Similarities and differences between basic and applied research in I/O psychology
Basic research in I/O psychology can be described as a study or research conducted in an organization with the aim of adding more scientific knowledge. Basic research is always carried out theoretically with the objective of boosting the understanding of particular phenomena or behavior in an organization (Cascio, 1998).
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Applied research on the other hand can be described as a scientific study undertaken to provide solutions for particular problems in the organization. This research is mainly used by psychologists dealing with human factors or those working in all sectors of an organization (Cascio, 1998).
The similarities that exist between the two types of I/O psychology research is that they both lead to technological innovation in an organization. Both help to increase the scientific knowledge base in an organization. In addition, both research techniques use a theoretical approach in their study.
The main difference that exists between basic and applied research in I/O psychology is that basic research does not aim at providing the solution for various problems in the organization. Applied research is conducted purposely to find the solution for various problems encountered in the workplace.
The objectives of the qualitative and quantitative methods in I/O research
Qualitative research technique can be defined as research that involves collecting, recording and handling data in a narrative approach (Cohen,et al, 2000). They adopt qualified qualitative methods and focus on particular perspectives in an attempt to find out some specific meaning of particular events or circumstances. Qualitative research method applies non-standardized techniques for data collection, recording and interpretation. In other words, they don’t involve test hypotheses and/or causal relationships. Examples of this kind of research method include interviews, observation, case studies, and ethnography, among others.
Qualitative research methods can be appropriately used in topics or research that need a wide description and require a deep description in order to understand the phenomena under investigation. It can also be appropriately used to studies in which the causation and testing hypothesis is not the main agenda. These topics may include phenomena, which have not been well understood, black boxes, cross-cultural research, organizational activities, group dynamic and leadership among others
Quantitative research methods originated from natural sciences to investigate natural phenomena and aim at investigating the relationship that exists between dependent and independent variables in a particular population (Cohen, et al, 2000). The results or outcomes obtained from this kind of research can be verified and proven empirically unlike in qualitative research.
Quantitative research also involves hypothesis testing as well as the causal relationship in its analysis. This kind of research method can be either descriptive or experimental. In a descriptive quantitative method, the variables are usually measured once and they aim at explaining the relationship between variables. In the experimental quantitative research method, the variables are usually measured before the treatment and afterward. The descriptive method requires more variables compared to the experimental research technique.
Quantitative research methods commonly used include surveys, laboratory experiments, econometrics, numerical methods like linear modeling among others. Quantitative research method can be appropriately used in natural science, and in studies, which requires results in the form of numbers. If data of the subjects under investigation is available, a quantitative research technique can be applied. For example if an organization wants to determine staff turnover over a given period of time, the quantitative technique can be obtained.
Both qualitative and quantitative techniques are used in social sciences to investigate various phenomena.
Cascio, W. F. (1998). Applied psychology in human resource management (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2000). Research Methods in Education (5th edition). London: RoutledgeFalmer.