Business Research Methods

BRIEF COURSE DESCRIPTION

The course will assist students in developing knowledge of business research methods, suitable for workplace application, to enable solutions and recommendations founded on legitimate and efficient data and information. The central objective of this course is to develop those research and analysis skills that are appropriate to the study and practice of Business Administration.

The emphasis is on how to actually conceptualize and conduct a business research project as well as use research as an aid for business administration decisions. A fundamental skill possessed by successful managers is the ability to obtain and use factual information within the managerial decision making process. While the course will deal with prospective users of research results, it will also provide a solid foundation in research techniques for those who wish to specialize in business research during their careers. Students will learn how to design, interpret, and apply business research to solve business problems.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

In this course the participants will be taken through a process of developing their own understanding of Business Research by theory & Practice, both. On the completion of the course the participants should be able to:

  • Sharpen their analytical skills based on objective and pragmatic investigation of business situations.
  • Develop an ability to convert their managerial concern into a business research problem in a clear, objective and pragmatic manner.
  • Prepare a road map or a blue print of the research making a proper mix of the various research methodologies and tools learnt in the course.
  • Develop questionnaire relevant to the research problem and appropriate for the target respondents.
  • Design field controls to ensure validity and reliability of the data collection.
  • Conduct interviews for data collection at different stages of the research.
  • Prepare themselves for more advanced and application courses of the program.

Prerequisite(s): None

Recommended Text Books:

S.No. Title Author(s) Assigned Code
1 Research Methods for Business, 4th Edition. Uma Sekaran Book 1
2 Business Research Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler Book 2

CONTENTS

Chapter No. TOPIC/CHAPTER TITLE TOPICS COVERED
Ch. 1 Introduction to research Why study Business Research, Business Research defined,  Studying Business Research, Sources of business intelligence, Business tactics and research, Hierarchy of business decisions markers, Research may be unnecessary, Information value chain,  Characteristics of good research,
Ch.4 The research process: Stage 1 to 3  (the broad problem area) The Research process for basic and applied research, data collection, literature survey, problem definition, ethical issues, writing up literature review.
Ch. 5 The research process: Stage 4 to 5 (theoretical framework) The need for a theoretical framework, types of variable, hypothesis development, hypothesis testing and theoretical framework, hypothesis testing with qualitative frame work.
Ch. 6 The Research Process: Stage 6 The research design, study analysis, types of investigation, study setting, unit of analysis, time horizon, managerial implications.
Ch. 7 Experimental decisions Manipulation of independent variables, matching groups, the lab and field experiment, internal validity and threats identification, simulation, factorial design.
MID TERM EXAM
Ch.8 Measurement of variables Operational definition, scales, international dimensions, operational definition.
Ch. 9 Measurement: Scaling, Reliability, validity Rating scales, ranking scales, goodness of measures, ranking scaling, reliability and validity.
Ch. 10 Data collection methods Source of data, primary and secondary data, Focus group, structured and unstructured interviews, questioning techniques, survey etc.
Ch. 12 Data analysis and interpretation Getting data ready for analysis, tendencies, recommendations, data analysis using software etc.
Ch. 13 The research report The research proposal, the written report, integral parts of report, oral presentation etc.

Please note: This is a proposed schedule only and may be varied at the discretion of the instructor to give a greater or lesser degree of emphasis to particular topics.

Recommended Practical Topics

1 ‘Marketing Research’ Hawkins Sixth Editions Donald S. Tull and Del I.
2 ‘Marketing Research’ 3rd Edition Naresh K Malhotra
3 Business Research Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler
4  “Exploring Marketing Research” 7th edition, South Western College 2002 Zikmund, William
5  “Marketing Research”, 7th edition, Wiley & Sons 2007 I Gates, McDaniel
6  “Doing Data Analysis with SPSS version 12”, Thomson Books/Cole, 2005 Carver, Robert & Nash, John.
7  “SPSS 16 Made Simple”, Psychology Press 2006 Kinnear, Paul & Gray, Colin.

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