Business Research Methods
for Masters students: Lecture 5
Dr Robert Shaw
School of Management
Guangdong University of Foreign Studies
1. Course progression
2. Assessment 2 is due last day of course (week
15, December 15 December)
3. Lecture: Four research methods
At the completion of this course students will be able to:
1.Identify and use research that is available through a university library and
other online academic databases.
2.Write a cogent argument about some issue that relates to public policy,
management or business and support their reasoning with quality research.
3.Produce basic scientific research which is of a good standard and shows the
characteristics of research that is published in the business and management
academic literature. ASSIGNMENT TWO
Task for 12 December
1. Completion of Assignment 2:
- submit it both by email and in hard copy.
1. Send an email to your professor (“Business Research” in subject line)
i. Attach your final paper.
ii. Include the university cover page.
iii. Your paper will be submitted to plagiarism software so make sure
references are correct and you do not include anything taken from
the internet without proper use and acknowledgement.
Lecture: Four research methods
1. Social science research methods & their links
to business research
2. We consider:
a. Historical method
b. Descriptive / correlational methods
c. Case study methodologies
d. Experimental methods
Uses in social science research
Uses in business research
Criteria to judge such research
Objectivity - Subjectivity
1. Most common type of field study.
2. Description is a starting place.
3. Correlational coefficient, r
4. Two dangers:
1. Conceptual confusions (tautologies)
2. Causation claims
1. Relationships between variables. There are
three possible results of a correlational study:
a. a positive correlation
b. a negative correlation, and
c. no correlation.
2. The correlation coefficient is a measure of
correlation strength and can range from –1.00
2.Types of correlational studies
(how, advantages & disadvantages)
a. Naturalistic observation
b. Survey methods
c. Archival research
- Pearson’s r
An example follows:
Raw values (X, Y)
Calculate means for raw
Deviation scores (value less mean) (x,y)
Multiply the deviation scores
Square each of the deviation scores
Add everything up
Calculate mean for deviation products
Height of the salesperson
Height Number Sold
Do tall salesperson sell more?
Watch out for the little trap.
What is the naturalistic method?
Purpose is everything
Theory – real-world
Cause and effect
Aristotle and the sacramental chalice
Begins with a theory
Experimental research - bias
Control for bias
Blind study – placebo, subject blind
Double blind study – experimenter also blind
Experimental research - bias
Experimental research - progress
How does science advance?
Normal science – Revolutionary Science
1962 Thomas S Kuhn