The use of a Research Methodology


This chapter delivers an idea of how the research was being carried out; it gives a glance of different methods and the way this research was carried out. This part of the study shows that how the objectives and findings were been studied and what correct methods as well as design was undertaken in order to gain the research objectives and findings. It is really important that right methods and plan has to be used otherwise the results and outcome of the findings could be irrelevant and false. The previous chapter identified ample evidence as factors for fast food consumption and the influence of advertisement on consumer buying behaviour by various authors. The adjustment of both primary and secondary data has been required in order to prepare an objective and beneficial analysis and consequently to comprehend the conclusion based on the data from research taken.

Research methods help us to be more precise, to making an ethical use of the sources through which the information is assemble and analysed appropriately. The research questions in business and academic research must be fair and valid, relating directly to usefulness of the research. As this study will help to achieve the appeal ratio of fast food advertisement on consumer buying behaviour and it will justify whether certain mode of advertisements are worth to invest or not, Greener S (2008) the rigour of the analysis will have a deep effect on whether the research outcomes are true or false, as the research is also on different modes of advertisement objective 3 which is counted as part of marketing campaign and a misleading outcome could result into poor investment. Saunders M, Lewis P (2008) also mentions that it is a logical progress with different stages and it will apply on all types of research.

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Hussey and Hussey (1997), this research requires analysing and explaining (the intention of the research), through mostly qualitative methods (the process of the research) using deductive logic based on existing theories and sharing knowledge practices (the approaches of the research) and the results is one of the applied research (applying the research to particular organisation).

Research philosophy

For the research philosophy a number of authors (Galliers 1991, Saunders M & P Lewis 2007, Hussey J & Hussey R 1997) have mentioned the important elements of research philosophy but in particular Galliers (1991) has mentioned that research philosophy is a belief about the way in which data about a phenomenon should be gathered, analysed and used. The philosophies of research are term in epistemology which is recognized to be true and doxology which can be explained as believed to be true, this understanding delivers a technique of research from doxology to epistemology, the two common research philosophies in today's science is been named as positivist and interpretivist. Positivists approach understands the fact as a constant and can be experimented and described from an intentional viewpoint (Levin, 1988) and interpretivist philosophy focuses on researcher to estimate and feel the meaning of the participation and subjective reality, however (Saunders M, Lewis P, Thornhill A, 1997:114) also mentions realism philosophy which relates to scientific enquiry, it delivers reality is the truth which quite independent of the mind, this philosophy assumes the collection of data and the understanding of those data.

Furthermore, Easterby-Smith (1991: 27) has mentioned some important features of positivist and realism philosophies.

Easterby-Smith (1991: 27)

Researchers have frequently observed that no solo methodology is basically better than other methodology; many instigators have used combination of research methods in order to get better and accurate findings. (eg. Kaplan and Dunchon 1988) So for this research, a combination of interpretivism and realism is been used, it was much applicable to use interpretivism philosophy as it wonders around the human kind and understands the buying behaviour of the consumers which is attached to them socially and a need of identifying this behaviour was needed to study the advertising effect on the consumers of fast food and in particular McDonald's. Whereas, the reaslism approach produce qualitative data and the data will be rich and subjective, the location of the data collection will be McDonalds and it will involve the researcher personally to collect data.

Research Approach

The research approach creates a bridge to achieve the objectives of the study and particularly in this research inductive and deductive approaches are been used, this approach will head the research towards solid findings and on specific outcomes of the research. Fisher (2007) deductive approach can be a outcomes or finding through logical source which could be theories or hypothesis to prove the fact whereas inductive approach is based on the previous study or gathering the relevant information which was studied on the particular research earlier.

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Deductive Approach

The collection of data is quantitative


Inductive Approach

The collection of data is qualitative data.

It usually contains a highly structured and

Organised approach.

It's kind of more flexible structure to permit changes of research emphasis as the research progresses.

Saunder Et al; (2007)

For this research, Deductive and Inductive approach are been used as inductive approach will help to gain the previous studies and literature reviews will be considered as an support relating to fast food advertisement and the behaviour of the consumers whereas deductive approach will help to justify the findings in a theoretical term, which can be proved through hypothesis which will be later discussed in the study with the help of t-test. Cavaye (1996: 236) indicates to use mixture approach as it would be from theory building to theory testing.

The above diagram shows the division of the research. Scribd (2010)

Research strategies and research design

It is important for the researcher to develop a strategy for the research and follow until the findings which could be the most structured way of achieve the objectives. Considering the various methodologies, this section delivers the purpose of what sort of study was considered for answering the research questions.

Saunders M & P Lewis (2007), Hussey J & Hussey R (1997) has mentioned many research methods such as developing an experiment, creating surveys, grounded theory, observation theory, action research, models for research activity, operational research, case studies and more.

Given the nature of the research problem in the Chapter 1, the research needs a primary collection of the data related to the advertisement of fast food in particular to McDonald's and how does it connects the consumers with buying cycle, in order to get hold of this data questionnaires where been used to obtain the primary data. The questionnaires could get a quick response on the factors as well the advertisement influence on the buying behaviour of fast food. Considering the time factor and it is for the academic purpose it has to be submitted within its scheduled period.

The design and plan of the research is much important in achieving the accurate outcome. After a research problem it is essential that the research should have certain forma and an accurate method to research the problem. It is a theoretical arrangement where the research is been carried on and it represent a raw data, analysis; which is conducted through assembling series of methods and plan related to the problem of the research. (Selltiz, 1962) The research of the design gives an idea of structuring the hypothesis and gaining the possible outcome.

The study was conducted on the problem that up to what extent consumers are attracted through the advertisement of fast food, we see many adverts in our day to day life but which appeals us the most and how. Fast food has become a part in United Kingdom's lifestyle even though with too many critics related to health still this industry is floating in profits so which are the factors that are driving this particular industry, the study focuses on the McDonalds restaurant limited, and a series of research questions has been developed in order to know the actual fact behind this questions. The questionnaire can be an effective mode of data collection in this research.

The data needed for the research problem has to be designed in a simple way, considering and taking all the objectives into consideration in precise format and methodology; it certainly needs a human approach. (Jarrat, 1996: 6:15) The main objectives which are to be considered while designing the research is support and activeness of the researcher towards the questionnaire, with a strategic aim to achieve the objectives, this approach is suitable because it can receive opinions and choice of respondents. The questionnaires was planned and conducted outside Liverpool St. McDonalds, around 70 questionnaires where been distributed and their response was taken into considerations. Questionnaires were designed in way where respondents can describe their choice.

The questionnaires were well-structured and a strictly structured according to the objectives. The data has been processed and analysed through SPSS V16 software in order to create graphs and charts in order to prove the suggested hypothesis.

Types of questions used in the questionnaire

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The primary research was gathered through questionnaires which were distributed in McDonald's Liverpool St, the questions were based on consumer buying behaviour and the advertising pursuing the consumers. Furthermore it is been discussed the type of questions being used in the questionnaires to collect the data.

Dichotomous questions:

In this research dichotomous type questions has been used to collect necessary information which seeks only two answers, these are mainly simple questions and it is better to start with as it gives the respondent the image of simple questionnaire.

For example: 'Have you seen any fast food advertisement'. Yes or No

Ranking questions

In this research there are ranking questions which will help to determine the factors which influence the most to eat at fast food restaurants. This type of questionnaires helps the conductor to derive the most influential factor or reason, which is certainly one of the objectives of the research.

For example: Which of the following factors most influence your decision to eat at fast food restaurant particularly McDonald's? (Rank the answers from 1 as least influential and 6 as most influential)

Closed Format Questions:

A closed format question includes multiple choice answers and there are two questions based on this format, it helps to derive numerical data and proportion easily. The respondents have a limited choice to pick and the research conductor will be easily able to locate the idea of the answer or mode of advertisement in this questionnaire.

For example: In which of the following media you have seen fast food advertisement most? Choices are; TV, Websites etc.

Frequency questions:

It has been used to find the information related to the time period a respondent has been with McDonald's as a customer, it will give researcher an idea about the customer loyalty and their buying pattern.

For example: How long have you been buying McDonald's Food? Options: 0-6 months etc.

Pilot Questionnaires

A pilot questionnaire was conducted before the actual research. A preliminary questionnaire to test whether the questions produce the sort of answers expected and that these can be processed and analysed. Asking about 10 people should highlight any questions that are poorly worded, confusing or too difficult to answer.

The process of piloting requires interviewers to conduct the interview in the normal way, and to note any difficulties which they encounter in introducing the questionnaire (Crouch S, 1996)

Pilot questionnaire was done after testing 10 members of the population and few changes were made to the questionnaires which are as follow.

--- Question 2 was changed by changing the option.

--- Question 4 was modified as the option was not proper from the customer point of view.

--- Question 6 was modified as question was confusing to the target audience.

It was rearranged in order for the respondents to understand the flow of question.

--- Question 8 was also modified as the question didn't make it to the audience.

Source of the data

There will be two methods of gathering the data; primary and secondary method. In the primary method questionnaires will be used to gather the relevant information. Questionnaires will be the best method to get direct information from the consumers as the study is based on the consumer buying decision. The questionnaire will benefit the researcher to find out specific information in particular area in detail such as the frequency of purchase, type of customer student or quick biting trend as well the mode of getting information is quicker and reliable because it was conducted personally by the researcher. There wasn't any particular age factor in collection of the data.

The secondary source of the data was from journals, previous studies conducted by other researchers and mainly reports from well known market researchers such as data monitor, key note etc. as well as the website such as emerald where online journal articles was easy to excess. The data which was reviewed and taken into consideration for this study was mainly studied performed by different researchers and marketers relating to advertisement of fast food and how does they affect the consumer buying behaviour. Many books were reviewed and the core theories related to advertisement and marketing concepts were taken in this research where as journals helped to get the most recent data related to the topic. Newspapers were also a good source of secondary information.

Data gathering

The questionnaire was distributed to 70 respondents among male and female. The questionnaires were able to generate up to date information related to the buying behaviour. The research is focused particularly on the fast food giant McDonalds so the location was chosen as central London Liverpool St. McDonalds which is considered as the busiest McDonald's restaurant in the United Kingdom, the restaurant is based right in front of the Liverpool street national rail station and the customer base is very diverse. The questionnaires were given to random consumers of the McDonald's restaurant.

The primary data collected was distributed among diverse customer base of that restaurant, it was handed directly to the customers and the results were much less time consuming, so it was helpful enough on time constraint. The pilot questionnaires helped the researcher to redefine certain questions and the feedback of the pilot questionnaires improved the actual research in creating good questions as well as conducting the questionnaire.

The collected data was further used and organised in the findings, and the use of secondary data were both used to present the findings. The data collected from both the methods are been used in the Microsoft excel to generate figures in percentages as well as it was also used to derive mean, medians and standard deviation. Furthermore the suggested hypothesis are been proved via t-test distribution. The findings were also presented in diagrams and pie charts again with the help of Microsoft Excel.

Limitations of the research

The time length was one of the main issues in conducting the research and considering the fact about the time, the research was limited to 70 respondents. The research was carried in the afternoon and evening times, and the location is considered as the busiest McDonald's restaurant in the United Kingdom, so did faced the problem of busy customers who cannot really spare few moments for the survey.

The researcher was the only person conducting the questionnaires so there was a lack of man power.

Crouch S, (1996) from reebok essay

Fisher (2007)

Kaplan and Dunchon (1988)

Jarrat, (1996: 6:15)

Scribd (2010) Business Research Methodology,, Power point Presention.

Selltiz, (1962)

Hussey, J. and R. Hussey (1997) Business Research: A Practical Guide for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students. London, Macmillan

Saunders, M., P. Lewis, et al. (2007). Research Methods for Business Students. Harlow, England, FT Prentice Hall, Pearson Education.

Levin 1988

Saunders M, Lewis P, Thornhill A, 1997 'Research methods for business students' 5th edition, pearson education, p-114

Greener S (2008) Business Research methodology,

Galliers, R.D. (1991) Choosing appropriate informationsystems research approaches: a revised taxonomy In: Information Systems Research: Contemporary Approaches and Emergent Traditions, Nissen, H.-E.,Klein, H.K. & Hirschheim, R. (eds), pp. 327-345.Elsevier Science Publishers, North Holland.