Strategies and Concepts in Research Design
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Published: Tue, 06 Mar 2018
Chapter 3 METHODOLOGY
According to Saunders et al (2005), design of a research can be exploratory, explanatory or descriptive in nature. The shade of the research decided by its aims and objectives lays down the design or blueprint of the research. As far as an exploratory research is concerned, it tries to assimilate fresh views with the theme or subject thereby evaluating a scenario from the perspective of innovation. As observed by Saunders et al (2005), an exploratory research recognizes and evaluates an exploratory issue that is in line with the research process extracted from the perusal of the literature or academic writings and compilation of primary data. The benefit of carrying out an exploratory research is that it can be amended as per the needs. The researcher enjoys the freedom to steer the research in any direction at any phase of it. At the same time, an explanatory research tries to display the factual state of an event or process. As noted by Saunders et al. (2005), this sort of research can be specified at later segment of investigative study, where a lucid picture of the occurrence or state of affairs is required prior to moving forward in the exploration. So far as explanatory research is concerned, according to Saunders et al (2005), it makes efforts to evaluate linkage in between parameters. A research of this type includes a precise course taking into view the experiments undertaken by means of numerical techniques.
Deciding about the design of a research broadly depends on the nature of the research which is determined by the aims and objectives of the research. For this research, the aim was to study the customer relationship management of State Bank of India and its competitive advantage. The research was to achieve following objectives: to review extent conceptual models and theoretical framework related to relationship marketing; to identify how relationship marketing could be used as a strategic tool for competitive advantage; and to recommend strategic frameworks for relationship marketing. This research mainly required exploration regarding the relationship between customer relationship management and competitive advantage in relation to State Bank of India. Therefore, the design of this research was defined as exploratory.
The philosophy of a research can be positivism or interpretivism ( Zikmund, , 2000). Positivism philosophy is based on the belief that the truth of life free from a particular observer, and that authenticity is separated from a man who studies it. On the other hand interpretivism is based on the belief that truth is invented or tolerated under the supervision of observers and realism, not comparative disconnected from those who study it. With these key beliefs, positivism, depends on the experiments and rationale for determining (Esterby-Smith, 2002). Interpretivism depends on personal interviews and observations to illustrate professed truth. In positivism, the theory attempts to divine principles and laws that explain, clarify, predict and control outcomes.
Positivism research is based on the point of view, which confirms the lone true facts are the scientific information that can be easily obtained by adhering strictly to the scientific method. In positivist science, a theory is a device used as a hypothesis, the structure of the test (Zikmund, 2000). On the contrary to positivism, interpretivism relate to a phenomenological paradigm, arguing that the world is subjective (Esterby-Smith, 2002). Interpretivism research attaches importance to the meaning and trying to understand what is happening and this is likely to argue that the rich understanding of this composite, the world loses if the complexity of the social world is completely reduced to a series of laws, such as simplifications.
This research had nothing to do with the scientific research or adopting positivism philosophy. In more clear words, this research was neither based on hypotheses testing nor based on examining theories. Therefore, certainly the philosophy of this research was interpretivism, where the researcher had to reveal subjective information regarding the chosen research subject- customer relationship management of State Bank of India and its competitive advantage. Adopting interpretivism philosophy in this research, firstly literature review was conducted and thereafter first hand data was collected approaching target sample from various banks in India and particularly from State Bank of India.
The approach of a research can be deductive or inductive (Easterby- Smith, 2002). Deductive research is an approach perusing from the general to the precise. Each so frequently, this casually terms as top-down the approach (Easterby- Smith, 2002). Here we can begin further to think upward on a theory relative to our theme of a study. We then narrow that down into the precise of assumption that we can examine. We reduce downward but we move whilst we gather observations to be present on to the assumptions (Denscombe, 2003). This is final it conducts us to be to competently examine assumptions with precise data, corroboration or discharge of our inventive theories. Inductive research is an approach based with design peruses another road, moving from the precise observations to the more extensive generalizations and the theories. Casually, these are term as approach to the bottom is raised raise upward (Easterby- Smith, 2002). In the inductive approach, we begin further with the precise observations and the measurements; begin to further reveal pictures and regularities make some preliminary assumptions which we can investigate, and then we end upward on to lengthen some extensive conclusions.
A research based on interpretivism philosophy is suggested to conduct having inductive research approach. Therefore, this research was conducted adopting inductive research approach. In accordance with the norms of inductive research approach, a research process was followed starting from bottom and reaching to top. In more clear words, firstly research issues were identified reviewing the literature and therefore specific data was collected approaching the target sample in order to make conclusions.
Over the years of hypothetical bases and theoretical foundations and viewpoints, in line with explorations in any other domain, business and management research has undergone changes. In actual sense, exploration is an activity that individuals initiate so as to discover something in a systematic fashion, thereby enhancing their awareness (Saunders et al, 2003). A research is not a research in true sense and will not yield anything expected in case it is not undertaken in a disciplined fashion, that is to say, it needs to have a clear-cut aim and data compilation should be performed alongside interpretation without which it cannot be called an exploration. The exploration provides an insight into the linkage between the pertinent domain of exploration and participants and expectation at varied space of time extent. The investigators employ techniques and tools approved by the academic writings in terms of on -paper or verbal work evaluations, skills, the use of important ideas, sector concerns and exploration practices linked.
Quantitative and qualitative can be the two kinds of the techniques employed for the purpose of exploration. The further discussion highlights the points of distinction between these two forms of management research tools in the light of the academic writings. The qualitative technique or method is employed in the domain of social sciences for the purpose of looking into cultural and social events. The qualitative tools are then put into the categories of action exploration, participant experience and ethnography sampling. The avenues of qualitative data are interviews and questionnaires, case studies, focus-group observation, records and writings, participant experience, and the explorer’s perceptions and responses. In case of this kind of investigation, there may be differences in the understanding of different social and cultural traits; usually data evaluation differs with the investigators (Saunders’ et al, 2003). The qualitative tools of explorations have the merits of compiling fine, approved data pertaining to human perspectives and issues, considering the different parameters that may have bearings on the responses. At the same time, this paradigm also has a demerit_ it takes long time and is strenuous.
Earlier, the quantitative technique was employed for the purpose of exploring the natural events in the domain of natural sciences. The data compiled during the quantitative research are quantifiable, trustworthy, and can be usually universalized to a bigger chunk of audience (Saunders et al, 2003). Negligence of different aspects of influential research is the most observed demerit of quantitative research. The quantitative research includes the techniques like surveys, econometrics, sampling, laboratory tests and a number of statistical data testing tools. The quantitative research provides a broad domain of research.
For the purpose of the present research, both qualitative and quantitative methods have been employed. Qualitative method was employed for the purpose of the literature review and quantitative approach was employed to gather first- hand or primary data on the recognized exploration topics by means of literature read-through.
Primary and secondary are the two techniques of data compilation (Saunders et al., 2005). Considering research sketch and intention, both primary and secondary techniques of data compilation was employed for the purpose of the present research.
The compilation of secondary data is done from the secondary avenues that are extracted from in-print or unpublished sources (Parasuraman et. 2004). The secondary data made use of in an exploration is not compiled for the present research. Secondary data have certain merits and demerits. In the opinion of Kotabe (2002), the merits of secondary data collection are varied, of which some are mentioned here: conveniently accessible, less-cost incurring, quick reach. Secondary data lays down the base for the compilation of the primary data. Nonetheless, it is a demerit of the secondary data that it cannot cater to all the requisites of a particular inquiry. The argument here is that secondary data accessible is gathered for its own precise objectives. Hence, the researcher cannot blindly make use of the data lying to his or her disposal. Moreover, the secondary data also cannot claim precision in context to timeliness. Notwithstanding these demerits, secondary data enable the investigator in explaining the inquiry issues, inquiry paradigm, and accomplishing probes aims, stated Malhotra (2004).
Merits of Secondary Data
Secondary data is convenient to achieve, less-cost incurring, and quick to reach. Secondary facilitates the identification of inquiry issue, development of inquiry paradigm and preparation of inquiry questions (Kotabe, 2002).
Demerits of Secondary Data
Secondary data happen to be the information compilation for other exploration aims and hence its application is confined to other particular exploration. Notwithstanding that there are different demerits of using secondary data, it enables the definition of exploration issue, decision of exploration paradigm and accomplish investigation aims. For the purpose of the present inquiry, the secondary data was compiled from the published sources like books, journals, newspapers and websites.
Primary data is the data collected for a particular probe, that include a number of phenomena causing it to be time-consuming and expensive (Malhotra, 2004). Obviously, primary data compilation relates to all structured for the particular inquiry and hence yields errorless data in context to the event, nonetheless, gathering primary data not as convenient as the secondary data. This necessitates time and expenses.
So as to address the research issue in question, an explorer chooses to gather primary data, which is time-consuming, and expensive enterprise. A researcher can be inclined to opt for specific primary data compilation from the probable techniques in terms of observation, interviews, questionnaire survey and case studies (Saunders et al., (2005).
For the purpose of the present researcher, the researcher chose to use questionnaire survey technique. In case of survey method, a sample of targeted individuals was interviewed by means of a questionnaire. The survey was conducted in an informal manner and all the answers were dealt with full confidentially. The aim of carrying out survey was to ensure a real image of the information and also achieve participants’ assessment of the positive and negative answers in context to varied issues.
Structuring the questionnaire was the most important segment of a questionnaire survey. For this purpose, care should be observed while preparing the most pertinent and suitable questions. The researcher needed to have a clear insight into the theme, the aims of the exploration and description of the participants (Parasuraman, 2004). So as to cater to the research requisites, the researcher tended to be objective, recognized, and pertinent while structuring the questionnaire. The investigator could structure open or close-ended questions. Keeping in view the preciseness of the questions’ nature, the investigator structured only close-ended questions. In all, there were just 10 close-ended questions. The questions included in the questionnaire were arranged in an order beginning from the introduction of the part of the domain. Personal questions were not included in the questionnaires, or any sort of such questions, that may be anti-individual sentiments.
Primary data was collected in this research as well through interviews. The interviewees were conducted in the structured format and the interviewees were Senior Marketing Managers in State Bank of India (working in New Delhi based Headquarters, Parliament Street). The number of interviews was 5 and the interviews had to respond in accordance with the asked open-ended questions.
Saunders et al (2004), in this view, opines that approaching the suitable sample of respondents is important for the dependability of the research and so there is a need to chart a cautious plan to select and reach the suitable respondents. In case of questionnaire survey, the researcher necessitates to select the sample to be interviewed. In technical terms, this is said to be sampling. The sampling method varies from probability (randomly) to non-probability (convenient) (Saunders et al., 2005). In this researcher, the research chose the non-probability (convenient) method of sampling, wherein the sample was chosen from various India based banks (who were working Delhi based branches). The respondents were Marketing Managers of the banks. The number of respondents was 30 and all were approached conveniently without any prior certainty of to be chosen.
This research was basically conducting having qualitative method; therefore, data analysis was conducted applying qualitative data analysis method. In qualitative data analysis, data coding includes the process of data evaluation, wherein all sorts of data are recorded making use of numerical codes since it helps investigator to feed the data speedily with minimal errors. Moreover, there are three stages of coding, open coding, axial coding and selective coding (Saunders et al, 2004). Consequently, in the first stage of coding, the compiled data was translated into theoretical units and was accorded a label, where same level was accorded to similar units of data. In the second stage, the establishment of linkages between categories of data is done that is received as a result of first. Lastly, in the third stage, major categories were recognized as core category. The Microsoft Excel software was employed for the purpose of assessment of data. The data coding includes the process of data evaluation, wherein all sorts of data are recorded making use of numerical codes since it helps investigator to feed the data speedily with minimal errors.
The ethical issues in the research were primarily concerned to confidentiality and anonymity of the research participants. For confidentiality, the researcher maintained confidentiality the facts shared by the research participants all through the research process, and as well the names of the research participants were kept anonymous.
RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY
Reliability of this research lies in sharing actual facts by the research participants as they were assured of not disclosing their name; and the validity lies in properly answering the research questions through summarizing the findings.
Chapter 4 FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
The rationale of conducting data analysis in this research is to answer the research questions developed. Since a particular research question relate to various questions in the questionnaire, therefore the contents of the data analysis are in accordance with the sequence of questions in the questionnaire. For every section, firstly the literature is discussed from where the question is made. Thereafter data collected on various banks level and State Bank of India level is analysed.
DATA FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
Relationship marketing and level of implementation
For the research literature, definitions of relationship marketing are without a clear agreement on its nature or specification of its context and application-level (Gummesson 2002; Parvatiyar and Seth 2000). The term used to describe a relationship at the individual, and at the organizational level, with terms such as affinity marketing, loyalty marketing, cross selling, up selling, co-branding, joint marketing, customer-supplier partnership, the personal one-to-one key account management and marketing decisions (Sheth and Parvatiyar 2002), and there was a failure to clearly delineate, enumerate, and to combine these two elements (i.e. relations and marketing). Recently, Gummesson (2002) emphasizes the long-term relationships and has taken a very broad interpretation, referring to the overall relationship marketing. Seth and Parvatiyar (2002) widened it more by signifying that it is one-to-one communication flanked by the marketer and the customer is an interactive process, not an exchange business, and this value-added activities based on shared collaboration and interdependence between suppliers and customers. Relationship marketing therefore can be viewed as a very extensive type of somewhat long-term individual business affiliation with the degree of teamwork and interdependence, which is dependent on the anticipation of fulfillment of assurances in exchange for interactive marketing. In the light of these revelations, the issue of study in this research was as relationship marketing for banks in India generally works more on which level(individual or organizational level). The data collected in this regard reveals that relationship marketing generally works more on individual level (than organisational level) so far as banks in India are concerned (see Table and Figure 4.1). For State Bank of India, the interviews reveal that the bank rather focus on organizational level of relationship marketing than individual level.
The first question asked from the Marketing Managers of various banks in India was, “relationship marketing for their bank generally works more on which level (individual level or organizational level)”. The response in majority comes outlining individual level. As according to the data shown in the above table, for majority of respondents (63% of the total 30), relationship marketing for their bank generally more works on ‘individual level’; whereas for the remaining respondents (37%), relationship marketing for their bank generally works on ‘organisational level’. On the whole these data conclude that relationship marketing generally works more on individual level (than organisational level) so far as banks in India are concerned.
Establishing bond of relationship and relationship framework
In accordance with the research literature, at the core of relationship marketing is an exchange that is beneficial to the parties involved in the exchange. The concept of the exchange as it applies to marketing can be viewed with any transaction cost analysis approach or a social approach, the theory of exchange. Transactions are divided into discrete transactions and relational operations. Relational contract is governed by the law of relational operations. In classical contract law, which governs the discrete individual members of the operation is not relevant, but this is not true of marketing (Rusbult and Van Lange 2003). In a relational contracting point of transition from the agreement (as in classical contract law), against itself as it is with time. There may or may not be the original agreement, and if so, can not be any great respect for him. In relational transactions reduced the gap between the contractual parties, as this ratio becomes stronger and stronger. The main aim of relationship marketing is the creation of the interest thereon, to minimize information search, and it is unlikely that present moral dilemmas, but rather, through the coordination of activities to achieve results mutually beneficial. Redesigning, relationship marketing is a very broad relatively long term, voluntary, individual, business associations with the degree of emotional commitment, trust, intimacy, cooperation and interdependence(Rusbult and Van Lange 2003), which is based on the assumption of a shared , the promises of interactive marketing exchange on a reciprocal basis. In the light of these revelations, the issue of study in this research was as which aspect of relationship framework best works as establishing bond of relationship between banks in India and their clients. The data collected in this regard reveals that trust and cooperation as aspects of relationship framework best works establishing bond of relationship between banks in India and their clients (see Table and Figure 4.2). For State Bank of India, the interviews reveal that the bank focuses on trust and interdependence aspects of relationship framework best works establishing bond of relationship with the clients.
The second question asked from the Marketing Managers of various banks in India was, “which of relationship framework best work as establishing bond of relationship between their bank and clients”. The response in majority comes outlining trust and cooperation. As according to the data shown in the above table, for majority of respondents (67% of the total 30), ‘trust’ (37%) and ‘cooperation’ (30%) as aspects of relationship framework best works as establishing bond of relationship between their bank and the clients; whereas for the remaining respondents (33%), ‘interdependence’ (13%), ’emotional commitment’ (10%) and ‘intimacy’ (10%) as aspects of relationship framework best works as establishing bond of relationship between their bank and the clients. On the whole, these data conclude that trust and cooperation as aspects of relationship framework best works establishing bond of relationship between banks in India and their clients.
Approach of relationship marketing
For the research literature, the repeated use of the term relationship marketing (Brodieet al,1997). They suggested that relationship marketing applied at four levels. At the first level, relationship marketing, technology-based database marketing tool. At the second level, relationship marketing focuses on the relationship between business and its customers, focusing customer retention. At the third level, relationship marketing is a form of ‘customer partnership “with customers jointly participate in developing a product or service. The fourth and broadest level, relationship marketing was seen as including all of the databases for personal services, loyalty programs, brand loyalty, internal marketing, personal and social relationships and strategic alliances. Three characteristics are important for customers to desire continuity with the same supplier. These arevariability, complexity, participation (Berry, 1995). Furthermore, that relationship marketing is carried out at three levels. Level one relationship marketing is based primarily on price incentives to ensure customer loyalty. However, a sustainable competitive advantage is minimal at this level one, as pricing actions can be compared quickly. The second level of relationship marketing is based primarily on social networks, although the price remains a vital element. This includes personalization and adaptation of these relations.Relationship Marketing has been recognized in the ready-made marketing world, where it became apparent that a strategic competitive advantage could not be delivered on the basis of product characteristics, where alone and corporate profitability are beginning to be associated with satisfying existing customers (Egan, 2001). In the light of these revelations, the issue of study in this research was as which approach of relationship marketing is comparatively more beneficial for banks in India. The data collected in this regard reveals that focusing on client retention as approach of relationship marketing is comparatively more beneficial than focusing on technology based data base marketing for banks in India (see Table and Figure 4.3). For State Bank of India, the interviews reveal that the bank by and large focuses on client retention as approach of relationship marketing.
The third question asked from the Marketing Managers of various banks in India was, “which of relationship marketing is comparatively more beneficial for their bank”. The response in majority comes outlining on clients retention. As according to the data shown in the above table, for respondents in majority (67% of the total 30) ‘focusing on clients retention’ as approach of relationship marketing is comparatively more beneficial for their bank; whereas for the remaining respondents (33%), ‘focusing on technology-based data base marketing’ as approach of relationship marketing is comparatively more beneficial for their bank. By and large, these data conclude that focusing on client retention as approach of relationship marketing is comparatively more beneficial than focusing on technology based data base marketing for banks in India.
Relationship marketing as competitive advantage tool
In accordance with the research literature, competitive advantage as determined by the type of people the organization attracts and how these individuals to compete when they are players or staff. Therefore it is very necessary to recruit people who have high skills and can lead and develop a competitive culture in the organization. This is true for every business but not for those who have focused for some particular people or work force. This could also include the experience of the workforce which has to be recruited. These characteristics are as important as they seem to be but there is one more factor which is very important and work as a pushing force to compete in the market which guides to repeatedly contributing to the competitive culture of the organization. This is how the organization deploys, manages, reconfigures, or integrates with them (Peteraf and Bergen, 2003). This is not just with the systems that creates an advantage, but as they are occupied in operations in the system. It was here, in the Superior operations, advantages can be obtained. Again, the key is the quality of the person concerned, and how they function together for competitive advantage. This group is based on the operations in the responsibility of each individual in the organization and, as the rule tracks from a top manager it creates a sense of importance and steady concentration to feature whether the keys to the organization reap the benefits sought through what are essentially common systems in the competitive arena of the organization. A competitive culture creates the feeling that all opportunities to compete with a rival, as well as with itself. There is a positive feedback between the public interest and the success of overtime. These types of loops, both positive and negative, create difficulties in the system and create the dynamic behavior of organizations (Sterman, 2000). That is why we see a cluster of industries in the geographical area where a cluster of more available pool of talent is available. Thus, creating and maintaining a culture of competition is a key component of efforts to achieve competitive advantage. In the light of these revelations, the issue of study in this research was as how is the role of relationship marketing as competitive advantage tool for banks in India. The data collected in this regard reveals that certainly the role of relationship marketing is highly effective as competitive advantage tool for banks in India (see Table and Figure 4.4). For State Bank of India, the interviews reveal that although relationship marketing is highly focused a strategy for the bank, yet the bank does not look relationship marketing as tool of competitive advantage.
The fourth question asked from the Marketing Managers of various banks in India was, “how is the role of relationship marketing as competitive advantage tool for their bank”. The response in majority comes out as highly effective. As according to the data shown in the above table, for respondents in majority (60% of the total 30), they see the role of relationship marketing ‘highly effective’ as competitive advantage tool for their bank; whereas for the remaining respondents (40%), they see the role of relationship marketing either ‘effective’ (27%) or ‘ineffective’ (13%) as competitive advantage tool for their bank. By and large, these data conclude that certainly the role of relationship marketing is highly effective as competitive advantage tool for banks in India.
Areas of competitive advantage and relationship marketing
For the research literature, linking aspects of relations with some degree of competitive advantage became a topic of growing interest in marketing and strategy scholars. Research in this area have focused on trust, commitment, mutual goals, power, social networks, transaction costs, information exchange, a kind of investment and management, each of which has been shown to affect the incidence of relationship based on competitive advantage (Morgan and Hunt, 1999) . However, only two authors have attempted to conceptualize the relations based on competitive advantages in a holistic sense (JAP 2001; Wilson 1995). The hypothesis that inter-firm connection can be the basis for accomplishing competitive benefits has received significant attention in the literature. A number of studies are on the way to explain this incidence (Morgan and Hunt, 1999). Personal qualities such as trust, commitment, mutual goals, power, social networks, transaction costs, information sharing, an investment and management of all it has been shown to affect the incidence of relationship based on competitive advantages (JAP 1999; Morgan and Hunt 1999; Wilson 1995). In the light of these revelations, the issue of study in this research was as in which area of competitive advantage, relationship marketing would be most successful for banks in India. The data collected in this regard reveals that in the competitive areas of managing social networks and managing information sharing, relationship marketing would be most successful for banks in India (see Table and Figure 4.5). For State Bank of India, the interviews reveal that the bank rather focuses on managing
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