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Chapter 1

Introduction to Business Research

Research Methods (William G. Zikmund) •Research Methods For Business (Uma Sekaran) •Internet

Resource Person: Furqan-ul-haq Siddiqui

How do managers make Decision
Experience based decisions Sixth sense and decision making Luck and accurate decision Research based decision


What is Research…!


Literally, research (re-search) -“search again”.  Research is simply process of finding solutions to a problem after a thorough study and analysis of situational factors.  Its series of steps designed & followed with the goals of finding answers to the issues of concerns.

 The

entire process by which we attempt to solve the problem is called RESEARCH.

Research is an organized, systematic, data-based, critical, scientific inquiry or investigation into a specific problem, undertaken with the objective of finding answers or solutions to it.


What is the value of research?
Research offers the pleasure of solving a puzzle.  Generating Theories – Models  Identifying problems and solutions  Research helps to develop new methodologies.  Modification, improvement, innovation & rectification of old ones

 We

are surrounded by research

Business Research

Business Research is a systematic and objective process of gathering, recording and analyzing data for aid in making business decisions.

Business research is conducted to resolve problematic issues in the area of finance, management, and marketing etc.

Research provides needed information that guides managers to make “informed decision”

Why is it important for managers to know about research?
Diagnosis and assessment  Solve problems  Decision making tool  Competition  Risk  Investment  Improvement  Hire and monitor researchers and consultants more effectively


When Should Business Research be Undertaken?
Is sufficient time available? Yes

Is information inadequate?
Yes High importance of decision? Yes Research benefits greater than costs?


Do not undertake Business Research

Undertake Business Research

Scientific Research focuses on solving problems and pursues a step-by-step logical, organized and thorough method to identify the problems, gather data, analyze them and draw valid conclusions. Scientific research is not based on hunches, experience and intuition.

It is more objective than subjective
Science is a way to produce knowledge, involving systematized observation and experiment having universally accepted findings in similar environments
Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics.


Hall Marks of Scientific Research
Purposiveness  Rigor  Testability  Objectivity  Replicability  Gerenalizability  Precision and Confidence  Parsimony

Each of these characteristics can be explained in the context of following example.  “A researcher is investigating about how employees commitment to the organization can be increased”


 Research

must have some definite purpose, aim or/and benefit  Focus be “increase in commitment of employees”  Increased commitment results less turnover, less absenteeism, increased performance  Benefit to the organization

 Good

theoretical base & sound methodological design would add rigor to a purposive study.  Rigor means carefulness & thorough  Rigorous research involves a good theoretical detailed base & and a carefully thought out methodology.  Lets manager draws conclusions on the bases on just by taking sample of 10 employees out of 200

If solely on the basis of their responses the manager reaches several conclusions then it would lack rigor for the following reasons:

Based on few employees 2. Bias and incorrectness 3. There might be other influences on commitment which are ignored and are important for a researcher to know Thus, Rigorous involves good theoretical base and thought out methodology.  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.  This supports the other six too.

Hypothesis must be testable by applying certain statistical tests to data collected.  Several other tests be involved like Chi square test, T-tests etc.  Hypothesis must be logical  Eg. The researcher may hypothesize that those employees who perceive greater opportunities of promotion in organization are highly committed. This hypothesis can be tested after data collection.


The results are repeated & replicated in similar circumstances  Our hypothesis should not be supported by chance  The more replicable the hypothesis results are the more authentic the results are.

Lets our research proves that greater opportunities of promotion in organization leads to employee commitment, if similar finding are drawn from other organizations in similar circumstances then our research will be more valid.

Precision & Confidence
Precision refers to the closeness of findings to the reality based on a sample  Precision reflects the degree of accuracy or exactitude of the result on the basis of sample. E.g. Confidence interval in stats  Confidence refers to the probability that our estimates are correct. E.g. confidence level.  it is 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.


Conclusions must be based on the facts of findings  Derived from actual data  Not on our own subjective or emotional values  The more objective the interpretation of data the more scientific the research becomes.

Lets research proves that promotion chances has no relation with organizational commitment even then if researcher emphasis on it then research would not be valid.

 Scope

of applicability  The wider the applicability more effective and useful the research is  Not many researches are generalizable  Lets promotion chances are proven to be true in a verity of organizations then research may be called more generalizable

   

Simplicity in explaining the phenomena or problem Avoid complex research models Parsimony be achieved with good understanding of the problem Simplicity is always preferred to complex research frameworks that unmanageable number of factors.


Obstacles to Conduct Scientific Research in the Management & Behavioral Area
Problems in the measurement and collection of data in the subjective areas like feelings, emotions, attitudes, and perceptions. Difficulties in obtaining a representative sample. Its always not possible to conduct result that is 100% scientific The more hallmarks achieved by research, the more it will be accurate

  

Types of Research
Applied Research

 

When research is done with the intention of applying the results of findings to solve the specific problem currently being experienced by organization. It is conducted when a decision must be made about a specific real-life problem Solution of current problem oriented

Applied Research Examples
UoB conducts research on “Should faculty be promoted on the bases of seniority or on merit/educational base in UoB”?  Should ufone introduce a new post pay package?  A product is not selling in the market ,to check the reasons & rectifying them.  SBP conduction research on how to control inflation in country  OPEC conducting research on how to control the prices of petrol around the glob.



Basic Research

Not solution Oriented  Expends a body of knowledge.  It does not directly involve the solution to a particular pragmatic problem.  Just to consider how different problems that occur in organizational setup can be solved.  Knowledge gained by the findings of basic research can be used by others.  Verify the acceptability of a given theory


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?  Causes of Inflation in Pakistan


Difference Between Applied & Fundamental Research
Applied Research is aimed at solving current problem.  Fundamental Research has more general objective of generating knowledge & understanding of organizational problems.