Business and Management Research: How to Complete Your Research Project Successfully

Kevin E. Voss (College of Business Administration, Oklahoma State University, USA)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 1 December 2004




Voss, K.E. (2004), "Business and Management Research: How to Complete Your Research Project Successfully", International Marketing Review, Vol. 21 No. 6, pp. 667-669.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

I am always eager to examine new research methods texts from eminent marketing scholars like Professor Baker. His new text Business and Management Research is an interesting complement to the standard fare currently available in the research methods area. The researcher's ability to control the research project depends critically on the quantity and quality of tools and techniques within that researcher's skill set. With this in mind, Professor Baker's new text fills a niche by providing interesting information on important issues that are usually omitted from standard research texts.

For example, Chapter 4 titled “Writing a literature review” certainly has merit. I found Professor Baker's discussion of the five types of error resulting from improper citation very informative and interesting. The same chapter contains suggestions for conducting a literature review that is of a “nuts and bolts” style, including a recommended system for cataloging and filing. An especially important and valuable section of the book is Chapter 15 titled “Making a presentation”. This contains many valuable suggestions and tips which will aid in creating and delivering entertaining and informative research presentations. Chapter 14 on writing up research reports is authoritative since it is founded upon Professor Baker's many years of experience as the editor of Journal of Marketing Management and Journal of Customer Behaviour.

The text (in Chapter 2, p 13) indicates that the target market is individuals seeking a “postgraduate research degree”. This positioning is supported by several sections of the text which cover graduate level material. For example, Chapter 2 itself is a very reasonable introduction to philosophy of science. Chapter 6 is also noteworthy for its coverage of the scientific method, including a comparison of the “hard” sciences with the social sciences, its discussion of causality, and introduction of observation, experimentation, and survey research methods. Chapter 10 on data collection and interviewing is a “how to” exposition that particularly emphasizes the face‐to‐face interviewing process. I found this chapter well rounded.

Professor Baker's text is also interesting in terms of the juxtaposition of research styles in Europe and North America. It is this contrast between the qualitative and quantitative approaches to research that strengthens the text's position as a complementary volume to more standard research method texts. This difference is never more apparent than in Chapters 7 and 13. The former covers qualitative research methods including observation and case studies and stresses such important issues as grounded theory and ethnography. The latter covers data analysis, but does so in a strictly descriptive, non‐quantitative approach. This is indeed a complement to texts which stress the quantitative, and might totally omit discussions of grounded theory.

This new text has many interesting and informative sections which taken together must be considered valuable. This is especially true of Chapter 15. Professor Baker should be congratulated on crafting a solid introductory research text for graduate level students.

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