CHAPTER 2 (Page 57)
1. Distinguish among the following sets of items, and suggest the significance of each in a research context: a. Concept and construct – A concept is a generally accepted collection of meanings or characteristics that are concrete whereas a construct is image or idea invented for a particular theory or research problem; a construct is an abstract concept. To successfully perform a research, we must form common ground; hence, the need for concepts and constructs. b. Deduction and induction – a deduction is a conclusive inference while an induction is a conclusion from one or more pieces of evidence. c. Operational definition and dictionary definition – an operational definition is a definition based on measurement criteria that have empirical reference while a dictionary definition is based on synonyms. d. Concept and variable – a concept is a generally accepted collection of meanings or characteristics associated with certain events while a variable is value or set of values related to a property being studied. e. Hypothesis and proposition – A hypothesis is a is a declarative statement that states a belief while a proposition is a statement about concepts that may be regarded as true or false. f. Theory and model – a theory is a set of systematically inter-related concepts, definitions and propositions that are advanced to explain and predict phenomena while a model is a representation of a system that is constructed to study some aspect of the system. g. Scientific method and scientific attitude – The scientific method deals with rationalism and empiricism: formal structured proofs and observable, concrete data; the scientific attitude deals with curiosity 2. Describe the characteristics of the scientific method
a. Direct observation of phenomena
b. Clearly defined variables, methods and procedures c. Empirically testable hypotheses
d. The ability to rule rival hypotheses
e. Statistical justification
f. Self-correcting process
3. What are the differences among the research approaches (and thinking styles) that guide the predominant kinds of studies done in operations research, marketing, finance and/or organizational behaviour? – There are six different styles of thinking: Postulational – rational and idealistic, Self-evident truth – fairly rational and idealistic, Method of authority – fairly rational and idealistic, Literary – informal and interpretative, Untested opinion – Very informal and fairly idealistic and finally, there is the scientific method which is empirical and rational. 4. Here are some terms commonly found in a management setting. Are they concepts or constructs? Give two different operational definitions for each. a. First-line supervisor – concept; person directly in charge of line workers; person reporting to unit manager b. Employee morale – construct; that which is measured by how an employee feels toward the job; that which is measured by how often an employee reports for work on time c. Assembly line – concept; area where the items are assembled; area where line workers spend most of their day d. Overdue account – concept; account balance that is past 30 days; an account where the amount owed is past 60 and less than 25% has been paid toward the balance. e. Line management – concept; person to whom all line supervisors report; head of each functional area f. Leadership – construct; quality defined by how many persons emulate this person; quality defined by a rating by asking persons how good a leader is the subject under study g. Price-earnings ratio – concept; the measure of how much an incumbent makes in reference to an average in the same job position; the amount someone makes in reference to others in similar jobs, having similar education and experience and...