Research refers to the act of searching new knowledge through a repetitive and systematic process. Research is conducted for two purposes; one is to enhance the existing knowledge or to develop the new theory in the concerned field and second for identifying the problem and searching the solution of such problems. Thus, research refers to the process of systematic enquiry or investigation into a specific problem or issue that leads to new or improved knowledge for solving the problem.
While segregating the word research, it is ‘Re’ and ‘search’. ‘Re’ means again and ‘search’ means finding new. So, research denotes to the work of searching again based on the established theories through a detailed, scientific and structural study which helps to develop new theories, improve in existing theories and solve the existing problems of an organization.
Various experts have their own views regarding meaning of research. Some of the important views are as follow:
In the words of D. Slesinger and M. Stephenson in the Encyclopedia of social science define research as, “the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing, to extend, correct or verify knowledge whether that knowledge aids in construction of theory or in practice of an art.”
According to F.N. Kerlinger, “Research is a systematic, controlled, empirical and critical investigation of hypothetical propositions about the presumed relations natural phenomena.”
According to Advance Learners Dictionary, research is defined as: “a careful investigation or inquiry through research for new facts in any branch of knowledge.”
According to D.K. Bhattacharya, research may be defined as: “a documented and organized analysis of the subject based on borrowed materials with suitable acknowledgement and consultation is the main body of paper.”
While analyzing the above definition, it is clearly known that research is a process of systematic enquiry or investigation into a specific problem or issue that lead to new or improved knowledge. Concisely, it can be said that research is a systematic and organized study and analysis of an issue that helps to solve the problem or develop new theory or add new knowledge in the existing theories or stock of knowledge.