces a research problem when uncertain about the best course of action
among multiple options, all with differing efficiencies for desired objectives.
The components of a research problem
 Individual or group experiencing difficulty.
 Existence of objective(s) to achieve.
 Availability of alternative means to attain objectives.
 Uncertainty in selecting alternatives.
 Relevance of difficulty to a specific environment(s)
A research problem is about finding the best way to achieve a goal, considering
factors like environmental changes and different options available.
Selecting the Problem,
Selecting a research problem is important, guided help is useful but the problem
should come from the researcher's own ideas, considering their expertise and
interests
 Avoid overdone or controversial topics.
 Steer clear of problems that are too narrow or vague.
 Choose a familiar and feasible subject.
 Seek guidance from experts and review current literature.
 Consider the importance of the subject, researcher's qualifications, costs, and
time.
 Conduct a preliminary study before final problem selection.
Necessity of Defining the Problem
 Clear definition of a research problem is essential.
 It helps in distinguishing relevant data from irrelevant.
 Properly defined problems guide data collection, study characteristics, and
exploration of relations.
 Defining the problem aids in planning research strategy and answering related
questions.
 Formulating the problem is crucial for designing the research and executing
subsequent steps effectively.
Technique Involved in Defining a Problem
Defining a research problem involves stating its bounds, understanding its
nature, reviewing literature, discussing ideas, and refining it, requiring
careful consideration to avoid confusion.
1. Statement of the problem in a general way:
 Begin by stating the problem broadly, considering practical or
intellectual interests.
 Understand the subject matter thoroughly, possibly through field
observation or pilot surveys.
 Seek guidance from mentors to refine and phrase the problem.
 Resolve ambiguities and ensure proposed solutions are feasible.
2. Understanding the nature of the problem:
 Understand the problem's origin and nature through discussions with
those involved.
 Revisit the objectives behind the problem's statement.
 Engage with knowledgeable individuals to gain insights into the
problem.
 Consider the study environment.
3. Surveying the available literature:
 Review all relevant literature on the problem.
 Understand related theories and previous research.
 Identify available data and materials for the study.
 Use existing research to refine the problem and research techniques.
 Learn from related studies to anticipate difficulties and explore new
approaches.
4. Developing the ideas through discussions:
Discussing the problem with experienced colleagues and experts, yields
valuable insights and new ideas.
Their advice helps sharpen the researcher's focus and understanding of the
problem, covering formulation, approach, techniques, and solutions.
5. Rephrasing the research problem:
 Understand the problem.
 Define the study environment.
 Discuss the problem.
 Review literature.
 Rephrase the problem into operational terms.
Consider these additional points while defining the research problem.
 Define technical terms clearly.
 State any assumptions.
 Provide the investigation's value.
 Consider time-period and data sources.
 Specify the scope of the investigation.
An Illustration
 Start with a broad question: "Why is productivity higher in Japan than in
India?"
 Ambiguities include: type of productivity, related industries, and time
period.
 Narrow down the question to focus on specific factors: "What factors
contributed to higher labor productivity in Japan's manufacturing industries
during 1971-1980 compared to India?"
 Refine the question further for clarity and specificity: "To what extent did
labor productivity exceed India's in 15 selected manufacturing industries
during 1971-1980?
 What factors caused productivity differences between the two countries?"
With this sort of formulation,
 Clarify terms like “labor productivity."
 Confirm data availability for selected industries and time-period.
 Substitute industries if necessary.
 Assess the suitability of the time period.
 Consider all factors before defining the research problem.
Defining a research problem involves starting broadly, resolving uncertainties,
and refining for clarity, leading to clear hypotheses and solutions.

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Research Methodolgy & Intellectual Property Rights Series 1

  • 1. Department of Studies in Electronics & Communication Engg., University B.D.T. College of Engineering Visveswaraya Technological University, Davanagere-4 Karnataka, India Dr.T.D. Shashikala 12-2-2024
  • 2. Suggested Learning Resources: Books 1.C.R. Kothari, Gaurav Garg, Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques, New Age International, 4th Edition, 2018 2.Ranjit Kumar, Research Methodology a step-by-step guide for beginners. (For the topic Reviewing the literature under module 2), SAGE Publications, 3 rd Edition, 2011
  • 3. 1. Research Methodology: • Introduction, • Meaning of Research, • Objectives of Research, • Motivation in Research, • Types of Research, • Research Approaches, • Significance of Research, 2. Research Methods versus Methodology: • Research and Scientific Method, • Importance of Knowing How Research is Done, Research Process, • Criteria of Good Research, and • Problems Encountered by Researchers in India. 3. Defining the Research Problem: • Research Problem • Selecting the Problem • Necessity of Defining the Problem • Technique Involved in Defining a Problem, An Illustration Module-1
  • 5. Research Research is the systematic exploration and analysis of information to gain knowledge and understanding in a specific area. Research is the organized process of seeking and understanding information to learn more about a particular topic.
  • 6.
  • 7. “A careful investigation or inquiry specially through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge.” - The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary “Science (research) is nothing else but refinement of everyday thinking.” -- Einstein “Diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, applications.” -- Webster
  • 8. Fig : The research flow diagram
  • 10. Research is the systematic pursuit of new knowledge through inquiry and investigation. Research involves systematically defining problems, formulating hypotheses, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions or solutions. 26/2/2024
  • 11. EX for defining problems • The climate crisis, Making water clean • Students need an easier way to lock their lockers • Dogs need a way to go to the bathroom inside homes • Teachers need a better way to erase chalkboards • Parents need a way to store lunchboxes in the refrigerator • Addressing the need to protect the natural environment while providing society and human welfare
  • 12.
  • 13. EX for collecting and analyzing data • Investigating the Effectiveness of Different Cooling Techniques for Electronic Devices • Investigating the Performance of Different Modulation Schemes in Wireless Communication Systems
  • 14. EX for formulating hypotheses, • If I water plants daily they will grow faster • Daily exposure to the sun leads to increased levels of happiness • Increasing the Bandwidth of Wireless Communication Systems Improves Data Transmission Speeds Isaac Newton's Radiant Prisms White sunlight is a mixture of all the colors in the visible spectrum, and each color refracts at a different angle when a beam of sunlight passes through a glass prism Formulate your own hypotheses
  • 15. EX for drawing conclusions or solutions • Optimizing the Energy Efficiency of HVAC Systems in Commercial Buildings • Addressing the Impact of Social Media on Adolescent Mental Health • When I left the house this morning, the kitchen was totally clean and all the dishes were done. Proving education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery. Frederick Douglass, a pioneer in American education
  • 17. Research aims to uncover hidden truths by applying scientific methods to answer questions, with objectives falling into various categories. 1. Gain familiarity or insight into a phenomenon (exploratory/formulative research). 2. Accurately portray characteristics of individuals, situations, or groups (descriptive research). 3. Determine frequency or associations (diagnostic research). 4. Test hypotheses on causal relationships between variables (hypothesis- testing research). FROM TEXT BOOK
  • 18. The objectives of research include: 1.Exploring new phenomena or relationships. 2.Testing existing theories or hypotheses. 3.Describing and understanding complex phenomena. 4.Solving practical problems. 5.Generating new knowledge. 6.Providing insights for decision-making.
  • 20. Government directives, employment conditions, curiosity, desire for understanding causal relationships, and societal trends drive individuals to engage in research. 1. Curiosity to explore unknown areas. 2. Desire to solve practical problems. 3. Intellectual challenge and pursuit of knowledge. 4. Contribution to academic or scientific advancement. 5. Personal or professional development. 6. Societal impact and making a difference
  • 21. What does it mean by research in your opinion?
  • 22.
  • 24.
  • 25. 1. Descriptive Vs. Analytical:  Descriptive research, aims to describe characteristics of a population or phenomenon.  Ex post facto research, a type of descriptive research, involves no control over variables, focusing on reporting past or present occurrences.  It often measures items like shopping frequency or preferences, Ex consumer preferences for a particular brand of smartphone.  Analytical research uses existing data for critical evaluation.  Ex a study that analyzes the relationship between socioeconomic factors and academic performance among students in urban schools.
  • 26.
  • 27. 2. Applied Vs. Fundamental:  Applied research addresses immediate societal or organizational problems.  Seeks solutions for specific social, economic, or business issues  Aims to discover practical solutions  EX developing a new drug to treat a specific medical condition  Fundamental research focuses on theory formulation and generalizations.  Pure or basic research gathers knowledge for its own sake.  Contributes to scientific knowledge  Aimed at advancing knowledge and understanding fundamental principles.  Ex studying the behavior and properties of a specific type of subatomic particle
  • 28.
  • 29. 3. Quantitative Vs. Qualitative:  Quantitative research focuses on measuring quantity or amount.  Involves the collection and analysis of numerical data.  It aims to understand reasons behind human behavior, often through methods like motivation research.  Techniques include in-depth interviews, word association tests, and projective techniques. EX market research, educational assessment, economic analysis, psychological studies, public health surveys, financial analysis, environmental monitoring
  • 30.  Qualitative research focuses on understanding behaviors, motivations, and contexts through non-numerical data.  Applying qualitative research can be challenging in practice.  Guidance from experimental psychologists is advisable when conducting such research  qualitative researchers gain rich insights into the complexities of human experiences and social phenomena. EX Participant Observation, Narrative Inquiry, Content Analysis, Case Study  In-depth examination of a single individual, group, or organization
  • 31.
  • 32. 4. Conceptual Vs. Empirical:  Conceptual research deals with abstract, concepts, ideas or theories.  It involves studying existing information on a topic without focusing on specific empirical data or observations.  It's commonly used by philosophers and thinkers to develop or reinterpret concepts. EX Sir Issac Newton. He observed his surroundings to conceptualize and develop theories about gravitation and motion. Einstein is widely known and appreciated for his work on conceptual research.
  • 33.  Empirical research relies on experience or observation.  It focuses on data and conclusions verifiable by observation or experiment.  It involves obtaining firsthand facts to prove or disprove hypotheses.  Researchers manipulate variables to study effects, demonstrating control over the study's elements.  Empirical research provides strong support for hypotheses through evidence gathered from experiments or studies EX Laboratory Testing, Environmental Testing, Structural Testing, Data Analysis, The Effects of Exercise on Mental Well-being: A Quantitative Study
  • 34. 5. Some Other Types of Research: 1. Research approaches vary based on purpose, time, environment, or other factors. 2. Time-wise, research can be one-time or longitudinal. 3. It can be conducted in field, laboratory, or simulated settings. 4. Clinical or diagnostic research investigates causal relations using case studies or in-depth approaches. 5. Exploratory research develops hypotheses, while formalized research tests specific hypotheses. 6. Historical research uses historical sources to study events or ideas of the past. 7. Research can be conclusion-oriented, allowing flexibility, or decision- oriented, aimed at satisfying decision makers' needs. 8. Operations research, an example of decision-oriented research, provides a quantitative basis for executive decisions. 11/3/24
  • 35. Research Approaches Refer to the overall strategy or plan adopted to conduct research 27/2/2024
  • 36. Two Research Approaches: Quantitative and Qualitative Quantitative Approach:  Involves numbers for rigorous analysis.  Includes inferential, experimental, and simulation methods. Inferential Approach:  Uses samples to infer population characteristics.  Often through surveys. Experimental Approach:  Controls variables to observe effects. Simulation Approach:  Creates artificial settings to study dynamic behavior.  Useful for predicting future scenarios in various fields. Example: Market Research Survey
  • 37. Qualitative Research  Focuses on subjective assessment.  Relies on researcher's insights.  Results aren't rigorously quantified.  Techniques include • Focus groups • Projective techniques • Depth interviews Example: Ethnographic Study of Workplace Culture, Qualitative Study on Homelessness
  • 39. Facilitates progress by promoting inquiry and invention. Cultivates scientific and logical thinking, fostering organized thought processes. 1. Role of Research in Applied Economics  Essential in addressing operational challenges in business and government due to increasing complexity.  Gains importance in economic policy-making for both governmental and business sectors.
  • 40. 2. Research in Government Policy:  Essential for crafting economic policies, like budgets.  Determines needs, revenue, and costs.  Vital for exploring policy alternatives and their impacts.  Aids decision-making by offering insights into economic and social issues.  Helps address challenges ranging from agriculture to industry and defense.  Involves ongoing data collection, event analysis, and future trend prediction
  • 41. 3. Research in Business and Industry:  Essential for solving operational and planning problems.  Includes operations, market, and motivational research.  Assists in decision-making by providing insights into market dynamics and consumer behavior.  Aids in optimizing strategies for cost minimization or profit maximization.  Helps in setting up efficient production and investment programs based on sales forecasts.
  • 42. 4. Research in Social Sciences:  Key for studying social relationships and solving social problems.  Offers intellectual satisfaction and practical benefits.  Strives to advance knowledge and provide practical solutions.  Aims to understand and predict human interactions.  Provides guidance for immediate human relations issues.
  • 43. Research Significance  Helps students advance in their careers.  Provides livelihood for research professionals.  Offers an outlet for new ideas to thinkers.  Fosters creativity in literary work.  Generates new theories for analysts.  Acts as a fountain of knowledge for solving diverse problems.  Enhances understanding of field developments through formal training.
  • 44. Research holds significant importance in various domains: 1. Advancement of knowledge and understanding. 2. Innovation and technological development. 3. Decision-making in academia, industry, and policymaking. 4. Addressing societal challenges and improving quality of life. 5. Enhancing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 6. Validation and improvement of existing theories and practices. 13/3/24
  • 45. 2. Research Methods versus Methodology:
  • 46. Research methods  Specific techniques for conducting research. Research methodology  Overarching/encompassing/In-depth framework guiding the entire research process. 28/2/2024
  • 47. Research Methods Research methods include techniques for collecting data, analyzing it, and solving problems, organized into three categories: data collection, data analysis, and problem-solving methods. Data Collection: Methods for gathering additional data when existing information is inadequate for reaching a solution. Statistical Analysis: Techniques for establishing relationships between data and unknown variables. Accuracy Evaluation: Methods for assessing the precision of obtained results
  • 48. Research Methodology  Systematic problem-solving approach in research.  Understanding steps and rationale (reasons/logic), Crucial for researchers.  Methodology design varies with the research problem.  Encompasses technique selection and justification.  Includes defining the problem, hypotheses, data collection, and analytical techniques.
  • 50. Research Systematic inquiry aimed at generating new knowledge, solving problems, or answering questions through the collection and analysis of data. Scientific Method A systematic approach used by scientists to formulate hypotheses, conduct experiments or observations, collect empirical evidence, analyze data, and draw conclusions. It involves systematic observation, measurement, experimentation, and validation of hypotheses through empirical evidence
  • 51. Experimental research tests ideas, but results can be criticized if the experiment is poorly designed or interpreted.  Uses real evidence.  Applies important ideas.  Sticks to facts.  Aims for fairness and accuracy.  Makes probable predictions.  Shares methods for scrutiny and replication.  Seeks general scientific theories.
  • 52. Importance of Knowing How Research is Done
  • 53. 1. Learning research methods is crucial for clear thinking and objective observation. 2. Mastering these methods enables confident utilization of research findings in various fields. 3. Knowledge of research methods aids in understanding daily experiences and making wise decisions. 4. Understanding research methods facilitates wise judgment of research findings and informed decision-making.
  • 55. Understanding the research process is essential before delving into research methods and techniques. Define Research problem Review concepts & theories Review previous research findings Formulate hypothesis Design research (including sample design) Collect Data (Executi on) Analysis Data ( Test Hypothesis if any) Interpret & report FF FF F FF F F F LS Feed Back Feed Forward
  • 56. 1. Identifying/formulating the Research Problem: Defining the topic, research questions, and objectives.  Research problems may involve natural states or variable relationships.  Researchers select a specific area of interest.  Problems are refined for clarity and feasibility.  Discuss the problem with colleagues or experts.  Seek guidance from a mentor.  Administrative agencies in organizations identify and discuss problems with researchers.  Study existing literature to understand the problem and identify data.  Refine the problem for clarity and objectivity, defining relevant terms as needed. "Examining the Relationship Between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability in Tropical Rainforests"
  • 57. 2. Extensive literature survey: Conducting a thorough review of existing studies, theories, and findings related to the research problem, in indexed journals, Academic journals, conference proceedings, government reports, books etc. 3. Development of working hypotheses or Research Questions: Developing clear, testable statements or inquiries to guide the research.  Discuss with colleagues and experts to understand the problem's origins and goals.  Examination of available data for trends and clues.  Review similar studies for insights.  Conduct field interviews for practical understanding.
  • 58. 4. Preparing the research design/ Designing the Study: The research design preparation typically involves considering:  How to gather information  The researcher's and staff's capabilities  Organization of information-gathering methods and rationale behind selection  Time constraints  Financial resources available
  • 59. 5. Determining Sample Design/ Collecting Data: Gathering relevant data through observation, experimentation, surveys, interviews, or other methods. Inquiry in any field considers all items, termed as the 'population,' but often only a sample is feasible due to time, cost, and practical constraints. The researcher plans how to pick a sample from a population, either with known inclusion probabilities (probability samples) or unknown probabilities (non-probability samples), using techniques like random or convenience sampling. Important Sample Designs 
  • 60. 5.1 Deliberate sampling:  Purposeful selection of units to form a representative sample.  Convenience Sampling: Selection based on accessibility, potentially leading to bias.(non-probability)  Judgement Sampling: Selection guided by the researcher's judgment, often used in qualitative research for hypothesis development. 5.2 Simple random sampling:  Random sampling is like a fair game where every item has the same chance to be picked.  Whether you're choosing 300 items from 15,000 or even from an infinite group, each item has an equal shot at being selected.  Methods like a lottery or random number tables help ensure fairness.  Each pick is independent and equally likely, just like flipping a fair coin.
  • 61. 5.3. Systematic sampling:  Systematic sampling involves selecting every nth item from a list or population.  A random starting point is chosen within the list.  Selecting a random starting point and then selecting every nth element until the desired sample size is obtained. 5.4. Stratified sampling:  Used for diverse populations to get a fair sample.  Divides population into groups (strata) based on characteristics.  Samples chosen from each stratum.  If samples are randomly selected from each group, it’s called stratified random sampling.
  • 62. 5.5 Area sampling  Like cluster sampling for large areas.  Divides area into clusters.  Randomly selects clusters, includes all units within.  Helpful without population list.  Enhances efficiency in field interviews. 5.6. Multi-stage Sampling:  Builds on cluster sampling for large inquiries.  Selects primary units like states, districts, towns, and families.  If random sampling is used at each stage, it's called multi-stage random sampling. 5.7. Sequential Sampling:  Sample size dynamically determined based on survey progress.  Often used in statistical quality control acceptance sampling plans.
  • 63. 6. Collecting Data: Real-life problems often have inadequate data, requiring appropriate collection. Various methods differ in cost, time, and resources available to the researcher. Primary Data Can be obtained via experiment or survey.  Observation: Investigator observes without interviewing, limited and costly.  Personal Interview: Rigid procedure with pre-set questions, depends on interviewer's skill.  Telephone Interviews: Contacting respondents by phone, useful for time- sensitive surveys.  Mailing Questionnaires: Questionnaires sent by mail, extensively used but requires careful preparation.  Schedules: Enumerators fill schedules based on respondent replies, reliability depends on enumerator competence with occasional field checks.
  • 64. 7. Execution of the project:  Vital for reliable data.  Requires systematic approach and timeline adherence.  Structured questionnaires need coding.  Proper selection and training for interviewers.  Regular monitoring ensures diligence.  Statistical control maintains accuracy.  Addressing non-cooperation may involve sub-sampling and expert help.
  • 65. 8. Analysis of data:  Involves several operations: establishing categories, coding, tabulation, and drawing statistical inferences.  Raw data condensed into manageable groups and tables.  Categories classified for usability, then coded for tabulation.  Editing improves data quality for coding.  Tabulation organizes data into tables, often done by computers to save time.  Involves computing percentages, coefficients, etc., using statistical formulas.  Tests of significance determine if relationships or differences support hypotheses.  Statistical tests establish if observed differences are real or due to chance.  For example, analysis of variance helps compare results from different seed varieties.  Various statistical measures assist researchers in analyzing collected data.
  • 66. 9. Hypothesis-testing:  Analyze data to test hypotheses.  Use statistical tests like Chi-square, t-test(µ), or F-test(σ).  Results: either accept or reject hypotheses.  If no initial hypotheses, use data-based generalizations for future research. 10. Generalizations and interpretation:  Confirming a hypothesis leads to theories.  Research finds general conclusions.  Findings can be explained using existing theories interpretation.  This leads to new questions and more research.
  • 67. 11. Preparation of the report or the thesis: The researcher must prepare a carefully written report. Attention to detail is crucial in writing the report. Key considerations include: 1. The report layout consists of three parts: Preliminary pages, Main text, End matter Preliminary pages include: Title and date Acknowledgments and foreword Table of contents List of tables and graphs
  • 68. The main text comprises: a) Introduction: Objective, methodology, scope, and limitations. b) Summary of findings: Non-technical overview of results and recommendations. c) Main report: Presented in logical sections. d) Conclusion: Recapitulates research results clearly and precisely At the end of the report: a) Appendices list technical data. b) Bibliography includes consulted sources. c) Index, particularly in published reports.
  • 69. 2. Write the report concisely and objectively using simple language, avoiding vague expressions like "it seems" or "there may be.“ 3. Use charts and illustrations in the main report only if they clarify information effectively. 4. Include calculated confidence limits and mention constraints faced during research operations.
  • 70. Criteria of Good Research
  • 71. 1.Clearly define the research purpose and use common concepts. 2.Describe the research procedure in enough detail for replication. 3.Plan the research design carefully for objective results. 4.Report procedural flaws transparently and assess their impact on findings. 5.Ensure adequate data analysis to reveal significance, using appropriate methods. 6.Limit conclusions to those supported by the research data. 7.Research confidence increases with experienced, reputable, and integrity- driven researchers.
  • 72. Qualities Of A Good Research 1. Good research is systematic  Research follows a structured process with defined steps and rules. It encourages creative thinking but avoids guessing and intuition when drawing conclusions 2. Good research is logical  Logical reasoning, employing both induction and deduction, is essential for informed decision-making. 3. Good research is empirical  Research is connected to real situations, using concrete data to ensure validity of findings. 4. Good research is replicable  This characteristic allows research results to be verified by replicating the study and thereby building a sound basis for decisions.
  • 73. Problems Encountered by Researchers in India.
  • 74. 1. Lack of scientific training in research methodology  Shortage of competent researchers  Research conducted without understanding proper methods  Methodologically weak work prevalent  Research outcomes often not reflecting reality accurately  Urgent need for systematic training in research methodology  Proposal for short, intensive courses to address this need 2. Insufficient interaction between university research departments and businesses, government, and other research institutions  Untapped primary data due to lack of proper contacts  Need for improved liaison among stakeholders for better research  Proposal for a university-industry interaction program to exchange ideas and apply research findings
  • 75. 3. Lack of confidence among businesses regarding the misuse of supplied materials by researchers  Reluctance to provide necessary information  Secrecy concept hindering research access  Need to build confidence that business data will be handled responsibly 4. Overlapping research studies due to inadequate information  Resulting in duplication and wastage of resources  Solution: Regular compilation and revision of research subjects and locations  Emphasis on identifying immediate industry-related research problems in applied science
  • 76. 5. Absence of a code of conduct for researchers  Common occurrence of inter-university and inter-departmental rivalries  Proposal for developing a code of conduct to address these issues 6. Researchers lack adequate and timely secretarial and computational assistance  Resulting delays in research completion  Urgent need for efficient secretarial support  Call for University Grants Commission to address this issue 7. Inadequate library management and functioning at many locations  Researchers spend excessive time and energy locating books, journals, and reports  Need for improved organization and accessibility of library resources
  • 77. 8. Libraries face challenges in obtaining timely copies of old and new Acts/Rules, reports, and government publications  Particularly felt in libraries located away from major cities  Need for regular and speedy supply of governmental publications to all libraries 9. Challenge of obtaining timely access to published data from government and other agencies  Researchers encounter discrepancies in published data due to variations in coverage by different agencies 10. Challenges with conceptualization and data collection processes
  • 78. Defining the Research Problem 3. Defining the Research Problem:
  • 79. Research problem: Difficulty faced by a researcher in a theoretical or practical situation requiring a solution. Conditions for existence: 1. 'I' exists as an individual, group, or organization within environment 'N' defined by uncontrolled variables, Yj. 2. At least two courses of action, C1 and C2, are available. 3. There are at least two possible outcomes, O1 and O2, with one being preferable. 4. Courses of action offer differing probabilities of achieving the objective: P(Oj | I, Cj, N) with P(O1 | I, C1, N) ≠ P(O1 | I, C2, N).
  • 80. "I" faces a research problem when uncertain about the best course of action among multiple options, all with differing efficiencies for desired objectives. The components of a research problem  Individual or group experiencing difficulty.  Existence of objective(s) to achieve.  Availability of alternative means to attain objectives.  Uncertainty in selecting alternatives.  Relevance of difficulty to a specific environment(s) A research problem is about finding the best way to achieve a goal, considering factors like environmental changes and different options available.
  • 82. Selecting a research problem is important, guided help is useful but the problem should come from the researcher's own ideas, considering their expertise and interests  Avoid overdone or controversial topics.  Steer clear of problems that are too narrow or vague.  Choose a familiar and feasible subject.  Seek guidance from experts and review current literature.  Consider the importance of the subject, researcher's qualifications, costs, and time.  Conduct a preliminary study before final problem selection.
  • 83. Necessity of Defining the Problem
  • 84.  Clear definition of a research problem is essential.  It helps in distinguishing relevant data from irrelevant.  Properly defined problems guide data collection, study characteristics, and exploration of relations.  Defining the problem aids in planning research strategy and answering related questions.  Formulating the problem is crucial for designing the research and executing subsequent steps effectively.
  • 85. Technique Involved in Defining a Problem
  • 86. Defining a research problem involves stating its bounds, understanding its nature, reviewing literature, discussing ideas, and refining it, requiring careful consideration to avoid confusion. 1. Statement of the problem in a general way:  Begin by stating the problem broadly, considering practical or intellectual interests.  Understand the subject matter thoroughly, possibly through field observation or pilot surveys.  Seek guidance from mentors to refine and phrase the problem.  Resolve ambiguities and ensure proposed solutions are feasible.
  • 87. 2. Understanding the nature of the problem:  Understand the problem's origin and nature through discussions with those involved.  Revisit the objectives behind the problem's statement.  Engage with knowledgeable individuals to gain insights into the problem.  Consider the study environment.
  • 88. 3. Surveying the available literature:  Review all relevant literature on the problem.  Understand related theories and previous research.  Identify available data and materials for the study.  Use existing research to refine the problem and research techniques.  Learn from related studies to anticipate difficulties and explore new approaches.
  • 89. 4. Developing the ideas through discussions: Discussing the problem with experienced colleagues and experts, yields valuable insights and new ideas. Their advice helps sharpen the researcher's focus and understanding of the problem, covering formulation, approach, techniques, and solutions. 5. Rephrasing the research problem:  Understand the problem.  Define the study environment.  Discuss the problem.  Review literature.  Rephrase the problem into operational terms.
  • 90. Consider these additional points while defining the research problem.  Define technical terms clearly.  State any assumptions.  Provide the investigation's value.  Consider time-period and data sources.  Specify the scope of the investigation.
  • 92.  Start with a broad question: "Why is productivity higher in Japan than in India?"  Ambiguities include: type of productivity, related industries, and time period.  Narrow down the question to focus on specific factors: "What factors contributed to higher labor productivity in Japan's manufacturing industries during 1971-1980 compared to India?"  Refine the question further for clarity and specificity: "To what extent did labor productivity exceed India's in 15 selected manufacturing industries during 1971-1980?  What factors caused productivity differences between the two countries?"
  • 93. With this sort of formulation,  Clarify terms like “labor productivity."  Confirm data availability for selected industries and time-period.  Substitute industries if necessary.  Assess the suitability of the time period.  Consider all factors before defining the research problem. Defining a research problem involves starting broadly, resolving uncertainties, and refining for clarity, leading to clear hypotheses and solutions.