Study on Backward Business Research Essay Sample

Study on Backward Business Research Pages
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While ‘Backward’ market research’ may sound oxymoronic it has to be one of the most useful things that I learnt throughout my time at University and I must thank my old lecturer Ben Healey for introducing it to me. Why is ‘Backward’ market research so good? – It is good because is it delivers results, and if market research cannot deliver results it really is a waste of time and money. ‘Backward’ market research was first postulated by Alan R. Andreasen in the 1980′s. ‘Backward’ market research turns the traditional approach to research design on its head and increases the likelihood that the research findings are not only interesting but will lead to actionable conclusions. Alan R. Andreasen in his article published in the Harvard Business Review outlines the backwards approach as follows: 1. Determine how the research results will be implemented (this also helps to define the problem) The first step is the most important step!

The focus here is to identify what the research problem is. Only once the problem has been identified and clearly defined is it possible to proceed onto step 2. Failure to adequately satisfy step 1 will doom the research project to mediocrity. In stage 1 it is important that the manager trusts the researcher and provides the researcher with all the information. Often a manager will have a preconceived notion of what the research problem is. Often after further consultation it can transpire that the research problem may be something quite different to what the manager first thought. 2. To ensure the results will be implemented you need to determine what the final report should contain and how it should look. Management needs to ask itself what the final report should look like. The best way to approach this stage is to work out possible scenarios. This process is helpful as discussion around what the possible results are bound to occur. It is important to frame this stage by remaining focused on what decisions will be made as a result of the report. 3. Specify the analysis necessary to fill in the blanks in the research report.

The sophistication of the analysis is largely dependent on the comfort level of the management team. Advanced statistics and analysis should be used only when required. 4. Determine the kind of data that must be assembled to carry out the required analysis. The backward design helps here by establishing the quality of the sampling method required. From the discussions in step three and by drafting up some dummy reports it is possible to see what sort of data is required. During this stage it is possible to reduce field costs by identifying the sampling quality required. 5. Conduct a scan of secondary sources to see whether or not the required data already exists or can be obtained quickly or efficiently from others. The possible cost savings of this stage are obvious. The information garnered from the first 4 steps help to focus where the research effort should be made.

6. If the scan of secondary data does not identify any easy ways then look at research instruments and a sampling plan that will uncover the data that is required. 7. Carry out the field work, while doing this it is essential to keep on checking to see whether or not the data is going to meet your needs. 8. Do the analysis, write the report and sit back and watch the results have their intended effect. I fully endorse the ‘Backward’ market research approach and have found it beneficial in ensuring the research projects that I have undertaken deliver on their objectives. It should be acknowledged that it does requires some time and commitment from both parties but the benefits as follow more than compensate for this investment. The key benefits of the ‘Backwards’ market research approach are: * The organization can avoid research that will not benefit decision making. * Research results that are produced are actionable.

* Surprising conclusions can be anticipated and contingency plans developed. * Sampling need only be as sophisticated as organisations data warrants and are therefore more efficient. * Sample sizes will be large enough to allow for more precise analysis. * Questions will be worded as management really wants them. * Management, being closely involved in research design is more likely to support the implementation phases and take quick action on the research results when they finally become available. The ‘Backward’ market research approach takes time for both managers and researchers. But determining where you want to go then working backwards to figure out how to get there is likely to yield more valuable data. This then leads to more fruitful decisions – something that we all have a vested interest in.

I suggest a proven procedure that turns the traditional approach to research design on its head. This procedure, which stresses close collaboration between researcher and corporate decision makers, markedly raises the odds that the company will come up with findings that are not only interesting but will lead to actionable conclusions.

There are only two cases in which research is not expected to be immediately actionable. The first is when the research is intended to be basic—that is, to lay the groundwork for later investigation or action rather than have any near-term impact. The second occasion is when the research is methodological—that is, designed to improve the organization’s ability to ask questions in the future. Except for these two instances, research should be designed to lead to a decision.

1.define the research problem.
2.check secondary sources
3 determine primary research strategy.
4 estimate research cost.
5 design questionnaire.
6 design sample.
7 implement research design
8 analyze data.
9 write a report.

There are only two cases in which research is not expected to be immediately actionable. The first is when the research is intended to be basic—that is, to lay the groundwork for later investigation or action rather than have any near-term impact. The second occasion is when the research is methodological—that is, designed to improve the organization’s ability to ask questions in the future. Except for these two instances, research should be designed to lead to a decision.

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