Business research can be defined as the systematic investigation about company’s customers, competitors and the industry to establish efficient management in the company. Following steps in business research process assist a company to accomplish its goals.
Identification of research problem
The first step in research process is the identification of the problems faced by the organization (Bryman and Bell, 2015). As business law today worked in a very unstable environment which is surrounded by various macro environmental factors, so it is necessary for them to analyse dynamic business environment in order to survive in the competitive market (Neelankavil, 2015). A well-defined problem can help the researcher to actually solve the problem but some research problems cannot be clearly defined such as declining sales which needs to be explore further through exploratory research, it may be considered that the methods of exploratory research generally in use are—survey of secondary data, experience survey, or pilot studies, this is also called as preliminary investigation.
Review of literature
A literature review can be defined as the inspection of books, articles, journals and any other sources which is relevant to the area of research, summary or theory. Therefore in this step it is necessary to write a brief summary in which statement of research objectives should be defined. It is necessary to inspect required books and articles as to write a brief summary about the objectives. So the objectives should be precise in nature as it plays the role of a guide for further steps in the process so it should be specific (Neelankavil, 2015). Such objectives may be explained in qualitative and quantitative terms and expressed as research questions, statement or hypothesis. For instance, the research objective, to find out which promotional technique can affect the goodwill of the company explained as a statement. Whereas a hypothesis is a statement that can be contradicted or supported on the basis of limited evidence (Bryman and Bell, 2015). The same research objective could be stated as, “To test the proposition that goodwill is positively influenced by the promotional technique chosen this summer”
Planning the research design
The third step under business research process is to plan the design of research. A proper research design is very essential step in the research process which involves various things such as the cost, budget provided for organizing the research, the source of the information, the time, measurement methods and sampling process (Bryman and Bell, 2015). A research design is a big approach which explains the procedure of gathering and inspecting the required information. It ultimately explains the structure of plan for action. The main intention behind the study is to make sure that data collected are significant to the goals (Greener and Martelli, 2015).
Planning the sample
Sampling is the process of selecting units from the population of interest so that the result of the research can easily be concluded. Planning the sample involves questions such as —which population should be selected? Who is to be the right representative for sampling? How large or small can be the size of the sample? It basically includes the planning of the final sample which is to be distributed to the participants. It further includes the designing of the sample scheme, size of the sample, recognizing the parameters to be measured while sampling, deciding about the time when the samples will be distributed (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson, 2015).
After making a suitable sample the next step is to collect the required data for solving the problem. Basically the data collected can be primary which is raw and collected from original base through experimental research (Neelankavil, 2015).
Data can be secondary which is gathered from the written reports and articles, magazines, newspapers, books and others (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson, 2015).
There are also two types of sources that is internal sources (within the company such as sales reports, accounting data) and external source (across the boundaries of the company)
Data processing and analysis
After collecting the data, the next important step is to evaluate the data to convert the collected data into the format which will help manager in effective decision making and it also suggest the answers to the defined problems of the research process (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson, 2015). Data processing starts from editing of data and its coding. Editing includes investigating the data for omissions and errors. The process of recording, categorising and transferring the data to ‘data storage media’ called codes. It is necessary for identification or classification of data (Greener and Martelli, 2015).
After evaluating the data the final stage under research process is preparation of the report. The research report should clearly define the findings as per the objectives. It can be given in two forms that are oral or written. As the research report helps in effective decision making so it is essential to carefully analyse the information and should be made according to the needs of the organization. At this phase the research report should be made more carefully and it should illustrate all the details of the findings. The length of the report should be made as per the need of the manager. It should be made in such a way that the manager can refer if a research on a same topic is being conducted in future (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson, 2015).
Discuss any three (3) strategies in quantitative research
Quantitative research can be defined as solving a problem via numerical data or data which can be converted into usable statistics. It is important to develop some strategies to face challenges while conducting a research.
Three strategies of quantitative research are as follows:-
Overcoming the issue of sampling
Undertaking a quantitative research, sampling is a very complex process as it has the potential of making credibility issues. Sampling should be done carefully by the researcher because most of the researchers take sampling as the base of the research. While sampling, committing errors could result into loss of reliability of the study (Ihantola and kihn, 2011). A researcher must be careful enough while selecting a sample as it represents accessed population as well as the similar population in other settings. The design of the research should be set in a manner that it contributes to the purpose of the study. Every research should include objectivity in its design. The strategy here is to make sure that researcher must maintain the validity of the study by confirming that sampling problems over such issues are minimal and well compensated.
Designing a questionnaire
Critical to the research process is designing a questionnaire. As the questionnaire helps in providing the exact result therefore it should be designed carefully. The operations in the questionnaire should contain simple language which is understandable for the respondents, so that they can easily answer. The researcher must avoid personal and sensitive matters while making the questionnaire. Question designs enabled improvement through sending questionnaires to online respondents (Frippiat, Marquis, Wiles-portier, 2010). As a result a researcher is able to make questionnaire in such a way that is very simple and interesting for the respondents. The strategy here is to ask the quantifiable questions in the questionnaire. The researcher should motivate the respondents to enable them to complete the surveys by ensuring the questions are simple and the process is interesting.
Overcoming the issue of reliability
Reliability can be defined as the quality of being trustworthy and performing well. The information should be from valid and trusted source. The researcher should only write about the facts and should only provide the true information in the research. The researcher must focus on data quality standards to make the research more reliable In regards to reliability, the strategy here is to conduct the kind of research which goes over and above the related challenges (William, 2011). suggests that the reliability of the reports gets affected by the time consumed during the research process. The time and speed consumed should be optimum while collecting the data. The main idea of the strategy is to make sure that errors are minimal consequently, enhance the reliability of the report. For instance, the information picked up from the sales department of the company. As this information comes from the internal sources so it is reliable and can be trusted.
The main purpose of the literature review in the research process is to establish theoretical framework for your topic or subject area. Researcher should place the work in such a say that one can correlates the contribution of the study to research problem (Machi and McEvoy, 2016).
Subject area is not a topic it is too large than that. It is a large category in which the actual topic can be found. Therefore it is necessary to define the subject area properly so that the researcher doesn’t get confused between the subject area and the topic. Subject area is a sack of unopened topics (Booth, Sutton and Papaionnou, 2016).
- Identify new ways to interpret prior research
The researcher while reviewing literature should identify the new ways to describe the prior research. It is very helpful in many other purposes besides the data provided. It improves the current knowledge of the researcher (Marshall and Rossman, 2014)
- Define the relationship of each work with the other
The researcher should properly define the relationship between the collected information as the information can be easily misinterpreted. It is necessary because if there will be no link between the information provided then it will be very difficult to understand (Machi and McEvoy, 2016).
- Reveal any gaps that exist in the literature.
The researcher should explore the topic thoroughly and reveal the required gaps existed in the study (Machi and McEvoy, 2016). The gap here implies the areas which has not been yet explored or under explored. These are the missing pieces which is essential for making the effective and efficient report.
Discuss any three (3) non-probability sampling techniques.
Non probability sampling can be defined as the technique where the chances of selecting any member for a sample cannot be calculated.
Three non-probability sampling techniques can be described as follows:-
Purposive sampling can be explained as where sample is being selected as per the knowledge of the researcher. This kind of sampling is generally being used when the researcher need to reach the targeted sample swiftly (Babin and Zikmund, 2015). This kind of sampling is also known as judgemental, selective and subjective sampling. There are many types of sampling such as typical case, heterogeneous, homogeneous and deviant case sampling (Hair, 2015).
Convenience sampling can be described as the name suggests, selecting a sample which is convenient to you such as malls, local market, local schools, neighbours (Hair, 2015). It can be further explained as the type of non-probability sampling that collects the information from the nearest sources (Babin and Zikmund, 2015). It is also called as accidental, opportunity sampling.
Snowball sampling is a type of non-probability sampling. It can be described as where the researcher recruits other people for the study because sometimes it becomes very difficult for the researcher to find out the participants (Hair, 2015).It is called snowball sampling because when the snowball rolls around, it adds more snow with it and becomes bulkier.
It is very important for a researcher to first check the questionnaire on a sample before administering it to participants because of the following reasons (Pattern, 2016).
Pretesting of a questionnaire is very necessary to make it understandable and relevant to the respondents. The researcher must go through the questionnaire and test it on a sample to reduce the errors. Random mistakes can be evaluated through pretesting of a questionnaire and by statistical analysis (Wilson, 2014).
While tackling a quantitative study the researchers need to have the exact result and for that it is necessary to pre-test the questionnaire (Pattern, 2016). Questions in the questionnaire should be framed in such a way that the respondents can easily answer and with the help of straight answers researcher can have the exact result.
- For a one-shot research project
The damage is limited if the researcher have to do various rounds of iterative testing. If the researcher gets only a single dose of user for the designed project then the researcher have to make it right for the first time as they will not provide the second chance (Wilson, 2014).
- For a high-visibility project
The projects which require some extra attention and will be seen by the high level of managers are known as high-visibility projects. For these kinds of projects pretesting of questionnaire is very necessary (Wilson, 2014). For example test is on the company’s premier product. Obviously every project is important enough but some projects needs extra attention.
The questionnaire should be clear and simple (Wilson, 2014). The researcher should avoid the unambiguous questions at all. Long worded and complex questions can irritate the participants therefore; the researchers should keep it simple and straight. So to avoid ambiguity researcher must test it on a sample (Pattern, 2016).
- To check the sequence of the questions
Pretesting of a questionnaire is important to check the sequence of the questions (Wilson, 2014). The questionnaire should contain logical flow of questions. The researcher must check the arrangement of questions so that every question is included in the questionnaire.
Discuss three (3) types of qualitative data analysis techniques.
Qualitative analysis can be defined as the number of processes and procedures in which the researcher examines the collected nonnumeric form of data.
Three qualitative data analysis techniques are as follows:-
Content analysis can be explained as studying files, documents, articles and reports which can be the content of any video, pictures and formats. This type of analysis basically helps in quantify the patterns in communication systematically (Smith, 2015). Now day’s computers are generally used under content analysis to automate the coding of documents. The advantages of simple computational techniques are that it can easily provide descriptive data such as length of the report or document, word frequencies (Zhang and Wildemuth, 2016). The content analysis involves critical observation and systematic reading of the content for making it interesting and meaningful. There are many goals of content analysis such as defining the data, making the relevant information and avoiding ambiguity.
Narrative analysis is a form of qualitative research which involves the study of stories, journals, autobiography, field notes and life experience as units for analysis (Zhang and Wildemuth, 2016). Basically it studies the stories of the individuals and tries to understand the relationship between their experiences and social framework. Under these analysis researchers first listens the story of the research subject then try to set up and understand the link between the experiences of the individuals and their social framework. The main focus of narrative analysis is on the story that what and how it is being narrated (Smith, 2015). Most of the methods of qualitative research include procedures but narrative analysis is questionable in this regard. It can be only set out by the the validation of the audience
Framework analysis is a type of qualitative analysis which can be explained as evaluating, designing and monitoring the projects (Smith, 2015). It is flexible at the time of analysis. Under this the researcher can either collect the whole data then do the analysis or can analyse the data at the time of collection process. The analysis stage involves sifted, charted and sorted the gathered data according to the key themes and issues (Gaber, 2018). It involves five stages which are as follows:-
- Familiarisation: the first stage for the researchers while doing framework analysis is to get familiar with the data.
- Identifying a thematic framework: the second stage here is involves discussion points and key themes. This stage is also known as ‘coding’.
- Indexing: it basically develops the coding work done in second stage in order to set up consistencies.
- Charting: on this stage the researcher rearranges the data and thematic framework. It is the process of developing a final coding framework through abstraction.
- Mapping and interpretation: on this stage researcher represents the data graphically and investigates the link between the themes. (Gaber 2018).
Outline the objectives of report writing
Report writing is a document written for a particular audience. It is an organized format which includes specific information and evidence related to a particular problem.
There are some objectives defined by the researcher while writing a report which are as follows:-
The foremost objective of the researcher while writing a report is to provide the relevant information to the viewers. As if the report does not contain the relevant information it will go in waste, the whole effort of the researcher will go in waste because it will be no longer useful for the audience (Polonsky and waller, 2014). Therefore, the report should be written in such a way that it is understandable to the viewers and only contains the right information
Precise and accurate
The researcher must provide the accurate information in the report. If the researcher writes anything unnecessary or irrelevant and the audience cannot even relate the information with the topic then it will not be consider as a good report (Polonsky and waller, 2014).So the text in a report should be precise in nature and the researcher should try to provide only the accurate information
Organize the information
The researcher must write the information in such a way that the whole text is interrelated with each other. The whole text should be formatted as per the requirement (Polonsky and waller, 2014). As the audience wants to get to your main message therefore, the information should be designed in such a way that it can be effectively communicated to the viewers.
The researcher should present the report in such a way that it should grab the attention of the viewers of the report. To meet this broad requirement of attractiveness in the report the researcher should assume the role of an artist. If the report looks attractive then only it can create the interest of the user (Maylor, Blackmon and Huemann, 2016). The report should provide the wide view which looks attractive in an artistic sense.
The researcher must take care while writing a report that it should contain consistency (Maylor, Blackmon and Huemann, 2016). Therefore the report should be prepared in such a way that it can be useful for many years from the same kind of text and statistical data. If it is possible to use same information for collecting, tabulating and presenting the information then the usage of the report will get increased.
Describe any five (5) types of reports
Reports are generally the written document which contains specific information and evidence related to a particular problem.
Types of reports are as follows:-
Analytical reports generally play the role of the examiner which tells about the results and conclusion (Bovee, Thill and Raina, 2016). The process involves having the results, analyse those results and at the end drawing the conclusion related with the results.
Recommendation reports are the reports in which the recommendations are supported by the results and the conclusions. It helps in solving a problem and evaluating the solutions and then recommend one. (Bovee, Thill and Raina, 2016).
Progress report is a kind of report in which the researchers have to tell the supervisor about the progress made by them in the given projects and assignments (Eriksson and Kovalainen, 2015).
Credit report is a process of collecting data related with the credit history of an individual or an organisation (Eriksson and Kovalainen, 2015). Generally the credit bureaus collect the data and make the credit report on the basis of given information.
- Personnel evaluation report
A report which includes the data related with the performance of the personnel in the organisation (Bovee, Thill and Raina, 2016). It answers the questions such as how well the employee performed in particular period
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