Doing Research in Business and Management: An Essential Guide to Planning Your Project

May 24, 2012

Authors: Mark Saunders and Philip Lewis

Edition: First Publisher Pearson Education

Pages: 256

Price: £26.99

ISBN: 97803726418

I have been recommending Mark Saunders and Philip Lewis' texts on research methods since I entered academia almost 15 years ago, coincidentally around the time the two started their authoring collaboration. This new book has an excellent overall structure that guides students through the entire research process. Within each chapter, the specific needs of business and management students are dealt with in a relevant way, and I do like the subheadings within each chapter - such as "Oh no! Not another request!" - that highlight some of the practical issues of doing research in business and management. Each chapter ends with a clear and concise summary of its key points, and is then followed by a section on "thinking about..." the issues just covered. Within each chapter, the "research in practice" vignettes are relevant, contemporary and clearly targeted at bringing the research process to life for students. Each chapter is also peppered with "definition" boxes that help demystify some of the terms used in the process.

The final chapter, which deals with writing and presenting a research proposal, also works well with the way that I use this book, which is to guide students through an overview of the research process before they embark on their projects. I despair about the number of times I meet a student who is about to start a research project and whose first question is "when can I send out my questionnaire?" Sometimes it seems that the entire process of undertaking a research project has passed them by. It can come as a relatively unpleasant surprise to some students (both undergraduate and postgraduate) that their findings attract the smallest percentage of marks awarded for their research project, with much more weight being given to the process of defining an appropriate research question, reviewing the literature, considering and defending their research philosophy, and discussing their findings in light of the extant literature.

This is an excellent resource to draw on to underpin the research process. More advanced students may then choose to obtain other texts with which they may delve deeper into certain aspects of research (especially more complex statistical analysis), but this book offers a good overview of the business and management research process.

That is why any student I encounter who asks the "questionnaire question" first is encouraged to read this book before I meet with them again, and because the book is so accessible and relatively short, this does not present an insurmountable task. Rather, the task becomes a great eye-opener for students who then tend to realise what is actually involved in doing research in business and management - for which I owe a great debt of gratitude to the authors.

Who is it for? Students on undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in business, management or related disciplines.

Presentation Clear, concise, accessible and practical. Would you recommend it? Yes.

Highly recommended

Public Relations: A Managerial Perspective

Editors: Danny Moss and Barbara DeSanto

Edition: First Publisher Sage

Pages: 512

Price: £90.00 and £34.99

ISBN: 9780761948568 and 48575

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