Research strategy sets the general direction of research. It is one of the elements of research methodology and includes the process in which research is carried out. The right research strategy must be selected based on research objectives as well as questions, the amount of resources available and time, the philosophical foundations of the researcher, and the scope of existing knowledge about the studied area (Wedawatta G., Ingirige B., Amaratunga D. 2011, s. 3-4).
Types of research strategies
There are different research strategies, but they are largely convergent. Therefore, it is important to choose the most favorable strategy for a particular study. Part of the research strategies used in management and business are (Wedawatta G., Ingirige B., Amaratunga D. 2011, s. 4):
- action research,
- case study,
- grounded theory,
- cross sectional studies.
Surveys are used to obtain data that will guide research groups (from choosing samples to questions and topics). It is a successful method that helps generate a large amount of data from many people. Respondents can be selected based on a different number of features, such as: sex, age, race, sexuality, social class or demographic questions. These questions are usually placed first in the survey. Such information may be needed by a researcher who does not know which focus groups to use (homogeneous or heterogeneous) (Hesse-Biber S., Leavy P. 2011, s. 173).
The experiment is a detailed study using the general empirical method. Processes and phenomena are tested in controlled, rigorous conditions. The main principle in each experiment is to change the selected individual component in the test procedure, the remaining components are fixed - they do not change. During a given experiment, the researcher introduces a new factor to the process, modifying its rate. This factor is called an independent variable or an experimental factor. On the other hand, factors changed under the influence of an independent variable are dependent variables (Novikov A., Novikov D. 2013, s. 56-56).
Action research is systematic research that helps people solve everyday problems, looking for effective solutions. The aim of this research is to involve complex dynamics in all social contexts. Continuous cycles of designed research seek to solve problems that occur in specific situations and locations, which allows for obtaining measures that increase efficiency and effectiveness of work, in: social organizations and agencies, human and health services, companies, schools. Thanks to this, it builds knowledge that strengthens social and professional practices and increases the well-being of people who take part in it (Stringer E. 2014, s. 1).
Case study is one of the most popular research methods used by researchers in industrial marketing. The reason for this may partly be the nature of the subject. The main object of the study are relationships and organizations that have a complex structure and are difficult to access than (for example) consumer markets. The study of a single or small number of entities brings a lot of qualitative data that can be described as a case study, providing insight into their nature of phenomena (Easton G. 2010, s. 118).
Grounded theory is recognized as a qualitative research method. It aims to develop a theory that is based on the systematic collection and analysis of data. From other quantitative methods, it is distinguished by a specific approach to the development of theory. Grounded theory believes that there should be a continuous relationship between two activities: collecting and analyzing data. It allows the appearance of rich and original results, closely related to data, and offers well-marked data analysis procedures. It guarantees the researchers self-confidence, because they can indicate a large number of cases in the data that are associated with the concept produced (Urquhart C., Lehmann† H., Myers M. 2010, s. 357-358)
Ethnography favors nuanced, contextually rich and involved nuanced examples of qualitative social research, the driving force of the produced data are daily interactions. It includes a combination of different field techniques (interviews, observations, audiovisual recording, note taking, research of autochthonous literature) inscribed in the participants' observation. It is based on the conviction and trust that data is created thanks to the deep interaction between researchers. Ethnographers often treat data as a gift from informers with all the mutual consequences that suggest the exchange of these gifts (Falzon M. 2016, s. 1).
Cross sectional studies
Cross sectional study is one of the types of observational studies. At the same time, the researcher measures the exposure and the result of the study participants in it. Participants of the study are selected according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria adopted for a given study. After selecting the participants, the researcher assesses the exposure and results following the task. Cross-sectional studies are used to assess the incidence of diseases in clinical samples and for population studies (Setia M. 2016, s. 261)
- Easton G. (2010), Critical realism in case study research, Industrial Marketing Management, nr. 39, s. 118-128
- Falzon M. (2016), Multi-sited Ethnography: Theory, Praxis and Locality in Contemporary Research, Taylor & Francis Group, London, s. 1
- Gravetter F., Forzano L. (2017), Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences, Cengage Learning, USA
- Hesse-Biber S., Leavy P. (2011), The Practice of Qualitative Research, SAGE Publications, USA, s. 173
- Novikov A., Novikov D. (2013), Research Methodology: From Philosophy of Science to Research Design, CRC Press, Boca Raton, s. 56-56
- Rainer A. (2011), The longitudinal, chronological case study research strategy: A definition, and an example from IBM Hursley Park, Information and Software Technology, Volume 53, Issue 7, s. 730-746
- Setia M. (2016), Methodology Series Module 3: Cross-sectional Studies, Indian J Dermatol, nr 61, s. 261-264
- Stringer E. (2014), Action Research, SAGE Publications, USA, s. 1
- Urquhart C., Lehmann† H., Myers M. (2010), Putting the ‘theory’ back into grounded theory: guidelines for grounded theory studies in information systems, Info Systems J, nr 20, s. 357-358
- Whitley B., Kite M. , Adams H. (2013), Principles of Research in Behavioral Science, Routledge, New York
- Wedawatta G., Ingirige B., Amaratunga D. (2011), Case study as a research strategy: Investigating extreme weather resilience of construction SMEs in the UK, the University of Salford, Manchester, s. 3-4
Author: Dominika Magusiak