Business Research Design

5 May 2017

A research design lays the foundation for conducting the project. A good research design will ensure that the marketing research project is conducted effectively and efficiently. A research design involves the following components: Define the information needed. Design the exploratory, descriptive and/or causal phases of the researches. Specify the measurement and scaling procedures. Construct and pretest a questionnaire (interviewing form) or an appropriate form for data collection. Specify the sampling process and sampling size. Develop a plan of data analysis.

Classification of Marketing Research Designs Comparison of Basic Research Designs Exploratory Research The major emphasis in exploratory research is on converting broad, vague problem statements into small, precise sub-problem statements, which is done in order to formulate specific hypothesis. Characteristics of Exploratory Research: Exploratory research is flexible and very versatile. For data collection structured forms are not used. Experimentation is not a requirement. Cost incurred to conduct study is low. This type of research allows very wide exploration of views.

Business Research Design Essay Example

Research is interactive in nature and also it is open ended. Purpose of Exploratory Research Formulate a problem or define a problem more precisely. Identify alternative courses of action. Develop hypotheses. Isolate key variables and relationships for further examination. Gain insights for developing an approach to the problem. Establish priorities for further research. Appropriate to any problem about which very little is known. This research is the foundation for any future study. Exploratory Research Methods Literature Search – This refers to “referring to a literature to develop a new hypothesis. The literature referred are: trade Journals, professional Journals, market esearch finding publications, statistical publications, etc. Example: Suppose a problem is “Why are sales down? ” This can quickly be analysed with the help of published data which should indicate “whether the problem is an industry problem or a firm problem”. Three possibilities exist to formulate the hypothesis. 1 . The company’s market share has declined but industrys figures are normal. 2. The industry is declining and hence the company’s market share is also declining. 3.

The industrys share is going up but the companys share is declining. If we accept the situation that our company’s sales are down despite the market showing an upward rend, then we need to analyse the marketing mix variables. Expert Surveys – In expert surveys, it is desirable to talk to persons who are well informed in the area being investigated. These people may be company executives or persons outside the organisation. Here, no questionnaire is required. The approach adopted in an experience survey should be highly unstructured, so that the respondent can give divergent views.

Example : 1 . A group of housewives may be approached for their choice for a “Ready to Eat” product. 2. A publisher might want to find out the reason for poor circulation of newspaper introduced recently. He might meet a) Newspaper sellers b) Public reading room c) General Public d) Business community etc. Focus Group – Another widely used technique in exploratory research is the focus group. In a focus group, a small number of individuals are brought together to study and talk about some topic ot interest. The discussion is coordinated by a moderator. The group usually is ot 8-12 persons.

While selecting these persons, care has to be taken to see that they should have a common background and have similar experiences in buying. This is required because there should not be a conflict among the group members on the ommon issues that are being discussed. Secondary Data Analysis – Secondary data refers to literature, published or unpublished, available as a result of studies made by others for their own purposes. A researcher may review the literature with the purpose of framing a hypothesis, or he may review hypothesis already developed for further study by others to see their applicability.

The sources of data can be bibliographies available on the topic, Journals, magazines, newspapers, reports and books, special catalogues, subject guides, online on the internet, digital libraries, e- atabases maintained by the organization, guides, directories, indexes, Statistical data, Census data and other government publications. Case- Study Analysis – Analysing a selected case sometimes gives an insight into the problem which is being researched. Case histories of companies which have undergone a similar situation may be available. These case are well suited to carry out exploratory research.

For Example: Case Study on Mumbai Dabbawalas gives an insight into the problem of Supply Chain. A company implementing the practice of Supply Chain can take useful inputs from the case. A Case in Point A company manufacturing electric shavers, known for its brand, wanted to introduce the product in Japan. Before the launch, the company makes sure that all the 4Ps are acceptable to customers. When the product was launched, it met with failure. The company wondered what went wrong. Later investigations revealed that Japanese palms were very small and hence the product was not convenient for use. All possible causes were not listed and examined.

This shows the importance of listing all factors during an exploratory research. Qualitative & Quantitative Research Qualitative Research – An unstructured, exploratory research methodology based on small samples that provides insights and understanding of the problem setting. Quantitative Research – A research methodology that seeks to quantify the data and typically applies some form of statistical analysis. uan tative Research Depth Interview – An unstructured, direct, personal interview in which a single respondent is probed by a highly skilled interviewer to uncover underlying motivations, beliefs, attitudes and feelings on a topic.

The interview may be conducted in a casual and informal manner in which the flow of the conversation etermines what questions are to be asked and the order in which they should be asked. Delphi Technique – This is a process where a group of experts in the field gather together. They may have to reach a consensus on forecasts. In the Delphi approach, the group members are asked to make individual Judgments about a particular subject, say ‘sales forecast’. These Judgments are compiled and returned to the group members, so that they can compare their previous Judgment with those of others.

Then they are given an opportunity to revise their Judgments, especially if it differs from the others. After 5 to 6 rounds of interaction, the group members reach conclusion. Projective Techniques – These are indirect method of gathering information/ indirect interview and are unstructured and involve indirect form of questioning. 1. Word Association Test – This test consists of presenting a series of stimulus words to the respondent, who is asked to answer quickly with the first word that comes to his mind. The respondent, by answering quickly, gives the word that he or she associates most closely with the stimulus word.

Eg. What brand of detergent comes to your mind first, when I mention washing of an expensive cloth? Surf, Tide, Key, Ariel. 2. Completion Techniques – Sentence completion – Here the respondents have to finish a set of incomplete sentences. Eg. For providing a basis for developing advertising appeal for a brand of cooking oil, the following sentence may be used: People use cooking oil . Costliest cooking oil . Most of the new cooking oil . Story Completion – A situation is described to a respondent who is asked to complete the story based on his opinion and attitude. 3.

Thematic Apperception Test – It is used to measure the attitude and perception of the individual. Some picture cards are shown to respondents. The respondent is required to tell the story by looking at the picture. When the subjects start telling the story, the researcher notices the respondent’s expression, pauses and emotions to draw the inference. 4. Expressive Technique – Respondents are presented with a verbal or visual situation and asked to relate the feelings and attitudes of other people to the situation. The techniques are role playing (Respondents are asked to play the role of someone else. and Third- Person (Respondent is presented with a verbal or visual situation and asked to relate the beliefs and attitudes of a third person. ) Hypothesis Formulation Hypothesis is an unproven statement or proposition about a factor or phenomenon that is of interest to the researcher. It may be a tentative statement about relationships between two or more variables as stipulated by the theoretical framework or the analytical model.

Hypothesis Study at the Descriptive Research Stage Management problem Research problem How should a new product be distributed? Where do customers buy a similar product right now? Upper class buyers use ‘Shoppers Stop’ and middle class buyers buy trom local departmental stores. What will be the target segment? What kind of people buy our product now? Senior citizens buy our products. Young and married buy our competitors products. Reasons for conducting Research: To describe the characteristics of relevant groups, such as consumers, salespeople, organizations or market areas.

To estimate the percentage of units in a specified population exhibiting a certain behavior. To determine the perceptions of product characteristics. To determine the degree to which marketing variables are associated. To make pecific predictions. Descriptive research is marked by a clear statement of the problem, specific hypotheses and detailed information needs. Examples of descriptive research are: Market studies, which describe the size of the market, buying power of the consumers, availability of distributors and consumer profiles.

Market share studies, which determine the proportion of total sales received by a company and its competitors. Sales analysis studies, which describe sales by geographic region, product line, type and size of the account. Image studies, which determine consumer perceptions of the firm and its products. Product usage studies, which describe consumption patterns. Distribution studies, which determine traffic flow patterns and the number and location of distributors. Pricing studies, which describe the range and frequency of price changes and probable consumer response to proposed price changes.

Advertising studies, which describe media consumption habits and audience profiles for specific television programs and magazines. Types of descriptive Studies Cross-sectional Designs – A type of research design involving the collection of information from any given sample of population elements only once. Longitudinal Designs – A type of research design involving a fixed sample of population elements that is measured repeatedly. The sample remains the same over time, thus providing a series of pictures which, when viewed together, portray a vivid illustration of the situation and the changes that are taking place over time.

For Eg. , “How did the Indian people rate the character of ministers immediately after CWG games? ” would be addressed using a cross-sectional design. However, a longitudinal design would be used to address the question, “How did the Indian people change their view of minister’s character during CWG Games? Methods of Data Collection There are mainly two methods of data collection In Descriptive Research: Survey Method – A structured questionnaire given to respondents and designed to elicit specific information.

Observation Method – The recording of behavioral patterns of people, objects and events in a systematic manner to obtain information about the phenomenon of interest. TYPES OF SURVEY True Survey – This involves repeat measurement of the same variables. Eg. Perception towards frozen peas . Each member of the panel is examined at a different time to arrive at a conclusion on the above subject. Omnibus Survey – A sample ot elements is being selected and maintained, but the intormation collected from the member varies. At a certain point of time, the attitude of panel members “towards an advertisement” may be measured.

At some other point of time the same panel member may be questioned about the “product performance”. Classification of Survey Methods Survey Methods Traditional Telephone Interviews – Phoning a sample of respondents and asking them a series of questions. Computer-Assisted Telephonic Interviewing – Uses a computerized questionnaire administered to respondents over the telephone. The nterviewer sits in front of a computer terminal and wears a miniheadset. When contact is made, the interviewer reads questions posed on the computer screen and records the respondent’s answers directly into the computer memory bank.

Personal In-Home Interviews – Respondents are interviewed face-to-face in their home. Mall Intercept Personal Interviews – Respondents are intercepted while they are shopping in malls and brought to test facilities in the malls. Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing – The respondent sits in front of a computer terminal and answers a questionnaire on the computer screen by using the keyboard or a mouse. Mail Interviews – Questionnaires are mailed to preselected potential respondents. A typical mail interview package consists of the outgoing envelope, cover letter, questionnaire, return envelope and possibly an incentive.

The respondents complete and return the questionnaires. Mail Panels – A mail panel consists of a large, nationally representative sample of households that have agreed to participate in periodic mail questionnaires and product tests. E-mail Interviews -To conduct an e- mail survey, a list of e-mail addresses is obtained. The survey is written within the body of the e-mail message. The e-mails are sent out over the internet. Respondents type the answers to either closed-ended or open-ended questions at designated places, and click on reply.

Internet Interviews – Internet or Web surveys use hypertext markup language and are posted on a Website. Respondents are asked to go to a particular Web location to complete the survey. Classification of Observation Methods Observation Methods Personal Observation – A researcher observes actual behavior as it occurs. The observer does not attempt to control or manipulate the phenomenon being observed. Mechanical Observation – Mechanical devices, rather than human bservers, record the phenomenon being observed. Devices are: Audiometer – Attached to a television set to continually record what channel the set is tuned to.

People Meters – Attempt to measure not only the channels to which a set is tuned but also who is watching. Turnstiles – Record the number of people entering or leaving a building. On-site cameras – Used by retailers to assess package designs, counter space, floor displays and traffic flow patterns. UPC – Allows for mechanized information collection regarding consumer purchases by product category, brand, store type, price and quantity Eye-tracking monitors – Records the gaze movements of the eye. Used to determine how a respondent reads an advertisement and views a TV commercial.

Pupil meters – Measures changes in the diameter of the pupils of the respondent’s eye. Psycho galvanometer – Measures changes in the electrical resistance of the skin. Voice pitch analysis – Measures emotional reactions through changes in the respondent’s voice. Response latency – Time a respondent takes before answering a question. Audit – The researcher collects data by examining physical records or performing inventory analysis of inventory of brands, quantities nd package sizes in a consumer’s home or at a retail store. Content Analysis – Objective, systematic and quantitative description of the manifest content of a communication.

The unit of analysis may be words, characters, themes, space and time measures or topics. Trace Analysis – Data collection is based on physical traces or evidence of past behavior. Eg. No. of different fingerprints on a page was used to find out the readership of various advertisements in a magazine. Causal Research Causal research is used to obtain evidence of cause and effect relationships. It is appropriate for the following purposes: 1 . To understand which variables are the cause (independent variables) and which variables are the effect (dependent variables) of a phenomenon. 2.

To determine the nature of the relationship between the causal variables and the effect to be predicted. For eg. In the context of department store project, a researcher wishes to determine whether the presence and helpfulness of salespeople (causal variable) will influence the sales of house wares (effect variable). A causal design could be formulated in which two groups of otherwise comparable house wares departments of a particular chain are selected. For four weeks, trained salespeople are stationed in one group of house wares departments but not in the other. Sales are monitored for both groups, while controlling for other variables.

A comparison of sales for the two groups will reveal the effect of salespeople on housewares sales in department stores. Classification of Experimental Designs Definition Of Symbols X = the exposure of a group to an independent variable, treatment or event, the effects of which are to be determined. O = the process of observation or measurement of the dependent variable on the test units or group of units. R = the andom assignment of test units or groups to separate treatments. Types of Experimentation: Preexperimental designs do not employ randomization procedures to control for extraneous factors. 1 .

One-Shot Case Study – Also known as the after-only design, it is represented as x 01 A single group of test units is exposed to a treatment X, and then a single measurement on the dependent variable is taken (01). There is no random assignment ot test units For eg. An advertisement ot Pears Soap is being shown to the respondent (X) and then they were asked whether they recall the ad or not (01). 2. One-Group Pretest-posttest Design – Symbolized as 1 x 02 In this design, a group of test units is measured twice. There is no control group. First, a pretreatment measure is taken(01), then the group is exposed to the treatment(X).

Finally, a post treatment measure is taken(02). The treatment effect is computed as 02 – 01. For eg. Respondents are first interviewed to know their opinion towards consuming alcohol (01). An advertisement depicting harmful effects of alcohol is being shown to the respondent (X). After watching ad, the respondents are again being interviewed to test their opinion towards consuming alcohol now (02). The effectiveness of ad is measured as 02 – 01. . Static Group design – It is a two- group experimental design. One group, called the experimental group (EG), is exposed to the treatment, and the other, called the control group (CG), is not.

Measurements on both groups are made only after the treatment. symbolically as: EG: X 01 02 For eg. HUL was trying to find out the impact of free samples of shampoo on the sales of shampoo. To the experimental group, they offered both the free samples and redemption coupon, and to Control Group only the redemption coupon was being offered. Coupons were coded and the number of coupons redeemed by the respondents was calculated. Difference between the coupons redeemed by the EG and CG will give the impact of free samples on sales of the shampoo.

True Experimental design – Researcher randomly assigns test units to experimental groups and treatments to experimental groups. 4. Pretest-posttest Control Group Design – Test units are randomly assigned to either the experimental or the control group, and a pretreatment measure is taken on each group. The design is symbolized EG: R 01 X 02 CG: R 03 04 The Treatment Effect is measured as (02 – 01) – (04-03) E. g.. In order to measure the impact of tuition on the performance of students, first a ample of respondents would be selected at random.

Half of these would be randomly assigned to the experimental group and the other half would form the control group. Respondents in both groups were given a test to check their performance. Only the respondents in the experimental group were given a tuition and then both groups were given test and their performance was checked. 5. Posttest-only Control Group Design – Experimental group is exposed to the treatment but the control group is not and no pretest measure is taken. It is symbolized as: EG: R X 01 The treatment effect is obtained by TE=OI -02 Eg.

To measure the effectiveness of ad, a sample of respondents is selected at random. Half of them would be taken as Experimental Group and the other half wou d be Control Group. An advertisement on narmtul ettects ot alcohol would b shown to only the experimental group and not to the control group. Then the opinion of both the groups on alcoholism would be recorded. Difference in their opinion will tell us the impact of advertisement. Quasi-Experimental Designs – Researcher can control when measurements are taken and on whom they are taken but is unable to expose test units to the treatments randomly. 5.

Time series design – Involves a series of periodic measurements on the dependent variable for a group of test units. The treatment is then administered by the researcher or occurs naturally. After the treatment, periodic measurements are continued to determine the treatment effect. It may be symbolized as: 01 02 03 04 X 05 06 07 08 Eg. There is a trend being followed in share market investment. After watching a business news channel the investment pattern changes.

A limited
time offer!
Save Time On Research and Writing. Hire a Professional to Get Your 100% Plagiarism Free Paper