The word survey has been served from word ‘Sur’ or ‘Sor’ and ‘veeir’ or ‘Veoir’ which mean ‘over’ and seeking respectively. Therefore, a literary meaning of survey is to take a look at something from a high place. However, in the scientific investigation, the word survey is used as a technique of investigation by direct observations of a phenomenon.
Social science methodology largely depend upon survey methods in its research endeavour as it has the advantage of to have a great deal of information from a large population. It can also be adopted to obtain personal and social facts, beliefs ad attitudes. It is also said that a survey research method is an inappropriate tool for the study of the multitude. Survey research method is a descriptive research used for the collection of data from the representative sample of the target population.
Kerlinker considers survey research as social scientific research and focuses on people, the vital facts of people, and their beliefs, opinions, attitudes, motivations and behaviour.
Literally, a survey is to look ever something from the high place. Scientifically, the survey is a technique of direct observation of a phenomenon or collection of information through interviews. At present, the meaning of survey has been used in the broader sense to include the observations of published documents also.
The survey method is used for two quite different purposes. The first is simply to describe current practices and events. The survey conducted for this purpose is called polling.survey. A polling survey is concerned with the distribution of response or answers to any particular item. It can be used to determine the extent to which certain practices are used, to compare practices in one organisation with those of others or it may be used to identify changes in practices or trends over a period of time. It can be a valuable way of establishing a body of data on which to base the comparison.
The second use of survey is to analyse the facts. The survey conduct for this purpose is called analytic survey. It gives a description of the current state of practice. A polling survey of one organisation may show us that all its managers exercise authoritarian style of management but it enables us to say little else that might be importance. Analytic surveys may help to answer the question.
Questions on the factors related to, for example, performance and style in or organisation can be built into the questionnaire and we start relating data on one to the other.
Analytical surveys may enable us to establish a relationship between variables involved but do not demonstrate how they are related.
1. It is concerned with specific persons, specific problem and situations.
2. The objective is to fulfil immediate needs and use knowledge available at a given time. It is practical in nature.
3. The purpose is to improve a lot of men. It is utilitarian in nature.
4. It results in social reforms, administrative changes or remedial measures for removing immediate evils.
5. It may form the basis of some hypothesis.
6. A hypothesis is not necessary for it. Generally, a social survey is taken without any hypothesis, whatever may be results of it.
7. It may be conducted on a professional basis.
It is concerned with general an abstract problem.
The objective is long time research of broad perspectives in order to develop more accurate procedures and theories.
The purpose is to increase the general knowledge of man or improvement in the technique of the study. It is thus purely scientific in nature.
It results in the formulation of new theories or discovery of new technique of the study or the modification of old co-develops the hypothesis and thus evolves a theory.
A hypothesis is essential for the proceeding of the social research.
It is never conducted on the professional basis.
Kerlinger, F.N. Foundation of Behavioural Research. New Delhi: Surjeet Publication, 2000.
Kothari, C.R. Research Methodology. India: Vishwa Prakashan, 1990.
Singh, M.L. and J.M Singh. Understanding Research Methodology. 1998.
Singh, Mrigendra Lal. Understanding Research Methodology. Nepal: National Book centre, 2013.