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What is Explanatory Approach?

An explanatory approach is a kind of research design that aims to explain the different aspects of any study. In this approach, the researcher begins with a general idea and uses his research as a tool that could lead to subjects he would deal with in future.

This approach helps provide the details in scenarios where just a small amount of information is available to the researcher. To begin your research, you have to create an outline in order to pitch your idea while writing your research proposal.

Explanatory research is carried out with the aim of identifying a problem that wasn’t studied in detail before. It is not meant to offer conclusive evidence but helps comprehend the problem in a proper manner.

While it does not aim to offer conclusive answers to research questions, explanatory research does help the researcher explore the subject with different levels of depth. It also helps him decide the information gathering strategy and testing philosophy.

Purpose of Explanatory Approach

1. It helps improve understanding

The primary purpose of this kind of research is to improve your understanding of a particular subject. It doesn’t provide any conclusive results owing to the lack of statistics but makes the researcher figure out why things happen.

2. It helps draw informed conclusions

This kind of research is beneficial in driving all the subsequent research approaches. It provides the researcher with a better understanding of the subject that helps him study research questions better and thus helps him draw better conclusions.

Types of Explanatory Research

Explanatory Research design includes several popular methods such as literature searches, in-depth interviews, focus groups, as well as case analysis.

1. Literature Search

This is one of the fastest and cheapest methods of identifying the hypothesis and offering information on the subject under investigation.

These days, a large amount of information is available in the online as well as the offline world. This may include the information available in newspapers, magazines, journals and academic literature. The researcher can go through these sources to get relevant information on a topic.

2. In-depth interview

In addition to scouring books on the subject, the researcher can talk to a person who is well-informed about the subject under consideration.

Interviews help you leverage the expertise and experience of a person and collect valuable information on the subject being studied.

3. Focus groups

Another commonly used method in explanatory research are focus groups. In a focus group, a group of respondents are selected and asked to express their opinion on the subject of their interest. When building a focus group, it is vital that you choose people who have similar demographics and experiences. This will help you gather unified and consistent information.

For example, consider a researcher who wants to find out the criteria people consider when buying a smartphone. He can create a focus group of people who buy smartphones on a frequent basis.

4. Case Analysis

A researcher can comprehend the problem in a more efficient manner if he/she deals with a couple of carefully selected cases related to the problem.

Why do we need an Explanatory Approach?

The Explanatory approach offers insights into a particular subject and provides more opportunities for the researcher to question and study new things.

The in-depth study of a subject creates a kind of cycle-the study of one subject brings up more questions; these questions open up new ways for the researcher to study more things pertaining to the subject.

Exploratory research serves two main purposes:

● It satisfies the inquisitiveness of the researcher and helps him understand the subject better.

● It builds up techniques that can be used as a part of an after-research venture.

The explanatory approach is also extremely necessary for call center outsourcing service providers while managing technical support and online reputation management processes. Technology is not easily understood by the general public and when an inbound call center executive receives a customer call or message through a chatbot regarding a technical query, they should adopt an empathic explanatory approach to solve the customer query with manual and algorithmic attempts. An explanatory approach helps the customer get a solution for his problem which helps in higher customer satisfaction for clients.

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