Process of Business Research Methods
The steps of basic and applied research are the following: 1. OBSERVATION (Broad Area of Research Interest Identified) – Identification of broad problem area through the process of observing and focusing on the situation. Any area/situation that has got identified for improvement can be classified as a broad problem area.
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2. PRELIMINARY DATA GATHERING (Interviewing Literature Survey)- Once the broad problem area has got identified, the same can be narrowed down to specific issues for investigation through preliminary data gathering. . PROBLEM DEFINATION (Research Problem Delineated)- It is clear , precise and succinct statement of the question or issue that is to be investigated with the goal of finding an answer or solution. 4. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK (Variables clearly identified and labeled)- A theoretical framework is a conceptual model of how one theorizes or makes logical sense of the relationships among the several factors that have been identified as important to the problem.
It is a logically developed, described and elaborated network of associations among the variables( dependent/criterion , independent/predictor, moderating , intervening) deemed relevant to problem definition. 5. GENERATION OF HYPOTHESIS- After identification of important variables and establishing the relationships amongst them, formulating of testable statements (to test the relationships) is called hypothesis development. The null hypothesis states a definitive, exact relationship between two variables.
The hypothesis is tested scientifically through appropriate statistical analyses. 6. SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH DESIGN – Design of the research in a way that requisite data can be gathered and analyzed to arrive at a solution. Experimental designs need to be done to examine the possible cause and effects on the various variables. 7. DATA COLLECTION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION: For data collection, sources of data (primary or secondary) need to be identified first.
If secondary sources, then data is already available for analysis. If primary data is required, sources of data can be focus groups, panels and unobtrusive sources. Next will be the data collection methods, which can be through interviewing, questionnaires, observational studies, projective tests. Various sampling techniques can be used in structuring the samples for example simple random sampling, Stratified random sampling , systematic sampling etc.
After the data is gathered, then the data is made ready for analysis by editing, coding, categorizing data and entering data in computer system for further analysis. . Data Analysis – Basic objectives of data analysis is getting the feel of the data, testing the goodness of data for reliability, validity and for hypothesis testing. Once the various statistical tests like t-test, Pearson correlations matrix etc. are done on the data, interpretations are being drawn from the respective tests.
Sometimes software like SAS , SPSS are getting used worldwide to do the data analysis. 8. DEDUCTION (Hypothesis substantiated? research questions answered? ) – It is a process of arriving at conclusions by interpreting the meaning of the results of the data analysis. It validates the hypothesis or research questions. 9. REPORT WRITING – After the deduction a detailed report is written with the definite title , table of contents and the various steps with acknowledgements , summary etc. 10.
REPORT PRESENTATION:- After the preparation of the report , main summary along with the findings is sometimes required to be presented to some authorized committee. 11. MANAGERIAL DECISION MAKING: After the written and oral presentation, managers required to take decisions based on the reports. Though this particular step is not strictly part of the BRM process , however this step is important to complete the cycle which started with the observation of the problem and the problem getting addressed to by the managerial decision.