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Research Methodology . Dr. Tamer El Sharnouby Assistant Professor of Marketing Cairo University Textbook.

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research methodology

Research Methodology

Dr. Tamer El Sharnouby

Assistant Professor of Marketing

Cairo University

  • Jill Collis & Roger Hussey. (2009). Business Research: A Practical Guide for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students, Third edition. Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire.
module 1 understanding research
Module 1 Understanding Research


  • Definition and purpose of research,
  • The qualities of a good researcher,
  • Main types of research.
definition and purpose of research
Definition and purpose of research
  • Research means different things to different people.
  • Research:
  • Process of enquiry and investigation,
  • Systematic and methodical,
  • Increases knowledge,
  • Thorough and rigorous, and
  • Appropriate methodology and method.
purpose of research
Purpose of research:

To review and synthesise existing knowledge,

To investigate some existing situation and problem,

To provide a solution to a problem,

To explore and analyse some general issues,

To construct or create a new procedure or system,

To explain a new phenomenon,

To generate new knowledge, and

A combination of any of the above.

qualities of a good researcher
Qualities of a good researcher

You might have some.... Others you need to develop:

Communication skills: the ability to communicate your understanding of the research area (submission of dissertation, thesis, proposal, defence in viva, oral examination).


Written and verbal communication skills are needed:

Applying for funding,

Discussing your project with your supervisor,

Negotiating access to sources of data,

Conducting interview,

Designing interviews,

leading a focus group,

Writing and presenting conference paper,

Writing academic journal articles.

intellectual skills
Intellectual skills:







information technology skills
Information technology skills

Word-processing program (write your notes, any quotations and references from literature, results of any survey, observations,...etc later on you can manipulate and refine)

Statistical packages (Minitab, SPSS, Stata)

Database (quantitative data and qualitative data) ,

Computerized library and online databases,


organizational skills
Organizational skills

Time management: many tasks ...time consuming:

Timetable for your research ASAP,

List all activities you have to undertake and estimate the time you think it will take to complete them,

To start writing a satisfactory first draft proposal... Shut the door, unplug the telephone, switch of mobile and sit down with you books and papers for five or six hours without interruption.


Choose a subject you are interested in.

Your reason for doing the research:

I love the subject,

I love studying,

I want to be intellectual,

I have a personal question I want to answer,

I want to be creative and useful,

I want to be a member of the research community,

I need to get a better job,

Employers want people with this qualification,

All my friends are doing it, and

It’s part of my course.

major limitations in conducting a research
Major Limitations in Conducting a Research
  • Time
  • Costs
  • Access to resources
  • Approval by authorities
  • Ethical concerns
  • Expertise
types of research
Types of research:

According to:

The purpose: Exploratory, descriptive, analytical and predictive research.

Process/approach: Quantitative vs Qualitative.

Applied vs Basic research

research approaches




Research Approaches





assumptions of qualitative designs
Assumptions of qualitative designs
  • Qualitative researchers are concerned primarily with process, rather than outcomes or products.
  • Qualitative researchers are interested in meaning.
  • The qualitative researcher is the primary instrument for data collection and analysis. Data are mediated through this human instrument, rather than through questionnaires, or machines.
  • Qualitative research involves fieldwork. The researcher physically goes to the people setting, site, or institution to observe or record behavior in its natural setting.
  • Qualitative research is descriptive in that the researcher is interested in process, meaning and understanding gained through words or pictures.
  • The process of qualitative research is inductive in that the researcher builds abstractions, concepts, hypotheses, and theories from details.
assumptions of qualitative designs1
Assumptions of qualitative designs
  • The nature of reality: multiple, constructed and holistic
  • The relationship of knower to known: interactive, inseparable.
  • Generalization: a “working hypothesis” that describes a single case
  • Causal linkages: mutual simultaneous shaping.
  • Inquiry is value bound.
when to use qualitative research
When to use qualitative research
  • For problems that need exploration
  • For problems that need a complex detailed understanding.
  • To write in styles that push the limits of formal academic narratives
  • To understand contexts
  • The topic has been researched for a long time in the same way
  • The topic is new to research
  • You would like in-depth information that may be difficult to convey quantitatively
qual data collection methods
Qual Data Collection Methods
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Participant observation (field notes)
  • Video
  • Text and Image analysis (documents, media data)
assumptions of quantitative designs
Assumptions of quantitative designs
  • Quan:what, where, and when of natural phenomena
    • develop and employ mathematical models, theories and hypotheses related to natural phenomena
    • Involve large samples of subjects; deal with cause/effect
    • Associated with positivism: that objective truth can be known with certainty, that it can be gained through rational methods
  • A single, tangible reality "out there" that can be broken apart into pieces capable of being studied independently
  • The separation of the observer from the observed
  • What is true at one time and place will also be true at another time and place
  • An assumption of linear causality; there are no effects without causes and no causes without effects
  • The results of an inquiry are essentially free from beliefs, interpretations
quantitative methods
Quantitative Methods
  • Survey
  • Experiments
quantitative concerns
Quantitative concerns

Useful in areas like user demographics, patterns of use; BUT:

  • Can produce a false sense of certainty
  • Takes the subject outside of natural setting/tasks
  • Quantifies unquantifiable phenomenon
choice of methodology methods
Choice of Methodology & Methods
  • Depends on
    • Research Questions
    • Research Goals
    • Researcher Beliefs and Values
    • Researcher Skills
    • Time and Funds
  • Cornford, T. and Smithson, S. (1996). Project Research in Information Systems. A Student’s Guide. Macmillan. London.
  • Creswell, J.W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design. Choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research design. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, Y. (2000). Introduction: The discipline and practice of qualitative research. In N.K. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed., pp.1-17). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Dr. Tamer El Sharnouby