Understanding Research Methods

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The research method is a scientific way to obtain valid data with the aim to be found, developed, or proven, a certain knowledge so that in turn it can be used to understand, solve, and anticipate problems in a particular field. The types of research methods can be grouped according to fields, objectives, methods, level of explanation, and time. According to the field, research can be divided into academic, professional and institutional research. In terms of objectives, research can be divided into pure and applied research.

In terms of research methods, it can be divided into survey research, expofacto research, experimentation, naturalism, policy research, evaluation research, action research, history, and research and development. From the level of expalanation it can be divided into descriptive, comparative and associative research. In terms of time, it can be divided into cross sectional and longitudinal studies. Below will be described types of research methods according to the purpose, method, and level of explanation.

Research methods

Types of Research Methods

Research by Purpose:

  • Pure Research

Pure research is research conducted or directed simply to understand organizational issues in depth and the results of these studies for the development of administrative or management science. Jujun S. Suriasumantri (1985) stated that research aimed at discovering new knowledge that had never before been known.


  • Applied Research

Applied Research is research directed to obtain information that can be used to solve problems. Gay (1977) states that it is difficult to distinguish between pure (basic) and applied research separately, because the two lie on a continuum line. Basic research aims to develop theories and not pay attention to practical uses which are practical.


Basic research is generally carried out in laboratories whose conditions are tight and controlled. Applied research is carried out with the aim of applying, testing, and evaluating the ability of a theory to be applied in solving practical problems. So basic research is pleased with the discovery and development of science. After the knowledge is used to solve problems, the research will become applied research.


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Research by Method:

  • Survey Research

Survey research is research conducted on large and small populations, but the data studied are data from samples taken from these populations, so that relative events, distribution, and relationships between variables are found.


Example : research to reveal the tendency of people to choose national and regional leaders, the quality of Indonesian human resources.


  • Ex Post Facto Research

Research Ex post facto is a study conducted to investigate the events that have occurred and then trace backward to determine the factors that cause these events.


Example : research to expose the causes of building fires in a government institution, research to reveal the causes of riots in an area.


  • Experimental Research

Experimental Research is a study that seeks to find the effect of certain variables on other variables under tightly controlled conditions.


Example : research into the application of new work methods to work productivity, research into the effect of three-passenger cars on traffic jams on the road.


  • Naturalistic Research

Naturalistic research is often also called a qualitative method which is a research method used to examine the condition of natural objects.


Example : research to deny the meaning of ritual ceremonies from certain groups of people, research to find factors that cause corruption.


  • Policy Research

Policy research is a research process that is carried out on, or analysis of, fundamental social problems, so that its findings can be recommended to decision makers to act in solving problems.


Examples : research to make laws or regulations, research for the development of organizational structures.


  • Action Research

Action research is research that aims to develop the most efficient work methods, so that production costs can be reduced and the productivity of institutions can increase.

Example : research to improve working procedures and methods in community service, research looking for good teaching methods.


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  • Evaluation Research

Evaluation research is research that serves to explain the phenomenon of an event, activity and product.

Example : research the process of implementing a regulation or policy, research on family planning.


  • Historical Research

Historical research is research that deals with a logical analysis of events that took place in the past.

Example : research to find out when the founding of a particular city that can be used to determine birthdays, research to find out the development of the civilization of certain groups of people.


Research by Exploration Level:

  • Descriptive Research

Descriptive research is research conducted to determine the value of an independent variable, either one or more variables (independent) without making comparisons, or connecting one variable to another.


Example : research that attempts to answer how the profile of the Indonesian president, how the work ethic and work performance of employees in a department.


  • Comparative Research

Comparative research is a study that compares things.

Example : is there a difference in the profile of the Indonesian president from time to time, is there a difference in work skills between SMK graduates and high school graduates.


  • Associative Research

Associative research is research that aims to determine the relationship of two or more variables.

Example : is there a relationship between the arrival of a butterfly and a guest, or is there an influence of incentives on employee work performance.


Research by Data Type and Analysis:

  • Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is research that uses quantitative data (data in the form of numbers or data that is collated). Quantitative methods are called traditional methods, because these methods have been inherited as methods for research. This method is called positivistic method because it is based on the philosophy of positivism.


This method is a scientific method because it has fulfilled scientific principles that are concrete, objective, measurable, rational, and systematic. This method is also called the discovery method, because with this method can be found and developed a variety of new science and technology. This method is called quantitative because the research data in the form of numbers and analysis using statistics.


So, the quantitative method is a method used to examine a particular population or sample, sampling techniques are generally carried out randomly, data collection using research instruments, data analysis is quantitative / statistical in order to test the hypothesis that has been applied.


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  • Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is research that uses qualitative data (data in the form of data, sentences, schematics, and images). The qualitative research method is named as the new method because of its recent popularity, it is called the postpositivistic method because it is based on the philosophy of postpositivism.


This method is also referred to as an artistic method, because the research process is more art (less patterned) and is called an interpretive method because the research results are more concerned with the interpretation of data found in the field.


So the qualitative research method can be interpreted as a research method used to examine natural conditions of objects, (as opposed to being an experiment) where the researcher is a key instrument, data source sampling is done by triangulation (combined), data analysis is inductive / qualitative, and qualitative research results emphasize more meaning than generalization.


Judging from its purpose

Judging from the purpose of the study grouped into several sections, including:

  1. Explorative research is research that aims to find new knowledge;
  2. Development research is research that aims to develop existing knowledge;
  3. Verificative research is research that aims to test the truth of existing knowledge;

  4. Historical research is research that describes the sciences that already exist, the process includes investigation, recording, analysis and interpretation of existing events with the aim of finding generalizations;
  5. Descriptive research is research that aims to describe things that are happening now;
  6. Experimental research is research that aims to describe what happens if certain variables are controlled in a certain way.

Various Research Data

The types of data that are usually used for research that can be explained as follows:

  1. Qualitative data is data that is expressed in the form of words, sketch sentences and images that usually indicate a certain quality.
  2. Quantitative data is data in the form of numbers or data that is leveraged, usually in the form of statistics.
  3. Discrete data (nominal data) is data that can only be classified separately, discrete or in categories.
  4. Continuum data is data that varies by level and is obtained from measurement results.
  5. Ordinal is data in the form of ranking or ranking.
  6. Intervals are data that are the same distance but do not have absolute 0 (zero) values.
  7. Ratio is data that is the same distance.
  8. Variable is an attribute of a person or object that has a variation between one person and another or one object with another object, or certain activities that have certain variations that are determined by the researcher to study and draw conclusions. The types of variables can be divided into independent variables / independent variables, dependent variables / dependent variables, moderator variables, intervening variables, and control variables.

Types and Examples of Research Methodologies

The etymology methodology is interpreted as a science that discusses research methods. Research methodology is a strategy or basic principle used in a study to make it easier to get data. The types and examples of research methodology are as follows:


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  • Survey Research

Survey research methodology is a type of method that uses a questionnaire or questionnaire as a research instrument to obtain primary data. Thus the design of the questionnaire that has been designed will be shown to individuals who are respondents or as subjects filling in the questionnaire. This survey research belongs to the type of quantitative research.


Respondents involved in survey research are as part of a research sample that represents the population. The difference between sample and population is that the population is the whole population while the sample is those who represent it in the study.


In determining the sample must use appropriate techniques so that the samples obtained are representative. Therefore, to obtain the sample the relevant sampling technique is applied to obtain a representative sample.


Survey research can be exemplified as follows, for example research on "What obstacles are faced by high school teachers in Bandar Lampung in applying curriculum-based learning 2013". Thus the questionnaire designed contains some questions that will be asked to the teacher as a research sample.


  • Experimental Research

Experimental research is a type of quantitative research. Researchers carry out experiments with clear hypotheses and goals. For example, want to see how influential the learning method uses the experimental method with lectures on student learning outcomes.


In general, this experimental study divides the object of research into two groups to get data in accordance with the objectives. One group was used as an experimental target, while the other group was used as a control.


In experimental studies the control group acts as a comparison against the target group. From the results of a comparison between the two groups that will produce experimental research data. Examples of studies that can apply experimental methodologies, for example "The effect of green open space on the reduction in the level of aggressiveness of the citizens of Jakarta".


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  • Longitudinal Research

Longitudinal research is a research method designed to measure a change or development of phenomena in a long period of time. In general, longitudinal studies usually apply surveys to obtain data from research samples.


Reviewing because this research requires quite a long time, the research sample must be visited again at least once to conduct a survey. Longitudinal research consists of two types, namely panel studies and cohort studies.


  • Grounded Research

Grounded research is a type of qualitative research. This study focuses on finding new theories derived from "grounded" on existing data in the field.


Therefore, researchers who use this type of grounded research do not use concepts or theories that have been discovered by other scientists to reference research support sources. Examples of grounded research, for example, researchers study the actions and interactions of social life that occur as a reference for research.

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