For this study survey, strategy will be used in order to collect data. Survey researchers are quite distinct from the general surveys conducted for different purposes, including marketing survey. According to Tanur(1982) surveys are generally meant of collecting data related to “characteristics, actions, or opinions of a large group of people, referred to as a population.” The surveys conducted for research purposes are focused on advancement of knowledge within a specific domain.
Research survey data can be collected through different methods, including interviews, questionnaires and observations. In terms of questionnaires, the data can be collected either through open-ended questions in which participants need to provide details answer or closed questions in which participants need to provide select single or multiple answers from the choice of answers. According to Groves et al. (2013) survey data will be biased if the process of the survey is not properly followed, which includes designing, writing, collecting and analysing sub-processes. Figure 1 presents the typical data collection process as describe by Groves et al.(2013)
Figure 1: A survey from process prospective (Groves et. al. 2013,pp.149)
For the research survey, strategy will be used and data will be collected through set of questionnaires which respondent will be able to complete themselves. The reason for using questioner as data collection method was because, firstly, this research is using survey strategy and according to Saunders et al. (2012) “questioner is one of the most widely used data collection methods within survey strategy.” Secondly, since this research will be providing the closed answers which will be used for quantitative data analysis, therefore, questionnaire data collection method is more suited for this research.
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In terms of sampling, since its pilot data collection and research is focused on general consumer perception about the service delivery and expected quality evaluated through the prism of culture, therefore, as describe by Saunders et al. (2012) ‘probability based sampling’ technique will be used to identify a group from population for data collection. For quality of data, research has applied ‘stratified random sampling’ by using the one attribute that has the basic level of experience in terms of service delivery from the population.
The validity or according to Saunders et al. (2012) ‘content validity’, questions in a survey provide adequate representation for research questions. As describe by Saunders et al. (2012) validity of the content can be evaluated through literature review, which has been provided for this research.
For the reliability and consistency in response to the questionnaire, the research is confined to only closed questions with multiple-choice single selection answers, and questions are all design using simple language.
The questions on the survey are design based upon the research questions, and all the questions in the survey are closed question that is multiple-choice single selection in order to collect consistent data. The order and flow of the questions are carefully design to avoid confusion and misinterpretation. Similarly, in order to avoid blank or missed questions the questions are presented on the same page, Please see the Appendix for actual questionnaire in the survey.
Although the research is evaluating the research question using qualitative research methodology, but the data collected through a survey is processed by quantitative data analysis. The data collected through a survey is considered to numerical data, and ‘exploratory data analysis(EDA)’ approach will be used to process it. According to Saunders et al. (2012) EDA approach for data analysis emphasis on using diagrams and tables for understanding and exploring data. Since this is pilot research, therefore, as describe by Saunders et al. (2012) EDA approach is useful for initially stages of the research.
Research instrument and data collection:
The survey is divided into two sections first section contains demographic questions two get more understandings about the respondent and their classification. The second section contains the statement about the service encounter which participants had to rate using 7-points Likert scale starting from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Before attempting to rate the statements participants were asked to think of the service they have received from the industries like banks, retail, etc. and use the experience to rate the statements.
The survey is conducted electronically by creating the questionnaire on a free online survey conducting website which provides functionality to share a link to the survey. The link to the survey is shared through email and also via different electronic forums, The data collected through the survey is analysed and evaluated after downloading it from the website.
Sample data comprised of two sources that is the student of universities and colleges. A total of hundred responses was received out of several hundred survey requests. As the research aims to analyse the effect of culture on customer perception of service, therefore, the sampling framework was clustered into two major group based on their ethnicity that is white and non-white. Population targeted for this research was local consumers living in UK and had received service from industries like banks, retail, etc. in last few months. Participants from the sample are chosen using researcher’s own intuition and chosen with purpose. (Tellstrom et al., 2006). In order to further evaluate participant demographic information like age and education has also been collected.
In order to measure a perception of service quality and evolution process, in this SERVQUAL scale will be used, which was developed by Parasuraman et al. (1991). SERQUAL provides 22-items scale, spanning five dimensions (tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy), of service quality expectations and, which has been evaluated and validated in numerous studies (Donthu and Yoo, 1998). Although researchers have identified some shortcoming in using SERVQUAL, but the model is most widely referenced and practiced among various industries. The questionnaires in this study were design to capture the customer perceptions of service quality based on five quality dimension of SERVQUAL.
For gauging the culture of the survey participant, the study will use the Hofstede’s framework of cultural dimensions. Several scholars have proposed alternative frameworks to conceptualize and operational culture to overcome the shortcoming of Hofstede’s framework. However, Hofstede’s framework is still the most widely used cultural framework in different fields of study, including “psychology, sociology, marketing, or management” (Soares et al., 2007). The research has used the approach of grouping the participant according to their individual scores on Hofstede’s cultural dimension scale resulting in better understanding the role of culture in shaping service perception (Guesalaga et al ., 2016). The survey has been conducted within UK, and participants predominantly belong to western culture but some of the participant involved has a different culture which can give better understand of cultural effect on service quality perception.
Guesalaga, R.; Pierce, M. and Scaraboto, D. (2016), Cultural influences on expectations and evaluations of service quality in emerging markets, International Marketing Review, 33(1), pp. 88-111
Parasuraman, A.; Berry, L. and Zeithaml, V.A. (1991), Refinement and reassessment of the SERVQUAL scale, Journal of Retailing, .67(4), pp. 420-450.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2012) Research methods for business students. 6th edn. Harlow: Pearson.
Tanur, J.M.(1982) Advances in methods for large-scale surveys and experiments, in R. Mcadams, N.J. Smelser, & D.J. Treiman (eds.), Behavioral and Social Science Research: A National Resource, Part II. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
Groves,R. M., Fowler, F.J., Couper, M.P. Jr., Lepkowski, J. M., Singer, E. and Tourangeau, R. (2013), Survey Methodology, First Edition,John Wiley & Sons
Donthu, N. and Yoo, B. (1998),Cultural Influences on Service Quality Expectations, Journal of Service Research,1(2), pp.178-186
Soares, A. M.; Farhangmehr, M. and Shoham, A. (2007), Hofstede’s dimensions of culture in international marketing studies, Journal of Business Research, 60, pp. 277 – 284
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