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Business Research

A Practical Guide for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students

by Jill Collis and Roger Hussey

Table of contents

1 Understanding research

  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 Nature and purpose of business research
  • 1.3 Classifying research
  • 1.4 Academic levels of research
  • 1.5 Overview of the research process
  • 1.6 Supervision
  • 1.7 Managing the project
  • 1.8 Conclusions

2 Dealing with practical issues

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Funding the research
  • 2.3 Knowledge, skills and personal qualities
  • 2.4 Generating a research topic
  • 2.5 Negotiating access
  • 2.6 Research ethics
  • 2.7 Planning and administration
  • 2.8 Conclusions

3 Identifying your paradigm

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 The two main paradigms
  • 3.3 Assumptions of positivism and interpretivism
  • 3.4 Comparing positivism and interpretivism
  • 3.5 Pragmatism
  • 3.6 Conclusions

4 Designing the research

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Link between paradigm and methodology
  • 4.3 Methodologies associated with positivism
  • 4.4 Methodologies associated with interpretivism
  • 4.5 Triangulation and mixed methods
  • 4.6 Conclusions

5 Searching and reviewing the literature

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Searching the literature
  • 5.3 Referencing
  • 5.4 Reviewing the literature
  • 5.5 Avoiding plagiarism
  • 5.6 Conclusions

6 Writing your research proposal

  • 6.1 Introduction
  • 6.2 Overview of research design
  • 6.3 The research problem
  • 6.4 Purpose of the research
  • 6.5 The research questions
  • 6.6 Writing the research proposal
  • 6.7 Evaluating your proposal
  • 6.8 Conclusions

7 Collecting qualitative data

  • 7.1 Introduction
  • 7.2 Main issues in collecting qualitative data
  • 7.3 Interviews
  • 7.4 Critical incident technique
  • 7.5 Protocol analysis
  • 7.6 Diary methods
  • 7.7 Observation
  • 7.8 Focus groups
  • 7.9 Conclusions

8 Analysing qualitative data

  • 8.1 Introduction
  • 8.2 Main issues in analysing qualitative data
  • 8.3 A general analytical procedure
  • 8.4 Content analysis
  • 8.5 Discourse analysis
  • 8.6 Evaluating your analysis
  • 8.7 Conclusions

9 Integrated qualitative data methods

  • 9.1 Introduction
  • 9.2 Grounded theory
  • 9.3 Repertory grid technique
  • 9.4 Cognitive mapping
  • 9.5 Conclusions

10 Collecting data for statistical analysis

  • 10.1 Introduction
  • 10.2 Main issues in collecting data for statistical analysis
  • 10.3 Variables
  • 10.4 Data collection methods
  • 10.5 Designing questions
  • 10.6 Coding questions
  • 10.7 Conclusions

11 Analysing data using descriptive statistics

  • 11.1 Introduction
  • 11.2 Key concepts in statistics
  • 11.3 Getting started with SPSS
  • 11.4 Frequency distributions
  • 11.5 Measuring central tendency
  • 11.6 Measuring dispersion
  • 11.7 Normal distribution
  • 11.8 Conclusions

12 Analysing data using inferential statistics

  • 12.1 Introduction
  • 12.2 Planning the analysis
  • 12.3 Tests of difference
  • 12.4 Tests of association
  • 12.5 Correlation
  • 12.6 Factor analysis
  • 12.7 Linear regression
  • 12.8 Time series analysis
  • 12.9 Conclusions

13 Writing up the research

  • 13.1 Introduction
  • 13.2 Planning
  • 13.3 Structure and content
  • 13.4 Presenting qualitative and quantitative data
  • 13.5 General standards
  • 13.6 Conference papers and articles
  • 13.7 Conclusions

14 Troubleshooting

  • 14.1 Introduction
  • 14.2 Getting started
  • 14.3 Managing the process
  • 14.4 Identifying a topic and/or a research problem or issue
  • 14.5 Making a preliminary plan of action
  • 14.6 Finding a theoretical framework
  • 14.7 Writing the proposal
  • 14.8 Deciding the methodology
  • 14.9 Searching and reviewing the literature
  • 14.10 Collecting research data
  • 14.11 Organising qualitative research data
  • 14.12 Analysing the research data
  • 14.13 Structuring the dissertation or thesis
  • 14.14 Writing the dissertation or thesis
  • 14.15 Dealing with writer’s block
  • 14.16 Achieving the standards
  • 14.17 Eleventh-hour strategies for writing up