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

Fifth Edition

Emma Bell, Alan Bryman, and Bill Harley

December 2018

ISBN: 9780198809876

688 pages

In Stock

Price: £54.99

The gold standard textbook in business research - trusted, comprehensive, supportive.



The gold standard textbook in business research - trusted, comprehensive, supportive.

  • Highly comprehensive and exceptionally well-written, this book provides a complete and clear guide to the process of conducting business research.
  • The only business research book to use interviews with real students to provide invaluable insights and advice on potential pitfalls to avoid, and successful strategies to emulate, when undertaking a research project.
  • Examples from various business functions including marketing, strategy, and human resource management clearly show the relevance of business research to the real world.
  • 'Tips and skills' and 'Checklists' boxes help students progress with their own project, and become equipped with the skills needed to become successful business researchers in life beyond university.
  • The book is augmented by extensive online resources including interviews with research students, a research project guide, multiple-choice questions, and data sets, all designed to help students excel on their business research course.
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

New to this edition

  • Access to the e-book is now provided with every print copy purchased.
  • An additional five students provide first-hand accounts of their experience of doing business research, with accompanying videos available online.
  • Extended material on 'ethics creep', 'big data', and writing academically.
  • E-Research is now woven throughout the text, better reflecting how internet research methodology is taught.
  • A new test bank and new discussion questions for lecturers are available as part of the educator-only online resources.
  • This edition has been extensively streamlined to provide even more focused coverage of the key areas of business research.
  • Jargon has been simplified throughout and clear, full, explanations of methodologies and philosophies are provided.

About the Author(s)

Emma Bell, Professor of Organisation Studies, The Open University, Alan Bryman, Professor of Organizational and Social Research, Formerly of The University of Leicester, and Bill Harley, Professor of Management, The University of Melbourne

Emma Bell is Professor of Organisation Studies at the Open University, UK. She has an enduring interest in methods and methodological issues and has published widely in this area. Emma is a past Co-Chair of the Critical Management Studies Division of the Academy of Management, current joint Vice-Chair of Research and Publications, British Academy of Management, and joint Editor-in-Chief of Management Learning.

Alan Bryman was Professor of Organizational and Social Research at the University of Leicester from 2005 to 2017. Prior to this he was Professor of Social Research at Loughborough University for thirty-one years. His main research interests were in leadership, especially in higher education, research methods (particularly mixed methods research), and the 'Disneyization' and 'McDonaldization' of modern society. Alan was also the author of the bestselling textbook Social Research Methods (Oxford University Press, 2015) as well as contributing to a range of leading journals: he was an extraordinarily well-cited and internationally renowned social scientist.

Bill Harley is Professor of Management in the Department of Management and Marketing at The University of Melbourne. Bill's academic research has been motivated by an abiding interest in the centrality of work to human life. His work has been published in journals including the British Journal of Industrial Relations, Journal of Management Studies, Industrial Relations, and Work Employment and Society. Bill was previously General Editor of Journal of Management Studies and is currently on the editorial boards of the same journal, as well as Academy of Management Learning and Education and Human Relations.

Table of Contents

    Part 1: The research process
    1:The nature and process of business research
    2:Business research strategies
    3:Research designs
    4:Planning a research project and developing research questions
    5:Getting started: reviewing the literature
    6:Ethics in business research
    7:Writing up business research
    Part 2: Quantitative research
    8:The nature of quantitative research
    9:Sampling in quantitative research
    10:Structured interviewing
    11:Self-completion questionnaires
    12:Asking questions
    13:Quantitative research using naturally occurring data
    14:Secondary analysis and official statistics
    15:Quantitative data analysis
    16:Using IBM SPSS statistics
    Part 3: 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 4: Mixed methods research
    26:Breaking down the quantitative/qualitative divide
    27:Mixed methods research: combining quantitative and qualitative research


"Undeniably the gold standard textbook in research methods" - Dr Charlotte Smith, University of Leicester

"The perfect book for students starting a dissertation or first research project" - Dr Jorge Gutic, University of Chichester Business School

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources

Business Research Methods is supported by online resources and is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats.

The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access along with functionality tools, navigation features and links that offer extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks

The book is accompanied by a suite of online resources that include:

For students:
Multiple choice questions
Research Project guide
Interviews with students
Data sets
Using Excel in data analysis (in Excel)
Web links

For lecturers:
Test bank
Discussion questions
Powerpoint slides
Lecturer's guide
Case studies
Figures and plates from the text
VLE cartridge

Explore the new and updated features of the fifth edition with our interactive tabbing guide which you can download here.