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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. We often describe a design using a concise notation that
enables us to summarize a complex design structure efficiently

Types of Research Designs

 Exploratory Research (huh?)
Designed to generate basic knowledge, clarify relevant issues uncover variables associated with a problem,
uncover information needs, and/or define alternatives for addressing research objectives.
A very flexible, open-ended process.
 Descriptive Research (who, what, where, how)
Designed to provide further insight into the research problem by describing the variables of interest.
Can be used for profiling, defining, segmentation, estimating, predicting, and examining associative
 Causal Research (If-then)
Designed to provide information on potential cause-and-effect relationships.
Most practical in marketing to talk about associations or impact of one variable on another.

Types and Characteristics of Exploratory Studies

1. Literature Search
 Conceptual literature
 Trade literature
 Published statistics

2. Analysis of Selected Cases

 Intensive study of related cases or past activities
 May be internal or external
 Can help provide clues as to how other units or companies have dealt with similar issues.

Types and Characteristics of Exploratory Studies

1. Experience Surveys (a.k.a., depth interviews)
 Knowledgeable people with varying points of view
 Unstructured and informal interviews
 Respondent free to choose issues to be discussed

2. Focus Groups
 8 to 10 people at one time
 Relatively homogeneous groups
 Multiple, heterogeneous groups
 Group dynamics
 Moderator is key
 Relies on general topical guide with plenty of time for interaction

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Types and Characteristics of Descriptive Studies
1. Cross-Sectional Study
 Easily the most common type of research project.
 Typically involves conducting a survey of a sample of population elements at one point in time.
 Useful because it provides a quick snapshot of what’s going on with the variables of interest for our
research problem.
2. Longitudinal Study
 An investigation that involves taking repeated measures over time.
 Useful for conducting trend analysis, tracking changes in behavior over time (e.g., brand switching,
levels of awareness, turnover) and monitoring long-term effects of marketing activities (e.g., market share,
pricing effects)
 True panel vs. omnibus panel

A. Research designs in case of exploratory studies

1. The survey of concerning literature
2. The experience survey
3. The analysis of ‘insights stimulating examples

B. Research design in case of descriptive and diagnostic research studies

C. research designs in case of experimental or hypothesis testing research studies

internal validity :- Is the basic requirements for an experiment to be interpretable - did the experiment make a
difference in this instance?
External validity:- Addresses the question of generalizability - to whom can we generalize this experiment's

Eight extraneous variables can interfere with internal validity:

1. History, the specific events occurring between the first and second measurements in addition to the
experimental variables
2. Maturation, processes within the participants as a function of the passage of time (not specific to particular
events), e.g., growing older, hungrier, more tired, and so on.
3. Testing, the effects of taking a test upon the scores of a second testing.
4. Instrumentation, changes in calibration of a measurement tool or changes in the observers or scorers may
produce changes in the obtained measurements.
5. Statistical regression, operating where groups have been selected on the basis of their extreme scores.
6. Selection, biases resulting from differential selection of respondents for the comparison groups.
7. Experimental mortality, or differential loss of respondents from the comparison groups.
8. Selection-maturation interaction, etc. e.g., in multiple-group quasi-experimental designs

Four factors jeopardizing external validity or representativeness are:

1. Reactive or interaction effect of testing, a pretest might increase

2. Interaction effects of selection biases and the experimental variable.
3. Reactive effects of experimental arrangements, which would preclude generalization about the effect of
the experimental variable upon persons being exposed to it in non-experimental settings
4. Multiple-treatment interference, where effects of earlier treatments are not erasable.

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1. 2. 3. 4.
Pre-experimental True-Experimental Quasi-Experimental Statistical R.D.
a. One shot case study a. Pretest-posttest CG a. Time series R.D. a. Randomized Blocks

b. one group pretest- b. Posttest only with b. Multiple time – b. Factorial R.D.
posttest design control group series

c. Static Group c. Solomon four group

six study R.D.

Note :- X stands for experiment

O stands for measurements/observations
R stands for randomization
EG stands for experimental group
CG stands for control group
TE stands for treatment effect
EV stands for extraneous variables

.Design Notation Examples

1. PRE – EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH DESIGNS :- No Randomization procedure to control for

Extraneous variables
X :- Training to the sales people
Test unit :- Salesman

a. one shot case study:- (After – only research design )

X O1

b. One group pretest-posttest design:-

O1 X O2
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O2-O1 = TE
H+ MA+ MT+ I+ SR = EV

c. Static group design :-

EG : X O1
CG : O2

O1-O2 = TE
SB + MO = EV

2. TRUE EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS:- Researcher can randomly assign test units to experimental groups
and treatment is also assigned randomly .

a.Pretest-posttest control group design:-

EG : R O1 X O2
CG : R O3 O4

(O2-O1) – (O4-O3) = TE
(O1-O2) = H+ MA+ MT+ I+ SR+ MO
(O4-O3) = H+ MA+ I+ SR+ MO

b. Posttest only control group design:-

EG : R X O1
CG : R O2

(O1-O2) = TE
EV = SB + MO

c. Solomon four group six study design :-

EG : R O1 X O2
CG : R O3 O4
EG : R X O5
CG : R O6

3. QUASI EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS :-Partially experimental but lack full experimental control .
a. Time series design :-
O1 O2 O3 O4 X O5 O6 O7 O8

MA is partially controlled
EV = MO+ SB+ H

b. Multiple time series design :-

EG : O1 O2 O3 O4 X O5 O6 O7 O8
CG : O1 O2 O3 O4 O5 06 07 08

4. STASTICAL DESIGNS :-A series of basic experiments that allow for statistical control and analysis of
external variables. Statistical designs offer following advantages.
1. Effect of more than one independent variable can be measured.
2. Specific extraneous variables can be controlled.
3. Economic designs can be formed when each test unit is measured more than once .

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a. Randomized block design :-



1 Heavy A B C
2 Medium A B C
3 Low A B C
4 None A B C

b. Factorial design :-



Basic Methods For Data Collection

1. Primary Data
2. Secondary Data

Primary Data Collection Methods


A. Questioning Methods :-
(i) General accuracy level of data collected by questioning method :-
- Dishonest Answers
- Less accurate results due to
Improper sample size
Wrong selection of sample units
Interviewer’s Bias etc
(ii) Advantages :-
- Versatility
- Speed & cost
(iii) Disadvantages :-
-Unwillingness of respondents to provide information
- inability of respondents to provide information
-influence of questioning process
-interviewer’s bias

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Classification Of Questioning Methods

A. On the basis of structure b. On the basis of disguise & c. On the basis of the Of
the questionnaire lack of disguise of the study communication method
(structured/unstructured ) (Disguised/Non-Disguised)

Structured Unstructured 1. Personal interviews

1. 2.
Non - Most questionnaire - Focus group
Disguised -formed qns - no set of qns
- objective disclosed - objective disclosed

2. Telephonic interviews
3. 4.
Disguised - Attitude measurement - Projective techniques
- Formed qns - no set of qns 3. E- mails
-objective not disclosed
- objective not disclosed

Observation :- “Is the process of recognizing and noting people , objects & occurrences rather than
asking for information .”

(i) General accuracy level of observational methods :-

- More accurate than questioning method
- Sometimes physically not possible for the observer to observe accurately
- Absence of observer’s influence .
- Not Dependent on the willingness of the respondents.
- Interviewer’s Biasing effect is also eliminated .
- More Objective & more Accurate .
- Inability to measure attitude, motivation & Information source etc.
- Personal & intimate activities can not be observed .
- More Expensive .


On the basis of On the basis of On the basis of On the basis of

Situation structure factor of interest the means used
(natural/contrived) (str.ed/unstr.ed) (direct/indirect) (manual/mech.)

1. Natural & Direct observation

2. Contrived observation
3. Mechanical observation (Audi meter )
4. Indirect observation

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Principles of Questionnaire Design

• Ensure that your first question is relevant to everyone, easy, and interesting.
• Avoid vague response quantifiers when precise quantifiers can be used.

The following questions should be addressed:

• Why is this survey being conducted?

• What do I need to know?
• How will the information be used?
• How accurate and timely does the information have to be?

Step 1: Planning Questionnaire Research

• Consider the advantages and disadvantages of using questionnaires.

• Prepare written objectives for the research.
• Have your objectives reviewed by others.
• Review the literature related to the objectives.
• Determine the feasibility of administering your questionnaire to the population of interest.
Prepare a time-line.

Step 2. Conducting Item Try-Outs and an Item Analysis :- Have your items reviewed by others.
Conduct "think-aloud" with several people.
Carefully select individuals for think-aloud.
Consider asking about 10 individuals to write detailed responses on a draft of your questionnaire.
Ask some respondents to respond to the questionnaire for an item analysis. In the first stage of an item
analysis, tally the number of respondents who selected each choice.
In the second stage of an item analysis, compare the responses of high and low groups on individual items

Step 3: Preparing a Questionnaire for Administration

• Write a descriptive title for the questionnaire.

• Write an introduction to the questionnaire.
Group the items by content, and provide a subtitle for each group.
Within each group of items, place items with the same format together.
At the end of the questionnaire, indicate what respondents should do next.
Prepare an informed consent form, if needed.
If the questionnaire will be mailed to respondents, avoid having your correspondence look like junk
• If the questionnaire will be mailed, consider including a token reward.
If the questionnaire will be mailed, write a follow-up letter.
If the questionnaire will be administered in person, consider preparing written instructions for the

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Step 4: Selecting a Sample of Respondents

• Identify the accessible population.

• Avoid using samples of convenience.
Simple random sampling is a desirable method of sampling.
Systematic sampling is an acceptable method of sampling.
Stratification may reduce sampling errors.
Consider using random cluster sampling when every member of a population belongs to a group.
Consider using multistage sampling to select respondents from large populations.
• Consider the importance of getting precise results when determining sample size.
Remember that using a large sample does not compensate for a bias in sampling.
• Consider sampling non respondents to get information on the nature of a bias. The bias in the mean
is the difference of the population means for respondents and non respondents multiplied by the
population nonresponse rate

Step 5: Preparing Statistical Tables and Figures

Prepare a table of frequencies.

Consider calculating percentages and arranging them in a table with the frequencies. For nominal data,
consider constructing a bar graph. Consider preparing a histogram to display a distribution of scores.
Consider preparing polygons if distributions of scores are to be compared

Step 6: Describing Averages and Variability

Use the median as the average for ordinal data.

Consider using the mean as the average for equal interval data.
Use the median as the average for highly skewed, equal interval data.

Use the range very sparingly as the measure of variability.

If the median has been selected as the average, use the interquartile range as the measure of variability.
If the mean has been selected as the average, use the standard deviation as the measure of variability.
Keep in mind that the standard deviation has a special relationship to the normal curve that helps in its
For moderately asymmetrical distributions the mode, median and mean satisfy the formula:

Step 7: Describing Relationships

For the relationship between two nominal variables, prepare a contingency table.
When groups have unequal numbers of respondents, include percentages in contingency tables.For the
relationship between two equal interval variables, compute a correlation coefficient. Interpret a Pearson r
using the coefficient of determination. For the relationship between a nominal variable and an equal interval
variable, examine differences among averages

Step 8: Estimating Margins of Error

It is extremely difficult, and often impossible, to evaluate the effects of a bias in sampling. When evaluating
a percentage, consider the standard error of a percentage. When evaluating a mean, consider the standard
error of the mean. When evaluating a median, consider the standard error of the median. Consider building
confidence intervals, especially when comparing two or more groups
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Step 9: Writing Reports of Questionnaire Research

In an informal report, variations in the organization of the report are permitted.

Academic reports should begin with a formal introduction that cites literature. The second section of
academic reports should describe the research methods. The third section of academic reports should
describe the results. The last section of academic reports should be a discussion. Acknowledge any
weakness in your research methodology. Missing Values on a Sensitive Topic explain to respondent the
reasons for asking the questions, make response categories as broad as possible. word the question in a
nonjudgemental style that avoids the appearance of censure, or, if possible, make the behavior in question
appear to be socially acceptable. present the request as factual matter as possible. guarantee confidentiality
or anonymity make sure the respondent knows the info will not be used in any threatening way. explain how
the info will be handled avoid cross classification that will allow for pinpointing responses.

Source of Errors

1. The use of an inadequate frame.

2. A poorly designed questionnaire.
3. Recording and measurement errors.
4. Non-response problems

Questionnaire testing

1. Designing standards for interview questionnaires

2. electronic questionnaire must be programmed
3. Conducting a pilot study
4. Focus groups
5. Cognitive one-to-one interviews
6. An expert panel
7. A split panel test,

1.Abbreviations and acronyms

• For example: Do you know if the pop figures are available online?
• Better wording: Did you know that the population figures from the 2001 Census of
Population are available on the Internet site at (www.statcan.ca?
• For example: Have you ever participated in our LFS survey?
• Better wording: Have you ever participated in a Labour Force Survey ?

2.Complex words and terminology

• For example: Do you know who is leading the talks surrounding the impending amalgamation of
surrounding constituencies into the "new metro" areas?
• Better wording: Do you know who is leading the talks in each of the provinces regarding the
amalgamation of cities, towns, villages and rural areas into "new metro" areas?

3.Frame of reference

• Consider the question: "What is your income?“

• Does the word "your" refer to the respondent's personal income, family income or household
income? Does the word "income" refer to salary and wages only, or does it include tips or income
from other sources?
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• Because there is no specific time period mentioned, does this question refer to last week's income,
last month's or last year's income?
• This question is too vague. It should be reworded so that all of the specific details concerning the
frame of reference are given.

4.Specific questions:- A question's frame of reference is not the only specific detail required. In order to get
a uniformed response from the entire sample, the question sometimes needs to state the type of response

For example: Respondents are shown a bottle of orange drink and are asked, "How much orange
juice do you think this bottle contains?“

Some of the results from this question are outlined below:-

• One orange and a little water and sugar-

• 25% orange and 75% carbonated water-
• Juice of one-half dozen oranges- Three ounces of orange juice-
• Full strength- A quarter cup of orange juice-


Not much-

Don't know-

A pint-

Most of it- About a glass and a half

Better wording: "This bottle holds 250 millilitres (mL) of orange drink. How many millilitres of this
drink would you say are orange juice?"

5.Double-barreled questions

• What is the language you first learned in childhood and still understand?
• Do you plan to leave your car at home and take the bus to work during the coming year?
• Does your company provide training for new employees and retraining for existing staff?

6.Loaded questions:- The following examples demonstrate how a loaded question can impact the
respondent's results.

• In your opinion, should Sunday shopping be allowed in Ontario;

• that is, should stores that want to stay open on Sunday be allowed to stay open on Sundays if they
want to?
• Results: 73% In favour of Sunday shopping2
• 5% Opposed to Sunday shopping
• 2% No opinionIn your opinion,
• should a Sunday pause day be adopted in Ontario; that is, should the government make Sunday the
one uniform day a week when most people do not have to work?
• Results: 50% Opposed to a Sunday pause day
• 44% In favour of a Sunday pause day
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• 6% No opinion

7. The kitchen sink question:

• 'Please list all the places you have worked in the past five years, the type of work done and salary
received, and why you left.'
• To save confusion in replying, recording and coding the answers, ask each part of the question

8. Dream questions: Hypothetical questions do not necessarily produce comparable answers from different

'What kind of education would you like for your child?‘

9. Leading questions:- 'Why are you happy here in Gr.Noida?‘ gives the respondent little opening to say
s/he is miserable in Gr.Noida.

10. Hearsay questions:

'Do you think your neighbours are happy about the new school?'

You cannot cut down on your sample number by asking a small number of people what they think the
attitudes of other people

11. Fallout questions: These are sets of questions in which something important gets lost on the way.

a woman who normally dyes her hair red went to a hairdresser who required that his clients fill out a
questionnaire before getting their hair done. Bad dyes of any colour will turn hair red.

The questionnaire asked:

1. Do you colour your hair? Yes..... No.....

2. If yes, does it ever turn red? Yes..... No....

3. If yes, what product do you use? ...................................................

The cover the world question:

'What do you think of the President?‘

could refer to the man or woman personally, or to how s/he is carrying out the role of president of a
company or a nation.

'What's the neighbourhood like?‘

is useful in some interviews, but if you know what aspect of the neighbourhood interests you, ask
specifically about that.

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12. The 'fuzzy word' question:

'Should middleaged people live it up?‘ has two problems.

'Middleaged' does not mean the same age group to everyone, and

'living it up' can mean anything from wearing red to keeping a harem. question:

'Do you attend dances frequently?'

(or 'rarely' or 'occasionally' or 'often') will give meaningless answers.

13. Open or closed questions

Open question:What is the most important issue facing today's youth?

Closed question:Which of these is the most important problem facing today's youth?

• Unemployment
• National unity
• Environment
• Youth violence
• Rising tuition fees
• Drugs in schools
• Need for more computers in schools
• Career counseling

• A good questionnaire ends with a comments section that allows the respondent to record any other
issues not covered by the questionnaire. This is one way of avoiding any frustration on the part of
the respondent, as well as allowing them to express any thoughts, questions or concerns they might
• Lastly, there should be a message at the end thanking the respondents for their time and patience in
completing the questionnaire

Qualitative Research
Research methods can be classified in various ways, however one of the most common distinctions is between
qualitative and quantitative research methods

Quantitative research methods :- were originally developed in the natural sciences to study natural
phenomena. Examples of quantitative methods now well accepted in the social sciences include survey
methods, laboratory experiments, formal methods

Qualitative research methods:- were developed in the social sciences to enable researchers to study
social and cultural phenomena. Examples of qualitative methods are action research, case study research and
ethnography. Qualitative data sources include observation and participant observation (fieldwork), interviews
and questionnaires, documents and texts, and the researcher’s impressions and reactions.

Differences in Data

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• One of the ways that qualitative data differ from quantitative data is that they are more diverse.
• Although we usually refer to natural experiences or open ended responses as qualitative data there is no
reason that numeric data cannot be collected as well.


• There are circumstances in which a qualitative approach is usually superior to a quantitative one.
• When we are unsure what aspects of a case are relevant or important, we can use more open-ended
techniques and flexible methods.
• If you have a useless question, it does not make sense to ask it of everyone and in the same way.

Subjective and Psychological Phenomenon

• Qualitative research techniques also differ from quantitative techniques in the nature of the subject
• When we want to learn about how people feel, what the substance of their thoughts are or how they
justify their actions, we should use qualitative techniques.

Example: Psychoanalysis

• Imagine that you are having a real problem with tension in your life.
• You think it has something to do with setting and achieving appropriate goals.
• Although you could have someone collect detailed numerical data about your condition, a better
approach would be to ask a focused and detailed set of probing questions.

Qualitative Versus Quantitative Research

OBJECTIVE Understanding underlying Quantify data and
reasons /motives generalise to population

SAMPLE Small number of Large number of

nonrepresentative cases representative cases
DATA Unstructured Structured

ANALYSIS Nonstatistical Statistical

OUTCOME Develop an initial Recommend a final

understanding course of action

Qualitative Quantitative

(Usually) Non-probability based Typically a probability-based sample

Non-generalizable Generalizable

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Answers Why? How? Answers How many? When? Where?

Formative, earlier phases Tests hypotheses, latter phases

Data are “rich” and time-consuming Data are more efficient, but may miss
to analyze contextual detail
Design may emerge as study unfolds Design decided in advance

Researcher IS the instrument Various tools, instruments employed

Philosophical Perspectives:- All research (whether quantitative or qualitative) is based on some

underlying assumptions about what constitutes 'valid' research and which research methods are appropriate. In
order to conduct and/or evaluate qualitative research, it is therefore important to know what these (sometimes
hidden) assumptions are.

1. Positivist Research:- Positivists generally assume that reality is objectively given and can be described
by measurable properties which are independent of the observer (researcher) and his or her instruments.
Positivist studies generally attempt to test theory, in an attempt to increase the predictive understanding of

2. Interpretive Research:- Interpretive researchers start out with the assumption that access to reality
(given or socially constructed) is only through social constructions such as language, consciousness and shared
meanings. The philosophical base of interpretive research is hermeneutics and phenomenology (Boland, 1985).

3. Critical Research:- Critical researchers assume that social reality is historically constituted and that it is
produced and reproduced by people. Although people can consciously act to change their social and economic
circumstances, critical researchers recognize that their ability to do so is constrained by various forms of social,
cultural and political domination. The main task of critical research is seen as being one of social critique,
whereby the restrictive and alienating conditions of the status quo are brought to light.

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The four research methods that will be discussed here are action research, case study research, ethnography and
grounded theory

1. Action Research:- There are numerous definitions of action research, however one of the most widely cited
is that of Rapoport’s, who defines action research in the following way:

Action research aims to contribute both to the practical concerns of people in an immediate problematic
situation and to the goals of social science by joint collaboration within a mutually acceptable ethical
framework (Rapoport, 1970, p. 499).

Action research has been accepted as a valid research method in applied fields such as organization
development and education

2. Case Study Research:- The term "case study" has multiple meanings. It can be used to describe a unit of
analysis (e.g. a case study of a particular organisation) or to describe a research method. The discussion here
concerns the use of the case study as a research method.

Case study research is the most common qualitative method used in information systems

A case study is an empirical inquiry that:

• investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context, especially when

• the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident (Yin 2002).

3. Ethnography:- Ethnographic research comes from the discipline of social and cultural anthropology where
an ethnographer is required to spend a significant amount of time in the field. Ethnographers immerse
themselves in the lives of the people they study (Lewis 1985, p. 380) and seek to place the phenomena studied
in their social and cultural context.

4. Grounded Theory: -Grounded theory is a research method that seeks to develop theory that is grounded in
data systematically gathered and analyzed. According to Martin and Turner (1986), grounded theory is

"an inductive, theory discovery methodology that allows the researcher to develop a theoretical account of the
general features of a topic while simultaneously grounding the account in empirical observations or data."

The major difference between grounded theory and other methods is its specific approach to theory
development - grounded theory suggests that there should be a continuous interplay between data collection and

Qualitative Research Techniques

Qualitative Research...

• Is any research conducted using an observational technique or unstructured questioning.

• Often viewed as a “Soft-approach.” Conducted:
Prof. Parul Gupta Business Research 15
– when structured research is not possible,
– when true response may not be available [embarrassing “touchy questions”]
– to explain quantitative research results.

• Should not be viewed as conclusive research.

• Qualitative and quantitative research are complementary to each other.

A Comparison of Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Qualitative Research Quantitative Research

Basic research To gain a broad To quantify the data and
objective qualitative generalize the results
understanding of the form the sample to the
underlying reasons and population of interest;
motivations; Recommend a final
As a first step in course of action
multistage research
Type of sample Small numbers of non- Large number of
used representative cases representative cases
Data collection Unstructured Structured
Nature of data Non-statistical Statistical

Classification of Qualitative Research Procedures

Q u a li t a t i v e R e s e a r c h
P r o c e d u r e s

D ir e c t I n d ir e c t
( N o n d is g u is e d ) ( D is g u is e d )

F o c u s G r o uD p e s p t h I n t e r v i e P w r os j e c t i v e
T e c h n iq u e s

A s s o c i a t i Co no m p l e t i Co no n s t r u c t Ei o x n p r e s s i v e
T e c h n i q u eT se c h n i q u eT se c h n i q u eT se c h n i q u e s

Qualitative research - Observation technique

• Direct vs indirect:
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– Direct>> observing behavior as it occurs
– Indirect >> observing the effects of behavior

• Disguised vs nondisguised

– Nondisguised>>Direct
– Disguised >> Indirect

• Structured vs unstructured

– Structured>>predetermine what to observe

– Unstructured>>monitor all behavior

• Human vs Mechanical

– Human>>observation done by human beings

– Mechanical>>observation by machine


– Greater data accuracy than direct questioning, in natural settings people behave naturally,
– Problems of refusal, not at home, false response, non-cooperation etc. are absent,
– No recall error,
– In some situations, only way

• Number of customers visiting a store

• Studying children’s behavior


– Time consuming,
– too many things to observe,
– may not be representative,
– difficulty in determining root cause of the behavior.

2. Focus Group

• An interview conducted by a trained moderator in a non-structured and natural manner with a small
group of respondents.

Group size 8-12

Group composition Homogenous, respondents prescreened

Physical setting Relaxed, informal setting

Time duration 1 - 3 hours

Recording Use of audio and video cassettes

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Moderator Observational, interpersonal, good communication skills needed.


– Generate new product or service ideas

– Understand consumer vocabulary

• Useful for ad campaigns

– Reveal consumer needs, motives, perceptions and attitudes,

• Generating future research objectives

– Facilitate understanding of the quantitative studies

Focus Group Procedure

• Determine the objectives of the Marketing Research Project and define the problem
• Specify the objective of qualitative research
• State the objectives/questions to be answered by the focus group
• Write a screening questionnaire
• Develop a moderator’s outline
• Conduct the focus group interview
• Review tapes and analyze data
• Summarize the findings and plan follow-up research

The Focus Group Moderator

• The person who conducts the focus group session.

– Success of focus groups depend on him/her,

– He/she must strive for generating a stimulating natural discussion without losing sight of the focus,
– Must take initiative, but should not dominate the discussion unduly,
– Should have feeling of urgency,
– Should participate in the research from the beginning,
– Must add value beyond just conducting the session.

Advantages and Disadvantages

• Major Advantages:

– Synergism, Snowballing, Stimulation, Security, Spontaneity, Speed and Cost savings.

• Major Disadvantages:

– Lack of representativeness, Misuse, Misjudge, Moderation problem, and Difficulty of analysis

• A very promising technique.

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Other Qualitative Techniques

Depth Interview: An unstructured interview that seeks opinions of respondents on a one-to-one basis. Useful
for sensitive issues, politics etc.

Protocol Analysis: Involves placing a person in a decision making situation and asking him/her to state
everything he/she considers in making a decision. Useful in 1. Purchasing involving a long time frame (car,
house) and 2. Where the decision process is too short (greeting card).

Projective technique: Involve situations in which participants are placed in simulated activities hoping that
they will divulge information about themselves that are unlikely to be revealed under direct questing.

• These are indirect interviewing methods which enable sampled respondents to project their views,
beliefs and feelings onto a third-party or into some task situation.
• The researcher sets up a situation for the respondents asking them to express their own views, or to
complete/ interpret some ambiguous stimulus presented to them.
• Various types. More common ones are:
• Free Word Association
• Sentence Completion
• Unfinished scenario/story completion
• Cartoon completion test


In this technique, a list of carefully selected stimulus words or phrases related to the topic of
research are read out, one at a time, to a respondent. The respondent is asked to respond with
the first word or phrase that comes to his/her mind. The list of words should contain a
mixture of test words
In the example shownand neutral
here, words.
the researchers seems
to be interested in studying high-tech banking
(words with *).
However, analyzing and interpreting test results are
rather difficult.

Prof. Parul Gupta Business Research
Post 19
This technique is an extension of the free-word association test. In this technique, the respondent is
presented with some sentences containing incomplete stimuli and is asked to complete them. Like the
free-word association method, interpreting and analysing data obtained from this technique is also

Automatic telle
This technique is similar to the sentence completion test. However, in this technique, the respondent is
presented with a specific scenario containing incomplete stimuli [see
[see example below]
below] and is asked to
complete the scenario. Interpreting and analysing data obtained from this technique is also difficult.

Since Mr. Albert
before leaving ho
In the cartoon technique, the respondent is shown a
comic-strip like cartoon with two characters in a
conversation. While the speech of one character is
shown in his/her balloon,the other balloon is empty.
The respondent is asked to assume the role of the other

autom atic teller m

person and fill the empty baloon with a speech.

Automatic telle
W ong told him
Business Research 20
ATTITUDE :-“An enduring organization of motivational, emotional, perceptual and cognitive processes
with respect to some aspects of the individual world .”

Attitude: A mental or neural state of readiness, organized through experience, exerting a directive influence
upon the individual’s response to all objects and situations with which it is related.
Attitude Object: Anything we have an attitude about.
Attitude: a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor
or disfavor.
• Attitudes are summary evaluations of attitude objects.
• Attitudes have three components: Cognitive (thought), Affective (emotion), and Behavioural (actions).
• Knowledge of attitudes is important in many business areas (consumer behaviour) and in the political
arena (political behaviour).

Actions and Attitudes:- Social psychologists have looked for ways to measure attitudes by recording subtle
behavioural and physiological indicators. These approaches have the advantage of not requiring self reports
that are under the control of the respondent.

Head movement – when people listen to messages they agree with, they tend to move their heads vertically
(nod) more than horizontally (shake).

Eye Contact – If two people like each other, they will make more eye contact than if they do not like each
other. This reminds us of Affiliative Conflict Theory (Equilibrium Theory) which states that people who like
each other are more intimate and engage in more intimate behaviours like eye contact

The Lost Letter Technique:- The Lost Letter Technique is an indirect attitude measure introduced by Stanley
Milgram. Milgram ‘planted’ stamped, addressed envelopes in public places so that they appeared to have been
‘lost’ by someone. The letters were addressed to different organizations including UNICEF and Nazi groups.
Milgram wanted to determine the relationship between the mailing rates (how many people mailed the letters)
and the organizations the envelopes were addressed to. He was able to do this by counting all the envelopes that
he received in his mailbox (all the mail was addressed to him). According to Milgram, the number of letters
received for each organization reflected the general attitude of the population towards that organization. The
higher the mailing rate, the more favorable the attitude.

This is only an aggregate attitude measure, but it is useful measure, especially in countries where attitudes are

Galvanic Skin Response (GSR):- a drop in the resistance of the skin to the passage of a weak electric current,
usually measured in the palm of the hand, indicative of emotion or physiological arousal.
Are emotional responses related to attitudes? GSR data indicate that emotional responses do indeed relate to
In one study, when pleasant words like ‘love’ were presented to participants, their GSRs were greater than to
neutral. The same type of responses were seen when unpleasant words like ‘rape’ were presented to the
participants. On the other hand, when neutral words like ‘chair’ were presented to the participants, their GSRs
remained neutral.
The problem with the GSR is that there is no way to distinguish between a positive and negative reaction, so it
is not a good indicator of attitudes. The GSR also shows novelty reactions.

A Real Eye-Opener:- Does the size of a person’s pupils reflect an attitude? Do pupils dilate in order to allow
more information “to enter the eyes” for a liked than a disliked attitude object?
In 1971, a study was conducted on the pupillary responses of pedophiles to pictures of nude adult women and
girls. Their responses were compared to the pupillary responses of regular criminals. The results showed that
Prof. Parul Gupta Business Research 21
the pedophiles’ eyes dilated more when they viewed the pictures of nude girls compared to nude women. The
control group (other criminals) showed the opposite reaction.
Other studies have failed to replicate these results. It has also been found that the pupil responds to other
features of stimuli other than positive or negative attitudes (cognitive effort ⇒ dilation).

Facial Electromyographic Recording (EMG):- an electrical recording of muscle activity in the facial region
obtained by placing electrodes on the face.In many studies, the electrical activity being measured is that
produced by the muscles needed to smile and frown. The muscles needed in order to smile are known as the
zygomatic muscles and those needed to frown are known as the corrugator muscles. The facial EMG recording
is used to detect subtle smiles and frowns imperceptible to the human eye.

There is well-founded evidence that pro-attitudinal messages activate people’s zygomatic muscles whereas
counter-attitudinal messages activate people’s corrugator muscles.

A Schematic Presentation of attitudes

Dependent variable
. variable
Sympathetic nervous
Effective system responses, verbal
Stimuli statements of effect
social issues,
cognitive Perceptual responses,
verbal statements of belief

Behavioral Overt actions Verbal

Statement occurring


Prof. Parul Gupta Business Research 22

.The essence of these methods is that the purpose of the interview is not a secret And that there is no fixed
structure for conducting the interview
Depth interviews
Focus group discussions (F.G.Ds):

Depth interviews
• Laddering.
• Hidden-issue questioning
• Symbolic questioning.


Attitude is being studied, or does not know for which company the survey is being done, or sometimes he does
not know both.

Projective Techniques - Projective Techniques are based on the theory that the description of vague objects
requires interpretation and this interpretation can only be based on the individual’s own background, attitudes,
and values. The more vague or ambiguous the object to be described the move one must reveal of oneself in
order to complete the description.

• Association Techniques
• Completion Techniques
Sentence completion,
Story completion
• Construction Techniques

Prof. Parul Gupta Business Research 23

• Expressive Techniques
• Word Association
Sentence Completion
Story Completion
• Pictorial Techniques
Cartoon Tests
Thematic Apperception Tests (TAT)


The non – structured techniques for attitude measurement are primarily of value in exploratory studies, where
the researcher is looking for the salient attributes of given products and the important factors surrounding
purchase decisions as seen by the consumers.



1. Nominal scale
2. ordinal scale
3. Interval Scale
4. Ratio Scale

1. Nominal scale
- Used Only for identification 3. Interval scale
- No significance of numbers - Does not have a fix zero position
- Weakest scale - Arbitrary Zero position
- Non metric data - A better scale than nominal and ordinal
Eg:- R.No., ID etc - Equal gap between two
- Metric data
2. Ordinal scale Ratio Scale
- Order or rank - Fix zero position
- Slightly strong scale - All types of analysis can be done
- No equal gap between two - Real data
- Non metric data - Metric data
Eg:- Rank Eg:- Distance

Difference between Interval and Ratio scale

Interval scale Y=a+bX

V.good Good Poor V.poor

Scale A 4 3 2 1
Sacle B 2 1 0 -1

A = 4/3 = 1.33
B = 2/1 = 2.0

Ratio scale Y=bX

Scale A Distance in Kms.
Prof. Parul Gupta Business Research 24
Scale B Distance in miles
Ratio will be equal

Scaling The Football World

Nominal scale Ordinal scale Interval scale


A France 1 807
B Argentina 2 73
C Brazil 3 788
D Italy 4 738
E Colombia 5 710
F Portugal 6 708
G Spain 7 702


1. 2. 3. 4. 1. 2.
Paired Rank Constant Q-sort Continuous Itemized
Comparison order Sum rating scale rating scale

a. b. c.
Likert Semantic Stapel
A. Comparative scaling

1.Paired comparison scale:-

A - 1 1 0 0
B O -- 1 0 O
C O 0 - 0 O
D 1 1 1 - O
E 1 1 1 1 O
TOTAL 2 3 4 1 0
Stimulus decision= [n(n-1)]

2.Rank order scale

1 A 5
2 B 4
3 C 2
4 D 3
5 E 1
6 F 0

Stimulus decision =(n-1)

3.Constant sum scaling

Prof. Parul Gupta Business Research 25
Mildness 8 2
Lather 2 4
Shrinkage 3 9
Price 53 17
Frag. 9 0
Packaging 7 5
Cleaning 5 3
Moist. 13 60
100 100


1. Continuous Rating Scale (Graphic Rating Scale) :-

How would you rate the Star Plus as an entertainment channel ?
Version (i)
Probably the worst------x-----------------------------------------Probably the Best

Version (ii)
Probably the worst-------x---------------------------------------Probably the best
0 25 50 75 100
Version (iii)
Very Bad Neither good Very good
Nor bad
Probably the worst-----x-----------------------------------------Probably the best
0 25 50 75 100

2. Itemized Rating Scale :- a scale having numbers and/or associated description with each category. The
categories are ordered in terms of scale positions.

(a) Likert Scale :-

Example : A Likert scale for measuring the popularity of Star Plus channel

Strongly Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly

Disagree agree
1. I like Watching Star serials 1 2 x3 4 5
2. No. of commercials shown is 1 2 3x 4 5
3. Repetition of same concept 1 2 3 4 5x

(b) Semantic Differential Scale :- Seven point , bipolar scale

Example : A semantic Differential scale for measuring the popularity of Star Plus channel

Star Plus is;

Entertaining _ _ _x _ _ _ _Non Entertaining

Prof. Parul Gupta Business Research 26
Good time _ _ _x _ _ _ bad time pass

Informative _ _ _ _ _ x_ _ Non informative

© Staple Scale:- consists of an adjective at the middle of an even numbered range of value from -5 to +5
without a neutral point .Example : A Staple scale for measuring the popularity of Star Plus channel
Star Plus

+5 +5
+4 +4
+3 +3
+2 +2
+1 +1
Best Entertainer Most Informative
-5 -5
-4 -4
-3 -3
-2 -2
-1 -1
A. Balanced v/s Unbalanced Scales

B. Forced v/s Non forced Scales

C. Measurement Accuracy : Is the variation in the information Sought by the researcher and the
information generated by the measurement process employed.

True Score Model :-

Xo= Xt+ Xs+ Xr
Xo is the observed score
Xt is the true score of the characteristic
Xs is the systematic error (eg. Mechanical factors)
Xr is the random error (eg. Personal factors )


The basis premise underlying such tests is that the respondents will reveal their attitudes by the extent to which
their answers to the objective questions vary from the correct answers to objective questions that vary from the
correct answers.
• How much do u think it cost for the hot cereal alone in a average bowl of cereal such as you’d serve at
the breakfast?
• Do corn flakes cost less or more per bowl¬ than cereal?

Scale validity and reliability

these has a specific meaning based on the type of measurement error that is present. There are two types of
measurement errors:
1. Systematic errors

Prof. Parul Gupta Business Research 27

2. Variable errors


Validity like reliability is concerned with error. However it is concerned with consistent or systematic error
rather than variable error. A valid measurement reflects only the characteristics of interest and random error.

There are three basic types of validity. They are:

1. Content validity
2. Construct validity and
3. Criterion-related validity (predictive and concurrent)



The term reliability is used to refer to the degree of variable error in a measurement.
We define reliability as the extent to which a measurement is free of variable errors. This is reflected when
repeated measures of the same stable characteristic in the same objects show limited variation.


Prof. Parul Gupta Business Research 28

Prof. Parul Gupta Business Research 29