1Lo3: Be able to design appropriatebusiness research methodologies.Choosing qualitative or quantitative research methodologiesYour research will dictate the kinds of research methodologies you use to underpin your workand methods you use in order to collect data. If you wish to collect quantitative data you areprobably measuring variables and verifying existing theories or hypotheses or questioningthem. Data is often used to generate new hypotheses based on the results of data collectedabout different variables. One’s colleagues are often much happier about the ability to verifyquantitative data as many people feel safe only with numbers and statistics.However, often collections of statistics and number crunching are not the answer tounderstanding meanings, beliefs and experience, which are better understood throughqualitative data. And quantitative data, it must be remembered, are also collected inaccordance with certain research vehicles and underlying research questions. Even theproduction of numbers is guided by the kinds of questions asked of the subjects, so isessentially subjective, although it appears less so than qualitative research data.Qualitative researchThis is carried out when we wish to understand meanings, look at, describe and understandexperience, ideas, beliefs and values, intangibles such as these. Example: an area of study thatwould benefit from qualitative research would be that of students’ learning styles andapproaches to study, which are described and understood subjectively by students.Using quantitative and qualitative research methods togetherThis is a common approach and helps you to ‘triangulate’ ie to back up one set of findings fromone method of data collection underpinned by one methodology, with another very differentmethod underpinned by another methodology – for example, you might give out a2questionnaire (normally quantitative) to gather statistical data about responses, and then backthis up and research in more depth by interviewing (normally qualitative) selected members ofyour questionnaire sample.For further information see Chapter 8 of The Postgraduate Research Handbook by Gina Wisker.Research methods in briefLook at the very brief outlines of different methods below. Consider which you intend using andwhether you could also find it more useful to combine the quantitative with the qualitative. Youwill be familiar with many of these methods from your work and from MA, MSc or BA studyalready.Qualitative research methods▪ InterviewsInterviews enable face to face discussion with human subjects. If you are going to useinterviews you will have to decide whether you will take notes (distracting), tape the interview(accurate but time consuming) rely on your memory (foolish) or write in their answers (can leadto closed questioning for time’s sake). If you decide to interview you will need to draw up aninterview schedule of questions which can be either closed or open questions, or a mixture ofthese. Closed questions tend to be used for asking for and receiving answers about fixed factssuch as name, numbers, and so on. They do not require speculation and they tend to produceshort answers. With closed questions you could even give your interviewees a small selection ofpossible answers from which to choose. If you do this you will be able to manage the data andquantify the responses quite easily. The Household Survey and Census ask closed questions,and often market researchers who stop you in the street do too. You might ask them to indicatehow true for them a certain statement was felt to be, and this too can provide both a closedresponse, and one which can be quantified (30% of those asked said they never ate rice, while45% said they did so regularly at least once a week… and so on).3The problem with closed questions is that they limit the response the interviewee can give anddo not enable them to think deeply or test their real feelings or values.If you ask open questions such as ‘what do you think about the increase in traffic?’ you couldelicit an almost endless number of responses. This would give you a very good idea of thevariety of ideas and feelings people have, it would enable them to think and talk for longer andso show their feelings and views more fully. But it is very difficult to quantify these results. Youwill find that you will need to read all the comments through and to categorise them after youhave received them, or merely report them in their diversity and make general statements, orpick out particular comments if they seem to fit your purpose. If you decide to use interviews:▪ Identify your sample.▪ Draw up a set of questions that seem appropriate to what you need to find out.▪ Do start with some basic closed questions (name etc.).▪ Don’t ask leading questions.▪ Try them out with a colleague.▪ Pilot them, then refine the questions so that they are genuinely engaged with yourresearch object.▪ Contact your interviewees and ask permission, explain the interview and its use.▪ Carry out interviews and keep notes/tape.▪ Transcribe.▪ Thematically analyze results and relate these findings to others from your otherresearch methods.Quantitative research methods▪ QuestionnairesQuestionnaires often seem a logical and easy option as a way of collecting information frompeople. They are actually rather difficult to design and because of the frequency of their use in4all contexts in the modern world, the response rate is nearly always going to be a problem (low)unless you have ways of making people complete them and hand them in on the spot (and thisof course limits your sample, how long the questionnaire can be and the kinds of questionsasked). As with interviews, you can decide to use closed or open questions, and can also offerrespondents multiple choice questions from which to choose the statement which most nearlydescribes their response to a statement or item. Their layout is an art form in itself because inpoorly laid out questionnaires respondents tend, for example, to repeat their ticking of boxes inthe same pattern. If given a choice of response on a scale 1-5, they will usually opt for themiddle point, and often tend to miss out subsections to questions. You need to take expertadvice in setting up a questionnaire, ensure that all the information about the respondentswhich you need is included and filled in, and ensure that you actually get them returned.Expecting people to pay to return postal questionnaires is sheer folly, and drawing up a reallylengthy questionnaire will also inhibit response rates. You will need to ensure that questionsare clear, and that you have reliable ways of collecting and managing the data. Setting up aquestionnaire that can be read by an optical mark reader is an excellent idea if you wish tocollect large numbers of responses and analyze them statistically rather than reading eachquestionnaire and entering data manually.You would find it useful to consult the range of full and excellent research books available.These will deal in much greater depth with the reasons for, processes of holding, and processesof analyzing data from the variety of research methods available to you.Developing and using a questionnaire – some tips:▪ Identify your research questions▪ Identify your sample▪ Draw up a list of appropriate questions and try them out with a colleague▪ Pilot them▪ Ensure questions are well laid out and it is clear how to ‘score them’ (tick, circle, delete)▪ Ensure questions are not leading and confusing5▪ Code up the questionnaire so you can analyze it afterwards▪ Gain permission to use questionnaires from your sample▪ Ensure they put their names or numbers on so you can identify them but keep realnames confidential▪ Hand them out/post them with reply paid envelopes▪ Ensure you collect in as many as possible▪ Follow up if you get a small return▪ Analyse statistically if possible and/or thematicallyJustifying the research methodology:The Research ProcessThe process above gives an outline of the research process I adapted to follow. In the initialstep, the identification of research topic is considered as it is base for building on further on thesubject of interest. As the topic I was given [__________]. The next step I followed was theliterature review within this I divided the process into two distinct process – one; literaturereadings, reading of related material like the books, journal articles, and online other sources tohelp analyze and form clear idea of the keywords and also define the literature reviewingcapacity through collection of data. The second process I followed was to re-read the collecteddata and try to suit the collected information and all the theoretical terms and details toformulate a clear cut vision to build content and also enable for clear plan of action for furtherresearch and literature reading if need be. These two processes had clearly helped me tounderstand and build a refined insight of the subject and also read various previouslyresearched articles. Then I followed the process of research approach and design of theresearch. As through this process I could conclude if the data was appropriate enough to helpme build my report in match to the research objectives. Although I believe that there werevarious other number of techniques, yet the simplest way is the effective literature review ofdata collection and then analyze, interpret, and the present at length and in depth in the AMPreport.6Aims and Objectives of the research[In line with the introduction chapter where the main objective of this research was identifiedas examining the factors effecting the flow of FDI in India, the following set of objectives havebeen developed in broader terms:To analyze the retail sector in UKAnalyze the role of FDI in growth of the retail sectorAnalyze 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) willpositively contribute to the growth of retail sector in the country and hence may contribute tothe overall growth of the economy.]Research ApproachIt is at researcher’s discretion to decide on the research methodology to choose from todevelop his knowledge on the subject of choice. Hence managing the research is solelyconcerned with the researcher’s choice for the developing of the knowledge on the concernedsubject. Researcher must understand that managing research is only builds in developingknowledge in an acceptable manner.[According to Frank Crossan (2004) the study of methodology/philosophy is crucial in as muchas it can help the researcher to specify the research methods to be used in a study.] Followingprocess is to identify and select a research methodology keeping in mind the type of evidenceto be collected, understood, and analyzed thus assist in clearing doubts on the researchquestion of concern in the subject of choice. Finally, having such approach will only assist to7evaluate through the selected method thus decreasing the possibility of following processhaving lots of limitation and may even be avoiding a research methodology which is notsuitable at all.[A review of business research methodologies outlines three main different researchphilosophies viz. Positivism, Phenomenology and Realism (Saunders, 2003).]From the review of business research methodologies there are three main and differentresearch methodologies and they are as outlined below. (Saunders, 2003)PositivismIt is a thought process in adaptation which stresses on quantitative approach to investigate thephenomena. In this process the researchers assumes a role of objective analyst andconcentrates on specific, effective, and efficient structured methodology which enablesavailable facility replications. From that replications quantify the observations observed. Thisenables the subjected observations to statistical analysis (Proctor 2003). Positivism can becharacterized as:Methodological: Research should be quantitative. Since, only quantitative research shall form afoothold of all the generalizations which are deemed necessary. The collected facts should beunified 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 ratherthan just the human beliefs and interests.Causality: [Human behavior is a peripheral item and the aim should be to identify causalexplanations, thereby leading to observation of fundamental laws.]Independence: The subject under investigation should be investigated with independence andnot constrict to the subject.8Reductionism: Ability to understand any problem of any size is only done when it is brokendown to smaller and simpler elements.PhenomenologyPhenomenology is a line of thought that adopts and emphasizes Inter pretivism.Phenomenology encompasses a clear position to interpret and investigate the subject in aqualitative angle. Thus the basic comparison between positivism and phenomenology is thequantitative of the data and study the subject qualitative.[The researcher assumes that it is necessary to explore the subjective meanings motivatingpeople’s actions. This would then facilitate in understanding their motives, actions andintentions. (Sanders, 2003).]A main element of Phenomenology is subjective as it assumes that reality is multiple, and basedon perceptions or mental constructions of the researchers. Phenomenology lays stress on theutilization of multiple and elastic methods. As it deems it would be most desirable path to studyeven the smallest details effective over time. As it in turn, can confirm a confined behavior toan established universal and absolute truth (Crossan, 2004). The researcher has interactivesessions with others of concern and so the findings are the result of these interactive sessionswith the focus of meaning and understanding the situation, subject, or a phenomenon underinvestigation.[The strongest argument the phenomenologist could mount is the necessity to explore thesubjective meanings motivating people’s actions in order to be able to understand these(Sanders, 2003).]RealismThis is a line of thought processing and adaptation of a stance that is exists in reality and isvaried to various perceptions. The reality is usually independent of human beings beliefs andthought process. Realism lays stress on examining the construction that has social9interpretations and understanding within the context of subject enabling broaderunderstanding of social forces that influence the nature of various persons view (Sanders,2003). In management and mainly from the behavioral perspective, realism can be understoodas having variety of social forces that affect people behaviors in a variety of multitudes.Research PhilosophyThe 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 mainlyexploratory.]The main reason to adapt to this research methodology i.e. phenomenology is two-fold. In theworld outside there is huge amount of literature readily available on the subject. It is very clearthat 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 isalso developing dynamically. I believe that the cultural factors have not been examined prior tothis study. So, any qualitative study will lead more effective detailing of attributes that abstractand cultural specific. Though there exists quantifiable of cultural aspects, the qualitative aspectin studying concepts relating to this subject will loose its essence if a quantitative methodologyis adopted.Research Design[According to Malhotra (2004), research design is a framework or blueprint for conducting the aresearch project. It should clearly detail the procedural steps that are necessary to obtain therequired information. According to Zikmund (2000), a research design is a master plan thatspecifies the methods and procedures for collecting and analysing the needed information.][Further, a study of literature relating to methodologies suggests that there exist three basicresearch designs – one, exploratory, two, descriptive, and thirdly explanatory. Each one ofthese has a specific and individual purpose (Saunders, 2003).]10The above three approaches are briefly explained below to generate an elaborateunderstanding of these concepts:Exploratory[According to Malhotra (2004), the objective of exploratory research is to search through asituation to provide understanding of the underlying phenomena.] This format of researchusually captures sufficient insights and can be exercised to subject which have been researchedearlier 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 currenthappenings. This enables completely newer picture to the existing definition of exploratoryresearch. This holistic view of various insights on the phenomena of concern and also elevateany new findings or insights and raise questions to asses phenomena to newer platform. Thiseventually turns out to be useful in better understanding or a problem. Finally, the basic reasonfor conducting exploratory research is to test the derived concepts before they are put intopractice.[According to Saunders (2003), exploratory studies can be quite informal, those on secondaryresearch such as reviewing available literature and/or data, or qualitative approaches such asobjective analysis of data. The recent studies with respect to qualitative analysis in businessthrow more light on this area.]Exploratory studies are in way informal as they crop out from studies which are usuallysecondary researched data like the already available literature and/or data as compared to thequalitative approached studies which are derived from informal discussions with concernedpeople preferably from the same field of concern and formal approaches like the in-depthinterviews, discussions in focus groups, case studies or pilot reports of concern (Malhotra,2004).Descriptive11[According to Proctor (2003), the object of descriptive research is to generate an accurateunderstanding of behaviors, events or situations. Malhotra (2004) says that descriptiveresearch is conducted to achieve different goals such as describe the characteristics of relevantgroups, 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 specificpredictions.]This research process is also termed as statistical research as it provides information and dataabout 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 usuallyconsidered when the objective is to come out with systematic explanation which is as accurateas possible. It provides the statistically data like the number of times events occur, orfrequency, which enable effective statistical calculations like the determination of averagenumber 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 determinewhat causes a specific behavior, motivation, or happenings. [In other words, it cannot establisha causal research relationship between variables (Proctor, 2003).]CausalThis 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 thefollowing purposes:To understand which variables are the causes (Independent variables) and which variables arethe effects (Dependent variables) of a phenomenon as well as to determine the nature of therelationship 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 tothe other in an event. In order to come to conclusions, this process permits the researcher tomake assumptions with respect to time and event and then test the same in reality or real-time12situations. To conclude, this research is process to seek explanations of actions and theirimplications when variable are introduced into a situation.Research DesignsExploratoryDescriptiveCasualCharacteristicsQualitative dataFlexible and VersatileQuantitative DataA pre-planned and structured designQuantitative dataControlled introduction of additional variablesObjectiveTo discover new ideas or insightsTo describe characteristics or functionsDetermine cause and effect relationshipsMethods13Qualitative ResearchExpert SurveysSecondary DataSecondary dataExperimentsData Collection MethodsIn order to meet the aims of the project was necessary to use both primary and secondarymethods of data collection:Secondary Data[Secondary data is the data collected by others to be re-used by the researcher. It is also thedata that have already been collected for purposes other than the problem at hand (Malhotra2004).] [This data includes both quantitative and qualitative data and can be located quicklyand inexpensively (Proctor 2003). According to Malhotra (2004), secondary data can beclassified as either internal or external. Internal data are those generated within theorganization for which the research is being conducted and it may be available in a ready-to-useformat or with considerable processing requirements to extract it. On the other hand, externaldata are those generated by sources outside the organization.] Through the method of Deskresearch it is possible to extract it in the form of published material, online databases, orinformation made available by syndicated services that includes sources like [________] A.T.Kearney Global Retail Development Index, A.T. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) ConfidenceIndex etc.So, in this research attempts were put in to review available research in the subject ofconcerned and then build a conceptual framework with the help of large clusters of secondarydata. Secondary data collection process was done by reviewing the online data and material by14accessing the private and government established website and published documents. The datapulled was specifically from previous research and studies on the [____________] with respectthe information extracted was mainly previous research and studies on the market behaviorwith respect to the regulatory framework (Privatization, De-Regulation and Digitalizationincluded).Primary Data[According to Lancaster (2002), if secondary data do not provide sufficient information tosatisfy research objections, primary data must then be collected. Therefore primary data isnecessary when a researcher cannot find the data needed in secondary sources. Marketresearchers are interested in primary data about demographic/socioeconomic characteristics,attitudes/opinions/interests, awareness/knowledge, intentions, motivation, and behavior(Proctor, 2003).]From the information readily available on the research methodology I could draw out thatthere exists two major classifications of primary data; quantitative and qualitative data.Quantitative research is used to measure events or causes while qualitative methods areessentially utilized to obtain an understanding of the subject (Malhotra, 2004). Besides,qualitative research involves examining and reflecting on the less tangible aspects of a researchsubject such as values, attitudes and perceptions (Langevin, 1998).]Qualitative and quantitative researches are both often utilized to illustrate the combination ofpatterns displayed in the area of concerned study. While doing so each of the researchmethods 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 ofquantitative research (Malhotra, 2004).These classifications are deemed either direct or indirect on the basis of true essence know tothe respondents (Malhotra, 2004). [For the purpose of this project a direct approach has beenadopted by choosing the governmental sources that include ‘Reserve Bank of India’,15‘Investment Commission’, ‘Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerceand Industry’, ‘Planning Commission’; and authentic international sources like ‘InternationalMonetary Fund’, ‘World Bank’, ‘United Nations Economic and Social Council’, ‘United NationsCapital Development Fund’ etc.]From the literature above, focus groups is the most effective source of direct technique which isachieved through conduction of research and in contrast, none of the other techniques(projective techniques) such as Association, Completion, Construction and expressivetechniques (Malhotra, 2004) which are the major indirect techniques which can be used andare 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 thoroughscoring 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 ofa third party during the course of collecting information. ][Proctor (2003) also suggests that this kind of approach can be used to address substantiveissues such as: the various elements that show a direct bearing on the subject underconsideration. Along these lines, the researcher used this technique in order to get informationfrom a variety of authentic sources which contain a commentary of the experts in the field. Alsothe factors time and money were considered due to the benefits that can be obtain with thismethodology 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 theirsubject of study and plan the process of data collection with the aim of producing somethingthat 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 availableaspects beforehand to conclude onto a method that would effectively fit the envisionedobjective the best. I put in a great deal of planning by taking into consideration every aspect16that 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 datacollection 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 recursivepattern by collecting data, analyzing and again referring to data continuously to seekmeaningful inputs from the literature. Further, it had prompted my research report to deepthinking process and required a good deal of analysis of facts on the ground.
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