Business Research Methods

Adopted From

Fourth Edition Uma Sekaran

Instructor: Ahmad Sohail Lodhi

Chapter 2


After completing this chapter you would be able to understand: 

Hallmarks of Scientific Research  Some obstacles to conducting scientific research in the management area  The building blocks of science in research  The hypothetico deductive method  Other types of research

Definition of Scientific Research Scientific Research focusing on solving problems and pursues a step by step logical, organized and rigorous method to identify the problems, gather data, analyze them and draw valid conclusions there from.

 It is more objective.Why Scientific Research?  This research is not based on hunches.  Enables all those who are interested in researching and knowing about the same or similar issues to come up with comparable findings when data are analyzed. .  Apply solutions to similar problems.  It is purposive and rigorous. experience and intuition.  Findings are accurate and confident.

   Highlights the most critical factors at the work place that need specific attention to solve or minimize problems. .Cont. Scientific Investigation and Managerial Decision Making are integral part of effective problem solving. It can be applied to both basic and applied research.

5. 4. 2. 6. 8. 3. Purposiveness Rigor Testability Replicability Precision and Confidence Objectivity Generalizability Parsimony . 7.The Hallmarks of Scientific Research The hallmarks or main distinguishing characteristics of scientific research may be listed as follows: 1.

Hallmarks of Scientific Research 1. less absenteeism and increased performance levels. Purposiveness  It has to start with a definite aim or purpose. .  The focus is on increasing employee commitment.  Increase employee commitment will translate into less turnover.  Thus it has a purposive focus.

2. Example: A manager asks 10-12 employees how to increase the level 10of commitment. the whole approach to the investigation would be unscientific. It would lack rigor for the following reasons:  .  Rigor adds carefulness. scrupulousness and the degree of exactitude in research. If solely on the basis of their responses the manager reaches several conclusions on how employee commitment can be increases. Rigor A good theoretical base and sound methodological design would add rigor to the purposive study.

1.  These factors enable the researcher to collect the right kind of information from an appropriate sample with the minimum degree of bias and facilitate suitable analysis of the data gathered.Based on few employees 2. . Rigorous involves good theoretical base and thought out methodology.  This supports the other six too. There might be other influences on commitment which are ignored and are important for a researcher to know Thus. Bias and incorrectness 3.

Testability After random selection manager and researcher develops certain hypothesis on how manager employee commitment can be enhanced. . The researcher might hypothesize that those employees who perceive greater opportunities for participation in decision making would have a higher level of commitment. then these can be tested by applying certain statistical tests to the data collected for the purpose.3. commitment.

does happen. we will place more faith and credence in these finding and apply in similar situations.4. To the extent that this situations. . Example: The study concludes that participation in decision making is one of the most important factors that influences the commitment. Replicability It means that it can be used again if similar circumstances prevails. we will gain confidence in the scientific nature of our research. research.

the precision of my estimation more favorably than if he has indicated that the loss of production days was somewhere between 20 and 50. Example: If a supervisor estimated the number of production days lost during the year due to absenteeism at between 30 and 40. .5. ± It reflects the degree of accuracy and exactitude of the results of the sample. Precision and Confidence Precision ± Precision refers to the closeness of the findings to ³reality´ based on a sample. as against the actual of 35.

it is not merely enough to be precise. ± That is. . but it is also important that we can confidently claim that 95% of the time our results would be true and there is only a 5% chance of our being wrong. ± This is also known as confidence level.Confidence ± Confidence refers to the probability that our estimations are correct.

and not on our subjective or emotional values. Objectivity The conclusions drawn through the interpretation of the results of data analysis should be objective. that is. it makes no sense if the researcher continues to argue that increased opportunities for employee participation would still help! . they should be based on the facts of the findings derived from actual data.6. Example: If we had a hypothesis that stated that greater participation in decision making will increase organizational commitment and this was not supported by the results.

7. then the generalizability of the findings to other organizational settings in enhanced. industrial and service organizations. The more generalizable the research. . the greater its usefulness and value. Example: If a researcher¶s findings that participation in decision making enhances organizational commitment are found to be true in a variety of manufacturing. and not merely in the particular organization studied by the researcher. Generalizability It refers to the scope of applicability of the research findings in one organization setting to other settings.

if 2-3 specific variables in the work situation are 2identified. that would be more useful be more useful and valuable to the manager than if it were recommended that he should change 10 different variables to increase organizational commitment by 48%. . For instance. Parsimony Simplicity in explaining the phenomenon or problems that occur. is always preferred to complex research frameworks that consider an unmanageable number of factors.8. and in generating solutions for the problems. which when changed would raise the organizational commitment of the employees by 45%.

or by a combination of the two.The Building Blocks of Science in Research Deduction and Inductions Answers to issues can be found either by the process of induction or the process of induction. .

Example: we know that all high performers are highly proficient in their jobs. we then conclude that he is highly proficient in his job . If John is a high performer.Deduction  Deduction is the process by which we arrive at a reasoned conclusion by logical generalization of a known fact.

in induction we logically establish a general proposition based on observed facts.Induction  Induction is a process where we observe certain phenomena and on this basis arrive at conclusions. In other words. .








To define or describe the figure. Figure is a five-sided figure fiveenclosing two dots. .

The Hypothetico-Deductive Method Hypothetico- .

2. Observation Preliminary Information gathering Theory Formulation Hypothesizing Further scientific data collection Data analysis Deduction . 7. 5. 6.The Hypothetico-Deductive Method HypotheticoThe seven-step process in the HypotheticosevenHypotheticoDeductive Method 1. 4. 3.

± How does one observe phenomena and changes in the environment? . the work place). in which one senses that certain changes are occurring or that some new behaviors.Observation ± Observation is the first stage.. attitudes and feelings are surfacing in one¶s environment (i.e.

thereby gathering information on what is happening and why. ± Additionally by doing library research or obtaining information through other sources. (Unstructured interviews) ± Then it is followed by structured interviews. the investigator would identify how such issues have been tackled in other situations. of what is observed. .Preliminary Information Gathering: ± It involves the seeking of information in depth. ± This could be done by talking informally to several people in the work setting or to clients or to other relevant sources.

so that the factors responsible for the problem can be on conceptualized and tested.Theory Formulation ± It is an attempt to integrate all the information in a logical manners. . ± In this step the critical variables are identified and examined as to their contribution or influence in explaining why the problem occurs and how it can be solved. ± The theoretical framework formulated is often guided by experience and intuition.

Sometimes. certain testable hypotheses or educated conjectures can be generated. ± From the theorized network of associations among the variables. ± Hypothesis testing is called deductive research. . hypotheses that were not originally formulated do get generated through the process of induction.Hypothesizing ± It is the next logical step after theory formulation.

. data with respect to each variable in the hypotheses need to be obtained. ±Further data are collected to test the hypotheses that are generated in the study.Further Specific Data Collection ±After the development of the hypotheses.

.Data Analysis ± Data gathered are statistically analyzed to see if the hypotheses that were generated have been supported. ± Co relational method will be used to analyze and determine the relation ship of two or more factors in the hypotheses for example: stock availability and customer satisfaction.

.Deduction ± Deduction is the process of arriving at conclusions by interpreting the meaning of results of the data analysis.

Case Studies Action Research .Other Types of Research  1. 2. Case studies and action research are sometimes used to study certain types of issues.

Case study. where the nature and definition of the problem happen to be the same as experienced in the current situation. . is not often undertaken in organizations because such studies dealing with problems similar to the one experienced by a particular organization of a particular size and in a particular type of setting are difficult to come by. as a problem solving technique. contextual analyses of similar situations in the other organizations.Case Studies   Case studies involve in depth.

defined and diagnosed and the research continues on an ongoing basis until the problem is fully resolved. . with the knowledge that there may be unintended consequences following such implementation.Action Research    The researcher begins with a problem that is already identified and gathers relevant data to provide a tentative problem solution. This solution is then implemented. The effects are then evaluated.

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