This book has been organized with the Malaysian graduate and advanced undergraduate students in mind. While it emphasized an understanding of research ideas and methods for economic and business, it is also meant to develop the discipline of the mind and the thinking skills necessary in decision making process and effective management. As we enter the Knowledge Era, research exploration will provide a useful framework for connecting knowledge, economy, learning and organizational action.
This book was planned to approach the subject from the wide perspective. The focus is on understanding what research is all about, how to carry out a research, the basics of statistical data analysis (including the application of Microsoft Excel for data analysis), how to prepare a research proposal, and how to write a research report. A chapter is devoted to searching on the Internet, an incredibly important source of information today.
Overall, this book is written to counter three major myths: that serious research should only begin after a research proposal has been accepted, that researching and writing are two separate activities, and that research is tough, stressful and unpleasant. In the process, students will learn to research through logical, critical and systematic thinking skills, and to write a research report through effective communication of ideas. Together, they should ultimately form the habits of mind for an educated person.
Osman Rani is a professor of economics in the Faculty of Business and Economics at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris. He has published a number of books and dozens of articles and papers in local and international journals.