## DESCRIPTION

Research Methods for Business: A Skill-Building Approach is a concise and straightforward introduction for students to the world of business research. The skill-building approach provides students with practical perspectives on how research can be applied in real business situations. Maintaining Uma Sekaran’ s popular and accessible style of writing, Roger Bougie draws upon his extensive experience in the field to present an up-to-date guide on business research which is ideal for aspiring managers.

The seventh edition has been fully revised and updated to include cutting-edge examples and enriched pedagogical features designed to improve student learning outcomes. There is now an increased emphasis on the relationship between the scientific and the pragmatic approaches to research, while the key concepts are explored and applied to real-life research throughout the book.

## ABOUT THE AUTHOR

**Uma Sekaran** (deceased) was Professor Emerita of Management, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC), Illinois, USA.

**Dr Roger Bougie** is Associate Professor in Business Research Methods, TIAS School for Business and Society (The Netherlands). TIAS is the business school of Tilburg University and Eindhoven University of Technology.

## TABLE OF CONTENTS

About the Authors xix

Preface xxi

Acknowledgments xxiii

**1 Introduction to research 1**

Introduction 1

Types of business research: applied and basic 5

Managers and research 8

Internal versus external consultants/researchers 10

Knowledge about research and managerial effectiveness 12

Ethics and business research 13

Summary 13

Discussion questions 14

Case: The Laroche Candy Company 15

**2 the scientific approach and alternative approaches to investigation 18**

Introduction 18

The hallmarks of scientific research 19

The hypothetico-deductive method 23

Alternative approaches to research 28

Summary 30

Discussion questions 31

**3 Defining and refining the problem 33**

Introduction 33

The broad problem area 33

Preliminary research 37

Defining the problem statement 39

The research proposal 45

Managerial implications 47

Ethical issues in the preliminary stages of investigation 47

Summary 48

Discussion questions 49

**4 the critical literature review 51**

Introduction 51

How to approach the literature review 54

Ethical issues 59

Summary 60

Discussion questions 61

Practice project 62

Appendix 63

Some online resources useful for business research 63

Bibliographical databases 66

Apa format for referencing relevant articles 66

Referencing and quotation in the literature review section 69

**5 theoretical framework and hypothesis development 71**

Introduction 71

The need for a theoretical framework 72

Variables 72

How theory is generated 81

Hypothesis development 83

Directional and nondirectional hypotheses 84

Null and alternate hypotheses 85

Managerial implications 90

Summary 91

Discussion questions 92

Practice project 94

**6 elements of research design 95**

Introduction 95

The research design 95

Elements of research design 96

Extent of researcher interference with the study 99

Study setting: contrived and noncontrived 100

Unit of analysis: individuals, dyads, groups, organizations, cultures 102

Time horizon: cross-sectional versus longitudinal studies 104

Mixed methods 106

Trade-offs and compromises 107

Managerial implications 108

Summary 108

Discussion questions 109

**7 Interviews 111**

Introduction 111

Primary data collection methods 111

Interviews 113

Training interviewers 116

Some tips to follow when interviewing 117

Advantages and disadvantages of interviews 123

Summary 123

Discussion questions 124

**8 Data collection methods: observation 126**

Introduction 126

Definition and purpose of observation 127

Four key dimensions that characterize the type of observation 127

Two important approaches to observation 130

Advantages and disadvantages of observation 137

Summary 139

Discussion questions 140

**9 Administering questionnaires 142**

Introduction 142

Types of questionnaires 142

Guidelines for questionnaire design 145

International dimensions of surveys 155

Review of the advantages and disadvantages of different Data collection methods and when to use each 157

Multimethods of data collection 158

Managerial implications 159

Ethics in data collection 159

Summary 160

Discussion questions 161

**10 experimental designs 165**

Introduction 165

The lab experiment 167

The field experiment 172

External and internal validity in experiments 172

Types of experimental design and validity 179

Simulation 184

Ethical issues in experimental design research 185

Managerial implications 186

Summary 187

Discussion questions 189

Appendix: Further experimental designs 190

**11 Measurement of variables: operational definition 193**

Introduction 193

How variables are measured 193

Operational definition (operationalization) 195

International dimensions of operationalization 204

Summary 204

Discussion questions 205

**12 Measurement: scaling, reliability and validity 206**

Introduction 206

Four types of scales 207

Rating scales 213

Ranking scales 218

International dimensions of scaling 219

Goodness of measures 220

Reflective versus formative measurement scales 225

Summary 226

Discussion questions 227

Appendix: Examples of some measures 229

**13 sampling 235**

Introduction 235

Sample data and population values 237

The sampling process 239

Probability sampling 242

Nonprobability sampling 247

Intermezzo: examples of when certain sampling designs would be appropriate 252

Issues of precision and confidence in determining sample size 257

Sample data and hypothesis testing 260

The sample size 261

Sampling as related to qualitative studies 265

Managerial implications 266

Summary 266

Discussion questions 268

**14 Quantitative data analysis 271**

Introduction 271

Getting the data ready for analysis 273

Getting a feel for the data 278

Excelsior enterprises: descriptive statistics part 1 287

Testing the goodness of measures 289

Excelsior enterprises: descriptive statistics part 2 293

Summary 296

Discussion questions 297

**15 Quantitative data analysis: Hypothesis testing 300**

Introduction 300

Type i errors, type ii errors, and statistical power 301

Choosing the appropriate statistical technique 302

Excelsior enterprises: hypothesis testing 323

Data warehousing, data mining, and operations research 326

Some software packages useful for data analysis 327

Summary 328

Discussion questions 329

**16 Qualitative data analysis 332**

Introduction 332

Three important steps in qualitative data analysis 332

Reliability and validity in qualitative research 348

Some other methods of gathering and analyzing qualitative data 350

Big data 351

Summary 351

Discussion questions 352

**17 The research report 353**

Introduction 353

The written report 354

Contents of the research report 357

Oral presentation 363

Summary 366

Discussion questions 367

Appendix: Examples 368

Report 1: sample of a report involving a descriptive study 368

Report 2: sample of a report offering alternative solutions and explaining the pros and cons of each alternative 371

Report 3: example of an abridged basic research report 373

A Final Note to Students 377

Statistical Tables 379

Glossary 389

Bibliography 399

Index 407

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