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Chapter 5

Business Research
Process (Steps 1-3)
Business Research Book of VU
Research Methods For Business (Uma Sekaran)
Business Research Methods (William G. Zikmund)

Resource Person: Furqan-ul-haq Siddiqui

The Business Research Process

Observation Theoretical
Framework Generation of
1 Preliminary Data Hypothesis 5
Broad definition
Gathering 4 Variables
problem area 2 Identification and

analysis &

Decision Report Report Deduction

Making Presentation Writing Research Question
1. Observation/Broad Problem Area

The process begins when a researcher observes a

problem/issue/opportunity/ change or a researcher
selects an area for research.
The broad problem area refers to the entire situation where
one sees a possible need for research and problem solving.

Broad problem area of study or issue may be HR,

finance, crime, social issues or marketing etc.
The specific issues that need to be researched
within the situation may not be identified at this
Such issues might pertain to
1. Problem currently existing in an organization that
needs to be solved
2. Areas that manager thinks need to be improved
3. Conceptual or theoretical frame work to
understand some phenomena
4. Answer empirically of some questions or to
determine relationships
Broad Problem Area

Examples , A manager could observe the following in

the workplace:

Training programmes are perhaps are not as effective

as were anticipated.

The sale volume of a product is not picking up.

Minority groups are not making career progress in

Broad Problem Area

The broad problem area would be narrowed down to

specific issues for investigation after some
preliminary data

This may take the form of interviews and library

Preliminary Data Collection
Nature of data to be collected

The nature of information that would be needed by the

researcher for the purpose could be classified under three
1. Background information of the organization (secondary
2. Managerial philosophy, company policies, and other
structural aspects
3. Perception, attitudes, and behavioral response of the
organizational member and client systems (if applicable)
- primary data.
1. Background Information on the Organization

The origin and history of the company - when it was

started, rate of growth, ownership and control and so
Size-, in terms of employees, or assets or both.
Location - regional, national or other.
Resource - human and other.
Charter - purpose and ideology
Interdependent relationships with other institutions
and the external environment.
Financial position.
2. Information on Management Philosophy and
Structural Factors

Employees role & position at each organizational level.

Extent of specialization.

Communication channels.

Control systems.

Coordination & Span of control

Reward systems.

Workflow systems and the like.

3. Employees Perception, Attitudes, and Behavioral
Responses regarding their organization
Workflow interdependence.
Rewards provided by the organization such as pay and fringe
Growth opportunities
Participation in decision making.
Companies tolerance regarding taking time off the job by
These factors help researcher to determine employees
loyalty, performance, absenteeism, turnover, performance
intensions etc.
- Knowledge accumulates.
- We learn from and build on
what others have done.

Researchers read other

peoples research.
They learn, compare,
replicate, or critically
analyze the work by others.
Literature Survey
Literature survey is the documentation of a comprehensive
review of the published and unpublished work from secondary
sources of data

The library is a rich storage base for secondary data, and

researchers spend several weeks, and sometimes months,
going through

conference proceedings, ,
master's thesis/dissertations/synopsis & abstracts
several government Publications
financial marketing and other reports.
Goals of Review of Literature
1. To demonstrate a familiarity with a body of knowledge
and establish credibility.
Demonstrates the researchers professional competence,
ability, and background.
2. To know the path of prior research and how a current
research project is linked to it.
3. To integrate and summarize what is known in an area
A good review points out areas where prior studies agree,
where they disagree, and where major questions remain
No reinventing the wheel. No wastage of effort.
4. To learn from others and stimulate new ideas.
Researcher benefits from others efforts.
Ready made techniques. Also difficulties. Replications to
overcome previous limitations.
5. Identification of variables. Important variables that are
likely to influence the problem situation are not left out of
the study.
6. Helps in developing theoretical framework.
Ready made theoretical models for research may be
Previous studies provide evidence for developing
theoretical argumentation for positing the relationship
among variables.
7. Problem statement can be made with precision
Review provides clarity of thought about the issue
under study.

Conducting the Literature Survey

It can be conducted in three steps.

1. Identifying the relevant sources.
2. Extracting the relevant information.
3. Writing up the literature survey