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MB0050 Assignment.doc

MB0050 Assignment.doc

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Research MethodologyMB0050
1.Explain the General characteristics of observation.A ) Ans : Observation as a method of data collection has certaincharacteristics.
1.
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?
Compared withquantitative researchandexperimental research, observational research tends to be lessreliablebut often morevalid
[
]
. 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.
Three Approaches
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
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approach is subjects may modify their behaviour when they know they are beingwatched. They portray their “ideal self” rather than their true self. The advantagethat the overt approach has over the covert approach is that there is no deception
Researcher Participation
- The researcher participates in what they areobserving so as to get a finer appreciation of the phenomena.
2.Briefly explain Interviewing techniques in Business ResearchAns :Interviewing techniques in Business Research
 The interview process consists of the following stages:· Preparation· Introduction· Developing rapport· Carrying the interview forward· Recording the interview· Closing the interview
Preparation
 The interviewing requires some preplanning and preparation. The interviewer shouldkeep the copies of interview schedule/guide (as the case may be) ready to use. Heshould have the list of names and addresses of respondents, he should regroup theminto contiguous groups in terms of location in order to save time and cost in traveling. The interviewer should find out the general daily routine of the respondents in order todetermine the suitable timings for interview. Above all, he should mentally preparehimself for the interview. He should think about how he should approach a respondent,what mode of introduction he could adopt, what situations he may have to face andhow he could deal with them. The interviewer may come across such situations asrespondents; avoidance, reluctance, suspicion, diffidence, inadequate responses,distortion, etc. The investigator should plan the strategies for dealing with them. If suchpreplanning is not done, he will be caught unaware and fail to deal appropriately whenhe actually faces any such situation. It is possible to plan in advance and keep the planand mind flexible and expectant of new development.
Introduction
 The investigator is a stranger to the respondents. Therefore, he should be properlyintroduced to each of the respondents. What is the proper mode of introduction? Thereis no one appropriate universal mode of introduction. Mode varies according to thetype of respondents. When making a study of an organization or institution, the head of 
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the organization should be approached first and his cooperation secured beforecontacting the sample inmates/employees. When studying a community or a culturalgroup, it is essential to approach the leader first and to enlist cooperation. For a surveyor urban households, the research organization’s letter of introduction and theinterviewer’s identity card can be shown. In these days of fear of opening the door for astranger, residents cooperation can be easily secured, if the interviewer attempts toget him introduced through a person known to them, say a popular person in the areae.g., a social worker. For interviewing rural respondents, the interviewer should neverattempt to approach them along with someone from the revenue department, for theywould immediately hide themselves, presuming that they are being contacted forcollection of land revenue or subscription to some government bond. He should notalso approach them through a local political leader, because persons who do notbelong to his party will not cooperate with the interviewer. It is rather desirable toapproach the rural respondents through the local teacher or social worker.After getting himself introduced to the respondent in the most appropriate manner, theinterviewer can follow a sequence of procedures as under, in order to motivate therespondent to permit the interview:1. With a smile, greet the respondent in accordance with his cultural pattern.2. Identify the respondent by name.3. Describe the method by which the respondent was selected.4. Mention the name of the organization conducting the research.5. Assure the anonymity or confidential nature of the interview.6. Explain their usefulness of the study.7. Emphasize the value of respondent’s cooperation, making such statements as “Youare among the few in a position to supply the information”. “Your response isinvaluable.” “I have come to learn from your experience and knowledge”.
Developing Rapport
Before starting the research interview, the interviewer should establish a friendlyrelationship with the respondent. This is described as “rapport”. It means establishing arelationship of confidence and understanding between the interviewer and therespondent. It is a skill which depends primarily on the interviewer’s commonsense,experience, sensitivity, and keen observation.Start the conversation with a general topic of interest such as weather, current news,sports event, or the like perceiving the probable of the respondent from his context.Such initial conversation may create a friendly atmosphere and a warm interpersonalrelationship and mutual understanding. However, the interviewer should “guardagainst the over rapport” as cautioned by Herbert Hyman. Too much identification and
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