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By: Dr. Lakshman Mahadevan (Faculty of Rajagiri Center for Business Studies)

Research Mechanics

So, you are interested in research or forced to do a paper. Whatever be that, here are some tips to get you going. A word of caution, doing it for the first time is pretty difficult since the world of research can throw many googlies your way, that unless you read the turn, you will be out plumb in front!

So, you are interested in operations, marketing, Information Systems (My favorite :)) or Finance, Accounting, Econ. Good. That's a great start.

So, you have identified some area within that major that interests you.. For instance I am/was/still interested in how consumers use the public Wi-Fi to complete e-commerce transactions? OR, my colleague was interested in how technology impacts on-boarding.. (HR eh?). OR the stock markets in India seem to show meteoric rises, while the nifty does not why?

See, I have got down to two variables in most of my above cases. You will notice, that things? (I can't find a better word, brain freeze) like satisfaction, trust, quality, efficiency, efficacy will go well with the above interest areas.. For instance, your research question (RQ) can be (It is compulsory that there is an RQ. No research happens without a question).

How does trust of the public Wi-Fi impact consumer intention to do e-commerce transaction. OR How does product quality impact brand re-purchase intentions? OR Your turn to come up with a question!

If you thought dissertation is a cool thought paper, i.e.:, you can create a grand summary (sometimes called meta-analysis) of the topic you are interested in.. Guess what, you are given out first ball to great Philander, again plumb in front, your partner isn't even going to waste a review. Got that?

So, what is it again? Review the first 4 paragraphs and read on.

Let's say you reviewed that first ball ignoring your partner and fortunately, the ball was missing the stumps. lucky you.. Here is the spill.

That thought paper could be made the literature review (LR) section of your dissertation! Complete with references in APA style. Let's go back to the RQ ? How does trust of the public Wi-Fi impact consumer intention to do e-commerce transaction?? Nice nifty question. I am actually proud of myself because this is the first question I formulated without my PhD adviser breathing down my neck! So, how to go about lit reviewing this question?

Well, there are a couple of areas to start. Look up scholar.google.com and type key words such as 1. public Wi-fi. 2. Internet trust 3. e-commerce trust 4. online purchase intentions

The idea is to summarize research in these four area (just an example.. in your case it could be more or less). Write a paragraph on each area.. Now.. see if research has combined 1,2;1,3;1,4;2,4.. i.e:, you type the two key words together and see what papers come up. Write a paragraph on each section.. Do 1,2,3;1,2,4; and so on to see if these terms are talked about together. If so, write a paragraph on these.

Now, comes the fun part of justifying your RQ as to why there is a gap?. In fact the question is born out of this gap.. So, it a first necessary step to see what has been done, i.e.:, do the LR, work with your guide and through which you extract a RQ, OR said another way, the RQ and LR need some iterations before that final RQ is set in stone.

More later. Drinks Brake. This is after all a blog.

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