BUSINESS RESEARCH METHODS

TOPIC OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH DESIGN AND RESEARCH PROCESS
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In social science and business research we quite often use the term Ex post facto research for descriptive research studies. a research design is "the logical and systematic planning and directing a piece of research". Analytical: Descriptive research includes surveys and fact-finding enquiries of different kinds. It is a process of deliberate anticipation directed towards bringing unexpected situation under control". Russel Ackoff has defined it as "Design is the process of making decisions before a situation arises in which the decision has to be carried out. It gives an outline of the structure and process of the research programme. The design. Without such a plan of study no scientific study is possible. TYPES OF RESEARCH The basic types of research are as follows: (i) Descriptive vs. Most ex post facto research . he can only report what has happened or what is happening. The main characteristic of this method is that the researcher has no control over the variables. according to her "results from translating a general scientific model into varied research procedures". Young. The major purpose of descriptive research is description of the state of affairs as it exists at present.Research Design According to Pauline V.

including comparative and correlational methods. Fundamental: Research can either be applied (or action) research or fundamental (to basic or pure) research. frequency of shopping. whereas fundamental research is mainly concerned with generalisations and with the formulation of a theory. “Gathering knowledge for knowledge’s sake is termed ‘pure’ or ‘basic’ research. (ii) Applied vs. Similarly. Applied research aims at finding a solution for an immediate problem facing a society or an industrial/business organisation. research studies. and analyze these to make a critical evaluation of the material. The methods of research utilized in descriptive research are survey methods of all kinds. for example. Ex post facto studies also include attempts by researchers to discover causes even when they cannot control the variables.” Research concerning some natural phenomenon or relating to pure mathematics are examples of fundamental research. are also examples of fundamental research. the researcher has to use facts or information already available. but research aimed at certain conclusions facing a concrete social or business . preferences of people. concerning human behavior carried on with view to make generalizations about human behavior. on the other hand. or similar data.projects are used for descriptive studies in which the researcher seeks to measure such items as. In analytical research.

we quite often talk of ‘Motivation Research’. Whereas basic research is directed towards finding information that has a broad base of applications and thus.e. Thus. For instance. is concerned with qualitative phenomenon. Qualitative research. economic or political trends that may effect a particular institution or copy research or the marketing research are examples of applied research. an important type of qualitative research. (iii) Quantitative vs. .. This type of research aims at discovering the underlying motives and desires. the central aim of applied research is to discover a solution for some pressing practical problems.problem is an example of applied research. i. on the other hand. research designed to find out how people feel or what they think about a particular subject or institution is also qualitative research. Qualitative: Quantitative research is based on the measurement of quantity or amount. story completion tests and similar other projective techniques. sentence completion tests. when we are interested in investigating the reasons for human behavior. Attitude or opinion research. phenomena relating to or involving quality or kind.e. It is applicable to phenomena that can be expressed in terms of quantity. adds to the already existing organized body of scientific knowledge.. Research to identify social. Other techniques of such research are word association tests. using in depth interviews for the purpose. i.

On the other hand. It is data based research. He then works to get enough facts (data) to prove or disprove his hypothesis. one should seek guidance from experimental psychologists. He then sets up experimental designs which he thinks will . often without due regard for system and theory. in such a research it is necessary to get at facts firsthand. In such I research. empirical research relies an experience or observation alone. at their source. It is generally used by philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts or to reinterpret existing ones. We can also call it as experimental type of research. that to apply qualitative research in practice is relatively a difficult job and therefore. (iv) Conceptual vs. while doing such research. It may be stated.Qualitative research is specially important in the behavioral sciences where the aim is to discover the underlying motives of human behavior. however. and actively to go about doing certain things to stimulate the production of desired information. Empirical: Conceptual research is that related to some abstract idea(s) or theory. Through such research we can analyse the various factors which motivate people to behave in a particular manner or which make people like or dislike a particular thing. die researcher must first provide himself with a working hypothesis or guess as to the probable results. coming up with conclusions which arc capable of being verified by observation or experiment.

or the time required to accomplish research. Empirical research is appropriate when proof is sought that certain variables affect other variables in some way. Evidence gathered through experiments or empirical studies is today considered to be the most powerful support possible for a given hypothesis. based on either the purpose of research. Research can be field-setting research or laboratory research or simulation research. depending upon the environment in which it is to be carried out. we can think of research either as one-time research or longitudinal research. Such research is thus characterised by the experimenter's control over the variables under study and his deliberate manipulation of one of them to study its effects.manipulate the persons or the materials concerned so as to bring forth the desired information. (v) Some Other Types of Research: All other types of research are variations of one or more of the above stated approaches. Such studies usually go deep into the causes of things or events that . or on the basis of some other similar factor. on the environment in which research is done. In the former case the research is confined to a single time-period. whereas in the latter case the research is carried on over several time-periods. Form the point of view of time. Research can as well be understood as clinical or diagnostic research. Such research follow case-study methods or indepth approaches to reach the basic causal relations.

While doing conclusion oriented research. Decision-oriented research is always for the need of a decision maker and the researcher in this case is not free to embark upon research according to his own inclination. including the philosophy of persons and groups at any remote point of time. Operations research is an example of decision oriented research since it is a scientific method of providing executive departments with a quantitative basis for decisions regarding operations under their control. Management may have discovered general problems. redesign the enquiry as he proceeds and is prepared to conceptualize as he wishes. to study events or ideas of the past. whereas formalized research studies are those with substantial structure and with specific hypotheses to be tested. but research is . a researcher is free to pick up a problem. Historical research is that which utilizes historical sources like documents. The research may be exploratory or it may be formalized. Research can also be classified as conclusion-oriented and decision oriented. EXPLORATORY RESEARCH Exploratory research is conducted to clarify ambiguous problems. The objective of exploratory research is the development of hypotheses rather than their testing. remains. using very small samples and very deep probing data gathering devices. etc.interest us.

for example. In an organisation considering a program to help employees with childcare needs. In such a case exploratory research helps to crystallize a problem and identify information needs for future research.needed to gain better understanding of the dimensions of the problems. It is a serious mistake to rush into detailed surveys before less expensive and more readily available sources of information have been exhausted. Usually. Exploratory studies provide information to use in analyzing a situation. but uncovering conclusive evidence to determine a particular course of action is not the purpose of exploratory research. exploratory research with a small number of employees who have children might determine that many of them have spouses who also work and that these employees have positive reactions to the possibility of an on-site child-care program. EXPLORATORY RESEARCH METHODS . exploratory research is conducted with the expectation that subsequent research will be required to provide conclusive evidence.

professional journals. 2. market research finding publications.trade journals. The literature referred are . The industry's share is going up but the company's share is declining. If we accept the situation that our company's sales are down despite the market showing an upward trend.The quickest and the cheapest way to formulate a hypothesis in exploratory research is by using any of the four methods: • Literature search • Experience survey • Focus group • Analysis of selected cases Literature Search This refers to "referring to a literature to develop a new hypothesis". statistical publications etc Example: Suppose a problem is "Why are sales down?" This can quickly be analyzed with the help of published data which should indicate "whether the problem is an "industry problem" or a "firm problem". The company's market share has declined but industry's figures are normal. . The industry is declining and hence the company's market share is also declining. 1. then we need to analyse the marketing mix variables. Three possibilities exist to formulate the hypothesis. 3.

He might meet (a) Newspaper sellers (b) Public reading room (c) General public (d) Business community. . The above information may be used to pinpoint the reason for declining sales. etc. These are experienced persons whose knowledge researcher can use. Example 2: Due to a trade embargo imposed by a country. probability sample need not be used.2) A publisher might want to find out the reason for poor circulation of newspaper introduced recently. Since the idea of using experience survey is to undertake problem formulation. so that the respondent can give divergent views. Those who cannot speak freely should be excluded from the sample.Example 1: A TV manufacturing company feels that its market share is declining whereas the overall television industry is doing very well. it is desirable to talk to persons who are well informed in the area being investigated. Experience Survey In experience surveys. These people may be company executives or persons outside the organisation. Example 1: 1) A group of housewives may be approached for their choice for a "ready to cook product". Here. no questionnaire is required. and not conclusion. textiles exports are down and hence sales of a company making garment for exports is on the decline. The approach adopted in an experience survey should be highly unstructured. .

in which some of the participants have their friends and relatives. a key factor in focus group is to have similar groups. The typical focus group lasts for 1-30 . Most of the companies conducting the focus groups. future buying attitudes. Normally there are 4-5 groups. Normally. are gathered. first screen the candidates to determine who will compose the particular group. Therefore. Firms also take care to avoid groups.Focus Group Another widely used technique in exploratory research is the focus group. present buying opinion etc. care has to be taken to see that they should have a common background and have similar experiences in buying. Some of them may even have 6-8 groups. The discussion is co-ordinated by a moderator. The group usually is of 8-12 persons. because this leads to a biased discussion.. The guiding criteria is to see whether the latter groups are generating additional ideas or repeating the same with respect to the subject under study. a number of such groups are constituted and the final conclusion of various groups are taken for formulating the hypothesis. In a focus group. When this shows a diminishing return from the group. a small number of individuals are brought together to study and talk about some topic of interest. While selecting these persons. the discussions stopped. During the discussion. This is required because there should not be a conflict among the group members on the common issues that are being discussed.

.hours to 2 hours. the correlation study which investigates the relationship between variables. DESCRIPTIVE RESEARCH Descriptive research is used to obtain information concerning the current status of the phenomena to describe "what exists" with respect to variables or conditions in a situation. The methods involved range from the survey which describes the status quo. His job is to guide the group to proceed in the right direction. changes in the taste. etc. advertisement. We must carefully examine the already published case studies with regard to other variables such as price. Analysis of selected cases Analysing a selected case sometimes gives an insight into the problem which is being researched. many case histories may be available in the form of previous studies made by competitors. However. the result of investigation of case histories arc always considered suggestive. Case histories of companies which have undergone a similar situation may be available. rather than conclusive. The moderator under the focus group has a key role. These case studies are well suited to carry out exploratory research. In case of preference to "ready to eat food". to developmental studies which seek to determine changes over time.

This often decreases with time. The person who is presenting the case usually has some theoretical orientation. important to assess observer bias by the use of interobserver reliability. Observational Research Accounts of the natural behavior of individuals or groups in some setting.The major problem with case studies is the problem of objectivity. there may be some subject reactivity to being observed. a process called habituation. Observers cannot usually observe all It is behaviors all of the time. Case studies can therefore assist psychology by illustrating how a theory could be applied to a person or events and by assisting with the development of hypotheses for more systematic testing. Unless the observation is unobtrusive. In a case study the theoretical orientation can also lead to the selection of the facts to include in the case. Case studies are usually interesting because of the unusualness of the case . It is acceptable for a theoretical orientation to affect one’s interpretation of events. They may use a behavioral checklist and may also use time sampling or event sampling procedures. Observational research may also pose ethical problems. These can . It is not surprising that case studies often seem to provide very compelling evidence for a theory.Descriptive Research Methods Case Studies Detailed analysis of a single (or limited number) of people or events.

One can correlate responses to some questions (often demographic questions) with responses to other questions (often attitudes or reports of behavior). and (3) written or mail surveys. it is important to have a representative Surveys that rely on self-selection (respond if you are interested) produce non-generalizable results.arise when the behaviors being observed are not public behaviors and when the observer joins a group in order to observe the members’ behavior – participant observation. Follow-up messages can help increase the response rate. Surveys also provide information for co relational research. (2) phone surveys. sample. which are less expensive but have a higher non-response rate (which has probably increased with caller ID). Archival Research . Survey Research Structured questions to assess peoples beliefs. attitudes. Survey question must be clear and unambiguous. Even if the questions are unambiguous and non-leading. people may display a social desirability bias and give positive or socially acceptable and desirable answers. and selfreports of behavior. Survey methods include: (1) the interview or face-to-face method which is generally viewed as the best method for obtaining a high rate of responses but is also very costly. which are least expensive but have a very high non-response rate. If the researcher wishes to generalize the responses to a population.

For example. the researcher is trying to learn something new about the world. Real world observations. rather than experiments. in the strictest sense of the word. With an experiment. For example. a qualitative analysis of material. should be referred to as observational research. EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH Science revolves around experiments. or the results will be useless. The experiment must maintain internal and external validity. and learning the best way of conducting an experiment is crucial to obtaining useful and valid results. Some archival research is quasi-experimental. they mean a true experiment. and case studies. observing animals in the wild is not a true experiment. . When scientists speak of experiments. where the scientist controls all of the factors and conditions. one would use content analysis to determine whether there had been an increase in the frequency with which women and minorities were mentioned in US history books between 1920 and 2000.Analysis of pre-existing data or records. Archival research often involves content analysis. an explanation of ‘why’ something happens. because it does not isolate and manipulate an independent variable.

an explanation of ‘why’ something happens. Following the basic steps will usually generate valid results.THE BASIS OF CONDUCTING AN EXPERIMENT With an experiment. The experiment must maintain internal and external validity. a researcher must follow all of the steps of the scientific method. When designing an experiment. any aberrations must be justified. whether they arise because of budget. to using controls and statistical tests. but where experiments are complex and expensive. it is not always a conscious process. impracticality or ethics. it is always advisable to follow the rigorous scientific protocols. from making sure that the hypothesis is valid and testable. Whilst all scientists use reasoning. the researcher is trying to learn something new about the world. Conducting a experiment has a number of stages. or the results will be useless. where the parameters and structure of the experiment are made clear. the ‘streamlined’ scientific process. Experience and practice mean that many scientists follow an instinctive process of conducting an experiment. operationalization and the steps of the scientific process. . Whilst it is rarely practical to follow each step strictly.

STAGE TWO The sample groups should be divided. Ideally. aged between 18 and 24. . In the physical sciences. again. into a control group and a test group. but small enough to be practical. or bias. These should be large enough to give a statistically viable study. and the assigning of subjects to groups should be blind or double blind. This will reduce the chances of experimental error. the findings can only be generalized to that specific demographic group within society. This. as long as the process is justified. when conducting an experiment. from a wide selection of the sample population. If a psychological researcher used volunteers who were male students. and the results are not applied to the population as a whole. but the biological and behavioral sciences are often limited by other factors. to reduce the possibility of confounding variables.STAGE ONE After deciding upon a hypothesis. should be random. This is not a problem. This allows results to be generalized to the population as a whole. Such research often relies upon volunteers. this is fairly easy. and making predictions. so it is difficult to apply any realistic randomization. medical trials often cannot find random groups. the first stage of conducting an experiment is to specify the sample groups. groups should be selected at random. For example.

. to fit the type of experiment. any deviations from this process must be explained in the conclusion. and why. This allows the researcher to establish if there is any relationship between the variables and accept. over a period of days. The independent variable is manipulated. generating a usable data set for the dependent variable. Researchers testing a cure for Parkinson’s disease would use less frequent tests. the null hypothesis. STAGE THREE This stage of conducting an experiment involves determining the time scale and frequency of sampling. as long as other scientists are aware of how. For example. by statistical means. over a period of months or years. the researcher selected groups on that basis. or reject. STAGE FIVE The raw data from the results should be gathered. where necessary. because deliberately withholding treatment is not permitted. STAGE FOUR The penultimate stage of the experiment involves performing the experiment according to the methods stipulated during the design phase. There is nothing wrong with compromising upon randomness. researchers studying the effectiveness of a cure for colds would take frequent samples. and analyzed.Ethics are often a barrier to this process. Again.

Attempts should be made to keep the errors down to a minimum. The total error is the variation between the true mean value of the population and the observed mean value obtained in the market research. Example: If the questionnaire is poorly designed with many ambiguities. The total error is made up of sampling error and non-sampling error. TYPES DESIGN OF ERRORS AFFECTING RESEARCH There are several sources of errors. NON-RESPONSE ERROR . Whilst many researchers do not want to become involved in the exact processes of inductive reasoning. This error could be due to factors such as interviewing method. design of questionnaire etc. they all follow the basic steps of conducting an experiment. 1: NON SAMPLING ERROR This is an error occurring for reasons other than sampling. the response will be poor.These steps are essential to providing excellent results. This ensures that their results are valid. Non-sampling errors consists of non-response errors and response errors. deductive reasoning and operationalization.

onresponse will cause the resulting sample to be different size compared to original sample.(1)Misrecording (2) inaccurate answer (3) Wrong analysis errors made by the researcher include a)surrogate information b)Measurement c)population definition d)sampling frame and data analysis error.This happens when chosen respondents do not respond. but the researcher obtains information on consumer preference because the process of choice is difficult to observe. b: MEASUREMENT ERROR This happens due to the use of a wrong scale. This may due to (1) non availability of the respondent (2)Refusal to answer. Example: Instead of obtaining information on consumer choice of a new brand. a: SURROGATE INFORMATION It is defined as a variation between the information needed and that sought by the researcher. The measurement required may be consumer preference but the scale employed is such that it measures perception instead of preference. RESPONSE ERROR Response error occurs due to any of the eventualities. c: POPULATION DEFINITION ERROR .

migration of people. disconnected lines etc. 2: RESPONDENT SELECTION ERROR This occurs when the interviewer selects a respondent other than the individual is specified as a sample. Example: While surveying . d: SAMPLING FRAME ERROR Assume that a telephone directory is used as a sampling frame. e : DATA ANALYSIS ERROR This occurs when the data is transferred from the questionnaire. open ended questions are well suited for qualitative research. Open ended questions do not focus on what the response is. This may be due to an incorrect definition of ‘affluent group’. This could be any of the following (1) graphical illusions (2) Mix up in row and columns percentages (3) Difficulty in recording open ended questions (4) Misuse of arithmetic operations and wrong interpretation. Example: The population needed is affluent people but researcher defines them by taking the upper middle class. new additions. this will cause an error. but in appropriate for quantitative measurements. in fact. Where there may be omissions.This is the difference between the actual population and the population defined by the researcher.

He may fill up the questionnaire based on his judgment. 3: QUESTIONING ERROR This occurs during the process of interviewing a respondent. 4: RECORDING ERROR Errors in interpreting or failing to concentrate when the respondents replies. you will switch over to the new brand” mat be the question.newspaper or periodical readership. The researcher may misinterpret this as immediate and project an immediate demand for the product. It could be also due to ambiguity in question. Response error comprises of (a) Inability (b) unwillingness a: INABILITY ERROR . 5: CHEATING ERROR This is because the interviewer fills the questionnaire without interviewing anybody. a non reader is selected for interview. Example: “when do you think. The answer perhaps could be ‘shortly’. Sometimes the interviewer may find it very delicate to ask questions about sensitive issues such as habits. This may occur out of not using the same word or context with respect to the questionnaire. debts etc.

Research Methodology Research methodology is a method to solve the research problem systematically. impress the interviewer. It involves gathering data. Non sampling errors are more problematic than sampling errors. which is followed to complete the study. It is similar to builders’ blueprint for building a house. Sampling errors can be computed. interpretations and drawing conclusions about the research data. The respondent may not be able to recall.Inability may be due to (1) Respondent not being familiar with the subject (2) Boredom (3) fatigue on the part of the respondent (4) Faulty recall of what is being asked (5) question content (6) Passage of time. Difference between Management and Research Problem . use of statistical techniques. “What shirt were you wearing on your birthday last week”. It is a blueprint. b: UNWILLINGNESS ERROR This may be due to the fact that the respondent wants to avoid embarrassment for the interviewer or alternately. but non sampling errors are difficult to compute.

introduce new product Assess current amount of repeat purchase behaviour Design a test market through which the likely acceptance of new product can be gauged Difference between a Manager and a Researcher . Increase the amount of repurchase behaviour of the customer 4. Develop the package for a new product 2.Management problem involves “what needs to be done?” Research problem essentially involves determining “what information needs to be provided and how can the information be obtained?” MANAGEMENT PROBLEM 1. To select a media for product advertising RESEARCH PROBLEM Evaluate the effectiveness of alternative package design We should conduct an investigation to determine suitable media. Evaluate the Impact of the media in terms of reach 3.

It helps in establishing the manner researchers go about to achieve the objective of the study. The preparation of a research design involves a .DOMAIN Of DIFFERENCE • Position in the organization • Responsible • Activity Involved MANAGER Line Function To Generate Profits Make Symptoms Disappear RESEARCHER Staff Function To Generate Information To Find The Truth • Involvement • Training Emotional All Aspects Of Decision Making Unemotional Technicalities and Application Orientation Wants To Ask Questions • Knowledge Wants Answers To Questions Research Design / Plan Research design is one of the important steps in marketing research.

the finding are meant for? • What is the type of report? .careful consideration of the following questions and making appropriate decisions about them: • What the study is about? • Why is the study undertaken? • What is its scope? • What are the objectives of the study? • What are the hypotheses / proportions to be tested? • What are the major concepts to be defined operationally? • What type of literature needs to be reviewed? • What is the area of study? • What is the reference period of study? • What is the methodology to be used? • What kinds of data are needed? • What are the sources of data? • What is the sampling boundary? • What are the sampling units? • What is the sampling size? • What are the sampling techniques? • What are the data collection methods? • How is the data processed? • What are the statistical techniques for analysis? • What is the target group.

• What is the duration of time required for each stage of the research work? • What is the cost involved? • Who reads the report? How to Design a Research Plan? Steps Involved In Designing a Research There are nine steps in the research process that can be followed while designing a research project. They are as follows: • Formulate the problem • Evaluate the cost of research • Prepare the list of information • Research design decision • Data collection • Select the sample type • Determine the sample size • Organize the field work • Analyse the data and report preparation .

the MR Manager and the researcher must articulate clearly so that perfect understanding of each other is achieved. Example: Management Problem and Research Problem M.1. Formulating the Problem Problem formulation is the key to research process. the following should be taken into account: • Determine the objective of the study • Consider various environmental factors • Nature of the problem • Stating the alternative . In order to attain clarity. – what is the current standing of the product ‘A’ While the problem is being formulated.P. – want to increase the sale of product ‘A’ R.P. the problem formulation means converting the management problem to a research problem. For a researcher.

General category – it would like to know how effective was the advertising campaign. or the perception of audience about the product? In each of the above circumstances. the awareness or does it refer to an increase in sales or does it mean it has improved the knowledge of the audience. if research findings to the previous advertisement by the company was indeed ineffective. what course of action does the company intend to take? (a) increase the budget for the next ad (b) use different appeal . given the specified outcome of the study?” For example. The corollary looks like a statement with an objective. There are two ways of determining the objectives precisely: 1) The researcher should clarify with the MR Manager “what effective means”. “what action will be taken. In reality. Does effective mean. this is far from the case. 2) Another way to determine objectives is to find out from the MR Manager. the questions to be asked from the audience varies.Determine the objective of the study The objective may be general or specific.

who are the competitors in the market with similar product 3. Size of the market and target audience . What is the perception of the people about other products of the company. Purchasing habits of consumers 2. image of the company 4. Therefore. Consider Environmental Factors Environmental factors influence the outcome of the research and the decision.(c) change the media (d) go to a new agency If the objectives are proper. the research questions will be precise. However. The following environmental factors are to be considered: 1. we should remember that objectives do undergo a change. Example: Assume that the company wants to introduce a new product like iced tea or frozen green peas or ready to eat chapathis. with respect to price. Presently. the researcher must help his client to identify the environmental factors that are relevant.

If the customer is not buying the company’s product. a preliminary investigation of the problem is necessary for a better understanding of the same. Why did the customer turn to the competitor’s product? 4. the researcher can collect relevant data and help suggest a suitable solution. the reasons for his not doing so 3. some of the following questions will help the researcher to understand the problem better: 1. Is the researcher contacting the right target audience? Stating the Alternatives The researcher would be better served by generating as many alternatives as possible during the problem formulation hypothesis. Every problem is related to either one or more variables. . If a focus group is carried out with the consumers. Initial investigation could be carried by using a focus group of consumers or sales representatives. Did the customer ever include this company’s product in his mental map? 2.Nature of the Problem By understanding the nature of the problem. Before beginning the data collection.

Example: Whether to introduce a sachet form of packaging with a view to increase sales. However. Thereafter. The company’s intuitive feeling is that the possibilities of the product’s failure are 35%. Bayesian approach 2. a hypothesis has to be developed. if research is conducted and appropriate data is gathered. Cost Benefit Approach Example 1: Company ‘x’ wants to launch a product. Evaluate the Cost of Research There are several methods to establish the value of research. 2. the test marketing will be conducted before deciding whether to introduce the sachet variant. the chances of failure could be reduced to 30%. Therefore. Simple Saving Method 3. Return on Investment 4. Some of them are: 1. The hypothesis may state the acceptance of the sachet by the customer will increase the sales by 20%. The company has . for every alternative.

000 = Rs. The cost of the intended research is Rs. Rs. 75. 5 lakhs and a . The company has received a quotation from an MR agency.00. conducting this particular research is not recommended. 3. i. Example 2 Company ‘A’ would like to introduce a new product in the market. The question is: “should the company spend this money to conduct the research?” Calculation Loss without research = Rs. namely Rs.000 Since the value of information..000 * 0.30 = Rs.000.000. 1.e. The research agencies have given an estimation of Rs.05.000 Value of research information = Rs. 3.000 * 0.00.000 Loss with research = Rs.000 – Rs.000 is lower than the cost of research. 75.calculated that losses would be to the tune of Rs. 15.00. 3. 1.35 = Rs.05. 15. 90. 90.000 if the product fails.

3. less than the cost of M.3. i.5 – 0. following is the list of information required: .3 lakh. price and quality acceptance from the market. In this context.3 and losing Rs.3*Rs. Preparing a List of Needed Information Assume that company ‘X’ wants to introduce a product (tea powder).e. it has to be test marketed. the probability of earning Rs. According to the past experience of the company.R.1 = Rs.time period of 5 months. Rs.3*Rs. there is no need to carry out his research.4 + Rs.10 + 0. Should the company undertake the research? Calculation 0. 7 lakh is 0.3.1. at Rs. The company needs to know the extent of competition. 5lakh.5 – Rs.7 = Rs.4 and Rs. 5 lakh is 0. 10 lakh is 0.4*Rs.2. 3. Before introducing the product.4 lakh Since we find that the expected value of information.

2. Total Demand and Company Sales Example: • What is the overall industry demand? • What is the share of competitors? The above information will help the management estimate the overall share and its own share in the market. Marketing Expenditure Example: • “What has been the marketing expenditure?” • “How much was spent on promotion?” . Distribution Coverage Example: • Availability of products at different outlets • Effect of shelf display on sales 3. Market Awareness. Attitudes and Usage Example: • “What percentage of target population are aware of the firm’s product?” • “Do customers know about the product?” • “What is the customers’ attitude towards the product?” • “What percentage of consumers repurchase the product?” 4.1.

The researcher may explore possible reasons as to why sales failing. Competitors’ Marketing Expenditure Example: • “How much did the competitor spend to market a similar product?” 4. • Faulty product planning • Higher price • Less discount • Less availability • Inefficient advertising / salesmanship • Poor quality of salesman ship • Less awareness Not all factors are responsible for decline in sales.5. . Decision on Research Design A) Should the research be exploratory or conclusive? Exploratory research Example: “Causes for the decline in sales of a specific company’s product in a specific territory under a specific salesman”.

He may decide to use these cases for formulating the initial hypothesis. for ready – to eat cereal (cornflakes) purchased by parents. B) Who should be interviewed for collecting data? If the study is undertaken to determine whether children influence the brand. Therefore. zero down. then the researcher may decide to choose a larger sample. The researcher must decide if data is to be collected by observation method or by interviewing. The researcher must decide.Conclusive Research Narrow down the option. if only adults are to be studied or children too included. If an interview is chosen. . Only one or two factors are responsible for decline in sales. If suitable cases are not available. should it be a personal interview or telephonic interview or questionnaire? C) Should a few cases be studied or a large sample be chosen? The researcher may feel that there are some cases available which are identical and similar in nature. and use judgment and past experience.

then the following questions should be postal – • What are the contents of the questionnaire? • What type of questions are to be asked? For example: pointed questions. Following this. Then. If it is a questionnaire. the respondents can first be interviewed to measure their present awareness. • In what sequence should the questions be asked? • Should there a fixed set of alternatives or should the questions be open-ended? • Should the purpose be made clear to the respondents or should the same be disguised? . their attitude too has to be measured again.D) How to incorporate experiment in research? In an experiment. to see if the proposed copy had any effect on them. general questions. and their attitudes towards certain brands. it has to be decided at the outset as to where and when measurements are to be conducted. Example: In a test of advertising copy. etc. they can be shown a pilot version of the proposed advertisement copy.

Also. Probability sampling is one in which each element has a known chance of being selected. The next step is to decide whether to choose probability sampling or non-probability sampling. A nonprobability sampling can be convenience or judgment sampling. Here. Select the sample types The first task is to carefully select which groups of people or stores are to be sampled. Determine the Sample Size Smaller the sample size. 6. 5. the precise geographical location should be mentioned. larger the error and vice versa. Small size depends upon: • Accuracy required • Time available . Example: Collecting the data from a fast food chain.Are to be determined well in advance. it is necessary to define what is meant by fast food chain.

where husbands.• Cost involved While selecting the sample. the sample unit has to be clearly specified. day and time to meet the specific respondents etc. Analysis of the Data . Example: Survey on the attitudes towards the use of shampoo with reference to a specific brand. 8. 7: Organize the Fieldwork This includes selection. The sample size depends on the size of the sample frame / universe. • How to organize the fieldwork? • What type of questionnaire – structured or unstructured to use? • How to approach the respondents? • Week. wives or a combination of them are to be surveyed or a specific segment is to be surveyed. are to be decided. training and evaluating the field sales force to collect the data.

Coding: Means assigning numbers to each of the answers. Causal research . Exploratory research 2. • Editing • Tabulating • Codifying Editing: The data collected should be scanned to make sure that it is complete and that all the instructions are followed. at the time of analyzing the data. This process is called editing. the statistical tests to be used must be finalized such as T-Test. ANOVA. Once these forms have been edited. Also. etc. they must be coded. It is the orderly arrangement of data in a tabular form. Descriptive research 3. Types of Business Research There are four types of research in business 1. so that they can be analysed. Z-Test. Chisquare Test.This involves. The final step is called data tabulation.

.4 . data collection method and selection of subjects. but they can provide significant insight into given situation. and more formal approaches through in depth interviews. ”how” and “when” something occurs.Experimental research Exploratory Research The objective of exploratory research is to gather preliminary information that will help define problems and suggest hypothesis. case studies or pilot studies. projective. Given its fundamental nature. Exploratory research helps determine the best research design. Exploratory research relies on secondary research such as reviewing available literature and/or data. develop operational definitions. Although the results of qualitative research can give some indication as to the “why”. Exploration is particularly useful when researchers lack a clear idea of the problems they will meet during the study. and improve the final research design. Through exploration researchers develop concepts more clearly. The results of exploratory research are not usually useful for decision making by themselves. or qualitative approaches such as informal discussion with consumers. exploratory research often concludes that a perceived problem does not actually exist. Exploratory research is a type of research conducted because a problem has not been clearly defined. it cannot tell us “how often” or “how many”. employees. focused groups. establish priorities. managements or competitors.

There are strong pressures for quick answers. Exploration serves other purposes as well. Important variables may not be known or thoroughly defined. what. nonrepresentativeness. Thus. If the problem is not as important as first thought. Descriptive research The objective of descriptive research is to describe thing. Descriptive research answers the question who. also known as statistical research. Despite its obvious value. such as the market potential for a product or the demographics and attitudes of consumers who buy the product. Also. exploration is something linked to old biases about qualitative research: subjectiveness. The area of investigation may be so new or so vague that a researcher needs to do an exploration just to learn something about the dilemma facing the manager. when and how. Descriptive research.Exploration may also save time and money. Although the data description is factual. researchers and managers alike give exploration less attention than it deserves. accurate and systematic the research cannot describe what caused a situation. the researcher may explore to be sure it is practical to do a formal study in the area. and nonsystematic design. more formal studies can be cancelled. where. describes data and characteristics about the population or phenomenon being studied. descriptive research cannot be used to create a causal relationship. where one variable . Moreover. Hypothesis for the research may be needed.

In . however. This approach works well when the marketer doesn’t have an understanding of the topic or the topic is new and it is hard to pinpoint the research direction. is to conduct a survey investigation. In other words. We use this method because in addition to offering the marketer basic information on a topic. called the independent variable. The downside. In this form of research the marketer tries to determine if the manipulation of one variable. prior to writing descriptive research. called the dependent variable. exploratory research may indicate who the key decision makers are in a particular market thus enabling a more structured descriptive study targeted to this group. Causal Research The objective of casual research is to test hypothesis about cause-andeffect relationships. averages and other statistical calculations. The basic difference between exploratory and descriptive research is the research design. descriptive research can be said to have a low requirement for internal validity. Often the best approach. The description is used for frequencies. is that results may not be as useful in aiding a marketing decision.affects another. For instance. exploratory research may also provide direction for a more formal research effort. Exploratory research follows a format that is less structured and more flexible than descriptive research. affects another variable. Qualitative research often has the aim of description and the researchers may follow-up with examinations of why the observations exist and what the implications of the findings are.

accuracy becomes a major consideration and e research design which minimizes bias and maximizes the reliability of the evidence collected is considered a good design. wherein the major emphasis is on discovery of ideas and insights. causal research is used for many types of research including testing marketing scenarios. though it can also be used to a lesser extent for discovery and explanatory purposes. If causal research is performed well marketers may be able to use results for forecasting what might happen if the changes are made. Marketers use this approach primarily for purposes of prediction and to test hypothesis. the research design most appropriate must be flexible enough to permit the consideration of many different aspects of a phenomenon. In marketing. for a given research may have in it elements of two or more of the functions of different studies. .essence. But when the purpose of a study is accurate description of a situation or of an association between variables. such as what might happen to product sales if changes are made to a products design or if advertising is changed. the marketer is conducting an experiment. To be effective the design of causal research is highly structured and controlled so that other factors do not affect those being studied. Studies involving the testing of hypothesis of a causal relationship between variables require a design which will permit inferences about causality in addition to the minimization of bias and maximization of reliability. But in practice it is the most difficult task to put a particular study in a particular group. If the research study happens to be an exploratory or a formulative one.

It is only on the basis of its primary function that a study can be categorized either as an exploratory or descriptive or hypothesistesting study and accordingly the choice of a research design may be made in case of a particular study. in the strictest sense of the word. because it does not isolate and manipulate an independent variable. and learning the best way of conducting an experiment is crucial to obtaining useful and valid results. observing animals in the wild is not a true experiment. With an experiment. where the scientist controls all of the factors and conditions. and case studies. Real world observations. For example. or the results will be useless. Besides the availability of time. should be referred to as observational research. an explanation of ‘why’ something happens. sample design and the like. When scientists speak of experiments. survey design. The experiment must maintain internal and external validity. rather than experiments. money. EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH Science revolves around experiments. skills of the research staff and the means of obtaining the information must be given due weightage while working out the relevant details of the research design such as experimental design. the researcher is trying to learn something new about the world. . they mean a true experiment.

and brandname and packing research. the new product may go into a test market. which records consumer’s reactions to using prototype products. A company may conduct an exploratory research study and then conduct a survey. product using testing. Research is a continuous process. selecting the best packaging design. It is very likely that a specific research project will be conducted for each aspect of a program. A research program refers to a firm’s overall strategy for utilizing business research. if you think about a firm’s strategic activity in a given period of time. the different types of research might include market potential studies. to identify the size and characteristics of the market. We have emphasized the researcher’s need to select the specific techniques for solving one-dimensional problems. such as identifying the characteristics of productive employees. Because research is a continuous process. Ultimately. management should view research at as strategic planning level. If a new product is being developed. or forecasting bond values. to determine the product’s symbolic connotations. This program is a . However. perhaps a year.RESEARCH PROGRAM PROJECT VERSUS RESEARCH Discussion of the business research process began with the assumption that the research investigator wished to gather information to achieve a specific objective. you’ll realize that business research is not a one-shot approach.

is a sequence of highly interrelated activities. Systematic inquiry requires careful planning of an orderly investigation. STEPS IN THE RESEARCH PROCESS Business research can take many forms. and it is somewhat of an oversimplification of state that every research project has exactly the same ordered sequence of activities. Business research.planning activity that places each research project into the company’s strategic plan. like other forms of scientific inquiry. The steps in the research process overlap continuously. but systematic inquiry is a common thread. Any research process consists of the following steps: • Defining the research problem and reviewing the literature • Formulation of hypothesis • Research design: developing the research plan and implementing it • Collecting data • Analyzing data and testing hypothesis • Preparation of report and preliminary analysis • Interpreting and reporting the findings .

the research problem could be in any of the following three areas: 1. The major emphasis of exploratory research is on the discovery of ideas.Defining the research problem and formulation of hypothesis are the hardest steps in the research process. It is rightly said that a problem properly defined is half solved. 2. which may describe things such as market potential for a product or the demographics and attitudes of a customer who buys the product. The idea is to clarify concepts and subsequently make more extensive research on them. Descriptive. The necessity of properly identified research problems cannot be overemphasized. Based upon the objective. . Exploratory for gathering preliminary information that may help in defining the problem and suggest hypothesis. Defining the Research Problem The first and foremost step in the research process consists of problem or opportunity identification.

examine all available literature to get himself acquainted with the selected problem. to test hypothesis about cause and effect relationships. Steps involved in defining a problem are: . we say that formulation of problem is often more essential than its solution because when the problem is formulated. Once the researcher has identified two or more problems or opportunities. The researcher must. Choosing the best alternatives is the best decision under the given circumstances. can resolved as the research advances. an appropriate technique can be applied to generate alternative solutions. Formulation of the Problem Formulation of the problem means defining the problem precisely. Casual. Initially the problem may be stated in a broad general way and then the clarifications if any. In other words. limited finance and time constraints. He should choose the problem in which is likely to add value to the research. Choosing a relatively less important problem would amount to wasting time and resources. a problem ell defined is half solved. at the same time.3. the next question for him is to select a problem based on priority. In operations research.

In such researches. iv.a tentative assumption which a researcher wants to test for its logical or empirical consequences. In other words. However. Rephrasing the research problem into a working proposition. Once the problem has been selected. it gives a clear idea of the research itself. Statement of the problem in a general way. the same has to be understood thoroughly and then the same has to be reframed into meaningful terms from an analytical point of view.i. especially in case of exploratory researches. v. in a problem . It may be mentioned that though a hypothesis is useful it is not always necessary.oriented research. Surveying the available literature. Hypotheses are more useful when stated in precise and clearly defined terms. it is necessary to formulate a hypothesis or hypotheses. Developing the idea through discussion. ii. Understanding the nature of the problem. Problem formulation would have focus on what sort of decision issues are tackled. hypotheses are . Formulation of Hypothesis  Concept of Hypothesis A hypothesis is a proposition . iii.

v.generally concerned with the causes of a certain phenomenon or a relationship between two or more variables under investigation. sampling plan and instruments that the researcher will use to gather primary data. Formulate a hypothesis Set up a suitable significance level Choose a test criterion Compute the statistic Make decision Developing the Research Plan The next step of the research process calls for determining the information needed. ii.  Hypothesis Testing A number of steps are involved in testing a hypothesis: i. contact methods. To meet . iii. First of all research objectives must be translated into specific information needs. The plan outlines sources of secondary data and spells out the specific research approaches. iv. developing a plan for gathering it efficiently and presenting the management of the organization.

This involves collecting. draw conclusions and then report to the management.the management information needs. some form of direct participation by the respondent is necessary during the process. For example. there are many methods of data collection. it is important that the data collection be consistent in all geographic areas. processing and analyzing the information. the researcher must now interpret the findings. Collecting Data Once the research has been formalized. processing and analyzing the information collected. because there are many research techniques. the subjects do not actively participate. The respondent may participate by filling out a questionnaire or by interacting with an interviewer. If an . the process of gathering information from respondents may begin.  Implementing the Research Plan The researcher next puts the research plan to action. the researcher can gather secondary data and primary data or both. When the survey method is utilized.  Interpreting and Reporting the Findings After collecting. Obviously. In an unobtrusive method of data collection is utilized.

Thus. Analyzing Data Once the field work has been completed. may determine whether the data collection plan for the main study is an appropriate procedure. such as poorly worded or organized questions. legibility. learn if the question is too long or too short. an answer recorded . and uncover other such field errors. If the tabulation of data and statistical tests do not answer the researcher’s questions. The editing process corrects problems such as interviewer errors (e.g. the data must be converted into a format that will answer the decision maker’s questions. Tabulation of data from the pretests provides the researcher with a format for the knowledge that may be gained from the actual study..interviewer phrases questions incorrectly or records a respondent’s statements inaccurately. a small – scale pretest study provides an advance opportunity for the investigator to check the data collection form to minimize errors due to improper design. Data processing generally begins with the editing and coding of the data. Editing involves checking the data collection forms for omission s. Often there are two phases to the process of collecting data: pretesting and the main study. using a small sub sample. There is also a chance to discover confusing interviewing instructions. and consistency in classification. A presenting phase. the investigator may need to redesign the study. this will cause major data collection errors.

Hence. The rules for interpreting.on the wrong position of the questionnaire) before the data are transferred to a computer or readied for tabulation. Thus. The coding process facilitates computer or hand tabulation. The interviewer asks the questions and then types in the respondent’s answers. Telephone interviewers are seated at computer terminals. An important but often overlooked aspect of the researcher’s job is to look at the analysis of the collected information. the purpose of the research is to make a business decision. answers are collected and processed into the computer at the same time. Preparation of Report Most business research is applied research. Before data can be tabulated. meaningful categories and character symbols must be established for groups of responses. where survey questions are printed out on the screen. eliminating intermediate steps where errors could creep in. . Making recommendations is often a part of this process. and recording the data are called codes. The final stage in the process is to interpret the information and draw conclusions relevant to managerial decisions. Computer assisted (online) interviewing is an example of the impact of technological change on the research process. categorizing.

The research report should communicate the research findings effectively. All too often the report is a complicated statement of the study’s technical aspects and sophisticated research methods. Often, management is not interested in detailed reporting of the research design and statistical findings but wants only a summary of the findings. It cannot be overemphasized that if the findings remain unread on the manager’s desk, the research study is useless. Research is only as good as the applications made of it. Business researchers must communicate their findings to a managerial audience. The manager’s information needs should determine how much detail is provided in the written report. The written report serves another purpose: It is a historical document, a record that may be referred to later if the research is to be repeated or if further research is to be based on what has come before.

RESEARCH PROBLEM Research problem refers to some difficulties which a researcher experiences in the context of both a theoretical or practical situation and wants to obtain a solution for the same, usually it is said that a research problem does exist if the following condition are met with: • There must be an individual (or a group or an organization), let us call it I, to whom the problem can be attributed. The individual or the organization, as the case may be, occupies an

environment, say ‘N’, which is defined by the values of uncontrolled variables, Y1. • There must be at least two courses of actions, say C1 and C2, to be pursued. A course of action is defined by one or more values of the controlled variables. For example, the number of items purchased at a specified time is said to be one of action. • There must be at least two possible outcomes, say O1 and O2, of the course of action, of which one should be preferable to other. In other words, this means there must be at least one outcome that the researcher wants, i.e., an objective.

The courses of action available must provide some chance; otherwise the choice would not matter. Thus, if p(Oj\I,C1,N)≠P(O1\I,C2,N). In simple words, we can say that the choices must have unequal efficiencies for the desired outcomes.

Over and above these conditions, the individual or organization can said to have the problem only if ‘I’ does not know what course of action is best, i.e., ‘I’, must be in doubt about the solution. Thus, an individual or a group of persons can be said to have a problem which can be technically described as research problem, if they (individual or group), having one or more described out comes, are confronted with two or more courses of action that that have some but not equal

efficiency for the described objective(s) and are in doubt about which course of action is best. COMPONENTS OF RESEARCH PROBLEM Identification of the components is very much essential for formulation of problem, once we identify the components than formulation of the problem will become much easier. The following are the components of research problem which helps in formulating and solving the research problem. i. There must be an individual or a group which has some difficulty or the problem. ii. There must be some objectives to be attained at. If one wants nothing one cannot have a problem. iii. There must be alternative means (or the course of action) for obtaining the objectives one wishes to attain. This means there must be at least two means available to a researcher for if he has no choice of means, he cannot have problem. iv. There must remain some doubt in the mind of researcher with regard to the selection of alternatives. This means the research must answer the question concerning the relative efficiency of the possible alternatives. v. There must be some environments to which the difficulty pertains.

persons not involved in making the decision may be affected by it and react to it favorably or unfavorably. For instance. . Understanding the nature of the problem. the environment may change affecting the efficiencies of the course of action or values of the outcomes.Thus a research problem is one which requires a researcher to find out the best solution for the given problem. There are several factors which may result in making the problem complicated. In operations research. FORMULATION OF THE PROBLEM Formulation of the problem means defining the problem precisely. Statement of the problem in a general way. the number of alternative courses of action may be very large.e. In other words. an appropriate techniques can be applied to generate alternative solutions. ii. a problem well defined is half solved. Choosing the best alternative is the best decision under the given circumstances. Steps involved in defining research problem are: i.. All such elements (or at least the important ones) may be thought of in context of a research problem. and similar other factors. we say that formulation of problem is often more essential than its solution because when the problem is formulated. to find out by which course of action the objective can be attained optimally in the context of a given environment. i.

In other words. v. scope or potential benefits. iv. In essence. the same has to be understood thoroughly and then the same has to be reframed into meaningful terms from an analytical point of view. Developing the idea through discussions. the researcher and/or the concerned manager and customer. Moreover. Both parties. it gives a clear idea of research itself. cost as well as the time required to conduct the study. Rephrasing the research problem into a working proposition. both the parties must ascertain the priorities of the issues involved. Once the problem has been selected. Ideally. . must agree on the specific nature of the research problem. Finally. a proper formulation of the research problem starting with objectives would enable a researcher to go ahead in the proper direction.iii. The best way is to discuss the problem with friends or colleagues or with those who have the knowledge of it. Surveying the available literature. it may be noted that problem formulation would have focus on what sort of decision issues are tackled. the research must define the boundaries of the population covered in the proposal. Researcher must specify the exact issues being examined and the underlying logic in setting the priorities.

Determine its value [to you as well]. Identify what is UNKNOWN.SIMPLE STEPS TO SOLVE THE RESEARCH PROBLEM Whenever the problem arises than we have to search for the solution. searching of solution can be done in different ways but if at all we consider better way of solving the problems than we can easily solve the research problem. . Review and rearrange your answers. Identify its parts and wholes. i. Identify its categories and characteristics. iii. ii. v. Do the KNOWNS tell us anything about the UNKNOWNS? (Make a list). Trace its history and changes. ix. iv. vii. Identify what is KNOWN. viii. vi. COMBINE the KNOWNS with UNKOWNS to see if there is a “new” and important research question that is worth a doctorate. the following steps will make easier for the researcher to solve the problem much more quickly.

Formulation of the problem means defining the problem precisely. then the further process of the research may not serve the objective. this can also be the sources.ORIGINS OF THE PROBLEM Origins of the problems are nothing but how the problem creates while research. So if at all there is an error in the primary data. If at all the data taken from the source is inappropriate then their creates a problem and this may consider as the origin of the problem. b) FORMULATIG OF THE PROBLEM Even there is a good primary data there is a chance of problem where the problem may arises while formulating the problem itself. a problem well defined is half . a) PRIMARY DATA Generally the researcher always depends on the primary data which he has collected or else he will be depending on the others collected data. or else the data misrepresents the facts their arises the problem. The following are the various origins of the problem which is created while research. how the problem is created. In other words.

sex. an appropriate techniques can be applied to generate alternative solutions. age. so this will be origin of new problem which may arise in solving the problem. Identifying and selecting of the sample according to the objective is very much essential if at all it is not considered then problem will definitely arises. income level. In operations research. if at all researcher fails to identify which sample has to be taken for his research then the purpose never be served. c) SAMPLES SELECTED FOR RESEARCH Whenever the researcher wants to conduct the research he has to select certain samples for his study. we say that formulation of problem is often more essential than its solution because when the problem is formulated.solved. If at all the formulation itself has some o wrong information and if wrong procedures are implicated to solve the problem then arises the new problem. it might be the area. d) RESEARCH DESIGN . that will be the origin for the problem so it is very much essential to identify and select the sample so as origin of problem can be avoided. So necessary actions is required to take while formulating the problem so that their won’t be chance of origin of new problem. etc.

We may take necessary actions to avoid the origin of problem which may arise during the research. This is how problem is originated in research design. Problems are meant to happen but solving that is important. It specifies the details of the procedures necessary for obtaining the information needed to structure or solve research problem. So solving in smarter way is very much essential to avoid the further complications in solving the problem QUESTIONS WHICH RESEARCHER MAY ASK THEMSELVES WHILE DEFINING THE PROBLEM .Research Design is a framework or blueprint for conducting the research project. If the problem is defined wrongly then the solution will be wrong only. Sometimes it happens that while solving the problem we will get some complications where we fail to identify the problems in research design this is the main problem where identification of the problem in research design will always depend on how you define the problem. Solving should be like that where it should not create a new problem so that solving becomes much more complicated.

for it will be a difficult task to throw any light in such a case. Help may be taken from a research guide in this connection. Nevertheless. Subject which is overdone should not be normally chosen. However. Controversial subject should not become the choice of an average researcher.The researcher problem undertaken for the study must carefully selected. ii. If our eyes needed glasses. We have to see ourselves and enable him to prescribe for us the right number by cooperating with him. iii. The subject selected for research should be familiar and feasible so that the related research supplies definitive ideas concerning how a researcher should obtain ideas for his research. iv. it is not the optical alone who decides about the number of the lens we require. Too narrow or too vague problems should be avoided. Thus. although it may not appear to be so. He may as well read articles published in current literature available on the solution of other problems. For the purpose. A problem must spring from the researcher’s mind like a plant springing from its own seed. a researcher should contact an expert or a professor in the university who is already engaged in research. The task is a difficult one. every researcher must find out his own salvation for research problems cannot be borrowed. He may . a research guide can at the most only help a researcher choose a subject. the following points may be observed by a researcher in selecting a research problem or a subject for research: i.

the costs involved. before the final selection of problem is done. vi.discuss with others what he has mind concerning a problem. the qualification and the training of a researcher. a researcher must ask himself the following questions: a) Whether he is well-equipped in terms of his background to carry out the research? b) Whether the study falls within the budget he can afford? c) Whether the necessary cooperation can obtained from those who must participate in research as subjects? If the answers to all these questions are in the affirmative. v. The importance of the subject. the time factor are few other criteria that must also be considered in selecting a problem. . But when the field of inquiry is relatively new and does not have available a set of well developed techniques. In this way he should make all possible efforts in selecting a problem. a brief feasibility study must always be undertaken. This may not be necessary when the problem requires the conduct of a research closely similar to one that has already been done. In other words. The selection of a problem must be preceded by a preliminary study. one may become sure so far as the practicability of the study is concerned.

“Business Research Methodology”. zest for work is a must. Eight Indian Reprints. William. BIBLIOGRAPHY • Zikmund G.Bhojanna U. the research will not be boring drudgery. New Age International (P) Ltd • • Prof. “Business Research Methods. rather it will be love’s labour. Dr. The subject or the problem selected must involve the researcher and must have an upper most place in his mind so that he may undertaken all pains needed for the study. “Research Methodology Methods and Techniques. “Business Research Methods”. Murthy S N. • Kothari C R.If the subject for research is selected properly by observing the above mentioned points.” Cengage Learning India Private Limited. 2009. In fact. .” Publishers.

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