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Application of Research Approaches in Business Situations Research Paper

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Updated: Dec 15th, 2019

Theory is usually tested in practice to prove its validity and applicability; a business research is a theoretical framework that enables researchers to outline the basic aspects of the practical implementation of methods to reach expected outcomes. In this respect, a theoretical approach should be used in a business situation to maximize the effect of the overall strategy.

For instance, when a human resource manager wants to improve the employee commitment as one of the social responsibility characteristics, he/she may use one of the strategies reviewed in literature and apply it to the corporation. Assessment of results with regard to their effectiveness or ineffectiveness would demonstrate if the appropriate strategy have been chosen and applied to practice.


One of the research approaches usually explored in the process of business research is performance. As a rule, performance may concern the overall performance of an organization, performance of individuals, performance of groups with regard to the skills of group members, and the ways the performance is measured.

In other words, an organizational performance can be measured with the help of the employee satisfaction when the organization is considered as a workplace and its performance can be reflected in a survey held to find out whether the conditions are appropriate as well as salaries, system of bonuses, training, overall satisfaction.

For instance, in their study Clarke and Estes (2008) suggest to “use human performance analysis process constantly so that [to detect] …performance gaps as business conditions change” (p. 178). This means that performance is the reflection of the situation in the company and response of it and all its elements to internal and external changes.

Performance can be easily applied to business situations when it is necessary to keep abreast of the latest changes that take place in the market and within the organization. One of the ways of applying performance as a research approach is demonstrated in the study by Herbst and Coldwell (2004) where performance-monitoring research is claimed to be an integral part of the quality management policy.

As such, “South African Airways (SAA) may select sample flights and administer questionnaires to passengers on these flights about …in-flight service, food quality, aircraft clean lines…” (Herbst & Coldwell, 2004, p. 8).

Other aspects that may influence the overall image of the company, brand loyalty, and, consequently, financial performance of the company should be also monitored. In this respect, performance is applied to business situations to be aware of the conditions, elements, aspects, and details, and be able to react immediately to changes.


Evaluation of the performance, quality, satisfaction, and other components that may influence the company’s image, management, and results is the assessment of these aspects with the help of application of business research approaches to the practical issues.

When discussing the ways this research approach can be implemented to business situations, it seems that every stage of the business process can benefit from application of evaluation research methods.

Besides, it is possible to use the four levels of evaluation with regard to the field where this research approach is applied to; reactions, impact during the implementation, transfer (further effectiveness of implemented approach), and bottom line (Clarke & Estes, 2008, p. 128).

At the same time, the most universally used level of evaluation is the bottom line evaluation that helps to measure and assess whether the approach/method/model implemented contributed positively to attainment of the corporate goals of the organization.

An example of implementing the evaluation research which is “concerned with the evaluation of such occurrences as organizational programmes or interventions” (Bryman & Bell, 2007, p. 53) can be seen in companies that introduce new programs or interventions to improve the quality of services, management of staff, and decision-making process.

To learn whether the program operates effectively and the level of reaching the goals set concerning the expected outcomes, the evaluation research is conducted.

The more goals the company sets before implementation of the program/intervention, the more thoroughly the evaluation should be performed to answer all the questions set and identify gaps that could possible influence poor performance and realization of the intended program outcomes.

Assessment of the effectiveness of a specific program is the main purpose of using the evaluation approach that is beneficial for companies that apply interventions.


Description is one of the business research approaches used to familiarize managers with the problem and possible ways it can be solved, potential alternatives, and parties concerned.

For instance, the study by Weill and Vitale (2001) identifies the description as a method of analyzing and enumerating “roles and relationships among a firm’s consumers, customers, allies, and suppliers that identifies the major floes of product, information, and money, and the major benefits to participants” (Gottschalk, 2007, p. 67).

In other words, the description as a business research approach enables the researchers to find out about the peculiarities of the situation with regard to the information provided. At the same time, it is necessary to apply description approach to business situations when there are some problems in the company and an intervention should be applied to improve the situation.

In this case, description would serve as a way to enumerating the potential problems and considering possible benefits of the intervention and describing the way the intervention will be introduced and its effect.

The application of description to business situation is possible to inform the investor about the company’s opportunities and perspectives, to report about the financial performance of the company, or to focus on the company’s problems when appropriate management should be introduced.

As reported by Herbst and Coldwell (2004), “the mere description through research of some social or economic activity may familiarize managers with organizational and environmental occurrences that help them understand the situation” (p. 6).

As such, “the description of the dividend history of shares” (Herbst & Coldwell, 2004, p. 6) may inform the potential investors and stakeholders about the beneficial investment opportunities. At the same time, inappropriate description may result in refusal of investors to deal with the company regardless of benefits it may offer.


Though some researchers would find prediction non-scientific business research approach, it is beneficial when applied to business situations. When a person tries to predict results of the transaction, he/she may fail to forecast the real outcomes of it due to lack of experience and importance of other essential factors that may potentially change the final results. In this respect, prediction research approach should be used as a component of analysis of future actions and changes.

For instance, one of the business situations includes “prediction of company sales on the basis of disposable income” (Herbst & Coldwell, 2004, p. 11). In other words, the prediction cannot be used for business situation without any facts on which the prediction can be based. At the same time, if there are many facts and all the variables are known, a mere analysis and measurement can be used.

Prediction as a business research approach is usually used when some facts are known while other variables such as weather, harvest, market changes, reaction of other components of the market to market changes, and many other aspects are unknown though it is possible to predict the situation.

It is possible to predict the employee’s performance based on the survey results that reflect employee’s attitude to corporate culture, terms of payment, bonus system, and other factors that may influence the employee’s performance.

However, it is impossible to predict a customer’s preferences without being aware of his/her brand awareness, affordability of this or that product for a particular customer, and other aspects that usually shape the business models.

To conclude, performance, evaluation, description, and prediction are business research approaches that can be easily applied to business situations when the company’s perspectives should be measured and improved. At the same time, each of these approaches is more applicable to certain business situations and none of them is universal.

For instance, it is impossible to use prediction to analyze the customer satisfaction or quality of services provided. Evaluation is more related to quantitative research though qualitative evaluation is also possible though there are various theories advocating and opposing its possibility.

Reference List

Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2007). Business research methods (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Clarke, R. E., & Estes, F. (2008). Turning research into results – a guide to selecting the right performance solutions (PB). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Gottschalk, P. (2007). Business dynamics in information technology. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Inc.

Herbst, F., & Coldwell, D. (2004). Business research (2nd ed.). Cape Town: Juta and Company Ltd.

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