What is Research?
Research can be described as a systematic and organized effort to investigate a specific problem that needs a solution. It is a series of steps designed and followed, with the goal of finding answers to the issues that are of concern to us in the work environment. This means that the first step in research is to know where the problem areas are in the organization, and to identify as clearly and specifically as possible the problems that need to be studied and rectified. Once the problem or problems that need attention are clearly defined, then steps can be taken to gather information, analyze the data, and delineate the factors that are associated with the problem. By taking the necessary corrective action, the problem could be solved.
This entire process by which we attempt to solve problem is called research. Thus, research involves a series of well-though-out and carefully executed activities that will enable us to know how organizational problems can be solved or at least minimized. Research thus encompasses the process of inquiry, investigation, examination, and experimentation. These processes have to be carried out systematically, diligently, critically, objectively, logically. The expected end result would be to discover new fact that will help us to deal with the problem situation.
We can know define research as an organized, systematic, data based, critical, scientific inquiry or investigation into a specific problem, undertaken with the objective of finding answers or solutions to it. In essence, research provides the information that enables managers to make decisions to rectify problems. The information provided can be the result of a careful analysis of data gathered first hand or of data that are already available (in the company, industry, archives, etc). Data can be quantitative (as generally gathered trough questionnaires) or they can be qualitative (as gathered from interview or from responses to open ended questions in a questionnaire). Research methods refer to the ways in which research studies are designed (discussed later in the book) and the procedures by which data are analyzed.
Uma Sekaran. 1992. Research Methods for Business, A Skill-Building Approach. John Wiley and sons, Inc. New York. Chichester. Brisbane. Toronto. Singapore.