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Unit 1 Introduction to Research and the Research Process

Business Research
- a process of determining, acquiring, analyzing, synthesizing, and disseminating relevant business
data or information to decision makers
- provides information to guide business decisions

The value of Acquiring Researching Skills

to gather more information before selecting a course of action
to conduct a high-level research study
to understand research design
to assess the quality of research study
to establish a career as a research specialist

Types of Studies Used to do a Research

1. Reporting provides account of summation of data
2. Descriptive answers who, what, when, where, and sometimes how questions
3. Explanatory theory based answering why and how questions
4. Predictive theory based attempting to predict future events
*Most business/management studies are descriptive and explanatory

Different Styles of Research

1. Applied Research more directed to provide the base for immediate managerial decisions (there
is an actual problem whether positive or negative)
2. Pure Research/Basic Research more directed to solve theoretical problems and paradoxes
(there are only theoretical problems and constraints)

What is a good research?

Following the standards of scientific method: (exhibit 1-5)
Purpose clearly defined
Research process detailed
Research design thoroughly planned
High ethical standards applied
Limitations frankly revealed
Adequate analysis for decision-makers need
Findings presented unambiguously
Conclusions justified
Researchers experience reflected

The Process:
1. Research Dilemma
2. Research Proposal
3. Data Collection & Analysis
4. Policy Decisions

The Management Research Question Hierarchy

1. Research Dilemma
- Symptom of an actual problem
2. Management Question
- Management question categories:
o Choice of purposes or objective
o Generation and evaluation of solution
o Troubleshooting or controlling situation
3. Research Question
- Fine tune the research question
o Examine concepts
o Break research questions into specific 2nd and 3rd level questions
o Determine what evidence answers the various question
o Set the scope of your study
4. Investigative Question
- Questions the researcher mush answer to satisfactory arrive to the answer
5. Measurement Question
- Questions we actually ask or extract from respondents
6. Research Process
Formulate research problem
Choose research design
Determine the sampling design
Pilot testing
Data collection
Analysis and interpretation

Formulating Research Problem (guidelines)

Scientific research involves theories
Avoid trivial problem
- Ask for underlying mechanisms explaining a trivial relationship
What is relevant of the research?
- Contribution to scientific theory
- Solving managerial problems
Issues in Research Problems
The Favored Technique Syndrome
Company Database Strip-Mining
Unresearchable questions
Ill-defined management problems
Politically motivated research

Unit 2 Accounting Theories (Research Ideas)

Research in accounting
Have little theory of their own
Have no methods of their own
Have few instruments theory of their own

Reasoning Process
1. Deductive theory observations
2. Inductive observation theory

Testing Theory
A genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify or refute it (Popper)
We look for disconfirmations rather than confirmations (Ho and Ha)
Null Hypothesis (Ho)
- Statement of the status quo
- Conventional (observed by majority)
Alternative Hypothesis (Ha)

Research Sequence

Proposal Defense

Drawing the Conclusion

Research Problem
A felt need, a question thrown forward for solution
A situation where a gap exists between the actual/existing and desired ideal state
A hypothesis or question of interest to business people and managers that can be tested and

How to Identify Research Problems

Read the literature
Surf the internet
Ask business practitioners
Ask business leaders
Ask known academicians
Inquire from other agencies
Criteria for Problem Selection
Newness of topic
Qualification of researcher
Availability of data
Time constraint
Availability of resources
Significance of topic

Criteria for Problem Formulation

Write in question form
Name specific problem area
Phrase the topic into something workable and manageable
Limit the scope to realistic parameters not too narrow nor too broad
Use words that are unbiased, objective, and not emotion-laden
Cite clearly the relationship of the variables to be studied
Use phrases that are measurable and can be proven empirically
Indicate data and techniques to answer the question
Observe correct grammar

Unit 3 Literature and Hypothesis

What is Review of Related Literature?
Selection of available documents (both published and unpublished) on the topic, which contains
information, ideas, data, and evidence written from a particular standpoint to fulfill certain aims
or express certain views on the nature of the topic and how it is to be investigated, and the
effective evaluation of these documents in relation to the research being proposed.

Purpose: the exact purpose of a critical literature review depends on the research approach that is taken

Functions of Literature Review

1. Descriptive Study
- Comprehensive overview of the relevant perspectives
- Guiding definition
- In-depth overview of framework, instruments, and analytical tool
2. Inductive and Explanatory
- To develop a theoretical background (overview of the key literature)
3. Deductive Study
- To develop a theoretical background (clear idea about the variables)

Purpose: in general, literature review ensures that,

1. You can look at problem from a specific angle
2. You do not run the risk of reinventing the wheel
3. You are able to introduce relevant terminology and to define key term used in your writing
4. You obtain useful insights of the research methods others have used to provide an answer to
similar research question
5. The research effort can be contextualized in a wider academic debate

Evaluating the Literature

Table of Contents/First Chapter Book
Number of Citations

Determining the Literature Review

Introduces subject study
Highlights the problem
Summarizes work done before

Theoretical Framework and Hypothesis Development

Theoretical framework
Foundation deductive research project
Deductive research: moving from the general (theory) to the specific (observations)
Theoretical Framework represents your beliefs on how certain phenomena (or variables or
concepts) are related to each other (a model) and an explanation on why you believe that these
variables are associated to each other (a theory)
Basic steps:
1. Identify and label the variables correctly
2. State the relationship among the variables: formulate hypothesis
3. Explain how or why you expect these relationships

Any concept that varies or changes in value
Main types of variables:
1. Dependent Variables (DV) is the primary interest to the researcher. The goal of the research
project is to understand, predict, or explain the variability of this variable.
2. Independent Variables (IV) influences the DV in either positive or negative way. The variable
in the DV is affected by the IV.
3. Moderating Variables relationship of IV and DV is contingent on the presence of moderating
- Moderator is qualitative (eg gender, race, class) or quantitative (eg level of rewards)
variable that affect the direction and/or strength of relation between IV and DV


Moderating Variable

4. Mediating Variables (Intervening Variables) surfaces between the time the IV start operating
to influence the DV and the time their impact is felt on it
A proposition that is empirically testable
An empirical statement concerned with the relationship among variables can be:
o Directional
o Non-directional
Null Hypothesis
Alternative Hypothesis
Format of Statement of Hypothesis
o Descriptive Format
o Relational Format
Explanatory/Causal Format
Correctional Format

Unit 4 Methodology, Method, and Data Management

Designing the Research Methodology
Research Design
Strategy to use, plan on how to execute research
Relationship among the studys variables
Outline procedures for every research activity
Sampling? How time and cost constraints be dealt?
Tools: Critical path method, grantt chart

Classifications of Design:
1. Degree of Crystallization
2. Power to Produce Effects
3. Time Dimension
4. The Tropical Scope
5. The Research Environment
6. Purpose of the Study
7. Explorative Techniques
Unit of analysis depends on:
What is the research problem ie on what level do you look for answers?
At what level do we need information, what do we measure?
At what level do we want to implement the answers found?

Nature of Sampling





Why sample? Sampling provides:

Lower cost
Greater accuracy of the results
Greater speed
Availability of elements

What is a good sample?

Accuracy: absence of systematic variance (bias)
Precise Estimate: sampling error, random error that sample is by chance different from
Standard Design Within the Research Process (exhibit 14-1)

Steps in Sampling Design

What is the target population?
What are the parameters of interest?
What is the sampling frame?
Sample Frame
- List of elements in population
- Complete and correct
- Error rate increases over time
- May include elements that must be screened
- International frames most problematic
What is the appropriate sampling method?
Types of Sampling Design (exhibit 14-2)

*Probability equal chance of being chose

*Non-Probability subjective and bias
What sample size is needed?
o What determines a sample size?
o When to use larger sample?
Population variance The greater the dispersion or variance within the
population, the larger the sample must be to provide estimation precision.
Number of subgroups The greater the number of subgroups of interest within a
sample, the greater the sample size must be, as each subgroup must meet
minimum sample size requirements.
Confidence level The higher the confidence level in the estimate, the larger the
sample must be.
Desired precision The greater the desired precision of the estimate, the larger
the sample must be.
Small error range The narrower or smaller the error range, the larger the
sample must be.

Probability sampling
- a controlled, randomized procedure that assures that each population element is given a known,
nonzero chance of selection.

Easy to implement with random dialing Requires list of population elements
Time consuming
Larger sample needed
Produces larger errors
High cost
Simple to design Periodicity within population may skew
Easier than simple random sample and results
Easy to determine sampling distribution Trends in list may bias results
of mean or proportion Moderate cost
Provides an unbiased estimate of Often lower statistical efficiency due to
population parameters if properly done subgroups being homogeneous rather
Economically more efficient than simple than heterogeneous
random Moderate cost
Lowest cost per sample
Easy to do without list
Control of sample size in strata Increased error if subgroups are selected
Increased statistical efficiency at different rates
Provides data to represent and analyze Especially expensive if strata on
subgroups population must be created
Enables use of different methods in strata High cost

May reduce costs if first stage results in Increased costs if discriminately used
enough data to stratify or cluster the


Population divided into few subgroups Population divided into many subgroups
Homogeneity within subgroups Heterogeneity within subgroups
Heterogeneity between subgroups Homogeneity between subgroups
Choice of elements from within each Random choice of subgroups

Nonprobability sampling
- an arbitrary and subjective sampling procedure where each population element does not have a
known, nonzero chance of being included
- commonly used in qualitative research
- no need to generalize
- limited objectives
- cost
- time
- feasibility

Non-Probability Sampling Method