Business Research Methods (5th edition)

ISBN : 9780198809876

Emma Bell; Alan Bryman; Bill Harley
672 Pages
195 x 265 mm
Pub date
Dec 2018
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  • Highly comprehensive and exceptionally well-written, this book provides a complete and clear guide to the process of conducting business research.
  • The only business research book to use interviews with real students to provide invaluable insights and advice on potential pitfalls to avoid, and successful strategies to emulate, when undertaking a research project.
  • Examples from various business functions including marketing, strategy, and human resource management clearly show the relevance of business research to the real world.
  • 'Tips and skills' and 'Checklists' boxes help students progress with their own project, and become equipped with the skills needed to become successful business researchers in life beyond university.
  • The book is augmented by extensive online resources including interviews with research students, a research project guide, multiple-choice questions, and data sets, all designed to help students excel on their business research course.

New to this Edition:

  • Access to the eBook is now provided with every print copy purchased.
  • An additional five students provide first-hand accounts of their experience of doing business research, with accompanying videos available online.
  • Extended material on 'ethics creep', 'big data', and writing academically.
  • E-Research is now woven throughout the text, better reflecting how internet research methodology is taught.
  • A new test bank and new discussion questions for lecturers are available as part of the educator-only online resources.
  • This edition has been extensively streamlined to provide even more focused coverage of the key areas of business research.
  • Jargon has been simplified throughout and clear, full, explanations of methodologies and philosophies are provided.

Business Research Methods is the complete introduction to doing business research and is an ideal guide for students embarking on a research project. 

Developed specifically with business and management students in mind, this textbook explores the nature and purpose of business research and the issues it entails, while also providing students with practical advice through 'Tips and skills' boxes. In addition to a broad range of relevant examples, the book features a substantial discussion of ethics, and a strong emphasis on the most frequent challenges faced by students, such as choosing a research question, planning a project, and writing it up.

Fresh voices and perspectives run throughout this edition. New author, Bill Harley, further internationalizes the book's coverage, based on his expertise in the Australian business and management context. Also hear from Amrit, Jordan, Anna, Ed, and Alex - an additional five students whose personal insights and advice in the 'student experience' feature help you avoid common mistakes, and follow their successful strategies when undertaking your own research project.

This edition has been extensively revised, updated, and streamlined. Coverage of E-Research is now woven throughout the entire book to reflect the centrality of internet-based research methods. 

The book is accompanied by a suite of online resources that include: 

For students:
Multiple choice questions
Research Project guide 
Interviews with students 
Data sets 
Using Excel in data analysis (in Excel)
Web links

For adopting lecturers:
Test bank
Discussion questions
PowerPoint slides 
Lecturer's guide 
Case studies 
Figures and plates from the text
VLE cartridge


Part 1: The research process
1: The nature and process of business research
2: Business research strategies
3: Research designs
4: Planning a research project and developing research questions
5: Getting started: reviewing the literature
6: Ethics in business research
7: Writing up business research
Part 2: Quantitative research

8: The nature of quantitative research
9: Sampling in quantitative research
10: Structured interviewing
11: Self-completion questionnaires
12: Asking questions
13: Quantitative research using naturally occurring data
14: Secondary analysis and official statistics
15: Quantitative data analysis
16: Using IBM SPSS statistics
Part 3: Qualitative research

17: The nature of qualitative research
18: Sampling in qualitative research
19: Ethnography and participant observation
20: Interviewing in qualitative research
21: Focus groups
22: Language in qualitative research
23: Documents as sources of data
24: Qualitative data analysis
25: Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis: using NVivo
Part 4: Mixed methods research

26: Breaking down the quantitative/qualitative divide
27: Mixed methods research: combining quantitative and qualitative research

About the author: 

Emma Bell is Professor of Organisation Studies at the Open University, UK. She has an enduring interest in methods and methodological issues and has published widely in this area. Emma is a past Co-Chair of the Critical Management Studies Division of the Academy of Management, current joint Vice-Chair of Research and Publications, British Academy of Management, and joint Editor-in-Chief of Management Learning.

Alan Bryman was Professor of Organizational and Social Research at the University of Leicester from 2005 to 2017. Prior to this he was Professor of Social Research at Loughborough University for thirty-one years. His main research interests were in leadership, especially in higher education, research methods (particularly mixed methods research), and the 'Disneyization' and 'McDonaldization' of modern society. Alan was also the author of the bestselling textbook i Social Research Methods r (Oxford University Press, 2015) as well as contributing to a range of leading journals: he was an extraordinarily well-cited and internationally renowned social scientist.

Bill Harley is Professor of Management in the Department of Management and Marketing at The University of Melbourne. Bill's academic research has been motivated by an abiding interest in the centrality of work to human life. His work has been published in journals including the British Journal of Industrial Relations, Journal of Management Studies, Industrial Relations, and Work Employment and Society. Bill was previously General Editor of Journal of Management Studies and is currently on the editorial boards of the same journal, as well as Academy of Management Learning and Education and Human Relations.

"Undeniably the gold standard textbook in research methods" - Dr Charlotte Smith, University of Leicester

"The perfect book for students starting a dissertation or first research project" - Dr Jorge Gutic, University of Chichester Business School

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