Quite frequently these days people talk of research, both in academic institutions and outside. Several research studies are undertaken and accomplished year after year. But in most cases very little attention is paid to an important dimension relating to research, namely, that of research methodology.
The result is that much of research, particularly in social sciences, contains endless word-spinning and too many quotations. Thus a great deal of research tends to be futile. It may be noted, in the context of planning and development, that the significance of research lies in its quality and not in quantity.
The need, therefore, is for those concerned with research to pay due attention to designing and adhering to the appropriate methodology throughout for improving the quality of research.The methodology may differ from problem to problem, yet the basic approach towards research remains the same. Keeping all this in view, the present book has been written with two clear objectives, viz.,
(i) to enable researchers, irrespective of their discipline, in developing the most appropriate methodology for their research studies;
(ii) to make them familiar with the art of using different research methods and techniques. It is hoped that the humble effort made in the form of this book will assist in the accomplishment of exploratory as well as result oriented research studies. Regarding the organization, the book consists of fourteen chapters, well arranged in a coherent manner.
Chapter One is an introduction, presenting an overview of the research methodology.
Chapter Two explains the technique of defining a research problem.
Chapter Three dwells on various research designs, highlighting their main characteristics.
Chapter Four presents the details of several sampling designs.
Chapter Five Different measurement and scaling techniques, along with multidimensional scaling, have been lucidly described in .
Chapter Six presents a comparative study of the different methods of data collection. It also provides in its appendices guidelines for successful interviewing as well as for constructing questionnaire/schedules.
Chapter Seven deals with processing and analysis of data.
Chapter Eight Sampling fundamentals, along with the theory of estimation, constitutes the subject-matter of Chapter Eight .
Chapter Nine has been exclusively devoted to several parametric tests of hypotheses, followed by
Chapter Ten concerning Chi-square test.
In Chapter Eleven important features of ANOVA and ANOCOVA techniques have been explained and illustrated. Chapter Twelve Important non-parametric tests, generally used by researchers have been described and illustrated in Chapter Twelve.
In Chapter Thirteen, an effort has been made to present the conceptual aspects and circumstances under which various multivariate techniques can appropriate be utilized in research studies, specially in behavioural and social sciences. Factor analysis has been dealt with in relatively more detail.
Chapter Fourteen has been devoted to the task of interpretation and the art of writing research reports.
The book is primarily intended to serve as a textbook for graduate and M.Phil. students of Research Methodology in all disciplines of various universities. It is hoped that the book shall provide guidelines to all interested in research studies of one sort or the other. The book is, in fact, an outgrowth of my experience of teaching the subject to M.Phil. students for the last several years.
I am highly indebted to my students and learned colleagues in the Department for providing the necessary stimulus for writing this book. I am grateful to all those persons whose writings and works have helped me in the preparation of this book.
I am equally grateful to the reviewer of the manuscript of this book who made extremely valuable suggestions and has thus contributed in enhancing the standard of the book. I thankfully acknowledge the assistance provided by the University Grants Commission in the form of ‘on account’ grant in the preparation of the manuscript of this book.
I shall feel amply rewarded if the book proves helpful in the development of genuine research studies. I look forward to suggestions from all readers, specially from experienced researchers and scholars for further improving the subject content as well as the presentation of this book.