MGT 221: Business Research Methods

Full Marks: 50

Lecture Hours: 75

Course Objectives

The primary aim of this course is to introduce students to the principle of research methods used most frequently by business students. Basic knowledge of these methodological approaches is absolutely critical to the comprehension of academic understanding and comprehensive and critical writing which is an essence  of business students. Therefore, the basic objective of this course is to provide knowledge  and understanding of basic principles of business research methods.

Course Description

The course has a preliminary focus on problem identification, theoretical framework development and hypothesis formulation. The course will then deal with research design issues, measurement, sampling, data collection and analysis. This encompasses the overall understanding and application of appropriate research techniques and research statistics, and report writing and presentation skills.

Course Details

Unit 1: Introduction

Meaning of research; Scientific research – features,; Types of research: applied and basic; The scientific research process; Approaches to research; Paradigm shifts – positivist Vs interpretivist philosophies; Management research – concept, nature, and value in business decision making; Applying scientific thinking to management problems; Ethical concerns in research.

Qualitative research: Concept, Features, assumptions, Common practices in qualitative research, Methods of qualitative research: Case study, Ethnography, Grounded theory and phenomenological study (A short introduction only), Building trustworthiness and credibility in qualitative research, Strength of qualitative research.

Unit 2: Literature searching and Theoretical Framework

Concept, purposes, Kinds and writing a literature survey; Literature search through the Internet; Relation of literature to research. Theoretical framework; Theory and research; Research approaches – deduction and induction; Research problem; Identification of research problem in business. Research questions, hypothesis formulation and role of hypothesis in research.

Unit 3: Research Design

Concept, Features Types – descriptive, developmental, case studies, causal-comparative, experimental, cross-sectional and longitudinal. Basic principles of research design and criteria of a good research design.

Unit 4: Measurement, Scaling and Sampling

Variables and their types; Nature of measurement; Scale construction for attitude measurement; Scales commonly used in business research; Validity and reliability of measurement; Sources of measurement problems; Concept of population, sample and sampling, Factors affecting the size of the sample, The sampling process; Types of samples – probability and non-probability sampling; Sampling and non- sampling errors.

Unit 5: Data Collection and Analysis

Types of data: primary and secondary, value of secondary data to business research, Primary data, Methods of collecting primary data : Questionnaires – design, components and principles of questionnaire writing, pilot testing and questionnaire administration; The research interviews – face-to- face and telephone interviews, computer assisted interviewing; Observation – concept and methods – participative and non-participative; Data analysis – organizing and preparing data;

Presenting data in tables, graphs and charts; Pre-conditions and the use of statistical techniques:– descriptive: (Mean, Median, Mode and standard deviation) and inferential statistics (Measures of correlation, statistical significance, basic forecasting tools, regression, one way ANOVA and chi-square test); Statistical testing of hypothesis; Methods of collecting and analyzing qualitative data. Role of computers in different phases of research. Qualitative data analysis- content , thematic and narrative.

Unit 6: Research Proposal and Report Writing

Topic selection; Research proposal – purpose, types and structure; Writing research reports – the reporting process, Contents of the research report, and style of writing; Typing and layout of the research report; Citations and references by using APA format; Essentials of a good research report.

Basic Books

Prem P.R., Fundamentals of Business Research Methods, Kathmandu.: Buddha Academic Enterprises. Adhikari, D. R. & Pandey, D. L. Research Methodology for Management, Kathmandu: Asmita Books Publishers & Distributors (p) Ltd.

Reference Books

William G. Z., Business Research Methods, New Delhi: Thomson India.

Alan Bryman & Emma Bell. Business Research Methods, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Cooper,  D.  R.,  Schindler,  P.  S.  &  Sharma,  J.  K.  Business  Research  Methods, New Delhi:     McGraw Hill Education (India).

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