Research Methods for Business

A skill Building Approach

Fourth Edition

Uma Sekaran

Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Sekaran/RESEARCH 4E


Introduction to Research.  Scientific Investigation.  Technology and Business Research.  The Research Process: Steps 1 to 3: The Broad Problem Area, Preliminary Data Gathering, Problem Definition.  The Research Process: Steps 4 and 5: Theoretical Framework Hypothesis Development.  The Research Process: Step 6: Elements of Research Design.

Measurement of Variables: Operational Definition and Scales.  Measurement: Scaling, Reliability, Validity.  Data Collection Methods.  Sampling.  Data Analysis and Interpretation.  The Research Report.


What is Research.
Research involves a series of well-thought-out and carefully executed activities that will enable the manager to know how org. problems can be solved, or at least considerably minimized. OR Organized, systematic, data-based , critical, objective, scientific inquiry or investigation into a specific problem, undertaken with the purpose of finding answers or solution to it. Quantitative (structured questioner) Qualitative (Open-ended questioner)

Management may take Decision 

On the determination of luck  On the basis of investigation  Choose between alternatives.


The main FUNCTION of Management is Decision Making 
Good decision

‡ Problem Solved 
Poor decision

‡ Problem persists

1. Machine on the shop floor stops working 2. Employee absents from work floor. 3. Employees are not motivated 4. Creditors have negative perception about your organization.

Check list for Good Decision
1. Do manager identify where exactly the problem lies? Yes /No 2. Do they know what type of information are to be gathered and how? Yes /No 3. Do they know how to make use of collected information and draw appropriate conclusion to make the right decisions? Yes /No 4. Do they know how to implement the results of the process to solve the 10 problem? Yes /No.

Decision Making & Research
Problem Area Problem identification Gathering Information Analysis of Data Delineate (describe) the factors OR corrective action

What is Research.
Organized, systematic, data-based, critical, objective, scientific inquiry or investigation into a specific problem, undertaken with the purpose of finding answers or solution to it.


Business Research.
Is usually primarily conducted to resolve problematic issues in or interrelated among, the areas of business. 1. Accounting 2. Finance 3. Management 4. Marketing


Accounting: budget control system, Practices and procedure, inventory costing method, Cash recovery, taxation Planning.  Finance: Operation of financial institutions, financial ratios, leverage, mortgage, merger, acquisition etc.


Management: Employees attitude and behavior, human recourses management, impact of changing demographic on management practices, production operations.  Marketing: Branding image, advertising, after sale services, Consumer preferences, new product development etc.

Fundamental Type of Research
1. Applied Research:

To solve the current problem. Research done with intention of applying the results of the finding to solve specific problems currently being experienced in the organization is called applied research.



Fundamental Type of Research
2. Basic / Pure /Fundamental Research ± To improve our understanding about problems. ± Research done chiefly to enhance the understanding of certain problems that commonly occur in organizational setting and seek method of solving them.


Fundamental Type of Research
2. Basic / Pure /Fundamental Research


To generate a body of knowledge by trying to comprehend how certain problems that occur in organizations can be solved. e-g Multiculturalism, ethnicity, demographic factors etc. Various organization General Electronic Company Professors in universities .

± ±

Fundamental Type of Research
2. Basic / Pure /Fundamental Research

Objective of Basic research is to equip oneself with additional knowledge of certain phenomena/ problems that occur in several organizations.


Effect of Nasal Spray on Flu
A research scientist surveys 1000 employees in different organization setting to study the efficacy of several type of nasal sprays in controlling the flu virus. He subsequently publishes his finding in a high respected medical journal.

Why should a manager know research? 

Facilitates good decision making. Become able to discriminate about research findings. Prevents vested (personal) interests Educates to share pertinent/ significant and relevant information with researcher.


Why should a manager know research?  Help for calculation of risks and probabilities attached.  Understand the complexity of the variables in organization.  Integrate research with profession.  Hire /select researcher /consultant more effectively.

The Manager ±Researcher Relationship 
    Each should know his /her role. Trust level Value system Acceptance of findings and implementation Issues of inside versus outside researchers.

  Better acceptance from staff Knowledge about organization Would be an integral part of implementation and evolution of the research recommendations. Less fresh ideas Power politics could prevail Possibility not valued as ³experts´ by staff.


     Divergent and convergent thinking Experience from several situations in different type of organizations. Better technical training, usually. Take time to know and understand the organizational system. Rapport and corporation from staff not only easy. Not available for evaluation after implementation cost. 25





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