1.Explain the General characteristics of observation.A ) Ans : Observation as a method of data collection has certaincharacteristics.
It is both a physical and a mental activity:
The observing eye catches manythings that are present. But attention is focused on data that are pertinent to the givenstudy.2.
Observation is selective:
A researcher does not observe anything and everything,but selects the range of things to be observed on the basis of the nature, scope andobjectives of his study. For example, suppose a researcher desires to study the causesof city road accidents and also formulated a tentative hypothesis that accidents arecaused by violation of traffic rules and over speeding. When he observed themovements of vehicles on the road, many things are before his eyes; the type, make,size and colour of the vehicles, the persons sitting in them, their hair style, etc. All suchthings which are not relevant to his study are ignored and only over speeding andtraffic violations are keenly observed by him.3.
Observation is purposive and not casual:
It is made for the specific purpose of noting things relevant to the study. It captures the natural social context in whichpersons behaviour occur. It grasps the significant events and occurrences that affectsocial relations of the participants.4.
Observation should be exact
and be based on standardized tools
of researchand such as observation schedule, social metric scale etc., and precision instruments, if any.
b. What is the Utility of Observation in Business Research?
. The main advantageof observational research is flexibility. The researchers can change their approach asneeded. Also it measures behaviour directly, not reports of behaviour or intentions. Themain disadvantage is it is limited to behavioural variables. It cannot be used to studycognitive or affective variables. Another disadvantage is that observational data is notusually generalizable.
Generally, there are three types of observational research:
Covert observational research
- The researchers do not identify themselves.Either they mix in with the subjects undetected, or they observe from a distance. The advantages of this approach are: (1) It is not necessary to get the subjects’cooperation, and (2) The subjects’ behaviour will not be contaminated by thepresence of the researcher. Some researchers have ethical misgivings with thedeceit involved in this approach.
Overt observational research
- The researchers identify themselves asresearchers and explain the purpose of their observations. The problem with this