Explore the essential steps for data collection, reporting, and analysis in business research
Understanding Business Research offers a comprehensive introduction to the entire process of designing, conducting, interpreting, and reporting findings in the business environment. With an emphasis on the human factor, the book presents a complete set of tools for tackling complex behavioral and social processes that are a part of data collection in industry settings.
Utilizing numerous real-world examples throughout, the authors begin by presenting an overview of the research process, outlining key ideas relating to the business environment, ethics, and empirical methods. Quantitative techniques and considerations that are specific to business research, including sampling and the use of assessments, surveys, and objective measures are also introduced. Subsequent chapters outline both common and specialized research designs for business data, including:
Single Variable Between-Subjects Research
Correlated Groups Designs
Qualitative and Mixed-Method Research
Between-Subjects Factorial Designs
Research with Categorical Data
Each chapter is organized using an accessible, comprehensive pedagogy that ensures a fluid presentation. Case studies showcase the real-world applications of the discussed topics while critical thinking exercises and Knowledge Checks supply questions that allow readers to test their comprehension of the presented material. Numerous graphics illustrate the visual nature of the research, and chapter-end glossaries outline definitions of key terms. In addition, detailed appendices provide a review of basic concepts and the most commonly used statistical tables.
Requiring only a basic understanding of statistics, Understanding Business Research is an excellent book for courses on business statistics as well as business and management science research methods at the graduate level. The book is also a valuable resource for practitioners in business, finance, and management science who utilize qualitative and quantitative research methods in their everyday work.
BART L. WEATHINGTON, PhD, is UC Foundation Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he is also Coordinator of the Industrial-Organizational Psychology graduate program. Dr. Weathington is coauthor of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (Wiley). CHRISTOPHER J. L. CUNNINGHAM, PhD, is UC Foundation Associate Professor of Industrial-Organizational and Occupational Health Psychology at the University of Tennessee of Chattanooga, where he is also Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine in the College of Medicine. Dr. Cunningham is coauthor of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (Wiley). DAVID J. PITTENGER, PhD, is Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Marshall University. Dr. Pittenger is coauthor of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (Wiley).
Preface xiii PART I: OVERVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROCESS 1 1 RESEARCH AND BUSINESS 3 Introduction 4 Why Is Understanding Research Methods so Important? 4 The Role of Science in Business and Everyday Life 4 The Scientific Method 5 Brief History of the Science of Behavior in the Workplace 6 Bacon s Legacy 10 Other Important Historical Figures 10 Assumptions of Science 12 Requirements for Scientific Research 13 Chapter Summary 18 Chapter Glossary for Review 20 References 21 2 ETHICS AND RESEARCH 23 Introduction 23 What Is Ethics? 24 Approaches to Ethical Analysis 26 Making Ethical Decisions 29 Ethical Business Research 30 Components of an Ethical Research Plan 32 Research in Action: Ethical Dilemmas 37 Chapter Glossary for Review 40 References 40 3 THE FOUNDATIONS OF RESEARCH 41 Introduction 41 The Hypothesis in Research 42 Types of Hypotheses 46 Measurement 52 Reliability of Measurement 57 Validity of Measurement 59 Populations and Samples 61 Research in Action: Credit or Cash? 65 Chapter Summary 68 Chapter Glossary for Review 69 References 71 4 AN OVERVIEW OF EMPIRICAL METHODS 73 Introduction 74 Internal, Statistical, and External Validity 74 Survey of Empirical Methods 83 Intact Groups Designs and Quasi-Experimental Studies 87 Surveys 90 Correlational Studies 90 Interviews and Case Studies 92 Meta-Analysis 93 Computers and Statistics 94 Research in Action: Price Matters 95 Chapter Summary 99 Chapter Glossary for Review 101 References 103 PART II: NUTS AND BOLTS OF RESEARCH 105 5 WRITING THE RESEARCH REPORT 107 Introduction 107 What Do Readers Appreciate in Good Writing? 109 Elements of Style 109 Special Grammatical Issues 113 Academic Integrity 117 Parts of the Research Report 122 Chapter Summary 135 References 136 6 REVIEWING THE LITERATURE AND FORMING HYPOTHESES 137 Introduction 138 Bibliographic Research 138 The Internet as a Source 141 Developing a Search Strategy 143 Searching the Literature: The Library 144 Research in Action: Does Listening to Mozart Make You Smarter? 148 Statistical Inference and Testing Hypotheses 150 Chapter Summary 154 Chapter Glossary for Review 155 References 156 7 SAMPLING: THE FIRST STEPS IN RESEARCH 157 Introduction 158 The Nature of Samples 159 Probability Sampling 160 Sampling Methods 162 Nonprobability Sampling 165 Central Limit Theorem 167 Applications of the Central Limit Theorem 170 Sources of Bias and Error: A Reprise 176 Research in Action: Sampling Matters 178 Chapter Summary 180 Chapter Glossary for Review 181 References 182 8 CREATING AND USING ASSESSMENTS, SURVEYS, AND OBJECTIVE MEASURES 183 Introduction 184 Purpose of Measurement 184 Caveat Assessor 184 Creating a Measurement Scale and Developing a Data-Collection Strategy 186 Interviews, Questionnaires, and Attitude Surveys 187 Question Response Formats 190 Writing Good Survey Items 194 Determining the Sample Size for a Survey 199 Naturalistic Observation 201 Research in Action: Analysis of Assaults 207 Chapter Summary 212 Chapter Glossary for Review 212 References 215 9 A MODEL FOR RESEARCH DESIGN 215 Introduction 216 A Model for Research Design 216 What Is the Independent Variable? 221 What Is the Dependent Variable? 223 Are There Confounding Variables? 224 What Are the Research Hypotheses? 227 Mathematical Hypotheses 228 Evaluating Hypotheses 229 Evaluating Hypotheses: Practical Matters 232 Research in Action: Sex Differences and Shopping Behavior 236 Research in Action: Changing Attitudes by Writing Essays 236 Chapter Summary 237 Chapter Glossary for Review 239 References 240 PART III: COMMON RESEARCH DESIGNS 243 10 CORRELATIONAL RESEARCH 245 Introduction 246 Conceptual Review of Correlation 246 Pearson s r 248 Interpreting the Correlation Coefficient 248 Factors that Corrupt a Correlation Coefficient 250 Sample Size and the Correlation Coefficient 253 Applications of the Correlation Coefficient 255 Regression Analysis 259 Introduction to Mediation and Moderation 261 Regression to the Mean 262 Research in Action: Education and Income 264 Chapter Summary 268 Chapter Glossary for Review 269 References 270 11 BETWEEN-SUBJECTS DESIGNS 271 Introduction 271 Student s t-Ratio for Independent Groups 272 Review of Hypothesis Testing 274 Testing Statistical Hypotheses 276 Common Errors in the Interpretation of p 282 The Power of a Test 284 Estimating the Sample Size 289 Statistics Behind The Research 291 Chapter Summary 295 Chapter Glossary for Review 296 References 296 12 SINGLE-VARIABLE BETWEEN-SUBJECTS RESEARCH 297 Introduction 298 Independent Variable 298 Cause and Effect 301 Gaining Control Over the Variables 301 The General Linear Model 303 Components of Variance 306 The F-Ratio 307 H0 and H1 310 F-Ratio Sampling Distribution 310 Summarizing and Interpreting ANOVA Results 312 Effect Size and Power 313 Multiple Comparisons of the Means 315 Research in Action 318 Chapter Summary 320 Chapter Glossary for Review 321 References 322 13 BETWEEN-SUBJECTS FACTORIAL DESIGNS 325 Introduction 326 The Logic of the Two-Variable Design 326 Advantages of the Two-Variable Design 327 Factorial Designs: Variables, Levels, and Cells 331 Examples of Factorial Designs 332 Main Effects and Interaction 334 Designing a Factorial Study 342 Identifying Samples and Estimating Sample Size 344 Interpreting the Interaction: Advanced Considerations 346 Chapter Summary 348 Chapter Glossary for Review 348 References 349 14 CORRELATED-GROUPS DESIGNS 351 Introduction 351 Logic of the Correlated-Groups Research Design 352 Repeated-Measures Design 353 Longitudinal Designs 362 Matched-Groups Design 365 Mixed-Model Design 367 Research in Action 368 Chapter Summary 370 Chapter Glossary for Review 370 References 371 PART IV: SPECIAL RESEARCH DESIGNS 373 15 RESEARCH WITH CATEGORICAL DATA 375 Introduction 375 Goodness-of-Fit Test 377 2 Test of Independence 381 2 Test of Homogeneity 384 Further Analysis of the 2 385 McNemar Test 388 Research in Action: Gambling and Productivity 391 Chapter Summary 393 Chapter Glossary for Review 394 References 394 16 QUALITATIVE AND MIXED-METHODS RESEARCH 397 Introduction 398 Qualitative Versus Quantitative Research 398 Theory and Perspectives Guiding Qualitative Research 399 Mixing Methods: Quantitative and Qualitative Combined 400 Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Data Collection and Analysis 402 Benefits and Challenges of Mixed-Methods Research 408 Sources of Published Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Research 411 Research in Action: Gender- and Job-Based Differences in Work Stress 412 Chapter Summary 414 Chapter Glossary for Review 415 References 415 Appendix A: Statistics Behind the Research, or, What Was I Supposed to Remember from My Statistics Class Anyway? 417 Appendix B: Statistical Tables 435 Index 485