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Copyright, 1995-2002 1 Invitation to Research RESEARCH CONCEPTS & TERMINOLOGY Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright, 1995-2002 1 Invitation to Research RESEARCH CONCEPTS & TERMINOLOGY Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright, Invitation to Research RESEARCH CONCEPTS & TERMINOLOGY Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of Hong Kong Visiting Fellow, Australian National University /40-CTerm.ppt ebs, January 2003

2 Copyright, Research Terminology 'Research Methodology' The study of research methods A singular that does not admit of a plural 'Research Technique' A specific means, approach or tool-and-its-use, whereby data is gathered and analysed, and inferences are drawn 'Research Method' The manner in which a particular project is undertaken It comprises one or more research techniques

3 Copyright, Alternative Motivations for Research Pure Research because its there contribute to abstract, theoretical understanding Applied Research I have a hammer, so go and find me a nail Instrumentalist Research I have a problem, so go and find me a solution

4 Copyright, The Nature of Research Outcomes Exploratory The first depiction of something new Descriptive The depiction of a behaviour or a domain Explanatory Systemic explanation of how past behaviours arose Ascription of causes to prior occurrences Predictive Statement of what occurrences will arise Systemic explanation of how behaviours will arise Statement and explanation of the effect particular interventions will have Normative Statement of interventions necessary to achieve desired outcomes Statement of desired outcomes

5 Copyright, The Nature of Data (Measurement Scales) Quantitative Ratioa natural zero Cardinal / Intervalno natural zero Ranked Ordinalsequence (numbers) Qualitative Category Ordinalsequence (text) Nominaldifferentiation Dichotomousit is or it isnt

6 Copyright, Likert Scales A contrived Ranked Ordinal Scale much-used in attitudinal research Usually 5, 7 or 9 choices Usually anchored by end-points such as Strongly Disagree... Strongly Agree and with a neutral-sounding mid-point Usually very long lists of questions The data is generally processed as though it were on an Interval Scale

7 Copyright, Characteristics of Data Collection Passive (Observation) or Active (Response Elicitation) Purpose: Disguised or Openly Declared Structured, Semi-Structured or Unstructured In Person, By Telephone, By Written Form (e.g. Mail), By /Web-Form, By Mechanical Means

8 Copyright, Unit of Analysis A Person An Event An Object A Body of Individuals Group, Organisational Unit, Organisation A Relationship, e.g. a Dyad An Aggregate Census District, Industry Segment or Sector

9 Copyright, Time Horizon Study Setting Snapshot Cross-Sectional (snapshots of multiples) Longitudinal Contrived or Naturalistic Researcher Interference – degree and nature

10 Copyright, An Eternal Tension in Research Relevance vs. Rigour Associations with Rigour Independence, through Pure Research Motivation Outcomes that are Explanatory Quantitative Data / Ratio Scales / Statl Analysis Determinable Causal Relationships Associations with Relevance Motivation that is Instrumental, or Applied Outcomes that are Predictive and Normative Whatever Data is Collectible Complex Interdependencies

11 Copyright, The Concept of Causality One or more Variables (the Cause) are asserted to determine another Variable (the Effect) Determinant Cause That factor which is the necessary and sufficient condition for some subsequent effect Probabilistic Causes Those factors that are necessary but individually not sufficient conditions for some subsequent effect

12 Copyright, Evidence of Causality Co-variation / Correlation Time Order, and Chaining Absence of other variables that might be the real cause Plausibility / Systemic Relationship

13 Copyright, Test Case I am a manufacturer of raincoats. I want to increase sales. I increase my advertising budget by 100%. Sales go up 20%. What is the relationship between the increase in the advertising budget and the increase in sales?

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18 Copyright, Systems Thinking, Modelling, Cybernetics Implications for Causality Systems Thinking and Modelling underline the interconnectedness of phenomena, i.e. they are oriented towards holism / gestalt Measures of Dependent Variables arise from a constellation of many Independent Variables Their interdependence may be too complex to be able to expressed by simple rules Cybernetics suggests that Independent Variables may be subject to influence by Dependent Variables Hence the notion of Causality appears naïve


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