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SMU MBA Semester 3 Spring 2014 Solved Assignments

SMU MBA Semester 3 Spring 2014 Solved Assignments

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Published by Rajdeep Kumar
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Published by: Rajdeep Kumar on May 28, 2014
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Spring 2014 MBA Semester 3 MB0050 - RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Q1. Briefly describe the different steps involved in a research process. Distinguish between descriptive and causal research studies. The management dilemma
 Any research starts with the need and desire to know more. This is essentially the management dilemma. It could be the researcher himself or herself or it could be a business manager who gets the study by done by a researcher.
Defining the research problem
This is the first and the most critical step of the research journey. For example, a soft drink manufacturer who is making and selling aerated drinks now wants to expand his business. He wants to know whether moving into bottled water would be a better idea or he should look at fruit juice based drinks. Thus, a comprehensive and detailed survey of the bottled water as well as the fruit juice market will have to be done.
Formulating the research hypotheses
In the model, we have drawn broken lines to link defining the research problem stage to the hypotheses formulation stage. The reason is that every research study might not always begin with a hypothesis; in fact, the task of the study might be to collect detailed data that might lead to, at the end of the study, some indicative hypotheses to be tested in subsequent research.
Developing the research proposal
Once the management dilemma has been converted into a defined problem and a working hypothesis, the next step is to develop a plan of investigation.
 Descriptive research
: The main goal of descriptive research is to describe the data and characteristics about what is being studied. The annual census carried out by the Government of India is an example of descriptive research. The census describes the number of people living in a particular area. It also gives other related data about them. It is contemporary and time-bound.
Causal research
Causal research studies explore the effect of one thing on another and more specifically, the effect of one variable on another. For example, if a fast-food outlet currently sells vegetarian fare, what will be the impact on sales if the price of the vegetarian food is increased by 10 per cent. Causal research studies are highly structured and require a rigid sequential approach to sampling, data collection and data analysis. This kind of research, like research in pure sciences, requires experimentation to establish causality. In majority of the situations, it is quantitative in nature and requires statistical testing of the information collected.
Q2. Distinguish between primary and secondary methods of data collection. Explain the Interview method of data collection.
Primary data, as the name suggests, is original, problem- or project-specific and collected for the specific objectives and needs spelt out by the researcher. The accuracy and relevance is reasonably high. The time and money required for this are quite high and sometimes a researcher might not have the resources or the time or both to go ahead with this method. In this case, the researcher can look at alternative sources of data which are economical and reliable enough to take the study forward. These include the second category of data sources— namely the secondary data. Secondary data as the name implies is that information which is not topical or research-specific and has been collected and compiled by some other researcher or investigative body. This type of data is recorded and published in a structured format, and thus, is quicker to access and manage. Secondly, in most instances, unless it is a data product, it is not too expensive to collect. The information required is readily available as a data product or as the audit information which the researcher or the organization can get and use it for arriving at quick decisions.
Personal Interview Method
Personal interview is a one-to-one interaction between the investigator/ interviewer and the interviewee. The purpose of the dialogue is research specific and ranges from completely unstructured to highly structured.
Uses of the interview method
The interview has varied applications in business research and can be used effectively in various stages.
Problem definition:
The interview method can be used right in the beginning of the study. Here, the researcher uses the method to get a better clarity about the topic under study.
Exploratory research:
Here because the structure is loose this method can be actively used.
Primary data collection:
There are situations when the method is used as a primary method of data collection, this is generally the case when the area to be investigated is high on emotional responses.
The interview process
The steps undertaken for the conduction of a personal interview are somewhat similar in nature to those of a focus group discussion.
Interview objective:
The information needs that are to be addressed by the instrument should be clearly spelt out as study objectives. This step includes a clear definition of the construct/variable(s) to be studied.
Interview guidelines:
 A typical interview may take from 20 minutes to close to an hour. A brief outline to be used by the investigator is formulated depending upon the contours of the interview.
Based on the needs of the study, the actual interview may be unstructured, semi-structured or structured.
 Q3. a. Discuss four types of measurement scales with examples. b. Briefly explain the concepts of reliability, validity and sensitivity. Q4. a. Distinguish between:
i. Schedules and Questionnaires ii. Open ended and closed ended questions
b. What are the different modes of administering a questionnaire? What are the conditions that merit the use of one over the other? Discuss by using suitable examples. Q5. a. What is the analysis of variance? What are the assumptions of the technique? Give a few examples where the techniques could be used. b. The following data represents the number of units produced by four operators during three different shifts: Shifts Operator  A B C D I
10 8 12 13
10 12 14 15
12 10 11 14
Perform a two-way analysis of variance and interpret the result.

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