A Methodology in Research is all about identifying and applying the Research Philosophy and relevant Research Design. Based on these aspects the selection of the right mode of Data Collection, Data Analysis Process, Tools, gets determined.
However, the question remains- How to write the methodology? Or How to identify the absolute way to write a relevant Research Methodology?
To gain answers to these kinds of confusions it is correct to follow a step-by-step procedure.
In Research Methods for Business Students of 2019, Saunders, Lewis, and Thornhill offered a very comprehensive model to determine your Research Methodology. This model is known as the Research Onion. As represented by an Onion, Saunders et al (2019) tried to make the researchers understand that to gain the ultimate goal of the research, it is necessary to peel off one cover after another. It is a systematic way of revealing the process of thoughts that a researcher undergoes as he or she decides to delve in. Following this research model, the entire process of Research Methodology can be well recognised.
Adapted from Saunders et al (2019)
It is evident that for the construction of the right methodology, there is the need to follow a step-by-step procedure. The core steps to be considered in this process are-
There are two main domains of philosophical understanding of a research method – ontological or epistemological.
The ontological philosophical approach is about the kinds of things that already exist in the social world, whereas epistemological philosophy strives to gain knowledge and provisions for knowing social realities.
The choice of your research methodology depends on what you are trying to do.
Consider your philosophy as per the identified research provision. The Research Philosophy of your research work can be either of-
Positivism is an epistemological proceeding, which follows a quantitative way of acquiring scientific knowledge based on the testing of determined hypotheses.
Critical Realism is an epistemological proceeding, which relies on a quantitative way of analysing sense data about external objects.
Interpretivism is an epistemological proceeding, which emphasizes the qualitative mode of analysing human interest for varied identification of new ideas and practices.
Postmodern philosophy can be either epistemological or ontological in its proceeding. It can follow binary oppositions to make the research move from known to unknown dimensions. It gets ontological when the investigation demands to understand a belief system.
Pragmatism – is an ontological proceeding, which confirms the coexistence of objectivism along with constructivism in research.
The Research Approach can be of three types-
Deductive approach flow from the generic mode of information to specific information.
Abductive approach begins with astonishing concerns which demand explanations.
Inductive approach moves from specific to generic kind of declarations.
The choice for Research Methodology can be initiated under either of the provisions-
Mono method quantitative
Mono method qualitative
Mixed method simple
Mixed method complex
There are –
Mono-method is for both quantitative and qualitative research approaches, which follow either of the approaches as per the need of the research philosophy and approach.
Multi-method is meant for both qualitative and quantitative approaches, yet the analysis follows any one perspective.
Mixed-method for both quantitative and qualitative research approaches, which follow interconnection between both the approaches. It can get either simple or complex.
The strategic development of a methodology can be developed through the scopes of considering-
Survey – This tool emerges from the deductive approach. It can collect huge data and can imply the same for statistical analysis.
Experiment – This tool is rigid and undergoes statistical test about the phenomena on a particular group.
Archival Research – This tool gains information from existing data as well as archival databases and documents.
Case study – This tool considers the study of a selected example, which is suitable for the entire categorical representation.
Ethnography – This tool studies people as per their natural surroundings.
Action research – This tool deals with determining concern set through a specific list of objectives.
Grounded Theory – This toll concentrates on creating theories from the research process.
Narrative inquiry – This tool collects information through storytelling.
The methodology in research needs to be specified as per the time horizon considered by the researcher. In this case, there can be –
Cross-sectional time horizon appears in a snapshot of a situation from a single point in time or a short duration of time.
Longitudinal time horizon studies series of events through concentrated samples, for a longer period.
There are two research analysis proceedings. These are-
Qualitative Analysis, where the researcher answers - ‘why,’ ‘what’ or ‘how.’ Tools like questionnaires, focus group discussion, interviews are used for understanding behavioural and psychological ideas of the subjects.
Quantitative Analysis, where the statistical analysis of the attained data is scrutinised through measurement scales like nominal scale, interval scale, ratio scale.
These two analytical approaches can be further extended as-
Text analysis where texts from various extracts create both structured as well as unstructured content.
Statistical Analysis follows several statistical calculations to quantify attained data.
Diagnostic Analysis offers in-depth realisations through Root Cause Analysis (RCA).
Predictive Analysis follows historical data and undergoes a machine-learning model for gaining critical patterns.
Prescriptive Analysis suggests different kinds of actions and proceedings through potential implications so that events can be predicted.
When you write a methodology, especially for research work, make sure that after the declarations related to the Data Analysis proceedings, you add the following subheadings-
While writing a Research Methodology, always make clear declarations about the kind of hurdles that you have faced while developing the research approach. This is important for clarifying the concerns that have restricted your research.
Follow all the rules of the Ethical Code of Conducts as set by the University, violation of any of these regulations can lead to the rejection of your Research paper.
Make logical declarations about the timeline progress and interim submission of the research paper. The timescale must be restricted to the timeline allotted by the University.
Following these systematic steps, you shall be able to write the most suitable research methodology for your thesis.