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The S.P.B.

College of
Business Administration

The Research Process

Submitted To: Mr. Hormaz Patel

Submitted By: Agrawal Rohtak (1)

Doshi Rushabh (14)
Mistry Bhavin (40)
Patel Chirag (50)
Patel Dhruv (51)

The research process consists of series of steps necessary to

effectively carryout the research and the desired sequencing of
these steps. It consists of closely related activities but these
activities overlap continuously rather than strictly prescribed
sequence. Each step will have an influence over the following
steps so the researcher always has to think a few steps ahead.
These steps are not distinct and separate but are interwoven. The
researcher has a difficult task of anticipating the requirements of
the subsequent steps, with each step he takes. His focus is not
concentrated only on one single activity or operation at a particular
point of time. However the following order concerning various
steps provides useful procedural guideline regarding the research

1)Formulating research problem.

2)Choice of research design.
3)Determining sources of data.
4)Data collection methods.
5)Determining the sample design and sample
6)Organizing and conducting field survey.
7)Processing and analyzing the collected data.
8)Preparing the research report.
Research Process
1) Formulating research problem:
The task of formulating or defining a research problem is the
step of greatest importance in the entire research process. The
problem to be investigated must be defined clearly and specifically
so that the researcher can differentiate the relevant data from the
unimportant data.
Statement of problem determines the data to be collected, the
characteristics of the data which are relevant relations between the
variables that are to be determined, the choice of technique to be
used in these explorations and the final of the report.
The researcher has to remember that a problem well defined
is a problem half-solved.
In order to identify the research problem three kinds of
situations (symptoms) should be studied.

a) Overt (open) difficulties:

These difficulties are quite evident, apparent (visible).
Eg. Decline in sales or decline in performance of employees.

b) Latent Difficulties:
They are not so visible and if not checked will soon become
evident. Eg. Poor supervision can demotivate the staff and affect

c) Unnoticed Opportunities:
These show potential growth in certain areas.
After identifying two or more problems, the researcher must
select one problem after examining the priorities of the
organizations and its limitations of time and money and expected
value of research.
A complete problem definition must specify each of the
i. Units of analysis:
These are the individuals or objects whose characteristics
are to be measured. It is necessary that universe is well defined.

ii. Time and Space boundaries:

This explains the time and place of reference to be
considered by the researcher. Eg. Studying the buying behavior
of consumers during diwali season for the purchase of wrist
watches in Gujarat.

iii. Characteristics of interest:

This identifies the focus of problem. Eg. Style, color
preference, buying behavior, etc. The researcher must specify
the number and type of characteristics to be measured in his
problem. Eg. What kind of shoes is preferred by manager?

iv. Environmental Conditions:

This indicates the uniqueness and generality of the
problem. The problem definition must specify the environment
for which the company wants research results. It should also
indicate the possible changes in the environment, so that results
of research do not become irrelevant.

v. Hypothesis Development:
A hypothesis is a proposition which the researcher wants
to verify. The researcher has to select among the possible
hypothesis and test them empirically with the help of statistical
tools in order to make sure that they are true or false. Properly
defined problem will provide direction to the researcher.
2) Choice of research design:

A research design gives the methods and procedures for

conducting a particular study. The function of research design is
to provide for the collection of relevant information (evidence),
with minimum efforts, time and money. Broadly speaking, the
research design can be grouped into three categories:

a) Exploratory Research Design:

Exploratory research focuses on discovery of ideas and is
generally based on secondary data. It is preliminary
investigation with a flexible approach. This is because a
researcher may have to change his focus as a result of new ideas
and relationship among the variables.

b) Descriptive Research Design:

Descriptive research is undertaken when the researcher has to
get accurate description of a situation or relation between
variables. This design tends to minimize bias and maximize the
reliability of the data collected and analyzed. These are well

c) Causal Research Design:

It is undertaken when a researcher wants to find out the
cause-effect relationship between two or more variables. It is based
on logical grounds.

The main criterion of a good research design is that it must

enjoy or solve the research problem.
3) Determining the sources of data:

After selection of research design, next step is to determine

sources of data, whether primary data or secondary data should be
The researcher should critically evaluate the secondary data
or primary data so as to avoid the possible sources of error. The
researcher should know about the authentic sources of relevant
data, their periodicity, agency publishing data, etc. it is only when
the secondary data is not available or not reliable that the
researcher should use primary data.

4) Data Collection Methods:

A researcher should keep in mind the following factors while

deciding on the data collection methods. Nature, scope and
objectives of research, availability of funds and time and the
precision needed.
In primary data there are broadly two methods available and
they are:

a) Observation Method:
This method suggests that data are collected through one’s
observation. If the researcher is a keen observer, with integrity he
would be in a position to observe and record data faithfully and
accurately. While the observational method may be suitable in case
of some studies, several things of interest such as attitudes,
opinions, motivations and other intangible states of mind cannot be
observed. Another aspect of this method is that it is non-reactive as
data are collected unobtrusively without the direct participation of
the respondent. This is a major advantage as the behaviour can be
recorded without relying on reports from the respondents.
b) Survey Method:
Surveys are also used to collect primary data. Survey can be
personal, telephonic and mail. The most commonly used methods
in India are personal and mail survey. The researcher has to choose
the kind of survey to be used for data collection.
Telephonic survey is suitable when very limited and specific
information is needed. Surveys based on personal interview are
suitable when detailed information is to be collected. Sometimes
combinations of two or more methods can also be used. Normally
in survey method, structured questionnaire are prepared in advance
to get the necessary information from the respondents.
Whether it is personal or mail survey, a suitable questionnaire
has to be designed and the questionnaire is pretested
for its validity.
5) Determining the sample design and sample

Another aspect which forms a part of research process is the

sampling plan. When a researcher has decided to carryout a field
survey, he has to decide whether it is to be a census or sample
survey. In almost all cases, a sample survey is undertaken on
account of its advantages over a census survey.
When a decision in favour of a sample survey has been taken,
it is necessary to have specific definition of the population from
which sample is to be drawn, before deciding the type of sample
design. He has to make choice between probability sampling and
non-probability sampling. The type of sample design chosen will
depend on its suitability and availability of the requisite sample

There are two approaches regarding sample size:

1) The choice of practical approach.
2) The statistical approach.
The size of sample will depend on the degree of precision
required and also on the cost consideration. The proper selection
of sample design and sample size will reduce the possibility
6) Organizing and conducting field survey:

Having prepared the questionnaire and selected the sample

design and sample size, the next step is to organize and conduct
field survey. Interviewing and the supervision of fieldwork are the
two steps of conducting survey.
The task of interviewing seems to be simple but in reality it is
one of the most difficult tasks in research because respondent are
generally hesitant in giving information. Supervision of fieldwork
is also important to ensure proper and in time completion of
7) Processing and analyzing the collected data:

After the completion of field survey and receiving

questionnaire, the next task is to aggregate the data in a meaningful
manner. The number of tables is prepared to bring out the main
characteristics of the data. In order to derive meaningful results
from the statistical tables, the researcher may use the following

 To calculate relevant measures of central tendency,

highlighting the major aspect of data.

 To cross tabulate the data to ascertain some useful

 To calculate the correlation coefficient and undertake a
regression analysis between the variables.

 To undertake the multi variable analysis.

8) Preparing the research report:

Once the data have been tabulated, interpreted has to

prepare a report including the findings of his research study and
his recommendations. The report should have objectivity, clarity
in presentation of ideas, use of charts and diagrams, etc. the
layout of report should be as follows:

I. The Preliminary Pages:

This includes title and dates, acknowledgement and


II. The Main Text:

This should have introduction, summary of

findings, main report body and conclusion.

III. The End Matter

This includes appendixes, bibliography and index