Week ignorance or having already formed an opinion therefore,



Week 4 Assignment 2

Research Study Designs

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Courtney Starker

South University Online

Research Topics in Health Administration

Professor Donald Peace











An exploratory design is
conducted for a question or problem when there are few or even no previous
studies to refer to or rely upon to predict an outcome. The objective is to
gain understanding and establish familiarity for later development of investigations
as well as during the initial stages of the investigation to explore the
suggested research problem. “Exploratory designs are often used to establish an
understanding of how best to proceed in studying an issue or what methodology
would effectively apply to gathering information about the issue” (Libguides.usc.edu,
2017). Bias may be seen during
an exploratory study during the period when researchers are collecting data;
they may fail to ask the needed questions due to ignorance or having already
formed an opinion therefore, only asking close-ended questions.

Exploratory research is
beneficial in acquiring additional data or information on a specific top;
previously studied or newly discovered providing a potential opportunity to
define new terms and clarify existing concepts. As research continues during an
exploratory study, this allows for a hypothesis to be developed to determine
what exact route the study might take and what exact questions or issues
researchers hope to resolve.

On the other hand, a
downfall to exploratory research is that it commonly incorporates small sample
sizes, therefore, findings are typically not on a large scale. Furthermore, exploratory
research inhibits the ability to arrive at definitive conclusions about the
findings. “This specific design lacks rigorous standards applied to methods of
data gathering and analysis because one of the areas for exploration could be
to determine what method or methodologies could best fit the research problem”
(Libguides.usc.edu, 2017).

Descriptive research
designs provide comprehensive answers to the inquiries of who, what, when, where,
and how these questions correlate or play a major role in the overall research
problem; a descriptive study cannot conclusively ascertain answers to why. The
descriptive research design is slated to gather information regarding a current
phenomenon. Advantages of descriptive research is that the topic or subject of
the study is being observed in their natural, uninterrupted state. Descriptive
studies, achieved through observation, produce a large amount of valuable data
that provide to recommendations in future studies. Bias may occur during a
descriptive study if certain demographics are chosen to participate over
others; sampling should be random to avoid bias.

Disadvantages in
descriptive research is that the results cannot be used to discover a definitive
answer or to disprove a hypothesis as it utilizes observational methods; these
results cannot be exactly duplicated again. Lastly, the descriptive function of
research is heavily dependent on methods and tools for measurement during

Explanatory research
designs are fundamentally born from the ideas conceived about the possible
causes of a social phenomenon. Just as an exploratory design, a hypothesis will
then be molded before the continuation of the study. The researcher then strategizes
a study that can provide the needed evidence through the collection of data to
either support or disprove the initial hypothesis of the study. An explanatory
study is just that, to essentially give reason behind the cause of a certain
idea. Though it may provide an indefinite answer/solution, what is already
known will be shared from a different perspective after further research. Explanatory
studies have the potential to become bias if what is being researched is solely
for the purpose of the individual’s satisfaction and is highly opiniated. The
goal is to explain an issue in society that a large population questions as well.




Fleming, T., S. (2015). Managerial Epidemiology: Cases
and Concepts, 3rd Edition. South University. Retrieved from https://digitalbookshelf.southuniversity.edu/#/books/9781567936841/

(2017). Organizing Your Social
Sciences Research Paper: Types of Research Designs. (2017). Retrieved from