El trabajo de la investigación // RESEARCH WRITING:

I cite my chief sources for this page here:

* Ghauri and GrØnhaug, Research Methods in Business Studies, Third Edition, Pearson Education Limited 2005

* Salkind, Exploring Research, Sixth Edition, Prentice-Hall 2006.

* Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods in Business, 4th Edition, Pearson Education Limited 2007

The Role and Importance of Research

(from Salkind)

Research is:

  • Increasing our understanding of how and why we/things behave the way we/they do!!

The term “RESEARCH” includes any gathering of data, information and facts for the advancement of knowledge.

Research (Scientific Definition) is performing a methodical study in order to prove a hypothesis or answer a specific question.  Scientific research must be organized and undergo planning, including performing literature reviews of past research and evaluating what questions need to be answered.

A theory:

  • Organizes information
  • Helps explain past events
  • Predicts new events

RESEARCH is based on the work of others:

  • Past research guides new research
  • Research is NOT copying the work of others


  • can be replicated;
  • is generalizable (should apply to situations outside of the study setting);
  • is NOT done in intellectual isolation;
  • is based on some logical rationale;
  • is tied to theory;
  • is “doable”: Good research questions can be translated into projects that can be done!
  • is ongoing (generates new questions; is incremental);
  • should be apolitical (should have the betterment of society as its ultimate goal).


  • A shared philosophical approach to understanding the world
  • A standard sequence of steps in formulating and answering questions

The Research Process – a Process Perspective

(from Ghauri and GrØnhaug)




  • You’ve identified an area of interest
  • Now formulate a research question that

–        Is a clearly stated expression of interest and intent, and

–        That implies a relationship between variables


  • Stated in declarative form
  • Posits a relationship between variables
  • Reflects theory or literature
  • Brief and to the point
  • Testable

Reviewing the Literature

Define your idea in as general terms as possible by using general sources.


Search through the secondary sources.


Search through the primary sources.


Organize your notes.


Write your proposal (write the Lit. Review).

The Role of Literature

  • Frame the problem
  • Identify concepts and methods
  • Position the study

Problem structure and research design

  • Exploratory – unstructured
  • Descriptive – structured
  • Causal – structural


  • Cross-sectional design
  • Time series
  • The one shot case study



  • Descriptive Research
  • Correlational Research Methods


  • Asks about the characteristics of a phenomenon
  • Does not include treatment or control groups


  • Survey Research
  • Correlational studies—relationships between variables are characterized


  • Examines the frequency and relationships between psychological and sociological variables
  • Assesses constructs such as attitudes, beliefs, prejudices, etc.


  • Basic tool of survey
  • Face sheet—neutral background information

–  Helps establish rapport with interviewee

–  Establishes data characteristics

  • Two types of questions

–  Structured require an explicit answer

–  Open-ended allow interviewee to elaborate



From Salkind, Prentice-Hall, 2006.


I present here the “Research Onion”, from Saunders:


Data Sources:

Utilize secondary data before collecting primary data to help establish:

  • Purpose
  • Scope
  • Reliability

Advantages of Secondary Data:

  1. Saves time and money
  2. Can provide high quality and reliable data
  3. Facilitates cross-cultural research
  4. Suggests suitable methods to handle data

Disadvantages of Secondary Data:

1.   Collected for a different research problem and objective

2.   Need to consider the ‘Fit’ with your research problem and the validity of the comparison

3.   Can be expensive (if sourced from commercial organisations)

4.   Can be inaccurate

5.   Difficulty in cross-cultural comparison

You may email me if you want the contents of this page on PowerPoint.

For a sample UNIV Paper (UNIV 2009), click here:

🙂 🙂 🙂

Happy RESEARCH-ing!

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