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

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 research1

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 research2

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

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 research1

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 research2

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

An overview of the research process

  • Stages in the research process

An overview of the research process1

An overview of the research process

An overview of the research process2

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 process3

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 process4

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 process5

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 process6

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 process7

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 process8

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 process9

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

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 discuss1

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

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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