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Business Research Methods

GBUS 3323

Lecture One
Assignment
Homework Sets – 500 pts
Final Case Analysis – 250 pts (due week 5).
Participation - 50 pts
4 Quizzes – 200 pts
Late Work – 10% off per day late.

www.kyleswhite.com – kwhite@okwu.edu
H: 918-331-0129 W: 800-468-6292 ext.289
We will complete Case 31 during Week 4
Scripture

• Let us stop passing judgment on one


another. Instead make up your mind not to
put an obstacle or a stumbling block in your
brother’s way. (Romans 14:13)
Degree of Problem Definition
Exploratory Research Descriptive Research Causal
Research
(Unaware of Problem) (Aware of Problem) (Problem
Clearly Defined)
possible situation

“Our sales are declining and “What kind of people are buying
“Will buyers purchase more of
we don’t know why.” our product? Who buys our our products in
a new package?
competitor’s product?”
“Would people be interested “Which of two
advertising
in our new product idea?” “What features do buyers prefer
Why Define?
campaigns is more effective?”
in our product?”
Why Measure?
Three categories of business research……
Exploratory Research
• Initial research conducted to clarify and
define the nature of a problem
• Does not provide conclusive evidence
• Subsequent research expected
Descriptive Research
• Describes characteristics of a population or
phenomenon
• Some understanding of the nature of the
problem
Descriptive Research Example
• Weight Watchers average customer
• Woman about 40 years old
• Household income of about $50,000
• At least some college education
• Trying to juggle children and a job
Causal Research
• Conducted to identify cause and effect
relationships
Identifying Causality
• A causal relationship is impossible to prove.
• Evidence of causality:
– 1. The appropriate causal order of events
– 2. Concomitant variation--two phenomena
vary together
– 3. An absence of alternative plausible
explanations
Stages of the Research Process
Problem Discovery Discovery and
and Definition Definition

Research and so on
Design Conclusions and
Report

Sampling
Data Processing
and Analysis
Data
Gathering
Problem Discovery And
Definition
• First step
• Problem, opportunity, or monitor operations
• Discovery before definition
• Problem means management problem
Hypothesis
• A statement
• that can be refuted
• by empirical data
If you do not know where you are going,
any road will take you there.
Exploratory Research Techniques
Two Examples
• Secondary data (historical data)
– Previously collected
– Census of population
– Literature survey
• Pilot study
– A number of diverse techniques
Research Design
• Master plan
• Framework for action
• Specifies methods and procedures
Basic Research Methods
• Surveys
• Experiments
• Secondary data
• Observation
Selecting a Sample

Sample: subset SAMPLE


of a larger population.

• Who is to be sampled?
• How large a sample? POPULATION

• How will sample units


be selected?
Research Proposal
• A written statement of the research design
that includes a statement explaining the
purpose of the study.
• Detailed outline of procedures associated
with a particular methodology

RESEARCH PROJECT VERSUS


RESEARCH PROGRAM
What is the Shape?
In the nine-dot square (shown in the
Textbook) connect all nine dots with no
more than four straight lines without lifting
the pencil from the paper.
Problem Definition
• The indication of a specific business
decision area that will be clarified by
answering some research questions.
Ascertain the Decision Maker’s
Objectives
• Decision makers’ objectives
• Managerial goals expressed in measurable
terms.

22
The Iceberg Principle

• The principle indicating that the dangerous


part of many business problems is neither
visible to nor understood by managers.
Understand the Background of
the Problem
• Exercising judgment
• Situation analysis - The informal gathering
of background information to familiarize
researchers or managers with the decision
area.

24
Isolate and Identify the Problems,
Not the Symptoms
• Symptoms can be confusing

25
Symptoms Can Be Confusing
Twenty-year-old neighborhood swimming
association:
• Membership has been declining for years.
• New water park -residents prefer the
expensive water park????
• Demographic changes: Children have
grown up
Problem Definition
Organization Symptoms Based on Symptom True Problem

Twenty-year-old Membership has been Neighborhood Demographic changes:


neighborhood declining for years. residents prefer the Children in this 20-
swimming New water park with expensive water year-old neighborhood
association in a wave pool and water park and have have grown up. Older
major city. slides moved into negative image of residents no longer
town a few years ago. swimming pool. swim anywhere.
What Language Is Written on
This Stone Found by
Archaeologists?

TOTI
EMUL
ESTO
Determine the Unit of Analysis
• Individuals, households, organizations, etc.
• In many studies, the family rather than the
individual is the appropriate unit of
analysis.

29
Determine the Relevant Variable
• Anything that may assume different
numerical values

30
Types of Variables
• Categorical
• Continuous
• Dependent
• Independent
Basic Questions -
Problem Definition
• What is the purpose of the study?
• How much is already known?
• Is additional background information necessary?
• What is to be measured? How?
• Can the data be made available?
• Should research be conducted?
• Can a hypothesis be formulated?
Basic Questions -
Basic Research Design
• What types of questions need to be
answered?
• Are descriptive or causal findings required?
• What is the source of the data?
Basic Questions -
Basic Research Design
• Can objective answers be obtained by
asking people?
• How quickly is the information needed?
• How should survey questions be worded?
• How should experimental manipulations be
made?
Basic Questions -
Selection of Sample
• Who or what is the source of the data?
• Can the target population be identified?
• Is a sample necessary?
• How accurate must the sample be?
• Is a probability sample necessary?
• Is a national sample necessary?
• How large a sample is necessary?
• How will the sample be selected?
Basic Questions -
Data Gathering
• Who will gather the data?
• How long will data gathering take?
• How much supervision is needed?
• What operational procedures need to be
followed?
Basic Questions -
Data Analysis
• Will standardized editing and coding
procedures be used?
• How will the data be categorized?
• What statistical software will be used?
• What is the nature of the data?
• What questions need to be answered?
• How many variables are to be investigated
simultaneously?
• Performance criteria for evaluation?
Basic Questions -
Type of Report
• Who will read the report?
• Are managerial recommendations
requested?
• How many presentations are required?
• What will be the format of the written
report?
Basic Questions -
Overall Evaluation
• How much will the study cost?
• Is the time frame acceptable?
• Is outside help needed?
• Will this research design attain the stated
research objectives?
• When should the research be scheduled to
begin?
Anticipating Outcomes
• Dummy tables
• Representations of the actual tables that will
be in the findings section of the final report;
used to gain a better understanding of what
the actual outcomes of the research will be.
What does Statistics Mean?
• Descriptive statistics
– Number of people
– Trends in employment
– Data
• Inferential statistics
– Make an inference about a population from a
sample
Population Parameter Versus
Sample Statistics
Population Parameter
• Variables in a population
• Measured characteristics of a population
• Greek lower-case letters as notation
Sample Statistics
• Variables in a sample
• Measures computed from data
• English letters for notation
Making Data Usable
• Frequency distributions
• Proportions
• Central tendency
– Mean
– Median
– Mode
• Measures of dispersion
Frequency Distribution of
Deposits

Frequency (number of
people making deposits
Amount in each range)

less than $3,000 499


$3,000 - $4,999 530
$5,000 - $9,999 562
$10,000 - $14,999 718
$15,000 or more 811
3,120
Percentage Distribution of
Amounts of Deposits

Amount
Percent
less than $3,000 16
$3,000 - $4,999 17
$5,000 - $9,999 18
$10,000 - $14,999 23
$15,000 or more 26
100
Probability Distribution of
Amounts of Deposits

Amount Probability
less than $3,000
.16
$3,000 - $4,999
.17
$5,000 - $9,999
.18
$10,000 - $14,999
.23
$15,000 or more
.26
Measures of Central Tendency
• Mean - arithmetic average
– µ, Population; X , sample
• Median - midpoint of the distribution
• Mode - the value that occurs most often
Population Mean

ΣX
µ=
i

N
Sample Mean

Σ Xi
X=
n
Measures of Dispersion
• The range
• Standard deviation
The Range
as a Measure of Spread
• The range is the distance between the smallest
and the largest value in the set.
• Range = largest value – smallest value
Deviation Scores

• The differences between each observation


value and the mean:
d x x
i = i −
Low Dispersion Verses High
Dispersion
5
Low Dispersion
Frequency

150 160 170 180 190 200 210


Value on Variable
Low Dispersion Verses High
Dispersion
5
Frequency

4 High dispersion

150 160 170 180 190 200 210


Value on Variable
The Variance

Population
σ 2

Sample
2
S
Variance

Σ( X − X ) 2
S =
2

n −1
Variance
• The variance is given in squared units
• The standard deviation is the square root of
variance:
Sample Standard Deviation

Σ ( Xi − X )
S= n−1
2
The Normal Distribution
• Normal curve
• Bell shaped
• Almost all of its values are within plus or
minus 3 standard deviations
• I.Q. is an example
Normal Distribution

MEAN
Normal Distribution

13.59% 34.13% 34.13% 13.59%


2.14%
2.14%
Normal Curve: IQ Example

70 85 100 115 145


Standardized Normal Distribution

• Symetrical about its mean


• Mean identifies highest point
• Infinite number of cases - a continuous
distribution
Standard Normal Curve
• The curve is bell-shaped or symmetrical
• About 68% of the observations will fall
within 1 standard deviation of the mean
• About 95% of the observations will fall
within approximately 2 (1.96) standard
deviations of the mean
• Almost all of the observations will fall
within 3 standard deviations of the mean
A Standardized Normal Curve

-2 -1 0 1 2 z
The Standardized Normal is the
Distribution of Z

–z +z
Standardized Scores

x−µ
z=
σ
Z= Value-Mean/Standard Deviation
Standardized Values
• Used to compare an individual value to the
population mean in units of the standard

x−µ
deviation

z=
σ
Standard Error of the Mean
• Standard deviation of the sampling
distribution
Standard Error of the Mean

σ
Sx =
n
Distribution Mean Standard
Deviation
Population µ σ
Sample S
X

Sampling µX SX
Parameter Estimates
• Point estimates
• Confidence interval estimates
Confidence Interval

µ = X ± a small sampling error


SMALL SAMPLING ERROR = Z cl S X
E = Z cl S X
µ=X ±E
Estimating the Standard Error of
the Mean

S
Sx =
n
S
µ = X ± Z cl
n
Questions for Chapter 17
Descriptive Analysis
• The transformation of raw data into a form
that will make them easy to understand and
interpret; rearranging, ordering, and
manipulating data to generate descriptive
information
Type of Type of
Measurement descriptive analysis

Frequency table
Two Proportion (percentage)
categories

Nominal Frequency table


Category proportions
More than
(percentages)
two categories
Mode
Type of Type of
Measurement descriptive analysis

Ordinal Rank order


Median
Type of Type of
Measurement descriptive analysis

Interval Arithmetic mean


Type of Type of
Measurement descriptive analysis

Index numbers
Ratio Geometric mean
Harmonic mean
Tabulation
• Tabulation - Orderly arrangement of data in
a table or other summary format
• Frequency table
• Percentages
Frequency Table
• The arrangement of statistical data in a row-
and-column format that exhibits the count
of responses or observations for each
category assigned to a variable
Central Tendency

Measure of
Central Measure of
Type of Scale Tendency Dispersion

Nominal Mode None


Ordinal Median Percentile
Interval or ratio Mean Standard deviation
Cross-Tabulation

• A technique for organizing data by groups,


categories, or classes, thus facilitating
comparisons; a joint frequency distribution
of observations on two or more sets of
variables
• Contingency table- The results of a cross-
tabulation of two variables, such as survey
questions
Cross-Tabulation
• Analyze data by groups or categories
• Compare differences
• Contingency table
• Percentage cross-tabulations
Base

• The number of respondents or observations


(in a row or column) used as a basis for
computing percentages
Charts and Graphs
• Pie charts
• Line graphs
• Bar charts
– Vertical
– Horizontal
Line Graph
Bar Graph

90
80
70
60
50 East
40 West
30 North
20
10
0
1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr
WebSurveyor Bar Chart
How did you find your last job?

643 Netw orking


213 print ad
Temporary agency 1.5 % 179 Online recruitment site
112 Placement firm
18 Temporary agency

Placement firm 9.6 %

Online recruitment site 15.4 %

print ad 18.3 %

Netw orking 55.2 %

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700