Exploratory Research - Definition, Types, & Examples

Exploratory Research
Research is a continuous process. It may require improvements as discoveries and inventions happen. Although many researchers work on fresh or novel topics, some still love to build on the existing theories which are not clearly defined by the researchers before. Conducting this kind of research is called exploratory research. Many researchers are unaware of this research type. The reason is that most of the time, novel research projects are carried out at universities.

As you are here reading this article, it means you are one of those who do not know about this research method, and you are here to learn about it. Well, you have come to the right place at the right time. In today’s post, we will explain exploratory research and all the things associated with it, like its types, methods, and examples, in detail. Before that, let’s define it.

What Is Exploratory Research?

It is defined as a research study that is conducted to study a research topic that has not been previously researched clearly. It means the previous researchers have not contributed much to define the topic, and there are still some lackings. This study is mostly conducted to have a better understanding of the existing problems. The most important thing about exploratory research is that it does not provide any conclusions on the topic. Instead, it just explores the topic and identifies the core issues that can serve as a gateway for future research.

Examples Of Exploratory Research

After reading the information above, you now have a theoretical understanding of this research. But the practical understanding of the topic is also important. So, to gain it, the two examples of this research are as follows:

Example No. 1

Consider a juice bar owner who wants to increase the variety of juices to attract more customers to his stall. He wants to do this, but he is not sure whether or not he will achieve his goal of attracting more customers. In order to know this, he decides to conduct exploratory research in the area. Conducting this research will help him know whether he should go for the expansion of the juice variety or not.

Example No. 2

Suppose the police officer encounters the files of an inconclusive murder. As it is inconclusive, it means the murderer has not been caught. Therefore, the officer wants to reinvest the case. to do this, he employs exploratory research to reinvestigate the murder. The results of the research will remain inconclusive until tried in court. Hence, the murder investigations are also examples of this research.

What Are The Different Types Of Exploratory Research?

This research can be conducted in a number of ways. In this section of today’s article, we will look at those ways. Before this happens, you must know that the types of this research are based on the way of exploration, i.e., research methods. Hence, a brief description of all the types is as follows:

1. Surveys And Polls

Surveys and polls are a form of exploratory research in which you ask a pre-defined set of questions from a population. It is one of the most commonly and widely used types of exploratory research, which is effective as well as inexpensive. It is because you can send the surveys to research respondents using any online medium, i.e., Gmail. However, if you feel any difficulty in creating surveys or distributing them, you can always seek research paper help from The Academic Papers UK.

2. Interviews

Interviews or one-on-one conversations between the researcher and respondent are another type of this research. In this type of exploratory research, the researcher sits in front of the respondent and asks him questions related to the issue. The respondent answers the questions based on his understanding of the issue or as per his information.

3. Observation

The third type is known as observation. In this type, the researcher does not have a direct connection with the research participants. Instead, he goes into their environment and observes them. The researcher notes what they do and collect key data related to the problem he is studying.

4. Focus Groups

This type of exploratory research is specifically used when the target population is large. This way of doing research is the same as an interview, but with a little exception. In this method, instead of interviewing one respondent, the researcher makes a panel and 4 to 8 people and converses with them at the same time.


Conclusively, exploratory research is mostly carried out when there is a deeper understanding of the topic required. The goal of this research study is to inquire about the unfinished issue and take it to finalisation, although this research does not provide a conclusion. The four types of this research based on how to address the problem are mentioned above. So, read them, understand them, and conduct research accordingly.

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