Introduction to Research

research – The foregoing messages forcefully communicate the importance of research for business and industry, as well as how vital it is to know how to do good research. Research is essential for understanding even the basic everyday phenomena that need to be handled in organizations. For example, read the following scenario.

The twenty five story building housing the Gigantic Multipurpose Company, overlooking the bank of Mississippi River, is bristling with activity. Let us take a look at the events occurring in four specific offices of the building on the fifth, eleventh, and twenty fifth floors.

The fifth floor manager in charge of one of the department seems puzzled, vexed, and somewhat angry. He had been to a management seminar in Los Angeles a year ago, where an “expert” told the attendees that one way of ensuring employee involvement and commitment and commitment is by enriching their work. With all good intensions, the manager redesigned the job, introducing more variety, challenge, feedback, and ‘whole” job rather than fragmented pieces of work and within three months of the change, employee absenteeism increased tenfold.

In the eleventh floor office of Ms Sandy Raj, the purchasing manager, the women managers are holding a cause. The discussion is about a news item in the morning’s paper that women at all levels were being paid at least 40 percent less than males for performing comparable jobs and requiring similar abilities and skills.

The monthly meeting sponsored by the company for executives’ wives is in progress in the conference room on the sixteenth floor. Several housewives who are attending the meeting are smiling bemusedly when they hear the speaker mention that members of dual career families have rethink their priorities and plan their lives better, because the divorce rate in dual career families is on the increase. Several of the housewives attending the meeting have been contemplating divorce and seeing marriage counselors.

The president of Gigantic, on the twenty-fifth floor, is vehemently refuting the statement made by the organizational consultant that the organizations of today are to blame for the increasing number of alcoholics in our society.

What is your reaction to the four events just described? If the fifth-floor manager was told by an expert that job enrichment would increase employee involvement and commitment, why is absenteeism on the increase? Is it true that women are actually paid at least 40 percent less than men equal jobs when they have equal skills and abilities? Is the divorce rate really greater in dual career families than in single career families? Are today’s organizations really responsible for the increase in alcoholism in the country?

How do we answer these questions? We really cannot do so until and unless we probe more deeply into these issues, obtain more concrete facts, and analyze the relevant data to see what they tell us about the problem situations and their rectification. In other word, if absenteeism, unjust reward system, divorce, and alcoholism are problems of concern to us, we need to research these issues in order to find viable answers to the problems.


Uma Sekaran. 1992. Research Methods for Business, A Skill-Building Approach. John Wileyons, Inc. New York. Chichester. Brisbane. Toronto. Singapore.

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