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Differences Between a Business Proposal and Formal Research - Essay Example

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One major difference between formal research and a business proposal is that while formal research caters to the purpose of “knowledge generation” irrespective of its practical implications, a business proposal tries to address practical problems in a real time business situation (Buckley et al., 31-32). …
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Differences Between a Business Proposal and Formal Research
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Download file to see previous pages But the major similarity is that both try to find out certain interrelationships and causes of a given social situation. The potential of formal research is in that it “contributes to the theory and body of knowledge generated in the science of management” and also might “facilitate practitioners understanding of organzations and result in improved practices” (Buckley et al., 33). In this way, it can have a theoretical and practical side. But a business proposal is only about utility and faces the question, “how to manage?” (Buckley et al., 33).

The potential of formal research is in that it can generate pure generalizable “theoretical”, information, supported by data which is generated through scientific tools and methods (Buckley et al., 33). On the contrary, the strength of a business proposal is in that it is focused on practical solutions, anchored in logic, and is “guided by case examples and common sense” which are used as data so that a practitioner can assimilate and make use of it easily (Buckley et al., 33-34). The formal research helps preparing study material for the future practitioners but a business proposal has a contextual value alone and is rarely generalizable (Buckley et al., 34). But a business proposal points to the real issues that need further introspection and correction while formal research might linger on some topic that satisfies an academic fancy.

A business proposal can be written in a wide variety of formats and styles while a formal research paper needs to follow a particular writing and citation style like APA, MLA and so on (prismleadership, n.d.). A business proposal starts with an executive summary while the research paper will begin with an abstract (, n.d.). But both an abstract and an executive summary serve almost the same purpose of giving the findings and discussion in the paper in a capsule form. A business proposal aims at decision making in a particular business context while a research paper looks forward to “careful framing of the area of concern as a potential contribution to scholarly research” (, n.d.). In a business proposal, the research question will be like a direct inquiry about “the best possible solution to a business problem” whereas a research frames its research questions in such a way that they “can be proven as an experiment: quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods” ( The design of a business proposal will be about including all possible alternatives to a particular question of concern but a research paper deals with only specific number of chosen methodologies (, n.d.). Last but not least, a business paper will be reviewing only “proprietary and industry-specific literature” while a research paper will review “recent and reputable scholarly sources” ( A business proposal usually contain an introduction, executive summary, “background information, the proposal, staffing requirements, a budget and an autherization request” (Guffey, Rogin and Rhodes, 340). But a formal research comprise of: General observation...preliminary data gathering...literature review...theoretical framework...hypotheses...scientific research design...collect(ion) (of) data analysis and presentation...(and)...managerial decision making (Sekaran, 2009). Part-2 H3: Can organizational learning be considered a predictor of effective strategic management? Literature review Organisational learning is a process by which “whole organizations or their components adapt to changing environments by generating and selectively adopting organizational routines” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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