This is a guest post by Heba Chehade – PhD student in the Manchester Business School
Recently, colleagues have asked me what their first step should be after their research proposal has been approved. Often excited to hurriedly move on to the next phase of their research, my advice often surprises them. I tell them to take a step back. The reality is that the research proposal is just a small step on a long and often uncertain research journey.
I tell my new colleagues from experience that drafting a clear methodology at the outset is the best thing that they can do. It gives you peace of mind that all the data collection you are about to undertake would be done methodically and with purpose.
While rushing out to collect data can make you feel as though you are making progress and moving on from your more theoretical research proposal, not having clarity of methodology could lead to the collection of unnecessary data, missed opportunities and even the alienation of your colleagues and research participants.
So, irrespective of the type of research you are conducting (qualitative or quantitative), writing a clear methodology and having a full understanding of your methodological approach will save you, your supervisor and all those who support you valuable time and much anguish.