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Exhibit 6-1 illustrates design in the research process and highlights the topics covered by the term research design. Subsequent chapters will provide more detailed coverage of the research design topics.
There are many definitions of research design. Research design is the blueprint for fulfilling research objectives and answering questions. Its essentials include 1) an activity and time-based plan, 2) a plan based on the research questions, 3) a guide for selecting sources and types of information, 4) a framework for specifying the relationships among the study’s variables, and 5) a procedural outline for every research activity.
Exhibit 6-2 provides one project management tool: critical path method (CPM). In a CPM chart: The nodes represent major milestones. The arrows suggest the work needed to get to the milestones. More than one arrow pointing to a node indicates all those tasks must be completed before the milestone has been met. Usually a number is placed along the arrow showing the number of days or weeks required for that task to be completed. The pathway from start to end that takes the longest time to complete is called the critical path .
A Gantt chart ( Exhibit 5-11, MindWriter project) is a common project planning tool that reveals summary tasks, benchmarking milestones, and detailed tasks against a time frame for the overall project. Tasks may be color coded to indicate a particular team member’s responsibilities. Many project-management software packages include Gantt charting. The chart may be used to monitor projects to keep them on time, as well as to alert the client or manager to steps requiring their approval—and what happens to the project’s schedule if approval is not forthcoming when it is needed.
6-2Design in the Research ProcessDesign in the Research Process
7–3LEARNING OUTCOMESLEARNING OUTCOMESLEARNING OUTCOMESLEARNING OUTCOMES1. List and understand the differences betweenqualitative research and quantitative research2. Understand the role of qualitative research inexploratory research designs3. Describe the basic qualitative researchorientations4. Recognize common qualitative research tools andknow the advantages and limitations of their use5. Know the risks associated with acting on onlyexploratory resultsAfter studying this chapter, you should be able to
7–4LEARNING OUTCOMES (cont’d)LEARNING OUTCOMES (cont’d)LEARNING OUTCOMES (cont’d)LEARNING OUTCOMES (cont’d)6. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages ofsecondary data7. Define types of secondary data analysisconducted by business research managers8. Identify various internal and proprietary sources ofsecondary data9. Give examples of various external sources ofsecondary dataAfter studying this chapter, you should be able to
What is Qualitative Research?What is Qualitative Research? Qualitative business researchQualitative business research Research that addresses business objectivesResearch that addresses business objectivesthrough techniques that allow the researcherthrough techniques that allow the researcherto provide elaborate interpretations ofto provide elaborate interpretations ofphenomena without depending on numericalphenomena without depending on numericalmeasurementmeasurement Its focus is on discovering true inner meanings andIts focus is on discovering true inner meanings andnew insights.new insights. Researcher-dependentResearcher-dependent Researcher must extract meaning fromResearcher must extract meaning fromunstructured responses such as text from aunstructured responses such as text from arecorded interview or a collage representingrecorded interview or a collage representingthe meaning of some experience.the meaning of some experience.
7–7Uses of Qualitative ResearchUses of Qualitative Research Qualitative research is useful when:Qualitative research is useful when: It is difficult to develop specific and actionableIt is difficult to develop specific and actionabledecision statements or research objectives.decision statements or research objectives. The research objective is to develop a detailedThe research objective is to develop a detailedand in-depth understanding of some phenomena.and in-depth understanding of some phenomena. The research objective is to learn how aThe research objective is to learn how aphenomenon occurs in its natural setting or tophenomenon occurs in its natural setting or tolearn how to express some concept in colloquiallearn how to express some concept in colloquialterms.terms. The behaviour the researcher is studying isThe behaviour the researcher is studying isparticularly context-dependent.particularly context-dependent. A fresh approach to studying the problem isA fresh approach to studying the problem isneeded.needed.
7–8Qualitative “versus” QuantitativeQualitative “versus” QuantitativeResearchResearch Quantitative business research Descriptive and conclusive Addresses research objectives throughempirical assessments that involve numericalmeasurement and statistical analysis. Qualitative business research Exploratory Uses small versus large samples Asks a broad range of questions versusstructured questions Subjective interpretation versus statisticalanalysis
7–9EXHIBIT 7.EXHIBIT 7.11 Comparing Qualitative and Quantitative ResearchComparing Qualitative and Quantitative Research
7–10Contrasting Exploratory andContrasting Exploratory andConfirmatory ResearchConfirmatory Research Qualitative data Data that are not characterized bynumbers but rather are textual, visual, ororal. Focus is on stories, visual portrayals,meaningful characterizations, interpretations,and other expressive descriptions. Quantitative data Represent phenomena by assigningnumbers in an ordered and meaningfulway.
7–11Qualitative Research OrientationsQualitative Research Orientations MajorMajor OrientationsOrientations of Qualitativeof QualitativeResearchResearch1.1. Phenomenology—originating inPhenomenology—originating inphilosophy and psychologyphilosophy and psychology2.2. Ethnography—originating inEthnography—originating inanthropologyanthropology3.3. Grounded theory—originating inGrounded theory—originating insociologysociology4.4. Case studies—originating inCase studies—originating inpsychology and in business researchpsychology and in business research
7–12What Is a PhenomenologicalWhat Is a PhenomenologicalApproach to Research?Approach to Research? PhenomenologyPhenomenology A philosophical approach to studyingA philosophical approach to studyinghuman experiences based on the idea thathuman experiences based on the idea thathuman experience itself is inherentlyhuman experience itself is inherentlysubjective and determined by the contextsubjective and determined by the contextin which people live.in which people live. Seeks to describe, reflect upon, andSeeks to describe, reflect upon, andinterpret experiences.interpret experiences. Relies on conversational interview toolsRelies on conversational interview toolsand respondents are asked to tell a storyand respondents are asked to tell a storyabout some experience.about some experience.
7–13What Is Ethnography?What Is Ethnography? EthnographyEthnography Represents ways of studying culturesRepresents ways of studying culturesthrough methods that involvethrough methods that involvebecoming highly active within thatbecoming highly active within thatculture.culture. Participant-observationParticipant-observation An ethnographic research approachAn ethnographic research approachwhere the researcher becomeswhere the researcher becomesimmersed within the culture that he orimmersed within the culture that he orshe is studying and draws data fromshe is studying and draws data fromhis or her observations.his or her observations.
7–14What Is Grounded Theory?What Is Grounded Theory? Grounded TheoryGrounded Theory Represents an inductive investigation inRepresents an inductive investigation inwhich the researcher poses questionswhich the researcher poses questionsabout information provided byabout information provided byrespondents or taken from historicalrespondents or taken from historicalrecords.records. The researcher asks the questions to him orThe researcher asks the questions to him orherself and repeatedly questions theherself and repeatedly questions theresponses to derive deeper explanations.responses to derive deeper explanations. Key questions:Key questions: What is happening here?What is happening here? How is it different?How is it different?
7–15What Are Case Studies?What Are Case Studies? Case StudiesCase Studies The documented history of aThe documented history of aparticular person, group,particular person, group,organization, or event.organization, or event. ThemesThemes Are identified by the frequency withAre identified by the frequency withwhich the same term (or a synonym)which the same term (or a synonym)arises in the narrative description.arises in the narrative description.
COMMON TECHNIQUES USEDCOMMON TECHNIQUES USEDIN QUALITATIVE RESEARCHIN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH Some common techniques used in qualitativeresearch are: Focus Group Interview Depth Interviews Conversations Free-Association and Sentence CompletionMethods Observation Collages Projective Research Techniques Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) 7–17
7–18EXHIBIT 7.2EXHIBIT 7.2 Common Qualitative Research ToolsCommon Qualitative Research Tools
7–19Focus Group InterviewFocus Group InterviewAn unstructured, free-flowing interview with asmall group (6-10 people) led by a moderatorwho encourages dialogue among respondents.Advantages:1. Relatively fast2. Easy to execute3. Allow respondents to piggyback off each other’sideas – one respondent stimulates thought amongthe others.4. Provide multiple perspectives5. Flexibility to allow more detailed descriptions6. High degree of scrutiny – session can be observedsince they are usually conducted in a room with atwo-way mirror and are generally tape recorded orvideotaped for later examination.
7–20Focus Group Interview -Focus Group Interview -Focus Group RespondentsFocus Group Respondents Group Composition 6 to 10 people Relativelyhomogeneous Similar lifestyles andexperiences
7–21Focus Group Interview - TheFocus Group Moderator Moderator A person who leads a focus group interviewand insures that everyone gets a chance tospeak and contribute to the discussion. Qualities of a good moderator: Develops rapport with the group Good listener Tries not to interject his or her own opinions Controls discussion without beingoverbearing
7–22Focus Group Interview -Focus Group Interview -Planning a Focus Group OutlinePlanning a Focus Group Outline Discussion guideDiscussion guide Includes written introductoryIncludes written introductorycomments informing the groupcomments informing the groupabout the focus group purpose andabout the focus group purpose andrules and then outlines topics orrules and then outlines topics orquestions to be addressed in thequestions to be addressed in thegroup session.group session.
7–23EXHIBIT 7.3EXHIBIT 7.3 Discussion Guide for a Focus Group InterviewDiscussion Guide for a Focus Group Interview
7–24Disadvantages of FocusDisadvantages of FocusGroupsGroups Focus groups: Require objective, sensitive, and effectivemoderators. May have unique sampling problems. May not be useful for discussing sensitivetopics in face-to-face situations. Cost a considerable amount of money,particularly when they are not conductedby someone employed by the companydesiring the focus group.
7–25Depth InterviewsDepth Interviews Depth interviewDepth interview A one-on-one interview between aA one-on-one interview between aprofessional researcher and a researchprofessional researcher and a researchrespondent conducted about some relevantrespondent conducted about some relevantbusiness or social topic.business or social topic. LadderingLaddering A particular approach to probing askingA particular approach to probing askingrespondents to compare differences betweenrespondents to compare differences betweenbrands at different levels.brands at different levels. Produces distinctions at the:Produces distinctions at the: attribute levelattribute level benefit levelbenefit level value or motivation level
ConversationsConversations Conversations An informal qualitative data-gatheringapproach in which the researcher engages arespondent in a discussion of the relevantsubject matter. Semi-structured interviews Written form and ask respondents for shortessay responses to specific open-endedquestions. Advantages An ability to address more specific issues Responses are easier to interpret Without the presence of an interviewer, semi-structured interviews can be relatively costeffective
7–27Conversations - SocialConversations - SocialNetworkingNetworking One of the most impactful trends in recenttimes. For many, social networking sites have becomethe primary tool for communicating with friendsboth far and near and known and unknown. MySpace Second Life Zebo A large portion of this informationdiscusses business and consumer-relatedinformation. Companies monitor these sites for informationrelated to their brands.
7–28Free-Association and SentenceFree-Association and SentenceCompletion MethodsCompletion Methods Free-association techniquesFree-association techniques Record a respondent’s first cognitiveRecord a respondent’s first cognitivereactions (top-of-mind) to some stimulus.reactions (top-of-mind) to some stimulus. Allow researchers to map a respondent’sAllow researchers to map a respondent’sthoughts or memory.thoughts or memory. E.g. what is the No. 1 shampoo brand?E.g. what is the No. 1 shampoo brand? Sentence completionSentence completion People who drink beer arePeople who drink beer are A man who drinks light beer isA man who drinks light beer is Imported beer is most liked byImported beer is most liked by The woman drinking beer in the commercialThe woman drinking beer in the commercial
7–29Other TechniquesOther Techniques ObservationObservation Field notesField notes The researcher’s descriptions of what actuallyThe researcher’s descriptions of what actuallyhappens in the field.happens in the field. These notes then become the text from whichThese notes then become the text from whichmeaning is extracted.meaning is extracted. Advantageous for gaining insight into thingsAdvantageous for gaining insight into thingsthat respondents cannot or will not verbalize.that respondents cannot or will not verbalize. CollagesCollages Respondents prepare a collage to representRespondents prepare a collage to representtheir experiences.their experiences. Analyzed for meaning.Analyzed for meaning.
7–30Other Techniques (cont’d)Other Techniques (cont’d) Projective Research TechniquesProjective Research Techniques An indirect means of questioningAn indirect means of questioningenabling respondents to projectenabling respondents to projectbeliefs and feelings onto a thirdbeliefs and feelings onto a thirdparty, an inanimate object, or a taskparty, an inanimate object, or a tasksituation.situation. Particularly useful in studyingParticularly useful in studyingsensitive issues.sensitive issues.
7–31Other Techniques (cont’d)Other Techniques (cont’d) Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) Presents subjects with anPresents subjects with anambiguous picture(s) in whichambiguous picture(s) in whichconsumers and products are theconsumers and products are thecenter of attention.center of attention. Investigator asks the subject toInvestigator asks the subject totell what is happening in thetell what is happening in thepicture(s) now and what mightpicture(s) now and what mighthappen next.happen next.
7–32An Example of a TAT PictureAn Example of a TAT Picture
8–33Secondary Data ResearchSecondary Data Research Secondary DataSecondary Data Data gathered and recorded by someoneData gathered and recorded by someoneelse prior to and for a purpose other thanelse prior to and for a purpose other thanthe current project.the current project.• AdvantagesAdvantagesAvailableAvailableFaster and less expensive thanFaster and less expensive thanacquiring primary dataacquiring primary dataRequires no access to subjectsRequires no access to subjectsInexpensive—government data isInexpensive—government data isoften freeoften freeMay provide informationMay provide informationotherwise not accessibleotherwise not accessible• DisadvantagesDisadvantagesUncertain accuracyUncertain accuracyData not consistentData not consistentwith needswith needsInappropriate units ofInappropriate units ofmeasurementmeasurementTime periodTime periodinappropriateinappropriate(outdated)(outdated)
8–34Is it possibleto go to theoriginal datasource?Evaluating Secondary DataEvaluating Secondary Data
8–35Secondary Data Research…Secondary Data Research… Data conversionData conversion The process of changing the originalThe process of changing the originalform of the data to a format suitableform of the data to a format suitableto achieve the research objectiveto achieve the research objective Also called data transformationAlso called data transformation Cross-checksCross-checks The comparison of data from oneThe comparison of data from onesource with data from another sourcesource with data from another sourceto determine the similarity ofto determine the similarity ofindependent projects.independent projects.
Common Research Objectives forCommon Research Objectives forSecondary-Data StudiesSecondary-Data Studies
8–37Typical Objectives for Secondary-Typical Objectives for Secondary-Data Research DesignsData Research Designs Fact FindingFact Finding Identification of consumer behavior for aIdentification of consumer behavior for aproduct categoryproduct category Trend AnalysisTrend Analysis Market trackingMarket tracking—t—the observation and analysis ofhe observation and analysis oftrends in industry volume and brand share overtrends in industry volume and brand share overtime.time. Environmental ScanningEnvironmental Scanning Information gathering and fact-finding that isInformation gathering and fact-finding that isdesigned to detect indications of environmentaldesigned to detect indications of environmentalchanges in their initial stages of development.changes in their initial stages of development.
8–38Cola’s Share of the Carbonated Soft-Drink MarketCola’s Share of the Carbonated Soft-Drink MarketSource: Theresa Howard, “Coca-Cola Hopes Taking New Path Leads to Success,” USA Today, March 6,2001, p. 6b. From USA Today a division of Gannett Co., Inc. Reprinted with Permission.
Model BuildingModel Building Model building involves specifyingModel building involves specifyingrelationships between two or morerelationships between two or morevariables.variables. 3 common objectives:3 common objectives: Estimating Market Potential forEstimating Market Potential forGeographic AreasGeographic Areas Forecasting SalesForecasting Sales Analysis of Trade Areas andAnalysis of Trade Areas andSitesSites 7–39
8–40Model BuildingModel BuildingAnalysis of TradeAnalysis of TradeAreas and SitesAreas and SitesAnalysis of TradeAnalysis of TradeAreas and SitesAreas and SitesEstimating MarketEstimating MarketPotentialPotentialEstimating MarketEstimating MarketPotentialPotentialForecastingForecastingSalesSalesForecastingForecastingSalesSalesModelModelBuildingBuildingModelModelBuildingBuilding
8–41Data MiningData Mining Data MiningData Mining The use of powerful computers to digThe use of powerful computers to digthrough volumes of data to discoverthrough volumes of data to discoverpatterns about an organization’spatterns about an organization’scustomers and products; applies tocustomers and products; applies tomany different forms of analysis.many different forms of analysis. Neural NetworkNeural Network A form of artificial intelligence inA form of artificial intelligence inwhich a computer is programmed towhich a computer is programmed tomimic the way that human brainsmimic the way that human brainsprocess information.process information.
8–42Data Mining (cont’d)Data Mining (cont’d) Market-Basket AnalysisMarket-Basket Analysis A form of data mining that analyzesA form of data mining that analyzesanonymous point-of-sale transactionanonymous point-of-sale transactiondatabases to identify coinciding purchasesdatabases to identify coinciding purchasesor relationships between productsor relationships between productspurchased and other retail shoppingpurchased and other retail shoppinginformation.information. Customer DiscoveryCustomer Discovery Involves mining data to look for patternsInvolves mining data to look for patternsidentifying who is likely to be a valuableidentifying who is likely to be a valuablecustomer.customer.
8–43Sources of InternalSources of InternalSecondary DataSecondary Data Internal and Proprietary DataInternal and Proprietary Data Accounting informationAccounting information Sales information and backordersSales information and backorders Customer complaints, service records,Customer complaints, service records,warranty card returns, and other records.warranty card returns, and other records. IntranetsIntranets
8–44External Secondary Data SourcesExternal Secondary Data Sources External DataExternal Data Generated or recorded by an entity other than theGenerated or recorded by an entity other than theresearcher’s organization.researcher’s organization. Information as a product and its distributionInformation as a product and its distribution LibrariesLibraries InternetInternet VendorsVendors ProducersProducers Books and periodicalsBooks and periodicals GovernmentGovernment MediaMedia Trade associationsTrade associations Commercial sourcesCommercial sources
8–45InformationInformationas a Productas a Productand Itsand ItsDistributionDistributionChannelsChannels
8–46Commercial SourcesCommercial Sources Market-share dataMarket-share data Demographic and censusDemographic and censusupdatesupdates Consumer attitude and publicConsumer attitude and publicopinion researchopinion research Consumption and purchaseConsumption and purchasebehaviour databehaviour data Advertising researchAdvertising research
8–47Single-Source and Global Research DataSingle-Source and Global Research Data Single-Source DataSingle-Source Data Diverse types of data offered by a single company.Diverse types of data offered by a single company. Usually integrated on the basis of a common variableUsually integrated on the basis of a common variable(i.e., geographic area or store).(i.e., geographic area or store). Government AgenciesGovernment Agencies Global secondary dataGlobal secondary data Typical limitations of secondary dataTypical limitations of secondary data Additional pitfallsAdditional pitfalls Unavailable in some countriesUnavailable in some countries Questionable accuracy (political influences)Questionable accuracy (political influences) Lack of standardized research terminologyLack of standardized research terminology CIA’s World Factbook; National Trade Data BankCIA’s World Factbook; National Trade Data Bank
8–48EXHIBIT 8.EXHIBIT 8.99 Examples of Single-Source DatabasesExamples of Single-Source Databases
8–49Research Snapshot: Around the World of DataResearch Snapshot: Around the World of Data
8–50EXHIBIT 8.10EXHIBIT 8.10 Examples of Information Contained in the NTDBExamples of Information Contained in the NTDB• Agricultural commodity production and trade• Basic export information• Calendars of trade fairs and exhibitions• Capital markets and export financing• Country reports on economic and socialpolicies and trade practices• Energy production, supply, and inventories• Exchange rates• Export licensing information• Guides to doing business in foreign countries• International trade terms directory• How-to guides• International trade regulations/agreements• International trade agreements• Labor, employment, and productivity• Maritime and shipping information• Market research reports• Overseas contacts• Overseas and domestic industry information• Price indexes• Small business information• State exports• State trade contacts• Trade opportunities• U.S. export regulations• U.S. import and export statistics by countryand commodity• U.S. international transactions• World Fact Book• World minerals production
6-51Exercise : Research Design PlanExercise : Research Design PlanBlueprintBlueprintBlueprintBlueprintPlanPlanPlanPlanGuideGuideGuideGuideFrameworkFrameworkFrameworkFramework
6-52What Tools Are Used in DesigningWhat Tools Are Used in DesigningResearch?Research?
6-53Example :Example :Project Plan inProject Plan inGantt chart formatGantt chart formatWhat Tools Are Used inWhat Tools Are Used inDesigning Research?Designing Research?
Further ReadingFurther Reading COOPER, D.R. AND SCHINDLER, P.S. (2011)BUSINESS RESEARCH METHODS, 11THEDN,MCGRAW HILL ZIKMUND, W.G., BABIN, B.J., CARR, J.C. ANDGRIFFIN, M. (2010) BUSINESS RESEARCHMETHODS, 8THEDN, SOUTH-WESTERN SAUNDERS, M., LEWIS, P. AND THORNHILL, A.(2012) RESEARCH METHODS FOR BUSINESSSTUDENTS, 6THEDN, PRENTICE HALL. SAUNDERS, M. AND LEWIS, P. (2012) DOINGRESEARCH IN BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT, FTPRENTICE HALL.