In Module One, we will explore the concept of business research and why it is an important skill for operations management professionals. With the advancement of technology, prominence of the internet, and the vast expansions of data sources within and outside the organization, managers are now being expected to gather this data and subsequently analyze the data to ultimately drive valid business decisions. Business research is a systematic process to identify an organizational problem or opportunity, collect appropriate data, analyze the data, and summarize the findings. From these findings, actions are implemented that improve an organizational process, solve an organizational problem, and contribute to organizational performance.
Possessing knowledge of business research methods provides a distinct advantage over those managers who are unfamiliar with formal business research. According to Sekaran and Bougie (2016), these advantages include:
- The ability solve organizational problems
- The knowledge to conduct systematic research and arrive at data-based conclusions
- The awareness to identify bias and influences on a particular organizational problem
- The ability to estimate risk in decision making by fully understanding the implications of various outcomes
- The ability to present a solution to organizational problems to all stakeholders in a concise, fact-based fashion
Ultimately, you will possess the ability to systematically dissect a problem, analyze the data, and present fact-based, valid decisions. This differs from those who use intuition, bias, and “gut feel” to make decisions and solve problems. In the Module One discussion forum, you and your peers will be discussing your varied experience with business research. This will provide insight into how business research is applied to various disciplines and industries. The module readings provide an overview of the basic concepts in business research and introduce the criticality of developing a clear, concise problem statement and associated research questions. Business research fundamental concepts—research questions—will form the initial phase of the final course project.
Sekaran, U. & Bougie, R. (2016). Research methods for business: A skill-building approach (7th ed.). Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley.
*************Review the attached case study Maruti Suzuki India: Defending Market Leadership in the A-Segment and identify a problem that can be addressed by a research report. Draft a preliminary description of the problem and a research question based on the problem identified. For this journal and the first final project milestone, you will not need to reference the data sets provided, but you may want to review the data briefly to help inform the development of your research question.
Note: You will notice that there are both qualitative and quantitative data sets accompanying the case study. While both can be used to address a business problem, you will be using quantitative data sets for the purpose of the final project in this course.
Use the questions posed in the summary of the case study on page 8 to inform your ideas for your research problem.*****************