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Advanced Research

Methods

Books
Text Book:
Sekaran, U. (2002), Research Methods for
Business: A Skill-Building Approach
International Edition
Ryan, B., Scapens, R. and Theobald, M., (2002),
Research Method and Methodology in Finance
and Accounting, London: Thomson.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A., (2007),
Research Methods for Business Students,
Prentice Hall.

Research...
[it] is concerned with solving
problems, investigating relationships
and building a body of knowledge
(Smith, 2003)
Something that people undertake in
order to find out things in a
systematic way, thereby increasing
their knowledge (Saunders et al.
2007, p.5)

Research
...an organized, systematic, databased, critical, objective, scientific
inquiry or investigation into a specific
problem,
undertaken
with
the
purpose of finding answers or
solutions to it (Sekaran, 2001, p. 5)

Themes in These Definitions


Research is about finding out about
some phenomenon
It usually starts with a problem that
you want to address
It involves doing something to
answer the question or solve the
problem
It ends up in an evaluation of what
you have done relative to the
question/problem

Methodology and Methods


Methodology is the process of doing
research based on assumptions about a
particular ontology, epistemology and view of
human nature; by contrast, methods are the
techniques used in the research (Ryan et
al., 2002, p. 36).
Therefore, methodology refers to the way which
research is conducted based on the philosophical
and theoretical underpinnings of the researcher
and their implications for the research methods
selected (Saunders et al., 2007).

Focus of the Course


On Methods rather than the
Methodology

Hallmarks of Scientific
Research

Objectivity
Replicabity
Testability
Precision and confidence
Parsimony
Purposiveness
Rigor
Generalbity

Social Science Research


Methodology in the social sciences is
the mixture of assumptions about
nature (hard, real and external to the
environment) and individual
subjective qualities (Burrell and
Morgan, 1979).

Social Science Research


Social sciences, lodged as they are
between the natural sciences and
humanities, have almost inevitably
become a battleground over the
suitability of natural science models
and approaches to the study of
human behaviours and social
processes. (Blalock,1984)

Type 2
Qualitative Research (Ideographic/
anti-positivist)
focuses on obtaining first-hand
knowledge of the subject under
investigation (Burrell and Morgan,
1979, p. 6).

Quantitative (Nomothetic/Positivist)
focuses on the quantitative techniques
for the analysis of the data (Burrell and
Morgan, 1979).

Types of Research
From Different Perspectives
1. Application
Pure Research
Applied Research
2. Type of Information Sought
Quantitative Research
Qualitative Research
3. Source of Research Question/Problem
Deductive Research
Inductive Research
Abductive Research

Types of Research
4.

Objectives/Purpose : the stage to which knowledge


about the research topic has advanced-----varies with
rigorous.. The methodological rigor increases as we
move from one research to another.
Exploratory Research
Descriptive Research
Hypotheses Testing

Type 1
Applied research is research undertaken to solve practical
problems rather than to acquire knowledge for knowledge
sake.
to solve a current problem faced by the manager in the work
setting, demanding a timely solution (Sekaran, 2002, p. 7)
Basic

research

(pure

or

basic)

is

experimental

and

theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge without


looking for long-term benefits other than the advancement of
knowledge.
to generate a body of knowledge (Sekaran, 2002, p. 7)

Types 3
4. Where do research questions/problems come from?
Inductive research
Questions start with observations/data from which
theories can be generated.
we observe certain phenomena and on this basis
arrive at conclusions. (Sekaran, 2002, p. 27)
Deductive research
Questions emerge from a theory and you proceed to
generate specific predictions that can be verified or
refuted
process by which we arrive at a reasoned conclusion
by logical generalization of a known fact. (Sekaran,
2002, p. 27)

The Role of Theory in Research


Theory is a set of tentative explanations with
which to justify diverse observations (Smith,
2003)
A coherent set of general propositions used as
principles of explanation for a class of
phenomena.
Deegan (2000)
A definition offered by an accounting researcher:
A coherent set of hypothetical, conceptual and
pragmatic principles forming the general
framework of reference for a field of enquiry.
(Hendrikson, 1970)

Why Do We Need Theory?


To guide the research by providing
guidelines and basic assumptions
To have some justification for the
research question
To have some expectation of a
relationship that might exist
To provide hypotheses for testing
To use to analyse subsequent
findings

Deductive Approach
Approach
THEORY
Hypotheses or
questions

Inductive
Data collection
Analysis

Data collection

Questions

Testing

THEORY

Conclusions comparing
results with theory

Conclusions comparing
theory with data

Type 4
Exploratory Research
Not much is known about the
situation...
Less previous studies before hand...
Extensive preliminary work should be
conducted
After this, hypotheses are
developed...
Pilot studies....

Descriptive
Undertaken to describe the
characteristics of the variables in a
situation...

Hypothesis Testing
An enhanced understanding of the
relationship that exists among
variables...

Casual Versus Correlational


Casual
Delineate the cause of one or more
problems....
Does smoking cause cancer?
Correlational study
The important variables associated
with the problem
Are smoking and cancer related?

7
As discussed in the methodology
section of the thesis given a lack of
previous research in the area, the
study was exploratory in nature and
any policy implications therefore
represent a by-product of the
research. Arguably the study would
have been produced more policy
implications
for
government
authorities by adopting a more