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Research Design

In: Business and Management

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1. What is a research design and what are the kinds of basic research designs?
2. How can the basic research designs be compared and contrasted?
3. What are the major sources of errors in a research design?
4. How does the researcher coordinate the budgeting and scheduling aspects of a research project?
5. What elements make up the marketing research proposal?
6. What factors should the researcher consider while formulating a research design in international marketing research?
7. How can technology facilitate the research design process?
8. What ethical issues arise when selecting a research design?


This chapter provides an overview of research design. A definition and a classification of research designs are presented. The differences between exploratory and conclusive research designs are discussed. The three basic types of research designs, namely exploratory, descriptive, and causal, are described and a comparative analysis of these designs is presented. The potential sources of errors in research designs are covered in some detail. The budgeting and scheduling of a marketing research project, as well as the preparation of a marketing research proposal, are covered.
This chapter is similar to competing texts with regard to the material on the basic types of research designs. It is different in that it presents a comparative analysis of these designs and also gives a unified treatment of errors associated with research designs. This chapter could be taught by focusing on the opening questions sequentially. Greater emphasis could be placed on the differences between exploratory and conclusive research (Opening Question 2) and on the material on exploratory, descriptive, and causal research (Opening Question 3). The potential sources of errors in a research design should be discussed (Opening Question 4). Material on international marketing research (Opening Question 7) and ethics in marketing research (Opening Question 9) should also be covered. The Internet and software, such as the programs described in the book, or any similar programs, could be demonstrated in the class.


1. Overview 2. What is a Research Design? 3. Basic Research Designs 4. Exploratory Research 5. Descriptive Research
i. Cross-Sectional Design ii. Longitudinal Design iii. Cross-Sectional Versus Longitudinal Designs 6. Causal Research 7. Relationships Among Exploratory, Descriptive, and Causal Research 8. Tasks Involved in Formulating a Research Design 9. Research Design and the Value of Marketing Research
10. Budgeting and Scheduling the Project
11. Marketing Research Proposal
12. Summary Illustration Using the Opening Vignette
13. International Marketing Research
14. Technology and Marketing Research
15. Ethics in Marketing Research
16. Internet Applications
i. Exploratory Research ii. Conclusive Research
17. Summary
18. Key Terms and Concepts
19. Acronyms


Opening Question 1

* Define and discuss the importance of a good research design.

Define the research design as a framework or blueprint for conducting the marketing research project. It specifies the precise details of the procedures necessary for obtaining the required information. Finally, stress that it is important to have a good research design in order to ensure that the marketing research project is conducted effectively and efficiently.

* Discuss the appropriate uses of exploratory and conclusive research designs.

Distinguish the two by noting that exploratory research is used in situations where the problem may have to be defined more precisely, relevant courses of action identified, hypotheses formulated, or additional insights gained before an approach can be developed. Conclusive research would be used to test specific hypotheses, examine specific relationships, or make predictions.

Figure 3.4 provides a framework for organizing marketing research designs and Table 3.1 lists the differences between exploratory and conclusive designs in a comparative reference table.

Opening Question 2

* Explain the differences between descriptive and causal research .

Emphasize that while both descriptive and causal research are classified as conclusive research, they differ in terms of their objectives. Descriptive research is used to describe something, usually market characteristics or functions. Causal research is used to obtain evidence regarding cause-and-effect relationships.
Explain the distinction between exploratory, descriptive, and causal research. Examples may prove instructive.
Begin with exploratory research by informing students that it is typically used to provide structure and insight into the research problem, for example, by using focus groups to determine key factors related to the use of your product. Other examples can be constructed.
For descriptive research, mention that it begins with the structure already defined and proceeds to actual data collection in order to describe some market variable, for example, determining the average age of purchasers of your product. Causal research also proceeds from a pre-established structure but attempts to infer causal relationships between variables as opposed to describing variables, for example, determining if increased advertising spending has led to an increase in sales.

Table 3.2 provides a table, which compares the three basic research designs along dimensions of objectives, characteristics, and methods.

* Describe the six W’s of descriptive research.

An interesting introduction to this topic is noting that the six W’s are used by journalists when trying to gather facts for a story. In like manner, because descriptive research is marked by the prior formulation of specific hypotheses, the design requires a clear specification of the six W’s of the research:

1. Who: who should be considered?
2. Where: where should the respondents be contacted to obtain the required information?
3. When: when should the information be obtained from the respondents?
4. What: what information should be obtained from the respondents?
5. Why: why are we obtaining information from the respondents?
6. Way: the way in which we are going to obtain information from the respondents.

These questions form the basis for describing the research to be conducted.

Consider an airline passenger example. Have the class go through the 6 W’s with air travel as the product and with the issue as expanding your company’s international air travel flights.

* List situations where descriptive research should be used.

Briefly review the elements of descriptive research, i.e., it is characterized by a clear statement of the problem, specific hypotheses, and detailed information needs. Examples of descriptive studies are:

1. Market studies that describe the size of the market, buying power of the consumers, availability of distributors, and consumer profiles.
2. Market share studies that determine the proportion of total sales received by a company and its competitors.
3. Sales analysis studies that describe sales by geographic region, product line, type and size of the account.
4. Image studies that determine consumer perceptions of the firm and its products.
5. Product usage studies that describe consumption patterns.
6. Distribution studies which determine traffic flow patterns and the number and location of distributors.
7. Pricing studies that describe the range and frequency of price changes and probable consumer response to proposed price changes.
8. Advertising studies that describe media consumption habits and audience profiles for specific television programs and magazines.

* Describe situations where causal research could be used.

Start with the basis for causal research. Causal research is appropriate to use when the purposes are to understand which variables are the cause and which variables are the effect, and to determine the nature of the functional relationship between the causal variables and the effect to be predicted. Once the underlying theory is understood by students, use the example in the text on business-to-business advertising as an example of causal research.

* Classify descriptive research into cross-sectional and longitudinal designs.

Classify the two designs by the time frame each uses. Cross-sectional designs involve the collection of information from a sample population at a single point in time, whereas in a longitudinal design a fixed sample population is measured repeatedly over several points in time. Longitudinal data tend to be more informative than cross-sectional data because they measure changes in behavior, large amounts of data can be collected, and they are more accurate. Yet, they suffer from potential bias and nonrepresentativeness.
Table 3.3 provides a table for comparing cross-sectional and longitudinal designs along 5 criteria, detecting change, amount of data collected, accuracy, representative sampling, and response bias.

Opening Question 3

* Explain how poor research design leads to sources of error in analysis.

First, mention the sources of error in analysis. Random sampling error and nonsampling error are the two main sources of error. Random sampling error is the error where the particular sample selected is an imperfect representation of the population of interest. It is defined as the variation between the true mean value for the sample and the true mean value of the population. It is usually negligible provided a sample of sufficient size from the relevant population has been taken.
Once random sampling error is understood by the students, discuss nonsampling error. Nonsampling errors occur due to a variety of reasons, including errors in the problem definition, approach, scales, questionnaire design, interviewing methods, and data preparation and analysis. Figure 3.2 outlines the sources of error, especially the types of nonsampling error, for discussion.
Nonsampling error is more likely than sampling error to defy estimation and is problematic because it is the major contributor to total error, while sampling error is minimal. Nonsampling error can cause many different problems including solving the wrong problem, missing aspects pertinent to the solution, and biasing data through improper collection techniques and improper use of analytical techniques. Opening Question 4

* Introduce methods of budgeting and scheduling projects.

Three commonly used methods of budgeting and scheduling marketing research projects include the Critical Path Method (CPM), Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT), and the Graphical Evaluation and Review Technique (GERT).
CPM involves dividing the project into component activities, determining the sequence of these activities, and estimating the time required for each activity. These activities and time estimates for them are diagrammed in the form of a network flow chart. The critical path is identified as the series of activities whose delay will hold up the completion of the project. PERT is an advanced version of CPM that includes probabilities for completion of each stage of the project. Thus, probabilistic estimates of the completion time are derived. GERT incorporates both completion probabilities and activity costs so that an estimate of the total cost of the project is also determined. It would be instructive to bring flow charts of each of these techniques to show to students.

Opening Question 5

* Discuss the importance of the marketing research proposal and list its main components.

The proposal is vital to the research firm since it serves as the contract between the firm and the client. A well-drafted proposal is essential to secure the business and to guide the approach to the problem, the research design, and the subsequent details of the study. Its main features include the executive summary, background material, problem definition, approach to the problem, research design, field work and data collection, data analysis techniques, reporting method, cost of the project and time of completion, and appendices with additional information.
Opening Question 6

* Illustrate the difficulties associated with environmental differences in international research.

EXAMPLE: Consider the problem of determining household attitudes toward major appliances in the United States and in Saudi Arabia. While conducting exploratory research in the US, it is appropriate to conduct focus groups jointly with male and female heads of households. However, it would be inappropriate to conduct such focus groups in Saudi Arabia. Given the traditional culture, the wives are unlikely to participate freely in the presence of their husbands. It would be more useful to conduct one-on-one depth interviews separately with both male and female heads of households being included in the sample.

• In many countries, particularly developing countries, consumer panels have not been developed, thus making it difficult to conduct descriptive longitudinal research.
• In many countries the marketing support infrastructure, i.e., retailing, wholesaling, advertising, and the promotional infrastructure is lacking, which makes it infeasible to implement a causal design, such as a field experiment.
• In formulating a research design, considerable effort is required to ensure the equivalence and comparability of secondary and primary data obtained from different countries.

Opening Question 7

* Discuss how technology can facilitate the implementation of the various research designs.

Smart products could be used to collect not only exploratory data but also cross-sectional or longitudinal descriptive data. These subsystems could prove very useful to companies, including software developers such as Microsoft. When added to a software application like Microsoft Office, they could be programmed to activate when the user encounters an error message. After conversing with the user, the subsystem would store all the relevant data. Then\ developer could then determine what happened and what could be done to prevent that error from recurring. Any user observations or opinions could also be stored for analysis. This information would assist Microsoft when producing new products or upgrading versions of Microsoft Office.

Opening Question 8 * Discuss the ethical concerns of the researcher, the client, and the respondents.

The type of research design that should be adopted (i.e., descriptive or causal, cross-sectional or longitudinal) should be suited to the client’s needs rather than be limited by the expertise of the researcher.

The researchers must ensure that the research design utilized will provide the information needed to address the marketing research problem, which has been identified. The client should have the integrity not to misrepresent the project and should describe the constraints under which the researcher must operate and not make unreasonable demands. Also, the client should not take undue advantage of the research firm to solicit unfair concessions for the current project by making false promises of future research contracts by holding out the carrot.
Equally important, responsibilities to respondents must not be overlooked. The researcher should design the study so as not to violate the respondents’ right to safety, privacy, or choice. Furthermore, the client must not violate the anonymity of the respondents.

Internet Emphasis

* Explain how the Internet can facilitate the implementation of different types of research designs.

During the exploratory phase of the research, forums, chat rooms, or newsgroups can be used to generally discuss a topic with anyone who visits the chat room. List servers could also be used to obtain the initial information needed to begin research design. List servers make interactive discussion possible for special interest groups, user groups, customer service forums, etc. using Internet e-mail.
Many descriptive studies utilize secondary data, the methodology of which we describe in Chapters 4 and 5; surveys, which are discussed in Chapter 7; and panels, which are discussed in Chapters 5 and 7. The use of Internet for causal research designs is discussed in Chapter 8. The Internet, in its capacity as a source of information, can be useful in uncovering secondary data and collecting primary data needed in conclusive research. Illustrate this by visiting Greenfield On-line Research Center, Inc. at

* Describe the use of computers in controlling potential sources of error. Computers can also help control total error. By using computers, it is possible to understand how the various sources of error will affect the results and what levels of errors might be acceptable. Simulation can be conducted to determine how the distributions and levels of various nonsampling errors will affect final results. Software like Monte Carlo Simulations (MCS) by Actuarial Micro Software is useful for these purposes.

It should be noted that a variety of answers are appropriate. The ones given here are merely illustrative.

Be an MR!: Holiday Inn®
- Family of brands: Crowne Plaza®
- Hotel Indigo®,
- Holiday Inn®
- Holiday Inn Express®
- Express by Holiday Inn®
- Staybridge Suites®
- Candlewood Suites®

We need to conduct exploratory research followed by conclusive research to formulate a coherent marketing strategy. It might be beneficial to retain brand differentiation through brand specific marketing. Consumer perception analysis might helpful. Market research should uncover the following information:
- What types of customers prefer which brands?
- Do customers value IC label or individual brands?
- What percentage of customers use the brands interchangeably?

Be a DM!: Holiday Inn
Explanatory Research can look at questions like:
- How do business and nonbusiness customers select a hotel?
- What attributes are considered in selecting a hotel?
- Why is some other hotel group doing a better job at coherently marketing its brands?
- Why certain marketing campaigns were more successful than others?

Conclusive research can look answers:
- Which brand should target which customers?
- What marketing programs are the most effective?

Be an MR!: Haagen-Dazs
Ice Cream
BAILEYS® Irish Cream

Bananas Foster

Black Walnut

Butter Pecan

Café Mocha Frappé

Cherry Vanilla

Frozen Yogurt:
Chocolate Fudge Brownie


Dulce de Leche


Strawberry Banana





Orchard Peach



Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate & Dark Chocolate

Coffee & Almond Crunch

Dulce de Leche

Raspberry Sorbet &
Vanilla Yogurt

Marketing Strategy:
- Brand name marketing
- House of Brands approach
- Emphasis on quality
- Seasonal marketing (Summer for Ice cream)
- Haagen-Dazs is aiming for young adults and opinion leaders who are interested in new experiences and "have disposable income and are not afraid to spend it".

Consumer Preferences:
Exploratory research would be very useful to understand consumer perceptions and preferences for high quality ice creams. Secondary data should be analyzed and focus groups should be conducted to understand the underlying perceptions and preferences.

Be a DM!: Haagen-Dazs
• Products should be designed to reflect these qualities sought by the high income households.
• Emphasis on these qualities in all advertising efforts
• Make use of the appropriate channels to reach out to higher income households.

Be a DM!: American Airlines

• Which attributes are most valued by customers?
• Do a SWOT analysis based on consumer perceptions?
• Concentrate more on attributes which are important to customers, especially weaknesses.

Be an MR!: American Airlines
Competitive position:
The AQR ranked the 14 largest airlines for 2003 as follows: 1) Jet Blue, 2) Alaska,
3) Southwest, 4) America West, 5) US Airways, 6) Northwest, 7) Continental, 8) AirTran,
9) United, 10) ATA, 11) American, 12) Delta, 13) American Eagle, and 14) Atlantic Southeast.
Exploratory research can answer specific questions, such as why the revenues of AA are declining or why a particular airline has done better than AA in a particular segment.
Descriptive research reveals facts such as:
• What are the attributes that are considered important to quality by customers?
• What are the delighters?
• What are the necessities from customer point of view etc.?
Exploratory should analyze available secondary data and make use of focus groups. Descriptive research would consist of a cross-sectional survey.

Be a DM!: Taco Bell
Determine the advertising goals for next year and then determine the budget that would be needed to accomplish those goals. Compare next year’s budget to that for the current year. Also look at the industry trends and relationship between market share and advertising expenses.

Be an MR!: Taco Bell:
Search the Internet for “Taco Bell Advertising” for relevant details regarding their ad contracts, budgets, ad agency etc.
Variable ad. Spending for different regions.
Independent Variable: % change in ad spending
Dependent Variable: % change in sales revenue
Control variables: All the other possible factors that could affect change in sales such as other marketing variables, eating habits, change in disposable incomes etc.

Be an MR!: Wells Fargo
Consumer attitude to online banking is becoming increasingly positive. The most popular online banking services are the following:
1. Accessing a savings or checking account
2. Applying for a loan or mortgage
3. Reviewing account status
4. Paying bills
5. Gathering information on rates and terms
6. Transferring funds between accounts.
A combination of Exploratory, descriptive and casual research can be used to determine consumer attitudes towards online banking.
Exploratory Research: Why are many customers not confident to do online banking?
Descriptive research: What are the services that customers look for in online banking?
Casual research: What is the relation between customer’s education and probability to use online banking?

Be a DM!: Wells Fargo
CEO of Wells Fargo:
• Allay customers concerns
• Design PR programs to educate customers
• Repackage online services to fit customer expectations

Be an MR!: Unilever
Students should search the Internet.
The research design implemented in each country should be sensitive to the culture of that country. For example, while focus groups could be conducted in all the three countries, husband-wife or mixed focus groups would not work well in India. Also, the rural populations of India are not that educated and literacy is low. Thus, personal methods should be used in obtaining information from the respondents.

Be a DM!: Unilever
Marketing Strategy- Unilever
• What products and brands need to be launched in each market?
• Breadth and depth of offering
• How should the product be priced?
• Packaging and design
• Advertising and promotion should be localized to each market.

Exploratory and Descriptive Research
This exercise is designed to give the students a feel of research designs encountered in practice. The answers will vary with the project selected but should demonstrate an understanding of the concepts discussed in Chapter 3. Students should also take into account practical considerations while evaluating the appropriateness of the research designs.

Crafting a Research Proposal
Answer: Overall, the Meteor proposal is very effective. This proposal is very similar to one used to win and conduct a field research project for an actual motorcycle company.
The proposal is effective because it crystallizes the issues for the client and the researcher without using extraneous words, paragraphs, or sections. In short, it is elegant in that it accomplishes much with a minimum of words. In only 7 pages, the project can be understood. Both client and researcher now have a tool (the proposal document) with which to manage the project as it is conducted.

Some notes to point out to students follow:
1. Each of the 10 sections of the proposal is included. However, sections 8 and 9 in this proposal are flipped in order of presentation. This is a minor point, but expect some students to mention this in discussion.
2. Problem Definition: The first and third elements of the three-level conceptual map are transposed (The third should be first, and vice-versa.). The client would likely be able to follow the thinking here.
3. Data analysis section. More detail could be provided here on what actually will be done and presented for the client. The more thought the better here. Presenting actual mock-ups of possible results using the exact formatting that will be used in the presentation can really engage the client and result in the client’s commitment to project success. When the client actually can visualize what will be returned from the research project, real excitement can ensue.

Some Finer Points about Proposals follow:
Crafting a winning proposal is a valuable skill for any researcher. In many ways, it results from a research process matching the client’s needs with the capabilities of the research team and its contracting research agencies. For a research agency, these proposals frequently are reviewed by client firms in a competitive reverse auction where a client research project is announced to selected research agencies and then a winning proposal (or bid) is selected by the client firm. The preparation of such a proposal can be very involved and intense. The final document must compete with those submitted by other research agencies with talented and veteran researchers schooled at some of the top colleges and universities. In short, preparation of the proposal must be painstakingly crafted, much like an architect would labor over the designs for a building. If the proposal is accepted, then it becomes the “blueprint” for the work that will follow. In this way, the proposal becomes a management tool as the research process unfolds to ensure timelines are kept and costs contained.

It should be noted that a variety of answers are appropriate. The ones given here are merely illustrative.

The Marketing Research Decision

1. The research conducted by NASCAR was exploratory research. This was appropriate since NASCAR knew exactly what the problem was but did not know the reasons for such an image. Exploratory research suited the situation.

2. C

3. Initially NASCAR knew the problem existed but did not know the reasons for such an image problem, so the exploratory research could be used to find out the reasons. This could be done by focus groups or depth interviews, but the subjects of exploratory research form only a small sample of the populations and the findings might not be conclusive, so the hypothesis formed has to be followed up by a descriptive survey to confirm its validity.

The Marketing Management Decision
1. E

2. The image problem is one that results from perceptions--media coverage as well as from the base realities about the fan base. Such an image can potentially restrict the fan base and deter the growth of the sport, so he has to rectify the image of a stereotype fan base through various measures. I would suggest ad campaigns targeting a non-stereotypical audience, trying new tracks in different parts of the country, PR attempts explaining changing fan base of NASCAR etc.


1. Research design is defined as a framework or blueprint for conducting the marketing research project, where it specifies the details of the procedures necessary for obtaining the required information to structure and solve the problem.
2. The formulation of a research design differs from developing an approach to the problem in that a research design specifies the details of implementing the approach. Thus, a research design follows the approach and lays the foundation for conducting the research.
3. The differences between exploratory and conclusive research can be distinguished by their objectives, characteristics, findings from the research, and outcomes of the research. First, the objective of exploratory research is to provide insights and understandings, whereas the objective of conclusive research is to test hypotheses and examine relationships. Second, in exploratory research the information needed is only loosely defined. The research process that is adopted is flexible and unstructured. The sample, selected to generate maximum insights, is small and nonrepresentative. The primary data that are collected are qualitative in nature and are analyzed as such. In conclusive research, the information needed is clearly specified. Such research is typically more formal and structured than exploratory research. It is based on large and representative samples and the data obtained are subjected to quantitative analysis. Third, given these characteristics of the research process, the findings of exploratory research should be regarded as tentative or used as input to further research, whereas the findings from conclusive research are considered to be conclusive in nature. Lastly, exploratory research is followed by further exploratory or conclusive research but conclusive research is used as input into managerial decision making.
4. The major purposes for which descriptive research is conducted include:
i. To describe the characteristics of relevant groups of units such as consumers, salespeople, organizations, and market areas. ii. To estimate the percentage of units in a specified population exhibiting a certain behavior. iii. To determine the perceptions of product characteristics. iv. To determine the degree to which marketing variables are associated.
v. To make specific predictions.
5. A cross-sectional design involves the collection of data from a sample at a single point in time. For example, if a researcher observes the buyer behavior of randomly picked people in a mall and then analyzes the data gathered, then such a study will be called a cross-sectional study. On the other hand, longitudinal design involves collecting data periodically from a fixed sample of respondents. Thus, a longitudinal study provides a series of pictures which, when viewed together, portray a vivid illustration of the situation and the changes that are taking place. Compared to cross-sectional design, longitudinal design is more effective in detecting change, more accurate, and provides a larger amount of data. Cross-sectional design has an advantage in representative sampling and response bias.
6. The advantages and disadvantages of panels include: Advantages:
i. Panel data, over multiple periods, enable us to examine changes in the behavior of individual units. ii. Relatively large amounts of data can be gathered. iii. The researcher can collect more detailed data regarding the primary variables of interest. iv. The data collected is more accurate because of support between the panel members and the sponsoring organization. Disadvantages:
i. The panels are not representative. Non-representativeness arises mainly because of refusal to cooperate, mortality due to lost interest, moving out, etc., and payment that may attract a certain type of people to panels. ii. New panel members are often biased in their initial responses and seasoned panel members may also provide biased responses.
7. A causal research design allows you to understand cause-and-effect relationships. It is intended to answer specific marketing research questions to assist management decision making.
8. The relationship between exploratory, descriptive, and causal research is if not much is known about the problem situation, it might be desirable to begin with exploratory research. However, exploratory research should not be used by itself; rather, exploratory research should be followed by descriptive and/or causal research. Depending upon the precision with which the problem has been defined and the degree of understanding the researcher has with respect to developing an approach to the problem, a research design could well begin with descriptive or causal research and possibly be followed by exploratory research.
9. The six components of a research design are:
i. Define the information needed. ii. Design the exploratory, descriptive and/or causal phases of the research. iii. Specify the measurement and scaling procedures. iv. Construct and pretest a questionnaire or an appropriate form for data collection.
v. Specify the sampling process and sample size. vi. Develop a plan of data analysis.


1. Exploratory research should be conducted first when followed by descriptive research. The six Ws of a descriptive research design might be:
i. Who -- Who should be considered a consumer of mixed chocolate pineapple cookies? Some possibilities are: Anyone who buys cookies Anyone who buys premium priced cookies Anyone who buys chocolate cookies Anyone who has bought Sweet Brand cookies ii. Where -- Where should the respondents be contacted to obtain the required information? Some possibilities are: In the grocery store At home In the parking lot iii. When -- When should the information be obtained from the respondents? Some possibilities are: Before purchasing their groceries While purchasing their groceries Immediately after purchasing their groceries Within 2 weeks of purchasing their groceries iv. What -- What information should be obtained from the respondents? Some possibilities are: Demographics Psychographics and Lifestyles Attitude toward the chocolate pineapple cookies Attitude toward the premium price
v. Why -- Why are we obtaining information from the respondents? Some possibilities are: Determine consumer attitudinal reaction to the new cookie Determine the market size vi Way -- The possible ways in which we are going to obtain information from the respondents. Some possibilities are: Observational techniques Scanner Data Personal interview Mail interview Telephone interview Electronic interview

2. a. This question lends itself to a variety of possible answers. Two are given below: Hypothesis 1 - Customers are seeking new menu items not found at Welcome. Hypothesis 2 - Adding new menu items to Welcome’s menu will increase patronage.
b. Designs will vary but should be appropriate to the hypotheses listed in part a. Exploratory research should be conducted when first followed by descriptive research consisting of a cross-sectional survey.
3. Since Internet users wishing to take part in surveys and other projects begin by registering on-line at the company’s Web site, the population as defined by the researcher is different than the target population. Hence, population definition error is present. Sampling frame error is present since the Internet users constituting those who volunteer are not generally representative of all Internet users. Respondent selection error is present due to self-selection.
4. The URLs of several marketing research firms are given on the web site for this book ( or The students should be encouraged to report a variety of research designs.

5. From the analysis of various messages from the newsgroup we see that some of the factors considered by the consumers are:

• Fares or price
• Convenience of bookings
• Service on the cruise liners
• Redress of consumer complaints
• Rudeness of employees or employee behavior or courtesy on the part of the employees
• Fairness on the part of the cruise line company


Q1. ”If the research budget is limited, exploratory research can be dispensed with.” Discuss.

A1. In discussing this statement, students should note that projects are always subject to a budget and often a theoretically complete study is infeasible. Thus, those areas that must be cut should be analyzed in terms of the tradeoffs that are being made. A key issue in this case is the degree of understanding of the researcher in the problem environment. A high level of experience in the industry and with similar problems may allow the researcher to dispense with exploratory research under a tight budget. However, the tradeoff is that some salient factors may not be considered; thus, the results may be seriously biased.

Q2. As a small group discuss the following statement: “The researcher should always attempt to develop an optimal design for every marketing research project.”

A2. There are no optimal designs, only good research designs can be formulated. Many different research designs can be designed for any problem and each design offers advantages and disadvantages. The choice is the researcher’s as to which tradeoffs s/he will accept.

Q3. “There are many potential sources of error in a research project. It is impossible to control all of them. Hence, marketing research contains many errors and we cannot be confident of the findings.” Discuss these statements as a small group. Did your group arrive at a consensus?

A3. Issues that should be addressed include the potential sources of error themselves. What effect does each source of error have on the outcomes of research? How significant is the effect on the results obtained? Related to this issue is there are methods to reduce error which can be incorporated in the design. Finally, understanding the nature of the bias in results enables researchers and managers to be aware of the bias’ influence on the data and adjust their conclusions accordingly. It is true that error cannot be totally removed, but the issue is what level of error is tolerable in order to gain information that assists decision makers in making decisions.

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...RESEARCH DESIGN A. Definition Research design refers to the complete sequence of steps to be undertaken to ensure that the appropriate data will be obtained in a way which permits an objective analysis leading to valid inferences with respect to the stated problem. It is a step in problem solving consisting of a detailed plan to be followed in obtaining the needed data. It specifies what organisms, chemicals, glasswares, and equipment will be used in the study. B. Significance 1. It serves as a guide for direction during the actual experimentation. 2. It allows a gain of maximum information relevant to the problem at minimum cost. 3. It makes the statistical test of significance valid because it takes into consideration all the assumptions that went into deriving the various statistics. C. General Features The design of an experiment depends on the type of research undertaken and the nature of the conditions under which study is done. The design of an experiment is dictated by the question it is to answer. There is no common blueprint that will serve as a guide in writing a research design. Each problem requires its own unique design. A research design contains the following sections: I. Introduction A. Background of the Study B. Statement of the Problem C. Significance of the Study D. Scope and Limitation of the Study II. Review of Related Literature III. Methodology IV. Time Table V. Proposed Budget ...

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Research Design

...important research designs used in experimental hypothesis testing research study. Research design is needed because it facilitates the smooth sailing of the various research operations, thereby making research as efficient as possible yielding maximal information with minimal expenditure of effort, time and money. Different research designs can be conveniently described if we categorize them as:(1) Research design in case of exploratory research studies;(2) Research design in case of descriptive and diagnostic research studies, and(3) Research design in case of hypothesis-testing research studies. 1. Research design in case of exploratory research studies Exploratory research studies are also termed as Formulative research studies. The main purpose of such studies is that of formulating a problem for more precise investigation or of developing the working hypotheses from an operational point of view. The major emphasis in such studies is on the discovery of ideas and insights. As such the research design appropriate for such studies must be flexible enough to provide opportunity for considering different aspects of a problem under study. Inbuilt flexibility in research design is needed because the research problem, broadly defined initially, is transformed into one with more precise meaning in exploratory studies, which fact may necessitate changes in the research procedure for gathering relevant data. Generally, the following three methods in the context of......

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Research Design

...Chapter 5 RESEARCH DESIGN GENERAL CONCEPT MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS 1. General Mills conducted research on a "new, improved" version of their cereal, TRIX. Consumer taste tests showed the new version was preferred over the old TRIX, but the new version was a failure when it was introduced. It was noted that the research was flawed in that the new version of TRIX was compared with the old TRIX, a choice that consumers in the marketplace would not have. The correct research should have compared the new TRIX with competitor brands. This example was presented in your text to illustrate: a. poor budgeting for research b. how researchers in large firms are in "silos" and are not open to outside suggestions c. how former research studies often determine the design of present studies d. improper research design e. a case where exploratory research should have been undertaken after the causal research Answer: (d) Difficulty: (Moderate) Page: 114 2. Which of the following is true about research design? a. Research design should be the first consideration in a research project. b. Research design decisions should be made after data analysis. c. Research design should be selected during the initial meeting with a client. d. Research design should be selected after thoroughly considering the problem and research objectives. e. Research designs should be made after data collection. Answer: (d) ......

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...Research Design The study will use Focus Group Discussion as its research design. A focus group is a group of people, led by a trained moderator, who meets by 90 minutes to 2 hours. The facilitator uses or moderator uses group dynamics principles to focus or guide the group in an exchange of ideas, feelings, and experiences on a specific topic. The data gathered after the discussion can be used in evaluating particular issues. FGD data can be used to evaluating particular issues. The researchers chose Focus Group Discussion as a medium of the research as the face to face involvement of qualified participants may be of help to gather data on how scholarships are implemented by other learning institutions. FGD will give the researcher ideas on how to analyze the research problem. The discussion may be of help to explore the meanings of survey findings that cannot be explained statistically. Construct Validity Construct Validity is an assessment of how well ideas theories are translated into actual programs or measures. The researchers aim to gather opinion from AGSB Students on how features of SYLFF and Star Scholars can be adopted by AGSB. Construct Validity can be achieved by formulating questions that can be used in gathering information from the respondents through FGD. The following questions will be asked to the participants for the FGD: 1. The researcher would like to propose a scholarship program which adopts some of the features of Star Scholars of...

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...Abbreviated Quantitative Research Plan Draft of Abbreviated Quantitative Research Plan John Gonzales (RSCH - 8100Y - 2) Dr. Medha Talpade April 27, 2014 Introduction Stress is any physical or natural force that if not controlled, can bring severe mental distress to an individual. Stress can be a natural part of life that allows the individual to learn and mature. If stress is left unattended, major problems will occur. If a stress is ignored, an individual will lose their ability to function. If the response to stress is deficient or if the stress itself is overwhelming, sickness or death will occur (Stress. 2014). The purpose of this study is to determine how well an individual can manage stress and to what extent coping skills control stress. Stress has become a way of life. Stress and its deleterious effects have become widespread. Coping measures are exceedingly important in managing the effects of severe stress. This study will be able to substantially supplement past studies and add additional data to the stockpile of medical knowledge. The object of this study will be to discover at what point do personal coping skills lose their effectiveness and the impact of injurious stress threaten a person’s well being (Marnocha, 2003). Purpose Statement The purpose of this quantitative study is to determine the degree to which individuals have to undergo stress before coping skills break down and the barriers to injurious stress that threatens a person’s......

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...This includes all assignments, exams, term papers, and other projects required by your instructor. Knowingly submitting another person’s work as your own, without properly citing the source of the work, is considered plagiarism. This will result in an unsatisfactory grade for the work submitted or for the entire course. It may also result in academic dismissal from the University. | | EDU7702-2 | Professor Lasko | Discuss Hypothetical Research Design | Research Design | ------------------------------------------------- Faculty Use Only ------------------------------------------------- <Faculty comments here> ------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------- <Faculty Name> <Grade Earned> <Writing Score> <Date Graded> Introduction When choosing to conduct research, it is important to create a hypothetical design first which will assist in creating the format for the study. This design is the foundation of all...

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Research Design

...1) The goal of this research is to discover the real nature of the problem and to suggest new possible solutions or new ideas. This research method would be exploratory; because when you are utilizing exploratory research you find the nature of the problem while researching to find possible solutions. 2) A food manufacturer wants to know the demographics of people who purchase organic foods. This research method would be descriptive, because the food manufacturer wants to know the specific demographics of those individuals who purchase organic foods. 3) A scientist wanted to find out what animals lived the longest, how long they lived, and what environmental characteristics were that the animals lived in. The method to this question would be descriptive because the scientist would like to know all of the different types of characteristics of the animals. They scientist is going above and beyond the life span to include the environmental characteristics which would make this method descriptive. 4) British Airways would like to test in-flight Internet services on one of its regular flights from New York to Tokyo. The company charges $30 one week and $15 the next week. The research method for the type of study would be causal because you are testing the cause and effects of a varying rate between the flights. You would test the cause and effect of the Internet service with a rate of $30 the first week, and then the varied rate of $15 the next week on the...

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...Individual Research Project – Preliminary Research Design Lori Whidbee American InterContinental University Abstract The first part of this paper examines the similarities and differences between formal research and business proposal. The paper finds that the process taken for both research methods are comparable in nature. However, both research methods have difference uses in business. The purpose, use and goals of the research determines whether formal research or business proposals add value to the decision making process in corporate world. Part two of the paper examines a hypothesis question: What are the effects of human resources outsourcing on leadership performance and employee commitment? Upon review of several journal articles, research suggests that the outsourcing of key human resource functions such as training, employee benefits, and recruitment has had a positive impact on leadership performance and employee commitment. Human resource professionals indicated the delegation of more complex tasks to third-party administrators has given them the opportunity to practice core competencies with employees which has resulted in a satisfied workforce. Individual Research Project – Preliminary Research Design Managers are required to make decisions in business every day. Making the right decision can mean the difference between a financial gain or loss and retaining or losing valuable employees. Bazerman (2009) states most of our decisions are......

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...Psychologists use a number of different scientific methods to conduct research on social psychology topics. These methods allow researchers to test hypotheses and theories and look for relationships between different variables. Both correlational and experimental research designs have its advantages and disadvantages. Another decision in designing research concerns where the study should be conducted: in a field setting or in a laboratory. Correlational Research Social psychologists use correlational research to look for relationships between variables. For example, a social psychology might carry out a correlational study looking at the relationship between workplace violence and aggression. Conducting surveys, directly observing behaviors, or compiling research from earlier studies are some of the methods used to gather data for correlational research. While this type of study can help determine if two variables have a relationship, it does not allow researchers to determine if one variable causes changes in another variable. Experimental Research Experimental research is the key to uncovering causal relationships between variables. In experimental research, the experimenter randomly assigns participants to one of two groups: (1) the control group; and (2) the experimental group. The control group receives no treatment and serves as a baseline. Researchers manipulate the levels of some independent variable in the experimental group and then measure the...

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...Research Design: Research Methodology Research methodology of missed nursing care will need to first include the information of the current study. Missed nursing care is a qualitative study that can be completed by the use of sampling. Information was gathered on certain number of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nursing assistants working within the care units. Research methodology also include focus group interviews. There interviews was analyzed through the use of transcripts. This is conducted using qualitative analysis software, and using a theory approach to categorize. With the career interest and nursing of undergraduate students a quantitative study was conducted. This research methodology was brought on because of the shortage of nurses. Research methodology conducted included examining the relationships between undecided students. This was known as examining their career interest. Electronic data collection tools are used and hypothesis testing to determine differences in variables. Results: Results revealed there is services in nursing care that is being missed that should not be. With research methodology hospitals was able to obtain information on how care is being delivered. Health care facilities, now know what acute care medical surgical units was not receiving the care that is needed. The results revealed only 19% walked once, 5% twice, and 3% more than twice to check on patients. There was 73% of the providers that did not walk at all......

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...Reporting qualitative evidence assignment (25%) This assignment consists of conducting a small qualitative research project and writing a report using the grounded theory approach. This paper should meet the requirements for reporting qualitative research and can be written individually or in pairs of students. The maximum number of words for this paper is 3000, excluding interview transcripts. The deadline for the paper is 30 March and must be submitted to Blackboard by 17h on that day. Each paper must include the name(s) of the author(s) clearly at the beginning. Read the assignment carefully! 1. Students must form groups of six individuals and choose a (student-related) research theme. A list of possible themes is provided below. Each group must e-mail the names of its members and the chosen theme to Daphne van Kleef before 11th of February. 2. Each group member will be interviewed by another group member. Within each group, students will break into three pairs, and each pair will develop a unique research question (different from the other pairs in the group) related to the chosen research theme. The three pairs make one topic lists which covers all the topics that need to be discussed. Interviews will be conducted based on these topic lists. The result will be six interviews, one for each group member. The transcripts of these interviews should be included in the research reports as appendixes (these will not contribute towards the word count). To keep the......

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Comparison of Research Designs

...Comparison of Research Designs Capella University Comparison of Research Designs Template The following seven tables are part of a template that will guide you through the comparison of research designs assignment. The tables include: • Descriptions of basic research designs. • Types of basic research designs. • Main characteristics. • Followed steps. • Appropriate usage. • Purpose statement and sample questions. • Associated research paradigms. This template directs you to portions of the course text, Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research (Creswell, 2008). Each table includes chapter numbers and page numbers to guide you to the most relevant sections of the text book. Reference Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Descriptions of Basic Research Designs Develop an original and concise description of each research design. The appropriate sections of the Creswell text are listed to guide you; however, the end product should be your own paraphrase. Each description should be about one to three sentences in length. The first part of the chart has been completed for you as an example of how to proceed. You can leave it in the first cell and consider it to be part of your......

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...Assignment after class 6 Research design and research strategies: overview and distinctive features 2. Problem of safety on construction sites For the safety on construction sites: The degree to which the research question has been crystallized: Exploratory study. It is just a study to gain insights on the topic. The method of data-collection: Monitoring or interrogation/communication, It really depends on how they want to approach the situation. I think the method of interrogation and communication is the best, as the workers on the site probably know best where the dangers are to the safety on the construction site. The power of the researcher to influence the variables under study: Experimental, the researcher shouldn’t influence the variables since then the conclusions taken from the research will be false or biased. The purpose of the study: causal. We want to learn the causes of working accidents so the chances that these situations occur can be reduced to a minimum. The time dimension: ? The topical scope – breadth and depth – of the study: this really depends on whether we want to collect information over multiple construction sites, or just one construction site. If we want to learn general ideas about all construction sites in a certain region or from a certain company it would be best to use a census or sample type approach. If we want to gain information about a particular site, a case study seems the most efficient and cost effective way to approach......

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