Types of Research Design in Management Areas

In simply, research design is the conceptual structure within which the research is performed. A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure. Research design constitutes the blueprint for collection, measurement and analysis of data.

There are different types of research design are available. The suitable research design is selected on the basis of purpose, level and nature of study. The common research designs used in the management areas are described as follows:
  1. Conventional research (scientific research): Conventional or scientific research is a systematic and organized process of research. In this research, truths are not ascertained by beliefs, they are ascertained by logical consideration. This type of research design is widely used in the area of management.
  2. Developmental research: The type of research design whose main purpose is to predicting the future trends is known as developmental research. In this design, research concentrates on the study of variables, their rate of change, directions, sequences and other interrelated factors at a time. Longitudinal growth study, cross-sectional growth study and trend study are the three major methods of this design. For doing market survey, forecasting of sales by area or time, an employee survey might be done by using this research design.
  3. Case study  research: Case study usually refers to fairly, deeply and thoroughly examinations of a single unit. a single unit may be a person or a small group of people or single company etc. In this type of research, a researcher finds various aspects of a unit which is taken an account. Case study design is a very popular form of research in the area of management. Selected unit is studied intensively under this method.
  4. Field  study research: In this type of research, research is performed to discover the relations and interactions among variables. Researcher does not manipulate independent variables in the field study research. In the management areas, several researchers are performed to test the hypothesis. For testing the hypothesis field study research is quite useful.
  5. Action research: One of the most widely used research design in the management area is the action research. Action research is a type of design which acquires new skills or approaches of particular problems. This type of research is more practical and directly related to actual situations  of the concerned problem. It is also referred as applied research. Managers have been facing different immediate problems in their organization. They are interested to remedying the problem. For doing this action research design is the most appropriate.
  6. Evaluation research: A type of  research which is performed to evaluate the performance of the projects and the economic programmes that have already been implemented is known as evaluation research. In the area of management, evaluation research is carried out to measure achievements of the objectives and to suggest the improvements required. Action research and evaluation researches are more important in the stage of execution and control of the management.
  7. Descriptive research: Descriptive research studies are those studies which are concerned with describing the characteristics of a particular individual, or of a group. Adequate facts of the topics are collected and the conclusions are drawn  in this design. This design is more common in socio-economic surveys, job activity analysis, study of the workers in a company etc.
  8. Correlation research: In the management area, there are different variables which are influencing each other. So the researcher of the management areas are interested to find the relationships between the variables. To find the relationship between the variables correlation research is usually used. To study the relationship between the demand and supply, salary and working efficiency of staffs, advertising expenditure and profit etc., researcher may use this design.
Besides the above mentioned research designs, there are also many other designs. Such as historical research, ex-post facto research, true experimental research, assessment research etc. These designs are seldom used in the area of management. Selection of appropriate research design is mainly depends upon the nature of a particular research problem and the desired accuracy of the research.

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