3.1: Define and explain research methodology and its importance
Walliman (2005) argues that many of these everyday uses of the term ‘research’ are not research in the true meaning of the word. As part of this, he highlights ways in which the term is used wrongly:
• Just collecting facts or information with no clear purpose;
• Reassembling and reordering facts or information without interpretation;
• As a term to get your product or idea noticed and respected.
The first of these highlights the fact that, although research often involves the collection of information, it is more than just reading a few books or articles, talking to a few people or asking people questions. While collecting data may be part of the …show more content…
Easterby-Smith et al. (2008) argue that four things combine to make business and management a distinctive focus for research:
• The way in which managers (and researchers) draw on knowledge developed by other disciplines;
• The fact that managers tend to be powerful and busy people. Therefore, they are unlikely to allow research access unless they can see personal or commercial advantages.
• The fact that managers are educated. Many now have undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and, as such, tend often to be as well educated as those conducting research about them.
• The requirement for the research to have some practical consequence. This means it either needs to contain the potential for taking some form of action or needs to take account of the practical consequences of the …show more content…
In our example above, the obvious one is absenteeism. Just what constitutes absenteeism would have to be strictly defined: an absence for a complete day would probably count, but what about absence for two hours? In addition, what would constitute a ‘short period of employment’ and ‘younger’ employees? What is happening here is that the principle of reductionism is being followed. This holds that problems as a whole are better under- stood if they are reduced to the simplest possible elements.
The final characteristic of deduction is generalisation. In order to be able to generalise statistically about regularities in human social behaviour it is necessary to select samples of sufficient numerical size. In our example above, research at a particular store would allow us only to make inferences about that store; it would be dangerous to predict that worker youth and short length of service lead to absenteeism in all cases. This is dis- cussed in more detail in Section