Pure and Applied Research

Applied research has a practical problem-solving emphasis. It is conducted to reveal answers to specific questions related to action, performance, or policy needs. In this respect, all four examples appear to qualify as applied research. Pure or basic research is also problem solving, but in a different sense. It aims to solve perplexing questions (that is, problems) of a theoretical nature that have little direct impact on action, performance, or policy decisions. Thus, both applied and pure research are problem based, but applied research is directed much more to making decisions.

The managers of tomorrow will need to know more than any managers in history. Research will be a major contributor to that knowledge. Managers will find knowledge of research methods to be of value in many situations. They may need to conduct research either for themselves or others. As buyers of research services, they will need to be able to judge research quality. Finally, they may become research specialist themselves.

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