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Descriptive Research Techniques Survey Techniques Week 6 Study Materials for Module 6 Study Book Module 6 Cavana – Ch 10: pp. 225-6; 239-46. Ch 14: pp 351-60 Selected Reading 6.1 & 6.2 (only business students) Jennings – Ch 8: pp. 227-44; 254-62. Ch 10: pp.328-38

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Descriptive Research Techniques

Survey Techniques

Week 6


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Study Materials for Module 6

  • Study Book Module 6

  • Cavana – Ch 10: pp. 225-6; 239-46. Ch 14: pp 351-60

  • Selected Reading 6.1 & 6.2 (only business students)

  • Jennings – Ch 8: pp. 227-44; 254-62. Ch 10: pp.328-38

  • Additional reading from Burns & Bush for section 6.4 & 6.6 (mailed)

  • Coakes and Steed Ch 4

    (oncampus students); Ch 3 (external students)


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Lecture overview

  • Descriptive research design

  • Survey method

    • Advantages & disadvantages

    • Data collection modes

    • Survey Methods

    • Factors to consider when selecting a survey method

    • Types of surveys

    • Combination survey methods

    • Factors determining the choice of a particular survey method

  • Increasing response rate

    • techniques

  • Ethical issues

  • Report writing

  • Summary

  • Tutorial


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Descriptive Research Design

  • What is it

    • Research that uses a set of scientific methods and procedures to collect raw data and create data structures that describe the existing characteristics of a defined target population or market structure.

    • To describe the characteristics of relevant groups ie users of a shopping centre; users of a theme park

    • To estimate the % of units in a population exhibiting a certain behaviour

    • To determine perceptions of product/service characteristics by a specific group ie friendliness and is this variable an important choice criteria

    • Estimates of the proportions of a population with a certain characteristic

    • Discovery of associations among different variables

    • To make specific predictions ie. to predict the level of sales for the next 5 years for hiring & training purposes; prediction of the number of inbound tourism for the next 5 years


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Purpose

  • Major proportion of market research

  • Most common technique - Survey method

  • describes characteristics of a population or phenomenon eg

    • demographics & sociodemographic profile

    • psychographics

    • attitudes

    • intentions

    • preferences

    • decision making & purchase behaviour

    • statistics on inbound & outbound travel

    • purpose of travel


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Two types of Descriptive Research studies

  • Cross – sectional studies

    a sample of elements selected from the population of interest that are measured at a point in time – sample survey (also called one-shot studies)

  • Longitudinal studies

    a fixed sample of elements that is measured repeatedly through time

    • Panel (true) - repeated measures of the same variables over time

    • Panel (omnibus) – variables that change from measurement to measurement


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Survey Method

  • Is based on a structured questionnaire given to a sample of a population and designed to elicit specific information from respondents.

  • Referred to as - quantitative survey method (large no. of responses suitable for statistical analysis)


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Advantages of survey methods

  • accommodate large sample sizes; increases generalisability of results

  • standardisation – all respondents react to questions worded identically; response options (scales) are the same

  • administrative ease – much simpler than a focus group/ indepth interview; development of questionnaire is a more complex process than the administration

  • ability of tapping into factors & relationships that are not directly observable ie attitudes, feelings, preferences

  • tabulation and statistical analysis of data

  • subgroup differences


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Disadvantage of survey methods

  • difficulty of developing accurate survey instruments (questionnaire design)

  • limits to the in-depth detail of data

  • lack of control over timeliness, & potential low response rates

  • difficulties to determine if respondents are responding truthfully

  • misinterpretation of data results & inappropriate use of data analysis procedures


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Data collection modes

  • a person interviews the respondent

  • electronic assisted or directly asks the question of the respondent

  • the respondent completes a questionnaire


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Survey methods

  • mail

    • mail interview, mail panels

  • personal ( interviewer–completed & self-completed eg. National census)

    • personal in-home interview

      • CAPI - computer assisted personal interviewing

      • Omnibus – Roy Morgan Consumer Opinion Trends

    • central location – airport, shopping mall; clinic & consumer lab

  • telephone

    • Traditional telephone interviewing

    • use of technology – CATI – computer-assisted telephone interviewing; CATS – computer automated telephone systems

  • electronic

    • E-mail interviews

    • Internet/web interviews through WWW sites & links

  • www.customersat.comwww.questionpro.com


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rapport with respondent

accessibility of respondent

speed of obtaining results

importance of physical presentation

perceived anonymity of respondent

hard to recall data obtainable

Factors to consider when selecting a survey method

  • Interview bias

  • need for supervision of interviews

  • depth of questioning/probing

  • economy/cost

  • response rate

  • geographic reach


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Types of surveys

  • structured versus unstructured

    • structured-formal standardised questions used

    • unstructured -informal, no standardised questions

    • degree of structure influences choice of media

  • disguised versus undisguised

    • disguise - the concealing of purpose or sponsorship of a study until completion

    • undisguised - respondent is aware of purpose and sponsor of research


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1. Mail

  • advantages

    • no interviewer bias

    • can respond at leisure/no pressure

    • high geographic flexibility

    • can use visuals

    • cost confined to mailing list, forms and postage

    • more confidential information

    • follow up easy but time consuming


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Mail

  • disadvantages

    • low response rate

    • high cost per response

    • long time delays

    • no probing/observation

    • can read entire questionnaire before answering which may influence response

    • higher possibility misunderstand (cannot seek clarification)

    • never sure that the target respondent actually answered the questions

    • complex questions not responded to well

    • open-ended questions do not achieve lengthy written responses


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2. Personal

  • advantages

    • persuasion/cooperation

    • better response rate

    • use observation

    • can use visual material

    • longer questionnaires

    • provide assistance to interviewee

    • more precise selection of sample

    • more versatile questioning

    • extended probing possible

    • if self-completed, respondent can complete when convenient


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Personal

  • disadvantages

    • travel time and expenses high

    • people reluctant to talk to strangers

    • interviewers presence may bias

    • inhibited

    • difficult to supervise and control

    • difficult to recruit capable interviewers

    • geographic flexibility limited

    • call back/follow up difficult

    • no anonymity of interviewees

    • Self-completed – disadvantages similar to mail


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3. Telephone

  • advantages

    • dialling efficient especially call backs

    • travel avoided

    • respondent does not have to open door to strangers

    • geographic coverage good

    • supervision and training excellent

    • speed of data collection

    • less interviewer bias

    • greater anonymity of respondents


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Telephone

  • disadvantages

    • no observation

    • visuals precluded

    • retaining attention more difficult therefore shorter questionnaires

    • suspicion/hostility

    • only homes with telephones

    • cost can be a factor with STD calls in Australia

    • there is limited interview times pertaining to the best times for making and gaining responses

    • Interviewer is unable to control the interview; the respondent can hang up at any time


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4. electronic

  • advantages

    • easy to administer

    • speed of response/ data collection

    • easy of development and testing

    • little cost of administration


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electronic

  • disadvantages

    • the possibility of data corruption via virus transmission

    • possible unreliability of e-lists

    • are respondents representative of the population

    • possibility of bogus replies


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Combination

  • Internet/mail

  • telephone/mail

  • telephone/personal

  • mail/personal


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Factors determining the choice of a particular survey method

  • researcher’s resources & objectives

    • Time horizon

    • Budget

    • Desired quality of data

      • generalisability

      • completeness & precision

  • respondent characteristics

    • Incident rate

    • Willingness to participate

    • Ability to participate

    • Diversity of respondents

  • type of questions asked

    • Complexity

    • Topic sensitivity

    • Amount of information required per respondent


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Increasing response rates

  • Response Rate: The number of questionnaires returned or completed divided by the number of eligible people who were contacted or requested to participate in the survey


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Techniques to increase response rates

  • cover letter / intro letter

  • money or other incentives

  • interesting questions and presentation

  • follow ups

  • advance notification

  • survey sponsorship

  • return postage

  • NOTE: Figure 6.2 on page 6.9 of the study book

    • Provide rewards

    • Minimise costs

    • Establish trust


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Ethical issues

  • research integrity

  • relationships with buyers and sellers

  • research confidentiality

  • society’s welfare

    (Note: these points are developed further in the Burns & Bush handout)


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Report writing

  • Refer to your text for further reading in this area.

  • Cavana et al – Ch 14: pp. 351-60

  • Jennings - Ch 10: pp. 328-38


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Next Week

Measurement

and

Scaling


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Summary

  • Descriptive research design

  • Survey method

    • Advantages & disadvantages

    • Survey Methods

    • Combination survey methods

    • Factors determining the choice of a particular survey method

  • Increasing response rate

  • Ethical issues

  • Report writing

  • Summary

  • Tutorial


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Tutorial

  • Presentation

  • Discussion focussed on operational issues in relation to the 4 main survey methods

  • SPSS – Ch 4 Descriptive statistics – continuation from last week


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