It is nothing but the blue print or action plan of how to conduct research. In a lay man view answers to the questions what, where, how, why in regard to research is research design. Deciding journey map is research design. It is a plan how researcher will start from detecting situation/ problem to final report writing. This process of planning may consist of blueprint of venue, time, budget, manpower, and collection of sample data, measurement of data, analysis of data, formulating hypothesis, writing report and everything needed for conducting valid, reliable, useful research.
Need Of Research Design
As we know research design is well thought plan or blue print, so it facilitates the smooth running of all research activities. . Research design stands for advance planning of the methods to be adopted for collecting the relevant data and the techniques to be used in their analysis, keeping in view the objective of the research and the availability of staff, time and money.
Features of Good Research Design
A research design (plan) which gives maximum output by minimizing errors produce is research is said to be good research. Following are some the features of good research design.
1) It should be flexible and appropriate for situation discussed.
2) It should be economical (planned considering budget.).
3) It should minimize bias and maximize reliability.
4) The design should be an activity and time based plan.
5) It is always based on research question.
6) It guides the selection of sources and types of information.
7) It indicates a framework for specifying the relationship among the study’s variables.
8) Outlines procedures for every research activity.
9) It must be appropriate, efficient and economical.
10) It should be flexible.
11) It must be adequate. Once single research design cannot serve the purpose of all types of research problems, infect research design varies according to research problem explored. When researcher wants to explore some new ideas or concepts then design should be flexible in operation. Whereas in descriptive or experimental types of research, design adopted should be rigid.
Use of Good Research Design:
If the research design is an exploratory in nature or new concept to be studied or wherein the major focus on discovery of ideas and insights, the research design most appropriate must be flexible enough to permit the research to act freely.. But when the purpose of a study is to describe phenomena deeply or association between categories or describing/ forecasting trends of market or business where accuracy becomes a major consideration and a research design which minimizes bias and maximizes the reliability of the evidence collected is considered a good design. Studies involving the testing of a hypothesis of a causal relationship between variables require a design which will permit inferences about causality in addition to the minimization of bias and maximization of reliability. But in practice it is the most difficult task to put a particular study in a particular group, for a given research may have in it elements of two or more of the functions of different studies. It is only on the basis of its primary function that a study can be categorized either as an exploratory or descriptive or hypothesis-testing study and accordingly the choice of a research design may be made in case of a particular study. Besides, the availability of time, money, skills of the research staff and the means of obtaining the information must be given due weightage while working out the relevant details of the research design such as experimental design, survey design, sample design and the like.