Unit i


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Unit i

  1. 1. Business Research Methods Research • Research -is search for knowledge • A scientific and systematic search for information • According to Clifford Woody – Research comprises • defining and redefining problems, formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions; collecting, organizing and evaluating data; making deductions and reaching conclusions; and finally, carefully testing the conclusions to determine whether they fit the formulating hypothesis.Objectives of research: • To gain familiarity of the phenomenon . • To know the characteristics of a particular individual, group, or a situation • To analyze the frequency with which something occurs • to examine a hypothesis between two variablesResearch methods Vs methodology • Research methods - techniques for conducting research • research methodology - how research is conducted scientificallyTypes of research • 1) Descriptive vs. Analytical: • Descriptive research comprises surveys and fact-finding enquiries of different types. • objective of descriptive research is describing the state of affairs as it prevails at the time of study • Term “ex post facto” research is used • Has no control over the variables here. • Has to only report what is happening or what has happened. • Analytical research: • the researcher has to use the already available facts or information, and • analyse them to make a critical evaluation of the subject2) Applied vs. Fundamental • To find a solution to an immediate problem is known as applied research
  2. 2. • Fundamental research mainly concerns generalizations and formulation of a theory.3) Quantitative vs. Qualitative • Quantitative research relates to aspects that can be quantified or can be expressed in terms of quantity. • It involves the measurement of quantity or amount. • They include correlation, regressions, time series analysis, etc • Qualitative research is concerned with qualitative phenomenon, or more specifically, the aspects relating to or involving quality or kind. • discovering the underlying motives and desires of human beings, using in-depth interviews • Techniques - story completion tests, sentence completion tests, word association tests4) Conceptual vs. Empirical • A research related to some abstract idea or theory is known as conceptual research • Use it for developing new concepts or for reinterpreting the existing ones. • Empirical research is most appropriate when an attempt is made to prove that certain variables influence the other variables in some way. • Such research is data based • To first collect facts, their source and actively do certain things to stimulate the production of desired information • also called experimental type of research • control over the variables5) Other types of research • On the basis of time, research may either be in the nature of one-time or longitudinal research. • Depending upon the environment in which the research is to be conducted, it may also be laboratory research or field-setting research, or simulation research, • Formalized research studies consist of substantial structure and specific hypotheses to be verified. • In historical research, sources like historical documents, remains, etc., are utilized to study past events or ideas. • Decision-oriented research, it is always carried out for the need of a decision maker and hence, the researcher has no freedom to conduct the research as per his/her own desires • Conclusion-oriented research, the researcher is free to choose the problem, redesign the enquiry as it progresses and even change conceptualization as he/she wishes to.
  3. 3. • Operations research is a kind of decision- oriented research,Research process • various steps 1. formulating the research problem; 2. extensive literature survey; 3. developing hypothesis; 4. preparing the research design; 5. determining sample design; 6. collecting data; 7. execution of the project; 8. analysis of data; 9. hypothesis testing; 10. generalization and interpretation, and 11. preparation of the report or presentation of the results. In other words, it involves the formal write-up of conclusionsI. Formulating Research problem: • 2 types of research problem 1. Relate to state of nature 2. Relate to relationship b/w variables  Ist problem stated in broad way  Feasibility of solution shd be considered before formulating problem  Formulate general topic to specific problem • 2 steps involved 1. Understanding the problem 2. Rephrase into meaningful terms • Examine literature • 2 types of literature 1. Conceptual lit – concepts and theories 2. Empirical lit – previously proposed studies 3. Verify the validity and objectivity of the background facts concerning the problem
  4. 4. 4. Formulation of problem – follow sequential pattern • Verify the validity and objectivity of the background facts concerning the problem • Formulation of problem – follow sequential patternII. Extensive literature survey: • Abstracting and indexing journals published or unpublished bibliographies • Academic journals , conferences proceedings , government reports and books • One source will lead to otherIII. Development of working hypothesis: • Working hypothesis - tentative assumption – test its logical consequences • Hypothesis focus attention of the problem • Hypothesis indicates the type of data to be collected and type of methods of data analysis. To develop working hypothesis: 1. Discussing with colleges and experts 2. Examine the data and records 3. Review of similar problems 4. Personal investigation on limited scale - with interested partiesIV . Preparing the research design: • Conceptual structure within which the research is being conducted • Function of research design is to provide the collection of relevant evidence with minimal expenditure of effort money and time. • Research purpose is of 4 types 1. Exploration 2. Description 3. Diagnosis 4. Experimentation • Minimum bias with maximum reliability Of data collected and analyses • Preparation of research design involves: 1. Means of obtaining information
  5. 5. 2. Availability and skills of researcher 3. Way in which information is organised 4. Time available for research 5. Cost factor relating to research.V. Determining sample design • All the items under consideration in any field of inquiry constitute a “universe” or “population” • When all items in the population are considered for the study the it is “census survey” • “A sample design is a definite plan determined before any data are actually collected for obtaining a sample from a given population” • Samples are 2 types 1. Probability sampling 2. Non –Probability sampling • Probability sampling – each element of population has a probability of being a sample • Non – probability sampling – no equal chance. • Probability sampling – simple random sampling, systematic sampling, stratified sampling , cluster/area sampling • Non – probability sampling – convenience sampling , judgment sampling , quota sampling techniques. VI . Collection of data: • Primary data - collected by experiment or survey methods. • Experiments – observes some quantitative data. • Surveys – are by 1. Observation 2. Through personal interview 3. Through telephonic interview 4. My mailing of questionnaires 5. Through schedules VII. Execution of the project • Data collected shd be adequate and dependable • Project executed in systematic manner in time
  6. 6. • Data collected by questionnaire – question & answers are coded.• Ensure survey is under statistical control – so that the data collected is to standard of accuracy.• If no proper response, a list of non respondents is prepared.• Then small sub – sample can be prepared from this with efforts of experts. VIII. Analysis of data• Raw data is coded ,tabulated and drawing statistical inferences• Coding – categorized data is transformed into symbols that tabulated and counted.• Editing – improves quality of data for coding• Tabulation – classified data are put in form of tables• Use of statistical test with formulae IX . Hypothesis testing• Testing the formulated hypothesis• Hypothesis is either accepted or rejected. X. Generalizations and interpretations• With the hypothesis derived , various interpretations are found. XI . Preparation of the report• Layout of the report is as follows;1. Preliminary pages2. Main text3. The end matter Preliminary pages:• Shd carry a title and date followed by acknowledgements.• List of tables ,list of graphs and charts Main text:1. Introduction : clear statement of objective of the research, methodology scope and limitation of the study.2. Summary of findings: statement of findings and recommendations3. Main report : logical sequence broke down into identifiable sections4. Conclusion: put down the exact resuls
  7. 7. The end matter:• Bibliography, list of books, journals ,reports.• Index is given in specially published research report Criteria of a good research• Purpose of the research shd be clearly defined.• Research procedure – sufficient detail• Procedural design - carefully planned• Researcher – complete frankness –eliminate the effects of findings• Analysis of data – adequate and significance• Conclusions shd be confined and justified• Greater confidence in research is warranted Qualities of good research:1. Good research is systematic2. Good research is logical3. Good research is empirical4. Good research is replicable Problems faced by researcher:1. The lack of scientific training in the methodology of research2. Insufficient interaction between the research institutions and other parties3. The need for generating the confidence that the information/data obtained from a business unit will not be misused4. There does not exit a code of conduct for researchers 5.The difficulty of adequate and timely secretarial assistance 6. Library management – not proper 7. Non availability of government reports and publications 8.Problem of conceptualization Research question or problem:
  8. 8. • Objectives of research study• Specific management question to be answered Identification of the problem;• Desire to solve practical problem• Identify the problem by investigation• Always problem exists when interaction occurs Problem classification:1. Conceptual problem – solved by creative thinking2. Logical problem –solved by deductive methods3. Empirical Problem - solved by inductive reasoning Approaches to find problem area:1. Ask experts:• Researcher ask the experts in that proffesion 2. Specialist :• Researcher narrow the area – get expert himself in that field 3. Search of literature:• Got information from gov. publish,journals etc. 4. Areas of dissatisfaction:• Explore the critical articles and discussions so as to identify the problem 5.Current developments:• Look for development in that particular field 6. Dairy Report:• Maintain a dairy and jot down the information . 7.The gap b/w theory and practice:• Identify the difference or the gap in the theory and the practice .• Find the way to bridge the gap 8. Identifying the problem in a firm:• Records & reports, observation , brainstorming etc.
  9. 9. Selection of research problem 1. Researchers interest 2. Topic of importance 3. Novelty of the idea 4. Researchers resources 5. Availability of data 6. Benefits of the research 7. Feasibility of the study Formulation of a problem • Translating and transforming the problem into research question Problem formulation: • Provides Direction of the research • Specifies Scope of the research • Indicates Limitations of the research • Clarifies the problem • Gives Major assumptions • Provides economy in research Steps in formulation of research problem: 1. Developing a title –gives wht type of study –descriptive or experimental 2. Working out conceptual model – pbm selected from theory behind 3. Defining objectives – data available ,constraints 4. The scope – limitingCriteria of a good research problem 1. Clear and unambiguous 2. Logical and systematic 3. Empirical 4. Relation between variables 5. Verifiable 6. Management
  10. 10. 7. Interesting Research objective• Purpose of the research• Expressed in measurable terms• Define what the research must result out. Formulation of objectives:• Primary objective• Secondary objective Research hypothesis• Important instrument in research• Hypothesis may be defined as a proposition or a set of propositions set forth as an explanation for the observed phenomenon• Problem is a formulated question• Hypothesis is suggested solution Types of hypothesis1. Crude hypothesis• Indicate the type of data to be collected• No lead to theory• Just initiate the research process 2. Refined hypothesis:• Important in research• Significance varies 3. Research hypothesis:• Indicate the nature of relationship of variables 4. Null hypothesis:• Test if there is any relationship b/w variables• Usually it is formed as negative statement 5. Alternate hypothesis:• Predicts if there is simple difference or a difference in a particular direction
  11. 11. • Usually is a positive statement 6. Working hypothesis:• Verifying the relationship among variables• Gives idea on what type of data to be collected 7. Statistical hypothesis :• used for testing an expected relationship among variables Characteristics of hypothesis1. it should be simple , specific and conceptually clear2. Shd be verifiable3. Related to the existing body of knowledge4. Shd be in measurable terms5. Shd be testable in optimal amount of time Research in evolutionary perspective• Expansion of knowledge and discovery of truth.• Theory building – means of research• Human curiosity - base of research• Aristotle and the greek – deductuive methods Scientific methods in research:• Scientific methods are principles of scientific research Scientific methods of inquiry• Process must be objective –to reduce bias• Shd be systematic – standard procedures• Enquiry conducted by systematic observations & verified by experiments• Careful recording, documenting & sharing of all data• 2 methods of reasoning:1. Deductive2. Inductive
  12. 12. Deduction and induction Deductive reasoning:• Top –down approach• Begin with theory – narrow down to hypothesis that can be tested – still narrow down to observations.• Then test hypothesis with specific data – then conform the whole theory Inductive reasoning:• Moving from specific observation to generalizations• Bottom – up approach• Begin with specific observations, measures the detect patterns , regularities formulate some tentative hypothesis that can explore and finally end with conclusions or theories Role of theory in Research Difference b/w theory and hypothesis theory hypothesis • Predicts events in general terms • Specific predictions about specific set • Theory is extensively tested and of circumstances generally tested • Hypothesis is a speculative guess and has yet to be tested Steps in theory development for research• Theory is a coherent set of general propositions used to explanation the relationships of certain observed phenomena.• A concept is a generalized idea about a class of objects, attributes , occurrences or processes that has been given a name• Concepts are building blocks in “organizational theory” – leadership, productivity are the concepts• Concepts abstract reality• Basic scientific researcher operates at 2 levels1. Abstract level of concepts (propositions)2. Empirical level of variables (hypothesis)• Eg. Old workers prefer different rewards than younger workers• 2 concept – age and reward – abstract statement
  13. 13. • Experimenting with salary, records,….• Essence of theory is the “idea”• Concept - alone is not theory• Concepts are basic units of theory development• Theories require Understanding of relationship among concepts .• Proposition are the statements concerned with relationship among various concepts• Proposition – logical linkage b/w concepts• Proposition – identify the direction and magnitude of the relationship b/w concepts.• Theories are the networks of propositions Exploratory research• Deal with a new issue or try to begin a new research• Precise question that can answer in future research Sources of information to conduct ER• Experience survey• Analysis of secondary data• Case studies• Pilot study Reasons for Exploratory research• When problem not clear• It is a initial research• Determine the research design and data to be collected• Mostly rely on secondary data• Results of ER cannot be used for decision making• Findings can be used for further researchTheoretical Research• It is a research in a which the goal is to prove or disprove a hypothesized truth• The research aims to understanding of a class of phenomena and the relationship among key components of phenomena• TR is always designed to be independent of any situation
  14. 14. • Help managers to solve similar problem• Objective- to understand why some thing works, how it works , under what condition does it works , when it worksEmpirical Research:• Research based on experimentation or observation (evidence)• Research in which empirical observation{data} are collected to answer the question.• Use all the statistical tools like chi square, t test , anova….Empirical cycle1. Observation – collecting and organising empirical facts to form hypothesis2. Induction - process of formulation of hypothesis3. Deduction – get the consequences with newly gained empirical data4. Testing – test the hypothesis with new empirical data5. Evaluation - evaluate the outcome of testingEmpirical research process:1. Topic and research question2. Review of literature3. Framing of empirical strategy4. Collecting data – cross sectional data, times series data5. Interpretation of results6. Preparing reportCross - sectional research:• It involves the collection of data on more than one case and at a single point in time• in order to collect a body of quantitative or quantifiable data in connection with two or more variables• which are then examined to detect patterns of association• Also called “one –shot” or “status “research• The design is always simpleTwo types of CS Research• Field studies• Survey studies
  15. 15. Time Series research:• In time series research, the data is collected from the sample or population at successive intervals• The data will relate to matched samples drawn from the same population at intervalsResearch hypothesis• Examples:• High tax rates are having adverse impact on savings and investment• Sales is directly correlated to the expenditure on advertisement• Traditional investment patterns are prevailing among the people are responsible for low capital formulationFunctions of hypothesis:• Provides the study with focus• Gives the specific aspect of the problem to investigate• Tells what data to be collected• Enhances the objectivity of the study• Gives the explanation for the relationship b/w variablesSources of hypothesis1. A hypothesis arises from intuition2. A hypothesis also arises from other studies – findings of other studies is taken as hypothesis3. Theory is a base of hypothesis4. Personal happiness provides scope for hypothesisFormulation of hypothesis:• This is the most difficult exercise• Direction of the study is determined by the way in which hypothesis is formulated• What is to be accepted , wht is to b not accepted, what facts r 2 b considered … all r d problems of a researcher• H is developed on the basis of pure assumption, observation & sharp guess.• Researcher Ist gets the observations• Then he frames an opinion• Due to further interest he collect ,data make small analysis and reaches his conclusions
  16. 16. • Observation determines the direction and gives the point on which to concentrate.• This finally becomes working hypothesis• Without working H - difficult to carry out study and time consuming• H helps in selection of facts which r problem in hand.Need for working hypothesis:• H is formed to verify the relationship among the variables• It gives the definite point of the inquiry• Gives the facts on which to concentrate• H prevents a blind search, irrelevant data collection• -ve result is important as +ve resultProblems in formulating the hypothesis:1. Absence of theoretical base :• H is related to the body of theory• Consult the work of various other people & See whether the propositions are related to the existing theory• Researcher has to form the own propositions as long as it is reasonable.2. Lack of ability to use the framework logically:• Propositions shd be in correct sense in a logical manner.• This depends on knowledge and ability of the researcher.3. Failure to acquaint with techniques:• Fail to explain techniques used to test the H• Lack of knowledge to recent techniquesEstimation and testing of hypothesis• 2 approaches to hypothesis testing:1. Sampling theory approaches:• Traditional approach• Decision making rests upon sampling data• H accepted will be rejected or accepted based on sampling data.2. The Bayesian approach:• Along with sampling data additional information used for decision making.
  17. 17. • It consists of subjective probability estimatesHypothesis testing procedure:1. Null hypothesis2. Alternative hypothesisII. Choosing statistical techniqueIII. Selection of significance levelIV. Type I error, type II errorFinally draws the statistical decision.Problems in testing hypothesis:• Tested with sample data not against the sample.• Statistical evidence not always a conclusive evidence• If interpretation is wrong. All r wrong.• Availability of reliable data• Manipulation of hypothesis