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BUS 321

Science Methodology

Main Textbook:
William G. Zikmund’s
Business Research Methods

Lectured by
Prof. Dr. Lütfihak Alpkan
Gebze Institute of Technology
WEEK DATE TEACHING PLAN
1 24. 09 Introduction
2 01. 10 Ch. 1: The Role of Business Research
3 08.10 Ch. 3: Theory Building
4 15.10 Ch. 4: The Business Research Process
5 22. 10 Ch. 5: Ethical Issues in Business Research
7 05. 11 General overview
8 12. 11 MIDTERM EXAM 1
9 19. 12 Ch. 6: Problem Definition and Research Proposal
10 26. 12 Ch. 7: Exploratory Research and Qualitative Analysis
11 03. 12 Ch. 8: Secondary Data
12 10. 12 Ch. 9: Survey Research
13 17. 12 General overview
14 24.12 MIDTERM EXAM 2
Business
Research Methods

William G. Zikmund

Chapter 1:
The Role of Business Research
Chapter 1:
The Role of Business Research
1. Business Research Defined
2. Business Research Types
3. The Role of Research in Decision-making
Process
4. Determining When to Conduct Business
Research
5. Major Topics for Research in Business
6. Basic Methods of Research
1. Business Research Defined
•Business research is the systematic and
objective process of generating
information to reduce uncertainty.

•Business research is conducted to


provide valid and reliable answer(s) to
already posed research questions.

•It facilitates the managerial decision


process for all aspects of a business.
Business Research
• Research information is neither intuitive nor
haphazardly gathered.
• Literally, research (re-search) -“search
again”
• Business research must be objective
• Detached and impersonal rather than biased
Research Questions “?”
I don’t know
if we
Information should
offer on-site
Reduces child care?

Uncertainty
Data versus Information
• Data—the raw facts—record measures of
certain phenomena which are necessary to
provide
• Information—facts in a form suitable for
managers to base decisions on.
Characteristics of Valuable
Information
• Relevance
• Quality
• Timeliness
• Completeness
2. Business Research Types

Basic Research:
• Attempts to expand the limits of knowledge.
• Not directly involved in the solution to a
pragmatic problem.

Applied Research:
• Conducted when a decision must be made about
a specific real-life problem
Basic Research Example
• Is executive success correlated with high
need for achievement?
• Are members of highly cohesive work
groups more satisfied than members of less
cohesive work groups?
• Do consumers experience cognitive
dissonance in low-involvement situations?
Applied Research Examples
• Should McDonalds add Italian pasta dinners
to its menu?
• Business research told McDonald’s it
should not
• Should Procter & Gamble add a high-priced
home teeth bleaching kit to its product line?
• Research showed Crest Whitestrips would
sell well at a retail price of $44
3. The Role of Research in the
Decision-making Process
Information is vital to conduct a proper
decision process for successfully:
• Identifying problems and opportunities
• Diagnosis and assessment
• Selecting and implementing a course of
action
• Evaluating the course of action
The Process of Decision Making

• Decision making
– The process through which managers and leaders
identify and resolve problems and capitalize on
opportunities.
• Problem
– A condition that occurs when some aspect of
organizational performance is less than desirable.
• Opportunity
– Any situation that has the potential to provide
additional beneficial outcomes.
Seven Steps in the Decision-Making Process
Identifying opportunities
and diagnosing problems

Identifying objectives

Generating alternatives

Evaluating alternatives

Reaching decisions

Choosing implementation strategies

Monitoring and evaluating


Step 1: Identifying Opportunities
and Diagnosing Problems

• The clear identification of opportunities or the


diagnosis of problems that require a decision.
• An assessment of opportunities and problems
will only be as accurate as the information on
which it is based.
Step 2: Identifying Objectives
• Objectives reflect the results the organization
wants to attain. Also called targets, standards or
ends.
– The quantity and quality of the desired results should
be specified, for these aspects will ultimately guide
the decision maker in selecting the appropriate
course of action.
– Objectives can be measured on a variety of
dimensions (monetary units, output per hour, % of
defects, etc.) and whether the objectives are long-
term versus short-term.
Step 3: Generating Alternatives

• Once an opportunity has been identified or a


problem diagnosed correctly, a manager
develops various ways to solve the problem
and achieve objectives.
• The alternatives can be standard and
obvious as well as innovative and unique.
Step 4: Evaluating Alternatives
• Determining the value or adequacy of the
alternatives generated.
• Predetermined decision criteria may be used
in the evaluation process.
– Quality desired
– Anticipated costs
– Benefits
– Uncertainties
– Risks
Step 5: Reaching Decisions

• Decision making is commonly associated


with making a final choice.
• Although choosing an alternative would
seem to be a straightforward proposition, in
reality the choice is rarely clear-cut.
Step 6: Choosing Implementation
Strategies
• The bridge between reaching a decision and
evaluating the results.
• The keys to effective implementation are:
– Sensitivity to those who will be affected by the
decision.
– Proper planning and consideration of the
resources necessary to carry out the decision.
Keys to Effective Implementation of Decisions
Step 7: Monitoring and
Evaluating
• No decision-making process is complete
until the impact of the decision has been
evaluated.
• Managers must observe the impact of the
decision as objectively as possible and take
further corrective action if it becomes
necessary.
4. Determining When to Conduct
Business Research
• Time constraints
• Availability of data
• Nature of the decision
• Benefits versus costs
When to Conduct Business Research?

Availability Nature of Benefits


Time Constraints of Data the Decision vs. Costs
Is the information Does the value
Is sufficient time Is the decision Conducting
Yes already Yes Yes of the research Yes
available before of considerable
on hand information Business
a managerial strategic
inadequate exceed the cost Research
decision or tactical
for making of conducting
must be made? importance?
the decision? research?

No No No No

Do Not Conduct Business Research


Value Should Exceed
Estimated Costs
Costs
Value •Research expenditures
•Delay of business
•Decreased certainty
decision and possible
•Increased likelihood of
disclosure of
a correct decision
information to rivals
•Improved business
•Possible erroneous
performance and
research results
resulting higher profits
5. Major Topics for Research in
Business
• General Business Conditions and Corporate
Research
• Financial and Accounting Research
• Management and Organizational Behavior
Research
• Sales and Marketing Research
• Information Systems Research
• Corporate Responsibility Research
6. Basic Methods of Research
• Surveys
• Experiments
• Secondary data
• Observation
Business
Research Methods

William G. Zikmund

Chapter 3:
Theory Building
Chapter 3:
Theory Building
1. Definition of Theory
2. Levels of Reality
2.1. Constracts
2.2. Propositions
3. Scientific Method
3.1. Deductive Reasoning
3.2. Inductive Reasoning
1. Definition of Theory
A coherent set of general propositions used as
principles of explanation of the apparent
relationships of certain observed
phenomena.

Two Purposes of Theory:


• Understanding
• Prediction
Theories
Theories are nets cast to catch what we call
“the world”: to rationalize, to explain, and
to master it. We endeavor to make the mesh
ever finer and finer.
Karl R. Popper
2. Levels of Reality
• Abstract level (concepts & propositions): in
theory development, the level of knowledge
expressing a concept that exists only as an
idea or a quality apart from an object.

• Empirical level (variables & hypotheses):


level of knowledge reflecting that which is
verifiable by experience or observation.
2.1. Concept (or Construct)
• A generalized idea about a class of objects,
attributes, occurrences, or processes that has
been given a name
• Building blocks that abstract reality
• “leadership,” “productivity,” and “morale”
• “gross national product,” “asset,” and
“inflation”
Concepts are Abstractions of
Reality
Abstract CONCEPTS
Level

Empirical OBSERVATION OF OBJECTS


Level AND EVENTS (REALITY)
A Ladder Of Abstraction
For Concepts

Increasingly more abstract


Vegetation

Fruit

Banana

Reality
Theory Building: A Process Of
Increasing Abstraction

Increasingly more abstract


Theories

Propositions

Concepts

Observation of objects
and events (reality )
2.2. Propositions
• Propositions are statements concerned with
the relationships among concepts.

• A hypothesis is a proposition that is


empirically testable. It is an empirical
statement concerned with the relationship
among variables.
• A variable is anything that may assume
different numerical values.
Proposition at Abstract Level

Concept A Concept B
(Reinforcement) (Habits)

Hypothesis at Empirical Level

Dollar bonus for


sales volume Always makes
over quota four sales calls
a day
3. Scientific Method
The use of a set of prescribed procedures for
establishing and connecting theoretical
statements about events and for predicting
events yet unknown.
Empirical Evidence help us predict future reality through
abstract concepts

1–41
© 2002 Southwestern College Publishing. All rights reserved.
3.1. Deductive Reasoning
• The logical process of deriving a conclusion
from a known premise or something known
to be true.
– We know that all managers are human beings.
– If we also know that John Smith is a manager,
– then we can deduce that John Smith is a human
being.
3.2. Inductive Reasoning
• The logical process of establishing a general
proposition on the basis of observation of
particular facts.
– All managers that have ever been seen are
human beings;
– therefore all managers are human beings.
The Scientific Method:
An Overview

Assess Formulate Statement


Design
relevant concepts & of
research
existing Propositions Hypotheses
knowledge

Acquire Analyze & Provide


empirical evaluate explanation-
data data state new
problem
Business
Research Methods

William G. Zikmund

Chapter 4:
The Business Research Process
Chapter 4:
The Business Research Process
1.Information and Decision Making
2. Types of Research
2.1. Exploratory
2.2. Descriptive
2.3. Causal
3. Stages of the Research Process
1.Information and Decision Making

The key to decision making is:


• to recognize the nature of the
problem/opportunity,
• to identify what type of information is needed,
• and how much information is available.

Information reduces the level of certainty in


decision making
Levels of Certainty in Decision Making

1.Certainty:

Necessary information is perfectly available,


which is something rare.
Under certainty, the exact nature of the
problem/opportunity is clear,
Objectives to be achieved by an effective
decision are set.
Certainty:

Necessary information to develop


alternatives and select the best solution
among them is already present

Therefore, there is no need to make research


for understanding the situation and
making prediction.
2. Uncertainty:

Necessary information is somewhat


available, which is something usual.
Under uncertainty, the exact nature of the
problem/opportunity is clear,
Objectives to be achieved by an effective
decision are set.
Uncertainty:

However, necessary information to develop


alternatives and select the best solution
among them is incomplete.

Therefore, research is needed to enlarge


our incomplete understanding of the
situation and to be able to make better
predictions than managerial guesses.
3. Ambiguity:

Almost no information is available, which is


something rare.
Under ambiguity, the exact nature of the
problem/opportunity is not clear,
Objectives to be achieved by an effective
decision are not set yet.
Ambiguity:

Necessary information to develop


alternatives and select the best solution
among them is incomplete.

Therefore, research is extremely needed to


enlarge our understanding and to be able
to make predictions.
2. Types of Research

• Exploratory
• Descriptive
• Causal
Uncertainty Influences the Type of Research

COMPLETE ABSOLUTE
CERTAINTY UNCERTAINTY AMBIGUITY

NO RESEARCH CAUSAL DESCRIPTIVE EXPLORATORY


AT ALL RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH
Degree of Problem Definition
Exploratory Research Descriptive Research Causal Research
(Unaware of Problem) (Aware of Problem) (Problem Clearly Defined)

“Our sales are declining and “What kind of people are buying “Will buyers purchase more of
we don’t know why.” our product? Who buys our our products in a new package?
competitor’s product?”
“Would people be interested “Which of two advertising
in our new product idea?” “What features do buyers prefer campaigns is more effective?”
in our product?”
2.1. Exploratory Research

Secondary data

Experience survey

Pilot studies

57
Exploratory Research
• Initial research conducted to clarify and
define the nature of a problem
• Does not provide conclusive evidence
• Subsequent research expected
2.2. Descriptive Research
• Describes characteristics of a population or
phenomenon
• Some understanding of the nature of the
problem
I keep six honest serving men, (they
taught me all I knew), their names are
what, and why, and when, and how,
and where and who.”
--Rudyard Kipling

60
2.3. Causal Research
• Conducted to identify cause and effect
relationships
Identifying Causality
• A causal relationship is impossible to prove.
• Evidence of causality:
– 1. The appropriate causal order of events
– 2. Concomitant variation--two phenomena
vary together
– 3. An absence of alternative plausible
explanations
3. Stages of the Research Process

Problem Discovery Discovery and


and Definition Definition

Research and so on
Design Conclusions and
Report

Sampling
Data Processing
and Analysis
Data
Gathering
Problem Discovery Problem Selection of
and Definition discovery exploratory research
technique
Sampling

Selection of
exploratory research
technique Probability Nonprobability

Secondary
Experience Pilot Case Collection of
(historical) Data
survey study study data
data Gathering
(fieldwork)

Data
Editing and
Problem definition Processing
coding
(statement of and
Analysis data
research objectives)

Data
Selection of processing
Research Design basic research
method Conclusions
Interpretation
and Report
of
findings
Experiment Survey
Secondary
Laboratory Field Interview Questionnaire Observation
Data Study Report
The Business Research Process

Problem Selection of
Discovery Sample Design

Exploratory Collection of the


Research Data

Selection of the
Basic Research
Method
The Research Process (cont.)

Editing and Report


Coding

Data Processing

Interpretation of
the Findings
“The formulation of the problem
is often more essential than its
solution”

Albert Einstein
Business
Research Methods

William G. Zikmund

Chapter 5:
Ethical Issues in Business Research
Chapter 5:
Ethical Issues in Business Research
1. Definition of Ethics
2. Rights and Obligations of the Respondent
3. Rights and Obligations of the Researcher
4. Rights and Obligations of the Client (User)
5. Types of Ethical Misconduct in Research
1. Definition of Ethics

• Ethics :The established customs, morals, and


fundamental human relationships that exist
throughout the world.

• Ethical Behavior: Behavior that is morally


accepted as good or right as opposed to bad or
wrong.
Research Ethics
• General ethical rules apply also to the
researchers.

• If a society deems dishonesty to be


unethical, then this means that any
researcher who behaves dishonestly in the
research process is acting unethically.
2. Rights and Obligations of the
Respondent

• The obligation to be truthful


• Privacy
• Deception
• The right to be informed
3. Rights and Obligations of the
Researcher
• The purpose of research is research
• Objectivity
• Misrepresenting research
• Protect the right to confidentiality of both
subjects and clients
• Dissemination of faulty conclusions
• Advocacy research
4. Rights and Obligations of the
Client Sponsor (User)
• Ethics between buyer and seller
• An open relationship with research
suppliers
• An open relationship with interested parties
• Privacy
• Commitment to research
• Pseudo-pilot studies
5. Types of Ethical Misconduct in Research
(see also www.chem.wayne.edu/information/ethics_presentation.pdf)
• Falsification: changing data
• Fabrication: making up data
• Plagiarism: using words or ideas without proper
attribution
• Duplication: writing exactly the same parts in
different publications
• Slicing: using the results of the same research
project in more than one publication
They should be assumed as unethical as lying,
cheating, copying, etc.
Business
Research Methods

William G. Zikmund

Chapter 6.1:
Problem Definition
Chapter 6.1:
Problem Definition

1. Definition of a Management Problem


2. Definitions of Problem Discovery and
Problem Definition
3. The Process of Problem Definition
1. Definition of a Management
Problem

• Problem: existence of a difference between


the current conditions and a more preferable
set of future conditions.

• Management Problem: a development that


necessiates a decision to cope with
difficulties and threats, or to exploit
opportunities.
Management Problems Mean
Performance Gaps
– Business performance is worse than expected
business performance.
– Actual business performance is less than
possible business performance.
– Expected business performance is greater than
possible business performance.

79
2. Definitions of Problem Discovery
and Problem Definition

• Problem Discovery: getting aware of some


symptons of a management problem

• Problem Definition: The indication of a


specific business decision area that will be
clarified by answering some research
questions.
Defining Problem Results in
Clear Cut Research Objectives
Symptom Detection

Analysis of
the Situation
Exploratory
Research
(Optional)
Problem Definition

Statement of
Research Objectives
3. The Process of Problem Definition

Ascertain the Determine research


decision maker’s objectives
objectives

Understand Determine the unit of


background of analysis
the problem

Isolate/identify Determine relevant


the problem, not variables and state
the symptoms hypotheses
3.1. Ascertain the Decision Maker’s Objectives

• Managerial objectives should be expressed


in measurable terms; however, line
managers seldom clearly articulate their
problems to the researchers.

• Researchers should try to understand the


problems by interviewing the related
managers and collect information from
other sources.
83
3.2. Understand the Background of the Problem

• Situation analysis: the informal gathering of


background information to familiarize
researchers or managers with the decision
area.

• The Iceberg Principle: the dangerous part of


many business problems is neither visible to
nor understood by managers.

84
85
3.3. Isolate and Identify the Problems, Not the
Symptoms

*Identify the Symptoms


• by interrogative techniques: Asking multiple
what, where, who, when, why, and how questions
about what has changed.
• by probing :An interview technique that tries to
draw deeper and more elaborate explanations
from the discussion.

*Isolate the Symptoms from the True Problem


86
Symptoms can be confusing

• The case of twenty-year-old neighborhood


swimming association:
• Membership has been declining for years.
• Maybe neighborhood residents prefer the
expensive water park.
Organization Symptoms Problem True Problem
Definition Based
on Symptoms

Twenty-year-old Membership Neighborhood Demographic


neighborhood has been residents prefer changes:
swimming declining for the expensive Children in this
association in a years. New water park and 20-year-old
major city. water park with have negative neighborhood
wave pool and image of have grown up.
water slides swimming pool. Older residents
moved into no longer swim
town a few anywhere.
years ago.
Beverage Consumers Taste of our Old fashioned
manufacturer prefer taste of product needs package is
competitor’s to be influencing
products reformulated consumers’
taste
perceptions.
What Language Is Written on This Stone
Found by Archaeologists?

The Language is English: “to tie mules to”


3.4.Determine the Research Objectives
• After clarifiyng the situation (current decision
need) managerial decision statements should be
translated into corresponding research
objectives.
– Once the decision statement is written, the research
essentially answers the question, “What information
is needed to address this situation?”
• Research objectives are the deliverables of the
research project.
“If you do not know where you are going,
any road will take you there”
Broad Statement of Exploratory
research business research
objectives problem (optional)

Specific Specific Specific


Objective 1 Objective 2 Objective 3

Research
Results
Design
3.5. Determine the Unit of Analysis (see also
http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/unitanal.php)

• Unit of Analysis indicates what or who should


provide the data and at what level of
aggregation: Individuals, households,
organizations, etc.
• In many studies, the family or the firm rather
than the individual may be the appropriate unit
of analysis;
• Then, data collected at the individual level
should be aggregated at a higher level to the
firm, work group, or familiy. 92
Examples of Research Objectives and Unit of
Analysis

• To identify the critical factors affecting clients’


choice of some specific brands. (individual
clients)
• To identify the future performance of
candidates for a specific job offer.(individual
candidates)
• To establish the reasons for stagnant sales and
suggest means by which sales can be increased.
(firms) 93
3.6. Determine the Relevant Variables and
Hypotheses
• To determine what characteristics of the unit of
analysis will be measured by the researchers.
• These characteristics may vary within the same
unit of analysis.
• For instance, Research Objective: to identify the
ways of increasing marketing performance.
• Unit of analysis: firm
• Variable: marketing performance
• Different firms’ marketing performance may be
different. 94
Definition of Variable

• What is a Variable?
– Anything that varies or changes from one
instance to another; can exhibit differences in
value, usually in magnitude or strength, or in
direction.
• What is a Constant?
– Something that does not change; is not useful in
addressing research questions.

95
Types of Variables
• Continuous variable
– Can take on a range of quantitative values.
• Categorical variable
– Indicates membership in some group.
– Also called classificatory variable.
• Dependent variable
– A process outcome or a variable that is predicted
and/or explained by other variables.
• Independent variable
– A variable that is expected to influence the
dependent variable in some way. 96
Research Questions
• In order to achieve research objectives,
researchers should develop research questions,
and try to answer them through research.
• Research questions are about the nature of
relations among variables.
• Examples of research questions:
– What are the reasons of sales decline?
– What are the drivers of customer satisfaction?
– What are the relations between new designs
and customer satisfaction?
Hypothesis
• An unsupported proposition to answer a
research question to be tested by research

• H1: Decline in the purchasing power of the


clients decreases the total sales of the industry.
• H2: New designs increase customer
satisfaction.
An exemplary problem definition process

• Symptons: our clients are complaining, they


seem unhappy and we may loose them.
• True Problem: our clients began to percieve
our products as low quality but still
expensive.
• Research objective: to identify the ways to
convince our clients about our products’
quality.
• Unit of analysis: individual buyers.
An exemplary problem definition process
• Variables: customer satisfaction, re-buying
intention, product characteristics,
customers’ demographics, etc.
• Research question: what are the drivers of
customer satisfaction, what are the relations
among customer perceptions about the
product characteristics, customer
satisfaction, and re-buying intention?
• Hypothesis: old fashioned products are
percieved by the young customers as low
quality.
Business
Research Methods

William G. Zikmund

Chapter 6.2:
Research Proposal
Research Proposal
• A written statement of the research design
that includes a statement explaining the
purpose of the study
• Detailed outline of procedures associated
with a particular methodology
Basic Questions -
Problem Definition
• What is the purpose of the study?
• How much is already known?
• Is additional background information necessary?
• What is to be measured? How?
• Can the data be made available?
• Should research be conducted?
• Can a hypothesis be formulated?
Basic Questions -
Basic Research Design
• What types of questions need to be
answered?
• Are descriptive or causal findings required?
• What is the source of the data?
Basic Questions -
Basic Research Design
• Can objective answers be obtained by
asking people?
• How quickly is the information needed?
• How should survey questions be worded?
• How should experimental manipulations be
made?
Basic Questions -
Selection of Sample
• Who or what is the source of the data?
• Can the target population be identified?
• Is a sample necessary?
• How accurate must the sample be?
• Is a probability sample necessary?
• Is a national sample necessary?
• How large a sample is necessary?
• How will the sample be selected?
Basic Questions -
Data Gathering
• Who will gather the data?
• How long will data gathering take?
• How much supervision is needed?
• What operational procedures need to be
followed?
Basic Questions -
Data Analysis
• Will standardized editing and coding
procedures be used?
• How will the data be categorized?
• What statistical software will be used?
• What is the nature of the data?
• What questions need to be answered?
• How many variables are to be investigated
simultaneously?
• Performance criteria for evaluation?
Basic Questions -
Type of Report
• Who will read the report?
• Are managerial recommendations
requested?
• How many presentations are required?
• What will be the format of the written
report?
Basic Questions -
Overall Evaluation
• How much will the study cost?
• Is the time frame acceptable?
• Is outside help needed?
• Will this research design attain the stated
research objectives?
• When should the research be scheduled to
begin?
Business
Research Methods

William G. Zikmund

Chapter 7:
Exploratory Research and Qualitative
Analysis
Chapter 7:
Exploratory Research and Qualitative
Analysis
1. Definition of Exploratory Research
2. Why Conduct Exploratory Research?
3. Categories of Exploratory Research
4. Types of Pilot Studies
1. Definition of Explorative
Research

• Initial research conducted to clarify and


define the nature of a problem
• Does not provide conclusive evidence
• Subsequent research expected

“The cure for boredom is curiosity, there is


no cure for curiosity that kills the cat”
Qualitative versus Quantitative
Research

• Purpose: preliminary versus conclusive


• Samples: small versus large
• Type of questions: broad range of
questioning versus structured questions
• Results: subjective interpretation versus
statistical analysis
2. Why Conduct Exploratory
Research?

Diagnosing a situation

Discovering new ideas

Screening alternatives
2.1. Diagnosing a situation
Situation analysis: the informal gathering of
background information to familiarize
researchers or managers with the decision area.

Examples for situation analysis:


•Interviews with employees about their general
complaints.
• Asking customers’ opinions about the new
advertising campaign.
2.2. Discovering new ideas
• In business decision making, generating new
business ideas about new products, new
investments, etc. is very critical.
• Managers, employees, customers, etc. may be
consulted to develop new ideas that would
never come to the minds of decision makers.
• For instance, users’ orders and complaints
may help decision makers develop new
alternative ideas and turn them into new
product concepts.
2.3. Screening of alternatives
• In business decision making, determining
alternative solutions and then the best ones
among them is very critical because of time
and money constraints.
• Concept testing is a tool for screening
alternative solutions, especially alternative
concepts of a new or revised products.
• For instance, after collecting the opinions of
the customers about alternative new product
concepts, the best one may be determined.
3. Categories of Exploratory
Research
• Experience surveys
• Secondary data analysis
• Case studies
• Pilot studies
3.1. Experience Surveys
• Consult with carefully selected knowledgeable
experts about a particular problem to clarify the
situation, not to develop conclusive evidence.

“If you wish to know the road up the


mountain, you must ask the man who
goes back and forth on it.”
- Zenrinkusi
3.2. Secondary Data Analysis

• Preliminary review of already collected


and/or reported information for a purpose
other than the project at hand.
• Economical and quick source for
background information
• Some sources of already reported
information: literature, internet, company
reports, etc.
3.3. Case Study Method
• Intense and indepth investigation of one or a
few situations similar to the problem via long
term observations, interviews and discussions
to define the problem at hand .
• Careful study of the order of events as they
occur, or relations among individuals or groups.
• Cooperation between the researcher and the
subject is a must. Thus, studying rival
companies’ cases is almost impossible.
• Generalization from one or a few case studies is
very dangerous for decision makers.
3.4. Pilot Study
• Any small scale exploratory study that uses
some sort of loose sampling.
• A small number of respondents rather than
experienced people are surveyed or
interviewed.
• The results will be used in the definition of
the problem and also in the design of a
further descriptive study.
4. Types of Pilot Studies

• Focus Group Interviews

• Projective Techniques

• In-Depth Interviews
4.1. Focus Group Interviews
Interview Process:
• Unstructured
• Free flowing
• Group interview
• Start with broad topic and focus in on specific issues
Group Composition:
• 6 to 10 people
• Relatively homogeneous
• Similar lifestyles and experiences
Outline for a Focus Group
• Establish a rapport
• Begin with broad topic
• Focus in on specific topic
• Generate discussion and interaction
The Focus Group Moderator

• Develops rapport - helps people relax


• Interacts
• Listens to what people have to say
• Everyone gets a chance to speak
• Maintains loose control and focuses
discussion
• Stimulates spontaneous responses
Advantages of Online
Focus Groups
• Fast
• Inexpensive
• Bring together many participants from
wide-spread geographical areas
• Respondent anonymity
• Transcript automatically recorded
Disadvantages of Online
Focus Groups

• Less group interaction


• Absence of tactile stimulation
• Absence of facial expression and body
language
• Moderator’s job is different
4.2. Projective Techniques

• An indirect means of questioning that


enables a respondent to project beliefs and
feelings onto a third party, onto an object,
or into a task situation

“A man is least himself when he talks in his


own person; when given a mask he will tell the
truth.”
--Oscar Wilde
Some types of Projective Techniques

• Word association tests


• Sentence completion method
• Third-person technique
• Role playing
• T.A.T.
• Picture frustration version of T.A.T.
4.2.1.Word Association Test
• Subject is presented with a list of words.
• Then, asked to respond, once at a time, with
first word that comes to mind.
• This test helps the researcher to grasp the
true feelings of the subjects about a specific
concept (e.g. a new product name).

• GREEN: Money, Lawn, …………..


• CHEESE: White, Goat, ……………
4.2.2. Sentence Completion Test
•Subject is presented with an incomplete
sentence.
•Then, asked to complete it with first words that
come to mind.
•This test helps the researcher to grasp the true
beliefs and assumptions of the subjects about a
specific issue (e.g. prejudice, discrimination).

A man who wears a suit __________________


A boss should not __________________
4.2.3.Thematic Apperception
Test (T.A.T.)
•Subject is presented with a
series of picture.
•Then, asked to describe them.
•This test helps the researcher
to analyze the content of these
descriptions in an effort to
clarify a research problem.
4.3. Depth Interview
•A relatively unstructured extensive interview
used in the primary stages of the research process
in order to get both the surface reactions and
subconscious motivations of the subjects.

•The interviewing session may last more than


hour.

•The interviewer asks many questions to the


subject and probes for elaboration after the
subject’s answers.
Disadvantages of Depth Interview
• It takes a lot of time.

• It is based on unstructured discussions, and -if


inexperienced- interviewer cannot keep the
discussion within the context of the problem at
hand.

• Collected information is just the subjective


perceptions and interpretations of the interviewer.
Business
Research Methods

William G. Zikmund

Chapter 8:
Secondary Data
Chapter 8:
Exploratory Research and Qualitative
Analysis
1. Definition of Secondary Data
2. Advantages & Disadvantages of Secondary
Data
3. Typical Objectives for Secondary Data
Research Designs
4. Classification of Secondary Data
1. Definition of Secondary Data
Data gathered and recorded by someone else
prior to and for a purpose other than the
current project
Is often:
• Historical
• Already assembled
• Needs no access to subjects
2. Advantages & Disadvantages
of Secondary Data
• Advantages:
 Inexpensive
 Obtained Rapidly
 Information is not Otherwise Accessible

• Disadvantages:
 Uncertain Accuracy
 Data Not Consistent with Needs
 Inappropriate Units of Measurement
 Time Period Inappropriate; Secondary Data may
be Dated
Evaluating Secondary Data

Does the data help to


answer questions
set out in the
problem definition?
Applicability
to project
objectives Does the data apply to
the time period of
interest?

Does the data apply to


the population of
interest?
Evaluating Secondary Data (continued)

Do the other terms


and variable
classifications
Applicability presented apply?
to project
objectives
Are the units of
measurement
comparable?

If possible, go to the
original source of the
Accuracy data?
of the data
Is the cost of data
acquisition worth it?

Accuracy Is there a possibility


of the data of bias?

Can the accuracy of


data collection be
verified?

Use data
3. Typical Objectives for
Secondary Data Research Designs
Fact Finding:
•Identifying consumption patterns
•Tracking trends
Model building:
•Estimating market potential
•Forecasting sales
•Selecting trade areas and sites
Data Base Marketing (Data Mining):
•Development of Prospect Lists
•Enhancement of Customer Lists
3.1. Fact Finding
Aim: to collect descriptive and comparative
information to support decision making.
• Comparing company’s data with (e.g. total
annual sales) company’s competitors data
and/or
• Comparing company’s present data with
company’s own data in other time periods.
3.2. Model Building
Aim: to calculate a dependent variable by using
independent variable(s) having specific effects
on this dependent variable.
• First, facts about one or more independent
variables are collected;
• Then, the effects or ratios of these independent
variables on the dependent varible will be
specified
• Finally, the dependent variable will be
calculated.
3.3. Data Based Marketing (Data Mining)
Aim: to dig through and analyze volumes of
data to discover patterns about a company’s
customers, products, and activities.

– Practice of maintaining a customer data base


– Names
– Addresses
– Past purchases
– Customers’ responses to company’s past efforts
– Data from numerous sources
4. Classification of Secondary Data
Data can be classified according to the origin:

• Internal Data

• External Data
4.1. Internal Data

Internal and proprietary data are more descriptive

Examples for internal data:

• Accounting information
• Sales information
• Backorders or rejected orders
• Customer complaints
4.2. External Data
Data created, recorded, or generated by an entity
other than the researcher’s organization

Examples for External Data sources:


• Government
• Trade associations
• Newspapers and journals
• Libraries, Books and periodicals
• The Internet
• Vendors and Producers, etc.
Business
Research Methods

William G. Zikmund

Chapter 9:
Survey Research
Chapter 9:
Survey Research

1. Basic Definitions for surveys


2. Errors in Surveys
3. Classification of Survey Methods
1. Basic Definitions for surveys
Survey: a research technique in which information
(primary data) is gathered from a sample of
people to make generalizations.
Primary data: data gathered and assembled
specifically for the project at hand.
Sample of the survey: respondents who are asked to
provide information, assuming that they can
represent (possess same features with) a target
population.
Selecting a Sample

Sample: SAMPLE
Subset of a larger population

Sampling: POPULATION
• Who is to be sampled?
• How large a sample?
• How will sample units be selected?
Basic Definitions for sampling
(http://www.stats.gla.ac.uk/steps/glossary/sampling.html)
Target population: the group about which the
researcher wishes to draw conclusions and make
generalizations
Random sampling: selecting a sample from a
larger target population where each respondent is
chosen entirely by chance and each member of
the population has a known, but possibly non-
equal, chance of being included in the sample.
Basic Definitions for data collection
Surveys ask respondents (who are the subjects of the
research) questions by use of a questionnaire.
Respondent: The person who provides information
(primary data) by answering a questionnaire or an
interviewer’s questions.
Questionnaire: a list of structured questions
designed by the researchers for the purpose of
codifying and analyzing the respondents’ answers
scientifically.
Advantages of Surveys: Quick, Inexpensive, Efficient,
Accurate, Flexible way of gathering information.
2. Errors in Surveys
2.1. Random Sampling Error
2.2. Systematic Error (sample bias)
2.2.1. Respondent error
* Nonresponse bias
* Response bias
2.2.2. Administrative error
* Data processing error
* Sample selection error
* Interviewer error
* Interviewer cheating
2.1. Random Sampling Error
• Even if randomly selected, samples may possess
different characteristics than the target population
(the likelihood of bias is reduced but still exists)
• This is a statistical fluctuation due to chance
variation.
• Then, an important difference occurs between the
findings obtained from this sample and the
findings obtained from a possible census of the
whole target population.
• Consider the hypothetic case in which a study
sample could be increased until it was infinitely
large; chance variation of the mean, or random
error, would be reduced toward zero. These are
random errors.
• Systematic errors would not be diminished by
increasing sample size.
(Bias in Research Studies,
http://radiology.rsna.org/content/238/3/780.full)
2.2. Systematic Error
• Systematic error results from some mistake(s)
done in the design and/or execution of the
research.
• All types of error -except random sampling error,
are included in this definition,
• Sample bias: a persistent tendency for the results
of a sample to deviate in one direction from the
true value of the population parameter.
• Sample bias can arise when the intended sample
does not adequately reflect the spectrum of
characteristics in the target population.
2.2.1. Respondent Bias

• A classification of sample bias resulting


from some respondent action or inaction
• Nonresponse bias
• Response bias
Nonresponse Error
• Nonrespondents: in almost every survey information
from a small or large portion of the sample cannot be
collected. These are those people who refuse to
respond, or who can not be contacted (not-at-homes)
• Self-selection bias: only those people who are
interested strongly with topic of the survey may
respond while those who are still within the same
sample but indeferent or afraid avoid participating.
• This leads to the over-representation of some extreme
positions, but under-representation of others.
Response Bias

• A bias that occurs when respondents tend to


answer questions with a certain inclination
ot viewpoint that consciously (deliberate
falsification) or unconsciously
(unconscious misinterpretation)
misrepresents the truth.
Reasons of response bias
• Knowingly or unknowingly people who
answer questions of the interviewer may
feel unconfortable about the truth that they
share with others, and change it in their
responses.
• They may desire to show themselves as
more intelligent, wealthy, sensitive, etc.
than they really are.
Types of Response Bias
Deliberate falsification (consciously false answers)

Acquiescence bias (positive answers)

Extremity bias (exaggerated answers)

Interviewer bias (acceptable answers by the interviewer)

Auspices bias (acceptable answers by the organization)

Social desirability bias (answers creating a favorable impression)


2.2.2. Administrative Error

• Unadvertently or carelessly improper


administration and execution of the research
task
• Blunders are:
• Confusion
• Neglect
• Omission
Administrative Error
Data processing error: incorrect data entry, computer
programming, or other procedural errors during the
analysis stage.
Sample selection error: improper sample design (e.g.
based on incomplete databases) or sampling
procedure execution (e.g. executed in daytime while
most of the target population are working)
Interviewer error: mistakes done by the interviewer
(e.g. taking wrong or incomplete notes about the
answers of the respondents.
Interviewer cheating: filling in fake or false answers
indeed not given by the respondents.
3. Classification of Survey Methods
3.1. Structure of the questionnaire:
* whether standardized questions with a limited
number of allowable answer -multiple choices
* or unstandardized open ended questions with the
possibility of being answered in numerious ways.

3.2. Level of Directness of the questions:


* whether direct/undisguised questions
* or indirect/disguised questions to hide the real
purpose of the survey
Classification of Survey Methods
3.3. Time basis of the Survey:
Cross-Sectional Study: data on various segments of a target
population are collected at a single moment in time to
make comparisons among segments.
Longitudinal Study: data are collected at different times
from the similar respondents to compare trends and
identify changes.
Panel Study: A longitudinal survey of exactly the same
respondents to record (in a diary) their attitudes,
behaviors, or purchasing habits over time.
3.4. Communication with the respondents (see
chapter 10)
Classification of Survey Methods
3.4. Communication with the respondents:

Qustionnaires administered by an interviewer


* Door-to door interviews
* Mall intercepts
* Telephone interviews

Self-administered questionnaires
* sent by mail, fax, or e-mail
* Internet questionnaires
“Practice is the best of all
instructors.”

Publius Syrus