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What is research - Essay Example

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Research is “something that people undertake in order to find out things in a systematic way, thereby increasing their knowledge.”An important component of this definition is ‘systematic’,meaning research is approached logically.Research describes,explains,understands,criticizes,and analyzes a subject area. …
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"What is research"

Download file to see previous pages Research is “something that people undertake in order to find out things in a systematic way, thereby increasing their knowledge.” An important component of this definition is ‘systematic’, meaning research is approached logically. Research describes, explains, understands, criticizes, and analyzes a subject area.
Research is important in business and management. Research must produce practical conclusions leading to better decision-making and/or profit. Managers draw on knowledge developed by other disciplines to aid their work routine, and tend to prefer to conduct research with personal or commercial advantage. In research, combining two knowledge bases sometimes creates a single large knowledge base plus a new one. ‘Basic’ research generates new knowledge and options, whereas ‘applied’ research generates new knowledge with a practical aim. New insights can help change the way business-related activities are conducted. Five research models will be examined: experimental design, cross-sectional surveys, longitudinal design, case studies, and comparative design.Good experimental design is important in producing reliable results. Independent variables should be manipulated to determine how they influence dependent variables. There are several forms of experimental research. Classic design is based on manipulation of independent variables, observations made before and after testing an experimental group, and relating observations to the dependent variable
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Qualitative or quantitative data is collected at a single point in time, and is examined for patterns in relation to two or more variables.
Longitudinal Design
Longitudinal design provides more than one time-point for analysis, and is often used to plan changes in business and management. There are two types of design. A panel study is often a randomly selected national study which collects data from various types of cases at two or more time points. A cohort study is a randomly-selected sample of people who share certain pre-determined characteristics such as birth-date or employment status. Both types are concerned with revealing trends and improving the understanding of causal influences. They also share similar problems. Good planning is essential to provide useful data. Employee and company turn-over may cause sample attrition, and the remaining people may not form a representative group. Continued participation in such studies may influence how respondents behave.
Case Studies
A case can be an organization, location, person, or event. Stake (1995) observes that case studies are concerned with the complexity and nature of the case in question. There are three types of case study. The critical case is carried out with a clear hypothesis in mind, the unique case is used for clinical studies with a common focus, and the revelatory case is used "when an investigator has an opportunity to observe and analyse a phenomenon previously inaccessible to scientific investigation" (Yin 1984:44) Case studies can be conducted both deductively and inductively and may be linked with qualitative research using tools such as participant observation and unstructured interviews.


Comparative Design
Comparative design applies similar research methods to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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