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Research Methodology is essentially the "how" of any specific piece of research.
It is primarily about how a researcher plans a study in a methodical manner to produce valid and reliable results that address the research aims and objectives.
1. Step 1: Consider your aims and approach
2. Step 2: Choose a type of research design
3. Step 3: Identify your population and sampling method
4. Step 4: Choose your data collection methods
5. Step 5: Plan your data collection procedures
6. Step 6: Decide on your data analysis strategies
At its most basic, Saunders' research onion illustrates the several considerations that must be made while designing a research approach. As you work your way inwards from the exterior of the onion, you'll encounter a variety of options that vary from high-level and philosophical to tactical and practical.
John Creswell outlines five basic approaches in his book, Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design, choosing among five approaches.
1) Narrative qualitative approach
2) Phenomenology qualitative approach
3) Ethnography qualitative approach
4) Case Study qualitative approach
5) Grounded Theory qualitative approach
The narrative focuses on stories.
This focuses on lived experience and understanding the universal essence of a specific phenomenon.
Ethnography is a research method that helps us understand the culture of a group of people.
This includes learning about their shared beliefs, values, and behaviors.
An example of ethnography would be studying how a particular cultural group celebrates recovery from illness.
Case studies help researchers learn more about specific cases by looking at them from different angles. This way, they can better understand the key themes in that case.
Case studies can be about individuals, organizations, towns, cities, or any other bounded system. They often involve data collection from multiple sources, which is known as triangulation.
Researchers use case studies to answer specific questions about a case.
Grounded theory is a research method where you let the data speak for itself. This means that you let the data inform the development of a new theory or model.
The theory you develop is based on the data, which makes it useful for researching new or under-researched issues.
Grounded theory research is a type of research that uses qualitative data.
This type of research involves identifying commonalities between sets of data, and the results are then drawn from the completed research.
There is no aim of fitting the findings in with a pre-existing theory or framework.
Qualitative and quantitative methods can be complementary (also known as mixed-method). Sometimes we use them together, especially in public health.
We want to use tools that are well-suited to the research questions, and build on the strengths of each method.
When using a mixed method design, focus on three things:
1) whether it's an exploratory or explanatory study.
2) we need to think about whether the priority is the qualitative or quantitative portion.
3) keep in mind when to integrate the quantitative and qualitative components.
There are two types of data: naturally occurring data and researcher-generated data.
Naturally occurring data is stuff that exists without any help from researchers, like documents, archives, and transcripts of speeches.
Researcher-generated data is stuff that researchers create, like images, tweets, and Internet-based texts.
We'll primarily focus on what we call researcher-generated data. This is data generated through researcher interaction with the environment and/or participants. There are three types.
1) observation. Most qualitative research involves some observation. Data is generated by writing field notes.
2) interviews. One-on-one interviews are typically recorded and then transcribed verbatim.
3) focus group discussions. Small group discussions are facilitated by a moderator recorded and transcribed verbatim.
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