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THE INTERNATIONALUNIVERSITY (IU) VIETNAMNATIONALUNIVERSITY HCMC

FINAL EXAMINATION
BUSINESS RESEARCH METHODS
Date: Jan 18, 2014
Duration:90minutes
Student ID: ..................................

Name:................................................

SUBJECT:
Dean of School of Business
Signature:

Lecturers
Signature:

Dr. Nguyen Quynh Mai


Dr. Le Hoang Dung
GENERAL INSTRUCTION(S)
1 This is open book examination
2. No talking during the exam
3. No mobile phone used during the exam
4. Dictionary allowed.
5. KEEP THE ANSWERS SHORT AND SHAPE!
6. Students write their answers on the answer sheet given.
GOOD LUCK!
Question 1: (20 marks)
Phong was a part-time student who worked for a large power and gas company
employing several thousand employees across many different sites. Phong had been undertaking
an employment-related project on employee engagement and had decided to focus his university
research project on employee communication. His employing organization had been refocusing
its employee communication away from traditional method towards Internet- and Intranet-based
channels. Phong had noted the following comment in the CIDP Research Inside (2010): The
measurement of communication does not appear in HR research or literature very often and yet
measurement is essential to evaluate, guide and direct communication initiatives and
investments.
Following a process of generating and refining ideas for research, Phong decided that he
would like to explore the effectiveness of employee communication developments in his
employing organization. This idea had been approved by the internal communication
development team and he was informed that his request for access to managers would be
supported.
Phong refined his research question until he was satisfied with it: How effective are
Internet and Intranet channels as a means to communicate with employees in [company name].
1

Phongs adviser asked Phong to draw up a set of interconnected research objectives that would
operationalize his research and provide a set of evaluation criteria to enable him to address his
how effective type of question.
Whats Phong research question? Please list down at least 5 specific objectives for
Phongsresearch question.
1. To identify each Internet and Intranet channel of employee used in the company
2. To describe the companys objectives for each channel (eg. Conveying news about
business, facilitating communication across the company, announcing results and targets,
bringing about behavior change);
3. To identify and explore specific examples of how each channel has been beneficial or
influential
4. To identify and explore specific example where each channel has not been beneficial or
influential
5. To determine a measure of effectiveness for each channel that shows whether and how
each channel had met, exceeded or failed to meet the objectives set for it
6. To compare measures of effectiveness across channels related to different organization
7. To make recommendations about each channels future use and fitness for purpose.
Question 2: (20 marks)
1. What is the role of Literature Review in different stages of a Quantitative research?
(1) Defining research questions: Lit review helps to generate and refine research ideas
(2) Providing current state of knowledge of research area forming theoretical foundation
and conceptual framework/ hypotheses for research, increase validity of research
(3) Research design and data collection: Literaturereview also provides background of
research methodology to help researchers can choose an appropriate method and
implement research in a proper way
(4) Data analysis and interpretation: the results of current research can be interpreted in
comparison with previous/ related studies which provided by literature review, then the
contributions of the research will be determined
2. You have decided to search the literature to try to come up with some research ideas in
the area of Operation Management. How will you go about this?
Define the parameters of my search
o Language: English, Vietnamese
o Subject area: Operation management (may be more specific like Lean
manufacturing, Quality management, etc.)
o Business sector: which industry, eg. Manufacturing or Service
o Geographical area: eg. HCM City
o Publication period: eg last 10 years
Literature type:
o Academic journals/ books
o Internal reports
o Database: internal/ public (statistical book)

Source of information
o Electronic database
o Territory source
Generating search terms: eg. Operation Management + Food industry + HCMC
Search information form above sources
Initial reading to have overview of research in Operation management narrow
down into specific topics analyze the gaps in previous research raise
research idea to fill the gap

Question 3: (20 marks)


CHOOSE ONE OF TWO FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
Question 3.1
What is the conceptual framework of a study? Why is it important in a study?
What are three most popular ways to come up with a conceptual framework of a study?
Suggested Answer (explanation may vary providing that the main argument and reasoning is
appropriate and logical)
[Theoretical framework: an account of the related theories on an issue under
investigation.]
Conceptual framework is the set of interrelated constructs (concepts), definitions, and
propositions that presents a systematic view of phenomena by specifying relations among
variables. The conceptual framework is the most critical and synthetic part that is
applied in your study. It can also be in the form of an operational definition of terms
applied in the study. It is usually used as an analytical framework that guides the
analysis of data and discussion of results/findings.
Three most popular ways to come up with a conceptual framework of a study: adopt,
adapt, and develop/ design
Question 3.2
You are working in an organization that has branches throughout the country. The managing
director is mindful of the fact that managers of the branches need to talk over common problems
on regular basis. That is why there have always been monthly meetings, However, she is
becoming increasingly concerned what these meetings are not cost-effective. Too many
managers see them as unwelcome intrusion. They feel that their time would be better spent
pursuing their principal objectives. Other managers see it as a day off: an opportunity to
recharge batteries.
She asked you to carry out some research on the cost-effectiveness. Of the monthly meetings.
You have defined the research question you are seeking to answer as What are the managers
opinions of the value of their monthly meetings?

Which research method(s) can be applied to answer this research question? How might you
do this?
Student can choose mix method with sequence of qualitative quantitative(if the company has
several hundreds of managers)
- Qualitative: in-depth interview to define several opinions on
o What do they think about values of meeting
o How to measure the values of meeting
o How do they evaluate the effectiveness of company meetings
o What do they expect for an effective meeting
o How to improve the effectiveness of meeting
- Quantitative: survey
o Based on findings of qualitative study and combine with a theory of
effectiveness meeting to develop questionnaires
o Distribute questionnaire to managers
o Collect data and analyze data statistically
o Address above research questions with specific numbers
If size of company is small, can apply qualitative only
Question 4: (20 marks)
QUESTION 4
A group of authors (Michel Tuan Pham, Iris W. Hung and Gerald J. Gorn, 2011) conducted a
joint research entitled Relaxation increases monetary valuations, which was published in eAmerican Journal of Marketing. The research documents an intriguing empirical phenomenon
whereby states of relaxation increase the monetary valuation of products.
The purpose of this research is to investigate the effects of relaxation on an important
dimension of consumer judgement: the monetary valuation of products. Although it is typically
not in consumers interest to inflate perceptions of value, we document across six experiments an
intriguing phenomenon: states of relaxation consistently increase the monetary valuations of
products. This increased valuation effect seems to reflect differences in how relaxed and nonrelaxed people mentally construe the products they evaluate. Specially, compared with less
relaxed people, relaxed people appear to mentally represent the products whose monetary value
they are assessing at a higher level of abstraction which leads them to perceive these products as
being more valuable.
Can you describe how these authors would have conducted the study in terms of: (a) what
research method employed, (b) how the sample(s) were selected and (c) what procedure were
followed? Briefly Explain why?
Suggested Answer (explanation may vary providing that the main argument and reasoning is
appropriate and logical)
(a) what research method employed: experimental design
(b) how the sample(s) were selected: at least two groups/samples (for comparing the results; with
a relaxed affective and non-/less- relaxed affective state)
4

(c) what procedure were followed?(vary, following the experimental design)

Question 5: (20 marks)


In a recent research on woman entrepreneurship of micro enterprises, 100 questionnaires were
collected. The data of sample profile is presented in Table 1 in below
Table 1: Data of sample profile
Item

Age

Parents have secondary


special or higher
education
Number of children
Education

Classification
Upto 25
26 to 35
36 to 45
46 to 55
Above 55
N
Both father and mother
Either father or mother
None of them
0
1
2
>2
Illiteracy
Primary
Secondary I
Secondary II
Technical/Vocational
College/University

Frequency
18
29
22
22
9
100
43
11
43
27
20
37
16
1
8
20
33
3
32

Valid %
18%
29%
22%
22%
9%
44.3%
11.4%
44.3%
27%
20%
37%
16%
1%
8.1%
20.2%
33.4%
3%
32.3%

Post Graduate
a)

2%

Give your interpretation on characteristics of this sample in a short description (pls.


reveal data in percent)
Student has to define the valid percent of data above and interpret the components of
sample, can focus on the main groups

b) The research also comparesbetween women with high education (College and above) and
low education (below college).Based on data in Table 2,the follow conclusionwas stated:
Women with high education have better business performance but lower life
satisfactionAre you agreewith this conclusion? Why or why not?
Table 2: Mean scores of business performance and life satisfaction
Items
Profitability in recent 6 months
Size of business (total labour)
Happy in life
Successful in life
Satisfied at work

Below
College
3.06
3.71
4.11
3.72
4.15

College and
above
3.65
4.76
3.94
3.35
3.71

Scale
5 = total agree
1 = total disagree

This result was based on the sample of 100 only, the conclusion is valid if t-tests are conducted.
Based on these tests the above hypothesis can be fully confirmed, or partial confirmed or
rejected. Two first items are represented for business performance and three items later are
represented for life satisfaction. Therefore, the t-test can be conducted for single item or factor
of business performance and life satisfaction after run EFA.