Scientific Research as an Important Aspect of Any Business Organization - Paper Example

Date:  2021-07-02 02:12:42
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Scientific research is a very important aspect of any business organization since it is conducted with the aim of creating new knowledge that can be applied in pursuit of better performance and higher profits. Scientific research is defined by Chang (2015) as a collection of techniques that can be used to investigate phenomena so as to acquire new knowledge or integrate and correct the existing one. An inquiry method must be based on measurable or empirical evidence for it to be considered scientific. Aristotle is one of the earliest proponents of scientific methods as he came up with the philosophy that all human beings are born empty, tabula-rasa, and it is only through observation and experimentation that they gain knowledge (Franzoni & Sauermann, 2014). The scientific method is a perpetual process that normally begins with systematic observations, goes on to measurement and experiment, after which the hypothesis is formulated, tested and modified if need be (Chang, 2015). The researcher begins by observing the natural world. Due to the researcher's inquisitive nature, they start questioning what they observe and eventually develop an idea that can be referred to as a hypothetical statement or simply, hypothesis. The hypothesis attempts to explain the observation, then leads to a prediction that can be tested. If such a hypothesis is well-supported by carefully considered experiments, then a general theory is developed to explain a certain phenomenon. Scientific research is particularly crucial in management information systems since it helps in the collection of comprehensive information that can help managers create the most reliable reports that they need to make industrial decisions and come up with top-notch business strategies (Hirsch, 2005). In that case, scientists often apply standard criteria and procedures so as to arrive at the most reliable and accurate representation of nature. These standards include observing and describing phenomena, formulating a hypothesis that explains the phenomena, using the hypothesis to predict new phenomena or new observations, and finally performing experimental tests (Jadrich, & Bruxvoort, 2011). These basic procedures are applied by most scientific researchers.

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Aims of Scientific Research

Scientific research is a very crucial aspect of business. Generally, research aims at observing, describing, predicting, testing and explaining various phenomena (Hirsch, 2005). As such, business organizations benefit immensely from reliable research since they can make informed decisions that help their businesses grow. According to Chang (2015), some of the major objectives of scientific research include:

To capture the relevant background data as well as its complexity.

To identify the collective experiences of other researchers from the field of interest and learn from them.

To identify, explore, confirm and advance the existing theoretical concepts.

To further improve the current research design.

With such aims, it becomes possible for a researcher to go beyond the simple aspect of reporting observations. Observations are important but simply reporting them without promoting an environment that enables an improved understanding of these observations may be an exercise in futility. Franzoni and Sauermann (2014) affirm that the relevance of a theory cannot be proved without combining an extensive research with a real-world environment. A case study would also come in handy. This is because superstition or traditional knowledge may no longer be trusted where there is a need for the integration of research and practice since the process is continuous. In life, situations are dynamic thus the need for more appropriate response and understanding. In that case, scientific research helps in building on the current knowledge and provides an opportunity to meet professional research standards as well as regard for any contextual differences (DeSoto & Schweinsberg, 2017). Generally, the collection of evidence and data analysis done using standard statistical methods are critical aspects of scientific research. Empirical data collection through the appropriate research designs is important in proving or countering any theory. The information gathered and analyzed by scholars and professionals can then be applied to industrial purposes.

Why the Scientific Method Is Used In both Scholarly and Practical Research

The scientific method is preferred by both scholarly and practical researchers because of its thoroughness. The research process in itself guarantees results that can be valid and reliable if the process is carried out properly. The scientific research process is a means through which new knowledge about the world is built. Scholars, as Lathbury (2013) suggests, construct new ideas that are inherently tentative. As these ideas progressively cycle through the science process and are tested and retested in a diversity of ways, they increasingly gain relevance and people begin to become confident that they are the general truths. This cycle mainly helps in the active construction and integration of scientific knowledge (Chang, 2015). With further research, these ideas become ripe for modification, expansion, and combination into more powerful explanations. The process of scientific research involves the following steps as proposed by Jadrich and Bruxvoort (2011).

Step 1

This involves the formulation of a general question regarding the topic of research. At this stage, the scientific researcher sets the goals of the research and clearly defines the research objectives. This will in turn help in the process of formulating the research hypotheses. Research on the impact of a global incursion for a business organization, for example, would require the review of previous and current literature of the topic so as to allow for a general overview thus helping in establishing a more specialized area of research. The whole study is then built on the goal, scientifically accepted fundamentals and previous research so as to assist in addressing a unique issue (Hoeken & Hustinx, 2009). Irrespective of the topic of research, a scholar has to develop a question that can be honed into testable hypotheses.

Step 2

This step involves the narrowing down of the research question. It includes induction, reduction, elimination and a narrow focus on the research are (Chang, 2015). The practicality of the research, timeframe, budgetary restrictions and available technology are some of the factors that need to be put into consideration at this stage. This leads to the formulation of a few or one fundamental and realistic hypothesis. In that case, the scholar can design the experiment around this hypothesis. The experiment design should be able to test and appraise the hypothesis by manipulating the chosen variable or variables so as to generate data that is analyzable (DeSoto & Schweinsberg, 2017). At this point, the researcher ensures that the experiment is designed in such a way that it has a reasonably large sample and controls that can allow for statistical tests (Methodology of Science and General-Scientific Methods of Research, 2016). This will, in turn, ensure that the results provided are statistically valid.

Step 3

At this stage, the results of the research are observed and recorded, and the findings gathered from raw data, after which interpretation of the data takes place. The researcher first looks at the effect of the manipulated variable or variables have on the subject then records the results (Hirsch, 2005). In the process, the results reveal some trends as well as answers to the initial research questions thus widening the research scope again. The data is statistically analyzed and organized into a form that is understandable. This paves the way for interpretation of the results. The findings are interpreted and extrapolated. In most cases, there is an association between the data gathered and why the scholar thinks the information looks the way it does. Scientific research is preferred because lie in this case, it utilizes experimentation in studying and interpreting specific hypotheses and questions (Franzoni & Sauermann, 2014). This allows for the continuous accumulation of knowledge, and this knowledge becomes a basic assumption with time.

Step 4

This step is rather technical and involves the statement regarding the proving or disproving of the hypothesis. The results are filtered with the aim of reporting what happened and the reason(s). The initial hypothesis is adapted and interesting results set aside for further research. It is important to note that, as Lakatos (1976) suggests, the initial hypothesis may be incorrect, owing to a possible flaw in the implementation or design of the experiment. Nevertheless, there may be trends that may lead to further research and refinement of the scientific process though it may be insignificant, statistically. Scientific research is a way of slowly finding out about what drives the world and uncovering general truths about the universe. The results can then be shared with the scientific community for experimentation, replication, verification, refinement, and acceptance as scientific contributions (Clarke & Fujimura, 2014). This means that the research procedure must be clear from the beginning so as to enable pragmatic generalization and operationalization of the results.

Below is a diagrammatic representation of the scientific research process.

Source: Methodology of Science and General-Scientific Methods of Research (2016).

From the information on the scientific research process, it is clear that the planning and designing of the experiment is a very crucial part of a research project. It revolves around answering specific questions and predictions thus allowing for replication and verification by independent researchers. This explains why professional or practical researchers and scholars use the scientific method since the results can be accepted as real. In most cases, scientific research mainly investigates an area and simplifies it into testable pieces that can be gradually experimented and allow approaching and answering larger questions. This enables the breaking down of a huge problem into chunks that are manageable. Whether the hypothesis is proved or not, there is a generation of new ideas that can be developed and refined (Kieser, Nicolai & Seidl, 2015). The reason behind this is that scientific research does not give an obvious answer but encourages further research in a different direction.

The Value of Primary and Secondary Data in Scientific Research

Both primary and secondary data are very crucial in scientific research since it is cyclical in its nature. It encourages further research and therefore, as much information as possible would be good for the research. Primary and secondary data help in erasing common misconceptions as key concepts are applied. The key concepts or components of the scientific method include the research problem, hypothesis, variables, experimentation, operationalization, and discussion of results, validity, reliability, conclusions, and generalizations (Baskerville & Wood-Harper, 2016). For this process to be successful, the relevant data from both primary and secondary research is required.

Primary research refers to a process that involves the collection of original data from the field depending on the topic of research (Methodology of Science and General-Scientific Methods of Research, 2016). Primary data can either be quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative data is mainly statistical while qualitative data is descriptive (Kieser, Nicolai & Seidl, 2015). If a business organization, for instance, wants to research on the viability of going global, the primary data about the market and other information can b...

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