Business research can pursue a variety of objectives, for example, to examine the attitudes of employees or consumer decision-making. Each of such questions can be of great importance to an organization. Although a research process can take different forms, there are several parts that are normally present. One of the most important elements is the definition of a problem or a question that should be examined (Blankertz et al, 1957, p. 403).
For instance, companies may want to understand the reasons why employees can behave in an ethical or unethical way (Trapp, 2011, p. 543). They can try to study the factors that affect purchasing decisions of consumers. These are only some of the questions that business research can answer. But at first, it is necessary to formulate or define them.
The second important element is the development of research methodology and the selection interpretive framework that can adequately explain the behavior of people (Blankertz et al, 1957, p. 404). The methodology can be both qualitative and quantitative. Researchers can employ such methods as statistical surveys, unstructured interviews, or even group discussion.
At this point, it is necessary to determine the size of the sample and construct the interview. For example, organizations should determine how many customers or employees should be interviewed in order to ensure the validity of findings. The researchers, who study industries and markets, may need to estimate the number of companies or countries that they want to discuss in their study.
There are other important components of business research process, namely the interpretation of results and finding an application to the research. For instance, very often organizations conduct unstructured interviews. At this stage, it is necessary for them to identify the most common opinions or complaints that customers or employees mentioned.
Finally, the ultimate goal of business research is to bring improvements to an organization or solve a particular problem. For example, an organization may try to reduce turnover or improve time-management. The goals can be different, but in every case, one should seek for practical applications of business research; otherwise it can be pointless.
Blankertz, D., Ferber, R., Mulvihill, D.,& Roggenburg, H. (1957). The Teaching of Marketing Research in Relation to Industry Needs. Journal of Marketing 21 (4), 401-412.
Trapp, L. (2011). Staff Attitudes to Talking Openly About Ethical Dilemmas: The Role of Business Ethics Conceptions and Trust. Journal of Business Ethics, 103 (21), 543-552.