Quiz 4: The Research Process: an Overview


Research is a complicated endeavor containing multiple steps. Each step has different variables to consider. The decision to select correct variables depends upon the ability of the researcher, the management and type of variable involved. Hence, while some questions can be answered by research, some questions are difficult to approach through research. Such a situation can arise when one wants to find the answer regarding the value of an abstract decision. e.g. if a company wants to upgrade the software used by its employees, to new technology and want to know if the employees will be happier than before. In such cases, the research variables required will be difficult to explain as the value is difficult to quantify and interpret. Another case could arise where one knows the variables required but the information gathering ways or methods are not adequate to perform the task usually in cases of policy discussions. e.g. research to find out if decreasing the retirement age would be beneficial to a company.

Trade-off exploration is the state of gaining knowledge to the one's expected perception on worldly things. Pilot test is an online source to conduct survey and explore information in research. Pilot testing helps to forecast the required cost and time to conduct research. Several problems of trading off exploration and pilot testing are as shown below: • Elimination pilot testing would give rise to have insufficient information to conduct research. • The cost and time constraints cannot be forecasted on avoiding pilot testing. • By trading off the exploration, one cannot discover the existing facts on research. • The mis implications may cause bad consequences in the period of research. I mmediate and long-term effects are as shown below: • An immediate effect on avoiding pilot testing are, cost and time constraints cannot be forecasted. • On avoiding pilot test, no alternative research questions can be invented to improve the existing research models. • An in-depth possible cost and time constraints issues may increase.

Every research budget needs to be approved by the management before the research can begin. The management scrutinizes the need for the research and the dollar return for the amount spent in research. Research projects can be evaluated using 4 key methods as stated below. a Ex Post Facto evaluation method is conducted to evaluate the Return on Investment (ROI) of a previously conducted research project. This method of evaluation tests the success of the proposal chosen with the research and without the research. The prior evaluation method is undertaken before deciding whether the research project should be done or not. The management evaluates the proposals by proceeding in phases rather than budgeting the entire project at once. If the proposal seems ineffective at any phase, it is stopped otherwise it proceeds. In the proposals given, Ex Post Facto evaluation can be implemented only if one has previous results from the implementation of such similar proposals. Previous implementation results can be studied and analyzed. The management can decide on that basis, which proposal to select. Prior evaluation can be conducted by management in proceeding with both the proposals in phases. If any proposal is found not effective at any stage, the specific proposal can be disbanded midway. b Option analysis is conducted when the research proposals can be evaluated with well defined cost-benefit analysis. The analysis done presents the amount of cost involved and expected returns by calculation or assuming certain variables. Management needs to use their experience and quantitative results to choose the correct proposal. Decision Theory is a method of evaluation that largely depends on the management goals and vision. The management decides a decision rule and a decision variable for evaluation. Decision rule includes the objective they want to achieve, e.g. minimization of cost overheads and decision variable includes their goal, e.g. raw material cost minimization. Based on the current situation, using option theory for proposal 1, they can calculate the increase in profits due to better inventory system based on the recommendations from last year's data. For proposal 2, they can calculate the amount of expenditure due to new system recommendations and the increase in profits due to the system. Using a comparative approach in the amount of profit, the management can select a proposal. Using decision theory, the management needs to select a decision rule and a decision variable. e.g. the rule can be, minimization of stock outage conditions and the variable can be the cost of buffer stock in the inventory. Based on such conditions, the management needs to decide which of the proposal will provide the most optimum solution.