2 After completing this chapter you would be able to understand: The Hallmarks of Scientific ResearchSome obstacles to conducting scientific research in the management areaThe building blocks of science in researchThe hypothetico deductive methodOther types of research
3 Definition of Scientific Research Scientific Research focusing on solving problems and pursues a step by step logical, organized and rigorous method to identify the problems, gather data, analyze them and draw valid conclusions from them
4 Why Scientific Research? This research is not based on hunches, experience and intuition.It is purposive and rigorous.Enables all those who are interested in researching and knowing about the same or similar issues to come up with comparable findings when data are analyzed.Findings are accurate and confident.Apply solutions to similar problems.It is more objective.
5 Why Scientific Research? Highlights the most critical factors at the work place that need specific attention to solve or minimize problems.Scientific Investigation and Managerial Decision Making are integral part of effective problem solving.It can be applied to both basic and applied research.
6 The Hallmarks of Scientific Research The hallmarks or main distinguishing characteristics of scientific research may be listed as follows:PurposivenessRigorTestabilityReplicabilityPrecision and ConfidenceObjectivityGeneralizabilityParsimony
7 Hallmarks of Scientific Research PurposivenessIt has to start with a definite aim or purpose.The focus is on increasing employee commitment.Increase employee commitment will translate into less turnover, less absenteeism and increased performance levels.Thus it has a purposive focus.
8 2. RigorA good theoretical base and sound methodological design would add rigor to the purposive study.Rigor adds carefulness, scrupulousness and the degree of exactitude in research.Rigor is in the essence of scientific work, in each one of the stages of the research work.Rigor implies a structured and controlled way of planning, developing, analyzing and evaluating our research and a special care in adapting the presentation of the results to the demands of the audience we communicate the results of our investigations.
9 3. TestabilityResearch should be based on testable assumptions/hypotheses developed after a careful study of the problems involved.The scientific research should enable the testing of logically developed hypotheses to see whether or not the data collected support the hypotheses developed.
10 4. ReplicabilityIt means that it can be used again if similar circumstances prevails.Research is replicable when others can repeat it and get the same results.When researchers report what they have found through their research, they also describe in detail how they made their discoveries. This way, other researchers can repeat the research to see if they can replicate the findings.
11 5. Precision and Confidence Precision refers to the closeness of the findings to “reality” based on a sample.It reflects the degree of accuracy and exactitude of the results of the sample.
12 ConfidenceConfidence refers to the probability that our estimations are correct.That is, it is not merely enough to be precise, but it is also important that we can confidently claim that 95% of the time our results would be true and there is only a 5% chance of our being wrong.This is also known as confidence level.
13 6. ObjectivityThe conclusions drawn through the interpretation of the results of data analysis should be objective; that is, they should be based on the facts of the findings derived from actual data, and not on our subjective or emotional values.
14 7. GeneralizabilityIt refers to the scope of applicability of the research findings in one organization setting to other settings.Generalizability theory, or G Theory, is a statistical framework for conceptualizing, investigating, and designing reliable observations.It is used to determine the reliability (i.e., reproducibility) of measurements under specific conditions.
15 8. ParsimonySimplicity in explaining the phenomenon or problems that occur, and in generating solutions for the problems, is always preferred to complex research frameworks that consider an unmanageable number of factors.The principle of parsimony, also called Occam’s razor, maintains that researchers should apply the simplest explanation possible to any set of observations. For instance, researchers try to explain results by using well-accepted theories instead of elaborate new hypotheses.Parsimony prevents researchers from inventing and pursuing strange theories.
16 The Building Blocks of Science in Research Deduction and Inductions Answers to issues can be found either by the process of induction or the process of deduction, or by a combination of the two.
17 DeductionDeduction is the process by which we arrive at a reasoned conclusion by logical generalization of a known fact.Example: we know that all high performers are highly proficient in their jobs.If John is a high performer, we then conclude that he is highly proficient in his job
18 InductionInduction is a process where we observe certain phenomena and on this basis arrive at conclusions.In other words, in induction we logically establish a general proposition based on observed facts.
20 The Hypothetico-Deductive Method The seven-step process in the Hypothetico-Deductive MethodObservationPreliminary Information gatheringTheory FormulationHypothesizingFurther scientific data collectionData analysisDeduction
21 ObservationObservation is the first stage, in which one senses that certain changes are occurring or that some new behaviors, attitudes and feelings are surfacing in one’s environment (i.e., the work place).How does one observe phenomena and changes in the environment?
22 Preliminary Information Gathering: It involves the seeking of information in depth, of what is observed.This could be done by talking informally to several people in the work setting or to clients or to other relevant sources, thereby gathering information on what is happening and why. (Unstructured interviews)Then it is followed by structured interviews.Additionally by doing library research or obtaining information through other sources, the investigator would identify how such issues have been tackled in other situations.
23 Theory FormulationIt is an attempt to integrate all the information in a logical manners, so that the factors responsible for the problem can be on conceptualized and tested.The theoretical framework formulated is often guided by experience and intuition.In this step the critical variables are identified and examined as to their contribution or influence in explaining why the problem occurs and how it can be solved.
24 Hypothesizing It is the next logical step after theory formulation. From the theorized network of associations among the variables, certain testable hypotheses or educated conjectures can be generated.Hypothesis testing is called deductive research. Sometimes, hypotheses that were not originally formulated do get generated through the process of induction.
25 Further Specific Data Collection After the development of the hypotheses, data with respect to each variable in the hypotheses need to be obtained.Further data are collected to test the hypotheses that are generated in the study.
26 Data AnalysisData gathered are statistically analyzed to see if the hypotheses that were generated have been supported.Co relational method will be used to analyze and determine the relation ship of two or more factors in the hypotheses for example: stock availability and customer satisfaction.
27 DeductionDeduction is the process of arriving at conclusions by interpreting the meaning of results of the data analysis.
28 Other Types of Research Case studies and action research are sometimes used to study certain types of issues.Case StudiesAction Research
29 Case StudiesCase studies involve in depth, contextual analyses of similar situations in the other organizations, where the nature and definition of the problem happen to be the same as experienced in the current situation.Case study, as a problem solving technique, is not often undertaken in organizations because such studies dealing with problems similar to the one experienced by a particular organization of a particular size and in a particular type of setting are difficult to come by.
30 Action ResearchThe researcher begins with a problem that is already identified and gathers relevant data to provide a tentative problem solution.This solution is then implemented, with the knowledge that there may be unintended consequences following such implementation.The effects are then evaluated, defined and diagnosed and the research continues on an ongoing basis until the problem is fully resolved.