Business research is loosely defined as the processes involved assisting in making sound business decisions. Some of the studies involved in this process include: descriptive, explanatory, and predictive studies. The main function of business research is to provide managements with reliable, valid, timely, relevant and current information.
A manager's ability to rely upon their past experience as a guide to the future has been constrained by some factors, such as:
An increasingly rapid rate of technological innovation and implementation.
Acceleration in the globalisation of the provision of goods and services.
Individual countries becoming ever more multicultural.
The amounts of 'danger' in the business environment have increased and change has become the only constant. Managers have to take decisions with far-reaching consequences, opportunities must be grasped, threats avoided. However, managers do not make decisions in a vacuum. There is an environment outside their control of which they must take due note. Business research may be viewed as the managerial senses through which managers can view the outside world and then use the information gained from their corporate eyes, ears etc to moderate those processes over which they do have control, and thus marry their internal actions with environmental changes.
In addition, organisations frequently meet business management challenges that cause them uncertainty. They may be very positive challenges (sales are rising) or decidedly negative (market share is falling). There may be a hypothesis as to the reason the issue has arisen, and this hypothesis may need to be tested. Alternatively, there may be no apparent reason and the issue may need to be thoroughly explored. In both cases a manager may need information to help develop an appropriate response to the situation, and research will be required to provide some answers. The research problem is the question that is capable of being investigated and is converted from management problems.
Risk and its Management in construction industry in China
The increasing pace of change, customer demands and market globalization all put risk management high on the agenda for forward thinking companies. Risks cause cost overrun and schedule delay in many projects. The effectiveness of risk management becomes an important issue in project management. To make risk management more efficient and effective, all parties must understand risk responsibilities, risk event conditions, risk preference, and risk management capabilities (Wehrung et al. 1988; Al-Bahar and Crandall 1990)
Different parties involved in a construction project face a variety of uncertain factors. These factors can be compiled under the category of risk. Making decisions on the basis of assumptions, expectations, estimates and forecasts of future events involves taking risks. Risk and uncertainty characterize situations where the actual outcome for a particular event or activity is likely to deviate from the estimate or forecast value (Raftery 1994).
The definition of risk management varies; risk management is generally defined as, 'A formal orderly process for systematically identifying, analysing, and responding to risk events throughout the life of a project to obtain the optimum or acceptable degree of risk ...