Before embarking on the details of research methodology and techniques, it seems appropriate to present a brief overview of the research process. Research process consists of a series of p steps necessary to effectively carry out research and the desired sequencing of these steps.
PHASE I: DECIDING WHAT TO RESEARCH
Step I- Formulating a research problem
PHASE II: PLANNING A RESEARCH STUDY
Step II- Conceptualising a research design
Step III- Constructing an instrument for data collection
Step IV- Selecting a sample
Step V- Writing a research proposal
PHASE III: CONDUCTING A RESEARCH STUDY
Step VI- Collecting data
Step VII- Processing and displaying data
Step VIII- Writing a research report
This eight step model can be applied to our daily life too. Suppose you want to go out for a drive. Before you start, you must decide where you want to go and then which route to take. If you know the route, you do not need to consult a street directory, but, if you do not know the route, then you need to use one. Your problem is compounded if there is more than one route. You need to decide which one to take. The research process is very similar to undertaking a journey. As with your drive, for a research journey there are also two important decisions to make. The first is to decide what you want to find out about or, in other words, what research questions you want to find answers to. Having decided upon your research questions or research problems, you then need to decide how to go about finding their answers. The path to finding answers to your research questions constitutes research methodology. Just as there are posts along the way as you travel to your destination, there are practical steps through which you must pass in your research journey in order to find the answers to your research questions. The sequence of these steps is not fixed and with experience you can change it. At each operational step in the research process you are required to choose from a multiplicity of methods, procedures and models of research methodology which will help you best achieve your research objectives. This is where your knowledge base of research methodology plays a crucial role.
Here is a pictorial representation of the eight step model of the research process.
- Research Methodology-Methods and Techniques by C.R. Kothari, New Age International (P) Limited, Publishers, ISBN (13) : 978-81-224-2488-1
- Research Methodology- a step-by-step guide for beginners by Ranjit Kumar , SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd, ISBN 978-1-84920-300-5, ISBN 978-1-84920-301-2 (pbk)