One of the most important steps of a Master’s thesis, and any research project, is gathering primary data.  Again back to the trusty textbook Research Methods for Business Students to learn more about this.

Questionnaires

I was already aware of questionnaires as a main method of gathering primary data – I mean, who hasn’t answered a stack of online and in person questionnaires at some stage in their lives?  But I’ve now learned more about the specific types.  I’ve now learned that these are divided into self completed and interviewer completed.  Each of these has a number of different types, which are no real surprise:

  • Internet
  • Postal/Mail
  • Delivery & collection
  • Telephone
  • Face to face

The face to face is also called a structured interview and differs from a semi-structured interview in that in this context, you stick to pre-determined questions.

One question I had was:

What is the difference between a survey and a questionnaire?

It seems that “survey” is the actual research strategy and “questionnaire” is the thing your respondents actually fill in, though it seems these are often used interchangeably.

Overall, primary data is crucial to research.  There are many ways to gather it, and which you choose depends on your research design.