Managers encounter business problems each day at work. To make the right decisions, they thoroughly have to research the business problem at hand. For example, an international banker may wonder why a particular financial investment is not paying off. A management accountant may query why the firm’s largest international customers are becoming less profitable each year. A marketing channel manager may question why home delivery is taking off in the domestic market but not in the neighboring countries. A human resource manager may ponder why the employees in the firm’s Polish subsidiary are dissatisfied with the firm’s performance-appraisal system. Problems of moderate difficulty may be researched by the manager him- or herself. For the more complex business problems, the manager may turn to an “expert researcher” (e.g., a consultant) to study the problem and offer solutions.|
Regardless of whether you will be doing the research yourself or will bring in a third party to do the research for you, you will need a strong grasp of the fundamentals of business research in order to be able to understand and control your environment. There is no doubt that managers with knowledge of research have a substantial lead over those without. Accordingly, the purpose of this course is to get you acquainted with the fundamentals of researching a business problem.
Our objective is to inculcate in you the (1) knowledge and (2) skills needed to perform/understand research. In terms of knowledge, in the first module of the course (“Research Process”), we will explain the building blocks of (scientifically-sound) business research and provide you with a roadmap of the research process. In the second module of the course (“Research Strategies”), we will introduce you to a wide variety of data-collection strategies – ranging from archival over experimental to survey research – that each come with their own advantages and limitations.|
Your research skills will be trained in two ways.
- First, your skills with respect to the research process (module 1 of the course) and the various research strategies (module 2 of the course) will be trained in tutorials. You will work on problems and cases that will allow you to dive deeper into the various stages of the research process and the various types of research strategies. Throughout these tutorials, we will challenge you to adopt a critical attitude.
- Second, building upon the tutorials, you will further practice your research skills through a team assignment, in which you will integrate your knowledge and skills about the research process and the various research strategies by writing a full-fledged research proposal. The team assignment will be carried out largely independently. We offer you the opportunity to regularly check whether you are on the right track by including a team presentation session during one of the tutorials (where we will give each of the presenting teams feedback), and by offering each team two personal consults.