Research Methods William G. Zikmund, Ch04


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Research Methods
William G. Zikmund

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Research Methods William G. Zikmund, Ch04

  1. 1. Business Research Methods William G. Zikmund Chapter 4:The Business Research Process
  2. 2. Information• Reduces uncertainty• Helps focus decision making
  3. 3. Types Of Research• Exploratory• Descriptive• Causal
  5. 5. Degree of Problem Definition Exploratory Research Descriptive Research Causal Research (Unaware of Problem)(Aware of Problem) (Problem Clearly Defined) “Our sales are declining and “What kind of people are buying “Will buyers purchase more ofpossible situation we don’t know why.” our product? Who buys our our products in a new package? competitor’s product?” “Would people be interested “Which of two advertising in our new product idea?” “What features do buyers prefer campaigns is more effective?” in our product?”
  6. 6. Exploratory Research Secondary data Experience survey Pilot studies 6
  7. 7. Exploratory Research• Initial research conducted to clarify and define the nature of a problem• Does not provide conclusive evidence• Subsequent research expected
  8. 8. Descriptive Research• Describes characteristics of a population or phenomenon• Some understanding of the nature of the problem
  9. 9. I keep six honest serving men, (theytaught me all I knew), their names arewhat, and why, and when, and how,and where and who.” --Rudyard Kipling 9
  10. 10. Descriptive Research Example• Weight Watchers average customer• Woman about 40 years old• Household income of about $50,000• At least some college education• Trying to juggle children and a job
  11. 11. Descriptive Research Example• Men’s fragrance market• 1/3 size of women’s fragrance market• But growing at a faster pace• Women buy 80 % of men’s fragrances
  12. 12. Causal Research• Conducted to identify cause and effect relationships
  13. 13. Identifying Causality• A causal relationship is impossible to prove.• Evidence of causality: – 1. The appropriate causal order of events – 2. Concomitant variation--two phenomena vary together – 3. An absence of alternative plausible explanations
  14. 14. Stages of the Research ProcessProblem Discovery Discovery and and Definition Definition Research and so on Design Conclusions and Report Sampling Data Processing and Analysis Data Gathering
  15. 15. Research Stages• Cyclical process - conclusions generate new ideas• Stages can overlap chronologically• Stages are functionally interrelated – Forward linkages – Backward linkages
  16. 16. Problem Discovery Problem Selection of and Definition discovery exploratory research technique Sampling Selection of exploratory research technique Probability Nonprobability Secondary Experience Pilot Case Collection of (historical) Data survey study study data data Gathering (fieldwork) Data Editing and Problem definition Processing coding (statement of and Analysis data research objectives) Data Selection of processingResearch Design basic research method Conclusions Interpretation and Report of findings Experiment Survey Secondary Laboratory Field Interview Questionnaire Observation Data Study Report
  17. 17. The Business Research Process Problem Selection of Discovery Sample Design Exploratory Collection of the Research Data Selection of the Basic Research Method
  18. 18. The Research Process (cont.) Editing and Report Coding Data Processing Interpretation of the Findings
  19. 19. Stages In The Research Process• Problem Discovery and Problem Definition• Research Design• Sampling• Data Gathering• Data Processing and Analysis• Conclusions And Report
  20. 20. Problem Discovery And Definition• First step• Problem, opportunity, or monitor operations• Discovery before definition• Problem means management problem
  21. 21. “The formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution” Albert Einstein
  22. 22. State the researchquestions and research objectives 22
  23. 23. Hypothesis• A statement• that can be refuted• by empirical data
  24. 24. If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.
  25. 25. Experience CaseSecondary Pilot Study Survey(historical) Study Data Exploratory Research
  26. 26. Exploratory Research Techniques Two Examples• Secondary data (historical data) – Previously collected – Census of population – Literature survey• Pilot study – A number of diverse techniques
  27. 27. Focus Group Interview
  28. 28. Research Design• Master plan• Framework for action• Specifies methods and procedures
  29. 29. Basic Research Methods• Surveys• Experiments• Secondary data• Observation
  30. 30. Selecting a SampleSample: subset SAMPLEof a larger population. POPULATION
  31. 31. Sampling• Who is to be sampled?• How large a sample?• How will sample units be selected?
  32. 32. Data Gathering Stage
  33. 33. Data Processing and Analysis
  34. 34. Conclusions And Report Writing• Effective communication of the research findings
  35. 35. Research Proposal• A written statement of the research design that includes a statement explaining the purpose of the study.• Detailed outline of procedures associated with a particular methodology
  36. 36. Research Program Strategy
  37. 37. Defining Problem Results in Clear Cut Research ObjectivesSymptom Detection Analysis of the Situation Exploratory Research (Optional)Problem Definition Statement ofResearch Objectives