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[The aim of this chapter is to discuss and justify the methodology used in this research. In this chapter, the research design is explained, the approach to design of the research is discussed and justified.
Firstly, this chapter outlines the research process, then the aims and objectives of the research, and then moves to justify the research design, the data collection and analysis methods. Thereafter, a conclusion is made which explains the issues related with the research methodology and limitations relating to this research.]
The research process
Figure : The Research Process
The process above gives an outline of the research process I adapted to follow. In the initial step, the identification of research topic is considered as it is base for building on further on the subject of interest. As the topic I was given [__________]. The next step I followed was the literature review within this I divided the process into two distinct process – one; literature readings, reading of related material like the books, journal articles, and online other sources to help analyze and form clear idea of the keywords and also define the literature reviewing capacity through collection of data. The second process I followed was to re-read the collected data and try to suit the collected information and all the theoretical terms and details to formulate a clear cut vision to build content and also enable for clear plan of action for further research and literature reading if need be. These two processes had clearly helped me to understand and build a refined insight of the subject and also read various previously researched articles. Then I followed the process of research approach and design of the research. As through this process I could conclude if the data was appropriate enough to help me build my report in match to the research objectives. Although I believe that there were various other number of techniques, yet the simplest way is the effective literature review of data collection and then analyze, interpret, and the present at length and in depth in the AMP report.
Aims and Objectives of the research
[In line with the introduction chapter where the main objective of this research was identified as examining the factors effecting the flow of FDI in India, the following set of objectives have been developed in broader terms:
To analyze the retail sector in India
Analyze the role of FDI in growth of the retail sector
Analyze the cultural dynamics of India that impede flow of FDI in retail sector.
Understand the issues and challenges to retail industry.
Suggest measures to overcome the challenges.
Simply put, this research revolved around the view that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will positively contribute to the growth of retail sector in the country and hence may contribute to the overall growth of the economy.]
It is at researcher’s discretion to decide on the research methodology to choose from to develop his knowledge on the subject of choice. Hence managing the research is solely concerned with the researcher’s choice for the developing of the knowledge on the concerned subject. Researcher must understand that managing research is only builds in developing knowledge in an acceptable manner.
[According to Frank Crossan (2004) the study of methodology/philosophy is crucial in as much as it can help the researcher to specify the research methods to be used in a study.] Following process is to identify and select a research methodology keeping in mind the type of evidence to be collected, understood, and analyzed thus assist in clearing doubts on the research question of concern in the subject of choice. Finally, having such approach will only assist to evaluate through the selected method thus decreasing the possibility of following process having lots of limitation and may even be avoiding a research methodology which is not suitable at all.
[A review of business research methodologies outlines three main different research philosophies viz. Positivism, Phenomenology and Realism (Saunders, 2003).]
From the review of business research methodologies there are three main and different research methodologies and they are as outlined below. (Saunders, 2003)
It is a thought process in adaptation which stresses on quantitative approach to investigate phenomena. In this process the researchers assumes a role of objective analyst and concentrates on specific, effective, and efficient structured methodology which enables available facility replications. From that replications quantify the observations observed. This enables the subjected observations to statistical analysis (Proctor 2003). Positivism can be characterized as:
Methodological: Research should be quantitative. Since, only quantitative research shall form a foothold of all the generalizations which are deemed necessary. The collected facts should be unified in measurement and measured quantitatively and should be reduced to numbers.
Value freedom: Research carried out should be study of objectives to subject of concern rather than just the human beliefs and interests.
Causality: [Human behaviour is a peripheral item and the aim should be to identify causal explanations, thereby leading to observation of fundamental laws.]
Independence: The subject under investigation should be investigated with independence and not constrict to the subject.
Reductionism: Ability to understand any problem of any size is only done when it is broken down to smaller and simpler elements.
Phenomenology is a line of thought that adopts and emphasizes Interpretivism. Phenomenology encompasses a clear position to interpret and investigate the subject in a qualitative angle. Thus the basic comparison between positivism and phenomenology is the quantitative of the data and study the subject qualitative.
[The researcher assumes that it is necessary to explore the subjective meanings motivating people’s actions. This would then facilitate in understanding their motives, actions and intentions. (Sanders, 2003).]
A main element of Phenomenology is subjective as it assumes that reality is multiple, and based on perceptions or mental constructions of the researchers. Phenomenology lays stress on the utilization of multiple and elastic methods. As it deems it would be most desirable path to study even the smallest details effective over time. As it in turn, can confirm a confined behaviour to an established universal and absolute truth (Crossan, 2004). The researcher has interactive sessions with others of concern and so the findings are the result of these interactive sessions with the focus of meaning and understanding the situation, subject, or a phenomenon under investigation.
[The strongest argument the phenomenologist could mount is the necessity to explore the subjective meanings motivating people’s actions in order to be able to understand these (Sanders, 2003).]
This is a line of thought processing and adaptation of a stance that is exists in reality and is varied to various perceptions. The reality is usually independent of human beings beliefs and thought process. Realism lays stress on examining the construction that has social interpretations and understanding within the context of subject enabling broader understanding of social forces that influence the nature of various persons view (Sanders, 2003). In management and mainly from the behavioural perspective, realism can be understood as having variety of social forces that affect people behaviours in a variety of multitudes.
Figure : Research Philosophy
The main objective of this research is to identify the factors affecting [__________]. [Considering that these factors have a subjective meaning related to motives and intentions (Sanders, 2003) this particular research adopted the Phenomenology approach or mainly exploratory.]
The main reason to adapt to this research methodology i.e. phenomenology is two-fold. In the world outside there is huge amount of literature readily available on the subject. It is very clear that nature of the market and various other factor in line with PESTAL i.e. Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors are changing dynamically and thus in the same line literature is also developing dynamically. I believe that the cultural factors have not been examined prior to this study. So, any qualitative study will lead more effective detailing of attributes that abstract and cultural specific. Though there exists quantifiable of cultural aspects, the qualitative aspect in studying concepts relating to this subject will loose its essence if a quantitative methodology is adopted.
[For studying the impact of culture on brand and retail sector as a whole, it is worthwhileto consider more qualitative aspects which are easy to explain when a qualitative approach is adopted. Hence, Phenomenology approach is adopted of the purposes of this research which will help a subjective analysis of the data available. ]
[According to Malhotra (2004), research design is a framework or blueprint for conducting the a research project. It should clearly detail the procedural steps that are necessary to obtain the required information. According to Zikmund (2000), a research design is a master plan that specifies the methods and procedures for collecting and analysing the needed information.]
[Further, a study of literature relating to methodologies suggests that there exist three basic research designs – one, exploratory, two, descriptive, and thirdly explanatory. Each one of these has a specific and individual purpose (Saunders, 2003).]
The above three approaches are briefly explained below to generate an elaborate understanding of these concepts:
[According to Malhotra (2004), the objective of exploratory research is to search through a situation to provide understanding of the underlying phenomena.] This format of research usually captures sufficient insights and can be exercised to subject which have been researched earlier or to those which have garnered less of attention by the research community. Also, Proctor (2003) suggested that exploratory research is a useful tool in fishing out the current happenings. This enables completely newer picture to the existing definition of exploratory research. This holistic view of various insights on the phenomena of concern and also elevate any new findings or insights and raise questions to asses phenomena to newer platform. This eventually turns out to be useful in better understanding or a problem. Finally, the basic reason for conducting exploratory research is to test the derived concepts before they are put into practice.
[According to Saunders (2003), exploratory studies can be quite informal, those on secondary research such as reviewing available literature and/or data, or qualitative approaches such as objective analysis of data. The recent studies with respect to qualitative analysis in business throw more light on this area.]
Exploratory studies are in way informal as they crop out from studies which are usually secondary researched data like the already available literature and/or data as compared to the qualitative approached studies which are derived from informal discussions with concerned people preferably from the same field of concern and formal approaches like the in-depth interviews, discussions in focus groups, case studies or pilot reports of concern (Malhotra, 2004).
[According to Proctor (2003), the object of descriptive research is to generate an accurate understanding of behaviours, events or situations. Malhotra (2004) says that descriptive research is conducted to achieve different goals such as describe the characteristics of relevant groups, estimate the percentage of units in a specific population, determine the perceptions, determine the degree to which such variables are associated and finally to make specific predictions.]
This research process is also termed as statistical research as it provides information and data about population being examined of the concerned subject. It describes the “who, what, when, where and how” of a situation, but not what it causes it. Thus this research is usually considered when the objective is to come out with systematic explanation which is as accurate as possible. It provides the statistically data like the number of times events occur, or frequency, which enable effective statistical calculations like the determination of average number of occurrences or central tendencies.(source: www.marketresearchworld.com).
As all processes, it too has some limitation, the major being that it cannot help to determine what causes a specific behaviour, motivation, or happenings. [In other words, it cannot establish a causal research relationship between variables (Proctor, 2003).]
This research is a causal analysis generally used to gather evidences of cause and effect (causal) and their relationships. [According to Malhotra (2004), causal research is appropriate for the following purposes:
To understand which variables are the causes (Independent variables) and which variables are the effects (Dependent variables) of a phenomenon as well as to determine the nature of the relationship between the causal variables and the effect to be predicted.]
The main objective of this research is generally to explore the aftermaths of one entity on to the other in an event. In order to come to conclusions, this process permits the researcher to make assumptions with respect to time and event and then test the same in reality or real-time situations. To conclude, this research is process to seek explanations of actions and their implications when variable are introduced into a situation.
Figure : Research Designs
Flexible and Versatile
A pre-planned and structured design
Controlled introduction of additional variables
To discover new ideas or insights
To describe characteristics or functions
Determine cause and effect relationships
Source: Naresh K. Malhotra, Marketing Research, Fourth Edition, 2004, p. 76.
I found the exploratory design the most appropriate and effective process to study this subject. I realized this since I found large amount of data and also for the fact that available information keep changes regularly or periodically. Thus there is always an opportunity for newer observations subjective to the available studies or new understanding required in light of new data coming up. [As Malhotra (2004) argues, the objective of exploratory research is to search through a situation to provide insights and understandings. As is showed in the literature review chapter, previous studies focused on aspects other than the cultural factors and this study attempts to [_____________].
Data Collection Methods
In order to meet the aims of the project was necessary to use both primary and secondary methods of data collection:
[Secondary data is the data collected by others to be re-used by the researcher. It is also the data that have already been collected for purposes other than the problem at hand (Malhotra 2004).] [This data includes both quantitative and qualitative data and can be located quickly and inexpensively (Proctor 2003). According to Malhotra (2004), secondary data can be classified as either internal or external. Internal data are those generated within the organization for which the research is being conducted and it may be available in a ready-to-use format or with considerable processing requirements to extract it. On the other hand, external data are those generated by sources outside the organization.] Through the method of Desk research it is possible to extract it in the form of published material, online databases, or information made available by syndicated services that includes sources like [________] A.T. Kearney Global Retail Development Index, A.T. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index etc.
Figure: Classification of Secondary data
So, in this research attempts were put in to review available research in the subject of concerned and then build a conceptual framework with the help of large clusters of secondary data. Secondary data collection process was done by reviewing the online data and material by accessing the private and government established website and published documents. The data pulled was specifically from previous research and studies on the [____________] with respect The information extracted was mainly previous research and studies on the market behaviour with respect to the regulatory framework (Privatisation, De-Regulation and Digitalization included).
[According to Lancaster (2002), if secondary data do not provide sufficient information to satisfy research objections, primary data must then be collected. Therefore primary data is necessary when a researcher cannot find the data needed in secondary sources. Market researchers are interested in primary data about demographic/socioeconomic characteristics, attitudes/opinions/interests, awareness/knowledge, intentions, motivation, and behaviour (Proctor, 2003).]
From the information readily available on the research methodology I could draw out that there exists two major classifications of primary data; quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative research is used to measure events or causes while qualitative methods are essentially utilized to obtain an understanding of the subject (Malhotra, 2004). Besides, qualitative research involves examining and reflecting on the less tangible aspects of a research subject such as values, attitudes and perceptions (Langevin, 1998).]
Qualitative and quantitative researches are both often utilized to illustrate the combination of patterns displayed in the area of concerned study. While doing so each of the research methods gives uplift to the other thus enriching the end information (Proctor, 2003). However, qualitative research is usually less expensive to conduct and it can evident from the quality of quantitative research (Malhotra, 2004).
From the above information, qualitative research method as classifications (As shown in figure [_____]). These classifications are deemed either direct or indirect on the basis of true essence know to the respondents (Malhotra, 2004). [For the purpose of this project a direct approach has been adopted by choosing the governmental sources that include ‘Reserve Bank of India’, ‘Investment Commission’, ‘Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry’, ‘Planning Commission’; and authentic international sources like ‘International Monetary Fund’, ‘World Bank’, ‘United Nations Economic and Social Council’, ‘United Nations Capital Development Fund’ etc.]
From the literature above, focus groups is the most effective source of direct technique which is achieved through conduction of research and in contrast, none of the other techniques (projective techniques) such as Association, Completion, Construction and expressive techniques (Malhotra, 2004) which are the major indirect techniques which can be used and are used in this project report.
[In this dissertation, qualitative research is associated with conducting a desk based research. This is a direct technique to collect primary and qualitative data which involves a thorough scoring of the data available through various sources(Krueger and Casey, 2000)]
[This method is quick, cheap and relatively easy to gather information without the influence of a third party during the course of collecting information. ]
[Proctor (2003) also suggests that this kind of approach can be used to address substantive issues such as: the various elements that show a direct bearing on the subject under consideration. Along these lines, the researcher used this technique in order to get information from a variety of authentic sources which contain a commentary of the experts in the field. Also the factors time and money were considered due to the benefits that can be obtain with this methodology are quick, cheap and relatively easy to collect information(Krueger, 1998).]
[“The researchers who take a planned-systematic approach has a reasonably clear idea of their subject of study and plan the process of data collection with the aim of producing something that they can analyze at the end of such process”. (Bryman and Bell 2007).]
Accordingly, for this research report I had keenly taken into consideration varied available aspects beforehand to conclude onto a method that would effectively fit the envisioned objective the best. I put in a great deal of planning by taking into consideration every aspect that may go into this research and hence reduce the scope of any bias to a maximum degree. [The topic requires qualitative output.] [Hence, it is opined that qualitative techniques of data collection would help serve the purpose and fit the nature of this research better.]
Finally adopting to the method of desk-based research had smoothened my work in a recursive pattern by collecting data, analyzing and again referring to data continuously to seek meaningful inputs from the literature. Further, it had prompted my research report to deep thinking process and required a good deal of analysis of facts on the ground.
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