Sunday, February 26, 2012

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY : Text and Cases with SPSS Applications

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY : Text and Cases with SPSS Applications, by SL Gupta and Hitesh Gupta, (2011), International Book House Pvt. Ltd., p 474

As management education is spreading across globe, management research has also become important for creating literature and developing models for their application.  India has responded quite positively so far as institutional infrastructure for the provision of management education is concerned.  We witness existence of many institutions of importance both in public as well as private sector focusing on management education.  However research in this area has not been focused as required.  Still we depend on much of the literature created outside India and that too many years before.  In this light what is important is that we start focusing on creating quality literature based on research which is more relevant, apt and contemporary in nature.  In order to prepare students to get to learn the basics of research and to know the process of conducting research, SL Gupta and Hitesh Gupta introduce this book entitled Research Methodology: Text and Cases with SPSS Applications. 

The book tries to facilitate management research through providing the base of research methodology and its application through SPSS software.  The book is divided in 14 chapters discussing the fundamentals of research, available scientific methods, designing research framework, preparations of questionnaires, methods and techniques of collecting data, relevant statistical tools as to sampling, measurement scales, statistical analysis and interpretation of data through relevant statistical tools and tests.  The book also guides the researcher on writing the project proposal and project report.  As widely accepted statistical package, IBM developed SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) is used by many researchers to handle robust data and to provide the output quickly, has been used throughout the book wherever necessary for analysis purpose.  The students would certainly benefit from this approach. 

The design of the book is simple and systematic.  Every chapter of the book starts with a set of learning objectives and the contents of the chapter systematically arranged to help achieving these objectives.  The contents of each chapter are well designed and portrayed through diagrams, tables and exhibits.  The bullet format of the book makes it easier for the students to focus on the contents.  The illustrations and examples used in the text are very relevant, simple and explanatory.  There are review questions, practical problems (wherever required), suggested problems (try following problems) and cases with questions towards the end of the chapters which help a student/researcher to relate and get practical exposure of the concerned problem.  The cases are very lucid, short yet comprehensive, helping the student to relate and solve similar questions.

The format of the book is excellent.  The presentation of the last chapter on use of SPSS 17.0 is excellent as it is brief, yet guides the beginner (researcher) through the process of using SPSS for statistical analysis in order to get output.  The chapter displays the computer screen view of different processes which is genuinely user friendly.    As a text, the book is good for students, however for a teacher it could have been better packaged through relevant references, citations and bibliography towards the end of the chapters/book. It would have really added lot of value to the book.   Though the title of the book is Research Methodology, it primarily focuses on research in management domain.  There is a scope of improving the theoretical base of research methods and relevance of appropriate statistical tools in the relevant chapters.  Overall the book is good as a text, especially when it is the first edition.  No student would regret buying this volume.  

(published in IJM, Vol 4, No 1, 2012)