Research Methods for Business by Uma Sekaran 6th edition full book PDF. 1. e eBookCollection; 2. RESEARCH METHODS FOR BUSINESS A. Uma Sekaran is Professor Emerita of Management, Southern Illinois University Revising Research Methods for Business for this fourth edition has been an enjoy- .. on the job, your sixth sense or hunch, or will you just hope for good luck?. Research Methods for Business by UMA SEKARAN 6th Edition Test Bank - Download as Word Doc .doc /.docx), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online.
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Professor Sekaran has won recognition for significant research contri- butions to cross-cultural research from U. She has also been conferred the Best Teacher Award by the University. Sekaran continues to teach courses from time to time. She also continues to engage in research. As in previous editions, the simple and informal style of pre- senting information has been maintained and the focus on practical skill building preserved. The book provides several examples to illustrate the concepts and points presented.
Users will also note throughout the book the variety of exam- ples in the different areas of business—production, operations management, business policy and strategy, organizational behavior, human resources manage- ment, information systems, marketing, accounting, and finance—cited to illus- trate that research finds application in all areas of business.
It is hoped that students will find research to be interesting, nonintimidating, and of practical use. In addition to the inclusion of more miniexercises at the end of chapters from cases adapted from business journals, the chapter on technology has been sub- stantially revised to keep in line with the changing trends. The application of software for collecting data, analyzing them, and presenting the results is also discussed in the relevant chapters.
The final chapter on managerial decision making and research elucidates the research cycle as encompassing the full gamut from qualitative data analysis to quantitative hypothesis testing empirical studies.
Most chapters in the book include managerial implications of the contents dis- cussed, emphasizing the need for managers to understand research. The ethical considerations involved in conducting research are also clearly brought out.
The final chapter of the book discusses two case studies, one set in a cross-cultural context further highlighting the need to be culture-sen- sitive, and the other illustrating how, for lack of research intervention, an orga- nization can be obliterated.
The Refresher Module on Statistical Terms and Tests at the end of the book should help instructors to assign the material to students when they are ready to do so. It is presented in a simple way without discussing derivation of formulas, so that the student has enough knowledge to conduct research applying appro- priate statistical tests. Many have helped in the development of this edition.
Lakshmi 7. Thiyagarajan of Oblix Inc. Thiyagarajan, Sun Microsystems, Inc. Pro- fessor Arun Pennathur helped in identifying the software available for question- naire design, data collection, and data analyses. The help of all these individuals is very much appreciated. My thanks are due to several other individuals as well. Professor Elizabeth Bar- clay of Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, reviewed the third edition and suggested some changes for the revision.
Professor Metin Cakici of Isik Univer- sity, Istanbul, pointed out some inaccuracies in the formulas in the chapter on sampling in the third edition. Thanks to him, these have now been rectified. Narayanan Pennathur patiently read the draft versions of the chapters and significantly improved the language and style of writing.
Sekaran helped in getting the manuscript ready for publication. My appreciation to both these individuals. My heartfelt thanks to Sudha Pennathur, President of the House of Pennathur, for an update on the case study in the last chapter and for pro- viding another case for the book.
Her help is deeply appreciated. I expect that students and instructors alike will enjoy this edition. Students should become effective managers, helped by the requisite knowledge and skills acquired by the study of this book.
I hope both the instructors and the students will find this book useful. Any comments or suggestions may be e-mailed to Chins Juno. For additional information check web site http: Good luck! Uma Sekaran 8. STEP 6: Percentage Points of the F Distribution: Describe what research is and how it is defined. Distinguish between applied and basic research, giving examples, and discussing why they would fall into one or the other of the two categories.
Explain why managers should know about research. Discuss what managers should and should not do in order to interact most effectively with researchers.
Identify and fully discuss specific situations in which a manager would be better off using an internal research team, and when an external research team would be more advisable, giving reasons for the decisions. Discuss what research means to you and describe how you, as manager, might apply the knowledge gained about research.
Be aware of the role of ethics in business research. Of late, things had not been going well, and matters seemed to be getting out of hand. The advertising agency did not seem to be doing a good job either. To top it all, there was a lawsuit filed for discrimination against female employees in the company. Chuck felt he had to take a very active role in the running of the organization and make a degree change from his hitherto hands-off policy.
Instead of ruminating on the past, Chuck wanted to focus on the present and plan for the future. These evaluations would give investors a sense of the value of the assets and whether resources were being effectively utilized.
However, Chuck was baffled as to how to go about these enormous tasks. Several questions came to his mind and he posed the following important issues to himself: He remembered having read somewhere that those who did not burnish their brands through increased advertisement budgets might find themselves worth a lot less when the tough times end.
Such thoughts very much taxed his mind. But there is much scope for improvement on various fronts, such as increasing gas mileage, which would find great favor with the government and customers, better designing and engi- neering, improved marketing, designing for the trendy mod group, as well as catering to clients in the lower economic strata, in addition to increasing the pro- ductivity of workers.
At the personal level, he wondered if he should give himself a raise in salary and other perks when Did he deserve the compensation he would get when the company was on a downward spiral, at least for now?
He also toyed with the idea that a token cut in his salary would serve as a morale booster to company employees. He wanted answers to several of these issues, but did not know who would help him to find them. He knew that research in these areas would help, but did not know where to seek the necessary guidance. Also, how would he verbalize his various concerns and handle the researchers? He had broad visions for the future of his company, but was at a loss to know how to execute these plans.
It is not infrequently that chief executives and managers at various levels in an organization find themselves facing such dilemmas. This book helps to find solu- tions to the problems that managers, and those responsible for the execution of projects, often face. As a manager, you will have to make several decisions each day at work.
What would help you to make the right decisions? Will it be your experience on the job, your sixth sense or hunch, or will you just hope for good luck? For sure, all of these will play a part after you have thoroughly investigated or researched the problem situation and generated some alternative solutions to choose from. Whether or not managers realize it, they are constantly engaged in research as they try to find solutions to the day-to-day problems, big and small, that confront them at work.
Some of the issues are solved with relative ease, as when a machine on the shop floor stops working, and the foreman, with his past experience, hastens to do the necessary repair and gets it to run smoothly again. A few problems may present moderate difficulty, requiring some time and effort for the manager to investigate into and find a solution, as for example, when many employees absent themselves from work frequently.
Just close your eyes for a minute and utter the word research to yourself.
What kinds of images does this word conjure up for you? Do you visualize a lab with scientists at work with Bunsen burners and test tubes, or an Einstein-like char- acter writing dissertations on some complex subject, or someone collecting data to study the impact of a newly introduced day-care system on the morale of employees?
Most certainly, all these images do represent different aspects of research. Research, a somewhat intimidating term for some, is simply the process of finding solutions to a problem after a thorough study and analysis of the sit- uational factors.
Managers in organizations constantly engage themselves in studying and analyzing issues and hence are involved in some form of research As is well known, sometimes managers make good decisions and the problem gets solved, sometimes they make poor decisions and the problem persists, and on occasions they make such colossal blunders that the organization gets stuck in the mire.
The difference between making good decisions and committing blunders lies in how managers go about the decision-making process. Do managers identify where exactly the problem lies, do they correctly recognize the relevant factors in the situation needing investigation, do they know what types of information are to be gathered and how, do they know how to make use of the information so col- lected and draw appropriate conclusions to make the right decisions, and finally, do they know how to implement the results of this process to solve the prob- lem?
This is the essence of research and to be a successful manager it is impor- tant for you to know how to go about making the right decisions by being knowledgeable about the various steps involved in finding solutions to prob- lematic issues. This is what this book is all about. The Excitement of Research and Why Managers Should Know about Research Modern technology has made research an exciting and a relatively smooth process.
Today a personal computer with a modem or any means to an Inter- net connection places one within easy reach of knowledge of what is hap- pening in the global markets and how the world economy is impacting on business.
Chapter 3 gives a broad idea of how technology has facilitated the research process and decision making, and the later chapters describe the use of technology in information gathering, data collection, data analysis, and data presentation. By grasping the fundamentals of the research process and keep- ing abreast of modern technology, such as computers with enormous capa- bility to store and retrieve information, you as a manager can face the competitive global market with its multitude of complex and confusing factors with greater confidence.
Knowledge of research not only helps one to look at the available information in sophisticated and creative ways in the fast-paced global environment that busi- nesses face, but this knowledge also helps in other ways.
For example, you can interact more effectively with research consultants who work for you, you can discriminate between good and bad studies published in professional journals, and if so desired, you yourself can undertake research to solve problems.
More- over, knowledge in the business area is exploding and there is an overwhelm- ing maze of information available through the Internet, which has to be sifted through to determine its reliability. Identifying the critical issues, gathering rele- vant information, analyzing the data in ways that would help decision making, and implementing the right course of action, are all facilitated by understanding business research.
After all, decision making is merely a process of choosing from among alternative solutions to resolve a problem and research helps to gen- erate viable alternatives for effective decision making.
It comprises a series of steps designed and executed, with the goal of finding answers to the issues that are of concern to the manager in the work environ- ment.
This means that the first step in research is to know where the problem areas exist in the organization, and to identify as clearly and specifically as pos- sible the problems that need to be studied and resolved.
Once the problem that needs attention is clearly defined, then steps can be taken to gather information, analyze the data, and determine the factors that are associated with the problem and solve it by taking the necessary corrective measures. This entire process by which we attempt to solve problems is called research. Thus, research involves a series of well-thought-out and carefully executed activ- ities that will enable the manager to know how organizational problems can be solved, or at least considerably minimized.
Research thus encompasses the processes of inquiry, investigation, examination, and experimentation. These processes have to be carried out systematically, diligently, critically, objectively, and logically. The expected end results would be the discovery that will help the manager to deal with the problem situation. The difference between the manager who uses common sense alone to ana- lyze and make a decision in a given situation, and the investigator who uses a scientific method, is that the latter does a systematic inquiry into the matter and proceeds to describe, explain, or predict phenomena based on data carefully col- lected for the purpose.
Definition of Research We can now define business research as an organized, systematic, data-based, critical, objective, scientific inquiry or investigation into a specific problem, undertaken with the purpose of finding answers or solutions to it.
In essence, research provides the needed information that guides managers to make informed decisions to successfully deal with problems. The information pro- vided could be the result of a careful analysis of data gathered firsthand or of data that are already available in the company, industry, archives, etc.
Data can be quantitative as generally gathered through structured questions or qualitative as generated from the broad answers to specific questions in inter- views, or from responses to open-ended questions in a questionnaire, or through observation, or from already available information gathered from var- ious sources.
Research and the Manager A common experience of all organizations is that the managers thereof encounter problems big and small on a daily basis, which they have to solve by making the right decisions. In business, research is usually primarily conducted to resolve In Accounting, budget control systems, practices, and procedures are frequently examined.
Inventory costing methods, accelerated depreciation, time-series behavior of quarterly earnings, transfer pricing, cash recovery rates, and taxation methods are some of the other areas that are researched.
In Finance, the operations of financial institutions, optimum finan- cial ratios, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged downloadouts, intercorporate financing, yields on mortgages, the behavior of the stock exchange, and the like, become the focus of investigation.
Management research could encompass the study of employee attitudes and behaviors, human resources management, the impact of changing demographics on management practices, production operations man- agement, strategy formulation, information systems, and the like. Marketing research could address issues pertaining to product image, advertising, sales pro- motion, distribution, packaging, pricing, after-sales service, consumer prefer- ences, new product development, and other marketing aspects.
Exhibit 1 gives an idea of some commonly researched topical areas in business. Exhibit 1: Some Commonly Researched Areas in Business 1. Employee behaviors such as performance, absenteeism, and turnover.
Employee attitudes such as job satisfaction, loyalty, and organizational commitment. Supervisory performance, managerial leadership style, and perfor- mance appraisal systems. Employee selection, recruitment, training, and retention.
Validation of performance appraisal systems. Human resource management choices and organizational strategy. Evaluation of assessment centers. The dynamics of rating and rating errors in the judgment of human performance. Strategy formulation and implementation.
Just-in-time systems, continuous-improvement strategies, and produc- tion efficiencies. Updating policies and procedures in keeping with latest government regulations and organizational changes. Organizational outcomes such as increased sales, market share, profits, growth, and effectiveness.
Brand loyalty, product life cycle, and product innovation. Consumer complaints. Impression management, logos, and image building. Product positioning, product modification, and new product development. Cost of capital, valuation of firms, dividend policies, and investment decisions.
Risk assessment, exchange rate fluctuations, and foreign investment. Tax implications of reorganization of firms or acquisition of companies. Collection of accounts receivable.
Development of effective cost accounting procedures. Qualified pension plans and cafeteria type of benefits for employees. Deferred compensation plans. Installation of effective management information systems.
Advanced manufacturing technologies and information systems. Design of career paths for spouses in dual-career families. Creative management of a diverse workforce. Cultural differences and the dynamics of managing a multinational firm.
Alternative work patterns: Participative management and performance effectiveness. Differences in leadership positions, salaries, and leadership styles. Installation, adaptation, and updating of computer networks and software suitable for creating effective information systems for organizations. Installation of an effective Data Warehouse and Data Mining system for the organization. Keeping ahead of the competition in the new millennium.
Not only are the issues within any subarea related to many factors within that particular system, but they must also be investigated in the context of the exter- nal environment facing the business.
For example, economic, political, demo- graphic, technological, competitive, and other relevant global factors could impinge on some of the dynamics related to the firm. These have to be scruti- nized as well to assess their impact, if any, on the problem researched. One is to solve a cur- rent problem faced by the manager in the work setting, demanding a timely solu- tion.
For example, a particular product may not be selling well and the manager might want to find the reasons for this in order to take corrective action. Such research is called applied research. The other is to generate a body of knowl- edge by trying to comprehend how certain problems that occur in organizations can be solved.
This is called basic research. It is quite possible that some orga- nizations may later on apply the knowledge gained by the findings of such basic research to solve their own problems. For instance, a university professor may After gathering information on this topic from sev- eral institutions and analyzing the data, the professor may identify factors such as inflexible work hours, inadequate training of employees, and low morale as primarily influencing absenteeism.
Later on, a manager who encounters absen- teeism of employees in his organization may use this information to determine if these factors are relevant to that particular work setting. Thus, research done with the intention of applying the results of the find- ings to solve specific problems currently being experienced in the organiza- tion is called applied research.
Research done chiefly to enhance the understanding of certain problems that commonly occur in organizational set- tings, and seek methods of solving them, is called basic or fundamental research. It is also known as pure research. The findings of such research contribute to the building of knowledge in the various functional areas of business.
Such knowledge generated is usually later applied in organizational settings for problem solving. Applied Research Consider the following two situations cited in Business Week. Oxford Health Plans Inc. It was a company in dis- tress experiencing computer problems. It is obvious that Oxford has a multitude of problems and an outside con- sultant—researcher would perhaps be able to design a scientific study that would look into them.
Presumably, this would be a lengthy investigation that could result in several different recommended solutions. In the second situation, Xerox also needs to look into the efficacy of the ana- log technology used in copiers and examine what should be done to increase efficiency and promote its sales.
The two preceding examples illustrate the need for applied research, whereby existing problems can be solved through investi- gation and good managerial decision making. APPLIED AND BASIC 9 Basic or Fundamental Research Right from her days as a clerical employee in a bank, Sandra had observed that her colleagues, though extremely knowledgeable about the nuances and intricacies of banking, were exerting very little effort to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the bank in the area of cus- tomer relations and service.
They took on the minimum amount of work load, availed of long tea and lunch breaks, and seemed not motivated in their dealings with the customers or the management. That they were highly knowledgeable about banking policies and practices was clearly evident from their mutual discussions about these as they processed applications from customers.
Sandra herself was very hardworking and enjoyed her work with the customers. She always used to think what a huge waste it was for talented employees to goof off rather than con- tribute to the GNP. When she left the bank and did her dissertation for her Ph.
The conclusion of her investigation was that the single most important contributory factor to job involvement is the fit or match between the nature of the job and the personality predispositions of the people engaged in performing it. For example, challenging jobs allowed employees with high capabilities to get job- involved, and people-oriented employees got job-involved with service activities.
Sandra then understood why the highly intelligent bank employees could not get job-involved or find job satisfaction in the rou- tine jobs that rarely called for the use of their abilities. Subsquently, when Sandra joined the Internal Research Team of a For- tune Company, she applied this knowledge to solve problems of moti- vation, job satisfaction, job involvement, and the like, in the organization.
The above is an instance of basic research, where knowledge was generated to understand a phenomenon of interest to the researcher. Most research and development departments in various industries, as well as many professors in colleges and universities, do basic or fundamental research, so that more knowl- edge is generated in particular areas of interest to industries, organizations, and researchers.
Though the objective of engaging in basic research is primarily to equip oneself with additional knowledge of certain phenomena and problems that occur in several organizations and industries with a view to finding solu- tions, the knowledge generated from such research is often applied later for solv- ing organizational problems. As stated, the primary purpose of conducting basic research is to generate more knowledge and understanding of the phenomena of interest and to build theories based on the research results.
Such theories subsequently form the foun- dation of further studies of many aspects of the phenomena. This process of Several examples of basic research can be provided. For instance, research into the causes and consequences of global warming will offer many solutions to minimize the phenomenon, and lead to further research concerning if and how global warming can be averted.
Although research on global warming might primarily be for the purpose of understanding the nuances of the phenomenon, the findings will ultimately be applied and useful to, among others, the agricul- tural and building industries. Many large companies also engage in basic research.
This, ultimately, results in increased sales of computers for them. University professors engage in basic research in an effort to understand and generate more knowledge about various aspects of businesses, such as how to improve the effectiveness of information systems, integrate technology into the overall strategic objectives of an organization, assess the impact of logos, increase the productivity of employees in service industries, monitor sexual harassment incidents at the workplace, increase the effectiveness of small businesses, evalu- ate alternative inventory valuation methods, change the institutional structure of the financial and capital markets, and the like.
These findings later become use- ful for application in business situations. As illustrated, the main distinction between applied and basic business research is that the former is specifically aimed at solving a currently experienced problem, whereas the latter has the broader objective of generating knowledge and understanding of phenomena and problems that occur in various organiza- tional settings.
Despite this distinction, both types of research follow the same steps of systematic inquiry to arrive at solutions to problems. As current or prospective practicing managers in organizations, you would be directly or indi- rectly engaged in applied research. You would also be keeping abreast of new basic knowledge generated by being in regular touch with the published research in the business journals related to your sphere of work, some of which could very well be relevant and applicable to your own business organization.
In sum, both applied and basic business research are scientific in nature, the main difference being that the former is undertaken specifically to solve a cur- rent business problem whereas the latter is primarily resorted to because of the importance of the subject to the researcher.
A deeper understanding of the phe- nomenon would be useful for its own sake as well as for application later, as needed. Both basic and applied research have to be carried out in a scientific manner discussed in the next chapter so that the findings or results generated by them can be relied upon to effectively solve the problem investigated.
It is, however, possible that some applied research could have a shorter time frame than some basic research. Though you yourself may not be doing any major research as a manager, you will have to understand, predict, and control events that are dysfunctional to the orga- nization.
Such disturbing phenomena have to be understood and explained. Unless this is done, it will not be possible to predict the future of that product or the prospects of that investment, and how future catastrophic outcomes can be controlled. A grasp of research methods will enable managers to understand, predict, and control their environment.
A thought that may cross your mind is that, because you will probably be bringing in researchers to solve problems instead of doing the research yourself, there is no need to bother to study about research. The reasons become clear when one considers the consequences of failure to do so. With the ever-increas- ing complexity of modern organizations, and the uncertainty of the environment they face, the management of organizational systems has become one of con- stant trouble shooting in the workplace.
It would help if managers could sense, spot, and deal with problems before they get out of hand.
Knowledge of research and problem-solving processes helps managers to identify problem sit- uations before they get out of control. Although minor problems can be fixed by the manager, major problems would warrant the hiring of outside researchers or consultants.
The manager who is knowledgeable about research can interact effectively with them. Knowledge about research processes, design, and inter- pretation of data also helps managers to become discriminating recipients of the research findings presented, and to determine whether or not the recommended solutions are appropriate for implementation. Another reason why professional managers today need to know about research methods is that they will become more discriminating while sifting through the information disseminated in business journals.
Some journal articles are more sci- entific and objective than others. Flag for inappropriate content. Related titles. The research process Theoretical framework and hypothesis development. Jump to Page. Search inside document.
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