Research: Meaning, Role and its importance…!!

Author: VS Warrier

Research…!! The word is quite familiar to all of us, right? Yeah…! Research that is what we are trained to do or asked to do in our Ph.D program or while writing our dissertation in the final semester or even for a small class project/assignment. From school level till date we have been familiar with the word Research. So what is Research? What does a Research really signify? How would it be? Why do we give so much of emphasis to such an exercise? Let’s have a look…

Research means the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. In other words, it is the collection of evidence or information for ascertaining an assumption or verifying some hypothesis . In simple words we can say Research is the combination of Re + Search which means, the repetition of search. It means a search for facts, answers to questions and solution to problems.

Research is considered as the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to extend, correct, or verify knowledge, whether the knowledge aids in construction of theory or in the practice of an art. It is a systematized effort to gain knowledge.

Our knowledge is limited, and there are ‘n’ numbers of problems waiting to be solved in every subject. Be it science, mathematics, social science or law. We identify the vacuum in our knowledge and try to address it by asking relevant questions and seeking answers to it. Role of research is to provide a method for obtaining those answers by inquiringly studying the evidence within the parameters of the scientific method.

Research is considered to be more objective, methodical, well-determined scientific process of investigation. Through research, a decision maker can quickly get a summary of current scenario, which improves his information base for making sound decisions affecting future operations of organisation. It is useful to accelerate the decision making power and it alone can make possible the identification of the determinants.

The aim of research is to seek answers to problems through the application of scientific methodology. Every research will have one aim. Its aim may be to push back the bonds of comprehension and seek beyond the horizons of our knowledge, some truth or some reality. Or it may be to find out the truth which is hidden and which is not been discovered so far.

It is a media to find out the difference between two variables and to reach on certain specific conclusion. Importance of research varies according to its kind, especially whether it is basic or applied research. Basic research aims to study or analyse advance knowledge with no application to existing problems in view. Whereas, applied research is designed to solve a particular existing issue so that there are larger audience eager to support that research which is likely to solve problems of immediate concern.

We do lot of things in our day to day life, and most of them are based on our common sense, or based on what we have learnt through personal experience or from others. Sometimes it is not the best approach and there are contrary theories about what works out best in a given situation. Hence, research is much needed.

However, there are various reasons by which a research can happen; like, passion to know new things, due to job requirement etc. Most of the organizations hire some of their employees to conduct either Operational research which focus on on-going programs and business operations, or Strategic research which concentrates on the issues of a long-term goals and marketing strategies.

Curiosity is a crucial part of the human condition. Many professionals, including scientists, want to know more about something that interests them. However, carefully organized and controlled research enables researchers to test and compare different theories and approaches, explore different methods and learn from other people’s experience. It also enables them to rule out or at least consider external factors which might influence their results.

Another major significance of carrying out a research is that, for lots of studies, the findings can be recorded numerically and then statistically analyzed in order to determine whether the findings are significant, i.e. the extent to which it can be claimed with a specified degree of certainty that they are not just due to chance.

To conclude, research is to finding out new things and asking questions we have about. Research allows you to pursue your interests, to learn something new, to hone your problem-solving skills and to challenge yourself in new ways. It allows you to come up with a result that represents the distillation of your interests and studies, and possibly, a real contribution to knowledge.