Business Research Methods

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BUSINESS RESEARCH METHODS

Subject: Common problems, issues and constraints faced by business researchers during the Research Process Introduction:
Business research involves the systematic and objective process of gathering data and transforming it into useful information. The research process is not confined around a single universal methodology. Infact it differs from one research study to another depending on the purpose of the research, the industry/ sector of the client company concerned, the research method/ tools used etc. As the research process differs, researcher faces different problems and issues pertaining to the research at almost every stage of the research process.

It is important to note that the research problems are more complicated in studies involving subjective issues such as customer satisfaction surveys because in such a study, the quality and effectiveness of the service/ product varies among different customers depending on the customer''s perceived value of the offering, their prefferences and varying needs and demands.

One of the most common problem the researcher faces are budgetary constraints. This occurs in almost all the business researches regarless of the company sector, nature of the problem, the location where the study is conducted etc. However, budget constraints are higher when researches are conducted for SME (Small and medium enterprise) clients. Such clients have limited budget for such research activities as the company needs to ensure that the value generated by the research activity exceeds the cost involved in conducting the research. Depending on their project size these companies allocated the budget to conduct such research activites. Therefore, it is essential for the researcher to optimally utilize the resources it needs for gatheirng data and producing the required information within the agreed budget between the client and the researcher.

Another important and most common constraint for every business regardless of the company size is the time constraint. Industries that face fierce competion and changing needs and demands of the customer cannot spend too much time conducting a feasibility study/ business research because of the volatile nature of their business environment. E.g. a medium size apparel designing organization cannot spend much time and budget on conducting a research on the fashion trends prevailing in the market because the fashion trends are volatile in nature. Therefore by the time the research study produces the required information, the results of the research study will be outdated due to the rapidly changing fashion trends within the market.

It is important to mention here that problems and errors have a fine line of differentiation in between. Errors occur accidently on part of the researcher, respondents or any of the concerned persons invovled. However, problems occur due to constraints in the research process for which no one can be held responsible. As mentioned before, problems arise due to the nature of the study, the scale of the research, the size and business of the organization involved, the research method adopted for the study and external/ environmental factors as well.

Although the research problems differ under different circumstances, some of the research problems widely occur in almost all of the business and research studies.

Apart from Budget and time constraints which are the part of every business study, some of these important commonly occuring problems are highlighted in this text.

1. Getting the contract from the client organization:
The first issue that the researcher faces is to get a contract from a company to conduct the research in order to determine a solution to a problem or to identify a latent business opportunity. This involves developing the research proposal, reviewing it with the client company, modify and adjust as per the client specifications. Problems in approval also varies...
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