Research Design: Research design essentially refers to the plan or strategy of shaping the research, or as Hakim (1987) puts it “design deals primarily with aim, purposes, intentions and plans within the practical constraints of location, time, money and availability of staff”.
a) Definition: According to Scltiz, Jahoda, Deutsch, and Cook “a research design is an arrangement of the essential condition for collection and analysis of data in a form that aims to combine relevance to research purpose with economy in the procedure”.
Suchman has pointed out that “a research design is not a highly specific plan to be followed without deviation, but rather a series of guide posts to keep one handed in the right direction”.
Decision regarding what, where, when, how much by what means concerning an enquiry or a research study constitute a research design. So a research design or a plan is a tentative outline of the proposed research work. The plan is not a very specific one. It is simply a set of guideline to keep the scholar on the right track.
b) Need of Research Design: The need of research design are-
i) It may result in the desired type of study with useful conclusion;
ii) It reduces inaccuracy;
iii) Helps to get optimum efficiency and reliability;
iv) Minimize wastage of time;
v) Minimize uncertainty confusion and practical haphazard associated with any research problem;
vi) Helpful for collection of research material and testing of hypothesis;
vii) It is a guide post for giving research a right direction.
c) Characteristic of Research Design: Some of the characteristics of research design are-
i) Regularity: State character or fact of being regular.
ii) Verifiability: To ascertain text, the truth or accuracy of anything opens for verification.
iii) Universality: A state or quality of being universal or general.
iv) Predictability: To predict or tell before with moderate accuracy.
v) Objectivity: Not subjective or unbiased.
vi) Systematization: In a coherent or orderly manner.
d) Components of Research Design: A practical research design has the following steps, however these are not independent but rather they are interdependent and overlapping in a sense.
i) Title of the Study: The title or name o topic of research should be brief. In order to sharpen the focus if necessary a subtitle may be added to the main title.
ii) Stating Problem: Stating the problem which surrounds the specific problem will provide a focus on the chosen topic for research.
iii) Review of Literature: A review of the literature should be made.
iv) Area and Scope of Study: The area and scope of the study should be stated.
v) Objectives of the Study: The objective of the study should be clearly mentioned.
vi) Formulation of Hypothesis: Though it is not mandatory a few hypothesis should be taken.
vii) Definition of Concept and Terminology: The concept and terminologies likely to be used in the research should be clearly defined.
viii) Methodology: There are several methods of investigation and collection of materials. A researcher is free to adopt one or several method.
ix) Determining Tools of Data Collection: Determining tools of data collection and formulation of schedules or questionnaire.
x) Sampling Design: A complete coverage of the unit of the universe selected for research is not possible. So, sampling design deals with the method of selecting items to be observed for the given study. Sampling design means determining the research participants.
xi) Determining Techniques for Data Analysis: The collected data should be processed and organized.
xii) Limitation: Limitation in terms of gap in the data, sample should ascertain.
xiii) Interpretation of Results: The processed and organized data are interpreted for drawing inferences.
e) Limitation of Research Design: The following are some of the limitations of research design-
i) Non availability of sufficient data;
ii) Non availability of resources like money, manpower, etc.;
iii) Inadequate time in the formulation of research design;
iv) Poor skill and ability of the research scholar;
v) Unforeseen development during the course of design, which are uncontrollable as well.
The research design is a tentative statement, so the design is subject to change in the light of the material available or experience gathered while pursuing the actual work.