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RE 3201 Research Methodology

Lecture 1:
Introduction & Syllabus

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Objective of the course

This is very useful and practical module:
Most immediate outcome : it prepares you for
doing the Final Year Project (Case study or
Introduce a quantitative approach to decisionmaking and problem-solving in real estate
Enhance your ability to think critically and analyse
over issues
Down the road, it helps you in pursuing at higher
degrees (Masters & PhD)
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Main textbook
Ghauri, Pervez and Kjell Gronhaug, Research Methods
in Business Studies, 4th Edition, Prenctice Hall

Supplementary references
Field, Andy, Discovering Statistics using SPSS, 4th
Edition, MobileStudy
Tan, Willie, Practical research methods, 3rd Edition
Mason, E J and W J Bramble, Understanding and
Conducting Research, 2nd Edition, McGraw Hill
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Research Methods in
Business Studies, 4/E

: Ghauri

Publisher : Pearson

: 9780273712046

Available at NUS Co-op @ Forum !!

Basis of Assessment
Tutorial Participation (10%)
Individual Project (40%)
2-hour Written Open-book Exam

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Tutorial 1 begins on 4th Week
Questions will be posted on IVLE
Even week groups beginning on 5 Feb
No lecture on 20 January
I will be away to participate in Pacific Rim
Real Estate Conference

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Lecture Topics

Introduction. Why do research?

The research process
Research problems
Research design
Sources of data
Data collection
Sampling in empirical research
Preparation & analysis of data
Implementation - Quantitative data analysis
Implementation - Qualitative data analysis
Writing the research report

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What is research? Why do research

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Since time memorials, human beings are curious

and have not stopped asking questions

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New Thomson Line

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Thomson Line ready by 2019, 30 km with 22 stations

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Possible research question

What is the impact of this new mrt
line on property values in the
This issue is of interest to the
academia, government, developers,
land or property owners.

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Straits Times 6 January 2015

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A possible research question:

Are HDB resale and rent prices affected by


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Google' is not a synonym for
Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol
Research is the process of going up
alleys to see if they are blind.
Marston Bates
Research consists in seeing what
everyone else has seen, but thinking
what no one else has thought.
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
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The word research is derived from the French
language and its literal translation is to
investigate thoroughly.
In the broadest sense, research means to find
out something that we dont know. However,
it is not just about asking what? or who?; it
also requires us to ask why?

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Hence, research may be described as an
active, systematic process of inquiry that is
carried out with the intention of:
Understanding and explaining

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Need to analyse
We really cannot take decisions on important
issues unless we investigate more deeply the
relevant info, gathering more info on the
subject matter we are interested in.
Then we analyse all these info to make an
informed judgement about the suitable
solution to our problem or answer to our
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Types of Research

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Pure vs. Applied Research

Pure research (also known as basic or fundamental
research) is exploratory in nature and is conducted
without any practical end-use in mind.
It is driven by gut instinct, interest, curiosity or
intuition, and simply aims to advance knowledge and
to identify/explain relationships between variables.
Examples space exploration, going to Mars, etc
However, as the term fundamental suggests, pure
research may provide a foundation or bedrock for
further, sometimes applied research.

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Applied Research
In general, applied research is not carried out for its own sake
but in order to solve specific, practical questions or problems.
It tends to be descriptive, rather than exploratory and is often
based upon pure research.
However, the distinction between applied and pure research
may sometimes be unclear; for example, is research into the
genetic codes of plants being carried out simply to advance
knowledge or for possible future commercial exploitation?
It could be argued that the only real difference between these
two categories of research is the length of time between
research and reasonably foreseeable practical applications,
either in the public or private sectors.
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Albert Einstein mathematically derived his

famous mass-energy equivalence equation in
1906: E=mc2

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J Robert Oppenheimer & the Atomic Bombs

The Manhattan Project

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Atomic Bomb at Nagasaki

Fat Man loaded to the

plane on 9 August 1945
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Peace Park
at Nagasaki

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Stephen Hawking
is an English theoretical
physicist, cosmologist, author
and Director of Research at the
Centre for Theoretical
Cosmology within the
University of Cambridge
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Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research

The terms quantitative research and
qualitative research are commonly used
within the research community and implicitly
indicate the nature of research being
undertaken and the types of assumptions
being made.
These two approaches to be discussed later.
In reality, many research activities do not fall
neatly into one or other category
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Induction vs. Deduction

In logic, there are two common ways of reasoning, known as the
deductive and inductive approaches.
Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more
Sometimes this is informally called a "top-down" approach.
We might begin with thinking up a theory about our topic of
We then narrow that down into more specific hypotheses that we
can test.
We narrow down even further when we collect observations to test
the hypotheses.
This ultimately leads us to be able to test the hypotheses with
specific data an acceptance (or rejection) of our original theories.

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Inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning works the other way, moving
from specific observations to broader
generalizations and theories.
Informally, we sometimes call this a "bottom up"
In inductive reasoning, we begin with specific
observations and measures, begin to detect
patterns and regularities, formulate some
tentative hypotheses that we can explore, and
finally end up establishing some general
conclusions or theories.
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Examples of deductive logic

In mathematics, if A = B and B = C, then A = C.
If the first two statements are true, then the
conclusion must be true.
All men are mortal. Peter Lim is a man.
Therefore Peter Lim is mortal.

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Examples of inductive logic

This dog is black. That dog is black. A third dog
is black. Therefore all dogs are black.
All teachers are nice. Therefore, it can be
assumed that Robert is nice.
Bobby Tan is a financial analyst. Individuals
with professions in finance are very serious
people. Bobby is a very serious person.

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These two methods of reasoning have a very different

"feel" to them when you're conducting research.
Inductive reasoning, by its very nature, is more openended and exploratory, especially at the beginning.
Deductive reasoning is more narrow in nature and is
concerned with testing or confirming hypotheses.
Most social research involves both inductive and
deductive reasoning processes at some time in the

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Deduction and induction by themselves are

inadequate to make a compelling argument.
While deduction gives absolute proof, it never
makes contact with the real world, there is no
place for observation or experimentation, no way
to test the validity of the premises.
And, while induction is driven by observation, it
never approaches actual proof of a theory.
Therefore an effective paper will include both
types of logic.
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Concluding comments
Research questions starts when we want
to know why and/or we wish to find an
answer or solution.
Need to find a topic that one is
interested in, i.e. search for a doable
research topic

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Next the research process

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Ghauri & Gronhaug, Research Methods in
Business Studies, Chapters 1 & 2
Practical Research Methods, Chapter 1

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