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Content: Exploratory Research Vs Descriptive Research

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Key Differences Between Exploratory and Descriptive Research
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Exploratory research is research conducted for a problem that has not been studied more clearly, intended to establish priorities, develop operational definitions and improve the final research design. It should draw definitive conclusions only with extreme caution. Given its fundamental nature. The Internet allows for research methods that are more interactive in nature. When research aims to gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to acquire new insight into it in order to formulate a more precise problem or to develop a hypothesis, exploratory studies also known as formulative research come in handy.

If the theory happens to be too general or too specific, a hypothesis cannot be formulated. Therefore, a need for an exploratory research may be realized and instituted to gain experience that may help in formulating a relevant hypothesis for more definite investigation. The results of exploratory research are not usually useful for decision-making by themselves, but they can provide significant insight into a given situation.

Although the results of qualitative research can give some indication as to the "why", "how" and "when" something occurs, they cannot reveal "how often" or "how many". Exploratory research is not typically generalizable to the population at large.

Social exploratory research "seeks to find out how people get along in the setting under question, what meanings they give to their actions, and what issues concern them. The goal is to learn 'what is going on here? Earl Babbie identifies three purposes of social-science research: Applied research in administration is often exploratory because there is need for flexibility in approaching the problem.

In addition there are often data limitations and a need to make a decision within a short time period. Qualitative research methods such as case study or field research are often used in exploratory research. Exploratory research or formulative research: The objective of exploratory research is to gather preliminary information that will help define problems and suggest hypotheses. The objective of descriptive research is to describe the characteristics of various aspects, such as the market potential for a product or the demographics and attitudes of consumers who buy the product.

The objective of causal research is to test hypotheses about cause-and-effect relationships. If the objective is to determine which variable might be causing a certain behavior, i. In order to determine causality, it is important to hold the variable that is assumed to cause the change in the other variable s constant and then measure the changes in the other variable s.

There are often much deeper psychological considerations, that even the respondent may not be aware of this is not true. There are two research methods for exploring the cause and effect relationship between variables:. At this point, the required information is loosely defined, and the research process is flexible and unstructured. It is used in the situation when you must define the problem correctly, identify alternative courses of actions, develop a hypothesis, gain additional insights before the development of an approach, set priorities for further examination.

The following methods are used for conducting exploratory research. By the term descriptive research, we mean a type of conclusive research study which is concerned with describing the characteristics of a particular individual or group. It includes research related to specific predictions, features or functions of person or group, the narration of facts, etc.

The descriptive research aims at obtaining complete and accurate information for the study, the method adopted must be carefully planned.

The researcher should precisely define what he wants to measure? How does he want to measure? He should clearly define the population under study. It uses methods like quantitative analysis of secondary data, surveys, panels, observations, interviews, questionnaires, etc. Descriptive Research concentrates on formulating the research objective, designing methods for the collection of data, selection of the sample, data collection, processing, and analysis, reporting the results.

The difference between exploratory and descriptive research can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:. Therefore exploratory research results in insights or hypothesis, regardless of the method adopted, the most important thing is that it should remain flexible so that all the facets of the problem can be studied, as and when they arise.

Conversely, descriptive research is a comparative design which is prepared according to the study and resources available. Such study minimises bias and maximises reliability. The material you sent have been so useful in my study,Keep it up To me as as a Masters scholar I appriciate.

Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Key Differences Between Exploratory and Descriptive Research The difference between exploratory and descriptive research can be drawn clearly on the following grounds: Research conducted for formulating a problem for more clear investigation is called exploratory research.

Research that explore and explains an individual, group or a situation, is called descriptive research. The exploratory research aims at the discovery of ideas and thoughts whereas the primary purpose of descriptive research is to describe the characteristics and functions.

The overall design of the exploratory research should be flexible enough so that it provides an opportunity to consider various aspects of the problem.


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Exploratory research (or ER) is an examination into a subject in an attempt to gain further insight. With ER, a researcher starts with a general idea and uses research as a tool to identify issues that could be the focus of future research.

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Exploratory research is research conducted for a problem that has not been studied more clearly, intended to establish priorities, develop operational definitions and improve the final research design.

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An exploratory research project is an attempt to lay the groundwork that will lead to future studies or to determine if what is being observed might be explained by a currently existing theory. Most often, exploratory research lays the initial groundwork for future research. Definition of exploratory research: Investigation into a problem or situation which provides insights to the researcher. The research is meant to provide details where a small amount of information exists.

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Exploratory research design does not aim to provide the final and conclusive answers to the research questions, but merely explores the research topic with varying levels of depth. It has been noted that “exploratory research is the initial research, which forms the basis of more conclusive research. 1 RESEARCH DESIGN AND EXPLORATORY RESEARCH Assist. Prof. Dr. Özge Özgen Research Methodology Exploratory Research • How well is your problem defined? • If not well defined: –Exploratory •Used to clarify/define a problem •Manager tells you “sales just aren’t what we.