Hey all, I have just now begun with my PhD, and now, I need to decide the research methodology for my study. I understand that this stage is highly important for my paper.
So nowadays, I am continuously reading about different methodologies which I can use, and I noted down some of them which are appropriate for my study such as descriptive, explanatory and exploratory and I am finding it difficult to differentiate between them. It seems as if they are overlapping each other. I want to know the difference between them.
As the name suggests, a descriptive design is a research where you describe a phenomenon. The other two are, however, a little confusing. In explanatory, you start with quantitative research and then explain your results with qualitative research. Exploratory is opposite, where you begin with qualitative research and end with a quantitative explanation.
Yes, I agree, explanatory is qualitative and exploratory is quantitative. Descriptive, on the other hand, is qualitative but with a structured and pre-planned design. If you have selected your research method, then I think it would be easy for you to determine your research strategy.
In an exploratory approach, usually, no patterned methods are used. The focus of this method is on investigating distinct information.
In a descriptive approach, standardized method is used. It is mostly used following an exploratory procedure.
Explanatory research is conducted to recognize the scope and nature of a cause-and-effect relationship. Explanatory research can be done to assess the impacts of specific changes in existing norms, various processes, etc.