2 The scope of business research What is “business” anyway???Is research applicable to all business units/functions?profit, nonprofit, government, education…Talk about various units and types of research.My experience in eachMarketing example throughout this courseOPTION: end class
3 Business research defined the systematic and objective process of gathering, recording, and analyzing data for aid in making business decisionsI said earlier that my three year old would not get an A on this course. This definition of business research underscores why.Know this definition (hint) but also know what it means and the implications for how research is conducted:systematic: what does this meanObjective: what does this meanscientific not intuitive or haphazardly gatheredimpersonalin business research, in contrast to some other forms of research which we will discuss shortly, the objective is the facilitation of business decisions. Why?
4 Types of research PURE expand the limits of knowledge not aimed at solving a specific pragmatic problemtheory developmentAPPLIEDaimed at solving a specific pragmatic problem“action research” is one typeBusiness research falls into which category. Applied. Why? Because it is geared towards facilitating business decisions. That implies action, or problem solving, not just knowing to know.Give some examples of pure research that ultimately is applied.Psychological research on compliance behaviour. Conclusions used by organizations and military to shape behaviour.Research done on cognitive processing of moral decisions used by police interviewing suspectsMORETherefore pure research isn’t just ivory tower musings; it leads to application just not necessarily right away.In this course we are focusing on applied research
5 Applications identifying problems or opportunities diagnosis and assessmentselecting and implementing a course of actionevaluating a course of actionEvaluationPerformance monitoringSo… why do researchidentifying problems or opportunities: new product, new markets, motivation, taxationSomething is wrong. Casino Lethbridge and absenteeism; students’ grade appeals, adoption disruption, what services should we provide our clients (young moms)Course of action: should we offer AA type self help groups or professionally facilitated groups; should we use Simply Accounting or ACPAC, IBM or Mac?Evaluation of a course of action: what do students think about the changes in the program structure? Have sales gone up or down since we raised the price on Cheerios
6 Research isn’t always the answer! Before doing research consider the following:time constraintsavailability of datanature of the decisionhas the decision already been made?does the cost outweigh the benefit?Know this (hint) Just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should beTime: is there time to do research before the competition owns the market segment; will the program (young moms) be shut down before we can evaluate how best to implement changesAvailability of Data: adoption disruption, research into motivation of illiterate introverts, or is the information already out there in secondaryNature of the decision: Is this a critical decision that requires input from all the stakeholders? Is it a minor decision?Already been made. Government experience of thisCost and benefit: research is expensive.OPTION: Break class one here and go to cookies
7 Nature of truthknowledge is socially constructed
8 Sources of Knowledge Experience Authority but may not be systematic may not be universalAuthoritycustomtraditionbut how does authority know?
12 Theory Formulation Deductive Reasoning Subject to error! The logical process of deriving a conclusion from a known premise or something known to be true.We know that all managers are human beings.If we also know that John Smith is a manager,then we can deduce that John Smith is a human being.Subject to error!Assumes premise is correct
13 Inductive ReasoningThe logical process of establishing a general proposition on the basis of observation of particular facts.All managers that have ever been seen are human beings;therefore all managers are human beings.Subject to error too!
15 THEORYis a system for explaining a set of phenomena by specifying constructs and the laws that relate these constructs to each other.
16 Purpose of Theories to summarize and organize existing knowledge to explain observed events and relationshipsto predict the occurrence of unobserved events and relationshipsto stimulate further inquiryidentifying areasproviding leads
17 What makes a good theory? ValidityIt fits the factsGeneralizationMakes predictions about future or other eventsReplicationIt can be repeated with similar findings
18 ConstructsIn management we often use concepts or constructs as variablesexamples:leadershipsocial responsibilityGNPagencyhonestyefficiencyBut what do these mean?
19 Abstraction Concepts abstract reality Are expressed in words that refer to various events or objectsVary in degree of abstractionResearch operates at abstract and empirical level linking concepts together as we begin the journey to construct theory.
20 Propositions Concepts are the basic building blocks Propositions propose the linkages between these conceptsLevel of abstractiontheorypropositionsconcepts
21 From proposition to hypothesis Concept A:PunishmentConcept B:AttendanceAbstractLevelYelling at studentsIncreases attendance by 50%EmpericalLevelHypothesis
22 A hypothesis is a proposition that is empirically testable A hypothesis is a proposition that is empirically testable. It is an empirical statement concerned with the relationship among variables.A variable is anything that… varies!Make sure that you define, or operationalize all your variables… an operational definitionNull hypothesis
23 What makes a good hypothesis? precisespecifies variables to measurespecifies relationships between variables
24 A poor hypothesisStudents spend too much money on fast food.
25 A better hypothesisStudents with incomes of less than 10,000 per year spend a higher proportion of their income in fast food restaurants than the established mean for the general population.