Research Methods and Report Writing-1

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Part – A

Q1: “It is necessary for researchers to understand the research methods & also the research methodology.” Elaborate with suitable explanations.

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Q2: The researcher’s problem & the management problem are not always one and the same. Thus it is necessary for the researcher’s to understand the research methods and also the research methodology. Elaborate with suitable examples.

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Q3: The following table lists the jobs of a network with their estimates

Job (i-j) Optimistic time Most likely time Pessimistic time
(1-2) 3 6 15
(1-6) 2 5 14
(2-3) 6 12 30
(2-4) 2 5 8
(3-5) 5 11 17
(4-5) 3 6 15
(6-7) 3 9 27
(5-8) 1 4 7
(7-8) 4 19 28

(i) Draw the project network.

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(ii) Calculate the length & variance of the critical path.

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(iii) What is the approximate probability that the jobs on the critical path will be completed in 41 days?

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Q4: A fast moving consumer product company’s marketing manager realizes that there is a strong link between the advertising expenditure & sales in the following week. He collects the following data from his company records on sales, and advertising expenditure for the State of Uttar Pradesh of his company.

Week no. Sales in a week (units in thousands) Advertising expenditure in previous week (Rs.) (in thousands)
1 110 15
2 120 25
3 140 20
4 150 20
5 125 15
6 130 15
7 115 20
8 127 20
9 118 20
10 121 10

The marketing manager would like you to perform a regression analysis on the data and advise him on how to use the regression model to predict sales based on advertising & promotional expenditure.

a. State the regression equation and use the Least Square method to estimate the regression coefficients.

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b. Calculate regression coefficient r2 and state its significance.

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c. Plot the trend lines estimated and actual values.

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d. Predict the sales when advertising expenditure in previous week was Rs. 10,000.

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e. Forecast sales for the next two weeks.

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Q5: Critically evaluate the following statements:

a. Interviews introduce more bias than does the use of questionnaires.

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b. It is never safe to take published data at its face value without knowing its meaning and limitations.

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Part – B

Q1: Explain the key difference between

a. Cluster Sampling & Stratified Sampling

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b. Single & Multiple Cross Sectional Sampling

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Q2: Answer the following for Business Reports

a. Explain the difference between Synopsis and Executive Summary.

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b. Describe the characteristics & contents of the following sections of a report:

Problem Definition, Data Analysis, Conclusions & Recommendations

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Q3: State the researcher’s problem for each of the following management decision problem:

a. Should a new product be introduced?

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b. Should advertising campaign which has run for three years be changed?

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c. What pricing strategy should be adopted for a new product?
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d. Should the compensation package be changed to motivate the sales force?

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Case study:

 

The automobile manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra came out with a new Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) SCORPIO. This was at a time when the company was financially drained out and the market was saturated withSUMO SAFARI AND TOYOTA QUALIS. Due to these reasons the manufacturers were skeptical about investing in new production facilities, although the distributors urged the manufacturers to build more vehicles. The other reason was also the price of the vehicle when it first came out on the market which ranged from Rs. 6, 60,000 to Rs. 8,50,0000.

The bad years of Mahindra had taught the management to be more risk averse than risk prone. The manufacturers are performing well again and investing in new ventures.

 

Would the demand follow in the long term or would customers stop demanding Scorpio when the next fad comes along? The lack of diversification and the high cost base had affected the company adversely in the past. Thus the management was afraid that the decision to invest was too early. On the other hand, investing would help Mahindra & Mahindra to expand and become the market leader in this particular segment.

 

A study was conducted in 2 metros of the income group of the customers who bought SCORPIO which is as follows:

 

METRO (CITIES) INCOME-GROUPS TOTAL
RICH MIDDLE POOR
DELHI 10 30 160 200
MUMBAI 40 120 140 300
TOTAL 50 150 300 500

 

 

In light of theses developments of Mahindra & Mahindra answer the following:

a. Define the Management Decision Problem and the Researcher’s Problem Respectively.

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b. State the research question and formulate the associate hypothesis.

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c. What type of research has been conducted by the researcher by the management to come up with a decision? Justify your answer.

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d. Critically evaluate reasons for collecting the income of the customers and the type of sampling design used by Mahindra & Mahindra.

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e. Provide your recommendations for Mahindra & Mahindra and justify the research methodology you will undertake in light of the above developments?

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Part – C

 

 

S.no Question Option (a) Option (b) Option (c) Option (d)
1 Research comprises of defining problems & not suggesting solutions & manipulation of existing data & symbols & suggesting solutions & manipulation of existing data
2 Research objective determines the frequency with which something does not occurs the frequency with which something occurs it has nothing to do with frequency it is associated with something else
3 Analytical Research has to use facts already available doesn’t use facts already available use facts which are obsolete has to survey the facts
4 Which of the following is an example of fundamental research does not concerns the study of human behavior concerns the study of human behavior not aimed at certain conclusions is mainly hypothesis testing
5 Qualitative research aims at not finding out how people feel or think about a particular subject finding out how people feel or think about a particular subject finding out how people feel but doesn’t think about a particular subject finding out how people think but doesn’t feel about a particular subject
6 Empirical research is purely database research is not a database research doesn’t require any proof doesn’t have any control over variables
7 Research in the social sciences is conclusive hypothesis testing applied descriptive
8 Research problem has to be evaluated not in light of financial resources & time available in light of financial resources but not time available in light of time available but not financial resources in light of financial resources & time available
9 Research is necessary for collecting information for economic & social structure not necessary for collecting information for economic & social structure necessary for collecting information for economic but not social structure necessary for collecting information for social but not economic structure
10 While selecting a research problem, one has to consider non availability of the data the availability of the data the non ethical issues the format
11 Research objective has to made after considering research design research question research proposal sample design
12 Research objective should not be ambiguous but can be incomplete not be ambiguous & incomplete be ambiguous & incomplete be ambiguous & not incomplete
13 A good research should be non reproducible give us the same result should not have the same characteristics be reproducible
14 Descriptive Research means has nothing to do with facts do with formulations fact finding research do with conclusions
15 Survey research incorporates study of census study of population & sample neither the study of population nor the sample not the study of population
16 All the methods which are used by the researcher are known as research design research methods sample design data processing
17 Research methodoly does not enables consumers to make choices enables consumers not to evaluate situations enables consumers to make choices is inadequate
18 Formulation of research problem should not follow sequential pattern should not be specific should not be a theory only must follow a sequential pattern
19 Study of the market potential is the type of quantitative research qualitative research descriptive research exploratory research
20 To define a problem correctly, it is necessary for a researcher should not look at internet or journals to not to look at previous studies not to know what the problem is to know what the problem is
21 The objective of Exploratory research is to describe is to explore is to diagnose is to conclude
22 Major sources of references are internet but not websites not internet & websites internet & websites websites but not internet
23 Research design constitutes the guidelines for collection of data doesn’t include the guidelines for collection of data collection of data is not necessary doesn’t include the guidelines for study
24 Research design should not be explicit data is not necessary should have the final analysis of data should not have the final analysis of data
25 A good research Design should be time consuming economical uneconomical inefficient
26 Good Research Design is not related to the objective of the research problem related to the objective but not the research problem related to the research problem but not objective related to the objective of the research problem
27 Qualitative attributes are not quantified on the basis the concerned attributes of the study can not be quantified on the basis of concerned attributes of the study are quantified on the basis of concerned attributes of the study can be a secondary data
28 Height depends on age, thus height is a not a variable dependent variable a number independent variable
29 Purchase of designer clothes by a lady is dependent upon her purchasing power only taste only preference Friend’s decision
30 Research hypothesis must contain at least one dependent and no independent no dependent and no independent one dependent and one independent one independent and no dependent
31 The main purpose of the exploratory research study is the the formulation of the problem the solution of the problem identification of the problem investigation of the problem
32 Hypothesis stated by earlier researchers shouldn’t be reviewed should be reviewed is irrelevant should be tested
33 The object of a survey is to obtain look at the old ideas already proven ideas only qualitative data new ideas relating to the research problem
34 Descriptive Research is concerned with describing a particular group is concerned with describing a particular phenomenon is concerned with exploring a particular phenomenon is not concerned with exploring a particular phenomenon
35 Diagnostic research studies the industries the markets doesn’t study society as whole the society as a whole
36 Diagnostic research studies requires a clear cut definition of the population requires a clear cut definition of the sample requires a clear cut definition of the census requires a clear cut definition of the sampling unit
37 The best instrument for collecting primary data is interviews structured questionnaire unstructured questionnaires case study
38 Research plan is a book brochure document agreement
39 hypothesis simply means not a supposition supposition a brief a fact
40 To determine validity, hypothesis has not to be tested has to be surveyed has to be described to be tested

 

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