Business Research Methods, 9th ed.Chapter 3


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William G. Zikmund, Barry J. Babin, Jon C. Carr, Mitch Griffin

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Business Research Methods, 9th ed.Chapter 3

  1. 1. Business Research Methods William G. Zikmund Chapter 3: Theory Building
  2. 2. Theories Theories 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
  3. 3. Two Purposes Of Theory • Prediction • Understanding
  4. 4. Theory • A coherent set of general propositions used as principles of explanation of the apparent relationships of certain observed phenomena.
  5. 5. 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”
  6. 6. VegetationVegetation FruitFruit BananaBanana RealityReality Increasinglymoreabstract A Ladder Of Abstraction For Concepts
  7. 7. Scientific Business Researchers Operate at Two Levels • Abstract level – concepts – propositions • Empirical level – variables – hypotheses
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. Theory Building A Process Of Increasing Abstraction TheoriesTheories PropositionsPropositions ConceptsConcepts Observation of objectsObservation of objects and events (reality )and events (reality ) Increasinglymoreabstract
  10. 10. CONCEPTS OBSERVATION OF OBJECTS AND EVENTS (REALITY) Empirical Level Abstract Level Concepts are Abstractions of Reality
  11. 11. Scientific Method The use of a set of prescribed procedures for establishing and connecting theoretical statements about events and for predicting events yet unknown.
  12. 12. Abstract Level • Concepts abstract reality. • Propositions are statements concerned with the relationships among concepts.
  13. 13. Always makes four sales calls a day Dollar bonus for sales volume over quota Concept B (Habits) Hypothesis at Empirical Level Concept A (Reinforcement) Proposition at Abstract Level
  14. 14. • 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.
  15. 15. 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.
  16. 16. 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.
  17. 17. 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.
  18. 18. AssessAssess relevantrelevant existingexisting knowledgeknowledge FormulateFormulate concepts &concepts & PropositionsPropositions StatementStatement ofof HypothesesHypotheses DesignDesign researchresearch AcquireAcquire empiricalempirical datadata Analyze &Analyze & evaluateevaluate datadata ProvideProvide explanation-explanation- state newstate new problemproblem The Scientific Method: An Overview