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Summary - Research Methods For Business A Skill Building Approach
1 Introduction to research
What is research?The process of finding solutions to a problem after a thorough study and analysis of the situational factors
ResearchThe process of finding solutions to a problem after a thorough study and analysis of the situational factors. Helps to make decisions.
What is business research?A systematic and organized effort to investigate a specific problem encountered in the work setting, which needs a solution
Business researchAn organized, systematic, data-based, critical, objective, inquiry or investigation into a specific problem.
Primary data is gathered first hand.
Secondarydata are already available
Steps of business research1. Know where the problem areas exist in the organization, and to identify as clearly and specifically as possible the problems that need to be studied and resolved.
2. Gather information
3. Analyze the data
4. Develop an explanation for the problem
5. Solve the problem by taking the necessary corrective measures
Research can be undertaken for two different purposes:
- To solve a
current problemfaced by a manager in the work setting ( Applied research)
- To generate a body of
knowledge to teach us something we did not know before( Basic, Fundamentalor Pure research)
- To solve a
Primary dataGathered first hand.
Why do managers need to know about research?
- Identify problems before they get out of control
- Identify good and bad research
- Be aware of changes
- Take risks in decision making
- Relate to researchers and consultants
- Combine experience with knowledge
Secondary dataData already available
What are the advantages of internal consultants
- being accepted by employees
- less time to understand the organization
- cost less
Quantitative dataIn the form of numbers as generally gathered through structured questions.
What are the disadvantages of internal consultants?
- might and fall in to the same perspectives and ideas
- vested interests could dominante
- might not be taken seriously
- less objective
Qualitative dataData in the form of words.
What are the advantages of external consultants?
- have more experience
- have more knowledge
2 Purposes of research1. Applied research
2. Basic/Fundamental/Pure research
What are the disadvantages of external consultants?
- the costs
- have to take more time to understand the organization
- charge additional fees for implementation
Applied researchTo solve a current problem faced by the manager in the work setting, demanding a timely solution. Research done with the intention of applying the results of the findings to solve specific problems currently being experienced in an organization.
Ethics in business research refers to?A code of conduct or expected societal norms of behavior
Basic/Fundamental/Pure researchTo generate a body of knowledge by trying to comprehend how certain problems that occur in an organization can be solved. Research done chiefly to make a contribution to existing knowledge.
Being knowledgeable about research and research methods help professional managers to?1. Identify and effectively solve minor problems in the work setting.
2. Know how to discriminate good from bad research.
3. Appreciate and be constantly aware of the multiple influences and multiple effects of factors impinging on a situation.
4. Take calculated risks in decision making, knowing full well the probabilities associated with the different possible outcomes.
5. Prevent possible vested interests from exercising their influence in a situation.
6. Relate to hired researchers and consultants moer effectively.
7. Combine experience with scientific knowledge while making decisions.
While hiring researchers or consultants, the manager should make sure that?1. The roles and expectations of both parties are made explicit.
2. Relevant philosophies and value systems of the organization are clearly stated and constraints, if any, are communicated.
3. A good rapport is established with the researchers, and between the researchers and employees in the organization, enabling the full cooperation of the latter.
Advantages of internal consultants/researchers?1. The internal team stands a better chance of being readily accepted by the employees in the subunit of the organization where research needs to be done.
2. The team requires much less time to understand the structure, the philosophy and climate, and the functioning and work systems of the organization.
3. They are available to implement their recommendations after the research findings have been accepted. They are also available to evaluate the effectiveness of the changes, and to consider further changes if and when necessary.
4. The internal team might cost considerably less than an external team for the department enlisting help in problem solving, because they will need less time to understand the system due to their continuous involvement with various units of the organization.
Disadvantages of internal consultants/researchers?1. In view of their long tenure as internal consultants, the internal team may quite possibly fall into a stereotyped way of looking at the organization and its problems.
2. There is scope for certain powerful coalitions in the organization to influence the internal team to conceal, distort, or misrepresent certain facts.
3. There is also a possibility that even the most highly qualified internal research teams are not perceived as "experts" by the staff and management, and hence their recommendations may not get the consideration and attention they deserve.
4. Certain organizational biases of the internal research team might, in some instances, make the findings less objective and consequently less scientific.
Advantages of external consultants/researchers?1. The external team can draw on a wealth of experience from having worked with different types of organizations that have had the same or similar types of problems. This wide range of experience enables them to think both divergently and convergently rather than hurry to an instant solution on the basis of the apparent facts in the situation. They are able to ponder over several alternative ways of looking at the problem because of their extensive problem-solving experience in various other organizational setups.
2. The external teams, especially those from established research and consulting firms, might have more knowledge of current sophisticated problem-solving models through their periodic training programs, which the teams within the organization may not have access to.
Disadvantages of external consultants/researchers?1. Cost of hiring an external research team is usually high and is the main deterrent, unless the problems are critical.
2. In addition to the considerable time the external team takes to understand the organization being researched, they seldom a warm welcome, nor are readily accepted by employees. Soliciting employees' help and enlisting their cooperation in the study is a little more difficult and time-consuming for external researchers than for internal teams.
3. The external team also charges additional fees for their assistance in the implementation and evaluation phases.
When should you choose for external consultants/researchers?1. Complex problem
2. Vested interests
3. Existence of the organization is at stake
When should you choose for internal consultants/researchers?1. Fairly simple problem
2. Time is for the essence in solving moderately complex problems
3. System-wide need to establish procedures and policies of a fairly routine nature.
Ethics for research teamsA code of conduct or expected societal norms of behavior while conducting research.
Summary - Research methods for business: a skill-building approach
1 introduction to business
What is business reasearch?an organized and systematic inquiry or investigation to a SPECIFIC problem, undertaken with the purpose of finding answers or solutions to it
What is basic research?generates a body of knowledge by trying to comprehend how certain problems that occur in organizations can be solved
What is applied research?solves a current problem faced by the manager in the work setting, demanding a timely solution
What is deductive reasoning?application of a general theory to a specific case --> hypothesis testing
What is inductive reasoning?a process where we OBSERVE specific phenomena and at this basis arrive at general conclusions
What is positivism?scientific research is the way to get to the truth. positivists are concerned with the rigor and replicability of their research, the reliability of observations and the generalizability of findings. they use DEDUCTIVE reasoning.
What is construcitonism?the world as we know it is fundamentally mental. research methods are qualitative in nature.
What is pragmatism?Do not take a particular position on what makes good research.
Research provides the necessary information that guides managers to make informed decisions to successfully deal with problems.
2 elements of research design
What is a research design?a blueprint for the collection, measurements, and analysis of data, based ont he research questions of the study.
What is an exploratory study?undertaken when NOT MUCH is known about the situation at hand,or no information is available on how similar problems or research issues have been solved in the past
What is a descriptive study?undertaken in order to be able to describe the characteristics of the variables of interest in a situation
What is a causal study?delineating one or more factors that are causing a certain effect. a question with why, the effect or causes if always a causal question.
What is a correlation study?a correlation study is conducted in natural environment with minimal interference by the researcher with the normal flow of events.
noncontrived settingthe natural environment where events proceeds normally (correlation studies)
contrived settingartificial environment (causal studies)
What are fields studies?Correlation studies done in non contrived settings
What are field experiments?studies conducted to establish cause-and-effect relationships using the same natural environment in which the subjects under study (consumers, employees etc.) normally function
What are lab experiments?similar subject are chosen carefully to respond to certain manipulated stimuli.
Research strategy: experimentsoften used to establish CAUSAL relationships. Usually associated with DEDUCTIVE research
Research strategy: survey researchVery popular in business research because it allows the researcher to collect quantitative and qualitative data on many types of research questions.
USED IN EXPLORITORY, DESCRIPTIVE AND CAUSAL RESEARCH.
Research strategy: observationGoing into natural settings of people, watching what they do, and describing this.
Research strategy: case studiescollecting information about a specific object, event or activity. Both quantitative and qualitative data. Hypotheses can be developed.
Research strategy: grounded theorysystematic set of procedures to develop an inductively derived theory from the data.
Research strategy: action researchbegin with a problem that is already identified, gather relevant dat and solve the problem.
Latest added flashcards
Reached when no new information about the subject emerges in repeated cases. Not possible to predict when theoretical saturation is reached. You continue to sample until no new information is received, or no new insights are gained.
Expresses the idea that theory will emerge from data through an iterative process that involves repeated sampling, collection of data, and analysis of data until "Theoretical saturation" is reached.
Often employed in qualitative investigation --> Theoretical sampling.
Begins with precisely defining the target population, generally uses non-probability sampling (no statistical inference).
Choice of sampling depends on
- The objectives of the research.
- The extent and nature of efficiency desired.
- The extent and nature of efficiency desired.
Multistage cluster sampling
More efficient than single-stage cluster sampling.
Less efficient than simple random sampling
Disproportionate stratified random sampling
More efficient than proportionate stratified random sampling
Stratified random sampling
Often most efficient
Simple random sampling
Not always the most efficient to adopt.