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Week 1 Assignment
In your textbook Business Research Methods 9th edition:
-Analyze and answer Chapter 1 Questions for review and critical thinking:
1. Is it possible to make sound managerial decisions without business research? What advantages does research offer to the decision-maker over seat-of-the-pants decision-making?
2. Define a marketing orientation and a product orientation. Under which strategic orientation is there a greater need for business research?
3. Name some products that logically might have been developed with the help of business research.
-Analyze and answer Chapter 1 Research Activities:
1. ‘NEt Suppose you owned a jewelry store in Denton, Texas. You are considering opening a second store just like your current store. You are undecided on whether to locate the new store in another location in Denton, Texas, or in Birmingham, Alabama. Why would you decide to have some research done before making the decision? Should the research be conducted? Go to http://www.census.gov. Do you think any of this information would be useful in the research?
The assignment must have at least 500 words and be written in APA style. The assignment must have at least 3 external references with corresponding in-text citations.
The Nature of Business Research
Business research covers a wide range of phenomena. For managers, the purpose of research is to provide knowledge regarding the organization, the market, the economy, or another area of uncertainty. A financial manager may ask, “Will the environment for long-term financing be better two years from now?” A personnel manager may ask, “What kind of training is necessary for production employees?” or “What is the reason for the company’s high employee turnover?” A marketing manager may ask, “How can I monitor my retail sales and retail trade activities?” Each of these questions requires information about how the environment, employees, customers, or the economy will respond to executives’ decisions. Research is one of the principal tools for answering these practical questions.
Business research is the application of the scientific method in searching for the truth about business phenomena. These activities include defining business opportunities and problems, generating and evaluating alternative courses of action, and monitoring employee and organizational performance. Business research is more than conducting surveys.6 This process includes idea and theory development, problem definition, searching for and collecting information, analyzing data, and communicating the findings and their implications.
Applied business research is conducted to address a specific business decision for a specific firm or organization. The opening vignette describes a situation in which ESPN used applied research to decide how to best create knowledge of its sports fans and their preferences. Basic business research (sometimes referred to as pure research) is conducted without a specific decision in mind, and it usually does not address the needs of a specific organization.
All research, whether basic or applied, involves the scientific method.
The scientific method is the way researchers go about using knowledge and evidence to reach objective conclusions about the real world. The scientific method is the same in social sciences, such as business, as in physical sciences, such as physics. In this case, it is the way we come to understand business phenomena.
A firm can be
production-oriented. A production-oriented firm prioritizes the efficiency and effectiveness of production processes in making decisions. Here, research providing input from workers, engineers, finance, and accounting becomes important as the firm seeks to drive costs down. Production-oriented firms are usually very large firms manufacturing products in very large quantities. The third orientation is marketing- oriented, which focuses more on how the firm provides value to customers than on the physical product or production process. With a marketing-oriented organization the majority of research focuses on the customer. Research addressing consumer desires, beliefs, and attitudes becomes essential.
Diagnosing Opportunities: After an organization recognizes a problem or identifies a potential opportunity, business research can help clarify the situation. Managers need to gain insight about the underlying factors causing the situation. If there is a problem, they need to specify what happened and why. If an opportunity exists, they may need to explore, refine, and quantify the opportunity. If multiple opportunities exist, research may be conducted to set priorities.
Evaluation research is the formal, objective measurement and appraisal of the extent to which a given activity, project, or program has achieved its objectives or whether continuing programs are presently performing as projected. Evaluation research may also provide information about the major factors influencing the observed performance levels. In addition to business organizations, nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies frequently conduct evaluation research. Every year thousands of federal evaluation studies are undertaken to systematically assess the effects of public programs. For example, the U.S. General Accounting Office has been responsible for measuring outcomes of the Employment Opportunity Act, the Job Corps program, and Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) programs.
Performance-monitoring research is a specific type of evaluation research that regularly, per-haps routinely, provides feedback for the evaluation and control of recurring business activity. For example, most firms continuously monitor wholesale and retail activity to ensure early detection of sales declines and other anomalies. In the grocery and retail drug industries, sales research may use the Universal Product Code (UPC) for packages, together with computerized cash registers and electronic scanners at checkout counters, to provide valuable market-share information to store and brand managers interested in the retail sales volume of specific products.
Keep in mind the following:
1. Understand how research contributes to business success. While many business decisions are made “by the seat of the pants” or based on a manager’s intuition, this type of decision making carries with it a large amount of risk. By first researching an issue and gathering the appropriate information (from employees, customers, competitors, and the market) managers can make a more informed decision. The result is less risky decision making.Research is the intelligence-gathering function in business. The intelligence includes infor-mation about customers, competitors, economic trends, employees, and other factors that affect business success. This intelligence assists in decisions ranging from long-range planning to near-term tactical decisions.
2. Know how to define business research. Business research is the application of the scientific method in searching for truth about business phenomena. The research must be conducted systematically, not haphazardly. It must be objective to avoid the distorting effects of personal bias. Business research should be rigorous, but the rigor is always traded off against the resource and time constraints that go with a particular business decision.
3. Understand the difference between basic and applied business research. Applied business research seeks to facilitate managerial decision making. It is directed toward a specific managerial decision in a particular organization. Basic or pure research seeks to increase knowledge of theories and concepts. Both are important, but applied research is more often the topic in this text.
4. Understand how research activities can be used to address business decisions. Businesses can make more accurate decisions about dealing with problems and/or the opportunities to pursue and how to best pursue them. The chapter provides examples of studies involving several dimensions of managerial decision making. Thus, business research is useful both in a strategic and in a tactical sense.