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Business Research Methods William G. Zikmund

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1 Business Research Methods William G. Zikmund
Chapter 4: The Business Research Process

2 Information Reduces uncertainty Helps focus decision making

3 Types Of Research Exploratory Descriptive Causal

4 Uncertainty Influences The Type Of Research

5 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?” possible situation

6 Exploratory Research Secondary data Experience survey Pilot studies

7 Exploratory Research Initial research conducted to clarify and define the nature of a problem Does not provide conclusive evidence Subsequent research expected

8 Descriptive Research Describes characteristics of a population or phenomenon Some understanding of the nature of the problem

9 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

10 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

11 Descriptive Research Example
Men’s fragrance market 1/3 size of women’s fragrance market But growing at a faster pace Women buy 80 % of men’s fragrances

12 Causal Research Conducted to identify cause and effect relationships

13 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

14 Stages of the Research Process
Problem Discovery and Definition Discovery and Definition and so on Research Design Conclusions and Report Sampling Data Processing and Analysis Data Gathering

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

16 Problem discovery Selection of exploratory research technique
and Definition Sampling Selection of exploratory research technique Probability Nonprobability Secondary (historical) data Experience survey Pilot study Case study Collection of data (fieldwork) Data Gathering Data Processing and Analysis Editing and coding data Problem definition (statement of research objectives) Data processing Selection of basic research method Research Design Conclusions and Report Interpretation of findings Experiment Survey Observation Secondary Data Study Report Laboratory Field Interview Questionnaire

17 The Business Research Process
Problem Discovery Selection of Sample Design Exploratory Research Collection of the Data Selection of the Basic Research Method

18 The Research Process (cont.)
Editing and Coding Report Data Processing Interpretation of the Findings

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

20 Problem Discovery And Definition
First step Problem, opportunity, or monitor operations Discovery before definition Problem means management problem

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

22 State the research questions and research objectives

23 Hypothesis A statement that can be refuted by empirical data

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

25 Exploratory Research Experience Case Survey Study Secondary Pilot
(historical) Data Exploratory Research

26 Exploratory Research Techniques Two Examples
Secondary data (historical data) Previously collected Census of population Literature survey Pilot study A number of diverse techniques

27 Focus Group Interview

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

29 Basic Research Methods
Surveys Experiments Secondary data Observation

30 Selecting a Sample Sample: subset SAMPLE of a larger population.

31 Sampling Who is to be sampled? How large a sample?
How will sample units be selected?

32 Data Gathering Stage

33 Data Processing and Analysis

34 Conclusions And Report Writing
Effective communication of the research findings

35 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

36 Research Program Strategy


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

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