Research Methodologies

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CHAPTER # 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES


3.1 INTRODUCTION

The validity and reliability of the outcomes of a research largely depends on adopting correct research design, appropriate research methods, data collection methods, and data analysis method. Accordingly, in this research, an attempt was made to adopt correct research design, appropriate research methods, data collection methods, and data analysis method, so that the outcomes of the research could be more reliable and valid.  This chapter details the adopted research design, applied research methods, opted data collection methods and data analysis method.


3.2 RESEARCH DESIGN

Research design gives the clue that helps a researcher to follow certain path of research process. A design is described as giving composition to the research, to illustrate how all of the key parts of the research project such as methods, the samples, measures, treatments and programs work together to attempt to take in hand the central research questions (Saunders et al, 2004). Remarkably, research design, as a set of options, is influenced by the aims, the research questions and the styles/traditions of the research; the link amid theory and research (Sekaran, 2004). Like social research, business research can be deductive or inductive. The inductive research, which is also termed as grounded research, is a model in which general principles (theories) are extended from explicit observations. Whereas in deductive research explicit bunch of hypothesis is created on the ground of general principles, such as social scientists start from an existing theory, and then search for substantiation (Saunders et al, 2004; Sekaran, 2004).


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Understandably, inductive research goes from the explicit to the general, whereas deductive research goes from the general to the explicit. More clearly, deductive research begins with an all-purpose rule, an assertion, which we recognize to be true, or we believe it to be true for the conditions. Afterward from that rule, we make a conclusion regarding something explicit. On the other hand, inductive research is making a conclusion based on a set of empirical data. If one examine that something is true several times, concluding that it will be true in the entire situations, is the approach of inductive research. In inductive research, one may explore the issue further to form theory and hypotheses on the topic. This might be an essential choice if he/she is interested in a new or under-investigated topic. Whereas, in deductive research, one can write hypotheses and collect evidence to test them. This is a first-rate option if one has an idea or relationship he/she want to test.


The purpose of this research was to examine the effectiveness of marketing and advertising in today's environment and their comparative significance for the businesses. Suggestively, this required the researcher to extend general principles regarding marketing and advertising through explicit observations. Therefore, this research was categorized as inductive. Adopting inductive approach, the researcher has made a conclusion based on a set of empirical data, collected through industry level surveys. Although inductive research is generally conducted with the help of qualitative data, this research is conducted combining both qualitative and quantitative data. This is because quantitative data is complementary to qualitative data, and such amalgamation endows the researcher to come forward with   more reliable conclusions.


3.3RESEARCH METHOD

Research methods are specified as qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative method concerns to collecting qualitative data, which typically involves words; and quantitative method concerns to collecting quantitative data, which involves numbers. A key difference amid qualitative and quantitative method deals with the fundamental assumptions regarding the role of the researcher (Creswell, 2002). Adopting quantitative method, the researcher is idyllically an objective observer who neither participates in nor influences what is being examined. Adopting qualitative method on the other end, though, it is thought that the researcher can find out the most by participating and/or being immersed in a research site. These essential fundamental assumptions of both methodologies steer and sequence the types of data collection methods put into application (Bryman and Bell, 2003).


Even though there are apparent differences amid qualitative and quantitative methods, various researchers uphold that the option amid using qualitative or quantitative methods in fact has less to do with methodologies than it does with positioning oneself within a specific order or research tradition. The complexity in opting a method is compounded by the fact that research is generally allied with universities and other institutions (Creswell, 2002). The findings of research projects generally direct vital decisions regarding specific practices and policies. Options regarding which method to adopt might reflect the interests of those conducting or benefiting from the research and the objectives for which the findings will be put into application. Decisions regarding which kind of research method to use possibly will too be based on the researcher's own experience and preference, the population being approached, the proposed audience for findings, time, money and other resources accessible (Bryman and Bell, 2003).


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Various researchers consider that qualitative and quantitative methodologies cannot be combined since the assumptions underlying each tradition are so greatly unusual. Other researchers believe they can be used in combination just by alternating amid methods; qualitative method is suitable to answer certain kinds of questions in definite conditions and quantitative is right for others. And various others scholars think that both qualitative and quantitative methods can be used concurrently to answer a research question or achieve research aims and objectives (Bryman and Bell, 2003).


Since scholars argue  that both qualitative and quantitative methods can be used concurrently to answer a research question or achieve research aims and objectives , it was found most suitable to put into application both qualitative and quantitative methods in this research. Qualitative method was applied to collect secondary data, and quantitative method was applied to collect primary data. Adopting qualitative method, an extensive review of the previous studies (regarding marketing and advertising) was conducted in the research; and further adopting quantitative method, empirical data was collected through survey directly approaching to the industry people.


3.4 DATA COLLECTION

There are two key methods to collecting data regarding a situation, person, problem, or phenomenon. At times, data required is already available and need only be extracted; whereas, at times data must be collected directly. Based upon these broad approaches to data collecting, data are categorized as: secondary data; and primary data (Saunders et al, 2004; Sekaran, 2004)


In this research data is collected in the form of secondary data (qualitative data) and primary data (quantitative data).


3.4.1 Secondary Data

Secondary data are essential for most organizational research. Secondary data refer to data collected by someone other than the researcher conducting the current study. Such data can be internal or external to the organization and obtained through published or unpublished documents. (Saunders et al, 2004).


There are various sources of secondary data, consisting books and periodicals, government publications of economic indicators, census data, statistical abstracts; data bases the media, annual reports of companies, etc. Case studies and other archival records-sources of secondary data-provide a lot of data for research and problem solving. Such data are mostly qualitative in nature. In addition, included in secondary sources are schedules maintained for or by key personnel in organizations, the desk calendar of executives, and speeches delivered by them (Sekaran, 2003). 


The advantage of seeking secondary data sources is savings in time and costs of accessing data. Though, secondary data as the only source of information has the disadvantage of becoming obsolete, and not meeting the specific needs of the particular situation or setting. Therefore, it is vital to refer to sources that offer current and up-to-date data (Sekaran, 2003).


This research was not a case study research, and therefore only external sources of secondary data collection were accessed. The secondary sources were   primarily books and journals, and secondarily newspapers, magazines, newspapers and online libraries. The secondary data in this research was collected in the form of qualitative data, and this data constitutes the whole literature review, based on which issues for quantitative or primary data collection were identified.


3.4.2 Primary Data

A number of methods can be used to collect primary data, out of which the most common are observation, interviewing and questionnaire survey (Saunders et al, 2004). In this research, primary data has been collected through questionnaire survey. This is because questionnaire survey is more convenient than interviews and more valid and reliable than observation in this research as it reveals the differences between Advertising and Marketing.


A questionnaire has several advantages. It is less expensive-as one does not interview respondents, one saves time and human and financial resources. The use of a questionnaire, therefore, is comparatively convenient and inexpensive (Saunders et al, 2004). Predominantly, when it is administered collectively to a study population, it is an extremely inexpensive method of data collection. It offers greater anonymity-as there is no face-to-face interaction between respondents and interviewer, this method provides greater anonymity. In some situations when sensitive questions are asked it helps to increase the likelihood of obtaining accurate information (Sekaran, 2003). 


A questionnaire is a written list of questions, the answers to which are recorded by respondents. In a questionnaire respondents read the questions, interpret what is expected and then write down the answers. The only difference between an interview schedule and a questionnaire is that, in the former it is the interviewer who asks the questions, and records the respondent's replies on an interview schedule (Saunders et al, 2004).


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In order to conduct questionnaire survey in this research, a questionnaire was designed firstly, and then the respondents were approached with the questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted only close-ended questions, as the researcher required direct response of the question. Close-ended questions are more easy and precise to extract information. Furthermore, respondents are generally not unwilling to respond close-ended questions, whereas open-ended questions are difficult to answer.   Cautious was maintained to design correct, simple and easy to answer questions. In most cases, respondents were approached through telephone, and in some cases the respondents were approached personally.  The questionnaire consisted of 12 close-ended questions. 12 close-ended questions (6 on marketing and another 6 on advertising) were sufficient to extract information regarding the specified research issues. Generally the questions were direct, therefore, there needed no background questions leading to direct questions.


The two most common methods of sampling are convenient (probability) and random (non-probability) sampling (Saunders et al, 2003). In this research, in order to collect primary data sample was selected randomly. 25 Marketing Managers (based in Delhi) from various companies were approached for the survey. Thus, the sample size was 25.  The respondents were approached personally and telephonically with a questionnaire consisting 12 close-ended questions.


3.5 DATA ANALYSIS

The primary purpose of data analysis in this research has been to compare and contrast the collected qualitative and quantitative data and consequently make generalizations or conclusions. This is triangulation method of data analysis.


Triangulation is method to data analysis that amalgamates data from numerous sources. Triangulation attempts to quickly examine available data to build up interpretations and advance policy and programs based on the accessible evidence. By scrutinizing data collected by different methods, by diverse groups and in diverse populations, findings can be supported across data sets, reducing the impact of potential biases that can be in a single research. Triangulation compares and contrast   data from quantitative and qualitative studies, integrates obstacle and care program data, and makes use of professional conclusion (Creswell, 2002).


Adopting triangulation method, the conjectures formed through qualitative data has been examined by collected quantitative data. Based on this, conclusions have been made regarding the effectiveness of marketing and advertising in today's environment and their comparative significance for the businesses.  Microsoft Excel software was used to code and interpret the data through triangulation method.  The data is presented in number and percentage, applying simple statistical methods.


3.6 SUMMARY

Adopting inductive approach, the researcher has made a conclusion based on a set of empirical data, collected through industry level surveys. Although inductive research is generally conducted with the help of qualitative data, this research is conducted combining both qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative method was applied to collect secondary data, and quantitative method was applied to collect primary data. Adopting qualitative method, an extensive review of the previous studies (regarding marketing and advertising) was conducted in the research; and further adopting quantitative method, empirical data was collected through survey directly approaching to the industry people. Adopting triangulation method, the conjectures formed through qualitative data has been examined by collected quantitative data. Based on this, conclusions have been made regarding the effectiveness of marketing and advertising in today's environment and their comparative significance for the businesses.