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Research Methods for Business

Research Methods for Business: A Skill-Building Approach is a concise and straightforward introduction for students to the world of business research. The skill-building approach provides students with practical perspectives on how research can be applied in real business situations. Maintaining Uma Sekaran?s popular and accessible style of writing, Roger Bougie draws upon his extensive experience of the field to present an up-to-date guide on business research for the aspiring future manager. The sixth edition has been substantially revised to go beyond the scientific approach and gives students a comprehensive introduction to what constitutes good research. This edition includes a range of new material on alternative approaches to business research, including three new chapters on: The Critical Literature Review, Observation, and Questionnaires. Other chapters on The Broad Problem Area and Defining the Problem Statement, Research Design, Interviews and The Research Report have also been substantially revised. The new edition also features cases from Europe, Asia and the US to give students a global view of modern business research methods. Examples are drawn from different areas of business - such as human resources management, strategic management, operations management, finance, accounting, and information management - to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the applications of research methods. An extensive set of resources accompany this text, including: Video material developed by the author, giving extra explanation on difficult topics PowerPoint slides for each chapter Additional case studies Lecturer test bank including multiple choice, true false, short answer and essay questions Data sets Over 250 quiz questions for students? self-study Find out more about these resources and visit our showcase site at: An interactive e-Book is included with this text, featuring a wealth of embedded media, including: 20 videos, online case studies, self-test quizzes and flashcards. View a demo of this e-book at:
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Table of Contents

About the Authors xvii Preface xix Acknowledgments xxi 1 Introduction to research 1 What is research? 2 Business research 2 Definition of business research 3 Research and the manager 3 Types of business research: applied and basic 5 Applied research 6 Basic or fundamental research 6 Managers and research 8 The manager and the consultant?researcher 9 The manager?researcher relationship 9 Internal versus external consultants/researchers 10 Internal consultants/researchers 10 Advantages of internal consultants/researchers 10 Disadvantages of internal consultants/researchers 11 External consultants/researchers 11 Advantages of external consultants/researchers 11 Disadvantages of external consultants/researchers 12 Knowledge about research and managerial effectiveness 12 Ethics and business research 13 Summary 13 Discussion questions 14 Case: The Laroche Candy Company 15 2 The scientific approach and alternative approaches to investigation 18 The hallmarks of scientific research 19 Purposiveness 20 Rigor 20 Testability 20 Replicability 21 Precision and confidence 21 Objectivity 22 Generalizability 22 Parsimony 22 The hypothetico-deductive method 23 The seven-step process in the hypothetico-deductive method 23 Identify a broad problem area 23 Define the problem statement 24 Develop hypotheses 24 Determine measures 24 Data collection 24 Data analysis 24 Interpretation of data 25 Review of the hypothetico-deductive method 26 Some obstacles to conducting scientific research in the management area 28 Alternative approaches to research 28 Positivism 29 Constructionism 29 Critical realism 29 Pragmatism 30 Summary 31 Discussion questions 31 3 The broad problem area and defining the problem statement 33 The broad problem area 33 Preliminary information gathering 36 Nature of information to be gathered 36 Background information on the organization 36 Literature ? the body of knowledge available to you 37 Defining the problem statement 38 What makes a good problem statement? 38 The research proposal 42 Managerial implications 43 Ethical issues in the preliminary stages of investigation 44 Summary 45 Discussion questions 45 Practice projects 47 4 The critical literature review 48 The purpose of a critical literature review 50 How to approach the literature review 51 Data sources 51 Searching for literature 53 Evaluating the literature 54 Documenting the literature review 55 Ethical issues 56 Summary 58 Discussion questions 58 Practice project 58 Appendix 59 Some online resources useful for business research 59 Bibliographical databases 62 APA format for referencing relevant articles 63 Referencing and quotation in the literature review section 64 5 Theoretical framework and hypothesis development 67 The need for a theoretical framework 68 Variables 68 Dependent variable 69 Independent variable 70 Moderating variable 72 The distinction between an independent variable and a moderating variable 73 Mediating variable 75 Theoretical framework 77 The components of the theoretical framework 78 Theoretical framework for the example of air safety violations 79 Hypothesis development 83 Definition of a hypothesis 83 Statement of hypotheses: formats 83 If?then statements 83 Directional and nondirectional hypotheses 84 Null and alternate hypotheses 84 Hypothesis testing with qualitative research: negative case analysis 87 Managerial implications 90 Summary 90 Discussion questions 91 Practice project 93 6 Elements of research design 94 The research design 94 Purpose of the study: exploratory, descriptive, causal 96 Exploratory study 96 Descriptive study 97 Causal study 98 Extent of researcher interference with the study 99 Study setting: contrived and noncontrived 100 Research strategies 102 Experiments 102 Survey research 102 Observation 102 Case studies 103 Grounded theory 103 Action research 103 Mixed methods 104 Unit of analysis: individuals, dyads, groups, organizations, cultures 104 Time horizon: cross-sectional versus longitudinal studies 106 Cross-sectional studies 106 Longitudinal studies 107 Review of elements of research design 107 Managerial implications 109 Summary 109 Discussion questions 110 7 Data collection methods: Introduction and interviews 112 Sources of data 113 Primary sources of data 113 Focus groups 113 Panels 114 Unobtrusive measures 115 Secondary sources of data 116 Methods of data collection 116 Interviewing 118 Unstructured and structured interviews 118 Unstructured interviews 118 Structured interviews 119 Review of unstructured and structured interviews 120 Training interviewers 120 Some tips to follow when interviewing 121 Establishing credibility and rapport, and motivating individuals to respond 121 The questioning technique 122 Review of tips to follow when interviewing 123 Face-to-face and telephone interviews 123 Face-to-face interviews: advantages and disadvantages 124 Telephone interviews: advantages and disadvantages 124 Additional sources of bias in interview data 124 Computer-assisted interviewing 124 CATI and CAPI 125 Advantages of software packages 125 Review of interviewing 125 Projective methods 126 Summary 127 Discussion questions 127 8 Data collection methods: Observation 129 Definition and purpose of research 130 Four key dimensions that characterize the type of observation 131 Controlled versus uncontrolled observational studies 131 Participant versus nonparticipant observation 131 Structured versus unstructured observational studies 132 Concealed versus unconcealed observation 133 Two important approaches to observation 134 Participant observation: introduction 134 The participatory aspect of participant observation 134 The observation aspect of participant observation 136 What to observe 137 Structured observation: introduction 139 The use of coding schemes in structured observation 140 Advantages and disadvantages of observation 142 Summary 143 Discussion questions 144 9 Data collection methods: Questionnaires 146 Types of questionnaire 147 Personally administered questionnaires 147 Mail and electronic questionnaires 147 Guidelines for questionnaire design 149 Principles of wording 149 Content and purpose of the questions 150 Language and wording of the questionnaire 150 Type and form of questions 150 Principles of measurement 154 General appearance or ?getup? of the questionnaire 154 Review of questionnaire design 158 Pretesting of structured questions 158 Electronic questionnaire and survey design 158 International dimensions of surveys 159 Special issues in instrumentation for cross-cultural research 159 Issues in data collection 160 Review of the advantages and disadvantages of different data collection methods and when to use each 160 Multimethods of data collection 161 Managerial implications 162 Ethics in data collection 162 Ethics and the researcher 162 Ethical behavior of respondents 163 Summary 163 Discussion questions 164 10 Experimental designs 168 The lab experiment 171 Control 171 Manipulation 171 Controlling the contaminating exogenous or ?nuisance? variables 173 Matching groups 173 Randomization 173 Internal validity of lab experiments 174 External validity or generalizability of lab experiments 175 The field experiment 175 External validity 175 Trade-off between internal and external validity 176 Factors affecting the validity of experiments 176 History effects 176 Maturation effects 177 Testing effects 177 Selection bias effects 178 Mortality effects 179 Statistical regression effects 179 Instrumentation effects 180 Identifying threats to validity 180 Internal validity in case studies 181 Review of factors affecting internal and external validity 182 Types of experimental designs and validity 182 Quasi-experimental designs 182 Pretest and posttest experimental group design 182 Posttests only with experimental and control groups 183 Time series design 183 True experimental designs 184 Pretest and posttest experimental and control group design 184 Solomon four-group design 185 Double-blind studies 187 Ex post facto designs 187 Simulation 188 Ethical issues in experimental design research 189 Managerial implications 189 Summary 191 Discussion questions 191 Appendix: Further experimental designs 193 The completely randomized design 193 Randomized block design 194 Latin square design 194 Factorial design 195 11 Measurement of variables: Operational definition 197 How variables are measured 197 Operational defi nition (operationalization) 199 Operationalization: dimensions and elements 201 Operationalizing the (multidimensional) concept of achievement motivation 201 Dimensions and elements of achievement motivation 203 What operationalization is not 206 Review of operationalization 207 International dimensions of operationalization 208 Summary 208 Discussion questions 209 12 Measurement: Scaling, reliability, validity 210 Four types of scales 211 Nominal scale 212 Ordinal scale 213 Interval scale 214 Ratio scale 215 Review of scales 217 Rating scales 218 Dichotomous scale 218 Category scale 218 Semantic differential scale 219 Numerical scale 219 Itemized rating scale 219 Likert scale 220 Fixed or constant sum scale 221 Stapel scale 221 Graphic rating scale 222 Consensus scale 223 Other scales 223 Ranking scales 223 Paired comparison 223 Forced choice 223 Comparative scale 224 International dimensions of scaling 224 Goodness of measures 225 Item analysis 225 Validity 225 Content validity 226 Criterion-related validity 226 Construct validity 227 Reliability 228 Stability of measures 229 Internal consistency of measures 229 Reflective versus formative measurement scales 230 What is a reflective scale? 230 What is a formative scale and why do the items of a formative scale not necessarily hang together? 230 Summary 231 Discussion questions 232 Appendix: Examples of some measures 233 Measures from behavioral finance research 233 Measures from management accounting research 234 Measures from management research 235 Measures from marketing research 236 13 Sampling 239 Population, element, sample, sampling unit, and subject 240 Population 240 Element 241 Sample 241 Sampling unit 242 Subject 242 Parameters 242 Reasons for sampling 242 Representativeness of samples 243 Normality of distributions 243 The sampling process 244 Defining the population 245 Determining the sample frame 245 Determining the sampling design 245 Determining the sample size 246 Executing the sampling process 246 Probability sampling 247 Unrestricted or simple random sampling 247 Restricted or complex probability sampling 248 Systematic sampling 248 Stratified random sampling 248 Cluster sampling 250 Double sampling 251 Review of probability sampling designs 251 Nonprobability sampling 252 Convenience sampling 252 Purposive sampling 252 Judgment sampling 252 Quota sampling 253 Review of nonprobability sampling designs 253 Examples of when certain sampling designs would be appropriate 256 Simple random sampling 256 Stratified random sampling 256 Systematic sampling 257 Cluster sampling 258 Area sampling 258 Double sampling 259 Convenience sampling 259 Judgment sampling: one type of purposive sampling 259 Quota sampling: a second type of purposive sampling 260 Sampling in cross-cultural research 261 Issues of precision and confidence in determining sample size 261 Precision 261 Confidence 262 Sample data, precision, and confi dence in estimation 262 Trade-off between confidence and precision 263 Sample data and hypothesis testing 264 Determining the sample size 266 Importance of sampling design and sample size 269 Efficiency in sampling 269 Sampling as related to qualitative studies 270 Managerial implications 270 Summary 270 Discussion questions 271 14 Quantitative data analysis 274 Getting the data ready for analysis 276 Coding and data entry 276 Coding the responses 276 Data entry 278 Editing data 279 Data transformation 280 Getting a feel for the data 281 Frequencies 283 Bar charts and pie charts 283 Measures of central tendency and dispersion 285 Measures of central tendency 285 Measures of dispersion 286 Relationships between variables 288 Relationship between two nominal variables: ?2 test 288 Correlations 289 Excelsior Enterprises: descriptive statistics part 1 290 Testing goodness of data 292 Reliability 292 Excelsior Enterprises: checking the reliability of the multi-item measures 293 Validity 295 Excelsior Enterprises: descriptive statistics part 2 296 Summary 298 Discussion questions 299 15 Quantitative data analysis: Hypothesis testing 302 Type I errors, type II errors, and statistical power 303 Choosing the appropriate statistical technique 304 Testing a hypothesis about a single mean 306 Testing hypotheses about two related means 308 Testing hypotheses about two unrelated means 312 Testing hypotheses about several means 314 Regression analysis 315 Standardized regression coeffi cients 318 Regression with dummy variables 318 Multicollinearity 319 Testing moderation using regression analysis: interaction eff ects 320 Other multivariate tests and analyses 322 Discriminant analysis 323 Logistic regression 324 Conjoint analysis 325 Two-way ANOVA 325 MANOVA 325 Canonical correlation 326 Excelsior Enterprises: hypothesis testing 326 Overall interpretation and recommendations to the president 329 Data warehousing, data mining, and operations research 330 Some software packages useful for data analysis 331 Summary 332 Discussion questions 332 16 Qualitative data analysis 336 Data reduction 337 Case: Instigations of customer anger 338 Data display 349 Drawing conclusions 349 Reliability and validity in qualitative research 350 Some other methods of gathering and analyzing qualitative data 352 Content analysis 352 Narrative analysis 352 Analytic induction 352 Summary 353 Discussion questions 353 17 The research report 354 The written report 355 The purpose of the written report 355 The audience for the written report 357 Characteristics of a well-written report 358 Contents of the research report 358 Integral parts of the report 358 The title and the title page 358 The executive summary or abstract 359 Table of contents 360 List of tables, figures, and other materials 360 Preface 361 The authorization letter 361 The introductory section 361 The body of the report 361 The final part of the report 362 References 364 Appendix 364 Oral presentation 365 Deciding on the content 366 Visual aids 366 The presenter 366 The presentation 367 Handling questions 367 Summary 367 Discussion questions 368 Appendix: Examples 369 Report 1: Sample of a report involving a descriptive study 369 Report 2: Sample of a report offering alternative solutions and explaining the pros and cons of each alternative 372 Report 3: Example of an abridged basic research report 374 A Final Note to Students 379 Statistical Tables 381 Glossary 391 Bibliography 401 Index 409

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