Presentation on theme: "Research Methods for Business Students"— Presentation transcript:
1 Research Methods for Business Students Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian ThornhillSecond EditionChapter Research Methods for Business StudentsDr. Wasim Al-Habil.
2 Research Methods for Business Students Chapter SevenResearch Methods for Business Students
3 Key TopicsTo identify the full variety of secondary data that are available.To appreciate ways in which secondary data can be utilized to help to answer research question and to meet objectives.To understand the advantages and disadvantages of using secondary data in research projects.To use a range of techniques, including published guides and the Internet, to locate secondary data.To evaluate the suitability of secondary data for answering research question(s) and meeting objectives in terms of coverage, validity, reliability and measurement bias.To apply the knowledge, skills and understanding gained to your own research project.
4 Wish to researchThe researchProcessFormulate and clarify yourResearch topicCritically review the literatureChoose your researchapproach and strategyNegotiate access andaddress ethical issuesPlan your data collection and collect the data using one or more of :SamplingSecondary dataObservationSemi-structured and in-depth interviewsQuestionnairesAnalyse your data using one or both of:Quantitative methodsQualitative methodsWrite your project reportSubmit your report
5 Questions a literature review can answer What are the keysources ?What are the key concepts,theories and ideas?What are themajor issuesand debatesabout the topic?Literaturesearch and reviewon your topicWhat are thepoliticalstandpoints?What are themain questionsand problemsthat have beenaddressed to date?What are the origins anddefinitions of the topic?How have approaches to these questions increased our understandingand knowledge?
6 Documentary sources Life Histories The Diary Newspapers and magazines LettersStories, essays and other writingsOfficial documents and recordsResearch reportsOFFICIAL STATISTICS 1. Gov. depts. request info. From e.g. tax offices, social services depts., job centres, police stations etc.2. Published in e.g. Employment Gazette (earnings, prices, employment, unemployment, industrial disputes etc.)3. Annual Abstract of Statistics > Social Trends & Regional Trends4. Surveys:a) ONS (formerly OPCS) Decennial Census – legal requirement every household > 98% returnGeneral Household Survey – questionnaire to sample of 12,000
7 Documentary sources Acts of Parliament Government reports and inquiriesPublic recordsSurveys/censusesAdvertisementsPamphlets
10 7.1 IntroductionSecondary data include both raw data and published summaries.Most organizations collect and store a variety of data to support their operations.Some of these data are available only from the organization that produce them, and so access will need to be negotiated. (Private data)Others are widely available in published forms as well as on CD in university libraries and increasingly via the Internet. (Public information)
11 7.2 Types of secondary data and use in research Secondary data include both quantitative and qualitative data, and they can be used in both descriptive and explanatory research.Types of secondary dataSee figure 7.1 in page 190
12 7.2 Types of secondary data and use in research Documentary data: Documentary secondary data are often used in research projects that also use primary data collection methods. They are classified into:Written documents: Notices, correspondence, minutes of meetings, reports to shareholders, diaries, transcripts of speeches and administrative and public records.Non-written documents: Tape and video recordings, pictures, drawings, films and television programs, DVD/CD.
13 7.2 Types of secondary data and use in research Survey-based secondary data: Survey-based secondary data refers usually to data collected by questionnaires that have already been analyzed for their original purpose.It will have been collected through three distinct types of survey:CensusesContinuous/regular surveysAd hoc surveys
14 7.2 Types of secondary data and use in research Survey-based secondary data:1. Censuses are usually carried out by governments and are unique because, unlike surveys, participation is obligatory. Consequently, they provide very good coverage of the population surveyed. Example, for general elections.2. Continuous and regular surveys are those surveys, excluding censuses, that are repeated over time. They include surveys where data are collected throughout the year, and those repeated at regular intervals. Example, organization’s sales percentage
15 7.2 Types of secondary data and use in research Census and continuous and regular survey data provide a useful resource with which to compare or set in context your own research findings.Survey secondary data may be available in sufficient details to provide the main data set from which to answer your research question and to meet your objectives.Alternatively, they may be the only way in which you can obtain the required data.
16 7.2 Types of secondary data and use in research 3. Ad hoc survey are usually one-off surveys and are far more specific in their subject matter. They include data from questionnaires that have been undertaken by independent researcher as well as surveys undertaken by organizations and governments. You will probably find it more difficult to discover relevant surveys.
17 7.2 Types of secondary data and use in research Multiple-source secondary data:Multiple-source secondary data can be based entirely on documentary or on survey data, or can be an amalgam (mixture) of the two.The key factor is that different data sets have been combined to form another data set prior to your accessing the data.
18 7.2 Types of secondary data and use in research Multiple-source secondary data:The way which a multiple-source data set has been complied will dictate the sorts of research question or objectives with which you can use it.Extract ad combine selected comparable variables from a number of surveys or from the same survey that has been repeated a number of times to provide a time-series of data.Compile for the same population over time using a series of “snap-shots” to form cohort studies.For the data that have the same geographical basis, to form area-based data sets.
19 7.2 Types of secondary data and use in research Finding relevant secondary data requires detective work:Establishing that the sorts of data you require are likely to be available as secondary data.Locating the precise data you require.
20 7.3 Locating secondary data The availability of secondary dataBooks and journal articles on your chosen topicReference for unpublished and documentary dataTertiary literature such as indexes and cataloguesOn-line indexes and cataloguesInformal discussions
21 7.3 Locating secondary data Finding secondary dataPrecise references are often given in published guides, and a full reference should exist.Data that are held by organizations are more difficult to locate.Data on the Internet can be located using site guides.Once you have located a possible secondary data set, you need to be certain that it will meet your needs.
22 7.4 Advantages and disadvantages of secondary data May have fewer resource requirementsUnobtrusive (any method of observation that directly removes the observer from the set interactions or events being studied).Longitudinal studies may be feasibleCan provide comparative and contextual dataCan result in unforeseen discoveriesPermanence of data
23 7.4 Advantages and disadvantages of secondary data May be collected for a purpose that does not match your needAccess may be difficult or costlyAggregations and definitions may be unsuitableNo real control over data qualityFirst and initial purpose may affect how data are presented
24 7.5 Evaluating secondary data sources Secondary data must be viewed with the same caution as any primary data that you collect. You need to be sure that:They will enable you to answer your research question and to meet your objectives.The benefits associated with their use will be greater than the costs.You will be allowed to access to the data.
25 7.5 Evaluating secondary data sources If you are using secondary data, you are at an advantage compared with researchers using primary data. Because the data already exist and you can evaluate them prior to use.See figure 7.2 in page 205Alongside this process you also need to consider the accessibility of the secondary data.
26 7.5 Evaluating secondary data sources Overall suitabilityMeasurement validity: (Validity is concerned with whether the findings are really about what they appear to be about).Did your approaches, methods and techniques relate to the issues you were exploring and the variables you attempted to measure?Secondary data that fail to provide you with the information that you need to answer your research question or meet your objectives will result in invalid answers.Often when you are using secondary survey data you will find that the measures used do not quite match those that you need.There are no clear solutions to problems of measurement invalidity.
27 7.5 Evaluating secondary data sources Overall suitabilityCoverage and unmeasured variablesYou need to be sure that the secondary data cover the population about which you need data, for the time period you need, and contain data variables that will enable you to answer your research question and to meet your objectives.Ensuring that unwanted data are or can be excluded.Ensuring that sufficient data remain for analyses to be undertaken once unwanted data have been excluded.
28 7.5 Evaluating secondary data sources Precise suitabilityReliability and validityYou will probably find the validity of documentary data such as organizations’ records more difficult to assess.For all secondary data a detailed assessment of the validity and reliability will involve you in an assessment of the method or methods used to collect the data.For some documentary sources, it is unlikely that there will be a formal methodology describing how the data were collected.
29 7.5 Evaluating secondary data sources Precise suitabilityReliability and validityThe validity and reliability of collection methods for survey data will be easier to assess where you have a clear explanation of the methodology used to collect the data.Where data have been complied, as in a report, you need to pay careful attention to how these data were analyzed and how the results are reported.
30 7.5 Evaluating secondary data sources Precise suitability:Measurement biasMeasurement bias can occur for two reasons:Deliberate or intentional distortion of data.Changes in the way data are collected.
31 7.5 Evaluating secondary data sources Precise suitabilityMeasurement biasDeliberate distortion occurs when data re recorded inaccurately on purpose, and is most common for secondary data sources such as organizational records.Other distortion may be deliberate but not intended for any advantage.Unfortunately, measurement bias resulting from deliberate distortion is difficult to detect.Changes in the way in which data were collected can also introduce changes in measurement bias.
32 7.5 Evaluating secondary data sources Precise suitabilityCost band benefitsThe final criterion for assessing secondary data is a comparison of the costs of acquiring them with the benefits they will bring.Cost include both time and financial resources that you will need to devote to obtaining the data.Benefits from data can be assessed in terms of the extent to which they will enable you to answer your research question and meet your objectives.
33 Table 7.3 Checklist to evaluate Secondary Data sources Overall suitabilityDoes the data set contain the information yourequire to answer your research question(s) andmeet your objectives?Do the measures use match those you require?Is the data set a proxy for the data you really need?
34 Table 7.3 Checklist to evaluate Secondary Data sources Overall suitabilityDoes the data set cover the population that is thesubject of your research?Can data about the population that is the subject ofyour research be separated from unwanted data?Are the data sufficiently up to date?
35 Table 7.3 Checklist to evaluate Secondary Data sources Overall suitabilityAre data available for all the variables you require toanswer your research question(s) and meet yourobjectives?
36 Table 7.3 Checklist to evaluate Secondary Data sources Precise suitabilityHow reliable is the data set you are thinking of using?How credible is the data source?Is the methodology clearly described?
37 Table 7.3 Checklist to evaluate Secondary Data sources Precise suitabilityIf sampling was used, what was the procedureand what were the associated sampling errorsand response rates?Who were responsible for collecting or recordingthe data?(For surveys) is a copy of the q’aire or interviewchecklist included?
38 Table 7.3 Checklist to evaluate Secondary Data sources Precise suitability(For complied data) are you clear how the data wereanalysed and complied?Are the data likely to contain measurement bias?What was the original purpose for which the data werecollected?
39 Table 7.3 Checklist to evaluate Secondary Data sources Precise suitabilityWho was the target audience and what was theirRelationship to the data collector or complier(were there any vested interests)?Have there been any documented changes in the waythe data are measured or recorded including definitionchanges?How consistent are the data obtained from this source?
40 Table 7.3 Checklist to evaluate Secondary Data sources Precise suitabilityHow consistent are the data obtained from this sourcewhen compared with data from other sources?Are you happy that the data have been recordedaccurately?
41 Table 7.3 Checklist to evaluate Secondary Data sources Costs and benefitsWhat are the financial and time costs of obtainingthese data?Have the data already been entered into a computer?Do the overall benefits of using these secondary datasources outweigh the associated costs?
42 7.6 SummaryData that have already been collected for some other purpose, perhaps processed and subsequently stored, are termed secondary data. There are tree main types of secondary data: documentary, survey and those from multiple sources.Most research projects require some combination of secondary and primary data to answer your research question and to meet your objectives. You can use secondary data in a variety of ways.
43 7.6 SummaryAny secondary data you use will have been collected for a specific purpose. This purpose may not match that of your research. In addition, the secondary data are likely to be less current than any data you collect yourself.Finding the secondary data you require is a matter of detective work.Once located you must asses secondary data sources to ensure their overall suitability for you research question and objective.
44 7.6 SummaryYou must also evaluate the precise suitability of the secondary data. Your evaluation should include both reliability and any likely measurement bias. You can then make a judgment on the basis of the costs and benefits of using the data in comparison with alternative sources.When assessing costs and benefits you need to be mindful that secondary data that are not completely reliable and contain some bias are better than no data at all if they enable you partially to answer your research question and to meet your objectives.