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Marketing Research

Unit 3

UNIT 3 RESEARCH DESIGN


Structure 3.1 3.2 3.3 Introduction Meaning of Research Design Types of Research Design Exploratory research Design Conclusive Research Design 3.4 Descriptive Design Cross-sectional design Longitudinal design 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12 Casual Design Research Design and Marketing Decision Process Choosing a Good Research Design Summary Glossary Terminal Questions Answers Case Study

3.1 INTRODUCTION
In previous unit, you have learnt Research Planning Process, research methods, designs, data collection methods and their analysis. You must have the understanding about how report writing should be analyzed and interpreted as well. You will study all above said concepts one by one in the next coming chapters. Lets start with research design methods first. A good understanding and awareness about the research design enhances the quality of any research project. This knowledge proves to be a backbone
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or foundation to design your project. While designing a research project should be aware about the types of research. This will help you out in defining and selection the best option according to your requirement. Research methods include descriptive research, explorative research and causal research design. In this unit, you will learn all the three types of research design in detail. Further you will be able to design a framework of research design after knowing the process of research design. In the end you would know about the qualities and characteristics of a good research design as well. Activity1: Discuss the types of research design. Give examples with the supportive types also. Caselet: Greenfield Online Research Center Source: http://www.scribd.com/ImadRehman/d/40439931-MarketingResearch-03 Greenfield Online Research Center, Inc. based in Westport, Connecticut, is a subsidiary of the Greenfield Consulting Group. The Online Research Center conducts focus groups, surveys, and polls over the Internet. The company has built up a panel of close to 200,000 Internet users, from which it draws survey samples. The samples may be used for descriptive research designs like single or multiple cross-sectional designs, as well as longitudinal designs. Causal designs can also be implemented. Respondents may also be chosen from the registered Internet users. Internet users wishing to take part in surveys and other projects begin by registering online at the companys Web site. The registration consists of a sign-up survey that asks for e-mail address, type of computer used, personal interests and information about the respondents household. Once an Internet user is registered, Greenfield Online matches the user with research studies that are well-suited to his or her interests.

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Incentives to take part in focus groups or special surveys are offered by the companies whose products or services are being researched. This incentive is cash or valuable prizes. Incentives are also offered to Internet users to encourage them to register with Greenfields Internet panel. New registrants automatically qualify for prizes that are awarded in monthly drawings. Objectives After studying this unit, you should be able to: Understand the meaning of research design Describe the types of research design Explain the research design and marketing Decision Process Identify a Good Research Design

3.2 MEANING OF RESEARCH DESIGN


Research design can be thought of as the structure of research it is the "glue" that holds all of the elements in a research project together. A marketing research process cannot be completed without an effective research design. A research design precisely specifies particular means and methods through which required informations can be collected for structuring the research as well as seeking specific practical solutions to the problem. According to Bernard S. Phillips: Research design is the blueprint for the collection, measurement and analysis of data. It aids the scientist in allocation of his limited resources by posing crucial choices: Is the blueprint to include the experiments, interviews, observations, analysis of records, stimulation or some combination of these? Are the methods of data collection and research situation to be highly structured? Is an intensive study of a small sample more effective than a less intensive study of a large sample? Should the analysis be primarily qualitative or quantitative? Similarly, to Green & Tull: A research design is the specification of methods and procedures for acquiring the information needed to structure or to solve problem. It is the overall operational pattern or framework of the project that stipulates what
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information is to be collected from which sources and by what procedures. Fred N. Kerlinger in Foundations of Behavioural Research defines research design as: The plan, structure and strategy of investigation conceived so as to obtain answers to research questions and to control variance. Therefore, it can be summarized that research design is the first step prior to data collection as shown in Exhibit 3.1 below: ESSENTIALS FOR DATA COLLECTION: CHECKLIST 1 1. Design exploratory, descriptive and/or causal phases of the research. 2. 3. 4. 5. Specify "information needs". Specify the measures and scales. Questionnaire design and pretest. Specify sampling process and sample size.

6. Data analysis plan. Self Assessment questions: 1 Research design is the _______ for the collection, measurement and analysis of data. A research design is the specification of methods and procedures for acquiring the information needed to structure or to solve problem..by what procedures. This definition is given by: a) Fred N. Kerlinger b) Green & Tull c) Bernard S. Phillips d) Philip Kotler

3.3 TYPES OF RESEARCH DESIGN


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It is clear from the above definitions that the basic purpose of research design is the right investigation. For that, the research design may be broadly classified into two categories enumerated as below:

e s e a r c h

e s ig n

C o n c lu s i v e E x p lo r a t o r y D e s ig n e s e a r c h D e s Ri g e n s e a r c h

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a u s a l R

e s e a r c h

r o s s - S e c t i o n a lL o n g i t u d i n a l D e s ig n D e s ig n

S in g le M u lt ip le r o s s - S e c t i o n Ca lr o s s - S e c t i o n a l

Fig: 3.1: Types of Research Design Source: Avinash Kapoor, Excel Books, Ch-3, 3.3.1 Exploratory Research Design This research design is frequently conducted as yet problem or issue has not been clearly defined and focused or its real scope of work is not so clear till yet. Here researcher takes initiative to study the problem in detail, with his full horizon and then generate hypothesis to be tested. This is the initial research which is done before conclusive research is undertaken. Exploratory research aids in determining the best research design, selection of subjects and data collection method and sometimes it even summarizes that the problem or issue doesnt exist. Testing concepts before they enter into the market area is another reason to conduct the explorative research. This research is a costly method though. In concept testing, a new prototype sometimes for a new product or for a repositioned product, a written concept is provided to consumers. This is applicable not only to the product but it can be over service and strategy also.

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Exploratory research includes lot of features. This method is quite informal in nature. It relies on secondary research data like taken reviews from literature already available, qualitative approaches like friendly discussion with consumers, employees, competitors, or with management and formal discussions like in depth interviews, pilot studies, case studies, face to face interviews, focus groups, projective methods etc. Explorative research helps in taking decision related to given significant situations. They may be useful for decision making by them. However, lot of indications are given in conclusion of this research. It includes when, why, how, something happens. Though it doesnt make it clear how many or how often. The following figure 3.2 elaborates the process of explorative research design method. Exploratory Research
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Source: Avinash Kapoor, Excel Books, Ch-3, Figure 3.2: Exploratory Research Design

3.3.2 Conclusive Research Design


This type of research means providing information which can be useful in taking right kind of decisions and the reaching at right conclusion. This research is quantitative in nature. It means the information can be easily counted and summarized. The main objective of this kind of research is to give reliable information and a clear picture related to the population with the help of a valid research source or element. Testing hypothesis is also conducted in this method.
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Normally, this method relies on both primary data as well as secondary data. Primary data denotes the data collected for the current study and the secondary data denotes the data used from existing sources. Both the sources help in analyzing a different kind of problem every time than the original one. There are mainly two types of conclusive research as follows: 1. 2. Descriptive or statistical research, and Causal research

Self assessment questions 3. _______ research can be quite informal, relying on secondary research. 4. Normally, this method relies on both primary data as well as secondary data. Name the method. a) Descriptive Research b) Exploratory research c) Conclusive Research d) Cross sectional design 3.4 Descriptive Research Design Descriptive studies are formal, rigid and well structured and focused in nature. This type of research involves the description of relationships between the number of variable factors and working out conclusions. Descriptive study starts with specific research questions where substantial information about the research problem is known by conducting the pilot study. Thus, descriptive research means a preconceived, formal and structured design to seek solution to a particular problem. This study can be cross-sectional or longitudinal in nature. The former is concerned with the ex-post facto analysis of related and inter related variables in real life situations. This analysis can be done on the basis of field study and surveys. The cross-sectional study is the most popular and widely used technique. It involves the collection of information from any given sample of population elements only once. It is useful because it
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provides a quick snapshot of what's going on with the variables of interest for our research problem. This research studies require proper data analysis and inferences and the checklist of effective data analysis is as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Mention the question number correctly. Mention headings, subheadings and other names correctly and sequentially. Check information, the content of questions. The content should be able to generate information needed to draw meaningful conclusions. Consider the reasons for including questions. Conduct primary analysis and identify information value.

6. Conduct further analysis if required. For example: Most significant example of this type of research is Census which is used to count the number of population in the country. In companies, firms normally use opinion poll method. This is also a part of this research design. 3.4.1 Cross Sectional Design There are three types of Cross sectional design. 1. Single cross sectional design: in this, only one sample of respondents and their information is utilized and that is used only for once in a study. 2. Multiple cross sectional designs: in this, information is captured with the help of two or more samples of respondents. Each samples information is used only for once. Though information is collected at different times from different samples of the study. 3. Cohort analysis: a cohort is a kind of group in which respondents experience the same event or problem at same time interval. This study consists of a series of surveys which is conducted at different appropriate time gaps or intervals. Here cohort serves as the base unit of this type of analysis. You can analyze the cross sectional design in a negative and positive way. Thus following are their merits and demerits:
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Merits of cross sectional design 1. Cross sectional method is user friendly, easy to understand and simple to use. 2. Minimum resources are required to work out on this study 3. This design is the best design in determining prevalence system. Demerits of cross sectional design 1. This study is unable to find out the cause and effect relationship among various factors. 2. This study does not provide clear set of explanations for their findings. You can elaborate this research method with the help of following example: For example Let us suppose: a study between height and age of people shows negative relationship. It gives following conclusive answers: 1. As people become more older, they lose their height 2. As if they become younger, they become comparatively taller. Here one exception is there i.e. as compared to the short heightened people, tall people have more expectancy to their life risks. This example shows that cross sectional study do not give a full description to the case. This method is unable to support their findings as well. 3.4.2 Longitudinal study This study is concerned with panel research where information is generated by the continuous analysis of variables at regular intervals. Thus, in panel research a sample of respondents are interviewed on a regular basis to gain information. In this type of research design, sample of population elements would be fixed and measured repeatedly. The variables would remain the same for this research study. This study is useful in conducting lot of activities like trend analysis, tracking changes in behaviours over time like brand switching, levels of awareness, turnover etc) and checking the long-term effects of marketing activities like market share, pricing effects etc.
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Self assessment questions 5. Descriptive study starts with specific research questions.(T/F). 6. Descriptive studies are: a) formal, rigid and well structured and focused in nature b) informal, rigid in nature c) formal but flexible in nature d) Informal but well structured in nature.

7. Cross sectional method is _______, easy to understand and


simple to use.

8. In multiple cross-sectional designs, there is only one sample of respondents and information is obtained from this sample only once.( T/F) 9. Descriptive studies require:
a) proper data analysis and inferences and the checklist of effective data analysis b) only inferences c) only data analysis d) both c and b

3.5 CASUAL DESIGN


Causal design is the study of cause and effect relationships between two or more variables. William J. Goode & Paul K. Hatt in Methods in Social Research define cause and effect relationship as: "when two or more cases of given phenomenon have one and only one condition in common, that condition may be regarded as the cause and effect of that phenomenon." The set of causes generated to predict their effects, can be deterministic or probabilistic in nature. The deterministic cause is the one which is essential and adequate for stimulating the occurrence of another event.

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While the probabilistic is the one that is essential, but is not the only one responsible for the stimulation of the occurrence of another event. The objective is to determine which variable might be causing certain behaviour i.e., whether there is a cause and effect relationship between variables, causal research must be undertaken. This type of research is very complex and the researcher can never be completely certain that there are not other factors influencing the causal relationship, especially when dealing with people's attitudes and motivations. There are often much deeper psychological considerations that even the respondent may not be aware of. The difference between exploratory and conclusive research designs is presented in Table 3.2 while the overall comparison of all the research designs has been depicted in Table 3.3.
TABLE 3.2: EXPLORATORY & CONCLUSIVE RESEARCH DIFFERENCES TABLE 3.3: A COMPARISON OF RESEARCH DESIGNS
Exploratory O bjective To provide insights and understanding. Conclusive To test specific hypotheses and exam ine relationships. Inform ation needed is clearly defined. Research process is form and al structured. Sam is ple large and representative. Data analysis is quantitative. Conclusive. Findings used as input into decision m aking.

Characteristics

Inform ation needed is defined only loosely. Research process is flexible and unstructured. Sam is sm ple all and non representative. Analysis of prim ary data is qualitative. Tentative. G enerally follow ed by further exploratory or conclusive research.
Ep r t r x loaoy

Findings Results O com ut e

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Mt o s eh d

Ep r x et s r es P t uv y , ilo s r es uv y S c n ay eo d r d ta a Qa tiv u lita e r s ac eer h

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Experimental Designs This kind of study is a process which plans natural order events to meet the specific objectives. Here researcher observe the study carefully and do the experiment in a correct order. Because this study emphasis on the importance of the concept and ensure the right type of information. Result will totally depend upon the manipulation done by the researcher. He makes new changes and interventions in the concept.

Source: experiment-resources.com The following process will help you in determining the concept of experimental design: 1. trace out the problem and define them 2. define the population 3. focus on the sampling need 4. define the experimental design This experimental design method includes various types: 1. Equivalent time series design: here treatment cannot be given to all the respondents simultaneously and give legitimate treatment to some citizens and not to all the citizens. As and when training is given to all the employees rotation wise. Different types of training can be provided to different groups of people. 2. Classic experimental design: subjects are assigned randomly in this method. Treatment groups are conformable to a variety of ANOVA designs here.
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3. Waiting list design: this method is used when demand exceeds supply. And due to limited supply legitimate treatment is given to only some of the citizens and not to all the citizens as it is impossible due to shortage. 4. Tie- breaking designs: here the main focus of the study is depend upon merit basis. This situation occurs usually in academic field where normally tied scores are received on merit based exams. Then these scores are randomly assigned to a specific treatment and a control group. 5. Lottery design: this is used when expectation to lotteries are on high rise. This eliminates a major hindrance to randomization. 6. Spatial separation design: here no experiment relevant intercommunication is done. Treatment groups are totally separated in this method. When participative management is tried to a treatment group of a new and randomly assigned employees in one location but not in another. 7. Indifference curve designs: when some people will be different towards receiving or not receiving the treatment, thus their attractiveness of treatment can be adjusted sometimes here. And in this situation, treatment is assigned to a number of people randomly. 8. New organization design: When a new organization is accomplished, like one providing job training, opportunities may well arise which permit the random assignment of clients to a control and a treatment organization. 9. Mandate change design: when the solution is unknown but change is required, treatment of random assignment is done as in random assignment of students to classes with alternative books.

Quasi-Experimental Designs This study does not assign people randomly but follow the experimental procedure in the research design. This study estimates the casual impact of

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an intervention on the targeted population. The following example would help you in getting this point more elaborative. For example: Let us suppose: You have completed your class 12th. Now you are going to take admission in Graduation. For this you already filled the admission forms of different colleges. Now various colleges assign the cut off list on merit basis. Then you can see the list for your enrollment in the college. This cut off list is a very good example of this quasi experimental research design study.

Case Study on Experimental/Causal Comparative Designs Forming Comparison Groups in Classroom Research on Reading Problem: Researchers wanted to form three groups in an experiment on different methods of teaching. A Solution: The six classrooms were randomly assigned to three treatment groups: two experimental groups and one control. In one of the experimental groups, students were taught literacy using literature in addition to standard reading textbooks (known as basal readers). In the other experimental group, students were taught literacy in the same way as in the first experimental group but were also taught science using literature as well as science textbooks. The control group students continued their regular basal reading and science textbook instruction. During the study, all classrooms spent 7 hours a week on reading instruction. In the experimental groups, teachers spent 3 hours a week with the basal reading materials and 4 hours with literature. In the control group, all 7 hours a week of reading instruction involved basal materials. We used intact classrooms when it was preferable to randomly assign teachers and children to the different conditions. We were unable to make random assignments because we were working in a school district where they made their own decisions about this.

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Your Opinions: 1. Six classroom teachers were involved in this study with two teachers using each of the three teaching methods. In your opinion, was this a sufficient number of teachers for a study of this type? 2. The researchers state that it would have been preferable to assign children at random to the different conditions. Instead, they assigned classrooms at random. In your opinion, is this an important limitation of the study? 3. The researchers controlled the amount of time spent on reading in the three types of classrooms. Is this important? Source/ reference: Morrow, L.M., Pressley, M., Smith, J.K., & Smith, M. (1997). The effect of a literature-based program integrated into literacy and science instruction with children from diverse backgrounds. Reading Research Quarterly, 32, 54-76. Self assessment questions 10. This kind of study is a process which plans natural order events to meet the specific objectives. Name them from the following keyword: a) Experimental Research Design b) Casual Design c) Cross Sectional design d) Conclusive Design 11. Casual design is the study of cause and effect relationships between two or more variables.(T/F)

3.6 RESEARCH DESIGN AND MARKETING DECISION PROCESS


Research design plays a significant role in marketing decision-making process. As evident from the Figure 3.3 given below, at each step of decision-making process, research design can be utilized by marketers for the efficient and effective implementation of the business decisions.

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Marketing research design helps you in deciding the suitable method. As you already studies in this unit various types of research design. The following figure is elaborating the same thing. Further in this marketing decision making process is defined. Marketing decision making processs is that procedure through which you can decide your research design framework. It includes following steps: 1. Firstly define your issue or problem 2. Then what can be the possible solutions to solve this problem 3. One by one identify and analyse each possible solution 4. Match the solution with your problem and select the best suitable option. 5. Apply the solution or implement the final action.
M R E x p lo r a to r y r e s e a r c h I d e n tif y in g c o u r s e s o f a c tio n a r k e t in g D e c is io n M a k in g P r o c e s s e c o g n iz in g a n d d e f in in g d e c is io n p r o b le m

E C o n c lu s iv e 1 . D 2 . C r e s e a r c h S

v a lu a t in g c o u r s e s o f a c tio n

e s c r ip t i v e a u s a l

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e r fo r m a n c e - m r e s e a r c h

o n ito r in g

I m

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Figure 3.3: Research Design and Marketing Decision Process

Self assessment questions:

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12. Research design plays a significant role in ______ decision-making process. 13. Marketing research design helps you in deciding the suitable method. (T/F)

3.7 CHOOSING A GOOD RESEARCH DESIGN


In the whole process of research design, it is essential to have you in mind some conclusive points, some criteria which finally helps you out in choosing a design strategy. The following points help you out in designing or choosing a good research design: 1. Feasibility: designs should be implemented in a correct form. The duration and sequence of events should be proper. Problems should be anticipated at first. It can be of adherence to assignment, it can be of measurement or database construction, or it can be of any other of else though as well. And if required then additional groups should be included in the design to sought out the above said problems. 2. Theory- Grounded issue: theory is the base for every solution to the problem. Good research studies should be investigated. For example, where theory predicts a specific treatment effect on one measure but not on another, the inclusion of both in the design improves discriminant validity and demonstrates the predictive power of the theory. 3. Redundant: good research design should be flexible enough. This flexibility further helps in removing duplications of the design features. For example: revised treatment to a treatment of problem helps you to ensure that failure to one setting of a treatment does not mean void of the entire study. 4. Situational: good research design should be adjustable though. According to the situations, design should be molded enough to reflect the correct step properly. For example: need of teachers, lecturers and an administrator is different according to their capability. Similarly intergroup rivalry team and demoralization assessment is done through
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the use of additional comparison groups who are vary apart from the direct group. 5. Efficient: good design should work efficiently. A proper balance between redundancy and tendency to over design must be kept. According to the need of the situation, design must be changes over the period of time. This is not the enough list to define the strategic plan for choosing a strategy. You can also add on the various strategies according to your Research Purpose Research Question Hypothesis situation as well. However, the main goal of this plan helps you to guide the Exploratory research researcher in deciding the final design selection and their components which 1. What new What alternative ---------------product should ways are there should be included in their design as well. to E
be developed

provide launches for school children? X It is totally dependent on you, What benefits do research, that which method if doing any 2. What product Constructs unknown appeal will be people seek from would be best suitable an youe specific area and situation.it further depends effective to the product? P upon the nature advertising? purpose of the objectives of the research and also and the 3. How can our What is the nature Suspect that an image L the hypothesis along with it. service be of any customer of impersonalization is improved? dissatisfaction? a problem. Descriptive research The three approaches generally followed to choose a research design 4. How should a Where do people Upper -class buyers are illustrated in checklist 3.4.now buy similar new product be use specialty stores C distributed? products? and middle -class buyers use O department stores. 5. What should be What kinds of Older peopl e buy our the target people now buy the brand, whereas the N segment? product, and who young marrieds are buys our brand? heavy users of C competitors. 6. How should our What is our current We are regarded as product be image? being conservatives L changed? and behind the times. Causal research U 7. Will an increase What is the For small in the service relationship of size organizations, an staff be of service staff and increase of 50% or S profitable? revenue? less will generate marginal revenue in I excess of marginal costs. 8. Which Wha t would get Advertising V advertising people out of cars programme A programme for and into public generates more new E public transit transit? riders than programme should be run? B. 9. Should a new Will be no frills The new airfare will budget or no airfare generate attract sufficient frills class of sufficient new revenue from new airfare be passengers t o offset passengers. introduced? the loss of revenue Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 18 from existing passengers switching from economy class?

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The universal checklist followed for choosing a research design is as follows: CHECKLIST FOR RESEARCH DESIGN Checklist for Choosing a Research Design Tests the hypothesis adequately. Is efficient in using available resources.

Rejects/retains the hypothesis via statistical means. Can statistically control some extraneous factors. Ensures that results are generalizable. Self assessment questions: 14. Research design plays a ______ role in marketing decision-making process.

15. Bad designs strike a balance between redundancy and the tendency
to over design.( T/F) 16. To choose a good research design features includes: a) Theory-Grounded b) Rigidity c) Feasibility and redundancy d) Efficiency, theory grounded, feasibility and redundancy Activity 2 : Let us suppose you are a senior consultant in a pharmaceutical company and you have received a request for conducting marketing research from one of your clients related to a medicine. They would like to test the acceptability of a line of 'Ready to eat vitamin tablets' that they have

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developed. Prepare a research proposal which has to be submitted to your client, keeping in mind the research design.

3.8 SUMMARY
Research design is just like a blueprint for the research problems. Research design helps you in determining four issues: Which questions to study? Which data is relevant? What data to collect? How to analyze the result? Every research design has two aspects: either positive or negative. The main basic designs which are considered for reliable data are: cross-sectional, longitudinal and casual design. When researcher tries to change the situation of the problem which in turn changes the behaviour of the participant also is known as experimental design. Here participants are randomly selected. Conversely, manipulation of the situation is not done in the non experimental design.

3.9 GLOSSARY
Research design: The plan, structure and strategy of investigation conceived so as to obtain answers to research questions and to control variance. Exploratory research: This helps determine the best research design, data collection method and selection of subjects, and sometimes it even concludes that the problem does not exist. Causal design: This is the study of cause and effect relationships between two or more variables. Longitudinal study: It is concerned with panel research where information is generated by the continuous analysis of variables at regular intervals. Prevalence: It involves the number of cases or occurrences that exist at a specific period of time in a defined population.
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Conclusive research: This is meant to provide information that is useful in reaching conclusions or decision-making. It tends to be quantitative in nature, that is to say, in the form of numbers that can be quantified and summarized. Classic experimental designs: In the classic experiment method, subjects are assigned randomly in to control and treatment groups, also amenable to a variety of ANOVA designs. Quasi-Experimental Design: This study does not assign people randomly but follow the experimental procedure in the research design.

3.10 TERMINAL QUESTIONS


1 Write an essay on the types of research design with suitable examples. 2 Write a short note on the criteria of choosing a good research design. 3 4 Discuss the concept of exploratory research design with example. What are the nine types of Experimental designs?

5 Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Cross sectional design. 6 7 Explain the concept of Casual design. Discuss the concept of Description research design.

3.11 ANSWERS
Self-Assessment Questions 1. Blueprint 2. b 3. Explorative 4. c

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5. True 6. a 7. User friendly 8. False 9. a 10. a 11. True 12. Marketing 13. True 14. Significant 15. False 16. d Terminal questions 1. Basic purpose of research design is the right investigation. For that, the research design may be broadly classified into two categories. Refer point no 3.2. 2. Throughout the design construction task, it is important to have you in mind some endpoints, some criteria which we should try to achieve before finally accepting a design strategy Refer point no 3.6. 3. As the term suggests, exploratory research is often conducted because a problem has not been clearly defined as yet, or its real scope is unclear as yet. Refer point no 3.2.1. 4. There can be nine types of experimental design based on the use or approximate randomization of subjects. Refer point no 3.4.1.
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5. You can analyze the cross sectional design in a negative and positive way. Thus following are their advantages and disadvantages: Refer point no 3.3.1., 3.3.2

6. Causal design is the study of cause and effect relationships between


two or more variables. Refer point no 3.4.

7. Descriptive studies are formal, rigid and well structured and focused
in nature. Refer point no 3.2.3.

3.12 CASE STUDY


Casual Comparative Designs Forming Experimental and Control Groups in a Study of Drug Prevention Problem: Researchers wanted to evaluate a family-participation drug prevention program in the Boys and Girls Clubs. Four clubs were purposively selected to receive the program because they had directors who would strongly support the promotion of family involvement and would give the program coordinator the flexibility to work in nontraditional ways to encourage family participation. This created a problem: A true experimental design could not be used because the program clubs were not selected at random. A Solution: Other Boys and Girls Clubs that were similar on socioeconomic and other demographic variables to the family-participation program clubs were selected as comparison groups. A Drawback to the Solution: Children in the family-participation program were about a quarter of a year younger, on the average, than those in the comparison groups. While all groups were predominantly African American, there were differences in the second most frequent racial/ethnic groups with differences in the Hispanic and Caucasian mix. There were differences in the gender composition of the groups (e.g., 35% female in the family-participation clubs and 41% female in the control clubs). Your Opinions: 1. Is the use of purposively selected clubs (rather than randomly selected clubs) a limitation of the study? Why or why not? 2. If you answered yes to question 1, how serious is the limitation?
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3. Overall, do you believe the solution is better than nothing (that is, not having a control or comparison group)? Why or why not? 4. Are there other possible solutions that might help solve the problem? What are they? Source/ reference: St. Pierre, T.L., Mark, M.M., Kaltreider, D.L., & Aikin, K.J. (1997). Involving parents of high-risk youth in drug prevention: A three-year longitudinal study in Boys and Girls Clubs. Journal of Early Adolescence, 17, 21-50.

3.12 REFERENCES
Adr, H. J., Mellenbergh, G. J., & Hand, D. J. (2008). Advising on research methods: a consultant's companion. Huizen: Johannes van Kessel Publishing. Hoogland, T. & Hoogland, T. (in preparation). Conversations with Myself. Robson, C. (1993). Real-world research: A resource for social scientists and practitioner researchers. Malden: Blackwell Publishing. Creswell, J.W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Philliber, Schwab, & Samsloss, 1980

E-References:

http://www.ehow.com/info_8758457_advantages-disadvantagescrosssectional-studies.html 18 June 2012, 3.30 p.m. uwf.edu/pcl/research/edf6481/files/Case_StudiesExperimental_D esigns.doc 18 June 2012, 6.00 p.m. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_design, 19 June, 11.30 a.m. http://support.sas.com/resources/papers/sixsigma1.pdf 19 June 2012, 6.00 p.m.

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