Defining Scope of Research

Limitations and Delimitations

Limitations and Delimitations

In this section you will focus on clearly defining the limitations or delimitations of your research taking into consideration the time available to you and budgetary constraints.

The limitations are the inherent design or methodology parameters that can restrict the scope of the research findings and are outside the control of the researcher. These reservations, qualifications or weaknesses arise when all variables cannot be controlled within a project design, or the optimum number of samples cannot be taken due to time/budgetary constraints. Therefore, these factors have the potential to reduce a studies validity of results, i.e., the credibility or believability of the findings. If after careful consideration, you feel than the findings will still be valid and useful even after accepting a compromising position the research can continue by appropriately reporting the limitations.

Delimitations describe the population from which generalisations can be carefully made and are under the control of the researcher. The delimitations are actively chosen by the investigator Choices of research question, objectives, variables, populations and methods of analysis based on alternative theoretical perspectives will determine how general the findings can be interpreted.

IDevice IconActivity 9: Identifying limitations and delimitation in research

Activity 9a requires you to categorise statements into project limitations or delimitations, while Activity 9b asks you to define the scope of your research, identifying any possible restrictions on these findings due to project limitations. Now open your log book and complete these activities.