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smu mba solved assignments of semester 3 MB0050 Q1. How would you distinguish between a management decision problem and a management research problem? Do all decision problems require research? Explain and illustrate with examples.

Management decision problem: 
1. What should be done to increase the consumers of organic food products in the domestic market?
2. How to reduce turnover rates in the BPO sector?
3. Can the housing and real estate growth be accelerated?
Management research problem: 

1. What is the awareness and purchase intention of health conscious consumers for organic food products?
2. What is the impact of shift duties on work exhaustion and turnover intentions of the BPO employees?
3. What is the current investment in real estate and housing? Can the demand in the sector be forecasted for the next six months?

The problem recognition process starts when the decision maker faces some difficulty or decision dilemma.. Sometimes, this might be related to actual and immediate difficulties faced by the manager (applied research) or gaps experienced in the existing body of knowledge (basic research). The broad decision problem has to be narrowed down to information-oriented problem, which focuses on the data or information required to arrive at any meaningful conclusion. it is not essential that the decision maker will always go in for research as he may arrive at a decision without research also.
Sometimes, the company might have so much experience in the business that they feel no additional information can be obtained through research. As stated earlier in Unit 1, research is conducted when the decision maker wants to reduce some risk and uncertainity while taking a decision.

Thus, what we clearly see is that the management problem is a difficulty faced  by the decision maker and by itself cannot be tested. To do this it must be stated in a form that can lend itself to a scientific enquiry. In case the decision maker is a business manager, the management research problem requires that we look for an answer to the problem faced by the manager, as in the above example of how to reduce the turnover rate in a BPO company. This problem has to be translated to a simpler form of research question. And as said earlier, there can be more than one research problem that can help the manager in taking a decision. It depends on the researcher how he looks at it. 

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