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Slide 5.

4. Formulating the Research Design

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.2

The Process of Research Design

1. Research choices
2. Research strategies
3. Time horizons

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.3

Research Design
The Research Design Needs:
1. Clear objectives derived from the research question
2. To specify sources of data collection
3. To consider constraints and ethical issues
4. Valid reasons for your choice of design

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.4

Classification of the Research Purpose

Exploratory research
Descriptive studies
Explanatory studies

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.5

Research Strategies (1)

Experiment

Action research

Grounded theory
Ethnography

Survey
Case study

Archival research

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.6

Research Strategies (2)


An Experiment Will Involve:

Definition of a theoretical hypothesis


Selection of samples from known populations
Random allocation of samples
Introduction of planned intervention
Measurement on a small number of dependent
variables
Control of all other variables

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.7

Research Strategies (3)


A Classic Experiment Strategy

Saunders et al, (2009)


Figure 5.2 A classic experiment strategy
Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.8

Research Strategies (4)


Survey: Key Features

Popular in business research


Perceived as authoritative
Allows collection of quantitative data
Data can be analysed quantitatively
Samples need to be representative
Gives the researcher independence
Structured observation and interviews can be used

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.9

Research Strategies (5)


Case Study: Key Features
Provides a rich understanding of a real life context
Uses and triangulates multiple sources of data
A case study can be categorised in four ways
and based on two dimensions:
single case v. multiple case
holistic case v. embedded case
Yin (2003)

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.10

Research Strategies (6)


Action Research: Key Features

Research IN action - not ON action


Involves practitioners in the research
The researcher becomes part of the organisation
Promotes change within the organisation
Can have two distinct facii (Schein, 1999)
the aim of the research and the needs of the sponsor

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.11

Research Strategies (7)


The Action Research Spiral

Saunders et al, (2009)

Figure 5.3 The action research spiral


Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.12

Research Strategies (8)


Grounded Theory: Key Features
Theory is built through induction and deduction
Helps to predict and explain behaviour
Develops theory from data generated by
observations
Is an interpretative process, not a logicodeductive one
Based on Suddaby (2006)
Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.13

Research Strategies (9)


Ethnography: Key Features
Aims to describe and explain the social world
inhabited by the researcher
Takes place over an extended time period
Is naturalistic
Involves extended participant observation

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.14

Research Strategies (10)


Archival Research: Key Features
Uses administrative records and documents as
the principal sources of data
Allows research questions focused on the past
Is constrained by the nature of the records and
documents

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.15

Research Strategies (11)


The Role of the Practitioner-Researcher:
Key Features

Research access is more easily available


The researcher knows the organisation
Has the disadvantage of familiarity
The researcher is likely to their own assumptions
and preconceptions
The dual role requires careful negotiation

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.16

Time Horizons
Select the appropriate time horizon!
Cross-sectional studies

Longitudinal studies

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.17

Credibility of Research Findings


Important Considerations:
Reliability
Validity
Generalizability
Logic leaps and false assumptions

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.18

Research Design Ethics


Remember:

The research design should not subject the


research population to embarrassment, harm or
other material disadvantage

Adapted from Saunders et al, (2009)

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.19

Summary (1)
Research design turns a research question and
objectives into a project that considers:
Strategies

Choices

Time horizons

Research projects can be categorised as:


Exploratory

Descriptive

Explanatory

Research projects may be:


Cross-sectional

Longitudinal

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009

Slide 5.20

Summary (2)
Important Considerations:
The main research strategies may be combined
in the same project
The opportunities provided by using multiple
methods
The validity and reliability of results
Access and ethical considerations
Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009