Explanatory Research | The Ultimate Guide


Explanatory Research is conducted for a problem that was not well researched before, demands priorities, generates operational definitions and provides a better-researched model.

Explanatory research is actually a type of research design that focuses on explaining the aspects of your study. The researcher starts with a general idea and uses research as a tool that could lead to the subjects that would be dealt with in the incoming future.

It is meant to provide details where a small amount of information exists for a certain product in mind of that researcher. For starting your research, you need to create a research outline or speech outline to pitch your research idea while writing a research proposal to your professor or a boss or in a board meeting.

Explanatory Research is conducted in order to help us find the problem that was not studied before in-depth. Explanatory research is not used to give us some conclusive evidence but helps us in understanding the problem more efficiently.

When conducting the research, the researcher should be able to adapt himself/herself to the new data and the new insight.

It does not aim to provide final and conclusive answers to the research questions but allows the researcher to explore the research with a varying level of depths.

“Also it has been noticed that “exploratory research is the examination, which shapes the foundation for different inquiries about, it is the building obstruct for alternate looks into” ,it is the building block for the other researchers.

It can even help in deciding the exploration configuration, testing philosophy and information gathering strategy”. Research allows the researcher to tackle such problems where no or less research has been done.

Purpose of Explanatory Research

1. Increasing Understanding

The purpose of explanatory research is to increase the understanding of a researcher on a certain subject. It does not provide conclusive results because of the lack of its statistical strength, but it makes the researcher determine how and why things happen.

2. The flexibility of Sources

Secondary sources, such as published literature or data, are commonly used in the explanatory type of research. Care ought to be taken to choose a scope of fair-minded sources to give a wide and balanced comprehension of the subject.

3. Better Conclusions

Exp-Research can be very advantageous in directing subsequent research approaches. A great understanding of the subject allows the researcher to hone subsequent research questions and can greatly increase the usefulness of a study’s conclusions.

This exploration is likewise exceptionally valuable in deciding the best way to deal with accomplish a specialist’s goal.

Explanatory Research Challenges

1. Bias information

Exp-Research generates such types of information and interpretations which could sometimes lead to banal information.

2. Useless samples

Exp-Research studies make use of modest number samples which could not be for a targeted/ specific type of audience.

Explanatory Research Types

Some of the popular methods of explanatory research design include literature searches, depth interviews, focus groups, and case analysis.

  • Literature Research
  • In-depth study of every single problem
  • Focus Group Research
  • Case Analysis Research

1. Literature search

A literature search is one of the fastest and least expensive means to discover hypothesis and provide information about the subject we’re studying.

There is an enormous amount of information available on the internet, libraries. The literature search may include magazines, newspapers, trade literature, and academic literature.

Literature research example: Expect an issue is “The reason is item deals lower?” This can without much of a stretch be assessed with the guide of distributed information which ought to specify “whether the issue is an “industry issue” or a “firm issue”.

2. Depth interview

The literature search is a good start but it would be much preferred to talk to a person who is well informed about the specific subject that you’re studying.

These people can be professionals or persons outside the organization. Depth interviews are widely used to tap information and the experience of the individuals with the information related to the specific subject we’re studying.

Anyone with information related to the problem is a strong candidate for the depth interview.

Depth Interview Example: A youngsters’ book distributor got valuable data in regards to a business decay by talking with administrators and teachers.

And who uncovered that expanding quantities of individuals were utilizing library offices and conceivably purchasing fewer books for their kids.

3. Focus groups

Another method used is the gathering of the people who have a common objective and has information about the specific problem at hand.

The focus group can have 8-12 members. While selecting the members, it should be kept in mind that the individuals have information about the problem.

4. Case Analysis

Researchers can understand and tackle the problem more efficiently by dealing with the carefully selected cases or cases of the phenomenon.

Analysis of the case of the organization which has gone through the same case will help in dealing with the problem more efficiently.

Case Analysis Example: L.L.Bean is perceived for its excellent request satisfaction. Not with standing amid the bustling Christmas season, the company, for the most part, fills more than 99 % of its requests accurately.

Hence, different organizations have tried to enhance their own particular request satisfaction by bench-marking L.L.Bean.

Why we need Explanatory Research?

The Explanatory Research allows the researcher to provide deep insight into a specific subject, which gives birth to more subjects and provides more opportunities for the researchers to study new things and questions new things.

The deep study of subjects creates a cycle and, the critical thinking/study of the subject creates more questions and those questions lead to more ways for the researchers to study more things related to that subject.

Explanatory Research in Modern Society

Exploratory researchers are normally led when an issue is not obviously characterized. It permits the agent to familiarize himself with the issue or idea to be examined, and conceivably create theories (the meaning of theory) to be tried.

By and large, this research is completed by the utilization of center gatherings or little gathering dialog’s, which is every now and again used in looking into the market.

Explanatory Research can be immensely valuable for social research. They are vital when an agent is breaking new ground and they ordinarily convey new data about a point for research. They’ve likewise been a hot-spot for the grounded hypothesis.

Exploratory research studies have three main purposes

  • To fulfill the researcher’s curiosity and need for greater understanding.
  • Testing the livability of beginning a more top to bottom review.
  • To build up the techniques to be utilized as a part of any after research ventures.

Explanatory Research and Descriptive Research

  • Descriptive research, being quantitative in nature, is not efficient to open-ended questions, this type of research can answer these questions more efficiently.
  • research is more flexible as compared to that of descriptive research.
  • The descriptive research uses tools like mean, average, median and frequency. On the other hand, Explanatory research allows the researcher to use the tools which are more qualitative in nature.
  • The amount of information that the researcher has in mind, determines which type of research he/she should use to get better results. With only vague ideas in mind, it would be good for the researcher to go to exp. research. On the other hand, information like quantitative data allows the researcher to go for descriptive research which leads to unearthing specific relationships.
  • Explanatory research needs to be conducted first, and then use that collection of information which is required for descriptive research.


The explanatory research is such a type of research that is a pillar of the other type of researchers. Before initiating work for your next research, one should always conduct explanatory research first, because without it the research would be incomplete and it wouldn’t be as efficient.

Explanatory research works to give your survey and research design a better focus and significantly limits any unintended bias information.

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