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Business Research Methods

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  1. Business Research Methods Qualitative Techniques

  2. Qualitative versus Quantitative Research • Purpose • Exploratory versus descriptive and conclusive • Small versus large samples • Broad range of questioning versus structured questions • Subjective interpretation versus statistical analysis

  3. Qualitative Research Methods • Direct ( Nondisguised) ---Focus Groups ---Depth Interviews • Indirect ( Disguised ) ---Projective Techniques

  4. Focus Groups • It is a group of individuals selected and assembled by researchers to discuss & comment on ( from personal experience) the topic that is the subject of research. • It helps in getting several perspectives about the same topic • It helps in understanding what makes people tick & what is going on in their mind that cannot be obtained through survey data

  5. Unstructured Free flowing Group interview Relaxed informal atmosphere Start with broad topic and focus in on specific issues Focus Group Interviews

  6. 6 to 10 people Relatively homogeneous Similar lifestyles and experiences Group Composition

  7. Outline for a Focus Group • Establish a rapport • Begin with broad topic • Focus in on specific topic • Generate discussion and interaction • Discussions for about 2 hours • Responses are recorded through ---manual notes ---audio recording --video recording

  8. Develops rapport - helps people relax Interacts Listens to what people have to say Everyone gets a chance to speak The Moderator

  9. The Focus Group Moderator • Maintains loose control and focuses discussion • Stimulates spontaneous responses

  10. Advantages of Focus Groups • Synergism: Wider range of information, insights & ideas because of group • Snowballing: One person’s comments triggers chain reaction • Stimulation: General level of excitement over the topic increases in the group • Security: Feeling of security in homogeneous group increases willingness to express ideas • Spontaneity: Since specific questions are not to be answered responses are spontaneous & unconventional • Serendipity: Ideas arise out of the blue in a group • Specialization: Use of a specialized moderator is justified for a group • Scientific Scrutiny : Data collection process can be witnessed & recorded • Structure: Provides for flexibility in topics covered & depth of treatment • Speed: Interviewing a large number of people at the same time makes data collection & analysis faster

  11. Disadvantages of Focus Groups • Misuse: FGD results used as replacement for survey data: FGDs probe attitudes & motivations & not their frequency in population • Misinterpretation: Difficult to decide on responses to be generalized resulting in interviewer's bias • Poor management of group dynamics: Difficult to find moderator with skills ,insights &experience • Messy: unstructured answers pose difficulties in coding analyzing & interpreting responses

  12. Advantages of Online Focus Groups • Fast • Inexpensive • Bring together many participants from wide-spread geographical areas • Respondent anonymity • Transcript automatically recorded

  13. Disadvantages of Online Focus Groups • Less group interaction • Absence of tactile stimulation • Absence of facial expression and body language • Moderator’s job is different

  14. Depth Interviews • A direct personal interview in which a single respondent is probed by a highly skilled interviewer • It helps in uncovering underlying motivations, attitudes & beliefs on a topic • It serves as a prelude to a more analytical questionnaire design for quantitative research

  15. Depth Interviews • Three Types depending on guidance extended by the interviewer • Unstructured ( Natural conversation) • Semi –structured (Check list prepared) • Standardised open ended( Uses a proper Questionnaire)

  16. Laddering • Investigating attitude towards airlines among male middle managers • Attribute such as wide body aircraft was probed • Why ? I can get more work done---I accomplish more---I feel good about myself • Laddering indicated-advanced seat reservation, wide body aircraft& first class cabin seating( Product characteristics) • Work done on flight, sense of accomplishment, higher self esteem (User characteristics) • Ad campaign like “You are the Boss" which bolsters self esteem for managers

  17. Depth Interview Techniques: Laddering In laddering, the line of questioning proceeds from product characteristics to user characteristics. This technique allows the researcher to tap into the consumer's network of meanings. Wide body aircrafts (product characteristic) I can get more work done I accomplish more I feel good about myself (user characteristic) Advertising theme: You will feel good about yourself when flying our airline. “You're The Boss.”

  18. Hidden Issue Questioning • It tries to probe into hidden issues and items like daydreams, anxieties, fascinations & hopes in peoples’ lives • What would you do if you get Rs 10 crores? How do you see yourself as a celebrity? Are typical questions • It probes into respondents attitude towards work, leisure, home etc

  19. Depth Interview Techniques: Hidden Issue Questioning In hidden issue questioning, the focus is not on socially shared values but rather on personal “sore spots;” not on general lifestyles but on deeply felt personal concerns. fantasies, work lives, and social lives historic, elite, “masculine-camaraderie,” competitive activities Advertising theme: communicate aggressiveness, high status, and competitive heritage of the airline.

  20. Hidden Issue Questioning • Male middle managers were questioned about fantasies, work lives, social lives to identify hidden life issues ----Answers indicated glamorous, historic, elite. masculine events, like Grand Prix car racing. • Lufthansa Airlines featuring World War I type “Red Baron” spokesperson communicating aggressiveness, high status &competitive heritage

  21. Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (2 May 1892 – 21 April 1918), widely known as the Red Baron, was a German fighter pilot with the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) during World War I. He is considered the ace-of-aces of that war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories, more than any other pilot.

  22. Grand Prix motor racing has its roots in organised automobile racing that began in France as far back as 1894. It quickly evolved from a simple road race from one town to the next, to endurance tests for car and driver. Innovation and the drive of competition soon saw speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), but because the races were held on open roads there were frequent accidents with the resulting fatalities of both drivers and spectators. • Grand Prix motor racing eventually evolved into formula racing, and Formula One can be seen as its direct descendant. Each event of the Formula One World Championships is still called a Grand Prix. Formula One is still referred to as Grand Prix racing.

  23. Advantages&Disadvantages of Depth Interviews Advantages • Attributes responses directly to respondents • There is no social pressure to conform to group response resulting in explorations of attitudes • Informal atmosphere facilitate discussion of sensitive questions Disadvantage • Difficult & expensive to get skilled interviewer • Quality of results depends on skills of interviewer • Cost limits interviews to be conducted

  24. “A man is least himself when he talks in his own person; when given a mask he will tell the truth.” --Oscar Wilde

  25. Projective Techniques • It is an unstructured & indirect form of questioning that encourages the respondents to project their motivations ,beliefs ,attitudes or feelings regarding the issues of concern • Respondents are asked to interpret behaviour of others which indirectly projects their own feelings • Scenarios for response are deliberately kept ambiguous for better projection of feelings

  26. Projective Techniques • Association techniques • Completion techniques • Construction techniques • Expressive techniques • Sociometry

  27. Association techniques • Association techniques :Respondents are presented with a stimulus and are asked to reveal the first thing that comes to their mind • Word Association : Most popular association technique • Respondents are presented with a list of brands ,one at a time .After each brand they are asked to give the first word that comes to their mind • Analysis is done by calculating -Frequency of words found in response -time elapsed before response -number of non respondents • Used in consumer research for discovering brand image

  28. FEDEx • Colgate • Detol

  29. For COURIER Service FEDEx DTDC DHL FIRST FLIGHT Word Association Examples

  30. For CHEESE Kraft Cheddar Amul Mother Dairy Word Association Examples

  31. Completion Techniques • A projective technique that requires a respondent to complete an incomplete stimulus situation : Sentence Or Story • Sentence Completion : respondents are presented with a number of incomplete sentences & asked to complete them. • They are asked to use the first phrase that comes to their mind which helps in tracing their attitudes ,thought process & feelings

  32. Completion Techniques In Sentence completion, respondents are given incomplete sentences and asked to complete them. Generally, they are asked to use the first word or phrase that comes to mind. A person who shops at Lifestyle is ______________________ McDonalds is most liked by _________________________ When I think of shopping in a department store, I ________ A variation of sentence completion is paragraph completion, in which the respondent completes a paragraph beginning with the stimulus phrase.

  33. Construction Techniques • A projective technique in which respondent is asked to construct his response in the form of a story ,dialogue or description: Picture or Cartoon • Picture response technique: Respondent is shown a picture & asked to tell a story describing it. • Its roots lie in Thematic Apperception Test which consists of a series of pictures which are to be interpreted in the form of stories • Cartoon characters are shown in specific situation related to the problem. The respondents are asked to indicate dialogue that one cartoon character might make in response to the given comments of another character • Several need patterns and personality characteristics can be traced through these tests

  34. Thematic Apperception TestT.A.T.

  35. A Cartoon Test Sears Let’s see if we can pick up some house wares at Sears

  36. Expressive Techniques • A projective technique in which respondent is asked to play the role or assume behaviour of someone else. • Respondent is given a verbal or visual situation & asked to play the role of specific character like sales executive, manager or political leader or even brands • The way in which respondent copes with the situation reveal a lot about his personality

  37. Sociometry • A method devised by Jacob Moreno for assessing group structure • It is a mathematical study of psychological properties of population • It is based on the fact that people make choices in interpersonal relationships • Whenever people are in a group they choose where to sit or whom to speak to • Sociometry studies pattern of affection & loyalty that bind some group members more closely than others • It can be applied to situations involving study of group behaviour in business research

  38. Advantages&Disadvantages of Projective Techniques Advantages • Since respondent is aloof of the purpose of the study it elicits responses which are not possible by direct methods • Data collected is rich & accurate • Useful for exploratory research to gain initial insights Disadvanages • Requires trained & skillfull interviewers who are difficult to find • It is expensive & difficult to administer • Getting subjects for role playing is difficult • Reliability measure difficult to work