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Mb0034 - Research Mathodology[1]

Mb0034 - Research Mathodology[1]

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Published by Sudha Amit Thakur

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Published by: Sudha Amit Thakur on Apr 23, 2010
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Master of Business Administration-MBA Semester 3
Question 1:
What do you mean by research? Explain its significance in social and businesssciences.
Answer 1:
 Research simply means a search for facts ± answers to questions and solutions to problems. Itis a purposive investigation. It is an organized inquiry. It seeks to find explanations tounexplained phenomenon to clarify the doubtful facts and to correct the misconceived facts.The search for facts may be made through either:
Arbitrary (or unscientific) Method:
It¶s a method of seeking answers to questionconsists of imagination, opinion, blind belief or impression. E.g. it was believed that theshape of the earth was flat; a big snake swallows sun or moon causing solar or lunar eclipse. It is subjective; the finding will vary from person to person depending on hisimpression or imagination. It is vague and inaccurate. Or 
Scientific Method:
this is a systematic rational approach to seeking facts. It eliminates thedrawbacks of the arbitrary method. It is objective, precise and arrives at conclusions onthe basis of verifiable evidences.Therefore, search of facts should be made by scientific method rather than by arbitrarymethod. Then only we may get verifiable and accurate facts. Hence research is a systematicand logical study of an issue or problem or phenomenon through scientific method.Young defines Research as ³a scientific undertaking which, by means of logical andsystematic techniques, aims to:a) Discover of new facts or verify and test old facts, b) Analyze their sequences, interrelationships and causal explanations,c) Develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories which would facilitate reliableand valid study of human behaviour.d) Kerlinger defines research as a ³systematic, controlled, empirical and criticalinvestigation of hypothetical propositions about the presumed relations among natural phenomena.
Significance of Research in Social and Business Sciences
 According to a famous Hudson Maxim, ³All progress is born of inquiry. Doubt is often better than overconfidence, for it leads to inquiry, and inquiry leads to invention´. It brings out thesignificance of research, increased amounts of which makes progress possible. Researchencourages scientific and inductive thinking, besides promoting the development of logicalhabits of thinking and organization.
The role of research in applied economics in the context of an economy or business is greatlyincreasing in modern times. The increasingly complex nature of government and business hasraised the use of research in solving operational problems. Research assumes significant rolein formulation of economic policy, for both the government and business. It provides the basisfor almost all government policies of an economic system. Government budget formulation,for example, depends particularly on the analysis of needs and desires of the people, and theavailability of revenues, which requires research. Research helps to formulate alternative policies, in addition to examining the consequences of these alternatives. Thus, research alsofacilitates the decision making of policy-makers, although in itself it is not a part of research.In the process, research also helps in the proper allocation of a country¶s scare resources.Research is also necessary for collecting information on the social and economic structure of an economy to understand the process of change occurring in the country. Collection of statistical information though not a routine task, involves various research problems.Therefore, large staff of research technicians or experts is engaged by the government thesedays to undertake this work. Thus, research as a tool of government economic policyformulation involves three distinct stages of operation which are as follows:
Investigation of economic structure through continual compilation of facts
Diagnoses of events that are taking place and the analysis of the forces underlyingthem; and
The prognosis, i.e., the prediction of future developmentsResearch also assumes a significant role in solving various operational and planning problemsassociated with business and industry. In several ways, operations research, market research,and motivational research are vital and their results assist in taking business decisions. Marketresearch is refers to the investigation of the structure and development of a market for theformulation of efficient policies relating to purchases, production and sales. Operationalresearch relates to the application of logical, mathematical, and analytical techniques to findsolution to business problems such as cost minimization or profit maximization, or theoptimization problems. Motivational research helps to determine why people behave in themanner they do with respect to market characteristics. More specifically, it is concerned withthe analyzing the motivations underlying consumer behaviour. All these researches are veryuseful for business and industry, which are responsible for business decision making.Research is equally important to social scientist for analyzing social relationships and seekingexplanations to various social problems. It gives intellectual satisfaction of knowing things for the sake of knowledge. It also possesses practical utility for the social scientist to gainknowledge so as to be able to do something better or in a more efficient manner. This,research in social sciences is concerned with both knowledge for its own sake, and knowledgefor what it can contribute to solve practical problems.
Question 2:
What is meant by research problem? And what are the characteristics of a goodresearch problem?
Answer 2:
 Research really begins when the researcher experiences some difficulty, i.e., a problemdemanding a solution within the subject-are of his discipline. This general area of interest,however, defines only the range of subject-matter within which the researcher would see and pose a specific problem for research. Personal values play an important role in the selection of a topic for research. Social conditions do often shape the preference of investigators in asubtle and imperceptible way.The formulation of the topic into a research problem is, really speaking the first step in ascientific enquiry. A problem in simple words is some difficulty experienced by theresearcher in a theoretical or practical situation. Solving this difficulty is the task of research.R.L. Ackoffs analysis affords considerable guidance in identifying problem for research. Hevisualizes five components of a problem.1.
Research-consumer: There must be an individual or a group which experiences somedifficulty.2.
Research-consumer¶s Objectives: The research-consumer must have available,alternative means for achieving the objectives he desires.3.
Alternative Means to Meet the Objectives: The research-consumer must haveavailable, alternative means for achieving the objectives he desires.4.
Doubt in Regard to Selection of Alternatives: The existence of alternative courses of action in not enough; in order to experience a problem, the research consumer musthave some doubt as to which alternative to select.5.
There must be One or More Environments to which the Difficulty or ProblemPertains: A change in environment may produce or remove a problem. A research-consumer may have doubts as to which will be the most efficient means in oneenvironment but would have no such doubt in another.Horton and Hunt have given following characteristics of scientific research:1.
erifiable evidence:
That is factual observations which other observers can see andcheck.2.
That is describing what really exists. It means truth or correctness of astatement or describing things exactly as they are and avoiding jumping tounwarranted conclusions either by exaggeration or fantasizing.3.
That is making it as exact as necessary, or giving exact number or measurement. This avoids colourful literature and vague meanings.4.
That is attempting to find all the relevant data, or collecting data in asystematic and organized way so that the conclusions drawn are reliable. Data basedon casual recollections are generally incomplete and give unreliable judgments andconclusions.

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