In business world there exists different kinds of problems. Consequently different types of research are also used. The following are the basic modes of classification:

  1. The field of study in which the research is conducted. i.e. Discipline; for example educational research, sociological research, marketing research etc.
  2. The place where the research is conducted. Hence we talk in forms of field research, laboratory research, community research etc.

3.Application of the research – the way/mode in which the findings of the research will be used eg, Action research(small scale and situational), service research etc A good example is census that is mainly used by the government to plan.

  1. Purpose of the research i.e. basic research (pure and fundamental research), action research, applied research and evaluation research(analyze data to make a decision).
  2. By methods of analysis, i.e., descriptive research(mean, mode, median, variance, standard deviation) and empirical research (practical rather than theory),
  3. Character of data collected i.e. qualitative research and quantitative research.
  4. Procedure/Design used – experimental research, survey research, observation or historical/documentary etc.


Basic research

  • It is also referred to as pure or fundamental research.
  • It is a type of research which is characterized by a desire to know or to expound the frontiers of knowledge.
  • It is research based on the creation of new knowledge.
  • It is mainly theoretical and for advancement of knowledge.
  • Basic researchers are interested in deriving scientific knowledge which will be a broad base for further research.

Applied Research

  • The type of research which is conducted for purpose of improving present practice, normally applied research is conducted for the purposes of applying or testing theory and evaluating its usefulness in solving problems.
  • Applied research provides data to support theory or suggest the development of new theories. It is the research done with the intention of applying the results of its findings to solve specific problems, currently being experienced in an Organization.

Action Research

  • This is a small scale intervention in the functioning of the real world and a close examination of the effects of such interventions.
  • Normally situational and it is concerned with diagnosing a problem in a specific context and attempting to solve it in that context.
  • Conducted with the primary intention of solving a specific, immediate and concrete problem in a local setting.
  • Not concerned with whether the results of the study are generalized to other settings, since its major goal is to seek a solution to a given problem.
  • Limited in its contribution to theory, but it is useful because it provides answers to problems that cannot wait for theoretical solutions.


  • Studies done on new teaching programmes in mathematics for secondary schools
  • Effective ways of dealing with absenteeism in work place
  • Effective ways of dealing with absenteeism in schools

Descriptive Research

  • Undertaken in order to ascertain and be able to describe the characteristics of variables in a situation.
  • Descriptive studies are undertaken in organizations in order to learn about and describe characteristics of employees. g. Education level, job status, length of service etc
  • The most prevalent method of gathering information in a descriptive study is the questionnaire. Others include: interviews, job analysis, documentary analysis etc.
  • Descriptive statistics such as the mean, standard, deviation, frequencies, percentages are used in the analysis of descriptive research.

Correlational Research

  • Usually descriptive in that it cannot presume (not certain) a cause-and-effect relationship.
  • It can only establish that there is an association between two or more traits or performance.
  • Involves collecting data to determine whether a relationship exists between two or more quantifiable variables.
  • Main purpose of correlation research is to describe the nature of the relationship between the two variables.
  • Helps in identifying the magnitude of the relationship.

 Casual Research

  • Refers to one which is done to establish a definitive ‘cause’ ‘effect’ relationship among variables.
  • The researcher is keen to delineating one or more factors that are certainly causing the problem.
  • The intention of the researcher conducting a casual study is to be able to state that variable X cause’s variable Y to change.
  • A casual study is more effective in a situation where the researcher has already identified the cause of the problem.


  • Relationship of young and old employees in an organization.
  • Remuneration package
  • end month and mid moth performance
  • Facilitation e.g. transport.

Historical Research (USE OF DOCUMENTS)

  • This is the systematic and objective location and synthesis of evidence in order to establish facts and draw conclusions about past events.
  • The act of historical research involves the identification and limitation of a problem of an area of study which is based on past events.
  • The researcher aims to:
  • Locate as many pertinent sources of information as possible concerning the specific problem.
  • Then analyze the information to ascertain its authenticity and accuracy, and then be able to use it to generalize on future occurrences.
  • Historical research is important because:
  1. It enables solutions to contemporary problems to be solved in the past.
  2. Throws light on present and future trends.
  • Allows for the revelation of data in relation to select hypothesis, theories and generalizations that are presently held about the past.
  • Ability of history to employ the past, to predict the future and to use the present to explain the past gives historical research a dual and unique quality which makes is exceptionally useful for all types of scholarly study and research.

Experimental Research

  • The investigator deliberately controls and manipulates the conditions which determine the events to which he is interested in.

Qualitative Research.(Human behaviors and aspects)

  • Includes designs, techniques and measures that do not produce numerical data.
  • Data is usually in form of words rather than numbers and this words are grouped into categories
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