Business Research Methods │ Introduction │ Part 4 │ BBA Notes │ 6th Semester │ TU

Introduction - Part 4



Management Research

Management research refers to the study of various management problems and finding out the solutions to solve such problems.

Management research is the process of developing and acquiring knowledge and is modified to specific management needs to counter the various managerial problems within a required time frame.


According to Wikipedia, "business and management research is a systematic inquiry that helps to solve business problems and contributes to management knowledge."

According to Zikmund, "management research is the systematic and objective process of gathering, recording, and analyzing data for aid in making business decisions."

According to V.P. Michael, "management research is a systematic activity directed towards investigating managerial or business problems, which may result in or discovery of management tools for problem-solving and decision making."


Thus, in simpler terms, management research identifies management problems and solves them within the given time period.


Nature of Management Research

The qualities that make management research different from other research are as follows:

  1. Transdisciplinary: Management research is multidisciplinary research, that combines various management fields and departments. In a simpler form, management research collects data from a large area of subjects like; company structure, environment, hierarchy, strategy, company's vision, etc.

  2. Commercial advantages: Management research mainly focuses on identifying and solving the problems of business companies and organizations. Thus, management researcher can leverage their research process with commercial benefits.

  3. Practical: Findings from management research must be applicable in organizations to solve the problems. Management research is only done to solve business management problems. Thus, management research can be categorized as applied research.

  4. Double hurdle: Management research has a problem of theory and practice. Knowledge is created by academic professors, and research is governed by the practical thinkers of the business society. Thus, there is always a hurdle of balancing them.


Value of Management Research in Business Decision Making

There needs to take many decisions in business, build up proper strategies, and direct the companies towards success. So, to make a decision there needs a proper roadmap of the future.

And thus, management research helps the business analyst to take proper decisions by clearly understanding the research outcomes.


Management research provides supports in the following areas of business decision making:

  1. Identifying the problems: At the first stage, management research helps to identify the exact problems that are occurring in the business. It helps to scan all the activities from the internal and external environment of the business and highlight the potential threats that need to be rectified.

  2. Assessing the underlying factors of problems: After identifying the problems, management research helps to find out the exact cause behind those problems. Then only management can take one step forward towards selecting the appropriate course of action. With this, they also try to explore the potential opportunities and clarify the nature of opportunities.

  3. Selecting the appropriate course of action: After identifying the potential opportunities, and alternative course of action, the researcher then selects the best course of action. All the decisions might not guarantee a 100% success ratio, so it is crucial to select the best decision carefully.

  4. Implementing a course of action: Success doesn't depend on the idea but on its proper execution. So, only selecting the best strategies is not going to work. They also need to implement it with their best effort to solve their managerial problems.

  5. Evaluating and controlling: So, the final step in business decision-making is to evaluate and monitor the outcomes as well as the implementation process. The researcher collects the result data and transfer it to the company manager and present their analysis. So, from here either they can follow the feedback looping process, or stay satisfied with their final result.



Business Research Methods │ Introduction



Applying Scientific Thinking in Management Problems

Scientific thinking refers to the goal-oriented, logical ways of evaluating, and using the definite method for solving the problem. Research should not be conducted and analyzed as per subjective perception and personal experience but should be based on a specific and pre-defined purpose.

So, the main idea here is that research is not a work of fiction, or personal judgment, it is something that is to be done scientifically and logically so that we can solve managerial problems and issues.


Scientific research can be applied to both pure and applied research. But the researcher might need to face many difficulties while conducting scientific research in social science.


So, let's discuss some difficulties of applying scientific research methods in social science:
  • Because of the complex nature of society and people, it is difficult to track people's needs, interests, values, norms, preferences, inspirations, etc. The behavior of people differs from one to another and also gets changes according to time and situation.

  • It is difficult to collect accurate measurements of social phenomena because we can't exactly predict and judge people's ever-changing moods, feelings, perceptions, attitudes, etc.

  • Some people might be skeptical towards research or just don't prefer to provide accurate or any information regarding their social and personal life. So, they might alter their data and the researcher might end up collecting false data.

  • Social events and phenomena are evaluated subjectively by different people. Same events might get favorable for some people, while it might disturb some other group of people. So, scientific research can't exactly define social events.

  • Social events affect people, so their opinion might also get affected. People are so sensible, and their belief system gets changing according to their experience and knowledge. So, scientific research can't handle this emotional nature of people.

  • Because of the personal objection, the researcher also alters their research method to conclude research as per their desire. And if they practice scientific research accurately, they can't be able to conclude their subjective result. So, scientific research might not fit healthy for the subjective researcher.

  • Scientific research always prefers to collect quantitative data, and society is full of qualitative nature. So, it is difficult to measure and explain the societal relationship in quantity.

  • Social events are not universal and every society has its own manner and culture. Thus, social research does not get influence and acceptance all over the world.


Ethical Concern in Research

Researchers face ethical challenges in all stages of the study, from design to reporting. These include anonymity, confidentiality, informed consent, the researcher's potential impact on the participants, and vice versa.

So, the behavior presented by the researcher towards the respondents, clients, team members, and the morality towards research methods, structure, process, defines the ethical score of that researcher.


If the researcher is not obeying a common set of ethical practices and not considering basic norms and values, then it might be considered unethical research practice. This type of practice might lead to the wrong conclusions and the research outcomes become worthless.


So, the common ethical practices that should be followed by the researcher are as follows:

  • The researcher should not put pressure on participants to get the information. Respondents should be free from any obligations while being answered.

  • The researcher should provide all accurate information to participants regarding their research motives and procedures. False information might degrade the value of research outcomes.

  • The researcher should not manipulate the collected data and should evaluate without any subjective desire.

  • The researcher should not break any laws, rules, and regulations of the research manual. If they do so, then they will be regarded as an unethical researcher.

  • The researcher should treat every participant equally. Discrimination regarding cast, sex, culture, religion, qualification, etc., is not allowed while conducting research.

  • The researcher should not try to copy the research materials or prior collected data without taking permission from the original researcher. They should respect intellectual property rights.

  • The research process and activities should not harm the culture, norms, values, morality, and ethics of individuals and society. The researcher should not be biased regarding an individual's society and its components.

  • The researcher should consider the individual rights and let them free to choose whether they want to participate in research or not.


Thus, the quality of ethical concern determines the quality of research. The ethical concern is more require for qualitative research but the researcher should have a concern about it equally on any type of research.


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References:

Adhikari, D. R., & Pandey, D. L. (2016). Essentials of Business Research Methods (2016 ed.). Asmita Books Publishers & Distributors (P) Ltd.

Sanjari, M., Bahramnezhad, F., Fomani, F. K., Shoghi, M., & Cheraghi, M. A. (2014, August 4). Ethical challenges of researchers in qualitative studies: the necessity to develop a specific guideline. Journal of medical ethics and history of medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4263394.



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