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Research Methodology

Module I
Introduction to Business Research

Amish Soni

Introduction to Business Research

1. Nature and Scope of Business Research 2. Information Based Decision Making and Source of Knowledge 3. The Research Process

Defining Research Problem and Framing Hypothesis

4. Preparing a Research Plan

Nature and Scope of Business Research

Introduction Meaning of Research Why Study Business Research? What is Good Research? Types of Research

Investigation using scientific procedures, searching again and again to find out the truth. by

Research is the continual search for truth using the scientific method. It is the pursuit of the truth with the help of study, investigation, observation, comparison and/or experimentation.

What makes people to undertake research?

Desire to get a research degree along with its consequential benefits Desire to face the challenge in solving the unsolved problems. Ex. Concern over practical problems initiates research. Desire to get intellectual joy of doing some creative work. Desire to be of service to society Desire to get respectability.

What it Takes?
Creativity Open mind Curiosity Patience Persistence Positive Attitude Discipline and focus

What is Research?
Research is a scientific and systematic search for
pertinent information on a specific topic. It is a careful investigation or enquiry specially through search for knowledge. It is a movement from known to unknown.

Management Research
Management Research is an unbiased, structured and sequential method of enquiry, directed towards a clear implicit or explicit business objective. This enquiry might lead to validating the existing postulates or arriving at new theories and models.

Business Research
A process of planning, acquiring, analyzing, and disseminating relevant business data, information, and insight to decision makers in ways that mobilize the organization to take appropriate action that, in turn, maximize business performance. It is a systematic inquiry that provides information to guide managerial decisions.

Why Study Business Research?

New Research Perspectives Growth of Internet Greater Computing Power Business as a discipline

Stakeholder Influence


Competition Government Intervention

Complex Decisions

Features of a Good Research Study

Objectivity Control Generalisability Free from Personal Biases Systematic Reproducible

Hence, the following points must be ensured

Clearly defined purpose Detailed research process Thoroughly planned design High ethical standards Limitations addressed Adequate analysis Unambiguous presentation Conclusions justified


Types of Research Studies








Basic Research Vs Applied Research

Basic research : the basic premise is the need to KNOW and the concern is primarily academic in nature. Applied research: Solution or action oriented research, that is contextual and practical in approach.

Types of Research
Exploratory research is loosely structured and the basic premise is to provide direction to subsequent, more structured method of enquiry. Conclusive research is structured and definite in orientation. These studies are usually conducted to validate formulated hypotheses and specified relationships.

Exploratory Research Vs Conclusive Research

EXPLORATORY RESEARCH Loosely structured in design Are flexible and investigative in methodology Do not involve testing of hypotheses Findings might be topic specific and might not have much relevance outside the researchers domain CONCLUSIVE RESEARCH Well structured and systematic in design Have a formal and definitive methodology that needs to be followed and tested Most conclusive researches are carried out to test the formulated hypotheses Findings are significant as they have a theoretical or applied implication.

Conclusive Research
Descriptive research: The main goal of this type of research is to describe the data and characteristics about what is being studied.

Causal research: Explores the effect of one or more variables on other variable(s), with reasonable level of certainty by controlling the impact of other influencing variables.

Types of Research Studies

Fundamental Research Applied Research Descriptive research Historical Research Formulative or Exploratory Research Experimental Research Ex-Post-Facto Research Case Study Approach

Information Based Decision Making and Source of Knowledge

Emerging Hierarchy of Information - Based Decision Makers How the Research Industry Works? Current Status of Research in India Limitation of Research

Hierarchy of Business Decision Makers


Standardized Decision Makers

Intuitive Decision Makers Intuitive Decision Makers

Hierarchy of Business Decision Makers


Standardized Decision Makers

Intuitive Decision Makers

Hierarchy of Business Decision Makers

Visionaries Visionaries

Standardized Decision Makers

Intuitive Decision Makers

Who Conducts Business Research?



Business Research Suppliers

External Research Suppliers Business Research Firms Communication Agencies Consultants Trade Associations

Business Research Suppliers

Business Research Firms

Full Service



Methods Syndicated Data Other


Full Service
Full-service researchers include some of the largest research firms, and some of the smallest. These firms are often involved in research planning from the moment of discovery of a dilemma or from the definition of a management question. Such firms often have expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, as well as multifaceted facilities. Some are capable of working in worldwide venues, while others are limited to one industry or geographic region. These firms are often a combination of research and consulting operations.

Some of the Worlds Largest Research Companies

Organization VNU Inc. IMS Health Inc. Tylor Nelson Sofres USA The Kantar Group Research Revenues, 2003 ($ millions) $3,045.00

$1,290.10 $1,002.10

Custom Researchers
Often described with phrases like ad hoc research or custom-designed research A custom researcher crafts a research design unique to the decision makers dilemma. In other words, each project starts from ground zero. What is implied is that such firms do not assume that a given methodology is appropriate for each clients research. Although a custom researcher may not always be a fullservice research firm, a full-service researcher would always fit into the custom research category.

Proprietary Methodology Researchers

A proprietary methodology is a research program or technique that is owned by a single firm. It may be a new method developed by the firm, or a twist on an established methodology. Firms often brand these methodologies to distinguish themselves from the competition. (ACNielsen did this with its Home scan syndicated panel.) The Gallup Organization reinvented itself using the proprietary research model, moving from public opinion pollster and custom researcher to research-based consulting firm.

One of its proprietary methodologies is called Q12.

Specialty Business Research Firms

Methodology Process Industry

Participant group
Geographic Region

Some Syndicated Data Providers

AC Nielsen Scarborough Millward Brown Nielsen Media Research Roper ASW CSA TMO Yahoo! ORC International DoubleClick Nielsen/NetRatings Taylor Nelson Sofres Intersearch J.D. Power Associates MediaMark Simmon (SMRB) BRMB Information Resources Inc.

Communication Agencies
Sales Promotion Advertising

Direct Business

Public Relations

Top Advertising Companies of India:

McCann-Erickson India Ltd: Mudra Communication Pvt. Ltd: J Walter Thompson India: Ogilvy and Mather: Leo Burnett India Pvt. Ltd :

Consultants and Trade Associations

Consultants Business General Business

Trade Associations General business Business specialties Research specialties

Who Conducts Research?

Limitations of Research
Doesnt provide actionable results Some problems just cannot be researched Only provide a set of guidelines Do not include research in the overall problem or total decision making. Rely more on intuition and judgment

Research Process
Steps in Research Process Defining Research Problem and Hypothesis

Defining the Research Problem Formulation of the Problem Problem Identification Process Decision Problem Vs Research Problem Concept and Formulation of Hypothesis

Management Dilema (Basic vs Applied)

Defining the Research Problem

Formulating the Research Hypothesis

Developing the Research Proposal

The Research Framework Research Design

Data Collection Plan Instrument Design Pilot Testing Data Collection

Sampling Plan

Data Refining and Preparation

Data Analysis & Interpretation

Research Reporting

Management / Research Decision

Steps in Research Process

Defining the research problem and reviewing the literature Formulation of hypothesis Developing the research proposal Research design Collecting data Analyzing data and testing hypothesis Preparation of report and preliminary analysis Interpreting the reporting the findings

Defining the Research Problem

A research problem can be defined as a gap or uncertainty in the decision makers existing body of knowledge which inhibits efficient decision making. The gap could be academic & theoretical (basic) or real time and action oriented (applied).

Formulation of the Problem

Steps involved in defining a problem are:

Statement of the problem in a general way Understanding the nature of the problem Surveying the available literature Developing the idea through discussion Rephrasing the research problem into working proposition

Management Decision Problem

Discussions with subject experts

Review of existing literature

Organization Analysis

Qualitative analysis

Management Research Problem / Question

Research framework / Analytical model

Statement of Research Objectives

Formulation of Research Hypothesis

Problem identification process

Management decision problem: the issue/decision that needs to be resolved through research Discussion with experts: to get the right perspective on the issue, discussion/dialogue isheld with subject/industry expert. Review of literature: the most valuable source of framing the research question is to review the past work done on related topic(s). Qualitative surveys: primary exploratory loosely structured surveys to attain the environmental context.

Management research problem: the four steps might lead to multiple directions/research problems the researcher can take. The researcher has to identify THE alternative he/she will undertake Theoretical model building (optional) Statement of research objectives

Elements of a research problem

Unit of analysis Independent variable Dependent variable Extraneous independent variable Intervening variables Moderating variables

Decision problems
DECISION PROBLEM 1. What should be done to increase the customer base of organic products in the domestic market?

Research problems
RESEARCH PROBLEM* 1. What is the awareness and purchase intention of health conscious consumers for organic products? 2. What is the impact of shift duties on work exhaustion and turnover intentions of the BPO employees? 3. How does Widex/ industry leader manage its supply chain in India/Asia? 4. What is the satisfaction level of the company with the existing vendor? Are there any gaps? Can they be effectively handled by the vendor? 5. What is the current investment in Real Estate and Housing? Can the demand in the sector be forecasted for the next six months? 6a. what has been the Leadership initiatives and performance record of ABC viz. XYZ? 6b. Can a leading aggressive private sector bank accept a woman as its leader?

2. How to reduce turnover rates in the BPO sector?

3. How to improve the delivery process of Widex hearing aids in India? 4. Should the company continue with its existing security services vendor or look at an alternative? 5. Can the Housing and real estate growth be accelerated?

6. Whom should ICICI choose as its next Managing director- Mr ABC or Mrs. XYZ?

Formulation of Hypothesis
A hypotheses is any assumption/presupposition that the researcher makes about the probable direction of the results that might be obtained on the completion of the research process Descriptive hypotheses: This is simply a statement about the magnitude, trend, or behaviour of a population under study. Relational hypotheses: These are the typical kind of hypotheses which state the expected relationship between two variables.

Criteria for hypotheses formulation

In simple, declarative statement form Measurable and quantifiable Is essentially a conjectural statement Has underlying assumptions on the testing of the stated relationships

Preparing Research Plan

The Research Proposal Process Types of Research Proposal Structuring the Research Proposal

Types of Research Proposal

Structuring the Research Proposal

Executive Summary Problem Statement Research Objectives Literature Review Importance/ Benefits of Study Research Design Data Analysis Nature/Form 4-53 Research Qualifications Budget Schedule Facilities Project Management Bibliography Appendices

Researcher Qualifications

Professional Research Competence

Relevant Management Experience

Sample Proposed Budget


Budgeting for Samples

Scientific Telephone Samples (STS) provides random dial, listed, and business samples for telephone and online surveys

CPM Schedule

Gantt Chart
MindWriter Project Plan

Elements of a Project Management Plan

Management competence

Financial/ Legal responsibility Team relationship with client

Organization of research team

Plan Elements Procedures Examples of past work