||Business Research Methods
||A Strategic Response to the Current Global Crisis.
The world economy has suffered a global recession over recent years, paralyzing the world financial system and restoring stability, confidence and growth is the priority. Thus, it is imperative that major organisations in many countries must develop a strategic response to the current global developments.
A strategic response should cover a wide range of policy issues directly relevant to the current global crisis, tackling regulatory and policy failures comprehensively.
Review of Existing Academic Literature
All papers, even if they are relatively short, should contain a review of relevant literature. It is rare that one attempts an empirical project for which no published precedent exists. A competent review of the literature is at least in part a means of affirming credibility as someone who is knowledgeable about the chosen area of investigation (i.e., developing a strategic response to the current global crisis). This is not simply a matter of reproducing the theories and opinion of other scholars, but also being able to interpret what they have written, possibly by using their ideas to support a particular viewpoint or argument.
Reviewing the existing literature and engaging with what others have written points to the possibility of revising and refining the research questions. The literature can provide the starting point for developing research questions which are refined and developed as the research progresses.
A mixture of materials is needed, but the precise combinations will vary from topic to topic. The obvious question is: How many books and articles should I cite in this investigation? It is impossible to give a number, besides it all depends on what literature is available and how the ideas, material and theory it contains will be used.
To start the research in terms of information requirements, a few initial references are to be established. These will probably come from recommended reading in course modules or textbook. The bibliographies provided at the end of textbook chapters or articles will usually provide further relevant references that can also be followed up. A literature search relies on careful reading of books, journals, and reports in the first instance. Textbooks are useful as a source of references that can be followed up. Academic journals on the other hand, contain articles that have been peer-reviewed. This means that two or more expert references approved the papers before they were accepted for publication. Journals (including non-peer-reviewed journals) will most likely be the main source for my investigation, probably being more important than books. Of course, the World Wide Web is a very useful source of material. The better search engines can be valuable in tracking down material.
After identifying a few keywords and defining the boundaries, electronic databases of published literature can be searched for previously published work about developing response strategies to the current economic and financial crisis. Electronic databases accessible on the Internet are an invaluable source of journal references. There is a range of electronic resources that might be of help.
- ABI/INFORM provides business information from a wide range of periodicals and reports, coverage is international, and it is possible to search by keyword or to browse by topic. A good all-purpose database which can be accessed at proquest.umi.com.
- EBSCO Business Source Premier/Elite is an increasingly widely used business periodical database. Its popularity is in part due to the provision of extremely comprehensive full text access to certain key business and management journals, including Harvard Business Review and Academy of Management Review. In addition, it provides indexing and abstracts for over 3,000 business journals. In addition, it provides access to some company and market reports. It can be accessed via EBSCO Publishing at search.epnet.com.
- The Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), which fully indexes over 1,700 major social science journals covering all social science disciplines. It can be accessed at isiknowledge.com.
- Econlit covers the field of economics, and there are many relevant references especially for people working on finance topics. Access Econlit at http://www.econlit.org/accesslist.html.
Recently, some academic publishers have begun to offer their journals for full text through their own web sites. Cambridge University Press (Cambridge Journals Online) and Sage (HireWire) are the two most prominent examples. In addition to scholarly book and journals, newspaper archives can provide a valuable supplementary resource through which to review the emergence of new topics in business and management that are related to the global economic and financial crisis. Newspapers and periodicals can be a rich source of information about certain topics that make good stories for journalists, such as corporate performance, macroeconomic trends, or finance scandals.
Another valuable resource to supplement the literature searching is provided by the various non-academic institutions that publish policy-oriented research on issues related to business, economics, finance and management, such as World Bank, Institute for Public Policy Research, International Monetary Fund, and OECD. Reports are often published via the Web in PDF and they can usually be downloaded free. This is particularly useful when researching a currently emerging topic about current global developments, or a government-led initiative.
There are numerous database sources that can provide background information about the markets or companies. The General Market Information Database (GMID), which contains marketing profiles, consumer market sizing for 52 countries, consumer lifestyle reports, data for over 200 countries, market forecast, and information about 100,000 brands and 12,000 companies. Mintel provides comprehensive market research reports on the UK retail and leisure sectors, and conducts its own market research, and Reuters Business Insight provides access to hundreds of market research reports focused on energy, consumer goods, finance, health care, and technology. Datastream, Amadeus, or Investext also contain company-specific information. Finally, the National Statistics web site offers a wide range of statistics, including social trends, regional trends, consumer trends and the results of general household surveys.
Appropriate Use of Referencing System
The Harvard system is by far the most common referencing system in business, economics, finance and management research and the one that will be followed in this investigation.
The essence of the Harvard system is that whenever you paraphrase the argument or ideas of an author (or authors), you add in brackets immediately afterwards the surname of the author(s) and the year of publication. If you are quoting the author(s), you put quotation marks around the quote and after the year of publication you include the page number where the quote is from. All books, articles, and other sources that you have cited in the text are then listed in a bibliography at the end of the research work in alphabetical order by author surname.
Thus, referencing the work of others is an important academic convention because it emphasizes awareness of the historical development of the subject, particularly using the Harvard method. Referencing in the literature review is thus a way of emphasizing understanding and knowledge of the subject.
An effective and sustainable strategic response to the current global recession will require the involvement of all major players, as well as better co-ordination and greater coherence among the major international and local organizations. Medium-term responses and long-term solutions must reflect the interactions between finance, competition and governance, and, ultimately, restoring sustainable long-term growth. Thus, this research will use both quantitative and qualitative methods of research.
Quantitative research method usually emphasizes quantification in the collection and analysis of data. In very broad terms, it was described as entailing the collection of numerical data and as exhibiting a view of the relationship between theory and research as deductive, a predilection for a natural science approach (and of positivism in particular). Qualitative research tends to be concerned with words rather than quantification in the collection and analysis of data. Qualitative research may facilitate the interpretation of the relationship between variables (i.e., trade and investments as key driver of economic growth and development). One of the problems that frequently confront quantitative researchers is how to explain relationships between variables. One strategy is to look for what is called an intervening variable, which is influenced by the independent variable but which in turn has an effect on the dependent variable. Using both quantitative and qualitative research (also called mixed methods research) should involve a mixing of the research methods involved and not just using them in tandem. In other words, the quantitative and the qualitative data deriving from mixed methods research should be mutually illuminating.
The success of any research ultimately depends on the availability of the appropriate data. Three types of data may be available for the empirical analysis: time series, cross-section, and pooled data. A time series is a set of observations on the values that a variable takes at different times. Such data may be collected at regular time intervals, (i.e., daily, monthly, quarterly, or annually). Cross-section data are data on one or more variables collected at the same point in time, such as the census of population, the surveys of consumer expenditures, and, of course, the opinion polls. In pooled, or combined, data are elements of both time series and cross-section data.
Collecting data for this research paper can be educational, exciting, and even frustrating. The data that will be used in this investigation may be collected by a governmental agency, an international agency (i.e., IMF or the World Bank), a private organization (the Standard & Poor’s Corporation), or an individual. Literally, there are thousands of such agencies collecting data for one purpose or another.
The Internet has literally revolutionized data gathering. If you just surf the net with a keyword (i.e., global economic and financial crisis), you will be swamped with all kinds of data sources. Most of the data can be downloaded without much cost. Some of the frequently visited web sites that provide economic and financial data of all sorts are:
More and more data sets are available on the World Wide Web. The web is a vast resource of online database. It should be kept in mind that results of research are only as goods as the quality of the data.
Quantitative and qualitative research design will provide the framework for the collection and analysis of data. In quantitative research design the aim is to determine the relationship between important economic and financial variables. For instance, in tackling regulatory and policy failures, establishing the relationship between finance, competition and governance variables ultimately lead to sustainable economic growth. The quantitative research design is more of descriptive study that establishes association between variables.
Qualitative research design categorizes data into patterns as the chief basis of organizing and reporting results. Analysis of documents and materials is the typical method of data gathering.
Primary issue in the conduct of this research is committing plagiarism. You can plagiarize even without copying verbatim. It is academic to develop first-rate note-taking practices from the inception of the research to avoid plagiarism.
When doing a research, data requirements should be treated fairly (meaning accurate), or they should not be used to harm people and/or organizations in whatever way possible. It is sensible to anticipate whether any difficulties and some dilemmas that may come across in the conduct of the research.
This research will employ both quantitative and qualitative data analyses to analyse the data. Some very basic techniques for analyzing quantitative data will be employed: univariate analysis (i.e., frequency tables, diagrams, measures of central tendency and measures of dispersion), bivariate analysis (i.e., relationship not causality and contingency tables), and multivariate analysis.
The collection of qualitative data frequently results in the accumulation of a large volume of information. There are different approaches to qualitative data analysis, of which grounded theory and analytic induction are probably the most prominent. Analytic induction is an approach to the analysis of data in which the researcher seeks universal explanations of phenomena by pursuing the collection of data until no cases that are inconsistent with a hypothetical explanation of a phenomenon are found. In its most recent incarnation, grounded theory has been defined as theory that was derived from data, systematically gathered and analyzed through the research process. In this method, data collection, analysis, and eventual theory stand in close relationship to one another. Thus, two central features of grounded theory are that it is concerned with the development of theory out of data and the approach is iterative, or recursive, as it is called, meaning that data collection and analysis proceed in tandem, repeatedly referring back to each other.
In this investigation, secondary analysis and official statistics will also be used to save time and financial resources. There are large amount of data about business, economics, finance and management collected by many organizations, most notably government departments that are presented in statistical form and that may be usable without charge. Performing secondary analysis offers numerous benefits. Many of the data sets that are employed most frequently for secondary analysis are of extremely high quality. The sampling procedures have been rigorous, in most cases resulting in samples that are as close to being representative as one is likely to achieve. While the organizations responsible for these studies suffer the same problems of survey non-response as anybody else, well-established procedures are usually in place for following up non-respondents and thereby keeping this problem to a minimum. In addition, the samples are often national samples or atleast cover a wide variety of regions. That is, some data sets enable cross-national comparison. The degree of geographical spread and the sample size of such data sets are invariably attained only in research that attracts quite substantial resources.
Available software packages these days make it easy to summarise large amounts of data in diagrammatic form. For example, the most common methods of summarizing categorical data include tables, histograms and pie charts. Excel and SPSS can easily facilitate these summary statistics.
This research is an investigation about strategic response of major organization to the current global developments. Such strategic response should cover a wide range of policy issues directly relevant to the current global crisis, tackling regulatory and policy failures comprehensively.
This research will use both quantitative and qualitative methods of research. Quantitative research method usually emphasizes quantification in the collection and analysis of data. Meanwhile, qualitative research tends to be concerned with words rather than quantification in the collection and analysis of data. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods of research should be equally informative.
The data sets may come in a variety of forms: time series, cross-section, and pooled data. The data that will be used may be collected by a governmental agency, an international agency, a private organization, or an individual. The Internet has literally revolutionized data gathering. If you just surf the net with a keyword (i.e., global economic and financial crisis), you will be swamped with all kinds of data sources. Most of the data are available in the Internet and can be downloaded without much cost.
Quantitative and qualitative research design will provide the framework for the collection and analysis of data. In this connection, this research will employ both quantitative and qualitative data analyses to analyse the data. Secondary analysis and official statistics will also be used to save time and financial resources. Available software packages such as Excel and SPSS can easily facilitate the summary statistics.
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