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INTRODUCTION

Research is an active, diligent and systematic process of inquiry in order to discover,


interpret or revise facts, events, behaviors, or theories, or to make practical
applications with the help of such facts, laws or theories. The term "research" is also
used to describe the collection of information about a particular subject.

The word "research" derives from the Middle French ( French language) and the
literal meaning is "to investigate thoroughly".

Research is an academic activity and as such the term should be used in a technical
sense. According to Clifford woody research companies defining and redefining
problems, formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions; collecting, organizing and
evaluating data; making deductions and reaching conclusions; and at last carefully
testing the conclusions to determine whether they fit the formulating hypothesis.

Definitions of Research-

Research can be defined as the search for knowledge, or as any systematic


investigation, with an open mind, to establish novel facts, usually using a scientific
method. The primary purpose for applied research (as opposed to basic research) is
discovering, interpreting, and the development of methods and systems for the
advancement of human knowledge on a wide variety of scientific matters of our world
and the universe.

Research is the systematic process of collecting and analyzing the information to


increase our understanding of the phenomenon under study. It is the function of the
researcher to contribute the understanding of the phenomenon and to communicate
understanding the other.

Research is process in which some facts are brings to the people from fact that are
already exists but the are not aware about them

Research is intellectual application of the investigation of the matter. It is used for


discovery, interpretation and developing matters and system.
A research comprises defining n redefining the problem, formulating the hypotheses
or suggested solution, collecting, organizing and evaluating the data making
deduction n reaching conclusion and at last carefully testing conculsion to determine
whether they fit formulating hypothesis.

Research can also fall into two distinct types:

• Primary research (collection of data that does not yet exist)


• Secondary research (summary, collation and/or synthesis of existing research)

In social sciences and later in other disciplines, the following two research methods
can be applied, depending on the properties of the subject matter and on the objective
of the research:

• Qualitative research (understanding of human behavior and the reasons that


govern such behavior)
• Quantitative research (systematic empirical investigation of quantitative
properties and phenomena and their relationships)

Research is often conducted using the hourglass model Structure of Research. [1] The
hourglass model starts with a broad spectrum for research, focusing in on the required
information through the methodology of the project .

The word "research" is used to describe a number of similar and often overlapping
activities involving a search for information. For example, each of the following
activities involves such a search; but the differences are significant and worth
examining.
Scientific Research

It relies on the application of the scientific method, a harnessing of curiosity. This


research provides scientific information and theories for the explanation of the nature
and the properties of the world around us. It makes practical applications possible.
Scientific research is funded by public authorities, by charitable organizations and by
private groups, including many companies. Scientific research can be subdivided into
different classifications according to their academic and application disciplines.

Generally, research is understood to follow a certain structural process. Though step


order may vary depending on the subject matter and researcher, the following steps
are usually part of most formal research, both basic and applied:

1. Observations and Formation of the topic


2. Hypothesis
3. Conceptual definitions
4. Operational definition
5. Gathering of data
6. Analysis of data
7. Test, revising of hypothesis
8. Conclusion, iteration if necessary

A common misunderstanding is that by this method a hypothesis could be proven or


tested. Generally a hypothesis is used to make predictions that can be tested by
observing the outcome of an experiment. If the outcome is inconsistent with the
hypothesis, then the hypothesis is rejected. However, if the outcome is consistent with
the hypothesis, the experiment is said to support the hypothesis. This careful language
is used because researchers recognize that alternative hypotheses may also be
consistent with the observations. In this sense, a hypothesis can never be proven, but
rather only supported by surviving rounds of scientific testing and, eventually,
becoming widely thought of as true. A useful hypothesis allows prediction and within
the accuracy of observation of the time, the prediction will be verified. As the
accuracy of observation improves with time, the hypothesis may no longer provide an
accurate prediction. In this case a new hypothesis will arise to challenge the old, and
to the extent that the new hypothesis makes more accurate predictions than the old,
the new will supplant it.

Artistic Research

One of the characteristics of artistic research is that it must accept subjectivity as


opposed to the classical scientific methods. As such, it is similar to the social sciences
in using qualitative research and intersubjectivity as tools to apply measurement and
critical analysis.

One of the characteristics of artistic research is that it must accept subjectivity as


opposed to the classical scientific methods. As such, it is similar to the social sciences
in using qualitative research and intersubjectivity as tools to apply measurement and
critical analysis.

Artistic research, also seen as 'practice-based research', can take form when creative
works are considered both the research and the object of research itself. It is the
debatable body of thought which offers an alternative to purely scientific methods in
research in its search for knowledge and truth.

Historical Research

Historical research is embodied in the scientific method.

The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians
use historical sources and other evidence to research and then to write history. There
are various history guidelines commonly used by historians in their work, under the
headings of external criticism, internal criticism, and synthesis. This includes higher
criticism and textual criticism. Though items may vary depending on the subject
matter and researcher, the following concepts are usually part of most formal
historical research:

• Identification of origin date


• Evidence of localization
• Recognition of authorship
• Analysis of data
• Identification of integrity
• Attribution of credibility

Research is, thus, an original contribution to the existing stock of knowledge making
for its advancement. It is the pursuit of truth with the help of study, observation,
comparison and experiment.

Internet research is the practice of using the Internet for research. To the extent that
the Internet is widely and readily accessible to hundreds of millions of people, in
many parts of the world, and can provide practically instant information on most
topics, it has a profound impact on the way in which ideas are formed and knowledge
is created.

Research is a broad term. Here, it is used loosely to include any activity where a topic
is identified, and an effort is made to actively gather information for the purpose of
furthering understanding (no matter how trivial-seeming the subject).

Prior to the Internet, and particularly, the World Wide Web, print - books, magazines,
newspapers, and other printed publications - was the primary source of in-depth
information in the most of the world. In print, the book is the basic research unit.
Consulting several books on a topic, and related subjects, was the usual research
method for most people.

Compared to the Internet, print physically limits access to information. A book has to
be identified, then actually obtained. On the Net, the Web can be searched, and
typically hundreds or thousands of documents can be found on a topic, within
seconds. In addition, email (including mailing lists), online discussion forums (aka
message boards, BBS's), and other personal communication facilities (instant
messaging, IRC, newsgroups, etc) provide direct access to experts and other
individuals with relevant interests and knowledge.

As the Internet continues to expand, Internet research could become the predominant
mode of informing ourselves. More people will form ideas based on what they believe
is their active "research" ("looking it up", "reading up about it"), rather than more-or-
less passively (environmentally) acquired information (the daily news, "someone told
me about", "saw an article on").

However, though books are nowadays produced using a digital version of the content,
for most books such a version is not available on internet. Thus, not all valuable
information is on internet.

Types of Research

The basic types of research are as follows:

(i) Descriptive vs. Analytical: Descriptive research includes surveys and fact-finding
enquiries of different kinds. The major purpose of descriptive research is
description of the state of affairs as it exists at present. In social science and
business research we quite often use the term Ex post facto research for
descriptive research studies. The main characteristic of this method is that the
researcher has no control over the variables; he can only report what has
happened or what is happening. Most ex post facto research projects are used for
descriptive studies in which the researcher seeks to measure such items as, for
example, frequency of shopping, preferences of people, or similar data. Ex post
facto studies also include attempts by researchers to discover causes even when
they cannot control the variables. The methods of research utilized in descriptive
research are survey methods of all kinds, including comparative and correlational
methods. In analytical research, on the other hand, the researcher has to use facts
or information already available, and analyze these to make a critical evaluation
of the material.

(ii) Applied vs. Fundamental: Research can either be applied (or action) research or
fundamental (to basic or pure) research. Applied research aims at finding a
solution for an immediate problem facing a society or an industrial/business
organization, whereas fundamental research is mainly concerned with
generalizations and with the formulation of a theory. “Gathering knowledge for
knowledge’s sake is termed ‘pure’ or ‘basic’ research.” Research concerning
some natural phenomenon or relating to pure mathematics are examples of
fundamental research. Similarly, research studies, concerning human behavior
carried on with view to make generalizations about human behavior, are also
examples of fundamental research, but research aimed at certain conclusions
facing a concrete social or business problem is an example of applied research.
Research to identify social, economic or political trends that may effect a
particular institution or copy research or the marketing research are examples of
applied research. Thus, the central aim of applied research is to discover a
solution for some pressing practical problems. Whereas basic research is directed
towards finding information that has a broad base of applications and thus, adds
to the already existing organized body of scientific knowledge.

(iii) Quantitative vs. Qualitative: Quantitative research is based on the measurement


of quantity or amount. It is applicable to phenomena that can be expressed in
terms of quantity. Qualitative research, on the other hand, is concerned with
qualitative phenomenon, i.e., phenomena relating to or involving quality or kind.
For instance, when we are interested in investigating the reasons for human
behavior, we quite often talk of ‘Motivation Research’, an important type of
qualitative research. This type of research aims at discovering the underlying
motives and desires, using in depth interviews for the purpose. Other techniques
of such research are word association tests, sentence completion tests, story
completion tests and similar other projective techniques. Attitude or opinion
research, i.e., research designed to find out how people feel or what they think
about a particular subject or institution is also qualitative research. Qualitative
research is specially important in the behavioral sciences where the aim is to
discover the underlying motives of human behavior. Through such research we
can analyse the various factors which motivate people to behave in a particular
manner or which make people like or dislike a particular thing. It may be stated,
however, that to apply qualitative research in practice is relatively a difficult job
and therefore, while doing such research, one should seek guidance from
experimental psychologists.

(iv) Conceptual vs. Empirical: Conceptual research is that related to some abstract
idea(s) or theory. It is generally used by philosophers and thinkers to develop
new concepts or to reinterpret existing ones. On the other hand, empirical
research relies an experience or observation alone, often without due regard for
system and theory. It is data based research, coming up with conclusions which
arc capable of being verified by observation or experiment. We can also call it as
experimental type of research, in such a research it is necessary to get at facts
firsthand, at their source, and actively to go about doing certain things to
stimulate the production of desired information. In such I research, die researcher
must first provide himself with a working hypothesis or guess as to the probable
results. He then works to get enough facts (data) to prove or disprove his
hypothesis. He then sets up experimental designs which he thinks will manipulate
the persons or the materials concerned so as to bring forth the desired
information. Such research is thus characterised by the experimenter’s control
over the variables under study and his deliberate manipulation of one of them to
study its effects. Empirical research is appropriate when proof is sought that
certain variables affect other variables in some way. Evidence gathered through
experiments or empirical studies is today considered to be the most powerful
support possible for a given hypothesis.

(v) Some Other Types of Research: All other types of research are variations of one
or more of the above stated approaches, based on either the purpose of research,
or the time required to accomplish research, on the environment in which
research is done, or on the basis of some other similar factor. Form the point of
view of time, we can think of research either as one-time research or longitudinal
research. In the former case the research is confined to a single time-period,
whereas in the latter case the research is carried on over several time-periods.
Research can be field-setting research or laboratory research or simulation
research, depending upon the environment in which it is to be carried out.
Research can as well be understood as clinical or diagnostic research. Such
research follow case-study methods or indepth approaches to reach the basic
causal relations. Such studies usually go deep into the causes of things or events
that interest us, using very small samples and very deep probing data gathering
devices. The research may be exploratory or it may be formalized. The objective
of exploratory research is the development of hypotheses rather than their testing,
whereas formalized research studies are those with substantial structure and with
specific hypotheses to be tested. Historical research is that which utilizes
historical sources like documents, remains, etc. to study events or ideas of the
past, including the philosophy of persons and groups at any remote point of time.
Research can also be classified as conclusion-oriented and decision oriented.
While doing conclusion oriented research, a researcher is free to pick up a
problem, redesign the enquiry as he proceeds and is prepared to conceptualize as
he wishes. Decision-oriented research is always for the need of a decision maker
and the researcher in this case is not free to embark upon research according to
his own inclination. Operations research is an example of decision oriented
research since it is a scientific method of providing executive departments with a
quantitative basis for decisions regarding operations under their control.
RESEARCH PROCESS

Any research involves several chronological steps, but that does not mean each step
must be completed before the next step is undertaken. Furthermore, the process of
research is dynamic and the process may change as the research progresses. The steps
involved in most research endeavors are shown in Figure 1.
1 THE RESEARCH QUESTION

Managers' needs for information are the primary source of problem definition
and the research question. Managers need information to make educated
decisions arising from unanticipated as well as planned changes. As such,
managers must select between different alternatives and thus require
information about the organization and its environment. The question to be
answered or the problem to be solved must first be clearly defined. Questions
to be answered could be very specific or extremely broad. The more specific
the questions, the easier it will be to answer the research questions. There
might be hypotheses that could be tested scientifically. Once the questions to
be answered are clearly defined then the value of the research must be
assessed. Clearly, if the costs of performing the research project exceed the
value that the research will provide, then the project should not be continued.

2 THE RESEARCH PROPOSAL

Research endeavors require a proposal that explains the problem to be address


and the procedure by which the questions will be answered. The researcher's
proposal tells the managers what they should expect from the research. It is a
contract between the managers and the researcher. For instance, if a company
wants to know the degree to which its new incentive program is effective in
improving employee performance, then the consultant or employee conducting
the research will create a proposal that indicates to that company how the
question will be addressed and what specific information the company will
have at the end of the research process. The proposal may indicate, for
example, that the research will indicate the level of satisfaction of employees
with the new incentive plan, the increased firm performance with the plan, and
the individual increases in performance (as measured by managers) with the
incentive plan. The purpose of the research proposal is to effectively guide the
researchers in their development of the research design and data collection to
answer the specific research questions.
3 RESEARCH DESIGN

Once the proposal is approved, the researcher has a foundation for


development of the research design. The plan for conducting the research is
the research design. There are two general forms of research design, namely
non-experimental (ex-post-facto) and experimental. In a non-experimental
design, the researcher does not control or alter any of the independent
variables. The researcher merely studies existing situations, variables, and the
interrelation among variables and reports the results of his or her findings. The
two major non-experimental designs are field studies and surveys. Field
studies combine literature review and possibly analysis of some case studies.
For example, if one is interested in determining the effectiveness of total
quality management (TQM), there will be a thorough literature search on the
topic as well as a study of the firms that have applied TQM and have been
successful. A literature review means that a researcher identifies previous
writings and research on a topic, summarizes the current knowledge on the
topic, and assesses the value of that prior research on the current problem. On
the other hand, surveys deal with the formulation of a questionnaire (survey
instrument) by which one can measure the magnitude of the desired variables
as well as the interrelation among the variables. Non-experimental designs are
primarily exploratory in nature and provide descriptive measures and can also
be used for predictive purposes.

There are two broad categories of experimental designs: field and laboratory.
In both field experiments and laboratory experiments, the researcher controls
and may alter and introduce some variables in order to determine the effect of
a given variable. Field experiments are done in a natural setting, whereas
laboratory experiments are undertaken in a simulated setting. Studies on the
effectiveness of different configurations of teams and their level of
effectiveness can be undertaken in both field and office settings. In an office
setting, a researcher might organize workplace teams, using different criteria
to establish each, then measure the success of their group interactions and their
productivity on real work tasks. This would be a natural setting, except for the
way in which teams were organized. Team composition could also be studied
in a laboratory in which the researchers had complete control over more
variables. To study team effectiveness in a laboratory setting, individuals
would be placed in teams using different criteria, then asked to perform a
series of tasks specially designed to measure team interactions and
performance. This laboratory setting would allow the researcher more control,
because the types of individuals involved could be chosen, rather than using
only the employees available in a field setting; by designing tasks specific to
the study, rather than using existing work tasks; and by having more ability to
watch and measure team performance without hindering organizational
performance.

4 DATA COLLECTION

Data collection is the process of gathering the specific information used to


answer the research questions. There are a number of issues associated with
data collection, including the use of primary or secondary data, survey design,
sampling, survey administration, and increasing response rates.

PRIMARY DATA AND SECONDARY DATA.

Data can be primary or secondary, and whether one or both are used, and
which is used, depends largely on the research question and the availability of
these data sources. Secondary data refer to data gathered by others or from
other studies. Secondary data is generally less costly and less time consuming
than gathering primary data, typically is accumulated before primary data is
gathered, and may even help determine the course by which primary data is
pursued. An example of secondary data is if a company uses data from the
U.S. Census or data collected for another organizational activity (e.g.,
performance information for individuals from the company's annual
performance appraisal). While secondary data can be used for background
information about specific research, it may also answer some specific research
questions. However, because secondary data was collected for another
purpose, it may not adequately address the new research question. In today's
world of rapidly growing information technologies, secondary data are
available from numerous sources. A researcher should explore the existing
data before starting the research process, since there are datasets for many
different types of information currently available. There are abundant data
available in literature, company records, government publications, trade
associations, and through the Internet.

Primary data is that which is collected by the researcher to address the current
research question. Types of primary data include subject demographics,
lifestyle characteristics, attitudes, knowledge, intentions, motivations, and
behavior. Demographic data includes statistics regarding populations, such as
age, sex, income, level of education, and so forth. Lifestyle characteristics
describe a respondent's activities, interests, and opinions. Attitudes refer to
views and opinions about things, events, or ideas. Knowledge is the degree to
which respondents are aware of these things, events, or ideas. Intentions
generally refer to a respondent's planned future behavior. Motivations describe
the reasons behind a respondent's behavior. Behavior is related to what
respondents do.

Primary data can be collected in the field or the laboratory through


communication and observation. Communication generally requires the direct
questioning of respondents via a paper-and-pencil survey (i.e., questionnaire)
or telephone survey. Observation involves the direct recording of respondent
behavior. Surveys are probably the most common design in business research.
For instance, if one is interested in determining the success of TQM, a survey
can be designed that encompasses questions regarding elements of success,
strengths, weaknesses, and other questions dealing with TQM. Then the
survey can be sent to companies that have been successful in implementing
TQM. The survey results could shed light on many aspects of TQM.
SURVEY DESIGN

Survey design is of major importance, because is a survey is poorly designed,


it will not provide the researchers with the data that addresses the research
question. Survey questions, called items, must be properly chosen to in order
to elicit appropriate respondent answers. The steps involved include
determining the information that will be sought, the type of questionnaire, the
method of administration, the content of individual questions, the form of
response to each question, the wording of each question, the sequence of
questions, the physical characteristics of the questionnaire, and, finally, pre-
testing the questionnaire.

Some items for certain areas of interest already exist. For instance, there are
existing surveys that measure employees' satisfaction with pay and benefits. If
survey items do not already exist in the published literature, the researchers
must create their own items, based on their review of the existing literature
and their own expertise. Often, a focus group of experts can also help to create
items. For example, if a company wants to assess its employees' attitudes
towards an intended change in work rules, the researcher may lead a focus
group of several experienced company managers to capture all of the relevant
ideas that need to be addressed by the survey. Before the survey instrument is
sent out, it must be tested for reliability and validity. Reliability refers to how
consistently the instrument measures, and validity refers to whether the
instrument is measuring.

One concern when designing a survey is how to word the items. One of the
most popular ways to measure attitudes on a survey is by using the Likert
scale. This method presents a series of statements to respondents for which
they are asked to indicate the degree to which they agree with the statements.
An example of a statement might be "The sales people are helpful."
Respondents are asked to indicate the degree to which they agree with the
statements by checking either SA (strongly agree), A (agree), N (neither agree
nor disagree), D (disagree), or SD (strongly disagree). Respondents' answers
would then be scored where SA = 5, A = 4, N = 3, D = 2, and SD = 1. A total
score would be computed by average or summing scores on related items.
SAMPLING

When administering a questionnaire there are two options as to who should


complete the survey. Option one is to give the questionnaire to everyone in the
targeted population. This is called a census. However, a census is usually not
practical or cost effective. For instance, you may not be able to survey every
one of your customers from last year to determine levels of customer
satisfaction with your products. Consequently, in order to save time and
money, only a sample or subset of the target population receives the
questionnaire.

When selecting individuals for a sample, either a probability approach or a


non probability approach can be used. Probability samples are those where
each element of the population has a known probability of being selected. A
random sample, for example, is the case where each element has the same
probability of being selected. There are some specific types of nonprobability
samples: convenience samples, judgment samples, and quota samples.
Convenience samples are chosen at the convenience of the researcher. For
example, a researcher might distribute a survey to all customers who enter one
retail store in a one-week period to determine their level of customer
satisfaction with the company's products. This sample is rather easy to select,
but it may not represent the full range of customers who have used that
product. In a judgment sample, individuals are selected by the researcher
because they are believed to represent the population under study. Quota
samples attempt to make the sample representative of the population under
study where quotas are set for specific groups of people, which are generally
selected on the basis of demographic characteristics.

The chief advantage of a probability sample over a non probability sample is


the ability to assess the reliability and the amount of sampling error in the
results. For example, if the goal were to estimate the annual household income
for a given county, probability sampling would allow an accuracy assessment
of the estimate. This could not be accomplished with a non probability sample.
SURVEY ADMINISTRATION

After the survey has been designed and its reliability and validity assessed, the
company must decide the administration method that it will use. Each
administration method has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of
cost, information control, sampling control, and administrative control.
Information control refers to the possible variation in responses to questions.
Sampling control is the ability to select cooperative respondents.
Administrative control refers to factors affecting the efficiency of the survey,
including timing, quality control, and standardization.

Personal interviews are generally the most expensive means of data collection.
In a company, this would mean having researchers meet with employees one-
on-one to ask them the survey questions and record their responses. One of the
main advantages of the personal interview is the ability to ask any type of
question, including an open-ended question, and to adapt to the respondent's
answers. However, in addition to being expensive and time consuming, this
method is not anonymous, and therefore respondents may be reluctant to
answer questions that they feel are sensitive or invasive.

The mail questionnaire is usually the least expensive method of data


collection. Besides cost savings, another advantage of the mail questionnaire is
its wide distribution potential. However, mail questionnaires cannot control
the speed of responses, and the researcher cannot explain ambiguous
questions. Mail questionnaires are probably best utilized when asking personal
or sensitive questions, particularly if the survey can be made anonymous.
Questionnaires can be circulated using various methods, such as post,
electronic mail, and fax.

The telephone interview is associated with relatively low cost and higher
response rates, and is one of the fastest methods of data collection. While there
are methods to address the problem, unlisted numbers make it more difficult to
obtain representative samples. Establishing rapport is also more difficult in
telephone interviewing than in the personal interview.
One survey administration method that is growing in popularity is the Internet
survey, in which respondents answer items on a survey that is located on a
web site. Newer, specialized software products are making it easier to conduct
online surveys, even for those people with little to no computer programming
skills. Studies indicate that Internet research can result in faster responses,
lower costs, higher response rates, and better flexibility. Additionally, this
method aids in data administration, since survey responses can be directly
inserted into a data spreadsheet by the web survey software.

INCREASING RESPONSE RATES

One of the main concerns of survey research is the response rate, or the
number of people who are asked to complete a survey who actually do.
Nonresponse error is a source of bias because of the failure to get answers
from some of the sample. "Not-at-homes" plague the telephone survey and
uncooperative respondents affect telephone, mail, Internet, and personal
interview surveys. While research results are mixed regarding effective means
for increasing response rates, the following represent some ideas for
increasing response rates:

• give respondents advance notice of the survey


• guarantee confidentiality or anonymity
• provide monetary incentives
• provide a postage-paid return envelope for mail surveys
• personalize outgoing envelopes

5. DATA ANALYSIS

Research provides data, and it is the task of the researcher to transform the
collected data into useful information for management. The first step in data
analysis is preparing the data by editing it for several factors, including:

• completeness—checking for any omissions


• legibility—making sure that handwriting is understandable so that answers
will be coded correctly
• comprehensibility—making sure the answer is understandable
• consistency—checking for consistent answers from the respondent
• uniformity—checking to see that responses are recorded in the same
manner

Once the data is edited it is ready for coding, which is determining how survey
responses will be transformed into numerical data. The first step in coding is
the development of a codebook. The codebook formalizes the coding process
by listing answers and their accompanying codes. After the data is coded and
entered into a data spreadsheet, statistical analyses can be performed to create
useful information for the researchers. If there are hypotheses to be tested, the
researcher is in a position to use the gathered data to test the hypotheses. Data
analysis could be as simple as reporting descriptive statistics such as averages,
measures of variability, and percentages, or if needed, advance statistical
techniques could be applied.

6. RESEARCH REPORT

The research report can be as simple as a short report of a few pages giving the
overall findings of the research, or it can be a long report with numerous parts.
The degree of formality required by management dictates the type of report to
prepare. Figure 2 presents the order of inclusion of the various parts of a long
formal report.
Figure2
Parts of a Complete Research Report

PREPERATORY SECTION

In this part of the report, first the title fly needs to be prepared. The title fly
only includes the title of the report. The title should be carefully worded so it
tells the reader exactly what the report is about. Following the title fly is the
title page. The title page should include the title of the report, the name and the
title of the recipient of the report, and the name and the title of the individual
who prepared the report and the date. The letter that authorized the
undertaking of the research project, followed by a letter of transmittal
indicating the completion of the research report are the next items included in
the report. Include a table of contents followed by an executive summary. The
executive summary, summarizing the report's major findings, should be brief
and to the point. This summary should briefly explain the conclusions.

INTRODUCTION TO THE RESEARCH

This section of the report provides a clear background and statement of the
research question and provides information about the objectives of the
research. Included in this section would be a literature review about previous
studies with the same or similar problem. If there are hypotheses to be tested,
population parameters to be estimated, theories to be considered, they will be
incorporated into this section of the report

RESEARCH METHOD

This section will provide a detailed explanation of research design and will
provide answers to many questions. What type of design was used? What
instruments were used for the collection of data? Were there any subjects
involved in the study? What did the subjects do? How was the sample
selected? What kind of statistical or non-statistical techniques were used for
data analysis? Finally, in this section of the report the limitations encountered
in the study should be presented.

FINDINGS

This section is probably one of the most important parts of the research report.
Provided in this section would be the results of the data analyses and
explanation of all the findings. At this point, all the raw data have been
analyzed and converted to meaningful information for management's use. This
is the section where the original research question is answered.

SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

A concise yet precise summary of major findings will be included in this


section, followed by any recommendations that the researcher considers
important and meaningful.
APPENDICES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

Statistical tests, large tables of information, copies of measurement


instruments, and supporting documents should be included in the appendices.
Finally, the report should end by providing a bibliography of all sources of
information.
BUSINESS RESEARCH

Definition of Business Research

Business research is the systematic inquiry that provide information to guide


managerial decision. More specifically, it is process of planning, acquiring, analyzing,
disseminating relevant data information and insight to decision maker in ways that
mobilized to organization to take appropriate action that, in turn, maximized the
performance.

Types of business research

Businesses engage primarily in four types of research:

• Marketing research - Marketing research (also called "consumer research")


comprises a form of applied sociological study which concentrates on
understanding the behaviours, whims and preferences, mainly current and
future, of consumers in a market-based economy.

• Market research - Market research has a broad scope and includes all aspects
of the business environment. It asks questions about competitors, market
structure, government regulations, economic trends, technological advances,
and numerous other factors that make up the business environment. (See
Environmental scanning.) Sometimes the term refers more particularly to the
financial analysis of companies, industries, or sectors. In this case, financial
analysts usually carry out the research and provide the results to investment
advisors and potential investors.

• Product research - This looks at what products can be produced with


available technology, and what new product innovations near-future
technology can develop. (see New Product Development)

• Advertising research - This attempts to assess the likely impact of an


advertising campaign in advance, and also measure the success of a recent
campaign.
Business Research Process

Research is an important management activity that helps companies determine which


products will be most profitable for companies to produce. Several steps are necessary
when conducting business research; each step must be thoroughly reviewed to ensure
that the best decision is made for the company.

Product Analysis

Product analysis is the first step of business research. Companies must find a
product that meets or exceeds consumer demand, or the product will fail in the
economic market place. One type analysis is to find an existing product that
can be improved through design or features. Another type of product analysis
will find emerging markets with high demand and low supply, which allows
for companies to sell new products to meet consumer demand.

Market Analysis

Companies will conduct a market analysis to determine how much profit may
be earned from current demand. Management will look at which stage of the
business cycle the market is currently in, whether emerging, plateau, or
declining. Each stage has its own level of profitability, with the first stage
being the highest and the last stage being the lowest profitability. A market
analysis will also determine the price points at which products can be sold; for
example, high-quality products at a higher price may not tempt consumers to
start buying the product based on quality itself.

Financial Analysis

A financial analysis determines the cost of each production item used to


produce goods and services. High costs may not allow companies to price
goods or services competitively, leading to an unprofitable situation.
Management will examine the costs of raw materials, labor, and
manufacturing overhead to find the best raw goods available to produce the
most profitable product. Management will also review the best cost
application methods, ensuring that all production costs are properly applied to
each product or service produced.

Competitor Analysis

Analyzing the current competitors of a market is an important part of business


research. Knowing which companies have the best production methods or
customer loyalty helps new companies understand how they can create a
competitive advantage when entering a new market. Proper business research
will also indicate how financially stable companies are and if they can be
purchased outright by a company wanting to enter the industry. Buying a
competitor may be cheaper than starting new operations for a company.

Growth Analysis

Business research usually includes forecasting the growth and direction of the
current industry or market. Knowing which direction the market is headed
helps companies determine the stability of new business operations. Entering a
slow-growth industry may be unprofitable early on but have better long-term
growth potential. High-growth industries will sometimes face a quick
downfall, such as the dot.com boom of 2000-2001. Strong growth early in the
business cycle quickly gave way to record losses, leading many businesses
into bankruptcy from poor growth analysis.

Methods or Approaches of Research

In research, conclusions are based two methods known as the deduction and
induction. Both are widely used in research projects. This helps the researchers to
understand, explain, or predict business phenomena.

Deduction follows an approach which is “top-down” or “from general to specific.” On


the other hand, induction is “bottom-up” in nature or from specific to general. In
deduction, we start from a theory and try to prove it right with the help of available
information. In induction, we observe some happening, deduct a pattern and draw
conclusion.
EXAMPLE OF DEDUCTION

1. All men are mortal. (General and no specific to one man)


2. Socrates is a man
3. (Therefore,) Socrates is mortal ( specific)

EXAMPLE OF INDUCTION

This ice is cold. (Specific, based on a direct observation.)

All ice is cold. (General, can be applied to any ice)

Take another example: 3 + 5 = 8 and eight is an even number. Therefore, an odd


number added to another odd number will result in an even number.

EXAMPLE OF BOTH DEDUCTION AND INDUCTION

1 You push the light switch and find no light

2 You ask the question, Why no light? (induction)

3 You infer a conclusion (hypotheses) to answer the question and explain the fact that
the bulb is burned out. (deduction)

4 You use this hypothesis to conclude (deduce) that the light will not go on when we
push the switch. We know from experience that burned-out bulb will not light.

DEDUCTIVE METHOD

Like Sherlock Holmes, the starting point is a given situation and moving to a specific
conclusion. All relevant information is assembled, studies to solve the mystery.
Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, described deduction as "drawing conclusions by
applying rules or principles; logically moving from a general rule or principle to a
specific solution". It is the process of reaching a conclusion that is guaranteed to
follow, if the evidence provided is true and the reasoning used to reach the conclusion
is correct.
An investigator is distracted with the noise and thinks that “noise adversely affects
mental problem solving.” It can be turned into a research question like “would it be
more conducive to solve mental puzzle when there is no noise.”

In order to test it, two puzzles are given to the same group, one in noise-less
conditions and other in a blaring noise. If the results of test conducted under noisy-
enironment are poor it can be deduced or concluded that controlling the aversive noise
is helpful in solving mental puzzles. (Someone may say “why research, it is
apparent?” It is logical to say it but it had been previously proved and awareness has
been created of the noise pollution. In fact, noise can be measure in term of decibel
(dB) and by research, it has been established how much noise is tolerable under what
conditions. Zero dB describes perfect silence while 140 dB would reflect a gunshot.

In deductive method, the premises (basis or evidence) provide a guarantee of the true
conclusion. Consider the following example:

1. There are 32 books on the top-shelf of the book case,

2. There are 12 books on the lower-shelf of the book case.

3. There are no books anywhere on the bookcase

From the above, it can be concluded there are 44 books in the bookcase.

INDUCTIVE METHOD

Also known as Inductive reasoning or logic, this methods involves moving from a
specific situation to a general conclusion This is a way of “theory-building”, whereby
“specific facts are used to create a theory that explains relationships between the facts
and allows prediction of future knowledge”. This method is more open-ended and
exploratory. This does not give 100% guarantee of truth but probability of being true.

While the premises were true, it is possible that conclusion was false. Maybe Socrates
was allergic to fish, for example. It can be said that inductive approach is weaker than
deductive approach as there is possibility of arriving at false conclusion. However, it
is not entirely true.
The Significance of Research in Business Decision Making

Research is essential in all businesses, whether small or big. Based on research,


management can make intelligent and informed decisions. Companies need to
research which products to make, how to make them, the quantities thereof, how to
market them, entice customers, motivate employees and run more effective systems.
In the research mechanism, the analyst collects data, organizes and tabulates it, then
presents it to top management in the form of text and charts.

Research is necessary for managerial decision making. All strategic business areas are
scrutinized and evaluated; then tactics for more efficient operations are developed.
Every business often has several means of performing a task. Through research, the
organization is able to choose the most efficient, productive and profitable one.
Research could be applied to marketing, production, finance, IT and HR. Through
research, the organization is able to gauge initially whether getting into a new line of
trade would be a profitable venture. On-going research is essential to improve and
improvise the product as per customer specifications. The company must also
research ways and means to keep its employees happy and motivated.

The research mechanism enables the organization to better understand and


comprehend the market, its customers and competitors. The organization knows
exactly what their customers need and desire, and takes the appropriate steps to
deliver that to them. Also, the company can classify customers on the basis of
demographics, such as gender, age, income and level of education. Once the company
determine its customers' primary demographic group, it takes steps to service them
better. Through research, competitors' moves and strategies are highlighted, and the
company can then be proactive to preempt them.

The Advantages of Business Research

The World Wide Web has increased the need for sufficient research and experience in
business.

Businesses are becoming increasingly competitive as technology expands markets to


global levels. As companies introduce new ways of communicating and meeting
client needs, businesspeople must tap into the advantages of business research and
experience in order to stay afloat financially. These advantages are not a guarantee of
success, but they provide a more stable platform on which management may assess
the business and make decisions.

Conclusions and Planning

When you conduct research and consider the experience you have in your
industry, it is more likely that you will reach accurate conclusions about the
business inquiries you have, simply because you have more data with which to
work. This is vital because accurate conclusions are necessary for accurate and
efficient planning. For example, through market research, you may determine
that a new business is encroaching upon your percentage of industry sales
significantly, and you can react to this threat through improving your product
or increasing advertising.

Success Measurement

The planning that business research and experience allow permits you to
measure your success in very finite ways. For example, you may calculate
through your research that you have to increase sales by 3 percent in order to
meet increasing production costs, or you may track your rank on industry sales
lists. Once you know how you are going to measure your company's success,
you can focus on motivating your employees to meet your goals and show them
how they are doing.

Communication

Communication with your investors, employees, lenders and clients becomes


easier when you research and have experience in your field. You can answer the
questions others ask, and you can provide the data necessary to develop working
relationships. This makes you look more prepared and professional, which
benefits your overall business reputation.
Insights and Perspective

Market research and experience are inseparable in the business world because
experience is what guides analysis of the data you gather; otherwise, this
information has no real meaning until you apply it in a particular context.
Experience shows you which analysis methods are best for the data you've
collected and gives you insights as to what variables to consider when tweaking
final conclusions. This is especially important if the data you gather initially
support multiple business avenues.

Uses of business research

Business research programs are an increasingly popular way for companies to train
and educate their managers and other employees in a vast array of different fields.
Business research education can pertain to economics, business strategy and ethics, in
fact, anything related to modern business and trade. In a corporate world that is
seemingly more cutthroat than ever, company executives must consider whether their
staff members can really fulfil their jobs effectively without specialist education.

Having a well educated and informed staff means that operations will run that more
smoothly. For instance, some business research programmes delve into the theories
behind people management. This can be seen as one of the most important
educational tools for companies. If senior managers are all officially educated and
certified in the field of management they will be able to drive a workforce on using
effective motivational techniques.

Management is not the only field covered by business research programmes however.
One of the most popular forms of education covers information on accounting. While
specialist accountants are an available resource, by training staff members to
understand accounting functions, it is possible for a company to build its knowledge
base in the field, streamlining process and overall improving the efficiency of
operations. Understandably, by improving the efficiency of a company, profitability is
increased, meaning that the financial outlay for education is ultimately worthwhile.
Another field covered by the umbrella term of business research is international
business. For company directors who are on the brink of enlarging their operations
beyond their national boundaries sending staff on courses relating to this field is
highly advisable. International trade has different theories and strategies relating to it
and hence by building a bank of knowledge on the subject means that it is possible for
companies to find that edge over the global competition.

As information technology becomes an increasingly large part of business, education


modules in this field have also grown. Information technology can relate to using
software in management, accounting or even invoicing but as the use of the internet
and online trade grows, educating staff in the ways to take advantage of this new
media is an advisable course of action.

Another field in business research is sales and sales techniques. This is especially
important for many companies as sales are the way of securing new income. Naturally
sales techniques will differ depending upon the services or products being sold but
there are certain general rules that should be followed. By having a well trained and
informed sales team, they will be able to bring more trade, and hence improve the
portfolio and profits of the company. As an adjunct to sales is marketing education,
this is especially important in many industries as having a well presented product or
service can reap many benefits. Thankfully education will result in employees having
the knowledge to produce a brand image that is desirable, dynamic and above all
attractive to customers.

In a modern world where business research is a key part of any development plan
there are a large number of educational institutions arising to meet these demands. For
any company director, making the realization that a well trained and educated
workforce is an asset in its own right is an important step. Once this realizations has
been made it will be possible to train staff members and acquire an employee base
that is up to date with developments in the business world. Having the knowledge of
how to take advantage of these developments and remain at the cutting edge of any
industry sector is naturally an essential part of any strategy.
RESEARCH USED IN AGRICULTURE

Agricultural research is a vital input for planned growth and sustainable development
of agriculture in the country. Indian Council of Agricultural Research being an apex
scientific organization at national level plays a crucial role in promoting and
accelerating the use of science and technology programmes relating to agricultural
research and education. It also provides assistance and support in demonstrating the
use of new technologies in agriculture. Information pertaining to agricultural research,
education and related aspects available from different sources is scattered over
various types of published and unpublished records. The Agricultural Research Data
Book 2009, which is twelve in the series, is an attempt to put together main
components/indicators of such information. The Data Book comprising of 258
Tables, is organized, for the purpose of convenience of the users into eleven sections.
It also contains at the end, list of important National and International Agricultural
Research Institutions associated with agricultural research and education along with
their addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous organisation


under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of
Agriculture, Government of India. Formerly known as Imperial Council of
Agricultural Research, it was established on 16 July 1929 as a registered society
under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in pursuance of the report of the Royal
Commission on Agriculture. The ICAR has its headquarters at New Delhi. The
Council is the apex body for co-ordinating, guiding and managing research and
education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the
entire country. With 97 ICAR institutes and 47 agricultural universities spread
across the country this is one of the largest national agricultural systems in the world.

The ICAR has played a pioneering role in ushering Green Revolution and subsequent
developments in agriculture in India through its research and technology development
that has enabled the country to increase the production of foodgrains by 4 times,
horticultural crops by 6 times, fish by 9 times (marine 5 times and inland 17
times), milk 6 times and eggs 27 times since 1950-51, thus making a visible impact
on the national food and nutritional security. It has played a major role in promoting
excellence in higher education in agriculture. It is engaged in cutting edge areas of
science and technology development and its scientists are internationally
acknowledged in their fields.

Understanding the forces that shape your market can play an essential role in your
organization’s success. At IDG Research Services, that’s our business – helping you
better understand your market through the design, execution and analysis of
customized, creative, actionable market research.

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questions, our team of experienced market and media research professionals can help
create research that addresses your unique needs.
Conclusions

Research is the systematic process of collecting and analyzing the information to


increase our understanding of the phenomenon under study. It is the function of the
researcher to contribute the understanding of the phenomenon and to communicate
understanding the other.

Research is, thus, an original contribution to the existing stock of knowledge making
for its advancement. It is the pursuit of truth with the help of study, observation,
comparison and experiment

Research is essential in all businesses, whether small or big. Based on research,


management can make intelligent and informed decisions. Companies need to
research which products to make, how to make them, the quantities thereof, how to
market them, entice customers, motivate employees and run more effective systems.
In the research mechanism, the analyst collects data, organizes and tabulates it, then
presents it to top management in the form of text and charts.

Businesses are becoming increasingly competitive as technology expands markets to


global levels. As companies introduce new ways of communicating and meeting
client needs, businesspeople must tap into the advantages of business research and
experience in order to stay afloat financially.

Business research programs are an increasingly popular way for companies to train
and educate their managers and other employees in a vast array of different fields.
Business research education can pertain to economics, business strategy and ethics, in
fact, anything related to modern business and trade. In a corporate world that is
seemingly more cutthroat than ever, company executives must consider whether their
staff members can really fulfill their jobs effectively without specialist education.

In a modern world where business research is a key part of any development plan
there are a large number of educational institutions arising to meet these demands. For
any company director, making the realizations that a well trained and educated
workforce is an asset in its own right is an important step. Once this realization has
been made it will be possible to train staff members and acquire an employee base
that is up to date with developments in the business world. Having the knowledge of
how to take advantage of these developments and remain at the cutting edge of any
industry sector is naturally an essential part of any strategy.
Bibliography
References:
• Operations Research, Fredick S. Hillier and Gerald J. Lieberman, McGraw-
Hill companies, 8th edition.
• Operations Research, J K Sharma, 4th edition.

Websites:
• http://www.ehow.com/about_6715650_significance-research-business-
decision making.html#ixzz1D8wDX9Ic
• http://www.ehow.com/info_7821579_advantages-business-research-
experience.html#ixzz1D8yNzavN
• http://www.google.com
• http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Pr-Sa/Research-Methods-
and- Processes.html#ixzz1D8y0Em7U
• http://www.wikipedia.com
• http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Internet_research
• http://www.yahoo.com