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Chapter 3 Methodology This study was conducted in order to assess the business practice or strategy of AIA in Hong Kong. The focus of the assessment was on the firm's management strategies. In order to gather the necessary data, the researcher utilized the descriptive method, using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. A total of 50 respondents were randomly selected as participants. The survey-questionnaire method was the research instruments used for data-gathering. The senior managers who have been chosen in this study accomplished a survey questionnaire to evaluate the strategy used by AIA. The results of the survey were then processed by computing the weighted mean of each survey item. The computed values were compared to the Likert scale for data interpretation. Relevant literatures were also used to support the gathered findings. The credibility of findings and conclusions extensively depend on the quality of the research design, data collection, data management, and data analysis. This chapter will be dedicated to the description of the methods and procedures done in order to obtain the data, how they will be analysed, interpreted, and how the conclusion will be met. This section is to justify the means in which the study was obtained and will help in giving it purpose and
strength as it will then be truthful and analytical. All these will help in the processing of the data and the formulation of conclusions. Specifically, this research will cover the following: the research design and method, the respondents or subjects to be studied (which will include the sampling method), the data collection instrument, and the data analysis. These will be presented below. In this research, I will use descriptive method of research is to gather information about the present existing condition. The purpose of employing this method is to describe the nature of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study and to explore the cause/s of particular phenomena. The researcher opted to use this kind of research considering the desire of the researcher to obtain first hand data from the respondents so as to formulate rational and sound conclusions and recommendations for the study. I. Research Method
For this study, the research used qualitative and quantitative approach. The qualitative method permits a flexible and iterative approach, while the quantitative research method permits specification of dependent and independent variables and allows for longitudinal measures of subsequent performance of the research subject. The value of qualitative research can best be understood by examining its characteristics. One of the primary advantages of qualitative research is that it is more open to the adjusting and refining of research ideas as an inquiry proceeds. Also, the researcher does not attempt to manipulate the research setting, as in an experimental study, but rather seeks to understand naturally occurring
phenomena in their naturally occurring states. Inductive reasoning, as opposed to deductive reasoning, is common in qualitative research, along with content or holistic analysis in place of statistical analysis (Meyer et al, 1995). On the other hand, quantitative method is compatible with the study because it allows the research problem to be conducted in a very specific and set terms (Cooper & Schindler, 1998). Besides, quantitative research plainly and distinctively specifies both the independent and the dependent variables under investigation. It also follows resolutely the original set of research goals, arriving at more objective conclusions, testing hypothesis, determining the issues of causality and eliminates or minimises subjectivity of judgment (Kealey & Protheroe, 1996). Furthermore, this method allows for longitudinal measures of subsequent performance of research subjects (Matveev, 2002).
The researcher designs a self-administered questionnaire for the data gathering process to get qualitative and quantitative data. The primary aim of the questionnaire is to determine the strategy used by American International Assurance Company to overcome the challenges given by the banking industries that offers both insurance and investment plans as part of the product portfolio. This research will use a mixture of closed questions and more open comments in the questionnaire. A closed question is one that has pre-coded answers. The simplest is the dichotomous question to which the respondent must answer yes or no. Through closed questions, the
researcher will be able to limit responses that are within the scope of this study. III. Respondents of the Study
The study will have senior managers of AIA. All of these participants were selected through random sampling. This sampling method is conducted where each member of a population has an equal opportunity to become part of the sample. As all members of the population have an equal chance of becoming a research participant, this is said to be the most efficient sampling procedure. In order to conduct this sampling strategy, the researcher defined the population first, listed down all the members of the population, and then selected members to make the sample. For this purpose, a self-administered survey questionnaire in Likert format was given to the respondents to answer. The senior managers assessed the management strategies of AIA terms of the outcome of its process (e.g. key resources, strengths and weaknesses). No inclusion criteria were applied for the individual applicants; hence, all were made part of the population. However, due to time and budget constraints, the researcher opted for a smaller sample size.
Research Instruments For this study, the survey-questionnaire instruments were used achieve the main objective of the study. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to the selected senior managers. The questionnaire given to the senior managers aimed to assess the business practice of AIA in competing with other insurance and finance industry. In addition, this also aims to evaluate the efficiency of the strategies of AIA in terms of the mentioned
aspects above. In general, the performance of the AIA was evaluated for this study in order to determine whether its strategy is effective or not. This focus of the assessment was based on the principles introduced by various authors. The questionnaire was structured in such a way that respondents will be able to answer it easily. Thus, the set of questionnaire was structured using the Likert format with a five-point response scale. A Likert Scale is a rating scale that requires the subject to indicate his or her degree of agreement or disagreement to a statement. In this type of questionnaire, the respondents were given five response choices. These options served as the quantification of the participants' agreement or disagreement on each question item. Below are the designated quantifications used in the questionnaire: 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree Agree Uncertain Disagree Strongly Disagree
Data Analysis and Presentation The study utilised first hand data which comes from the chosen respondents who answered the survey-questionnaires given to them. First hand data are those that come from the respondents who have been surveyed prior to the research. The study also utilized secondary data. Secondary data include raw data and published summaries, as well as both quantitative and qualitative data. Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill (2003) deduced
that secondary data fall into three main subgroups—documentary data, survey-based data, and those compiled from different sources. With this particular study, the researcher utilized documentary secondary data (in the form of articles from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers) that are generally about the marketing strategies and customer satisfactions as well as relevant literatures and survey-based data in order to meet the objectives of this study. In order to analyse the data gathered from the survey, the weighted mean for each question item was computed. Weighted mean is the average wherein every quantity to be averaged has a corresponding weight. These weights represent the significance of each quantity to the average. To compute for the weighted mean, each value must be multiplied by its weight. Products should then be added to obtain the total value. The total weight should also be computed by adding all the weights. The total value is then divided by the total weight. Statistically, the weighted mean is calculated using the following formula:
The computed mean was then compared to the scale below for interpretation: Range 0.00 – 1.49 1.50 – 2.49 2.50 – 3.49 3.50 – 4.49 Interpretation Strongly Agree Agree Uncertain Disagree
4.50 – 5.00
Results of the survey were presented in tables. Excerpts from the interview process were integrated based on the analysis outline. Relevant literatures to support the findings are also included.
Validity In order to test the validity of the evaluation tool which used for this study, the researcher tested the questionnaire to 5 respondents. These respondents as well as their answers were not part of the actual study process and were only used for testing purposes. After the questions have been answered, the researcher asked the respondents for any suggestions or any necessary corrections to improve the instrument further. The researcher modified the content of the questionnaire based on the assessment and suggestions of the sample respondents. The researchers excluded irrelevant questions and changed vague or difficult terminologies into simpler ones so as to make the survey more comprehensive for the selected respondents.
Ethical Considerations As this study utilized human participants and investigated on company practices, certain issues were addressed. The consideration of these issues is necessary for the purpose of ensuring the privacy as well as the security of the participants. These issues were identified in advance so as prevent future problems that could have risen during the research process. Among the significant issues that were considered included consent, confidentiality and data protection.
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