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Home » Course Case Maps » Course Case Mapping For Business Research Methods

Course Case Mapping For Business Research Methods

Business Research Methods is one of the capstone courses in the II semester of any MBA program. This subject is also called by different names - Statistical Methods for Business Research, Business Research, etc. This course endeavors to familiarize the students with such concepts as : research design, sampling methods, hypothesis testing, data collection, tabulation, data validation, data interpretation, etc. Since the grounding in this course is highly essential for Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, New Product Development (for Product Launching, Pilot Testing) and other related courses, the case studies in business research need to be highly practical and insightful. IBSCDC's Business Research Methods case studies serve these two purposes immensely. These case studies also enable the students to interpret the results and take the appropriate and relevant decisions.

Business Research Methods Case Mapping

Chapter : Introduction to Research

Chapter : Introduction to Research

Detailed Syllabus: Meaning & definition of Research – Relevance and significance of Research in business – Types of Research – Research problems – Evolution of Research – Overview of Research Methodology
Session: 1
Key Concepts: Basics and Significance of Research
Case Study: Downfall of Mayur Hyper Market – Significance of Business Research
Abstracts: Mayur, a hypermarket chain located across India, which attracted customers in the initial stages of its establishment, started losing its customers to its competitors. The management introduced many schemes to attract customers,but without any gain. The top management did not pay heed to the store managers’suggestion of taking up research to find the actual problem. However, when the problem persisted, the management reluctantly agreed for research and hired a consultancy firm ‘TS & Associates’. The consultants worked on Mayur’s problem and gave them a solution, which when implemented showed an improvement in Mayur’s performance. The case study tries to highlight the importance of research in business.
    Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
  • Chapter 1, “The Role of Business Research”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
  • Chapter 1, “Research in Business”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition

Chapter : Research Process

Chapter : Research Process

Detailed Syllabus: Introduction – Theoretical Framework – Research Hypothesis
Session: 2
Key Concepts: Research Process
Case Study: Initial Hiccups of a Start-up Brand
Abstracts: Anil, who owns a boutique and a distribution firm, started his own brand of womens wear. While his earlier businesses of the local boutique and the distribution for other renowned brands were doing well, his own brand could not find customers in the market. He hires a consultant and gives him a clear description of his businesses. The case study tries to extract the research process – the consultant would take up – from the students through brainstorming and classroom discussion.
    Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
  • Chapter 4, “The Research Process: An Overview”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
  • Chapter 3, “The Research Process”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition

Chapter : Research Design

Chapter : Research Design

Detailed Syllabus: Introduction – Nature of and Classification of Design – Developing an Appropriate Research Design – Experimental Research Design – Randomised Design, Latin Square Design and Factorial Design – Basic Principles, Types of Experimental Design – Validity – External and Internal
Session: 3
Key Concepts:
  • Research Design Experimental Research Design Randomised Design

  • Case Study: SSS’s Experiment: Choosing an Appropriate Design
    Abstracts: Soft Space Solutions (SSS), a software company which develops customised software solutions for it clients worldwide, is facing internal problems with its employees. During the US Financial Crisis of 2008, the company’s employee productivity, which had reached record levels, is now decreasing. The firm also observed that the attrition rates, which were very low during the period, are now beginning to increase as the market is gaining momentum. Therefore, the company management decided to conduct an experiment to seek the reasons for its employee behaviour and take appropriate steps to bring the productivity and attrition levels back. However, the company has to choose among the various experimental research designs that suit its requirements.
      Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
    • Chapter 12, “Experimental Research”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
    • Chapter 14, “Experimentation”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition
    Session: 4
    Key Concepts: Latin Square Design
    Case Study: City Couriers: Dilemma in Design Experiment
    Abstracts: John Britto (Britto) is an operations manager at City Couriers in Hyderabad. The company carries out its delivery operations through its own vans in the four south Indian states. It operates on a ‘hub and spoke’ delivery system. However, sensing the business potential of other regions, the company wanted to expand its presence across the globe. For this, Britto decides to increase the company’s fleet of vans but has to decide amongst five various brands with respect to their operating costs. To finalise the best brand for his company, he experiments on the five brands with five drivers over a 5-week period and collects the data (average cost per mile). He uses the Latin Square Design method to analyse the collected data and decide about the purchase to be made.
      Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
    • Chapter 12, “Experimental Research”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
    • Chapter 14, “Experimentation”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition
    Session: 5
    Key Concepts: Factorial Design
    Case Study: New Product Design Experiment at iConnect
    Abstracts: iConnect, a renowned software company, has developed a new software to increase the Internet speed. The software fine tunes the modem settings to maximise the output. Before launching the software into the market, the marketing manager wants to test three different selected attributes. The three attributes to test, yield a total of 16 possible combinations at two levels. Then, using ‘Fractional Factorial Design’, he reduced the number of combinations which have to be tested. A statistical package has been used to know the Customer Response Rate (CRR). CRR is a function of the selected attributes in the case study. From the results in the case study, it is revealed that price has a significant impact on response to the various offers, since the lower price offers combinations drew much better response rates than the higher price offers combinations.
      Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
    • Chapter 12, “Experimental Research”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
    • Chapter 14, “Experimentation”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition

    Chapter : Scales and Measure- ment

    Chapter : Scales and Measure- ment

    Detailed Syllabus: Measurements Types of Measurements Different Scales Comparison between Different Scales Characteristics Validity – Different Methods of Measurement – Developing Scales – Classification of Scales – Rating Scales – Attitude Scales – Thurston Scale Likert Scale – Semantic Differential Scale – Types of Errors in Measurement – Test of Reliability – Measures of Stability – Threats to Reliability
    Session: 6
    Key Concepts: Likert Scaling
    Case Study: Saturn Clothing Company: Measuring Customer Satisfaction using Likert Scaling
    Abstracts: Saturn Clothing Company is one of the very few clothing companies established in India in the early 20th century and has been making profits since its establishment. It is one of the major exporters of fabrics and accessories in India and the variety of clothing is huge. Of late, the company started running into losses because of its low customer satisfaction rate. The management of the company could not ascertain any specific problem. The company conducted a survey amongst its customers and wants to establish the reasons which led to a reduction in its customers. This case study primarily deals with the customer satisfaction rate of Saturn Clothing Company measured using Likert scale.
      Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
    • Chapter 14, “Attitude Measurement”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
    • Chapter 9, “Measurement Scales”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition
    Session: 7
    Key Concepts: Thurstone Scaling
    Case Study: Global Stance on Malaria: Using Thurstone Scaling
    Abstracts: The case study primarily deals with measuring the attitude of people towards those suffering from malaria and the use of Thurstone Scaling in measuring it. Malaria a dreadful disease which if not treated can become fatal by interrupting the blood supply to vital organs of the human body. Malaria can be controlled by diagnosing it early and treating it promptly. People have different attitudes towards the disease as well as the people suffering from it. One of the ways to document the attitude is to record the statements made by the people about the disease. When recording statements, it should be ensured that people generate statements only if they have either suffered from the disease or have a fair idea about the disease.
      Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
    • Chapter 14, “Attitude Measurement”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
    • Chapter 9, “Measurement Scales”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition
    Session: 8
    Key Concepts: Semantic Differential Scaling
    Case Study: Krupa Medical Stores – Evaluating its Brand Image using Semantic Differential Scaling
    Abstracts: This case study primarily deals with measuring the attitudes of the customers of Krupa Medical Stores towards the store, the location of the store and the availability of drugs in the store. Krupa Medical Stores is one of the famous retail medical stores located in Koti, Hyderabad. Since the store is located in one of the busiest locations in Hyderabad, it enjoyed a huge, loyal customer base. However, the development and the expansion of the city in all directions is posing a major problem for Krupa Medical Stores as the number of customers visiting the store has reduced. Even though the store fulfils most of its customers’needs, the store’s location has become a major constraint. It is not easily accessible since it is situated in a corner of the city. Since there are many retail medical stores in and around Hyderabad, not everyone comes here to purchase medicines.Worried over this issue, the owner, Ravi Bhaskar approached a research consultant who used Semantic Differential Scale in order to measure the brand value of Krupa Medical Stores by measuring the attitude of its customers towards the store and its brand image.
      Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
    • Chapter 14, “Attitude Measurement”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
    • Chapter 9, “Measurement Scales”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition

    Chapter : Survey Research

    Chapter : Survey Research

    Detailed Syllabus: Introduction – Purpose – Methods of Data Collection – Interviews, Observation, Schedule, Questionnaire, Other Methods of Data Collection – Panel Research, Warranty Cards, Pantry Audit and Consumer Panel – Mechanical Devices – Projective Techniques – Sociometry
    Session: 9
    Key Concepts: Basics of Data Collection
    Case Study: Exploring Primary and Secondary Data: Lessons to Learn
    Abstracts: A group of MBA students, of the academic year 2004–2005, are yet to start their summer projects. They discuss about the topics and research methodologies to be used based on the suitability and applicability of each technique they have learnt during their semester in exploring the data required for their projects. Students propose to make use of both secondary and primary research techniques for their summer project. The case study helps in the discussion of various methods of data collection and the constraints in each of them.
      Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
    • Chapters 8 and 9, “Secondary Data” and “Survey Research: An Overview”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
    • Chapters 10 and 11, “Exploring Secondary Data” and “Survey Methods: Communicating with Participants”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition
    Session: 10
    Key Concepts: Methods of Data Collection
    Case Study: Survey in Trade Show: Participant Communication Instruments
    Abstracts: Rahul Leathers, a leather goods manufacturing company participates in a trade show in Japan and sends two of its employees to attend the fair. The aim of the company is to find prospective customers for their products in that country and the employees are given the responsibility of conducting market research through a survey in a trade show. While one of them is experienced in conducting such surveys, the other one is an amateur. Both of them discuss the dos and don’ts of a survey process and the importance of identifying the right category of people and questions to be asked. The case study is meant to highlight the importance and various concerns of each step involved in the process of designing the right instrument to communicate with the participants in a survey.
      Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
    • Chapter 10, “Survey Research: Basic Methods of Communication with Respondents”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
    • Chapter 12, “Instruments for Participant Commmunication”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition

    Chapter : Data Preparation

    Chapter : Data Preparation

    Detailed Syllabus: Data Coding, Data Cleaning, Identification Outlier, Handling Missing Values
    Session: 11
    Key Concepts:
  • Data Coding and Cleaning

  • Case Study: Stream: Accomplishing Success Through Perfect Data Analysis
    Abstracts: The case study primarily deals with the processes involved in preparing the data and how important these processes are for analysis purpose. Data preparation is a very important and critical step in the data analysis process since it has a huge impact on the success of a wide variety of data analysis tasks. The case of Stream Watches helps us in understanding the importance of marketing survey, data preparation, editing and coding which helped the company in determining the market segments and the position of its brand in the market. The analysis also helped the management in knowing its customer preferences and demands.
      Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
    • Chapter 15, “Data Preparation and Description”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition

    Chapter : Multivariate Analysis and Use of Statistical Packages

    Chapter : Multivariate Analysis and Use of Statistical Packages

    Detailed Syllabus: Introduction – Nature and techniques of Multivariate Analysis – Analysis of Dependence – Multiple Regression Assumptions in the Regression Model, Dummy Variable Treatment, Testing of Goodness of Fit of the Model and Discriminate Analysis. Analysis of Interdependence – Factor Analysis and Cluster Analysis – Application of Major Software Packages (SPSS, etc.)
    Session: 12
    Key Concepts: Multivariate Analysis
    Case Study: Demand Forecasting of Magic Foods using Multiple Regression Technique
    Abstracts: South India-based Magic Foods, a leading manufacturer of pickles, has been selling its products under the brand name ‘Magic’ for over the last two decades. Magic Foods is engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of high quality Indian processed foods such as pickles, spice pastes, instant mixes, etc. Of late, the management of Magic Foods started facing two problems. The first one is to identify the factors that can increase the sales and the second one is to predict sales for the next year. To find out a solution, Magic Foods sought the help of a marketing agency, Care Research. The Marketing agency started its research task to find out the factors influencing the sales and to forecast the sales for the next year. To solve the problem, the company applied Multiple Regression Analysis technique. Using Multiple Regression Analysis Technique, one can predict the values of dependant variables by estimating the values of independent variables. After processing the surveyed data, Care agency was able to provide solution to the problems of Magic Foods.
      Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
    • Chapter 24, “Multivariate Analysis”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
    • Chapter 19, “Multivariate Analysis: An Overview”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition
    Session: 13
    Key Concepts: Discriminant Analysis
    Case Study: Assessment of Retail Credit in a Private Bank with the Help of ‘Discrimi- nant Analysis’
    Abstracts: After the recent US Financial Crisis 2008, recession has made a strong impact especially on the banking and financial services. As a result of this, many people lost their jobs and could not even repay their loans or debts. This lead to a rise in the default rates which in turn resulted in a rise in Non Performing Asset (NPA) of the banks. Hence, banks also started monitoring their retail accounts continuously to avoid any further delinquency. Karunya Bank, one of the private banks based in Bangalore, also noticed that its NPA has increased in the last few quarters. To deal with the matter, George Mathew, a research executive of the bank wanted to know the repayment behaviour of the customers. For this,he collected crucial information like age, income, number of dependents and years of marriage of the customer. Based on their repayment track record, he classified the customers into two categories – ‘Clean’ and ‘Defaulter’. He used Discriminant Analysis as a tool to know the repayment behaviour of the customers. The analysis shows that the bank was correct in choosing the independent variables i.e., age of the customer, income of the customer, number of dependents and years of marriage. The bank could even classify the customers into default and non-default. Age and income of the customer are the two important variables which helped the bank in explaining the repayment behaviour. Ultimately, the bank was able to succeed in reducing the risk caused due to defaulters.
      Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
    • Chapter 24, “Multivariate Analysis”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
    • Chapter 19, “Multivariate Analysis: An Overview”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition
    Session: 14
    Key Concepts: Factor Analysis
    Case Study: Consumer’s Perception on Invertors in India: A Factor Analysis Case
    Abstracts: JK Company management observed that the Indian market is more favourable for the inverters as the market for Direct Current (DC) generators is already saturated. The company has found that a few local companies are competing heavily for market share. Even the number of players is less. The company decides to carry out a survey to understand the perceptions of the owners about the inverters. To do this assignment, the company hires Perfect Marketing Agency (PMA). PMA decides to conduct a survey among the owners of different generators/inverters in India. Factor Analysis technique was selected to handle the problem as it is different from Regression Analysis. The case study describes about various steps involved in Factor Analysis and also provides the meaning of rotation matrix. The marketing agency has surveyed 20 consumers to know their perception by asking 10 questions. Ultimately, the marketing agency chose four important common factors using Factor Analysis Technique.
      Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
    • Chapter 24, “Multivariate Analysis”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
    • Chapter 19, “ Multivariate Analysis: An Overview”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition
    Session: 15
    Key Concepts: Cluster Analysis
    Case Study: Arranging Stock in a Warehouse: Cluster Analysis
    Abstracts: Praveen Kumar (Praveen) owns an automobile spare parts shop, which has seen a continuous increase in sales over the years. However, in the recent quarters, Praveen observed that his sales were decreasing, though he was stocking more number and variety of spare parts than when shop was started. With little observation, Praveen finds that the waiting time for each customer is more. Lot of time is consumed by the salesmen to deliver the orders, as the spare parts in the warehouse are arranged randomly, causing delay in serving the customers.Praveen decides to use cluster analysis to arrange the stock in his shop. The case discusses and analyses the use of cluster analysis.
      Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
    • Chapter 24, “Multivariate Analysis”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
    • Chapter 19, “Multivariate Analysis: An Overview”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition

    Chapter : Report Writing

    Chapter : Report Writing

    Detailed Syllabus: Types of Reports – Planning and Organising a Research Project, Harvard System of Referencing Bibliography – Footnotes – Checklist – Evaluation of Report.
    Session: 16
    Key Concepts: Research Project Report Writing
    Case Study: Developing a Formal Report – A Case Study of ‘SmartMBA. com’
    Abstracts: SmartMBA.com (SmartMBA), a website, which is visited by more than 600,000 MBA applicants every month, is one of India’s biggest and most trusted MBA-centric websites. SmartMBA is in a dilemma as to how should it present the rankings of top 50 International B-Schools on its website. After conducting a research, the website concluded that the data can be presented in a report format. The report format should user-friendly so that it should be easily comprehensible even for a student having a vague idea about business schools and their rankings. This case study primarily deals with the presentation of the collected data in the form of a report.
      Background Reading/ Additional Reading:
    • Chapter 25, “Communicating Research Results: Report, Presentation, And Follow-Up”, Business Research Methods, William G. Zikmund, 7th edition
    • Chapter 20, “Presenting Results: Written and Oral Reports”, Business Research Methods, Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler, 8th edition

    Buy This Case Pack

      Course Pack contains
    • 16 Case studies
    • 9 Structured Assignments
    • 8 Teaching Notes

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