The research process consists of exploring, planning, creating, conducting, collecting, analyzing, and writing (the written report). It is the road map or instructional start-up manual that explains the orderly progression of your research project. I separated the model into shorter, more digestible chapters that follow the flow of preparing for research and conducting it. In this chapter, the phases of creating and conducting research were covered. Exhibit 4.1 illustrates some of the most labor-intensive activities of the research process.
The creating phase involves three elements: matching an efficient method/technique with the design, identifying or devising the measuring instruments, and implementing a sampling plan.
The conducting phase of the process contains three elements: recruiting research participants ethically, preparing a proposal (academic, IRB protocol, or business), and conducting a pilot study. These are “hands-on” activities in the research process. The former involves obtaining IRB approval for the use of human participants in research. The proposal is the logical presentation of your work plan, in which you describe the significance of your research topic and its relationship to previous work and outline the methods and sequence of steps to collect and process the data. Its importance lies in the approval or disapproval of your project based on the scholarly and technical competence you show. The pilot study prepares you to anticipate and correct weaknesses in the actual study through a trial run. It gives you critical information on participants’ reactions to your instruments, numerical estimates for sampling, and a preliminary evaluation of statistical techniques. Pretesting collects information to make modifications to the instruments prior to administration. It relies on a small group of participants to refine a measuring instrument, including its instructions, questions, or scales.