The main purpose of any research is to gather information in order to answer particular research problem. Generally, researchers have two possibilities when they attempt to solve a research problem. First possibility is that the answer could be there already the information could be unknown to the researcher. The other possibility is that the answer is unknown and not available, (Beck, C. T. , 2013). Depending on the research question under study, various paths can be employed. However, the paths have their own challenges that may make it hard to solve the research problem under study.
Two models provide clear strategies on how to conduct research. One model begins with the identification of the research problem and then seeks for information that provides answers to the questions, a process referred to as inductive approach. The other process involves the identification of a research problem then one proceeds to begin with a theory and data is then collected in order to ascertain whether the theory is valid, a process called deductive approach, (Browne, 2013).
In deductive approach, the researcher begins with a known approach, the research problem, and uses it to formulate a research theory, which is used to test the data collected in guiding the research. After developing the research theory and collecting the findings, the researcher then formulates research hypotheses/research questions after which research methods are chosen that will help in answering the research questions.
Most researchers develop research questions and then choose theory for their research design. However, this method is associated with some disadvantages that are not inherent if a theory is developed prior to creation of a research problem.
First, theory is always consistent and this means the ideas in a particular theory do not change. However, a problem developed may not have consistency with the research theory and could lead to generation of new ideas. Therefore, using a theory in the research design process helps to generate consistent ideas. Most theories have always been developed through collected data, which has been analyzed for patterns. Since theories are shaped by facts, which have been proven, this provide a good mechanism of developing good research hypothesis and questions.
The other disadvantage of problem-based research is that it has a likelihood of producing isolated information. Theory based research has an added advantage of connecting a great deal of information which is factual and this of great help in the research process. This allows the findings to fit into a wide framework of ideas thus giving the findings of the research more significance.
Developing a theory before research question has an advantage of focusing the research. Often, problem-based research have a tendency of an influence from emerging ideas, something that is absent in theory-based research. Since the purpose of many researches are to test theories, the advantage of using theory in developing one’s research means it creates validity of the research findings. In connecting individual ideas and giving meaning, theories summarize a great deal of information.
In order to develop a good fit between theory and design process, it is advisable that proper steps are followed. Research is not primarily interested in the study outcomes, but also on the process that leads to the outcome. In order to have a good process that gives good findings, it is important that a research process that is developed help to answer the research questions. The research process choice is based on the type of research. However, all the research steps are interdependent regardless of the research process, (McCusker & Gunaydin, 2014).