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Different Views About Research

Redman and Mory defines research as"systematic


effort to gain new knowledge.
Clifford Woody defines research comprises
defining and redefining problems, formulating
hypothesis or suggested solutions; collecting,
organizing and evaluating data; making deductions
and reaching conclusions; and at last carefully
testing the conclusions to determine whether they
fit the formulating hypothesis.

Management Research is an unbiased, structured,


sequential method of enquiry, directed towards a
clear implicit or explicit business objective. This
enquiry might lead to validate the existing models
or arriving at new theories or models.

Research
Research is an organized set of activities to study
and develop a model or procedure/technique to
find the results of a realistic problem supported by
literature and data such that its objectives are
optimized and further make recommendations for
implementations
Research refers to the systematic method
consisting of enunciating the problem, formulating
a hypothesis, collecting the facts or data, analyzing
the facts and reaching certain conclusions in the
form of solutions towards the concerned problem.

Research Methodology
Research methodology is a way to
systematically solve the research problem. It
may be understood as a science of studying
how research is done scientifically.
In it we study the various steps that are
generally adopted by a researcher in
studying his research problem along with
the logic behind them. It is necessary for the
researcher to know not only the research
methods/techniques
but
also
the
methodology.

Basic/Pure/ Fundamental Research


Basic/Pure/Fundamental Research - This research is
mainly concerned with generalizations and with the
formulation of a theory. "Gathering knowledge for
knowledges sake is termed as pure or basic
research.
This type of research is directed towards finding
information that has a broad base of applications and
thus, adds to the already existing organized body of
scientific knowledge.

Applied Research
Applied Research-Applied research aims at
finding a solution for an immediate problem
being faced by a society or an
industrial/business organization.
It is carried out to find solutions to a real life
problem requiring an action or policy
decision. It is problem oriented and action
directed and thus seeks immediate and
practical results.

Exploratory Research - The main purpose of


such studies is to
gain familiarity with a
phenomenon or to achieve new insights into it
.The major objective of this kind of research is to
formulate problem for more precise investigation
or developing the working hypotheses from an
operational point of view. The major emphasis in
such studies is on the discovery of ideas and
insights. Methods of exploratory research includes
literature surveys, experience surveys and case
study methods

The purpose of exploratory research is


intertwined with the need for a clear and
precise statement of the recognized
problem. Researchers conduct exploratory
research for three interrelated purposes: (1)
diagnosing a situation, (2) screening
alternatives, and (3) discovering new ideas.
Exploratory research helps diagnose the
dimensions of problems so that successive
research projects will be on target; it helps
set priorities for research.

When several opportunities, such as new product


ideas, arise at once, but budgets dont allow trying
all possible options, exploratory research may be
used to determine the best alternatives. Exploratory
research can help reveal which of several new
product ideas are the best ones to pursue.
Marketers often conduct exploratory research to
generate ideas for new products, advertising copy,
and so on. For example, automobile marketers have
consumers design their dream cars using
computerized design systems similar to those used
by automotive designers. This exploratory research
might generate ideas that would never have
occurred to the firms own designers

Exploratory research (sometimes referred to as


qualitative research) shouldnt be expected to
provide answers to the decision problem that you
are attempting to solve for a client. It can provide
very rich, meaningful informationor even defi
native explanationsfor particular individuals (I
hate the old-fashioned styling of that car; thats
why I wont buy one), but exploratory research
doesnt provide definitive answers for the overall
population.

Conclusive research
Conclusive research is structured and definite
in orientation. These studies are usually
conducted to validate formulated hypotheses
and specified relationships. In contrast to
Exploratory, these are more structured and
definite. The time frame of the study and
respondent selection is more formal and
representative.

Difference between Exploratory and


Conclusive Research
Exploratory

Conclusive

Loosely Structured.

Well structured and


systematic.

Flexible in approach.

Formal and definitive


methodology.

Do not involve testing of


Hypothesis.

Normally involves testing the


hypothesis.

Descriptive Research
Descriptive research studies are those studies
which are concerned with describing the
characteristics of a particular individual, or of a
group.
The main goal of this type of research is to
describe the data and characteristics about what is
being studied. This often includes fact finding
enquiries and surveys.

The major purpose of descriptive research is to


describe characteristics of objects, people, groups,
organizations, or environments. In other words,
descriptive research tries to paint a picture of a
given situation by addressing who, what, when,
where, and how questions.
Descriptive research often helps describe market
segments. For example, researchers used descriptive
surveys to describe consumers who are heavy
consumers (buy a lot) of organic food products.

Causal Research
It is concerned with studying the effect of one
variable over another. These studies establish
why and how of a phenomenon. This kind of
research requires experimentation to establish
causality. Normally this kind of research is
quantitative in nature. Causal research seeks
to identify cause and effect relationships. When
something causes an effect, it means it brings
it about or makes it happen. The effect is the
outcome. In this the researcher manipulates
one or more variables, and controls and
measures any change in other variables.

For ex- a crime that must be investigated (an


unplanned
change
has
occurred
in
the
marketplace). The first step is to search for clues
that can help establish what has happened
(exploratory research). The clues uncovered in the
exploratory phase of the investigation often point
towards a particular hypothesis or explanation of
the events that occurred, and investigators begin to
focus their efforts in this direction, conducting
interviews with witnesses and suspects (descriptive
research). Finally, a trial is held to determine
whether the evidence is sufficient to convict a
suspect of the crime (causal research).

Qualitative research
Qualitative research is concerned with
qualitative phenomenon, i.e. phenomena
relating to or involving quality or kind. For
instance, when we are interested in
investigating the reasons for human behavior
(i.e., why people think or do certain things),we
quite often talk of Motivation Research, an
important type of qualitative research.

Qualitative research
This type of research aims at discovering the
underlying motives and desires, using in depth
interviews for the purpose. Other techniques
of such research are word association tests,
sentence completion tests, story completion
tests and similar other projective techniques.
Attitude or opinion research i.e., research
designed to find out how people feel or what
they think about a particular subject or
institution is also qualitative research.

Quantitative research
Quantitative research is based on the
measurement of quantity or amount. It is
applicable to phenomena that can be expressed
in terms of quantity.

Conceptual vs. Empirical:


Conceptual research is that related to

some abstract idea(s) or theory. It is generally


used by philosophers and thinkers to develop
new concepts or to reinterpret existing ones.
On the other hand, empirical research relies
on experience or observation alone, often
without due regard for system and theory. It is
data-based research, coming up with
conclusions which are capable of being
verified by observation or experiment.

We can also call it as experimental type of


research. In such a research it is necessary to
get at facts first hand, at their source, and
actively to go about doing certain things to
stimulate
the
production
of
desired
information. In such a research, the researcher
must first provide himself with a working
hypothesis or guess as to the probable results.
He then works to get enough facts (data) to
prove or disprove his hypothesis.

One-time research &


Longitudinal Research
In the former case the research is confined
to a single time-period, whereas in the latter
case the research is carried on over several
time-periods.

Characteristics of Good
Research
1. Systematic - Systematic approach is the only approach
for research. No research can be conducted haphazardly.
Each step must follow other. There are set of procedures that
have been tested over a period of time and are thus suitable to
use in research. Each research therefore should follow a
procedure.
2. Scientific Approach - An approach to obtain knowledge
objectively and systematically and not influenced by beliefs
and personal opinions.
3.Logical
principles

Research is based on valid procedures and

4.Emperical

- Research studies are based on actual


experience/observation.
5.Well Defined Approach- Good research work always
starts with clearly defined problems with well planned
objectives and research design.
6.Providing solutions Research aims to find answers to

questions and solutions to various problems

Importance/Significance
of Research
1. Research inculcates scientific and inductive
thinking and it promotes the development of
logical habits of thinking and organization.
2. The role of research in several fields of applied
economics, whether related to business or to the
economy as a whole, has greatly increased in
modern times.
3. Research provides the basis for nearly all
government policies in our economic system.
4. Research has its special significance in solving
various operational and planning problems of
business and industry.
5. Research is equally important for social
scientists in studying social relationships and in
seeking answers to various social problems.

6.To those students who are to write a masters or Ph.D.


thesis, research may mean a careerism or a way to attain
a high position in the social structure
7.To professionals in research methodology, research may
mean a source of livelihood
8.To philosophers and thinkers, research may mean the
outlet for new ideas and insights.
9.To literary men and women, research may mean the
development of new styles and creative work
10. To analysts and intellectuals, research may mean the
generalization's of new theories.

Relation between
Management Problem and
Research Problem

Management Decision Problem- The problem


confronting the decision maker. It asks what the
decision maker needs to do. It is a action oriented.
It is concerned with the possible decisions or
actions that top level managers can take.
For ex how should the loss of market be addressed.
Should the market be segmented differently.
Should a new product be introduced.

Research Problem- It asks what information is


needed and how it can best be obtained. Research
can provide necessary information to make sound
decision.
It is information oriented. It involves deciding about
what information is needed and how that
information can be obtained effectively and
efficiently.
Whereas the management problem focuses on
symptoms the research problem focuses on
underlying causes.

Management Decision
Problem

Research Problem

Asks what the decision maker


needs to do

Asks what information is


needed and how it should be
obtained

Action oriented

Information oriented

Focuses on symptoms

Focuses on underlying causes

Management Decision
Problem

Research Problem

Should a new product be


introduced.

To determine consumer
preferences and purchase
intentions for the proposed
new product.

Should the advertising


campaign be changed.

To determine the effectiveness


of the current advertising
campaign.

Should the price of the brand


be increased.

To determine the price


elasticity of demand and the
impact on sales and profits of
various levels of price changes.

Defining the Research


Problem
Problem Identification Process
1.Identifying the management decision Problem
The management comes across the problem .Either the
problem may be related to actual and immediate
difficulties being faced by the manager(applied research)
or gaps experienced in the existing body of
knowledge( basic research).
2.Understanding the management decision
problem
a) By Discussion with the subject experts.
b) By Review of Existing Literature.
c) Organizational Analysis.
d) Qualitative Survey

3. Formulating the Management research


Problema) Understanding the various research variables
namely independent variable, dependent variable,
moderating variable, mediating variables/intervening
variables and control/extraneous variables.

Independent Variable - Variables that explain


other variables are called independent variables
or a variable that has been postulated to explain
another variable is called as independent variable.
Dependent Variable Variables that are explained
by other variables are dependent variables. For
example, if we state that higher intelligence causes
improved learning among students then intelligence
is an independent variable and learning is a
dependent variable.

Mediating Variable - A mediating variable is a


mechanism by which an independent variable
affects a dependent variable. It is also called as
intervening variable. It generally follows the
occurrence of the independent variable and
precedes the dependent variable.
For ex- how does psychotherapy reduces
depression or how does advertising improves sales.
These questions are addressed by considering
variables that explain how or why the things are
related. Thus a mediating variable is an
intermediate between independent and dependent
variable i.e. an independent variable causes
mediating variable which in turn causes dependent
variable.

For ex exposure to information causes learning


which causes behavior.
For ex a harmful bacteria causes infection
which causes a disease.
For ex heavy work load causes dissatisfaction
which in turn causes more attrition in an
organization.

Moderating Variables- Variables that influence the


relationship between independent and dependent variables are
called moderating variables. They are special type of
independent variable also called as secondary independent
variable selected to determine whether they influence the
relationship between primary independent variable and
dependent variable.
Proposition1 : Turnover(DV) is an inverse function of
organizational commitment (IV),especially for workers who
have a higher job satisfaction(MV)
Proposition 2: Turnover(DV) is an inverse function of job
satisfaction(IV),especially for workers who have a higher
organizational commitment(MV).
.

Do highly structured instructional procedures


provoke greater achievement among students who
practice concrete thinking and less structured
approaches provoke greater achievement among
students who practiced abstract thinking.
Independent Variable- Level of structure in
instruction(more vs less
Moderator Variable- Thinking style of
students(concrete vs abstract
Dependent Variable- Achievement

If we believe that the effect of intelligence on


academic achievement also depends on the effort
invested by the student in the learning process
(i.e., between two equally intelligent students, the
student who puts more effort achieves higher
academic achievement than one who puts in less
effort), then effort becomes a moderating
variable.

Control Variables/Extraneous Variable- Beside


the mediating and moderating variables there may
exist a number of other variables which could affect
the defined relationship and thus are excluded from
the study. Control variables are those which are
controlled by the researcher to neutralize or cancel
out the effect that they might otherwise have on
the observed phenomenon.

Developing a model
It may be understood as the scheme or network of
the probable relationship between the identified
variables. After having identified the variables the
researcher decides which variables are to be
considered and which are the independent,
dependent, moderating and control variables etc.

4. Formulation of a Research HypothesisA hypothesis is a opinion or a guess about


solution to a problem, or it may be a relationship
between two or more variables or it may be
description of the nature of some phenomenon.
The hypothesis may be descriptive or relational.
For ex - the literacy rate in the city of Pune
is 95% is a descriptive hypothesis.
For ex - Higher the advertisement exposure
higher shall be the recall rate among the
consumers.

What is the relationship between IQ and


advertisement.
Do students learn from a directive teacher and a
non directive teacher.
Does any relationship exist between racial
background and dropout rate.
IQ and achievement are positively related.
Directive teachers are more effective then non
directive teachers.
The drop rate is higher for black students then for
white students.

Scientific Method

Non Scientific Method

Objectivity of the investigator

More subjective in approach

Systematic Procedure

Mostly the non scientific


method is carried out in a
haphazard manner

More accuracy because the


results can be measured .Most
data is quantitative and hence
measurable

Results cannot be measured


accurately because the
research has been
unsystematic and scattered
nature of data.

Scientific methods considers all Non scientific does not


the facts that are pertinent to
consider all the facts with
the problem
regard to a problem. The
findings cannot be taken up for
further researches.

Scientific Method

Non scientific
Method

A number of
statistical
techniques are
applied to analyses
the data

The statistical tools


may not be applied
because of sporadic
nature of data.

Research Process
1. Formulating the research problem:
This is the first and the foremost step of research process
At the very outset the researcher must single out the problem
he wants to study, i.e., he must decide the general area of
interest or aspect of a subject-matter that he would like to
inquire into. Initially the problem may be stated in a broad
general way and then the ambiguities, if any, relating to the
problem be resolved. Then, the feasibility of a particular
solution has to be considered before a working formulation of
the problem can be set up.

The formulation of a general topic into a specific


research problem, thus, constitutes the first step
in a scientific enquiry. Essentially two steps are
involved in formulating the research problem, viz.,
understanding the problem thoroughly, and
rephrasing the same into meaningful terms from
an analytical point of view.

2. Extensive Literature survey


At this juncture the researcher should undertake
extensive literature survey connected with the
problem. For this purpose, the abstracting and
indexing journals and published or unpublished
bibliographies are the first place to go to. Academic
journals,
conference
proceedings,
government
reports, books etc., must be tapped depending on the
nature of the problem. In this process, it should be
remembered that one source will lead to another. The
earlier studies, if any, which are similar to the study
in hand should be carefully studied. A good library will
be a great help to the researcher at
this stage.

3. Formulation of Hypothesis
After extensive literature survey, researcher should
state in clear terms the working hypothesis or
hypotheses. Working hypothesis is tentative
assumption made in order to draw out and test its
logical or empirical consequences. As such the
manner in which research hypotheses are
developed is particularly important since they
provide the focal point for research. A hypothesis is
the investigators belief about a problem.

4. Preparation of Research Design


After having understood the nature of the problem
and having formulated the hypothesis the next
step is to prepare the research design. Research
Design is the blue print for carrying out the
research.
It is the framework or the conceptual structure
within which the research studies is to be carried
out. It provides the complete guideline for data
collection, sampling method, research approach
etc. to be conducted.

5.Determination of sampling Method/Technique/Design


Universe - All the items under consideration in any field of
inquiry constitute a universe or population.
Sample-That part of universe which represents the universe
is called as a sample.
Sampling- The method or technique of selecting a sample
from universe is called as sampling.

Sampling Methods/Techniques/Designs
1.Random/Probability Sampling - Here every element
has an equal chance of getting selected.

2. Stratified Random Sampling- Here the universe is


divided into groups called as groups/stratas. After that
random selection is undertaken from these groups or
stratas.

Methods of Stratified Sampling


A Non Proportionate SamplingIn this method after dividing the population into
strata ,equal no of elements are selected from each
stratas.Thus whether the strata is small or large ,
equal no of elements will be drawn both from the
large and small sample.
B Proportionate Sampling
In this method after dividing the population into
strata ,the no of elements from each strata are
selected in proportion to the size of the strata.
Hence the representation of each strata in the final
sample is in proportion to the size of the strata.

Example
Suppose, for example, a researcher desires to conduct a survey
of all the students in a given university with 10,000 students,
8,000 females and 2,000 males. His desired sample size is only
1,000. Since the 1,000 subjects needed for the survey is 10% of
the entire population, sampling proportion suggests that 8/10
be female and 2/10 be male. This would result in a sample
composed of 800 females and 200 males. In this case, the
relatively small number of males in the sample probably would
not provide adequate representation for drawing conclusions
from the said survey.
Disproportional sample technique will permit the researcher in
the mentioned case selection of students of adequate size from
the two genders. Say for example, 500 males and 500 females
can be selected to represent the population. This cannot be
considered random since the males had better chances of being
selected as part of the sample.

3.Systematic Sampling First of all ,the elements of the


universe are arranged in the form of a sequence say
geographically, alphabetically or in any other order. After
that every nth element is selected.

Cluster Sampling
First, the researcher selects groups or clusters, and then from
each cluster, the researcher selects the individual subjects by
either simple random or systematic random sampling. The
researcher can even opt to include the entire cluster and not
just a subset from it.
The most common cluster used in research is a geographical
cluster. For example, a researcher wants to survey academic
performance of high school students in Spain.
He can divide the entire population (population of Spain) into
different clusters (cities).
Then the researcher selects a number of clusters depending on
his research through simple or systematic random sampling.
Then, from the selected clusters (randomly selected cities) the
researcher can either include all the high school students as
subjects or he can select a number of subjects from each
cluster through simple or systematic random sampling.

Difference Between Cluster Sampling


and Stratified Sampling
The main difference between cluster sampling and
stratified sampling lies with the inclusion of the
cluster or strata.
In stratified random sampling, all the strata of the
population is sampled while in cluster sampling, the
researcher only randomly selects a number of
clusters from the collection of clusters of the entire
population. Therefore, only a number of clusters are
sampled, all the other clusters are left
unrepresented.

2.Non Random/Probability
Sampling
A Convenience Sampling -Convenience sampling is a
non-probability sampling technique where subjects are
selected because of their convenient accessibility and
proximity to the researcher. The subjects are selected just
because they are easiest to recruit for the study and the
researcher did not consider selecting subjects that are
representative of the entire population.
In all forms of research, it would be ideal to test the entire
population, but in most cases, the population is just too
large that it is impossible to include every individual. This
is the reason why most researchers rely on sampling
techniques like convenience sampling, the most common
of all sampling techniques. Many researchers prefer this
sampling technique because it is fast, inexpensive, easy
and the subjects are readily available.

Convenience Sampling Examples


One of the most common examples of convenience
sampling is using student volunteers as subjects
for the research. Another example is using subjects
that are selected from a clinic, a class or an
institution that is easily accessible to the
researcher. A more concrete example is choosing
five people from a class or choosing the first five
names from the list of patients.
In these examples, the researcher inadvertently
excludes a great proportion of the population. A
convenience sample is either a collection of
subjects that are accessible or a self selection of
individuals willing to participate which is
exemplified by your volunteers.

Judgmental Sampling
Judgmental sampling is a non-probability sampling
technique where the researcher selects units to be
sampled based on their knowledge and professional
judgment.
This type of sampling technique is also known as
purposive sampling and authoritative sampling.
Purposive sampling is used in cases where the specialty
of an authority can select a more representative
sample that can bring more accurate results than by
using other probability sampling techniques. The
process involves nothing but purposely handpicking
individuals from the population based on the authority's
or the researcher's knowledge and judgment.

Example of Judgmental Sampling


In a study wherein a researcher wants to know
what it takes to graduate summa cum laude in
college, the only people who can give the
researcher first hand advise are the individuals
who graduated summa cum laude. With this very
specific and very limited pool of individuals that
can be considered as a subject, the researcher
must use judgmental sampling.

Snowball sampling
Snowball sampling is a non-probability sampling
technique that is used by researchers to identify
potential subjects in studies where subjects are
hard to locate.
Researchers use this sampling method if the
sample for the study is very rare or is limited to a
very small subgroup of the population. This type
of sampling technique works like chain referral.
After observing the initial subject, the researcher
asks for assistance from the subject to help
identify people with a similar trait of interest.

The process of snowball sampling is much like


asking your subjects to nominate another person
with the same trait as your next subject. The
researcher then observes the nominated subjects
and continues in the same way until the obtaining
sufficient number of subjects.
For example, if obtaining subjects for a study that
wants to observe a rare disease, the researcher
may opt to use snowball sampling since it will be
difficult to obtain subjects. It is also possible that
the patients with the same disease have a
support group; being able to observe one of the
members as your initial subject will then lead you
to more subjects for the study.

6. Collection of Data - The researcher may collect


two types of data depending upon the nature and
objective of research i.e. primary and secondary
data. Primary data can be collected by way of
experiments and survey. In case of survey the data
can be collected by any of the following ways.
a) By observation This method implies the collection of information by
way of investigators own observation, without
interviewing the respondents. The information
obtained relates to what is currently happening and
is not complicated by either the past behavior or
future intentions or attitudes of respondents

b) Through personal interviewThe investigator follows a rigid procedure and seeks


answers to a set of pre-conceived questions through
personal interviews. This method of collecting data is
usually carried out in a structured way where output
depends upon the ability of the interviewer to a large
extent.
c) Through telephone interviewsThis method of collecting information involves contacting
the respondents on telephone itself. This is not a very
widely used method but it plays an important role in
industrial surveys in developed regions, particularly, when
the survey has to be accomplished in a very limited time.

d) By mailing of questionnaires The researcher and the respondents do come in contact with
each other if this method of survey is adopted. Questionnaires
are mailed to the respondents with a request to return after
completing the same. It is the most extensively used method
in various economic and business surveys. Before applying
this method, usually a Pilot Study for testing the questionnaire
is conduced which reveals the weaknesses, if any, of the
questionnaire.

e) Through schedules Under this method the enumerators are appointed and given
training. They are provided with schedules containing relevant
questions. These enumerators go to respondents with these
schedules. Data are collected by filling up the schedules by
enumerators on the basis of replies given by respondents.

Beside that the researcher also goes for the


secondary data by collecting data from journals,
reports, books, magazines, publications etc.

7. Analysis of data:
After the data have been collected, the researcher turns to the
task of analyzing them. The analysis of data requires a
number of closely related operations such as establishment of
categories, the application of these categories to raw data
through coding, tabulation and then drawing statistical
inferences. The unwieldy data should necessarily be
condensed into a few manageable groups and tables for
further analysis. Thus, researcher should classify the raw data
into some purposeful and usable categories.
Coding operation is usually done at this stage through which
the categories of data are transformed into symbols that may
be tabulated and counted. Editing is the procedure that
improves the quality of the data for coding. With coding the
stage is ready for tabulation.

Tabulation is a part of the technical procedure


wherein the classified data are put in the form of
tables. The mechanical devices can be made use of
at this juncture. A great deal of data, specially in
large inquiries, is tabulated by computers.
Computers not only save time but also make it
possible to study large number of variables
affecting a problem simultaneously

8. Hypothesis-testing
After analyzing the data as stated above, the
researcher is in a position to test the hypotheses, if
any, he had formulated earlier. Do the facts support
the hypotheses or they happen to be contrary? This
is the usual question which should be answered
while testing hypotheses. Various tests, such as Chi
square test, t-test, F -test, have been developed by
statisticians for the purpose. The hypotheses may
be tested through the use of one or more of such
tests, depending upon the nature and object of
research inquiry.

9. Interpretation of Results - Here the


researcher presents an explanation in a systematic
manner. Results must be interpreted and also the
recommendations should be given.
10. Preparation of the report or the thesis
Finally, the researcher has to prepare the report of
what has been done by him. Writing of report must
be done with great care .

Formulation of Research
Problem
A research problem, in general, refers to some
difficulty which a researcher experiences in the
context of either a theoretical or practical situation
and wants to obtain a solution for the same.

a) Statement of the problem in a general


way:
First of all the problem should be stated in a broad
general way, keeping in view either some practical
concern or some scientific or intellectual interest.
For this purpose, the researcher must immerse
himself thoroughly in the subject matter concerning
which he wishes to pose a problem. The researcher
may undertake some sort of preliminary survey or
what is often called pilot survey. Then the
researcher can himself state the problem or he can
seek the guidance of the guide or the subject
expert in accomplishing this task.

b) Understanding the nature of the problem:


The next step in defining the problem is to
understand its origin and nature clearly. The best
way of understanding the problem is to discuss it
with those who first raised it in order to find out how
the problem originally came about and with what
objectives in view. For a better understanding of the
nature of the problem involved, he can enter into
discussion with those who have a good knowledge of
the problem concerned or similar other problems.
The researcher should also keep in view the
environment within which the problem is to be
studied and understood.

c) Surveying the available literature:


Concerning the problem at hand must necessarily
be surveyed and examined before a definition of
the research problem is given. This means that the
researcher must be well-conversant with relevant
theories in the field, reports and records as also all
other relevant literature. Knowing what data are
available often serves to narrow the problem itself
as well as the technique that might be used.

(iv) Developing the ideas through


discussions:
Discussion concerning a problem often produces
useful information. Various new ideas can be
developed through such an exercise. Hence, a
researcher must discuss his problem with his
colleagues and others who have enough experience
in the same area or in working on similar problems.
This is quite often known as an experience survey.
People with rich experience are in a position to
enlighten the researcher on different aspects of his
proposed study and their advice and comments are
usually invaluable to the researcher.

(v) Rephrasing the research problem:


Finally, the researcher must sit to rephrase the
research problem into a working proposition. Once the
nature of the problem has been clearly understood,
the environment (within which the problem has got to
be studied) has been defined, discussions over the
problem have taken place and the available literature
has been surveyed and examined, rephrasing the
problem into analytical or operational terms is not a
difficult task. Through rephrasing, the researcher puts
the research problem in as specific terms as possible
so that it may become operationally viable and may
help in the development of working hypotheses.

Requisites of a good
Research Problem
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
g)

It
It
It
It
It
It
It

should
should
should
should
should
should
should

be
be
be
be
be
be
be

researchable
interesting
feasible
significant
manageable
clear
ethical

CHARACTERISTICS OF
RESEARCH PROBLEM

S- Specific
M- Measurable
A- Achievable
R- Realistic
T- Time-bound

1 Interesting
It should be of great interest to you. You will have to spend
many months investigating the problem
2 Significant
The problem should be significant. It is not worth time and
effort investigating a trivial problem or repeating work that
has already been done elsewhere.
3 Time-bound
The problem should be delineated. Consider the time you
have to complete the work, and the depth to which the
problem will be addressed. You can cover a wide field only
superficially, and the more you restrict the field, the more
detailed the study can be. You should also consider the cost
of necessary travel and other expenses.

4 Achievable
You should be able to obtain the information required. You cannot carry out
research if you fail to collect the relevant information needed to tackle your
problem, either because you lack access to documents or other sources,
and/or because you have not obtained the cooperation of individuals or
organizations essential to your research.
5 Providing solutions
You should be able to draw conclusions related to the problem. The point of
asking a question is to find an answer. The problem should be one to which
the research can offer some solution, or at least the elimination of some
false solutions.
6 You should be able to state the problem clearly and concisely. A precise,
well thought out and fully articulated sentence, understandable by anyone,
should normally clearly be able to explain just what the problem is.

Research Designs
It is the framework or the conceptual structure
within which the research studies is to be carried
out. It provides the complete guideline for data
collection, sampling method, research approach
etc. to be conducted.

Need /Functions/Goals
achieved by research design
1. It provides the blueprint.
2. It limits boundaries of research i.e. it helps the
researcher to remain more focused.
3.It predicts the potential problems a researcher can
face.
4.It helps to achieve research goals economically- By
avoiding duplication ,irrelevant work and other
wastages research designs helps to use the
resources very effectively.
5.It simplifies the research work.- it
coordinating various research activities.

helps

in

Features/Characteristics of a
good research Design
1.Objectivity
The objectivity of the procedure may be judged by the degree
of agreement between the final scores assigned to different
individuals by more than one independent observer. This
ensures the objectivity of the collected data which shall be
capable of analysis and drawing generalizations.
2.Reliability:
Reliability refers to consistency through out a series of
measurements. For eg: if a respondent gives out a response
to a particular item, he is expected to give the same response
to that item even if he is asked repeatedly. If he is changing
his response to the same item, the consistency will be lost. So
the researcher should frame the items in a questionnaire in
such a way that it provides consistency or reliability.

3.Validity: Any measuring device or instrument is


said to be valid when it measures what it is
expected to measure. For eg: an intelligence test
conducted for measuring the I.Q should measure
only the intelligence and nothing else, and the
questionnaire shall be framed accordingly.
4.Generalizability: It means how best the data
collected from the samples can be utilized for
drawing certain generalizations applicable to a
large group from which sample is drawn.
5.Economy: A good research design should enable
attaining the research objectives with minimum
cost, efforts and time.

Components of a
Research Design

Title of Research
Problem to be studied
Objectives of the study
Definition of imp terms and concepts
Type of research
Identification of variables
Working Hypothesis
Sampling method
Data collection method
Statistical tool to be used

Purpose of Exploratory
Research
The purpose of exploratory research is intertwined with
the need for a clear and precise statement of the
recognized problem.
Researchers conduct exploratory research for three
interrelated purposes: (1) diagnosing a situation, (2)
screening alternatives, and (3) discovering new ideas.
1.Diagnosing a Situation
Exploratory research helps diagnose the dimensions of
problems so that successive research projects will be
on target; it helps set priorities for research. In some
cases exploratory research helps orient management
by gathering information on an unfamiliar topic

2.Screening Alternatives
When several opportunities, such as new product ideas, arise
at once, but budgets dont allow trying all possible options,
exploratory research may be used to determine the best
alternatives. Exploratory research can help reveal which of
several new product ideas are the best ones to pursue.
3. Discovering New Ideas
Marketers often conduct exploratory research to generate
ideas for new products, advertising copy, and so on. For
example, automobile marketers have consumers design their
dream cars using computerized design systems similar to
those used by automotive designers. This exploratory
research might generate ideas that would never have
occurred to the firms own designers

Methods of Exploratory Research

1.EXPERIENCE SURVEYS
2.CASE STUDIES
3.PILOT STUDY
4.FOCUS GROUP
5.PROJECTIVE TECHNIQUE
6.SECONDARY DATA SOURCES

Methods of Exploratory
Research
1. EXPERIENCE SURVEYS If management decides that an idea is worthwhile,
the decision maker may personally spend some
time analyzing the situation. In attempting to gain
insight into the problems at hand, researchers may
discuss the concepts with top executives and
knowledgeable individuals, both inside and outside
the company, who have had personal experience in
the field. This constitutes an informal experience
survey. People who are knowledgeable about the
area to be investigated often are willing to share
their
experiences
with
others
(competitors
excluded, of course).

For ex a firm that is ready to launch a new product


may discuss the general nature of the product
with some of its key retailers and wholesalers.
Members of the companys sales force also may
be a valuable source of information. The purpose
of such discussions is to exhaust the information
available from relatively inexpensive sources
before gathering expensive primary data. While
the interviews with knowledgeable individuals
may reveal nothing conclusive, they may help
define the problem more formally.

2. CASE STUDIES The purpose of the case study method is to obtain


information from one or a few situations that are
similar to the researchers problem situation. For
example, a bank in Montana may intensively
investigate the marketing activities of an innovative
bank in California. A shirt manufacturer interested
in surveying retailers may first look at a few retail
stores to identify the nature of any problems or
topics that a larger study
should investigate. A marketing research manager
for Schwinn bicycles used observation techniques
to conduct an exploratory case study.

3.Pilot Study The term pilot study covers a number of diverse


research techniques. Within the context of
exploratory research, the term pilot study indicates
that some aspect of the research (for example,
fieldwork) will be on a small scale. Thus, a pilot
study is a research project that involves sampling,
but it relaxes the rigorous standards used to obtain
precise,
quantitative
estimates
from
large,
representative samples.

In one kind of pilot study, researchers or managers try


to experience what consumers experience to gain
inexpensive and valuable insight. Without indicating
their real positions with the company, researchers or
managers may wait on customers, ride in repair trucks,
and answer telephones. For example, the chairperson
of a major car rental company occasionally gets in line
with airport customers waiting for cars or works behind
the counter to get customer reactions. This form of pilot
study may yield true comprehension of the situation to
be investigated. A pilot study generates primary data,
but usually for qualitative analysis. This characteristic
distinguishes pilot studies from research that gathers
background information using secondary data.

4.Focus Group A focus group interview is an unstructured, free-flowing


interview with a small group of people. It is not a rigidly
constructed question-and-answer session but a flexible
format that encourages discussion of a brand,
advertisement, or new-product concept. The group meets
at a central location at a designated time; typically, it
consists of a moderator or interviewer and six to ten
participants, although larger groups are sometimes used.
The participants may range from consumers talking about
hair coloring, petroleum engineers talking about problems
in the oil patch, or children talking about toys. The
moderator introduces the topic and encourages group
members to discuss the subject among themselves. Ideally,
the discussion topics emerge at the groups initiative.

5. Projective Technique A projective technique is an indirect means of


questioning that enables respondents to project
beliefs and feelings onto a third party, an inanimate
object, or a task situation. Respondents are not
required to provide answers in any structured
format. They are encouraged to describe a situation
in their own words with little prompting by the
interviewer. Individuals are expected to interpret
the situation within the context of their own
experiences, attitudes, and personalities and to
express opinions and emotions that may be hidden
from others and possibly themselves.

There is an old story about asking a man why he


purchased a Mercedes. When asked directly why he
purchased a Mercedes, he responds that the car
holds its value and does not depreciate much, that
it gets better gas mileage than youd expect, or
that it has a comfortable ride. If you ask the same
person why a neighbor purchased a Mercedes, he
may well answer, "OH, that status seeker! "This
story illustrates that individuals may be more likely
to give true answers (consciously or unconsciously)
to disguised questions. Projective techniques seek
to discover an individuals true attitudes,
motivations, defensive reactions, and characteristic
ways of responding..

6. Secondary Sources The information is


gathered by way of
books,magzines,journals,reports,web sources etc.

Descriptive Research Designs


Descriptive research studies are those studies
which are concerned with describing the
characteristics of a particular individual, or of a
group.
The main goal of this type of research is to
describe the data and characteristics about what
is being studied. This often includes fact finding
enquiries and surveys.

Objectives /Advantages/Uses of
Descriptive Research Designs
1. To describe the characteristics of certain
groups.
2. To determine the proportion of people
who behave in a certain way - We might be
interested, for example, in estimating the
proportion of people within a specified radius of a
proposed shopping complex who currently shop or
intend to shop at the center.
3. To determine the perception of people
towards a product.
4. To make specific predictions - We might
want to predict the level of sales for each of the
next five years so that we could plan for the hiring
and training of new sales representatives.
5.To collect demographic information of

Methods of Descriptive
Research Designs.
1. Cross-Sectional study involves drawing a sample
of elements from the population of interest.
Characteristics of the elements, or sample members,
are measured only once.
2. A longitudinal study, on the other hand, involves
a panel, which is a fixed sample of elements. The
elements may be stores, dealers, individuals, or other
entities. The panel, or sample, remains relatively
constant through time, although members may be
added to replace dropouts or to keep it
representative. The sample members in a panel are
measured repeatedly over time in contrast with the
one-time measurement in a cross-sectional study.

1. The purpose of __________________ research is


to help in the process of developing a clear
and precise statement of the research
problem rather than in providing a definitive
answer.

Marketing
Causal
Exploratory
Descriptive

2. Secondary data can almost always be


obtained more quickly and at a lower cost
than __________data.

Tertiary
Collective
Research
Primary

3. What is a good research? The following are


correct except

Purpose clearly defined


Research process detailed
Research design thoroughly planned
Findings presented ambiguously

4. The chapter that details the way in which


the research was conducted is the _________
chapter

Introduction
Literature review
Research methodology
Data analysis
Conclusion and recommendations

5. We review the relevant literature to know:


a) What is already known about the topic
b) What concepts and theories have been applied
to the topic c) Who are the key contributors to
the topic
d) All of the above

6. Quantitative research involves:


A). Interviewing people to find out their deeply
held views about issues.
B). Collecting data in numerical form.
C). More rigor than qualitative research.
D). Interviewing every member of the target
population

7.The two main styles of research are:

a. Data collection and data coding.


b. Surveys and questionnaires.
c. Sampling and recording.
d. Qualitative and quantitative.

8. Research is:
a. A purposeful, systematic activity.
b. Primarily conducted for purely academic
purposes.
c. Primarily conducted to answer questions about
practical issues.
d. A .random, unplanned process of discovery

9.Reliability means ______________.


A quantifiability
B consistency
C generalizability
D randomness
E validity

10 Which of the following is not a datacollection method?

a) Research questions
b) Unstructured interviewing
c) Postal survey questionnaires
d) Participant observation

11. Research that is done to expand


knowledge of the researcher is called as
A Action Research
B Conceptual Research
C Basic Research
D Diagnostic Research

12.A method similar to group to group


interviews, used to generate data is
A Basic Research
B Focus Group
C Diagnostic Research
D Fundamental Research

13 .How many steps are involved in a


research process.
A2
B4
C5
D7

14. Research that is done to explore new


ideas and concepts
A Experimental
B Descriptive
C Historical
D Exploratory

15.The complete structure or strategy


within which the research is conducted is

A Research Design
B Research Problem
C Research Methods
D Research Hypothesis

16 Which one of the following types of


samples is least representative of the
population.

a. Stratified random sample


b. Convenience sample
c. Quota sample
d. Cluster sample

17.The type of sampling approach where each


person in the sampling frame has an equal
chance of being selected is best described as:
a. Systematic sampling
b. Stratified random sampling
c. Simple random sampling
d. Non-probability sampling

18. A sample can be defined as a:


a. Population of interest to a researcher
b. Quota from within the whole population
c. Subset of a population representative of the
population of interest to the researcher
d. Criterion used to define eligibility for the
research study

19. Which of the following is NOT a type of


non-probability sampling?

Cluster sampling.
Judgmental sampling.
Snowball sampling.
Convenience sampling.
Quota sampling.

20.
_____ are statements/assumptions made
-about the likely outcomes of the problemwhich may or may not be true.

a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

Hypotheses
Research questions
Marketing research problems
Analytical models
None of the above

21._____ is a problem that requires taking a


decision on what information is needed and
how it can be obtained in the most feasible
way.

a.
b.
c.
d.

The environmental context of the problem


The management decision problem
The management research problem
Problem definition

22. As studied, discussions with experts


help to develop a perspective about defining
the research problem. Which of the
following statements about this discussion
is correct?
a. The experts may be found both within the
company as well as outside.
b. Typically primary method of semi-structured
interviews is used to collect information from
them.
c. A small group of experts is enough to arrive at a
perspective.
d. The stage is loose and flexible in approach.
e. All of the above are true.

23.
Which statement is not true about
research design?
a.Research designs are a framework for conducting
the research study.
b.Research design specifies the measurement and
scaling procedures.
c.Research design is undertaken before developing
the approach to the problem.
d.Research design is undertaken after the
management research problem has been defined.

24------------------is/are the blueprint that has


been created to answer research questions
in a systematic and controlled manner.
a. Research design
b. Research methods
c. Research proposal
d. Research classification
e. None of the above

25.Cross-sectional and longitudinal designs


are types of _____
a. Causal research
b. Exploratory research
c. Descriptive research
d. None of the above

26.In the opening vignette the kind of


design to be used to study the residents of
builder apartments and society flats
to
typically describe their buying pattern for
real estate, would require a
a. Simple research
b. Exploratory research
c. Descriptive research
d. Causal research
e. Two-tiered research

27.
Expert opinion survey is a technique
used in

a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.

Exploratory research design


Descriptive research design
Pre-experimental designs
Quasi-experimental designs
Experimental designs
None of the above

28. _____ is a type of conclusive research


which is especially formulated to
give a
description about a phenomena or group.
a. Longitudinal research design
b. Exploratory research design
c. Descriptive research design
d. Experimental research design
e. Two-tiered research design

29 .The most popular categorization of data


available for research is
a. Primary; secondary
b. Company; government
c. Published; unpublished
d. Internal; external

30. In comparison to primary data,


secondary data can be collected
a. Rapidly and easily
b. At a relatively low cost
c. In a short time
d. With less effort
e. All of the above

31. ----------- designs involve the collection of


information from any given sample of
population elements only once.
a. Exploratory research designs
b. Causal research designs
c. Cross-sectional research designs
d. Longitudinal research designs
e. None of the above

32.
Which of the following situations can
make use of secondary data?
a. Problem identification and formulation
b. Hypothesis testing
c. Telephonic survey
d. All of the above
e. None of the above