Research Methodology Introduction

The comprehensive analysis based on the research methodology is been accepted with in this project and it is described in detail in this thesis. The authentic methodology which is been taken in to consideration from the qualitative as well as the quantitative methods with in this research process and even the specific factors which lead to select this methodology is been explained in detail with in this research.

The research oriented research approach which is been considered for the primary source of the data as well as the secondary source of the data is been described in detail. The interviews which are semi organized are been conducted in order to gather the primary source of the information as well as this information is been utilized to develop the search regarding the research and the equivalent research analysis conducted to certify the value of the research which is been conducted to recognize the actual result from the literature. 

Research Philosophy chosen 

The term research philosophy can be defined as the process implemented to develop the required knowledge and the corresponding nature of the knowledge. The research philosophy deals with the assumptions about any research problem and how the researcher views the problem. Research philosophy can be considered as personal issues and no text book or teacher can give the required knowledge on the research philosophy and it’s the nature of the individual researcher and the philosophy chosen depends on the way by which they look in to the world.

The research philosophy chosen depends on the view of the researcher and should decide upon the best way that suits the view of the researcher and can be considered as the belief in which the required data should be gathered, analyzed and used. In general different philosophies of research can be derived from two basic aspects like epistemology and doxology. Epistemology is all about what is known to be true and doxology is all about what is believed to be true and these two terms are quite opposite to each other. The main objective of the science is to convert the things believed to things know, i.e. doxa to episteme. In general the research philosophy can be further classified in to positivism, realism and interpretivism. 

Positivism

Positivism deals with the reality and the corresponding positivist believe that the reality is stable, when it is viewed in terms of the objective of the research chosen and the actual intension in choosing the research problem is not affected with the positivism. The phenomenon across the positivism is isolated and the researcher assumes that the observations are repeatable. In general there could be some manipulations to the reality to the actual case and the key relations are established with respect to the social research to achieve the desired research objectives. Few predictions are made as per the previous findings with respect to the actual reality and the corresponding reality is explained with respect to the interrelationships among the key research attributes.

In general the required knowledge gained by the positivism must be based on sense, experience and should be verified based on the facts. A detailed inquiry should be done towards proving the fact and the level of inquiry should satisfy the explanation and the prediction. The statements considered should be true for all the times and all the places across the positivism and positivism can be considered as a successful implementation across the physical and natural sciences. 

Interpretivism 

Interpretivism can be considered as the critic to the positivism and has few aspects quite different from the positivism. In general the business situations are not only complex and also holds unique features and the interpretivism deals with the reality behind these features and derives the required conclusions. Different people involved in the research places different interpretations on the research problem considered and this philosophy evaluate the reality behind all the possible interpretations.

In general the interpretivism lacks the ample history and uses different philosophies and interpretations to derive the required solution and it has the rejects the assumptions done by the positivism and suggests the required alternatives. The main of the research can be modified as per the interpretations across the interpretivism and the required decision is done based on the situations across the research. To achieve the required aims of the research, interpretivism depends on two important research philosophies like hermeneutics and phenomenology. 

Realism

Realism should follow the theory of sociology and also the logic in deriving the required solutions for the research problem considered and realism differs from the positivism in terms of the interpretations made across the research. The actual hidden caused for the research problem considered can be better explored using the realism approach and a detailed realistic analysis is done against the actual cause of the aim of the research. Realism can be used to identify the actual facts regarding the research process and the data gathered using this approach is more accurate when compared to other studies. Realism focuses more on the hidden facts and can be used in contrast with positivism and interpretivism. 

Realism can be considered as the best research philosophy in this project, as the main aim of this research is to evaluate the user preferences towards the mobile applications and also compare their preferences with the existing service providers like iPhone, Nokia, Sony Ericson and HTC. Thus in the process of gathering the user preferences realism is always important and there is no scope of assumptions or interpretations.

Once the user preferences are gathered using the survey process, they are saved across a database and the corresponding attributes are compared with the actual mobile applications provided by various service providers and thus in this context it is always important to considered the facts rather than opting for interpretations and thus the best research philosophy that can be considered in this research is realism.

Research Approaches 

There are two types of research approaches namely inductive approach and deductive approach. The applicability of these approaches depends upon the nature of the research problem. The two research approaches are briefly discussed under the below heads

Inductive approach

Inductive approach attempts develop a theory based on the premise which is formed from a set of observations. So, it is generally regarded as a bottom up approach. There are broadly four steps usually followed when the research is preceded in an inductive approach. They are a) observation, b) pattern, c) tentative hypothesis, d) theory. Inductive approach is generally associated with qualitative research methodology where a phenomenon is observed by a case study collecting data from the participants based on semi-structured interviews.

As, the questionnaire in the semi-structured interview is generally open-ended, it attempts to collect the data from the participants, document reviews etc to form a general observation. These observations are analyzed to interpret a specific pattern. Based on this pattern, a tentative hypothesis is generated. The hypothesis is finally evaluated to obtain a theory which may not be generalized as inductive approach in most cases is applied to study the behavioral nature of the problem. Inductive approach allows a flexible research to be followed which facilitates some changes while studying the research problem. The final theory is resulted from a conclusion which is based on the premise. However, inductive approach involves a shade of uncertainty.

Deductive approach

Deductive approach works on the opposite side of inductive approach where in the general theory is considered to prove a specific point. So, it is regarded as a top down approach. It is generally applicable in quantitative research methodology where the sample size is large. Unlike the data collected from semi-structured interviews in qualitative research methodology where inductive approach is followed, it collects the data in the form of surveys. Deductive approach is applicable when the research calls for testing a general theory. The four steps explained in the inductive approach proceeds in the reverse direction to that of the inductive approach. The approach is not flexible like that of the inductive approach and is highly structured.

It’s a scientific approach to test the validity of a theory. The quantitative methods and statistical concepts are used when the research proceeds in a deductive approach. In this a general phenomena is considered by taking a small sample after which a hypothesis is developed. This hypothesis is tested and the statistical inferences resulting from the testing of hypothesis is used to state that the phenomena is generalized and valid and it is stated that the phenomena is applied across a large population.

As the main aim of this project is to evaluate the mobile application generation trends and the user preferences towards this, inductive is the best approach that needs to be considered in this research. As the plan of gathering the user preferences towards the mobile applications and their choices begins with observations and from these observations, the actual theory is developed towards the best service provider in terms of smart phones and mobile applications and this inductive approach is always the best research approach in this research. 

Research Strategies 

Research strategy can be considered as the actual method used to collect the required primary source of information based on the research approach chosen. In general there are different types of research strategies and they are explained as below 

Experimental 

Experimental research can be considered as a systematic and scientific method of collecting the required information for the research. In general the researcher can manipulate one or more variables across the research and can control or measure the other factors due to these changes in the variables. Experimental research can be used to understand what to and how to measure based on the research variables considered and a number of experiments are conducted to evaluate the research problem. Experiments can be used to predict the actual phenomenons and when the desired phenomenon is proved the experiments are closed and the required solution to the research problem is suggested. Different sampling techniques can be used to construct the research like probability sampling, non-probability sampling and simple random sampling to choose the research sample and on this particular sample the required experiments are conducted and the corresponding research solutions are proposed. 

Surveys 

Survey based research is done when the research requires more respondents to be involved and the research needs an empirical investigation on a quantitative based research on the research problem considered. In general a large sample is considered to gather the required information using surveys. A questionnaire is prepared and escalated to the sample and a detailed survey is conducted to analyze the research findings across this research strategy. In general there are different types of surveys that can be conducted and the important among them are written survey, oral survey, electronic survey and an example survey. Few ethics are considered while building the surveys and the desired survey is chosen based on the criticality of the research problem considered. 

Case study 

A case study approach is best suited when the research sample is small and the required information to proceed with the research is fixed two few cases. More accurate information can be gathered using the case study, as the solution to the problem is derived from the source of problem. The solution which is required for the research problem could be recognized in the great approach which is towards the case study and the individuals who are included with in the process of the research and are investigated by the main aim to gather the direct data and the questions asked by those individuals are been answered in an efficient manner to gather the information which is required from them. There are several number of benefits from this specific case study approach and the most significant one among these benefits is that the source of the data which is collected is direct as well as the information collected will be more and more perfect and trustworthy while compared with the other resources. In order to gather the information which is required to solve the research problem is the simple or general case study which could be used as the best approach and the result or clarification of the problem is been connected with the case study. 

Grounded theory 

Grounded theory is the strategy where a theory is developed from the research data collected. In general grounded theory can be considered as iterative research and this process is repeated till the actual and required information is gathered to proceed with the research. Generative questions are prepared across the grounded theory and a proper link is created against the required theory and the actual data collected. 

Ethnography

Ethnographic research strategy is generally followed when the researcher attempts to gain understanding about the behavioral nature of humans by studying the cultural aspects of them. In simple terms, ethnography is studying culture in anthropological view. Generally, ethnographic studies call for long time spent in the field of site to carefully understand the culture and deduce findings. The researcher has to spend a considerable amount of time to collect the data from the participants in the form of observations, interviews, analysis of documents. The researcher has to note down important cultural events. The researcher needs to study about the customs and traditions governing the culture in order to give plausible conclusions to the research problem.

Action Research

Action research is performed by careful observations and study of the actions of a particular group or team in order provide research findings for the betterment of the team practices. Action research is generally applied in schools, organizations for better work practices. Action research is unlike other qualitative methods where in the opinions are not collected from experts or some document reviews but the opinions and actions are recorded from the team involved in practice.

A survey based approach is chosen for this research, as the main aim of this research is to gather the user opinions towards best mobile applications and also their preferences and ideas regarding the mobile applications. A sample size of 100 is chosen in this context and their opinions are gathered using a manual survey and the required primary source of information is saved in a database. These opinions are compared with the actual smart phones against their mobile applications and the best smart phone in terms of mobile applications is evaluated.