In business, research is usually primary conducted to resolve problematic issues in, or interrelated among, the areas of accounting, finance, management, and marketing. In accounting, budget control system, practices, and procedures are frequently examined. Inventory costing methods, accelerated depreciation, time series behavior of quarterly earnings, transfer pricing, cash recovery rates, and taxation methods are some of the other areas that are researched. In finance, that operations of financial institutions, optimum financial ratios, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, inter corporate financing, yield on mortgages, the behavior of the NYSE, and such, form the focus for investigation.
Several areas for research in finance and accounting have been identified for many years (see, for instance, Abbott, 1966; Abdel-Khalik and Ajinkya, 1979). Management research could encompass the study of employee attitudes and behavior, human resources management, the impact of changing demographics on management practices, production operations management, strategy formulation, information systems, and the like. Marketing research could address issues pertaining to product image, advertising, sales promotion, distribution, packaging, pricing, after sales services, consumer preference, new product development, and the like.
Needless to say, not only are the issues within each subarea related to many factors within that particular system, but they have also to be investigated in the context of the external environment facing the business. For example, economic, political, demographic, technological, competitive, and other relevant factors will impinge on some of the dynamics that operate in a firm. These have to be scrutinized carefully, as well, to assess their impact, if any, on the problem researched.
Uma Sekaran. 1992. Research Methods for Business, A Skill-Building Approach. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York.