write 200–300 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.



In this class, you will develop a research proposal based on a business, organizational problem, or topic that you want to explore. If you need help in finding a problem to explore, check the Successful Business Research text book in chapter 6 for more on asking the right questions. Also, the following Web sites can assist in finding an organizational issue:

  • History of quality      management Web site
  • Total quality management      information Web site

Types of Research:

locate one peer reviewed journal article that reports the findings of a qualitative study and one that reports the findings of a quantitative study (you will need to cite both in your response).

Discuss the following:

  • Explain the differences      between  academic and business research approaches.
  • Explain why you as a       researcher would choose which  research approach (quantitative,      qualitative or business) for their particular research      question/problem.
  • Using the worksheets in      chapter 6 (pp. 37-41)(      See Below) examine how would you      determine what  area you will focus on for your research project and      what questions you might be asking?

Provide citations and references for your articles in accordance with APA guidelines as needed and appropriate.

Responses to Other Students: Respond to at least 2 of your fellow classmates with at least a 100-word reply about their Primary Task Response regarding items you found to be compelling and enlightening. To help you with your discussion, please consider the following questions:

  • What did you learn from      your classmate’s posting?
  • What additional questions      do you have after reading the posting?
  • What clarification do you      need regarding the posting?
  • What differences or      similarities do you see between your posting and other classmates’      postings?

WORKSHEET: Research Goals n What is the broad primary question you want your research to answer?

n What are the more specific questions that will help you answer the primary question?

How do you plan to use the information you find? (In a business plan? Research paper? Presentation?)

n What kind of information do you need to answer your questions? (Qualitative, such analysts’ insights about trends, or quantitative, such as sales figures, industry or target market growth rates?)

n What geographic region do you plan to cover?

n What other key factors do you need to keep in mind during your research process? (Specific concerns of investors, professor’s course requirements, and so on.)

WORKSHEET: Research Questions List the questions you are seeking answers for in each of the following areas. A few potential questions are listed first. n Industry/Economic Sector • What is the size of the industry of which your business is a part?

• What has the growth rate of that industry been over the last few years?

• What is the projected future growth rate of that industry?

What are the leading products/services in that industry?

• What are typical profit margins in that industry?

• What are the key trends/developments affecting that industry?

• Is the industry dominated by a few major companies or are there many healthy competitors?

n Target Market • What are the demographic characteristics of your target customers? (That is, age, gender, marital status, income, education level, type of business, and so on.)

• What is the size of your potential market in actual numbers? (That is, how many people/businesses fit the characteristics of your target customers in the specific geographic location you’re targeting?)

• What is the size of the potential market in your specific geographic area in terms of revenue?

• What has the growth rate of that market been over the last few years?

• What is the projected growth rate of that market?

• How many other companies in your type of business currently serve the target market?

n Company • Which companies are the leading competitors in your industry?

• Which companies are the leading competitors in your specific geographic target market?

• How is market share divided?

• What products/services do your leading competitors offer? At what price?

• How are your competitors perceived in the marketplace?

• Who are some potential customers for your products/services? What are the names of key personnel and their contact information?

• Who are some potential suppliers of products/services that you need? How do their current customers rate them?

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