You are on page 1of 41

2-1

Chapter 2
Thinking Like A
Researcher

McGraw-Hill/Irwin

2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., All Rights Reserved.

2-2

Learning Objectives
Understand
the need for sound reasoning to enhance
business research results
the terminology used by professional
researchers employing scientific thinking
what you need to formulate a solid
research hypothesis

2-3

The Scientific Method


Direct observation
Clearly defined variables
Clearly defined methods
Empirically testable

Elimination of alternatives
Statistical justification
Self-correcting process

2-4

Researchers

Encounter problems
State problems
Propose hypotheses
Deduce outcomes
Formulate rival
hypotheses
Devise and conduct
empirical tests
Draw conclusions

2-5

Synovate
Curiosity is
necessary to be a
good business
researcher

2-6

Language of Research
Concepts

Constructs

Models

Terms used
in research
Theory

Conceptual
schemes
Operational
definitions

Variables
Propositions/
Hypotheses

2-7

A concept is a bundle of generally accepted meanings or


characteristics associated with certain concrete, unambiguous
events, objects, conditions, or situations. e.g. Table, Walking
A construct:
Abstract concept difficult to visualize
Definition specifically invented to represent an abstract
phenomena for a given research project. e.g. Personality
A conceptual scheme is the interrelationship between
concepts and constructs.
An operational definition defines a variable in terms of
specific measurement and testing criteria.
A variable is used as a synonym for the construct being
studied.

2-8

Exhibit 2-3 Job Redesign


Constructs and Concepts

3-8

2-9

Language of Research

Success
of
Research

Clear conceptualization
of concepts

Shared understanding
of concepts

2-10

Definition
To reduce confusion about concepts
among stakeholders of research
Dictionary Definition
Synonym
Circular

Benefit = Advantage

Operational Definition
stated in terms of specific criteria for testing or
measurement

2-11

Operational Definitions
How can we define the variable class level of students?

Freshman
Sophomore
Junior
Senior

< 30 credit hours


30-50 credit hours
60-89 credit hours
> 90 credit hours

2-12

Variable
Synonym for construct or property
being studied
Categorical value is assigned

2-13

What Is A Variable?

Act

Event

Variable

Characteristic

Trait

2-14

Types of Variables

Dichotomous

Male/Female
Employed/ Unemployed

Discrete

Ethnic background
Educational level
Religious affiliation

Continuous

Income
Temperature
Age

2-15

Independent variable: variable


manipulated by the researcher to cause an
effect on the dependent variable.
Dependent variable: variable expected to
be affected by the manipulation of an
independent variable.

2-16

Exhibit 2-4 Independent


and Dependent Variables
Independent Variable
(IV)
Predictor
Presumed cause
Stimulus
Predicted from
Antecedent
Manipulated

Dependent Variable
(DV)
Criterion
Presumed effect
Response
Predicted to.
Consequence
Measured outcome

2-17

Moderating / Interation
Variables (MV)
Second IV having a significant contributory
or contingent effect on IV-DV relationship
The switch to commission from a salary
compensation system (IV) will lead to
increased sales productivity (DV) per worker,
especially among younger workers (MV).
The loss of mining jobs (IV) leads to
acceptance of higher-risk behaviors to earn a
family-supporting income (DV) particularly
among those with a limited education (MV).

MV may be taken as IV

2-18

Extraneous Variables (EV)


Variables that could conceivably affect a
given relationship introduced as control
variable to help interpret the relationship
With new customers (EV-control), a switch to
commission from a salary compensation
system (IV) will lead to increased sales
productivity (DV) per worker, especially
among younger workers (MV).
Among residents with less than a high school
education (EV-control), the loss of jobs (IV)
leads to high-risk behaviors (DV), especially
due to the proximity of the firing range (MV).

2-19

Intervening Variables (IVV)


Factor that affects the observed
phenomenon but cannot be measured or
manipulated.
It is a conceptual mechanism through
which the IV and MV might affect the DV
Introduction of 4 day working week (IV) will
lead to higher productivity (DV) by increasing
job satisfaction (IVV)

2-20

The switch to a commission compensation


system (IV) will lead to higher sales
productivity (DV) by increasing overall
compensation (IVV).
A promotion campaign (IV) will increase
savings activity (DV), especially when free
prizes are offered (MV), but chiefly among
smaller savers (EV-control). The results come
from enhancing the motivation to save (IVV).

2-21

Proposition and
Hypothesis
A proposition is a statement about observable
phenomena that may be judged as true or false.
A hypothesis is a proposition formulated for
empirical testing.

2-22

Propositions and
Hypotheses
Brand Manager Jones (case) has a
higher-than-average achievement
motivation (variable).
Generalization

Brand managers in Company Z (cases)


have a higher-than-average achievement
motivation (variable).

2-23

Hypothesis Formats
Descriptive
In Detroit, our potato
chip market share
stands at 13.7%.
American cities are
experiencing budget
difficulties.

Research Question
What is the market
share for our potato
chips in Detroit?
Are American cities
experiencing budget
difficulties?

2-24

Descriptive Hypothesis
A statement about the existence, size, form,
or distribution of a variable.
Researchers often use a research question
rather than a descriptive hypothesis.
Advantages of Descriptive Hypothesis:
Useful for testing statistical significance
Encourages researchers to crystallize thinking
about
likely relationships.
implications of a supported or rejected finding.

2-25

Relational Hypothesis
A statement about the relationship between
two variables with respect to some case.
A correlational hypothesis is a statement
indicating that variables occur together in some
specified manner without implying that one
causes the other.
A causal hypothesis is a statement that
describes a relationship between two variables in
which one variable leads to a specified effect on
the other variable.

2-26

Relational Hypotheses
Correlational
Young women (under 35)
purchase fewer units of
our product than women
who are older than 35.
The number of suits sold
varies directly with the
level of the business
cycle.

Causal
An increase in family
income leads to an
increase in the
percentage of income
saved.
Loyalty to a grocery store
increases the probability
of purchasing that stores
private brand products.

2-27

The Role of Hypotheses


Guide the direction of the study

Identify relevant facts

Suggest most appropriate research


design
Provide framework for organizing
resulting conclusions

2-28

Characteristics of Strong
Hypotheses

Adequate
A
Strong
Hypothesis
Is

Testable

Better
than rivals

2-29

Theory and Model


A theory is a set of systematically interrelated
concepts, definitions, and propositions that are
advanced to explain or predict phenomena. e.g.
Product life cycle theory
A model is a representation of a system
constructed to study some aspect of that system.
Descriptive models are used for complex systems
because they allow for the visualization of numerous
variables and relationships.
Predictive models forecast future events and facilitate
business planning.
Normative models are used for control, because they
indicate necessary actions.

2-30

Exhibit 2-6 Theory of the


Product Life Cycle

2-31

Exhibit 2-7 A Distribution


Network Model

2-32

Exhibit 2-8
The Role of Reasoning

2-33

Sound Reasoning
Types of Discourse

Exposition

Deduction

Argument

Induction

2-34

Reasoning
Exposition consists of statements that describe
without attempting to explain.
Argument allows us to explain, interpret,
defend, challenge, and explore meaning.

2-35

Deduction
Deduction is a form of reasoning in which the
conclusion must necessarily follow from the
premises given.
Deduction is the process by which we test
whether the hypothesis is capable of
explaining the fact
All employees of MCB observe ethics (Premise 1)
Aslam is an employee of MCB (Premise 2)
Aslam observes ethics (Conclusion)

Stronger bond between reason and


conclusion than induction

2-36

Deductive Reasoning
Inner-city household
interviewing is especially
difficult and expensive
This survey involves
substantial inner-city
household interviewing
The interviewing in this
survey will be especially
difficult and expensive
2002 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., McGraw-Hill/Irwin

2-37

Induction
Induction is a form of reasoning that draws a
conclusion from one or more particular facts or
pieces of evidence.

Induction occurs when we observe a fact and


ask, Why is this? In answer to this question,
we advance a tentative explanation or
hypothesis.
The hypothesis is plausible if it explains the
event or condition (fact) that prompted the
question.

2-38

Inductive Reasoning
Why didnt sales increase during our
promotional event?
Regional retailers did not have sufficient stock
to fill customer requests during the
promotional period
A strike by employees prevented stock from
arriving in time for promotion to be effective
A hurricane closed retail outlets in the region
for 10 days during the promotion

2-39

Exhibit 2-1 Why Didnt


Sales Increase?

Deduction

2-40

Combining Induction
and Deduction
We promote a product but sales dont
increase (Fact 1)
Why didnt sales increase? (Induction)
Infer conclusion (hypothesis) to answer
the question: Promotion was poorly
executed.
Use this hypothesis to conclude (Deduce)
that sales will not increase during poor
promotion (Deduction 1)

2-41

Exhibit 2-2 Tracys


Performance