Applying the Elements of Qualitative Applied Business Research

Business research is a complex discipline that requires the adoption of the right procedures in the undertaking. The study design, the conceptual framework, and the interconnectedness of all these elements to the problem at hand must be well established for significant results to be delivered. This paper will evaluate Fleiszer, Semenic, Ritchie, Richer, and Denis (2015) in light of the above-mentioned elements.

Why the Study is an Example of Applied Business Research

The study is an application of business research. It is taking innovation and researching on how such innovation was made practical and sustainable in the real world through enterprise. The innovation, or rather the best practice guidelines program was evaluated as it had demonstrated sufficient evidence that it was sustainable in the long run in a significantly important healthcare organization. The study started by acknowledging that the was a need for knowledge with regards to the sustainability of healthcare innovations in nursing since expenditure in the specific area of nursing (acute care) was skyrocketing. To this end, the study was particular about addressing the cost concern, which is a business dimension. Organizations, by virtue of being economic agents, want to at all times minimize their costs and maximize their revenues. This aspect is known as profit optimization. A study that fits in either the revenue maximization side or the cost minimization is a worthy case of business research.

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The Business Problem and Research Purpose

The study aimed at determining how such sustainability was characterized, the particular factors that influenced program sustainability most, and how such a program was sustained over the long term. In the study, the most important business problem is cost minimization. With this, understanding, the researchers were able to align the study with the research purpose they intended to pursue. Costs, which are a major dimension in business were found to be a problem worth considering. To solve this problem, the study’s main undertaking was investigating how sustainability in another successful project was achieved and sustained over a long period. The authors believed that with the right information on how to enhance and maintain sustainability in the long-run, they would have cracked the issue of costs.

Specific Research Method and Design of the Study

The study adopted a qualitative descriptive case study approach. Initially, the study needed to understand how the BPG program functions in an acute health center. This part fits the need for the adoption of a case study design as described by Liu and Maitlis (2010). To conduct the case study, the study initially investigated program sustainability at the nursing level for observational purposes as explained by Brewer (2003). In the latter stages, the study adopted a descriptive design to develop an explanation of how the entire concept of sustainability works. Essentially, the study aimed at explaining a phenomenon (sustainability) without influencing it in any way. The adoption of this research design must have been informed by the need to understand a phenomenon in its natural environment, undisturbed, and raw. This would improve the understanding of the phenomenon, as well as, draw important lessons from such understanding with the aim of applying the same knowledge elsewhere.

Conceptual Framework

The adopted conceptual framework was centered on two major elements; first, the characteristics of sustainability and two, the factors, or preconditions that have an influence on sustainability. The framework was well aligned with the identified business problem as it develops an important way of capturing business needs. The business problem at hand was centered around the sustainability of innovation and the conceptual framework provides a means of getting down to the level of understanding the characteristics and factors surrounding the phenomenon. 

It has been demonstrated that the interconnectedness of the above elements is critical to the arrival of a conclusive end with regards to a business research problem.


Liu, F., & Maitlis, S. (2010). Nonparticipant observation. In A. J. Mills, G. Durepos, & E. Wiebe (Eds.), Encyclopedia of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Brewer, J. (2003). Observation, overt and covert. In R. L. Miller & J. D. Brewer (Eds.), The A–Z of social research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Fleiszer, A. R., Semenic, S. E., Ritchie, J. A., Richer, M., & Denis, J. (2015). An organizational perspective on the long-term sustainability of a nursing best practice guidelines program: A case study. BMC Health Services Research, 15, 1–16.

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