Purpose of Exploratory Research

Exploratory studies are also referred to as formulative research studies. The primary objective or purpose of exploratory research design is that of formulating a problem for more precise investigation or of developing the working hypothesis from an operational perspective. The main focus in these research projects is on the discovery of ideas and insights.

Therefore the research design, suitable for these types of studies must be flexible enough to offer opportunity for considering various elements of a problem under study. In built flexibility in research design is required as the research problem, broadly defined initially, is turned into one with more precise meaning in exploratory studies, which fact may necessitate alterations in the research process of gathering relevant data.

Importance and Purpose of Exploratory Research Design

Importance of Exploratory Research can be emphasized owing to following aspects :

Purpose of Exploratory Research

1. Information regarding the Immediate Conditions: The design offers information relating to the conditions of the problem. When the researcher doesn’t have resources and capacity to test the hypothesis he is in a position to discover facts through exploratory design that is appropriate to or in compliance with the hypothesis.

2. Presentations of Crucial Issues: Through exploratory and formulative designs, you’ll be able to present crucial research problems. When the problems have been presented, the researcher is automatically drawn towards the study of the difficulty which has higher significance for our society.

3. Study of the Unknown Fields: For research, theory or hypothesis is unavoidable. They offer appropriate basis. To be able to formulate a hypothesis, we will need to obtain the related information and through exploratory design this task is accomplished.

4. Theoretical Base: The research problem relates to our social life and social problems and data about the subject could only be gathered through exploratory design. This design is useful in offering a theoretical base to the hypothesis and theories.

5. Presentation of uncertain problem for study in Research: Through exploratory designs we can easily figure out these problems. This process on the one hand , focuses the attention of the researcher on the problem and, on the other, it assists him to gather facts on scientific lines to ensure that research may be completed correctly.

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Read Also: Methods of Exploratory Research

Exploratory studies are usually conducted when a problem is not clearly defined. It allows the investigator to acquaint with the problem or concept to be researched, and possibly produce hypotheses (definition of hypothesis) to be tested. In many cases, exploratory research is carried out by the use of focus groups or small group discussions, that are frequently utilized in researching the market. Exploratory studies can be hugely useful for social research. They are important when an investigator is breaking new ground and they usually deliver new information about a topic for research. They’ve also been a source for grounded theory.

Exploratory research studies have three main purpose: to fulfill the researcher’s curiosity and need for greater understanding, to test the feasibility of starting a more in depth study, and also to develop the methods to be used in any following research projects.


  1. how to formulat a hypothesis in an exploratory research which is titles : The challenges facing EFL postgraduated students in their research projects?
    my research question are below:
    What are the factors that may affect the quality of research at university?
    – What are the essential qualities of good researchers?
    – Which type of information source is the most used by EFL students?
    – What are the research skills needed for successful researchers?
    could any one help me plz……

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