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What is Research?

• Defining Research
• Research Is the Systematic Approach Towards Purposeful
Investigation Through Formulation of Hypothesis, Collection of
Data on Relevant Variables, Analysis and Interpretation of
Results and Reaching Conclusion Either in the Form of a Solution
or Certain Generalization.

• Business Research may be defined as the “systematic and objective

process of gathering, recording and analyzing data for aid in making
business decisions” (Zikmund, Business Research Methods, 2002, p. 6)
Why Research ?
• To identify and define opportunities and
• To define, monitor, and refine strategies.
• To define, monitor, and refine tactics.
• To improve our understanding of the various
fields of management
What’s the Difference Between “Method” and

•The underlying theory and
analysis of how research
does or should proceed,
often influenced by

•Techniques for gathering evidence
•The various ways of proceeding in
gathering information
Good Research Requires:
– The scope and limitations of the work to be clearly defined.
– The process to be clearly explained so that it can be
reproduced and verified by other researchers.
– A thoroughly planned design that is as objective as possible.
– Highly ethical standards are applied.
– All limitations are documented.
– Data be adequately analyzed and explained.
– All findings are presented unambiguously and all conclusions
be justified by sufficient evidence.
• Objectivity: It must answer the research question.
• Control: It shall ensure adequate control over
independent variable
• Generalisability: It should have same result when
applied in identical applications
• Free from Personal Bias: It must be free from personal
• Systematic: It must have various interrelated steps that
lead another step.
• Reproducible: It must give approximately the same
result when applied to population having similar
• Validity and reliability
Fields Where Business Research is Often
Used- scope
General Business
Conditions and
Financial and Accounting Research Corporate Research

Forecasts of financial interest rate trends, Short- & Long-Range

Stock,bond and commodity value Forecasting,
predictions Business and Industry
capital formation alternatives Trends
mergers and acquisitions Global Environments
risk-return trade-offs Inflation and Pricing
portfolio analysis Plant and Warehouse
impact of taxes Location
research on financial institutions Acquisitions
expected rate of return
capital asset pricing models
credit risk
cost analysis
Management and Organizational
Behaviour Research

• Total Quality Management

• Morale and Job Satisfaction
• Leadership Style
• Employee Productivity
• Organizational Effectiveness
• Structural ssues
• Absenteeism and turnover
• Organizational Climate
Types of Research Studies

• Basic Research aims to expand the frontiers of science and knowledge by verifying or
disproving the acceptability of a given theory or attempting to discover more about a certain
concept (non-specificity)

Example: How does motivation affect employee performance?

Applied Research focusses on a real-life problem or situation with a view to helping reach a
decision how to deal with it (Specificity)

Example: Should Corporation X adopt a paperless office environment?

• Descriptive Research: or (Ex Post)- a fact finding approach generalizing a cross- sectional
study of the present situation. For example, a study on problems of industrial relations in
India with an inter disciplinary approach which is classified under conclusive
research. It states the situation as they are. Researcher has no control over variables.
Eg:- frequency of shopping
 Historical Research :a research on past social forces which have shaped the present. For
example, to study the present state of Indian labor we may research on past historical forces.

 Formulative or Exploratory Research: a research which investigate any problem

with suitable hypothesis. It is particularly important for clarification of any concept and
throwing new light for further research on principles of developing hypothesis and its testing
with statistical tools.

 Experimental Research or Empirical Research: a research which enable us to

quantify the findings, to apply the statistical and mathematical tools and to measure the
results thus quantified. It is also quantified under conclusive research. It relies on
experience or observation alone without due regards for systems and theory.

 Ex-Post Facto Research : an empirical enquiry for situation that have already
occurred. For example market failure of a product if studied or researched later may be
categorized under ex- post research.
 Case Study Approach: a research particularly initiated at
micro level. For example study of particular industrial unit, study
of some banking units etc,

 Survey Research: a research which involve study of

population or sample based on some questionnaire to
find out intended characteristics

 Evaluation Research: a research which is directed to

study or evaluate the performance of any programs/projects
that have already been implemented.
Comparison of Scientific and Non-Scientific Method of

Basis Scientific Method Non-scientific Method

Objectivity It is more objective It may have chances of


Degree of It is highly precise where quantitative It is comparatively less

Accuracy concept can be defined and measured degree of preciseness

Continuing and It takes cognizance of the existing The same is always not
Exhaustive knowledge and helps in accumulation of true in every situation
systematic knowledge which is continuous
and unending
Science and the Scientific Method

Science has been defined as “the methodological and systematic

approach to acquisition of new knowledge” (Geoffrey Marcyzk, David
DeMatteo, David Festinger, Essentials of Research Design and
Methodology, John Wiley & Sons, 2005, p. 4)

The scientific method, which has evolved since the 13th century,
concerns the set of tools, techniques and procedures used by basic
and applied researchers to analyze and understand phenomena
and prove or disprove prior conceptions
The Essence of the Scientific Method

Characteristics of the Scientific Method

Elements of the
Objectivity Scientific Method
Systematic Analysis
Logical Interpretation of Results

Empirical Approach
Basic Experiments
General Laws
Research Analysis

Applied Information or
Research Ideas for alternative
Courses of action
The Value of Business Research for

• Reduction of uncertainty and improvement

in the quality of decision-making with
several consequent advantages (e.g.
strategic, operational) and benefits for
Research Process
Step 1: Defining the Problem

Step 2: Developing an Approach to the Problem

Step 3: Formulating a Research Design

Step 4: Doing Field Work or Collecting Data

Step 5: Preparing and Analyzing Data

Step 6: Preparing and Presenting the Report

The Problem Definition Process
Tasks Involved

Discussion Interviews Secondary Qualitative

with with Data Research
Decision Maker(s) Experts Analysis

Environmental Context of the Problem

Step I: Problem Definition

Management Decision Problem

Marketing Research Problem

Step II: Approach to the Problem

Analytical Specification
Objective/ Research of
Theoretical Model: Verbal, Hypotheses
Foundations Graphical, Information
Mathematical Needed

Step III: Research Design

Management Decision Problem
Vs. Marketing Research Problem
Management Decision Problem Marketing Research Problem

Should a new product be To determine consumer preferences

introduced? and purchase intentions for the
proposed new product

Should the advertising To determine the effectiveness

campaign be changed? of the current advertising

Should the price of the To determine the price elasticity

brand be increased? of demand and the impact on sales
and profits of various levels of price changes
Management Decision Problem
Vs. Marketing Research Problem
• Management • Marketing Research
Decision Problem Problem
• Asks what decision • Asks what
makers are suppose information is
to do needed and how it
• Action oriented should be obtained.
• Focuses on • Information oriented
symptoms. • Focuses on
underlying causes.
Definition of the Research
• Every research should adhere to two basic
rules while formulating the problem
1. Allow researcher to obtain all the
information needed to address the
management decision problem.
2. It should guide the researcher in
proceeding with the project.
Researcher makes two common
errors in problem definition
• Either the research problem is defined too
broadly or too narrowly
• The likelihood of committing either type of
error in problem definition can be reduced
by stating the marketing research problem
in broad general terms and identifying its
specific components.
Broad statement- is the
initial statement of the Marketing Research
marketing research problem Problem
that provides an appropriate
perspective on the problem.
Specific Components- it Broad
focuses on the key aspects
of the problem and provide
clear guidelines on how to
proceed further.

Components of an Approach
 Objective/Theoretical Framework
 Analytical Model
 Research Questions
 Hypotheses
 Specification of the Information Needed
Objective/Theoretical Framework

• A research should be based on objective

evidence and supported by theory
• A theory is a conceptual scheme based on
foundational statements – axioms.
• Objective evidence- is gathered by
compiling relevant findings from
secondary sources.
The Role of Theory in Applied
Research Task Role of Theory
1. Conceptualizing
Provides a conceptual foundation and understanding of the basic processes
and identifying underlying the problem situation. These processes will suggest key dependent
key variables and independent variables.
2. Operationalizing
Theoretical constructs (variables) can suggest independent and dependent
key variables variables naturally occurring in the real world.
3. Selecting a Causal or associative relationships suggested by the theory indicate
may whether
research design a causal or descriptive design should be adopted.
4. Selecting a The theoretical framework may be useful in defining the population and
sample suggesting variables for qualifying respondents, imposing quotas, or stratifying
the population .
5. Analyzing andThe theoretical framework (and the models, research questions and hypotheses
interpreting data
based on it) guide the selection of a data analysis strategy and the interpretatio
of results .
6. Integrating The findings obtained in the research project can be interpreted in the light of
findings previous research and integrated with the existing body of knowledge.
• An analytical model is a set of variables and
their interrelationships designed to represent, in
whole or in part, some real system or process.
• These models can have various forms such as
graphical model, verbal model and mathematical
• These models compliment each other and help
the researcher identify relevant research
question and hypothesis.
Development of Research
Questions and Hypotheses
Components of the
Marketing Research Problem
Framewor Research Questions
• Research questions (RQs) are refined
statements of the specific components of
the problem.
• A hypothesis (H) is an unproven
statement or proposition about a factor or
phenomenon that is of interest to the
researcher. Often, a hypothesis is a
possible answer to the research question
• Hypothesis goes beyond the research questions
because they are statements of relationship and
or propositions rather than merely questions to
which answers are sought.
• Whereas research questions are interrogative,
hypothesis are declarative and can be tested
• An important role of hypothesis is to suggest
variables to be included in research design.
• RQ: Do the customers of shoppers stop exhibit store loyalty?

The following hypothesis is formulated in relation to research question

on store loyalty.

• H1: Customers who are store-loyal are less knowledgeable about

the shopping environment.

• H2: Store-loyal customers are more risk-averse than are non-loyal


These hypothesis guided the research by ensuring that variables

measuring knowledge of the shopping environment and propensity
to tale risk were included in the research design.