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Session 2

Management problem,
Research objective,
Hypothesis
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Research process flow chart


Literature review
Define
research
problem

Review concepts
and theories
Review previous
research finding

Collect
data

Formulate
hypotheses

Analyze
data

Design
research

Interpret
and report

Management problem and Research problem


Importance of defining problem
Each step in a research project is important, but the
problem definition is the most important step.
Problem definition involves stating general problem and
identifying the specific components of the research
problem.
Only when the research problem has been clearly defined
can research be designed and conducted properly.
Of all the tasks in a research project, none is more vital to
the ultimate fulfillment of a clients needs than a proper
definition of a research problem.
All the effort, time, and money spent from this point on will
be wasted if the problem is misunderstood or ill defined.
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The process of defining Research problem


Tasks involved
Discussions
with Decision
Maker(s)

Interviews
with Experts

Secondary
Data
Analysis

Qualitative
Research

Management Decision Problem


Step: 1

Research Problem
Objective/Theoretical Foundations

Step: 2

Verbal/Graphical Model

Research Question
Hypotheses

Specification of Info. Needed

Management problem Vs. Research problem

Management Decision Problem

Research Problem

Asks what the decision maker


needs to do

Asks what information is needed


and how to it should be obtained

Action oriented

Information oriented

Focuses on symptoms

Focuses on the underlying causes

Defining the problem

DM: We have seen a decline in the patronage of our store.

R: How do you know that?

DM: Well, it is reflected in our sales and market share.

R: Why do you think your patronage has declined?

DM: I wish I knew!

R: What about competition?

DM: I suspect we are better than competition on some


factors and worse than them on others.

R: How do the customers view your store?

DM: I think most of them view it positively, although we may


have a weak area or two.
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Defining the problem

After a series of dialogues with the DM and other key


managers, analysis of secondary data, and qualitative
research, the problem was identified as follows:

Management Decision Problem: What should be done


to improve the patronage of Sears.

Research Problem: Determine the relative strengths


and weaknesses of Sears, vis--vis other major
competitors, with respect to factors that influence store
patronage.

Defining the problem

The following examples further distinguish between the


management decision problem and the research
problem.

Management Decision Problem

Research Problem

Should this new product be


introduced?

To determine consumer preferences


and purchase intentions for the
proposed new product.

Should the advertising


campaign be changed?

To determine the effectiveness of the


current advertising campaign.

Should the price of the brand


be increased?

To determine the price elasticity of


demand and the impact on sales and
profits of various levels of prices.
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Defining the problem

Class exercise.

Management Decision Problem


What changes in
characteristics of Lux be made
to increase its market share?
Shall we shift to national
distribution channel from
satellite distributors?
Shall we have 1, 2 or 3 days
training programs for newly
inducted insurance agents?

Research Problem
To determine the preference of
product characteristics of Safeguard,
Camay and Capri by their users.
To determine the relative reach of
national distributors vis-a-vis satellite
distributors in all major cities.
To determine the relative effectiveness
of 1, 2 and 3 days training programs.

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Components of an Approach

Objective/Theoretical Foundations
Analytical Model
Research Questions
Hypotheses
Specification of the Information Needed

Verbal Model Store Patronage

A consumer first becomes aware of department store.

That person then gains an understanding of the store in


terms of factors comprising choice criteria, i.e.,
evaluation.

Based on the evaluation, the consumer forms a degree


of preference for the store. If preference is strong
enough, the consumer will patronize the store

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Graphical Model Store Patronage


Graphical models are visual. They are used to
isolate variables and to suggest directions of
relationships but are not designed to provide
numerical results.
Awareness

Understanding: Evaluation

Preference

Patronage

Mathematical Models
Mathematical models explicitly specify the
relationships among variables, usually in
equation form.
n

y a 0 a i xi
i 1

Where
y
= degree of preference

a ,a

= model parameters to be estimated


statistically
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Graphical Model Harley-Davidson brand loyalty

Beliefs

Attitudes

Purchase

Experience/
Evaluation

Repeat
Purchase

Loyalty

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Research Questions and Hypotheses

Research Problem/Objective
Objective/
Theoretical
Framework

Research Questions

Analytical
Model
Hypotheses

Research Questions and Hypotheses


Research questions (RQs) are refined statements of

the specific components of the problem.


A hypothesis (H) is an unproven statement or
proposition about a factor or phenomenon that is of
interest to the researcher. Often, a hypothesis is a
possible answer to the research question.

At United, Food is Uniting the Airline


with Travelers
The airline's Marketrak survey told United Airlines that
"customers wanted more varied and up-to-date food.
The following research questions and hypotheses may be
posed.
RQ1 How important is food for airline customers?
H1:

Food is an important factor for airline travelers.

H2:

Travelers value branded food.

H3:

Travelers prefer larger food portions, but with


consistent quality.

H4:

Travelers prefer exotic food.

Hypotheses

A hypothesis (H) is an unproven statement or proposition about a


factor or phenomenon that is of interest to the researcher.

It may be a tentative statement about relationships between two or


more variables stipulated by the theoretical framework or the graphical
model.

Often a hypothesis is a possible answer to the research question.


Examples:

RQ: Do Sears customers exhibit store loyalty?

H: Customers of sears are loyal.

RQ: Which characteristics of Safeguard, Camay and Capri are preferred by


their users?

H1: Customers of Safeguard prefer the anti-septic characteristic.

H2: Customers of Camay prefer moisturizing quality.

H3: Customers of Capri prefer cleansing quality of the soap.

RQ: What are the reaches (penetration) of national and satellite


distributors?

H: National distributors have greater penetration level.

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Research Questions

Research questions (RQs) are refined statements of the


problem or of specific components of the problem.
Examples:

Do Sears customers patronize the store?

What is the level of loyalty among Harley-Davidson


users?

Which characteristics of Safeguard, Camay and Capri are


preferred by their users?

What are the reaches (penetration) of national and


satellite distributors?

Remember, Research questions (RQs) are not same as


the questions of a Questionnaire; a questionnaire is a
research instrument.
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Class exercise

Dr. Feroze Laboratory is established in a medium-sized


hospital in Karachi. Looking at the success of laboratory
chains like Aga Khan, Dr. Essas and Dr. Ehasanullah, they
too are mulling over the option of opening a lab-chain. They
are not sure if there is any more opportunity left to open
another lab-chain in the city. To take decision, they need
further accurate information. So, they decided to undertake a
research in this regard.

You are to formulate the following:

Management Decision problem

Research problem

Research objective

A verbal/graphical model

Research question(s)

Hypotheses
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Next Assignment
Research design
Present summary of text material that you read and the
Research article. Only three slides. First slide should contain
Companys name, topic of research and students name.
Bring a printout (Black & White) for approval

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