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BUSINESS RESEARCH METHODS

INTRODUCTION:

• The word research is composed of two syllables, re and search.


• The dictionary defines the former as a prefix meaning again, anew or
over again and the latter as a verb meaning to examine closely and
carefully, to test and try, or to probe.
• Together they form a noun describing a careful, systematic, patient
study and investigation in some field of knowledge, undertaken to
establish facts or principles.

MEANING OF RESEARCH:

• Literally, Research means to “search again”.


• Research in common parlance refers to a search for knowledge. It
refers to the art of scientific investigation.
• It is also a systematic process of design, collection, and analysis,
reporting the findings and arriving at solutions for business
problems.
• Business research helps to generate accurate qualitative and
quantitative information for decision making. It facilitates managerial
decision making in all aspects of business: finance, marketing, Human
Resources etc.

Dr. T Subramanyam, Professor of Statistics, Dept. of Management Studies, AIMS Institutes. Page 1
DEFINITION:

According to Robert Ross, “research is essentially an investigation, a


recording and an analysis of evidence for the purpose of gaining
knowledge.” It can generally be defined as a systematic method of
finding solutions to problems.

According to Young, research can be defined as “a scientific undertaking


which, by means of logical and systematic techniques to:

(i) Discover new facts or verify and test old facts


(ii) Analyse their sequences, interrelationships and casual
explanations
(iii) Develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories which
would facilitate reliable and valid study of human behaviour.

A research need not lead to ideal solution but it may give rise to new
problems which may require further research. In other words research
is not an end to a problem since every research gives birth to a new
question. It is carried on both for discovering new facts and
verification of old ones.

BUSINESS RESEARCH:
• Business research refers to systematic collection and analysis of data
with the purpose of finding answers to problems facing management.
• It can be carried out with the objective to explore, to describe or to
diagnose a phenomenon.
• It involves establishing objectives and gathering relevant information
to obtain the answer to a business issue and it can be conducted to
answer a business related question, such as:

Dr. T Subramanyam, Professor of Statistics, Dept. of Management Studies, AIMS Institutes. Page 2
What is the target market of my product?
• Business research can also be used to solve a business-related
problem, such as determining how to decrease the amount of excess
inventory on hand.
• When deciding whether business research is to be conducted or not,
the firm keeps in mind factors like the availability of data, time
constraints and the value of the research information to the
company. Adequate planning and information-gathering are essential
to derive results for business.

In business, the definition of research involves acquiring information and


knowledge for professional or commercial purposes such as determining
opportunities and goals for a business.

Example:

1. An example of business research is gathering sales information and


writing a detailed report on marketing and sales.
2. Business problems involves in gathering information about
customer satisfaction, e-commerce activities, servicing, quality of the
products etc, and improving their satisfaction levels.

Dr. T Subramanyam, Professor of Statistics, Dept. of Management Studies, AIMS Institutes. Page 3
OBJECTIVES OF RESEARCH

The purpose of research is to discover answers to questions through the


application of scientific procedures. Though each study has its own specific
purpose, the following are some of the general objectives of research:

(i) To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new


insights
(ii) To establish generalizations, general laws and contribute to
theory building in various fields.
(iii) To extend knowledge of human beings, social life and
environment.
(iv) To promote better decision making
(v) To identify problem areas and form the basis for innovation
(vi) To develop new tools, concepts, and theories for studying
unknown phenomenon
(vii) Planning and forecasting

Dr. T Subramanyam, Professor of Statistics, Dept. of Management Studies, AIMS Institutes. Page 4
CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD RESEARCH

Good research generates dependable data, being derived by practices that


are conducted professionally, that can be used reliably for managerial
decision making. We can state the qualities of a good research as under:

• Problem should be clearly defined


• Objective should be precise
• Systematic
• Logical
• Empirical
• Replicable
• High ethical standards

Problem should be clearly defined:

• The problem should be clearly defined


• Statement should include its scope, and limitations
• Precise specifications of areas significant to research.

Objective should be precise:

• The purpose of the research should be clearly defined


• The common concepts to be used.
• Should yield results that are as objective as possible

Dr. T Subramanyam, Professor of Statistics, Dept. of Management Studies, AIMS Institutes. Page 5
Systematic:

• Research is structured with specific steps


• Includes creative thinking
• Scientific methods should be used

Logical:

• Guided by the rules of logical reasoning


• Logical process of induction and deduction
• Induction is the process of reasoning from a part to the whole
whereas deduction is the process of reasoning from some premise to
a conclusion

Empirical:

• Empirical means factual investigation is possible


• Its validity can be checked through reliable sources and evidences
• It should be possible to describe, interpret and explain the
phenomenon.

Replicable:

• The research results to be verified by replicating the study and


thereby building a sound basis for decisions

High ethical standards:

• Research have a moral obligation to safeguard the interests of the


participants of the study

Dr. T Subramanyam, Professor of Statistics, Dept. of Management Studies, AIMS Institutes. Page 6
FEATURES OF RESEARCH

• It means the discovery of new knowledge


• Essentially an investigation
• Related with the solution of a problem
• It is based on observation or experimental evidences
• It demands accurate observation or experimentation
• Try to find out answers for unsolved questions
• It should be carefully recorded and reported

Dr. T Subramanyam, Professor of Statistics, Dept. of Management Studies, AIMS Institutes. Page 7