Research Design - Definition
“Research design provides a systematic
plan of procedure for the researcher to
follow”.– John W. Best.
Research design is a set of advance decisions that make up the
master plan specifying the methods and procedures
for collecting and analyzing the needed information.
Answers to the following questions
• What the study is about ?
• Why the study is undertaken ?
• What are the types of data required ?
• Where data can be found ?
• What techniques of gathering data will be
• When or what periods of time, the study will
• How much resources (men, money, and
materials) will be required ?
Significance of research design
• Leads to Smooth & efficient sailing (sets
boundaries & prevents blind search)
• Yields maximum information (avoids collection
of unnecessary data)
• Avoids misleading conclusions & thoughtless
Features of a research Design:
• It is plan that specifies the sources and types
of information relevant to the research
• It is the strategy specifying which approach
will be used for gathering and analyzing the
• It includes the time and cost budget since
most of the studies are done under these two
In brief the research design must at
• A clear statement of research problem
• Procedures and techniques used for gathering
• The population to be studied.
• Methods to be used in processing and
Steps in Research Design
• Define the research problem
• Estimate the cost of information –It is
advisable to find out the cost –benefit ratio
• Select the source of data collection
• Select the measurement techniques
• Select the sample
• Select the method of analysis –Its depends
upon the selection of data sampling,
measurement technique, data collection,
purpose of research.
• Find out time and cost required.
• Prepare the research design.
Qualities of Good Research Design
• It is easy to suggest a problem but difficult to
make a good research design.
• Each problem/research work is unique &
demands unique research design & unique
combination of methods and techniques.
• CHOOSES APPROPRIATE COMBINATION OF
METHODS AND TECHNIQUES:-
• This suggests that the design should be such
that it chooses appropriate combination of
methods and techniques based on objectives,
possible implications of results and overall
environment, current knowledge etc.
• SHOULD BE ACCEPTABLE:-
• This point suggests that the design should be
universally acceptable and understood by
persons. It should be simple , clear and easily
understood by laymen.
Exploratory Descriptive Causal
Exploratory research design
• Purpose to find out causes behind a problem
precisely, collect required information and
identify alternate courses of action in order to
deal with the problem
• Uses of exploratory research include:
– Gain background information.
– To understand such problems.
– Clarify problems and hypotheses.
– Establish research priorities
Exploratory Research (Cont.)
• Methods of Conducting Exploratory Research
Secondary data analysis
Experience (Expert) surveys
• The purpose of exploratory research is to know
• The objective of exploratory research is to
discover new ideas.
• The secondary/published data can be used
for exploratory research as such data are easily
• Example : A service provider wants to know why
his customers are switching to other service
Descriptive research method
• Research conducted to describe characteristics such as
age, sex, occupation, income or education of a
population or a phenomenon. Descriptive research is
undertaken to provide answers to questions of who ,
what, where, when, and how
• Example : A Library may find its young user’s
decreasing. On the basis of user analysis the library
may hypothesis that teenagers do not use its services
for the study purpose. A descriptive study can then be
designed to test this hypothesis.
As the name indicates, casual design investigates
the cause and effect relationship between two or
Casual research is useful to show the impact of one
variable on the other. For example, Price and
market demand relationship or relationship
between market competition and sales
• Example : Does smoking cause cancer?
Areas of Decision Making in Research
1.The Time period of research
2.The Sources of data
3.The Data Collection Method
4.The Area of Research
5.The Sample Design