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3.1.

INTRODUCTION:

A research methodology is a strategy for systemic sorting of a research problem. It

outlines the overall process of research and illustrates the systemic investigation and study of

sources and materials for the purpose of establishing facts and new conclusions. It also deals

with the tentative explanation of the various methods and techniques available, their appropriate

selection with reference to relevance and application, justifications and reasons for such selection

and their significance. On the contrary, a research method only deals with the development and

conduction of tests, calculations and application of techniques. A research methodology also

explains which method is more feasible and preferred over the other and the reasons for such

prioritization. Younus (2014) additionally states that research methodology also incorporates

logic of explanation and argumentation, reasonability of interferences and coherence of the

method. Camarinha-matos (2012) shares the same perspective and further adds that the

methodology implies strategically varying principles of methods, rules and postulates employed

by a discipline. Kumar (2011) characterizes the research methodology by declaring that it uses

procedures, methods and techniques that have been standardized and validated.

The choice of research methodology is determined by various factors for example;

whether the researcher thinks there are some new areas or aspects to be discovered or whether

the purpose of research is to explore new areas of the existing perspectives (Gray, 2013). Younus

(2014) argues that rather than being philosophically or methodologically driven, the choice of

method should be on the basis of goals and circumstances of research being pursued. Research

generally involves usage and testing of the existing conceptual framework, research paradigm

and theories in different conditions to achieve different findings, perspectives and conclusions

(Kumar, 2011). There are two fundamental types of research: basic and applied. Bentley,
Guldrandsen and Kyvik (2015) have described basic research as a research undertaken primarily

for the purpose of advancement of knowledge through discovery, advancement and

comprehension of events and phenomenon. Whereas applied research is concerned with

resolving practical problems rather than acquiring knowledge.

3.2. RESEARCH PARADIGM:

According to Gray (2014) a paradigm is a broader view or perspective of something.

The research process has three major dimensions: ontology, methodology and epistemology.

This combined can be called as a research philosophy which incorporates all systems, practices

and beliefs for doing research. McGregor and Murnane (2010) have given certain examples of

research paradigms which include positivism, post-positivism, pragmatism, realism,

interpretivism, constructivism, post-structuralism and critical theory. Aliyu et al (2014) defined

positivism as a philosophical theory which is based upon the fact that truth and reality are

independent of the viewer and observer. Thus the knowledge obtained is investigated through

strict scientific methods, experimentation and testing; whereas constructivism interprets that

truth and knowledge are constructed and comprehended differently by each individual on the

basis of human interaction and past experiences resulting in various explanations of a single

concept or perspective. However like constructivism, interpretivism also antagonizes the

positivism philosophy. Gray (2014) explained interpretivism by stating that the world is

interpreted through different schemes formulated within our minds therefore social and natural

reality are different and require different methods for analysis, evaluation and investigation so

multiple observer based realities can exist for a single concept or event.
This study uses post-positivism as the main research paradigm. Post-positivism according

to Gray (2014) is a philosophy which critically analyzes and amends positivism.

3.3. RESEARCH DESIGN:

A research design corresponds with the research methodology in order to fulfill the aims

and objectives of a scientific research. According to Mackey and Gass (2016) the research

designs are categorized into three: qualitative, quantitative and mixed methodology. Qualitative

research includes participant observations, interviews, questionnaires, the researchers

impression or public documents (Aliyu et al, 2014). This study is based upon the quantitative

approach as the data collected will be tested through statistical tests and hypothesis. Quantitative

approach is an effective way to precede the research methodology however, the attitude biasness

and behavioral differences serve as the main limitations.

3.4. TYPES OF INVESTIGATION:

The types of research investigations can be divided into three categories: Explanatory,

exploratory and descriptive research. Gray (2014) described descriptive research as the means to

sketch a situation the way it is and then develop its affiliated relationships. It also comprises of a

normative study characterized by the comparison of data against some pre-formed standard.

Explanatory research is achievable where the topic of research has a scope for further

improvement and further investigation or examination is required to address the pre-existing

query. Lastly, exploratory research as described by Wyk (2012) aims to add more description,

explanation and interpretation of the phenomenon under investigation. It further focuses on the

testing of the existing theories in new perspectives and dimensions, this also indicates that these

areas of study are explored by researchers in literature but the findings remain ambiguous, or are
not sufficiently explained and needs more extension and explanation. Such research comprises of

high degree of flexibility and is deficient of a formal structure.

According to Kumar (2011) it serves to identify the boundaries of environment in which

the events or circumstances have a susceptibility to reside. The present study is exploratory and

is based upon the comprehension of pre-existing goals and studies to test the literature findings

on the critical analysis of customer relationship management on customer loyalty in the

supermarket of UK: A case of Sainsbury.

3.5. RESEARCH APPROACH:

The two basic approaches to research are deductive and inductive reasoning (Wyk, 2012).

Deductive reasoning as defined by Mackey and Gass (2016) starts with the general pre-formed

perceptions followed by gradual narrowing of focus towards more specific ones. It further

involves comprehension of the concepts followed by its testing through experimentation and

critical evaluation. On the contrary, Inductive approach begins with specific data findings at

smaller scale and proceeds with experiments, tests and development and evaluation of a

generalized hypothesis (Soiferman, 2010). This study follows the deductive reasoning approach

where the hypothesis is developed based on the literature findings of customer relationship

management and customer loyalty in the supermarket sector of UK, and the hypothesis is tested

based upon the findings to conclude whether it is accepted or rejected.

3.6. SAMPLING:

Collection of data is crucial in any research and is meant to aid in understanding of a

theoretical framework. According to Younus (2014) it means the selection of units in an attempt

to potentiate the researchers ability to answer research problems. There are two basic types of
sampling methods: probability and non-probability sampling. Probability sampling indicates that

each element in the overall population has an independent and equal chance of selection in the

sample (Kumar, 2011). It is applied in circumstances where a significant amount of information

is available on the relevant area hence the results obtained from probability sampling or random

sampling are highly generalized. On the other hand non-probability sampling in the view of

Uprichard (2011) comprises of unequal chances of selection and unknown probability for

individual samples. This uncertainty may be due to lack of information or evidences on

individual elements.

This study is based upon non-probability sampling because of the reason that the

population size of customers of Sainsbury in UK is difficult to define due to lack of sufficient

information.

3.7. SAMPLING TECHNIQUE AND SAMPLE SIZE:

Various types of techniques of sampling exist within probability and non-probability

sampling. Singh and Masuku (2014) have categorized non-probability sampling into purposive

sampling, quota sampling, convenience sampling, cluster sampling and snowball sampling.

According to Suri (2011) snowball sampling involves seeking information through a chain of

recommended informants. Contrarily, convenience sampling is based upon the easy accessibility

of data and is generally appropriate for non-probability sampling methods (Daymon and

Holloway, 2011). Convenience sampling is used in this study for data collection because of its

easy accessibility, time and cost-effectiveness and simplicity. A possible limitation of this

technique is that the sample selected may or may not be a true representation of the overall
population. In this research the sample size is determined to be n=100, which comprises of the

customers of Sainsbury.

3.8. DATA COLLECTION METHOD:

The core of any research strategy is the collection of data. There are two classifications of

data namely; primary and secondary data. Primary data is collected from the very beginning

through surveys, observations, interviews and experimentation and hence is not a part of the

existing literature (Carbone et al, 2010). Whereas, Secondary data is the pre-existing literature

extracted and sorted through sources like books, internet, reports etc.

For this research primary data is collected through a questionnaire survey among various

customers of Sainsbury and Secondary data was collected using various research articles and

recent publications. Hence, this study combines both the primary and secondary data collection

methods.

3.9. RESEARCH VARIABLES:

The research critically analyzes the customer relationship management on customer

loyalty; hence the two variables are:

Independent Variable: CRM (IV)

Dependent variable: Customer loyalty (DV)

Based on the variables, the following hypotheses are formulated;

H1: CRM has a significant impact on customer loyalty in Sainsbury

H0: CRM does not have a significant impact on customer loyalty in Sainsbury
3.10. DATA ANALYSIS PLAN:

Data analysis involves a series of events ranging from organizing, critical assessment and

interpretation of data in order to establish a conclusion. According to Peersman (2014) there are

different data analysis techniques. For statistical analysis which is used in this study, SPSS is

used. Correlation, regression and descriptive statistics are used to conclude the relations and

effect of independent variables in order to test the hypothesis.

3.11. ACCESSIBILITY ISSUES AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS:

A reliable and authentic research must be unbiased and it must consider the accessibility

issues in the research (Kumar, 2011). The main accessibility issues were faced in approaching

the Sainsbury customers of UK. Moreover, a lot of customers were reluctant and unwilling to

participate and cooperate. Further, many of the research publications during literature review,

had limited access or paid access.

Among ethical considerations, informed consent and data confidentiality were ensured.

Additionally no personal information was disclosed to anyone hence ensuring anonymity. Lastly,

the participants were free to hold any information to them and reveal what they are willing to

thus increasing the trust and customers interest in research team.

3.12. LIMITATIONS:

Limitations are the hindrances faced by the researcher during the process providing that

these limitations affect the authenticity and reliability and bound the scope of research. Some of

the key limitations are;

Human errors and external factors may have an adverse impact on study validity
Less time and budget also limited the study

Limited sample size and only a single organization was considered hence the

results and conclusion is limited

REFERENCES:

Gray, D.E., (2013). Doing research in the real world. Sage.

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van Wyk, B., (2012). Research design and methods Part I.

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