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MBA206 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY SYLLABUS Unit 1: Fundamentals Of Research Introduction, Concept of Research, Research Process, Creativity in Research, Ethics

in Research, Managers and Research Unit 2: Research Problem Introduction, Concept of research Problem, Conditions and Components of Research Problem, Summary, Unit 4: Sampling Introduction, Concept of Sampling, Sampling Errors, Non- Sampling Errors, Methods of Sampling, Summary Unit 5: Measurement And Scaling Techniques Introduction, Concept of Measurement, Concept of Scaling, Types of Scale, Summary Unit 6: Methods Of Data Collection Introduction, Concept of Data Collection, Types of Data, Methods of Primary Data Collection, Some other, Methods of Primary Data Collection, Methods of Secondary Data Collection, Selecting an Appropriate Method of Data Collection, Summary

Unit 1 Fundamentals of Research


1.1 Introduction: In simple terms, research can be defined as the meticulous and methodical investigation into a specific area. It has significant importance in various fields, such as business, economics, and politics. Research is conducted to serve a diverse range of purposes, such as enhancing the knowledge of the researcher, developing theories, and revising facts. In addition, it helps in identifying the root cause of a problem and devising innovative ways to solve it. For example, if an organization is incurring losses, it may be because of several factors, such as reduction in demand, inefficient employees, lack of coordination among different departments, absence of effective management, substandard quality of products, ineffective marketing strategies, and selection of wrong market. Since, the organization cannot focus on all these areas; therefore, it needs to find out the real cause of the losses. In such a situation, it needs to conduct research to find the root cause of the problem so that it can design and formulate the most feasible and appropriate solution. A research study starts by first defining the research problem, which should be stated in a clear and concise way. Secondly, the source of information is identified, which should be authentic and accessible. Thirdly, the layout of the research is designed, which gives direction to the research study. Next, the data is collected and organized so that the researcher can easily analyze it. Based on the analyses of data, the research report is prepared, which includes the conclusions and solutions of the research problem. As a management student, the knowledge of basics of research helps you to critically analyze various business-related problems from multiple dimensions. This would further help you in enhancing and developing your analytical thinking ability. The chapter begins by explaining the concept of research in depth. Further, it deals with various types of research, such as basic versus applied, descriptive versus analytical, conceptual versus empirical, and qualitative versus quantitative. The chapter also provides you an opportunity to explore the concept of motivational research and its various techniques, including observation, in depth interviews, and focus group. In addition, it sheds light on research approach and significance of research. The chapter also helps you in knowing some other concepts related to research, such as applications of research in various fields of management, characteristics of good research, and problem encountered by the researcher. Next, you learn about the di(Terence between research method and research methodology. Further, the research process is discussed and mentioned in brief. In addition, the chapter provides information about role of creativity and ethics in research. Towards the end, you learn about the importance of research for the managers to address various organizational concerns. Objectives: Define research Describe the types of research Develop an understanding of research process Explain different research approaches Describe ethical norms required in research Elaborate the significance of research

Explain major problems faced by researcher Comprehend the difference between research method research methodology Define and describe the importance of focus groups 1.2 Concepts of Research: In simple terms, research means a search for knowledge. It is a systematic inquiry of facts, which have already been established. Various authors have expressed their views about research in different ways. Some of the views can be discussed as follows; Redman and Mory define research as systematized effort to gain new knowledge. Clifford Woody says Research comprises of defining and redefining problems. Formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions, making deductions and reaching conclusions, and at last carefully testing the conclusions to determine whether they are fit and formulating hypothesis For some authors, research is a movement from known to unknown. D Slesinger and M. Stephenson define research as The manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to extend, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in construction of theory or in the practice of art. Thus, it can be said that concept of research is wide enough and includes various meanings under its ambit. Simply stating, it is the process of collecting relevant information about any topic. The main objective of doing a research is to explore answers to questions in a scientific manner. At a broader level, the objectives of research can be grouped and listed as follows: Knowing a phenomenon or exploring something new. This is known as exploratory research. Describing the characteristics of a specific individual, situation, or group. This is known as descriptive research. Determining the frequency with which an event occurs. This is known as diagnostic research. Testing relationship between variables; this is known as hypothesis-testing research. Apart from aforesaid common objectives, various research studies can have different objectives according to their own specific nature. For example, a research in marketing may concentrate on various factors, such as: Product development Cost reduction Inventory control New product launching Profitability improvement

Likewise, a research in human resource development aims at developing new tools, concepts, or theories, which may help in the betterment of human resource in an organization. 1.2.1 Research as a Scientific Method: Good research generates trustworthy data that can be used to draw functional solutions. In contrast, poor research is carelessly planned and conducted; therefore, its conclusions cannot be used for decision-making. Good research follows the principles of the scientific method as shown in Figure 1.1

Fig. 1.1 Characteristics of Scientific Research

Following points briefly describe the characteristics of scientific research: Clearly Defined Purpose: Implies that the problem involved in the research should be clearly defined. This characteristic is equivalent to developing a strategic plan for achieving an objective. Detailed Research Process: Implies that the research procedures, used in research study, should be explained in sufficient detail. It helps other researchers to repeat the research, if required. Planned Research Design: Implies that the procedural design of the research should be cautiously planned to yield the desired results. Clearly Defined Limitations: Imply that flaws in research design and research procedure should be clearly stated by the, researcher. The researcher should also estimate the effect of shows the findings of research study. A skilled researcher should be aware of the effects of imperfect design. Provide Opportunity to Analyze: Implies that data generated in research should be extensive enough so that the researcher can analyze it effectively. Unambiguous Presentations of Findings: Implies that the conclusions and solutions provided in the research should be accurate, easily understandable, and well organized so that the decision maker can readily use them. Justified Conclusion: Implies that the conclusions of research should provide adequate basis of its trustworthiness. The conclusion should be justified and reliable so that it can be used in other research studies, if required.

1.2.2 Types of Research: There can be different research types according to different criteria, such as the purpose, method, availability of time and other resources, type of analysis, scope, and statistical content. A broad classification of different research types is shown in Fig. 1.2.
Basic versus Applied

Qua litative versus Qua ntitative Types o f Research

Descriptive versus Ana lytica l

Other Types of Research

Co nceptual versus Empirica l

Fig. 1.2 Types of Research

The discussion about types of research is as follows. Basic versus Applied Research: Basic research, also known as pure or fundamental research, is done to expand the knowledge of the researcher. Generally, there is no intention to discover or create something new behind this type of research. In most of the cases, the findings of basic research do not carry any commercial value. This happens because the fundamental aim of basic research is to satisfy curiosity of the researcher or expand his/her knowledge. Suppose, a person is interested in knowing about the universe and he/she starts a research study on this topic. The main aim of such a research study would not be to commercialize the research findings but to enhance the knowledge of researcher. However, this does not rule out the importance of basic research. Basic research is useful in developing new scientific ideas and various ways of thinking. Some examples of basic research can be mentioned as follows: Research concerning natural phenomenon, such as big bang theory and climate change Investigations related to basic science Research related to human behavior Applied research aims to solve practical problems of the world. In comparison to basic research, which aims to expand knowledge, applied research aims to provide solutions (conclusions) of problems concerning society or business. Applied research may explore ways to; Treat a disease Improve agricultural productivity Curb or reduce carbon emissions Improve energy efficiency Reduce inflation

Descriptive versus Analytical Research: Descriptive research, also known as statistical research, aims to describe the characteristics of a phenomenon. In descriptive research, the researcher only describes the phenomenon and does not assess or analyze it. For example, if a researcher wishes to explain the inflation rate in India in past 20 years; then he/she only describes the inflation rate and does not take into consideration its positive and negative effect on the country. Analytical research is one step ahead of descriptive research as analytical research aims to analyze data to make critical evaluations. In the preceding example of inflation, while descriptive research just stated the inflation rates of 20 years, an analytical study would thoroughly analyze the data to reach to some conclusion. Data can be analyzed in different ways. It may compare inflation rates of different years, give reasons of high/low inflation, or forecast inflation in future. Conceptual versus Empirical Research: Conceptual research aims to explore new concepts or ideas (theories) and upgrade or redefine the existing concepts. It is more concerned with idea only and commonly used by philosophers and thinkers. On the other hand, empirical research is a method to gain knowledge by experience or observation. In this research, a researcher investigates an established theory on the basis of pre-defined hypothesis. After investigating the theory, the researcher draws some conclusions or predictions. These predictions are then verified with a suitable experiment. On the basis of outcomes of experiment, the theory on which the predictions are based is supported or rejected. Let us understand the concept of empirical research with the help of an example. Suppose the topic of observation is as follows: Does listening to music during learning sometimes cause a long-term effect on learning? Now assume that the hypothesis for this topic is as follows: Music negatively affects learning. On the basis of this hypothesis, a researcher draws some predictions, such as people who listen to music will not learn very effectively. After that, the researcher would conduct suitable experiment to test the prediction. On the basis of .result of experiment, the topic of observation would be supported or rejected. For example, if the researcher finds out that the people do not learn effectively when they listen to music, then the topic of observation would be supported; otherwise, it is rejected. Qualitative versus Quantitative Research: Quantitative research aims to study the phenomenon that is expressed in terms of quantity. Some - examples of quantitative research are as follows: A research study that aims to show the percentage of all components of earths atmosphere A research study that shows that the average rainfall in the month of June in Delhi is more than that of July Qualitative research is concerned with deeper understanding of a phenomenon. For example, if the researcher wants to know the cause of deteriorating respect towards elders, he/she would have to deeply look at different aspects, such as changing lifestyle, increasing stress among youth, and attitude of people towards nuclear family. Qualitative research tries to find out why and how rather then what, when, and whereof a phenomenon.

Some Other Types of Research: In addition to the types of research mentioned in the preceding section, there are some other types of research. Following points explain these types of research: One-Time Research: Refers to the type of research that is carried over a single time period. Longitudinal Research: Refers to the type of research that requires more time Laboratory Research: Refers to the research that is done in laboratory. This is also known as simulation research. Scientific research is an example of laboratory research. Field setting Research: Refers to a research that cannot be done in a laboratory. The research on topics of economics, such as demand, supply, product, and price is an example of field research. Historical Research: Refers to the research in which the researcher either takes the help of historical sources to conduct fresh research or studies the past events. For example, research on the outcome of revolt of 1857 may be considered as historical research. 3 Motivational Research: Motivational research is a type of qualitative research, which aims to study various methods that help in enhancing motivation of people. It is frequently applied to study consumer behavior in the market; therefore, it is also called a variant of market research. It assumes that besides known motives, such as trend, economic variables, and cultural and regional beliefs, there are some unconscious/unknown motives that affect consumer behavior in the market. Thus, by studying all known and unknown motives, this research aims to solve the problems of consumer behavior. There are three techniques to conduct motivational research, as shown in Fig. 1.3
Motivational Research Techniques

Observation

Depth Interviews

Focus Group

Fig. 1.3 Motivational Research Techniques

Let us discuss each separately in the next section. Observation: Observation is a fruitful method of obtain information about human behavior. Systematic observation can provide insightful information about human behavior. Similarly, it can also bring equally efficient results about consumer behavior. Observation can be made through a camera or by a person. Generally, observation by cameras is preferred because it is less interfering and less expensive as compared to personal observation. Personal observation is frequency used in market research to detect usage patterns. In Depth Interviews: In depth interview refers to a lengthy (1 to 2 hours), personal, and one-to-one interview conducted by a researcher. Success and efficiency of in depth interviews largely depend on skills, efficiency, and insight of the researcher. In the in depth interviews, the researcher tries to build a good rapport and understanding with each respondent. The researcher tries to create a supportive environment so that the respondents feel free to express their views. In the in depth interview, the researcher conveys the feeling that views of respondents are important for the research.

Focus Group: The term focus group, was coined by Ernest Ditcher, an eminent psychologist and marketing expert. Focus group is a form of qualitative research, which is based on communication between research participants to generate data. The focus group method of data generation seems to be similar to group interviews. However, focus group lays more emphasis on informal group interaction; whereas, in interview, formal interaction takes place between the interviewer and the respondent. In focus group, the researcher does not ask questions explicitly, instead people in the group are encouraged to talk to each other, ask questions from each other, generate different views about the topic, and comment and add upon others views and experiences. There are various types of focus groups. Some of the important types of focus groups are mentioned as follows: Two-way focus group: Refers to the type of focus group in which one focus group observes and discusses the interaction of the other focus group. Dual moderator focus group: Refers to the focus group, which includes two moderators. One moderator ensures smooth discussion while the other ensures that all topics are covered. Dueling moderator focus group; Refers to the group, which is similar to dual moderator focus group, except the difference that two moderators intentionally take opposite sides on the topic of discussion. Respondent moderator focus group: Refers to the focus group in which one of the respondents acts as a moderator temporarily. Client participant focus group: Refers to the focus group in which client representatives take part in the discussion. Mini focus group: Refers to a small group composed of 3 to 4 members instead of 6 to 12. Teleconference focus group: Refers to the group in which members are not physically present together. The members interact with each other through a telephone network. Online focus group: Refers to the group in which members are connected via the Internet. Benefits of focus groups can be mentioned as follows: Helps in generating new ideas, which are difficult to obtain by other means Refers to an efficient way of discussing any topic or acquiring feedback or spreading any idea Helps in marketing research where customer feedback is required on any new product Helps the government in acquiring feedback of people on its various plans and policies The disadvantages of focus group are as follows: Reduces the control of the researcher over the group Finds it difficult to analyze the conclusions drawn in a focus group as the communication takes place in an informal way Lacks anonymity that may stop participants to freely express their

Characteristics of Good Research: Irrespective of type of research, there are some common characteristics found in all types of research. Some of the characteristics of a good research study are mentioned as follows: Systematic: Refers to the fact that the research should be properly structured. This characteristic rules out the role of intuition and guess in research. However, at the same time, it does not rule out the role of creative thinking in research. Logical: Means that research should be guided by lucid and logical reasoning. Basically, logical reasoning is of two types: induction and deduction. Induction is the process of moving from specific to universal; whereas, deduction is the process of moving from universal to specific. The use of logical reasoning makes the research more meaningful. Empirical: Indicates that the research should be based on real situations rather than abstract concepts or ideas. Clear Purpose: Implies that the objectives of research should be clearly defined. Elaboration: Implies that the research procedure should be explained and detailed properly. Elaboration is required to maintain continuity, if another researcher takes the same topic for further advancement. Efficient Analysis: Implies that the data gathered in the research should be properly analyzed by using a suitable method. 1.2.8 Problems Encountered by Researcher: Researchers, particularly in India, face several problems. Fig. 1.6 exhibits some of the problems:
Reluctance in Supplyin g Data by Business Units

Lock o f Resources

Lack of Tra inin g

Problem s Encoun tered by Researcher

Lack of Assistance

Improper Interaction

Lack of Co de of Co ndu ct

Fig. 1.6 Major Problems Faced by Researchers

Following points explain these problems: Lack of Training: Creates problems in getting efficient researchers for research projects. In India, many researchers are not very efficient in methods of doing research. Consequently, most of the research studies are not methodologically sound. These studies are often lack creativity and originality. Improper Interaction: Refers to insufficient or improper interaction between the researcher and the data providers. A big chunk of primary data is possessed by universities and government departments. If the researcher cannot interact with them, then he/she would not get the required data for research. Efforts should be made to improve interactions

between academicians and practitioners by various means so that academicians get topics of research by practitioners and practitioners put in application the research done by academicians. Lack of Code of Conduct: Implies that there is no specific code of conduct for researchers. It sometimes leads to differences of opinion among different departments involved in a research on a particular topic. This problem can be overcome by developing proper code of conduct and guidelines for researchers. Lack of Assistance: Refers to difficulty of time, finance, proper guidance, and assistance. It leads to unnecessary delays in completion of research studies. This difficulty can be lessened by providing sufficient and timely secretarial assistance to researchers. Lack of Resources: Refers to deficiency of resources, which waste a lot of energy and efforts of researchers. At many places, functioning of library is not satisfactory and researchers have to spend a lot of their precious time in tracking out books, journals, and reports. In many libraries, especially which are away from Delhi and other state capitals, copies of old acts/rules, reports and other government journals, and publications are not available. This creates a big obstacle in the research work. Reluctance in Supplying Data by Business units: Implies that business units are sometimes reluctant to supply data to researchers for fear of data-misuse. This is the reason that most of the business units follow the concept of secrecy. This is a barrier in working out research in a smooth way. There is need to enhance confidence that information supplied by business units would not be misused. 3 Research Process: Process is the act of doing something effectively through a recognized set of procedures. Research process consists of series of actions required to carry out research efficiently. Every research requires a pre-determined process for the following reasons: Achieving desired results from the research: Most of research studies are done with a specific objective, which can be fulfilled by following a well-defined procedure. Completing research study in time: Without a well-defined process, researchers may not be able to complete their research on time. Conducting research in an efficient and effective way: A pre-determined process ensures efficiency in the research study. Research process consists of a series of steps, which are shown in Fig. 1.7:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Defining Resea rch Problem Reviewin g Litera ture Form ulatin g Hypoth esis Design ing Research Collectin g Data Ana lyzin g Data Preparing Reports

Fig. 1.7 Steps in the Research Process

Figure 1.7 indicates closely related steps of research process. It is not strictly necessary to follow these steps in order. However, this order provides a useful guideline to the researcher. These steps are discussed as follows:

1. Defining Research Problem: Refers to identifying a problem whose solution can be found through research. In simple words, research problem means area or topic on which the researcher wants to research. Generally, it is a situation that causes the researcher to feel confused and doubtful. Efforts to solve doubts and confusions give rise to research. Essentially two steps are involved in defining a research problem: Understanding the problem correctly Rephrasing the problem into meaningful terms 2. Reviewing Literature: Refers to a way of developing a proper understanding of the research problem. Generally, a researcher may review two types of literature that is conceptual literature, which consists of concepts and theories and empirical literature, which consists of empirical studies done earlier on a same or similar topic. It is very important for a researcher to review literature properly to: Generate and refine research ideas Enhance subject knowledge Clarify research questions Highlight research possibilities that have been ignored or overlooked Avoid simple repetitive work, which has been done earlier Discover and provide an insight into research approaches, strategies, and techniques 3. Formulating Hypotheses: Refers to a tentative assumption made by the researcher to speculate the outcome of research. It provides the focal point for the research and helps the researcher to be on the right track. 4. Designing Research: Refers to the next stage in the research process after defining problem, reviewing literature properly, formulating research problem in a meaningful context, and working out research hypotheses. 5. Collecting Data: Refers to gathering data, which is imperative for any research study. There are mainly two types of data: primary data and secondary data. Primary data can be collected by experiment or survey. In case of surveys, data can be collected through: Observation Personal interview Telephonic interviews Questionnaires Schedules Secondary data refers to that data which is already collected by some other researcher. Biographies, diaries, records, and published material are examples of secondary data. Accurate and appropriate data is mandatory for successful completion of a research study. 6. Analyzing Data: Refers to an act of transforming and refining data to highlight useful information. There are various statistical methods to analyze data, such as tabulation, bar diagrams, and pie charts. Statistical theories, such as correlation, regression, and time series are also used for data analysis. After analyzing the data, the researcher is in a position to test the hypotheses formulated in step three. The researcher can check the validity of the hypotheses by using several statistical tests, such as Chi square test, T-test, and F-test. 7. Preparing Reports: Refers to the last stage of research process. Finally, a report is prepared by the researcher in which he/she shows the complete work done by him/her. Report writing should be done with great care by keeping in view the proper layout of report. The main text of report should consist of:

Introduction Summary of whatever researcher has found Main report Conclusion At the end, in respect of technical data, appendices should be given. In addition, die research report should contain a bibliography, which is a list of literary material consulted by the researcher. Ethics in Research: Ethics is a branch of Philosophy, which distinguishes between right and wrong. The major question dealt in ethics is when an action is right and when an action is wrong. Though many people get sense of right and wrong in childhood ethical development is a long-term process, which continues throughout life. Some argue that ethics is mere commonsense. If it is only commonsense, why there are so many ethical disputes in day-to-day life? One explanation to this disagreement may be that the ethical norms vary according to individuals. Different people may interpret ethical norms in different ways. For example, being an honest is a basic ethical norm. However, some people do not consider it worth following. For them, being honest is a sign of cowardice. Accepting any wrong may be sign of bravery for one person and weakness for the other person. There are many reasons, which explain that it is quite necessary to adhere to ethics in research. Some are discussed as follows: Promoting the aim of research: If the research data is fabricated, falsified, or misinterpreted, it may lead to misconception and produce false results. Thus, while doing research, it is necessary to prohibit these actions. Upholding values that are important to collaborative work because research involves a great deal of support and synchronization among different people. Building public support for research: People are more likely to support and encourage research studies based on ethical norms, such as honesty, integrity, trust, fairness, human rights, and animal care. Thus, ethical norms and standards are important for research. Many different universities and government organizations, such as National Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have adopted some rules and procedures related to research ethics. Some of the important standards are mentioned as follows: Honesty: Implies truthfulness of the researcher in collecting and presenting data. The researcher should not fabricate or misinterpret data. Objectivity: Implies that the researcher should not be biased in research design, data collection, interpretation, analysis, and other aspects of research. Integrity: Entails that the researcher should be sincere in his/her action and should keep his/her promises. Confidentiality: Entails that the secret information, such as military secrets, papers, and personnel records, used in the research should be kept private. Social Responsibility: Implies that the researcher should try to increase social welfare through his/her research study. In addition, the researcher should not harm society and environment in any way while conducting research. For example, if the research is related to animals, the researcher should give proper care and respect towards them.

Unit 2 Research Problem


1 Introduction: We have discussed various types of research, approaches of conducting research, and the whole research proves. Defining research problem constitutes the first step in the research process. In general terms, research problem refers to the topic of research. In other words, a situation that induces the researcher to feel doubtful and perplexed can be termed as a research problem. It is important for the researcher to properly identify and formulate the research problem to ensure successful completion of the research study. For example, the sales volume of an organization is going down. The management of the organization held the improper marketing strategies responsible for the decline. Therefore, the organization decides to conduct the research to find out the effective marketing strategies to increase sales volume. However, the actual reason for the decline in sales may be the bad quality of products or inefficient human resource. In such a situation, the research cannot bring the desired results because the correct research problem is not identified. It is equally important that the research problem should be precise and clear so that the researcher can gain complete understanding of the problem. Consider a research problem is defined as productivity in China is higher than in India. This research whether the productivity would be measured in terms of gross domestic product, total output, and or total income of resident in an year. In the absence of such specifications, it would be difficult for the researcher to select the most appropriate research methodology to resolve the research problem in an effective manner. Objectives: Comprehend and define research problem Develop an understanding of the need of research problem Explain steps involved in the formulation of research problem Underline various conditions necessary for research problems to exist Explain criteria of research problem identification 2.2 Concept of Research Problem: Properly selecting t he formulating research problem is the first stage of the research process. Thus, knowledge of research problem is necessary for a researcher. In simple terms, a research problem is a problem of which a researcher wants to find a solution. This problem or difficulty may occur in theoretical as well as in practical context. For example, in Economics, ordinal utility theory could not satisfy many economists and consequently cardinal utility theory was propounded to express utility in a better manner. Similarly, in any area, existing theories may not satisfy thinkers and further research is done to reach at better conclusions. In practical context also, there may be several topics of research. Some of the topics are listed as follows: Existing problem of which a researcher wants to find an answer Situation that is not posing any severe problem presently but can be improved Area in which more clarity is required Area of interest to a researcher Consequently, research is done to find the best solution of the problem. More specifically, it can be said that a research problem is a clear, precise, and succinct statement of the questions or issue that is to be investigated with the goal of finding an answer or solution.

2.2.1 Need of Research Problem: It is quite expensive to conduct a research study; therefore, a researcher needs to make explicit choices of exactly what he/she intends to achieve through research. In simple words, the researcher should clearly know the research problem. Quite often, it is said that well begun is half done. This means that a good start for some act is mandatory for its successful completion. It is applicable in research also because a well-formulated research problem makes the research process easier. A well-defined research problem helps the researcher in: Discriminating relevant data from irrelevant data Preventing the research study to go out of track Exploring data, techniques, and other aspects of research in an efficient manner Using the research problem as a guiding principle throughout the research Thus, clearly defining research problem is necessary and carries higher importance. Let us now learn how to define the research problem. 2.2.2 Defining Research Problem: Defining a research problem means deciding borders within which a researcher would product its research to fulfill predetermined objectives. It is undoubtedly a difficult task; therefore, must be handled prudently. However, in practice, this aspect is frequently overlooked that causes problems while conducting research. A research problem should be defined in a systematic manner with the help of the steps shown in Figure 2.1:

Preparing the Statement of the problem in a Simple Way

Understanding th e Nature of Pro blem

Surveying th e Available Literatu re

Developing ideas th rough Discu ssion

Rephrasing th e Research Problem

Fig. 2.1 Steps of Defining a Research Problem

The brief description of these points is as follows: 1. Preparing the Statement of Problem in a Simple Way: Refers to starting the problem in a manner, which is easy to understand. In this step, a researcher should consider all practical, theoretical, or intellectual interests while preparing the statement of a problem. He/she should also perform field observation, if required. Generally, social problems require field observation. The researcher can take the help of an expert of guide to state a problem. 2. Understanding the Nature of Problem: Helps the researcher in dealing with the problem in a better way. The nature of the problem can be understood by discussing it with the person who has raised it. This would help the researcher in knowing the origin and objectives of the problem in a clearer way. If a researcher himself/herself has raised the problem, then he/she should think about all those points, which induced him/her to raise that problem.

3. Surveying the Available Literature: Refers to using the literature available on the problem. It would help the researcher in knowing the types of problems, which he/she might face and the approach, which should be followed while conducing the research study. 4. Developing Ideas through Discussion: Refers to the discussion of problem with seniors, experts, and colleagues to generate novel ideas and useful information about the problem. Discussion should not be confined to only defining the problem, rather a general approach should be adopted in which useful methods and techniques as well as possible solutions should also be discussed. 5. Rephrasing the Research Problem: Refers to defining a research problem in operational terms. The research problem is rephrased after understanding the nature of problem, surveying the available literature, and developing ideas through discussion. The researcher specifies the problem with more prevision that may help in the development of working hypotheses. Identifying Research Problem: Identifying or selecting a research problem is one of the difficult and time consuming tasks for a researcher. There are various criteria, which help the researcher in the identification of a research problem. These are shown in Figure 2.2:
Criteria of Problem Identification

Intern al

External

Researcher s Interest

Researcher s Co mpetence

Researcher s resources

Fig. 2.2 Criteria for Identifying a Research Problem

Following points explain the internal and external criteria: Internal Criteria: Refer to those factors of identifying problem, which are related to the researcher only. These factors as follows: a) Researchers Interest: Refers to the first and foremost factor of problem identification. Research study is a long-term process and requires a lot of perseverance and patience. It can be continued with consistency only if it interests the researcher, otherwise, even a small difficulty will drag him/her away form continuing research. The interest of researcher further depends on other factors, such as educational background, professional and personal experience, and outlook. b) Researchers Competence: Refers to the capability of the researcher to carry out research successfully. The researchers interest is necessary but not a sufficient condition for carrying out research. For example a person may have interest in doing research on the origin of big bang theory. However, it the person does not carry enough competence, relevant research experience, and relevant academic degree, then it would be quite difficult for that person to conduct research. c) Researchers Resources: Include time, financial resources, and geographical scope. Usually, the research requires large-scale data collection, wide traveling, lot of time, and finance. Therefore, resources available to a researcher should be thoroughly considered before identifying a research problem.

a) b) c) d)

External Criteria: Refer to external problems, which are mentioned as follows: Importance and urgency of the problem Novelty of the problem Researchability of the problem Usefulness and significance of the problem

Note: Researchabiltiy means that the research problem should be answerable and researchable by scientific investigation. For example, does God exists is a question that is not answerable by scientific investigation. It is more related to faith. There is no use to form these types of research problems for which data collection and other observations cannot provide answer. Mostly, value-based and philosophical issues are difficult to be answered by research. 2.2.4 Formulating Research Problem: After the identification of a research problem, next step is to define it in a form agreeable to research. It means specifying the research problem in detail and narrowing it down to workable size. In this step, all questions and sub-questions, which a researcher wants to answer by his/her research, are specified. In addition, the scope and boundaries of investigation are determined. While formulating a research problem, the researcher should clearly form the assumptions. Formulating a research problem is a three-step process, as shown in Figure 2.3:

Fig. 2.3 Steps to Formulate a Research Problem

These steps are discussed in detail in the next sections. a) Stating the Research Problem: The first and foremost step of formulating a research problem is to mention the problem in the form of a question or statement to make it clearer and understandable. A good statement must clearly mention what exactly a researcher wants to solve or determine by the research study. The researcher is also required to describe the theoretical basis and background of the study. Major issues and elements of research should be divided into sub-parts for better understanding. It is also important to state problems in a manner that indicates relationship between two or more variables. Variables involved in a research problem need to be identified properly. For example, if the research problem is the impact of remuneration on employee retention in an organization, then, in this case, the remuneration and retention would be two variables, which can be properly identified. Let us discuss the variables in brief separately. b) Identifying the Variables: As already discussed, it is very important for the researcher to identify the variables involved in a research study because it helps in stating the problem in a more precise manner. In other words, all variables involved in a research problem should be defined in a manner so that they can be measured or expressed quantitatively. For example, suppose a researcher states problem as effectiveness of television on the performance of students in postgraduate diploma offered by Delhi University. Since the statement is broad enough, it is necessary to specify variables to understand the problem in a precise manner. In the

preceding example, variables are effectiveness and presentation. The researcher should exactly specify how these variables would be measured. c) Evaluating the Research Problem: The third step in formulating a research problem is to evaluate it in terms of originality, importance, and feasibility. These factors are discussed in brief as follows: Originality and Importance: Refers to the fact that the research problem should be unique. Any topic, on which a lot of research has been done already, should be average because it would be a difficult task to highlight anything new in that topic. However, in some of the cases, the researcher may also decide to research the previously researched topic to verify its conclusions, explain and elaborate the conclusions in more effective manner, and solve some of the inconsistencies of previous research. Research study should be significant enough to either become the basis of any new theory or pose some problems for further research. In addition, the research study should also have some useful practical applications. Feasibility: Refers to the chances of conducting a successful research. The researcher should take up a problem, which is feasible for him/her to conduct a research. A research problem may not be feasible because of the following reasons: Lack of skills and competencies of the researcher Lack of interest and enthusiasm of the researcher High cost involved in the research study Time constraint Administrative constraints, such as lack of cooperation from administrative authorities.

a) b) c) d) e)

Sometimes, the problem selected by a researcher may be new and significant but may not be feasible. The process of problem formulation can be better understood with the help of an illustration. Suppose that a research problem can be stated as why productivity in China is greater than in India? This problem is stated in a broader form and gives rise to following ambiguities and confusion: What exactly productivity means? Which industries are being referred in the problem? What is the time period referred? Without these specifications, it is almost impossible to conduct a study on the given problem. However, if the researcher poses the problem in a better manner, then the aforesaid ambiguities may vanish. The problem can be posed as: what are the factors responsible for higher productivity of agriculture in China during 1980 to 1990? The latter version of the problem is an improvement over the previous form of research problem. However, the researcher can bring more improvement in the research problem by restating in the following manner: To what extent did agricultural productivity of wheat and rice in China during 1980 to 1990 exceed that of India? What were the responsible factors for productivity differentials?

Conditions and Components of Research Problem: As already discussed, a research problem is generally a topic on which a researcher wants to conduct research. It prompts the researcher to conduct a study and find the solution to the problem. Let us understand the conditions of research problems with the help of some instances. Suppose a student can prepare for examination by using the best book available on the topic. He/she knows the best book out of all the books available in the market on the topic. Now the question arises would this situation induce the student to research all the books for the examination. The answer to this question would be no. A difficulty or problem only exists if some confusions, doubts, and apprehensions are involved. In aforesaid situations, no doubt and apprehension is involved. Usually, if a researcher does not face any situation, which causes some confusion or doubt, research would not be undertaken. These are preconditions for a researcher to conduct a research. These preconditions are as follows: There must be an individual, group, or organization to which the problem can be attributed. There must be minimum two courses of action, which a researcher can pursue. There must be at least two feasible outcomes of the course of action. Out of the two outcomes, one outcome should be more preferable to the other, There must be a problem whose solution should not exist. On the basis of these conditions, components of a research problem are clearly depicted in Figure 2.4:
Individual, group, or Institu tion

Environmen t Co mpo nents of resea rch problem

Research Objectives

Doubt in resea rcher s min d

Alterna tive Means

Fig. 2.4 Components of Research Problem

Brief description of components of research problem is as follows: Individual, Group, or Institution: Implies that there must be somebody to whom the research problem can be attributed. It may be an individual, group, or an institution. Research Objectives: Imply the -purpose for which the research is conducted. Every research is carried out to meet some pre-defined objectives.

Alternative Means: Imply that there must be minimum two means to solve the research problem. In other words, the research problem exists, if there is more than one way to conduct the research. Doubt in the researchers mind: Refers to an important component of the research problem. If the researcher has some doubt in his/her mind about how to solve a particular problem, then the research is required to resolve the apprehensions. Environment: Refers to the environment, in which any problem exists. Examples of environment are economic, social, and political environment. A problem pertaining to study of inflation would come under the economic environment and a problem pertaining to study the effects of child marriage on the health of women would come under the social environment.

Unit 4 Sampling
Introduction: Sampling refers to selecting a subset of the entire population for the purpose of research study. Sampling is more helpful in cases where it is neither possible nor feasible to study each and every element of the population. For example, if a consumer wishes to judge the quality of a bucket of grains before buying; then it would not be practically possible for him/her to examine each and every morsel present in the bucket. Therefore, in such a situation, the consumer would examine only a handful of grains to judge the quality of the entire bucket. In this case, the handful of grains represents the sample and this process is known as sampling. Most of the decisions in organizations are taken on the basis of sampling. For example, a production organization cannot take feedback for its new product from each and every customer. A human resource manager working in a large-scale organization, where employee strength is massive, cannot decide the training requirements by communicating with each and every employee. In all these cases, it is more practical and feasible to select a sample and then generalize the result. Thus, knowledge of sampling and its various methods is mandatory to conduct research studies for finding solutions to various problems in minimum possible time with greater efficiency. The chapter begins by explaining the concept of sampling in detail. Further, it differentiates between census and sample survey. In addition, the chapter provides information about developing sampling design and characteristics of a good sampling design. It discusses the sampling and non-sampling errors in depth. Towards the end, the chapter gives a detailed overview of probability and non-probability sampling along with their sub-parts. Non-probability sampling includes quota sampling, convenience sampling, judgment sampling, purposive sampling, and snowball sampling; whereas, probability sampling includes unrestricted and restricted sampling. Objective: Define and comprehend sampling Develop an understanding of sampling design Explain probability and non-probability sampling Explain the reasons of sampling errors Outline various criteria responsible for non-sampling errors

4.2 Concept Of Sampling: Sampling is the process in which the sufficient number of elements is selected from the population for the purpose of study. The characteristics and properties of the selected sample are generalized for the whole population. For example, suppose the chancellor of a university is curious to know the feedback of students on grading system. Since, the .university has enormous number of colleges over a wide area; it is not feasible to take feedback from each and every student. A sample, representing this wide range of students (known as population), would be selected and on that basis, overall feedback would be known. However, the chancellor should ensure that the selected sample truly represents all types of students. For example, if the university organizes classes in 18 disciplines, the .sample should also contain students from all disciplines to make it representative of the whole population. A representative sample results in better accuracy and precision of results. Usually sampling is done if population is massive and contains several hundreds and even thousands of elements. In such a case, the data collection from each and every element of population is either impossible or requires huge time, cost, efforts, and other resources. Various thinkers have denned sampling in their own words. Some of the definitions are mentioned as follows: Sampling is the selection of certain percentage of a group of items according to a predetermined plan-Bogardus Sampling method is the process or method of drawing a definite number of individuals, cases or observations from a particular universe, selecting part of a total group for investigation- Mildred Patron A statistical sample is a miniature picture of cross selection of the entire group or aggregate from which the sample is taken- P, V. Young The term sample should, be reserved for a set of units or portion of an aggregate of material which has been selected in the belief that it will be a representative of the whole aggregate.-Frank Yates A sample, as the name applies, is a smaller representative of a larger whole- Goode and Hatt Statistical Sampling may be defined as a process of selecting a segment of the universe to obtain information of ascertainable reliability about the population- Paul L. Erdos and Arthur J. Morgan It is a small piece of the population obtained by a probability process that mirrors will known precision, the various patterns and subclasses of the population - Blalock and Blalock A collection of primary sampling units selected as a representative micro some from which references about the population may be made- Ya- Lun-Chou Census versus Sample Survey: Census refers to the complete enumeration of all items in a population or universe, whereas, sample survey refers to the study of some selected elements from the population. Census is assumed to be more accurate as compared to sample survey. However, in practice, complete enumeration leads to more ambiguous results, if the data collection is not free from any bias. The difference between sample survey and census is shown in Table 4.1:

Table 4.1 Showing Selection Criteria Census Used when population contains less elements and it is feasible to study each element therein Used when there is no cost constraint Used when the researcher has enough time and resources to conduct complete enumeration Sample Survey Used when population contains numerous elements and it is not feasible to conduct complete enumeration Used when there is cost constraint Used when the researcher does not have enough time for complete enumeration

4.2.2 Developing Sampling Design: Sampling design refers to a methodological plan to obtain a sample from given population. The steps involved in developing sampling design are shown in Figure-1:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Type of popu lation Sampling Frame Sampling Unit Sampling Meth od Sampling Size Parameters Budgetary Constrain ts

Brief description of steps involved in sampling design is as follows: 1. Type of Population: Refers to the first step in developing sample design. The researcher, while developing a sample design, must take care of type of population according to his/her research, study. Population can be finite or infinite. Population is finite, if the number of elements in it are certain and countable. Examples of finite population are the set of vowels, number of houses in a street, and number of books in a library. In case of infinite population, no idea can be obtained about number of elements in the population. Examples of infinite population are set of integers and number of stars. 2. Sampling Frame: Refers to the list of all elements in a population. If the sampling frame is not available, then it should be prepared by the researcher. It is better, if the sampling frame is comprehensive, correct, and appropriate. The researcher should make the sample as representative as possible. 3. Sampling Unit: Refers to the division of population. For example, suppose a researcher wants wants to survey the whole country for some purpose. In this case, sampling unit may be states, districts, blocks and villages. 4. Sampling Methods: Refer to the methods by which sampling units are selected. Sampling methods are discussed in detail in this chapter.

Fig. 4.1 Steps in Developing Sampling Design

5. Sample size: Refers to the number of items in a sample. The researcher should pay a good deal of attention in deciding sample size. It is important to note that a sample size should be neither too large not too small. Before selecting a sample size, following points should be considered: Flexibility: Implies that the sample size should be flexible to accommodate changes to some extent, if required. Population variance: Refers to the amount of variation in the items of population. If the population is highly diverse, the sample size should be large so that all the characteristics of the population are represented by the sample size. If the population is less diverse, sample size should be kept smaller because a small sample size can represent all the characteristics of such a population. 6. Parameters of interest: Refer to the factors that are of interest to the researcher in obtaining a sample from the population. For example, the researcher may be interested in knowing the mean or average of the population. In this example, mean is the parameter of interest. 7. Budgetary Constraint: Refers to cost-related constraints. While developing sampling design, the researcher must consider financial aspects that greatly affect not only the size of sample but also the type of sample. 4.2.3 Characteristics of a Good Sampling Design:

Fig. 4.2 Showing the Characteristics of a good sampling Design

4.3 Sampling Errors: Sampling errors, also known as random errors, refer to the errors that occur due to observing only a sample from the whole population. There can be many potential samples of one population. Any value computed from a sample is called sample statistic. The sample statistic may or may not be close to the value obtained by considering the whole population. For example, suppose a researcher is interested in calculating average yield of rice in a village in a particular year. There are 10,000 farmers in the village involved in rice production. The researcher selects a sample of 1000 farmers from the complete universe (population) and calculates the average yield of rice based on the figures given by 1000 farmers. There are maximum chances that average obtained from the sample would be different from the actual average of complete population. This deviation from the actual average in the preceding example refers to sampling error. Thus, sampling error occurs because only a specific part of population is selected in the sample. Usually, a part of population cannot show the true picture of the whole population. However, sampling error can be reduced to an extent by designing sample in a better way. Some of the important methods that result in less sampling errors are

discussed as follows: Increasing Sample Size: Implies that increase in size of the sample may reduce sampling error. If the sample size is equal to complete population, sampling error is zero. However, the researcher should be cautious enough in increasing size of the sample because increased sample size involves higher cost, time, and efforts in data collection. 4.4 Non-Sampling Errors: Non-sampling errors are the errors that do not occur because of sampling. These errors would occur even if each and every element of the population would be considered in the research study. For example, suppose a population contains 1000 elements. The researcher intends to find the average income of the population. Even if the researcher considers all 1000 elements to find the average, he/she may get inaccurate results because of non-sampling errors. There are various reasons for occurrence of such errors. Some of the important reasons are mentioned as follows: Improper division of sampling units of a population: Results in non-sampling errors. For example, the population of an organization is divided as skilled population and un-skilled population. However, this division may not be clear because some people are involved in non-technical jobs, some are involved in technical jobs, and some people work on multiple projects simultaneously. In addition, some people may be more qualified but perform unskilled jobs. Thus, there may be multiple reasons to show that division of population between skilled and non-skilled workers are not very clear, which may lead to non-sampling errors. Poor response of respondents: Makes it difficult for the researcher to derive accurate results. Usually, respondents show reluctance in supplying accurate information about their income, age, and property. The incorrect information by respondents leads to erratic results; even if each element of the population is considered. For example, suppose a researcher intends to study average annual income of residents of a particular town. Total numbers of residents in the town are 10,000. The researcher, instead of doing sampling, collects data from all 10,000 people. However, data supplied about income are not accurate. Due to incorrect information, the result of study would also become ambiguous. Bias: Refers to the error that occurs because of prejudiced behavior of enumerator or respondent during data collection. It is a serious error that can occur in sampling as well as census method. There are two types of bias, which are as follows: Intentional Bias: Refers to that bias that occurs due to deliberate inclination on part of the enumerator or the respondent. For example, suppose an enumerator has to collect data about the condition of Christians in any part of the country. In that case, the enumerator may present wrong reports, if he/she has regional bias. Un-intentional Bias: Refers to the bias that occurs because of lack of training or ability on part of the enumerator to collect data.

4.5 Methods of Sampling: Sampling methods can be broadly classified into probability and non-probability sampling. These methods, along with their subparts, are shown in Figure-3:
Sampling Methods

Non -Proba bility Sam plin g

Proba bility Sam pling

Quo ta Sampling

Co nven ien ce Sampling

Judgem en t Sampling

Purposive Sampling

Snowball Sampling

Restricted Sampling

Unrestricted Sampling

Fig. 4.3 Sampling Methods

Different methods of sampling can be selected on the basis of requirement of a research study. Some of the important factors that affect the choice of these methods are as follows: Accuracy Supplementary information available about population Cost concerns Brief description of probability and non-probability sampling is provided in the following sections. 4.5.1 Non-Probability Sampling: Non-probability sampling refers to the type of sampling in which elements from the population are selected deliberately by the researcher to constitute a sample. In this type of sampling, the probability of getting a particular sample may not be calculated. Thus, the researcher should be cautious while using non-probability sampling techniques. The major advantage of this sampling is that it is less expensive. However, the results obtained from non-probability sampling cannot be generalized with much confidence. Important types of non-probability sampling are explained in the next sections. Quota Sampling: Quota sampling refers to the sampling method in which the population is first divided into mutually non-overlapping sub-groups. After that, the sample is formed by selecting the members from each sub-group according to the proportion of each sub-group in total population. Let us understand the concept of quota sampling with the help of an example. Suppose a population contains 1000 people in which there are three subgroups of 600 males, 200 females, and 200 children. The researcher has to select a sample of 100 people from the population to take interviews for knowing their views about increase in prices. According to proportion, in the selected sample, there would be 60 males, 20 females, and 20 children. Quota sampling is similar to stratified sampling with the difference that stratified sampling is a form of probability sampling in which the random selection of sample is

done. However, in quota sampling, there would not be random selection of sample. In the preceding example, according to quota sampling, the researcher has to select 60 males out of 600 for taking interview, he/she may interview the males who seem to be more responsive and cordial. It is clear from the preceding example that quota sampling is a step-by-step process of sampling. Steps undertaken in quota sampling are shown in Figure-4:
1. 2. 3. Division of Popu lation in Exclu sive Subgroups Iden tifying Proportion s of Subgroups in Popula tion Selecting elements from ea ch subgroup of the popula tion in th e exact proportion

Fig. 4.4 Steps in Quota Sampling

Quota sampling is considered as one of the easier methods of sampling. Its merits are as follows: Results in representative sample because it contains elements from all sub-groups of population in the exact proportion Suits to the studies in which the researcher aims to investigate characteristics of a certain sub-group from the population The demerits of quota sampling are as follows: Quota sampling results in non-representative sample sometimes because while forming sub-groups of population, only some of the traits of the population can be considered. In case of preceding example of quota sampling, there are three sub-groups of the whole population (male, female, and children). However, there may be various other traits, such as age, income, and consumption. All the characteristics of the individuals of population are difficult to consider while forming sub-groups of a population. Therefore, the selected sample may not represent the population in an accurate sense. Convenience Sampling: Convenience sampling refers to a non-probability sampling technique in which elements from the universe are selected because of their easy accessibility to the researcher. For example, suppose in a college, volunteers arc required to organize a tree plantation camp. The strength of the college is 2000 and the numbers of volunteers required are 50. In this case, the easiest way to select volunteers is their accessibility. The researcher can select those students as volunteers who are easily accessible to him/her. Convenience sampling would be clearer from following examples: A trouser manufacturing organization wants to know about the quality of its products. This job is given to a marketing person who pays visit to a nearby college to ask few students about the quality of trousers.

Suppose a researcher aims to study how many pan shops in Mumbai store a cigarette Gold Flake, He/she decides a sample size of 200 shops. In that case, the researcher would visit the 200 shops, which are very convenient to visit. The merit of convenience sampling is that it helps in conducting pilot studies by facilitating the researcher to obtain basic data with less complications. The demerits of convenience sampling are as follows: Includes sampling bias. In convenience sampling, the researcher selects the sample according to his/her own convenience, which may not truly represent the population and consequently may lead to erratic results. Involves difficulty in generalizing the results obtained from the sample. Since the sample is not the true representative of the population, the result of the study cannot be generalized for the whole population. Judgment Sampling: Judgment sampling refers to the non-probability sampling technique in which the researcher selects the sample on the basis of sound judgment. Usually he/she selects the elements in the sample that can provide the best information to the researcher. For example, suppose a researcher wants to know that what made successful women reach the top position in any field. In this case, the best information can be provided by women who are placed on top positions in various fields. Thus, the researcher, on the basis of expertise or wisdom, would judge who can provide the best information about the study and collect data from the selected people. Let us understand the judgment sampling with the help of an example. Suppose in an organization, there are five members in Board of Directors. If one of them quits, die Chairperson may appoint another member based on his/her own judgment regarding knowledge and expertise of the new member. The merits of judgment sampling are as follows: Helps in collecting effective data Requires less time and efforts The demerits of judgment sampling are as follows: Requires expertise in data collection Curtails the generalizability of results because the researcher is very specific in data collection and approach only those people who can give him/her the best information. In such a case, the collected data may not represent the whole population. Purposive Sampling: Purposive sampling refers to a non-probability sampling in which sampling is done to solve the purpose of research study. It is started with a purpose in mind and the sample includes only those people who fulfill the purpose and excludes those who do not fulfill the purpose. For example, suppose a researcher wants to gather opinion of working mothers about conditions at workplace. Therefore, the researcher would contact only those women who arc mothers and working. All other females would not be surveyed. Purposive sampling is similar to judgment sampling except the difference that more emphasis is given to fulfill the purpose of research study. Merits of purposive sampling are mentioned as follows:

Results in more accurate sample as selected people are only questioned Involves lesser time Incurs less cost because lesser search is required in purposive sampling Snowball Sampling: Snowball sampling refers to a non-probability sampling in which snowball effect occurs as referrals increase. Snowball effect refers to a process that starts from an initial state of small significance. Later, it builds upon itself and becomes larger. For example, suppose for a research study, a researcher needs environmental photographers. The researcher finds only four photographers; then he/she asks these four people to provide information of more environmental photographers. On the basis of their information, contacts are increased and sufficient data is collected. Snowball sampling is also known as chain sampling or referral sampling. 4.5.2 Probability Sampling: Probability sampling refers to the method of sampling in which the probability of selecting each item in the sample is known. Any method of sampling, which utilizes some form of random sampling, is known as probability sampling. In simple terms, random sampling refers to selecting a sample from the given population on a random basis. Random sampling has been in practice since long. Examples of random sampling are tossing the coin and selecting a chit out of five chits. There are two types of probability sampling, which are explained in the following sections. Unrestricted Sampling Unrestricted sampling is a type of probability sampling in which each element in the population has equal chance of selection in the sample. For example, a researcher needs to select 5 elements out of total population of 10.In this case, he/she knows that the probability of selection of each element is equal because elements would be selected on the basis of random sampling without any bias involved. This is also known as simple random sampling. Restricted Sampling Restricted sampling refers to a probability sampling type, according to which, sampling is done on restricted basis. These are also called complex sampling methods. They offer more efficient alternative as compared to restricted methods. Some of the most common types of restricted sampling are discussed in the next sections. Systematic Sampling Systematic sampling refers to the sampling design in which between 1 and n elements, every pth element is selected to form the sample. For example, suppose a researcher wants to know the purchasing habits of customers in a market. He/she can select every 5th or 10th customer to obtain a sample. In systematic sampling, first point is selected at random and after that items are selected after regular intervals. As shown in previous example, the starting point (5th or 10th) would be selected randomly. Suppose a researcher wants to select a sample of 8 houses from the street of 120 houses, 128/8=16, every 16th house would be surveyed after the random selection of first house. Systematic sampling is not free from disadvantages, which are mentioned in the following points:

Includes more bias because in systematic sampling, every item does not have equal chance of selection Leads to over-representation or under-representation of the population Stratified Random Sampling: Stratified random sampling refers to the sampling method in which the sample is selected by dividing population into different sub-groups or strata. For example, a human resource manager wants to assess the need of training for employees working in his/her organization. In this case, total population of that organization constitutes the total number of employees. Since different levels of employees have different needs for training, the manager divides the population into exclusive sub-groups, such as clerical workers, computer administrators, supervisors, lower-level managers, and middle-level managers. Data would have to be collected in such a way that would help to know the training need of each sub-group in the population, This can be ensured by selecting the elements of each sub-group in the sample with the help of following two ways: Proportionate Stratified Sampling: Refers to the method in which elements from all sub-groups of population are selected in the exact proportion. This is shown in Table 4.3: Table 4.3 Proportionate Sampling Employees Number of Proportionate Elements (in Sampling (Number population) of elements selected in sample) 500 100 400 80 200 150 40 10 1300 40 30 8 2 260

Clerical Workers Computer administrators Supervisors Low Level managers Middle level managers Top Level managers

Table 4.3 exhibits the process of obtaining sample by proportionate stratified sampling. A proportion of 20% employees have been selected in the sample from each sub-group. However, the researcher might feel that only two members from top-level management cannot reflect the views of all 10 top-level managers and only 8 members from middle management cannot truly reflect the views of all 40 members. Therefore, he/she may alter the number and might decide to use disproportionate method instead. Disproportionate Stratified Sampling: Refers to the method in which there is no proportionate allocation of elements in the sample. Usually, disproportionate sampling is done in case of difference in size of stratum and its variability. This is shown in Table 4.4:

Table 4.4 Disproportion Employees Number Elements population) 500 400 200 150 40 10 1300 of Disproportionate (in Sampling (Number of elements selected in sample) 70 60 50 50 24 6 260

Clerical Workers Computer administrators Supervisors Low Level managers Middle Level managers Top Level managers

In disproportionate sampling, as shown in Table 4.4, elements are not selected on the basis of their proportion. The disproportionate method is selected when the researcher feels that the proportionate method may not derive the true conclusion. Stratification as a sampling method is widely used in market research. For example, suppose a researcher wants to know customer preferences for a given product. The population containing all the consumers in a particular area is divided into sub-groups on the basis of geography, age, and income level. It would make the sample more informative and representative of population. Cluster Sampling: Cluster sampling refers to the sampling method in which entire universe is divided into groups or clusters. After that, these clusters are selected on the basis of random sampling. All elements of selected clusters should be included in the sample leaving all the elements of non-selected clusters. For example, suppose a population has been divided into 10 clusters named a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, and j. The researcher requires only 3 clusters for his/her sample out of 10 clusters. Suppose 3 clusters, namely a, i, and d are selected randomly. In the sample, all elements from these 3 clusters would be included. Cluster sampling seems to be similar to stratified sampling but in reality, it is not. In stratified, elements from all groups are selected. However, in cluster sampling, clusters itself are selected and all elements from selected clusters are included in the sample. We have so far discussed single stage cluster sampling. There can be more than one stage in cluster sampling, which is called multi-stage cluster sampling. For example, suppose a study has to be done to find the average income of people in the country. In first stage, states can be considered as clusters. On the basis of random selection, some of the states would be selected for the study. In the next stage, particular districts from the selected states would be selected. When clusters are selected on the basis of geographical area only, it is termed as area sampling. Cluster sampling requires less cost especially when population is scattered over wide area. For example, a researcher intends to survey schools in a particular area. In simple

random sampling, the researcher might visit all schools in the area to select sample. However, in cluster sampling, few schools would be first selected and then the researcher would visit these schools only to collect the information. In this way, cluster sampling involves less cost. In cluster sampling, due care should be taken to make clusters as heterogeneous as possible. However, among the clusters, there should be more uniformity. For example, suppose total population has been divided into five clusters for abetting response from customers on a particular product. Individually, clusters should include as many diverse customers as possible, such as female, male, young, and old. Usually, it is very difficult to make clusters with this requirement. Therefore, biased results may be achieved.

Unit 5 Measurement and Scaling Techniques


Introduction: Measurement is a process of assigning standard values to quantify physical entities. In context of research, measurement is a process of ascertaining the dimensions of an object, which can be in the form of a physical entity or abstract idea. It is easier to measure physical entities with the help of a standard yardstick, as they are quantifiable in nature. For example, height can be assessed in centimeter and foot; area can be quantified in meter square, kilometer or hectare; and weight can be calculated in kilogram. In addition to physical objects, the researcher needs to measure abstract concepts, such as happiness, sadness, attitude, and leadership qualities that cannot be quantified because they are qualitative in nature. Therefore, scaling is used to measure such abstract concepts. In formal terms, scaling is the branch of measurement that designs the instruments, known as scales, to measure qualitative concepts. A researcher may use different types of scales, such as rating scale, ranking scale, arbitrary scale, or differential scale depending upon the type of research problem. If the research problem is to assess whether the performance of employees is good, bad, average, or outstanding; then the researcher requires a rating scale. However, if the research problem is to identify the brand of soap that attracts the highest number of customers, then the researcher would ask the customers to rank top brands in their order of preference on a ranking scale. If the researcher opts for ranking scale to assess the performance of employees or rating scale to known the preference of customers-, then fruitful and useful results would not be obtained. Therefore, it is essential for the researcher to select the most appropriate scale to measure the abstract concepts for ensuring productive and accurate conclusions of the research studies. The chapter begins by defining basic concepts related to measurement along with measurement scales. The chapter explains the process of developing measurement tools. Next, the sources of errors in measurement and important criteria of good measurement tools are also discussed in detail. In addition, it provides in-depth information about the concept of sampling. The chapter provides a brief overview of scale classification and different approaches of scaling. Towards, the end, you learn about different types of scales in detail.

Objectives: Define and comprehend measurement Develop an understanding of different measurement scales Explain the process of developing measurement tools Describe the concept of scaling Explain basic features of scale classification Comprehend different types of scales 5.2 Concept of Measurement: In simple terms, measurement is to use some yardsticks to determine the characteristics of any physical article. In addition to physical articles, qualitative concepts, such as songs, paintings, or any abstract phenomenon can also be measured. However, measuring qualitative concepts is comparatively a difficult task because numbers cannot be easily assigned to them. For example, it is easy to state that weight of an object is 10 kg. However, if a person is asked to measure a song for its good composition, then it becomes difficult to say that the song is 10 percent good or so. Similarly, there are numerous abstract concepts, such as intelligence, unity, honesty, bravery, success, and stress, which do not possess standardized tools of measurement. High accuracy and confidence can be expected while measuring quantitative characteristics of an object. However, if an individual measures an abstract concept, then he/she tends to be less accurate and confident. 5.2.1 Measurement Scales: Measurement scales are referred by psychologist, Stanley Smith Stevens, in his theory of scale types in 1946.Stevens proposed that all measurement in science was done using four types of scales. These scale types are shown in Fig.-5.1:

Nom inal Sca le

Ratio Scale

Mea surem ent Sca les

Ordinal Sca le

Interval Sca le

The brief description of measurement scales is as follows:

Fig. 5.1 Types of Measurement Scales

Nominal Scale: Refers to the measurement scale in which numbers are assigned to things, beings, or events to classify or identify them. For example, the assignment of different numbers to cricket players in a team, books in a library, and computers in the Internet cafe. It is clear that the numbers given to players, books, and computers are just a method to label them. These numbers cannot be

used to perform mathematical operations. If 1 players of a cricket team are assigned a figure from 1 to 11, finding average of 1 to 11 does not signify any meaning. In this case, the counting of members is the only possible operation. Nominal scale represents the lowest level of measurement and considered as the least powerful scale. However, it is helpful when there is need to classify data. Ordinal Scale: Refers to the scale that only implies greater than or less than; but does not answer how much greater or less. Only equalities can be set up with respect to ordinal scale and other arithmetic operations cannot be performed. The ordinal scale can be used to make only comparisons. The example of ordinal scale is as follows: Objectives Rank Increase in Sales 2 Increase in Revenue 1 Increase in Customers 3 Decrease in cost 4 In the preceding example, different ranks have been given to organization's objectives. It is clear that organization's - preference for sales increment is more than increase in customers. However, it cannot be said that organization's preference for increase in sales is two times higher than organization's preference for decrease in cost. Thus, with ordinal scale, other arithmetic operations, such as difference and addition do not make sense. This scale is an improvement over nominal scale as it is an ordered scale. It is the lowest level of ordered scale. Interval Scale: Refers to the scale in which the interval between successive positions is equal. For example, suppose a person represents his/her level of happiness along a scale rated from 1 to 10. With this scale, following conclusions can be made: Number 6 represents higher level of happiness than number 5. Difference in level of happiness between 6 and 5 is same as difference in level of happiness between 8 and 9. However, the major problem with interval data is that the data cannot be multiplied or divided. It cannot be stated that number 4 represents double happiness level as compared to number 2. The basic limitation of interval scales is that they do not contain absolute zero. As in the case of temperature, absolute zero is unattainable theoretically. A simple example of interval scale is the scale of temperature. Therefore, these scales do not have the capacity to measure absence of any characteristic. Interval scale contains features of nominal and ordinal scale. In addition, it involves the concept of equality of intervals. In interval scale, you can perform more statistical operations, such as addition and subtraction. Thus, this is a more powerful scale as compared to nominal and ordinal scales. Ratio Scale: Refers to the scale that contains absolute zero, which implies the absence of any trait. For example, on a centimeter scale, zero implies the absence of length or height. In the ratio scale, it is possible to perform multiplication and division operations. For example, it can be stated that weight of Ram is twice that of Shyam. Ratio scale is the most powerful scale of measurement, as almost all statistical operations, which cannot be performed by other scales, can be performed by it.

5.2.3 Basic Criteria of Good Measurement Tools: What should be the characteristics of a good measurement tool? The answer to this question is that the tool should clearly and accurately indicate what the researcher intends to measure. In addition, it should be easy and efficient to use. There are three basic criteria of a good measurement tool, as shown in Fig. 5.3:
V a lidity

Criteria of Good Mea surem ent

Reliability

Practicality

Following sections explain these criteria in detail. Validity:

Fig. 5.3 Criteria of Good Measurement Tool

Validity refers to the ability of an instrument to measure what it is expected to measure. For example, a person has prepared a questionnaire to find views of nationals about increasing prices of consumption goods. How can the person be certain and confident that the questionnaire is measuring the expected concept and not something else? It is not easy and quick to ascertain validity of a measuring instrument. Researchers have tried to assess validity in different ways. However, there are three widely approved criteria to assess validity of measuring instrument. These are discussed as follows: Content Validity: Refers to the extent to which the content of measuring instrument provides adequate coverage of the topic. There is no quantitative way to measure it. In other words, content validity shows how properly the dimensions of a concept have been specified to ensure maximum coverage. For example, suppose a researcher requires measuring the concept of feminism. Feminism refers to the commitment of a person towards the belief that men and women are equal in all areas. The researcher prepares the following questions to measure feminism: Should there be equal pay for men and women? Should household work be shared between men and women? It is quite clear that these questions prepared by the researcher are not enough to measure feminism. Therefore, in this case, the content validity is low. Criterion-Related Validity: Involves the usage of some criterion to judge the validity of measuring instrument. Usually, it is done by comparing the instrument with other instruments of same type in which the researcher has more confidence. There are two variants of criterion-related validity, such as concurrent validity and predictive validity.

Concurrent validity: Shows the usefulness of test by closely relating it to other measures of known validity. For example, the researcher wants to conduct an IQ test for measuring the intelligence of a group of students. Suppose, the same group has already appeared for an IQ test. The new IQ, test is said to be concurrently valid, if it shows association with the previous test. It means that most students who performed well in previous IQ test should also perform well in the new test and vice versa. Predictive validity: Shows the utility of a measurement tool in predicting some future events. For example, an organization conducts tests and interviews to ascertain the relationship between knowledge and performance of candidates. These tests and interviews would be said to have high predictive validity, if candidates with good scores also excel in their work areas. Construct Validity: Implies that there should be compatibility between a theoretical concept and a measuring instrument. There are two sub-categories of construct validity: convergent validity and discriminate validity. Convergent validity is established when two variables are supposed to be correlated according to theory. For example, good working environment and high efficiency of employees are supposed to be correlated theoretically. If practically also; the researcher finds high efficiency of people in cordial working environment in most of the cases, two concepts would be said to have convergent validity. On the other hand, discriminate validity is established when two variables that are supposed to have no correlation theoretically are found to be uncorrelated. Reliability: Reliability refers to another important criterion of good measurement tool. A measuring instrument is reliable, if it produces consistent outcomes. A reliable instrument is not necessarily a valid instrument. However, a valid instrument must be reliable. For example, suppose a scale is used to measure the weight of objects. The scale consistently shows all objects to be overweight by 2 kilo. In that ease, scale can be said to be reliable because it is consistent, but not valid at all. Thus, reliability is not as important as validity yet it is easier to ascertain reliability of any measurement too, as compared to assess its validity. Stability and equivalence are two important aspects of reLIABILITY. Stability is established, if an event or a person, being measured by same instrument, shows consistent results over a period of time. Usually, the degree of stability can be ascertained by comparing the results of repeated measurements. Two major tests of stability are discussed as follows: Test-retest Method: Refers to the method in which the stability is checked by repeating the measure. For example, a questionnaire is given to a group of respondents for measuring certain concept. Again, after some time, the same questionnaire is given to the same group of respondents. After that, correlation between the scores is tested. The higher the correlation, the better is the stability. However, there are some limitations of this method. If the time span between two measurements is not enough, respondents may recall their previous answers, which would not show the true degree of stability. Respondents may not feel the same enthusiasm to respond to same questionnaire second time. Therefore, there should be sufficient time lag between two tests so that respondents may not be able to recall their previous answers. Parallel-form Method: Refers to the method according to which stability is tested by using two comparable forms of measuring items simultaneously. For example, suppose two forms of a lengthy questionnaire are prepared. Both forms of questionnaire have same content, the only difference being the wording and ordering of questions. If the results of these two forms are correlated, then it can be concluded that there exists parallel-form stability.

One major problem with this method is that it is not easy to construct two comparable forms of questionnaire. The parallel-form reliability is very similar to split-half reliability .The only difference is that in parallel-form, two forms of questionnaire can be used independent of each other. Note: Stability is more concerned with situational variations, whereas, equivalence is concerned with variations due to investigators and sample of items. Practicality: Practicality is also one of the important criteria of good measurement tool. It is primarily measured in terms of economy and convenience. Economy aspect is related to cost consideration of measurement. If a measurement instrument is out of reach because of high cost, it is of no use for the researcher. Convenience refers to the ease with which a measuring instrument can be administered. For example, a questionnaire with sufficient coverage of topic and easy language can be administered with more ease. 5.2.4 Errors in Measurement: Unambiguous and precise measurement of variables is the necessary condition of research. However, at various stages of measurement, errors may occur because of many reasons. The researcher should efficiently identify potential sources of errors and try to reduce them to the maximum possible extent. Some of the important errors in measurement are shown in Fig. 5.4:
Errors due to Interviewer

Errors due to Respondent

Errors due to Instrument

Errors due to Situation

Fig. 5.4 Causes of Errors in Measurement

Brief description of errors of measurement is as follows: Errors due to interviewer: Refer to the errors that occur because of the biased attitude of the interviewer. The interviewer can twist responses by rephrasing questions. In addition, he/she can encourage or discourage certain viewpoints of the respondents. The interviewer can also commit errors in data analysis due to faulty tabulation and coding of data. Errors due to respondent: Refers to errors that occur due to reluctance of respondents to respond to the questions. The respondents may feel reluctant to answer the questions correctly because of fatigue, hunger, or ill-health. The respondents may also commit errors because of lack of knowledge. Errors due to instruments: Refer to the errors that occur because of ineffective measuring instrument, such as questionnaire. If the questionnaire contains lack of choices, complex language, poor printing, non-essential questions, then it cannot get desired outcomes from the respondents.

Errors due to situation: Refer to the errors that occur because of situational factors. Any condition that puts a strain on the interviewer can cause adverse impact on the mutual rapport of the interviewer and respondent. In addition, if the respondent feels that secrecy is not certain, he/she may be reluctant to express certain feelings. 5.3 Concept of Scaling: As already discussed in the concept of measurement, the measurement of qualitative aspects is not an easy task. Examples of qualitative aspects are feelings, opinions, expectations, intuitions, and success. The researcher faces problems in the measurement of qualitative aspects because these aspects do not possess standardized tools of measurements. For example, length can be measured with a standard scale, which is same for everybody. However, success cannot be measured with a standard scale. For one person, success may mean high income, for second, it may mean good designation, and for third, it may mean happy and peaceful life. Thus, there is not a set scale to measure success. Scaling is a branch of measurement that tries to measure immeasurable qualitative phenomenon with more accuracy. It evolved out of efforts in psychology and education. However, scaling remains one of the most hidden and misunderstood aspects of social research measurement. It aims to perform one of the most complicated research tasks that is measuring abstract concepts. 5.3.1 Meaning of Scaling: Scaling refers to a procedure in which numbers or other symbols are assigned to a property of objects. In simpler terms, scaling is a method to assign quantitative numbers to abstract concepts. Usually, in a scale, there are highest and lowest points with several intermediate points between these two. In the scale, from lowest to highest points, all points exhibit an increasing degree of any characteristic. 5.3.2 Bases of Scale Classification: As discussed earlier, scaling is a procedure to assign numbers to abstract concepts. There are some factors on the basis of which numbers are assigned. These are shown in Fig. 5.2:
Scale Co nstruction Approach Subject Orientation

Number of Dimension

Bases o f Scale Classification

Scale Properties

Respon se Form

Degree of Subjectivity

Fig. 5.2 Bases of Scale Classification

Brief description of bases of scale classification is as follows:

Subject Orientation: Refers to that basis of scaling in which differences in the responses obtained from different people are studied and examined. Response Form: Refers to the style according to which the responses would be represented on the scale. Based on responses, there can be two types of scales, namely categorical and comparative. Categorical scales are also called rating scales in which a respondent judges an object without reference to any other similar object. Degree of Subjectivity: Involves the development of scale either by measuring personal preferences or non-preference judgments. In the first case, respondents may be asked to exhibit their personal opinion. For example: Which of the following organizations you favor the most? a. A b. B c. C d.D In the second case, the respondent may be simply asked to decide the most profitable organization, It is clear that in the second case, scope of personal opinion is not there. Scale Properties: Refer to the basis of scale classification according to which scales can be classified as nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio scales. These scales have already been discussed in previous sections. Number of Dimensions: Refers to the basis of scale classification according to which, there arc two types or scales, such as one-dimensional and multi-dimensional. In the one-dimensional scale, only one characteristic of the respondent or the object is considered. In the multi-dimensional scale more than one attributes of the respondent or the object is depicted. Scale Construction Approach: Refers to the scale-classification on the basis of different approaches used. Let us discuss these approaches in the next section. 5.3.3 Approaches of Scale Construction: There are various approaches used for construction of a scale. Some of such approaches are shown in Fig. 5.6: Brief description of these approaches is as follows: Arbitrary Approach: Refers to the approach according to which a scale is developed on an ad hoc basis. In the arbitrary approach, the scale is developed for a specific purpose; therefore, it cannot be generalized. Arbitrary scales are easy to develop and provide specific information about a particular topic. Consensus Approach: Refers to the approach in which items to be included in the scale are decided on the basis of consensus of a panel of judges. Usually, items are evaluated in terms of their relevance to topic and certainty in implication. An example of a scale using consensus approach is the Thurston differential scale.
Arbitrary Approach

Cu mulative Scale Approach Bases o f Scale Classification

Co nsensu s Approach

Factor Analysis Approach

Item Analysis Approach

Fig. 5.6 Approach of Scale Construction

Item Analysis Approach: Refers to the approach according to which items are developed in the form of a test and given to respondents. After the test, total scores are calculated for each respondent and items are evaluated to determine, which questions discriminate between highest and lowest scores. An example of a scale using item analysis approach is summated scale. Factor Analysis Approach: Refers to the approach according to which correlation between different items is established on the basis of a common factor. An example of a scale using factor analysis approach is factor scale. Cumulative Scale Approach: Refers to the approach in which the approval of an item representing a higher position (say 4) should also result in the approval of all items indicating a lesser position (<4).For example, If the respondent approves the item on 4lh position, he/she must approve all items above than 4th position. 5.4 Types of Scales: Although methods of measurement differ in various ways; they can be classified using a few fundamental categories. These categories are called scale types and described in this section. Different types of scales are shown in Fig. 5.7:
RATING SCALE RANKING SCALE ARBITRARY SCALE DIFFERENTIAL SCALE SUMMATED SCALE CUMULA TIVE SCALE FACTOR SCALE
Fig. 5.7 Types of Scales

Let us discuss these scales separately. 5.4.1 Rating Scale: Rating scale, also known as categorical scale, is a scale according to which qualitative aspects of a person are described. In rating scale, only one qualitative aspect is judged in absolute terms. The rating scale indicates ratings as above average, average, below average, excellent, good, and average. There are two types of rating scales, which are shown in Fig. 5.8:

RATING SCALE

GRAPHIC RATING

ITEMIZED RATING

Fig. 5.8 Types of Rating Scale

Brief description of these types is as follows: 1. Graphic Rating Scale: Refers to the scale in which various ratings are shown along the line and a continuous scale is formed. The example of graphic rating scale is given as follows: How do you like this new model of laptop?
Outstanding Excellent V ery Good Good Neutral Dislike somewhat Dislike too much

In the previous example, ratings are shown on the number line. The respondent indicates his/her preference by simply making a mark (such as, tick sign) on the selected option. 2. Itemized Rating Scale: Refers to the scale in which items are shown in the form of ordered statements. For example, He always goes to morning walk He often goes to morning walk He sometimes goes to morning walk He does not go to morning walk frequently He almost never goes to morning walk The preceding example shows a series of statements in the decreasing order of frequency. The respondents are asked to select one of the choices according to their preferences or opinions. Ranking Scale: Ranking scales, as against rating scales, are comparative scales that are used to make relative judgments. There are two approaches used in ranking scales, which are shown in Fig. 5.9:

APPROACHES USED IN RANKING SCALES

METHOD OF PAIRED COMPARISON

METHOD OF RANK ORDER

Fig. 5.9 Approaches used in Ranking Scale

These approaches are discussed in the following points: 1. Method of Paired Comparison: Refers to an approach of ranking scale that provides a way to make comparisons among objects. For example, if a respondent has to compare an established brand of jeans and a new brand, then there is only one possible comparison. He/she can prefer either the new brand or the established one. However, if there are three products, such as A, B, and C, then there can be three comparisons. The first comparison would be between A and B, the second comparison would be between B and C, and the third comparison would be between A and C. However, in practical life, there are many more products to be compared u and judged. For example, for almost every product, there are numerous brands. In that case, task of respondents becomes difficult enough. According to the method of paired comparison, if there is n number of objects and the respondents needs to make (n (n-l))/2 comparisons. For example, if there are 8 products, then the respondents need to make 28 (8(8-1/2) comparisons. If the number of comparisons becomes quite numerous, then there is a risk because respondents may show their reluctance to take part in the

research study. In such a case, comparisons can be reduced to an extent by selecting a sample of available products. The other way to reduce the number of comparisons is to apply the law of transitivity. This law says that if A is preferred to B and B is preferred to C, then A would automatically be preferred to C. 2. Method of Rank Order: Refers to the method in which respondents are asked to rank their choices according to their preferences. Following is an example of rank order method: Items Choices A 3 B 6 C 1 D 4 V 2 E F5

In the previous example, 6 items are shown. The respondent has asked to rank the items as per his/her preferences. The item C is most preferred and item B is least preferred by the respondent. 5.4.3 Arbitrary Scale: As already discussed, arbitrary scales are developed according to specific need or purpose of the research. It means in an arbitrary scale are selected on the basis of researcher's own need and judgment. The researcher first collects few items, which he/she considers to be suitable and accurate. Out of these selected items, some are included in the scale. An example of arbitrary scale is Mohs scale, which is used to measure relative hardness of minerals. In Mohs scale, hardness of 10 minerals is measured in the ascending order, which is as follows: Talc(1),Gypsum(2), Calcite(3), Fluorite(4), Apatite(5), Orthoclase(6), Quartz(7), Topaz(8), Conundrum(9), and Diamond(10). An arbitrary scale is easy to develop; however, it is not free from limitations. Firstly, an arbitrary scale cannot be used for any other purpose except the one for which it is made. Secondly, objectivity with respect to this scale is less because it relies on the researcher's judgment, which is subjective in nature. 5.4.4 Differential Scale: Differential scales are based on the consensus scale approach. The name of L.L Thurston is connected with differential scales. In differential scales, items are selected and evaluated in terms of relevance and certainty by a panel of judges. The complete process of developing a differential scale is explained as follows: 1. Selecting a large number of statements related to the topic of research. These statements reflect different views about the topic. 2. Arranging these statements into 11 groups ranging from highest to lowest with the help of a panel of judges. It means that in the first group, each judge places those statements that he/she considers to be the least favorable. In second group, next most favorable statements are placed and so on. 3. Discarding a statement, if there is any disagreement regarding its positioning.

4. Computing median and inter-quartile range for retained statements. 5. Selecting final statements for the scale. The final statements should have equal intervals across the range of median. These statements constitute the final scale. 6. Administering the scale by asking respondents to mark the statements with which they agree. Differential scales are widely used for measuring a single attitude. However, they are not free from limitations. Differential scales are very expensive and consumes a lot of time. In addition, statements are placed in each group according to judges' own opinion. Therefore, objectivity is lacking in these scales. 5.4.5 Summated Scale: Summated scale, constructed by using item analysis approach, consists of a number of statements that express either positive or adverse feeling toward any topic or idea. It is most frequently used in studying social attitudes. Summated scale follows the pattern developed by Liker; thus, summated scales are also termed as Likert scales. In Likert scale, usually there are five degrees of a statement. Let us know more about Likert scale with the help of following example. Statement: Do you think that the Internet is creating negative Impact on children?
Strongly agree (1) Agree (2) Neutral (3) Disagree (4) Strongly Disagree (5)

In the preceding example, there are five degrees of responses for the given statement. The right extreme of the scale shows the strongest approval to the statement; whereas, the left extreme indicates the strongest disapproval to the statement. Middle points are between these two extremes. Each point on the scale has a numerical value. The preceding example constitutes only one statement. In Likert-scaling method, each statement is assigned a numerical value. Thus, total score is calculated for each respondent. For example, suppose there are 10 statements. In this case, the total of strongly agree response can be -1*10= 10.TTie total of strongly disagree response can be 5*10=50 and the total of neutral response can be 10*3=30.Thc score of any particular respondent would be between 10 and 50.1f the score of a respondent is more than 30, it would show unfavorable opinion to statement. However, if the score is less than 30, then it shows the feeling of agreement towards the statement. 5.4.6 Cumulative Scale: Cumulative scale consists of a series of statements to which a respondent expresses his/her agreement or disagreement." It is important to note that in the cumulative scale, statements appear in the form of a cumulative series. It means that if there are 7 statements and the respondent agrees with statement number 4, then he/she would also agree with STATEMENT number 1, 2, and 3. If the respondent disagrees with statement number 6, then he/she would also disagree with previous 5 statements. Let us understand the concept of cumulative scale with the help of following example: I like eating outside I like going to good restaurants I like going to south Indian restaurants In the preceding example, if a person agrees to second statement, then he/she would obviously be agreeing to the first statement. An example of cumulative scale is Guttman's Scalogram.

Factor Scale: Factor scales are developed on the basis of factor analysis approach. There are two types of factor scales, which are shown in Fig. 5.10:
FACTOR SCALES

SEMANTIC DIFFERENTIAL SCALES

MULTI-DIMENSIONAL SCALE

Fig. 5.10 Types of Factor Scales

These factor scales are discussed in the next sections. Semantic Differential Scale: Semantic differential scale was developed by Charles E. Osgood, G.J Suchi, and P.H. Tannenbaum. It measures the connotative meaning of objects, events, and concepts. Semantic differential scale consists of bipolar adjectives, such as good-bad and valuable worthless. The respondent is asked to select his/her position between these two adjectives. Let us understand the concept of semantic differential scale with the help of following example. A semantic differential scale analyzing candidates for a managerial position is shown in Table 5.1: Table 5.1 Semantic Differential Scale Successful Progressive Active Fast Strong Severe True 3 2 1 0 -1 -2 -3 Unsuccessful Regressive PassiveSlow Weak Lenient False

In Table 5.1, two adjectives are shown on two extremes. In between these two extremes, scores (3, 2, 1, 0, 1, -2, and -3) are mentioned to rate candidates according to the level of traits possessed by them. Osgood and his colleagues had performed a factor analysis and found that there are only three attitudes, such as evaluation, potency, and activity of people, which are highly repetitive. In Table-1, successfulunsuccessful, progressive-regressive, and true-false represent evaluative attitude. However, potency is represented by severe-lenient and strong-weak pairs. The rest of the adjectives shown in Table-1 represent activity factor. Semantic differential scale is widely used to measure the attitude of different people. Multi-Dimensional Scaling: Multi-dimensional scaling refers to a process of visualizing similarities or dissimilarities in data. In this process, dissimilarities between two objects are shown in the form of a map by the distance between them. The more is the distance between two points; more is the dissimilarity between them. For example, suppose there are five objects A, B, C, D, and E. In these five objects, the respondent thinks the dissimilarity between A and B is the least. If these points are shown on a map using multi dimensional scaling, distance between A and C whether lesser than the distance between any other two points. A detailed example of multi dimensional scaling is as follows:

Suppose there are six brands of toothpastes A, B, C, D, E, and F. The researcher is interested in visualizing consumer's perception regarding these brands. He/she contacted several respondents, whose responses are summarized in the following points:

Unit 6 Methods of Data Collection


Introduction: Data is the basis of every type of research conducted in any area, including finance, human resource, health care, and science and technology. The findings and recommendations of any research are based on the collected data. If the compiled data is not relevant, reliable, and valid; then the results of the research would not be very useful. Therefore, the researcher should be very prudent, cautious, and careful while collecting data for any type of research. It is important to note that data collection is a methodical process that requires logical thinking. If the data is collected without any planning in a haphazard and random manner, then it may become difficult for the researcher to process and analyze such data. The researcher can ensure the systematic compilation of data by using various methods of data collection, such as observation, interview, and questionnaire. The selection of a data collection method depends on various factors, such as topic of research, type of population, sample size, budget, duration of research, and skills of the researcher. For example, suppose, the Indian government wishes to conduct research to know the diseases prevalent among the children up to the age of 14. If the Indian government uses the observation method for this purpose, then the relevant results can never be obtained. In this case, the government should use the questionnaire method to get the desired results. However, sometimes, a researcher needs to use a combination of data collection methods to gather relevant data. If an organization conducts research to analyze the buying behavior of customers for a particular brand, then it should use observation and questionnaire methods to get the adequate amount of data. You learn the concept of data collection in detail. You also gain knowledge about types of data and different methods of primary data collection, such as observation method, interview method, questionnaire method, socio-metric method, and schedule method. In addition, the chapter provides you an opportunity to explore other methods of primary data collection. Next, the chapter explains methods of secondary data collection in detail. Towards the end, it acquaints you with the process of selecting an appropriate method of data collection. Objectives: Define the types of data Develop an understanding of different methods of primary data collection Learn about the methods of secondary data collection Learn the process of selecting an appropriate method of data collection

6.2 Concept of Data Collection: A research can be done on any subject related to any stream, including management, computers, and medical engineering. However, every type of research requires data that needs to be collected from various sources. The process of collecting data for the research purposes is known as data collection. Various academicians and authors defined the data collection in different ways. According to Esomar Market Research, The gathering of information (figures, words or responses) that describes some situation from which conclusions can be drawn. According to LIMS, The act of hinging data from remote points to a central location and organizing it into understandable information typically associated with discrete manufacturing. No research can be carried out without sufficient, useful, and relevant data. For instance, if the researcher wants to conduct the research on the most prevailing disease, then he/she would approach the doctors to collect the data for number of patients suffering from different diseases. After collecting the data, the researcher processes the data to organize it for analysis. 6.3 Types of Data: As already discussed, a researcher needs to collect different types of data for different purposes. There are mainly two types of data, as shown in Figure 6.1:

Types o f Da ta

Prima ry Data

Secon da ry Data

Fig. 6.1 Types of Data Collection

Following points explain the primary and secondary types of data: Primary Data: Refers to the data that is collected by the researcher for a particular research. Primary data is the data that does not have any prior existence and collected directly from the respondents. It is considered very reliable in comparison to all other forms of data. However, its reliability may come under scrutiny for various reasons. For example, the researcher may be biased while collecting data, the respondents may not feel comfortable to answer the questions, and the researcher may influence the respondents. In all these scenarios, primary data would not be very dependable. Therefore, primary data collection should be done with utmost caution and prudence. Primary data helps the researchers in understanding the real situation of a problem. It presents the current scenario in front of the researchers; therefore, it is more effective in taking the business decisions.

Secondary Data: Refers to the data that is collected in the past, but can be utilized in the present scenario/research work. The collection of secondary data requires less time in comparison to primary data. 6.4 Methods of Primary Data Collection: There are various methods of data collection and selecting a correct method is very important to get the reliable data. Figure 6.2 shows various methods of primary data collection:
Observa tion metho d

Sch edule metho d Meth ods of Prima ry Data Co llectio n

Interview metho d

Socio -m etric metho d

Questio nnaire metho d

6.4.1 Observation Method: Observation method is a method in which the population of interest is observed to find out relevant facts and figured. Observing a person is an art because it requires special skills to study the behavior of a person. The way a common person observes something is entirely different from the way a researcher observes things. A common person observes something just for the sake of interest; whereas, a researcher observes things for a particular reason. The researcher not only notes how the things are happening; however, study in deep why they happen. If he/she is analyzing a situation; then the researcher would take into consideration the behavior of individuals in that situation, the reason for their behavior, and the impact of their behavior on other individuals and society. For example, a researcher observes that in a retail showroom some people are buying products while some people are not buying anything. In this case, he/she would try to find out the reasons behind why and how some people buy products and why some people do not buy anything. The researcher would also observe the behavior of shopkeeper with people. Observation method is divided into various sub-methods, as shown in Figure 6.3: Following points explain the sub-methods of observation method: Natural Method: Refers to the method in which the researcher observes the behavior of people without any intervention. For example, the researcher observes the bikes passing from the road to study the most popular brand in the city. In addition, the researcher can observe the activities, movements, gestures, and facial expressions of people. Contrived Method: Refers to the method in which the researcher takes the information from the people in an indirect way. For example, a researcher approaches different shopkeepers as a customer to buy some products. In this way, the researcher observes how different shopkeepers treat their customers.

Fig. 6.2 Different Methods of Primary Data Collection

Natu ral metho d Mech anical metho d

Co ntrived metho d

Observa tion Meth od Unstructured metho d Direct metho d

Structured metho d

Indirect metho d

Fig. 6.3 Sub-Methods of Observation Method

Direct Method: Refers to the method in which the researcher waits for a particular experiment or behavior to occur. This process takes a longer time to get a single response. For example, a researcher is observing the sale of new products in an automobile showroom. In this case, the researcher has to wait till the time a customer comes in the showroom and asks for the new product. When a customer comes and sees the new product, he/she may or may not purchase it on the same day. In such a situation, the researcher has to wait till that customer comes back to buy the product and the other customers come for the same purpose. Even if the first customer buys the product, the researcher has to wait for other customers because nothing can be concluded by observing one customer. Indirect Method: Refers to the method in which the researcher observes the behaviors that have occurred in the past. This method consumes less time and cost as compared to other methods. Let us understand the application of indirect method with the help of an example. A researcher needs to know the sale of a particular brand in a store. In this case, the data can be collected from the registers showing the sale of different products in the store. Structured Method: Refers to the method in which the researcher knows what is to be observed. For example, if a researcher has to know about a particular brand of car, he/she would observe only that brand of car and does not pay any attention to other brands of cars. The structured method consumes less time and makes it easier for the researcher to analyze data. Unstructured Method: Refers to the method in which the researcher does not know what exactly he/she has to observe. The unstructured method is used in exploratory research. In this method, the researcher wants to search all the aspects that can affect a particular problem in detail. For example, the researcher observes the buying behaviour of people for different brands of the same product. He/She would study all the factors that can affect the buying decision of people. After that, he/she would analyze the buying decision for a particular brand.

Mechanical Method: Refers to a method in which the researcher uses some devices to observe Peoples responses. Examples of these devices are video cameras and audiometers. Process of Observation: The process of observation involves three steps, which are as follows: 1. Sensation: Refers to the first step in which the researchers use their five senses to gather information. The information is then processed to find out its relevancy. If the information is relevant, the researchers o the next step; otherwise, discard the information. 2. Attention: Refers to the second step in which the researchers attentively gather only the relevant information. In the first step, the information is gathered by chance; however, in the second step, the researchers make conscious (get relevant information. 3. Perception: Refers to the last step in which the researchers form perception from the gathered information. Advantages and Disadvantages of Observation Method: There are various advantages and disadvantages of observation method, which are shown in the following table 6.1: Table 6.1 Different Advantage and Disadvantages of Observation Method Method of Data Collection Observation Method Advantages Helps in getting nonbiased responses from the respondents Disadvantages Does not allow the researcher to evaluate past data. Observation method is used to study only the present scenarios

Provides accurate data for the research Helps the researcher in Makes it difficult for the researcher getting the relevant data to accurately judge the attitudes of respondents Limitations of Observation Method: The limitations of observation method are as follows: The researcher cannot remain present at every place when a new event occurs. The researcher may fail to observe the minute occurrences The researcher cannot study the behaviour of some people, as they do not reveal their true behavior all the time. 2 Interview Method: Interview method is basically used to do an in-depth study of the research problem. In this method, a researcher asks the respondents to react or speak on a particular topic or situation. In the interview method, the researcher is in a better condition to study the attitudes, motivations, and opinions of respondents. However, the researcher should keep certain things in mind while conducting the interviews. Sometimes, it is very difficult for the researcher to ask direct or personal questions because the respondents

are not willing to answer such questions. Therefore, the researcher should make the interview environment comfortable to get the answers of personal questions from respondents. Interview method is further divided into some sub-methods, which are shown in Figure 6.4:
Co mpu ter Assisted Interviews

Group Interviews

Strutu red Interview

Types o f Interview Meth od

Telephonic Interviews Individual In-depth Interviews

Unstructured Interviews

Fig. 6.4 Types of Interview Method

Following points explain the types of interview method: Structured Interviews: Refer to the interviews in which the researcher prepares questions and decide their sequence before the interview. Unstructured Interviews: Refer to the interviews in which the questions are not predefined. In the unstructured interview, the researcher asks the questions according to the situation and environment of the interview. Individual in depth interviews: Refer to interviews: Refer to interviews in which the researcher takes the interview of one respondent at a time. Such interviews prove very useful in getting in-depth knowledge of the topic under study from each respondent. However, individual in depth interviews are time consuming. Group interviews: Refer to interviews in which the researcher takes the interview of a group of respondents at a time. These groups can be further classified into focus groups or consumer panels. In focus groups, there are 8-to 12 members in a group and they are provided with a topic for discussion. They are informed about the motive of taking the interview, the various aspects that would be covered during the discussion, and the guidelines of the interview. Group interviews are more structured, thus easy to evaluate. In consumer panels, people are randomly selected and introduced with a new product, flavor, or advertisement, and then asked to discuss their experiences with the each other. This helps the researcher to know about the behavior of people with respect to the product. Telephonic interviews: Refer to the interviews in which the researcher takes interview with the help of a telephone. In telephonic interviews, the researcher searches the telephone numbers of people and contacts them to get information. These interviews are very convenient for researcher, as they save travelling cost and time.

Computer-assisted Interviews: Refer to the interviews in which the researcher takes interviews with the help of computers. There are two types of computer-assisted interviews, namely Computer Assisted Telephonic Interviews (CATI) and Computer Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI). In CATI, a computer system is connected with the telephone of the interviewer. The questions appear on the screen of the computer and the interviewer asks those questions through telephone. The interviewer feeds the responses of the interviewees in the computer system. In CAPI, the interviewees can administer their interviews themselves with the help of software installed in their systems. They can directly feed their responses in the computer systems. Pattern Used for Interview: The interview method for data collection follows a structured pattern mentioned in the following points: 1. Introduction: Refers to the stage in which the interviewer introduces himself/herself to the respondent. 2. Objective of the Interview: Refers to the stage in which the interviewer makes the respondents aware about the purpose of the interview. 3. Initiating Interview: Refers to the stage in which the interviewer starts asking the questions to the respondent. First, the interviewer asks the general questions to make respondent feel comfortable. After that, the interviewer can come to the specific or personal questions. The interviewer should listen to the interviewee patiently without interrupting. 4. Providing help: Refers to the stage in which the interviewer helps the interviewees, if they find it difficult to answer any question. The interviewer asks the interviewees to recall their previous experiences and answer the questions. He/she can also provide them clues related to the question that help the interviewees to provide relevant answers. 5. Conclusion: Refers to the stage in which the interview gets over. If all the questions are not covered in a single meeting, the next meeting can be organized and the whole process starts again. Advantages and Disadvantages of Interview Method: There are various advantages and disadvantages of interview method, which are shown in Table 6.2: Table 6.2 Advantages and Disadvantages of Interview Method Method of Data Collection Interview Method Advantage Disadvantages

Provides an in-depth Does not rule out the influence of knowledge of the topic interviewer on the respondents Helps in getting responses Needs a trained interviewer from a large population Reduces cost with the use of Consumes more time as t he telephonic and CAPI interviews are quite long technique

Limitations of Interview Method: There are certain limitations of the interview method, which are as follows: Allows the interviewer to draw the biased (favorable) results by framing biased questions Makes it difficult for the interviewer to create a comfortable environment, if more than one respondent is interviewed at a time Makes it hard to ask questions on each and every aspect of the research topic because respondents may not provide all the answers correctly 6.4.3 Questionnaire Method: Questionnaire represents the written form of an interview; however, there is one difference. It is easy to code a questionnaire than an interview because the questions in a questionnaire are mostly in quantitative form while questions of an interview are mostly in qualitative or exploratory form. The researcher can fill the questionnaires either by directly approaching the respondents or through mails. In addition, the researcher can create an online questionnaire for the respondents. The most important part in a questionnaire is designing the questionnaire. It is very important to design a questionnaire appropriately to get the desired results. The designing of the questionnaire goes through the following phases, as shown in Figure 6.5:

Evaluating question naire

Writing qu estionna ire

Deciding the type of question

Defining objectives of the questionn aire

Fig. 6.5 Phases of Designing a Questionnaire

Following points explain the phases of designing a questionnaire: 1. Defining objectives of the questionnaire: Refers to specifying the purpose of the questionnaire. It is important to define the objectives of questionnaire to get the relevant information from the respondents. The objectives should be realistic and achievable in the given period. In this phase, the researcher identifies the target respondents on the basis of research objective. 2. Deciding the types of questions: Refers to the phase in which the researcher determines the kinds of questions to be included in the questionnaire. The questions are broadly classified into two categories, which are open-ended and closed-ended. Open-ended questions do not have fixed responses; therefore, the respondents are free to answer as they feel. These questions help the researcher in judging the beliefs, behavior, and motivations of the respondents. An example of open-ended question is, Do you think training is important for an organization? Give reasons for your answer.

In close-ended questions, responses are already PROVIDED BY THE RESEARCHER AND THE RESPONDENTS NEED TO select the most appropriate response. Following is an example of close-ended questions: Q. Working with windows is easy than working with MS DOS. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree These questions are easy to code that is why preferred by the researchers. However, for getting in-depth knowledge, researchers prefer open-ended questions. In this phase, the researchers need to decide how to segment the questionnaire to make the processing and analysis of data easier. In addition, segmenting reduces the chances of skipping any topic, which has to be included in the questionnaire. The questionnaire should also contain demographic questions related to the age, sex, and income of the respondents that help in refining the data. 3. Writing questionnaire: Refers to the third phase in which the questionnaire is framed. In this phase, the researcher needs to take care of the following aspects: Make small questionnaires and include limited number of questions because respondents are reluctant to fill long questionnaires. Ensure that the wording and format of the questionnaire should be simple so that the respondents can fill the questionnaire without the assistance of researcher. Do not use any technical words in the questionnaire. Provide ranking description in every question of ranking order scale. For example, rank the following health drinks on a scale of 1-5 according to your liking? (5 stands for excellent, 4 for good, 3 for fine, 2 for fair, and 1 for poor) i. A ii. B iii. C iv. D v. E Use as many scaling questions as possible because such questions can be quantified easily and help in coding and analyzing the questionnaire accurately. Check whether the questions would be able to satisfy the research objective or not. Start your questionnaire from simple questions and then move on to the complex questions. 4. Evaluating questionnaire: Refers to assessing the effectiveness of the questionnaire. The best way to evaluate a questionnaire is to do a pilot test by distributing the questionnaire to at least 50 people and analyze their responses. After that, check whether their responses are meeting the objectives of the questionnaire or not. If the responses meet the objective, then the questionnaire is fit to be used. Otherwise, the researcher needs to recheck the questionnaire, reframe the questions that are creating problem, and eliminate the irrelevant questions.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Questionnaire Method: There are various advantages and disadvantages of questionnaire method, which are shown in Table 6.3: Table 6.3 Various Advantages and Disadvantages of Questionnaire Method Method of data collection Questionnaire Method Advantages Offers structured responses that are easy to analyze Disadvantages Gives less responses as compared to other methods when distributed through emails or the Internet Makes it difficult to identify the respondents

Increases the coverage area for data collection with the help of the Internet and e-mail Diminishes the effect of Enhances the chances of the observer or getting a wrong data when the researcher on respondents questionnaire is not designed properly Limitations of Questionnaire Method: Following points explain some limitations of questionnaire method: Making it difficult for the researcher to define the extent of simplicity of questions in a questionnaire. This happens because understanding level of every person is different and it depends on his/her educational and cultural background, age group, and experience. Demanding a lot of time of the researcher, if the sample size is large. Making it difficult for the researcher to motivate people to fill up the lengthy questionnaires. Making it difficult for the researcher to interpret the data collected with the help of questionnaires, if the questions are qualitative in nature. Socio-metric Method: Socio-metric method/test enables the researcher to analyze a social group or work group by studying attractions and repulsions among group members. In this method, a social group is taken and its members are asked to perform some activities in a particular situation. This method is used to understand the interaction, communication, and choices of Individuals in a group. The researchers use socio-metric test to find out the relationship pattern within a group. On the basis of the choices of an individual, a socio-gram or socio-matrix is built to study these patterns. Following terminology is used to explain the findings of a socio-metric test: Socio-metric Star: Refers to the person selected by majority of the group members Mutuals: Refer to a situation in which two group members select each other. Chains: Refers to the situation in which one person selects the 2nd person, the 2nd person selects the 3rd person, and so on

Cleavage: Refers to the person who is not selected by any member of the group The process of socio-metric method is as follows: 1. Introduction: Refers to the stage in which the researcher informs the respondents how to perform the activities. However, he/she does not tell them the actual motive of the activities to get their unbiased responses. 2. Gathering information: Refers to the stage in which the researcher asks questions from the respondents after they sr. have performed the activity to collect information. 3. Conclusion: Refers to the stage in which the researcher starts interpreting the responses of the team members and drawing conclusions from the data collected. Advantages and Disadvantages of Socio-metric Method: There are various advantages and disadvantages of socio-metric method, which are shown in Table 6.4: Table 6.4 Different Advantages and Disadvantages of Socio metric method Method of Data Collection Socio-metric Method Advantages Presents an insight of flow of information within a social group Aids in understanding die behavioral pattern within a group Disadvantages Increases the necessity to have a skilled researcher Limits the research to a group. In sociometric method, the researcher can analyze a group interaction only whereas; lots of other factors may affect the research.

Limitations of Socio-metric Method: The limitations of socio-metric method are as follows: Requires building an appropriate activity for the respondents to collect data. If the activity is not appropriate, then the collected data could be worthless. Does not provide accurate results, if the respondents get to know the purpose of the activity. In such a situation, the respondents may not give the true responses. 6.4.5 Schedule Method: Schedule method is same as the questionnaire method as both the methods contain a set of questions in the written I form. The main difference between the two is that in schedule method enumerators are appointed to conduct the research. These enumerators meet the respondents personally and fill the questionnaires themselves. Sometimes, the responses can also be filled by the respondents, but in the presence of enumerator, who can guide them, if they face any problem. Schedule method is the mostly used method by government agencies, research institutes, or big organizations.

1. 2. 3. 4.

The process involved in the schedule method is as follows: Appointment of Enumerators: Refers to the stage in which the enumerators are appointed for a particular research work. They were told about the purpose of research and asked to start their research work. Designing of Questionnaire: Refers to the stage in which the enumerators design the questionnaire keeping in mind the objective of the research and type of respondents. Field work: Refers to the stage in which the enumerators start collecting data by going to different places. Interpretation: Refers to the stage in which the enumerators interpret the collected data for the purpose of analysis.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Schedule Method: There are various advantages and disadvantages of schedule method, which are shown in Table 6.5 Table 6.5 Different Advantages and Disadvantages of Schedule Method Method of Data Collectio n Schedule Method Advantages Disadvantages

Enlarges the chances of getting accurate responses and increases the number of response as compared to questionnaires Decreases the wrong data risk of getting

Consumes more time and involves more cost, as enumerators have to be appointed. Limits the responses, as the coverage area is small in comparison to questionnaires.

Limitations of Schedule Method: The limitations of the schedule method are as follows: Requires highly skilled enumerators for conducting research. It is a difficult task to find such enumerators. Requires extra efforts from enumerators side when the respondents are unable to understand the questions. They also have to put efforts to make the illiterate people understand the whole concept of research or a single question. 6.5 Some Other Methods of Primary Data Collection: In addition to preceding methods, there are some more methods of primary data collection. Following points explain these methods: Projective Techniques: Include different techniques, such as word association, story completion, sentence completion, and picture completion. These techniques are used to understand the hidden motive or behavior of people with respect to a product or brand. In the word association technique, a list of well-known words, relating to

quality is given and respondents have to associate these words with the different brands. In story, sentence or picture completion, an incomplete story, sentence, or picture is given and the respondents have to complete it according to their understanding. These methods help the researcher to find out the image of any brand or product in the mind of consumers. This helps the organization in forming strategies to increase their customer base. Unobtrusive Measurement: Provides the data from different sources without involving people in: the process. In this method, the researchers observe very minute things, study them, and then came to a decision. For example, observing the sales register of a showroom to know which product is selling more. Another example can be finding out the number of packets of food in the pantry of an office for knowing how many people take lunch from outside to find out the necessity of a canteen in the office. This technique helps in getting an accurate idea of the problems that are not identified or reported by the people. Multi-method: Applies by most of the researchers to properly investigate about a problem. In this method,, a researcher can combine the different methods of data collection as per tile requirement. For example, a researcher wants to observe a particular behavior of people and also wants to know the reasons for their behavior. He/she would use the observation method for the first part and interview method for the second part. 6.6 Methods of Secondary Data Collection: The different methods of secondary data collection are shown in Figure 6.6:
Co mpany records

Census an d other govern ment records

Meth ods of Secon dary data collection

Intern et

Print media

Fig. 6.6 Different Methods of Secondary Data Collection

Following points explain the different methods of secondary data collection: Company records: Provide the information in the form of balance sheets and sales records. This information is used to perform a trend analysis of data and forecast the overall growth of a company in future. It also helps in deciding whether the company is moving on the right track to achieve its vision or not. Company records are maintained every year by the company itself.

Internet: Gives the information regarding the previous researches done on the same topic. The Internet also provides lots of the data related to the research from different sources. Print media: Offers you the information that is publicized. Print media includes newspapers, magazines, books, research papers, arid journals. The data collected from print media is used to get an overview of the present market situation and experts opinions on different topics. Census and other government records: Furnish a large data of each and every individual of the state. This data contains the personal information of respondents. It is used mostly used by government and big organizations. This type of data helps in conducting research on a big scale. For example, how many parts of the country still not have electricity? Selecting an Appropriate Method of Data Collection: The selection of an appropriate method of data collection depends on a number of factors, which are as follows: Objective of research: Plays a very important role in determining the method of data collection. It defines the motive of conducting research, which, in turn, helps in knowing the type of data (quantitative or qualitative) we need to collect. Time frame for a research: Refers to the duration within which research needs to be completed. If the time frame to complete the research is less, then the researcher would use the data collection methods that are less time consuming. However, if the time to complete the research is more, then the researcher can use the time consuming data collection methods, such as in-depth interview. Availability of resources/funds: Ensures smoothness in the research. If the researcher has sufficient funds to conduct the research, he/she can use expensive methods of data collection; otherwise, he/she has to look for economical methods. Precision: Refers to the accuracy that is required while collecting data. If the data collection is not done with precision, the findings of the research would not be very reliable. Skills of the researcher: Makes or destroys the whole effort of data collection. Selection of a skilled researcher is necessary because if the researcher is unskilled, he/she may not be able to select the right method of data collection.