What Is Research? Definition, Features, Types, & Methods

What is Research? Definition, Features, Types, and Approaches

What is Research?

Research is the systematic inquiry or investigation into a specific problem or issue that leads to new or improved knowledge for solving the problem.

Research is done mainly for two purposes: to enhance the bank of knowledge or to develop new theories in the field and to identify the problem and search for solutions for that problem.

While we segregate the word Research it is “RE” and “SEARCH”. So it denotes searching for something again and again until it is found or new thing is found.

According to F.N. Kerlinger – It is a systematic, controlled, empirical, and critical investigation of hypothetical propositions about the presumed relations among natural phenomena.

Thus, research is a systematic and organized study and analysis of an issue that helps solve the problem or add new knowledge to existing knowledge.

Characteristics of Research

The research undertakes the depth study of any issues or subjects which helps to enhance the existing knowledge or solve any specific problem of an organization. Different researches have different natures and features, from them, some common features are mentioned below:


A good piece of research must address the research questions and be objective. In order to avoid a lack of congruence between the research questions and the hypothesis, this necessitates the creation of sound hypotheses.


It must be able to control all the variables. This requires randomization at all stages. For example, in selecting the subjects, the sample size, and the experimental treatments. This shall ensure adequate control over the independent variables.


By employing the same process, we ought to be able to produce results that are nearly the same, allowing us to adapt the findings to a situation that is comparable.

In other words, it can be claimed that for the research findings to be applicable in the relevant field, the results obtained by the researchers using the same sample and techniques should be the same.

Free From Personal Biases

The basis of good research must be objectivity, not subjectivity, and it must be free from the researcher’s personal biases.

This means that the approach should be followed such that the researcher cannot alter the data or use his or her perceptions to influence the findings.


It should follow various well-planned steps i.e. all steps must be interrelated and one step should lead to another step. The use of such steps helps to bring uniformity in research work and report writing.


If a study is conducted on a population with the same characteristics as the earlier study, a researcher should be able to obtain roughly the same results by applying the same approach.

Directed Towards The Solution of a Problem

It identifies the issues and looks into every facet of them. It makes an effort to identify potential remedies for these issues through in-depth analysis. So, the goal of research is always to find a solution to a problem.


Researchers collect the information from various sources and interprets the information. It does not only present the result on the basis of interpretation but proves those results using various logics. Inductive and deductive studies are examples of logical reasoning.



Replicability is the capacity to do research using the same methods. Repetition in the same area of study improves the reliability of findings. Past theories should be retested in order to enhance them through time, and the findings of such tests can be broadly applied to a variety of organizations.

Types of Research

Generally, they are of two types, they are:

Basic or Fundamental Research

It is study that is done to get more in-depth information about a subject or to advance a theory. The basic goal of fundamental research is to advance understanding of the problem and develop theories based on the results.

These theories form the foundation for subsequent findings in the same area. For instance, a theory created to address the problem of absenteeism can be applied to multiple companies of various types, not just one company or one type.

Applied or Action Research

Applied research is study that is carried out to identify an answer for a current issue that a society or business organization is experiencing. Finding a solution to some practical issues is its main goal.

It offers solutions to the issues brought up about policy, programs, initiatives, and procedures. It is undertaken when required. It is more concerned with actual life.

Approaches To Research

Qualitative and quantitative are the two main research methods or approaches.

Quantitative Approach

It is is conducted based on the measurement of quantity. When conducting research on issues that can be precisely quantified, a quantitative method might be applied. This takes into account the quantifiable data and determines the outcome by applying statistical or mathematical methods to analyze those facts.

Qualitative Approach

This research is concerned with qualitative phenomena. Its main goal is to get depth knowledge and explain the issue or subject rather than finding the solution or coming to the conclusions. It generally, explains the issues and makes easier to understand the issue to the general public.

Applications of Scientific Thinking in Research

Scientific thinking refers to the goal focused problem solving and step by step logical, organized, and rigorous method that helps to identify problems, gather data, analyze the data, and draw the conclusions.

Research is not only based on hunches, experience, and intuition but it is purposive and rigorous also. Because it is conducted in a thorough manner, it makes it possible for people who are interested in learning more about related topics to conduct investigation under comparable circumstances and produce comparable results.

In research where scientific thinking is used tend to give more accurate results.¬†This makes it easier to adapt the solutions to different organizational contexts. Also, scientific research tends to be more objective and aids managers in highlighting the workplace’s most important elements that require particular attention in order to avoid, minimize, or resolve problems.

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