Title: Research:Definition and business perspective
“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”
Research ,the word comprises of prefix ‘re’ and the verb search. If we look at each of these components individually ,then ‘re’ means again and ‘search’ means to examine carefully ,to test ,try and probe. Thus the basic idea of research is to try and find answers to the questions. But before finding an answer to a question ,its important to look out for a question.
There are so many questions unanswered all round us. For example, ‘why do I have black eyes and somebody else has brown’ ,’what makes popcorn pop’ and many more. We just need to be an astute observer and enquire for the answers in a systematic way. One of the classic examples of observation and enquiry is ‘laws of gravitation’. Sir Isaac Newton’s great sense of observation and aptitude of enquiry changed the course of human civilization.
Formally research can be defined as creation of knowledge in a new and creative way as to generate new concepts. It includes analysis of previous research which might lead to something new and creative outcomes. Finding of any previous research result is not sacrosanct. They can always be improved further.
Basic vs Applied:
The difference between basic and applied research seems is that applied research has “real world” application. ‘Basic’ researchers face questions such as “How real world their efforts are going to help th?”
- Basic Research
Basic research explores the fundamental bases of behavior, irrespective of the fact that how those bases are manifested in the real world. It tries to explain, predict, and describe fundamental bases of behavior. There is a memory procedure which asks people to respond to words on a computer screen as quickly as they can. Such researches can help to understand about how information in memory is linked to other information .But such procedures happen rarely in real life except when we are playing some computer game.
- Applied Research
Applied research addresses real-world problems. Topics such as persuasion, eyewitness memory, clinical treatments of psychological disorders, behavioral interventions for children with autism decision making, etc. are covered in applied research.
Deductive vs Heuristic:
Research can be either deductive or heuristic. A deductive research has hypotheses which describes the status quo. Such hypotheses are based on previous experiences or hypotheses. The objective of such an endeavor is to accept or reject hypotheses. But in a heuristic research such kind of hypotheses is not necessary .Here the approach is ‘discovery approach’. In heuristic research, sometimes the question is too general ,then it becomes imperative to have a focused research question or hypotheses.
Business research is a field of practical study in which a company obtains data and analyzes it in order to better manage the company. Business research can include financial data, consumer feedback, product research and competitive analysis. Executives and managers who use business research methods are able to better understand their company, the position it holds in the market and how to improve that position.
Financial data takes qualitative information–such as sales reports, revenues and cost reports–to see what areas make money and what costs money. By reviewing data, managers can find the products, staff and departments that are most efficient and determine areas of unnecessary costs.
Understanding what the public says about the products and services a company provides is essential to making sure the company is meeting consumer needs. Customer feedback includes case studies, focus groups, customer surveys and questionnaires.
Product research seeks to improve the product to meet the needs of consumers. This may include technological advancements, improved customer service or access to the product through a variety of distribution channels.
Competitive analysis is when one company compares its products and services to those of another company. This can be done to improve the product, create a niche or determine a more attractive price point to lure customers.
Using research tools such as the information compiled by Dun & Bradstreet can help a company to understand how the industry as a whole is doing. This can help executives make decisions based on economic factors affecting their industry that are not limited to their own products.
Recently a lot of stress has been put on understanding the organizational behavior and human resource development.Companies have been investing a lot in research to find methods to employ various theories in motivating and mobilizing their employees. Research has helped to understand the job attitude and ways to increase employee involvement.
Problem discovery is the initial but paramount step to start any research. Quality of problem discovery determines the quality of research. Its important to segregate the problem from its symptoms otherwise course of the research can take wrong direction. If a product is not selling in the market then it might be symptom of wrong targeting or incorrect pricing. Sometimes difference between problem and subtle so we must be careful in segmentation. The essence of this issue is very well captured by iceberg principle.
Iceberg Principle: Observation that in many (if not most) cases only a very small amount (the ‘tip’) of information is available or visible about a situation or phenomenon, whereas the ‘real’ information or bulk of data is either unavailable or hidden.
Before starting any research we need to address the following issues:-
Need for research:
- Identify the stakeholders and benefits they will receive from the research. An easy way to identify need for research is to keep on asking ‘why’ questions(i.e. why we are doing the research).But be careful and limit yourself after certain ‘why’s otherwise we might broaden the scope of the problem.
- Define the problem clearly and succinctly. A vague statement might lead the researcher in direction and a lot of effort might end up being futile. Be careful that problem definition does end up being too narrow.
- Break the research into smaller objectives such that sum total of efforts put in achieving these objectives leads to completion of project. There are objectives which are generic to all the researches and some are very specific to a research.
Research is all about observation and enquiry. It is way forward and prevents the stagnation of human civilization. Creative capability of humans can be harnessed by the systematic approach of research. It helps in enhancement of existing and genesis of new.