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Master of Business Administration Semester III MB0050 Research Methodology- 4 Credits (Book ID: B1206) Assignment Set- 1 (60

0 Marks) Note: Each question carries 10 Marks. Answer all the questions

Q.1 a) Differentiate between nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio scales, with an example of each. b) What are the purposes of measurement in social science research? Ans. (a)Nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio scales are the levels of
measurement. 1. Nominal Measurement The level of measurement consists in assigning numerals or symbols to different categories of a variable. The example of male and female applicants to an MBA program mentioned earlier is an example of nominal measurement. The numerals or symbols are just labels and have no quantitative value. The number of cases under each category are counted. Nominal measurement is therefore the simplest level of measurement. It does not have characteristics such as order, distance or arithmetic origin. 2. Ordinal Measurement In this level of measurement, persons or objects are assigned numerals which indicate ranks with respect to one or more properties, either in ascending or descending order.

Example
Individuals may be ranked according to their socio-economic class, which is measured by a combination of income, education, occupation and wealth. The individual with the highest score might be assigned rank 1, the next highest rank 2, and so on or vice versa. The numbers in this level of measurement indicate only rank order and not equal distance or absolute quantities. This means that the distance

between ranks 1 and 2 is not necessarily equal to the distance between ranks 2 and 3. Ordinal scales may be constructed using rank order, rating and paired comparisons. Variables that lend themselves to ordinal measurement include preference, ratings of organizations and economic status. Statistical techniques that are commonly used to analyze ordinal scale data are the median and rank order correlation coefficients. 3. Interval Measurement This level of measurement is more powerful than the nominal and ordinal levels of measurement, since it has one additional characteristic equality of distance. However, it does not have an origin or a true zero. This implies that it is not possible to multiply or divide the numbers on an interval scale.

Example
The Centigrade or Fahrenheit temperature gauge is an example of the interval level of measurement. A temperature of 50 degrees is exactly 10 degrees hotter than 40 degrees and 40 degrees cooler than 60 degrees. Since interval scales are more powerful than nominal or ordinal scales, they also lend themselves to more powerful statistical techniques, such as standard deviation, product moment correlation and t tests and F tests of significance. 4. Ratio Measurement This is the highest level of measurement and is appropriate when measuring characteristics which have an absolute zero point. This level of measurement has all the 3 characteristics order, distance and origin.

Example
Height, weight, distance and area. Since there is a natural zero, it is possible to multiple and divide the numbers on a ratio scale. Apart from being able to use all the statistical techniques that are used with the nominal, ordinal and interval scales, techniques like the geometric mean and coefficient of variation may also be used.

The main limitation of ratio measurement is that it cannot be used for characteristics such as leadership quality, happiness, satisfaction and other properties which do not have natural zero points. The different levels of measurement and their characteristics may be summed up. In the table below -

Levels of measurement Nominal Ordinal Interval Ratio

Characteristics No order, distance or origin Order, but no distance or origin Both order & distance, but no origin Order, distance & origin

(b) Measurement also has several purposes.


Three Purposes of Research Social research can serve a variety of purposes. Three of the most influential and common purposes of research are exploration, description and explanation. Exploration involves familiarizing a researcher with a topic. Exploration satisfies the researcher's curiosity and desire for improved understanding. Exploration tests the feasibility of undertaking a more extensive study. Exploration helps develop the methods that will be used in a study. Description involves describing situations and events through scientific observation. Scientific descriptions are typically more accurate and precise than causal ones. For example, the U. S. Census uses descriptive social research in its examination of characteristics of the U. S. population. Explanation involves answering the questions of what, where, when, and how. Explanatory studies answer questions of why. For example, an explanatory analysis of the 2002 General Social Survey (GSS) data indicates that 38 percent of men and 30 percent of women said marijuana should be legalized, while 55 percent of liberals and 27 percent of

conservatives said the same. Given these statistics, you could start to develop an explanation for attitudes toward marijuana legalization. In addition, further study of gender and political orientation could lead to a deeper explanation of this issue. One of the primary purposes of classifying variables according to their level or scale of measurement is to facilitate the choice of a statistical test used to analyze the data. There are certain statistical analyses which are only meaningful for data which are measured at certain measurement scales. For example, it is generally inappropriate to compute the mean for Nominal variables. Suppose you had 20 subjects, 12 of which were male, and 8 of which were female. If you assigned males a value of '1' and females a value of '2', could you compute the mean sex of subjects in your sample? It is possible to compute a mean value, but how meaningful would that be? How would you interpret a mean sex of 1.4? When you are examining a Nominal variable such as sex, it is more appropriate to compute a statistic such as a percentage (60% of the sample was male)

Q.2 a) What are the sources from which one may be able to identify research problems? b) Why literature survey is important in research? Ans. (a) The selection of a problem for research is not an easy task; itself is a
problem. One with a critical, curious and imaginative mind and is sensitive to practical problems could easily identify problems for study. The sources from which one may be able to identify research problems or develop problems awareness are : Review of literature Academic experience Daily experience Exposure to field situations Consultations Brain storming Research Intuition

(b) Frequently, an explanatory study is concerned with an area of subject matter in which explicit hypothesis have not yet been formulated. The researchers task then is to review the available material with an eye on the possibilities of developing hypothesis may have been stated by previous research workers. The researcher has to take stock of these various hypothesis with a view to evaluating their usefulness for further research and to consider whether they suggest any new hypothesis. Sociological journals, economic reviews, the bulletin of abstracts of current social sciences research, directory of doctoral dissertation accepted by universities etc afford a rich store of valuable clues. In addition to these general sources, some governmental agencies and voluntary organizations publish listings of summaries of research in their special fields of service. Professional organizations, research groups and voluntary organizations are a constant source of information about unpublished works in their special fields.

Q.3 a) What are the characteristics of a good research design? b) What are the components of a research design? Ans. (a) Characteristics of a Good Research Design
1. 2. 3. 4. It is a series of guide posts to keep one going in the right direction. It reduces wastage of time and cost. It encourages co-ordination and effective organization. It is a tentative plan which undergoes modifications, as circumstances demand when the study progresses, new aspects, new conditions and new relationships come to light and insight into the study deepens. 5. It has to be geared to the availability of data and the cooperation of the informants. 6. It has also to be kept within the manageable limits.

(b) Components of a research design are :


1. Dependent and Independent variables : A magnitude that varies is known as variable. The concept may assume different quantitative values, like height, weight, income, etc. Qualitative

variables are not quantifiable in the strictest sense of objectivity. However, the quantitative phenomena may also be quantified in terms of the presence or absence of the attribute considered. Phenomena that assume different values quantitatively even in decimal points are known as continuous variables. But all variables need not to be continuous. Values that can be expressed only in integer values are called non-continuous variables, in statistical term,, they are also known as discrete variables. For example, age is continuous variable; whereas the number of children is a non- continuous variable. When changes in one variable depends upon changes in one or more variables, it is known as a dependent or endogenous variable, and the variables that cause the changes in the dependent variable are known as the independent or explanatory or exogenous variables. For example, if demand depends upon price, then demand is a dependent variable, while price is the independent variable. And, if more variables determine like income and prices of substitute commodity, then demand also depends upon them in addition to the own price. Then, demand is a dependent variable which is determined by the independent variables like own price, income and price of substitute. 2. Extraneous variable : The independent variables which are not directly related to the purpose of the study but affect the dependent variable are known as extraneous variables. For instance, assume that a researcher wants to test the hypothesis that there is relationship between childrens school performance and their self-concepts, in which case the latter is an independent variable and the former, the dependent variable. However, since it is not directly related to the purpose of the study undertaken by the researcher, it would be known as an extraneous variable. The influence caused by the extraneous variable on the dependent variable is technically called as an experimental error. 3. Control One of the most important features of a good research design is to minimize the effect of extraneous variable. Technically, the term control is used when a researcher designs the study in such a manner that it minimizes the effects of extraneous independent variables. The term

control is used in experimental research to reflect the restrain in experimental conditions. 4. Confounded relationship : The relationship between dependent and independent variables is said to be confounded by an extraneous variable, when the dependent variables is not free from its effects. Research hypothesis : When a prediction or a hypothesized relationship is tested by adopting scientific methods, it is known as research hypothesis. The research hypothesis is a predictive statement which relates a dependent variable and an independent variable. Generally, a research hypothesis must consist of at least one dependent variable and one independent variable. Whereas, the relationships that are assumed but not be tested are predictive statements that are not to be objectively verified are not classified as research hypothesis. Experimental and control groups : When a group is exposed to usual conditions in an experimental hypothesis-testing research, it is known as control group. On the other hand, when the group is exposed to certain new or special condition, it is known as an experimental group. In the afore-mentioned example, the Group A cab be called a control group and the Group B an experimental one. If both the groups A & B are exposed to some special feature, then both the groups may be called as experimental groups. A research design may include only the experimental group or the both experimental and control groups together. Treatments : Treatments are referred to the different conditions to which the experimental and control groups are subject to. In this example considered, the two treatments are the parents with regular earnings and those with no regular earnings. Likewise if a research study attempts to examine through an experiment regarding the comparative impacts of three different types of fertilizers on the yield of rice crop, then the three types of fertilizers would be treated as the three treatments. Experiment : An experiment refers to the process of verifying the truth of a statistical hypothesis relating to a given research problem. For instance, experiment may be conducted to examine the yield of a certain new variety of rice crop developed. Further, experiments may

be categorized into two types namely, absolute experiment and comparative experiment. If a researcher wishes to determine the impact of a chemical fertilizer on the yield of a particular variety of rice crop, then it is known as absolute experiment. Meanwhile, if the researcher wishes to determine the impact of chemical fertilizer as compared to the impact of bio-fertilizer, then the experiment is known as a comparative experiment. Experiment Unit : Experimental units refer to the predetermined plots, characteristics or the blocks to which the different treatments are applied. It is worth mentioning here that such experimental units must be selected with great caution.

Q.4 a) Distinguish between Doubles sampling and multiphase sampling. b) What is replicated or interpenetrating sampling. Ans. a) Double Sampling & Multiphase Sampling
Double sampling refers to the subsection of the final sample form a preselected larger sample that provided information for improving the final selection. When the procedure is extended to more than two phases of selection, it is then, called multi-phase sampling. This is also known as sequential sampling, as sub-sampling is done from a main sample in phases. Double sampling or multi-phase sampling is a compromise solution for a dilemma posed by undesirable extremes. The statistics based on the sample of n can be improved by using ancillary information from a wide base : but this is too costly to obtain from the entire population of N nL which includes the final sample n.

b) Replicated or Interpenetrating Sampling


It involves selection of a certain number of sub-samples rather than one full sample from a population. All the sub-samples should be drawn using the same sampling technique and each is a self-contained and adequate sample of the population. Replicated sampling can be used with any basic sampling technique: simple or stratified, single or multi-stage or single or multiphase sampling. It provides a simple means of calculating the sampling error. It is practical. The replicated samples can throw light on

variable non-sampling errors. But disadvantage is that it limits the amount of stratification that can be employed.

Q.5 a. How is secondary data useful to researcher? b. What are the criteria used for evaluation of secondary data? Ans. a) Use of Secondary Data
The secondary data may be used in three ways by a researcher. First, some specific information from secondary sources may be used for reference purpose. For example, the general statistical information in the number of co-operative credit societies in the country, their coverage of villages, their capital structure, volume of business etc. may be taken from published reports and quoted as background information in a study on the evaluation of performance of cooperative credit societies in a selected district/state. Second, secondary data may be used as a bench marks against which the findings of research may be tested, e.g. the findings of a local or regional survey may be compared with the national averages the performance indicators of a particular bank may be tested against the corresponding indicators of the banking industry as a whole and so on. Finally, secondary data may be used as the sole source of information of a research project. Such studies as securities Market Behavior, Financial Analysis of companies, Trade in credit allocation in commercial banks, sociological studies on crimes, historical studies and the like, depend primarily on secondary data. Year books, statistical reports of government departments, report of public organizations of Bureau of Public Enterprises, Censes Reports etc, serve as major data sources for such research studies.

b) Secondary data should be evaluated. Ways for evaluation are :

1. Data Pertinence The first consideration in evaluation is to examine the pertinence of the available secondary data to the research problem under study. The following questions should be considered. What are the definitions and classifications employed? Are they consistent? What are the measurements of variables used? What is the degree to which they conform to the requirements of our research? What is the coverage of the secondary data in terms of topic and timer? Does this coverage fit the needs of our research? On the basis of above consideration, the pertinence of the secondary data to the research on hand should be determined as a researcher who is imaginative and flexible may be able to redefine his research problem so as to make use of otherwise unusable available data. 2. Data Quality If the researcher is convinced about the available secondary data for his needs, the next step is to examine the quality of the data. The quality if data refers to their accuracy, reliability and competencies. The assurance and reliability of the available secondary data depends on the organization which collect them and the purpose for which they were collected. It is important to go the original source of the secondary data rather than to use an immediate source which has quoted from the original. Then only the researcher can review the cautionary and other comments that were made in the original source. 3. Data Completeness The completeness refers to the actual coverage of the published data. This depends on the methodology and sampling design adopted by the original organization. Is the methodology sound? Is the sample size small or large? Answers to these questions may indicate the appropriateness and adequacy. The question of possible bias should also be examined. The researcher must be on guard when the source does not report the methodology and sampling design. Then it is not possible to determine the adequacy of the secondary data for the researchers study.

Q.6 What are the differences between observation and interviewing as methods of data collection? Give two specific examples of situations where either observation or interviewing would be more appropriate. Ans. Observation means viewing or seeing. Observation may be defined as a
systematic viewing of a specific phenomenon in its proper setting for the specific purpose of gathering data for a particular study. Observation is classical method of scientific study. Observation as a method of data collection has certain characteristics. 1. It is both a physical and a mental activity: The observing eye catches many things that are present. But attention is focused on data that are pertinent to the given study. 2. Observation is selective: A researcher does not observe anything and everything, but selects the range of things to be observed on the basis of the nature, scope and objectives of his study. For example, suppose a researcher desires to study the causes of city road accidents and also formulated a tentative hypothesis that accidents are caused by violation of traffic rules and over speeding. When he observed the movements of vehicles on the road, many things are before his eyes; the type, make, size and color of the vehicles, the persons sitting in them, their hair style, etc. All such things which are not relevant to his study are ignored and only over speeding and traffic violations are keenly observed by him. 3. Observation is purposive and not casual: It is made for the specific purpose of noting things relevant to the study. It captures the natural social context in which persons behavior occur. It grasps the significant events and occurrences that affect social relations of the participants. 4. Observation should be exact and be based on standardized tools of research and such as observation schedule, social metric scale etc., and precision instruments, if any. Interviewing is one of the prominent methods of data collection. It may be defined as a two way systematic conversation between an investigator and an informant, initiated for obtaining information relevant to a specific study. It involves not only conversation, but also learning from the respondents gesture, facial expressions and pauses, and his environment. Interviewing requires face to face contact or contact over telephone and

calls for interviewing skills. It is done by using a structured schedule or an unstructured guide. Interviewing may be used either as a main method or as a supplementary one in studies of persons. Interviewing is the only suitable method for gathering information from illiterate or less educated respondents. It is useful for collecting a wide range of data from factual demographic data to highly personal and intimate information relating to a persons opinions, attitudes, values, beliefs past experience and future intentions. When qualitative information is required or probing is necessary to draw out fully, and then interviewing is required. Where the area covered for the survey is a compact, or when a sufficient number of qualified interviewers are available, personal interview is feasible. Interview is often superior to other data-gathering methods. People are usually more willing to talk than to write. Once report is established, even confidential information may be obtained. It permits probing into the context and reasons for answers to questions. Interview can add flesh to statistical information. It enables the investigator to grasp the behavioral context of the data furnished by the respondents. Observation is suitable for a variety of research purposes. It may be used for studying (a) The behavior of human beings in purchasing goods and services.: life style, customs, and manner, interpersonal relations, group dynamics, crowd behavior, leadership styles, managerial style, other behaviors and actions; (b) The behavior of other living creatures like birds, animals etc. (c) Physical characteristics of inanimate things like stores, factories, residences etc. (d) Flow of traffic and parking problems (e) movement of materials and products through a plant.

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