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Business Research Methods

Situation I :Adv. Decision
• When Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., was planning the promotion for its new movie Starman, it had to decide how much to spend for advertising the movie and when the advertising should occur. • "One of Columbia's biggest marketing weaknesses in the past was to spend too much in advertising its films .... It now carefully tracks the effects of its spending in twice-aweek polls of moviegoers. • "(Columbia's marketing vice-president) believes that a movie that opens nationally like Starman should be known by at least 60% of the public by opening day. In the weeks before such a movie's release, his department tracks awareness of the film-by region, age group, and sex. If awareness builds faster than expected, Columbia cuts back its promotion .... If it doesn't pick up fast enough, spending is increased.” 2

Situation II: Adv. Decision
• The A&P food store chain introduced a new nationwide advertising campaign to show consumers its stores were clean, were staffed by friendly employees, and were well stocked with fresh food offered at value prices. • "These commercials are the product of a variety of surprisingly extensive motivational research techniques .... Consumers were shown a simple sketch of a woman about to enter a supermarket. They were asked what the woman was thinking and how she felt. In another test, subjects were shown photographs of people, told they depicted both A&P customers and those who shopped elsewhere, and were then asked to separate the pictures into two groups and explain why. Some subjects were also asked to imagine A&P as a person: Is it a man or a woman; what kind of work does he or she do? • "The results were not the stuff of happy A&P marketing conferences. The tests showed that consumers considered supermarket shopping to be drudgery and that the A&P chain, in particular, was seen as a grandmother who is a bit corny and behind the times. Perhaps worse, its stores were considered more expensive and less efficient than the competition's."

Situation III
• Although the United States represents the largest travel market in the world, only 2 percent of the country's travelers go to Canada for vacations. To learn why so few American travelers visit Canada, the Canadian tourism bureau interviewed 9,000 Americans who vacationed regularly. What emerged from these hour-long, in-home interviews was " ... the general perception of Canada as clean, safe, and dull, with immense stretches of wilderness broken up by cities that closed down at 5 PM. A typical comment was, 'Canada doesn't present itself as an exciting place, with a lot of activity like New York .... or California for the craziness. There's nothing I can identify with Canada. It's just. ... Canada.'" • What resulted from the research was a $14 million advertising campaign " .... to jazz up Canada's public persona. Out went the moose and the mountains and in came the nightclubs, Broadway-type theaters, Old World architecture, French cities and sports opportunities."

Situation IV: Adv. Decision
• Diet Rite had less than a 1 percent market share, which was much smaller than either Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi. "Diet Rite had tried ads that pushed taste, lower price, even its low calorie content, but had not found an effective way to distinguish the product from its powerful competitors'. It was looking for an emotional hook. • "So Diet Rite's agency ... began by interviewing dozens of women who were dieters. The interviewers, clinical psychologists, reported that these women were convinced their bodies were unattractive, or they used food for a substitute for a balanced family life, or they were raised in homes where food was used as a punishment or reward. All said they felt dieting was difficult and made them feel more vulnerable. • "On the basis of these interviews (the agency) recommended that the Diet Rite campaign not show gorgeous women in skimpy bathing suits because women with poor self-images could not relate to them. The agency also decided that viewers would empathize with other dieters who appeared vulnerable and hardworking." 5

200 students in elementary schools in New Jersey helped Campbell develop the new drinks by tasting and rating them. the children gave the early samples low marks-a lot of frowns and children holding their noses and signaling thumbs down.Situation V: New Product Development • When the Campbell Soup Co. a line of fruit juices for children..." . " . first developed Juice Works. On scorecards filled with drawings of faces. Campbell modified the recipes until the scores 6 improved.

Introduction to Research Research is the process of finding solutions to a problem after a thorough study and analysis of the situational factors 7 .

8 . • It is used to understand the market trends. or to find the best investment options. devise effective HR policies. • To find out the optimal marketing mix.Business research • It can be defined as a systematic and objective process of gathering. recording and analyzing data that provides information to guide business decisions.

9 . Eg: • Understanding the consumer buying process • Examining the consumer learning process.Basic research • Basic research refers to focused systematic study or investigation undertaken to discover new knowledge and establish facts or principles in a particular field. • It is primarily aimed at gathering knowledge.

solve a specific problem. determine why something failed or succeeded. For eg: • Evaluating the impact of a training program on employee performance • Examining consumer response to direct marketing programs 10 .Applied research • It refers to investigation undertaken to discover the applications and uses of theories. • It is used to answer a specific question. knowledge and principles in actual work or solving problems.

• • • • Exploratory research Descriptive & Analytical research Quantitative & Qualitative research Conceptual & Empirical research 11 .Some more types of research…..

Why is it important for managers to know about research? • • • • • Solve problems Decision making tool Competition Risk Investment 12 .

Why Business/Marketing Research has evolved and grown • Managers are separated from their final consumers. • They need information from their final consumers. – Target Market – Product & Services – Price – Distribution – Promotion 13 .

refine. and improve the understanding of marketing as a process. and reporting information that may be used to solve a specific marketing problem. and public to the marketer through information— information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems.What is Marketing Research • …. (AMA) 14 . analyzing. monitor marketing performance. generate. (Burns & Bush) • …is the function that links the the process of designing. and evaluate marketing actions. customer. gathering.

Market Research during different phases of administrative process Setting goals and Establishing strategies Developing a plan Putting the plan in action Evaluating the plan’s effectiveness Phase I Phase II Phase III Phase IV 15 .

Factors affecting Business Research • • • • Time constraint Availability of resources Nature of information sought Benefits versus costs 16 .

Business Research Process Problem & Objective Formulation Research Proposal & Hypotheses Formulation Research Design & Methods Select sample procedure Data collection Analysis & interpretation of data Research Report 17 .

i. there must be more than one problem which can lead to generation of objective. There must be alternative means for obtaining the objective.. Components of research problem are: There must be some objective to attain.e.e. researcher must know that which problem is effecting more to the business. 1) 2) 3) 18 . There must be some doubt in the mind of researcher as to the selection of alternative. i.Problem Formulation Research Problem refers to some difficulty which is impacting towards negativity on the business or Management and requires best solution.

next stage is of establishing the objective. Defining of Objective is the most critical stage.Establishing the objective After defining the problem. (Problem: prior to objective that Projects are not completing on time or conflict level is increasing) 19 . Example: the scope for brining about lasting changes in attitude by means of training programs. as whole research is to be conducted to the objective.

Consultation to experts: discuss scenario to Experts and Business executives. Exposure to field situations: Researcher has to visit field and sometimes has to do internship to understand the market closely and practically. Experience: Experienced researchers can understand the scenario and can formulate problems easily.Sources of Problem 1) 2) 3) Reading: reading critical articles related to the problem scenario. Business executives interacts more to customers so can understand market easily. Brainstorming: discussing among the group about the case. 20 4) 5) .

Economics etc… Particular aspects of the selected subject: Here concentration is more into the area of discipline which has been specified. Identification of two or more specific topics in the selected broad area: This stage requires grasp of the area and awareness about the related problems and work which already has been done.Process of Identification of Problem 1) Selecting the discipline: Specify in which discipline research is to be done. (Sources of problem can be used on this stage) 2) 3) 21 . Operations. Finance. Like: Marketing. HR.

Criteria of Selection • Internal Criteria – Researcher’s interest – Researcher’s competence – Researcher’s own resources • External Criteria – Researchability: Problem should be researchable – Importance & Urgency – Novelty or Originality – Feasibility – Usefulness and Social relevance 22 .

Management Research Question Hierarchy Discover the Management Dilemma Discover the Management Question Discover the Research Question Exploration Refine the Research Question Exploration Stage 1 of Research Process 23 .

Formulating the Research Question Discover Management Dilemma Exploration Review published sources and interview information to understand true dilemma. Define Several management questions may be taken here. Identify symptoms rather than problems Discover Management Question Using collected exploratory Information to word the dilemma into question Exploration Clarify the possible management action that might be taken to solve the dilemma. Research to Questions Each question is an alternative action that may be used 24 solve the dilemma .

Selecting between specific alternatives under consideration • Using Typical Research and then results will tell about the research question out of available questions • Research from the past behavior and including some Quantitative techniques to research further. (Decision tree analysis) 25 .

and funds required to carry out the research Credentials of the proposals 26 .Research Proposal Research Proposal is a blue print for conducting and controlling research. Purpose of Research Proposal ◙ ◙ ◙ ◙ ◙ ◙ Need of the particular research Beneficiaries of research Kind of data to be collected and the means Type of analysis that will be done Duration. facilities. It is considered as a research plan to serve as a mean of communication between the researcher and the research supporter.

The Content of Research Proposal ◘ ◘ ◘ ◘ ◘ ◘ ◘ ◘ ◘ Executive Summary Research Questions & Objectives Literature Review Hypotheses Generation Importance/Benefits of the Study Research Design/Method Time scale and Budget Data Analysis Bibliography and Appendices 27 .

he/she will assume an answer for a particular research questions and then test for its validity. • When a researcher is developing a hypothesis. 28 .Developing the hypotheses • It is a statement based on some presumption about the existence of a relationship between two or more variables that can be tested through empirical data.

Developing the hypotheses • A hypothesis makes the research question clearer to the researcher. • For eg: if the research question is “why are the sales of refrigerators going up during winters?” • In this case the hypothesis could be “ the sales of refrigerators are going up during winters during off season discounts” 29 .

Types of Hypothesis 2) Relational – Statements that describe the relationship between two variables with respect to some case – Foreign (variable) refrigerators are perceived to be of better quality (variable) by Indian consumers (case) 30 .

organization. Ex. situation or event. Types of Hypotheses 1) Descriptive Hypotheses: Propositions that describes the characteristics (Size.: “The rate of unemployment among non graduates is higher than that of graduates” “ 80% shareholders of HLL favour increasing the company’s cash dividend” Can also be stated as research question – Do shareholders of HLL favour an increased cash dividend? 31 . person.Research Hypothesis Hypotheses is the tentative proposition whose validity remains to be tested. Example : Sale of cars is decreasing. form or distribution) of a variable like object.

Types of Relational Hypothesis • Two types: Correlation & Causal • Correlation – Merely states that variables occur together without implying that one causes the other • People in Kerela give more importance to education than people in Punjab • In an office old employees are more responsive than young employees 32 .

Types of Relational Hypothesis • Causal (or Explanatory) – There is an implication that existence of (or a change in) one causes or leads to a change in the other • Causal variable is called Independent variable and the other Dependent variable • Advertisement causes higher sales • Increase in income leads to higher savings 33 .

Like number of components from any machine Common-sense Hypotheses: Empirical uniformity perceived through day-to-day observation. Null Hypotheses: These are hypothetical statements denying what are explicitly indicated in working hypotheses. which are to be validated. 4) 5) 6) 34 . They state that no difference exist between the parameter and the statistics Statistical Hypotheses: Statements about statistical population and derived from a sample.3) Working Hypotheses: initial statements while planning.

Ex: “Higher the earning per share.Sources of Hypotheses Hypotheses can be derived from various sources: 1) Theory: It gives direction to research by stating what is known. more favorable is the financial leverage” “The optimum capital structure is the combination of debt and equity which leads to the maximum value of the firm” Observation Personal Experience Finding of Studies State of knowledge Culture Continuity of research 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 35 .

Characteristics of a Good Hypotheses • • • • • • • Conceptual clarity Specificity Testability Availability of techniques Consistency Objectivity Simplicity 36 .

Analyse variables through their relationship Always consider alternative operations that might be more appropriate for a given variable 2) 3) 37 .Hypotheses Development Rules for constructing Hypotheses: 1) Link two or more formal propositions through a shared independent or dependent variables where possible.

▪ Testing process of hypotheses forms the major part of research process. It consists of operationalization of the concepts. ▪ In hypotheses no prior facts are being considered. But these facts are used in our hypotheses only after testing. statistical analyses of data and drawing inferences from the results. 38 .Testing of Hypotheses ▪ Validation of Research testing is required. ▪ Attitude of researcher: He should not be biased for the hypotheses generated by him infect should use scientific methods to validate the hypotheses. ▪ For testing Hypotheses has to be assumed. however they come systematically.

Using Secondary Data Secondary data: information that has previously been gathered by someone other than the researcher and/or for some other purpose than the research project at hand .

: • Salesperson’s call reports • Salesperson’s expense accounts • Product features etc… .Classification of Secondary Data • Internal secondary data: data that have been collected within the firm .g. • Internal databases: databases (collection of data and information describing items of interest) consisting of information gathered by a company typically during the normal course of business transactions e.

• External secondary data: data obtained from outside the firm • Types: • Published: sources of information prepared for public distribution and found in libraries or a variety of other entities • Syndicated Services Data: data provided by firms that collect data in a standard format and make them available to subscribing firms • External Databases .Classification of Secondary Data…cont.

Types of External Secondary Data • External secondary data • External Databases: databases provided by outside firms. 2007 Census • Directory or list databases. ABI Inform • Numeric or statistical databases.. AMA membership list • Comprehensive databases.citations by subject.Classification of Secondary Data…cont. i. many are now available online (online information databases) • Bibliographic databases. Contain all of the above .e.

Advantages of Secondary Data • • • • Obtained quickly (compared to primary data gathering) Inexpensive (compared to primary data gathering) Usually available Enhances existing primary data .

000 and over • Differing class definitions used – Need users “in between” heavy. medium or light users • Timeliness (how current is the secondary data) • Lack of information needed to assess the credibility of the reported data .Disadvantages of Secondary Data • Mismatch of the units of measurement Need daily data yet only monthly available. need incomes of $75.000 and over only available $50.

newspapers. Videotaped observations. letters. books. e-mails. publications.Different types of major sources of secondary data Documentary • Written Material Example: Organization's records such as personnel or production Organization’s communication such as notes. reports of committees. • Non-Written Material Example: Media accounts including television and radio Taped interviews. Multiple sources • Area based Example: Financial times country reports. Govt. journals. Journals • Time series based Example: Industry statistics & reports Census of population & employment 45 .

survey. Academic survey 46 .Different types of major sources of secondary data (Contd.) Survey • Census Example: Govt. Surveys. Census: Census report of population & employment • Continuous and Regular survey Example: Govt. General household survey Organization Employee Attitudes • Ad hoc surveys Example: Govt. Organizations survey.

Compile the literature you have found and evaluate your findings. If you are unhappy with what you have found or are otherwise having trouble and the reference librarian you contact has not been able to identify sources. Report results. • Step 2: • Step 3: • Step 4: • Step 5: • Step 6: . Begin your search using several library and Web sources. use an authority (if available).Locating Secondary Data Sources • Step 1: Identify what you wish to know and what you already know about your topic. Develop a list of key words and names.

Evaluating Secondary Data • What was the purpose of the study? • Who collected the information and when was this done? • What information was collected (questions. method of sample draw. etc.)? • How consistent is the information with other published information? . resulting sample. communication method. etc.)? • How was the information obtained (sampling frame. scales.

Evaluating secondary data 1) Overall Suitability • Does the data set contains the information you require to answer the questions and to meet the objectives? • Do the measures used match those you require? • Does the data set cover the population that is the subject of your research? • can the useful data be separated from the unwanted data? • Are data available for all the variables of research? 49 .

Evaluating secondary data 2) Precise Suitability • Reliability of data • is the methodology clearly described? • if sampling was used then what was the sample size. and response rate? • Is copy of questionnaire and interview checklist available? • does researcher is clear about that how data is analysed and complied • data is compatible for your research or not? 50 . sampling errors. procedure for finding sampling.

then one thing should be kept in mind that secondary data is not always reliable and can not always give appropriate results as expected by researcher. 51 .Evaluating secondary data 3) Cost and benefits • Financial and time costs of obtaining the data • whether data is computer friendly or not? • Do the overall benefits of using this secondary data source outweigh the associated costs? • At the time of assessing cost and benefits of secondary data.