Business Research Methods

Sixth Edition

Emma Bell, Bill Harley, Alan Bryman

Business Research Methods

Sixth Edition

Emma Bell, Bill Harley, Alan Bryman






15 Jun 2022




$127.95 AUD

$141.99 NZD

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The complete introduction to doing business research and is the ideal guide for students embarking on a research project.

Business Research Methods is the clearest, most relevant guide, written specifically to engage business students taking research methods courses or completing a research project. The sixth edition offers extensively-revised global examples throughout, as well as unique interviews with students and educators providing invaluable real-world insights and advice.

The authors have extensively revised this edition to make it the most engaging and relevant text available. New chapters on quantitative methods and visual research offer extensive coverage of these areas and even greater practical support in applying these techniques, while cutting-edge material on inclusivity and bias in research, feminist perspectives, and decolonial and indigenous research is also introduced.  'Student experience' features provide practical tips, presenting personal insights and advice from fellow students to help you avoid common mistakes and follow others' successful strategies when undertaking your own research project. 'Research in Focus' features also highlight a greater global range of examples, including new case studies from China, Denmark, Germany, Spain, and India, all of which demonstrate how fascinating and essential research can be.

Above all else, the book places strong emphasis on those challenges faced most frequently by students, such as choosing a research question, planning a project, and writing it up. Presenting essential topics in a concise way, Business Research Methods will provide you with key information without becoming overwhelming: it is now even clearer, more focused, and more relevant than ever before.


  • Highly comprehensive and exceptionally well-written: a complete and clear guide to the process of conducting business research.
  • The only business research book to use interviews with students and educators to provide invaluable real-world 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, accounting, and human resource management - span cultures and geographies, and 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.
  • Extensive online resources include interviews with research students and educators, video tutorials, 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 eBook enhanced with self-assessment activities and multi-media content to offer a fully immersive experience and extra learning support.

Available as an enhanced eBook via VitalSource.


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: descriptive statistics
16: Quantitative analysis: inferential 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: Documentary data
24: Visual qualitative research
25: Qualitative data analysis

Part 4 - Mixed methods research
26: Breaking down the quantitative/qualitative divide
27: Mixed methods research: combining quantitative and qualitative research


Emma Bell , Professor of Organisation Studies, The Open University

Bill Harley , Professor of Management and Marketing, University of Melbourne

Alan Bryman , Professor of Organizational and Social Research, University of Leicester (formerly)

Bill Harley is Professor of Management in the Department of Management and Marketing at The University of Melbourne. His work has been published in journals including the British Journal of Industrial Relations, Journal of Management Studies, Academy of Management Learning & Education 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 & Education, Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences and Human Relations. He is Chair of the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies.

Emma Bell is Professor of Organisation Studies at the Open University, UK. Her research explores culture, belief, and materiality in organizations using qualitative methods of inquiry and has been published in journals including Organization Studies, Human Relations, Academy of Management Learning & Education, Organization, Management Learning and the British Journal of Management. Emma is currently joint Vice-Chair Research and Publications of the British Academy of Management and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

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 Bryman's Social Research Methods (Oxford University Press, 2021) as well as contributing to a range of leading journals: he was an extraordinarily well-cited and internationally-renowned social scientist.

Student Resources

Business Research Methods, sixth edition, comes with complimentary student resources. These include:

  • Video tutorials covering SPSS, Nvivo, R, and Stata.
  • Self-test multiple choice questions with answer feedback
  • Research project guide
  • Video interviews with students and lecturers
  • Links to additional resources (articles, data repositories, and third-party guides)
  • Guide to using Excel in data analysis
    Flashcard glossary

Teacher Resources

The following resources are available for lecturers who Business Research Methods, sixth edition, for their course:

  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Additional case studies
  • Discussion questions
  • Lecturer's guide (includes suggested lecture outlines, problem-spotting, and practical teaching tips)
  • Test bank containing multiple choice questions
  • Figures from the text