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Research Methodology - Introduction

Importance and Characteristics Of Research Design

   Posted On :  20.05.2018 09:42 pm

The need for a research design arises out of the fact that it facilitates the smooth conduct of the various stages of research.

Importance Of Research Design

The need for a research design arises out of the fact that it facilitates the smooth conduct of the various stages of research. It contributes to making research as efficient as possible, thus yielding the maximum information with minimum effort, time and expenditure. A research design helps to plan in advance, the methods to be employed for collecting the relevant data and the techniques to be adopted for their analysis. This would help in pursuing the objectives of the research in the best possible manner, provided the available staff, time and money are given. Hence, the research design should be prepared with utmost care, so as to avoid any error that may disturb the entire project. Thus, research design plays a crucial role in attaining the reliability of the results obtained, which forms the strong foundation of the entire process of the research work.
Despite its significance, the purpose of a well-planned design is not realized at times. This is because it is not given the importance that it deserves. As a consequence, many researchers are not able to achieve the purpose for which the research designs are formulated, due to which they end up arriving at misleading conclusions. Therefore, faulty designing of the research project tends to render the research exercise meaningless. This makes it imperative that an efficient and suitable research design must be planned before commencing the process of research. The research design helps the researcher to organize his/her ideas in a proper form, which in turn facilitates him/her to identify the inadequacies and faults in them. The research design is also discussed with other experts for their comments and critical evaluation, without which it would be difficult for any critic to provide a comprehensive review and comments on the proposed study.

Characteristics Of A Good Research Design

A good research design often possesses the qualities of being flexible, suitable, efficient, economical and so on. Generally, a research design which minimizes bias and maximizes the reliability of the data collected and analysed is considered a good design (Kothari 1988). A research design which does not allow even the smallest experimental error is said to be the best design for investigation. Further, a research design that yields maximum information and provides an opportunity of viewing the various dimensions of a research problem is considered to be the most appropriate and efficient design. Thus, the question of a good design relates to the purpose or objective and nature of the research problem studied. While a research design may be good, it may not be equally suitable to all studies. In other words, it may be lacking in one aspect or the other in the case of some other research problems. Therefore, no single research design can be applied to all types of research problems.

A research design suitable for a specific research problem would usually involve the following considerations:

1. The methods of gathering the information;

2. The skills and availability of the researcher and his/her staff, if any;

3. The objectives of the research problem being studied;

4. The nature of the research problem being studied; and  

5. The available monetary support and duration of time for the research work.

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