Research process with a focus on problem formulation
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Research Process (with a focus on Problem Formulation). Jeremy Kees, Ph.D. Review from last week…. Marketing research is the marketer’s link to understanding the consumer and the external environment The main purpose of marketing research is to inform decisions

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Research Process (with a focus on Problem Formulation)

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Research process with a focus on problem formulation

Research Process (with a focus on Problem Formulation)

Jeremy Kees, Ph.D.


Review from last week

Review from last week…

  • Marketing research is the marketer’s link to understanding the consumer and the external environment

  • The main purpose of marketing research is to inform decisions

    • Is a source of a competitive advantage for many successful firms

  • Every research project is different

    • It often takes many research projects over many years to really understand a phenomenon


Ongoing pharmfirm case study

Ongoing “PharmFirm” Case Study

  • Will be used as an example for many of the concepts we discuss

  • Large-scale, multi-study research project for a major pharma company in the Philadelphia area

  • Key research questions focused on “fair balance” of a online medical resource targeted at physicians

    • Proactive research in anticipation of pushback from FDA


Research process with a focus on problem formulation

Formulate Problem

Stages

in the

Research

Process

(Researchers

Perspective)

Determine Research Design

Design Data Collection

Method and Forms

Design Sample and Collect Data

Analyze and Interpret the Data

Prepare the Research Report


Research process problem formulation

Research Process: Problem Formulation

  • Perhaps the most important step in the research process

  • A well-defined study begins with a clearly defined objective

    “The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution” - Albert Einstein

  • The problem is rarely clear-cut

  • Slight variations in research questions can lead to substantial changes in the research process (so be careful)

    • Drives decisions related to research design, measurement, sampling, etc.


  • Problem formulation

    Problem Formulation

    • Differentiate between a decision problem and a research problem

    • Try to get beyond an “info request”


    Research process problem formulation1

    Research Process: Problem Formulation


    Research process problem formulation2

    Research Process: Problem Formulation

    PharmFirm

    • Longest stage in the process

      • ~4 months

      • Talked with LOTS of people

    • Over-arching problem

      • Need evidence that a medical information website is ‘fairly balanced’

        • Unclear what fair balance means in an computer mediated environment

        • Anticipated issues from FDA


    Research process problem formulation3

    Research Process: Problem Formulation

    PharmFirm

    • Overarching Research Objective

      • provide an empirical test of perceived benefit and risk information (i.e., fair balance) presented on the medical information website


    Research process problem formulation4

    Research Process: Problem Formulation

    PharmFirm

    • More specific study objectives

      • Phase I: Develop a metric for the construct of fair balance

      • Phase II: Test the perceived fair balance of the website

        • Different versions

        • Versus print marketing materials

      • Phase III: Test the perceived fair balance of the website versus other websites


    Research process problem formulation5

    Research Process: Problem Formulation

    PharmFirm

    • 4 separate studies, each with its own very specific objectives

    • Expected Decisions

      • Positive results = move forward confidently

      • Negative or mixed results = adapt website


    Research process determine research design

    Research Process: Determine Research Design

    • Dictated by the problem or research question

    • Exploratory Research

    • Descriptive Research

    • Causal Research


    Research process determine research design1

    Research Process: Determine Research Design


    Research process determine research design2

    Research Process: Determine Research Design

    • PharmFirm research questions call for….

      • Some pretesting to develop and refine the metric

      • Experiments

        • To test versions of the website with different presentations of risk information

        • To test the website versus print marketing materials (a context where fair balance is well-defined)

        • To test the website versus other existing online resources that are deemed “fairly balanced”


    Research process design data collection forms

    Research Process: Design Data Collection & Forms

    • Secondary research

      • None necessary

    • Survey Research

      • Lots of ways to collect data

    • Measurement

      • Constructs / Variables


    Research process design data collection forms1

    Research Process: Design Data Collection & Forms


    Research process design data collection forms2

    Research Process: Design Data Collection & Forms

    • PharmFirm data collection required….

      • Scale development and testing

        • Define construct

        • Develop valid and reliable measures

      • Stimuli development

        • Website mock-ups

      • Measurement instrument (i.e., survey)

        • Manipulation checks

        • Dependent variables

        • Individual difference variables

        • Demographic/categorical information


    Research process design sample and collect data

    Research Process: Design Sample and Collect Data

    • Determine your “target market”

    • Determine necessary sample size

      • Dictated by study design

    • Sampling Methodology

    • Logistics

    • Cost

    • Ethics


    Research process design sample and collect data1

    Research Process: Design Sample and Collect Data


    Research process design sample and collect data2

    Research Process: Design Sample and Collect Data

    • PharmFirm sample call for….

      • ~1000 physicians from three specialty groups

        • Outsource!!

      • Data collected online

        • Sample is too geographically dispersed and time sensitive to collect data in person

        • Qualtrics research software


    Research process analyze and interpret the data

    Research Process: Analyze and Interpret the Data

    • Edit / clean / code the data

    • Analyze

    • Interpret


    Research process analyze and interpret the data1

    Research Process: Analyze and Interpret the Data


    Research process analyze and interpret the data2

    Research Process: Analyze and Interpret the Data

    • PharmFirm analysis calls for….

      • Factor analysis to develop metric

        • Dictated by study design

      • Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) to analyze experimental data

        • Dictated by study design


    Research process prepare research report

    Research Process: Prepare Research Report

    • Know your audience

    • Sell your findings


    Research process prepare research report1

    Research Process: Prepare Research Report


    Research process prepare research report2

    Research Process: Prepare Research Report

    • PharmFirm report out calls for….

      • Four separate presentations to the client

      • Final comprehensive report outlining purpose, research questions, design, sample, results, etc.

      • Compilation of data in easy-to-use format

        • Measurement definitions

        • Coding schemes


    Team assignment 1

    TEAM ASSIGNMENT #1

    • Discuss some issues that you deal with at your workplace that can be answered with primary research

      • Discuss the issue broadly (i.e., provide some context)

      • Develop several clear, concise research questions

      • Develop hypotheses (and null hypotheses)

      • Discuss the decisions that would be made depending on the different outcomes of the research


    Hints

    Hints….

    • Try to acutely identify the problem at hand (and avoid “nice to know” questions)

      • What information is necessary in order to make a decision?

    • Determine what course(s) of action will result from your findings

      • If we find A, what will you do?

      • What about if we find B?

      • Make all alternative courses of action explicit

    • Refer to Beal (Chapter 2)


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