Business Research Methods – Questions – Answers

1) What is research? Why should there be any question about the definition of research?

  • Research is the systematic, controlled, empirical, and critical investigation of phenomena guided by theory and hypothesis about the presumed relationships among such phenomena.
  • The definition of research can be questioned because it is still in the formative stage

2) What is the difference between applied and basic or pure research? Use a decision about how a sales person is to be paid, by commission or salary, and describe the question that would guide applied research versus the question that would guide pure research.

  • Applied research is conducted to reveal answers to specific questions or problems while pure research is directed toward solving perplexing problems of a theoretical nature that will not directly incur an action
  • Applied research approach: Questions would be based on total income brought in by sales personnel paid by commission vs. salaried
  • Pure research approach: Questions would be more general and would include questions directed to sales representatives

3)A human resources manager needs to have information in order to decide whether to create a custom motivation program or purchase one offered by a human resource-consulting firm. What are the dilemmas the manager faces in selecting either of these alternatives?

a. The following are questions to be answered:

  • Does he have the skills necessary?
  • Does the external program fall within budget?
  • Does he have the time to complete the program
  • Does the external supplier have the skill necessary to provide a customized program for the company? Do they have the necessary exposure to the company with an objective view?

4) You are a manager of the mid-western division of a major corporation, supervising five animal-feed plants scattered over four states. Corporate headquarters asks you to conduct an investigation to determine whether any of these plants should be closed, expanded, moved or reduced. Is there any possible conflict between your roles as researcher and manager? Explain.

  • Yes, Job status and internal, political coalitions to preserve status: My job can be compromised; the possibility of providing a bad report against my management practice could be possible and I would not do that!