Research Methods William G. Zikmund, Ch06


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Research Methods
William G. Zikmund

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Research Methods William G. Zikmund, Ch06

  1. 1. Business Research Methods William G. Zikmund Chapter 6:Problem Definition and the Research Proposal
  2. 2. A Sea Horse’s Tale
  3. 3. 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
  5. 5. Problem Discovery and Definition • First step • Problem, opportunity, or monitor operations • Discovery before definition • Problem means management problem
  6. 6. “The formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution.” Albert Einstein
  7. 7. Problem Definition• The indication of a specific business decision area that will be clarified by answering some research questions.
  8. 8. Defining Problem Results in Clear Cut Research ObjectivesSymptom Detection Analysis of the Situation Exploratory Research (Optional)Problem Definition Statement ofResearch Objectives
  9. 9. The Process of Problem DefinitionAscertain the Determine unit ofdecision maker’s analysisobjectivesUnderstand Determinebackground of relevantthe problem variablesIsolate/identify State researchthe problem, not questions andthe symptoms objectives
  10. 10. Ascertain the Decision Maker’s Objectives• Decision makers’ objectives• Managerial goals expressed in measurable terms. 10
  11. 11. The Iceberg Principle• The principle indicating that the dangerous part of many business problems is neither visible to nor understood by managers.
  12. 12. Understand the Background of the Problem• Exercising judgment• Situation analysis - The informal gathering of background information to familiarize researchers or managers with the decision area. 12
  13. 13. Isolate and Identify the Problems, Not the Symptoms• Symptoms can be confusing 13
  14. 14. Symptoms Can Be ConfusingTwenty-year-old neighborhood swimming association:• Membership has been declining for years.• New water park -residents prefer the expensive water park????• Demographic changes: Children have grown up
  15. 15. Problem DefinitionOrganization Symptoms Based on Symptom True ProblemTwenty-year-old Membership has been Neighborhood Demographic changes:neighborhood declining for years. residents prefer the Children in this 20-swimming New water park with expensive water year-old neighborhoodassociation in a wave pool and water park and have have grown up. Oldermajor city. slides moved into negative image of residents no longer town a few years ago. swimming pool. swim anywhere.
  16. 16. What Language Is Written on This Stone Found by Archaeologists? TOTI EMUL ESTO
  17. 17. The Language Is English: To Tie Mules To TOTI EMUL ESTO
  18. 18. Determine the Unit of Analysis• Individuals, households, organizations, etc.• In many studies, the family rather than the individual is the appropriate unit of analysis. 18
  19. 19. Determine the Relevant Variable• Anything that may assume different numerical values 19
  20. 20. Types of Variables• Categorical• Continuous• Dependent• Independent
  21. 21. Hypothesis• An unproven proposition• A possible solution to a problem• Guess
  22. 22. State the research questions and research objectives 22
  23. 23. If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.
  24. 24. Broad Statement of Exploratoryresearch business researchobjectives problem (optional) Specific Specific SpecificObjective 1 Objective 2 Objective 3 Research Results Design
  25. 25. The Process of Problem DefinitionAscertain the Determine unit ofdecision maker’s analysisobjectivesUnderstand Determinebackground of relevantthe problem variablesIsolate/identify State researchthe problem, not questions andthe symptoms objectives
  26. 26. 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
  27. 27. Basic Questions - Problem Definition• What is the purpose of the study?• How much is already known?• Is additional background information necessary?• What is to be measured? How?• Can the data be made available?• Should research be conducted?• Can a hypothesis be formulated?
  28. 28. Basic Questions - Basic Research Design• What types of questions need to be answered?• Are descriptive or causal findings required?• What is the source of the data?
  29. 29. Basic Questions - Basic Research Design• Can objective answers be obtained by asking people?• How quickly is the information needed?• How should survey questions be worded?• How should experimental manipulations be made?
  30. 30. Basic Questions - Selection of Sample• Who or what is the source of the data?• Can the target population be identified?• Is a sample necessary?• How accurate must the sample be?• Is a probability sample necessary?• Is a national sample necessary?• How large a sample is necessary?• How will the sample be selected?
  31. 31. Basic Questions - Data Gathering• Who will gather the data?• How long will data gathering take?• How much supervision is needed?• What operational procedures need to be followed?
  32. 32. Basic Questions - Data Analysis• Will standardized editing and coding procedures be used?• How will the data be categorized?• What statistical software will be used?• What is the nature of the data?• What questions need to be answered?• How many variables are to be investigated simultaneously?• Performance criteria for evaluation?
  33. 33. Basic Questions - Type of Report• Who will read the report?• Are managerial recommendations requested?• How many presentations are required?• What will be the format of the written report?
  34. 34. Basic Questions - Overall Evaluation• How much will the study cost?• Is the time frame acceptable?• Is outside help needed?• Will this research design attain the stated research objectives?• When should the research be scheduled to begin?
  35. 35. Anticipating Outcomes• Dummy tables• Representations of the actual tables that will be in the findings section of the final report; used to gain a better understanding of what the actual outcomes of the research will be.