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Defining Research Objectives and Questions


Discuss about the Understanding Of Research Methodology.

The research objective of a paper states what the study is aiming to achieve form the study. It outlines and from s a guideline for the researcher to keep the research topic narrow and focused. Research objectives is one of the first steps that are taken while developing the report of the study so that it is also easy for the reader of the report to understand and keep up with the thought process of the researcher. The research objective is closely followed by the research questions. These are based on the objectives and are an interrogative sentence which the researcher has to answer in the findings in order to give the report a holistic support of the hypothesis. The part of the report that follows the questions is focused on answering the question and thereby finding a solution to an issue. The research questions of the study concentrates on the topic, establishes the methodology that has to be followed while doing the study. It also guides all phases of inquiry, examination, and synthesis of the information (Ary et al., 2013).

In the first, third and fourth case the question of research is not stated clearly it is hidden in the abstract and the introduction of the study neither is the objective of the research it is a direct approach. On the other hand, in the second and the fifth case the questions are stated clearly in from of bullet points whereas the introduction suggests the objective and aim of the study also the title of the study is clear about the objective. While reading the abstract and introduction of all the cases, the objectives of the research are being clear. The title of the report also suggests the objectives but do not have the question that has to be addressed in the research process. One of the main reasons to omit these steps is the limitation in the word count the researcher has straight jumped in to the research process with data and analysis. It is a possibility that the research methodology that precedes this report has the objectives and the questions mentioned.

I would have written two separate sections in the report stating research objectives and research question so as to create a flow in the structure. It also gives definition to the report. It would also help the reader of my study to have a better understanding of the idea I have while conducting the study (Sekaran & Bougie, 2016).

Importance of Literature Review

Data collection has two methods one is collection of new information known as primary data collection and the other is gathering information from the data that is already available in the topic. The review of the literature is the process by which the data that has been earlier researched by other authors in the same topic is discussed and used to form the base of the primary research. In the process of literature review the researcher can opt to gather data form books, journal articles, e-documents, company documents, government documents etc. One of the most important factors that is associated with literature reviewing is the proper referencing of the document. The work of another author should be respected and honored while using their work as an aid to the study.

In the cases that is been analyzed the literature review has been done in various ways. In case1, the author of the study has used the literature as a guide to develop an deeper understanding of the topic, it is a theoretical review. Whereas in case2 and case4 , does not have a section that is dedicated to the secondary research as the researcher is dealing with a contemporary topic and the author describes as procedure in details. In case3, the literature does not have a definition rather the researcher has separated sections under sub headings and used information from other authors, this is also called integrative review. Case5 has a previous research section which is the literature review, it follows a pattern of systematic as well as theoretical review pattern where an overview of existing evidence applicable to a clearly formulated research. It follows the process of cause and effect. The aim of the literature is to form an idea of the theories that are involved in taking the research process forward. The theoretical literature review help determine what and analyze the theories that already exist, the associations in between the topic and these theories, to what extent the existing theories have been examined, and to develop new hypotheses to be analyzed (Machi & McEvoy, 2016).

Most of the sources that have been cited in the papers are taken from journal articles and books. E-documents are mostly avoided by researchers as the authenticities of these documents are not reliable (Aveyard, 2014). 

Case1: The theory that has been used in this paper is financial performance analysis of a company. According to Fifka (2013), the ratios of profit and loss account are a mirror image of the performance of the company in the last financial year, by comparing the final accounts of the company with previous year’s accounts or with the accounts of the competitors in the market. The profit of a company is the revenue minus the cost, hence it can be said that when a company is earning profit then the company is performing well, now to decide whether the company’s performance is increasing or decreasing the accounts of the previous year can be used as a marker. The attributes used in the P and L account can be used to understand the position of the company and the resource utilization efficiency as well.

Primary and Secondary Data Collection

Case2: According to Karanth & Mahesh (2015), knowledge Analytics is the theory that has been discussed in details in this document. It is a process by which the company uses the knowledge at its disposal to enhance the operations of the business. The authors describe the knowledge analytics follows a seven steps procedure:  identification and understanding the business drivers, keep parity in between the KM plan and the investment procedure, implementation of the KM strategies followed by the analysis of the data, critical analysis of the information to understand the patterns, to draw a conclusion form the data that has been analyzed and lastly implementation of the process.

Case3: The theory that has been the undertone of the study is supply chain. The Cargo aircrafts are used in the relief of the natural disasters. Balcik et al. (2016) states that in a supply chain there is a supplier, manufacturer, assembly, distribution and logistics. During emergency situations necessities like food, water and medical help supply is regarded as the prime concern. The communication process is almost terminated in case of any climatic natural disaster and hence the airways are the only method of reaching the people who are being affected. According to Stadtler (2015), a logical and logistically feasible supply chain management has to be implemented in these situations. In a humanitarian act of supply chain it is imperative to quickly accommodate the victims’ requirements by providing and positioning assistance, services and materials. Commercial supply chain involves attributes like place, people, time, and quantities and this is same for this supply chain as well but what is different is that it is loaded with uncertainty and time and resource constraints juxtaposing the commercial supply chain requirements making the process more challenging.

Case4: in a business process, knowledge plays an important role. Hislop (2013), states that  Knowledge management is the concept by which a company utilizes the data and information and implements it in the daily operations of the business. It enables the companies work in a smart way in order to gain rapid growth and development. The policies and the decisions taken by the management of any organization should be based in knowledge management so that the performance and the efficiency of the resources, product or services can be improved.

Case 5: Accounting ratios is the analysis of two aspects of the financial statement; it is used to establish an idea about the operation of the business of the organization. Depending on the rules and regulations laid by the government and the accounting authorities of a country the company implements the accounting standards. This may create the disparity in the accounting books of companies in two different countries (Collier, 2015).

Quantitative and Qualitative Research

The research procedure of synthesizing the data can involve two different types of method: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative research is the process which includes the logical reasoning flow of data with the help of numerical and statistical back up, there is a tabular or graphical representation of the analysis which help in the synthesis of information. The importance of this procedure of synthesizing the data are: it explains the variables clearly to the reader; it establishes reviews and identifies the dynamics of the variables; it also establishes the cause and effect impact among the variables (Clemence et al., 2014).

On the other hand, qualitative research is more based upon gathering insightful and theoretical knowledge about the topic of research in order to gain better understanding about the related aspects. This process helps the researcher to identify the challenges in the topic as well and then tries to find a solution and conclude the study by linking the objectives (Creswell, 2013).

Case1: In this report quantitative method of research has been analyzed, the report has detailed tables and graphical representation of information and logical representation of facts with figures.

Case2: This is a qualitative descriptive research paper which includes theories to explain and identify the attributes of the topic. Few info-graphics are used to further simplify the topic to the readers. The most important reason of the qualitative research is innovation and addition of a new theory to the topic of knowledge management. It sites some of the problems with plausible solution through knowledge analytics.

Case3: This case study also helps develop a descriptive qualitative analysis of the topic of research. The authors of the study have used historical and theoretical evidences to prove the objective and answer the questions of the study. Several info-graphics are used to identify the challenges and the solution (Eriksson and Kovalainen, 2015).

Case4: This report also has a mixture of quantitative and qualitative research approach in a descriptive way. The graphs used in the report helps the author and the reader analyze the situation that is being discussed better (Ragin, 2013).

Case5: the approach of this study is quantitative in nature; depending on the topic that has been researched the approaches are chosen by the researcher. As this document deals with the financing theories of two different places the approach has to be in the quantitative form in order to reach a plausible solution to the problem statement and answer the questions of the research (Venkatesh et al., 2013).

The population of a research paper is defined as the people who are affected by the research topic. In this population the researcher has to choose a sample size. Sample size is referred to as the group of people who contribute to the individual case and samples of the observation of data collected in the survey. The accuracy and the reliability of the survey depend up on the way the sample size has been selected (Claro et al., 2015).

The sample size chosen in the case studies are: in the first case study a company has been chosen from furniture industry of Romania, this is selected randomly and hence it can be said that non-probability method is selected.

Case2: the study has been identified to be based on secondary research which means that there is no sample size selected to conduct the new data has been gathered.

Case3: This paper is also based on secondary qualitative research; hence there is no selected sample size.

Case 4: On the other hand, this case has 84 organizations taken as a sample size and a quantitative research has been conducted, the organizations which are selected are based on the non-probability method.

Case 5: The sample sizes of the US companies are selected on the base of probability method as the companies that are taken to study have to match with the Latin American companies. In terms of operation nature of business, scale and size etc. this selection process is also termed as pooled sample size. This process will ensure high precision in the study. The sample size chosen for the Latin American companies are 2,012 (Lotterhos  & Whitlock, 2015).

Secondary research is the process of studying and linking the information that is already available in the topic that is being researched. The secondary research is done by reviewing documents, books or information in the e-documents. Whereas, Primary research is the process by which a researcher gathers new information about the topic of research. This new information is then analysed and synthesized in order to reach a conclusion which is in sync with the objective of the research. Primary research is the process that is employed by the researcher in a number of ways: surveys, interviews, pilot testing, observation, focused groups etc. The primary data collection procedure helps the researcher to build proof and support the arguments in the research process (Flick, 2015). The primary data that has been collected in the cases that has been discussed are as follows:

Case1: This study has been conducted by reviewing the dedicated literature concerning the topic of analysis that is based on the structural rates of the profit and loss account. Hence there is only secondary data in the document that has been synthesized to reach the desired conclusion. Primary research is absent in this study. The authos developed a model on the basis of the literature that has been reviewed in order to analyze and identify structural rates.

Case2: Secondary research has been implemented in this paper to build a new concept and method of gathering knowledge and using in the daily operations of the business. It is a quantitative paper as there are several graphical and tabular format information that has been used to describe the readers the concept and the perspective of the researcher.

Case3: This paper also includes the process of secondary data collection, which includes historical evidences as well as information related to the statics tics of disasters and how cargo aircrafts are used in the process of transferring the relief and help materials to the people who have been affected in the disaster.

Case4: In this study survey has been conducted and quantitative analysis has been done to support the argument of the author. The surveys are explained with the help of graphs and charts in order to give the reader a critical analysis.

Case5: This is a study that includes observation as the primary research tools, the financial documents of the chosen sample size companies are studied in order to gain insight about the types of account standard sand ratios that are used. A quantitative research process has been developed in order to understand the disparity in the accounting standards and ratios (Bryman & Bell, 2015).

Reference list:

Ary, D., Jacobs, L. C., Irvine, C. K. S., & Walker, D. (2013). Introduction to research in education. Cengage Learning.

Aveyard, H. (2014). Doing a literature review in health and social care: A practical guide. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Balcik, B., Bozkir, C. D. C., & Kundakcioglu, O. E. (2016). A literature review on inventory management in humanitarian supply chains. Surveys in Operations Research and Management Science.

Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2015). Business research methods. Oxford University Press, USA.

Claro, T., O'reilly, M., Daniels, S., & Humphreys, H. (2015). Surface microbial contamination in hospitals: A pilot study on methods of sampling and the use of proposed microbiologic standards. American journal of infection control, 43(9), 1000-1002.

Clemence, A., Doise, W., & Lorenzi-Cioldi, F. (2014). The quantitative analysis of social representations. Routledge.

Collier, P. M. (2015). Accounting for managers: Interpreting accounting information for decision making. John Wiley & Sons.

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications.

Eriksson, P. and Kovalainen, A., 2015. Qualitative methods in business research: A practical guide to social research. Sage.

Etter, E. R., Lippincott, B., & Reck, J. (2006). An analysis of US and Latin American financial accounting ratios. Advances in International Accounting, 19, 145-173.

Fifka, M. S. (2013). Corporate responsibility reporting and its determinants in comparative perspective–a review of the empirical literature and a meta?analysis. Business strategy and the environment, 22(1), 1-35.

Flick, U. (2015). Introducing research methodology: A beginner's guide to doing a research project. California, United States of America: Sage.

Hislop, D. (2013). Knowledge management in organizations: A critical introduction. Oxford University Press.

Karanth, P., & Mahesh, K. (2015). From Data to Knowledge Analytics: Capabilities and Limitations. Information Studies, 21(4), 261.

Knotts, R.. & Barry, E. (2014). Climate-Related Humanitarian Relief: A Mission for Cargo Airships.

Knowledge Sharing in the Flow: Survey Results. (2017). Retrieved 7 November 2017, from

Lotterhos, K. E., & Whitlock, M. C. (2015). The relative power of genome scans to detect local adaptation depends on sampling design and statistical method. Molecular ecology, 24(5), 1031-1046.

Machi, L. A., & McEvoy, B. T. (2016). The literature review: Six steps to success. Corwin Press.

Marginean, R., Mihaltan, D. C., & Todea, N. (2015). Structure Ratios of Profit and Loss Account–Source of Information for Performance Analysis. Procedia Economics and Finance, 26, 396-403.

O’Dell, C. (2012), Knowledge Analytics, A FRESH WAY OF THINKING ABOUT AN OLD PROBLEM. APQC.

Ragin, C. C. (2013). The comparative method: Moving beyond qualitative and quantitative strategies. Univ of California Press.

Sekaran, U., & Bougie, R. (2016). Research methods for business: A skill building approach. John Wiley & Sons.

Stadtler, H. (2015). Supply chain management: An overview. In Supply chain management and advanced planning (pp. 3-28). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Venkatesh, V., Brown, S. A., & Bala, H. (2013). Bridging the qualitative-quantitative divide: Guidelines for conducting mixed methods research in information systems. MIS quarterly, 37(1).

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