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Published by Udaya Kumar

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Published by: Udaya Kumar on Mar 17, 2011
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Business Research Methods
Meaning of Research
It is a common phenomenon which is referred to a search for knowledge.
One can define research as a scientific and systematic investigation.
Another meaning of research is “a careful investigation or inquiry especially throughsearch for a new fact in any branch of knowledge”.
It is an academic activity and it comprises defining and redefining problem.
Simply research is defined as an organised, systematic, data-based, critical, objective,scientific inquiry or investigation into a specific problem, undertaken with the purpose of finding answers or solutions to it.According to Clifford Woody, research comprises defining and redefining problem,formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions, collecting, organising and evaluating data,making deductions and reaching conclusions; and at last carefully testing the conclusions todetermine whether they fit the formulating hypothesis.”
To achieve new insights into it (Studies with this object in view are termed asExploratory or Formulative research studies).
To portray accurately the characteristics of a particular individual, situation or a group(Descriptive research)
To determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it isassociated with something else (Diagnostic research).
To test hypothesis of a casual relationship between variables (Hypothesis- testingstudies).
Motivation in Research
Types of Research
1). Descriptive Vs Analytical
Descriptive Research:
It includes surveys and facts, finding enquiries of different kinds.The main purpose is description of the state of affairs as it exists at present.Eg.: In social science and business research we quite often use the term “Ex post factoresearch” for descriptive research studies.
The main character of this method is that researcher has no control over the variables.He can only report what has happened or what is happening.
Most Ex post facto research projects are used for descriptive studies in which theresearcher seeks to measure such items like frequency of shopping, preferences of people, etc. Researcher also tries to discover causes even when they cannot controlthe variables.
Analytical Research:
The researcher has to use facts or information already available andanalyse these to make critical evaluations of material.
2). Applied Vs Fundamental
Applied – action; Fundamental – basic or pure.
Applied Research – 
Finding a solution for an immediate problem facing a society or anindustry
business organization. Eg.- research aimed at certain conclusions. Facing aconcrete social or business problem is an example of applied research.Identifying social, economical or political trends that may particular institution are copyresearch or marketing or evaluation research
Fundamental Research – 
It is mainly concerned with generalisation and with theformulation of theory. Eg- Gathering knowledge for knowledge’s sake. It is a researchconcerning some natural phenomenon or relating to pure mathematics. Also it is concerninghuman behaviour carried on with a view to make generalisation of human behaviour. Thusthe central aim of applied research is to discover a solution for some practical problem, whereas fundamental research is finding information that has a broad base of applications and thus,adds to the already existing body of scientific knowledge.
3). Quantitative Vs Qualitative
Quantitative research – 
Based on measurement of quantity or amount, that can be expressedin terms of quantity.
Qualitative research – 
Relating to qualitative phenomena involving quality or kind. Eg.-why people think or do certain things.When we talk of “motivation research”, this research aims at discovering the underlyingmotives and desires, using in depth interviews for that purpose. Other techniques of suchresearch are word association, sentence completion test, story completion, attitude or opinionresearch.
4). Conceptual Vs Empirical
Conceptual – 
related ideas or theories used by philosophers and thinkers to develop newconcepts or to reinterpret existing ones.
Empirical – 
Experience or observation alone, without due regard for systems and theory. It isdata based research coming up with conclusions which are capable of verification byobservations and experiment.
5). Some other type of research:-
One time research – one time period.
Longitudinal research – Several time periods
Field setting research or laboratory research or simulation research
Clinical or Diagnostic research – case study and in depth approaches
Exploratory research – development of hypothesis rather their testing
Formalised research – substantial structure and specific objectives
Historical research – based on records and past data
Conclusion oriented – as researcher wish
Decision oriented –e.g.- operations research.
Research Approaches
Quantitative Approach
a. Inferential approach – Form a database and infer characteristics or relationships of population from it (usually survey researches).b. Experimental approach – Greater control over the research environment. Some variablesare manipulated to observe their effect on other variables.c. Simulation approach – Construction of an artificial environment within which relevantinformation and data can be generated.
Qualitative approach
Subjective assessment of attitudes, opinions and behaviour.
Significance of Research
The role of research in several fields of applied economics, whether related tobusiness or to the economy as a whole, has greatly increased in modern times.
It provides the basis for nearly all governmental policies in our economic system.
It facilitates the decision of the policy maker.
It helps in solving various operational and planning problems of business andindustry.
It is important for social scientist in studying social relationships and in seekinganswers to various social problems
In addition

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