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An Overview of Business Research Process

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1 An Overview of Business Research Process
Chapter 3 An Overview of Business Research Process References: Business Research Book of VU Research Methods For Business (Uma Sekaran) Business Research Methods (William G. Zikmund) Resource Person: Furqan-ul-haq Siddiqui

2 Business Research Process
Research task is usually treated as a sequential process/steps involving several clearly defined steps. These steps may differ in various situations. Recycling, adding, and skipping occur. Various approaches suggest somewhat different steps – ranging from five steps to eleven steps. The variation may be due to purposes, and methods used by the researches, though some researchers may combine some of the steps. Completion of each step before going to next is not required.

3 The Business Research Process
The Business Research Process Problem definition Theoretical Framework Variables Identification and labelling Generation of Hypothesis Observation  Broad problem area Preliminary Data Gathering  Scientific Research Design Data Collection, analysis & interpretation NO Deduction Research Question Answered? Decision Making Report Presentation Report Writing Yes

4 1. Observation/Broad Problem Area
The process begins with a researcher selecting a topic – a general area of study or issue such as HR, finance, crime, marketing, or leadership styles. The specific issues that need to be researched within the situation may not be identified at this stage. E.g. Problem currently existing in an organizational setting that need to be solved (Inefficiency in production) Areas that a manager believes need to be improved in the organization (improving the existing policies)

5 2. Preliminary Data Collection
This step may be considered as part of the exploratory research. An exploration typically begins with a search for published data and studies. Some secondary sources of data are statistical bulletins, government publications, information published or unpublished, case studies, online data, web sites, discussions and the Internet. Such sources can provide data which becomes part of the background information (about the organization, groups of people, context of the issue). A pilot experiment, also called a pilot study, is a small scale preliminary study conducted before the main research in order to check the feasibility or to improve the design of the research. Pilot studies therefore may not be appropriate for case studies.

6 3. Problem Definition After having discussions with the professionals, with the persons to whom the issue relates, and the review of literature, the researcher is in a position to narrow down from its original broad base and define the issue clearly. Translate the broad issue into a research question. Problem is defined as any situation where a gap exists between the actual and the desired ideal state.

7 A research problem in general refers to some difficulty which a researcher experiences in the context of either a theoretical or practical situation and wants a solution for the same. Subject which is overdone must not be selected. Too narrow or too vague problems should not be chosen. The problem should be chosen in such a way that the ingredients required for the study should be within the reach of a researcher. The importance of the subject, time ,efficiency of the researchers is also an essential requisite factor. Selection of problem must be preceded by a preliminary study. Controversial subject should not be chosen by an average researcher.

8 For example a productivity decline of workers may be an issue
For example a productivity decline of workers may be an issue. The management may have tried to solve it by the provision of incentive but did not work. The researcher may have to dig deep and find the possible factors like the morale and motivation of the workers having some other antecedents. There could be similar other broad issues which have to be narrowed down to research questions like: To what extent has the new advertising campaign been successful in creating the high quality, consumer-centered corporate image that it was intended to produce? Has the new packaging affected the sale of the products? Will the day care centers affect the productivity of female workers? Why the divorce rate is on the increase in Pakistan? Why the family in Pakistan is changing? What could be the impact of changing family patterns on the sales volume of products?

9 4. Theoretical Framework
The theoretical framework discusses the interrelationships among the variables that are deemed to be integral to the dynamics of the situation being investigated. Theoretical framework addresses: Elaborates the relationship among the variables. Explains the logic underlying these relationships. Describes the nature, and direction of the relationships.

10 5. Generation of Hypotheses
After determining the important variables relevant to an issue and established the logical reasoning in the theoretical framework, we test whether the relationships that have been theorized do in fact hold true. The results of these tests offer us part of the answers to the formulated research questions, whether these relate basic research or to applied research.

11 6. Research Design Research design is a master plan specifying the methods and procedures for collecting and analyzing the needed information. The researcher must specify the sources of information, and the research method or technique to be followed in thee study.

12 7. Data Collection, Data Processing, and Analysis
Data collection is integral part of the research design, though we are dealing it separately. Data can be collected in a variety of ways, in different settings – field or lab – and from different sources. Data processing generally begins with the editing and coding of thee data. Analysis is the application of reasoning to understand and interpret the data that have been collected.

13 8. Testing the Hypotheses; Answering the Research Questions
The analysis and interpretation of the data shall be the means to testing the formulated hypotheses as well as finding answers to the research questions. Making recommendations may also be part of this process. 9. Report Writing 10. Report Presentation 11. Decision Making

14 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

15 Steps in the Research Process
Identifying and Defining Problem/ Opportunity Planning the Research Design Selecting a Research Method Selecting a Sampling Procedure Data Collection Evaluating the Data Preparing and Presenting the Research Report


17 Marketing Research Process
"Marketing research is the function that provides information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the methods for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes, and communicates the findings and their implications."

18 Research Process Flow Chart
Define research problem Review concepts and theories Review previous Research Findings Formulate hypothesis Design research Data collection Analyze data Interpretation and report writing

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