INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH METHODS
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. Business research has an inherent value to the extent that it helps the management make better decisions. Interesting information about consumers, employers or competitors might be pleasant to have but its value is limited if the information cannot be applied to a critical decision. If a study does not help the management to select more efficient, less risky, or more profitable alternatives than otherwise would be the case, its use should be questioned. The important point is that research in a business environment finds its justification in the contribution it makes to the decision maker’s task and to the bottom line.
At the minimum, one objective of this study material is to make you a more intelligent consumer of research products prepared by others, as well as be able to do quality research for your own decisions and those of others to whom you report.
Governments have allocated billions of dollars to support research, driven by motivation to overcome disease or to improve the human condition. Nations driven by threat of war and national pride have also played a major role in the advance of physical science. Much of the findings of their research are in the public domain.
Business research is of much more recent origin and is largely supported by business organizations that hope to achieve a competitive advantage. Research methods and findings cannot be patented, and sharing findings often results in a loss of competitive advantage; “The more valuable the research result is, the greater the value in keeping it secret.” Under such conditions, access to findings is obviously restricted. Even though there is a growing amount of academic business research it receives meager support when compared to research in the physical sciences.
Business research operates in a less favorable environment in other ways too. Physical research is normally conducted under controlled laboratory conditions. Business research normally deals with topics such as human attitudes behavior, and performance. People think they already know a lot about these topics and do not really accept research findings that differ from their opinions.
Even with these hindrances, business researchers are making great strides in the scientific arena. New techniques are being developed, and vigorous research procedures are advancing rapidly. Computers and powerful analytical methods have contributed to this movement but a greater understanding of the basic principles of sound research is more important. One outcome of these trends is that research-based decision making will be more widely used in the future than it has been in the past. Managers who are not prepared for this change will be at a severe disadvantage.
Business research could encompass the study of human resource management, marketing research, entrepreneurship etc. for example, in marketing research we could address issues pertaining to product image, advertising, sales promotions, packaging and branding, pricing, new product development.
- Clear title ,A study of the Factors that Enhance the Organisational Commitment of Employees.
- Avoid jargons.
- Avoid using ambiguous words and sentences.
- Avoid plagiarism-Anti plagiarism software exists in the market.
- Always plan your work-Failing to plan, is planning to fail.
- Conform to stipulated guidelines font, font size, spacing, header, footer
- Tense to use when developing proposal and project.
- Recommened sample is usually 10% from population.
- Avoid using 1.0,2.0 instead use 1.1,2.1
- Cover page-Centre your details.
- Sub headings-Sentence case and prepositions should be in lower case.
- Conform to APA 6th edition format ( American Psychological ) referencing style
- No fullstop at the end.
- Capture author sur-name.
- 10 years down the line 2020-10=2010
Kamau,J(2006) Methods of Research OR
Kamau,J(2006) Methods of Research(3rd ed.)Longhorn Publications Nairobi
- Capture Appendices (Any detail that reinforces the body of the proposal and project can be included in an appendix)
- Time schedule
- Data collection instruments and any other document that the researcher may consider important for the readers
- Preliminary information
- Chapter One: Introduction
- Chapter Two: Literature Review
- Chapter Three: Methodology
- Chapter Four: Data Analysis Presentation, and Interpretation
- Chapter Five: Summary of Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations