i
ii
EARDA PUBLICATIONS
All Right reserved. No Part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or
by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information
storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers.
No responsibility for loss caused to any individual or organization action on or refraining from
action as a result or the material in this publication can be accepted by EARDA publications or the
author/editor.
EARDA PUBLICATIONS
Published by EARDA Publications
International Standard Book Number (ISBN): "978-81-934246-7-4"
Euro Asia Research and Development Association
1C/14, Ramesh Nagar
Delhi Pin Code 110015
iii
Disclaimer: The Contents of the paper are written by the authors. The originality, authenticity of
the papers, the interpretation and views expressed therein are the sole responsibility of the authors.
Although every care has been taken to avoid errors and omission, this compendium is being
published on the condition and understanding that the information given in the book is merely for
reference and must not be taken as having authority of or binding in any manner on the author (s),
editor(s) of publisher.
The publisher believes that the content of this book does not existing copyright/intellectual
property of others in any manner whatsoever. However, in case any source has not been duly
attributed, the publisher may be notified in writing for necessary action.
" This book is the outcome of a Research Project sponsored by University Grants
Commission"
iv
BUSINESS RESEARCH
DR. SHINEY CHIB
B.Tech, MBA,MIRPM,MA(Pub Admn),
MCM,LLB,MA(Psy),M.Phil(IT), MBA (Market Research), PGDAC,
PGTD (ISTD), SHRM (IIM-Ahmedabad), HR-Analytics
(IIM-Rohtak)PhD.
v
About the Author :
Dr.Shiney Chib is working as Director & Research Head with Datta Meghe Institute of
Management Studies, Nagpur. She is appointed as adjunct faculty with SEGI-University,
Malaysia. She has been conferred with Distinguished Educator Award’ by ‘Discovery
Education Media’, ‘Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award in the field of Education’ and Mahila
Ratan Gold Medal for Academic Excellence’ and ‘Eminent Educationist Award’. She has
also received Academic Excellence Award’ from NIPM Nagpur chapter. Eight students have
been awarded PhD under her guidance. She has industrial experience of 11 years and 15 years of
teaching experience. She has more than 100 publications, in the reputed journals, National and
International conferences. She has guided 12 Ph.Ds and authored 4 books. She has participated
and chaired the conferences held at Hamburg, Germany, Tokyo Japan and Hong Kong. She is a
life member of NIPM, NHRD, All India Commerce Association, Lion’s Club International.
vi
Dedicated To My Parents
(Late) T. P. Paul (Father) & Lilly Paul (Mother)
vii
CONTENTS
Chapters Page No.
1. Introduction 1-20
Meaning,
Objectives & Types of research,
Research Approach,
Research process,
Relevance & scope of research in management.
2. Research in management 21-42
General management,
Small business innovation research(SBIR),
Research in functional areas-marketing,
Finance, HR and production.
3. Research Design 43-60
Features of good design,
Types of Research Design,
Basic Principles of experimental Design,
Use of advanced technology in Research Design,
Role of Research analyst.
4. Sampling Design 61-78
Steps in sample design,
Characteristics of a good sample design,
Probability & Non-Probability sampling.
5. Methods Of Data Collection 79-110
Primary data-questionnaire & interviews,
Collection of secondary data,
Use of computer and information technology in data collection.
viii
6. Collection & processing data 111-134
Filed work,
Survey errors,
Dat coding,
Editing & tabulation
7. Testing of hypothesis 135-151
Procedure for hypothesis testing,
Use of statistical techniques for testing of hypothesis
8. Interpretation of data 152-166
Techniques of interpretation,
Report writing,
Layout of a project report,
preparing research reports.
1
Chapter :1
INTRODUCTION
Meaning, Objectives & Types of Research, Research Approach, Research
Process, Relevance & Scope of Research in Management.
Research is defined as
The process of systematically obtaining accurate answers to significant and pertinent questions
by the use of the scientific method of gathering and interpreting information.”
--Clover & Basely
a scientific undertaking which by means of logical and systematic techniques aims to,
Discover new facts or verify and test old facts
Analyse their sequences, interrelations and casual explanations
Develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories which would facilitate reliable and
valid study of human behaviour”---P.V.Young
Research is the process of systematic and in-depth study or search of any particular topic, subject
or area of investigation, backed by collection compilation, presentation and interpretation of
relevant details d data. It is a careful search or inquiry into any subject or subject matter, which
is an endeavour to discover or find out valuable facts which would be useful for further application
or utilization.
In total, Research may defined as
Is any systematic activity carried out in the pursuit of truth?
It is a purposive investigation
It is the application of scientific method to add to the present pool of knowledge.
It is an endeavour to arrive answers to intellectual and practical problems by the application
of scientific method.
2
It is a way of finding new ways of looking at familiar things in order to explore ways of
changing it.
It is an organized inquiry, designed and carried out to provide information for solving
significant and pertinent problems.
It is an activity that extends, corrects or verifies knowledge.
It seeks to find explanation to unexplained phenomenon-social and physical, to clarify the
doubts and misconceived facts of life.
OBJECTIVES OR PURPOSES OF RESEARCH :
The objective or purpose of research are as follows:
Research extends knowledge of human beings, social life and environment. Scientist and
researches build up the wealth of knowledge through their research findings. They search
answers to varies questions: What, Where, When, How and Why of various phenomena.
Research brings the hidden information that might never be discovered fully during the
ordinary course of life.
Research helps in establishing generalization and general laws and contribute to theory
building in various fields of knowledge like Law of Demand, theory of consumer
behaviour, theories of motivation so on.
Research verifies and tests existing facts and theories and thus helps in improving our
knowledge and ability to handle situations and events.
General laws developed through research may enable us to make reliable predictions of
events yet to happen.
It aims to analyse inter-relationships between variables and derive to casual explanations;
and thus enables us to have a better understanding of the world in which we live.
Applied research aims at finding solution to socio-economic problems, like social unrest,
unemployment, poverty, health problems, human relation problems in organization so on.
It aims at developing new tools, concepts, and theories for a better study of unknown
phenomena.
3
It aids in planning and thus contributes to national development.
Analytical studies of internal and external environment of business and non-business
organization provide factual data for rational decision making-formulation of strategies and
policies. Studies of their operational problems contribute to an improvement in their
performance.
NATURE/CHARACTERISTICS OF RESEARCH:
The characteristic of research are as follows:
Research means search for truth. Truth means the quality of being in agreement with facts
or reality. It also means an established or verified fact. To research is to get nearer to truth,
to understand the reality.
Research is the pursuit of truth with the help of study, observation, experiment and
comparison. Thus it is a search for knowledge through objective and systematic method
of finding solution to a problem or answer to a question.
Research refers to a process of identifying the problem, formulating a hypothesis or
objective, collecting the facts or data, analysing the same and reaching certain conclusions
either in the form of solution to a problem or answer to a question.
Research is to see “what everybody has seen and think what nobody else has thought.
Research is a systematic and critical investigation into a phenomenon.
It is a purposive investigation, and aims at describing, interpreting and explaining a
phenomenon.
It adopts a scientific method.
It is objective and logical, applying tests to validate the measuring tools and conclusion
reached.
It is based upon observable experience or empirical evidence.
Research is directed towards finding answers to pertinent questions and solutions to
problems.
It emphasizes the development of generalization: principles or theories.
4
The purpose of research is not to arrive at an answer, which is personally pleasing to the
researcher, but rather one, which will stand up the test of criticism.
IMPORTANCE OF RESEARCH
The importance of research is summarised as follows:
Research extends the frontiers of knowledge.
It brings the light information that is hidden.
It establishes generalisations and general laws and contributes to theory building in
various fields of knowledge.
It verifies and test existing theories and help improving our knowledge and ability to
handle situations and events.
It enables us to make reliable predictions/forecasts of events yet to happen.
It facilities analysis of inter-relation between variables and to derive casual
explanations.
Applied research/action research tries to find solutions to problems.
It helps in developing new tools, devices, concepts, theories etc for a better
study/understanding of unknown phenomena.
It aids in planning.
It helps in evaluation of polices and programmes.
It aids rational decision-making.
It provides basis for formulation of policies.
It inculcates critical thinking and promotes the development of logical habits of
thinking.
The inventions and discoveries are the result of research only.
The research for, research for innovations, new things, new facilities etc is contributing
in a big way in the economic development in general and improving quality of human
life in particular.
5
Research is defined as
the process of systematically obtaining accurate answers to significant and pertinent questions
by the use of the scientific method of gathering and interpreting information.”
--Clover & Basely
a scientific undertaking which by means of logical and systematic techniques aims to,
Discover new facts or verify and test old facts
Analyse their sequences, interrelations and casual explanations
Develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories which would facilitate reliable and
valid study of human behaviour”---P.V.Young
Research is the process of systematic and in-depth study or search of any particular topic, subject
or area of investigation, backed by collection compilation, presentation and interpretation of
relevant details d data. It is a careful search or inquiry into any subject or subject matter, which
is an endeavour to discover or find out valuable facts which would be useful for further application
or utilization.
In total, Research may defined as
Is any systematic activity carried out in the pursuit of truth?
It is a purposive investigation
It is the application of scientific method to add to the present pool of knowledge.
It is an endeavour to arrive answers to intellectual and practical problems by the application
of scientific method.
It is a way of finding new ways of looking at familiar things in order to explore ways of
changing it.
It is an organized inquiry, designed and carried out to provide information for solving
significant and pertinent problems.
It is an activity that extends, corrects or verifies knowledge.
6
It seeks to find explanation to unexplained phenomenon-social and physical, to clarify the
doubts and misconceived facts of life.
TYPES OF RESEARCH
Research may be classifies as follows:
According to Intent: Pure Research
Applied Research
Exploratory Research
Descriptive Research
Diagnostic Research
Evaluation Studies
Action Research
According to the methods of Study: Experimental Research
Analytical Study
Historical Study
7
Survey
According to the nature of the data: Quantitative Research
Qualitative Research
PURE RESEARCH: Pure research is also known as basic or fundamental research. It is
undertaken out of intellectual curiosity. It is not necessarily problem oriented. It aims at extension
of knowledge. It may lead to either discovery of new theory or refinement of an existing theory.
The development of various sciences owes much too pure research. The findings of pure research
enrich the storehouse of knowledge that can be drawn upon in the future to formulate significant
practical researches. Pure research lays the foundation for applied research. The findings of pure
research formed the basis for innumerable scientific and technological inventions like steam
engine, machines, automobiles, electronic gadgets etc which have revolutionized and enriched our
human life.
Pure research offers solution to many practical problems, for example Maslow’s theory of
motivation serves as a guideline for formulating incentive schemes and approaches to motivating
employees in organization. Pure research helps to find the critical factors in a practical problem.
For example a common sense approach to problem like communal disharmony or ethnic conflict
fail to abstract the key factors. On the other hand, by deeper study social study maladies can be
better understood and it may be possible to find a solution such problems. Pure research develops
many alternatives solutions and thus enables to choose the best solution.
APPLIED RESEARCH : Applied research is carried out in life to find solution to areal-life
problem requiring an action or policy decision. It is thus problem oriented and action directed. It
seeks an immediate and practical result example marketing research carried on for developing a
new market of for studying the post purchase experience of customers. There is a vast scope for
applied research in the fields of technology, management, commerce, economics and other social
sciences. Applied research can contribute new facts. A practical study designed to improve
productivity in an agriculture farm may stimulate theoretical analysis of extension technology,
land tenure system, price parity between agriculture inputs and outputs etc. Applied research can
put theory to test. Applied research is also a scientific endeavour. The researcher has to design it
scientifically. From his knowledge he has to develop a conceptual framework for his study and
formulate hypothesis. Thus his study offers an opportunity to test the validity of existing theory.
8
Applied research may aid in conceptual clarification. It helps to integrate the previously existing
theories and may help in giving new dimensions to it.
EXPLORATORY RESEARCH / FORMULATIVE RESEARCH : Exploratory research is
preliminary study of an unfamiliar problem about which the researcher has little knowledge. It is
similar to a doctor’s initial investigation of a patient suffering from an unfamiliar malady for
getting some clues for identifying it.
Purpose of exploratory study may be:
To generate new ideas
To increase the researcher’s familiarity with the problem
To make a precise formulation of the problem
To gather information for clarifying concepts
To determine whether it is feasible to attempt the study.
Katz conceptualizes two levels of exploratory studies, “at the first level is the discovery of the
significant variables in the situation; at the second the discovery of relationship between
variables”. Exploratory research is necessary to get initial insight into the problems for the purpose
of formulating them for more precise investigation. Hence it is also known as formularize
research.
DESCRIPTIVE RESEARCH: Descriptive study is a fact-finding investigation with adequate
interpretation. It is the simplest type of research. It is more specific than an exploratory study, as
it has focus on particular aspects or dimensions of the problem studied. It is designed to gather
descriptive information and provides information for formulating more sophisticated studies. Data
are collected by using one or more appropriate methods: observation, interviewing and mail
questionnaire. A descriptive study aims at identifying various characteristics of a community or
institution or problem under study, but it does not deal with testing of proposition or hypothesis.
Descriptive study can focus directly on a theoretical point. It may be useful in verifying focal
concepts through empirical observation. It highlights the important methodological aspects of data
collection and interpretation. The collection of factual data increases our awareness of the relative
accuracy of our measuring devices. Descriptive information obtained in research may be useful
9
for prediction about areas of social life outside the boundaries of the research. Descriptive studies
are valuable in providing facts needed for planning social action programmes.
DIAGNOSTIC STUDY: It focus on discovering what is happening, why is it happening and
what can be done about it. It aims at identifying the causes of a problem and the possible solution
for it. It involves prior knowledge of the problem, its thorough formulation, clear-cut definition
of the given population, adequate methods for collecting accurate information, precise
measurement of variables, statistical analysis and test of significance. The aim is to obtain
complete and accurate information about a given situation/phenomenon.
EVALUATION STUDIES : Evaluation study is one type of applied research. It is made for
assessing the effectiveness of social or economic programmes implemented or for assessing the
impact of developmental projects on the development of the project area. Evaluation research is
thus, directed to assess or appraise the quality and quantity of an activity and its performance and
to specify its attributes and conditions required for it success. It is also concerned with change
over time. As Suchman puts it,” evaluative research asks about the kind of change the program
views as desirable, the means by which the change is to be brought about, and the signs according
to which such change can be recognized.” First evaluation study is conducted for a client who
intends to use the findings as a basis of decision making. This is quite different from basic
research, which aims knowledge for its own sake. Second the evaluation researcher deals with his
client’s questions relating to the latter’s programme, while basic researcher formulates his own
research questions. Third the evaluation researcher measures with ‘what is’ rather than with
comparisons of ‘what iswith ‘what ought to be’. Fourth unlike basic researcher who normally
control over research work , the evaluation researcher works in a setting where priority goes to the
programme as opposed to the evaluation. Fifth researcher-programme personnel conflicts are
inherent in evaluation study. While the researcher is interested in objective evaluation and public
dissemination of results, the project personnel expect that the evaluation results should mean for
in-house use only.
ACTION RESEARCH : Action research is a type of evaluation study. It is a concurrent
evaluation study of an action programme launched for solving a problem for improving an existing
situation. It includes the following steps:
Diagnosis
10
Sharing of diagnostic information.
Planning: developing change programme.
Initiations of organizational change.
Implementation of participation and communication process.
Post experimental evaluation.
EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH : Experimental research is designed to assess the effects of
particular variables on a phenomenon by keeping other variables constant or controlled. It aims at
determining whether and in what manner variables are related to each other. The factor which is
influenced by other factors is called a dependent variable and the other factors, which influence it
are known as independent variables. The nature of relationship between independent variables and
dependent variables is perceived and stated in the form of casual hypothesis. A closely controlled
procedure is adopted to test them.
ANALYTICAL STUDY OR STATISTICAL METHOD : Analytical study is a system of
procedures and techniques of analysis applied to quantitative data. It may consist of a system of
mathematical models or statistical techniques applicable to numerical data. Hence it is also called
as Statistical Method. This study aims at testing hypothesis and specifying and interpreting
relationships. It concentrates on analyzing data in depth and examining relationships from various
angles by bringing in as many relevant variables as possible in the analysis of plan. This method
is extensively used in business and other fields in which quantitative numerical data are generated.
It is used for measuring variables, comparing groups and examining association between factors.
HISTORICAL RESEARCH : Historical research is a study of past records and other
information sources with a view to reconstructing the origin and development of an institution or
a movement or a system and discovering the trends in the past. Its objective is to draw explanation
and generalization from the past trends in order to understand the present and to anticipate the
future. It enables us to grasp our relationship with the past and to plan more intelligently for the
future. The past contains the key to the present and the present influences the future. It includes
the following steps:
Feasibility of the study should be examined.
11
Selection of the problem
Data collection
Analysis of data
Interpretation
SURVEYS : Survey is a fact finding study. It is a method of research involving collection of
data directly from a population or a sample thereof at particular time. It requires expert and
imaginative planning, careful analysis and rational interpretation of the findings. Data may be
collected by observation, or interviewing or mailing questionnaires. The analysis of data may be
made by using simple or complex statistical techniques depending upon the objectives of the study.
It includes the following steps:
Selection of a problem and its formulation
Preparation of the research design.
Operationalisation of concepts and construction of measuring index and scales.
Sampling.
Construction of tools for collection of data and their pre-test.
Field work and collection of data.
Processing of data and tabulation.
Analysis of data
Reporting.
CASESTUDY : A case-study is an in depth comprehensive study of a person, a social group , an
episode, a process, a situation, a programme, a community, an institution or any other social unit.
A case study helps to secure a wealth of information about the unit of study, which may provide
clues and ideas for further research. It provides an intensive analysis of many specific details that
are overlooked in other methods. Case study may be conducted as an independent study or a
supplementary investigation to a survey. The primary distinction between a case study and survey
lie in the intensity and depth of investigation and its coverage.
12
FIELD STUDIES : Field studies are scientific enquiries aimed at discovering the relations and
interactions among sociological, psychological and educational variables in social institutions and
actual life situations like communities, schools, factories, organizations and institutions.
Steps involved in field study are as follows:
Preliminary planning
Anthropological study
Formulation of research design
The pretesting of research instruments and procedures
The full-scale field operations
The analysis of materials.
QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH : Quantitative research is based on quantitative data. The
phenomena under study can be measured in terms of some quantity or amount. For example sales
can be measured in terms of rupees. Quantitative research attempts precise measurement of
something.
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH : Qualitative research is based on attributes. An attribute is a
quality or characteristic which cannot be precisely measured, but whose presence or absence can
be identified and counted. Qualitative research aims at discovering the underlying motives,
desires, opinions, preferences etc. Using in depth interviews, direct observation, content analysis
etc. Qualitative research in practice is a very difficult job.
Research process consist of series of actions or steps necessary to effectively carry out research
and the desired sequencing of these steps.
According to Nachmias, the research process has seven stages as follows:
Identification & selection of the research problem.
Choice of a theoretical framework for the research problem.
Formulation of the research problem.
Design of the experiment or inquiry.
13
Definition and measurement of variables.
Sampling procedures.
Tools and techniques for gathering data.
Coding, editing and processing of data.
Analysis of the data
Reporting research
Source : Research Methodology, C.R.Kothari, New Age International Publishers (second revised edition), Pg. 11, Fig. 1.1
These steps are not mutually exclusive, neither they are separate and distinct. They do not
necessarily follow each other in any special order.
The very purpose of research design is, therefore to set up research project which must result in
logical conclusions. For this purpose,
Research process may adopt the following steps :
Identifying and stating the management problem and problem area
Planning the project in such a way that the observation empirically demonstrates the
probability or non probability of the relationship between the phenomena
Formulating the hypothesis
Crystallizing, the objectives, purposes, rationale, scope and expected limitation of the
research
14
Planning to formulate the research project, identifying the resources, including
financial and human resources.
Identifying the types of data to be collected and its sources
Specifying the methods of data collection and analysis
Estimating the expected result and comparing it with the company’s expectation for
problem saving and decision making
Finalizing a systematic scheme for proceeding with the project including sampling,
survey analytical frame work and report writing.
Identification of the management problem and making observation of the problem situation
make the first step in designing a research objective. Various problems like long term problem,
short term problem, policy problem, general management problem, functional area problem and
so on are generally to be tackled. A proper statement of the research problem is the primary step
in any research design. An academic research problem is generally based on academic
considerations, while a managerial research problem is based on management practices, needs,
objectives and goals.
Research analysis, “is the systematic investigation, compilation, manipulation and
presentation of information to a decision-maker in order to aid in the decision making process.”
It is basically a process rather than a specific tool or model. It may be accomplished by using
specific analytical tools and models, but it is the end product, more than the analytical tools and
models which have been used in its conduct, which is an aid in decision-making.
The researcher must ensure project planning as a part of design since it is planning which
takes him through proper path to accomplish the goals. Incorporating the project planning with
the research design facilitates the researcher observation, data collection, analytical skill,
formation of hypothesis, induction and deduction skills and final conclusions. In fact it streamlines
the whole research process and the researcher is enabled to foresee the result of the project. It
enables the researcher to make observation which empirically demonstrates the probability and
non-probability of the relationship between the phenomena.
Hypothesis forms the integral part of the research design, since it is hypothesis that
provides direction for a research. Though it is a skeptical proposition which needs to be tested, it
15
sharpens the observation and increases skill for analysis. Hence hypothesis is properly positioned
in a research design.
Objectives of research, scope of research, purpose of study, rationale and
limitations must be identified when the research is designed. Objectives of the research depend on
problem identification, while scope of the study is based on its utility. Rationale portrays the
reasoning of study i.e. why should be undertaken. Limitations which may stand on the way of the
study may also be foreseen in the designing stage itself, so that the researcher will be able to
effectively tackle weaknesses and threats, and make the full use of the opportunities and strengths.
Research design should include all these factors. Resources required to carry out the research
project, including monetary and human resources, must be identified once the project is
crystallized. This would enable the researcher to economize the resources and maximize the result.
Data collection is the most essential aspect of any research because the whole result of the
research depends on the data and information. How much primary and secondary data must be
collected, and which is the source these and many related aspects must be decided well in advance.
Methodology of data collection, analysis and testing of hypothesis must also form a part of
research design. Sample size with confidence limit from specific population, how, when and from
where to collect the data, and how much sampling error can be tolerated, so on can be foreseen in
research design.
Expected result must be foreseen, and it should be determined whether the results will
conform with the researchers needs, objectives and goals. Only when the researcher has
expectations to produce a result in accordance with the expectations of the organization he may
proceed further because no company can use its resources without adequate result. This aspect
must be the prime in the mind of every researcher and hence it has an important place in the
research design. The observations and conclusions helps to support the decision making regarding
the objective of the research.
The most important task of a researcher prior to plunging into active research is to finalize
a systematic scheme of research which enables the researcher to move in a systematic manner to
complete the project. It includes the sequence of steps including conducting the survey, analyzing
the data and the report writing and the people time and money involved in it. A complete scheme
of research is prepared at this point Research in management is basically meant for a specific
16
purpose; and that is why management researchers are by and large result oriented. Research
provides an analytical framework for the subject matter of investigation. It establishes the
relationship between the different variables, especially the relationship of dependent variables with
the independent variables. The cause-effect relationship between different variables can also be
identified, leading to valuable observations, generalizations and conclusions. Thus research
enables one to develop theories and principles, on the one hand and to arrive at generalizations, on
the other. Both are aids to problem solving. Gathering primary data for analytical purposes or
using secondary data for first-hand investigation should be involved in research. It stimulates the
process of understanding, on the one hand and deepens the insight on the other. Obviously
managerial efficiency increases.
Research in management helps to achieve the following objective of the management:
Decision-making objective
Project objective
Policy objective
Controlling objective
Economic and business environmental objective
Market objective.
Product development objective.
Innovation objective.
Customer satisfaction objective.
Innovation objective.
Profit objective.
Promotional objective and
Corporate image objective
Research in management has unlimited scope in business organization. It has already been pointed
out that decision-making is considerably influenced by research in the relevant areas, while the
17
project objective stands for the role played by research in project identification, feasibility and
project implementation. There is a corporate policy for any organization, which is linked with the
corporate objectives and organizational philosophy, culture and climate. Research finding
influences corporate policy, research plays a vital role in shaping organizational philosophy,
culture and climate. Research helps in identifying the risk and uncertainty, which in turn helps in
formulating the strategies, which will help the organization to perform under the critical situations.
Research helps the formulation of a standard formula, enabling the executives to rely moderately
on personal judgment, especially at the middle and lower levels. Decision making calls for
alternative courses of action and in identifying alternatives. Every manager is expected to be a
controller and every management function has an element of controlling function in it.
Economic use of resources is one of the most important managerial functions. Optimum resource
utilization has to take into account at least five major function: namely,
Investment problems
Pricing problems
Allocation problems
Queuing and inventory problems and
Human resource problems.
Optimization decisions are necessarily to be based on adequate investigation and analysis of all
the forgoing areas. The market objective of managerial research may be defined as research
objective for the sake of controllable positioning in the market. It may include market share,
penetration, profit margin, sales volume, business growth etc. Marketing research may come under
this category. In connection with product development too, extensive researches are carried out.
The constraints that generally affect new product development are shortage of important new
product ideas, fragmented market, social and governmental restrictions and shorter life span of
successful products. Research has a great role to play in order to minimize the magnitude of these
problems. For the sake of profit maximization, many companies do conduct researches, while
some engage consultants. As a matter of fact, both profit maximization and promotion are assisted
by research findings, though they are not solely dependent on research. Shaping of corporate
image is inextricably tied in with the company’s relations with external groups. The manner and
18
method it employs to attain its desired place in industry will have a profound effect on its
employees, customers, competitors and the general public. The business entity develops an
institutional social philosophy which guides its actions in personnel relations, community
relations, the relation with business associates and competitors, the government, shareholders etc.
research has vital role to play in this respect. To sum up, research has a very vital role to play in
the realm of management, and hence its scope is tremendous as far as business executive is
concerned. Performing calculations almost at the speed of light the computer has become one of
the most useful research tools in modern times. Computers are ideally suited for data analysis
concerning large research projects. Researchers are essentially concerned with huge storage of
data, their faster retrieval when required and processing of data with the aid of various techniques.
In all these operations, computers are of great help. Their use, apart expediting the research work,
has reduced human errors and added to the quality of research activity.
The computers can perform many statistical calculations easily and quickly. Software packages
are readily available for the various simple and complicated analytical and quantitative techniques
of which researchers generally make use of. The only work a researcher as to do is to feed in the
data he gathered after loading the operating system and particular software package on the
computer. Techniques involving trail and error process are quite frequently employed in research
methodology. This involves lot of calculations and work of repetitive nature. Computer is best
suited for such techniques, thus reducing the human errors on the one hand and producing the final
result rapidly on the other. Innumerable data can be processed and analysed with greater ease and
speed. Moreover, the results obtained are generally correct and reliable. Not only this, even the
design, pictorial graphing and report are being developed with the help of computers. Researchers
interested in developing skills in computer data analysis, must aware of the following steps:
Data organization and coding
Storing the data in the computer.
Selection of appropriate statistical measures/techniques.
Selection of appropriate software package.
Execution of computer program.
Limitations of computers.
19
Computerised analysis requires setting up of an elaborate system of monitoring, collection
and feeding of data. All these require time, effirt and money. Hence computer based
analysis may not prove economical in case of small projects.
Various types of detail which are not being specifically fed to computer may get lost sight
of.
The computer does not think,it can only execute the instruction of a thinking person. If
poor data or faulty programs are introduced into the computer, the data analysis would not
be worthwhile. The expression “garbage in, garbage out” describes this limitation very
well.
A researcher can make various types errors at the different stages of the entire research.
Defining research problem-this error occurs when the researcher is unable to define and identify
the actual problem. Many a times the problem identified can be ambiguous or can have various
dimensions. More clarity and specifications are needed at this stage.
Incorporating irrelevant variables: these errors are called as type I and typeII error which occurs
due to the selection of inappropriate or insignificant variable which are totally irrelevant and
ignoring the influential or important variable. Looking at the problem, the researcher needs to
examine the relevant variable from prior understanding, from theory or from literature review.
Surrogate information error: the respondent introduces this error while answering the
researcher’s question. The information required is different from the information sought.
Measurement error: The difference between the researcher’s requirement of the information and
what the instrument provides is a measurement error. This occurs due to the validity issue of the
scales used.
Experimental error: These error occurs due to extraneous variable in an experiment and the actual
impact of the independent variables on the dependent variable are different from the impact
attributable in the experiment to independent variable.
Errors in subject selection: This error is due to two reasons.(a) the population required is different
from population actually selected. (b)the population specified is different from population listed
in a frame. It is also called frame error.
20
Sampling error: this is the difference between a truly representative sample and a probability
sample. This is one of the common mistakes researcher make.
Selecting error: This indicates errors due to the differences between a truly representative sample
and a non-probablity sample. It largely constitutes bias errors.
Non-responsive error: Errors introduced by the lack of response of certain respondents is a
sample.
QUESTIONS:
1. Do you agree with the statement ‘research is much concerned with proper fact finding,
analysis and evaluation?” give reasons in support of your answer?
2. Define research and examine its characteristics.
3. Discuss the purpose of research.
4. Search for facts should be made by scientific method rather than by arbitrary method.
Discuss.
5. What do you mean by research? Explain its significance in modern times.
6. What is research? What are the broad categories in which it can be classified?
7. What is research? Explain the types of research.
8. Define research process and explain the different stages in research process.
9. What are the steps required in planning a research project?
10. Explain the relevance of research in management.
11. Describe the importance and Scope of research in management
12. Write short note on the types of errors in research.
13. Explain the role of computers in research.
*****
21
Chapter :2
RESEARCH IN MANAGEMENT
General management, small business innovation research (SBIR),Research in functional
areas-marketing, finance, HR and production.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a set-aside program (2.5% of an
agency’s extramural budget) for domestic small business concerns to engage in Research/Research
and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. The SBIR program was
established under the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (P.L.97-219),
reauthorized until September 30,2000 by the Small Business Research and Development
Enhancement Act (P.L.102-562), and reauthorized again until September 30,2008 by the Small
Business Reauthorization Act of 2000 (P.L.106-554).
SBIR programs using an annual set-aside of 2.5% for small companies to conduct
innovative research or research and development (R/R&D) that has potential for
commercialization and public benefit. Currently, eleven Federal agencies participate in the SBIR
program: the Departments of Health and human Services (DHHS), Agriculture (USDA),
Commerce (DOC), Defense (DOD), Education (EoED), Energy (DOE), Homeland Security
(DHS), and Transportation (DOT); the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Science Foundation 9NSF). To
date, over $12 billion has been awarded by the SBIR program to various small businesses.
Objectives. The SBIR Program includes the following objectives: using small businesses to
stimulate technological innovation, strengthening the role of small business in meeting Federal
R/R&D needs, increasing private sector commercialization of innovations developed through
Federal SBIR R&D, increasing small business participation in Federal R/R&D, and fostering and
encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns
and women-owned business concerns in the SBIR program. the STTR and SBIR programs are
similar in that both programs seek to increase the participation of small businesses in Federal R&D
and to increase private sector commercialization of technology developed through Federal R&D.
22
The unique feature of the STTR program is the requirement for the small business concern
applicant organization to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II.
Differences between SBIR and STTR. The SBIR and STTR programs differ in two major ways.
First, under SBIR Program, the Principal Investigator must have his/her primary employment with
the small business concern at the time of award and for the duration of the project period, however,
under the STTR Program, primary employment is not stipulated. Second, the STTR Program
requires research partners at universities and other non-profit research institutions to have a formal
collaborative relationship with the small business concern. At least 40 percent of the STTR
research project is to be conducted by the small business concern and at least 30 percent of the
work is to be conducted by the single, “partnering” research institution.
SPSS
Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) is a versatile and inexpensive program to use, but
the strength of the program is in its simplicity. Programs generating reliable information can be
managed by virtually anyone with limited computer experience, simply by using the SPSS system
manual. The resultant data printouts are straightforward and easy to interpret. The intention of this
report is to describe the adaptation of SPSS for use as a library management tool. The SPSS
program was initially written at Stanford University in 1965 through the close cooperation of social
science researchers, computer scientists, and statisticians, and statisticians. Today it has evolved
into a comprehensive statistical package currently available in many computer centres. SPSS has
a wide range of statistical analysis procedures including descriptive (calculator type) and
inferential (cause and effect) statistics, and graphic and comparative features that enable
researchers to manipulate data in useful ways. SPSS has been utilized for both inferential
and descriptive analysis of data. However, the descriptive component alone can be a beneficial
tool in practical library management and decision making. In a recent published report, the
descriptive aspects of SPSS have been promoted as an alternative to preparing manual on-line
service reports. The intention of the study conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Centre
library was to investigate the application of SPSS as an aid in calculating computer-assisted
instruction (CAI) usage data.
The medical library is the central facility supporting faculty and student use of CAI
programs and is responsible for the service’s financial management and administration. In
23
addition, the library manages a satellite CAI facility located in the Physician Assistant Program
offices.
CAI USAGE DATA
SPSS performs its various functions by means of a sequence of control cards that the user
must prepare. These control cards contain the numerical code and instruct the system on the
processing of the data. To avoid on-line storage fees, keypunch cards were chosen as the most
cost-effective input mode.
Usage of SPSS’s descriptive capabilities requires employing three of its procedural
subprograms: Frequencies, Cross tabulation, and Breakdown. The subprogram, Frequencies, is the
computation of the number of times a variable is encountered. For CAI monthly data tabulation,
the frequencies requested are the number of times a program was used, the number of programs
accessed by user status, the total number of programs accessed on each host system, the number
of programs accessed at a particular terminal, and the number of programs accessed at a particular
time of day. The subprogram, Cross tabulations, generates frequency distributions comparing two
or more variables, such as the number of host system programs used compared to the time of day
the program was accessed, or the status of the program user compared to the terminal location.
The subprogram, Breakdown, calculates and prints the sums, means, standard deviations, and
variances of one field against another. For example, minutes of program use can be “broken down
by program name alternatively, minutes of program use can be “broken down” by
(1) The status of the user,
(2) The program name, and
(3) The terminal used.
This breakdown procedure is also used with a compute card to determine anticipated costs for each
host system. The library executes the statistical runs in a batch mode at the university computer
centre during open access periods, times provided for use of the mainframe computer when it is
not otherwise engaged in university business. The library incurs no expense in utilizing the SPSS
program when statistics are tabulated during these open access periods.
ADVANTAGES
The advantages of adapting the SPSS program are :
24
(1) The speed of calculation and analysis of data by the computer.
(2) the many combinations of data comparisons,
(3) the resultant ease in verification of monthly bills and preparation of monthly and fiscal
year reports, and
(4) The ability to use the data to assess growth of the service program and to identify usage
trends for future budgetary planning.
In a record-keeping situation, SPSS has proven to be very efficient in analyzing CAI usage
data. This suggests that SPSS may be applicable to other library record-keeping systems such as
on-line usage statistics, circulation figures, or collection analysis. However, SPSS is only one of
many commercially available programs potentially useful in library management. Consultation
with local computer analysis will help to determine the appropriate software package adaptable to
the library’s administrative needs. In times of financial restraint, utilization of commercially-
produced statistical software packages for administrative record keeping can save personnel time
and aid in long-range planning. SPSS is a versatile and simple program to modify for library record
keeping. While the majority of SPSS usage has been directed at research analysis, it has proven to
be a valuable management planning tool for the library.
MARKETING RESEARCH
Definition and meaning of marketing research : Marketing research, according to the
American Marketing Association, is the systematic and objective identification, collection,
analysis, dissemination and use of information for the purpose of improving decision making
related to the identification and solution of problems and opportunities in marketing. First,
marketing research is systematic, i.e. systematic planning is required in all the stages of the
marketing research process. The procedure followed at each stage should be methodologically
sound, well documented and as much as possible, planned in advance. Marketing research should
be objective and should be conducted impartially. Therefore, in the marketing research process,
marketing information is formally gathered, stored, analysed and distributed to managers in
accordance with their informational needs at regular intervals on a planned basis.
The system is built upon an understanding of the information needs of marketing, and
ability to supply that information when, where and how the managers require it. Data is derived
25
from the marketing environment and transferred into information that marketing managers can use
in their decision making.
Marketing Information System (MIS) is a formalized set of procedures for generating,
analyzing, storing, and distributing information to marketing decision makers on an ongoing basis.
The definition of MIS is similar to marketing research, except that MIS provides information
continuously rather than on the basis of ad hoc research studies.
MIS comprises four elements :
Internal continuous data
Internal ad-hoc data
Environmental scanning
Marketing research
Internal Continuous Data
MIS can convert financial data like profitability of a particular product, customer or a
distribution channel into a form usable by the marketing department. This is done by means of
disaggregating the database of sales of products to customers. Information like allocation of
discounts, promotional and transport costs of products, etc. are stored in the MLS. A detailed
description of transactions with the customers and the associated costs allow marketers to carry
out analysis of their marketing activities.
Sales forces are monitored by means of recording the sales achieved, the number of new
accounts opened, size of orders, number of new accounts opened, size of orders, number of calls
made, etc. This can be recorded in total or broken down by product or customer. This data can
provide information on sales force effectiveness.
The data of customer transactions and associated costs can also be used for specific
purposes. Management may look at how sales of any has reacted to a price increase or change in
advertising copy. Capturing data on MIS allow specific analysis to be conducted when needed.
Environmental Scanning : Environmental analysis whereby economic, social, legal, and
technological forces are monitored should be considered part of the MIS. These are the forces that
shape the context within which suppliers, companies, distributors and the competition do business.
26
Environmental scanning provides an early warning system for the forces which may impact a
company’s products and markets in the future. Scanning enables an organization to act upon, rather
than react to, opportunities and threats. The focus is on the longer term perspective allowing a
company to be in a position to plan ahead. It is a major input into strategic decisions.
MARKETING RESEARCH : While environmental scanning focuses on the longer term,
marketing research considers the more immediate situation. It is concerned with the provision of
information about markets and reaction of these to various product, price, distribution and
promotion actions. Marketing research contributes heavily to marketing mix planning.
There are two types of marketing research:
External continuous data includes television audience monitoring and consumer panels
where house hold purchases are recorded over time.
External ad hoc data which is gathered by means of surveys into specific marketing issues
including usage and attitude studies, advertising, product testing etc.
Applications of marketing research
Organizations conduct marketing research primarily for two purposes:
(i) To identify marketing problems, and
(ii) To solve marketing problems
Companies conduct researches to identify marketing problems. Typical marketing problems
relate to market share, shifts in consumer testes and preferences, competition, sales forecasting,
short and long range planning, and company / brand. Those researches that aim at solving
marketing problems focus on devising solutions for the above problems. Research findings in this
case are used to identify solutions to marketing problems. Research findings in this case are used
to identify solutions to marketing problems. Various methods are used to devise solutions for
problems such as identifying attractive segments, formulating the right pricing policies, new
product development and planning effective and efficient distribution solutions.
Continuous Research Interview : In this method the same respondents are interviewed
repeatedly. Respondents are enrolled by the research agency. Information is gathered from these
27
respondents on a periodic basis. Thus, it is possible to track changes among the same set of
audience over a period of time.
Consumer panels: Consumer panels are formed by recruiting a large number of households which
provide information about their purchases over time. By using the same households and tracking
the same variables over a period of time, measures of brand loyalty and switching can be
determined. The demographic profile of the type of person who buys a particular brand can also
be found out. Changes in market share can also be examined over time. Thus, it is possible to track
even small behavioural changes in response to changes in marketing variables.
Retail audits: Sales of brands can be measured by means of laser scans of barcodes on packages
which are read at the checkout counter. Brand loyalty and switching cannot be measured, but
accurate assessments of sales achieved by the store and competitive activity is provided. For
identifying geographic areas or type of outlets where new products may be introduced, such audits
can be particularly useful. Potential problems related to distribution, in-store promotions or layout
can also be assessed by using retail audits. Sales potential and sales forecasts can also be planned
with such data.
Television Viewership Panel:The audience size of a programme is measured minute by minute.
Commercial breaks can be allocated rating points according to the proportion of the target audience
watching the programme. This is the currency by which television advertising is bought and
judged. People meters record whether the set is on or off and which cannel is being watched, a
hand console records who is watching. The accuracy of the data depends on the representativeness
of the panel and the extend of unbiased audience responses.
Marketing research suppliers and services: Marketing research suppliers and services provide
most of the information needed for making marketing decisions. Marketing research suppliers can
be broadly classified as internal or external.
An internal supplier is a marketing research department within the firm. The marketing research
department’s place in the organizational structure may vary considerably. At the extreme, the
research department may be centralized and located at the corporate headquarters. At the other
extreme is a decentralized structure in which the marketing research function is organized along
divisional lines. In a decentralized structure, the company may be organized into divisions by
28
products, customers, or geographical regions, with marketing research personnel assigned to
various divisions.
External suppliers are external firms hired to supply marketing research data. These external
suppliers, which collectively comprise the marketing research industry, range from the small, one
of few persons operations to vary large global corporations. External suppliers can be further
classified as full service suppliers or limited service suppliers. Full service suppliers offer the entire
range of marketing research services, from problem definition, approach development,
questionnaire development, sampling, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation, to report
preparation and presentation. The services provided can be further broken down the syndicated
services, standardized services, customized services and internet services.
Syndicated services collect information of known commercial value that they provide to multiple
clients on a subscription basis. Surveys, diary panels, scanners, and audits are the main means by
which this data is collected. For example, in India the television audience rating measurements
provided by TAM is a syndicated research that is available at a price to all media buying houses.
Standardized services are research studies conducted for different client firms but in a standard
way. For example, procedures for measuring effectiveness of advertising have been standardized
so that the results can be compared across studies and evaluative norms can be established.
Customized services offer a wide variety of marketing services customized to suit a specific
client’s needs. Each marketing research project is treated uniquely.
Internet services are offered by several marketing research firms including some who have
specialized in conducting marketing research on the internet.
Limited service providers specialize in one or a few phases of the marketing research process.
Services of such suppliers are classified as field services (data collection), coding and data entry,
analytical services (designing questionnaires and drafting the sampling plan), data analysis, and
branded products (that are proprietary models of these companies).
Researchers are not rare in the production area. Product development research, innovation
research, cost reduction research, performance improvement research, work simplification
research, profitability improvement research, inventory control research, product design analysis,
process improvement studies, manufacturing process research these are some of the prominent
29
areas of research in the production function. In fact, there are numerous areas for research in
production and materials, while research and development activities mainly concentrate on product
development and the production process.
Manufacturing research identifies new and better ways of producing goods, invents new
technologies, reduces costs and improves product quality. Capacitors for electrical circuits, for
example, were once made by interleaving metal in alternate layers with paper or plastic. This
process was costly because it used a great deal of metal. Now capacitors are made by evaporating
thin films of metal on paper or plastic, which is then wounds into a roll. This process, by which
less metal is used and better capacitors are produced, is the result of manufacturing research.
Electronics, microminiaturization, solid state devices, computers and magnetic alloys, and the
concomitant tying together of manufacturing research and product design are the result of constant
research in production.
The sources of manufacturing research projects or topics may consist of :
i. Suggestions from the top management ;
ii. Proposals from production engineers;
iii. Suggestions from the research staff;
iv. Hints from product research;
v. Suggestions from the marketing department;
vi. Interest generated by the general technological scene, etc.
The information from the production system may include details of raw material inventory,
finished goods inventors, work-in-process inventories and component parts inventories. The data
on maintenance and the characteristics of production equipment may be used for equipment
replacement analysis. The data on the composition of the work force, the availability of work force
skills, turnover, absenteeism, shifts, labour-turnover, etc. also are relevant to the studies in
production management, while cost information is useful for cost control studies, cost benefits
analysis, and such other areas.
Selection of a Manufacturing Research Project: It is often a difficult task to select a
worthwhile research project based on definite criteria. An adequate rate of return should be the
30
basic characteristic of any production research, No organization can afford to go in for a trial and
error method. For example, in a cost reduction engineering project, the rate of return may be
worked out by bearing in mind;
i. The cost of the engineering effort required to carry out the project.
ii. The investment to be made in the plant for the purpose of development and
modernization,
iii. The contribution of the new project to savings over a period of years,
iv. The average rate of return as a percentage and ROI
v. A comparison among the alternative technologies
It is not easy to calculate the rate of return accurately. But the effort required and the
potential benefits should be examined to make certain that the game is worth the candle. Long
term profitability is another important factor to be taken into account before a manufacturing
project is selected. There should be reasonable probability for success if any manufacturing
research should be undertaken. The time factor is another important aspect. One would not
ordinarily engage in manufacturing research if the project is so long range that the benefits of
success will be in the far distant future, because further technological change may take place in the
long run.
The outcome of the study should have a wide scope of application, which is one of the
decisive criteria for the selection of research projects in production. However, certain projects of
limited applicability would initially be acceptable, if there is a possibility of extending the results
to several similar field of activity. For example, in the research on the development of the powder
metallurgy technique in making bearings, the porosity of the resulting product was a feature that
made the process particularly desirable. Only when the result of the investigation is of utility value
and the organization concerned intends to make use of it, does the project have viability.
Manufacturing researchers, therefore, make it a point to select the projects which are backed by
the need for satisfying factors, so that the pressure in favour of adoption may make their utilization
more likely. The probability of acquiring patents is another positive factor aiding the selection of
a production research. However, in certain cases, there may not be scope for patents, though they
are of great utility. For example a research that leads to statistical quality control and quality
31
assurance may not have any scope for patent development, though it is of a very high utility. A
very prominent factor to be taken into account in the selection of a production research project is
that it should be compatible with existing staff skills. If, however, certain people do not develop
enthusiasm another group may be entrusted with the responsibility, especially in a large
organization.
The scientific method is the basis of any research. However, in manufacturing research,
the researcher is expected to undertake more result oriented research projects than method oriented
theoretical studies. Some people, who have the training, background and intellectual capacity
to undertake research in manufacturing technology have a strong bias toward pure or basic
research. They avoid work which is justified by practical needs. One of the most important criteria
in selecting a project is the extent to which it contributes to the knowledge and application of the
company in current fields or a field which has utility value for the company. Manufacturing
research should not only provide answers to definite problems but build up a stock of knowledge
on how to make things. The production planner should be in a position to draw vital information
from the fund of knowledge contributed by manufacturing research. Unfortunately, many
researchers conveniently ignore this need. Such research studies then become intellectual
gimmicks. It is, however, unwise on the part of the researcher to select gigantic projects which tie
up huge resources of the organization even of all the other factors are favourable. The selection of
a research project in manufacturing management should not be based on hit-or-miss estimates or
cursory considerations. The choice of a research project should be a prudent action which takes in
to account all the relevant aspects, including utility, outcome, time, money, manpower and
obviously the corporate objectives.
RESEARCH IN PRODUCTION : A consideration percentage of industrial development work
is done in manufacturing and engineering cost forms a substantial portion of the production cost.
Research in production, therefore, is capable of bringing about cost reduction. The industrial and
production processes have become increasingly complex nowadays, especially in the context of
dynamic technological development, complex labour problems backed by politically motivated
and militant trade unions, conspicuous socio-economic changes, changes in human values, tastes
and preferences, and government policies. In such a dynamic business environment, the need for
manufacturing research is vital for the purpose of establishing a manufacturing climate which is
in harmony with environmental conditions.
32
Research in production aids innovation, product development, product differentiation and
diversification, on the one hand, and industrial development, on the other. Research and
development encourage the continuity of activity level in the manufacturing organization, which
creates a climate for the development and growth for production activity. Research in production
not only reduces the cost of material and manpower, but lowers the inventory carrying cost as well.
It leads to a reduction in the volume of unskilled labour. Moreover, it increases the efficiency and
skill of the work force and shop floor supervisors, and enables the organization to update itself. It
reduces the possibility of obsolescence.
RESEARCH IN OPERATION : Any research result in the area of production should have a
practical application; and; there should be an effective system for moving technology from
research to operations. Technology is a knowledge of the physical and life sciences as applied to
practical purposes. This knowledge is effectively developed by a number of technical activities,
and in scientific ways as in fundamental research, applied research, etc. While fundamental
research seeks to establish the principles and relations underlying this knowledge, applied research
crystallises the true nature of the knowledge and demonstrates its potential utility by the
employment of bench scale apparatus. The development of the production process puts this
knowledge to practical use in a workable prototype form, while engineering refines the knowledge
for commercial exploitation, or other practical uses. In other words, this knowledge or technology
is the result of research, which is put to use by the operational management. Many companies have
faced the problems of moving research results effectively on the shop floor. It is mainly because
no single solution is universally applicable that there cannot be a very acceptable procedure to
reduce the research results to practice in all situations.
Quinnn and Mueller have, however, suggested a general framework for a four step programme
which has been derived from the accumulated experience of over 200 operating and research
managers of leading US companies.
Step 1. Examine technological transfer points. Analyse the critical points across which
technology must flow if it is to be successfully exploited. Recognise the potential
resistances to the flow at each of these interfaces.
Step 2. Provide information to target research. Generate adequate information so that
research can be targeted towards company goals and needs. Develop a comprehensive long
33
range planning programme to determine what technology is relevant to the company’s
future and to serve as a focal point for information flows. Establish special organizations,
where needs, to seek specific new technological opportunities for the company, to provide
commercial intelligence information about competitive activities and to make careful
economic evaluations / technologically based new ventures.
Step 3. Foster a positive motivational environment. Establish a motivational environment
which actively stimulates technological progress and its associate organizational change.
Develop tough-minded top-management attitudes, policies, and long term controls which
foster rather than hinder the production and use of new technologies.
Step 4. Plan and control exploitation of research and development results. Design special
exploitation organizations and procedures to ensure:
a) That competent groups have both the authority and the obligation to develop new
technologies at each of their critical stages :
b) That each major technological transfer is planned and monitored to control effort
expenditures, cash flows and timing ; and
c) That the entire transfer system implements the critical strategy, which determines success or
failure, at each major technological transfer point.
Despite serious attempts, many companies have their own constraints to target H&D and
create a positive motivational environment for moving the research results to the act additional
field. When the technologies and products are totally new to the company the magnitude of
constraints widens, and the difficulties to reduce the research result to operational areas are serious.
Then entirely new skills may be required at each technical stage i.e. scientific inquiry, reduction
to practice, entrepreneuring a new enterprise and operating a full scale facility. The
synchronization of these skills to successfully exploit a new technology calls for a strong co-
ordinating authority which cuts across the usual formal lines of research, development,
engineering, marketing, and manufacturing. In the absence of such a prudent co-ordination, each
functional group may tend to look after its own interests and thus jeopardize the common and
organization objectives. Then there is the possibility of unnecessary delays, dilution of
34
effectiveness of the new technology and cost escalation sometimes, even total abandonment. In
order to avoid such an eventuality, the company should have an action plan consisting of :
i. The creation of specific formal organizations of experts and competent people.
ii. The establishment of thorough procedures for planning and monitoring of the effect and
iii. The integration of these organizations and procedures to implement the critical strategy that
determines the success of each specific technological exploitation.
If a large company wants to diversify effectively through research or to make radical
technical advances, the stimulus must come from the top corporate level. The top management
must be willing to underwrite long term fundamental and new product research, backed by
corporate-level opportunity seeking; and economic evaluation groups should help target research
activities and refine the commercial potential of research results. The company should then
develop a procedure which efficiently links together the series of sequential steps, leading from
the initial technical inquiries to the eventual goal of exploitation. It must ensure that the programme
is adequately planned from research to exploitation. It must provide a basis for controlling the
transfer of research throughout its cycle. The procedure must monitor the three factors related to
technical progress, viz. technical and commercial effort versus results, rupee costs and returns and
the time interval. For the purpose of planning and controlling such techniques as PERT / CPM,
budget reviews, venture analyses, rational , decision models, etc. are widely used. As each major
programme comes through the management is in a position to evaluate and incorporate changes ,
if any, from time to time. order to promote the smooth and efficient running of its affairs. It may
be held before the production cycle. In the form of raw material inventory, at an intermediate stage
in the production cycle, as in process inventory; or as the end of the production cycle, as finished
goods inventory”. There may be a spare parts inventory, too, depending on the actual need for
these parts. However, the finished goods inventory is considered to be the most prominent, through
the procedure developed can be adapted with minor changes in other types of inventory as well.
There can be inventory control in uncertainly without reordering, inventory control with ordering
with a certain amount of demand, and inventory with recording the uncertain demand.
A certain amount of inventory is essential for efficient functioning in any company. It,
however, depends on the actual of various factors, such as economic order quantity (EOQ), lead
time, the magnitude of certainly, determinant forces, and so on. Control over inventory can be
35
exercised by changing the timing of production runs, by changing the size of the runs and by
changes in promotional effort or sales inducements. Inventory control becomes more effective
when the marketing activity is constant, or demand is determined by various methods. It is in this
context that the marketing and market researches assume significance: inventory studies enable
the manager to determine the exact size of the inventory to be maintained. Of course there are
advantages and disadvantages associated with increased inventory. The advantages include
economies of production with large run sizes: faster supply of orders to customers: stabilize
workloads : more than proportionate profits and windfalls from speculation in a market with
inflationary tendencies.
The disadvantages of a large inventory are : greater inventory carrying cost (examples,
ware house rent, depreciation and deterioration, interest on additional cost, physical handling and
accounting), blocking up of funds and increased uncertainly, In normal circumstances, increased
inventory is desirable only when the marginal profits considerably exceeds the marginal inventory
carrying cost. Systematic research has a great role to play in determining the economic inventory
level (EIL).
To sum up, it may be asserted that research is inseparable from the functional area of
production and materials management.
RESEARCH IN FINANCE DEPARTMENT : The growth and development of a business
organization is directly linked with the success of its finance function, which is concerned with
determining long term and short term financial objectives, formulating and formulating and
promulgating financial policies, and developing procedures that aid in the promulgation of the
firm’s policies. The finance function includes financial control, which consists of two steps, viz.,
i. Developing standards of performance ; And
ii. Comparing activities with these standards.
Financial managers cannot evade the responsibility of replanting either. In the pursuit of
managing finance, the firm’s primary goals have to be converted into the immediate goals of the
finance department. Usually, there are two approaches of financial goals. These are
i. Profit Risk Approach to Financial Goals ; And
ii. Liquidity profitability Approach to Financial Goals.
36
This does not, however, signify that all other approaches are ruled out.
The profit risk approach recognizes that finance deals with creating a manner framework
to maximize profits while minimizing risk. For the achievement of this balance, controls over fund
flows are ensured and adequate flexibility to respond to changes in the operating environment is
maintained. This approach generally takes care of four aspects maximizing profit, minimizing
risk, maintaining control and ensuring flexibility. For profit maximization a high level of long term
corporate profit is planned by the financial management. This is possible only if the finance
department is enriched with sufficient information inflow on the internal and external forces that
influence corporate goals, decisions, and actions. The Management information System (MIS) aids
in this process, provided it is backed by adequate research and analysis. The finance executive
anticipates the problem areas, and considers ways and means of tackling the difficulties in order
to plan the steps that would enable him to minimize risk. Anticipating problem areas and
alternative courses of action, as well as choosing the best course these depend on a systematic
analysis of the situation, which is the work of a research analyst. Maintaining control over flows
of funds requires a financial reporting system which can provide a timely and accurate picture of
the firm’s activities. It enables one to locate and correct errors or weaknesses, if any, from time to
time. That is why, the collection, computation, presentation and interpretation of up to date are the
basic tools of any financial reporting system.
Uncertainly is a part of any business, and the therefore, sufficient provision is made for
financial flexibility to tide over the uncertainly. Flexibility refers to an appropriate relationship
between the finance function and other functional areas, which are interdependent. An adequate
information flow between them is prerequisite. And here, too, research plays an important role.
The liquidity-profitability approach emphasizes the two variables of liquidity and
profitability. Liquidity indicates that a firm had adequate cash on hand to meet its obligations at
all times, including unforeseen situations. It calls for the maintenance of a cash reserve for
emergencies as well. Profitability is the rate of profit on investment. The achievement of liquidity
in the liquidity-profitability approach requires the minimization of risk and an adequate control
over the firm’s activities. Thus, both the approaches are interlinked. Profitability analysis itself is
a sort of research, while the maintenance of liquidity for emergencies and unforeseen situations is
37
a result of the studies of the future (forecasting and adaptive planning). That is why, systematic
studies occupy a central place in the liquidity profitability analysis.
FUNCTIONS OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT : Liquidity and profitability are essential
elements for financial management, though assets management and funds management are not
unimportant . The financial manager’s functions in relation to liquidity include forecasting cash
flows, and managing the flow of internal funds. The success of any funds flow management
depends on the matching of cash inflows with cash outflows. Cash flow forecasting, based on an
analysis and interpretation of the appropriate data, is the basis of the matching process. The
financial manager is expected to identify the various sources of funds available for the company
from time to time. It is his duty to analyze each source of funds in comparison with respective
needs at the given point of time before choosing the best and the most economic source of funds.
Any decision on raising funds should be based on an adequate analytical framework. For example,
a company may have a number of alternative wrecks. Viz… new shares, debentures, market
borrowing, bank loans, etc. The finance department has to analyse all the sources in comparison
with the nature of the company’s requirements, and the availability of funds, and to choose the
best from among them. Even in managing the funds flows effectively, a constant vigil should be
maintained on the various bank accounts and funds. All these postulate some sort of research and
analysis.
The functions that lead to probability include cost control, pricing, forecasting future
profits, and measuring the cost of capital, among other things. A detailed cost accounting system
is a part of large-scale business operation, which requires a operation, which requires a large
quantity of processed data, and its systematic presentation and interpretation. Pricing decisions
are joint decisions of the marketing and finance managers; and both cost and marketing data and
analytical framework support them In order to forecast future profiles, an adequate analysis of
current costs, likely cost escalations, likely changes in the ability of the firm to sell lilts products,
market changes, internal and external forces- all these are essential. Both debts and equity make
relative contributions to the capital requirement of the firm. Each source of capital involves the
cost of capital. Short-term debt may be more expensive than long-term debt. Preferred or common
stock yields different returns to the holders. All these factors have to be studied in detail with a
view to measuring the cost of capital. The cost component of each source is investigated in detail
prior to determining the profit margin that will pay for the borrowed funds and yield a satisfactory
38
return on investment (ROI) as well as a share of the factors of production. Profitability analysis,
therefore, is a sort of research conducted by the finance department.
In the management of funds, and the overall finance function, there is an element of
research, though it may not be identified as a formal research activity. Hampton has observed:
“Financial tools should be applied in a logical, overall problem-solving process. It is the manager’s
job to find a systematic manner of developing valid information from available data.” The
operation of financial tools can be explained in certain steps in sequence. These sequential steps
are almost identified to the steps in research. These are:
i. Gather the relevant data;
ii. Process the data;
iii. Examine the information;
iv. Select the appropriate tools;
v. Apply the tools to decision-making;
vi. Identify alternative courses of action; and
vii. Select the best alternative.
As a matter of fact, research is the basic ingredient of financial decision-making. The tools
of financial analysis, viz., funds flow analysis, ratio analysis, cost-volume profit analysis (break-
even analysis), an analysis of financial leverages, etc. Extensively make use of research tools in
the process of analysis. It may, therefore, be conducted that research tools are closely linked with
the tools of financial management’s and that the finance function largely depends on research tools,
either directly or indirectly.
RESEARCH IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT : The personnel function is not an
exception in the application of research as an aid to effective decision-making. It make use of
research more than any other functional area, because human behavior is prone to constant
changes; and the personnel management’s task is to deal with human attitudes to work life differ
substantially from those to social life. Individual approaches and motives are not identical; and
heredity’s influence and environment’s impact on human behavior affect organizational behavior
39
and productivity. Research in personnel management is, therefore, more vital than in any other
functional area because of the greater important of the human element in the enterprise.
An individual’s motivation to work is associated with his needs and their satisfaction.
These needs may be physical needs, security needs, social needs, egoistic needs, and so on. An
effective personnel manager determines the respective needs of his work force, and formulates
personnel policies to satisfy those needs, so that they can be motivated to contribute their best to
the attainment of organizational goals. A systematic research plays a great role in the
determination of the individual needs of the work force. That is why personnel policies have to
be guided by research.
Job satisfaction enables workmen to derive a sense of accomplishment which leads to
creativity. It creates a sense of belonging in the minds of the people at work. Management
approaches to the people make a great impact on their accomplishments. These approaches may
be classified into;
i. Traditional approach;
ii. Human relations approach;
iii. Collective bargaining approach:
iv. Motivation approach:
v. Stick to rule approach; and
vi. Neglecting approach.
Though the managerial approach to manpower is largely influenced by organizational
philosophy, the individual and group behaviour of the workers towards the organisation plays no
less an important role. In fact, organizational approach to the people is not an isolated event. Many
factors are to be evaluated and taken into account by the personnel department prior to formulating
the approach to their people. Any personnel policy or decision should be analysis based and result
oriented.
The modern age is characterized by a low profile of worker logic and constantly declining
trend in job satisfaction and work motivation. In order to counteract these trends, a number of
techniques have been applied, which however, have proved to be futile. Goal setting, participative
40
management, job redesign, carrot-and-stick motivational tools”, etc. are prominent among them.
While job redesign seeks to make the job more challenging, the goal setting approach ignores the
job itself but makes it easier for workers to leave it. Nevertheless, the two approaches share a
common interest in increasing workers’ discretion and self-control. Participative management
attempts to ensure workers’ participation in the management of the enterprise and the carrot-and-
stick approach makes the use of both the negative and positive means of motivation. Each approach
is the result of research. But, in course of time, human behaviour changes and fresh researches
become necessary to tackle fresh problems. The factory system, technological development, large
scale operations, political changes, politically motivated trade unionism, recent trends in
managerial outlook etc all thee bring about substantial changes in the worker’s behaviour.
Obviously, personnel policies should be relevant to the changes and based on fresh empirical
studies. There is, therefore, great scope for studies in personnel management.
Recent developments in the process of production necessitate job enrichment programmes,
which consist of the following elements
1. Workers should be given full task:
2. New and more difficult tasks should be introduced :
3. The accountability of individual workers should be increased :
4. Elements of planning and co-ordination should be introduced :
5. Workers should be given additional authority and freedom:
6. Workers should be empowered to deal directly with clients or suppliers.
All these elements are incorporated only after a well-defined analysis. One of the most
advanced forms of job redesign is self-managing work teams (autonomous work groups), which
meet periodically to determine job assignments, scheduled work breaks, and lay down the rate of
production.
In fact every decision or action of the work group is based on analysis and investigation.
In this context, it can be observed that research is a part and parcel of effective management of all
the functional area. Production function extensively makes use of research and development for
new product development, product differentiation, diversification, innovation, technological
advancement, etc. leave aside the other areas : while the marketing man makes use of marketing
41
research, forecasting, market research, motivation research, evaluation research, promotion
research and so on for formulating effective marketing strategies. The financial executive is able
to guide the company to the path of success only with the help of research and analysis. Research
and analysis play no less a role in the personal function also sayselection, training and
development, placement and induction, compensation, job evaluation, motivation, manpower
planning, labour relations, labour welfare, industrial disputes and their settlements, collective
bargaining especially in the modern age of industrial disharmony and their settlements, collective
bargaining especially in the modern age of industrial disharmony and strife. Management
information system, at the same time, is closely linked with research and analysis. To conclude, it
can be observed that research is an essential aid not only to functional areas, but also to the general
and top management. However, on a close observation, one would be able to realize that it would
take many more years for the research to receive its due emphasis in the realm of Indian business.
Every action taken by every functional area manager should contribute to the overall
objective of the organization. Hence the process of establishing organizational objectives and
objectives for all its sub-units helps the organization in its basic direction. Any action of any of the
functional areas should be measured by comparing it with the organisational objectives. The
formulation of a hierarchy of contributions emphasizing the priorities would possibly facilitate a
meaningful comparison. Any managerial research would be of interest, if it is able to aid in this
process.
The objectives and activities of any organization are identified while forming the
organization. The identification of any of the activities follows the formulation of objectives. For
example, a business organization identifies its objectives first; the kind of product or service to be
produced and distributed comes next. In some cases, it is the other way round. However, it is only
after the identification of the product that the way of distribution, the production process, personnel
policies, etc. are evolved. The functional areas obviously derive their objectives and activities from
the overall objectives and goals of the organisation, while the contributions of the various
functional areas may be aggregated as the sum total of the organizational output. A managerial
research should necessarily take into account this inter-relationship between objectives and
functions.
42
In a profit oriented organization, profitability studies are result oriented (A short run
profitability measurement is easier than a long run profitability determination) But there are many
organizations where profits may not be the sole or even a partial goal. In such situations, the
researcher finds it difficult to measure or identify the effect of certain fulfilling objectives, policies
and procedure in quantitative terms. Similar is the position in the case of quality consciousness.
Since quality is intangible, it cannot be directly measured. However, there are certain
characteristics variables and determinants in the functional areas like statistical quality control and
various quality control techniques which can be subjected to research. In spite of their limitations,
many managerial studies in the functional areas like production, marketing and finance have
become very common nowadays.
QUESTIONS
1. Explain Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
2. Write Short note On SPSS
3. Explain The Role Of Research In Marketing Department
4. Explain The Role Of Research In Production Department
5. Describe The Importance Of Research In Operation
6. Explain The Role Of Research In Finance Department
7. Explain The Role Of Research In Human Resource Management
*****
43
Chapter :3
RESEARCH DESIGN
Features of good design, Types of Research Design, Basic Principles of experimental
Design, Use of advanced technology in Research Design, Role of Research analyst.
Research design is a purposeful scheme of action proposed to be carried out in a sequence
during the process of research focusing on the management problem to be tackled. It must be a
scheme for problem solving through proper analysis, for which a systematic arrangement of
managerial efforts of investigate the problem is necessary. It defines the task of a researcher from
identifying a managerial problem and problem area to report writing with the help of collection,
tabulation, analyzing and interpretation of data. A research methodology is the arrangement of
conditions for the collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to
the research purpose with economy in procedure.
A research design indicates the observations that are to be made, how to make them and
how to make quantitative analysis of such observations, which hypothesis should be tested, how
the study should be carried out, what type of data should be collected and from which source,
how to make an analysis, how to interpret and presents, how much money to spend , and within
how much time the project should be completed.
A research methodology is the plan of action to be carried out in connection with a
research project. It is only a guideline for the researcher to enable him to keep track of his actions
and to know whether he was moving in the right direction in order to achieve his goal. The design
may be a specific presentation of the various steps in the process of research. These include the
selection of research problem, the presentation of the problem, the formulation of hypothesis,
conceptual clarity, methodology, data collection, survey of literature and documentation, the
testing of hypothesis, interpretation, bibliography, presentation and report writing.
STAGES
For the systematic presentation, the process of research may be
classified under stages
Primary Stage
44
Secondary Stage
Tertiary Stage
The Primary Stage includes :
Observation
Interest
Crystallization & identification of research problem
Formulation of hypothesis
Primary synopsis
Conceptual clarity
Documentation
Preparation of Bibliography and
Research designs
The secondary stage includes :
Project Planning
Project formulation
Questionnaire preparation
Investigation and data collection
Preparation of final synopsis
Compilation of data
Classification
Tabulation & presentation of data
Experimentation
Analysis
Testing of Hypothesis and
45
Interpretation
The tertiary stage includes :
Report writing
Observation, suggestions and conclusions.
“A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collections and analysis of data in a manner
that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure.” In fact, the
research design is the conceptual structure within which research is conducted; it constitutes the
blueprint for the collections, measurement and analysis of data. As such the design includes an
outline of what the researcher will do from writing the hypothesis and its operational implications
to the final analysis of data. More explicitly, the design decisions happens to be in respects of:
(i) What is the study about?
(ii) Why is the study being made ?
(iii) Where will the study be carried out ?
(iv) What type of data is required ?
(v) Where can the required data be found ?
(vi) What periods of time will the study include ?
(vii) What will be the sample design ?
(viii) What techniques of data collections will be used ?
(ix) How will the data be analysed ?
(x) In what style will the report be prepared ?
Keeping in views the above stated design decisions; one may split the overall research design
into the following parts:
(a) the sampling design which deals with the method of selecting items to be observed for the
given study;
(b) the observational designs which relates to the conditions under the observations are to be
made;
46
(c) the statistical design which concerns with the questions of how many items are to be
observed and how the information and data gathered are to be analysed ; and
(d) the operational design which deals with the techniques by which the procedure specified
in the samplings, statistical and observational designs can be carried out.
From what has been stated above , we can state the important features of a research designs
as under:
(i) It is a plans that specifies the sources and types of information relevant to the research
problem.
(ii) It is a strategy specifying which approach will be used for gathering and analyzing the
data.
(iii) It also includes the time and cost budgets since most studies are done under these two
constraints.
In brief, research design must, at least, contain (a) a clear statement of the research
problem; (b) procedures and techniques to be used for gathering information; (c) the population to
be studied; and (d) methods to be used in processing and analysing data.
NEED FOR RESEARCH DESIGN : Research design is needed because it facilitates the smooth
sailing of the various research operations, thereby making research as efficient as possible yielding
maximal information with minimal expenditure of effort, time and money. Just as for better,
economical and attractive construction of a house, we need a blueprint (or what is commonly called
the map of the house) well thought out and prepared by an expert architect, similarly we need a
research design or a plan in advance of data collection and analysis for our research project.
Research design stands for advance planning of the methods to be adopted for collecting the
relevant data and the techniques to be used in their analysis, keeping in view the objective of the
research and the availability of staff, time and money. Preparation of the research design should
be done with great care as any error in it may upset the entire project. Research design, in fact, has
a great bearing on the reliability of the results arrived at and as such constitutes the firm foundation
of the entire edifice of the research work.
FEATURES OF A GOOD DESIGN
47
A research design appropriate for a particular research problem, usually involves the consideration
of the following factors:
(i) The means of obtaining information;
(ii) The availability and skills of the researcher and his staff, if any;
(iii) The objective of the problem to be studied;
(iv) The nature of the problem to be studied; and
(v) The availability of time and money for the research work.
IMPORTANT CONCEPTS RELATING TO RESEARCH DESIGN
Before describing the different research designs, it will be appropriate to explain the various
concepts relating to designs so that these may be better and easily understood.
1. Dependent and independent variables: A concept which can take on different quantitative
values is called a variable. As such the concepts like weight, height, income are all examples of
variables. Qualitative phenomena ( or the attributes ) are also quantified on the basis of the
presence or absence of the concerning attribute(s).
2. Extraneous variable: Independent variables that are not related to the purpose of the study ,
but may affect the dependent variable are termed as extraneous variables. Suppose the researcher
wants to test the hypothesis that there is a relationship between children gains in social studies
achievement and their self concept is an independent variable and social studies achievement is
a dependent variable. Intelligence may as well affect the social studie