Skip to main content
main-content
Top

About this book

Now in its fourth edition, this is a hands-on and straightforward core textbook in business research methods. Combining a clear and succinct style with a beautifully presented text design, this textbook delivers the fundamentals of business research in a highly accessible manner. It provides balanced coverage of both quantitative and qualitative methods and supports students throughout the entire process of business research, from reviewing the literature to writing up results. Practical advice is combined with strong academic rigour to provide students with a comprehensive grounding in research methods. In this way, they can decide on the most efficient and appropriate way of collecting, analysing and presenting data.
Written by a highly experienced author team, Business Research will be an essential resource for students taking modules in research methods on undergraduate, postgraduate and MBA courses. The user-friendliness of the book also makes it highly suitable for independent study.

Table of Contents

1. Understanding Research

Abstract
When you have studied this chapter, you should be able to:
  • explain the nature and purpose of research
  • classify different types of research
  • identify the main stages in the research process
  • understand the role of supervision
  • develop a plan for managing the project.
Jill Collis, Roger Hussey

2. Dealing with Practical Issues

Abstract
When you have studied this chapter, you should be able to:
  • determine the knowledge, skills and personal qualities researchers need
  • use techniques for generating research topics
  • negotiate access to data and consider ethical issues
  • plan the management of the research process
  • identify any funding constraints.
Jill Collis, Roger Hussey

3. Identifying your Paradigm

Abstract
When you have studied this chapter, you should be able to:
  • describe the main features of positivism
  • describe the main features of interpretivism
  • compare the assumptions of these two main paradigms
  • discuss the strengths and weaknesses of pragmatism
  • identify your research paradigm.
Jill Collis, Roger Hussey

4. Designing the Research

Abstract
When you have studied this chapter, you should be able to:
  • describe the main methodologies associated with positivism
  • describe the main methodologies associated with interpretivism
  • compare the strengths and weaknesses of methodologies
  • discuss the strengths and weaknesses of triangulation
  • choose a methodology that reflects your paradigm.
Jill Collis, Roger Hussey

5. Searching and Reviewing the Literature

Abstract
When you have studied this chapter, you should be able to:
  • identify potential sources of secondary data
  • search the literature
  • use the Harvard system of referencing
  • review the literature
  • identify your main research question(s).
Jill Collis, Roger Hussey

6. Writing your Research Proposal

Abstract
When you have studied this chapter, you should be able to:
  • identify a research problem or issue
  • determine the purpose of the research
  • identify the main research question(s)
  • determine the research design
  • write a research proposal.
Jill Collis, Roger Hussey

7. Collecting Qualitative Data

Abstract
When you have studied this chapter, you should be able to:
  • discuss the main issues in collecting qualitative data
  • describe and apply methods based on interviews
  • describe and apply methods based on diaries
  • describe and apply methods based on observation
  • compare the strengths and weaknesses of methods.
Jill Collis, Roger Hussey

8. Analysing Qualitative Data

Abstract
When you have studied this chapter, you should be able to:
  • discuss the main issues in analysing qualitative data
  • describe and apply a general analytical procedure
  • describe and apply content analysis
  • describe and apply discourse analysis
  • compare the strengths and weaknesses of methods.
Jill Collis, Roger Hussey

9. Integrated Collection and Analysis Methods

Abstract
When you have studied this chapter, you should be able to:
  • discuss the main issues in using integrated collection and analysis methods
  • describe and apply the principles of grounded theory
  • describe and apply repertory grid technique
  • describe and apply cognitive mapping
  • compare the strengths and weaknesses of methods.
Jill Collis, Roger Hussey

10. Collecting Data for Statistical Analysis

Abstract
When you have studied this chapter, you should be able to:
  • select a random sample
  • classify variables according to their level of measurement
  • describe the main methods for collecting data for statistical analysis
  • discuss the strengths and weaknesses of different methods
  • design questions for questionnaire and interview surveys.
Jill Collis, Roger Hussey

11. Analysing Data Using Descriptive Statistics

Abstract
When you have studied this chapter, you should be able to:
  • differentiate between descriptive statistics and inferential statistics
  • enter data into SPSS, recode variables and create new variables
  • generate frequency tables, charts and other diagrams
  • generate measures of central tendency and dispersion
  • generate measures of normality.
Jill Collis, Roger Hussey

12. Analysing Data Using Inferential Statistics

Abstract
When you have studied this chapter, you should be able to:
  • determine whether parametric or non-parametric methods are appropriate
  • conduct tests of difference for independent or dependent samples
  • conduct tests of association between variables
  • conduct a factor analysis
  • predict an outcome from one or more variables
  • use time series analysis to examine trends.
Jill Collis, Roger Hussey

13. Writing up the Research

Abstract
When you have studied this chapter, you should be able to:
  • plan a strategy for writing up your research
  • structure the chapters and content of your dissertation or thesis
  • decide how to present qualitative and quantitative data
  • understand the general standards for a dissertation or thesis
  • develop a strategy for getting published.
Jill Collis, Roger Hussey

14. Troubleshooting

Abstract
As we explained in Chapter 1, business research is not a simple linear process and even though you may have studied all the chapters in this book very carefully, you may encounter difficulties of one type or another. Regardless of how much support and guidance you receive from your supervisors, colleagues, friends and family, you are bound to make some mistakes, and this is true for researchers at all levels. In addition, things beyond your control may create problems. If the research you designed in your proposal does not come to fruition exactly as planned, you will need to explain what the problems were and, irrespective of whether you decide to take action to remedy the situation or decide to do nothing, you will need to justify your strategy by weighing up the alternatives.
Jill Collis, Roger Hussey
Additional information