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Welcome to the MBA Research Methodology

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to the MBA Research Methodology"— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to the MBA Research Methodology
Facilitator: Prof Krishna Govender

2 Philosophy and Training Approach
Holistic – focus on individual Interrelationship exists – dynamic Individual impact effects team, organisation performance and engages environment Delivery - aligning systems, strategies, structures and culture

3 Learning Outcomes  Critically explain research terminology, concepts and principles; Apply and critique various business research theories and methods; Evaluate information resources and knowledge management tools; Collect and analyse data to support business decision-making processes;

4 Learning Outcomes Apply the research process on a selected business topic and select and use relevant tools; Apply practical skills in conducting research and data analysis techniques; Examine ethical issues in business research; Evaluate knowledge management principles and information systems in conducting business research; and Compose and present professional business research proposals and reports.

5 Content Scope Section 1:Research terminology and concepts
Section 2:The research problem, objectives and rationale Section 3:Literature review Section 4:Research design, approach and methodology Section 5:Research ethics Section 6:Data analysis Section 7: Writing a professional research report

6 Research Terminology and Concepts
Research systematic investigation to establish facts or collect information on a subject Not just carried out haphazardly: it is a systematic process of collecting and analysing information (data) in order to increase our understanding of the subject or phenomenon involved

7 Some Research Terminology
Basic research/applied research Primary/secondary research Hypothesis: A tentative, testable statement about the relationship between two or more variables Methodology: The rules and procedures of research work Research design: A plan or a set of guidelines and instructions that enable the researcher to determine the research methodology and to address the research problem

8 Purpose of Research Describing: To describe how things (study objects) are — i.e. To define the nature of the study object(s) Explaining: To explain why things (study objects) are the way they are and to explain the relationship between things (study objects) Predicting: To predict phenomena, such as human behaviour in the workplace, with the aim of using this information in future (e.g. For screening job applicants)

9 Research Approach Research approach: quantitative & qualitative approach -influences the methods by means of which data is collected and analysed during the research process. The quantitative approach- highly structured and involves the quantification of concepts, in order to do measurements and conduct evaluations - measuring or counting & working with numbers and statistics. The qualitative approach: focuses on observing events - attempt to understand behaviour of individuals – emphasis is on human beings as the research subjects and exploring their behaviour.

10 Research Design Research approach (quantitative, qualitative or a combination of both) – leads to a research design Research design - a plan that is the most appropriate for the research goal and objectives Research design also enables the researcher to determine the research methodology.

11 Research Methodology & Research Methods
Methodology/methods - like undertaking a journey to attain an end or a destination Research methods refer to the specific means of collecting data — such as observations, document analysis, questionnaires and interviews — whereas research methodology refers to the strategy, rules and procedures of research.

12 Research Proposal Research is conducted according to a plan and that plan is described in a document, which is known as the research proposal. An outline of how you propose to undertake your research project.

13 Research Problem an issue that has been identified for investigation so that a solution for improvement can be found. core of a research project, in that it leads to the general (overall) aim of the research project, from which more specific research objectives are then formulated.

14 Hypothesis core of a research project, in that it leads to the general (overall) goal or aim of the research project, from which more specific research objectives are then formulated. By relying on his/her own observations and by. the researcher can predict the outcome of the research, to a certain extent - a formal statement Examples: Role clarity has a significant influence on the job satisfaction of middle managers in local government; The higher the unemployment rate, the greater the incidence of petty crime; A broken home background is a contributory cause of juvenile delinquent behaviour

15 Research/Data Collection Instruments
Actual tools used within the research methods - the research method will obviously determine which research instruments should be used for a project. Examples: interview guides and questionnaires.

16 Reliability Repeated application of the same research method should yield the same result every time. Example: if a group of people is interviewed using a specific interview guide, the results should be the same if the interview is repeated with that interview guide.

17 Generalization of Findings
Extent to which the research findings and conclusions from a study conducted on a sample population can be applied to the population at large Population: The entire group of persons or objects and events of interest to the researcher Sample: A subset of a research population

18 Theory & Literature Review
Explain why things happen as they do and help us to predict what may happen next. Explain why it is important to study the theories related to a research project: theories provide the information for the (contextual) framework of the research A review of the literature related to the research problem

19 Literature Study First phase of a more comprehensive study that also includes an empirical phase Helps the researcher to get an overview about reported research related to the research problem Can be regarded as an example of a research method

20 Empirical Research The second part of a research project — after the literature review has been completed. The researcher could study, for example, research subjects by means of research techniques such as questionnaires, interviews or observation.

21 The Research Process Identify a research problem
Develop a research rationale for conducting the research Decide on a research approach and methodology Collect (research approach) and analyze the data using recognized techniques Record the findings - report

22 Knowledge Management, Information Systems & Research
Acquisition, assimilation and development of knowledge Information is” acquired by conducting a literature review; refined to suit the needs of the research topic; stored on an information system to use and reworked to support the research topic; distributed through different channels to generate new ideas. New ideas then become knowledge which is presented for academic consumption which in turn then becomes information for other users.

23 Information Systems & Research
Information systems provide the infrastructure, data collection capabilities and storing, processing and simulations needed to conduct research. It assists businesses to convert data into information. Data is gathered through surveys, observations, questionnaires, and so on, and converted to information for the research process. A stable and reliable information system is therefore essential for accurate and reliable research processes and the researcher.

24 The Research Problem First and most important step in the research process - impossible for a researcher to commence with a research project if s/he does not pinpoint & clearly formulate a research problem. Identifying & formulating an appropriate & interesting research problem - the most demanding tasks in the research process. Writing about a phenomenon/issue that is straightforward/unproblematic does not warrant an investigation - a mere description cannot be regarded as research/not all problems are viable for scientific research.

25 Developing an acceptable research problem
Generating research ideas; Research problems usually have their origins in research ideas. Identifying a suitable research topic (research problem) necessitates generating a research idea. The researcher is supposed to generate an interesting idea that may lead to research

26 Identifying real-world problems
How is a real-world problem related to a research problem? It is more a practical problem, that can be solved by doing something about it in the world or environment in which it exists. However, before the researcher can solve this real-world problem, he/ she may have to formulate and solve a research problem. The solution of the research problem is then applied to the real-world problem. The research problem helps the researcher to obtain more knowledge and a better understanding of matters related to the real-world problem; this enables him/ her to solve the real-world problem. The gaining of knowledge and understanding is achieved by means of the collection, analysis and interpretation of information.

27 Refining real-world problems into research problems
Real world problem: In 2012, car theft increased in suburb X in Johannesburg Research question: Does unemployment and poverty contribute to cars being stolen? Research problem: The researcher has to determine if unemployment and poverty in Suburb X in Johannesburg (Gauteng) had caused the increase of car theft in any way, by studying the phenomenon of car theft and the causes of car theft in the literature, and by conducting structured interviews regarding the reasons for theft with local South Africans in the suburb.

28 Importance of a focused research problem
Determines the scope within which the problem has to be solved & when the researcher is conducting the literature review, there is clarity If not clear about the focus and scope of the research problem, it may happen that the researcher reads too broadly & starts including information that is not relevant to the research problem

29 Variables in the Research Problem
Dependent & independent variable. A research problem is always based on a specific relationship between two variables and this relationship implies the cause and effect: Variable X is the cause of Variable Y, and Variable Y is the effect of Variable X. In other words, Variable X is dependent on Variable Y.

30 Example Research Problem: The role of the call centre in customer satisfaction in organisation x Independent variable: The call centre Dependent Variable: Customer satisfaction

31 Characteristics of a Research Problem
should represent conceptual thinking, inquiry and insight – not merely activity should be a meaningful relationship between the variables related to the problem it should also reflect the cause of this relationship – why does this relationship between the variables exist should represent a reasonably new area of research – not entirely new should represent research that will contribute to, and impact on the knowledge of the subject field

32 Characteristics of a Research Problem
should be researchable (manageable) - the researcher should consider practical aspects – such as time, funding and the availability of resources Ethical issues should be considered

33 Research sub-problems & Objectives
Sub problems help the researcher to break down the research problem into more manageable or researchable parts that can be investigated separately. Each research objective (sub-problem) addresses one aspect of the research problem, which ensures that each aspect of the research problem is actually investigated. Clearly defined research objectives also enable the researcher to identify the most appropriate research method(s) for investigating the objectives.

34 Formulating the research objectives or sub-problems: Criteria
Should have one focus; should not be possible to “answer” the research objective with a simple “yes” or “no” Should not omit any important aspect of the research problem; should not add research objectives that are not covered by the research problem Not to include so-called pseudo-sub-problems as research objectives not directly related to the research problem but they have more to do with the research methodology. Examples: how to observe participants, or how to select a sample, or how to measure customer satisfaction. It should be possible to identify applicable research methods for each research objective. The interpretation of the collected data or information within each objective should be possible; should be possible to report on the findings & interpretation as they relate to each objective.

35 Scope and limitations Important, because the researcher has to avoid investigating related issues that have no direct bearing on the research problem. The scope of the research indicates what the researcher includes in the study/while the limitations are an indication of what is not included in the research.

36 The Research Question/s
These questions - the reason for the research to be conducted. Must ensure a conceptual link between research objectives and questions. Quality of research questions determine the success of the research. These are NOT the questions you ask your research participants through an interview or questionnaire, but are strategic questions that the study has to provide answers for.

37 The Rationale for the Research
the researcher justifies reasons for conducting research why the study is worth undertaking and why he / she is interested in undertaking it. Indicates the general importance (significance) of the research/investigation

38 Literature Review a process in which applicable information sources are identified, explored and analysed. The result of the literature review is a synthesis of the work of other authors, experts and researchers in the field. (Discuss Plagiarism and how to cite correctly)

39 Steps in the Literature Review
Sources of information Organize the information Determining the relevance of the information Writing and referencing

40 Research Approach Approach – design - methodology Qualitative
Quantitative Differences and implications for data analysis

41 Design Design – focus on the end product (research problem/question) – guidelines/plan according to which the research problem will be addressed Methodology – focus on the process (data collection; sampling, etc.)

42 Population and Sample Target/accessible population Sampling
Probability – fishbowl; simple random sampling; systematic RS; stratified RS; cluster non-probability sampling – convenience; judgemental; snowball

43 Bias, Validity and Reliability
Bias – distorts the results – can result from – interviewer influencing the respondents to respond in a certain way Validity- does the research instrument measure what it intended to measure – internal (cause-effect relationships) and external (generalisability of results) Reliability – would repeated application give the same results?

44 Methodology Method – methodology – strategy to implement the design/plan Survey Experimental – cause-effect Case study – intensive analysis of a small number of research subjects – individuals/groups/organizations/geographic region

45 Data Collection Methods
Interviews – structured/open ended Examples - Observations – peoples behaviour Questionnaires – dos and donts; types Focus group discussions – mostly qualitative

46 Data Analysis and Interpretation
Most important step Numerical values Measures of central tendency – mean/ average; mode; median Dispersion/Variance – spread around the mean Simple regression analysis – helps to determine the relationship between a known and an unknown variable – dependent and independent variables – advertising and sales

47 Analysis of Data and Interpretation of Research Results
Quantitative data - statistical software : SPSS; SAS; STATPAC for Windows Qualitative data –Nvivo; Atlas.ti – helps identify themes Interpretation of the results – relate findings to existing theory Recording the findings in a meaningful way Conclusions & recommendations from the findings

48 Research Report and Mini-Dissertation
Technical Aspects – language editing; writing style; use of tense; abbreviations and acronyms; graphics Layout – pp 82-85; Regenesys Masters Dissertation Guidelines

49 Research Ethics Informed consent Confidentiality Cultural sensitivity
Disclosure of findings

50 The Research Proposal/Assignment
Regard this as preparation for writing your mini-dissertation A well developed proposal is Chapter 1 of your dissertation Proposal – what you intend to do – future tense Dissertation – what you did – past tense (mostly)


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