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Explanatory Research Definition, Types, Comparison, Advantages, disadvantages

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❶The objective of causal research is to test hypotheses about cause-and-effect relationships. Exploratory researchers are normally led when an issue is not obviously characterized.

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Content: Exploratory Research Vs Descriptive Research
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Key Differences Between Exploratory and Descriptive Research

Exploratory research is an important part of any marketing or business strategy. Its focus is on the discovery of ideas and insights as opposed to collecting statistically accurate data. That is why exploratory research is best suited as the beginning of your total research plan. It is most commonly used for further defining company issues, areas for potential growth, alternative courses of action, and prioritizing areas that require statistical research.

When it comes to online surveys, the most common example of exploratory research takes place in the form of open-ended questions. Think of the exploratory questions in your survey as expanding your understanding of the people you are surveying.

Text responses may not be statistically measureable, but they will give you richer quality information that can lead to the discovery of new initiatives or problems that should be addressed. Descriptive research takes up the bulk of online surveying and is considered conclusive in nature due to its quantitative nature. Unlike exploratory research, descriptive research is preplanned and structured in design so the information collected can be statistically inferred on a population. The main idea behind using this type of research is to better define an opinion, attitude, or behaviour held by a group of people on a given subject.

Consider your everyday multiple choice question. Since there are predefined categories a respondent must choose from, it is considered descriptive research. These questions will not give the unique insights on the issues like exploratory research would. Instead, grouping the responses into predetermined choices will provide statistically inferable data. Like descriptive research, causal research is quantitative in nature as well as preplanned and structured in design.

For this reason, it is also considered conclusive research. Causal research differs in its attempt to explain the cause and effect relationship between variables.

This is opposed to the observational style of descriptive research, because it attempts to decipher whether a relationship is causal through experimentation.

In the end, causal research will have two objectives: It would ask broad open-ended questions that are designed to receive large amounts of content, providing the freedom for the experts to demonstrate their knowledge. With their input, I would be able to create a survey covering all sides of the issues. All open-ended questions in your survey are exploratory in nature. Adding a few open-ended questions in surveys with large amounts of respondents can be somewhat difficult and time-consuming to sort through, but it can indicate important trends and opinions for further research.

So we learned how exploratory research works to give your survey and research design a better focus and significantly limits any unintended bias. As shown through our four different examples, this form of research functions best as a starting point for descriptive research. Descriptive research, on the other hand, can measure your data statistically.

That is why descriptive research is the next stop on our train ride through the different research methods. Hi Yusuf, The answer to your question is that it depends on what your research goals are. Or are you asking open-ended questions to gain information on customer perception? Exploratory research is not defined based on the topic of your study, but instead on the information you are trying to find.

If you want to do exploratory survey research on the topic, ask respondents to share their favourite parts of the event and areas where the event can be improved.

This is opposed to writing multiple choice questions that force the respondent to choose from a premade list of answers. This is extremely informative and so simple to understand for novice researchers like myself — I am currently working on my Msc dissertation proposal and the goal of my study is to generate data from nurses and explore their knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and beliefs in the use of music in an emergency department..

I have decided to use two focus groups with participants in each.. In the country I am living in such study has never been done and overall there is a dearth in European literature addressing this topic.. After reading your article my mind is clear that the most suitable design would be exploratory.. I am writing this first of all to thank you for your post and to please ask for your opinion on whether you feel I am on the right track? I am glad that you found the article so helpful!

Sounds like you are right on track in your exploratory research. Focus groups are definitely a great way to develop a better understanding of how a group feels on a topic.

After you receive all your valuable feedback, remember that the information is still exploratory. To quantify your findings, you will have to journey to the descriptive or causal forms of research. But for now your focus groups will be a great starting point to gather general sentiments on the subject, giving you direction for follow up studies.

When setting up your focus groups remember to find a good mix of nurses based on different descriptors like age, years employed, gender, location of work, etc. Glad to hear you liked the topic sha sha! I will try to satiate your appetite for research design topics by pumping out more articles! Hi Mr Rick First of all , I would like to thank you for the insights you provide us with , concerning the exploratory research. Sounds like some interesting research! I think you would benefit from solidifying your research objectives!

Here is a link to a great article about how to build your research objectives:. Your email address will not be published. Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions. And 4 Ways to Implement it in Your Research!


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Exploratory research is research conducted for a problem that has not been studied more clearly, intended to establish priorities, develop operational definitions and improve the final research design. Exploratory research helps determine the best research design.

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An exploratory design is conducted about a research problem when there are few or no earlier studies to refer to or rely upon to predict an outcome. The focus is on gaining insights and familiarity for later investigation or undertaken when research problems are in a preliminary stage of investigation.

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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. In this lesson, you'll learn about a type of research called exploratory research. You'll achieve a general understanding of the topic through.

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Exploratory research is defined as the initial research into a hypothetical or theoretical idea. This is where a researcher has an idea or has observed something and seeks to understand more about it. 1 RESEARCH DESIGN AND EXPLORATORY RESEARCH Assist. Prof. Dr. Özge Özgen Research Methodology Exploratory Research • How well is your problem defined? • If not well defined: –Exploratory •Used to clarify/define a problem •Manager tells you “sales just aren’t what we.