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RESEARCH IN PERSPECTIVE
Research Methods, Management and Thesis Course
(MAEE 508 – UZ)
B.T. Hanyani-Mlambo
OVERVIEW
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Research as a way of knowing (scientific method).
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Classification of research.
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Where, with and for whom?
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Role of professionals in rural transformation.
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Appropriate values and approaches.
RESEARCH AS A WAY OF KNOWING
(SCIENTIFIC METHOD)
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Research – art/process aided by skills of enquiry,
experimental design, data collection, measurement
and analysis, interpretation and presentation.
Research is broader (observation, exploration,
informal, etc.).
Research purpose – solving problems, overcoming
obstacles, and finding a way to a solution.
Research consists of 4 parts:(i) Reviewing the field – study of current thinking (GA).
(ii) Theory building – induction (SC), deduction (GP).
(iii) Theory testing – inferential statistics (WPs),
triangulation.
(iv) Reflection and integration – lessons, difference,
current thinking, further research, integration.
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Other considerations:
(i) Planning - need for careful and strategic planning.
(ii) Feasibility - choosing a topic which can be studied
within the constraints of time and money.
(ii) Design – formulating a project which will produce
the information required.
CLASSIFICATION OF RESEARCH
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Broad classification
 Academic (pure).
 Policy (applied).
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Detailed classification
 Basic.
 Applied (problem solving).
 Disciplinary (values/value-free positivist).
 Inter – or multi – disciplinary.
 Analytical.
 Descriptive.
WHERE, WITH AND FOR WHOM?
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Where? – type of research.
With who? – community of reseachers.
For whom?
- millions SHFs, RPFs, 70% in SSA.
- farmer participation in research.
- empowerment (HH FS, NS, IS).
- ?? Why do numerous developed technologies still
on the shelf??
- SSA compared to Asia & L. America e.g. agric vs.
industrialization – Ghana vs. Korea (per capita
income, > GDP in 1957).
Role of universities.
ROLE OF PROFESSIONALS IN RURAL
TRANSFORMATION
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???? Rural transformation (% still in agriculture,
prominence of agro-processing, % GDP).
Focus – change in capacity to drive change.
Challenges & necessary conditions: Colonial influence – e.g. intercropping – Internal
dynamo (self-propelling/pple-driven).
 Trained incapacity to reckon with local conditions.
 Top-down approach – participatory research.
 Facilitation – re-orientation.
 Integrated AKIS (ITK).
APPROPRIATE VALUE AND APPROACHES
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Ethics in research – honest – inadvertently unethical.
Ethics – set of principles of good human behaviour.
Risk – infringe accepted code of conduct (research).
Professional Codes Examples (Greenfield, 2004): Every research project should be preceded by careful
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assessment of predictable risks in comparison with
foreseeable benefits.
Views or opinions based on general knowledge or
belief should be clearly distinguished from views or
opinions derived from statistical analysis reported.
In publication of the results of research preserve
the accuracy of the results.
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Common scientific fraud (ethical) matters: Hoaxing – imaginary accounts of non-existent
cases.
 Forging – e.g. industrial research or experimental
data [statistical methods] + [APS].
 Trimming – clipping off observations differing from
the mean [quantitative/qualitative].
 Cooking – giving ordinary observations
appearance of the highest accuracy e.g.
multitudes + selecting only those that “agree”.
Obfuscation – deliberate obscuring e.g. long-winding
sentences, meaningless jargon.