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  1. Descriptive Research Techniques Survey Techniques Week 6

  2. 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)

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Data collection modes • a person interviews the respondent • electronic assisted or directly asks the question of the respondent • the respondent completes a questionnaire

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 4. electronic • advantages • easy to administer • speed of response/ data collection • easy of development and testing • little cost of administration

  21. 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

  22. Combination • Internet/mail • telephone/mail • telephone/personal • mail/personal

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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)

  27. 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

  28. Next Week Measurement and Scaling

  29. 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

  30. Tutorial • Presentation • Discussion focussed on operational issues in relation to the 4 main survey methods • SPSS – Ch 4 Descriptive statistics – continuation from last week