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How to Do Research for the Award of a PhD Degree in Management Studies?
The main goals of Ph.D. research
Evaluators check some important research results for Ph.D.
(a) The main objective of the attempt for Ph.D. The reward should be the creation of new knowledge.
(b) The insights should be useful to industry or the academic community.
(c) It should bridge the gap between what is current knowledge and what knowledge is needed.
(d) It should dispel doubts, or seek answers to major questions that have been in the minds of practitioners and academics for a long time. These questions are called ‘dilemmas’ or ‘hypotheses’.
What does not qualify as ‘Research for PhD’:
1. To collect material from various sources and write a huge book ‘Ph.D.’ Unable to say. research’. Ph.D. Research is not writing a book.
2. Writing a thesis based on some books or some newspaper articles or internet sites is not a PhD. Research.
3. Ph.D. Not a survey with some questions (eg: Are you married? How many children do you have? How long have you worked? What soap do you like?) or some kind of form-filling response. Research should use standardized instruments (also called measures, scales, standard scales, and published scales).
How to go about researching for a PhD in Management Studies?
1. The researcher should conduct a comprehensive literature review; He should download 500 research articles from online libraries like: ebscohost, emeraldinsight, proquest, jostor etc. The main objective of the literature review is: identification of research gaps. This means you need to understand where current research has stopped or what has not been researched. Gaps thus found can be converted into hypotheses.
2. Hypothesis-framing (formulation of hypothesis or identification of hypothesis) is the most important part of research. Hypotheses are research questions or dilemmas that the academic community is facing and waiting to be solved by a scholar like you.
3. The hypothesis appears to be a question. For example, ‘Are women more satisfied with their jobs than men?’ It is hypothesized. This is just an example. (This may have already been solved by a research scholar like you.) Ideally, a Ph.D. The thesis should include a resolution of 10-50 of the most important and interesting hypotheses.
4. A literature review reveals to you what hypotheses have already been solved and what you don’t need to solve again. Literature is not anything found in newspapers, magazines, websites, textbooks, etc. The literature should include articles based primarily on empirical research. Experimental research is based on experiment, observation and data collected with scientifically developed research instruments. Research articles are found in scholarly journals, especially online journals such as emeraldinsight, jstor, proquest, ebscohost etc.
5. Literature review, if done diligently, provides the researcher with the proper background of his research for logical documentation. The background presented in the thesis will explain how the topic or research question was developed or understood so far, where it is now and what the researcher is going to do about it.
6. Literature review gives: (1) research question/hypothesis, (2) rationale for study/research topic.
7. It goes without saying that a research topic should be identified only after a comprehensive literature review. It is very sad that universities ask for research topics and hypotheses at the time of application for enrollment (the candidate has not read a single research article yet). Ideally, universities should have identified research questions/hypotheses; But that is not the case in our universities here.
8. Important findings should be noted when reviewing the literature. These notes are the body of the thesis under the headings: Introduction, Background, Literature Review, etc. All referenced articles should be properly listed under References. There should be cross linkage between the articles mentioned in the reference list and the text of the thesis. What you note in the main text is called ‘in-text citation’. This means that if you have something in the list of references, it appears in the main text. An in-text citation looks like this (for example): (Mesala, 2011). This should be expanded to the reference list. A way of noting these contexts is called ‘educational reference style’, ‘educational framework’, ‘educational style’ etc.
9. Citation style follows a certain order to mention the names of authors, year of publication etc. and also punctuation marks. Read information by Google. There are many academic formats like Harvard style, APA style, MLA style, CMS style etc.
10. Referencing your thesis is very easy if you are familiar with how to use ‘Reference’ in MS Word 2007.
What to do after the identification of hypotheses?
If there are no hypotheses identified, there is no research. Research on management issues is about solving hypotheses, not book-writing, mind you. Hypothesis formulation is followed by research design. Research design is determining how to collect data (primary data) and how to analyze it.
When hypotheses are clearly identified, constructs are clearly identified and available at your fingertips. (Examples for constructs are: personality type, job satisfaction, involvement, commitment, and innovative behavior). In your research based on your hypothesis, you may have to deal with 15 to 20 constructs. For each construct, there is a specific, standardized, published instrument (also called a ‘questionnaire’, ‘measure’, or ‘scale’). An instrument is a set of questions whose reliability and validity have already been established. Visit this site for some scales. This is an e-handbook of management scales.
If you are affiliated with a large library like the Indian School of Business, you may find several marketing scales in a single book. Search Google for “marketing scale”.
What to do if ready-made research scales are not found in published journals/books?
It is not possible to find measurements for every construct related to your research.
Measurements should be made by yourself.
The procedure is as follows: (1) Conduct a meeting of some experts, and with their help generate as many statements as possible on that particular construct. Delete all duplicates. With the remaining items, conduct a pilot survey. Perform item analysis by arranging all item responses in ascending order and finding the t-statistic for the two groups of extreme responses. If the t-value is 1.75 or more, the item is good and can be kept. Then, for all items in the construct, find Cronbach’s alpha. If Cronbach’s alpha is greater than 0.60, the construct is reliable. Reliability means that items (statements in questions) are well correlated. It is an average of item-to-item relationships. Furthermore, the researcher should work on content validity index. If the index is greater than 4.00, the scale can be considered a valid scale. Search Google for the Content Validity Index.
It should be carefully noted, that the questionnaire should be related to the hypothesis and not any questions that arise in the mind of the innocent researcher.
The instrument should, of course, include a section containing questions about the profile of the respondents such as age, gender, income, length of service, etc. Data on these items can then be examined for their relationships with other constructs.
Determination of sample size
A sample is the number of respondents from whom responses to a questionnaire are to be taken (how many respondents the questionnaires are to be administered to).
The sample size should be large enough. The number can range from 200 to 1000. Only a large sample is valid and valuable. Research conducted on large samples only earns the respect of academic and research scholarly communities.
The sample size is determined by the population size, the expected standard deviation, and the confidence interval. There are formulas for determining the sample. They are: Cochrane’s formula and Slovin’s formula. To learn more about them, search for those terms on Google and use formulas.
An important point to note is that the validity of your research is improved by random sampling but not by selecting respondents according to convenience.
Tabulation and analysis
All collected responses should be entered into an Excel sheet. A row should be reserved for entering the given data in a questionnaire. For 500 filled questionnaires, 500 rows should be allocated. Data entered into an Excel sheet can be easily imported into SPSS for analysis.
Tabulation of data is facilitated by the use of MS Excel. For high-quality analysis, use SPSS (Statistical Procedures for the Social Sciences). Alternatively, the Data Analysis Tool Pack in MS Excel can be used even without SPSS software. With its help, descriptive statistics, regression analysis, inter-correlation, ANOVA tests etc. can be done.
Report – Writing
For report writing, skills in paragraph-writing, table of contents, and making a thesis statement, tie-in/transitional phrases, tie-in words, topic sentences etc. are important. In particular, the English language should be idiomatically and grammatically correct.
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