Research methodology is one of the most important chapters of a thesis or dissertation. However, most of the students face problems in writing methodology chapters for their thesis or dissertation. There are many research scholars who do not understand various aspects related to the methodology chapter and these are the structure of the chapter, things to be included in the chapter, tools and techniques, etc. It must be noted that the most important point while writing the methodology chapter is to understand the objective of the study and based on that everything in this chapter is decided. It is important to determine whether the methodology will be qualitative or quantitative and this is also based on the objectives and the research gaps of a thesis or dissertation.
Let’s first talk about the basic structure of the research methodology chapter of a thesis or dissertation. There are eight major elements of a research methodology chapter and these elements are listed below:
- Research philosophy
- Research strategy
- Research approach
- Research Design
- sample and sampling strategy
- sample universe and sample size
- Data collection
- Data analysis
The above-mentioned points provide a structure to the research methodology chapter, and it also becomes easier for a scholar to write this chapter in detail with more clarity.
The next important aspect associated with this chapter is to describe all the above mentioned points specifically with the perspective of the thesis or dissertation. This is because there are various research philosophies, techniques, approaches and designs, and their selection is entirely based on the nature of the research.
Research philosophy is important, as it is the belief about the manner in which data regarding a phenomenon has to be analyzed, used and gathered. There are different philosophies like positivism, interpretivism and pragmatism that are used on the basis of the nature of the research and objectives.
There are various research strategies that have been identified by different researchers and the most common ones are field experiments, laboratory experiments, case studies, surveys, action research, etc. Positivist philosophies are mostly utilized in Surveys, field experiments and case studies. Interpretivism philosophy is mostly utilized in action research, descriptive research and future research.
There are majorly two approaches that can be used by a researcher while conducting a research study and these are an inductive approach and deductive approach. Again, the selection of approaches is based on whether a researcher wants to go from general to particular or to arrive at particular to general findings.
Sample universe is yet another important aspect associated with the research methodology chapter because it denotes the entire population that the researcher considers for the purpose of study. For example, a sample Universe could be a geographic area, like a country or a city or it can be a population, like HR managers. A sample universe is something from which the researcher determines the sample. Another important element of the research methodology chapter is that a researcher has to determine the sample size. Sample size denotes the number of people on which the survey would be undertaken.
It must be noted that a researcher must provide justification behind selecting a sample size and selecting a sample design unit. There are two types of Sampling strategies that are probability Sampling and non probability Sampling and it is important to provide justification as to why a specific strategy is utilized.
In this manner these are the most important elements that need to be taken into consideration by a researcher while attempting the research methodology chapter for a thesis or dissertation.