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If the theory happens to be too general or too specific, a hypothesis cannot be formulated. Therefore, a need for an exploratory research may be realized and instituted to gain experience that may help in formulating a relevant hypothesis for more definite investigation. The results of exploratory research are not usually useful for decision-making by themselves, but they can provide significant insight into a given situation. Although the results of qualitative research can give some indication as to the "why", "how" and "when" something occurs, they cannot reveal "how often" or "how many".

Exploratory research is not typically generalizable to the population at large. Social exploratory research "seeks to find out how people get along in the setting under question, what meanings they give to their actions, and what issues concern them. The goal is to learn 'what is going on here? Earl Babbie identifies three purposes of social-science research: Applied research in administration is often exploratory because there is need for flexibility in approaching the problem.

In addition there are often data limitations and a need to make a decision within a short time period. Qualitative research methods such as case study or field research are often used in exploratory research. Exploratory research or formulative research: The objective of exploratory research is to gather preliminary information that will help define problems and suggest hypotheses.

The objective of descriptive research is to describe the characteristics of various aspects, such as the market potential for a product or the demographics and attitudes of consumers who buy the product.

The objective of causal research is to test hypotheses about cause-and-effect relationships. If the objective is to determine which variable might be causing a certain behavior, i. In order to determine causality, it is important to hold the variable that is assumed to cause the change in the other variable s constant and then measure the changes in the other variable s. There are often much deeper psychological considerations, that even the respondent may not be aware of this is not true.

There are two research methods for exploring the cause and effect relationship between variables:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Given its fundamental nature Exploratory research often relies on techniques such as: RSS feeds efficiently supply researchers with up-to-date information services such as Google Alerts may send major search-engine search results by email to researchers services such as Google Trends track comprehensive search results over lengthy periods of time researchers may set up websites to attract worldwide feedback on any subject When research aims to gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to acquire new insight into it in order to formulate a more precise problem or to develop a hypothesis, exploratory studies also known as formulative research come in handy.

Exploratory research takes place when problems are in a preliminary stage. Exploratory research is flexible and can address research questions of all types what, why, how.

They intend to conduct ER to investigate whether expanding their cupcake selection will lead to an increase in sales, or if there is a better idea. The owner starts by examining prior research available on food business improvement methods. They hope that this will give them an idea on the types of questions and methods that were helpful to others. Next, they develop a list of open-ended questions , or questions that let respondents answer however they want.

The Cupcake King, for instance, asks respondents how they could improve the customer experience. The most common customer responses included comments regarding the location, the atmosphere, the length of time it took to be served, and wanting the ability to customize their cupcakes.

Get FREE access for 5 days, just create an account. When The Cupcake King first started their research, they believed that increasing their cupcake selection was the solution to increasing sales. Conducting ER with their customers has provided them with valuable information on ways to increase sales.

This exploratory research gave the owner more specific information about what their customers wanted. It enabled the owner to shorten their list of many of ideas to just a few. This information will be used to conduct further research to determine how they can incorporate some of the feedback. In short, exploratory research is a foundation that researchers use to eventually solve problems. It allows researchers to achieve a better understanding of a problem or a situation.

It often leads to more questions, such as, how can I use this information to solve this problem? Chances are that you have unknowingly carried out exploratory research at some point in your life. You may have conducted interviews to find the best babysitter. Or, have you ever gathered information about different colleges? That is exploratory research. It is the information gathering stage. Let's review what we have learned about exploratory research.

First, exploratory research also known as ER is an examination of a subject about which little information is known. Generally, further research is needed after exploratory research is conducted. There are no definitive answers in exploratory research. Exploratory research often leads to more questions. ER may use primary or secondary research. Primary research is firsthand data collected by talking to study participants. Secondary research is the analysis and synthesis of primary research.

Next, remember that there are several methods that can be used to conduct exploratory research. Some methods of exploratory research are:. It is important to use open-ended questions , which are questions that let respondents answer however they want, to obtain valuable customer feedback.

Finally, once exploratory research has been conducted it can be used as a foundation for future research. To unlock this lesson you must be a Study. Did you know… We have over college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1, colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

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What teachers are saying about Study. What Are Job Boards? Are you still watching? Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds. Add to Add to Add to. Want to watch this again later? Non-Comparative Scales in Marketing Research. Observational Research in Marketing: Elements of the Service Design Process. Setting the Advertising Budget: Intro to Criminal Justice: Introduction to Political Science: In this lesson, you'll learn about a type of research called exploratory research.

Definition of Exploratory Research Even as children, we have a natural curiosity about the world around us. Exploratory Research Methods You may wonder how you can explore a topic if there is little information about it.

Example of Exploratory Research The owner of The Cupcake King has many, many ideas for improving the bakery's sales but isn't sure which will work. Want to learn more? Select a subject to preview related courses: Lesson Summary Let's review what we have learned about exploratory research. Some methods of exploratory research are: Interviews Group discussions It is important to use open-ended questions , which are questions that let respondents answer however they want, to obtain valuable customer feedback.

Recite the meaning of exploratory research Analyze the methods used in this type of research Discuss an example of exploratory research. Unlock Your Education See for yourself why 30 million people use Study. Become a Member Already a member? Earning College Credit Did you know… We have over college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1, colleges and universities. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page Transferring credit to the school of your choice Not sure what college you want to attend yet?

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Exploratory research is used when the topic or issue is new and when data is difficult to collect. Exploratory research is flexible and can address research questions of all types (what, why, how). Exploratory research is often used to generate formal hypotheses.

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Exploratory research design does not aim to provide the final and conclusive answers to the research questions, but merely explores the research topic with varying levels of depth. It has been noted that “exploratory research is the initial research, which forms the basis of more conclusive research.

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Exploratory research (or ER) is an examination into a subject in an attempt to gain further insight. With ER, a researcher starts with a general idea and uses research as a tool to identify issues that could be the focus of future research. Definition of exploratory research: Investigation into a problem or situation which provides insights to the researcher. The research is meant to provide details where a small amount of information exists.

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An exploratory research project is an attempt to lay the groundwork that will lead to future studies or to determine if what is being observed might be explained by a currently existing theory. Most often, exploratory research lays the initial groundwork for future research. Exploratory research is a methodological approach that is primarily concerned with discovery and with generating or building theory. In a pure sense, all research is exploratory.