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It is essential to gather information to properly evaluate and attain the objectives of the research. Research was done to amass and bring together the required data so that it could be analysed for the fulfilment of objectives. The main objective of the research was to collect data for its analysis to see whether online advertisement on social networking has had a positive or negative impact on the customer. The other objectives to be achieved via this research were: To research how people perceive the online advertisements on face book; the impact of online advertisement on the user of the site; online advertising and its effectiveness of its operations; To determine the extent of online advertising's influence on satisfaction of face book users by searching information through interviews and questionnaires; and to compile the research data and discuss on the results and predict the future of online advertisement on social networking sites on the observations.
Research methodology is the third chapter of this dissertation and it explains the plot of the research along with the techniques and approaches used for this research. This section throws light upon the methodology used in this research and briefly presents an overview of research and its philosophy. This area of the dissertation explains and evaluates which methods were chosen for the research and which were not giving brief explanations of each. The reasons and justifications are also given to explain why priority has been given to the chosen research methods. Advantages of the methods involved for research are also listed. The researcher has also tried to understand the research process in detail along with its constraints and limitations.
According to Bhattacharyya (2007) research is an activity that requires systematic development and acquisition of knowledge. Other authors define research as (Kumar) (2005), search of knowledge in common parlance. The researcher's views are consistent with that of the definitions above as it is a search of knowledge and information on any specific topic. Another definition of research was by Kothari (2008) who described research as an inquiry carefully explored through search for new facts. This has helped the researcher in understanding that research is not just a means of getting stability academically but also as a means of learning on new facts. Problems and constraints were found out and then solutions were sort out for them. All the information was gathered, collected, organized and evaluated in order to reach conclusion of the findings in hypothesis. Finding out how successful was online advertising was the main aim of this research. Saunders et al. (2009) explains methodology as "A focused, intensive and systematic investigation to obtain specific and detailed information". Research methodology of this dissertation refers to strategic plans and data collection tools for data analysis which is based on the research objectives. This section was concerned with the verification, examination, development and refinement of research techniques and procedures that form the body of research methodology. The model proposed by Johnson and Scholes define methodology as a focused, intensive and systematic investigation to obtain specific and detailed information. This research provided base for analysing the topic in question on which explanations and conclusion was given. Methodology in this dissertation refers to use of techniques and data gathering strategies to collect and analyse information. It embeds experiments carried on, observations taken, analysis of the findings and surveys (Saunders et al. 2009).
As an MBA student it was expected to conduct a research in the field of management.
It was easy to choose a topic for dissertation as all basic guidelines were provided by the lecturers and the requirements were clearly instructed. Relevant information was also provided by the university's administration which made the choice of the topic easy.
The choice of the topic is dependent on writing a thesis on a unique topic with relation to managerial studies academically. Other factors that determined the topic selection decision were personal interest in social networking sites and relevancy to research needs. The researcher's personal experience in the information technology field supported the idea of writing a dissertation on this topic. It was imperative to ensure that this report would have enough investigative data to reach to a conclusion and it should also meet criteria and guidelines set by the university.The main aim of this dissertation was to know the impact of Online Advertisement on the customer and how the customer generally perceives these advertisements and what factors lead to this perception. It is of great importance to devise the dissertation design carefully. Friends and colleagues and their respective ideas and other past related thesis significant to the topic proved a backbone for this research. Internet was also a major source for the research on the dissertation. Brainstorming of the ideas and data gathered helped in reaching the conclusion and the questioners and the interviews helped in understanding what effects online advertisement has on different people of different geographical areas. The writer ensured to follow this. Before the research process commencement, it was of high importance to understand what online advertisement is and how it is growing in the modern age of Information and Technology. It was also important to know how human minds operates and how a respective advertisement on the internet attracts the person and what leads him to eventually reach a conclusion of whether to buy or refuse a product.
1). Initial interviews were conducted with the students and necessary information was collected.
2). Questioners were made and distributed among the students
3). Friends in Delhi also conducted a research of their own to know how different geographical segments responded to the questioners and interviews showing how their background, sects, beliefs differ from those of in Europe.
Research framework was generated for collection of data and its analysis.
Aim and objectives were proposed in this design and were all linked together (Saunders et al, 2009). Research proposal was made that showed what the dissertation would be comprised of and provided a brief summary what the detailed research would comprise off. The university administration's response was positive and the researcher went ahead with the research.
It was very important to manage all the activities of the research and it was sorted out well before of how much time would be given to each activity. For this purpose Gantt chart was chosen as it has become a common technique in presenting the main activity into smaller activities and allocation time to each activity. Gantt Charts primarily focus on schedule management which helped in keeping a check on how much time is taken against the proposed on each activity of the research. The model proposed by (Bryman and Bell, 2007) Bell's six-points-parameter method was applied for thinning down of the collected data. It was made sure that the material collected for the research was real, and relavent to the topic and the conclusion based on the research material was justifiable and the opinion of the researcher himself. Factors like cost, time and scope were taken into consideration when carrying out the research and it was also ensured that the views of the survey came directly from the chosen sampling. Internet was chosen as the primary medium of the research and different views of different writers were also examined for reliability. Critical analysis of the research methods that were used proved to be very vital to the research (Bryman and Bell, 2007). It was only then made sure that the research in this dissertation was easily understandable to everyone.
3.4 Pilot Study
To start the research on this topic it was important to carry out a feasibility study before actually commencing the dissertation. It was important to weigh and balance the researchers area of interest in a specific area and the feasibility of carrying out and completing the dissertation in the given time. The researcher planned a pilot study so that it could identify the problems and deficiency in the proposed topic and also to ensure that the material for the research is relevant to the topic in discussion. The limitations and problems in the research were identified well before time and adequate measures were taken to remove the deficiency. After the initial interviews a pilot questionnaire was distributed to 10 students to generate their views and ideas and approaches. These ideas helped in gathering better and clearly understandable research material of better quality in the main research. Other benefits acquired from conducting pilot study are: It allowed the researcher to perform a complete check on what was planned, what data was gathered, what measures were used to gather the required data and to verify that the data gathered was useful and valid so that a conclusion was achieved on the base of the evidence, and to mitigate any unforeseen problems that would have arose.
3.5 Types of Research
3.5.1 Descriptive and Analytical Research
Both descriptive and analytical researches were applied in the research (Saunders et al. 2009). The basic difference in both of these research methods is mainly on what question it asks. Descriptive research attempts to determine, describe, or identify what is, while anaylytical approach ask why it is this way and how it came to be. Descriptive research consisted of finding material and fact finding enquiries. It consisted of different kinds of measuring frequencies and preferences of similar data. Current state of affairs was included in descriptive research. The research was not just used to present the literature review but also to comment upon the findings of the research. On the other hand, in analytical research, the researcher tried to find out why the material stated what it stated and analysis was done on the research material for critically analysing and evaluating information.
3.5.2 Applied and Fundamental Research
Applied and fundamental researches were also carried out by the researcher (Saunders et al. 2009). The basic objective of the applied research was to find out a valid answers and reasons for pressing practical problem so that corrective action and solutions were taken. Whereas the fundamental research generated a body of knowledge by trying to comprehend how certain problems that occur can be solved and concerned theory formulation and concentration with generalizations. These researchers helped the researcher to achieve its objectives individually.
3.5.3 Deductive and Inductive Research
Both deductive and inductive reasoning were applied in this dissertation research (McNeil and Chapman, 2005). Deductive approach is the reasoning that works from the more general to the more specific. For this reason it is also know as the top down approach. The researcher began with thinking of a theory on this topic and then he narrowed down the theory and form a specific hypothesis that could be tested and observed upon which lead to the specific data. On the other hand Inductive approach worked the other way (more specific to broader generalizations and theories). It's called bottom up approach in which the research is begun with specific observations which begin to detect patterns and regularities and result in tentative hypothesis that is to be explored and finally end up in general conclusive theories.
Inductive research was open-ended and exploratory while deductive research was naturally narrow and was concerned with testing/confirming hypotheses. More deductive approach was adapted like for all other social research methodologies (Bryman and Bell, 2007).
Apart from the above mentioned researches, explanatory research was carried out in an attempt to clarify how and why there was a relationship between two aspects of a situation. Study was conducted to investigate and explore the possibilities of undertaking a particular research especially when there were few studies to which references can be made (Kothari, 2008). The researcher undertook initial survey in order to establish the concern area (exploratory research) and then these issues were examined deeply via conducting questionnaires and interviews, to provide a better (explanatory research).
3.6 Data Collection Methods and Research Approaches
Selection of research methods are dependant on the cost of the research, speed of collection of the data, the quality of the research, the quantilty and the reliability of the data as a whole. The selection techniques chosen were based on cost effectiveness and their quality to gather reliable data so that bottlenecks were mitigated and only relevant data was collected. The resources of research were divided into internal (company' records and information) and external (magazines, rep orts, newspapers, journals and websites (Zikmund, 2000). Sources of data used were primary and secondary data. According to Jackson (1994) the value of a research is related to its data collection methods and importantly, whether or not it includes both secondary and primary data.
The primary data collection was conducted with a focused and purposeful approach. As the topic was based on the social networking and online advertisements there was somewhat limited reliable data. Books, articles, websites were searched for secondary data while primary data included interviews/questionnaires and surveys.
There were two basic research approaches, quantitative and qualitative (Saunders, 2009). These research approaches generally form the research methodology structure. Qualitative research was carried out in the start of the dissertation. It was carried out to deduce more in depth information for reaching the conclusion. In contrast to qualitative research, quantitative research proved more objective. Qualitative research approach was concerned with subjective assessment of opinions, attitudes and behaviors. It was imperative to carry out both of these approaches collectively to answer different questions in different conditions. e.g. asking students how they feel about the online advertivesment and promotion of products and how it has attracted them to purchase things online; and quantitative research in collecting numerical data and applying statistical tests by surveying students and scaling the findings and presenting in percentages (Burney and White, 2009). Information gathered from these approaches was added in the overall conculsion. Quantitative research consisted of structured questionnaire with predetermined responses. Measurements were objective and statistically valid. Qualitative research was more subjective in nature and involved collecting data by taking interviews from students both in uk and in india.
The reason Facebook was chosen was because it has been a major turnover in how social networking has taken over the new era and how the advertising companies have identified and chosen this medium as their latest tool to sell the products or at the least make their products known. Every research method has its limitations and this was known to the researcher. This realisation made the choice of using multi-method approach easier (Saunders et al. 2009). In the end, the data gathered was scanned to check for its reliability by comparing notes from authentic sources (articles, books and journals) (Bryman and Bell, 2006).
3.6.1 (In-depth Interview - Qualitative research)
Kothari (2008) and Beins (2008), believed that interviews are important evidence collection tactics in explanatory and informational research. Interviews is a two way communication platform where ones gestures and thoughts can be analysed. It helps in capturing accounts of events from participating individuals. It enables complexity in data to be captured and is generative in that new knowledge may be uncovered (Legard et al, 2003). It is a popular method of data collection as it is linked to its ability to attain a range of interviewees' views and to communicate multiple perspectives on a phenomenon. The researcher took interviews of students of the university and other universities, online interviews were also taken in general chat rooms of india as the researcher believed it was necessary to spread the sample and not limit it to UK only. It proved reliable for generating valid data. Interviews were directed without any difficulty and it assisted in gathering primary and qualitative data (Saunders et al 2009). The researcher tried to collect information on how many people have access to facebook; how many of them have ever noticed the adds on the site; how many have ever clicked or visited on any of the advertisements;. The researcher also asked questions related to percentage of time that they take out in the day to visit facebook. The questions asked were in the sequence and the researcher felt that these helped in meeting the main aim as well as a couple of objectives for this research. The students were quite involved in the interview, the topic being of their ineterst. They presented their views on the topic itself and answered each and every question with great enthusiasm. Before commencing on this research, the researcher involved some of his friends in india to help him out with the views. For this video conferencing was used and even online interviews were conducted. Although the interviews cannot be considered as the only means of gathering information regarding online advertisements but it was a good way to answer the research questions and to achieve research objectives.
3.6.2 Survey Research (Quantitative Research)
It was believed by Saunders et al. (2009) that Questionnaires can be applied to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. Questionnaires are considered to be a list of carefully structured questions which are considerably tested for drawing out reliable responses. It was also convenient to generate data which was easily analysed and processed. It was also very much cost effective and students had no problem filling them out or understanding the general layout. It was important to know that the students were using facebook and what views they had about the online advertisements. The researchers friends helped him out in distributing the questionnaires and the response was quite quick. The researcher collected the information and scaled to percentages easily. Questions asked in the Questionnaires were completely related to the research topic and helped in achieving the main aims and objectives of this research.
The questions asked were easy so that the students could express their views without any difficulty and would take less time. The researcher feels that all the research objectives have been achieved by getting answers for individual questions. There was enough evidence collected from both in UK and from India which could be used for its analysis.
It was generally understood that there would be limitations in collecting data from all sources and it was physically impossible to cover the whole population, therefore quota sampling was conducted. In this type of sampling the population was divided into specific groups and each group was given a quota. After dividing the group representative samples from each group were taken and correlated with each other which at the end provided full sample. It was decided to take a sample of 25 students at one time. Finally the whole sample of 100 students was completed in due time. Questionnaires that were filled out in india were received by the researcher on his email which also formed an important part of conculsion.
3.8 Limitations & Constraints
It was not possible to remove all the limitations and constraints but some of them were addressed and reduced. It was not possible to visit Delhi therefore the researcher took aid from his friends to find out the general views of people on online advertisement. It would have cost the researcher a lot of money to buy air tickets to visit the Delhi. Therefore, research was carried out via tele/video conferencing. Sampling was another limitation and personal bias and prejudice could not be totally removed from the interviews and questionnaires.