1.1 Introduction : “Research” means the process of a study being conducted with a reason, or a purpose forwhich a study is being conducted. Management research comes within the preview of social science research,and physical science research.Research can be defined as a model prose work. The word research is taken from the French word‘recherche’ ans also from ‘rechercher’.1.2 Meaning and Purpose of Research1.2.1 Meaning of ResearchResearch is the orderly approach towards purposeful investigation. Thus the term research needs formulating ahypothesis, collection of data on relevant variables, analysing and interpreting the result and reacting conclusions,either in the form of an explanation or certain generalizations. It can also be called an academic activity and asystematised attempt to gain new knowledgeDefinition of ResearchResearch has been defined by various authors in different ways.Research in ordinary man‟s language refers to “search for knowledge”. It can also be defined as an “art ofscientific investigation”. It is also a systematic design, compilation analysis and the reporting the findings andsolutions for the marketing problems of a company.1.2.2 Purpose of ResearchThe purpose in general can be Research remotes better decision making, is the basis for innovation, identifies theproblem areas, helps in forecasting, which is very important for managers, helps in formulation of policies andcalculation, helps in the development of new products or in modifying existing products and accepting thecompetitive environment, helps in the optimal use of research, helps in identifying marketing opportunities andconstraints, helps in evaluating promotion policies.1.3 Characteristics of Good Research1.3.1 A good research should be systematic : This means that research should be ordered. A good researchwill follow the steps to be engaged in an orderly series according to set defined rules. Researchers always usescientific methods, and therefore it is called systematic.1.3.2 A good research should be logical : There should be logical reasoning in any research. This logicalprocess used could be induction or deduction. Induction is a process of reasoning from the part to the whole. Eg :“All products manufactured by Reebok company are good. This leather wallet is a product of Reebok, so it must begood.”1.3.3 A good research should be empirical : Empirical means that realistic study is possible1.3.4 A good research is replicable : research conducted can be repeated by any amount of times Eg : If tworesearch organisations commence the same study, the results must be similar and not different. If the results aresimilar, then the research conducted is replicable.The following characteristics are also necessary for a good research. They are:-· Purpose clearly exhaustive, · Research design thoroughly designed, High moral standards applied, · Limitationsopenly revealed, A complete and proper analysis made, Finding presented without confusion, Decision basedconclusions1.4 Types of ResearchYou would remember that, in our earlier discussion we have distinguished between physical and social scienceand introduced the concept of fundamental research, which helps us to build an original theory and appliedresearch aimed to contradict, modify and is after an existing theory on social science. The different types ofresearch are mentioned below.Research can be defined as a new contribution to the open stock of information, made for itsadvancement. It is the search for truth with the help of study, observation, comparison and experiment.
The basic types of research are listed in detail as follows.1.4.1 Exploratory Research : is carried out at the very beginning when the problem is not clear or is vague.Expert surveys, Focus groups and Case studies are used to conduct the exploratory survey.1.4.2 Descriptive Research : to explain the condition of analysis as it exists at present. Simply stated, it is a factfinding investigation. Eg : A study conducted by television broadcasting stations to find out the degree of utility ofTV programmes is a classic example for descriptive research.1.4.3 Applied Research : finding solutions for instant problems faced by any business organisation. The researchdeals with real life situations. Eg : Use of „fibre glass‟ body for cars instead of „Steel/Alloy‟.1.4.4 Basic Research or Pure Research : Gathering information for knowledge‟s sake is known as fundamentalor pure research. It is not openly involved with realistic problems. It does not have any business potential. Eg:Theory of relativity (by Einstein)1.4.5 Conceptual Research : associated with some abstract idea or theory. This is normally used byphilosophers. : Various ideologies or „isms‟ are examples of conceptual research.1.4.6 Casual Research : conducted to determine the cause and effect relationship between two variables.Eg: Effects of advertisement on sales.1.4.7 Historical Research : Historical study is a study of past records and data in order to know the future trendsand expansion of the organisation of the market. There is no scrutiny. The study has to depend on pastconclusions. Eg : Investors in the share market study the past records or prices of shares which he/she intends tobuy. Studying the „share price‟ is a historical approach.1.4.8 Ex-Post-Facto Research : is an empirical enquiry for situations that have previously occurred.For example, Market crash for any company‟s product, if studied or researched later, may be categorised as ex-post-facto study.1.4.9 Action Research : This type of research is undertaken by direct action. It is conducted to solve a problem.For example, marketing a product is an instance of action research.1.4.10 Evaluation Research : This is an example of applied research. This research is conducted to find out howwell a planned programme is implemented.For example: Rural employment programmes evaluation or Success of midday meal programme.1.4.11 Library Research : This is done to collect secondary data. This contains the explanation from the past orreview of the reports previously conducted. This is an appropriate process whereby both manpower and time aresaved.1.5 Steps in Research processresearch design, sample design, data collection analysis and interpretation of data, finally ending in a researchreport.
A detailed view on research process with respect to the above chart is explained below.You have to understand that it is a tentative proposition whose validity remains to be tested. This is the foundationof a scientific approach. It gives direction to the enquiry and helps the researcher draw specific conclusions.The formulation of hypothesis or propositions that may be possible answers to research questions is an importantstep in the research process of formulating the research problem. Keen observation, creative thinking, hunch, wit,imagination, vision, insight and sound judgement are very important in setting up reasonable hypothesis, not tomention a thorough knowledge of the phenomenon and related fields. The formulation of hypothesis plays animportant part in the growth of knowledge in every science. The second step is to define concepts used in thehypothesis. Some concepts represent facts: others like attitude can only be inferred. But the definition of conceptsshould be done in abstract terms to link the results of the study to the existing body of knowledge. The third step isto establish working definitions relating to the topic. This enables the researcher to translate the concepts intoobservable events to carry out the enquiry.The next step is the data collection and analysis of data. Once the topic has been decided upon and workingdefinitions established, the researcher has to choose his research tools – i.e., the appropriate methods ofcollecting data based on the requirements. The methods may be observations, surveys, interviews or historicaldocumentary methods. Finally, the results of the study have to be related to existing theories or concepts either toconfirm them or to demolish them in the light of the study undertaken in the form of conclusions.You will come to know the detailed explanation of the research process, which is listed below in sequential form.1.5.1 Identify the Research ProblemA research problem refers to some difficulty, which an organisation faces and wishes to obtain a solutionfor. While undertaking research, defining the problem is very vital because “problem clearly stated is half solved”.This shows how significant it is to “identify the problem correctly”. While defining the difficulty, it should be notedthat the explanation should be unambiguous. If the problem defining is ambiguous, then the researcher will notknow “what data is to be collected or what technique is to be used” etc.1.5.2 Categorize the MethodologyYou have to understand that this is next to the process of identifying the actual research problem.This involves gathering data, use of statistical techniques, interpretations and drawing conclusions about theresearch data. It is a blueprint which is followed in “the earlier process” to complete the study. It is similar to abuilder‟s blue-print for building a house.1.5.3 Finalising Research PlanThis is one of the significant ladders in marketing research. It helps to achieve the proper objective of the study.The preparation of the research plan involves a careful consideration of the questions mentioned below andbuilding appropriate choices regarding them.1. What is the study about?2. Why is the study undertaken?3. What are the major concepts to be defined operationally?4. What type of literature needs to be reviewed?5. How is the data processed?6. What are the statistical techniques for analysis?7. What is the type of report?8. What is the area of study?9. What are the sources?10. What is its scope?11. What are the objectives of the study?12. What are the hypotheses of the study?13. What is the sample size?14. What is the cost involved?15. Who reads the report?
1.5.4 Designing a ResearchA. Problem formulationThis is a key to the research process. The four factors that you should follow here are to determine the objective ofthe study, to judge various ecological factors, indentify the nature of the difficulty and stating the alternative.The purpose may be general or specific. General category – You would like to know how effective was advertisingcampaign. In reality, this is far from the case. There are two ways of shaping the objective precisely. The associateshould clarify with the H.R manager “What „effective‟ means”. Another way to determine the objective is to find outfrom the Manager, what findings to the earlier advertisement by the company was indeed ineffective; what courseof action does the company plan to take must be specified.B. Evaluate the cost of researchYou have to think about the question “should the company spend this money to conduct research?”. The followingmethods can be established. They are-i) Bayesian approachii) Simple saving method.iii) ROI /Return on investment method.iv) Cost benefits approach.C. Prepare a list of needed informationThe company needs to know the extent of competition, price and quality acceptance from the market. In thiscontext the following is the list of information required.i) Total demand.ii) Distribution coverage.iii) Market awareness.iv) Market expenditurev) Competitor‟s marketing expenditure.D. Decision on research designThe researchers may explore possible reasons as to why sales are failing. It may be due to any of the followingparameters. This can be called exploratory research.i) Faculty product planningii) Higher price.iii) Less discount.iv) Less availability.v) Inefficient advertisingvi) Poor quality salesmanship.vii) Less awareness.Not all the factors are responsible for decline in sales. This approach is called conclusive research. But you haveto narrow down the option. Only one or two things can be accountable for the decline of sales. Therefore zerodown, and use judgement and past occurrence. If the same is asked through the survey method, then the followingmixture of questions should be asked-i) What are the contents of the questionnaire?ii) The type of question to be asked.iii) Sequence of questions to be asked.iv) Fixed alternatives questions or based on open ended questions.E. Select the sample typesThe first task is to cautiously select, which group of people or stores are to be sampled. The next action is to fix onwhether to choose probability sampling or non-probability sampling.Probability sampling is one in which each component has a known chance of being selected. A non-probabilitysampling can be convenience or judgement sampling.F. Determine the sample sizeThe smaller the sample size, the larger the error and vice versa. It depends upon the following parameters.i) Accuracy required.ii) Time available.iii) Cost involved.While selecting the sample, the sample unit has to be clearly specified. Example: Survey on the attitude towardsthe use of shampoo with reference to a specific brand, where husbands, wives or combinations of them are to besurveyed or a specific segment is to be surveyed. The sample size depends on the size of the same universe.G. Organise the field work
This includes the selection, training and evaluating the field sales force to collect the data. It includes the following:i) How to organise the field-work?ii) What type of questionnaire – „Structured or unstructured‟?iii) How to approach the respondents?iv) Week, day and time to meet the specific respondents etc, are to be decided.H. Analysis of the dataThis involves three procedures namely editing, tabulating and codifying.The data collected should be scanned to make sure that it is complete and that all the instructions are followed.This method is called editing. Coding means giving numbers to each of the answers. So they can be explored. Thefinal step is called data tabulation.1.6 SummaryLet‟s recapitulate the key concepts discussed in this unit.Research is a scientific research intended to find solutions to numerous problems. It serves several purposes, ofwhich decision making is the most essential. There are different types of research such as exploratory, descriptive,casual etc. The term research originates in a decision process. In research process, management or problem isconverted into a research problem. Research problem consists of a series of steps that guide the research projectfrom the time it is conceived till the end. Thus the research process involves selection of a theme throughcollection and analysis of data and preparation of report.In this unit, we studied about meaning, purpose, characteristics and steps in research work; also we havediscussed the various types of research.1.7 GlossaryCoding: Technical procedure by which data is categorized.Ex-post-facto Research: Study the current state and factors that has already caused.Research design: A plan which indicates the methods and procedures to be used for collecting the data and dataanalysis.Variable: Anything that may assume different numerical values.1.8 Terminal Questions1. Explain the term „research‟. Explain the same in details.2. State the objectives of research.3. Analyse the various criteria of good research.4. Discuss the various steps involved in research process with a suitable diagram.5. How many types of research are there?1.9 AnswersSelf Assessment Questions1. Recherche.2. Pure research.3. Ex-post-facto studies.4. Research.Terminal Questions
1. Research is the systematic approach towards purposeful investigation. Thus the term research includesformulating a hypothesis, collection of data on relevant variables, analysing and interpreting the result and reactingconclusions, either in the form of a solution or certain generalizations. For more details, refer to sub-section 184.108.40.206. Research helps in formulation of policies and strategies. Research helps in the development of new products orin modifying existing products and in understanding the competitive environment. It helps in the optimal utilizationof research. It helps in identifying marketing opportunities and constraints. Research must be generative. Steps inconstructing a good research project. For more details, refer to sub-section 220.127.116.11. A good research should be systematic, logical, and empirical. A good research is always replicable. For moredetails, refer to sub-sections1.3.1 to 18.104.22.168. Research problem refers to some difficulty, which an organisation faces and wishes to obtain a solution for.While doing research, defining the problem is very vital because “problem clearly stated is half solved”. This showshow important it is to “define the problem correctly”. While defining the problem, it should be noted that thedefinition should be unambiguous. If the problem defining is ambiguous, then the research will not know “what datais to be collected or what technique is to be used” etc. For more details, refer to section 1.5.5. As per research, any enquiries can be classified according to their purpose as well as by the research strategyused. Basically it can be divided into three fold layers of exploration, descriptions and explanation. The differenttypes of research are classified based on the three pillars stated above. For more details, refer to sections1.4.1 to1.4.11.References· Dipak Kumar Bhattacharyya (2006). Research Methodology. Excel Books. New Delhi.· Kothari R (2008). Research Methodology – Methods and Techniques. New Age International. New Delhi.· Peter Clough & Cathy Nut Brown (2008). A - Student Guide to Methodology. Sage Publications Ltd. London.· Palton M (1990). Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods.(2ndEdition) London, Sage.· Stewart W & Kamins M.A (1993). Information Sources and Methods.Self Assessment Questions1. The word research is derived from the French word _______________.2. Gathering information for knowledge‟s sake is known as____________________ research.3. _______________ also consist of attempts by researchers to ascertain causes even when they cannot controlthe variables. Choose the best answer.a) Ex-post-facto research b) Library research c) Both a & b d) None.4. Analysis in the form of research can be definite as an original part to the existing stock of facts. Say true or false.