The Research Process

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Lecture 2. THE RESEARCH PROCESS:
AN OVERVIEW
BUSINESS RESEARCH ETHICS

DEFINITION OF RESEARCH
Business research is a systematic and objective process of gathering, recording, and analyzing data for making business decisions •Business research is the application of the scientific method in searching for the truth about business phenomena PURPOSE OF RESEARCH •Business research generates necessary qualitative and quantitative information for managerial problem-solving and decision-making activities •Decision making is the process of resolving a problem or choosing among alternative opportunities •The keys to decision making are

Recognizing the nature of the problem or opportunity
Identifying how much information is available
Determining what information is needed
DECISION MAKING
Decision making is the process of resolving a problem or choosing among alternative opportunities •The keys to decision making are
Recognizing the nature of the problem or opportunity
Identifying how much information is available
Determining what information is needed

Certainty-Uncertainty-Ambiguity
Every decision-making situation can be classified on the scale from complete certainty to absolute ambiguity Business research produces information to reduce uncertainty

Stages in Research Process
The stages overlap chronologically and are functionally inter-related •This process is often non-linear, with forward and backward linkages •A number of alternatives are available at each stage of the research •The road taken by a researcher depends on the research objectives and the available resources Step 1: Establish the Need for Business Research

When is business research NOT needed?
The information is already available
Decisions must be made now
We can’t afford research
Costs outweigh the value of business research
Step 2: Define the Problem
Business problem is a situation that makes some significant negative consequences more likely •This is the most important of the 11 steps (assuming we’ve decided to do business research!) •If the problem is incorrectly defined, all else is wasted effort •Problems are commonly inferred from symptoms which are observable clues that serve as a signal of a problem Step 3: Establish Objectives

Problem definition allows a researcher to set the proper research objectives •Research objectives, when achieved; provide the information necessary to solve the problem identified in step 2. •Research objectives state what the researchers must do

The best expression of a research objective is a testable research hypothesis Step 4: Determine Research Design
A research design is a master plan of research specifying methods and procedures for collecting and analyzing the needed information •Exploratory Research
Descriptive Research
Causal Research (experiments): allows isolation of causes and effects Research Design
Business research can be classified on the basis of either technique or function (purpose). • Common research techniques are experiments, surveys, observations, descriptive statistics • Functional classification shows how the nature of the problem influences the research design. –Exploratory

-Descriptive
-Causal (Explanatory)
-Evaluation

Various Types of Research
Exploratory Research is research into a new topic to develop a general understanding and refining ideas for future research (to clarify ambiguous problems) •Descriptive Research is research that presents a quantitative or qualitative picture of an event, activity or group (i.e. describes characteristics of a population or a phenomenon: who, what, when, where, how) –does not provide a causal explanation (why)

Explanatory (Causal) Research is research that attempts to test theory or develop a new accounting of why activities, events or relations occur as they do...
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