Business Research Methods Syllabus MBA Pune University

Subject Name: Business Research Methods

Subject Type: Generic Core

Subject Code: 104

Marks: 100

Distribution of Marks: 50 (External Written) 20 (External Online Exam) 30 (Internal Marks by College)

Unit 1. Foundations of Research:

1.1 Research: – Definition, Why study Business Research? What is good research? Decision support, Business Intelligence, Research applications in functional areas of Business, Emerging trends in Business research.

1.2 Research & the Scientific Method: Characteristics of scientific method.

1.3 Steps in Research Process

1.4 Concept of Scientific Enquiry: – Formulation of Research Problem – Management Question – research Question – Investigation Question

1.5 Research Proposal: – Elements of a Research Proposal, Drafting a Research Proposal, evaluating a research proposal (Students are expected to draft and evaluate a real life research proposal) (5 + 1)

Unit 2 Research Design:

2.1 Concept, Features of a good research design, Use of a good research design

2.2 Qualitative research and Quantitative research approaches, Comparison – Pros and Cons of both approaches.

2.3 Exploratory Research Design: Concept, Types: Qualitative techniques – Projective Techniques, Depth Interview, Experience Survey, Focus Groups, Observation.

2.4 Descriptive Research Designs: Concept, types and uses. Concept of Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Research

2.5 Experimental Design: Concept of Cause, Causal relationships, Concept of Independent & Dependent variables, concomitant variable, extraneous variable, Treatment, Control group. (Elementary conceptual treatment expected)

2.6 Hypothesis: Qualities of a good Hypothesis –Framing Null Hypothesis & Alternative Hypothesis. Concept of Hypothesis Testing – Logic & Importance.(7+2)

Unit 3. Measurement & Data:

3.1 Concept of Measurement: what is measured? Problems in measurement in management research – Validity and Reliability. Levels of measurement – Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, Ratio.

3.2 Attitude Scaling Techniques:Concept of Scale – Rating Scales viz. Likert Scales, Semantic Differential Scales, Constant Sum Scales, Graphic Rating Scales – Ranking Scales – Paired comparison & Forced Ranking – Concept and Application.

3.3 Types of Data – Secondary Data: Definition, Sources, Characteristics, Searching world wide web for data, Issues to be considered for secondary data, sufficiency, adequacy, reliability, consistency.

3.4 Types of Data – Primary Data: Definition, Advantages and disadvantages over secondary data,

3.5 Questionnaire Method: Questionnaire Construction – Personal Interviews, Telephonic survey Interviewing, Email/Internet survey, online survey sites, their utility, constraints (7 + 3)

Unit 4. Sampling: 

4.1 Basic Concepts: Defining the Universe, Concepts of Statistical Population, Sample, Characteristics of a good sample. Sampling Frame (practical approach for determining the sample frame expected), Sampling errors, Non Sampling errors, Methods to reduce the errors, Sample Size constraints, Non Response.

4.2Probability Sample: Simple Random Sample, Systematic Sample, Stratified Random Sample, Area Sampling & Cluster Sampling.

4.3Non Probability Sample: Judgment Sampling, Convenience Sampling, Purposive Sampling, Quota Sampling & Snowballing Sampling methods. Determining size of the sample – Practical considerations in sampling and sample size, (sample size determination formulae and numerical not expected) (6 + 2)

Unit 5. Data Analysis & Report Writing:

5.1 Data Analysis : Editing, Coding, Univariate analysis – Tabular representation of data, frequency tables, Construction of frequency distributions and their analysis in the form of measures of central tendency – Mean, Median and Mode; their relative merits and demerits,

5.2 Graphical Representation of Data: Appropriate Usage of Bar charts, Pie charts, Histogram, Leaf and stem, Candle stick, Box plots. (Use of MS Excel)

5.3 Bivariate Analysis: Cross tabulations, Use of percentages, Bivariate Correlation Analysis – meaning & types of correlation, Karl Person’s coefficient of correlation and spearman’s rank correlation; Scatter plots, Chi-square test including testing hypothesis of association, association of attributes. (Formulae and calculation are not expected. Interpretation of the given data and scenario

analysis is expected for appropriate managerial decision inferences to be drawn.)

5.4 Linear Regression Analysis: Meaning and two lines of regression; relationship between correlation and regression co-efficient

(Formulae and calculation are not expected. Interpretation of the given data and scenario analysis is expected for appropriate managerial decision inferences to be drawn.)

5.5 Test of Significance: Small sample tests: t (Mean, proportion) and F tests, Z test, on‐parametric tests: Binomial test of proportion, Randomness test; Analysis of Variance: One way and two‐way Classifications (Formulae and calculation are not expected. Interpretation of the given data and scenario analysis is expected for appropriate managerial decision inferences to be drawn.)

5.6 Research Reports: Structure of Research report, Report writing and Presentation. (10+2)

Note: Extensive use of MS Excel is expected in learning unit no. 5

 Text Books

• Business Research Methods by Donald Cooper & Pamela Schindler, TMGH, 9th Edition.

• Business Research Methods by Alan Bryman & Emma Bell, Oxford University Press, 2ndEdition

• Research Methodology by C.R.Kothari, New Age International Publication, 2nd Edition

• Research Methodsfor Social Work by Allen, Earl R. Babbie, Cengage, 7thEdition

• Research Methods in Business Studies: A Practical Guideby Pervez Ghauri, Dr Kjell Gronhaug, FT Prentice Hall

• Business communication by Dipak Chawala, Vikas Dipak Chawala, Vikas Publication

Reference Books

• The Practice of Social Research by Earl R. Babbie, Wadsworth, 13thEdition

• Business Research Methods by William G. Zikmund, Barry J. Babin, Jon C.Carr, Mitch Griffin, Cengage Learning, 8th Edition

• Approaches to social research by Royce Singleton, Bruce C. Straits, Margaret Miller Straits, Oxford University Press, 2ndEdition

• Handbook of Research Design and Social Measurement by Delbert Charles Miller, Neil J. Salkind, Sage Publication, 6thEdition

• Research Methods: The Basics by Nicholas S. R. Walliman, Nicholas Walliman, Routledge, 1stEdition

• Business Resarch Methodology-Sachdeva Research Methodology In Management-Dr.V.P.Michael

Supplementary Reading Material

Business Research Methods by Naval Bajpai, Pearson, 1stEdition



• The Nature, Social Organization and Promotion of Management Research: Towards Policy by David Tranfield and Ken Starkey, British Journal of Management, Vol. 9, 341–353 (1998)

• The Case for Qualitative Research by Gareth Morgan & Linda Smircich, Academy of Management Review 1980, Vol. 5, No. 4, 491-500

• Beyond the Qualitative Interview: Data Preparation and Transcription by Eleanor Mclellan, Kathleen M. Macqueen & Judith L. Neidig, Field Methods, Vol.15, No.1, February 2003,63–84

• The Coming of Age for Qualitative Research: Embracing the Diversity of Qualitative Methodsby Bansal, Pratima (Tima); Corley, Kevin. Academy of Management Journal. Apr2011, Vol. 54 Issue 2, p233-237

• Social Science Research Methods in Internet Time byKarpf, David. Information, Communication & Society. Jun2012, Vol. 15 Issue 5, p639-661

• A Review of Research Methods in Online and Blended Business Education: 2000-2009 by Arbaugh, J. B.; Hwang, Alvin; Pollack, Birgit Leisen., Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings. 2010, p1-6

• Research Methods in Economics and Business by Roberts, Harry V. Journal of Marketing Research Aug1964, Vol. 1 Issue 3, p88-90

• Counterfactuals and Hypothesis Testing in Political Science Author(s): James D. Fearon, The Johns Hopkins University Press Vol. 43, No. 2 (Jan., 1991), pp. 169-195

• Statistical Sampling Techniques and Marketing Research by Cassady Jr., Ralph. Journal of Marketing. Apr 1945, Vol. 9 Issue 4, p317-341

• A Study of Selected Opinion Measurement Techniques byKassarjian, Harold H.;Nakanishi, Masao. Journal of Marketing Research, May67, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p148- 153