Scope of Business Research

Scope of Business Research Meaning, Nature

Table of Contents:-

Business research refers to the systematic collection and analysis of data to find answers to problems  The scope of business research is wide, It can be carried out to explore, describe or diagnose a phenomenon. It involves establishing objectives and gathering information to obtain the answer to a business issue. It can be conducted to answer various business-related questions, such as: What is the target market of my product?

Scope of Business Research

The scope of business research is constrained by how one defines “business.” Certainly research in the production, finance, marketing, or management areas of for-profit corporations within the scope of business research.

To understand the scope of business research, it’s important to explore the different elements of management that it covers. The scope of business research is described below:

Scope of Business Research

1) Production Research

The production function in an organization is dynamic and needs continuous improvement in process, product design, cost and many more. Production research is instrumental in resolving the complexities resulting from these changes and improvements. Researchers conduct production research in the following areas:

i) Methods for Standardizing and Controlling Production,

ii) Finding new and better production methods, and

iii) Finding strategies and methods for troubleshooting.

2) Industrial Research

Industrial research is a pragmatic concept that prioritizes the well-being of a company. Therefore, it is a planned effort to gain better information and improve the new and existing products, services, and processes. The scope of industrial research extends to several crucial areas, and they are as follows:

i) Developing services and new products to gain market share,

ii) Finding ways to improve the quality of services and products,

iii) Innovating new methods for utilizing the available resources,

iv) Decisions regarding minimising the cost,

v) Ways to reduce hazards at the workplace,

vi) Standardisation of processes, and

vii) Developing strategies for improving the relations with customers and the public.

3) Organisational Research

Organizational research includes a multitude of disciplines. In an organisation, researchers come from different backgrounds and hence bring various concepts, tools, and methods for analysis. Many experts widely accept that students aspiring to become future managers benefit significantly from a solid understanding of research methods. Organisational analysis facilitates managers to explore various theories and findings that are relevant to the organisation. Additionally, it helps the managers to increase their problem-solving efficiency. Knowing the research fundamentals allows the managers to investigate a problem scientifically, which in turn enhances the efficiency of managers.

4) Marketing Research

There is widespread use of research in marketing. As a result, the company formulates all its marketing strategies and initiatives based on consumer tastes and preferences, which various research efforts aim to thoroughly comprehend. Companies conduct marketing research to study consumer behaviour, assess consumer attitude, measure advertising effectiveness, evaluate distribution channel efficiency, analyze sales, and support new product development, among other objectives.

Some specific examples of marketing research are:

i) Forecasting the demand for products,

ii) Analysing the buying behaviour of consumers,

iii) Measuring the effectiveness of advertisement.

iv) Decisions regarding media selection for proper advertisement.

v) Market testing for new products,

vi) Decisions regarding the positioning strategies for a product,

vii) Estimating the product potential.

5) Human Resource Development and organisational behaviour

The areas of human resources and organisational behaviour are some of the core domains of research. Within these domains, researchers actively investigate several significant issues, which we’ll outline below.

i) Individual behaviour and interpersonal relationships,

ii) Attitudes of employees,

iii) Leadership characteristics and styles,

iv) Mechanisms used for performance appraisal, and

v) Assessment centre and evaluation.

6) Accounting and Finance

In the world of accounting and finance, there are several important areas that researchers focus on. These areas help us understand how money and financial decisions work. Researchers who specialize in these areas play an important role in making sure organisations’ financial systems work well and help people make smart financial choices. Their work is important for improving rules and regulations and guiding people in making wise investment decisions.

In the field of accounting and finance, researchers investigate various main areas, which are as follows.

i) Designing new practices and methods for inventory costing.

ii) Examining budgetary control systems.

iii) Analyzing the practice of transfer pricing and its effects on profitability.

iv) Investigating the treatment of depreciation and its effect on earnings.

v) Exploring decisions regarding capital structure and capital budgeting.

vi) Assessing the effect of merger and acquisition on profitability.

vii) Studying individuals’ attitudes towards investment decisions.

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What is Business Research?

Business research refers to various types of research conducted when starting or running any kind of business. For example, starting any business requires research into the target customer and the competition to create a business plan. Furthermore, conducting business market research in existing businesses helps keep in touch with consumer demand. Additionally, small business research begins with researching an idea and a name and continues with research based on customer demand and other businesses offering similar products or services. Business research is done to acquire information that can enhance their overall performance and ultimately provide success.

Define business research

According to McDaniel and Gates, “Business research is the planning, collection and analysis of data relevant to business decision making and the communication of the results of this analysis to management”

According to Zikmund, “Business research is a management tool that companies use to reduce uncertainty. It is a manager’s source of information about organisational and environmental conditions, and covers topics ranging from long-range planning to the most ephemeral tactical decisions”.

Nature of Business Research

The nature of business research can be characterised in the following ways:

1) Different Emphasis on Theory and Practice

Gummesson presents an intriguing perspective on the relationship between theory and practice in business research. He sees academic researchers and management consultants as groups of knowledge workers who each place a different emphasis on theory and practice. ‘Backed by bits and pieces of theory, the consultant contributes to practice, whereas the scholar contributes to theory supported by fragments of practice’, but fundamentally their roles are closely related. Gummesson’s perspective emphasizes that researchers and consultants play a pivotal role in addressing management-related problems. This underscores the importance of their capacity to demonstrate the usefulness and relevance of their findings to the business community.

2) Applied in Nature

The field of business research is intricately connected to the social sciences. it does not exist in isolation but rather is influenced by a wide range of disciplines and ideologies. The diverse nature of management and business scholarship has sparked significant debate regarding the appropriate evaluation of its research claims. Hence, some writers have suggested that business research can be understood only as an applied field because it is concerned not only with understanding the nature of organisations but also with problem-solving that is related to managerial practice.

3) Problem-oriented

Applied research characterizes business research in almost every instance. Consequently, it is problem-oriented, aiming to obtain information to help solve a specific business problem or make a decision.

4) Conducted in a Dynamic Environment

Business research is conducted in an environment in which conditions change rapidly. Consequently, the answers to research questions asked today may very well differ from the answers to the same questions obtained yesterday. In these dynamic areas, the manager needs to stay in tune with the changing landscape. Moreover, the same research questions might need to be asked repeatedly. Therefore, successful organizations develop a culture where constant research is an integral part of their operation.

5) Involves Lengthy Fact-finding Exercises

However, some writers argue that management and business research excessively focuses on extensive fact-finding endeavours and is driven by theoretical considerations. Researchers would argue that application is not a primary purpose to which management research should be directed. For these scholars, the primary objective of academic study should not solely revolve around making research relevant to managerial practice. Many researchers believe that research should not be dictated by non-academic interests, such as professional associations and government agencies, who may seek to influence its focus and guide its development in a way that is useful to current practice but susceptible to the whims of current management fashions and fads. Others suggest that the business research and applied nature of management have influenced the development of the field in a way that makes it overly pragmatic and susceptible to users’ agendas.

Advantages of Business Research

1. It helps to analyse the competitors and identify their strengths and weaknesses, therefore wise decisions can be made to tackle the competition appropriately.

2. Business research can enable a company to stay updated with the market trends, competitor activities, and emerging technologies, and therefore they can make appropriate innovations to stay ahead of the competition in the marketplace.

3. By conducting business research in advance certain risks and uncertainties can be minimized.

4. A thorough business research can enable a company to make budget plans and decisions as to where and how much to spend.

5. Financial outcomes and business investments can be planned effectively using business research.

6. Business research helps to measure the effectiveness of reputation management efforts.

7. Business research helps to identify various opportunities and threats in the market.

8. Business research can be useful in tracking competition in the business environment.

9. It helps to understand customers’ needs and expectations and hence can be useful to communicate better with the customers or stakeholders.

Disadvantages of Business Research

1. Business research can be expensive.

2. Many times, business research is based only on assumptions.

3. Business research is a time-consuming process.

4. Business research can sometimes mislead or provide inaccurate information because of poor quality of research findings, a biased population, incorrect research methodologies or poorly designed surveys.

5. Due to the dynamic nature of the business environment business research results can become obsolete quickly.

6. The scope of business research is very limited because it focuses only on specific questions or areas of interest.

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