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Decision Making Assignment: Q&A Based on Business Researches


Task: The questions to be answered in this decision making assignment are;

Question 1: Discuss in about 300 words the Hierarchy of the information- based business decision makers. Which level has the best chance of success and why?

Question 2: The business research process involves a series of steps that systematically investigate a problem facing the organization. Select one example of a business problem and in about 500 words, discuss the sequence of steps that can be followed to conduct the business research to help in decision making.

Question 3: Case studies usually involve in-depth and detailed examination of a particular case and are widely used in exploratory investigations. Describe in detail the three major types of asymmetrical causal relationships. Provide relevant example for each type

Question 4: The qualitative data collection takes many forms but interviewing and observing are among the most frequently used. Describe in detail the different interview formats used in the gathering of qualitative data. Provide relevant examples of the scenarios where each format is more appropriate.

Question 5: Differentiate the following set of terms in relation to evaluation of the measurement tools. Provide relevant examples.
a) Validity, Reliability, and Practicality
b) Content, Construct and Criterion

Question 6: a) Select an appropriate graph to present the data. Briefly explain your graph highlighting the keys points between 2019 and 2020.
b) Briefly explain the meaning of the following terms. Provide at least one relevant example
• Central limit theorem
• Confidence interval
• Confidence level
• Interval estimate
• Point estimate


Question 1
For businesses to enhance their efficiency, it is crucial for decision-makers in the corporate world to meet the demands and challenges of managerial decisions (Dicks et al., 2014). Various factors stimulate business research due to which there are adequate structures and level of decision making accommodated. There is an emerging hierarchy of information-based decision-makers as given below;

  • Top tier visionaries: Decisions taken at this stage is guided by business research where firms develop proprietary methodologies where innovation is combined with appropriate methods. The applications are limited to enterprise-wide data as well as their findings.
  • Middle tier standardized decision-makers: In this type of decision making there are some decisions undertaken based on business research. The firms in this case make use of tried as well as true methodologies excluding those appearing appropriate. The decisions are limited across enterprise-wide data as well as findings.
  • Base tier intuitive decision-makers: Their decisions have a basis on past indicts or experiences and their researches are mostly supported with secondary searches of data.

Decisions undertaken at the top tier visionaries' level are the most effective as there is undertaken extensive research undertaken by the use of different methodologies. Also, they generally research data from primary sources, applying relevant descriptive or analytical approaches for finding facts as well as applied techniques of research (Goepel, 2013). These top-tier visionaries generally have access to a vast amount of internal or external data, which otherwise would not be available at other levels of the organization. These sophisticated data finding tools, approaches, and findings enable arriving at appropriate solutions that can easily be applied in the organization to arrive at appropriate findings. These findings can be used in arriving at innovative processes as well as solutions which in turn can render competitiveness to businesses in this globalized world of technology.

Question 2
The process of business research includes a series of steps for systematically analyzing problems faced in the organization (Bell et al., 2018). One example of a business problem is the inability to meet sales targets at select retail stores of a retail company. To solve this business problem, a series of steps need to be adopted, following these steps will allow conducting business research and help in decision making as depicted in the diagram.

Business research process decision making assignment

Figure 1: Business research process in systematically investigating a problem

  • Identification & definition of the problem: The initial step involved in the identification of the problem, which in this case includes declining retail sales at the retail store. In this highly volatile and competitive business environment, there are varied macro environmental factors that need continuous assessment to understand their relative position such that the company can work on it and sustain themselves. To identify the problem exploratory research had been conducted to set out several questions that need to be answered for solving the problem. This assists in ascertaining the initial stages of the research process and in defining the problem also analyzing the situation such that it can be ascertained what type of information should be collected. Primary data will be collected for conducting this research. As in this case, retail sales figures across different stores need to be collected. Then research objectives need to be defined to formalize the research and be specific with the research statement as much as possible. Once the objectives have been laid down hypotheses regarding the research problem need to be ascertained(Wilson, 2014). Hypotheses for the research at this stage include finding a connection between promotions undertaken and sales attained at various stores.
  • Planning the research design: After identification and definition of the research, the research design for the study has to be ascertained. The research design for this study includes the actual framework to be followed for undertaking the research. As in this case, real-time information needs to be collected from the stores, an appropriate budget needs to be allotted (approximately $25,000) and the sampling procedure will include collecting varied data from different stores present in Australia.
  • Selection of research methods: An appropriate research method needs to be ascertained for meeting the objective of the study, which here will include a survey of the sales personnel across the stores.
  • Selection of sampling procedure: The sampling procedure to be followed will be a random stratified sampling technique such that a large population of varied sales personnel data can be collected and analyzed in the research.
  • Data collection: As indicated earlier the data collection method will be through a survey in form of a questionnaire circulated amongst the varied sales personnel.
  • Data evaluation:The primary data once collected will need to be converted using the appropriate technique, which in this case is charts and figures (statistical methods using Ms. Excel) such that the data can be evaluated. This will enable deciding on the date that is collected.
  • Presenting and preparing research report: Once data collected is analyzed it will need to be presented by preparing research reports and a summary of findings. Here the findings will include connecting promotions undertaken to sales that are generated.

Question 3
In the case of study researches, there is a wide usage of exploratory investigations in-depth and in a detailed manner. There can arise asymmetrical casual relationships that relate to change in one variable (independent variable) that causes changes in another variable (dependent variable) (Rohlfing, 2012). Types of asymmetrical casual relationships are stimulus-response relations where the occurrence of an event is marked as a response to changes. Examples include effective re-branding initiatives that might positively have implications on sales volume. Second type if property-disposition relationship, includes a property being associated with the nature of the subject, where its disposition can be explained to respond in case of certain circumstances. Examples include personal properties such as gender, heritage, religion, and so on. The third type includes the disposition-behavior relationship which relates to specific relationship types where human behavior is affected in certain ways (Olya et al., 2018). An example includes employee motivational levels, consumer perception regarding a brand post-purchase, and so on.

Question 4
There are mainly three types of interview formats namely unstructured, semi-structured, and structured interviews.
Unstructured interviews are occasionally known as 'discovery interviews', and generally the interviewee answers open-ended questions based on a particular subject of study and attempts that the interview flows like a normal discussion. The interviewer modifies his or her questions to suit the candidate's specific experiences. For example, the interviewer can modify open-ended questions to judge special skills including the capability to report and to know what to monitor in interviewees for recruiting in a special bureau of investigation (Saks &Allsop 2013).

Semi-structured interviews are distinguished by a systematic interaction of the interviewer with the respondent, in which the interviewer creates and uses a collection of questions and themes which are generally to be discussed in a specified order. However, the trajectory of the continuing discussion can be altered by the interviewer. Semi-structured interviews are in those scenarios where the interviewer has no second chance to interview someone and send several interviewees to the field to obtain evidence (Qu&Dumay 2011).

Structured questions for interviews can be open or closed. Closed questions challenge interviewees for detailed details and also enable the interviewee to select from a list of alternatives. Open questions are questions that can be answered in several ways and allow the respondent to have detailed answers. Three examples of formal interviews are face-to-face and telephone interviews, along with interviews with questionnaires. Structured interviews typically contain work-specific queries, contextual interview questions, and relational interview concerns to test coaching skills, analytical thinking, and honesty.

Question 5
a) The difference between the three terms is tabulated below.




Validity implies the appropriateness of a test. High validity means items are convergent to the focus or intention of the test.

The reliability of an experiment is the level to which repeated trials exhibit similar characteristics (Bashir &Marudhar 2018).

Practicality depends on the efficient use of time, money, and endeavor.

The four types are “content”, “construct”, “criterion-related”, and “face” validity.

Four key types are “equivalency”, “stability”, “internal”, “inter-rater”, and “intra-rater” reliability.

A measure is practical if it has ease of administration, design, and interpretation.


Validity and reliability have very close relations. Results are not considered to be valid unless they are reliable (Mohamad et al. 2015).

Similarly, outcomes are not reliable until they are valid in measurement.



Example: Respondents opining about that taste of an ice-cream around the median (Median = 3) is a valid measure (almost normally distributed answers).

1=> “Awesome”, 2=> “Good”, 3=> “Ok”, 4=> “Bad”, 5=> “Horrible”


Example: All of the respondents opining that taste of an ice-cream as “awesome” or “horrible” is a valid response.


The ice-cream production will be practical if it is priced in tandem to the market and looks good as well as easily marketable.





b) Validity determinants are a construct, criterion, and content.




Establishes the overall validity by scrutinizing the authenticity of the measurement tool.

Compares the convergence of the outcomes with other tests.

Estimates whether the test has aspects of the construct.

It can be measure from other indicators instead of direct observation (Leung 2015).

It bases on the established criterion that is popularly known.

Generally, the content of the surveyor test should be covering all aspects of the subject it is going to measure.

It can be characterized by an increase in trust, empathy, and credibility.

It can be characterized by relevance, reliability, bias removal, and relevance.

It enhances with literature search, group and expert interviews, and question archive.

Example: Measuring depression based on symptoms and indicators.

Example:  Judge English writing skills in a test based on a comparison between writing skills for existing pieces of valid writing and any the test.

Example: Mathematics question paper covering all the corners of the syllabus.

Question 6
a) Figure 1 indicates the passenger arrival scenario in Australia between 2019 and 2020. The leading passenger arrivals were from New Zealand, China, and the UK in 2019, whereas the least number of arrivals was from Pakistan and Indonesia. Due to the pandemic scenario, a drastic drop in arrivals is noted in 2020. The scenario for the number of arrivals in 2020 is almost near to the ground compared to 2019. Hence, the logarithmic scale has been selected in Figure1 to enable a graphical comparison between the two years of passenger arrival number. The percentages indicate arrivals in 2020 concerning 2019. It can be noted that a mere 0.72%, 0.24%, and 0.63% arrivals of 2019 from three leading nations took place in 2020. Comparatively, a higher number, as well as the percentage of people from Pakistan and India, flew in. These numbers probably indicate the number of international students from the mentioned countries who came to study in Australia.

Arrivals from different countries

Figure 2: Arrivals from different countries compared with the percentage change in passengers between 2019 and 2020

b) Meaning with an example:
i. CLT: Regardless of the distribution of the population, the mean of a sampling distribution will roughly follow a normal distribution if adequate large samples (n ? 30) are chosen (Kwak& Kim 2017). Example: Mean of a sampling distribution with 50 sample sizes will follow normal distribution even if the population is highly skewed.

ii. CI: It represents an interval that is to an extent expected to contain the population parameter. A 95% confidence interval implies that there is a 95% chance that the interval will contain the population parameter. Example: A 95% CI of the height of students of the first year as [165.5cm, 185.5 cm] implies that the average height of such population is expected to be within those limits (Lee 2016).

iii. CL: It refers to the percentage/probability of plausible samples that are expected to include the true population parameter. Example: A 99% confidence level of a test indicates that the samples are expected to estimate the true population parameter 99% of the time (Johnson 2013).

iv. IE: Interval estimate is the range within which the true population parameter is expected to be a member of. The estimate has a lower and an upper limit that would define the range of the interval. Example: An interval estimate of [56 kg, 65 kg] at a 95% level indicates that the average weight of the population is estimated to be within 56kg and 65 kg, where the associated probability of such incidence is 0.95.

v. PE: Contrary to the interval estimate, the point estimate is a single value estimated by the samples for the parameter. It is a single value of the statistic that estimates the true parameter value. Example: Point estimate of 0.6 as the population proportion of literacy rate implies that almost 60% of the population proportion is literate.

Reference list
Bashir, J &Marudhar, M 2018, ‘Reliability & Validity of the Research’, Scientific Journal of India, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 66–69.

Bell, E., Bryman, A., and Harley, B., 2018. Business research methods.Oxford university press.

Dicks, L.V., Walsh, J.C. and Sutherland, W.J., 2014. Organising evidence for environmental management decisions: a ‘4S’hierarchy. Trends in ecology & evolution, 29(11), pp.607-613.

Goepel, K.D., 2013, June. Implementing the analytic hierarchy process as a standard method for multi-criteria decision making in corporate enterprises–a new AHP excel template with multiple inputs. In Proceedings of the international symposium on the analytic hierarchy process (Vol. 2013, pp. 1-10). Creative Decisions Foundation Kuala Lumpur.

Johnson, VE 2013, ‘Revised standards for statistical evidence’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 110, no. 48, pp. 19313–19317.

Kwak, SG & Kim, JH 2017, ‘Central limit theorem: the cornerstone of modern statistics’, Korean Journal of Anesthesiology, vol. 70, no. 2, p. 144, viewed 7 June 2019, .

Lee, DK 2016, ‘Alternatives to P value: confidence interval and effect size’, Korean Journal of Anesthesiology, vol. 69, no. 6, p. 555.

Leung, L 2015, ‘Validity, reliability, and generalizability in qualitative research’, Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, vol. 4, no. 3, p. 324.

Mohamad, MM, Sulaiman, NL, Sern, LC &Salleh, KM 2015, ‘Measuring the Validity and Reliability of Research Instruments’, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 204, pp. 164–171, viewed 15 November 2019, .

Olya, H., Altinay, L. and De Vita, G., 2018. An exploratory study of value added services. Journal of Services Marketing.

Qu, SQ &Dumay, J 2011, ‘The qualitative research interview’, Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 238–264.

Rohlfing, I., 2012. Case studies and causal inference: An integrative framework. Palgrave Macmillan.

Saks, M &Allsop, J 2013, Researching health?: qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods, Sage, London?; Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Wilson, J., 2014. Essentials of business research: A guide to doing your research project. Sage.


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