Business Research

Topics: Scientific method, Empiricism, Theory Pages: 7 (1835 words) Published: August 9, 2013
Arnie Q. Mejia
June 29, 2013
Professor: Dr. Fely C. Simon, Ph/D/DPA

Session 2. Addressing Management Problems with Scientific Thinking

Research and the Scientific Method

Competent researchers and astute managers alike practice thinking habits that reflect sound reasoning – finding correct premises, testing the connections between their facts and assumptions, making claims based on adequate evidence.

Empirical testing or empiricism is said to denote observations and propositions based on sensory experience and/or derived from such experience by methods of inductive logic, including mathematics and statistics.

The essential tenets of the scientific methods are:

Direct observation of phenomena
Clearly defined variables, methods, and procedures
Empirically testable hypothesis
The ability to rule out rival hypothesis
Statistical rather than linguistic justification of conclusions. The self-correcting process.

The scientific method, and scientific inquiry generally, is described as a puzzle-solving activity. One approach to assessing the validity of conclusions about observable events for the researcher:

Encounters a curiosity, doubt, barrier, suspicion, or obstacle. Struggles to state the problem – asks questions, contemplates existing knowledge, gathers facts, and moves from an emotional to an intellectual confrontation with the problem. Proposes a hypothesis, a plausible explanation, to explain the facts that are believe to be logically related to the problem. Deduces outcomes or consequences of the hypothesis-attempts to discover what happens if the results are in the opposite direction of that predicted or if the results support the expectations. Formulates several rival hypotheses.

Devises and conducts a crucial empirical test with various possible outcomes, each of which selectively excludes one or more hypotheses. Draws a conclusion (an inductive inference) based on acceptance or rejection of the hypotheses. Feeds information back into the original problem, modifying it according to the strength of the evidence.

Sound Reasoning for Useful Answers
Communicate our meaning with two types of discourse;
Exposition consists of statements that describe without attempting to explain. Argument allows us to explain, interpret, defend, challenge, and explore meaning. Two types of argument of great importance to research are deduction and induction.

Deduction is a form of argument that purports to be conclusive-the conclusion must necessarily follow from the reasons given. These reasons are said to imply the conclusion and represent a proof. A deduction must be both true and valid in order to be correct.


(Premise 1) All employees at BankOne can be trusted to observe the ethical code. (Premise 2) Sara is an employee of BankOne
(Premise 3) Sara can be trusted to observe the ethical code.

The conclusion in this case must be based on our confidence in Sara as an individual rather than a general premise that all employees of BankOne are ethical.

There is no such strength of relationship between reasons and conclusions in induction. In induction you draw a conclusion from one or more particular facts or pieces of evidence. The conclusion explains the facts, and the facts explain the conclusion. For example the following hypotheses may be used to explain why even after a firm spends $1 million on a regional promotional campaign, sales do not increase; Regional retailers did not have sufficient stock to fill customer requests during the promotional period. A strike by the employees of the trucking firm prevented stocks from arriving in time for the promotion to be effective. A category-five hurricane closed all our retail locations in the region for the 10 days during the promotion.

The inductive conclusion is an inferential jump beyond the evidence presented-...
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