The Use Of Research Methodology Education Essay

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Introduction to Research Methodology:

Research methodology provides the way or method towards which research can be performed. The main objective of the research methodology is to find out the answers to the research questions by scientific and experimental methods and procedures. Thus, it provides the systematic way in which research to be carried out by the researcher towards finding answers to the research questions using different methods or methodologies or procedures.

According to Runes (1983, p. 12), methodology is defined as "the systematic analysis and organization of the rational and experimental principles and processes which must guide a scientific inquiry and also known as scientific method".

According to Webster collegiate dictionary (1977), defines methodology as "a body of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline: . . . the analysis of principles or procedures of inquiry in a particular field. ."

"Research methods in economics include various versions of regression analysis, mathematical analysis, operational research techniques, surveys, gathered data, use of selected theoretical constructions and procedures including combination of techniques. Thus, research methodology in economics is the study of the general approach to research in economics." (Ethridge, 2004)

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In general, there are two types of research types: pure research and applied research. In pure research, researcher concentrates fully on one topic of research where as in case of applied research, researcher concentrates on one topic of research but the result of this might lead to solution to some other research questions, which is considered as added advantage in the research work.

The different types of research available to the researcher to carry on his research work are as shown in the below diagram:

Source: The different types of research (Rajendra kumar, 2000)

From the figure, the different types of research types available are:

Application: There are two types of research types under application are pure and applied. In pure research, researcher concentrates fully on one topic of research where as in case of applied research, researcher concentrates on one topic of research but the result of this might lead to solution to some other research questions, which is considered as added advantage in the research work.

Objective: there are four types of research types under objective type of research. In descriptive research, research contains all descriptive information regarding the research work which includes survey method, facts & findings, graphs etc.

In Exploratory research, researcher provides the exploratory information regarding research work. In correlation research, researcher interlinks his research work to his/her research work or the research work of some other person in order to prove his research work.

In Explanatory research, as the name indicates it concentrates on specific topic of the research work by giving explanatory information regarding the topic of the research.

Enquiry mode: There is qualitative and quantitative research type under enquiry mode. In quantitative research type, numerical reasoning or mathematical operations are used to prove the empirical findings of the research work. In qualitative research type involve reasoning type such as case study approach to prove the empirical findings of the research work. (Samli, 2005)

The two main source of collecting information in research methodology includes:

Primary research and

Secondary research

4.2 SECONDARY RESEARCH

The secondary research is the collection or summary of the existing data collected from the previous research. Thus, it is the most convenient, reliable and easy approach available to the researcher to carry on his/her research work. The most unique feature of secondary research is that they are comparable because when the researcher carries his work with the help of secondary data, then the facts and findings of the new research work may relate to the previous work but focusing on different research thesis or point and hence it is said that secondary research is comparable. (Taylor, 2006).

The secondary research work is classified into:

Internal sources: in this research work, there is no internal source of data because topic of the research is not concentrating on specific organization.

External sources: Here the data collected are from tourism industry, different concepts and theories relating to tourists behaviours, economic statistics of the country from the tourism industry and so on. (Kotler and Armstrong, 2003).

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The most important external resources used in this research work are as follows:

BOOKS:

Book signifies an important external source or guide to the researcher in carrying out his research work. The topic of the research here is the 'analysis of international tourist's behaviour while they study in the United Kingdom'. So the researcher has studied various books regarding culture, behaviours, guidebooks, information books, concepts and theories relating to the tourism industry.

Internet sources:

This is one of the important and vital guideline available to the researcher to support his research work. The topic of the thesis is 'analysis of international tourist's behaviour while they study in the United Kingdom'. Hence the researcher has used many standard websites regarding tourism industry, ways to attract the tourists, tourist's criteria, countries investing more on the tourism industry, flow of international students and their contribution to the tourism, economic status of United Kingdom. Researcher has also used several search engines like BINGO, GOOGLE to update the knowledge about the tourism industry and used journals, academic books that support the research work. For researcher, the university student portal has helped him a lot to gather required information about the research work with the help of online journals, book, magazine and academic resources access to students.

Data Analysis:

Data Analysis is the important stage in research process. Because once the data are collected through screening, inspection and transformation stages, these data have to be converted to information so that it helps the researcher to solve the research questions towards the topic of the research work being carried out. In other words, data should be converted into information to get correct output from the research design.

In general, there are two types of data analysis:

Qualitative data analysis: Qualitative research types involve reasoning type such as case study approach to prove the empirical findings of the research work and thus it is the process of interpreting the data collected through screening, inspection or transformation process. Depending on different data types, analyses of those data types are also different. For ex: data collected through Interview method involves different analysis process and data collected through photographs involves different analysis process.

Quantitative data analysis: Quantitative research type, numerical reasoning or mathematical operations or Descriptive and Inferential Statistics are used to prove the empirical findings of the research work. In Descriptive statistics involve calculation of mean, media and mode (Average) and measure of this variability, which gives the clear picture about the data collected and data analyzed in the research process.

In Inferential Statistics involves statistical outcomes and to test research hypothesis set by the researcher in the beginning of the research process and also involves findings from the sample or survey.

4.3 PRIMARY RESEARCH:

According to Kotler and Armstrong (2010), the primary data are the original data collected for the first time by the researcher and thus it often helps the solve research problems and reach the objectives of the research work. Thus, the primary data serves as an important tool or the set of information to make the research process success. No one can steal the primary data, it is the unique data collected by the researcher to carry on his research process. Hence, more the primary data collected by the researcher; more the quality of the research work done by the researcher.

There are many ways of collecting the primary data, which are classified into different groups as follows:

Research approaches- This method involves observation, survey, and experiment.

Contact methods- This method involves mail, telephone, personal, online.

Sampling plan- This method involves sampling unit, sampling size and sampling procedure.

Research Instruments- This method involves questionnaire and mechanical equipment.

Similarly the different types of primary data available are:

Demographic or socioeconomic primary type: which involves age sex, gender etc.

Psychological or lifestyle primary type: This involves interests, activities.

Opinions or attitude type: this involves, feelings, views.

Knowledge or awareness: facts about products or services.

Intentions primary type:

Motivation primary type and

Behaviour primary type:

Here, in this research work the topic of the research is "analysis of cross cultural perspective of McDonalds and KFC in Chinese market". For this topic of the study is experimental approach can't be used as we are not trying to experiment any new things in the topic as we just want to compare the cultural strategy and marketing strategy used by the American fast food industry in Chinese market and also we can't use scientific approach to this topic of the study as we are not trying to find scientifically find something in the research work.

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Since the researcher has to just compare the cross cultural prospective and marketing strategies used by the McDonalds and KFC in Chinese market to gain the competitive advantage over the Chinese fast food industry. Hence the researcher has used interview method as the main source of primary data collection.

4.4 Research Design:

Research design provides the framework or the structure for the researcher to carry on his research work towards solving the research problems and aiming to reach the objective of the study (Laurel, 2003).

According to Rajendra (2003), the research process involves defining the problem of the research, review of the literature, formulate hypothesis, research design which gives structure of the research process, next is to determine and collecting the sampling design, then followed by the collection of data and last is to interpret the results and reports.

The various methods commonly used as the research design process are:

deductive method

Inductive method and

Onion research (Woodside and Wilson, 2003).

The following figure briefly demonstrates the research design as follows:

siragusa2

Source: Available at <http://www.waier.org.au/forums/2002/siragusa.html> [Accessed on 20 April 2011]

From the above figure, it clearly demonstrates the different stages of the research design. Firstly, the data source is the first step towards collection of all data towards research work, which includes survey method, interview method or questionnaire method in order to collect the primary data in the research work process. The next step is data analysis, which is very important method of data collection in research work and it consists of qualitative type and quantitative type of data analysis:

Qualitative research types involve reasoning type such as case study approach to prove the empirical findings of the research work and thus it is the process of interpreting the data collected through screening, inspection or transformation process. Depending on different data types, analyses of those data types are also different. For ex: data collected through Interview method involves different analysis process and data collected through photographs involves different analysis process.

Quantitative data analysis: Quantitative research type, numerical reasoning or mathematical operations or Descriptive and Inferential Statistics are used to prove the empirical findings of the research work. In Descriptive statistics involve calculation of mean, media and mode (Average) and measure of this variability, which gives the clear picture about the data collected and data analyzed in the research process.

In Inferential Statistics involves statistical outcomes and to test research hypothesis set by the researcher in the beginning of the research process and also involves findings from the sample or survey.

The last and important step in research process is discussion and development of model, so the researcher can use one of these models such as inductive method, deductive method or onion research in order to develop research towards solving the research problem and aiming to achieve the objective of the study.

4.4.1 Case study Approach:

This research work involves the use multiple cases. The case study approach can be used analyze the tourist behaviour of international students in United Kingdom. The case study approach uses in-depth examination of event or instances in the form of cases and hence this approach critically looks at the instances or the event to collect the data and analyzes this information. As a result researcher gets in depth knowledge about the research process and leads to good understanding of the research process. The different cases available to the researcher are key, local knowledge and outlier cases depending on different instances of the research process.

Case study simply defined as "empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident; and in which multiple sources of evidence are used". (Yin, 1984).

According to Yin (1984), there are six steps in the case study approach in order to carry out the research process:

Define and find the research questions and problems.

Use 'cases' to determine data gathering techniques.

Collect the data.

Analyze the data

Evaluate the data and

Prepare the report.

Thus, case study approach is proved to be one of the best research method techniques. Here, the researcher has used the cases study approach to study the different factors and methods affecting the tourist behaviour of international students in the United Kingdom.

4.4.2 CLUSTER SAMPLING:

Cluster sampling is one of the random sampling techniques, where the population is subdivided into groups called clusters (Anderson et.al, 2008). Here cluster is the made of elements, not necessarily of same size. According to Anderson (2008), each and every elements of the population should be included in the cluster and none of the elements of the population should be left behind, because when the cluster is sampled each and every element of the cluster is analyzed.

In cluster sampling, only few clusters are analyzed first to get precision answer having the same mean values. Hence, if the process doesn't give the accurate values then researcher may analyze the other clusters to get the accurate values. Cluster sampling is one of the most effective and efficient way of analyzing the data compared to normal sampling technique where entire sample needs to be analyzed, unlike the cluster sampling where portion of the cluster are analyzed to see whether accurate mean values are achieved, if not the process continues by taking few more clusters to get accurate mean values. (Lohr, 2009).

In this research work, researcher main target was the International students and hence decided to divide the tourists group into base tourists and the international student tourist. Hence the research is carried on to find the international tourists behaviour while studying in the United Kingdom.

4.5 METHODS:

In this research work, researcher has following methods to achieve the research objectives of the study. The researcher has used the survey method to collect and analyze the data. Here, researcher has prepared a set of questions aiming to solve research questions already set in the beginning of the research work. Under this survey method, researcher has used cross sectional survey method, interview methods and group discussions.

4.5.1: Survey Method:

Survey method is the descriptive and non-experimental research method. Survey methods are commonly used when the researcher can't observe the processes or development or phenomenon directly; researcher has used survey method to gather or test the attitudes and characteristics of the international tourists in United Kingdom. The following are the different methods used by the researcher:

a) Cross sectional survey: here researcher tries to gather information from the tourist at a single point of time by giving the survey questionnaire paper to answer the questions about their trip experiences. Thus, researcher aims to collect the data from only international students who came here to study and visit the historical places in United Kingdom. Here, researcher aims to collect data from large population means from large international students, but due to shortage of time available to the researcher and also busy schedules of the tourist, caused the researcher to collect the data from 75 tourists only.

b) Interview method:

Interview method is one of the efficient, rewarding, reliable and challenging research method techniques. Interview generally happens between the people when they are trying to talk about the same thing or common issues between them. In other words, interviewing is helpful to understand the underlying reasons of the research work through either face to face interview or group interview which can be held at home or work under agreed conditions between the interviewer and interviewees and hence interview method is prove an effective method to collect primary data.

According to Gratton and Jones 2004, interview method is defined as "Interviewing is often associated with the collection of qualitative data, that is the why and how of a phenomenon. Interviews can collect data concerned with concepts that are difficult or inappropriate to measure, and tend to explore his or her own perspective".

There are two types of interview techniques namely: personal interview and telephonic interview. In personal interview, interviewer needs to do some work before he/she organizes the interview process in order to note down the probable question to ask to the interviewees. Whereas on the other hand, telephonic interview involves communications over the phone, but this is costlier process compared and not as efficient as face to face interviews.

Similarly, interview can be classified into structured interview, unstructured or semi-structured interview type. Structured interview is the formal type of interview process with fixed set of questions. In unstructured interview is not the formal type because here the questions are developed depending on the given situations and hence doesn't include fixed set of questions and where as in semi structured interview type is the mix of structured and unstructured interview type.

The various forms of questions that can be asked by the interviewer are:

Open ended questions allows faster interview process and questions are brief here to get the richer information.

Closed ended questions allows the interviewees to provide either 'yes' or 'no' else 'true' or 'false' format.

Multiple choices allow the interviewees to select from a provide range of answers given by the interviewer relating to the research work.

Scaled response approach allows the interviewees to provide answer in the format of 'somewhat true or somewhat false' or 'strongly agree or strongly disagree'.

In this research work, researcher apart from conducting the survey process at the tourist place, has also arranged interview schedules by visiting 3 universities to interview the international student coordinators to talk about themselves and on behalf of their friends about their visit to the united kingdom. Here, researcher has asked same set of questions used in the survey method and also gathered personal experiences and suggestions from them.

Like previous method, interviewer wanted to interview more universities, but due to shortage of time available to the researcher and also busy schedules of the student coordinators, caused the researcher to collect the data from only 3 universities namely university of east London, London metropolitan university and Greenwich university.

Group Discussions:

Group discussions are also called as focus group, because here it focuses on only certain population or set of people related to the topic of the research work. In this method, the amount of data collected are more and extensive due to number of people involved and amount of discussions made. Thus, here researcher tries to concentrate on only international students who came to United Kingdom to study or gather required data to solve the research questions. Group discussions allow the researcher to study the interactions among the people involved in the discussion process which is similar to the process compared to participant observations. This method is used by the researcher to assess attitudes, expressions, opinions, values etc of the people involved in the group discussions.

The researcher has used same set of questions used in survey method to collect the data from the tourists. The group discussions was held near tourist place, but researcher was able to arrange only 2 group discussions due to the shortage of time available to the researcher and as well as busy schedules of the tourist and also unwillingness of some tourist to participate in the process has made the researcher to carry only 2 schedules in group discussions.

APPENDIX A: 'Gives the detailed description about the survey questions asked in relate to the research work'.

4.5 HYPOTHESIS:

Hypothesis is the set of assumptions made by the researcher in carrying out his research work towards meeting the objective of the research study. This assumption is made in the beginning of the research work and it is evaluated in the later stage of the research process and the assumption made need not necessarily be true or false, it is just the prediction of the researcher about his work may end up by this node after collecting the secondary data of the research process.

Some of the definitions of Hypothesis are as listed below:

"A tentative explanation for certain behaviour, phenomena, or events which have occurred or will occur and it states the researcher expectations concerning the relationship between the variables in the research problem. A hypothesis is the most specific statement of a problem". (Gay, 1976).

"A hypothesis is a testable statement of a potential relationship between two or more variables". (McGuigan, 1978).

In the following research work, the researcher has used the following hypothesis:

"International Students believe United Kingdom as their one of the favourite destination to study and visit tourist places."

In order to evaluate the hypothesis, researcher undergoes thorough study of the research process by collecting data from the primary research process and thus analyzing the impact of data from both secondary and primary research in order to draw the conclusion about the hypothesis which will be explained in the conclusion part of the research work.