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Contents:

1. Getting Started 2. Vital steps for research 3. Data a. Primary data b. Secondary data 4. Data collection a. Personal interviews i. Door-to-door interview ii. Mall intercept interview b. Mail surveys i. How to improve the response rate for mail surveys c. Email surveys d. Internet surveys 5. Sampling 6. Five steps of Data analysis a. Data preparation b. Assessment of data quality c. Main data analysis d. Presentation of the analysis e. Data validation 7. Field work 8. Research methods a. Applied research b. Inductive research c. Deductive research d. Quantitative research e. Qualitative research 9. Ethical issues in research 10. Research design 11. Writing a research project 12. Research in Tourism and Hospitality industry

Getting started

When we relate an academic topic to a story it becomes easy for us to decipher from it. The research method is all about proving your words right. Research can be related to a portrait. How well the portrait is depends on how the artist has used the colours, their composition and how successful he was in portraying his thoughts on the blank paper which then became a portrait. In the same way the final report of the research depends not only on the topic of the research but also on how successfully the researcher has selected the sample data and how has he projected the sample result to the population result. The planning of the researcher at each stage of the research decides the relevance of the research. Lets look to the importance of research from the point of view of an organization. What is research? Whenever we hear the word research what strikes our mind is either Google or Wikipedia because we get all the data on these websites. This proves the statement that Data beats story. In the current scenario research has become so vital that the relevance of it has become a reason for the companies to starve irrespective of the industry. The companies today are facing tough competition and to prove them better than the competitors they need a supporting hand to marketing. Everything has a base, even the Statue of Liberty. So does the marketing for any company. Marketing is very important for a company because it is the face of the organization to the consumers. The base of marketing is a strong research. Most of the companies spend a good deal of amount on research to lead the world of customers. Research gives power to the companies and a research can make the strength of the company the weakness of the competitor and vice versa. The research is categorized into a wide range starting from basic and applied (simple forms) to inductive, deductive, quantitative, and qualitative (more complex forms).

Vital steps in research: Broadly we can define research as the tool to understand the everyday activities faxed by any organization or any individual. Consequently research can be done by an individual, teams or institutions. An individual does a research when he wants to buy a house, an organization does it when it wants to develop a new product

against that of its competitors and any political party does a research to access their influence on the society. The government does research to plan for the future of the country. There is a dictum which says that Well begun is half done. The research always begins with a research idea which is then followed by the research methodology. The research has certain rules which have to be followed by every researcher for a research.

There has to be a problem to research. There has to be a certain assumption on which the research has to progress. This is called as a hypothesis which is categorized as null or alternate hypothesis.

A specific plan has to be developed for the research. The principal problem has to be bifurcated in sub-problems for easier and faster results. The questionnaires are to be made for the research which would define the relevance of the research to the problem. The sample size i.e. the person from whom the data is being collected has to be related to the problem. Research data has to be analyzed and interpreted for the results\ Research is generally cyclic in nature i.e. the research results derive other problems which then become problems for the next research.

Data:

Data can be categorized in many ways. One way to categorize data is between the primary and secondary data.

1. Primary data: primary data is the data that is collected from the sample of the research. This primary data is the base of the research and the analysis is done mainly on primary data. The primary data reflects the current scenario of the problem being researched.

2. Secondary data: secondary data is the data that already exists and is used as a reference for the reference. The problem with most of the research is that they make the secondary data as the base for the research and this leads to reduction in the relevance of the research analysis. The secondary data includes: Personal aspirations Industry trends Industry experiences Existing research Advice from a reputed researcher.

Data collection Data collection is all about communicating with the respondents. The respondents give us their opinion and this is taken as the primary data for the research. The ways in which the respondents can be approached are as follows: Personal Interviews: The personal interviews even can be done in two ways. These are the door-to- door interview and the shopping mall intercepts.

1. Door-to- door personal interview:

Attribute to compare data collection method Speed of data collection Geographical flexibility Versatility of questioning Questionnaire length Non responsiveness of the respondent Possibility of respondent misunderstanding Degree of interviewer influence of answer Supervision of interviewers Anonymity of respondent Ease of call back or follow-up Cost Fast Limited to moderate Moderate Long Low Lowest High Moderate Low Difficult highest

2. Mall intercept personal interview:

Attribute to compare data collection method Speed of data collection Geographical flexibility Versatility of questioning Questionnaire length Non responsiveness of the respondent Possibility of respondent misunderstanding Degree of interviewer influence of answer Supervision of interviewers Anonymity of respondent Ease of call back or follow-up Cost Fast Urban biased Moderate to low Moderate to long Medium Lowest Highest Moderate Low Difficult high

Special features: Taste test, viewing of TV commercials possible

3. Telephonic surveys:

Attribute to compare data collection method Speed of data collection Geographical flexibility Versatility of questioning Questionnaire length Non responsiveness of the respondent Possibility of respondent misunderstanding Degree of interviewer influence of answer Supervision of interviewers Anonymity of respondent Ease of call back or follow-up Cost Very Fast High Moderate Moderate Medium Average Moderate High Moderate Easy Low to moderate

Special features: The field work is simplified to a more acceptable form of computer technology. The location of interviewing is central. The computerized voice and the computer assisted telephonic interviews are highly appealing to the users.

4. Mail Surveys: Attribute to compare data collection method Speed of data collection Geographical flexibility Versatility of questioning Questionnaire length Non responsiveness of the respondent Possibility of respondent misunderstanding No control over speed High High standardized formats Variable according to the incentives High Highest because no interviewer is present for clarification Degree of interviewer influence of answer Supervision of interviewers Anonymity of respondent Ease of call back or follow-up Cost Zero because interviewer is absent Zero High Easy but time consuming Lowest

How to Increase Response Rates for Mail Surveys:

Assuming of the mail surveys as a spam is maximum in the case of mail surveys. This is the reason that most of the researcher does not prefer the mail survey. The mail surveys can be very effective if the response rate is increased for the surveys because they have a very high reach to the respondents. The ways to improve the response rate of the mail surveys are: Effective cover letter Interesting questions Follow-ups Advanced notification Survey sponsorship Keying questionnaires Besides these factors to improve the response rate money always helps

5. Email Questionnaire surveys:

Attribute to compare data collection method Speed of data collection Geographical flexibility Versatility of questioning Questionnaire length Non responsiveness of the respondent Possibility of respondent misunderstanding Degree of interviewer influence of answer Supervision of interviewers Ease of call back or follow-up Cost Long Low Lowest High None Easy lowest Instantaneous Across the world

Specificity: There is extensive difference in the capabilities of the respondents as the knowledge for the computer is important in this case. The Emails are not secure and the receiver of the mail may assume it as a spam and this may change the effectiveness and reliability of the test.

6. Internet Surveys:

Internet survey is not the E-mail survey. The questionnaires are sent to the emails in the email survey whereas the questions are posted on the websites in an internet survey and the respondent responds by clicking on a particular answer. The internet survey is the self administered survey and the speed of the data collection is almost instantaneous. This has become possible with the increasing technology. Due to its cost effectiveness the internet surveys are used widely. These appeal to the respondent as attractive because of the visual effects added to the website. The co-operation of the respondent varies according to the usage of the web site. Sometimes these surveys are also assumed as spam and we do not get the desired results. The possibility for misunderstanding is high in this case. The respondent does not have any clarification for the doubt and thus may give his wrong opinion which may reduce the effectiveness of the research.

Sampling: It is not feasible for the researcher to survey on the whole population. For e.g. eighty percent of men use Gillette razor. This can be one of the dissertations of the research but this does not mean that the survey has been done on the whole population of United Kingdom. It may mean that out of the ten men that the company surveyed eight used the razor. Sampling is very important for a research because it saves the two most important factors for anything that exists in the world i.e. time and money. Obviously economic factor is always taken into consideration to make the research financially feasible. The time constraint does not allow to survey the whole population (the over all relevant respondents). But is it appreciable to drop the remaining people other than the respondents in the sample to survey just for the reason of the Cost. Cutting down the cost to reduce the accuracy and reliability of the result of the research would never be appreciable. There are many reasons for which the sampling of the population is done. Sampling is drawing the conclusions about populations from samples that were surveyed for the problem. The factors that are the reasons for the existence of a phenomenon called as sampling are: Time Factor: Let us take the example of the recent swine flu epidemic that occurred the previous year. Then the research was being done at a very quick basis when the whole country needs to be saved from the disease. In that case if a doctor surveys on the entire census in his jurisdiction than it may be too late for him to serve the people. Hence because of time factor the sampling is always a predecessor of Data collection in the Stages of the research. Size of the Population: Practically it is not possible for the researcher to survey the while population if the population is very large. For example out of the 6 billion people of the world how many have six fingers in their hand. This question sounds to be weird because of the size of the population and even the problem. Some non accessible part of the population for e.g. the people in the prison.

Hence if an appropriate sampling strategy is used to represent the respondents of the research than it validates the proper use of time and money which is very important for an organization. The samples are easier to be accessed.

Analysis of the data

Analysis of data is the drawing of conclusions from the data. This can be in the form of tables or charts or graphs or even raw data. The analysts are well known for their vision. They see what they want to see from a flood of data. The data can be analyzed in two ways quantitative and qualitative analysis abbreviated as QDA. The process of data analysis involves: Data Preparation Assessment of data quality Main data analysis Presentation of data Validation of data

1. Data preparation: Data has to be coded in the required format needed. This stage is generally executed before the data collection. Data is very vital but sometimes during the data entry stage, errors might occur and this may be due to any physical or mental problem. This data that is erroneous has to be cleared so that it does not affect the accuracy and effectiveness of the final result. Data is important and thus the data that is entered should be reversible i.e. data should stored in any form so that the data is not lost. Care should be taken for not to throw the irrelevant data without confirming.

2. Assessment of data quality:

Once we get the clean data then we are required to check the quality of the data which will also reflect in the final report of the research. The data quality can be checked using various parameters like the skewness, the frequency count of the data, normalization and associations (scatter plots).

3. Main data analysis:

The next task is to guide this data towards the central question to be answered by the research. This is the edge between the initial and final steps of data analysis. This step is very important as it gives the researcher the view of the data that is relevant to the problem and how it can answer the problem. Various data analysis approaches can be used to analyze the data. If the data is quantitative then approaches like factor analysis, cluster analysis can be used where as if the data is qualitative in nature than the steps followed in analysis of the data are: Code the data Group the codes into categories Compare the categories to obtain the relevant solution. Various concepts of statistics are used in the step to analyze the data and reach a solution.

4. Presentation and display of data:

Tables, figures and charts are the best ways to represent the data analysis. The scientific reason behind these being the preferable ways to represent is that the brain reads scans whatever comes to the eye in horizontal way. More the data is compact easier it is to understand and interpret the data. Besides these methods the other ways to represent the data can be written representation of the data analysis, illustration of the interpretation by the use of visual modes like pictures.

5. Data validation:

Validation of data is to validate your data with the facts and compare it with alternatives. If the data analysis report is better than the alternative then the analysis has to be executed.

Field Work: Field research has played a vital role in research long since research had started to be used as a tool for solving problems with more analytical approach. The field people go to the people to collect their opinion about the problem that is being surveyed. Every coin has two sides so does the coin of the field work.

The advantages of fieldwork are that the data collected is more accurate. Moreover psychologically people feel proud when their opinion about any problem is asked. This is the reason due to which the accuracy of the personally collected data is more than the data collected by other methods. On the other hand the disadvantage of field based data collection is that the method is time consuming and this is not appreciable from a business point of view.

Research methods:

Research method is the approach that is used for conducting the research. The usage of these research methods may vary according to the central problem for which the research is being done. The study of these research methods gives a clear idea of the

Research methods
Quantitative research Qualitative research Deductive research Inductive research applied research

methods and the application of the methods in various problems.

Applied research:

The applied research is the research that is implemented by accessing certain parts of the already existing research or the acquired knowledge generally with the commercial or state purpose. The aim of applied research is to solve the practical problems of the modern world. One can say that the task of an applied scientist (researcher) is to make this world a better place to live by giving solution to the hurdles in the life of people. Examples for applied research can be: Improving the quality of the crops Treat or cure a specific disease like flu.

Inductive and Deductive research: The inductive approach is also called as the bottom up approach. This bottom up approach generally contains the uncertainty of the assumptions. Inductive reasoning works from more specific to more generalized theories. The steps involved in the inductive approach are Observation Pattern Tentative hypothesis Theory Whereas a deductive research, also called as the top down approach works from more general to more specific. The conclusion follows logically from the premises. The steps involved in conducting a deductive research involves Theory Hypothesis Observation Confirmation

Qualitative research: when you are asked about the variation in temperature in visual form or more of explanatory form then you may use colors instead of values to explain. The result becomes more of self explanatory and the analysis requires less clarification. Qualitative research s used for the hypothesis generating. I.e. qualitative research explains the hypothesis.

Quantitative research: Unlike the qualitative research the quantitative research is used for hypothesis testing. The quantitative research uses the quantitative data to test the assumed hypothesis weather it is correct or not. The man aim in quantitative research is to find the relation between an independent variable and a dependent variable.

Ethical Issues in research: The major ethical issues lie with the participants in the research. The principle of voluntary participation requires that people not be coerced into participating in research. This is especially relevant where researchers had previously relied on 'captive audiences' for their subjects -- prisons, universities, and places like that. Closely related to the notion of voluntary participation is the requirement of informed consent. Essentially, this means that prospective research participants must be fully informed about the procedures and risks involved in research and must give their consent to participate. Ethical standards also require that researchers not put participants in a situation where they might be at risk of harm as a result of their participation. Harm can be defined as both physical and psychological. There are two standards that are applied in order to help protect the privacy of research participants. Almost all research guarantees the participants confidentiality -- they are assured that identifying information will not be made available to anyone who is not directly involved in the study. The stricter standard is the principle of anonymity which essentially means that the participant will remain anonymous throughout the study -even to the researchers themselves. Clearly, the anonymity standard is a stronger guarantee of privacy, but it is sometimes difficult to accomplish, especially in situations where participants have to be measured at multiple time points (e.g., a prepost study). Increasingly, researchers have had to deal with the ethical issue of a person's right to service. Good research practice often requires the use of a notreatment control group -- a group of participants who do not get the treatment or program that is being studied. But when that treatment or program may have beneficial effects, persons assigned to the no-treatment control may feel their rights to equal access to services are being curtailed.

Research design:

Writing a research projects:

1. Select a general topic that interests you in some way. 2. List key words to help you look up information about the topic. 3. Go to an encyclopaedia, or other reference source, to get an overview of the topic. 4. Make source cards for whatever sources you will use for information. 5. Using the general overview, begin to focus the topic into something you can cover well. 6. Write a statement of purpose about the focused topic. 7. Brainstorm questions about the focused topic. 8. Group questions under similar headings. 9. Add any new questions you can think of under those headings. 10. Make a list of possible sources that can answer your questions. Identify the best sources to use.

11. Find the sources in the library, on the computer, etc. Make a source card for each one you use. 12. Begin making note cards. Use your brain stormed questions to guide your note taking. 13. Change your statement of purpose into a draft thesis statement. 14. Make an outline of your headings. 15. Refocus your thesis statement if necessary. 16. Write the body of your paper from your notes. 17. Cite any necessary information with parenthetical citations. 18. Write your introduction and conclusion. 19. Write your Works Cited (it is similar to a bibliography). 20. Create a title page. 21. Evaluate your work.

These are the steps to be followed to make an effective research report.

Tourism and Hospitality Research: Tourism Research: The tourism industry has faced many vicissitudes in the last decade. This started from the attack on the World Trade Centre; U.S. this incident shook the world by the terrorism which was born by then. In the later years the tourism industry of the world saw many problems might it be the flu-pandemic or the Somalia pirates. Due to many such factors people now prefer staying in their homes than going out on a weekend because they do not know whether they would come back or not. Several crisis communication approaches have been developed and the existing tourist assumes it to be a reliable source of information. Hospitality research: Research in this industry has been seen either as hotels or catering. These definitions for the research in hospitality have widened in the current scenario and now also include the resorts and country clubs. The growing hospitality industry has a wide scope for research and can contribute to the economic growth of the country. This is the reason because of which the hospitality industry has been supported be norms from the government in favour of the industry because of the high potential of this industry.

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