Business Research Method

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Thinking Like a Researcher

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Learning Objectives
Understand . . . • The terminology used by professional researchers employing scientific thinking. • What you need to formulate a solid research hypothesis. • The need for sound reasoning to enhance research results.

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Research and Intuition
“If we ignore supernatural inspiration, intuition is based on two things: experience and intelligence. The more experience I have with you, the more likely I am to encounter repetition of activities and situations that help me learn about you. The smarter I am, the more I can abstract from those experiences to find connections and patterns among them.”

Jeffrey Bradshow, creator of the software that searches databases

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Curiosity Is the Ally of a Researcher

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Thinking Style
Rationalism

Postulate

Self evident truth

Authority Idealism Literary

Scientific Method Empiricism

Untested opinion

Existentialism

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Challenge for the researcher
• The researcher must be able to identify source of quality information with the highest value which will bring the highest benefit and outcome for the decision being faced by the management

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Sound Reasoning
Types of Discourse

Exposition

Argument

Deduction

Induction

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Inductive/Deductive Process
Laws and Theories

DEDUCTIVE INDUCTIVE

Facts from Observation

Explanation and Prediction

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Induction and Deduction

A
Observation/ Description

B
Analysis

C
Explanation/ Hypothesis/ Theory

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Deductive
Theory Develop hypothesis
Collect and Analyze data Accept/reject hypothesis

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Inductive
Develop Theory Formulate Relationship Analyze patterns & themes

Observe phenomenon

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Language of Research
Conceptual schemes Operational definitions

Concepts

Constructs

Models

Terms used in research
Theory

Variables

Propositions/ Hypotheses

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Language of Research (Concept)
Clear conceptualization of concepts

Success of Research

Shared understanding of concepts

• A Concept is a generally accepted collection of meanings or characteristics associated with certain objects or events. • Concepts have evolved over time through shared usage.

• A Construct is an image or abstract idea specifically invented for a given research and/or theory building purpose

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Imagine

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What will happen?

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Job Redesign Constructs and Concepts

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Operational Definitions
How can we define the variable
“class level of students”?

• • • •

Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior

• • • •

< 30 credit hours 30-50 credit hours 60-89 credit hours > 90 credit hours

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Operationalization
Construct
A generalized idea about a class of objects, attributes, occurrences, or processes e.g. satisfaction, loyalty Gives meaning to a concept by specifying the activities or operations necessary to measure it

Operational Definition

Dimensions
Elements

Broad characteristics to ensure coverage or scope of the concept Specific items about the identified measurement, which are easily measured

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Operationalizing Learning
CONSTRUCT

Learning
d d d

Understanding

Retention

Application

e Answer questions correctly

e Give appropriate examples

e Recall material after some lapse

e Solve problems applying concepts understood and recalled

e Integrate with other relevant material

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Example
Concept Definition Operationalization Questionnaire Score Organizational Commitment (Mowday, Steers & Porter, 1979) Questionnaire Score Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) (Hackman & Oldham, 1975) Organizational A situation where the individual Commitment feels satisfied with the organization and its goal and would like to remain affiliated to achieve that goal Job Satisfaction The attitude of a person towards work, as a result oh his/her perception about the fit between him/her and the...
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