Business Research Methods: William G. "Bill" Borges, Ng Siew Imm, Chew Boon Cheong, Lau Teck Chai, Derek Ong Lai Teik, Devika Nadarajah, Lee Chin, Goi Mei Teh, Law Kian Aun and Mohd Noor Bin Mamat (2017)

This up-to-date textbook is designed for use by professors and lecturers teaching undergraduate or postgraduate courses in business research method as a primary textbook. Additionally, it may be used as a supplementary textbook by instructors teaching a range of business courses, especially at the undergraduate level, in which research projects, theses or essays are required.

Lecturers and students alike will appreciate the book's user-friendly approach to research, which walks students through a given research project from start to finish. The authors explain what to include, what to avoid, and how to navigate the difficult path of any research project, however simple or complex. To this end, they provide easy-to-understand charts, graphs, tables, exhibits and illustrations throughout the book.

The book features chapters on how to begin a literature review, how to conduct qualitative and quantitative research, how to assemble a research design, how to determine sample sizes, and, finally, how to write reports. Its sixteen chapters blend together in such a way that researchers can find answers to almost any question involving business research methods. Finally, the key terms and questions included in each chapter help students develop a rich understanding of scholarly research and writing.

The book's authors include faculty members from both public and private universities across Malaysia, many of whom have extensive research and teaching experience. They are scholars who worked together to write a book with a single goal in mind: to design a business research methods book focused on contemporary issues and trends, for today's students.


ISBN 978-967-13440-3-3 (Hardback)
ISBN 978-967-13440-4-0 (Paperback)

About the Authors

William G. “Bill” Borges completed his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California-Riverside in 1980. His teaching and research specialties include public policy, business ethics, and the politics of banking and finance. Borges has been a professor at PUTRA Business School since 2012. From 2001-2012 he was a Professor at INTI University and at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) from 1989-2007. He was also the Dean of the College of Professional Studies at SMSU from 1996-2000, and Vice-President for Graduate and International Programs at the institution from 1998 to 2000. He is the author of Principles of Management (2015; SJ Learning, publisher), a widely used management textbook in Malaysia.

Ng Siew Imm is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Universiti Utara Malaysia. She then pursued Master of Science Degree in Graduate School of Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia. Subsequently, she did PhD (Management) in University of Western Australia and completed in 2007. Ng teaches Cross Cultural Management and Business Research Methods. She has authored and co-authored more than twenty articles in refereed and professional journals.

Chew Boon Cheong (known as B.C.Chew when you google his work) is presently the Deputy Dean (Research and Postgraduate Studies) of Faculty of Technology Management and Technopreneurship, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka. He received his PhD from University of Edinburgh in 2012 in Technology Management and Science and Technology Studies. His primary research interests are renewable energy development and deployment, clean technology innovation and introduction, green and sustainable practices, human technology innovation and introduction; which all are angled from social science and management studies. He teaches Research Methods to both undergraduate students and postgraduate students.

Lau Teck Chai is an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Accountancy and Management, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman. He obtained his BSc in Business Administration (Decision Science and Financial Management) from the University of Montana, USA, his MBA (Strategic Management) from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), and Doctor of Business Administration (Marketing) from Southern Cross University, Australia. In Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, he had served as Coordinator, Head of Programme (PhD and MPhil) and Head of Department (International Business). He is also an MQA assessor in Marketing, an editorial board member of several international journals and an external examiner for MAICSA and MACS.

Derek Ong holds a PhD in Management (Marketing Intelligence) and a Masters degree in Applied Statistics and has been teaching subjects in Business Statistics and Marketing Research for over 9 years. Prior to his current engagement as Senior Lecturer in the Marketing Department, Sunway University Business School, he has since worked as a Research Executive and Operations Manager with a market research company and has served as an Applications Consultant with SPSS Malaysia. He has presented papers in both local and international conferences on quantitative methodology analysis of marketing data. Derek has supervised final year students’ projects and successfully helped publish in international refereed journals. Derek is a Chartered Statistician, Chartered Scientist and a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society of UK. Upon completion of his Certificate of Academic Practise from Lancaster University, he was conferred as a Fellow member of the Higher Education Academy of UK. His research interests includes Marketing Research, Applied Statistics and Innovative teaching and creative learning. Most recently he spoke on the subject of the Morality of Big Data at TEDx Sunway University.

Devika Nadarajah served in the IT and telecommunications industry for over 10 years in the capacity of an internal as well as an external consultant in the areas of process management, process improvement, business process reengineering, KPI development and tracking for the purpose of driving change. After embarking on her PhD, Devika made a career transition to the academia. She obtained her doctoral degree in Business Process Management (Quality Management) from University of Malaya. She has a master’s degree in Quality and Productivity Improvement and bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She is currently a Senior Lecturer at Putra Business School teaching Business Statistics, Business Research Methods and Operations Management. Devika manages the Quality and Business Processes unit in Putra Business School. She is an Associate Editor for Asian Journal of Case Research and a member of the Editoria Review Board for Amity Journal of Operations Management.

Lee Chin is an Associate Professor at Faculty of Economics and Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia. Main research interests are in the field of financial economics and international economics, particularly exchange rate determination, financial integration, finance and economic development, sources of financial development; mostly with empirical applications using time series and panel data. She authored and co-authored more than forty articles in refereed journals. Her articles were published in journal such as Energy, GeoJournal, E & M Economics and Management, Applied Economics, Applied Economics Letters, Applied Financial Economics Letters, Engineering Economics, Economics and Management and Singapore Economic Review. She has taught numerous courses in Microeconomics, Financial Economics and International Economics. Currently she teaches Principle of Economics, Money, Financial Institutions and Banking, and Financial Economics at undergraduate level; and Research Methods at graduate level.

Goi Mei Teh is currently a senior lecturer at Faculty of Business and Accounting, Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur. She obtained her PhD in Marketing from Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Law Kian Aun is an Associate Professor on the Faculty of Accountancy and Management at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Malaysia. He received his Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Finance from City University of New York, his MBA from the University of Hull, his DBA from the University of South Australia, and his PhD in Management and Cultural Studies from University of Malaya. He has taught courses in Business Negotiation, Organisational Behaviour, Business Finance, Statistics for Economics and Management, Strategic Management, Research Methods, Business Research Methodology (doctoral level) and Quantitative and Qualitative Methodology (doctoral level). Dr Law is actively involved in social science research, focused primarily on business management and cultural studies. He has published numerous papers in national and international journals and is the author of seven books and many articles. Dr Law has served as a senior certified trainer and consultant, director and trainer, and has trained executives, managers and directors of more than 30 public listed companies in Malaysia. Dr Law is also an active assessment panel and Expert Referee for the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) under the Malaysia Higher Education Ministry (MOHE).

Mohd Noor Bin Mamat obtained a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM) in 1977. Later obtained a Master of Science in both Agribusiness and economics from the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Illinois in 1985. In 1998, he obtained his PhD in economics from the University of Hull. Worked in the research industry from 1977 to 2008 in the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). As a Senior Principal Researcher, he headed economics research at MPOB until 2008. Taught Business Economics and Business Statistics at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) as a Distinguished Fellow. He continued to teach Research Methods at both the undergraduate and Masters levels and supervised a number of PhD and Masters students at Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) from 2011 until the present as a Reader.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Introduction1
Chapter 2 Formulating and Clarifying the Research Topic9
Chapter 3 Approaches to Conducting Investigations17
Chapter 4 Identifying a Problem Area and Defining the Problem Statement 31
Chapter 5 Literature Review   41
Chapter 6 Research Design61
Chapter 7 Theoretical Framework and Hypothesis Development75
Chapter 8 Measurement of Variables87
Chapter 9 Collecting Primary Data Using Questionnaires103
Chapter 10 Sampling Strategies119
Chapter 11 Data Analysis Tools137
Chapter 12 Using Secondary Data171
Chapter 13 Time Series187
Chapter 14 Cross-sectional Data211
Chapter 15 Qualitative Research227
Chapter 16 Presentation of Results: The Viva243

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