Business research and its defined purposes

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Research is an inevitable phenomenon for any research project. According to Kumar (2005) it is a crucial part of the dissertation which helps in answering the questions posed in the research project by adopting different approaches and philosophies.

On the other hand Saunders et al (2007) defines research as a process which is conducted to find out the answers for various things in an organised manner. Research should be based on the following characteristics depicted by Fig 2

Fig.2: Research Characteristics Source: Original

The data used to answer the research problem must be collected in an orderly and systematic manner. Walliman (2001) cited in saunders(2007) highlighted that if the data is not collected in a logical way it will not be termed as a piece of research as it will lack the clear purpose and interpretation. Therefore, it is necessary to collect the data from various acknowledgeable resources and then to interpret data properly and identify the clear purpose of the research data.

Jai peera di, jai peera di

Hence, the researcher has analysed these points and studied different models and approaches to adopt the best suitable manner for developing the research methodology in a systematic way which will further help to resolve the research problems of this particular project.


To identify the best suitable approach for conducting the research more efficiently and effectively, it is necessary to first define the research objective of the study:

To study the problems faced by Indian Women Entrepreneurs and determining the factors which are motivating them to become entrepreneurs despite all the problems faced.

Therefore, to solve the research objective, the researcher will focus on adopting the appropriate research approach and strategy so that the best method should be adopted for conducting the research.


Validity and reliability are the theories which help the researcher to analyse the academic worth and credibility of the research. It also helps in determining the best research methods for the research work to be carried on resourcefully. Establishing validity of the research is very important for the researcher as it will help him/her to analyse whether the information gained by using questionnaires or interviews is valid or not. Validity can be either internal, which includes the findings which are specifically meant for the particular research project or it can be external, where the findings are in context with a wider population. Furthermore, it is highlighted that the reliability of the research method is equally important and both validity and reliability go hand in hand. Reliability refers to the uniformity of the data obtained by employing the specific research method (Taylor et al, 2006).

Therefore, to insure that the data acquired is valid and reliable, the researcher has taken care that the data collected (by opting for the best research methods) is free from any bias views and is purely obtained by conducting in depth interviews and by distributing questionnaires among the targeted group of people. In addition, the secondary data is acquired by getting information from reliable books, peer-reviewed journals and newspapers etc.


According to Johnson and Gill (2002), research should be carried in a chronological order as it helps the researcher to work step by step towards attaining the research goals. They further state that the use of seven sequence models (Howard & Sharp (1983)) is particularly useful for anyone working on the research project at any level. The seven step sequence model is depicted by Fig.2









Source: Johnson and Gill (2002)

It is highlighted by Johnson and Gill (2002) that the proper sequence should be followed by the researcher and he/she should dedicate time to each and every step so that the research objectives should be achieved without any barriers.

Therefore, the researcher has followed this sequence in her research and clearly defined the research topic and has used a well defined research plan so that the research conducted should prove helpful for the targeted section of the population.


The research model applied by the researcher for this study is "Onion" by Saunders et al (2007) as this model helps the researcher in indentifying the appropriate research methods for data collection and implementing them to their own research. This research process named "onion" helps the researcher to critically analyse all the research approaches and philosophies and further "help in depicting the issues underlying the choice of data collection methods". The research process contains of five different layers, namely:

Research Philosophy

Research Approach

Research Strategy

Time Horizons

Data Collection Methods

The research process is depicted with the help of Fig 3, which will help in clear understanding of the research process.






Case Study

Grounded theory



Action Research





Secondary data





Research Approaches

Research Strategies

Time Horizons

Data Collection Methods

The first layer of the process is the research philosophy. It is further divided into three philosophies which are positivism, interpretivism and realism. These three views have a crucial role in the management research as they help in identifying the means due to which knowledge is generated and accepted (Saunders et al, 2007).


Bell et al (2007) describes positivism philosophy as a theory which works on the application of natural science methods followed by natural scientists towards the study of social reality. It is based on scientific knowledge rather than being subjective.

On the other hand, Saunders et al (2007) highlights positivism as a philosophy wherein the researcher acts as an independent analyst, interpreting the data collected in a value-free manner. He further states that the result of this research can be law-like generalisations where the data is observed in quantifiable terms and the research done is purely objective.

The research is objective in nature as it is based on observation and collection of quantitative data from the selected sample of the population. Thus, the researcher has used positivism philosophy in the research work by the use of questionnaire to acquire quantifiable data.

According to Saunders et al (2007), it is difficult for the business and management to be just based on the theory of positivism which relies solely on the law-like generalisations without taking into consideration the other complexities of the social world .Thus, Interpretivism philosophy comes into the role which focuses on the need of analysing the importance of subjective meaning of the research. It is based on understanding the behaviour of people, so the researcher is completely involved in the study. Also, the interpretations made by researcher are based on the information collected by observing and understanding the people involved in the research.

The researcher has implemented interpretivism philosophy as the research takes into consideration the viewpoint of women entrepreneur by talking to them and making interpretations based on their actions and motives.

Therefore, the research has employed both the philosophies as it is beneficial for the research work to progress without any hurdles.


After deciding the research philosophy for the research, the next layer of the "onion" is research approach. There are two types of research approach, deductive and inductive approach. The differences between the two approaches are shown with the help of Table 1.



Top- down approach

Bottom-down approach

Collection of quantitative data

Collection of qualitative data

Based on positivism philosophy

Based on interpretivism philosophy

No involvement of the researcher

Researcher is involved in the process

Table 1: Differences between the research approaches Source: Original

As per Lancaster (2005) deductive approach is the most commonly used approach in the natural sciences. In this approach, the theory is developed and then tested out by empirical observation. This approach is also termed as "top-down approach". It begins with selection of a broader theory and then narrowing it further to a more specific hypothesis which can be tested by the researcher (Trochim, 2006)

Saunders et al (2007) refers deductive theory as a testing theory wherein the theory is based on scientific principles. It involves the approach in a highly structured manner and is based on collection of qualitative data. In this theory, the researcher is not involved and the observations are objective, similar to the positivism philosophy of research.

On the contrary, Inductive approach is a "bottom-down approach". It is a flexible approach where the data is used to build up the theory and guiding the research process. Unlike deductive approach, inductive approach helps the researcher by formulating new theories rather than emphasising on the existing theory

(Carson et al, 2001).

Furthermore, Saunders et al (2007) bring into light that inductive approach focuses its attention on developing the theory by using qualitative methods of data collection. It involves understanding and interpreting the behaviour of the humans involve in the research process. Therefore, the researcher is closely attached to the research process.

Hence after going through the research approaches, researcher decided to implement a combination of both the approaches for this research as it has been observed that these approaches have their individual benefits and provide valuable data to the researcher. Also, when combined together, they yield better results. By the use of deductive approach, the researcher gets the benefit of observing and testing the existing theory, whereas by inductive approach he/she will is able to develop a new theory which might prove useful in the future (Carson et al, 2001).

Therefore, a balanced mix of both the approaches is adopted in the present research work.


According to Saunders et al (2007), research strategy is an important part of the dissertation as it helps the researcher to identify the plan regarding how the objectives of the research will be concluded. A research strategy should also include the proper reasoning behind using the particular research strategy for your research and how will it prove to be beneficial for the project.

There are various types of research strategies such as experiments, survey method, case study, exploratory, descriptive etc.

Survey Strategy

Survey research also referred as descriptive research is a very effective way of conducting research as it allows the researcher to collect the huge amount of data very economically. The survey strategy employs use of questionnaires to collect information from the large group of people (Ary et al, 2009).

Furthermore, it has been analysed that use of survey strategy is considered to be reliable by general people as they consider surveys to be free from any bias views. However, this type of strategy has its own set of disadvantages as this method is assumed to be time consuming. It involves lot of time to develop questions and design the questionnaires.

Another research strategy is exploratory studies. As per Robson (2002) this strategy helps in gathering the information and analysing the current prevailing situation by the mode of interviewing the appropriate people or either by doing a thorough research of the literature.

Adams and Schvaneveldt (1991) emphasises that the advantage of this strategy is that, it is flexible in nature. This strategy helps the researcher to change the direction of the research according to the data obtained by conducting interviews. It helps the researcher to include any new findings in the research work. Thus, this indicates that this kind of strategy is adaptive and easy to employ.

The researcher has clearly understood all the strategies before deciding on a multi-method strategy (using survey and exploratory studies) as it is beneficial for the following reasons for this particular research work:

By survey strategy, researcher will gain an insight about the views of general women on the issues faced by women entrepreneurs in India.

By conducting exploratory studies by the means of interview with one female entrepreneur, the researcher will be able to establish the factors which motivated her to take up entrepreneurship and what issues did she faced while establishing herself as an entrepreneur.

Also, it has been analysed that use of multi-method strategy i.e. combining methods is beneficial for the research and makes it clearer and hence helps the researcher to meet the objectives.


After analysing the approaches to research and deciding upon the research strategy, it is important for the researcher to identify the various types of research, so that he/she can utilise the best research approach , so that it can bring researcher one step closer to meet the desired research objectives.

According to Kumar (2005) various research techniques and methods combined together helps the researcher to gather the information about various issues which can be used appropriately for understanding and augmentation of the research problem posed in the dissertation.


Harvey (2008) states that it is a data which is purely objective in nature and is based on procedures and rules rather than being subjective .Quantitative research refers to the numerical data collected which can be quantified and analysed to solve the research problem and meet the research goals. It involves use of many data collection techniques which helps the researcher to gather the data accurately and analyse it to reach to an appropriate conclusion. The data collected is represented by the use of graphs and tables (Blaikie, 2003).

The data collected by using quantitative technique is advantageous for the research work as it is reliable because it employs thorough observation and experiments. Also, it follows the pre-determined research goals and provides objective conclusions after analysing the numerical data gathered (Matveev, 2002).

However, it cannot be always considered accurate as the findings are usually limited and they are presented in the form of numerical data rather than describing the data elaborately. Further, it may be biased as it is based on a structured approach with standard questions and has low involvement of the targeted population (Learn higher, 2008).


According to Bock and Sergeant (2002) qualitative research is concerned with understanding the collected data rather than focussing on the numerical interpretations. This research does not involve any numerical data and is focussed on analysing the behavioural aspect by conducting in-depth interviews with the subject involved (sample of population).

The qualitative research helps the researcher to tackle with the research problem with logical generalisation instead of focussing on statistical way of solving the problem. It is based on the criteria of credibility, dependability and confirmability. Credibility refers to recognizing and describing the subject matter accurately according to the literature and the population used in the research study. Dependability refers to the level of changes which are brought about by the emerging theory in context with the subject being studied. Confirmability highlights whether the data gathered is confirmed by the work of other established authors. (Harker, 2008).

The researcher has used both qualitative and quantitative research in her research as it is crucial for this research work to adopt the mix of both the research methods. The researcher has used questionnaires to get the quantitative data to analyse the issues faced by women entrepreneurs in India. On the other hand, in depth interview has been conducted by the researcher with a women entrepreneur using interview method (using qualitative approach).


There are two types of data, namely, primary and secondary data. Collection of data is an integral part for acquiring answer for the research question and to meet the objectives (Saunder et al, 2007). Types of data and various data collection techniques are represented with the help of Figure 4


Secondary data is the data collected by the knowledge and information from the data which has been initially collected and published by others. (Kurtz, 2008). This data can be used by the researcher for "descriptive and explanatory research" and it is further divided in various types. The secondary data used can be either raw, unpublished data or can be work which has already been published (Kervin, 1999).

It helps the researcher by providing him/her with the opportunity to study the existing literature in the area where they want to conduct his/her own research. The researcher also gains in depth knowledge about the subject which is to be studied in the research work. Therefore, it helps the researcher to have sufficient understanding of the research problem and provides answer to solve the same. Furthermore, after obtaining the information and after analysing it, the researcher is able to get new ideas which can be used to get primary data (Day, 2008).


1. It saves time and cost of the researcher as the data is collected by books, journals and internet. It is beneficial for the researcher as there is minimum effort involved on his part.

2. It is of assistance when the information related to previous events is needed by the researcher as it is not possible to collect that data using primary research.

Therefore, the researcher has gathered the secondary information by using sources like books, peer-reviewed and up to date journals (proquest and emerald), searching online websites which are reliable. The researcher went through many books on Women entrepreneurship in India and other countries to get a proper understanding of the topic and has used many journals, as they are timely updated and periodically published. Also, many websites working for the benefits of women and other government websites were also used for gathering data which can be termed as genuine and free from any bias.