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The Research Process

By: Prof. Monali Jani

The Research Process
1. Formulating and Clarifying Research Problem/
2. Critically Review the Literature
3. Preparing Research Proposal
4. Research Design and Strategy
5. Data Collection & Preparation
6. Data Analysis and Interpretation
7. Research Report
8. Management Decision
1. Formulating and Clarifying Research
Problem/ Question
• Discover Management Dilemma
• Define Management Question (Macro in nature)
• Define Research Question (Micro in nature)
▫ Ex. How to increase the profit?? (Management
Which promotional strategy is more effective to
increase the sales? (Research Question)
How to motivate employees to improve the
productivity? (Research Question)
• Objectives
• Hypothesis
2. Critically Review the Literature
• Studying and analyzing secondary data
• Recent and past research studies, company data
or industry reports, books, journals, etc. (the source
should be authentic and reliable)
▫ To bring clarity and focus to your research
▫ Improve methodology
▫ Broaden knowledge
▫ Contextualize findings
3. Preparing Research Proposal
• A proposal is an individual’s or company’s offer
to produce a product or render service to a
potential buyer or sponsor. The purpose of
research proposal are:
▫ To present the management question to be researched
and relate its importance
▫ To discuss the research efforts of others who have
worked on related management questions
▫ To suggest necessary data and the ways in which data
will be gathered, treated and interpreted.
Structuring Research Proposal
• Executive Summary (an overview)
• Problem Statement
• Research Objectives
• Literature Review
• Importance/ Benefits of the Study
• Research Design
• Data Analysis
• Nature & Form of Results
• Qualification of Researchers
• Budget
• Schedule
• Facilities and Special Resources
• Project Management
• Bibliography
• Appendices
▫ Glossary
▫ Measurement Instruments
4. Research Design & Strategy
• The blueprint for fulfilling objectives and
answering questions.
• Qualitative v/s Quantitative
• Primary Data study v/s Secondary Data Study
• Sampling Designs: Probability & Non-
• Research Designs
▫ Exploratory
▫ Conclusive
▫ Causal
5. Data Collection & Preparation
• Data is facts presented to a researcher from the
study’s environment.
• Methods range from simple observation to grand
survey of multinational corporation.
• Primary Data and Secondary Data.
▫ Considerations:
 Omissions
 Duplications
 Eligibility
6. Data Analysis and Interpretation
• Data analysis is developing summaries, looking
for patterns and applying statistical techniques.

• Data interpretation is explanation and

application of the results of the analysis.

• Use of various statistical tools depending upon

nature of data and objective of the study.
7. Research Report
• To transmit the findings and recommendations
• Should be developed from information user’s

• Should include
▫ An executive Summary consisting of the problem, findings and
▫ An overview of the research the problems background, literature
summary, methods, procedures and conclusions.
▫ A section on implementation strategies for the
▫ A technical appendix with all the materials necessary to replicate
the project.
8. Management Decision
• The recommended course of action, given the
research findings.
Research Process Issues
• The Favored – Technique Syndrome (Researcher will
select the technique which he/she is comfortable with)
• Company Database Strip-Mining (Research-as expense-
not-investment mentality may prompt data mining from available
• Unresearchable Questions (Value and policy related
• Ill defined problems (Interrelated facets, Ex. Inter union
• Politically Motivated Research (Ex. Management manager
conflict, less support)
Basic Terminologies
• Concept
▫ Generally accepted collection of meanings or
characteristics associate with certain events, objects,
conditions, situations and behaviors. (Ex. Spelling)

• Constructs
▫ An image or abstract idea specifically invented for a
given research and/or theory building process.
▫ It is composed of more than one concepts, Ex.
Language Skill composed of vocabulary, syntax and
• Operational Definition
▫ Definition stated in terms of specific criteria for testing or
measurement. (Ex. Freshers, Seniors)

• Variable
▫ A symbol of an event, act, characteristic, trait or attribute that
can be measured and to which we assign categorical Values.
 Dichotomous (Ex. Employed Unemployed)
 Continuous (Ex. Income)
 Independent/ predictor Variable(IV): Which affects
 Depended/ criterion Variable(DV): Which is affected
 Moderating Variables (MV) : second independent variable having
significant effect
 Extraneous Variables (EV): infinite number of variables having little or
no effect in given situation or having impact in random fashion. –
Control Variable
 Intervening Variables(IVV): a conceptual mechanism through which
the IV and MV might affect the DV.
 Ex. For management students(EV), a practical activity in the class-
room (IV) can enhance participation (DV), especially using multimedia
(MV), as the students would be more attentive (IVV)
• Propositions and Hypothesis
▫ Proposition is statement about observable phenomena that
may be judged as true or false. When a proposition is
formulated for empirical testing, we call it a hypothesis.

• Descriptive Hypothesis
▫ State the existence, size, form, or distribution of some
 Ex. American cities are experiencing budget difficulties.
• Relational Hypothesis
▫ Statements that describe a relationship between two
variables with respect to some case.
 Correlational Hypothesis
 Ex. American cities are experiencing budget difficulties more
than Chinese cities.
 Explanatory (causal) Hypothesis (IV & DV)
 Ex. American cities are experiencing budget difficulties because
of lower savings orientation amongst people.
• Theory
▫ A set of systematically interrelated concepts,
definitions and propositions that are advanced to
explain and predict phenomena(facts).

• Model
▫ A representation of system that is constructed to
study some aspect of that system or the system as
a whole.
• What is a research? State each aspect of a good
research and write distinct features or
characteristics of that aspect.
• Discuss various steps of business research
• Define business research. How can it be used in
each stage of decision making process for
development and implementing strategy?
Thank You