After studying this unit, you should be able to:
l explain the meaning of research,
l differentiate between Science and Knowledge,
l distinguish between inductive and deductive logic,
l discuss the need for research in business,
l classify research into different types,
l narrate different methods of research,
l list the difficulties in business research, and
l explain the business research process and its role in decision making. 1.1 INTRODUCTION
Research is a part of any systematic knowledge. It has occupied the realm of human understanding in some form or the other from times immemorial. The thirst for new areas of knowledge and the human urge for solutions to the problems, has developed a faculty for search and research and re-research in him/her. Research has now become an integral part of all the areas of human activity.
Research and Data
Research in common parlance refers to a search for knowledge. It is an endeavour to discover answers to problems (of intellectual and practical nature) through the application of scientific methods. Research, thus, is essentially a systematic inquiry seeking facts (truths) through objective, verifiable methods in order to discover the relationship among them and to deduce from them broad conclusions. It is thus a method of critical thinking. It is imperative that any type of organisation in the globalised environment needs systematic supply of information coupled with tools of analysis for making sound decisions which involve minimum risk. In this Unit, we will discuss at length the need and significance of research, types and methods of research, and the research process.
1.2 MEANING OF RESEARCH
The Random House Dictionary of the English language defines the term ‘Research’ as a diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, applications, etc. This definiton explains that research involves acquisition of knowledge. Research means search for truth. Truth means the quality of being in agreement with reality or facts. It also means an established or verified fact. To do research is to get nearer to truth, to understand the reality. Research is the pursuit of truth with the help of study, observation, comparison and experimentation. In other words, the search for knowledge through objective and systematic method of finding solution to a problem/answer to a question is research. There is no guarantee that the researcher will always come out with a solution or answer. Even then, to put it in Karl Pearson’s words “there is no short cut to truth… no way to gain knowledge of the universe except through the gate way of scientific method”. Let us see some definitions of Research:
L.V. Redman and A.V.H. Mory in their book on “The Romance of Research” defined research as “a systematized effort to gain new knowledge” “Research is a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic” (C.R. Kothari, Research Methodology - Methods and Techniques)
“A careful investigation or inquiry specially through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge” (Advanced learners Dictionary of current English) Research refers to a process of enunciating the problem, formulating a hypothesis, collecting the facts or data, analyzing the same, and reaching certain conclusions either in the form of solution to the problem enunciated or in certain generalizations for some theoretical formulation.
D. Slesinger and M. Stephenson in the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences defined research as: “Manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing and to extend, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in the construction of a theory or in the practice of an art”. To understand the term ‘research’ clearly and comprehensively let us analyze the above definition.
i) Research is manipulation of things, concepts or symbols
l manipulation means...