Review of Different Research Methods

Review of Different Research Methods
The development of research methodology is carried out in accordance with the
logic of scientific study. This approach involves a set of theoretical and empirical
methods the combination of which makes it possible to study complex and
multifunctional objects using reliable and valid techniques. The application of various
methods gives the researcher an opportunity to study the problem comprehensively
including its aspects and parameters. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the key
features of main research methods used within qualitative and quantitative study
designs.
Qualitative Research Methods
Qualitative research methods allow the investigator to collect and analyze
detailed information about the subject of research (for instance, about inclinations,
internal motives, values, preferences, and so on). They provide the researcher with a
more comprehensive understanding of ongoing processes, contribute to the
identification of patterns of behavior, and give an opportunity to determine the cause of
the phenomenon or reaction (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016). Consequently, this category
of methods is aimed at studying the widest possible range of opinions. The main
characteristics of qualitative research are the collection of information in a free form and
its focus on understanding and interpreting the data obtained so that the investigator
can formulate hypotheses and productive ideas.
It is crucial that no single universal method that can provide objective information.
It is necessary to use comprehensive methodology that will include several
complementary methods (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016). The expediency of a particular 
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methodology depends on the content of the problem under analysis, the degree of its
development, and the resources available to the researcher.
Observation
Observation is one of the most commonly used methods. It implies a purposeful
perception of the phenomenon due to which the researcher can receive factual
evidence. During all observations, the researcher should have a protocol in which the
main objects will be pre-selected (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016). The method of
observation can be controlled and uncontrolled. In the first case, the researcher
becomes a member of the group in which the observation is being conducted; in the
second case, he or she is detached, conducts a hidden or selective observation.
According to statistics, this method is often used since it is quite feasible, but it has a
particular weakness related to the fact that the investigator conducts observation under
the influence of personal characteristics (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016). The researcher
can achieve objectivity by applying the method of triangulation to validate the findings.
Survey
The survey method is divided into several subcategories, which are conversation,
interviews, and questionnaires. A conversation can be either a self-contained method or
an additional one. It is used to receive an explanation when some indicator or factor
was not clear enough (for example, during observation). The conversation is held in a
free form based on the list of questions; the interviewee's answers are not recorded
(Bryman, 2015). When interviewing, the researcher asks questions in a certain
sequence and writes down the answers. An interview can be direct or indirect (for
instance, over the phone) (Bryman, 2015). In a questionnaire method, the respondent 
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completes the list of open and close-ended questions in the presence of the
investigator.
Focus Group
This method implies collecting information during a series of group discussions in
the form close to conversation. During focus group, participants are immersed in an
environment that motivates them to reflect and express their opinions on a particular
topic. Participants need to justify their position so that the researcher can keep a record
of the systematized argument (Bryman, 2015). Notably, in the course of such
interaction, the group might exhibit a drastically different position regarding a problem
that was not initially brought up for the discussion. However, a drawback of this form of
research may be a distortion in the expression of the participants' real views. This can
happen when the focus group boils down to the opinion or is guided by a leader.
Delphi Method
Delphi method is a technique that is not used often; however, it has a number of
advantages. This technique is concluded to a survey of a group of experts in which they
anonymously exchange opinions and form an agreed collective opinion. This method
can be used in any settings when forecasting is necessary and when there is not
enough information to make a decision (Bryman, 2015). In general, Delphi method is
used during the formulation of the problem and the evaluation of various ways to solve
it. The characteristic feature of this approach is anonymity of experts,  


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