Overview of Research Design – Meaning, Importance, Types, Characteristics and Key Considerations

Published 16 October, 2023

Research design is basically a model that consists of techniques or methodology which you can apply for performing the various activities during the research procedure. It is an appropriate design of research that helps you in integrating the different types of variables in the study. By using an appropriate design of research you can easily identify the problem.

Importance of Research design:

  • The selection of a good design is important as it will help you in conducting the research process in a systematic manner. It also helps you in completing your research work in an efficient manner.
  • Design of Research has great significance as it is only the factor that has a significant influence on the reliability of outcomes. It is the study design that enables you to get answer your questions.

Types of research design

The different types of research design are:

1. Exploratory design:

It is the type of study design that you can apply for a study that has not been studied earlier. The exploratory design will help you in exploring the issue; it will also help you in identifying the different aspects of the study which is very crucial for making the right judgment. Good research will enable you to develop an in-depth understanding of the issue. This study design basically provides the foundation for a more conclusive investigation.

For example:
1) An investigation was performed with the objective of identifying the function of social networking sites in marketing.
2) Research conducted Quality of services has been improved in the hospitality sector.

Advantages of exploratory research design:

  • One biggest advantage of the exploratory design is that it is flexible and the researcher can make changes at any time.
  • It helps in saving time as the requirements of resources are determined in the early phases.

Disadvantages of exploratory design of Research:

  • There are high chances of biases in the interpretation of data.
  • Few numbers sample participants are selected which does not represent the entire population.
  • The research conclusion drawn is not at all helpful in decision making.

2. Explanatory design:

It is the type of research design that you can apply for the issue which has not been studied clearly ever before by other researchers. Explanatory research design mainly emphasizes explaining or describing the different aspects of the study. A few well-known techniques of explanatory research design are case study analysis for research, interview, focus group, etc.

By applying the explanatory research design you will be able to develop an understanding of the relationship between cause and effect. It is a research design which mainly dependent on different methodologies such as secondary investigation and formal quality approaches such as case studies, interviews, focus groups, etc.

You can use the explanatory research design for performing investigations in order to analyze the influence of particular changes on previous regulations or procedures. In the context of explanatory research design, the most common technique which is generally utilized for accumulating facts is experiments. The main objective of the explanatory research design is to help the researcher in developing in-depth knowledge about the subject or topic.

Advantages of explanatory research design:

  • One of the biggest advantages of explanatory research design is that it provides flexible sources from where you can easily gather data.
  • An explanatory research design helps in designing effective questions.
  • It will help you in making a better conclusion and judgment.
  • An explanatory research design helps you in determining the root cause of the issue.
  • The other biggest advantage of explanatory research design is that it enables the investigator to test the sole of the hypothesis and make changes in existing theories.

Disadvantages of explanatory research design:        

  • The main drawback of explanatory research design is that it does not enable you to generate a conclusive outcome.
  • Another biggest drawback of the explanatory research design is that it lacks statistical strength.

3. Descriptive research design:

It is considered to be a scientific methodology that includes observation. A descriptive research design allows you to provide a description of the phenomenon or attitude of people. It is the design that helps in analyzes participants in a natural setting. Observational, survey research and case study are three methods of descriptive design,

For example, An investigation was performed for analyzing the influence of promotional campaigns on the behavior of customers in the retail sector.

Advantages of descriptive research design:

Descriptive research provides ease in analyzing no- quantifiable data and problems.

  • Another biggest advantage of the descriptive design is that it enables the researcher to observe the phenomena or behavior of people in a natural setting.
  • It allows you to use both qualitative and quantitative research methods for gathering facts about phenomena.
  • It is as time-consuming as compared to others.

Disadvantages of descriptive research design:

  • One of the biggest drawbacks is that by applying the descriptive design you will not able to very issues in a statistical manner.
  • Another drawback is that there are high chances of bias ness as there Is no statistical test is performed.
  • It does not help in the identification of the root cause of the specific issue.

4. Experimental design:

This is a design that you can apply for developing the relationship between cause and effect. In Experimental Research Design, a single variable is manipulated in order to analyze the influence of the same on another variable.

For example, An experiment was conducted for analyzing the effect of specific drugs on the health of the patient.

Advantages of experimental research design:

  • One of the biggest benefits of an experimental design is that it enables you to retain control over variables.
  • It also provides you with ease in determining the relationship between cause and effect.
  • Experiment research design enables you to produce better results.

Disadvantages of experimental research design:

  • One of the biggest disadvantages of Experimental design is that there are high chances of human error
  • The personal bias from the side of the researcher can have an adverse effect on outcomes.
  • Outcomes can be applied only to a single situation.
  • It is quite difficult to measure the responses provided by people.

Characteristics of research design

  • Neutrality: while planning to conduct an investigation you are required to make various assumptions related to the way information about the topic can be gathered. In the same way,   there should not be any kind of bias ness in determining the outcome. While making predictions about the results of the research you will need to analyze the opinion of others and you will need to develop analyze the different aspects of the subject.
  • Reliability: This means that the design which has been selected should provide you with a way to formulate research questions. It is the reliability in the selection of study design that will help you in accomplishing desired outcomes.
  • Validity: The number of tools available for measuring and testing the results. An effective measuring tool is that which supports investigators in determining results according to the established objectives. The validity of design basically means the extent to which it measures what it claims to measure. The validity of the design of the research is very much essential as it will support you in determining the research questions. It will also help the researcher in ensuring that the questions which they are utilizing will really assist in addressing the problem.
  • Generalization: The Research findings or results of the investigation procedure should be applicable to the complete population.

Key consideration while selecting a study design

  • One of the best strategies which you can adopt while making the choice of design is to concentrate on the objective of the investigation.
  • Then after you need to determine the approach such as Quantitative, Qualitative, or mixed that you will apply in research. In addition to this, while making the choice of design you will not consider your own abilities and also the availability of resources.
  • Determining the level of flexibility is the other important consideration which you need to make while making a selection of specific designs for the study.

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