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CHAPTER 1- INTRODUCTION TO

RESEARCH
Overview of
Chapter 1
Definition of research
Characteristics of
research
Types of research

Basic
Applied

Approaches in research
Quantitative
Qualitative
Mixed method
Overview of research paradigm
Positivist
Social constructionist
Post-positivist
Pragmatism
Post-modernism
Critical theory

DEFINITION OF
RESEARCH

Research is a
systematic
process
undertaken by
a researcher to
find a solution
for a problem

Research is also a process of inquiry. It


entails the following steps:
1.

Posing a question

2.

Developing a procedure to answer that


question

3.

Following that procedure

WHAT IS RESEARCH?

Research = the process of finding solutions to a


problem after a thorough study and analysis
(Sekaran, 2006).

However,
Not all research is scientific

CHARACTERISTICS OF SCIENTIFIC
RESEARCH
Scientific research is the process of inquiry in
which we:
1.

Pose a question about the physical world

2.

Develop a set of procedures using the rational


process that if followed, would convincingly
answer that question

3.

Plan
to
make
observations

4.

Rationally interpret the empirical observation


to arrive at a conclusion.

appropriate

empirical

WHY PHD/DBA/MASTER THESIS SHOULD


BE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH?
Scientific research should have
characteristics:

8 main distinguishing

Purposiveness- start off with definite aim


Rigour- carefulness and the exact degree of exactitude in research
investigations
Testability- able to develop hypothesis and tested them
Replicability results are replicated or repeated ( study
conducted by other org but using same method)
Accuracy-how close the findings, based on sample, to reality
Objectivity conclusion based on results should be based on facts
derived from findings
Generalisability applicability of the research findings in one
organisational setting to other setting
Parsimony simplicity in explaining the phenomena or problems
( lesser variables but capable of explaining the variance in
dependent variable efficiently)

Is research always problem-solving based?

What problem we are looking at?


~a business related problem, social related problem,
psychological related problem

WHAT IS RESEARCH?
Deduction

Induction

DEDUCTION
Is

the process by which the researcher


begins with theoretical proposition and
then moves towards concrete empirical
evidence.

Collect and
analyze data
Formulate
Hypotheses
Develop
Theory

Accept /
reject
Hypotheses

INDUCTION
Is

the process by which we observe


certain phenomena and arrive at
certain conclusion.
Formulate
Relationships
Analyze patterns
and theme
Observe
Phenomena

Develop Theory

TYPE OF RESEARCH

Basic research
The objective is to generate knowledge of certain
phenomenon and problems that occur in
organisation with a view to find solution and to
build theories based on the research results
Eg: Finding different application of energy,
Improve effectiveness of information system

TYPE OF RESEARCH

Applied research
To solve a particular problem faced by a particular
organization.
It is carried out for the purpose of solving a particular reallife problem or for guiding a specific decision about a
particular course of action or policy.

Examples:
Proton wants to know why Perodua is gaining market share in
Malaysia.

BASIC VS APPLIED RESEARCH


To differentiate applied research and basic
research Sekaran (2006) states,
Research done with the intention of applying the
result of the finding to solve specific problem
currently being experienced in the organization is
called applied research. Research done mainly to
enhance the understanding of certain problem that
commonly occur in organization setting, and seek
method of solving them is called basic or
pure research. (p.8)

FOR PHD/DBA/MASTER
Write briefly (max 1 page) about your
intended study. Please include background of
the study, problem or issue that your study
would like to solve and the objective of the
study that your study could answer

APPROACHES OF THE RESEARCH

APPROACHES IN
RESEARCH

Qualitative

exploring and understanding the


meaning individuals or groups
ascribe to a social or human
problem
Research process involve inductive
style, uses emerging questions and
procedures, collected data in
participant setting
Researcher making interpretation
of the meaning of data

APPROACHES OF THE RESEARCH


Quantitative
-testing objective theories by examining the
relationships among variable
-variables can be measured using instrument
-numbered data can be analysed using statistical
procedures

APPROACHES OF THE RESEARCH

Mixed method
Is an approach that combines both qualitative
and quantitative forms.
The use of both approaches are complementing
each other
Three Basic Mixed-Method Design

1. Convergent
2. Explanatory
3. Exploratory

1.

2.

3.

WHAT DIFFERENCE?
QUAN

MIXED

QUAL

FOR YOUR MASTER@PHD, HOW


DO YOU IDENTIFY WHICH
APPROACH IS APPROPRIATE?

MOST QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH TEXTS


IDENTIFY THREE PRIMARY TYPES OF RESEARCH

DESIGN:

Exploratory
Descriptive

Explanatory

loratory

Exp

Generally used to clarify THOUGTS and OPINIONS


about research problem or provide insight on how to do
more conclusive research.
Research on a concept, people, or situation that the
researcher knows little about.
Often, the researcher is new to a problem either because
the product is new or the researcher is studying if for
the first time.
It may be used to stimulate ideas about something or
suggest modifications to existing through a freewheeling
discussion.
Example GST / Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Note : 1. Exploratory research involves qualitative studies (sueveys,


focus group, observation, interviews, and content analysis (analysis of
selected cases))
2. In such cases, the first few studies tend to be exploratory in nature
(Kumar, Talib, Ramayah (2013).

Descriptive

Research on a concept, people, or situation that the


researcher knows something about, but just wants to
describe what he/she has found or observed.
It can be (1) Longitudinal or (2) Cross-sectional

Longitudinal generally takes the form of sample of


respondents who are studies over a period of time.
Cross-sectional one-shot research study at a given point
of time and consists of a sample (cross-section) of the
population.

Descriptive studies most often involve quantitative research


techniques or a combination of qualitative and quantitative
method.
Example you may wish to identify the proportion of
respondents in different age categories, salary level, educational
level, etc.

Explanatory

Involves testing a hypothesis and deriving that


hypothesis from available theories.
Research involves quantitative studies and hypothesis
testing.
Example you may wish to find the strength of the
relationship between A and B (motivation to study and
factors such study fees or chances to get promotion.

FOR YOUR STUDY , HOW DO YOU


IDENTIFY WHICH APPROACH IS
APPROPRIATE?

WHEN RESEARCHERS TALK ABOUT


DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO
RESEARCH, THEY TALK ABOUT
PARADIGMS.

RESEARCH
PARAGIGM

A paradigm is a worldview or a set of


assumptions about how things work / a
way of thinking about the world.
Rossman & Rollis define paradigm as
shared understandings of reality
Quantitative and qualitative research
methods involve very different
assumptions about how research
should be conducted and the role of the
researcher.

EXERCISE FOR TODAY:


In groups, choose an object with which
you and your group members are familiar
(for example, a can of Pepsi). Hand the
object to one person and ask her to
describe it in any way she chooses.
Continue this process with four or five
people until you run out of things to say.
Having heard others descriptions, in
what way do you see the object
differently? How have individual
descriptions changed?

Overview Research Paradigm

Paradigm is an interpretative framework, which is guided by


"a set of beliefs and feelings about the world and how it
should be understood and studied." (Guba, 1990).
Denzin and Lincoln (2001) listed three categories of those
beliefs:
1. Epistemology: what is the relationship between the
inquirer and the known: "epistemology is the branch of
philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge and the
process by which knowledge is acquired and validated"
(Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996).Also known as study of
knowledge
2. Ontology: what kind of being is the human being.
Ontology deals with the question of what is real.
3. Methodology/ (Axiology): how do we know the world, or
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gain knowledge of it? role of ethics in methodology

WHAT IS EPISTEMOLOGY

Is the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge and


how it is attained.
The study of our method of acquiring knowledge.\ or the
study of knowledge.
The explanation of how we think.
It answers the question, "How do we know?"
It encompasses the nature of concepts, the constructing of
concepts, the validity of the senses, logical reasoning, as well
as thoughts, ideas, memories, emotions, and all things
mental.
It is concerned with how our minds are related to reality,
and whether these relationships are valid or invalid.
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IMPORTANCE OF EPISTEMOLOGY
To determine the true from the false by
determining a proper method of evaluation.
It attempt to answer the basic question of what
distinguishes true (adequate) knowledge from
false (inadequate) knowledge

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KNOWLEDGE ??
Is familiarity with someone or something, which include:
1. Information
2. Facts
3. Descriptions
4. Skills

Can be theoretical or practical understanding of a


subject.
a. Implicit knowledge - as with practical skill or
expertise
b. Explicit knowledge as with the theoritical
understanding of a subject.
Plato defined knowledge as JUSTIFIED TRUE
BELIEF
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SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE
1.

Agreement
Somebody told it to you and you believed
what you were told. It can be direct from
the person concerned or indirectly from
one person to another (tradition) or from
secondary source such as newspaper and
T.V (authority).
Example:
Youre read in the newspaper that traffic
jam in Kuala Lumpur is terrible, it
creates unnecessary stress: (and you
agree with report)

2.

Experiential
Some of the knowledge that you possesses
were the result of personal experience
and discovery.
Example:
Your personal experience shows that
whenever you are under stress the
quality and productivity of your work is
adversely affected.

3.

Deductive Reasoning/ Logic


Knowledge discovered through the
process of deducing a general statement
to a specific assertion.
Example:
From the following two general
statements:

Traffic Jam in Kuala Lumpur creates stress


Stress adversely affecting quality and
productivity

We can deduce that

Traffic jam adversely affecting quality and


productivity

4.

Inductive Reasoning/ Logic


Knowledge discovered through the process of
establishing a general proposition on the basis
of observation of particular facts.

The four sources of knowledge might not be valid and


reliable. This might be due to a number of issues
related to errors in personal human inquiry. There are:
a)
Inaccurate Observation
b)
Overgeneralization and Made-up Information
c)
Selective observation
d)
Illogical Reasoning
e)
Ego- Involvement in Understanding
f)
The Premature closure of Inquiry
To overcome the danger posed by the usage of the four
sources of information, researchers are advice to go for
Scientific Research Method in discovering knowledge.

CONTRIBUTION TO KNOWLEDGE
1. Development of New Theory

2. To Expand the Current Theory

To add new variables to the theory


To confirm or clarify an existing theory - for a
new context or disconfirm some aspect of the
theory.
To clarify contradictory findings

3. To Modify or Improve on the Research


Methodology

4. To Provide Empirical Evidences on Anecdotal Facts

The process must be scientific


*We can only do this if we are familiar with the literature related to43

the theory

WHAT IS AN ONTOLOGY

Ontology is the study or concern about what kinds of


things exist.
Ontology comes from the Greek words onto which
means something that exists, and logos which means
logical knowledge.
Definition: An ontology may take a variety of forms, but
necessarily it will include a vocabulary of terms, and
some specification of their meaning. This includes
definitions and an indication of how concepts are interrelated which collectively impose a structure on the
domain and constrain the possible interpretations of
terms
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EPISTEMOLOGY, ONTOLOGY AND


METHODOLOGY

Epistemology: To do with our beliefs about how


one might discover knowledge about the world
Ontology: To do with our assumptions about how
the world is made up and the nature of things
Methodology: To do with the tools and
techniques of research

Relationship of the three: Epistemological and


ontological positions should have some bearing
on the methods that you select for your research

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RESEARCH PARADIGM: SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT


Empiricism

the theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience


proclaims that experiments and observation are the main
instruments for the acquisition of knowledge

Positivism

Exploring social reality based on philosophical ideas with the


emphasis of observation and reason as means of understanding human
behaviour. Scientific methods are used as a means of knowledge
generation.

Anti-positivism (also known as interpretivism or interpretive sociology)

Social reality is viewed and interpreted by the individual according to his


or her ideological positions. Therefore, knowledge is of persons
experience rather than acquired from or imposed from outside. Reality is
multi-layered and complex and a single phenomenon is having multiple
interpretations.

Critical Theory

Exploring an existing phenomena to develop theory

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Post positivist
Reflect a deterministic philosophy about research in which causes
probably determine effects or ouicome
Reflect issue such as identfying and assessing the causes that
influence the outcomes as found in experiments
post-positivism is often used to describe an approach to research
where large amounts of qualitative data are categorized to produce
quantitative data to be analyzed using statistical methods
Pragmatism
Worldview arises out of actions, situations, and consequences rather
than antecedent condition such as in postpositivism
Social constructionist
Assumption that individual seeks understanding of the world in
which they live and work
Individuals develop their own experiences, meaning directed toward
certain object

Post modernism

claim that we can never really know such truth because, in


studying and reporting of others truths, the researcher stamps
her or his own truth on the investigation.
It brings to our attention the very important concept of
representation (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005) which holds that what
goes on in our minds and hearts is not directly accessible to the
world outside us.
There is no window in our heads that allows another person to
look directly into our minds and see exactly what we mean; the
best we can do is represent our thoughts and feelings through
various means of communication (e.g., language, art, dance,
gesture).

SELECTION OF RESEARCH PARADIGM


AND RESEARCH

Dr Salmiah Mohamad Amin FPPSM, UTM

Research paradigm: Positivism


Research Approach: Quantitative
Research Methods: Survey, longitudinal, crosssectional, correlation, experiments
Examples: Attitude of foreign students towards
UTM registration system, Relationship between
students financial position and their academic
performance, Effect of emotional intelligence on
learning effectiveness.

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SELECTION OF RESEARCH PARADIGM


AND RESEARCH METHODS (2)

Dr Salmiah Mohamad Amin FPPSM, UTM

Research paradigm: Anti positivism


Research Approach: Qualitative
Research methods: Biographical,
phenomenological, ethnological, case-study
Examples: A study of autobiography of Ibn
Khaldun or Ahmad Nejad or Zia ul-Haq, A study
of effective management among female
managers, A case-study of UTM distance
learning programme.

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SELECTION OF RESEARCH PARADIGM


AND RESEARCH METHODS (3)
Research paradigm: Critical Theory
Research Approach: Critical and Action-oriented
Research methods: ideology critique and action
research
Examples: A study of industrial development in
Malaysia during the Mahathirs time; A study
class absenteeism among Muslim students
during the month of Ramadan.

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