“Why Research Methods Matter” By Gooden & Berry-James

High-quality research is the foundation of informed decision making, judgment and problem-solving. The book “Why research methods matter: Essential skills for decision-makers” by Susan Gooden and Rajade Berry-James is an awakening to the public administrators of diverse rankings that they should have the competency to evaluate the quality and viability of any research presented to them (Gooden & Berry-James, 2018). The authors analyze the importance of qualitative, quantitative research methods through an intensive assessment of the merits and demerits of each strategy. The emphasis is on standard research methods such as surveys and data collection experiments with high consideration of cultural competency and research ethics (Gooden & Berry-James, 2018). This essay provides a summary, analysis and efficacy of the book as a research guide for experts.

Summary and Critique

The introduction focuses on a novel discussion of research methods as a scientific art. The authors address an audience that does not perform data analysis frequently by providing an indispensable methodological guide for better research analysis (Gooden & Berry-James, 2018). The reason is that some practices used on human subjects may be violating human rights, endangering specific specie or are culturally unethical for some communities and such practices disqualify the research. Therefore, the authors provide a standard program evaluation, process monitoring, and outcome evaluation necessary for effective analysis. In addition, the authors explain that the quasi-experimental design can be integral in analyzing research efficacy (Gooden & Berry-James, 2018). This strategy focuses on the causal hypotheses whereby the experimental design identifies a comparison group to provide the baseline of a specific rationale.

The authors also suggested process monitoring which examines how often a specific study was conducted before an idea is termed as a conclusive rationale (Gooden & Berry-James, 2018). This confirmation can help test a strong or a weak hypothesis because researchers must make conclusions based on various trials. The other integral focus is the outcome evaluation. The authors mentioned that a strong case is established by applying mixed methods research, nullifying all unforeseen probabilities to ensure that the conclusion is viable (Gooden & Berry-James, 2018). Additionally, the authors explain the significance of statistical findings and their application in real-life using descriptive quantitative data.

This book is a significant guide for the novices with a limited statistical background that provides a comprehensive, concise and logical primer on research as an art, its application and its importance to officials and experts in various practice fields. The thesis is fact-inspired and emphasizes on intensive understanding of research methods (Gooden & Berry-James, 2018). In addition, the authors answer some of the questions readers may ask, such as how to identify viable research findings (Gooden & Berry-James, 2018). The answer is that if the data collection process used mixed-method research while considering cultural attention in user research and consent for all human subjects, then the analysis is viable.


The authors intended to inform their audience about the need to pay attention to the research methods used in a study. Another mission was to shed light on the various research methods used in experimental studies and how they can inform better decisions. The organization of this book follows the Bloom Taxonomy strategy, whereby concepts are introduced step by step from less to more complex concepts (Gooden & Berry-James, 2018). For instance, the introduction parts address the art of research, whereby readers are introduced to the basics of testing, such as ethics, methodologies and errors. (Gooden & Berry-James, 2018). The last three chapters explore the statistical methods, such as variable definitions and significance of findings which helps build analytical skills and help strengthen savvy research consumption.

What resonated with me were the steps to identify viable research. This book delved deep into unveiling some of the issues that lead to unresolvable approximation issues in research. Some of the issues identified included culture, which makes participants respond to questions distinctively in a standard format system of a questionnaire (Gooden & Berry-James, 2018). In addition, the book is inspired by the progressivism philosophy, which emphasizes the fundamentals of education and how individuals relate to the ideas through active experimentation. (Gooden & Berry-James, 2018). This philosophy has inspired the book’s focus, considering that much of the information provided advocates for test, analysis and accurate justification of findings. Additionally, the author’s view on the motivation of history is the economic milestones, since such transactions are what established research and the constant need to update findings and new evidence.


This book has inspired and reinforced the relevance of evidence-based practice in day-to-day activities. The authors advocate for scholarly research consumption, which focuses on a critical understanding of the steps, objectives, analysis and basis of findings when reading a research work (Gooden & Berry-James, 2018). The authors’ presentation is accurate, considering that most of the practices encouraged for savvy research consumers are based on a philosophical outlook whereby conclusive data is based on empirical information that can be referenced (Gooden & Berry-James, 2018). Some of the considerations made, such as ways to avoid errors in research, are a guide that is fair considering that it advocates for evidence-based conclusions.

I intended to learn more about the best methods to use when doing qualitative research, and I can attest that this book has served me justice. The authors provide viable steps that researchers can use to test the accuracy of the research, including how researchers should take care of human subjects involved in their study and the type of experimentation to use for specific analysis. I conclude that all of my expectations were met while reading this classical piece indicating excellent authorship and content.


Gooden., S. & Berry-James., R. (2018). Why research methods matter: Essential skills for decision-makers. Melvin & Leigh Publishers.