Ch4BriefOutline - Chapter 4 The Research Process An...

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Chapter 4 – The Research Process: An Overview – Brief Outline Zikmund Chapter Content Three Research Decision Situations – degree of uncertainty about the problem The Six Stages of the Research Process – step-by-step sequence of research stages Research Project versus Research Program – an important distinction Three Research Decision Situations Decision making – the process of resolving a problem or choosing among alternative approaches Three broad classifications of decision situations – decisions run on a continuum from certainty to ambiguity in terms of the information available and the information needed o Certainty – the exact nature of the problem is known and you have all the information you need or you know where to find it—may or may not need additional research o Uncertainty – the general nature of the problem and the objectives are known, but information about alternatives is incomplete o Ambiguity the nature of the problem is unclear, the objectives are vague, and the alternatives are difficult to define Classifying types of business research – two ways to categorize business research: o By technique – this classification is based on the method of data collection experiments, surveys, secondary data, and observation o By function – this classification is based on the nature of the problem —three types: Exploratory research – conducted to clarify ambiguous situations—two common situations in which exploratory research is conducted are: o Problem clarification – when you’re not exactly certain what the problem o Information identification – when you need to determine the kind of information to be obtained in subsequent research, e.g., a focus group to surface voter’s concerns Descriptive research – to resolve uncertainty —Common uses of descriptive research are: o Problem definition – when you need to more precisely narrow down the problem—to learn more about the exact nature of the problem—to specify its characteristics or dimensions o Developing alternatives – identifying or choosing among the possible courses of action are—determining or refining alternatives A common use of descriptive research is to help segment and target market niches Descriptive research is often aimed at who, what, when, where, and how questions o E.g., what are the demographic features of people who purchase organic foods? o Diagnostic analysis – used to clarify research findings, such as reasons respondents give for a behavior or attitude, e.g., “Why do you buy organic foods?” Ch4BriefOutline.doc
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Causal research – used when the problem is fairly well understood or well defined and the aim of the research is to identify cause-and-effect relationships among variables. o
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Ch4BriefOutline - Chapter 4 The Research Process An...

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