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Business Research

Business Research
A Guide to Planning, Conducting, and Reporting Your Study

First Edition

September 2018 | 432 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

A concise, simplified approach to the research process in business and management, guiding students step-by-step through their research project, from exploring questions and problems, to designing the research, and lastly, writing the results.

Chapters include a design matrix and three sets of questions by research objective to help identify the designs that are appropriate for a project and why. There are also seven road marker activities –exploring, planning, creating, conducting, collecting, analyzing, and writing – directing students from one milestone to the next.


Key features include: 


  • Statistical Decision Trees enabling students to bypass the typical statistics chapters and select the appropriate analysis based on prior learning
  • Global narrative highlighting a wide spectrum of business research challenges. 
  • An APA style how-to guide with over 26 exhibits that includes writing examples using permissions for articles and a 2016 thesis.
  • Qualitative research and mixed designs.
  • Real world case studies blending business research within the context of successful organizations.

The book is supported by online resources for instructors and students, including: PowerPoint slides, an instructor’s manual, author selected videos, cases and data sets from SAGE SRM.


Suitable for Business and management students undertaking a research project or research paper.

List of Exhibits
About the Author
Chapter 1. From the Research Jitters to Employers’ Most-Wanted Skills
Learning Objectives

Reasons to Study Business

What Recruiters Say About Research Skills

Research Fast-tracks Your Career

Business Research Defined

The Scope of Business Research

The Continuum of Basic, Practical, and Applied Research

Good Research Is . . .

Which Research Orientation Is Right for You?

The Road Map

Chapter Summary

Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 2. Self-Defense Tools for Research: Preparation, Reasoning, and Terminology
Learning Objectives

Scientific Inquiry

Reasoning to Sound Conclusions

Deciphering the Research Lingo

Case Study: The Toulmin Model of Argumentation and Reasoning—“Women Make Superior Managers”

Chapter Summary

Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 3. The Process Road Map: Exploring and Planning
Learning Objectives

Phases of the Research Process

Process Phase 1: Exploring

Process Phase 2: Planning

Chapter Summary

Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 4. The Process Road Map: Creating and Conducting
Learning Objectives

Process Phase 3: Creating

Process Phase 4: Conducting

Chapter Summary

Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 5. The Process Road Map: Collecting, Analyzing, and Writing
Learning Objectives

Process Phase 5: Collecting and Analyzing

Process Phase 6: Writing

Chapter Summary

Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 6. Nonexperimental Quantitative Designs
Learning Objectives

Design and the Research Question

What Is Research Design?

Nonexperimental Design

Nonexperimental Designs in Business

Design Is Not Method

Design Typologies

Business Research Design

Chapter Summary

Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 7. Qualitative Designs and Mixed Designs
Learning Objectives

Qualitative and Quantitative Design: A Synergistic Relationship

An Introduction to Qualitative Design

Mixed Design

Chapter Summary

Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 8. Experimental Designs
Learning Objectives

Optimizing Business Experiments

Experimental Classifications

Characteristics of Experimental Design


True Experiments

Other Randomized Designs


Chapter Summary

Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 9. Writing the Report
Learning Objectives










Chapter Summary

Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Appendix A: Questionnaire Design Using Google Forms

Appendix B: Exemption Request (Institutional Review Board)

Appendix C: Sample Business Proposal

Appendix D: Statistical Decision Trees

Appendix E: Results of the Quantitative Design Textbook Survey

Appendix F: Brief Tutorial: Three Longitudinal Studies in One

Appendix G: Tutorial: Organize Your Report With Timesaving Applications



Instructor Resources Site

SAGE edge for Instructors, supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students. 

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for structuring your courses.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter is included. 
  • Multimedia content includes original SAGE videos that appeal to students with different learning styles.
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts by chapter to help you prepare for lectures and class discussions.
  • Course cartridge for easy LMS integration is included. 
  • Author selected video, cases and data sets from SAGE Business Research
Student Companion Site

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts. 
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material.
  • Chapter summaries with learning objectives reinforce the most important material.
  • Interactive exercises and meaningful Web links facilitate student use of Internet resources, further exploration of topics, and responses to critical thinking questions.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter is included.  

Business Research: A Guide to Planning, Conducting, and Reporting Your Study is a worthy entry into this field of research texts. It provides a carefully thought out and tightly organized plan for conducting research across a variety of business and non-business fields. Rather than a cook book, it presents a sound theoretical approach to doing research firmly grounded in an understanding of the scientific method. It carries the student from problem inception to finished report in a highly readable and entertaining way. It can be recommended to any instructor who wants a text for a research methods course that is flexible and easy to use.”

Ronald Goldsmith
Florida State University

“Donald Cooper provides a roadmap for success by supplying his readers with the essential tools needed to succeed in conducting and reporting research in the ever changing business environment we live in today.”

Elizabeth Robinson
Champlain College & Metropolitan State University

“This book provides clear, concise and practical guides to the whole research process from beginning to end. It is an effective reference for students and anyone learning how to do research. It covers each and every step of the research process thoroughly from exploring research question and problem all the way to writing the results.”

Zara Ambadar
Carlow University

“An excellent guide for the novice or experienced researcher. This book is written with scholarship, integrity, and intelligence. The author has provided an excellent writing style and examples.  The material is easy to understand and presented in a fashion that students will enjoy.”

Joe Adamo
Cazenovia College

“I believe this to be a vast improvement over traditional research texts. The language is easy to understand making the work more accessible to students.”

Mary Goebel-Lundholm
Peru State College

“[Cooper] provides the step-by-step research process and explains the relevance and importance of each step. Additionally, the use and write-up of the data to inform readers of research is critical.”

Marcel Robles
Eastern Kentucky University

“This text provides a comprehensive coverage on business research.”

Haibo Wang
Texas A&M International University

“The textbook helps the serious researcher think better about research design.”

Jun Yu
Emporia State University