Business Research & Report Writing

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

Week No. TOPIC/CHAPTER TITLE TOPICS COVERED
1 Introduction to research Why study Business Research, Business Research defined, Types of business research, Managers and research, The Manager and consultant researcher, Internal versus external researchers. Knowledge about research and managerial effectiveness and Ethics and business research.
2 Scientific Investigation The Hallmarks of  Scientific research, some obstacles to conducting scientific research, the building blocks of scientific research, the hypothetic deductive method, other and types of research.
3 Technology and business research Information needs of business, commonly used technology in research, commonly used technologies in business research and ethics in handling information technology.
4&5 The research process: the broad problem area The Research process for basic and applied research, broad problem area, preliminary data collection, literature survey, problem definition, managerial implication and ethical issues, writing up literature review.
6 The research process: theoretical framework The need for a theoretical framework, variables, theoretical framework, hypothesis development, hypothesis testing, hypothesis testing with qualitative frame work.
7&8 The Research Process: elements of research design The research design, purpose of the study, types of investigation: casual versus correlation,  time horizon, cross sectional versus longitudinal studies
9 MID TERM EXAM
10 Experimental decisions Manipulation of independent variables, , internal validity and external validity and factors affecting the internal validity and external validity.
11 Measurement of variables How variables are measured, operational definition, scales, international dimensions
12 Measurement: Scaling, Reliability, validity Rating scales, ranking scales, goodness of measures, ranking scaling, reliability and validity.
13& 14 Data collection methods & Sampling Source of data, primary and secondary data, secondary sources, data collection methods, interviewing, Focus group, structured and unstructured interviews, questioning techniques, guidelines for questionnaire design, principles of measurement, general appearance or getup of the questionnaire, other methods and multimethods of data collection, ethics in data collection, population, element, frame sample and subject, normality of distribution, probability and non-probability sampling,  etc.
15 Data analysis and interpretation Getting data ready for analysis, data analysis and interpretation,  tendencies, recommendations, data analysis using software etc.
16 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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