Principles of business research
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Principles of Business Research. Lecturer: Gyöngyi Bugár Research interest: - Portfolio Theory and Investment Decision Making - International Finance - Risk Management Room: B229 (Main Building) 7622. Pécs, Rákóczi str. 80. Tel.: +37 72 501 599/ ext. 3289

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Principles of Business Research

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Principles of Business Research

  • Lecturer:Gyöngyi Bugár

    Research interest:

    - Portfolio Theory and Investment

    Decision Making

    - International Finance

    - Risk Management

    Room: B229 (Main Building)

    7622. Pécs, Rákóczi str. 80.

    Tel.: +37 72 501 599/ ext. 3289

    E-mail: [email protected]

Principles of Business Research

  • How can this module be useful for you?

    - submitting a dissertation proposal

    - writing journal papers

    - presenting on research seminars

    - preparing a successful Ph.D.

  • Assessment:

    the evaluation of the module is based on the dissertation proposal submitted by the students

    DEADLINE for submission:

    30 September, 2010

Principles of Business Research

  • Doing applied research is FUN

  • For a good quality research

    YOU should

    - have a good theoretical knowledge of the

    subject matter (marketing, finance, etc.)

    - possess some practical knowledge

    - know the literature of a particular problem

    - have a general knowledge of the subject

    - need to be familiar with the major

    research approaches (methods)

    - be CREATIVE in combining

    the above two sets of knowledge to

    find the solution

Introduction to business research

  • Scope of business research

    - for-profit, non-profit business

    - business functions (production,

    finance, management, marketing)

  • A definition of business research:

    gathering and analyzing data in a systematic manner to aid business decisions

  • objectivity and business research

Introduction to business research

  • Basic research

    aims at expanding the boundaries of our knowledge or verifying the acceptability of a given theory.

    “There is nothing so practical as a good theory.”

  • Applied research

    is related to a specific problem to be solved.

  • Scientific method

    - set of techniques and procedures

    - systematic analysis and logical

    interpretation of evidence

  • The scientific method is the essence of research.

Introduction to business research

  • Types of business research

    - exploratory studies− to clarify the nature of the problem (interviews, basic statistical calculations)

    - descriptive research – to describe the characteristics of a phenomenon (verbal or statistical description with no explanation)

    - causal research – toestablish cause-and-effect relationships between variables

    (you should have an expectation, e.g., training and productivity etc.)

    association is not necessarily causality

An overview of the research process

  • Stages in the research process

An overview of the research process

An overview of the research process

  • Problem definition

    - clear problem definition is not always given even in real business research situations

    - an issue especially relevant for dissertationresearch

    A. Problem definition (topic selection) in dissertation research

    1. Sources of research topics

    - work experience

    - articles in academic/professional journals

    - professors pointing to a particularly fruitful


    - dissertations, journal articles referring to

    further research work

An overview of the research process

2. Some characteristics of a good research topic

- a realistic possibility of accessing the topic

- achievable in the time available

In general you tend to underestimate the time taken to accomplish a piece of research! (many factors not expected initially can be sources of delays)

- student capabilities and interest

(descriptive versus mathematical skills, etc.)

- financial support

- value of the research (increases motivation, attracts more attention)

An overview of the research process

B. Problem definition in business research by exploratory research techniques

- efficient research must have clear objectives

and definite designs

- in case of missing problem definition,

exploratory research should be conducted

- analyzing existing studies, informal

investigation of the situation, talking with

knowledgeable individuals to sharpen the


Techniques for exploratory research

- studying secondary data (data collected

previously for some other project)

- data by the Central Statistical Office

- data purchased from some forecasting


- surveying the literature

An overview of the research process

- pilot studies

- small scale studies with no rigorous


- interviews, informal information


- much creativity and flexibility needed

- case studies

An overview of the research process

  • Planning the research design

    - research design: methods and procedures for

    collecting and analyzing the required


    - It is necessary to determine:

    - the sources of information

    - the research technique followed

    - sampling methodology

    - schedule, costs

    - factors in selecting a particular design:

    - objectives of the study

    - availability of data

    - urgency of the decision

    - cost of obtaining the data

An overview of the research process

Basic research methods

  • surveys

    - a research technique in which information is gathered from a

    sample of people by using a questionnaire

  • experiments

    - study on a small number of people under controlled

    conditions so that one or more variables can be manipulated

    in order to test a hypothesis

    - especially appropriate to test cause-and-effect relationships

  • research using secondary data

    - generally requires a greater quantitative sophistication

    - example: development of a mathematical model to predict

    sales on the basis of past sales

    ■observation techniques

    - recording what can be observed

    - examples: number of cars passing a site for a proposed

    gasoline station; recording the time a certain TV program is

    watched by households

An overview of the research process

  • Selection of the sample

    - Sampling: any procedure that uses a small

    number of items (or parts of the population) to

    make a conclusion regarding the whole population

    - certain statistical procedures should be followed

    - a good sample should have the same

    characteristics as the population as a whole

    - Issues to be solved in sampling:

    - identification of the target population

    (“Who is to be sampled?”)

    - determining the sample size

    - selection of sample units

    - deciding on the sampling technique:

    probability sample (each member of the

    population is chosenwith a certain probability)

    non-probability sample (based on personal

    judgement - e.g., selection of a typical plant)

An overview of the research process

  • Data collection

    - as many methods as many research


  • Editing and coding

    - editing: checking the data collection forms

    - coding: determining categories for groups of


  • Analysis

  • Conclusions, report preparation


  • Business research:

    - reduces uncertainty by providinginformation

    on a given subject

  • A classification of business research on the basis of its function (purpose)

    1. Exploratory research

    - initial research conducted to clarify and define the nature of a problem

    - sometimes the general problem is realized but a better understanding is needed before a detailed research


    “Absenteeism is increasing and we don’t know why”

    “would people be interested in our new product idea?”

    - methods: interviews, basic statistical calculations


2. Descriptive research

- research designed to describe the characteristics

of a phenomenon

- who? what? when? where? how?


“What kind of people prefer Big Mac hamburgers?”

“What are the characteristics of students in this class?”

- methods: surveys, analysis of already existing


3. Causal research

- research conducted to identify cause-and-effect

relationships among variables


“the influence of price and advertising on sales”

“Which of two training programs is more effective?”

- methods: experiments, econometric analyses

Points to discuss:

  • For each situation below, decide whether the research should be exploratory, descriptive, or causal:

    - establishing the functional relationship between

    advertising and sales

    - investigating reactions to the idea of a new method of

    defense budgeting

    - identifying target-market demographics for a shopping


    - estimating stock prices for IBM two years in the future

    - learning how many organizations are actively involved

    in just-in-time production

    - learning the extent of job satisfaction in a company

  • What research design seems appropriate for each of the following studies?

    - the manufacturer and marketer of flight simulators and

    other pilot-training equipment wish to forecast sales

    volume for the next five years

    - a local chapter of the American Lung Association

    wishes to identify the demographic characteristics of

    individuals who donate more than $500 per year

Points to discuss:

  • What research design seems appropriate for each of the following studies?

    - a corporation wishes to evaluate the quality of its

    college-recruiting program

    - an academic researcher wishes to investigate if the

    United States is losing its competitive edge in world


    - a food company researcher is interested in knowing

    what types of food are carried in brown-bag lunches

    to learn if the company can capitalize on this


Citations related to the topic

“I keep six honest serving men,

(they taught me all I knew).

Their names are What, and Why, and When,

and How, and Where, and Who.”

(R. Kipling)

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

(A. Einstein)

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