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Chapter 4: The Business Research Process: An Overview.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4: The Business Research Process: An Overview."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 4: The Business Research Process: An Overview

2 Decision Making Information reduces uncertainty -It helps focus decision making Certainty Uncertainty Ambiguity

3 Types Of Research Exploratory –Initial research conducted to clarify ambiguous situations or discover potential business opportunities –Does not provide conclusive evidence –Subsequent research expected –Useful in new product development Descriptive –Describes characteristics of a population or phenomenon (who, what, when, where, and how) –Some understanding of the nature of the problem –Useful in describing market segment Causal –Conducted to identify cause and effect relationships

4 Exploratory ResearchDescriptive ResearchCausal 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 ourour 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?” possible situation Degree of Problem Definition

5 Descriptive Research Example Weight Watchers average customer Woman about 40 years old Household income of about $50,000 At least some college education Trying to juggle children and a job

6 Identifying Causality Evidence of causality: 1. Temporal Sequence - the appropriate causal order of events – the cause must occur before the effect 2. Concomitant variation--two phenomena vary together systematically, i.e, when a change in the cause occurs, a change in the outcome also is observed. Correlation coefficient is used to represent concomitant variation. –An absence of alternative plausible explanations 3. Non-spurious Association (eg. Icecream sales) Often Use Experiments in Causal Research

7 COMPLETELY CERTAIN ABSOLUTE AMBIGUITY CAUSAL OR DESCRIPTIVE EXPLORATORY Uncertainty Influences The Type Of Research

8 Stages of the Research Process P Defining Objectives Research Design Sampling Data Gathering Data Processing and Analysis Conclusions and Report Discovery and Definition and so on -------

9 Research Stages Cyclical process - conclusions generate new ideas Stages can overlap chronologically Stages are functionally interrelated –Forward linkages –Backward linkages

10 Define objectives Problem definition (statement of research objectives) Secondary (historical) data Experience survey Pilot study Case study Selection of exploratory research technique Selection of basic research method ExperimentSurvey Observation Secondary Data Study LaboratoryFieldInterviewQuestionnaire Selection of Sample Design Sampling ProbabilityNonprobability Collection of data (fieldwork) Editing and coding data Data processing Interpretation of findings Report Data Gathering Data Processing and Analysis Conclusions and Report Research Design Problem Discovery and Definition

11 Stages In The Research Process Problem Discovery and Problem Definition Research Design Sampling Data Gathering Data Processing and Analysis Conclusions And Report

12 “The formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution” Albert Einstein

13 Problem Discovery And Definition First and probably most important step Too often neglected leading to costly errors Provides direction for the project Problem, opportunity, or monitor operations Discovery before definition Must not mistake symptoms for problem

14 Exploratory Research Techniques Three Examples Secondary data (historical data) –Previously collected for another purpose –Literature survey –Databases (e.g., www.census.gov) Pilot study –A number of diverse techniques –Focus Groups 6 to 10 people in group dynamics session

15 State the research questions and research objectives Hypothesis: A statement that can be refuted by empirical data

16 Research Design Master plan Specifies methods and procedures Framework for action

17 Basic Research Methods Surveys –Interview –Questionnaire Experiments –control conditions so that one or more variables can be manipulated to test a hypothesis –Field –Laboratory Secondary data study Observation

18 POPULATION SAMPLE Sample: subset of a larger population. Selecting a Sample

19 Sampling Who is to be sampled? How large a sample? How will sample units be selected? –Probability Samples – every member of the population has a known, nonzero probability of being selected –Nonprobability Samples

20 Data Gathering Stage Focus on error minimization Pretesting

21 Data Processing and Analysis Editing Checking the data collection forms for omissions, legibility and consistency Coding Rules for interpreting, categorizing and recording the data

22 Conclusions And Report Writing Effective communication of the research findings Usually includes making recommendations “What does this mean to management?”

23 Chapter 6: Problem Definition: The Foundation of Business Research

24 A Sea Horse’s Tale

25 Problem Discovery and Definition First step Problem, opportunity, or monitor operations Discovery before definition Problem means management problem

26 “The formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution.” Albert Einstein

27 Problem Definition The indication of a specific business decision area that will be clarified by answering some research questions. Problems Mean Gap –Business performance is worse than expected –Actual business performance is less than possible –Expected business performance is greater than possible business performance

28 Statement of Research Objectives Problem Definition Defining Problem Results in Clear Cut Research Objectives Exploratory Research (Optional) Analysis of the Situation Symptom Detection

29 The Process of Problem Definition Ascertain the decision maker’s objectives Understand background of the problem Isolate/identify the problem, not the symptoms Determine unit of analysis Determine relevant variables State research questions and objectives

30 30 Ascertain the Decision Maker’s Objectives Decision makers’ objectives Managerial goals expressed in measurable terms.

31 The Iceberg Principle The principle indicating that the dangerous part of many business problems is neither visible to nor understood by managers.

32 32 Understand the Background of the Problem Exercising judgment Situation analysis - The informal gathering of background information to familiarize researchers or managers with the decision area.

33 33 Isolate and Identify the Problems, Not the Symptoms Symptoms can be confusing

34 Symptoms Can Be Confusing Twenty-year-old neighborhood swimming association: Membership has been declining for years. New water park -residents prefer the expensive water park???? Demographic changes: Children have grown up

35 Problem Definition OrganizationSymptoms Based on Symptom True Problem Twenty-year-old neighborhood swimming association in a major city. Membership has been declining for years. New water park with wave pool and water slides moved into town a few years ago. Neighborhood residents prefer the expensive water park and have negative image of swimming pool. Demographic changes: Children in this 20- year-old neighborhood have grown up. Older residents no longer swim anywhere.

36 TOTI EMUL ESTO What Language Is Written on This Stone Found by Archaeologists?

37 TOTI EMUL ESTO The Language Is English: To Tie Mules To

38 38 Determine the Unit of Analysis Individuals, households, organizations, etc. In many studies, the family rather than the individual is the appropriate unit of analysis.

39 39 Determine the Relevant Variable Anything that may assume different numerical values

40 Types of Variables Categorical Continuous Dependent Independent

41 Hypothesis An unproven proposition A possible solution to a problem Guess

42 42 State the research questions and research objectives

43 If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.

44 Statement of business problem Exploratory research (optional) Statement of business problem Broad research objectives Specific Objective 1 Specific Objective 2 Specific Objective 3 Research Design Results

45 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 Normally a schedule of costs and deadline is included

46 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?

47 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?

48 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?

49 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?

50 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?

51 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?

52 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?

53 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?


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