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Step 2 - Selecting Methodology

This guide aims to focus on core considerations which you should engage with in order to chose a good methodological approach for your project.

What is methodology?

Orientation, or strategy of data gathering. This depends on the research questions that are being asked in the research process. Research questions will determine what type of knowledge is being sought, what data will provide the evidences for answering the research questions, how it will be collected and by whom (Denzin and Lincoln 1994). In order to answer research questions, you as a researcher must have a general orientation to the conduct of social research (Bryman 2001: 20).

Therefore, in first instance think and ask yourself what is your research doing?

Ask yourself: What is your research doing?

Try to complete My research strategy, which may help you in choosing appropriate methodologies.

  • Describe - What? Who? When? Where?
  • Explain - When? How?
  • Explore - What? Who? When?

Based on the answer you provide in your research strategy - answering above questions will help you in finding appropriate research strategy.

Case study Case study aims to study particular case (group, community, organisation, an episode, process or another unit of life) in order to understand it complexity and context.

This approach aims to give unitary character to the data being studied by interrelating variety of facts to single case. Multiple research are tend to be used.
Ethnography Ethnography tries to gather and understand inside social world and see it throught the eyes of research subject in order to understand its complexity in particular context.
Narrative research/Life story Narrative research / Life story - This form of inquiry focuses on life stories of individuals.

It is an approach to understanding and researching the way people create meaning of their lives as narratives. The term narrative generally can refer to any spoken or written presentation, confines his usage to the kind of organisational scheme that is expressed in story form.
Action research Action research aims to design inquiry to build knowledge for use to bring solution to specific problems. Thus, action research aims to plan the change and produce practical knowledge. It combines acting (problem solving) and research (inquiry).
Grounded theory Grounded theory - A researcher is trying to drive a general, abstract theory of the a process, interaction, or actions are developed and grounded in the data.

This means that no theory or hypothesis are proposed upfront. Grounded theory involves multiple stages of data collection and the refinement and interrelationship of categories of information. (Creswell 2003:14).

Download this guide as pdf: Step 2 - Selecting methodology (pdf)

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