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MArketing research notes chapter3

MArketing research notes chapter3

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Published by manojpatel51
this are the notes for marketing research - a subject for TYBMS, mumbai university.
this are the notes for marketing research - a subject for TYBMS, mumbai university.

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: manojpatel51 on Mar 14, 2009
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© Copy Right: Rai University
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Students, to start with any research work, you have to first write aresearch proposal.Today, we are going to discuss the various stepsof writing a research proposal.
What is a Research Proposal?
A proposal is an offer to produce or render a service to the potentialbuyer or sponsor.The research proposal presents a problem, discusses related researchefforts, outlines the data needed and shows the research design.
sponsor uses proposal to evaluate research idea
Ensures the sponsor and investigator agree to researchquestion
For newcomer, research proposal helps learning from others
Completed proposal provides a logical guidanceDear friends, after completion of this lesson you will be able to
Prepare internal research proposal
Prepare external research proposalDepending on the type of project, the sponsoring individual orinstitution, and the cost of the project, different levels of complexity are required for a proposal to be judged complete.For example the government agencies demand the most complexproposals for their funding analyses. On the other extreme, anexploratory study done within a manager’s department may needmerely a one- to three-page memo outlining the objectives,approach, and time allotted to the project.In general, business proposals can be divided between thosegenerated internally and externally. An internal proposal is donefor the corporation by staff specialists or by the research departmentof the firm.External proposals are either solicited or unsolicited. Sponsorscan be university grant committees, government agencies,government contractors, corporations, and so forth. With fewexceptions, the larger the project, the more complex is the proposal.In public sector work, the complexity is generally greater than in acomparable private sector proposal.There are three general levels of complexity. The exploratory studyis the first, most simple business proposal. More complex andcommon in business is the small-scale study-either an internalstudy or an external contract research projectNow let us discuss difference Internal proposal & Externalproposal
Internal Proposals
Internal proposals are a memo from the researcher to managementoutlining the problem statement, study objectives, research design,and schedule is enough to start an exploratory study.Privately and publicly held firms are concerned with how to solvea particular problem, make a decision, or improve an aspect of their business. Seldom do businesses begin research studies forother reasons.In the small-scale proposal, the literature review and bibliographyare consequently not stressed and can often be stated briefly in theresearch design.Since management insists on brevity, an executive summary ismandatory for all but the most simple of proposals (projects thatcan be proposed in a two-page memo do not need an executivesummary). Schedules and budgets are necessary for funds to becommitted. For the smaller-scale projects, descriptions are notrequired for facilities and special resources, nor is there a need for aglossary. Since small projects are sponsored by managers familiarwith the problem, the associated jargon, requirements, anddefinitions should be included directly in the text. Also, themeasuring instrument and project management modules are notrequired. Managers will typically leave this detail for others.
External Proposals
An external proposal is either solicited or unsolicited. A solicitedproposal is often in response to a request for proposal (RFP). Theproposal is likely competing against several others for a contract orgrant. An unsolicited proposal has the advantage of not competingagainst others but the disadvantage of having to speculate on theramifications of a problem facing the firm’s management.Even more difficult, the writer of an unsolicited proposal mustdecide to whom the document should be sent.The most important sections of the external proposal are theobjectives, design, qualifications, schedule, and budget. Theexecutive summary of an external proposal may be included withinthe letter of transmittal.As the complexity of the project increases, more information isrequired about project management and the facilities and specialresources. In contract research, the results and objectives sectionsare the standards against which the completed project is measured.As we move toward government-sponsored research, particularattention must be paid to each specification in the RFP.
Contents of Research Proposal
1.Executive Summary
The executive summary allows a busy manager or sponsor tounderstand quickly the thrust of the proposal. It is essentially aninformative abstract, giving executives the chance to grasp theessentials of the proposal without having to read the details. Thegoal of the summary is to secure a positive evaluation by theexecutive who will pass the proposal on to the staff for a fullevaluation. As such, the executive summary should include brief statements of the management dilemma and managementquestion, the research objectives/research questions(s), and thebenefits of your approach. If the proposal is unsolicited, a brief description of your qualifications is also appropriate.
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2. Problem Statement
This section needs to convince the sponsor to continue readingthe proposal. You should capture the reader’s attention by statingthe management dilemma, its background, and consequences,and the resulting management question. The managementquestion starts the research task. The importance of researchingthe management question should be emphasized here if a separatemodule on the importance/ benefits of study is not includedlater in the proposal.In addition, this section should include any restrictions or areasof the management question that will not be addressed. Problemstatements too broadly defined cannot be addressed adequately inone study. It is important that the management question bedistinct from related problems and that the sponsor see thedelimitations clearly. Be sure your problem statement is clearwithout the use of idioms or clinches.
3.Research Objectives
This module addresses the purpose of the investigation. It ishere that you layout exactly what is being planned by the proposedresearch. In a descriptive study, the objectives can be stated as theresearch question. Recall that the research question can be furtherbroken down into investigative questions. If the proposal is for acausal study, then the objectives can be restated as a hypothesis.Theobjectives module flows naturally from the problemstatement, giving the sponsor specific, concrete, and achievablegoals. It is best to list the objectives either in order of importanceor in general terms first, moving to specific terms (i.e., researchquestion followed by underlying investigative questions). Theresearch questions (or hypotheses, if appropriate) should be setoff from the flow of the text so they can be found easily.The research objectives section is the basis for judging theremainder of the proposal and, ultimately, the final report. Verifythe consistency of the proposal by checking to see that each objectiveis discussed in the research design, data analysis, and resultssections.
4.Literature Review
The literature review section examines recent (or historicallysignificant) research studies, company data, or industry reportsthat act as a basis for the proposed study. Begin your discussionof the related literature and relevant secondary data from acomprehensive perspective, moving to more specific studies thatare associated with your problem. If the problem has a historicalbackground, begin with the earliest references.Avoid the extraneous details of the literature; do a brief review of the information, not a comprehensive report. Always refer to theoriginal source. If you find something of interest in a quotation,find the original publication and ensure you understand it. In thisway, you will avoid any errors of interpretation or transcription.Emphasize the important results and conclusions of otherstudies, the relevant data and trends from previous research, andparticular methods or designs that could be duplicated or shouldbe avoided. Discuss how the literature applies to the study you areproposing; show the weaknesses or faults in the design, discussinghow you would avoid similar problems. If your proposal dealssolely with secondary data, discuss the relevance of the data andthe bias or lack of bias inherent in it.The literature review may also explain the need for the proposedwork to appraise the shortcomings and informational gaps insecondary data sources. This analysis may go beyond scrutinizingthe availability or conclusions of past studies and their data, toexamining the accuracy of secondary sources, the credibility of these sources, and the appropriateness of earlier studies.
5.Importance/ Benefits of the Study
This section allows you to describe explicit benefits that will accruefrom your study. The importance of “doing the study now”should be emphasized. Usually, this section is not more than afew paragraphs. If you find it difficult to write, then you haveprobably not understood the problem adequately. Return to theanalysis of the problem and ensure, through additionaldiscussions with your sponsor or your research team, or by areexamination of the literature, that you have captured the essenceof the problem.This section also requires you to understand what is most troublingto your sponsor. If it is a potential union activity, you cannotpromise that an employee survey will prevent unionization. Youcan, however, show the importance of this information and itsimplications. This benefit may allow management to respond toemployee concerns and forge a linkage between those concernsand unionization.The importance/benefits section is particularly important to theunsolicited external proposal. You must convince the sponsoringorganization that your plan will meet its needs.
6.Research Design
Up to now, you have told the sponsor what the problem is, whatyour study goals are, and why it is important for you to do thestudy. The proposal has presented the study’s value and benefits.The design module describes what you are going to do in technicalterms. This section should include as many subsections as neededto show the phases of the project. Provide information on yourproposed design for tasks such as sample selection and size, datacollection method, instrumentation, procedures, and ethicalrequirements. When more than one way exists to approach thedesign, discuss the methods you rejected and why your selectedapproach is superior.
7.Data Analysis
A brief section on the methods used for analyzing the data isappropriate for large scale contract research projects and doctoraltheses. With smaller projects, the proposed data analysis wouldbe included within the research design section. Describe yourproposed treatment and the theoretical basis for using the selectedtechniques. The object of this section is to assure the sponsor youare following correct assumptions and using theoretically sounddata analysis procedures.This is often an arduous section to write. By use of sample chartsand dummy tables, you can make it easier to understand your dataanalysis. This will make the section easier to write and easier toread. The data analysis section is important enough to contractresearch that you should contact an expert to review the latesttechniques available for your use. If there is no statistical or analyticalexpertise within your company, be prepared to hire a professionalto help with this activity,
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8.Nature and Form of Results
Upon finishing this section, the sponsor should be able to goback to the problem statement and research objectives and discoverthat each goal of the study has been covered. One should alsospecify the types of data to be obtained and the interpretationsthat will be made in the analysis. If the data are to be turned overto the sponsor for proprietary reasons, make sure this is reflected.Alternatively, if the report will go to more than one sponsor, thatshould be noted.This section also contains the contractual statement telling thesponsor exactly what types of information will be received.Statistical conclusions, applied findings, recommendations, actionplans, models, strategic plans, and so forth are examples of theforms of results.
9.Qualifications of Researchers
This section should begin with the principal investigator. It is alsocustomary to begin qualifications with the highest academic degreeheld. Experience in carrying out previous research is important,especially in the corporate marketplace, so a concise description of similar projects should be included. Also important to businesssponsors is experience as an executive or employee of anorganization involved in a related field. Often businesses arereluctant to hire individuals to solve operational problems if theydo not have practical experience. Finally, relevant business andtechnical societies to which the researcher belongs can be includedwhere this information is particularly relevant to the research project.The entire curriculum vitae of each researcher should not beincluded unless required by the RFP. Instead, refer to the relevantareas of experience and expertise that make the researchers thebest selection for the task.
The budget should be presented in the form the sponsor requests.For example, some organizations require secretarial assistance tobe individually budgeted, whereas others insist it be included inthe research director’s fees or the overhead of the operation. Inaddition, limitations on travel, per diem rates, and capitalequipment purchases can change the way in which you prepare abudgetTypically, the budget should be no more than one to two pages.Diagram below shows a format that can be used for small contractresearch projects. Additional information, backup details, quotesfrom vendors, and hourly time and payment calculations shouldbe put into an appendix if required or kept in the researcher’s filefor future reference.The budget statement in an internal research proposal is based onemployee and overhead costs. The budget presented by an externalresearch organization is not just the wages or salaries of theiremployees but the person-hour price that the contracting firmcharges.The detail presented may vary depending on both the sponsors’requirements and the contracting research company’s policy.Budget Example:Research Program Budget
Budget Items Rate Total DaysCharge
A. Salaries1. Research director,Rs 200/hr 20 hoursRs. 4,000Jason Henry2. AssociateRs100/hr 10 hoursRs. 1,0003. Research assistants (2) Rs20/hr 300 hoursRs.6,0004. Secretarial (1) Rs12/hr 100 hoursRs 1,200
Rs12,200B. Other costs5.Employeeservicesand benefits6. TravelRs 2,5007. Office suppliesRs 1008. TelephoneRs 8009. Rent10. Other equipment11. Publication and storage costs Rs 100
Rs 3,500C. Total of direct costs Rs15,700D. Overhead support Rs. 5,480E. Total funding requested Rs. 2l.18OOne reason why external research agencies avoid giving detailedbudgets is the possibility that disclosures of their costing practiceswill make their calculations public knowledge, reducing theirnegotiating flexibility. Since budget statements embody a financialwork strategy that could be used by the recipient of the bid todevelop an independent work plan, vendors are often doublycareful.The budget section of an external agency’s proposal states thetotal fee payable for the assignment. When it is accompanied by aproposed schedule of payment, this is frequently detailed in apurchase order. Unlike most product sale environments, researchpayments can be divided and paid at stages of completion.Sometimes a retainer is scheduled for the beginning of the contract,then a percentage at an intermediate stage, and the balance oncompletion of the project. .It is extremely important that you retain all information you useto generate your budget. If you use quotes from externalcontractors, get the quotation in writing for your file. If youestimate time for interviews, keep explicit notes on how you madethe estimate. When the time comes to do the work, you shouldknow exactly how much money is budgeted for each particulartask.Some costs are more elusive than others. Do not forget to buildthe cost of proposal writing into your fee. Publication and deliveryof final reports can be a last minute expense that can easily beoverlooked in preliminary budgets.

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