Chapter 03

The Research Process: An Overview
About the chapter:
Over view of the entire research process is given in this chapter but more emphasis is put on the Management Research Questions Hierarchy which helps us to decide all the subsequent steps of the research process. Clear understanding of this hierarchy helps a lot to formulate entire research plan.

Type of Questions:
Theoretical questions on management research question hierarchy may be asked. Sometime practical situation is given as a question and students are suppose to write management question hierarchy.

Prepared by: Devang Kale

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Brand name of that product is ‘ABC’. investigative questions and then measurement questions respectively. Management Dilemma: The process begins at the most general level with the management dilemma. Production cost has increased (threat) II. To find out solution for this dilemma Mr.( Management dilemma) I. Number of complaints letters have increased (threat) V.] A useful way to carryout research process is to state basic dilemma and then divide it into more specific questions like management question. In exam students can write same situation to explain each steps of the management research questions hierarchy.1. His company is manufacturing R O Systems of local brand and their target market is Vadodara city. Sometimes researcher may have only symptoms at this stage. C consult a researcher whose name is Mr. manpower. New product design may increase profitability (opportunity) IV. Over a period of time it has been observe that sales of R O systems has decline (management dilemma). For eg. Here Mr. As mentioned in the above box management dilemma is symptoms which cause management concern. If selected management dilemma is not proper then we are wasting all the resources like time. money and equipments as entire research will go in the wrong direction. R is very popular researcher having long experience in marketing research area. research questions. 1. [In this entire question we will consider a common example where situation will be as follows. Some costly chemical is found which can increase efficiency of the medicine (opportunity) III. R is first of all trying to prepare Management-Research Question Hierarchy which we will discuss further at different stages of hierarchy. C is a company owner. Following is the theoretical framework of management research questions hierarchy. Mr. What is Management-Research Question Hierarchy? Explain in detail all the steps of research question hierarchy by giving suitable example. R. Management dilemma is of two types either it can be Opportunity or it can be Threat. Sales of number of units is declining (threat) Prepared by: Devang Kale 2 . Mr.

2. What should be done to reduce production cost? II. Quality of the product is deteriorating day by day (threat) VII. A Research Questions are nothing but hypothesis which we are suppose to check using systematic process. Is it feasible to introduce new product design? IV. Employees turnover has drastically increase in last six months (threat) In the above given example Management Dilemma is. 2. What should be done to reduce number of complaints? V. How to move from Management Questions to Research Questions: For moving management question to research questions researcher make use of exploration. Prepared by: Devang Kale 3 . 1. articles published in newspapers or magazines. Management question restate management dilemma in the form of question. Management Question: Using above mentioned sources researcher can convert management dilemma into management question. This process is called literature review.VI. At this point expertise of manager is required. 1. Research Question: This is the third step of hierarchy. Researcher can evaluate secondary data which is published in various sources. It is a second step of hierarchy. researcher and manager must translate it into a research question. Management Dilemma: Sales of R O System has reduce in last six months. For eg. Sales of R O System has decline from last six months. (Management Questions) I. This process is called Exploration. information available on various websites of the competitors. For eg. industry outlook. For this researcher may use secondary sources of data like company reports. One can have long list of research questions but it is very necessary to focus on only those research questions which are most significantly affecting to the phenomenon. Management Dilemma: Sales of R O System has reduce in last six months. How to move from Management Dilemma to Management Questions: As researcher is not having knowledge about the entire field first he/she has to gather detail knowledge about the particular topic and then he/she will be in a position to convert management dilemma into management question. So we can say all the research questions are possible solution to the research problem. Management Questions: How to improve sales of R O System? 3. What should be done to improve quality of the product? VII. For crystallizing available information and to know some internal part of the information researcher can conduct interview of managerial level people who can give important views which can be helpful to frame research questions. Once researcher has a clear statement of the management question. What should be done to reduce employee’s turnover ratio? Management questions are sometimes of the nature troubleshooting and sometimes they are goal oriented. Is it feasible to adopt costly chemical? III. In addition to this one may refer various reports published in various journals. What should be done to increase sales of product? VI.

2.e. 2. Management Questions: How to improve sales of R O System? 3. Investigative questions are questions the researcher must answer to satisfactory arrive at a conclusion about the research question. One advantage of these questions is. i. These questions bring information which is necessary to answer research questions. Investigative Questions: Will we loose efficient sales persons after implementing new incentive structure? Will we be able to retain old customers after changing product design? Will more advertisement create negative impact on the potential customer’s mind? 5. researcher moves to the more specific questions which are called investigative questions. 2. Research Questions: Should company spend more amounts on advertisement? Should management change incentive structure for sales person? Should management change design of the product? 4. In case of observation study measurement questions are nothing but observations researcher must record about the participant. Research Questions: Should company spend more amounts on advertisement? Should management change incentive structure for sales person? Should management change design of the product? 4. Management Dilemma: Sales of R O System has reduce in last six months. Predesigned and Pretested. For creating investigative questions researcher breaks research questions into small parts. 1. Management Questions: How to improve sales of R O System? 3.2. 3. Measurement questions are the questions which appear actually in the questionnaire and asked to the respondent. Predesigned and pretested are the questions which are designed and tested by the previous researcher and we are using it directly in our research. There are two types of measurement questions: 1. Custom Design questions. measurement questions. Measurement Questions: Measurement questions are the fifth step of hierarchy. 2. Research Questions: Should company spend more amounts on advertisement? Should management change incentive structure for sales person? Should management change design of the product? 4. Management Questions: How to improve sales of R O System? 3. Investigative Questions: Will we loose efficient sales persons after implementing new incentive structure? Prepared by: Devang Kale 4 . Investigative questions are the foundation for creating data collection instrument. reliability and validity is already checked by the previous researcher and that is why we can save time and money. For the example which we have considered in the beginning research question hierarchy is as follows: 1. 1. Management Dilemma: Sales of R O System has reduce in last six months. Investigative Questions: Once research questions have been selected.

Management decision is the area where researcher takes concern of the management. How much preference you give to the local brand of R O System? 2. How can we increase deposits with bank? II. What is the status of the bank among its competitors? a) What words customers attached with Bank XY and with competitors of Bank XY? b) How customers compare various services of Bank XY with its competitors? c) What are the demographic differences between customers of Bank XY and its competitors? Prepared by: Devang Kale 5 . Z wants to find out solution to this problem and for that he consults you as you have good research experience. How can we reduce cost? 3. Bank XY is the oldest bank among the three. Management Decision: On the basis of analysis of collected data using various measurement questions. From last one year it has been observed that profitability of the bank has reduced significantly and this situation is of great concern to the management of the bank. Are you ready to work with the same organization if salary structure is revised? 2. I. How do you rate new design of R O System as compare to the old product? 3. These questions are further divided in to sub questions so that good quality measurement questions can be framed using it. Management decision comes from the solution of the research questions. So help Mr. 1. What kind of incentive structure do you prefer more from the below mentioned incentive structure? To the customers: 1. Research Questions: I. Investigative questions: There are two main investigative questions for two research questions. I. Write Management Research Questions Hierarchy for the following situation: In a small town there are three banks. Should Bank XY position it self as a modern.Will we be able to retain old customers after changing product design? Will more advertisement create negative impact on the potential customer’s mind? 5. Measurement Questions: To the employees: 1. 2. What is the perception of public about bank services? a) What specific financial services customer used most? b) Which services of the bank are very attractive? II. technologically advance institute? Or II. Should Bank XY retain its image of the oldest and most reliable bank in the town? 4. Will you refer R O System to your friends or relatives? 6. Z to overcome this problem and for that write management research questions hierarchy. Management Dilemma: Profitability of XY Bank has reduce from last one year. Management Questions: How can we increase profitability of the Bank XY? This question can be break further into small part for the convenience. Bank manager Mr. 2. researcher can recommend course of action to the management which is called management decision.

3. I. Task budgeting: It is useful for ad hoc projects. Prior or Interim Evaluation: In this approach research is evaluated either before starting research process or after completing half part of the research. To decide proper sample size in probability sampling we require estimated values of population mean and variance which can be obtained through pilot study and can be substituted in the formulas to find out sample size. For eg. 1. Not for profit organizations and private sector units. How budget is decided and allocated to the research? And how valuation of the research information is done? For conducting research budget is very important resource to be allocated. Which financial service of Bank XY you use most? E banking_____ Phone Banking_______ ATM________ Personal Banker_________ II. Most costly activity is data gathering.5. What is Pilot Testing? The data gathering phase of the research typically begins with pilot testing. 2. This way researcher can reduce wastage of valuable resources like money. How much you are satisfied with the quality of service of Bank XY? Very Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neutral Satisfied Very Satisfied 1 2 3 4 5 3. Prepared by: Devang Kale 6 . Pilot study is conducted using 25-100 respondent. (2) Data gathering and (3) data analysis. 4. 2. What words you attach to the service of Bank XY________________________________ III. 3. Following are the methods which are widely used for allocating budget: 1. Measurement Questions: These are the questions which are asked to the respondent using questionnaire. This method is least proactive but permits definitive cost-benefit analysis. Here comparative analysis is done among the available options. There are mainly two uses of pilot testing. Ex Post Facto Evaluation: Here research is evaluated when research is complete and its results are implemented. Following are the methods which are widely used for the valuation of research: 1. Budget is required for (1) Project planning. A Pilot test is conducted to detect weakness in design and data collection instrument. Sometimes this approach does not give proper answer as effect of the research comes late. If any jargons are used in the questionnaire or if some questions are not understood by the respondents then this can be identified and can be removed or changed before going for actual survey. management selects only that option which can give maximum benefit to the organization. Rule of thumb budgeting: Here specific proportion of the sales revenue is pre decided and accordingly amount is spend on research activity. If it is decide to spend 5% of the sales revenue then every time 5% of the sales revenue is spend on research activity. Departmental or Functional area budgeting: Here amount to be spend on research activities is decided using the proportion of total expenditures in the unit. After implementation process its effect is measured and decided that whether research is useful or not. 2. time etc. This practice is generally followed by Government organization. Here cost benefit analysis is done at every stage of the research. Option Analysis: When many options are available to the management.

Write management research question hierarchy for the same situation. Quality of the product of some company is deteriorating day by day and this is a serious concern for the management of a company. 3. Write research questions hierarchy for the given situation. In some service provider company numbers of complaints have drastically increased and management wants to find out solution for this. 2.[Questions for practice: 1. How Exploration is useful for moving one step to another step in research question hierarchy? ] Prepared by: Devang Kale 7 .

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