Why and how do we conduct business research? This week in Business Research topics were the purpose of business research; developing appropriate research questions and hypothesis, and identifying dependent and independent variables. Week three has given us a better understanding of how to conduct business research. There are several purposes for business research. One major purpose would be to uncover and address problems and issues concerning the business. Another purpose is to improve strategies and tactics of the business.
With business research one could define the strategies, and tactics, monitor them, and refine them. Business research is also used to help increase the knowledge and understanding of the various fields of management (Cooper & Schindler, 2011). Developing the appropriate research questions and hypothesis is crucial in the research process as the well thought out questions will focus the researcher’s attention to the most pertinent aspects of the issue, opportunity or dilemma. Poorly defined questions may cause the research to go in misguided and irrelevant directions.
Although there are many types of questions that management can pose during the research process, there are four basic categories of research questions contained in what is known as the management-research question hierarchy (Cooper & Schindler, 2011). These categorical questions are management, research, investigative, and measurement. Each will focus the researcher’s efforts onto a specific aspect of the dilemma. In research, a proposition is a statement made concerning an observable phenomena that can be deemed true or false. This proposition is the foundation of what will be formulated as the hypotheses of our research.
The hypotheses are of a tentative and conjectural nature (Cooper & Schindler, 2011). In the hypotheses we assign variables to a given case. There are four types of hypotheses. They are descriptive, correlational, explanatory, and relational. The purpose of the hypotheses is to guide the study; identify relevant facts; suggest the appropriate style of research and provide a framework for organizing the conclusions. Finally, a strong hypothesis is adequate, testable, and better than its rivals. Researchers use variables when testing hypotheses.
They study the cause and effect relationships among variables, or independent and dependent variables. The independent variable causes the effect of the dependent variable. Researchers typically manipulate the independent variable while monitoring its effect on the dependent variable. In this cause and effect study, the researcher will hypothesize how the independent variable affects the dependent variable. These cause and effect studies can conclude a multitude of effects, answering important questions related to business research. How can we increase productivity, sales, morale among employees, integrity, etc.?
How can we reduce fraud, waste, loss, etc.? Exploration and the information gathered from it is often the primary contributing factor in effective business research. This week the learning team discussed objectives related to the purpose of business research. The team established that the purposes of business research include addressing problems and issues, improving strategies and tactics, and increasing knowledge and understanding. The team also conferred on the value of developing appropriate research questions and hypotheses, agreeing that appropriate research questions and hypothesis are crucial.
Effectively defined questions can take research in a well-structured and relevant direction, and a strong hypothesis is valuable in establishing the substance and structure of the research. Finally, the team conferred on the use of independent and dependent variables in research. The team deduced that researchers can use the cause and effect relationship between the two types of variables – manipulating the independent variables to study the effect on the dependent variables – to their advantage in answering many business research questions.