Research Design

Research Design: Definition
A research design is a framework or blueprint for conducting the business research project. It details the procedures necessary for obtaining the information needed to structure or solve business research problems.

Components of a Research Design
• Define the information needed • Design the exploratory, descriptive, and/or causal phases of the research • Specify the measurement and scaling procedures • Construct and pretest a questionnaire (interviewing form) or an appropriate form for data collection • Specify the sampling process and sample size • Develop a plan of data analysis

A Classification of Business Research Designs Research Design Exploratory Research Design Multiple CrossSectional Design Conclusive Research Design Descriptive Research Causal Research Single CrossSectional Design Cross-Sectional Design Longitudinal Design .

. Conclusive To test specific hypotheses and examine relationships. Research process is formal and structured.Exploratory & Conclusive Research Differences Exploratory Objective: To provide insights and understanding. Findings used as input into decision making. Conclusive. Analysis of primary data is qualitative. Sample is small and non-representative. Sample is large and representative. Information needed is defined only Character-istics: loosely. Findings /Results: Outcome: Generally followed by further exploratory or conclusive research. Information needed is clearly defined. Data analysis is quantitative. Research process is flexible and unstructured. Tentative.

versatile Often the front end of total research design Expert surveys Pilot surveys Secondary data Qualitative research Methods: Secondary data Surveys Panels Observation and other data .A Comparison of Basic Research Designs Exploratory Objective: Discovery of ideas and insights Descriptive Describe market characteristics or functions Marked by the prior formulation of specific hypotheses Preplanned and structured design Causal Determine cause and effect relationships Manipulation of one or more independent variables Control of other mediating variables Experiments Characteristics: Flexible.

Uses of Exploratory Research • Formulate a problem or define a problem more precisely • Identify alternative courses of action • Develop hypotheses • Isolate key variables and relationships for further examination • Gain insights for developing an approach to the problem • Establish priorities for further research .

Methods of Exploratory Research • • • • Survey of experts Pilot surveys Secondary data analyzed in a qualitative way Qualitative research .

or market areas.Use of Descriptive Research • To describe the characteristics of relevant groups. • To estimate the percentage of units in a specified population exhibiting a certain behavior. • To determine the perceptions of product characteristics. • To determine the degree to which marketing variables are associated. • To make specific predictions . organizations. such as consumers. salespeople.

Methods of Descriptive Research • Secondary data analyzed in a quantitative as opposed to a qualitative manner • Surveys • Panels • Observational and other data .

A cohort is a group of respondents who experience the same event within the same time interval. .Cross-sectional Designs • Involve the collection of information from any given sample of population elements only once. • In multiple cross-sectional designs. information from different samples is obtained at different times. Often. • Cohort analysis consists of a series of surveys conducted at appropriate time intervals. where the cohort serves as the basic unit of analysis. there are two or more samples of respondents. • In single cross-sectional designs. there is only one sample of respondents and information is obtained from this sample only once. and information from each sample is obtained only once.

6 40.6 50.Percentage consuming on a typical day Age 8-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+ 1980 52.4 67.9 C2 C7 C6 C5 C4 C3 C1: C2: C3: C4: cohort cohort cohort cohort born born born born prior to 1940 1941-50 1951-60 1961-70 C5: C6: C7: C8: cohort cohort cohort cohort born born born born 1971-80 1980-89 1990-99 2000-09 .7 58.8 51.7 46.0 75.6 60.2 33.0 67.2 18.8 71.0 C1 Consumption of Various Soft Drinks by Various Age Cohorts 2010 81.8 28.2 76.9 45.9 23.8 2000 73.1 1990 62.

Longitudinal Designs • A fixed sample (or samples) of population elements is measured repeatedly on the same variables • A longitudinal design differs from a cross-sectional design in that the sample or samples remain the same over time .

Relative Advantages and Disadvantages of Longitudinal and Cross-Sectional Designs Evaluation Criteria Cross-Sectional Design Longitudinal Design Detecting Change Large amount of data collection Accuracy Representative Sampling Response bias + + + + + - Note: A “+” indicates a relative advantage over the other design. whereas a “-” indicates a relative disadvantage. .

Cross-Sectional Data May Not Show Change Brand Purchased Time Period Period 1 Survey Period 2 Survey Brand A Brand B Brand C Total 200 300 500 1000 200 300 500 1000 .

Longitudinal Data May Show Substantial Change Brand Purchased in Period 1 Brand A Brand B Brand C Total Brand Purchased in Period 2 Brand A 100 25 75 200 Brand B 50 100 150 300 Brand C 50 175 275 500 Total 200 300 500 1000 .

Uses of Casual Research • To understand which variables are the cause (independent variables) and which variables are the effect (dependent variables) of a phenomenon • To determine the nature of the relationship between the causal variables and the effect to be predicted • METHOD: Experiments .

Total Error Random Sampling Error Non-sampling Error Potential Sources of Error in Research Designs Researcher Error Response Error Non-response Error Interviewer Error Respondent Error Surrogate Information Error Measurement Error Population Definition Error Sampling Frame Error Data Analysis Error Respondent Selection Error Questioning Error Recording Error Cheating Error Inability Error Unwillingness Error .

Errors in Business Research The TOTAL ERROR is the variation between the true mean value in the population of the variable of interest and the observed mean value obtained in the business research project • I. Random sampling error is the variation between the true mean value in the population and the true mean value in the original sample. • II. Nonsampling error (can be attributed to sources other than sampling) – 1) Nonresponse error: when some respondents included in the sample do not respond (refusals or not-at-homes) .

instead of info on consumer choices. the researcher obtains info on consumer preferences because the choice process cannot be easily observed) • b) Measurement error: the variation between the info sought and info generated (e.g. measuring perceptions rather than preferences) .g...Errors in Business Research – 2) Response error: – Researcher errors • a) Surrogate information error: the variation between the info needed and sought by the researcher (e.

.000? .Errors in Business Research • c) Population definition error: the variation between the actual population relevant to the problem at hand and the pop.g. as defined by the researcher (e. how to define a population of affluent households?) – a) income of INR50K or more? – b) the top 20% of households as measured by income? – c) with net worth over INR250.

and new numbers in service) • e) Data analysis error: e. of potential consumers due to unlisted. disconnected. when an inappropriate statistical procedure is used ..g.g.Errors in Business Research • d) Sampling frame error: the variation between the population defined by the researcher and the population as implied by the sampling frame (e. the telephone directory used to generate a list of telephone numbers does not accurately represent the pop..

g. interpreting. and recording the answers • d) Cheating error: the interviewer fabricates the answers (e..g. does not ask about income.Errors in Business Research – Interviewer errors • a) Respondent selection error: respondents are selected other than those specified by the sampling design (e.g. a non-reader of a journal is selected rather than a reader to meet a difficult quota requirement) • b) Questioning error: e.. but then fills in the answer based on personal assessment) . • c) Recording error: errors in hearing. interviewer does not use the exact wording given in a questionn..

question format. a respondent cannot recall the brand of yogurt purchased four weeks ago) • b) Unwillingness error: – No answer – Intentionally wrong answer (e...g.g.Errors in Business Research – Respondent errors • a) Inability error: because of unfamiliarity. fatigue. boredom. question content. (e. declares himself as a reader of a prestigious magazine rather than a tabloid) . faulty recall. etc.

and Causal Research Business Research at Citicorp is typical in that it is used to measure consumer awareness of products. track product usage and diagnose problems as they occur. In this case. .Citicorp Banks on Exploratory. Often it is advantageous to offer special financial packages to specific groups of customers. The following seven-step process was taken by business research to help in the design. To accomplish these tasks Citicorp makes extensive use of exploratory. Descriptive. a financial package is being designed for senior citizens. and causal research. monitor their satisfaction and attitudes associated with the product. descriptive.

Descriptive. A final decision was made to include Americans 55 years of age or older. retired. and Causal Research 1) A taskforce was created to better define the market parameters to include all the needs of the many Citicorp branches. and in the upper half of the financial strata of that market. .Citicorp Banks on Exploratory.

Exploratory qualitative research involving focus groups was also carried out in order to determine the needs and desires of the market and the level of satisfaction with the current products. a great deal of diversity was found in the market. and the absence or presence of a spouse. Descriptive. and Causal Research 2) Exploratory research in the form of secondary data analysis of the mature or older market was then performed and a study of competitive products was conducted. .Citicorp Banks on Exploratory. In the case of senior citizens. This was determined to be due to such factors as affluence. relative age.

Citicorp Banks on Exploratory. Descriptive. This involved the formation of many different financial packages aimed at the target market. . a total of 10 ideas were generated. In this case. and Causal Research 3) The next stage of research was brainstorming.

The ideas were tested on the basis of whether they were possible in relation to the business. The following list of questions was used as a series of hurdles that the ideas had to pass to continue on to the next step. • Can the idea be explained in a manner that the target market will easily understand? • Does the idea fit into the overall strategy of Citicorp? . Descriptive.Citicorp Banks on Exploratory. and Causal Research 4) The feasibility of the 10 ideas generated in step 3 was then tested.

and is the idea perceived to have appeal to this market?  Is there a feasible outline of the tactics and strategies for implementing the program?  Have the financial impact and cost of the program been thoroughly evaluated and determined to be in line with company practices? In this study. .Citicorp Banks on Exploratory. and Causal Research  Is there an available description of a specific target market for the proposed product?  Does the research conducted so far indicate a potential match for target market needs. Descriptive. only one idea generated from the brainstorming session made it past all the listed hurdles and on to step 5.

6) The previous exploratory research was now followed up with descriptive research in the form of mall intercept surveys of people in the target market range. . The survey showed that the list of special features was too long and it was decided to drop the features more commonly offered by competitors.Citicorp Banks on Exploratory. Descriptive. This plan was to emphasize the competitive advantage of the proposed product as well as better delineate the specific features of the product. and Causal Research 5) A creative work-plan was then generated.

. and Causal Research 7) Finally. Given successful test marketing results. Test marketing is a form of causal research. the product is introduced nationally.Citicorp Banks on Exploratory. Descriptive. the product was test marketed in six of the Citicorp branches within the target market.

Business Research Proposal • • • • • • • • • • Executive Summary Background Problem Definition/Objectives of the Research Approach to the Problem Research Design Fieldwork/Data Collection Data Analysis Reporting Cost and Time Appendices .