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Research CHap 4

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  • 1. Business Research Methods William G. Zikmund Chapter 4: The Business Research Process
  • 2. Information
    • Reduces uncertainty
    • Helps focus decision making
  • 3. Types Of Research
    • Exploratory
      • Initial research conducted to clarify and define the nature of a problem
      • Does not provide conclusive evidence
      • Subsequent research expected
    • Descriptive
      • Describes characteristics of a population or phenomenon
      • Some understanding of the nature of the problem
    • Causal
      • Conducted to identify cause and effect relationships
  • 4. Uncertainty Influences The Type Of Research COMPLETELY CERTAIN ABSOLUTE AMBIGUITY CAUSAL OR DESCRIPTIVE EXPLORATORY
  • 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 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
  • 6. 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
  • 7. 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
  • 8. Identifying Causality
    • Can NEVER prove causality.
    • Evidence of causality:
      • 1. The appropriate causal order of events
      • 2. Concomitant variation--two phenomena vary together
      • An absence of alternative plausible explanations
    • Often Use Experiments in Causal Research
  • 9. 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
  • 10. Research Stages
    • Cyclical process - conclusions generate new ideas
    • Stages can overlap chronologically
    • Stages are functionally interrelated
      • Forward linkages
      • Backward linkages
  • 11. 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 Sample Design 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
  • 12. Stages In The Research Process
    • Problem Discovery and Problem Definition
    • Research Design
    • Sampling
    • Data Gathering
    • Data Processing and Analysis
    • Conclusions And Report
  • 13. “ The formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution” Albert Einstein
  • 14. Problem Discovery And Definition
    • First and probably most important step
    • Too often neglected leading to costly errors
    • Provides direction for the project
    • Problem, opportunity, or monitor operations
    • Discovery before definition
    • Must not mistake symptoms for problem
  • 15. Exploratory Research Techniques Three Examples
    • Secondary data (historical data)
      • Previously collected for another purpose
      • Literature survey
      • Databases (e.g., www.census.gov)
    • Pilot study
      • A number of diverse techniques
    • Focus Groups
      • 6 to 10 people in group dynamics session
  • 16. State the research questions and research objectives
    • Hypothesis:
    • A statement
    • that can be refuted
    • by empirical data
  • 17. Research Design
    • Master plan
    • Specifies methods and procedures
    • Framework for action
  • 18. Basic Research Methods
    • Surveys
      • Interview
      • Questionnaire
    • Experiments control conditions so that one or more variables can be manipulated to test a hypothesis
      • Field
      • Laboratory
    • Secondary data
    • Observation
  • 19. Selecting a Sample POPULATION SAMPLE Sample: subset of a larger population .
  • 20. Sampling
    • Who is to be sampled?
    • How large a sample?
    • How will sample units be selected?
      • Probability Samples – every member of the population has a known, nonzero probability of being selected
      • Nonprobability Samples
  • 21. Data Gathering Stage
      • Focus on error minimization
      • Pretesting
  • 22. Data Processing and Analysis
      • Editing
        • Checking the data collection
          • forms for omissions, legibility
          • and consistency
      • Coding
          • Rules for interpreting,
          • categorizing and recording
          • the data
  • 23. Conclusions And Report Writing
    • Effective communication of the research findings
    • Usually includes making recommendations
    • “What does this mean to management?”
  • 24. 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
  • 25. Research Program vs. Research Project
    • Research program – firm’s overall strategy for utilizing business research. Places each research project into company’s strategic plan.
  • 26. Assignment for Chapter 7: Exploratory Research and Qualitative Analysis
    • Using the Ingram Library Databases, Pull and Read the Article, “A Typology of Consumer Responses to Cause-Related Marketing: From Skeptics to Socially Concerned,” by Deborah J. Webb and Lois A. Mohr in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Fall 1998, Volume 17, Issue 2.

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