Framework of research methodology

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Introduction

The purpose of this chapter is to describe the Framework of research methodology followed in this thesis in detail. The elaboration along with the discussion on various types of research will be discussed to explain the approach and methods for the presentation of research work.

From the view point of many researchers that Research Methodology is a design process which consists of step by step approach leading towards the conclusion of substantial results. Based on different view point evaluation the researcher of this thesis project suggest that Research Methodology is just a design or step by step approach but it's a complete frame work of components which consist of the following:

  • Identify the problem
  • Propagate the idea for possible solution / Brain Storming process
  • Data Collection from the variable sources
  • Evaluate the sample data
  • Conclude the results
  • Finalized the Theory

In other words from one of the researcher provides his statements as “Research design provides the glue that holds the research project together. A design is used to structure the research, to show how all of the major parts of the research project -- the samples or groups, measures, treatments or programs, and methods of assignment -- work together to try to address the central research questions.”

[http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/design.php]

The Research Hypothesis

Behind every research work there is certainly some hypothesis always involved, therefore in the same way there are many hypotheses are provided by the different researchers in various research papers about the research methodology, to provide elaboration under the light of those hypothesis the researcher has taken them over here as reference.

“The research or scientific hypothesis is a formal affirmative statement predicting a single research outcome, a tentative explanation of the relationship between two or more variables. For the hypothesis to be testable, the variables must be operationally defined. The is, the researcher specifies what operations were conducted, or tests used, to measure each variables. Thus the hypothesis focuses the investigation on a definite target and determines what observations or measures are to be used” [Research methodology: techniques and trends by Dr. Y.K Singh and Dr. R.B Bajpai Book]

The philosophy of the research methodology is to achieve the desired results, for which it is necessary to adopt certain steps, which is also known as Frame work of study. There fore the development in the research can be done. Many Researchers have argued that these research hypotheses by the researcher includes those assumptions which should be vital and in which the researcher views the world so that these assumptions will support the researcher strategy and methods he selected as a part of that strategy.

Where as the research can done in various ways , based on the requirements of the thesis projects, but to streamline and to get the most out come of the research there should be a frame work of the thesis has to be adopted. [Self]

“Such philosophies are considered as a tool to find the best way of having research done, and these philosophies enable the researcher to get a well balance conclusion”

[Stiles, J. (2003) ‘A Philosophical Justification for a Realist Approach' Qualitative Market Research: An International journal', Volume 6, Number 04]

The Aims and Objective

The aims and objective of this research is to produce a document over a Meta analysis on GPON and EPON technologies with the questionnaire based surveys. For this purpose a customized methodology / framework has been adopted based on the standards provided by the researcher for this nature of work.

Types of techniques

There are two types of research pattern techniques provided by the researchers one is called Qualitative research and the second is called quantitative research.

Sinuff et al. (2007, p.105) defined Qualitative research as “A Qualitative research offers descriptive models of behaviour, social organization, and social interaction that can be used to improve behaviour and experiences. It is well suited to exploratory investigations of problems which about little are known”. According to Amaratunga et al. (2002), qualitative approach concentrates on words and observations to find a conclusion and it also attempts to design the people in the social sciences. On other side, quantitative research mainly is based on the numbers that represents the opinions and concepts about the particular research. They further argued that the richness and holism of qualitative data can provide strong support for revealing complexities in research process. Furthermore, the information for qualitative research is normally collected over a longer period of time therefore it makes researching more broad.

According to Amaratunga et al. (2002) quantitative research design has been considered as appropriate for examining the behavioural component. It has been concerned with measuring the true value of the propositions. It allows the flexibility in examining the data, in terms of statistical analysis, comparative analyses and repeatability of data collection for confirming validity of the research.

[Amaratunga Dilanthi, Baldry David, Sarshar Marjan and Newton Rita (2002) ‘Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Built Environment: Application of “Mixed” Research Approach', Research Paper, 51(1): 17-31.]

Web link: [http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do;jsessionid=8AC83587644A027D31356889353AAD04?contentType=Article&hdAction=lnkpdf&contentId=851373]

Amaratunga et al. (2002) have summarized some of the strengths of quantitative research, which are shown as follows;

  • Its process is quick and also economical.
  • The subject under study is analyzed and observed independently.
  • In quantitative research the comparison and replication is allowed.
  • The reliability and validity can be obtained more objectively than the qualitative.
  • In Quantitative research, data is collected from the large sample that may have a huge influence on the policy decisions.

The subject under study is analyzed and observed by adopting the objective methods rather than just been focused on the subjectivity through sensation and reflection.

[Amaratunga Dilanthi, Baldry David, Sarshar Marjan and Newton Rita (2002) ‘Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Built Environment: Application of “Mixed” Research Approach', Research Paper, 51(1): 17-31.]

[http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do;jsessionid=8AC83587644A027D31356889353AAD04?contentType=Article&hdAction=lnkpdf&contentId=851373]

Research Approach (Qualitative Vs Quantitative)

The research approach can be either Qualitative or Quantitative, whereas both have there advantages and disadvantages in different scenarios.

A quantitative approach consists of the knowledge which will measure, describe and explain all the processes, this type of approach are applies to scientific researches, where the data is taken as sample and to obtain the results.

A Qualitative approach is the one in which knowledge is tested to investigate, interpret and to comprehend the processes. In the below given table a comparison can be seen.

Research techniques

As in previous it is stated by the researchers that there are various techniques adopted to get the most output of the research work. There fore as in case of this thesis which is based on Meta analysis the following listed steps will be followed.

  • Literature Review
  • Questionnaire based Survey
  • Survey Analysis
  • Conclusion / Result set

Data Collection, Surveys and Questionnaire

Data Collection Methods

Data can be collected for the research purposes in two methods, primary data collection and secondary data collection, which are defined below:

Primary Data

In this kind of research the researcher has to collect all the information related to the topic, by interacting himself with different professionals related to the research topic. Data can be collected for various reasons, such as doing research from the organisation's perspective, where the researcher has to carry out interviews and prepare questionnaires that are useful to obtain relevant information (). Primary research can be very hectic and time consuming as the researcher has to attain the knowledge from the people who are indirectly or directly related with the topic which is being researched. The reason for not to use primary research is because retail sector is very vast sector, and requires thorough understanding of its operations. Primary research need to be carried out when there are lack of information available through secondary research, which can be obtained thorough primary research by conducting telephonic interviews, mailed questionnaires or by focus group that is another reason why the researcher choose the method of secondary research to gather all the relevant information.

[Quinton, S. and Smallbone, T. (2006), postgraduate research in business: a critical guide, London: Sage publications]

If the research is of primary data collection then there are two types of observations, participants observations which is more emphasis on qualitative and the second is structured observations which is more attached to quantitative ().

[Saunders, M. Lewis, P. and Thornhill A. (2000), Research Methods for Business Students, 2nd Edition, England: Pearson Education]

Participant And Structured Observations

“Participant observation is a major research strategy which aims to gain a close and intimate familiarity within a group of individuals, and their practices” (wikipedia, 2007). Their intensive involvement is also required with the people in their natural environment.

[online] Available at: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_institutions> [Accessed 10th dec 2006].

Collection Of Primary Data

Use of interpersonal interviews and purposeful questionnaires are the most authentic ways of collecting data unlike observations and case studies, which makes the data more reliable and realistic. In collection of primary data use of questionnaires and interviews help to make the research more significant [Saunders, M. Lewis, P. and Thornhill A. (2000), Research Methods for Business Students, 2nd Edition, England: Pearson Education]. In primary data collection the researcher has to interact with individuals or groups in order to obtain required data, which is not being collected before and is exclusive. [Quinton, S. and Smallbone, T. (2006), postgraduate research in business: a critical guide, London: Sage publications]

Collection And Design Of Questionnaires

Design of questionnaires should be precise and understandable. Before giving feedbacks everyone would like to know who you are (having contact numbers or address), what type of research you are doing and what will be the outcomes. The list of questions should appear clear and not very lengthy, try to make answerer not to work hard and except giving long answers they can carry on with simple ticks, or circles [].

[Brent, primary data collection methods, [online], Available at: http://brent.tvu.ac.uk/dissguide/hm1u3/hm1u3text3.htm].

According to Bryman: (2003: pp. 161, Bryman, A. and Bell. E. (2003), “Business research methods”, New York: Oxford University Press.), it is necessary to keep in mind that the questions which are being prepared for the research, should be asked in different ways, such as:

Personal questions, which include the private information from the participant like age, gender, etcetera (2003 pp. 161-164, Bryman, A. and Bell. E. (2003), “Business research methods”, New York: Oxford University Press). Factual question but this includes the information about others. Informer factual questions which includes the information other then private. Questions about what the respondent beliefs regarding certain aspects are. Question about attitudes are very common in asking for the research information (Bryman, 2003 pp. 161-164). Questions about topic mean that whether participant has the knowledge and experience regarding specific area or not (Bryman, 2003 pp. 161-164).

[Bryman, A. and Bell. E. (2003), “Business research methods”, New York: Oxford University Press]

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Primary Data Collection

It is also advantageous if data is being collected by the use of primary research. Keeping in view that it could only happen if the sample questionnaire is simple and relevant, and there is no replication or irrelevancy in questionnaires.

Disadvantages include the expensive procedure having time constraint. There is also a possibility of participants being bias when answering the questionnaire which may result in data being misinterpreted.

Secondary Data

Secondary data collection is a kind of research where there is no need for the researcher to be involved directly or physically with the live experiences. In this research the data is available in different forms such as printed material or electronic versions and contain all the past experiences, experienced by individuals or organizations. Comparatively secondary data collection is much easier and hassle free for the researcher who wants the research to be based on past experiences (Quinton, 2006: pp. 67-69). According to research compliance (no date) “ Data, documents, records, or specimens that have been collected, or will be collected solely for non-research purposes and are in existence prior to the beginning of the study”.

Resources Of Secondary Data

For the collection of secondary data research there are various indefinite resources through which information can be collected. The researcher must be using the data which is being collected prior to do the research and may be used for some other reasons before. The most commonly resources from which data could be collected are: newspapers, magazines, articles, journals (manuals and e journals both), financial reports and some internal organisational documents could be a part of secondary data.

Data Collection Techniques

Techniques tell us by what means the data will be collected. Following section shows the methods used by the researcher to collect data.

Multiple sources.( different societies)

Survey data (statistical census reports and governmental data)

Multiple Sources

While working on this dissertation the researcher had gone through some of the Vendor based white papers to have more clear idea of the technology, also gone through the Research papers provided by the various researchers.

Survey Data

Survey data means what so ever information or data being collected prior to the research from any specific resources, like literature or review being published could be used as a part of secondary data collection

Collection Of Secondary Data

While the data is gathered from secondary sources, it is not always possible to fulfill all the desired results, that a researcher is expecting as these information's can be published for some other purposes, but have some-what relevance to the work on which researcher is working, so these data's can benefit the researcher (Saunders et al. 2000: p. 200).

When gathering data from news papers, there is likelihood that news papers can have some printing mistakes, it is very rare that they publish some reports which might be proved wrong in future; even then news papers are and will always be a great resource of secondary data.

With web links, some of the websites are amendable by anyone, in that case the research can be affected because data is not authenticated (Saunders et al, 2000).

Advantages Of Secondary Data

There is no doubt that Secondary research is more advantageous as described by Ghauri et al: (1995) [] that, in search of solution of the research questions and aims, secondary data enables the researcher to gather existing data through various resources, in desired amount of money and time. Secondary data take less time in analysis and give more chance to think about synergy. Whereas, Steward and Kamins: (1993) [] argues that in comparison with primary data secondary data is the most quickest way of gathering knowledge, and seems to be the more viable alternative and is of high quality in nature and easier to measure.

[Ghauri et. al., (1995, citing in Saunders et al. 2000), research methods for business students, England: Pearson Education limited.]

[Karmins and Stewarts, (1993, Cited by Saunders et al. 2000), research methods for business students, England: Pearson Education limited.]

Disadvantages Of Secondary Data

According to Denscombe (1998), “there are some disadvantages of choosing the secondary based research, the data, which is being used, may be of old version and not reflect objectives and research questions.”

In other words this method can also be inappropriate because the data collected may have interpretations that are not exactly following the said topic aims.

Resources Used

Secondary based research is comprised on the data which is previously available via different acknowledged resources, therefore the researcher come across to different reliable resources in order to collect the relevant data such as:

  • Resources for e-journals Business Process Management Journal, Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management )
  • Emerald (articles)
  • Search Engines
  • Google advance search.
  • Google ( scholar search, online books and Literature)
  • Books.
  • Articles.
  • Magazines.
  • Professional in the field of Network Access Technology

[Saunders, M. Lewis, P. and Thornhill A. (2000), Research Methods for Business Students, 2nd Edition, England: Pearson Education]

[Denscombe (1998, Citing by Saunders et al. 2000), research methods for business students, England: Pearson Education limited.]

[Ghauri et. al., (1995, citing in Saunders et al. 2000), research methods for business students, England: Pearson Education limited.]

[Bryman, A. and Bell. E. (2003), “Business research methods”, New York: Oxford University Press]

[Brent, primary data collection methods, [online], Available at: http://brent.tvu.ac.uk/dissguide/hm1u3/hm1u3text3.htm].

[Quinton, S. and Smallbone, T. (2006), postgraduate research in business: a critical guide, London: Sage publications]

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