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Apologies but I do not have spare copies of the book.

If you contact the


publishers, they send free copies to lecturers who are considering adopting the
text. In the meantime I am sending the preface

Best wishes

Roger

Preface to the fourth edition

Aim of the book

The success of the previous editions of Business Research has led to the development of this
fully revised and expanded fourth edition. It is intended to provide practical guidance to students
and early career researchers who are conducting research in business and management
disciplines. The successful format of the earlier editions has been retained, but the design has
been improved to better meet the needs of students and those responsible for teaching research
methods.

Each chapter is clearly structured around a particular topic and the different aspects are simply
described and explained. As many first-time researchers find the language of research off-
putting, we introduce terms gradually and provide key definitions in the margin. For ease of
reference, the key terms are listed in the glossary at the end of the book. There is further reading
at the end of each chapter, together with practical activities that encourage discussion and
reflection. The companion website contains progress tests and detailed PowerPoint slides for
each chapter that cover the main learning outcomes, as well as other teaching and learning
materials.

Students on taught courses often need to complete their research within a relatively short period
of time. Consequently, they have to balance the conceptual demands of the subject with pressing
practical considerations. In contrast, doctoral students generally have more time, but need to
develop greater knowledge of the conceptual aspects of research. The main problem for all
students is how to find the most efficient and effective way of collecting, analyzing and
presenting their data while maintaining academic rigour. Therefore, we cite a range of studies
that illustrate the methods covered in this book. These were chosen for their richness, clarity and
variety of approach rather than because they are classic studies.

Changes in the fourth edition

Existing users will find the fourth edition retains the familiarity of the original and will notice the
expansion of some chapters and the insertion of new chapters. The success of the book in
different countries has led to a more international perspective. The main changes are:
 We have removed old Chapter 2 Making academic decisions chapter to the website, but
extracted the section on supervision and incorporated it in Chapter 1.
 We have extended the section on research ethics in new Chapter 2 Dealing with practical
issues.
 We have substantially revised and restructured the two chapters on collecting and
analyzing qualitative data in the third edition and now provide three chapters in the new
edition: Chapter 8 Collecting qualitative data; Chapter 9 Analyzing qualitative data; and
Chapter 10 Integrated collection and analysis methods)
 Our new vox pop feature adds the voice of student to the chapters. Not only does this
illustrate their experience at a particular stage in their research, but it provides insights
into the topics that different undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students have
chosen to study.
 We have moved the end-of-chapter progress tests to the companion website where they
will be available in Word and as an on-line test.

Business Research offers a succinct and accessible guide to research methods, which makes it an
ideal core text. Students and lecturers will find that the chapters follow the typical pattern of the
research process, from the design of the project to the writing-up stage. The practical activities
and references to further reading can be used for independent study or as basis for group work.
At any time, students can refer to the ‘Trouble shooting’ chapter for advice. Indeed, despite the
new materials included in this edition, the book is still small enough to carry around as a constant
source of reference.

Suggested lecture programmes

Undergraduate students
1 Understanding research
2 Dealing with practical issues
3 Identifying your paradigm (overview) and 4 Designing the research
5 Searching and reviewing the literature (supported by training on using e-resources and
software for managing references)
6 Writing your research proposal
7 Collecting qualitative data
8 Analysing qualitative data
10 Collecting data for statistical analysis
11 Analysing data using descriptive statistics (supported by training on statistical software)
13 Writing up the research

Postgraduate and doctoral students


1 Understanding research
2 Dealing with practical issues
3 Identifying your paradigm
4 Designing the research
5 Searching and reviewing the literature (supported by training on using e-resources and
software for managing references)
6 Writing your research proposal
7 Collecting qualitative data
8 Analysing qualitative data
9 Integrated qualitative data methods
10 Collecting data for statistical analysis
11 Analysing data using descriptive statistics (supported by training on statistical software)
12 Analysing data using inferential statistics (supported by training on statistical software)
13 Writing up the research
Acknowledgements

We are grateful to our colleagues around the world and the many cohorts of students who have
kindly commented on previous editions of this book.

We are indebted to our publisher, Martin Drewe, and the team: Helen Bugler, Nikini Jayatunga,
Linda Norris, Bryony Allen, Julie Lankester and Jo Booley for their forbearance and support.
Finally, we are deeply indebted to Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee for the gift of the World Wide
Web, which allows this transatlantic duo to continue writing together and communicate with
their publishers without leaving their desks!

We would also like to thank the IBM Corporation for allowing us to reproduce screen images
from IBM® SPSS®, which has enabled us to improve our practical guide to statistical methods in
this edition. Every effort has been made to trace all copyright holders, but if any have been
inadvertently overlooked, the publishers will be pleased to make the necessary arrangements at
the first opportunity.

Jill Collis
Brunel University, London, UK

Roger Hussey
University of Windsor, Canada

Tour of the book

Biographies of the authors

Jill Collis is a reader in accounting and director of the Accounting and Auditing Research Centre
at Brunel University, London. Her writing reflects her experience as a mature student, which has
given her considerable insight into the needs of students and their lecturers. Jill’s research
focuses on the impact of changes in the regulation of accounting and auditing for micro- and
small companies in Europe. She has conducted research for government departments (DTI and
BERR), the Professional Oversight Board and the accountancy bodies (ACCA, ICAEW and
ICAS).

Roger Hussey is a Fellow of both the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the
Association of International Accountants. He holds an MSc in Industrial Relations and a PhD in
Accounting from Bath University, UK. After several years in industry he was appointed Director
of Research into Employee Communications at the Industrial Relations Unit of St Edmund Hall,
Oxford. After six years at Oxford, he moved to the University of the West of England. In the
year 2000 Roger became the Dean of the Odette School of Business in Windsor, Canada. He
subsequently became Dean of Guangzhou International Business School, China. He is now
Emeritus Professor at the University of the West of England and the University of Windsor.