Q: What can be a good research question and research hypothesis in business ethics?

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I want examples of researchable questions and hypothesis on ethics in business

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Answer:

It would be difficult for us to suggest anything based on a broad subject like business ethics which encompasses the principles, values, and standards that guide behavior in the world of business. These may arise at the individual, organization, or legal systems and is a very vast topic that has implications on numerous sectors of business like finance, human resource management, sales & marketing, production, intellectual property matters, etc. These issues can be at the national or international level.

Therefore, it is best that you narrow down your topic to one particular avenue that you may want to study and do an exhaustive literature review to know what has already been investigated on that particular topic. You may consult your research supervisor/mentor, seniors, and colleagues to formulate the research question and hypothesis.

For writing any research question and hypothesis, you need to keep the following in mind:

Research question:

  • It is a concisely written question that investigates a topic being studied (purpose), the variable(s), and the population.
  • There are three main types of questions which has a bearing on the research design:
  1. Causal Questions – Compare two or more phenomena and determines if a relationship exists. Often called relationship research questions.
  2. Descriptive Questions – Seek to describe phenomena and often study “how much”, “how often”, or “what is the change”.
  3. Comparative Questions – Aim to examine the difference between two or more groups in relation to one or more variables. The questions often begin with “What is the difference in...”.  

Research hypothesis:

  • It is a tentative prediction about the nature of two or more variables. It is developed before the data is collected based on the existing body of knowledge in a particular area of study.
  • Data is then collected, analyzed, and used to support or negate the hypothesis, arriving at a definite conclusion at the end of the research.
  • It is usually used in quantitative research, but not qualitative research which often seeks answers to open-ended questions.

In addition, the following articles may be of use to you while writing the research question and hypothesis.