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Research Methods

INTRODUCTION

• Chapter 1:
• The Role of Business Research

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Two shoe salespersons go to Africa
to conduct a market assessment

Terrible market.
No one wear shoes.

Both had access to exactly
the same data but formed
very different conclusions

Wonderful market !!
No one wear shoes.
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Business Research Defined

Business research is defined as
the systematic and objective
process of generating
information for aid in making
business decisions.
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Business Research
• Research information is neither intuitive
nor haphazardly gathered.
• Literally, research (re-search) -“search
again”
• Business research must be objective
• Detached and impersonal rather than
biased
• It facilitates the managerial decision
process for all aspects of a business. 4
The Value of Acquiring Skills
• To gather more information before
selecting a course of action
• To do a high-level research study
• To understand research design
• To evaluate and resolve a current
management dilemma
• To establish a career as a research
specialist
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Research has value two ways!

Provides a more informed
answer to the current question.
Increases the knowledge of
personnel so that more informed
decisions can be made in general.

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Business Research Types

Basic research

Applied research

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Basic Research

• Attempts to expand the limits
knowledge.
• Not directly involved in the
solution to a pragmatic
problem.
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Basic Research Example
• Is executive success correlated with
high need for achievement?
• Are members of highly cohesive
work groups more satisfied than
members of less cohesive work
groups?
• Do consumers experience cognitive
dissonance in low-involvement
situations? 9
Applied Research

• Conducted when a decision
must be made about a
specific real-life problem

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Applied Research Examples
• Should McDonalds add Italian pasta
dinners to its menu?
• Should Procter & Gamble add a high-
priced home teeth bleaching kit to its
product line?
• How should cultural adaptation be
introduced in TCS-BTS a newly
acquired company ( Phoenix Global
Transformation Solutions ) of TCS
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Exercise - 1
• A university professor wanted
to analyze in depth the reasons
for absenteeism of employees in
organizations. Fortunately a
company in the same region
employed her as a consultant to
study that very issue.
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Exercise - 2
• A research scientists surveys 1000
employees in different organizational
settings to study the efficacy of
several types of nasal sprays in
controlling the flu virus. He
subsequently publishes his findings
in a highly respected medical
journal. 13
Exercise - 3
• Xerox is insular and isn’t ready
for the increasingly competitive
high tech world. It still relies on
slow selling analog copiers for
more than half its revenue and
despite its double digit growth in
digital products & services, its
sales rose just 4 %
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Exercise - 4
• Companies are very interested in
acquiring other firms even when the later
operates in a totally unrelated realms of
business. Such acquisitions are claimed to
work miracles. But given the volatility of
the stock market & the slowing down of
business many co’s are not sure of
acquisitions. At the same time they also
wonder if they are missing a business
opportunity. Some research is needed
here.
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Scientific Method
• The analysis and interpretation of
empirical evidence (facts from
observation or experimentation) to
confirm or disprove prior conceptions.

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What is Good Research?
• Following the standards of the scientific
method
– Purpose clearly defined
– Research process detailed
– Research design thoroughly planned
– High ethical standards applied
– Limitations frankly revealed
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What is Good Research?
• Following the standards of the
scientific method (cont.)
– Adequate analysis for decision-
maker’s needs
– Findings presented unambiguously
– Conclusions justified
– Researcher’s experience reflected
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Managerial value of Business research
The Decision-making Process Associated with the
Development and Implementation of a Strategy
• Identifying problems and
opportunities
• Diagnosis and assessment
• Selecting and implementing a course
of action
• Evaluating the course of action
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Evaluation Research
• Evaluation research is the
formal, objective measurement
and appraisal of the extent to
which a given activity, project, or
program has achieved its
objectives.
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Performance-monitoring
Research
• Research that regularly provides
feedback for evaluation and control
• Indicates things are or are not going
as planned
• Research may be required to explain
why something “went wrong”

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Total Quality Management
(TQM)
• A business philosophy that
embodies the belief that the
management process must focus
on integrating customer-driven
quality throughout the
organization.
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TQM
• Stresses continuous improvement of
product quality and service.
• Managers improve durability and
enhance features as the product
ages.
• Managers strive to improve delivery
and other services to keep their
companies competitive 23
Determining When to Conduct
Business Research
• Time constraints
• Availability of data
• Nature of the decision
• Benefits versus costs

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How much research?
• Routine decisions require little
research.

• Unfamiliar decisions with high
risk require much research.

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Value versus Costs

• Potential Value of a Business
Research Effort Should
Exceed Its Estimated Costs

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Value Should Exceed
Estimated Costs
Costs
Value •Research
expenditures
•Decreased certainty
•Delay of business
•Increased likelihood
decision and
of a correct decision
possible disclosure
•Improved business
of information to
performance and
rivals
resulting higher •Possible erroneous
profits
research results

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When Research Should be Avoided

• When information cannot be applied to a
critical managerial decision
• When managerial decision involves little
risk
• When management has insufficient
resources to conduct a study
• When the cost of the study outweighs the
level of risk of the decision
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Major Topics for Research in
Business
• General Business Conditions and
Corporate Research
• Financial and Accounting Research
• Management and Organizational
Behavior Research
• Sales and Marketing Research
• Information Systems Research
• Corporate Responsibility Research
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Cross-functional Teams
• Cross-functional teams are
composed of individuals from
various organizational
departments such as engineering,
production, finance, and
marketing who share a common
purpose.
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Business Research in the 21st
Century
• Increased globalization
• Growth of the Internet and
other information
technologies

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Global Research
• Business Research is increasingly
global
• Market knowledge is essential

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Global Business Research
• General information about country -
economic conditions and political
climate
• Cultural and consumer factors
• Market and competitive conditions -
demand estimation

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The Internet
Is Transforming Society
• Time is collapsing.
• Distance is no longer an obstacle.
• Crossing oceans is only a mouse click
away.
• People are connected 24 hours a day,
seven days a week.
• "Instantaneous" has a new meaning.
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Internet Research

• Seeking facts and figures
about an issue
• Surveys on Web sites

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