Definition: Business Research • Systematic and Scientific inquiry aimed at providing information to solve managerial problems
Basic (Fundamental) Research • Generalization of natural phenomenon or human behavior • Conducted to solve perplexing questions of a theoretical nature E.g. Cars running on compressed air
Applied Research • Solution to some practical problems • Conducted to reveal answers to specific questions related to action or policy needs E.g. Study of declining sales of particular car model
Why business research? • Manager wants improve decision making skill by widening his knowledge • to reduce uncertainty • to justify his decision
Business Research • Corporate research: • Forecasting • Economic trends • Business & Industry trends • Technology trends • Global environment
Financial Research: • Portfolio analysis • Business opportunities & threats analysis • Cost analysis • Production: • Total quality management
Sales & Marketing: • Market potential • Market share • Market segmentation • Sales analysis • Sales forecasting • New product testing • Effectiveness of marketing strategies
Human resources: • Morale & job satisfaction • Employee productivity • Organizational effectiveness • Training needs
Information system: • Data mining • Technical support satisfaction • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)/Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems
Types Of Research • Exploratory • Descriptive • Predictive
Exploratory Research • Gather Information around the topic at elementary level • Leads to insights into the problem E.g. a pharmaceutical company wants to expand
Descriptive Research • Fact finding inquiries • Who, what, when, how, where etc • No powerful inference is drawn E.g. mining company databases for describing the nature customer complaints.
Predictive Research • Cause –effect relationship • Conducted for well understood problems E.g. sale of small cars depends on price, fuel efficiency, engine
Research Process • Formulating Research problem • Select Research design • Data collection and presentation • Data analysis and interpretation • Research reporting
Problem:Dilemma faced by manager E.g. Software consulting firm is witnessing high attrition of employees
Management Question • What are the reasons for high attrition rate? • What steps to be taken to control it?
Research Question • What is the employee satisfaction level in the organisation? • What are the corrective measures available?
Investigating Question • Timings, travelling, facilities available, work culture • Annual increment, additional incentives, permission to pursue higher education
Measurement Question • Questions to be asked to employees regarding timings, travelling, facilities available, work culture, additional incentives, permission to pursue higher education etc.
Formulated Research Problem • What characteristics are to be studied? • What data is to be collected? • What relations need to be explored?
Research Design • Research design is a plan and structure of investigation to obtain answers to research questions
Exploratory Studies Aim is to find the practicality to do formal research in this area The techniques used are • Secondary data analysis • Experience Survey • Focus groups • Depth interviews
Secondary Data Analysis • Review of prior research studies • Survey of concerned literature: Catalogs, subject guides and electronic indexes in libraries help to identify periodicals and books • Online service using computer This method supplies excellent background, identifies suitable methodology and decision making patterns.
Experience Survey • Seeking information from persons experienced in the area of study by interviewing This technique gives practicality of doing study, facilities available, factors need to be controlled
Focus Groups • Panel of people led by a trained moderator • Facilitator introduces the topic and encourages the group to discuss it among themselves Quickly and inexpensively grasp the core issues
Depth Interviews • Carried out to obtain information on sensitive issues to discover motives and desires • Respondent is taken in confidence • Answers are obtained by probing • Indirect questions provide information on attitude towards the subject
Descriptive Studies The research design in such studies should be rigid ,no bias ,reliable and should aim at • Description of the characteristics associated with the population • Estimates of the proportion of the population possessing the characteristics • Studying association among these characteristics
Causal Studies • If Changes in one variable are responsible for changes in another variable then the former variable is independent and later is dependent • Drawing inferences about causal relationship require procedures that will reduce bias and increase reliability
Design of Experiments • Replication: repetition of observation • Random assignment: each person must have equal chance of exposure • Control: All other factors must be held constant
Before and after without control Design Level before--treatment-- level after X Y treatment effect : Y-X
After only control Design Level control group after Z Level test group after Y treatment effect : Y-Z
Before and after with control Design Control group Level before ------------ level after A Z Test group Level before--treatment-- level after X Y • treatment effect : (Y-X)-(Z-A)
Formal Experimental Designs • Completely randomised design • Randomised block design • Latin square design • Factorial design
Completely randomised Design Randomisation, Replication
Randomised block Design Randomisation, Replication, Local control
Latin square Design Randomisation, Replication, Local control
Factorial Design • Treatments are combination of factors at different levels. • Effects of the factors rather than treatments are studied.
Ex Post Facto Design • Widely used in business research • Not possible to assign treatments • Study of subjects exposed to treatments to seek causal explanation
Sampling Design • Census versus sample Census: small population Sample: greater speed, less cost, greater accuracy, inevitable Sample must represent all characteristics of the population. (no bias, precise)
Types of Sampling • Probability sampling • Non probability sampling
Probability Sampling • Simple random sampling • Systematic sampling • Stratified sampling • Cluster sampling • Multi-stage sampling
Non probability Sampling • Judgment sampling • Quota sampling
Sample Size Sample size should be proportional to population size Larger sample is required if • Greater dispersion within population • High confidence level in the estimates • Narrow interval range budget constraint may influence sample size
Measurement and Scaling • Measurement: assigning numbers to objects with a set of rules • Data types: Classification - nominal Order - ordinal Distance - interval Origin - ratio
Tests of Measurement • Validity: the extent to which the measuring tool measures what we are interested in measuring • Reliability: Accuracy and precision of measurement procedure • Practicality: economy, convenience and interpretability
Scaling Procedure for assignment of numbers to objects Types of measurement scale • Rating • Ranking • Categorization
Rating Scales E.g. Survey on mobiles