MBA 3rd Sem- TQM
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Elective TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT Master of Business Administration MBA Semester 3rd core MB0050 Research Methodology - 4 CreditsASSIGNMENT SET-1Q 1. Give examples of specific situations that would call for the following types of research, explaining why a) Exploratory research b) Descriptive research c) Diagnostic research d) Evaluation research. Ans.: Research may be classified crudely according to its major intent or the methods. According to the intent, research may be classified as: Basic (aka fundamental or pure) research is driven by a scientist's curiosity or interest in a scientific question. The main motivation is to expand man's knowledge, not to create or invent something. There is no obvious commercial value to the discoveries that result from basic research. For example, basic science investigations probe for answers to questions such as: How did the universe begin? What are protons, neutrons, and electrons composed of? How do slime molds reproduce? What is the specific genetic code of the fruit fly?
Most scientists believe that a basic, fundamental understanding of all branches of science is needed in order for progress to take place. In other words, basic research lays down the foundation for the applied science that follows. If basic work is done first, then applied spin-offs often eventually result from this research. As Dr. George Smoot of LBNL says, "People cannot foresee the future well enough to predict what's going to develop from basic research. If we only did applied research, we would still be making better spears." Applied research is designed to solve practical problems of the modern world, rather than to acquire knowledge for knowledge's sake. One might say that the goal of the applied scientist is to improve the human condition. For example, applied researchers may investigate ways to: Improve agricultural crop production Treat or cure a specific disease Improve the energy efficiency of homes, offices, or modes of transportation
Some scientists feel that the time has come for a shift in emphasis away from purely basic research and toward applied science. This trend, they feel, is necessitated by the problems resulting from global overpopulation, pollution, and the overuse of the earth's natural resources. Exploratory research provides insights into and comprehension of an issue or situation. It should draw definitive conclusions only with extreme caution. Exploratory research is a type of research conducted because a problem has not been clearly defined. Exploratory research helps determine the best research design, data collection method and selection of subjects. Given its fundamental nature, exploratory research often concludes that a perceived problem does not
actually exist. Exploratory research often relies on secondary research such as reviewing available literature and/or data, or qualitative approaches such as informal discussions with consumers, employees, management or competitors, and more formal approaches through in-depth interviews, focus groups, projective methods, case studies or pilot studies. The Internet allows for research methods that are more interactive in nature: E.g., RSS feeds efficiently supply researchers with up-to-date information; major search engine search results may be sent by email to researchers by services such as Google Alerts; comprehensive search results are tracked over lengthy periods of time by services such as Google Trends; and Web sites may be created to attract worldwide feedback on any subject. The results of exploratory research are not usually useful for decision-making by themselves, but they can provide significant insight into a given situation. Although the results of qualitative research can give some indication as to the "why", "how" and "when" something occurs, it cannot tell us "how often" or "how many." Exploratory research is not typically generalizable to the population at large. A defining characteristic of causal research is the random assignment of participants to the conditions of the experiment; e.g., an Experimental and a Control Condition... Such assignment results in the groups being comparable at the beginning of the experiment. Any difference between the groups at the end of the experiment is attributable to the manipulated variable. Observational research typically looks for difference among "in-tact" defined groups. A common example compares smokers and non-smokers with regard to health problems. Causal conclusions can't be drawn from such a study because of other possible differences between the groups; e.g., smokers may drink more alcohol than non-smokers. Other unknown differences could exist as well. Hence, we may see a relation between smoking and health but a conclusion that smoking is a cause would not be warranted in this situation. (Cp) Descriptive research, also known as statistical research, describes data and characteristics about the population or phenomenon being studied. Descriptive research answers the questions who, what, where, when and how. Although the data description is factual, accurate and systematic, the research cannot describe what caused a situation. Thus, descriptive research cannot be used to create a causal relationship, where one variable affects another. In other words, descriptive research can be said to have a low requirement for internal validity. The description is used for frequencies, averages and other statistical calculations. Often the best approach, prior to writing descriptive research, is to conduct a survey investigation. Qualitative research often has the aim of description and researchers may follow-up with examinations of why the observations exist and what the implications of the findings are. In short descriptive research deals with everything that can be counted and studied. But there are always restrictions to that. Your research must have an impact to the life of the people around you. For example, finding the most frequent disease that affects the children of a town. The reader of the research will know what to do to prevent that disease thus; more people will live a healthy life. Diagnostic study: it is similar to descriptive study but with different focus. It is directed towards discovering what is happening and what can be done about. It aims at identifying the causes of a problem and the possible solutions for it. It may also be concerned with discovering and testing whether certain variables are associated. This type of research requires prior knowledge of the problem, its thorough formulation, clear-cut definition of the given population, adequate methods for collecting accurate information, precise measurement of variables, statistical analysis and test of significance. Evaluation Studies: it is a type of applied research. It is made for assessing the effectiveness of social or economic programmes implemented or for assessing the impact of development of the project area. It is thus directed to assess or appraise the quality and quantity of an activity and its performance and to specify its attributes and conditions required for its success. It is concerned with causal relationships and is more actively guided by hypothesis. It is concerned also with change over time. Action research is a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals working with others in teams or as part of a "community of practice" to improve the way they address
issues and solve problems. Action research can also be undertaken by larger organizations or institutions, assisted or guided by professional researchers, with the aim of improving their strategies, practices, and knowledge of the environments within which they practice. As designers and stakeholders, researchers work with others to propose a new course of action to help their community improve its work practices (Center for Collaborative Action Research). Kurt Lewin, then a professor at MIT, first coined the term action research in about 1944, and it appears in his 1946 paper Action Research and Minority Problems. In that paper, he described action research as a comparative research on the conditions and effects of various forms of social action and research leading to social action that uses a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action, and fact-finding about the result of the action. Action research is an interactive inquiry process that balances problem solving actions implemented in a collaborative context with data-driven collaborative analysis or research to understand underlying causes enabling future predictions about personal and organizational change (Reason & Bradbury, 2001). After six decades of action research development, many methodologies have evolved that adjust the balance to focus more on the actions taken or more on the research that results from the reflective understanding of the actions. This tension exists between those that are more driven by the researchers agenda to those more driven by participants; Those that are motivated primarily by instrumental goal attainment to those motivated primarily by the aim of personal, organizational, or societal transformation; and 1st-, to 2nd-, to 3rd-person research, that is, my research on my own action, aimed primarily at personal change; our research on our group (family/team), aimed primarily at improving the group; and scholarly research aimed primarily at theoretical generalization and/or large scale change. Action research challenges traditional social science, by moving beyond reflective knowledge created by outside experts sampling variables to an active moment-to-moment theorizing, data collecting, and inquiring occurring in the midst of emergent structure. Knowledge is always gained through action and for action. From this starting point, to question the validity of social knowledge is to question, not how to develop a reflective science ab