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Business Research Example Problems

1. A study is proposed that looks at the effect of a new sales technique on sales efficiency. Three different groups are recruited to be in the study. The first group gets training on the sales technique, the second group goes about business as usual, and the third group gets the same training the first group gets plus weekly feedback from their manager. 3 months of sales data from both before and after the training are collected along with the number of new accounts that are opened. The results of the before sales and new accounts are compared to the after sales and new accounts to see if either training or feedback are important.

a. Identify one independent variable
b. Identify one dependent variable
c. Propose one intervening variable
d. Propose one moderating variable
e. Write a hypothesis for this research project

2. A study is proposed that will study the effects of tobacco smoke on infant development. Specifically, you want to collect evidence and show that kids exposed to tobacco smoke grow at a slower pace than kids in smoke-free homes. You select 100 kids from smoking homes and 100 kids from non-smoking homes. Weights for both groups of kids at the beginning of the study and then after 9 months, comparing the weights of the kids in the two groups.

a. Identify one independent variable
b. Identify one dependent variable
c. Propose one intervening variable
d. Propose one moderating variable
e. Write a hypothesis for this research project

3. A study is proposed to examine if management style will impact productivity in a white-collar workforce. The researchers are interested in how specific management strategies affect the productivity of workers. Since there are no groups in the company that have exactly the same productivity, it was decided that they would implement management strategy 1 with one group for six months, then change to management strategy 2 for a second six months. A second group would get strategy 2 first, and then six months later would change to strategy 1.
Each management strategy would be introduced prior to the start date by a half day class that would be mandatory for all supervisors. A web site with an FAQ and chat-accessible management experts would be available during the work day to answer questions from both managers and employees. Supervisors would be asked about their experiences and asked to fill in a rating of the management program at 3 months and 6 months of using each of the strategies. Additional data would be collected on the ease of use and effectiveness of the management strategy from each supervisor in the program. Additionally, the output of the department would be monitored daily and employee satisfaction ratings collected.

a. Describe one concept used in this study and why you think it is a concept
b. Describe one construct that is used in this study and why you think it is a construct.
c. Describe one independent variable and the operational definition for that variable.
d. Describe one dependent variable and the operational definition for that variable.

4. You are the office manager of a large firm that prides itself on its high-quality customer service. Lately, complaints have surfaced that an increased number of incoming calls are being misrouted or dropped. Yesterday, when passing by the main reception area, you noticed the receptionist fiddling with his hearing aid. In the process, a call came in and would have gone unanswered if not for your intervention. This particular receptionist had earned an unsatisfactory review three months earlier for tardiness. Your inclination is to urge this 20-year employee to retire or to fire him, if retirement is rejected, but you know the individual is well liked and seen as a fixture in the company.

a. Pose several hypotheses that might account for dropped or misrouted incoming calls.
b. Show how would you use inductive reasoning to test these hypotheses.
c. Show how you would use deductive reasoning to test these hypotheses.
d. Using the double movement of reflective thought, show how you would test these hypotheses.

5. What are the nine characteristics of good research? If you could only do one of the nine in a research study, which one would you insist on using to provide the highest quality research? Why would that be your choice?

Solution Preview

1. A study is proposed that looks at the effect of a new sales technique on sales efficiency. Three different groups are recruited to be in the study. The first group gets training on the sales technique, the second group goes about business as usual, and the third group gets the same training the first group gets plus weekly feedback from their manager. 3 months of sales data from both before and after the training are collected along with the number of new accounts that are opened. The results of the before sales and new accounts are compared to the after sales and new accounts to see if either training or feedback are important.
a. Identify one independent variable
b. Identify one dependent variable
c. Propose one intervening variable
d. Propose one moderating variable
e. Write a hypothesis for this research project

SOLUTION:
a) Independent variable: Training on new sales technique
b) Dependent variable: sales efficiency
c) Intervening variable: interest of the worker on the training
d) Moderating variable: age of the worker
e) Hypothesis:
Null hypothesis: The new sales technique has no significant effect on sales efficiency of the workers.
Alternate Hypothesis: The new sales technique has a significant effect on the sales efficiency of the workers.

2. A study is proposed that will study the effects of tobacco smoke on infant development. Specifically, you want to collect evidence and show that kids exposed to tobacco smoke grow at a slower pace than kids in smoke-free homes. You select 100 kids from smoking homes and 100 kids from non-smoking homes. Weights for both groups of kids at the beginning of the study and then after 9 months, comparing the weights of the kids in the two groups.
a. Identify one independent variable
b. Identify one dependent variable
c. Propose one intervening variable
d. Propose one moderating variable
e. Write a hypothesis for this research project

SOLUTION:

Independent variable: Tobacco smoke
Dependent variable: Infant development
Intervening variable: Kind of tobacco that produces the smoke
Moderating variable: Family health -related practices
Hypothesis:
Null Hypothesis: Tobacco smoke has no significant effect on infant development.
Alternate Hypothesis: Tobacco smoke has a significant effect on infant development.

3. A study is proposed to examine if management style will impact productivity in a white-collar workforce. The researchers are interested in how specific management strategies affect the productivity of workers. Since there are no groups in the company that have exactly the same productivity, it was decided that they would implement management strategy 1 with one group for six months, and then change ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides assistance with the business research problems given.

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