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RESEARCH: The process of gathering information for the purpose of initiating, modifying or terminating a particular investment or group of investments.

. The definition of research includes any gathering of data,

information and facts for the advancement of knowledge.

An

organized,

systematic,

critical,

scientific

inquiry

or

investigation into a specific problem undertaken with the objective of finding answer or solution. BUSINESS RESEARCH: Business research is a systematic and organized effort to investigate a specific problem encountered in the work setting that needs a solution. The research provides the needed information that guides

managers to make informed decisions to successfully deal with problems.

Business research is an important management activity that helps companies determine which products will be most profitable for companies to produce.

Several steps are necessary when conducting business research; each step must be thoroughly reviewed to ensure that the best decision is made for the company.

It is a process of planning, acquiring, analyzing, and disseminating relevant data, information, and insights to decision makers in ways that mobilize the organization to take appropriate actions that, in turn, maximize business performance.

SCOPE OF BUSINESS RESEARCH: Research methods provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to solve the problems and meet the challenges of a fast-paced decision-making environment. Business research courses are recognition that students in business, not-for-profit, and public organizations in all functional areas need training in the scientific method and its application to decision making. Two factors stimulate an interest in more scientific decision making:
The

managers

increased

need

for

more

and

better

information and The availability of improved techniques and tools to meet this need.
CHARACTERISTICS OF RESEARCH :

Research begins with a problem in the form of a question in the mind of the researcher.

Research demands the identification of a problem, stated in clear, unambiguous terms. Research requires a plan. Research deals with the main problem through appropriate subproblems. Research seeks direction through appropriate hypotheses and is based upon obvious assumptions. Research deals with facts and their meaning. Research is circular.

Types of Business Research: The two main types are Basic and Applied research. Basic Research The basic research is fundamental research driven by a scientist's curiosity. The main motivation behind it is to expand his knowledge, not to invent something. Applied research Applied research on the other hand is designed to solve practical problems, rather than to gain knowledge.
Applied research sets out to prove a specific hypothesis of value to

the clients paying for the research. For example, a cigarette company might commission research that attempts to show that cigarettes are good for one's health.

Many researchers have ethical misgivings about doing applied research. Descriptive Vs. Analytical Applied (Basic) Vs. Fundamental (Applied) Quantitative Vs. Qualitative Conceptual Vs. Empirical Special types of research

Other Types of Research Based on the purposes for which the researches are conducted, they may be divided into following categories: Baseline/Bench-mark survey/Research. Evaluation Research: Formative Evaluation (Mid-term) Terminal Evaluation. 3. Impact assessment/research 4. Feasibility studies.

Baseline SurveyA baseline survey is a research in which data on pre-project socioeconomic and business aspects are generated in order to facilitate the assessment of future impact of project intervention. A baseline survey is

conducted in the absence of available published data on various socioeconomic and business aspects. Evaluation Research a. Formative or mid-term evaluation is done to assess whether the project is in the right track. It is usually done to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. On the basis of the findings of the formative evaluation research corrective measures are taken to attain the goals of the project.

b. Terminal Evaluation research is conducted to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the project/intervention. Effectiveness: is the ratio of actual and planned activities
The extent of attainment of goal or the degree of target fulfilment

determines the level of effectiveness. Efficiency: - Attaining maximum output with minimum input Impact Assessment The research, which is undertaken to measure the quantitative benefits derived out of project intervention and qualitative changes that occurred due to project intervention, is known as an impact assessment research. This type of research also provides information for identifying the negative impact of the project. Feasibility Studies

This type of research is undertaken prior to starting of any business enterprise or any business related project.

This type of research is done to assess the technical, economic, market and financial viability of the project.

The

issue

whether

the

project

is

socially

desirable

and

environmentally acceptable is also taken into consideration

OBJECTIVES To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to explore new ideas To portray accurately the characteristics of a particular individual, situation or a group To determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it is associated To establish a cause and effect relationship and test the relationship between two variables Nature of Research BR- As an economic resource BR- As a system of authority BR- as an activity of business management BR- As a Team effort

BR- AS an art or science BR- As a profession BR- as an interdisciplinary system

SCOPE & ITS MANAGEMENT

APPLICATIONS

IN

DIFFERENT

FUNCTIONS

OF

Advertising Research Motivation research Copy research Media research Studies of advertisement effectiveness other

Business economic and corporate research Short range forecasting Long range forecasting Studies of business trends Pricing studies Plant and warehouse location studies product mix studies Acquisition Studies Export and international studies Others

Corporate responsibility research Consumers rights to know studies Ecological impact studies Studies of legal constraints Social values and policies studies Others

Product research Packaging research Sales and market research Measurement of market potential Market share analysis Sales analysis Establishment of sales quotas & territories Distribution channel studies Test markets Consumer panel operation Sales compensation studies Promotional studies Others The main differentiating factors between internal and external consultants are summarised below: External Credibility through brand status and previous experience Internal Credibility through history of interactions within the business

Broad business perspective bringing new ideas Limited organisation-specific knowledge, possibly at content level only Not made here Perceived as objective Special Low investment in final success Meets clients agenda Needs time to understand the people may misinterpret actions and interpersonal dynamics On the clock timed, expensive, rare and rationed PROBLEM DEFINITION

Deep organisational perspective Understands its culture, language and deeper symbolic actions Perceived as an organisational agent The same High investment in final success Meets corporate agenda which may not be clients Knows the people, but may have preconceptions Free, accessible, and available

Problem definition is the crucial first stage in the research process- determining the problems to be solved and the objectives of the research.

THE PROCESS OF PROBLEM DEFINITION:

Ascertain the decision maker's objectives Understand the background of the problem Isolate the identify the problem rather than its symptoms determine the unit of analysis determine the relevant variables state the research question( hypotheses) and research objectives.

Iceberg principle: is the idea that the dangerous part of many business problems is neither visible to nor understood by business managers.

Situation analysis is a preliminary investigation or informal gathering of background information to familiarize researchers or managers with the decision area.

Variable is defined as anything that changes in value: anything that assumes different numerical or categorical value.

Categorical Variable is any variable that has a limited number of distinct values.

Continuous variable is any variable that has an infinitive number of possible values.

Dependent variable is a criterion or a variable that is to be predicted or explained.

Independent variable is a variable that is expected to influence the dependent variable. Its value may be changed independently of any other variable.

Research objective is the purpose of the research, expressed in measurable terms; the definition of what the research should accomplish.

Research proposal is the written statement of the research design that includes a statement explaining the purpose of the study and a detailed, systematic outline of a particular research methodology.

WHAT IS A HYPOTHESIS?

Hypothesis:

tentative

explanation

for

an

observation,

phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation. A hypothesis describes in concrete terms, in the form of a statement, what you expect will happen in your study.

A hypothesis is a prediction of expected outcomes; It states the relationships between variables that the researcher expects to find as a result of the study.

If that is so, then the hypothesis represents a formalized focus for the collection of data.

A hypothesis is derived from an observation or a reflection. A hypothesis should specify the following: population, dose response
Cause, time response.

outcome For example: "Eating more (cause) makes people fat". This is less well-defined than the following: "Eating more than 3 meals (dose) for 3 month (time), will increase the weight of individual adult (population) by 8 kilogram (outcome). To formulate the null hypothesis (Ho), just add the word (not) to the wording of the alternative hypothesis. The last is the one you should strive to disprove.

One study might need more than one hypothesis. This would depend on the number of indicators involved.

STEPS IN FORMULATING A HYPOTHESIS

Decide what you want to explain: choose a dependent variable Choose independent variables that also show variation Think of multiple causes of the dependent variable Consider alternative measures of both the dependent and

independent variables. Different forms of Hypothesis A. Non Directional Hypothesis: All examples of associated difference, sometimes called non directional hypotheses B. Directional Hypothesis 1. with magnitude 2. without magnitude TYPES OF HYPOTHESIS The prediction is that variables A and B are related. The only other possible outcome is that variables A and B are not related. NULL HYPOTHESIS A type of hypothesis used in statistics that proposes that no statistical significance exists in a set of given observations. The null hypothesis attempts to show that no variation exists between variables, or that a single variable is no different than zero.

It is presumed to be true until statistical evidence nullifies it for an alternative hypothesis. ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESIS The Alternative Hypothesis

The alternative hypothesis is simply the question you are asking.

Denoted by HA or H1 Just opposite to Null Hypothesis H1: 1 = 2 Three types of Research questions 1. Descriptive questions 2. Comparison Questions 3. Relational Questions Association Questions (Happening together) Causal Questions
Concomitant Variation (two things vary together)

Time sequence of the variable (Occurrence of two variables) Cause variable (Reasons behind THE THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK The theoretical framework is supposed to help the reader make logical sense of the relationships of the variables and factors that have been deemed relevant/important to the problem.
It provides definition of relationships between all the variables so

the reader can understand the theorized relationships between them.

A theoretical framework is a collection of interrelated concepts, like a theory but not necessarily so well worked-out. A theoretical framework guides your research, determining what things you will measure, and what statistical relationships you will look for. The Components of the Theoretical Framework A good theoretical framework identifies and labels the important variables in the situation that are relevant to the problem identified. It logically describes the interconnections among these variables. The relationships among the independent variables, the dependent variable(s), and if applicable, the moderating and intervening variables are elaborated. The elaboration of the variables in the theoretical framework addresses the issues of why or how we expect certain relationships to exist, and the nature and direction of the relationships among the variables of interest. At the end, the whole discussion can be portrayed in a schematic diagram. There are six basic features that should be incorporated in any theoretical framework. These features are: 1. Make an inventory of variables: For developing a framework it appears essential to identify the factors relevant to the problem under study.

These factors are the empirical realities which can be named at some abstract level called concepts.

The concepts taking more than one value are the variables. In other words the researcher makes an inventory of relevant variables.

The variables considered relevant to the study should be clearly identified and labelled in the discussion. 2. Specify the direction of relationship:

If the nature and direction of relationship can be theorized on the basis of the findings of previous research, then there should be an indication in the discussion as to whether the relationship should be positive or negative.

3. Give a clear explanation of why we should expect the proposed relationships to exist. There should be clear explanation of why we would expect these relationships to exist. The arguments could be drawn from the previous research findings. The discussions should state how two or more variables are related to one another. This should be done for the important relationships that are theorized to exist among the variables. It is essential to theorize logical relationship between different variables. 4. Make an inventory of propositions:

Stipulation of logical relationship between any two variables means the formulation of a proposition.

If such relationships have been proposed between different variables, it will result in the formulation of a number of propositions. Let us call such a collection of propositions as an inventory of propositions.

Each proposition is backed up by strong theoretical argumentation. 5. Arrange these propositions in a sequential order:

One proposition generates the next proposition, which generates the next following proposition, which in turn generates the next following proposition, and so on.

This is an axiomatic way of the derivation of propositions. Resultantly it will provide us a sequentially arranged set of propositions which are interlinked and interlocked with each other.

Theory, if you remember, is an interrelated set of propositions. Therefore, the present interrelated set of propositions relevant to a particular problem is in fact a theoretical framework explaining the pathways of logical relationships between different variables. 6. Specify the direction of relationship:

Higher the education higher the age at marriage. Higher the education of women greater the chances of their being career women. Higher the education more the rationalism.

Higher the education more selective the exposure to mass media of communication. Higher the education more the accessibility to health services. Higher the education more the practicing of family planning practices.

Higher the education of the parents the higher their aspirations about the education of their children. Higher the education of the couple greater thee chances of shifting to nuclear families. Higher the education of the couples the higher their mobility orientation.

The Schematic diagram of the theoretical framework is given as below:

Poverty

Unemploym ent

Child labour

Family size

Illiteracy

Independent Variables Variable RESEARCH PROCESS STEPS:

Dependent

Product Analysis Product analysis is the first step of business research. Companies must find a product that meets or exceeds consumer demand, or the product will fail in the economic market place. One type of analysis is to find an existing product that can be improved through design or features. Another type of product analysis will find emerging markets with high demand and low supply, which allows for companies to sell new products to meet consumer demand.

Market Analysis Companies will conduct a market analysis to determine how much profit may be earned from current demand. Management will look at which stage of the business cycle the market is currently in, whether emerging, plateau, or declining. Each stage has its own level of profitability, with the first stage being the highest and the last stage being the lowest profitability. A market analysis will also determine the price points at which products can be sold; for example, high-quality products at a higher price may not tempt consumers to start buying the product based on quality itself. Financial Analysis

A financial analysis determines the cost of each production item used to produce goods and services. High costs may not allow companies to price goods or services competitively, leading to an unprofitable situation.

Management will examine the costs of raw materials, labour, and manufacturing overhead to find the best raw goods available to produce the most profitable product.

Management will also review the best cost application methods, ensuring that all production costs are properly applied to each product or service produced.

Competitor Analysis Analyzing the current competitors of a market is an important part of business research. Knowing which companies have the best production methods or customer loyalty helps new companies understand how they can create a competitive advantage when entering a new market. Proper business research will also indicate how financially stable companies are and if they can be purchased outright by a company wanting to enter the industry. Buying a competitor may be cheaper than starting new operations for a company. Growth Analysis

Business research usually includes forecasting the growth and direction of the current industry or market. Knowing which direction the market is headed helps companies determine the stability of new business operations.

Entering a slow-growth industry may be unprofitable early on but have better long-term growth potential. High-growth industries will sometimes face a quick downfall, such as the dot.com boom of 2000-2001.

Strong growth early in the business cycle quickly gave way to record losses, leading many businesses into bankruptcy from poor growth analysis. (OR)

TYPES OF RESEARCH DESIGNS Exploratory Research (huh?) Designed to generate basic knowledge, clarify relevant issues uncover variables associated with a problem, uncover information needs, and/or define alternatives for addressing research objectives. A very flexible, open-ended process.

Descriptive Research (who, what, where, how) Designed to provide further insight into the research problem by describing the variables of interest. Can be used for profiling, defining, segmentation, estimating, predicting, and examining associative relationships. Causal Research (If-then)

Designed to provide information on potential cause-and-effect relationships.

Most practical in marketing to talk about associations or impact of one variable on another.

Literature Search Conceptual literature Trade literature Published statistics Library homepage (www.uah.edu/library)

Analysis of Selected Cases Intensive study of related cases or past activities May be internal or external Can help provide clues as to how other units or companies have dealt with similar issues

Experience Surveys (a.k.a., depth interviews) Knowledgeable people with varying points of view Unstructured and informal interviews Respondent free to choose issues to be discussed Focus Groups 8 to 10 people at one time Relatively homogeneous groups Multiple, heterogeneous groups

Group dynamics Moderator is key Relies on general topical guide with plenty of time for interaction

(OR)
DIFFERENT RESEARCH METHODS There are various designs which are used in research, all with specific advantages and disadvantages. Which one the scientist uses, depends on the aims of the study and the nature of the phenomenon: Descriptive Designs Aim: Observe and Describe Descriptive Research Case Study Naturalistic Observation Survey (The Questionnaire is also a technique used in many types of research designs) Correlational Studies Case Control Study Observational Study Cohort Study Longitudinal Study Cross Sectional Study Correlational Studies in general Semi-Experimental Designs Aim: Determine Causes (Aim: Predict)

Field Experiment Quasi-Experimental Design Twin Studies Experimental Designs Aim: Determine Causes True Experimental Design Double-Blind Experiment Reviewing Other Research Aim: Explain Literature Review Meta-analysis Systematic Reviews

Test Study before Conducting a Full-Scale Study Aim: Does the Design Work? Pilot Study TYPICAL EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS SIMPLE EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUES Pretest-Posttest Design Control Group Randomization Randomized Controlled Trials Between Subjects Design Within Subject Design COMPLEX EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS

Factorial Design Solomon Four-Group Design Repeated Measures Design Counterbalanced Measures Design Matched Subjects Design Bayesian Probability DATA COLLECTION: Data collection is a term used to describe a process of preparing and collecting data - for example as part of a process improvement or similar project.
The purpose of data collection is to obtain information to keep on

record, to make decisions about important issues, to pass information on to others. Primarily, data is collected to provide information regarding a specific topic.
Data collection usually takes place early on in an improvement project,

and is often formalised through a data collection plan which often contains the following activity. Pre collection activity Agree goals, target data, definitions, methods Collection data collection Present Findings usually involves some form of sorting[3] analysis and/or presentation. TYPES OF DATACOLLECTION: Quantitative and

Qualitative Data collection methods

The Quantitative data collection methods rely on random sampling

and structured data collection instruments that fit diverse experiences into predetermined response categories. They produce results that are easy to summarize, compare, and generalize. Quantitative research is concerned with testing hypotheses derived from theory and/or being able to estimate the size of a phenomenon of interest. Depending on the research question, participants may be randomly assigned to different treatments. If this is not feasible, the researcher may collect data on participant and situational characteristics in order to statistically control for their influence on the dependent, or outcome, variable. If the intent is to generalize from the research participants to a larger population, the researcher will employ probability sampling to select participants. Typical quantitative data gathering strategies include: Experiments/clinical trials. Observing and recording well-defined events (e.g., counting the number of patients waiting in emergency at specified times of the day). Obtaining relevant data from management information systems.

Administering surveys with closed-ended questions (e.g., face-to face and telephone interviews, questionnaires etc.)

Interviews

In Quantitative research (survey research),interviews are more structured than in Qualitative research

In a structured interview, the researcher asks a standard set of questions and nothing more.

Face -to -face interviews

Face -to -face interviews have a distinct advantage of enabling the researcher to establish rapport with potential participants and therefor gain their cooperation.

These interviews yield highest response rates in survey research. They also allow the researcher to clarify ambiguous answers and when appropriate, seek follow-up information.

Disadvantages include impractical when large samples are involved time consuming and expensive.

Telephone interviews

Telephone interviews are less time consuming and less expensive and the researcher has ready access to anyone on the planet who has a telephone.

Disadvantages are that the response rate is not as high as the faceto- face interview as but considerably higher than the mailed questionnaire.

The sample may be biased to the extent that people without phones are part of the population about whom the researcher wants to draw inferences.

Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI):

Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI): is a form of personal interviewing, but instead of completing a questionnaire, the interviewer brings along a laptop or hand-held computer to enter the information directly into the database.

This method saves time involved in processing the data, as well as saving the interviewer from carrying around hundreds of

questionnaires. However, this type of data collection method can be expensive to set up and requires that interviewers have computer and typing skills. Questionnaires

Paper-pencil-questionnaires can be sent to a large number of people and saves the researcher time and money.

People are more truthful while responding to the questionnaires regarding controversial issues in particular due to the fact that their responses are anonymous.

But they also have drawbacks. Majority of the people who receive questionnaires don't return them and those who do might not be representative of the originally selected sample.

Web

based

questionnaires:

new

and

inevitably

growing

methodology is the use of Internet based research. This would mean receiving an e-mail on which you would click on an address that would take you to a secure web-site to fill in a questionnaire. This type of research is often quicker and less detailed. Some disadvantages of this method include the exclusion of people who do not have a computer or are unable to access a computer. Also the validity of such surveys are in question as people might be in a hurry to complete it and so might not give accurate responses. Questionnaires often make use of Checklist and rating scales.
These devices help simplify and quantify people's behaviours and

attitudes.
A checklist is a list of behaviours, characteristics, or other entities that

te researcher is looking for.

Either the researcher or survey participant simply checks whether each item on the list is observed, present or true or vice versa.
A rating scale is more useful when behaviour needs to be evaluated on

a continuum. They are also known as Likert scales. Qualitative data collection Qualitative data collection methods play an important role in impact evaluation by providing information useful to understand the processes behind observed results and assess changes in peoples perceptions of their well-being. Furthermore qualitative methods can be used to improve the quality of survey-based quantitative evaluations by helping generate evaluation hypothesis; strengthening the design of survey questionnaires and expanding or clarifying quantitative evaluation findings. These methods are characterized by the following attributes: they tend to be open-ended and have less structured protocols (i.e., researchers may change the data collection strategy by adding, refining, or dropping techniques or informants)
they rely more heavily on interactive interviews; respondents may be

interviewed several times to follow up on a particular issue, clarify concepts or check the reliability of data they use triangulation to increase the credibility of their findings (i.e., researchers rely on multiple data collection methods to check the authenticity of their results)

generally

their

findings

are

not

generalizable

to

any

specific

population, rather each case study produces a single piece of evidence that can be used to seek general patterns among different studies of the same issue
Regardless of the kinds of data involved, data collection in a qualitative

study takes a great deal of time. The researcher needs to record any potentially useful data thoroughly, accurately, and systematically, using field notes, sketches, audiotapes, photographs and other suitable means. The data collection methods must observe the ethical principles of research. The qualitative methods most commonly used in evaluation can be classified in three broad categories: in-depth interview observation methods document review

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY DATA SOURCES: PRIMARY SOURCES A document or record containing first-hand information or original data on a topic. Primary sources are works created at the time of an event, or by a person who directly experienced an event. It is the content, not necessarily the format, of a work that makes it a primary source.

For example, an online copy of a newspaper from March 20, 1897, is still a primary source even though the article viewed on your computer was digitized more than a century after the article was first printed.

Primary sources can include: Interviews, diaries, letters, journals, speeches, autobiographies, and witness statements Articles containing original research, data, or findings never before shared Original hand-written manuscripts Government documents and public records Art, photographs, films, maps, fiction, and music Newspaper and magazine clippings Artifacts, buildings, furniture, and clothing

Primary source examples Che Guevara's diaries recorded during political conflicts in Bolivia Bolivian diary of Ernesto Che Guevara A scientific article reporting on the growth rates of Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island. Negrave, R. W. Prescott, C. E. & Barker, J. E. (2007). Growth and foliar nutrition of juvenile western hemlock and western red cedar

plantations on low- and medium-productivity sites on northern Vancouver Island: response to fertilization and planting density. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 37(12), 2587-2599. Captain George Vancouver's hand-drawn map of Vancouver Island and the BC Coast (pdf) , which appeared in his book Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean. Video of the Prime Minister of Canada delivering an apology on behalf of Canadians for the Indian Residential Schools system on June 11, 2008. The Globe and Mail newspaper's front page from May 8, 1945, with articles describing the end of war in Europe. SECONDARY SOURCES Any published or unpublished work that is one step removed from the original source, usually describing, summarizing, analyzing, evaluating, derived from, or based on primary source materials. Secondary sources are works that are one step removed from the original event or experience provide criticism or interpretation of a primary source SECONDARY SOURCES CAN INCLUDE Textbooks Review articles and critical analysis essays Biographies Historical films, music, and art

Articles about people and events from the past