Concept in Research
In general sense, the concept is an abstract or imagination of certain things or situation used in research. it explain the some aspect of social life which is important assets of social knowledge. It has the different meaning with different people and meaning change according to places, time and the knowledge gained by individual or person. The concept has multidimensional aspects and multi-meaning but is vital for development of theory. It is the central point in the research because research begins with the concept. concept are express in form of dependent and independent variables.
If the researcher tries to conduct the research on factor behind happiness at the workplace than happiness is the concept in research. Happiness has the different meaning to different people. Likewise, poverty is also the concept if we used in the research. Some view poverty from the economic perspective, some view from social prospective and other views from another different perspective. thus the measurement of concept is necessary which allow to identify the fine difference about the characteristics about it and provide the basis for the identify the relation between concepts used.
In Research, for the measurement of the concept must break into the different parameter. By using operational definition the concept is to be converted into the different measuring indicator. For example, suppose I am conduction a research on the number of poor people living in a particular area. The poor peoples are the concept in my research study. Now, Being the student of Economics I use Economic Dimension to define poor people. for the operational definition, I am considering the income, expenditure on food as a parameter. now, I define poor people as those people whose average income per day is less than $2 per person and spend at least 60% of income on food. in my study the poorness is restricted to income and expenses on food.
Quantitative research used the operational definition by narrow downing its meaning and dimension. It helps to identify of indicator for research. the indicator helps to find out the measurement. In the case of qualitative research, the concept is defined but not as narrow as quantitative research. The reason behind it is due to exploration of the wider meaning of the situation to extract the true meaning or representation from research and the participants need a wider area to respond. The concept in qualitative research is not defined in the broad sense which makes researcher very difficult to generalized or deriving the conclusion and also in a not right sense which fails to provide a meaningful conclusion.
The concept in qualitative research is defined in a wider sense than the quantitative research considering the open area for the respondent to provides the wide range of information which is needed for developing a theory or conceptual framework giving the boundary-less option. the observation, unstructured interview, participatory observation, focus group discussion are used in the research.
Bryman A.(2008). social research Methods, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Neuman W. L. (2014). Social research Methods; Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. USA: Pearson Education Limited.
Babbie E. (2010). the Practice of Social research. USA: WADS WORTH Cengage Learning.