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Module 1

Introduction to Business Research

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Airbus 380
Cabin of an Airbus 380
1 st Class Dining room.
Business class in Airbus 380
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First class in a Boeing 787
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What is Research?
Journalism & Research
Business Research
The Research Cycle
Research is
A systematic process
To enhance our knowledge of what we already
To extend our knowledge about aspects of the
world of which we know either very little or
nothing at all &
To enable us to better understand the world
we live in
Research Philosophy
Research Approaches

Experiment Research
Cross Sectional
Sampling Case Study
Secondary data Realism
Interviews Grounded
Questionnaires Theory

Longitudinal Ethnography

Action Research Time Horizons

Data Collection
Interpretivism Methods
Research Philosophy


Positivism is a philosophy of science based on the view that

information derived from logical and mathematical treatments and
reports of sensory experience is the exclusive source of all
authoritative knowledge,and that there is valid knowledge (truth) only
in scientific knowledge.Verified data received from the senses are
known as empirical evidence.view holds that society, like the
physical world, operates according to general laws. Introspective and
intuitive knowledge is rejected.

Sayer (1992) provides the following characteristics of realism which

capture the nature of the realists philosophy of science:
The world exists independently of our knowledge of it.
Our knowledge of the world is fallible and theory-laden.

Concepts of truth and falsity fail to provide a coherent view of the

relationship between knowledge and its object. Nevertheless knowledge is
not immune to the empirical check and its effectiveness in informing and
explaining successful material practices is not mere accident.

The process of developing knowledge is not continuous or discontinuous.

It is a simultaneous and universal change in concepts.
There is necessity in the world; objects, natural or social, necessarily have
particular causal power or ways of acting and particular susceptibilities.

They take the view that since human beings think and reflect,
scientific methods are inappropriate for the study of society.
Unlike objects in nature, human beings can change their
behaviour if they know they are being observed. So
interpretivists argue that if we want to understand social action,
we have to delve into the reasons and meanings which that
action has for people. Take the example of crime. A positivist
would argue that researchers can simply measure crime using
quantitative methods and identify patterns and correlations. An
interpretivist would argue that sociologists need to understand
what people mean by crime, how they come to categorize
certain actions as criminal and then investigate who comes to
be seen as criminal in a particular society.
Types of research:
Basic Research or pure fundamental research.

Research conducted to extend the horizons in knowledge having no

identified problem for solving. Finding the effect of globaisation on
rural markets etc.
Applied research.

Applying the various marketing techniques that have been

established due to basic research in order to solve business
Designated fact gathering.

This is an exercise for gathering predetermined data which is

important for business decisions. Eg checking brand recall or market
Path to finding a research problem


Research Trade
channel Pilot Research Research
Experts Study. problem Objective
Opinion Identification s.

Review of
Steps in research process:

1.Problem Definition.

2.Research Design

3.Field work

4.Data Analysis and interpretation.

5.Report presentation.
Research Design

An activity - & time based plan

A plan always based on the research question
A guidefor selecting sources & types of
A frameworkfor specifying the relationships
among the studys variables
A procedural outline for every research activity
Problem Definition:
This first step is critical for the success of
the research process.
A problem well designed is half solved.

Problem should be described and defined

The right problem should be sought out.

The type of research to be used must

be compatible for solving the problem.

Visible symptoms.
Eg: falling sales,low

Real hidden
Inefficient sales
quality,lack of
Ice-berg principle
Key questions to be asked in problem identification

Can the problem and /or opportunity be

resolved using only subjective information?
Does the problem/opportunity situation
have strategic or tactical importance?
Does adequate information for addressing
the defined problem already exist within the
companys internal record systems?
Key questions to be asked in problem identification

Is there enough time to conduct the research before

the final management decision must be made?
Is money budgeted for doing the formalised research ?
Do the benefits of having the additional information
outweigh the costs of gathering the information?