Characteristics of Business Research

What is research. – Research is a part of any systematic knowledge. It has occupied the realm of human understanding in some form or the other from times immemorial. The thirst for new areas of knowledge and the human urge for solutions to the problems has developed a faculty for search and research and re-research in him/her. Research has now become an integral part of all the areas of human activity.
Business Research. – Business Research is process of systematic and indepth study or search for solution to a problem or an answer to qs. backed by collection, compilation, presentation, analysis and interpretation of relevant details, data and information. Its also systematic endeavour to discover valuable facts or relationships.
Characteristics of Business Research

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Systematic and organized
Objective approach
Helps in decision making

Business Research may involve careful enquiry or experimentation and result in discovery or invention. There cannot be any research which does not increase knowledge which may be useful to different people in different ways.

For Industrial and economic growth
For business management
For management .
Research plays a significant role in the identification of a new project, project feasibility and project implementation.
Research helps the management to discharge its managerial functions.
Research helps in the formulation of business policy and strategy.
Research and Development ( R & D) helps in developing new products or modifying the existing products .
Research not only establishes relationships between different variables in each of these functional areas, but also between these various functional areas.
Research is a must in the production area.
The purchase/material department uses research to frame alternative suitable policies regarding where to buy, when to buy, how much to buy, and at what price to buy.
Closely linked with production function is marketing function. Market research and marketing research provide a major part of marketing information which influences the inventory level and production level. Marketing research studies include problems and opportunities in the market, product preference, sales forecasting, advertising effectiveness, product distribution, after sales service etc.,
Financial institutions (banking and non-banking) have found it essential to set up research division for the purpose of collecting and analysing data both for their internal purpose and for making in depth studies on economic conditions of business and people.
In the area of human resource management job design, job analysis, job assignment, scheduling work breaks etc., have to be based on investigation and analysis.

TYPES OF RESEARCH – Research may be classified into different types for the sake of better
understanding of the concept. Several bases can be adopted for classification such as nature of data, branch of knowledge, extent of coverage, place of investigation, method employed, time frame and so on. Depending upon use of research results i.e., whether it is contributing to the theory building or problem solving, research can be Basic or Applied.
Basic research is called pure / theoretical / fundamental research. Basic research includes original investigations for the advancement of knowledge that does not have specific objectives to answer problems of sponsoring agencies.
Applied research also called Action research, constitutes research activities on problems posed by sponsoring agencies for the purpose of contributing to the solution of these problems.
Simple dichotomous classification of research is Quantitative research and Qualitative research / non-quantitative.
Quantitative research is variables based where as qualitative research is attributes based. Quantitative research is based on measurement / quantification of the phenomenon under study. In other words, it is data based and hence more objective and more popular.
Qualitative research is bsd on subjective assessmnt of attributes,motives,opinions,desires, preferences,behaviour etc. Resrch in such situation is function of researcher’s insights and impressions.
According to the purpose/aim/objective of the research, the research studies are known as.

Descriptive Study: The major purpose of descriptive research is description of a person, situation, institution or an event as it exists. Generally fact finding studies are of this type.
Exploratory Study:The information known on a particular subject matter is little. Hence, a study is conducted to know more about it so as to formulate the problem and procedures of the study. Such a study is called exploratory/ formulative study.


Management research
Production (also called manufacturing) research
Research in personnel management
Research in Financial Management
Accounting research
Marketing research
Business policy research

The researcher has to provide answers at the end, to the research questions
raised in the beginning of the study. For this purpose he has to investigate and gather the relevant. The methods for obtaining the data for research can be described as:

Survey Method b. Observation Method
Case Method
Experimental Method
Historical Method
Comparative Method

In India, researchers in general, and business researchers in particular are facing several problems. This is all the more true in case of empirical research. Some of the important problems are as follows:

lack of scientific training in the business research methodology is a major problem in our country.
There is paucity of competent researchers and research supervisors. As a result the research results many a time do not reflect the reality.
Many of the business organizations are not research conscious
Decision makers do not appear to be very keen on implementing the findings of their R & D departments.
Small organizations which are the majority in our economy, are not able to afford a R & D department at all.
Many people largely depend on customs, traditions and routine practices in their decision making.
The secrecy of business information is sacrosanct to business organizations.
Difficulty of funds
Poor library facilities at many places.
Many researchers in our country also face the difficulty of inadequate computer assistance.
Delayed publication of data.
Another difficulty in the research arena is that there is no code of conduct for the researchers.

In spite of all these difficulties and problems, a business enterprise cannot avoid research, especially in the fast changing world of today.
The business research process consists of a number of stages:
Planning the research activity, execution of the plan and finally consolidation of the results of the research activity or reporting. important activities involved in the research process are listed below:

Selection of a research problem or researchable area.
Selection of research objectives
Acquaintance with the current theory and knowledge and work done in that area.
Formulation of research hypothesis.
Selection of research design
Selection of sample design
Identification of the sources of data.
Creation and construction of data collection instruments like Questionnaire, Schedules, Scales etc.
Pre-testing of the instruments and their possible revision.
Formal acquisition of data and information, through survey, observation, interview etc.
Processing and analysis of the data
 Interpretation of the data and formal write up i.e., reporting.

Without a problem, research cannot proceed, because there is nothing to proceed from and proceed towards. Therefore, the first step in research is to perceive a problem – either practical or theoretical. The recognition or existence of a problem motivates research.
Research Problems Areas
If the researcher has a ready problem on hand, he/she can proceed further in the research process or else have to search for a problem. Research problem can be from any area like:

Business Problems
Day to Day Problems
Technological Changes
Unexplored Areas
Theory of One’s Own Interest
Books, Theses, Dissertation Abstracts, Articles
Policy Problems
Discussions with Supervisor and Other Knowledgeable Persons

How To Select a Research Problem

The topic selected should be original or at least less explored.
It should be of significance and socially relevant and useful.
It should be interesting to the researcher and should fit into his aptitude.
It should be from an area of the researcher’s specialization.
It should correspond to the researcher’s abilities – both acquired and acquirable.
It should be big enough to be researchable and small enough to be handled – the topic should be amenable for research with existing and acquirable skills.
It should have a clear focus or objective.
The feasibility of carrying out research should be checked.
It should be completed with in the time limits permissible.

Having selected and specified the research problem, the next step is to formulate the objectives of research. Research is not for the sake of research. It is undertaken to achieve some thing. Thus, research is a goal-oriented activity. We have to identify the goal / goals to be achieved and they must be specified in order to give direction to the research study.
Purpose of research is to find a solution to the difficulty. It is desirable that the researcher should propose a set of suggested solutions or explanations of the difficulty which the research proposes to solve. Such tentative solutions Formulated as a proposition are called hypotheses.
Broadly, hypothesis can be divided into two categories namely, the research hypothesis also called null hypothesis and the alternate hypothesis.
Null Hypothesis: It is an important concept that is used widely in the sampling theory. It forms the basis of many tests of significance. Under this type, the hypothesis is stated negatively. It is null because it may be nullified, if the evidence of a random sample is unfavorable to the hypothesis. It is a hypothesis being tested (H0). If the calculated value of the test is less than the permissible value, Null hypothesis is accepted, otherwise it is rejected.
Alternate Hypothesis
Alternate hypothesis is usually the one which we wish to prove, it is a statement just opposite to null hypothesis and is usually indicated by H1.The alternate hypothesis is there to explicitly specify the relationship that will be considered true if in case the research hypothesis proves to be wrong.
A hypothesis controls and directs the research study. When a problem is felt,we require the hypothesis to explain it. Generally, there is more than one hypothesis which aims at explaining the same fact. But all of them cannot be equally good. A good hypothesis should possess the following characteristics:

A hypothesis should be empirically verifiable.
A hypothesis should be relevant.
A hypothesis must have predictive and explanatory power.
A hypothesis must furnish a base for deductive inference on consequences.
A hypothesis does not go against the traditionally established knowledge.
A hypothesis should be simple.
A hypothesis must be clear, definite and certain.
A Hypothesis should be related to available techniques.

If a clear scientific hypothesis has been formulated, half of the research work
is already done. The functions of a hypothesis can be summarized in the following manner:

It is a starting point for many a research work.
It helps in deciding the direction in which to proceed.
It helps in selecting and collecting pertinent facts.
It is an aid to explanation.
It helps in drawing specific conclusions.
It helps in testing theories.
It works as a basis for future knowledge.


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