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 Business research method is a systematic and

scientific procedure of data collection,

compilation, analysis, interpretation, and
implication pertaining to any business problem.
 Business research is defined as the systematic and
objective process of gathering, recording, and
analyzing data for aid in making business decisions
(Zikmund, 2007).
 Cooper and Schindler (2009) define business
research as a systematic enquiry that provides
 Decision making is always a crucial part
of any organizational functioning.
 In the field of business research, this
valuable information is obtained using the
following interrelated steps:
1. Problem or opportunity identification
2. Diagnosing the problem or opportunity
3. Executing business research to explore the
4. Implement presented solutions
 Any delay in problem identification and
solution implementation; and the
opportunity identification and encashment
may become harmful to the organization.
 Organizations present these problems or
opportunity scenarios to business
 Business researchers actually diagnose the
problem or opportunity.
 Diagnosing involves exploring the
situation to have a better insight about the
3. Executing Business Research to
Explore the Solution
 After the identification and diagnosis of the
problem, business researchers
systematically conduct research to present
a solution.
4. Implement Presented Solution
 Business researchers conduct research in consultation
with the decision makers of the concerned
organization. The findings are presented to the
decision maker and he or she analyzes these findings
in the light of his or her decision range.
5. Evaluate the Effectiveness of
Decision Making

 After taking a decision, its effectiveness is

examined. This is sometimes referred to as
evaluation research.
A well-defined study begins with a clearly defined

“The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its

solution” - Albert Einstein
 Problemformulation drives decisions related to….
• Research design
 Is exploratory research needed?
 Survey or experiment?
• Measurement
 Study measures flow directly out of problem statement and
research objectives
• Sampling
 Can we obtain the sample necessary to answer the research
 Availability? Cost?
 This “first step” in the research process includes
• Defining the problem
• Developing research objectives
• Developing hypotheses

 Most important part of the research process

• But also one of the most difficult
 Problem is rarely “clear cut”
 Differentiatebetween a decision problem and a
research problem
Decision Problems Research Problems

Develop package for a new product Evaluate alternative package designs

Increase store traffic Measure current image of the store

Increase market penetration through the Evaluate prospective locations

opening of new stores

Decide which merchandise will be available Determine consumers’ confidence in

for purchase over the Internet purchasing different categories of products
 Firststep is to invest in understanding the decision
• Time investment is significant if the research topic is outside the
researchers area of expertise
 Eg, nontraditional conjoint study on the impact of social media on
investment manager decisions
 Understand what is known and what is not
• In depth discussions with decision makers
• Exploratory research
 Lit reviews
 IDIs(In-depth Interview), focus groups, etc. with experts in the field
 Itis imperative to know what has been studied in
order to advance knowledge in the area
 Try to develop a concise “statement” that clearly
states the problem to be addressed by the research
 “Justification” for the research

 This
should be the specific research problem that the
research will address
• Not a “problematic situation” or broader problem area (eg,
customer retention, decreasing market share)

 Usually an iterative process with the client or decision

 If possible, include…
• What knowledge is needed
• Who needs it
• How it will be useful to make a decision
1.The problem was to investigate the effects of exercise on blood
lipids among college-age females.
2.This study was designed to determine the relationship between
stability performance and physical growth characteristics of
preschool children.
3.The present study was designed to identify those
characteristics which differentiate between students who drink
and those that do not.
4.The problem of the study was to determine is there is a
relationship between self-efficacy and self-reported alcohol
usage among middle-aged adult females.
Criteria for Identification of a Suitable
Research Problem

1. The research problem should address an important question

so that the answer will make a difference.

2. The research problem should advance the frontiers of

knowledge by leading to new ways of thinking, suggesting
possible applications, or paving the way for further research
in the field.
Situations to Avoid When
• Research A should
projects Research
not be Problem
a ruse (an action intended to
deceive someone) for achieving self-enlightenment.

• A problem whose sole purpose is to compare two sets of data is not

a suitable research problem.

• Calculating a correlation coefficient between two sets of data to

show a relationship between them is not acceptable as a problem
for research.

• Problems that result in a yes or no answer are not suitable

problems for research.
Finding a Legitimate Research Problem
1. Look around you.

2. Read the literature.

3. Attend professional conferences.

4. Seek the advice of experts.

5. Choose a topic that intrigues and motivates you.

6. Choose a topic that others will find interesting and

worthy of attention.
Guidelines: Stating the Research Problem

1. State the problem clearly and completely.

2. Think through the feasibility of the project that the

problem implies.

3. Say precisely what you mean.

- Absolute honesty and integrity are the rule!

4. State the problem in a way that reflects an open mind

about its solution.

5. Edit your work.

Dividing the Research Problem Into

Sub-problem: the subparts of the main problem

that are an integral part of the main problem.
Pseudo-sub-problems: procedural issues that
involve decisions that must be made before
resolving the research problem and its sub-
Characteristics of Sub-problems

1. Each sub-problem should be a completely

researchable unit.

2. Each sub-problem must be clearly tied to

the interpretation of the data.

3. The sub-problems must add up to the

totality of the problem.

4. Sub-problems should be small in number.

Identifying Subproblems

• Take a paper-and-pencil approach.

• Use brainstorming software, such as:

- Inspiration
- BrainStorm
- MindJet
Further Delineation (Action of Describing) of the Pro

• State the hypotheses and/or research questions.

• Delimit the research.

• Define the terms.

• State the assumptions.