Basic Concepts of Research

Basic Concepts of Research


During the last two decades and more, the socio-business environment of the world has witnessed dramatic changes in its nature and scope. Emerging from a historically economic role, the business organization has evolved in response to the social and political stigma of national public policy, explosive growth in technology, price struggle, competition of new entrants, frequent change in customers taste and desires etc. These factors and more have created new knowledge needed for the manager and new problems for social/managerial decision making.

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In such a complex and uncertain environment, business managers (or social scientists) need to understand how to identify information and to find out the emerging problem to make prompt and effective decision making. The studies of research methods provide the knowledge and skills that the managers/social scientists need to solve the problems and meet the challenges of a fast-paced decision-making environment.

In recent years, exploring the research output particularly in the areas of humanities (management studies) and social sciences (economics, commerce, history, sociology, etc.) have been treated as an increasing concern among the researchers. Management is said to be in practice with the dawn of civilization. As a discipline, it is hardly a century old. Starting off as a scientific approach to the organization of things, it borrowed heavily from disciplines like economics, sociology, psychology, mathematics and statistics. Now it is a distinct body of knowledge having the potential for theory and practice. Though management in general is said to encompass the aspects like planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling, the discipline has spread itself to the specialized areas recently. Thus there are management concepts as applied to finance, production, human resources, information technology, rural management, operations and marketing. Each of these areas have grown to be a major discipline for research and teaching. In fact, there are number of institutions situated across our countries which are dealing with such issues but still lots of work have to be done.

The pre-occupation with methodology is largely peculiar to any discipline of research, particularly in humanity and social science research in India. The first staging post in the life of a young academician is to produce some evidence of creativity. Not only can the route to this be taught, but also attempts to do so take away from the spirit of independent research. On the other hand, the young researchers need to be fitted out with the basic tools of analysis. Before analyzing the definitions of research, it is worthwhile to discuss some basic concepts related to decision-making.


For a common man, decision-making problem requires a choice among alternative course of action so as to achieve the objective(s). The word ‘problem’, in a general meaning, reflects that something has gone wrong. There are numbers of alternative course of action among which choice has to made are often called in management discipline as ‘management strategy’ and in economics as ‘economic decision-making’. Presently, the business applications of economics and commerce are attracting more and more intellectuals to its fold. No wonder, the queen of social sciences has emerged as the heart of business sciences. Economics and commerce applies its traditional tools and concepts for the better and efficient management of business. Hence, the tools of applied economics and commerce are basically concerned with the application of economics in management decision-making. There is no doubt that it enables the new age managers- the managers of 21st century business enterprises to perform their role of convincing and executing complex strategies.

While managers have considerable information about the outcome for many decisions, they must frequently make decisions in situations in which the outcome of a decision cannot be known in advance. A manager may decide, for example, to invest in a new product development or to increase the level of technology or to change the price of a product and/or any other similar alternatives to increase profits and sales. Even after studying hundreds of technical reports, numbers of annual reports of different companies, available case studies in the literature etc., a manager may still not be in a position with confidence to choose the appropriate alternative(s). Managerial decision making leads to problems like: which products are to be produced?; what price is to be charged?; what quantity of the products are to be produced?; what should be the promotional expenditures?, how much would be the investment expenditures?, etc. Thus, decision making is a process of selection from a set of alternative courses of action which is thought to fulfill the objectives of the decision problem more satisfactorily than others.

Similarly, a social science researcher at the beginning of a research projects not only in a position to decide which subject area to choose (whether to choose consumer behaviour by analyzing household consumption pattern and household budget or to analyze the effectiveness of various government policies that are meant for removing poverty, unemployment, etc., and/or number of such related alternatives like dowry deaths, women empowerment, women crime, sex ratio etc.), but also what should be the subject area, what should be the methodology, what is the amount of budget available for research, how much time is available with the researcher and so on.

It is a widely accepted fact that business decision-making process has become increasingly complicated due to the over growing complexities in the business world more particularly soon after the adoption of the concept of globalization by major economics of the globe. Thus, it requires that the decision maker (s) has to follow some basic rules and processes which will help them to make efficient decisions under conditions of risk, uncertainty and complexities. Hence, decision-making problem may be defined as ‘a task of identifying the alternative courses of action among a number of alternatives available of achieving given objective(s), then to analyze all the alternatives by collecting required information and at the end choosing the best alternative to achieve the desired objective in most efficient way’.

The elements of decision making process may be:

• The decision maker himself/herself

• Identification of the decision problem

• Identification of the source or the environment in which the problem exists and need solution

• Selecting some alternative courses of action among the feasible alternatives and

• The final selection of the choice of the alternatives


The researcher (pronounced for decision-maker who may be an executive or research team) while going for decision-making always gets confused, thinking from where to start in order to identify the alternative. Systematic inquiry of the problem is a common and fundamental threat. The process of systematic inquiry requires careful planning of an orderly investigation. But there is no hard and fast rule that the decision maker should follow all the steps in a sequence that is derived below rather he/she can choose few important ones based on their convenience and requirements of the study. Following are some fundamental steps which may help the decision maker to get the path of searching the alternatives.

1. Analyzing the objectives:

At the initial stage of going for identification of a problem the decision maker has to understand completely the mission, vision and the objective of the concerned organization i.e., he/she has to first understand what their organization wants from them (in case of business problem). For instance, if the decision-maker is associated with a private enterprise then he/she has to understand that the motto of their organization is to maximize profit or sale and/or both for achieving rapid growth. On the other hand, a public enterprise not only based on profit maximization but also is based on welfare criteria. Where as in case of social science research the research has to analyse what is the basic purpose of research? Who is the funding agency and what it wants? What the associated persons or institutions expect?, and a number of such related problems.

2. Defining the problem:

The second step, after the objective(s) been identified, is of defining or identifying the problem. Problem identification is the top most tasks in the process of decision-making. It justifies the adage that ‘a problem well defined is a problem half solved’. This adage emphasizes that an orderly definition of the problem (which ultimately leads to decision-making) gives a sense of direction to the existing problem.

3. Identifying possible alternative solutions:

The third step in the process of identifying the alternative course of action is of specifying few alternative(s) among the numbers of alternatives selected at the initial stage of research (as discussed in point 1 above). But due to a number of reasons the decision maker cannot choose all the alternatives that is possible to solve the problem rather he/she has to limit the horizon and should concentrate on a limited alternatives. This requires considering the variables that may put more impact on the problem identified. In such a way, relationship among the variables and with the problems has to be established. Here, various hypotheses can be formulated which will at the end serve as alternative solution of the existing problem.

Box-1.1: Narottam Paper Limited and Economic Recession

The ripple effects of the 2008 Global economic meltdown had begun to hurt the Rupees 2,556 crore of Narottam Paper Ltd. Like all other business houses in India, Narottam Paper Ltd., was also finding the growing tough. The general trend of soaring prices and contraction in demand had started affecting the sale of the company products. Its customers were also focusing on correcting their inventory positions (using existing stocks of materials to keep production lines and marketing activities rolling). Consequently, they were not buying much from the company. Even the investors did not like when they saw- Narottam Paper Ltd., stock fell from Rs. 63.50/- on 1 January, 2008 to a low of Rs. 12.08/- on 18 January 2009. The company was in the midst of Economic crisis.

In such a chronic situation of the company, Mr. Partha Sarathi, Managing Director of the company, realized that some strong means must be taken to extricate the company from its present crisis. To this end, Mr. Partha Sarathi held several brainstorming sessions with the company’s Research and Development team and finally, identified the focus areas on which decision is needed. The identified areas are:

1. Necessity of changing company’s strategic planning policies

2. Managing working capital flows

3. cutting various costs

4. Paying attention to employee productivity

5. Searching new market potentials

Thus from the above case study it is clear that the company in wrongly in the trap of economic recession. To combat this recession, the company had identified five alternatives. Solution of each of the five alternatives may help the company to achieve its desire objective(s).

4. Evaluating alternative course of action:

Now, among these alternatives, some alternative requires long time to execute, some may be expensive for the decision-maker to execute, some may go beyond the limit of the decision-maker and the one which satisfies all the criteria of the decision maker. Thus, the decision-maker has to collect relevant data or information on each possible alternative those satisfy all the requirements of the decision-makers, hence, are finalized to solve the existing problem. Data are regarded as the basic input to any decision-making process in both business studies and social science. The processing of data gives statistics of importance of the study. Some data may be available in form of reports published by various government departments, annual reports of the industries, thesis/research publications in various libraries of institutes/universities, etc., are called as secondary source of data. Where as, in some case the decision-maker has to collect the fresh information with the help of various tools of data collection like questionnaire, door-to-door interview, focal group discussion, field study, etc., which are called as primary source of data. The collected data are then coded and entered in computer for execution of the result. Proper tools and techniques of optimization are used for classification and analysis. Techniques such as regression analysis, multivariate analysis and operation research techniques like linear programming, simulation techniques, etc., are used to obtain a desirable solution. This solution may be one that helps the decision-maker to achieve the desired objective. Now, with this process the decision maker gets optimal solutions to all the possible alternatives that he/she has been identified in the initial stage of research.

5. Validation of the results:

After the course of action is finalized, now it is time to execute the action in reality i.e., called as decision-making. The process of validation of results ensures the credibility of the results. This requires constant monitoring so as to achieve the desired result. For this, the decision maker has to consult with the experienced professionals in the related area of study, consultants who are closely associated with such studies, academicians who are carrying on research in the related area(s), etc. The figure 1.1 derived shows the flow chart of the decision-making process showing how the process of decision-making moves in research.


Research is a diligent enquiry and careful investigation for new knowledge through systematic, scientific and analytical approach in any branch of knowledge. Constant search and research are the guiding factors of research which helps to discover new facts (Kumar, 2002). The search for new knowledge also helps to accept or reject or modify existing fact or knowledge that is already available in the existing literature.

For a common men, the word research implies a detailed study of a subject especially in order to discover (new) information or to some it implies in search of a new finding. Where as, the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines the word as, ‘a careful investigation or inquiry especially through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge’. The Random House Dictionary of the English language defines ‘research’ as diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, applications etc.

The definition of research gets its real meaning with the words of Clifford Woody, who defines it as ‘research is a careful inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles, a diligent investigation to ascertain something’.

John W. Best in his contribution titled ‘Research in Education’ opines research as ‘the systematic and objective analysis and recording of controlled observations that may lead to development of generalizations, principles, or theories, resulting in prediction and possibility ultimate control of events’.

P.M. Cook defines research as ‘it is an honest, exhaustive, intelligent searching for facts and their meaning or implications with reference to given problem. It is the process of arriving at dependable solutions to problems through the planned and systematic collection analysis and interpretation of data’. The best research is that which is reliable verifiable and exhaustive so that it provides information in which we have confidence.

M. H. Gopal opines as ‘it is essentially a systematic inquiry seeking facts through objective verifiable methods in order to discover the relationship among them and to discover from them broad principles or laws’.

K. V. Rao visualizes the concept as ‘research is an intensive and purposeful search for knowledge and understanding of social and physical phenomena. It is a method for the discovery of true values in a scientific way. It is not merely an accumulation of knowledge but a critical and scientific analysis of social facts and formulation of generalizations as a basis of action and foresight’.

The encyclopedia of Social Sciences (Mc-Million) defines research as, ‘Research refers to a critical and exhaustive investigation of experimentation having as its aim the revision of accepted conclusions in the light of new discovered facts’.

Where as, the word ‘methodology’ is the combination of two words ‘method’ which implies a particular way of doing something plus ‘logus’ the Latin word which implies ‘study’ thus, ‘methodology’ implies ‘a systematic way of studying something’.

The research method may be defined as all those methods and techniques that are used for conducting the research or search. Hence, it refers to the behavior and instrument used in selecting and conducting research techniques and research design. Some experts, who are continuously associated with research methodology since a long, have categorized the research methods in three categories. They are:

First category is one where those methods are included which relates to the collection of data or information. In the second category, different statistical techniques are used for establishing relationships between variables. Where as, the third category consists of those methods which are used to evaluate the accuracy of the results obtained.

Where as, Dhondyal (1994) defines research methodology as ‘a procedure designed to the extent to which it is planned and evaluated before conducting the inquiry and the extent to which the method for making decisions is evaluated’. According to C.R. Kothary (1990), research methodology is, ‘when we talk of research methodology we not only talk of the research methods but also considers the logic behind the methods we use in the context of our research study and explains why we are using a particular method or technique and why we are not using others so that research results are capable of being evaluated either by the researcher himself or by others’.

There exists large numbers of definitions in research literature defining the term research methodology. All the definitions are defined differently by different experts based on their need and requirements of their study. Few properties can be summarized as below:

(1) Research is a scientific process.

(2) It leads towards the solution of an existing problem.

(3) It directs towards the development of new principles of theories or modifies the existing literatures that will be helpful in predicting future occurrences.

(4) It is based upon observable experiences or empirical evidence.

(5) The process of search for new knowledge demands accurate observations and descriptions of the fact(s).

(6) It involves gathering new data for new purposes.

(7) It is characterized by patience and unhurried activities.

(8) It is carefully recorded and reported.

(9) It is the task of experts or specialists in the related discipline of the study.

(10) It is an intellectual task.

From the above derived definitions and more other such definitions that already exist in the literature, research methodology may be summarized as a way to systematically solve the research problem. Research methodology constitutes research methods used in context of research study and explanation of using of a particular method or techniques and the why other available techniques are not used. So that research results are capable of being evaluated either by the researcher him self or by other persons who have keen interest in the study area. Hence, research is a systematic approach consisting of enunciating the problem, formulating hypothesis, collecting the facts in relation to the problem, and reaching certain conclusions, either in the form of solution towards the concerned problem or in certain generalizations for some theoretical formulation.


Like that of every discussion, research is also having some basic objectives. The purpose of research is to discover answers to questions through the applications of scientific procedures. Young (1988) has analyzed some important objectives of research as follows:

  1. No two human beings behave equally. Human psychology is the most complicated matter to predict in the society. There are always fluctuations found in their behaviour. Hence, in order to maintain equilibrium and stability, it requires understanding the human behaviour. Thus, research helps to explore and understand human behaviour and their social life.
  2. Research helps in portraying accuracy in the characteristic of a particular individual, situation or a group in the society / organization and leads to designing the strategies of development.
  3. Test of human beings for a particular good is always changing. Thus, human nature is to search for new things. Research helps to extend, correct or verify knowledge that is either in hidden or not discovered,
  4. Two kinds of explanations for unexplained social phenomena,
  5. It helps in predicting the frequency with which a certain thing occurs or with which it is associated with something else.
  6. To provide new insights into organized society and its social structures.
  7. To test or challenge existing theories and revise them in the light of new evidence(s). Here existing theories are either tested or new theories are developed or are modified.
  8. To understand the organizational culture, social life, social environment, decision making process, etc., and there by to gain a greater measure of control on other human behaviour in the organizational and socially context.


Every research has its specific features or characteristics. Some important features are cauterized below:

  1. Research gathers or collects new knowledge or data from either primary or first hand sources and secondary or already existing sources.
  2. The process of research is systematic and accurate.
  3. Research secures experts or skilled personnel’s for any investigation.
  4. Research is characterized as logical and objective, applying every possible test to verify the data collected and the process employed.
  5. There is no question of biasness in research. Research eliminates personal feelings and references from the activity. It is the process of investigating new knowledge.
  6. Research endeavors to organize data in quantities terms as far as possible.
  7. Research in some cases where the research scope is broader is time consuming.
  8. Research redlines courage and hard work, hence, it requires patience.
  9. The process of research is highly purposive and pin pointed. It generally deals with a significant problem which demands a solution.
  10. The process of research usually involves, a pre-determined step, formulation of one or more hypothesis, research design, methods of data or information collection and presentation of data and is carefully recoded order reported.


A good research follows the standards of the scientific methods. Hence a research team while executing any research work should consider following factors carefully.

  1. Purpose clearly defined:

The problem or the decision to be made should be clearly defined by the researcher. The decision statement should include its scope, limitations and the summery (meaning) of all words /terms that are significant to the research. The researcher should be clear about the purpose of his/her study (research) to match with the mission of his/her organization for whom the research is meant for.

2. Should be based on ethics:

Ethics is defined as a system of moral principles or rules of behaviour. While going for study, proper care should be taken at designing the research procedure i.e., the issues related to study. Safeguards against causing mental or physical harm to participants should be considered. It should not hamper religious and sensitive norms while conducting research and interacting with the respondents. For example, if the researcher has keen interest to know the behaviour of a particular group of people who are affected by HIV+. Now while interacting with these people, the researcher should ask questions very carefully in a simpler manner without causing any harm to their sentiments.

3. Research design/methodologies should clear and planned:

The research should also have clear understanding about the objective of the study. In other words, the nature of data required, the behaviour of the respondents, the procedure of data collection, sample coverage, methods of data collection, models to be used, computer software to be implemented etc., should be explained clearly.

4. The Researcher should be a skilled expert:

The person involved in the research should be an expert in the concerned field of study. He/She should be clear about the procedure, objectives, methodologies and techniques of research. They should be capable enough to handle the respondents. The behaviour of the researcher should be calm and saver. Necessary care should be taken in case where the study is based on some sensitive issues. The researcher should have a clear command on the sample area, the language, the mature of the respondents. The most important requirement is that they should have enough patience and keen interest in the study.

5. Unbiased analysis of results:

There should be no biased decision after getting the results of study. No question of sympathy, kindness, relationships, etc., should be involved in the research process. No political interferences should be there in the process of analysis of the study.

For example Mr. X is doing some research work (let it be a Ph. D) under the guidance of Mr.Y and they are relative. Now, if they do the research work in normal process it may take several years and it may have some value addition in the shape of outcome of the study. But, since Mr. X is Mr. Y’s relative, the basic objective of such research may be only getting a degree. Thus they will try to finish the work very early without doing a proper work. In such cases Mr. X may be awarded the degree but the result may not have any value addition to the existing literature.

6. The conclusions should be justified:

The conclusion should be specific and to the point as per the purpose of study. The objective(s) derived and hypotheses formulated at the beginning of the study and conclusion drawn at the end of study shows the gap between “What was to be done and what you performed”. This helps in gap analysis. The exact findings should be represented without biasness. The validity of the conclusions should be specified.

7. Scope for further research:

The research procedures used should be described in sufficient details and there should be ample scope for the other researcher for further research, if necessary. The limitations of the study should be clearly mentioned. Problem identification is the top most tasks in the process of decision-making. As it is a known fact that, solution of one problem, gives birth to a number of related other problems, thus, the researcher should clearly mention about the limitations of the study. The limitation may be in the form of limited or small sample, less budget, less time span, parameters that have been identified are less in quantity, the study is narrow in scope, methodology chosen may be purposive, etc.


Researches are of various types. It is basically categorized on the nature of work. Professor R. Panneerselvam has classified some important types of research as follows:

1. Exploratory Research:

Exploratory research is the fundamental one and is of an initial research type which the researcher carried out at the initial stage of study. In other words, here the researcher analyses the data and explores the possibility of obtaining as many relationships as possible between different variables without knowing their end-applications. A general study is conducted without having any specific objective(s) of study. Here a number of hypotheses are developed for an existing problem.

There are three sources from which exploratory research develops in the mind of a researcher. They are survey of literature, experience survey and study of existing case(s).

a. Survey of Literature:

The very beginning phase of searching a problem is the survey of literature. Survey of literature is the study, involves collection of available literatures in the required area of research where the researcher has limited experience, and critical examination and comparison of the above materials is needed for better understanding of the concept. This research also helps the researchers to update with the past data, data sources and results, which are useful for related researcher in future. Some examples of survey of literature are searching a problem from available journals, books, periodicals, reports published by different government and non-government agencies etc.

b. Experience Survey:

Experience survey gathers the experiences of skilled specialists in terms of their skill, expertise and knowledge. Hence this survey is the survey of experiences of experts/specialists in a particular field which acts as a data base for future research. These expertises have been developed over a period of time or through some other related studies. Some of the examples of the experience survey are materials planning, demand forecasting, man power planning, union / state government budget analysis, investment decisions analyzing the employment and unemployment situation etc.

c. Study of case(s):

This is a special kind of study oriented to have insight into research topics. This kind of study is mainly case study oriented. It lays emphasis on reviewing the available real story cases in the literature. Based on the available real case histories, a researcher can proceed in his/her own research study. Two real case stories which are based on effective service facility provided by two multinational companies to gain customer loyalty are analysed in Box-1.2 and Box-1.3 below.

Box-1.2: IFB’s Home Demo

IFB Industries Limited has been adopting the strategy of home demo to build a good will among its customers. Mr. Satyanarayan has purchased a micro-oven of this company in the month of November, 2008. Soon after the purchase, one sales manager came to him to his house and explained the couple about a number of operations of the microwave with live demos. He has spent more than 20 minutes with the couple and made them aware about a number of functions, instructions, procedures regarding the handling of micro-wave with life demos. This is how IFB is attracting the customer by providing them some service satisfactions at their door step.

By identifying such more real life experiences, the researchers can develop some new studies based on the similar line.

Box-1.3: Whirlpool’s Marketing Research Strategy

Whirlpool of India Limited is giving considerable emphasis on marketing research. The company strategy shows that it believes in planning research in advance. Even though this process seems to be difficult in reality, but for achieving its objective, the company is maintaining complete data base of its customers. It strives to have a meaningful interaction with the consumer in order to know customers real opinion about its products, what difficulties, if any they are experiencing and what suggestions, if any they could want to share with the company regarding future betterment, etc. These feedback received by the company are quite useful while modifying its products or in evolving new ones. To achieve this, after selling a product to the customer, the company personnel directly interacts with their customers through telephone calls and are providing basic information regarding the product, its service stations and are also inquiring whether the dealer provided the gifts or not, whether the dealer has narrated about all the features of the product rightly or not, etc. Through this technique, in one hand the company is creating its brand loyalty and on the other hand, it is gathering some useful information about the product. They provide all sorts of servicing facilities at their service stations at the time of purchasing the product and even after sales servicing facilities.

Based on the above life experiences more cases on this line can be developed by the researcher.

2. Conclusive Research:

Exploratory research, as discussed is based on development of some tentative hypotheses (hypothesis). Data or information are collected and analyzed based on the objectives of study to test the derived hypotheses. Based on the results, the hypotheses are evaluated. After evaluating the hypothesis (hypotheses), a decision making framework is formulated and various conclusions (conclusion) can be drawn. Experts in the field of research have generally classified conclusive research into two categories (based on the nature of work) as- descriptive research and experimented research.

a. Descriptive Research:

A descriptive research is carried out with specific objective (s) and hence, the result is the outcome in the form of a definite conclusion. This research tries to describe the characteristics of the respondents in relation to a particular product or a practice/ culture of importance. For example, let that motorized two-wheeler as a product. The degree of use of these products varies with respect to age, sex, income level, profession of the consumers along with purpose, place and time of use. Here, in this study, the degree of use of the product to different types of respondents is having greater importance to the researcher.

The possible hypotheses for earlier derived motorized two-wheeler example may be:

  1. Age of the respondent put certain influence while revealing preference and taking decision for purchase of a motorized two-wheeler
  2. Bikes are generally preferred by younger than that of the older respondents
  3. Fuel is the determinant factor before the choice to purchase between bikes/ moped/scooters etc.

With these hypotheses and more, the researcher prepares a questionnaire to capture the data from the respondents to test the validity of the formulated hypotheses and get a conclusion at the end of the research work. As these kinds of conclusions or suggestions which are derived from such studies are descriptive in nature for which it is called as descriptive research.

b. Experimental Research:

An experimental research is used to study the effect of a set of factors on the response variable of a system of study. This research is conducted in a controlled environment, and analysed by using different mathematical and statistical techniques. The researchers collect data from the respondents and make experiments on a particular phenomenon.

Let us consider the previous example of the study on motorized two-wheelers. Here the researcher wants to study the impact of various sources of advertisements while purchasing motorized two-wheelers in rural and urban sectors separately. Telling alternatively, the extent of impact of advertisement to the customers who are in rural areas and in urban areas are to be examined. This analysis may help the researcher to determine the popular source of advertisement (media broadcast, print or wall paints, etc.) that is having popularity in both the sectors. It is found from a study that 36 per cent of the rural respondents and 64 per cent of the urban respondents are influenced by broadcast media advertisements while taking decision for the purchase of two- wheelers in India. In rural areas, around 44 per cent of the respondents are influenced by the source of broadcasting media, while 30 per cent are dependent on print media (magazines and newspapers) and 26 per cent of the population is dependent on hoardings or wall-advertisements. The study shows that the influence of broadcasting media source of advertisement is 56 per cent in urban areas followed by 28 per cent in print media and 16 per cent are influenced by hoardings.

3. Modeling Research:

Models are nothing but the symbolic representation of the theories. Many of the real-life problems of business situations or social problems are represented through models.

a. Symbolic model:

This is the type of representation of the relationship between the variables of a study where the variables are shown in the form of an equation. This implies that the attributes of a system are related by an equation. The Marshallian theory of consumer behaviour is taken as example and presented in the Box-1.4 below to show how the theoretical principles can be expressed with the help of a symbolic model.

Box-1.4: Symbolic Representation of Utility Theory

The Marshallian utility theory:

A. Marshall defined the marginal utility (MU) as the utility derived by the marginal unit of the commodity (or additional unit of the commodity). The total utility (TU) is the sum of the marginal utilities. Again Marshall assumed that marginal utility is diminishing. According to him, different kinds of commodities are unrelated, insofar as their consumption is concerned, if the utility obtained by the consumer form one is in no way dependent upon the amount that he consumes of the others. More over to a certain point total utility will increase with every increase in the consumption of the commodity. At some rate of consumption total utility from the commodity will reach a maximum. The consumer will not be able of getting more satisfaction from the consumption of the commodity even though more of it was trust upon him. This is called his saturation point for that commodity. Here it is assumed that every consumer behaves rationally, and therefore, attempts to maximize his total utility function within the constraints. This is called as principle of Equi-marginal utility.

Mathematical derivation:

Assuming that, the Marshallian assumptions about the utility measurement and the consumer behaviour hold in the economy, the problem of a consumer can be put in the mathematical form as:

Objective Function



where U = Consumer’s total utility function

Y = Consumer’s income

q1, q2, q3,….,qn are the quantities of various commodities consumed and

p1, p2, p3, ….pn are the respective prices of the commodities.

For simplicity, we can take two commodity case and the corresponding objective function and the budget constraint can be written as:



where, q1 and q2 are the endogenous variables (are those variables which are determined within the system and their values are not given from outside) or the decision variables, and p1, p2 and Y are the exogenous variables (are those whose values are given from outside or rather constants).

We may get the value of q2 from the equation of budget constraint derived in equation (4) above

and substituting this value in the utility function as derived in equation (3), the new utility function becomes a function of q1 only:


To maximize the utility function, the necessary conditions and the second order conditions are executed mathematically and are proved.

b. Mathematical model:

Mathematical models are aimed to solve complex real life problems arising in the direction and management of large system of men, machines, materials and money in society, business, government and other related problems. Some examples of mathematical models are linear programming models, input-output models, transportation models, assignment models, inventory models, replacement models, goal programming models, parametric programming models, quadratic programming model, chance constrained programming model, separable programming models, etc. Therefore, in this category of research one can either develop the improved model for each of the mathematical modeling techniques than that of the existing old one or use of any one or a combination of existing mathematical models to obtain the results of a complex problem.

4. Applied Research:

In such a condition the validity of the existing theory is tested. Applied research aims at finding a solution for an immediate problem facing a society or an industrial/ business house. Thus, it is the application of the existing theory on a particular place. This research basically develops ideas into operational forms, and lays emphasis on new process, adding new products in the existing product line, or creating new variety of products, or some specific aspects of a new technology relevant to the firm.

For example- use of six interrelated components [Information (F), Brand Reorganization (B),Attitude (A), Confidence (C), Intention (I), and Purchase (P)]which are the parameters of famous ‘Consumer Decision Model’ (CDM) to determine consumer behaviour. These traits have been proposed by John A. Howard for the purpose of analysis of consumer behaviour. Similarly there also exists other models on consumer behaviour like, Nicosia’ model and Engel, Kollat and Blackwell model to determine buying behaviour for a product and soon which can be used by the researcher in the proposed study.

5. Fundamental Research:

Fundamental research mainly concerned with generalizations and with the formulation of a theory. Thus, these are original and investigative studies of a basic problem. In such cases new addition are done in the existing theory and the nature of the survey is original. It won’t pay off for many years and there will be a host of uncertainties, may be scientific, social, organizational, governmental and competitive. Therefore, this type of research is two fold. In some cases it relates to the development of new theory and or in some other cases, it leads of improving the new insists upon the existing one. An example as discussed in Box-1.5 will make the concept clear.

Box-1.5: Development of Theories of International Trade

Comparative cost advantage theory of international trade developed by Adam Smith provides the basic building blocks for the construction of the classical theory of international trade. He enunciated the theory in terms of what is called ‘Absolute Advantage Model’ to determine terms of trade between two countries. Another well known classicist, David Ricardo articulated the existing theory of Adam Smith and expanded it further what is called as ‘Comparative Advantage model’ of international trade. The models of Smith and Ricardo together constitute what is sometimes referred to as the ‘supply version’ of the classical theory of international trade. However, the modern version of the trade treats both ‘supply and demand’ with equal weights. John Stuart Mill was the first to indicate that demand considerations must be incorporated into the comparative advantage model. But Mill was not very clear. The vagueness in Mill’s principles of what is called as Reciprocal demand was latter, removed in the 19th century, first by F.Y.Edgeworth and latter by Alfard Marshall. Both Marshall and Edgeworth are credited with originating and developing the theory of ‘offer curves’, which is nothing but the geometric technique of demonstrating the theory of reciprocal demand. Recent contributions to the pure theory of international trade have been relied heavily on the factor proportions analysis developed by the two Swedish economists, Eli Heckscher (1919) and Bertil Ohlin (1933). According to them, the immediate cause of international trade is, the differences in the relative prices of commodities between the countries, and these differences in the commodity prices arise on account of the differences in the factor supplies in the two countries.

The case explained above shows the path through which the international trade theories are developed.

6. Other Types of Research:

Other types of research are nothing but the variations of one or more of the above stated approaches, based on either the purpose of research, or the time required to accomplish research, or the environment in which research is done, or on the basis of some other similar factor. On the basis of time frame, the research is classified as one-time research or longitudinal research. In the former case the research is confined to a single time period, where as in the latter case the research is carried on over several time period (NSS quinquinnel surveys in the gap of five years for analyzing consumer expenditure, population study in each 10 years, etc.). Depending on the environment of study, research may be classified as field setting research, and labroratory research. Field setting research is a realistic situation study where the researcher comes in direct contact with the respondents. Similarly, research may be clinical research and diagnostic research. That research which uses historical sources of data or information like documents, old records, manuscripts, etc., to find out information of the past incidence, including the philosophy of persons and groups at any remote point of time are termed as ‘historical research’.


All human knowledge is the knowledge of men themselves, which are experienced from natural environment. Hence, the scope of research is to explore the hidden truth of human behaviour which can be classified into three major fields:

  1. Natural sciences or physical science research
  2. Social science research and
  3. Management research

1. Natural Science Research:

Physical/natural sciences deal with things which can be put to laboratory tests under guided conditions. These researches deal with physical phenomenon upon which man has complete control.

Natural science is an approach which does not aim at persuasion, at the finding of ultimate truth or at conversion. It is merely a mode of analysis that permits the scientists to state propositions in the form of ‘if’ and ‘then’. Thus, the sole purpose of physical science is to understand the world in which man lives [Rao, 1998].

2. Social Science Research:

Social research is that point of research which aims at finding explanation to unexplained social phenomenon, to clarify doubts and correct the misconceived facts of social life, which studies human behaviour in a society. P.V. Young, a social scientist, has narrated it as ‘Social research may be defined as a scientific undertaking which by means of logical and systematized techniques aims to discover new facts or verify and test old facts, analyze their sequences, inter-relationships, and casual explanations which were derived within an appropriate theoretical frame of reference, develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories which may facilities reliable and valid study of human behaviour’.

The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) derives social science research by two forces: (a) interest in knowledge about the functioning of society in its diverse social, cultural, political and economic aspects, and in understanding the factors that shape them; and (b) the practical needs of policy makes, the managers in government, civil society and the private sector for reliable information and professional analysis.

The report of the Fourth Review Committee, March 2007, of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) with the title ‘Restructuring the Indian Council of Social Science Research’, presents a wide-ranging overview of the state of social science research in India. It collates a great deal of information on the quantity and pattern of research funding, on work done in universities as well as in research institutes, on the publishing records of different disciplines, and on the contributions of scholars based in India and overseas. This report has also highlighted the growing commercialization of research and the neglect of independent scholarly research that contributes to a better understanding of societal processes and the inability of the Indian Council of Social Science Research to arrest this trend. It again highlights the need for independent professional analysis and interpretation of emerging trends and their implications both for the revival of high standards of scholarship and for its important role for an open and democratic society. The Committee has argued the case for a strong public sector initiative for this purpose by establishing the Indian Academy of Social Sciences (IASS) as an autonomous statutory body, and committing substantially larger public funds to support its activities. It has further made concrete suggestions regarding the strategy and priorities of the proposed academy, the patterns of funding, and incentives to ensure accountability on the part of grantees.

An indicative picture of the number of institutions engaged in socio-economic research, classified by the category of institution and the main area(s) of research is provided in table-1.1 below.

Table-1.1: Categories and Scope of Social Science Research Institutions in India






Broad scope






In Specialized Areas

Agricultural/Rural Development





SCs, STs & Minorities






Education and Manpower




Health and Related subjects























Foreign Trade




International Relations











Engineering and Technology













Source: Fourth Review Committee Report, ICSSR, March-2007

Note: For the detailed list of the institutes and other detailed descriptions, the readers can refer the detailed report

Barriers of Social Science Research:

Balakrishnan (2008) argued that, in some ways, social science researchers in India have achieved a great deal. They have relatively little institutional responsibility, as many of the institutions have very little teaching to be done or nothing to be done at all. To him, as compared to social scientists and management researchers in the IITs and IIMs, there is next to no administrative responsibility found any where. This frees up a great deal of research times, a luxury that researchers in the university system do not have. In this connection, researchers have to fix their research agenda and procedure by themselves.

On the analytical side, the committee is forthright in its criticisms. “While, the scale and range of social science research in the country have been expanding”, says the committee, “the nature, scope and quality of research output, as well as its contribu­tion to a better understanding of socio-economic processes and shaping of public policy is widely perceived to have fallen short of expectations and also not commen­surate with the resources spent on them”. The committee deplores the fact that “research is mostly individual-centric on limited and shifting topics”. No serious effort has been made to de­velop and pursue long-term institutional, or even individual, agendas. There is also rea­son for dissatisfaction with the quan­tum and quality of professional publications in relation to their professional staff strength.

The committee then pointed out the reasons for this less-than-optimum state of affairs. The first reason as it identifies is the limitation of individuals or institutions, their inability or unwillingness to forge long-term, multi-disciplinary, research programmes and strategies. The second reason that the committee has identifies is that the in­adequacy of funding. Where as, for the third reason what the review committee identifies is the lack of autonomy in the functioning of the ICSSR itself. Even though the ICSSR funds 27 major institutes, and hence, play a key role in directing social science research in the country but all its functioning members starting from the chairman to the member council are all subject to the approval by the ministry of human re­source development. The committee observes it as, ‘lack of transparency in the process and several instances where the basic principles have been ignored or violated in making these selections have further eroded the capacity of the council to function effectively in promoting its basic objectives’.

In the process of execution of research work in the areas of social sciences, researchers are basically facing some common barriers like:

  1. Complexity of social data: Researches in social sciences are based on human behaviour. The behaviour of human beings is influenced by so many factors such as physical, social, temperamental, psychological, geographical, biological and socio-cultural.
  2. Problems in interpreting relationship between cause and effect: The cause and effect in case of social phenomena are interdependent and both are related with each other.
  3. Dynamic nature of social phenomena; Social phenomena are always changing and hence are difficult to predict.
  4. Less finance: Professor Goode and Scates, have pointed out that social researcher gets less finance than a researcher in physical sciences.

3. Business Research:

The overall goal in selecting basic business research is to get the most useful information to key decision makers in the most cost-effective and realistic fashion. The objective with which a business concern is established and run depends upon many factors. Effective management of a business organisation is one of the important tasks in management discipline. Managers make decisions which may affect both the organisation and the people’s lives, and the success or failure of a business unit. Most people undertaking management study will, at some time, be a manager – are expected to ‘get things done in organisations through other people’. Even if some don’t manage others, they are having always a manager – and that person is likely to be a major figure, for good or for bad, in the working atmosphere. In this regard, management research introduces the different ways of thinking about management, and presents with some examples of research and practice that can assist us in developing an effective approach, telling how to manage a business organisation and make effective decision.

Zikmund (2007) defines business research as it is one which covers a wide range of phenomena. For managers the purpose of research is to fulfill the need for knowledge of the organization, the market, the economy, or another area of uncertainty.

In the opinion of Krishnaswamy, Sivakumar and Mathirajan (2008), management research may be carried out in universities and research institutions where the primary objective of the researcher is to understand the phenomena of decision-making processes and their environments.

Research may be one of the principal tools for answering these practical questions.

It analyses the questions such as:

1. What information is needed to make current decisions about a product or program?

2. Of this information, how much can be collected and analyzed in a low-cost and practical manner, i.e., using questionnaires, surveys and checklists?

3. How accurate will be the information?

4. Will the methods get all of the needed information?

5. What additional methods should and could be used if additional information is needed?

6. Will the information appear as credible to decision makers, i.e., to bankers or top management?

7. Will the nature of the audience conform to the methods, i.e., will they fill out questionnaires carefully, engage in interviews or focus groups, let you examine their documentations, etc.?

8. Who can administer the methods now or if training required?

9. How can the information be analyzed?

A brief explanation would help a beginner in research to know the issues involved in each of the six broad areas of management.

a. Marketing Research:

Marketing has assumed such a great significance now a days that most corporate managements consider customers satisfaction as the only source of profitable operations. All most all the companies are now adopting the marketing management concept and adjusting their organization design to suit the market policies and practices. Marketing in an organization is the means though which a firm catches its total effort. Marketing can be considered as an integral part of two processes, viz., technical and social. So far as the technical process are concerned, domestic and international marketing are identical. The technical process includes non-human factors such as product, price, cost, brand, etc. The basic principles regarding these variables are of universal applicability. But the social aspect of marketing is unique in any given stratum, because it involves human elements, namely, the behaviour pattern of consumers and the given characteristics of a society, such as customers, attitudes, values, etc.

Marketing creates various kinds of utilities. These utilities are created by the conversion of raw materials into finished goods and that of marketing assists in identifying what is needed by the consumers. It creates place utility by making the goods and services available wherever they are in demand. Time utility is created by supplying the goods when they are needed. Thus, the whole gamut of marketing covers the issues like, product identification, demand estimation, demand-supply analysis, product development, market segmentation, media mix, sales promotion programme, product launching design of distribution channels, buying behaviour, etc.

b. Research in Financial Management:

Finance is the life blood of a business. Financial management is one of the most crucial functional areas of management, as the effectiveness of business enterprise significantly depends on the efficient utilization of its available financial resources. Financial management studies about the process of procuring and judicious use of financial resources with a view of maximizing the value of the firm, thereby the value of the owners i.e., equity shareholders of the company is maximized. Financial management is primarily concerned with acquisition, financing and management of assets of business concern in order to maximize the wealth of the firm for its owners. The basic responsibility of the finance manager is to acquire funds needed by the firm and investing those funds in profitable ventures that will maximize firm’s wealth as well as yielding returns to the business concerns. The success or failure of any firm is mainly linked with quality of financial decisions. The focus of financial management depends on both efficient and judicious use of resources to attain the desired objective of the firm. The basic objective of financial management centres around are like (i) the procurement of funds from various sources like equity share capital, preference share capital, debentures, term-loans, working capital finance and (ii) effective utilisation of funds to maximize the profitability of the firm and the wealth of its owners.

Research in financial management is now concerned with the topics like analysis and model developments in the areas like financial information system, short-term and long-term investment and financing decisions, capital structure and dividend decisions, financial markets and instruments analysis, investment and portfolio management, analysis on mergers, acquisitions and re-structuring, international financial management, contemporary developments etc.

c. Research in Personnel Management:

The ‘human relations’ movement became popular in 1940s and early 1950s, when much attention began to be paid to workers’ needs and in realizing the importance of human beings in total productivity. However, by the 1920, the image of the workers had changed considerably, for the new ideal which held that workers were complex, unique beings whose individual skills and abilities could be measured, tested and trained. The human relations programme began when a group of researchers, from Harvard University, were invited to conduct studies at the Chicago Hawthorne Plant of Western Electric. Personnel management has great relevance to organizations, as organizations are congregations of people of the four factors of production land, capital, labour and organization. The latter two assume significance, as they are one who involved with the human element. In this context, dynamic personnel management aims at obtaining and maintaining a capable and effective workforce, motivating the employees individually and in groups to contribute their optimum fulfillment of organizational goals, while advancing towards their own individual and group goals. Human relations as an integrated body of knowledge composed of several elements from different disciplines. Human relations is an inter-disciplinary field because the study of human behaviour in an industrial or business setting must include research of several social and physical sciences, if it is to be coherent. The inter-disciplinary approach requires an understanding of the separate contributions made by other disciplines and then the integration of that information into a unified whole. The study of personnel management is, thus, the development and administration of programmes, policies and procedures which aim at motivating the employee to work cooperatively and willingly. Broadly specking, the functions of personnel management includes research in the areas of manpower planning, performance appraisal systems, conflict management, study of organizational climate, design of incentives, plans, leadership styles, training methods, negotiation and wage settlement and labour welfare study, etc.

d. Research in Production Management:

The field of production management has since long been characterized the development of techniques and methods. It is only during the last twenty seven years that the personals involved in production management have witnessed development of the principles of systematic production planning and control. Presently, the experts are standing at the thresh hold of a break through on the development of production management as an applied science in the management literature.

The final production in an organization is basically concerned with the conversion of material and human inputs into outputs of goods and/or services. The production system creates utilities through this process of conversion which brings that one assumed and services that one utilized during the course of our daily lives on the results of performance of production functions. With the advent of industrial revolution during the 1770s, machines were inverted and high growth in production was delivered. This leads to systematic analysis of production problems (Rao, 1998). Different research topics studied under production management includes- forecasting, capacity planning, prove location plant layout, line balancing, inventory control, aggregate planning, master production scheduling, materials requirements planning, single-machine scheduling, flow up scheduling, job shop scheduling, project management, maintenance management, quality control, work deign, modern production system design like- computer integrated manufacturing, flexible manufacturing, agile manufacturing, logistics management, total quality management, etc.

e. Research in Information Technology:

IT as a technique can be used to solve all the real world problems with the help of the computers, or computer generated programmes popularly known as ‘software’. Computer is merely a combination of some hard wares and some soft wares and thus, has no intrinsic value. Achieving competitive advantages is not as simple as buying a computer. The ways information technology is used in support of competitive business strategy determine whether a competitive advantage can be achieved or not. Because of change in business needs, business expects are more in numbers hired from the techniques of information technology, in order to make the business more attractive, fast and user friendly. Thus, the new applications should be aligned in light of both the ‘users view’ as well as the ‘business process view’. IT may enable business (i) applications that needs to provide a consistent user interface, (ii) application of complex needs to be hidden, (iii) the user interaction must be flexible, (iv) there should be consistent information flow across all applications, (v) its systems will support all activity performed by the user, not just as a part, (vi) its system must have the ability of changing the business activity, when necessary and (vii) it is essential that it provides the integrity facility of transitional process.

The three forms of positive contribution to management science by information technology are like (i) efficiency measure by productivity-doing things better, (ii) effectiveness accomplished by broadening the scope of individual tasks, jobs or processes within an organization- doing better things including what an organization could never do before and (iii) competitive advantages gained by the enterprise- doing better and new things for the customer.

Research in the areas of information technology is now concerned with the topics like Artificial Intelligence, DBMS, MIS, application of C-Programming, the competitive model for industrial structure analysis, business competitive environment, effective e-business strategy, corporate strategy, architecture and infrastructure management, International business, information resources and technology management, planning and implementation of change management, etc.

f. Research in Rural Management:

The terms ‘rural management’ may be a subset of the broader term ‘development’. Howsoever, it can be defined as ‘development’ is a universally cherished goal of individuals, families, communities and nations all over the world. Development is also natural in the sense that all forms of life on the earth have an inherent urge to survive and develop. Given these attributes, that is, its universal supremacy as a goal and its natural occurrence, development deserves scientific studies and analysis. Hence, it is not surprising that the subject of development has been studied by scholars for all faith, ideologies and disciplines.

Rural management is a strategy to enable a specific group of people, poor rural women and men, to gain for themselves and their children more of what they want and need. It involves helping the poorest among those who seek a livelihood in the rural area to demand and control more of the benefits of rural management. The group includes small scale farmers, tenants and the land less. Thus the term ‘rural management’ may be used to imply any one of the above mentioned connotations. To avoid in effective floundering among the myriad definitions, rural management may be pronounced as a process leading to sustainable improvement in the quality of life of the rural people, especially the poor. In addition to the economic growth, this process typically involves changes in popular attitudes and in many cases, even in customs and beliefs.

Research in rural management is mainly concerned with the topics like analysis of rural economy, analysis of agricultural and non-agricultural sub sector, measures and determinants of rural management, strategies for sustainable management, policy instruments of rural management, equity and growth oriented programmes, rural marketing strategy, poverty and employment eradication management, natural resources and infrastructural management, financing rural management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation management etc.

Box-1.6: List of Possible Research Areas in Each Broad Category of Management


• Pricing of product

• Analysis of market demand and supply

• Demand estimation and forecasting

• Effective sales promotion tools

• Market segmentation and production identification

• New product development based on segmentation and target positioning

• Advertising sources determination (print, broadcast media, etc.)

• Packaging and designing of products

• Analyzing the consumer behaviour

• Managing the distribution channels, etc.


• Financial information system

• Short-term and long-term investment and financing decisions

• Capital structure and dividend decisions

• Financial markets and instruments analysis

• Investment and portfolio management

• Analysis on mergers, acquisitions and re-structuring

• International financial management

• Contemporary developments

• Financial derivatives, etc.


• Determining plant location

• Plant layout planning

• Inventory control

• Capacity determination

• Inventory control

• Materials execution planning



• Maintenance management

• Flow-shop and Job-shop scheduling

• Logistics management, etc.


• Manpower planning

• Recruitment planning

• Analyzing the cause of job switchovers

• Conflict management

• Training and development

• Negotiation and counseling

• Efficient labour management

• External and international environment

• Motivation techniques

• Labour management techniques, etc.

Information Technology:

• Competitive model for industrial structural analysis

• Business competitive environment

• Effective e-business strategy

• Corporate strategy

• Architecture and infrastructure management

• International business

• Information resources and technology management

• Planning and implementation of change management

• Customers Relationship Management

Rural Management:

• Analysis of rural economy

• Analysis of agricultural and non-agricultural sub-sector

• Measures and determinants of rural management

• Strategies for sustainable management

• Policy instruments of rural management

• Equity and growth oriented programmes

• Rural marketing

• Poverty and employment eradication management

• Natural resources and infrastructural management

• Financing rural management

• Implementation, monitoring and evaluation management etc.

Barriers of Management Research:

In the process of execution of research work in the areas of management, researchers may likely to face some common barriers. Some sources of barriers are:

1. Resource barriers: These barriers may be in terms of financing of resources, non availability of intellectual resource persons (skilled experts) for smooth functioning of research, absence of proper training for the research assistants, etc.

2. Internal source of barriers: There is possibility that the researchers are generally face number of obstacles from their own organization. Such barriers relate to the existing mission, vision and objective of the organization, policies, defective communication mechanism, faulty organization structure, etc.

3. External source of barriers: The external factors who generally create difficulty to the organization are customers, stake holders, government policies, competitor’s reactions, etc. All these external factors are not within the control of the organization but influence in the operation of the organization, hence, are the part of research. Thus, the researchers have to keep birds-eye-view on the dynamic nature of above factors.


This chapter analyses some important and basic concept of research, points out its objectives and importance in different fields of human behaviour. It also incorporates detailed analysis on various scopes of research in the field of natural sciences, social sciences and management sciences. Similarly, it also analyses some important principles of good research.


1. The society and the organization always operate under some degree of uncertainty. This uncertainty cannot be eliminated completely, although it can be minimized with the help of research methodology.

2. The researcher while going for decision-making always gets confused thinking from where to start in order to identify the alternative. Systematic inquiry of the problem is a common and fundamental threat. The process of systematic inquiry requires careful planning of an orderly investigation.

3. Research in common context refers to a search for knowledge. It can also be defined as a scientific and systematic search for gaining information and knowledge on a specific topic or phenomena.

4. Research methodology in business and social sciences implies a detailed and systematic procedure of studying something related to business, trade and social aspects of human life i.e., solving the existing problem that has arisen in the society and economic environment for effective decision-making.

5. The scope of research is to explore the hidden truth of human behaviour which can be classified into three major fields: Natural Sciences or Physical science research; Social Science Research and Management Research.

6. The role of research has greatly increased in the field of business and society as a whole. The study of research methods provides us with the knowledge and skills that are needs to solve the problems and meet the challenges of today’s modern pace of development.


  1. What is decision-making? What are its basic elements?
  2. Define research? Discuss the role of research in decision making.
  3. What is research? Why should there be any question about the definitions of research?
  4. What is research methodology? Distinguish between exploratory research vrs. conclusive research.
  5. Decision-making is the main task of the manager. What are various scientific steps a manager has to follow while going for research?
  6. What are various types of research?
  7. Explain the principles of a good research.
  8. ‘Research is much concerned with proper facts findings analysis and evaluation’, Do you agree with this statement? Give reason in support of your answer?
  9. Define business research? Discuss the steps of research process with the help of suitable example.
  10. What is the role of research at the strategic level planning in an organisation? Define some significance of research in management discipline?
  11. What do you mean by gap in the theory? How gap analysis is an important source of identifying a research problem?
  12. Why doing research in social science discipline is important? What are some necessities for research?
  13. Why some research is called exploratory research? How does it differ from other type of research?
  14. Think of and list down some applications where qualitative methods of research are better than quantitative research techniques.
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Basic concepts of research. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved December 5, 2022 , from

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