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Research Methodology

The methodology that will be used for the research will be the focus of this chapter. It will sketch and
argue the purpose of the research, the approach that has been chosen to conduct the research, strategy
for the research, data collection technique, data analysis and a concisedebate around ensuring quality
standards for the research.

3.1 Research and Literature Review

According to Vaishnavi and Kuechler (2005) research is "an activity that contributes to the understanding
of a phenomenon." They further explain phenomenon as "a set of behaviors of some entity (ies) that is
found interesting by the researcher or by a group". Understanding according to them is "knowledge that
allows prediction of the behaviour of some aspect of the phenomenon."

According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2003) research is “finding something in an organized way
to enhance knowledge in any given subject”. According to Sekaran (2000) it is: “An organized,
systematic, data based critical, objective, scientific inquiry or investigation into a specific problem
undertaken with the purpose of finding answers or solutions to it”.

According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2003) the 3 key aspects of research comprise of - primary
research in which information is gathered particularly for the study that is being considered; secondary
research or desk research where the information is easily available with the organisation or some previous
study has been conducted around the research topic; and tertiary research- here the secondary research
that has been conducted by some other researcher is used to derive the conclusion.

Literature Research

According to Saunders (2000) literature resources can help a researcher develop a detailed view of the
research that has been done previously. Lie (1998) remarks that literature review assists in
significantamalgamation of earlier research resulting in formation of the research questions.

For this particular study, the researcher accessed the numerous electronic databases available at the
university library.By conducting research on appropriate keywords the researcher could locate relevant
material. Reference were also taken from the following sources.

ABI/Inform Global - is one of the most comprehensive business databases in the market. Access for over
2,890 publications, with more than 1,920 available in full text was provided by this data base. This data
base was used to find out about the latest business condition in Indian telecommunication sector, business
trends, corporate entrepreneurship management practices and theories and competitive landscape in the
telecom sector.

IEEE Computer Society Digital Library–Having almost 85,000 members, IEEE Computer
Society is the world's foremostassociation of computing experts, with loadedassistance in
publications, standards, certifications, conferences, and more. This digital library was used by the
researcher to come up with information that was required for the purpose of the study that dealt with
technical know-how and the key factors and trends in telecom industry.

INFOTRAC Custom Journals – Covers as many 400 full-text titles, around a wide variety of topics.
ubjects. This catalogue was supportive in offering data published in numerous journals.

SWETSWISE – turns out material from more than 600 e-tabloids around various subjects. Research
around articles was done basis this comprehensive library.


Burns (2002) and Saunders et al (2009) have remarked that research objectives and aims aid researchers
to authenticate or to sketch the research methodology, basis which researcher chooses desired research
method. The main objective of this research is toscrutinizevarious opinions on marketing strategies of
Airtel mobile company. With telecom companies developing a variety of offerings for the customers and
to fulfil their requirements, it remains a challenge to constantly understand the consumer needs. This
research closely observes the case of Airtel in India. The major aims and objectives of the conducted
research are as stated below:

• Critically analyze existing literature on marketing strategy.

• To investigate the marketing strategy which used by Airtel.
• To critically evaluate the effectiveness of marketing strategy use by Airtel.
• Improving market strategies by making recommendations.


A research philosophy is a belief using which the data about occurrence is collated, analyzed and used.
Various philosophieson research methods include two majorpositions which are, epistemology i.e.
everything that has been established as already truthful and doxology i.e. information that might and
possibly be true. Among theearly steps for choosing paradigm for the chosen research study, is research
philosophy that later aids in selecting the strategy and instruments.
Many researchers (Saunders et al, 2009; Hussey and Hussey, 1997) have thrown light upon several key
areas of the research philosophy and have delved upon numerous aspects of research paradigm.

 Positivism
 Rationalism
 Realism
 Subjectivism
 Intepretivism
 Ontology

Saunders (2000) has stated ‘Interpretisivism’ meets the research objectives perfectly. Interpretiveism
brings forth the complex nature of the world of business. Business is dynamic and changes ever so soon
making it arduous to apply the principles of generalization as in the case of ‘Positivism’. Another reason
that interpretisivism fits our research aptly is because this philosophy understands and lays stress on the
reason behind peoples’ actions.It acknowledges that different individuals may have different
interpretation for the same situation, and this can drive them to behave in a certain way that eventually
affects their social behavior. For this study, the researcher has made an attempt to recognize
theconsumeristbehavior in individuals and the organization’s motivations. Thus the interpretist
philosophy is suitable for our research.


Creswell say (2003), “A paradigm is a perspective based on a set of assumptions, concepts and values that
are held by a community or researchers.” The study can be classified under three important aspect viz.
quality, quantity and mixed. The outlook of the study is such in which quantitative and qualitative
methods are elaborated.

Fromqueries that are qualitative in nature an effort will be made to find out the use of NGN based
business models to increase the competitive edge.An effort shall be made to also find out the capability of
the business models to prove as catalyst in corporate entrepreneurship. Quantitative method is the way of
finding out the consumer’s appetite for telecommunications in India.


Yin (2002) has remarked that a research could be exploratory, descriptive or explanatory.


Exploratory research is taken on when no prior research has been conducted. The major aim of
exploratory research is to gain indepth familiarity and expertise with the issue at hand. Kjellen and
Soderman (1980) have previously remarked that exploratory research exhibits theory that can
initiate a process of change. They further add that for a change to take place and succeed, the
researcher should have some previous familiarity with organization that is being studied and its
participants, the expertise to formalize a language and the concept that is apt for a particular case,
and the researcher should follow processes that would bring into light some understanding
instead of carrying out a research for the sake of casual enlightenment. Robson (2002)
stresses that “if the research is exploratory little or no assumptions are made
of the world. The aim is to characterize the world and to create models and
perhaps derive hypothesis explaining a phenomenon, usually done through
surveys and case studies using a flexible design” (Robson, 2002).

The major aim of descriptive exploration is to provide an accurate description of an event or an action
that is taking place. Descriptive research also highlightssometruths which are known already. It is used to
distinguish and attain data on an overtpredicament or concern.

Yin (2003) emphasizes that exploratory research is of the nature where questions that seek answers to
how and why are taken into consideration. Eriksson and Wiedersheim-Paul (2006) further remark that
explanatory research digs further to establish cause-effect connections.

Taking into consideration the above description on various kinds of research , and the categories that they
fall into, the researcher can categorize this research as being descriptive as the main aim of the reseach is
to describe the marketing strategy of Airtel mobile company in India. The research is also partly
exploratory as the researcher delves further to evaluate these marketing strategies, and because cause-
effect relationship will be developed – the research can also be categorized as being explanatory in


Denscombe (2007) has stated that exploratory research focuses on discovering facts and important
information so that an inductive logic can be established. To further this argumentBrayman and Bell
(2003) have stated that qualitative study can be interpreted as a research approach if the studyis mostly
inductive in nature. The below table establishes some key differentiators between qualitative and
quantitative research techniques

Quantitative Qualitative
Principal orientation to the Deductive, testing of theory Inductive; generation of theory
role of theory in relation to
Epistemological Orientation Natural science model, in Interpretivism
particular positivism
Ontological Orientation Objectivism Constructionism
Table 1: Key dissimilarities between qualitative and quantitative research approaches
Abusabha and Woelfel (2003) have stated that those conducting research have often been caught up in
anage-oldargument of between qualitative vs. quantitative research methods. Qualitative techniques
arefrequentlymeasured as malleable, biasedresearch (Creswell, 2004), and opposite to this quantitative
methods are categorized as unbending as quantitative techniques deal with basic human nature, and hence
the information can be categorized into definite groups (Yin, 2004).

Mostly quantitative methods have a permanent element to them. For example, in quantitative research
methods such as surveys and questionnaires, contributors are asked questions that are of a similar nature
and the questions are asked in a specific order.Contributors must selectamongqueries that are“closed-
ended” or fixed response choices. This technique is advantageous due to its rigid nature that makes
evaluation of response easy.

On the opposite qualitative research techniques areflexible i.e. they allow scope for alteration of the
messaging and dialogue between the person asking the questions and those responding to them. These
research techniques are based on open ended questions and offer the participants the freedom to answer in
their own manner and style. The responses in such techniques are more elaborate that mere affirmations
and denials.

Both the researcher and the respondents are more comfortable interacting with one another in qualitative
research techniques. Respondents can take the liberty to answer the questions in a more elaborate manner.
Researcher can also cross question the participants regarding their responses.

Basis the above mentioned information, the researcher chose qualitative research method. Close end
questions were asked from consumers in relevance to the research objectives.


There are two types of data collection – primary data and secondary data. The data collected for the
purpose of this research is primary data as well as secondary data. Primary data is that which is collected
for the first time and thus is original in nature. Secondary data has been collected from books, journals,
magazines and newspaper; industry reports, company’s website and other relevant study material on

For the research at hand, we created the interview questionnaires before the interview actually took place.
The researcher designed the questionnaire to gather information based on several factors like keeping
away from double-barreled questions, understandable question construction etc.

The queryfrequently begins with a how or what in a qualitative study (Creswell, 2003). These types of
questions are helpful in questioningthe though process of business development managers. The researcher
could delve into the present scenario of the telecom industry in India, evaluate opinions of the
competency of the companiesand the competition landscape and dictate steps that could be taken to deal
with fundamentalissue. The consequencesderived from the qualitative questionnaire aided the researcher
to offer recommendations for organizations. Additional information was gathered from the website of the
company to establish the case further. Internet offered information which was used as secondary data,

Sample Selection- random and convenience

The technique though which the primary data was gathered consisted of observation and interview
schedule. Here the research questionnaire was filed. Interview was conducted and data was
collected.Market research was done to meet the objectives of the research.

To meet the objectives of this particular research convenient sample was selected comprising of 50
telecom users within India. Convenience sampling is a popular and an accepted technique use in research
which is exploratory in nature. Here the objective of the researcher is to accumulate data that is
representative buy may not necessarily be absolutely exact. A convenient sample is selected.

Airtel is a principal telecommunication service contributor in India. According to the researcher, the
marketingapproach of this business could be alluring to examine, and to observe and evaluate. The
instigator had also admittance to Airtel due to his personal acquaintances, and consequently this
corporation was selected.


Yin (1994) has laid stress that all research studies must start with a broaddiagnosticapproach. When
conducting a research, analytical strategies present the researcher anarrangement to prioritize what
requires analysis and why. Herriott and Firestone (1983) have stated in Yin (1994), “The evidence from
multiple sources is often considered more compelling, and the overall study is therefore regarded as being
more robust”. The way in which data is analysed is significant for every research study. It
mightengageevaluating the results of the interview conducted, or examining or utilization of any
documents that the organisation hands over which might be useful for the purpose of study(i.e. annual
reports, brochures, etc.). These multiple sources of evidence (i.e. “triangulation”) are what add to a
study’s validity (Yin, 1994). We chose to approach the previous strategy

Data reduction is an essential part of analysing the information. It helps in refining, managing,
emphasising, discarding, and organizing the data in such a way that it is useful in drawing a final
conclusion. To contribute further they add that the outline of the information can be offered and data can
be altered through selection, synopsis, paraphrasing, by including it into a advanced pattern.
Secondly, Data display includes organisation of the reduced data and its display in a condensedtechnique.
This implies that it is possible for the researcher to pencil inconclusion from it. Superior displays are, “a
key source for valid qualitative analysis” (Miles and Huberman 1994).

Conclusion depiction and confirmation is the final analytical action for the qualitative researcher.
Researcher begins by making a decision about what things actually mean. Regularities, differences,
similarities, explanations, possible configurations, causal flows, and propositions are observed and
conclusions are inferred.


All investigations have been accomplished using a fair conduct, without taking advantage of others or
violating rules that have been agreed upon. All ethical principles have been held fast. All reference linked
toearlier research is truthful and is in accordance to the standards set for referencing, citations and
bibliographies apt for the subject at hand.

Silverman (2000) emphasis that in a research, whether it is qualitative or quantitative in nature, credibility
plays an important role.While conducting this particular research the researcher took all measures to
make sure that credibility was maintained. Researcher laid to the side the rigidthoughts about the subject
which was being considered and presented an accurate representation of the information that was
collected from the research sample. Lincoln and Guba (1985) have remarked thatreliability revolves
around following corefundamentals: validity or credibility, objectivity or conformability, reliability or
dependability, and genralizability or transferability.

Validity or Credibility

By validity we mean the precision and exactitude of the information (Denscombe, 2007). The
interviewees were asked precise and valid research questions. The research sample was selected carefully
and comprised of telecom users in India. The sample offered valid data which could then be analyzed to
arrive at the conclusion of the study.


An attempt was made by the researcher to use the most appropriate research tool, which in this study was
qualitative in nature. It was made sure that the research tool was unbiased and dependable across
numerous occasions of use. The researcher attempted that data was collected in such a manner that the
information gathered would remain the same even if any other researcher attempted the research.


The key trouble when conducting qualitative research is that it becomes arduous for the researcher to
generalize as the nature of data is qualitative and the sample size is usually small. The researcher
followed the techniques used by several other researchers who have treated generalization as
transferability- aidea that was first brought into light by Lincoln and Guba (1985). The researcher will
make sure that the conclusions thatwill be derived at will be transferred to other situations.


In the study researcher made complete attempt to be unbiased and keep his personal views and opinions
aside, The researcher the analyzed the gathered information with an open mind and did not neglect the
statistics that do not fit the analysis. Seale et al (1999) and Silverman (2006) have remarked when
conducting research, the researcher should not neglect such data that does not full substantiate the study.
Keeping this in mind, the researcher attempted to look for satisfactory justification for such information
and worked hard to recognize its importance.


Q.1 For how long you have been using Airtel Product?

• 0-2 Years
• 2-5 Years
• 5-10 Years
• More than 10 years

Q.2 Are you using other product instead of Airtel?

• Ye s
• No

Q.3 Among them, which Brand you, prefer most?

• Reliance
• Hutch
• Airtel

Q. 4 How would you rate the experience with Brand?

Excellent Good Average Below Average


Q.5 Do you collect any information search before making purchase?

• Ye s
• No.
Q.6 If yes, which sources are used?
• Magazines
• Dealers
• Sales Executives
• Operators reference
• Pamphlets and catalogue
• Reference from friends and relatives
• Any other

Q.7What are the features you look for in a product before making
purchase decision? Give preferences (1-Highest, 6- least)
• Brand credibility
• Price and Discount
• After sales services and parts, network
• Value for money
• Vehicle performance
• Add on features or ergonomics of design

Q.8.Which of these marketing / sales schemes attracts you while

purchasing any connection?
• Good Network
• Discount scheme
• Service package
• Any other

Q.9If you have to purchase a new connection or product in near future,

which Brand will you go for and why?

Q.10Are you aware of various promotional activities being run by Airtel, if

yes then how? Are you satisfied with these promotional activities?
• Customer Care
• By Ad Films
• By Camp
• 24 hrs call center services

Q.11How would you rate Airtel performance as your expectation on

5 points scale (5 Highest)
• After Sale service
• Maintenance
• Product as per expectation
Q.12What are you suggestions for improving the product quality, service
availability and parts availability?