Four Major Research Designs - Essay Example

A survey is a research design that allows sociologists to collect by using questionnaires or interviews. In doing this successfully it requires the selection of participants from a random sample of the population, which I guess you can consider a limitation due to the fact that you cannot pick and choose the people you would like to gather the information from. Another limitation of using surveys to gather information is that you need to carefully word the questions in a way in which participants will be able to understand to answer accurately. (Witt, J. 2014) The benefit of using survey when used properly is that it allows you to see how people hind and act and find the common ground to make sound decision moving forward as an organization making improvements. When it comes to using either questionnaires or interviews in carrying out the survey method, most would say that the interviewing process is even more beneficial because you can go beyond the questions being asked and get the emotions and deeper explanation of their answers to the questions being asked. Observation is another research method used to gather information.

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Observation consists of systematically observing either individuals or groups. This is carried out through investigators who collect information by participating directly and/or by closely watching a group or community are engaged in observation. (Witt, J. 2014) A limitation of this method is that depending on the data that is trying to be collected the researchers need to have a set of guidelines for their observation. As well because of the nature of this research method it is more of a macro level research method. It could be done on a macro level but it would be more difficult and costly.

The next method of research our “experiments. ” It is a research design that is used to test cause and effect in relationships in a controlled environment. A benefit of this research method is that researchers are able to manipulate an experimental group and compare it to a control group to more thoroughly gather desired information. A limitation though is that if steps aren’t taken to create and maintain a highly controlled environment it could be possible that something else could influence the results of the study making he information gathered useless, and/or unusable to answer the hypothesis.

This type of research method requires careful planning and proper execution in order to be successful. This is also a macro level research method. The last research method is the use of secondary sources and/or secondary analysis. The term secondary analysis refers to a variety of research techniques that make use of previously collected and publicly accessible information and data. (Witt, J. , 2014) The benefit of this is that is saves time, resources, and money.

I would say the limitation though is exactly what it is in its definition. It is secondary information. There may be other information a researcher is interested in gathering but may not be available. As well the information could have been gather in different areas of population that may not be an accurate reflection of the information they would gather if they were to perform the research themselves. References: Witt, J. (2014) Chapter one. Third Edition Update, 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions, 2014.