What is explanatory research?

What is explanatory research?

Explanatory research is an attempt to connect different ideas and to understand the different reasons, causes, and effects. Mostly the research starts from exploratory research, then descriptive research and then explanatory research. Explanatory research is an attempt to find the question of why? 

What are the examples of explanatory research?

  1. Descriptive research can tell that 20% of the students are failed in the exam. Explanatory research can tell that what is the reason behind this failure.
  2. Descriptive research answers that a computer system with more RAM has more speed. Explanatory research answers the question that why a computer system with more RAM has more speed as compared to a computer system with less RAM.
  3. Descriptive research can tell that all of the male students have more crazy behavior as compared to female students. The explanatory research explains that what is the reason behind this failure.

Methods of explanatory research design

Some important methods of explanatory research design include the followings;

  1. Depth Interview
  2. Case Analysis Research
  3. Focus Group Research
  4. Literature Research

1. Depth Interview

Depth Interview focus is to start your research with one well-educated and the specialized person who knows and talk better about your research topic.

Suppose you are interviewing with a team of Laptops manufacturing company, then the well-educated and specialized person can be any one of the followings;

  • CEO
  • Team Leader
  • Sales Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Product Manufacturing Officer etc.

Depth Interview: Example of famous Coronavirus 2020

Explanatory research Depth Interviews

2. Case Analysis

Researchers can understand and solve the problem by researching similar cases with other cases. For example, if the sale of the HP laptops is decreasing, then we can research for Dell laptops that why Dell laptops sale is increasing day by day. The competitor’s study plays a very important role in understanding our research topic.

Case Analysis: Example of famous Coronavirus 2020

Case Analysis Research Explanatory research

3. Focus Groups in explanatory research design

Suppose you are researching why HP laptops sale is decreasing day by day. As a researcher, you must gather accurate and reliable information about the customers of the HP laptops. You must get the information from your focus groups of customers. Some of the examples of the required information are mentioned below;

  • What does the customer want?
  • What is the customer needs?
  • What are the customer fears?

The most effective method of obtaining this type of information is to meet directly with your audience, discuss with them and find out what’s on their minds and what they need.

Focus Groups: Example of famous Coronavirus 2020

Focus Research Groups Explanatory research

Advantages of Focus Groups

  1. More useful when the results of the research are very unpredictable and you want to explore more details.
  2. Give the facility to the targeted peoples to express their ideas in detail.
  3. Give the facility to the targeted peoples to share their feelings.
  4. The researcher can observe the difference of opinions among peoples of the focus group.
  5. Sometimes it is preferable for the researcher that he/she leaves the room of peoples of the focus group to allow people to communicate with each other without any hesitation.

Drawbacks of Focus Groups

Some Drawbacks of Focus Groups are mentioned below;

  1. When you bring a group of people together at a place to talk about a brand (For example HP Laptops), some of the extremist group members try to force other peoples to convince with their opinion and this can leads to biased results. Sometimes it can be harmful to a product for which you are managing the focus groups.
  2. People/Customers are mostly frustrated with your product and try to express negative ideas with other group members.
  3. If we hire some incompetent researcher to moderate the group of the customer of a product, it can be difficult to collect the full range of opinions, wants, thoughts,  needs, and wishes of the focus group.

Literature Search

Literature Search is the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to search the literature.
Some helpful resources in literature research are mentioned below;

  • Hypothesis
  • Internet
  • Books and libraries.
  • Magazines
  • Journals
  • Research Papers
  • Conferences etc.

Literature Search: Example of famous Coronavirus 2020

Literature Research Explanatory research

Comparison of Explanatory and Exploratory research

ExplanatoryExploratory
ObjectiveDescribing the market characteristics.

 

Discovery of ideas.
MethodsPanel

Surveys

Observations

Quantitative research

Quantitative research Qualitative research

Pilot surveys

Expert surveys

CharacteristicsMarked by the previous formulation of specific hypothesis.

Pre-planned design so results in a well structure design.

Versatile and flexible.

Sometimes the front end of total research design.

Comparison of Explanatory and Causal research

ExplanatoryCausal
ObjectiveDescribing the market characteristics.

 

Determining the relationship between cause and effects.

.

MethodsPanel

Surveys

Observations

Quantitative research

Experimentation
CharacteristicsMarked by the previous formulation of specific hypothesis.

Pre-planned design so results in a well structure design.

Manipulation of one or many independent variables.

Controlling the other mediating variable

Explanatory and Response Variables

Explanatory variable can be used to explain or predict the differences in some another variable (response variable)..
Explanatory Variable
Explanatory Variable is also called independent variable. Some researchers also name it as a predictor variable. Explanatory Variable explain variations in the response variable.
Response Variable
Response Variable is also called dependent variable. Some researchers also name it as an outcome variable. The value of Response Variable is predicted and its variation can be explained by the explanatory variable.

Degree & Age Example of Explanatory and Response Variables

Research question: Do Master level tend to be elder than bachelor students?
This is an observational study. The researcher wants to use degree level to explain the differences in age. The explanatory variable is degree level. The response variable is age.

FAQ

Which of the following would be the explanatory research? | Which of the following represents an explanatory research study? | Which of the following studies might be considered explanatory research? | which of the following studies might be considered explanatory research?

A.Panel

B. Surveys

C. Observations

D. Experimentation

E. A, B and C

Answer: E

You must know about the followings;
advantages of explanatory research |
difference between exploratory descriptive and explanatory research | explanatory research | explanatory research advantages pdf | descripto explanatory research design| description explanatory research design
| causal research in marketing | causal research question examples

Topic Covered

What is explanatory research? research methodology.

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