Business Research Methods The Business Research Process
What you will learn in this chapter
To classify business research as either; exploratory research, descriptive research or causal research;
To list stages in the business research process;
To identify and briefly discuss the various decision alternatives available to the researcher during each stage of the research process.
Decision making is the process of resolving a problem or choosing among alternative opportunities;
The key to decision making is to recognize the nature of the problem/opportunity, to identify how much information is available, and to recognize what information is needed.
Continuum of Decision Making
Complete certainty Uncertainty Absolute ambiguity
Types of Business Research
Uncertainty Influences The Type Of Research COMPLETELY CERTAIN ABSOLUTE AMBIGUITY CAUSAL OR DESCRIPTIVE EXPLORATORY
Exploratory Research • Initial research conducted to clarify and define the nature of a problem. • Management may have discovered general problems, but research is needed to gain better understanding of the dimensions of the problems • Subsequent research is expected.
Exploratory Research 1. Secondary data (historical data) 2. Experience survey 3. Pilot study 4. Case study
Secondary ( historical ) Data Exploratory Research Pilot Study Experience Survey Case Study
Exploratory Research Techniques: Two Examples
Secondary data (historical data)
Census of population
A number of diverse techniques
Descriptive Research • Research designed to describe characteristics of a population or a phenomenon; • Descriptive research seeks to determine the answers to who, what, when, where, and how questions.
I keep six honest serving men, (they taught me all I knew), their names are --Rudyard Kipling what, and why, and when, and how, and where and who.”
Causal Research • Research conducted to identify cause-and-effect relationships among variables where the research problem has already been narrowly defined. • The main goal of causal research is identification of cause-and-effect relationships between variables; • In causal studies it is typical to have an expectation of the relationship to be explained, such as predicting the influence the price, packaging, advertising, and the like, on sales.
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 of 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?” possible situation
Stages of the Research Process Problem Discovery and Definition Research Design Sampling Data Gathering Data Processing and Analysis Conclusions and Report Discovery and Definition and so on
Cyclical process - conclusions generate new ideas
Stages can overlap chronologically
Stages are functionally interrelated
Problem discovery Problem definition (statement of research objectives) Secondary (historical) data Experience survey Pilot study Case study Selection of exploratory research technique Selection of basic research method Experiment Survey Observation Secondary Data Study Laboratory Field Interview Questionnaire Selection of exploratory research technique Sampling Probability Nonprobability Collection of data (fieldwork) Editing and coding data Data processing Interpretation of findings Report Data Gathering Data Processing and Analysis Conclusions and Report Research Design Problem Discovery and Definition
The Business Research Process Problem Discovery Exploratory Research Selection of the Basic Research Method Selection of Sample Design Collection of the Data
The Research Process (cont.) Editing and Coding Data Processing Interpretation of the Findings Report
Stages In The Research Process
Problem Discovery and Problem Definition
Data Processing and Analysis
Conclusions And Report
Problem Discovery And Definition
Problem, opportunity, or monitor operations
Discovery before definition
Problem means management problem
“ The formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution” Albert Einstein
that can be refuted
by empirical data
If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there .
Framework for action
Specifies methods and procedures
Basic Research Methods
Selecting a Sample POPULATION SAMPLE Sample: subset of a larger population .
Who is to be sampled?
How large a sample?
How will sample units be selected?
Data Gathering Stage
Data Processing and Analysis
Conclusions and Report Writing
Effective communication of the research findings
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.