CHAPTER 5 THE RESEARCH PROCESS - Coggle Diagram
THE RESEARCH PROCESS
This chapter deals with some conceptual (theoretical) foundations of research.
Research comprises a variety of important, non-empirical tasks, such as finding or constructing a precise problem, and developing perspectives or models to present the problem under scrutiny
Research is essentially an attempt to increase a body of knowledge through the discovery of new facts and relationships by a process of systematic enquiry.
Empirical research: involving a number of specific activities leading to the explanation of a research question and testing of associated hypotheses.
For example, ‘purchasing power’ is a concept. How can / should this be captured? Another example is the concept of ‘friendly’. How do we recognise that a person is/ has a characteristic of a friendly person?
ATTRIBUTES OF A GOOD RESEARCH TOPIC
Is the topic something with which you are really fascinated?
Do you have, of can you develop within the project time frame, the necessary research skills to undertake the topic?
Is the research topic achievable within the available time? Will the project still be current when you finish the project?
Is the research topic achievable within the financial resources that are likely to be available?
Are you reasonably certain of being able to gain access to data you are likely to require for this topic?
Appropriateness: Is it worth while?
Is the topic fit the specifications and meet the standards set by examining institution?
Does your research topic contain issues that have a clear link to theory?
Concepts are the building blocks of any theory or model
• Concepts are the foundation of communication. Without a set of agreed concepts, meaningful communication is impossible.
• Concepts introduce a perspective — a way of looking at the empirical world.
• Concepts are means of classification and generalisation.
• Concepts serve as components of theories (models) and thus of explanations and predictions.
Definitions that describe concepts by using other concepts are conceptual definitions.
Clarification and precision of concepts are achieved through definitions
An operational definition is a set of procedures tha describe the activities to be performed to establish empirically the existence or degree of existence of what is described by a concept.
CONCEPTUAL AND RESEARCH FRAMEWORK
Conceptual framework is usually used to simplify a complex relationship between two or more variables that occurs in this world, can be empirically tested and be proven right or wrong.
A research framework defines the categories of outputs that a research can produce. It also defines a set of different research activities.