We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Business Research Methods

Fourth Edition

Alan Bryman and Emma Bell

March 2015

ISBN: 9780199668649

816 pages

In Stock

Price: £49.99

Covering the full range of core qualitative and quantitative methods, this resource equips students with all the skills needed to do business research, from formulating research questions, reviewing literature and designing a questionnaire to carrying out data analysis and presenting research results.



Covering the full range of core qualitative and quantitative methods, this resource equips students with all the skills needed to do business research, from formulating research questions, reviewing literature and designing a questionnaire to carrying out data analysis and presenting research results.

  • Drawing on their own extensive research experience, and delivered with the clarity for which both authors are renowned, Alan Bryman and Emma Bell provide a complete guide to the process of conducting business research.
  • Each chapter is filled with examples of 'real world' research, placing the theories and concepts being discussed in context.
  • A wide range of examples from various business functions - including human resource management, marketing, and strategy - demonstrate the relevance of research to business and management students.
  • Coverage of all aspects of business research ensures that students are fully prepared for conducting their own research projects.
  • A 'telling it like it is' feature draws on interviews with real research students and their supervisors to give invaluable advice on potential pitfalls to avoid and successful strategies to emulate when undertaking a research project.
  • 'Key concepts' are drawn out throughout the text and explained with unrivalled clarity, ensuring that students gain a full understanding of business research terminology and processes.
  • The text is augmented by extensive online resources, including interviews with research students, data sets, discussion questions, and an Excel tutorial, designed to help students develop practical skills in business research.

New to this edition

  • A new introductory chapter on the nature of business research explains to students the relevance and importance of studying research methods, while also considering the 'messiness' of business research by giving guidance to students on how to proceed if things do not go to plan.
  • A new chapter on sampling in qualitative research complements the existing chapter on sampling in quantitative research, providing full coverage of this important topic.
  • New material on the use of technology in research, including the use of Skype for interviewing and work blogs as sources of data, keeps the book fully up-to-date with the latest trends in research methods.
  • New coverage of shadowing in organizations, experience and event sampling, thematic analysis, and global and multi-site ethnography.
  • Increased coverage of writing for academic audiences and mixed-methods research.
  • Fully updated to include coverage of SPSS 22.

About the Author(s)

Alan Bryman, Professor of Organizational and Social Research, University of Leicester, and Emma Bell, Professor of Management and Organization Studies, Keele University

Alan Bryman is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Management, University of Leicester

Emma Bell is Professor of Management and Organization Studies and Director of the Centre for Economics and Management at Keele University.

Table of Contents

    Part One: The research process
    1: The nature and process of business research
    2: Business research strategies
    3: Research designs
    4: Planning a research project and formulating research questions
    5: Getting started: reviewing the literature
    6: Ethics and politics in business research
    Part Two: Quantitative research
    7: The nature of quantitative research
    8: Sampling in quantitative research
    9: Structured interviewing
    10: Self-completion questionnaires
    11: Asking questions
    12: Structured observation
    13: Content analysis
    14: Secondary analysis and official statistics
    15: Quantitative data analysis
    16: Using IBM SPSS statistics
    Part Three: Qualitative research
    17: The nature of qualitative research
    18: Sampling in qualitative research
    19: Ethnography and participant observation
    20: Interviewing in qualitative research
    21: Focus groups
    22: Language in qualitative research
    23: Documents as sources of data
    24: Qualitative data analysis
    25: Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis: using NVivo
    Part Four: Mixed methods research and other considerations
    26: Breaking down the quantitative/qualitative divide
    27: Mixed methods research: combining quantitative and qualitative research
    28: E-research: Internet research methods
    29: Writing up business research


Business Research Methods is an excellent resource for all students of business research, providing both breadth and depth to this very important topic. The format and structure, along with the supporting online resources and real examples, make this a very accessible and helpful resource to all those interested in business, management and leadership research. - Dr Jean-Anne Stewart, Henley Business School -

Still the most accessible text available on research methods. - Dr Orna O'Brien, University College Dublin -

A superb introduction to social science research that combines the soundness of philosophy of science with an elegant presentation of critical aspects in social research practice for anybody interested in finding out reliable answers about management and business phenonmena' - Dr Nuno Oliveira, London School of Economics and Political Science -

Additional Resources

Online Resource Centre

For students:
An interactive research guide, providing guidance and advice on every aspect of business research
Video interviews with research students
Questions for review
Datasets from the text
Self-marking multiple-choice questions for revision
Annotated web links to useful articles, reviews, models and research guides
A guide to using Excel in data analysis

For lecturers:
A lecturer's guide including lecture outlines, reading lists and teaching activities
A suite of customisable PowerPoint slides
Figures and tables from the text