Research question: A specific question that guides the research process. It is the hypothesis of choice that best states the objectives of the research study. It is a more specific management question that must be answered.
Research question(s) are those to which it is possible, in theory at least, to go out and find answers.
E.g. Should BankChoice position itself as a modern, progressive bank or maintain its image as the oldest, most reliable bank in town?
Research questions can be answered by doing research.
Your conclusions are drawn from data collected. Good data depends on the clarity of the research question.
The research process that answers the research question provides the manager with the information necessary for decision making.
What are the geographic patterns of bank xyz customers and their competitors?
What demographic differences are revealed among bank xyz customers and those of the competition?
What words or phrases does the public (customers and non-customers) associate wit bank xyz? With bank xyz competitors?
How aware is the public of the bank’s promotional efforts?
What opinion does the public hold of the bank and its competitors?
How does growth in the services compare among competing banks?
EXAMPLES: RESEARCH IDEAS AND THEIR DERIVED FOCUS RESEARCH QUESTIONS Research idea General focus research questions Advertising and share pricing How does the running of TV advertising campaign designed to boost the image of a company affect its share price? Job recruitment via the internet How effective is recruiting for new staff via the internet in comparison with traditional methods? The use of aromas as a marketing device In what ways does the use of specific aromas in supermarkets affect buyer behaviour? The use of internet banking What effect has the growth of Internet Banking has upon the uses customers make of branch facilities?