Mode of Inquiry based Types of Research
Mode of inquiry concerns the process one adopts to find answers to his questions. Broadly, there are two approaches to enquiry.
- The structured approach
- The unstructured approach
Structured approach: In the structured approach everything that forms the research process – objectives of a research, design for conducting it in a good way, sample for help, and the questions that you may plan to ask of respondents that is predetermined. On the other hand approach that s unstructured allows flexibility in all three aspects of the process. Hence, the approach that is structured is more appropriate to determine the extent of a particular problem, an out of control issue or a deep phenomenon.
Unstructured approach: The unstructured approach is predominantly used to explore its nature, in other words, it defines the diversity in a phenomena, issue, problem or attitude towards an issue. For example, if one wants to research the different perspectives of an issue, the problems experienced by the people living in a community or the different views people hold towards an unsolved issue, then these should be better explored using unstructured enquiries.
To find out answers to particular questions like how many people have a particular problem, one need to have a structured approach to enquiry. On the other hand, an unstructured enquiry must be undertaken to ascertain the diversity in a phenomena which can then be quantified through the structured enquiry. Both approaches have their own importance in research at their places, as both have their positive points and negative points. Therefore, as a matter of fact one should not lock himself only into structured or unstructured approach.
Moreover, structured approach to inquire is usually classified as quantitative research and unstructured as qualitative research. The choice between qualitative and quantitative approaches depends upon:
- Aims of one’s enquiry that includes exploration, confirmation or quantification
- Use of the findings that involves policy formulation or process understanding
According to the mode of enquiry there are two types with special reference to mode of enquiry, as stated above as, qualitative and quantitative approaches. These two approaches can also be used as methodologies for data collection and data analysis while conducting a research.