Chapter 2

SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION

After completing this chapter you would be able to understand:

The Hallmarks of Scientific Research  Some obstacles to conducting scientific research in the management area  The building blocks of science in research  The hypothetico deductive method  Other types of research

Definition of Scientific Research Scientific Research focusing on solving problems and pursues a step by step logical, organized and rigorous method to identify the problems, gather data, analyze them and draw valid conclusions there from.

 It is purposive and rigorous.Why Scientific Research?  This research is not based on hunches.  Enables all those who are interested in researching and knowing about the same or similar issues to come up with comparable findings when data are analyzed. .  Apply solutions to similar problems. experience and intuition.  Findings are accurate and confident.  It is more objective.

 It can be applied to both basic and applied research.  Highlights the most critical factors at the work place that need specific attention to solve or minimize problems.  Scientific Investigation and Managerial Decision Making are integral part of effective problem solving.Cont. .

6. 4. 7.The Hallmarks of Scientific Research The hallmarks or main distinguishing characteristics of scientific research may be listed as follows: 1. 3. 5. Purposiveness Rigor Testability Replicability Precision and Confidence Objectivity Generalizability Parsimony . 2. 8.

less absenteeism and increased performance levels. Purposiveness  It has to start with a definite aim or purpose.Hallmarks of Scientific Research 1.  Thus it has a purposive focus.  The focus is on increasing employee commitment.  Increase employee commitment will translate into less turnover. .

Example: A manager asks 10-12 employees how to increase the level of commitment.2. Rigor  A good theoretical base and sound methodological design would add rigor to the purposive study. scrupulousness and the degree of exactitude in research. It would lack rigor for the following reasons: . If solely on the basis of their responses the manager reaches several conclusions on how employee commitment can be increases. the whole approach to the investigation would be unscientific.  Rigor adds carefulness.

1.  These factors enable the researcher to collect the right kind of information from an appropriate sample with the minimum degree of bias and facilitate suitable analysis of the data gathered. . There might be other influences on commitment which are ignored and are important for a researcher to know Thus.  This supports the other six too. Rigorous involves good theoretical base and thought out methodology. Bias and incorrectness 3.Based on few employees 2.

then these can be tested by applying certain statistical tests to the data collected for the purpose. . Testability After random selection manager and researcher develops certain hypothesis on how manager employee commitment can be enhanced.3. The researcher might hypothesize that those employees who perceive greater opportunities for participation in decision making would have a higher level of commitment.

we will gain confidence in the scientific nature of our research.4. . To the extent that this does happen. we will place more faith and credence in these finding and apply in similar situations. Example: The study concludes that participation in decision making is one of the most important factors that influences the commitment. Replicability It means that it can be used again if similar circumstances prevails.

as against the actual of 35. .5. Precision and Confidence Precision – Precision refers to the closeness of the findings to “reality” based on a sample. the precision of my estimation more favorably than if he has indicated that the loss of production days was somewhere between 20 and 50. – It reflects the degree of accuracy and exactitude of the results of the sample. Example: If a supervisor estimated the number of production days lost during the year due to absenteeism at between 30 and 40.

. – That is. but it is also important that we can confidently claim that 95% of the time our results would be true and there is only a 5% chance of our being wrong.Confidence – Confidence refers to the probability that our estimations are correct. – This is also known as confidence level. it is not merely enough to be precise.

Objectivity The conclusions drawn through the interpretation of the results of data analysis should be objective.6. and not on our subjective or emotional values. Example: If we had a hypothesis that stated that greater participation in decision making will increase organizational commitment and this was not supported by the results. it makes no sense if the researcher continues to argue that increased opportunities for employee participation would still help! . they should be based on the facts of the findings derived from actual data. that is.

The more generalizable the research. . industrial and service organizations. Example: If a researcher’s findings that participation in decision making enhances organizational commitment are found to be true in a variety of manufacturing. then the generalizability of the findings to other organizational settings in enhanced. the greater its usefulness and value. Generalizability It refers to the scope of applicability of the research findings in one organization setting to other settings. and not merely in the particular organization studied by the researcher.7.

. and in generating solutions for the problems. For instance.8. is always preferred to complex research frameworks that consider an unmanageable number of factors. that would be more useful be more useful and valuable to the manager than if it were recommended that he should change 10 different variables to increase organizational commitment by 48%. if 2-3 specific variables in the work situation are identified. which when changed would raise the organizational commitment of the employees by 45%. Parsimony Simplicity in explaining the phenomenon or problems that occur.

.The Building Blocks of Science in Research Deduction and Inductions Answers to issues can be found either by the process of induction or the process of induction. or by a combination of the two.

Deduction  Deduction is the process by which we arrive at a reasoned conclusion by logical generalization of a known fact. Example: we know that all high performers are highly proficient in their jobs. we then conclude that he is highly proficient in his job . If John is a high performer.

in induction we logically establish a general proposition based on observed facts. In other words. .Induction  Induction is a process where we observe certain phenomena and on this basis arrive at conclusions.

The Hypothetico-Deductive Method .

.e. – How does one observe phenomena and changes in the environment? .Observation – Observation is the first stage. in which one senses that certain changes are occurring or that some new behaviors. attitudes and feelings are surfacing in one’s environment (i. the work place).

Preliminary Information Gathering: – It involves the seeking of information in depth. . thereby gathering information on what is happening and why. (Unstructured interviews) – Then it is followed by structured interviews. of what is observed. – Additionally by doing library research or obtaining information through other sources. the investigator would identify how such issues have been tackled in other situations. – This could be done by talking informally to several people in the work setting or to clients or to other relevant sources.

so that the factors responsible for the problem can be on conceptualized and tested. – In this step the critical variables are identified and examined as to their contribution or influence in explaining why the problem occurs and how it can be solved.Theory Formulation – It is an attempt to integrate all the information in a logical manners. . – The theoretical framework formulated is often guided by experience and intuition.

certain testable hypotheses or educated conjectures can be generated. . Sometimes. hypotheses that were not originally formulated do get generated through the process of induction. – Hypothesis testing is called deductive research.Hypothesizing – It is the next logical step after theory formulation. – From the theorized network of associations among the variables.

Further Specific Data Collection –After the development of the hypotheses. . –Further data are collected to test the hypotheses that are generated in the study. data with respect to each variable in the hypotheses need to be obtained.

– Co relational method will be used to analyze and determine the relation ship of two or more factors in the hypotheses for example: stock availability and customer satisfaction.Data Analysis – Data gathered are statistically analyzed to see if the hypotheses that were generated have been supported. .

.Deduction –Deduction is the process of arriving at conclusions by interpreting the meaning of results of the data analysis.

Case Studies Action Research . Case studies and action research are sometimes used to study certain types of issues.Other Types of Research  1. 2.

. is not often undertaken in organizations because such studies dealing with problems similar to the one experienced by a particular organization of a particular size and in a particular type of setting are difficult to come by. where the nature and definition of the problem happen to be the same as experienced in the current situation. as a problem solving technique. contextual analyses of similar situations in the other organizations.Case Studies  Case studies involve in depth.  Case study.

.  This solution is then implemented. defined and diagnosed and the research continues on an ongoing basis until the problem is fully resolved.  The effects are then evaluated. with the knowledge that there may be unintended consequences following such implementation.Action Research  The researcher begins with a problem that is already identified and gathers relevant data to provide a tentative problem solution.

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