Ch03 1

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Ch03 1

  1. 1. Business Research Methods William G. Zikmund Chapter 3:Theory Building
  2. 2. Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved. Requests forpermission to make copies of any part of the work should be mailed to the following address: PermissionsDepartment, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.
  3. 3. TheoriesTheories are nets cast to catch what we call “the world”: to rationalize, to explain, and to master it. We endeavor to make the mesh ever finer and finer. – Karl R. Popper Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. TWO PURPOSES OF THEORY• Prediction• Understanding Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. THEORY• A coherent set of general propositions used as principles of explanation of the apparent relationships of certain observed phenomena. Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. CONCEPT (OR CONSTRUCT)• A generalized idea about a class of objects, attributes, occurrences, or processes that has been given a name• Building blocks that abstract reality• “leadership,” “productivity,” and “morale”• “gross national product,” “asset,” and “inflation” Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. A LADDER OF ABSTRACTION FOR CONCEPTS Increasingly more abstract Vegetation Fruit Banana Reality Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Scientific business researchers operate at two levels• Abstract level – concepts – propositions• Empirical level – variables – hypotheses Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. DEFINITIONS• Abstract level -In theory development, the level of knowledge expressing a concept that exists only as an idea or a quality apart from an object.• Empirical level -Level of knowledge reflecting that which is verifiable by experience or observation. Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  10. 10. THEORY BUILDING A PROCESSOF INCREASING ABSTRACTION Increasingly more abstract Theories Propositions Concepts Observation of objects and events (reality ) Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. CONCEPTS ARE ABSTRACTIONS OF REALITYAbstract CONCEPTSLevelEmpirical OBSERVATION OF OBJECTSLevel AND EVENTS (REALITY)Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  12. 12. SCIENTIFIC METHOD• The use of a set of prescribed procedures for establishing and connecting theoretical statements about events and for predicting events yet unknown. Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  13. 13. ABSTRACT LEVEL• Concepts abstract reality.• Propositions are statements concerned with the relationships among concepts. Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  14. 14. Proposition at abstract level Concept A Concept B (Reinforcement) (Habits) Hypothesis at Empirical levelDollar bonus for sales volume Always makes over quota four sales calls a day Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  15. 15. • A hypothesis is a proposition that is empirically testable. It is an empirical statement concerned with the relationship among variables.• A variable is anything that may assume different numerical values. Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  16. 16. THEORY AND SONG• A fact without a theory• Is like a ship without a sail,• Is like a boat without a rudder,• Is like a kite without a tail.• A fact without a figure is a tragic final act,• But one thing worse in this universe• Is a theory without a fact. Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  17. 17. Deductive reasoning• The logical process of deriving a conclusion from a known premise or something known to be true. – We know that all managers are human beings. – If we also know that John Smith is a manager, – then we can deduce that John Smith is a human being. Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  18. 18. Inductive reasoning• The logical process of establishing a general proposition on the basis of observation of particular facts. – All managers that have ever been seen are human beings; – therefore all managers are human beings. Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  19. 19. OVERVIEW OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHODAssess Formulate Statement Designrelevant concepts & of researchexisting Propositions Hypothesesknowledge Acquire Analyze & Provide empirical evaluate explanation- data data state new problem Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  20. 20. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Copyright © 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

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