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BA9227 BUSINESS RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

( UNIT I - NOTES)
MEANING
Research is an endeavour to discover answers to intellectual and practical problems through the
application of scientific method.
Research is a systematized effort to gain new knowledge.
-Redman and Mory.
Research is the systematic process of collecting and analyzing information (data) in order to increase our
understanding of the phenomenon about which we are concerned or interested.
BUSINESS RESEARCH
It is a systematic organised effort to investigate a specific problem encountered in the work setting that
need a solution.
This means that the first step in research is to know where the problem areas exist in the organisation,
and to identify as clearly and specifically as possible the problems that need to be studied and
solved.
OBJECTIVES OF RESEARCH
Primary objective:
The main objective of research is to find answer to questions through the application of scientific
procedures.
Secondary objective :
- To find out the truth which is hidden
-

To achieve new insights

To discover the characteristics of particular individuals, situation or group

To examine the frequency with which something occurs (or) with which it is associated with something
else

To test hypothysis of a casual relationship between variables

To test a hypothesis of a causal relationship between variables Hypothesis-Testing Research.

Significance ( Importance) Of Research


-It enable the manager to identify critical issues, gather information, analyze data and implement
the right course of action
-

Research enables to understand find & control the environment


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Research enables to sense spot & deal with problems before they go out of hand

Research helps the manager to understand the need for and share share information with consultants

It is useful to solve various operational and planning problems of business and industry

It enable the manager to eliminate or avoid making decisions on subjective or biased manner

CHARACTERISTICS OF RESEARCH
Research is directed towards the solution of a problem.
Research is based upon observable experience or empirical evidence.
Research demands accurate observation and description.
Research involves gathering new data from primary sources or using existing data for a new purpose.
Research activities are characterized by carefully designed procedures.
Research requires expertise i.e., skill necessary to carryout investigation, search the related literature and
to understand and analyze the data gathered.
Research is objective and logical applying every possible test to validate the data collected and
conclusions reached.
Research involves the quest for answers to unsolved problems.
Research requires courage.
Research is characterized by patient and unhurried activity.
Research is carefully recorded and reported.

HALLMARKS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH


SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
-

Focus in solving soling problem step by step

It enables the researches to arrive at accurate results

This enables various other organisations to apply those solutions when they encounter similar problems

Helps the most critical factor at the work place that need specific attention so as to avoid problems
CHARACTERISTICS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

1. Purposiveness

2. Rigor (Strictness)

3.Testability

4.Replicability (Repeat)

5. Precision ( exactness) and confidance 6.Objectivity 7. Genearalizability 8.Parismony( Miserliness)


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THE BULDING BLOCK OF SCIENTIFIC IN RESEARCH


DEDUCTION
Deduction is the process by which the researcher arrive at a reasoned conclusion by logical
generalization of known fact
INDUCTION
It is a process where we observe certain phenomena and on this basis arrive at conclusion
On the other hand induction is based on observation.

Observation

Preliminary
information gathering

Deduction
conclusion

Interpreting
results

Formulation of
theory

Data Analysis

Developing
Hypotheses

Scientific data
collection

BASIC POSTULATES IN SCIENTIFIC METHOD

It relies on empirical evidence.

It utilizes relevant concepts.

It is committed to only objective considerations.

It presupposes ethical neutrality.

It results into probabilistic predictions.

The methodology is made known.

Aims at formulating scientific theories.

QUALITIES OF A GOOD RESEARCH


1. Systematic

2. Logical

3. Empirical

4.Replicable

5. Creative

6.Use of multiple methods

NEED FOR RESEARCH

Exploration

Describe

Diagnose
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Hypothesis

Inductions and deductions

SCOPE OF RESEARCH
RESEARCH FOR DECISION MAKING
Throws light on risks and uncertainty
Identify alternative courses of action
Helps in project identification
Solves investment problems
Solves pricing problems
Solves allocation problems
Solves decision making issues in HR
Solves various operational and planning problems of business and industry
Helps social scientists in studying social relationships and in seeking answers to various social
problems.
For students, research means a careerism or a way to attain a high position in the social structure.
For professionals in research, it may mean a source of livelihood.
For philosophers and thinkers, research means the outlet for new ideas and insights.
For literary men and women, research means development of new styles and creative work.
For analysts and intellectuals, research means generalizations of new theories.
PROBLEMS IN RESEARCH
Uncontrollable variables
Human tendencies
Time and money
Lack of computerization
Lack of scientific training in the methodology of research
Insufficient interaction between university research departments and business establishments
Lack of confidence on the part of business units to give information
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Difficulty of adequate and timely secretarial assistance


Poor library management and functioning
Difficulty of timely availability of published data.
Ignorance
Research for the sake of research-limited practical utility though they may use high sounding business
jargon.
TYPES OF RESEARCH ( Internet Material)
1. Descriptive vs Analytical Research
Descriptive Research is a fact finding investigation which is aimed at describing the
characteristics of individual, situation or a group (or) describing the state of affairs as it exists at present.
Analytical Research is primarily concerned with testing hypothesis and specifying and interpreting
relationships, by analyzing the facts or information already available.
2. Applied vs Fundamental Research or Basic research
Applied Research or Action Research is carried out to find solution to a real life problem requiring an
action or policy decision.
Fundamental Research which is also known as basic or pure research is undertaken for the sake of
knowledge without any intention to apply it in practice.It is undertaken out of intellectual curiosity and
is not necessarily problem-oriented.
3. Quantitative vs Qualitative Research
Quantitative Research is employed for measuring the quantity or amount of a particular
phenomena by the use of statistical analysis.
Qualitative Research is a non-quantitative type of analysis which is aimed at finding out the
quality of a particular phenomenon.
4. Conceptual vs Empirical Research
Conceptual Research is generally used by philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts or
to reinterpret existing ones.
Empirical Research is a data based research which depends on experience or observation alone.
It is aimed at coming up with conclusions without due regard for system and theory.
5. Longitudinal Research - One-time Research
o One-time Research Research confined to a single time period.
o Longitudinal Research Research carried on over several time periods.
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6. Diagnostic Research
It is also called clinical research which aims at identifying the causes of a problem, frequency with
which it occurs and the possible solutions for it.
7. Exploratory Research
It is the preliminary study of an unfamiliar problem, about which the researcher has little or no
knowledge. It is aimed to gain familiarity with the problem, to generate new ideas or to make a precise
formulation of the problem. Hence it is also known as formulative research.
8. Experimental Research
It is designed to assess the effect of one particular variable on a phenomenon by keeping the other
variables constant or controlled.
9. Historical Research It is the study of past records and other information sources, with a view to find
the origin and development of a phenomenon and to discover the trends in the past, inorder to
understand the present and to anticipate the future.

RESEARCH PROCESS
F
F

Define
Research
Problem

Review
Concepts
And
theories

Formulate
hypothesis

Design
Research
(Including
Sample
Design)

Review
Previous
Research
findings

Analyse
Data
(Test
Hypothesis
if any)

Collect
Data
(Execution)

F
F

Interpret
and
report

F
1. Formulating the research problems
2. Extensive literature survey
3. Development of working hypotheses
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4. Research design
5. Data Collection
6. Analyse data
7. Preparation of research report

DEFINITION OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM


RESEARCH PROBLEM
What is a research problem?
The term problem means a question or issue to be examined.
Research Problem refers to some difficulty /need which a researcher experiences in the context of either
theoretical or practical situation and wants to obtain a solution for the same.
HOW DO WE KNOW WE HAVE A RESEARCH PROBLEM?
Customer complaints
Conversation with company employees
Observation of inappropriate behaviour or conditions in the firm
Deviation from the business plan
Success of the firms competitors
Relevant reading of published material (trends, regulations)
Company records and reports.
The first step in the research process definition of the problem involves two activities:
Identification / Selection of the Problem
Formulation of the Problem
IDENTIFICATION / SELECTION OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
This step involves identification of a few problems and selection of one out of them, after evaluating the
alternatives against certain selection criteria.
SOURCES OF PROBLEMS
Reading - Academic Experience - Daily Experience - Exposure to Field Situations - Consultations
Brainstorming - Research Intuition
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DEFINITION / FORMULATION OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM


Formulation is the process of refining the research ideas into research questions and objectives.
Formulation means translating and transforming the selected research problem/topic/idea into a
scientifically researchable question. It is concerned with specifying exactly what the research problem
is.
Problem definition or Problem statement is a clear, precise and succinct statement of the question or
issue that is to be investigated with the goal of finding an answer or solution.
There are two ways of stating a problem:
Posting question / questions
Making declarative statement / statements
PROCESS / TECHNIQUES INVOLVED IN DEFINING THE PROBLEM
Statement of the problem in a general way.
Understanding the nature of problem
Surveying the available literature

Developing ideas through discussions

Rephrasing the research problem

CRITERIA OF A GOOD RESEARCH PROBLEM

Clear and Unambiguous Empirical Verifiable Interesting - Novel and Original

Availability of Guidance
Defining Problem, Results in Clear Cut Research Objectives..

Symptom Detection
Analysis of the Situation
Problem Definition
Statement of Research Objectives

ESTABLISHMENT OF RESEARCH OBJECTIVES


Research Objectives are the specific components of the research problem, that youll be working to
answer or complete, in order to answer the overall research problem.
- Churchill, 2001
The objectives refers to the questions to be answered through the study. They indicate what we are
trying to get from the study or the expected results / outcome of the study.
Research Objectives should be clear and achievable, as they directly assist in answering the research
problem.
The objectives may be specified in the form of either statements or questions.
Generally, they are written as statements, using the word to. (For example, to discover , to
determine , to establish , etc. )

FORMULATION OF HYPOTHESIS
HYPOTHESIS
A hypothesis is an assumption about relations between variables.
Hypothesis can be defined as a logically conjectured relationship between two or more variables
expressed in the form of a testable statement.
Relationships are conjectured on the basis of the network of associations established in the
theoretical framework formulated for the research study.
VARIABLES
Anything that can vary can be considered as a variable.
A variable is anything that can take on differing or varying values.
For example; Age, Production units, Absenteeism, Sex, Motivation, Income, Height, Weight etc.
Note: The values can differ at various times for the same object or person (or) at the same time for different
objects or persons.
Variable / Attribute
A variable is a characteristic that takes on two or more values whereas, an attribute is a specific value on
a variable (qualitative).
For example;
The variable SEX/GENDER has 2 attributes - Male and Female.
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The variable AGREEMENT has 5 attributes Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, Strongly
Disagree.

Types of Variables
Explanatory vs Extraneous Variable
The variables selected for analysis are called explanatory variables and all other variables that
are not related to the purpose of the study but may affect the dependant variable are extraneous.
Dependant vs Independent Variable
The variable that changes in relationship to changes in another variable(s) is called dependant variable.
The variable whose change results in the change in another variable is called an independent variable.
OR
An independent variable is the one that influences the dependant variable in either a positive or negative way.
HYPOTHESIS
Research Hypothesis is a predictive statement that relates an independent variable to a dependant
variable.
Hypothesis must contain atleast one independent variable and one dependant variable.
Hypothesis are tentative, intelligent guesses as to the solution of the problem.
Hypothesis is a specific statement of prediction. It describes in concrete terms what you expect to
happen in the study.
Hypothesis is an assumption about the population of the study.
It delimits the area of research and keeps the researcher on the right track.
PROBLEM (VS) HYPOTHESIS
Hypothesis is an assumption, that can be tested and can be proved to be right or wrong.
A problem is a broad question which cannot be directly tested. A problem can be scientifically
investigated after converting it into a form of hypothesis.
CHARACTERISTICS OF HYPOTHESIS
Conceptual Clarity - It should be clear and precise.
Specificity - It should be specific and limited in scope.
Consistency - It should be consistent with the objectives of research.
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Testability - It should be capable of being tested.


Expectancy - It should state the expected relationships between variables.
Simplicity - It should be stated as far as possible in simple terms.
Objectivity - It should not include value judgments, relative terms or any moral preaching.
Theoretical Relevance - It should be consistent with a substantial body of established or known facts or
existing theory.
Availability of Techniques Statistical methods should be available for testing the proposed hypothesis.
SOURCES OF HYPOTHESIS
Discussions with colleagues and experts about the problem, its origin and objectives in seeking a
solution.
Examination of data and records for possible trends, peculiarities.
Review of similar studies.
Exploratory personal investigation / Observation.
Logical deduction from the existing theory.
Continuity of research.
Intuition and personal experience.
TYPES OF HYPOTHESIS
Descriptive Hypothesis
These are assumptions that describe the characteristics (such as size, form or distribution) of a
variable. The variable may be an object, person, organisation, situation or event.
Examples:
Public enterprises are more amenable for centralized planning.

Relational Hypothesis [Explanatory Hypothesis]

These are assumptions that describe the relationship between two variables. The relationship
suggested may be positive, negative or causal relationship.
Examples:
Families with higher incomes spend more for recreation.

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Causal Hypothesis state that the existence of or change in one variable causes or leads to an
effect on another variable. The first variable is called the independent variable and the latter is the dependant
variable.

Null Hypothesis

When a hypothesis is stated negatively, it is called null hypothesis. It is a no difference, no relationship


hypothesis.
ie., It states that, no difference exists between the parameter and statistic being compared to or no relationship
exists between the variables being compared.
It is usually represented as HO or H0 .
Example:
H0: There is no relationship between a familys income and expenditure on recreation.
Alternate Hypothesis
It is the hypothesis that describes the researchers prediction that, there exist a relationship between two
variables or it is the opposite of null hypothesis. It is represented as HA or H1.
Example:
HA: There is a definite relationship between familys income and expenditure on recreation.
FUNCTIONS OR ROLE OF HYPOTHESIS
It gives a definite point to the investigation and provides direction to the study.
It determines the data needs.
It specifies the sources of data.
It suggests which type of research is likely to be more appropriate.
It determines the most appropriate technique of analysis.
It contributes to the development of theory.

CAUSAL RESEARCH
Studies that engage in hypotheses testing usually explain the nature of certain relationships, or establish
the differences among groups or the independence of two or more factors in a situation.

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This type of research is very complex and the researcher can never be completely certain that there are
not other factors influencing the causal relationship, especially when dealing with peoples attitudes and
motivations.
Causal Research explores the effect of one thing on another and more specifically, the effect of one
variable on another.
It determining cause and effect relationship

Example:
1. In marketing, causal research is used for many types of research including testing marketing scenarios,
such as what might happen to product sales if changes are made to a product's design or if advertising is
changed.
2 .If a clothing company currently sells blue denium jeans,casual research can measure the impact of the
company changing the product design to the colour white.
EXPLORATORY RESEARCH
Exploratory research is a type of research conducted because a problem has not been clearly defined.
Given its fundamental nature, exploratory research often concludes that perceives problem does not
acttualy exist.
Although the results of qualitative research can give some indication as to the "why", "how" and "when"
something occurs, it cannot tell us "how often" or "how many."
Research is exploratory when you use no earlier model as a basis of your study. The most usual reason
for using this approach is that you have no other choice
Example:
Compares smokers and non-smokers with regard to health problems.
THEORETICAL RESEARCH
Theoretical research is a critical component of many scientific fields, because it leads to a greater
understanding of the exact science behind experimental results.
This is certainly true in fusion research. Several major improvements in experimental design have
resulted from the attainment of physical understanding of fusion processes.
This theoretical knowledge is developed through the use of computer modeling programs. Without this
understanding, most advances in efficiency would result only from increasing the scale of the project.
With the aid of computers, new ideas can be tested and developed much more quickly and cheaply.
CROSS-SECTIONAL RESEARCH
Cross-sectional data in statistics and econometrics is a type of one-dimensional data set. Cross-sectional data
refers to data collected by observing many subjects (such as individuals, firms or countries/regions) at the same
point of time, or without regard to differences in time.

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The data are typically collected from multiple groups or types of people in cross-sectional research. For
example, data in a cross-sectional study might be collected from males and females, from people in different
socioeconomic classes, from multiple age groups, and from people with different abilities and accomplishments.
Advantage - cross-sectional research is that data can be collected on many different kinds of people in a
relatively short period of time.
Disadvantage - it is difficult to establish time order (condition 2 of the necessary conditions for causality). If
you collect data from research participants at a single time point only, you cant directly measure changes that
are occurring in them over time.

TIME SERIES RESEARCH


Time series research design is another arm of mathematical statistics that statisticians can use to aid the
development of your research studies. Some fields which can benefit from time series research design are those
in the business and finance realm, such as economic forecasting, stock market analysis, and yield projects. Of
course, labor industries also benefit from time series research design, in the form of workload projections,
longitudinal studies, or utility studies.
Though time series research design has many applications, there are two central goals of any such study. First,
identification of the nature of a particular relation or phenomenon must occur, by analyzing occurrences of
observations as sequences. Secondly, forecasting can be accomplished, by examining these patterns to predict
future time series variable values.
Of course, before either goal is accomplished, the observed time series data pattern must be first identified and
described in detail. Interpretation and integration of data can then subsequently occur. Independent of theory,
future predictions can be made from such data analysis.

ROLE OF THEORY IN RESEARCH


Theory (Definition)
A system of interconnected abstractions or ideas that condenses and organizes knowledge about the
world.
In a general sense, any more or less formalized conceptualization of the relationship between variables.
Any generalized explanatory principle.
An always tentative explanation of phenomena that we observe; never proven; representative of the most
logical explanation based on currently available evidence; becomes stronger as more supporting
evidence is gathered; provides a context for predictions.
Misconceptions about theory
A tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain
certain facts or phenomena; "a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a
scientific theory
A theory is more than just an idea.
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All theories are not equal.


Examples of theories:

Theory that the earth revolves around the sun

Theory of evolution

Hypothesis vs. theory

Hypothesis vs. theory


Hypothesis is an educated guess. A prediction about the relationship between two or more variables.
A prediction as to what you expect to find.
Hypotheses are more specific than theories.
Theories have many different hypotheses.
Results of a single research study will not prove or disprove a theory.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD THEORY?
1. Falsifiability
o The theory must make sufficiently precise predictions that we can at least imagine evidence that
would contradict the theory.
Examples: Frustration-aggression theory
Freuds theory of repression.
Theory of psychic ability
If something is not falsifiable, it doesnt mean it is wrong, simply that it has no place in science.
2. Parsimony simplicity
The best theory is the one that makes the fewest number of assumptions
All things being equal, the simplest theory is the best theory.
The simplest of two or more competing theories is preferable and the unknown should first be explained
in terms of the known
E.g., theories of intelligence
Theories of UFOs
Magic acts
Warning: simple theories are not always right.
3. Generativity
o A good theory doesnt just explain results that have been found, but it also generates predictions
that can be tested
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Research is promoted by the offering of a good theory.


E.g., frustration-aggression little evidence for the theory initially, but it generated a lot.
4. Precision
The theory makes precise predictions.
Ambiguity is bad for a theory.
Predictions must have consistency: there cannot be internal contradictions.

5. Good track record


The theory holds up to research results. Studies have tested the hypotheses and have provided support.
THE USE OF THEORY
Theory guides research

Organizes ideas

All research has a purpose

Paradigms

Sociology, history, and political science, especially.

A model or framework for observation and understanding, which shapes both what we see and
how we understand it.

E.g., conflict theory, feminist theory

The Aspects of Theory


Theories can be categorized by:

The direction of reasoning

The level of explanation

Direction of theorizing
Inductive vs. deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning reasoning from the general to the particular
Process of concluding that something must be true because it is a special case of a general principle that
is known to be true

All children like ice-cream [general principle]

Tommy is a child [particular case]

Tommy will like ice-cream [deduction]


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Examples.
Inductive reasoning reasoning from the particular to the general
Process of reasoning that a general principle is true because the special cases you've seen are true
Example:

Dr. Boughner is strange

Dr. Boughner lives in Tulsa

People who live in Tulsa are strange

More examples
Creation and use of stereotypes
Applying these types of reasoning to theory construction.
Deductive approach build a theory by starting with an abstract, logical idea. Based on the theory,
perform research to test the theory.

Often starts with common sense, personal experience

Theories change with testing

Inductive approach build a theory by first looking at the results of many research projects and
offering a theory that can be used to explain the data.

Creating a theory in order to explain data.

THREE LEVELS OF EXPLANATION FOR THEORY.


1. Micro-level theory seeks to explain behavior at the level of the individual or family environment
Most of psychology is at the micro level
Examples:

Sternbergs theory of love

2. Macro-level theory seeks to explain behavior at the level of large groups of people.
Study things like ethnicity, class, or gender
Example:
a. Conflict theory the society or organization functions so that each individual participant and
its groups struggle to maximize their benefits, which inevitably contributes to social change
such as changes in politics and revolutions.
b. Evolution
Much of sociology is at the macro level
3. Meso-level theory seeks to explain the interactions of micro-level organisms.
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a. Somewhat between micro and macro.


Looks at things like social institutions, organizations, or communities. Basically small groups.
b. Ex. What role should Psychology Club serve at RSU?
Much of communications functions at the meso-level, though also micro and macro.
Social psychology also may function at the meso-level.
Many times the same topic can be studied by all 3 levels of theory.
E.g., Tax cuts

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