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RITI/MSM-Cairo Outreach Program

Master of Business Administration

Research Methods

Nada Megahed, MBA, MPhil

Academic Degree Programs Manager, Regional IT Institute
January 2009
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Course Objective
The course is meant to the MBA students to prepare for the final thesis. Throughout the course the students will be introduced to the main building block of the research, including topic selection, problem definition and the purpose of the research. Moreover, the students will be instructed how to develop a theoretical framework for the research. Research Design will be introduced. The course will eventually end up with the development of the researchs mini-proposal.
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Course Outlines
Introduction to Research & Scientific Investigation
Research Definition, Types, Building Blocks, and Paradigms

The Research Process

Preliminary Data Gathering, Problem Definition & Objective Theoretical Framework Development Research Questions and Hypotheses Development Research Design (Methodology) Measurement & Scaling

Data Collection and Sampling

Data Collection Methods Sampling Techniques Questionnaire Design

The Write-Up of the Final MBA Thesis Write Nada Megahed, 2009 3

Jones S., Wahba K., van der Heijden B., How to Write Your MBA Thesis, Maastricht School of Management Series in Intercultural and Global Management, Meyer & Meyer Media, 2007. Sekaran, Uma, Research Methods For Business, 4th Edition, John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2003. John W. Creswell, Research Design Qualitative & Quantitative Approaches, McGraw-Hill International Editions, 1994. Robert K. Yin, Case Study Research Design and Method, 2nd Edition, SAGE Publications Thousands Oaks, California, 1994. John Gill and Phil Johnson, Research Methods for Managers, 2nd Edition, Paul Chapman Publishing, a SAGE Publications Company, 1997. Naresh K-Malhotra, Marketing Research, 3rd edition, Prentice Hall 1999. Babbie, Earl (1997), Survey Research Methods, wordsworth Publishing Company.
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Main Textbooks

Other References

Grading Policy
In-Class Exercises 300-Word, Simulation Exercises/Class Participation

10 %
Take-Home Exam (Individual) Mini-Proposal


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Introduction to Research

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What is Research?
Journey Start by doubt and from the Unknown ScienceKnowledge Creation ArtPainting, with Frame, Elements and Context Big Question is the Start Top Down vs Bottom Up Biased Do not start with the Solution BUT data Invisible Visible (Hidden Observable) What we see is not what we research Truth in Population Sample Reality Life Value Added and Contribution It never ends but we have to stop .. And when ends, never the Absolute Truth
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What is Research?
PatientPhysician What is the Process Signs Symptoms Problem Preliminary Investigation Thinking Doubt Hypothesis or Fact Need more Data X-Ray CBP Cat San Blood Picture Back to Physician Processing Analysis Medical Decision Treatment Prescription Follow-up Advices Reexamination
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Definition of Research
An organized/systematic, data-based, critical, objective, scientific investigation into a specific problem, undertaken with the purpose of finding answers or solutions to it

Research should provide the needed information that guides managers to make informed decisions to successfully deal with problems
The information provided could be result of a careful analysis of data gathered first-hand and of data that are already available (in the company, industry, etc.)
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Why Managers should Know about Research?

Identify and effectively solve minor problems. Know how to discriminate good from bad research. Take intelligent, calculated risks in decision making. Prevent possible vested interests from exercising their influence in a situation. Relate to hired researchers more effectively (Mutual Understanding). Combine experience with scientific knowledge while making decisions.
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Framework for a Research

Resear Topic Selection ch Qu estion Paradigm Selection Research Classification (Types) gy Th olo eor Literature Review od etic h t Resear al Me ch Ob jective Fram ew ction n ork Colle sig Data De Data ch Analy r sis sea Rese arch Methods Re
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Observation (Topic Selection)

hE earc Res

Identification of Problem Theoretical Framework

Research Questions & Hypotheses

ents lem

Data Collection Data Analysis/ Interpretation

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Research Design Research Findings (Basic or Applied)


Criteria for Topic Selection

Is the topic researchable, given time, resources, and availability of data? Is there a personal interest in the topic in order to sustain attention? Will the results from the study be of interest to others? Is the topic likely to be publishable? Does the study (a) fill a void, (b) replicate, (c) extend or (d) develop new ideas in the literatures? Will the project contribute to organizational goals?
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Ethics in Business Research

Data Gathering: Find it and tell it as is. Confidentiality: It is usual to offer confidentiality or anonymity to participants in the research Informed Consent: Get agreement of the participants (or not) Dignity: You are someone in authority!



Publications: Need publications for career building (academic), so No falsify


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Simulation Exercise # 1

Select 3 Researchable Topics/Titles of Interest to you

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Scientific Investigation of Research

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Types of Business Research

Research can be Classified according to: Purpose The reasons why are we conducting it. Process The way in which we will collect and analyze the data. Logic Whether we are moving from general to specific or vice versa. Outcomes Whether we are trying to solve a particular problem or make a general contribution to knowledge.
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Types of Business Research

Research Types Purpose
Exploratory Descriptive Analytical Predictive

Inductive Deductive

Qualitative Quantitative

Applied Basic

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Classification According to the Purpose

Exploratory Research
In case of few or no earlier studies to refer to, or not much is known about the situation at hand. The aim is gaining insights about the subject area, or phenomena of interest (not for testing). It assesses which theories /concepts can be applied or confirm the need to develop new one. Data collected is mostly qualitative. Rarely it can provide conclusive answers to a problem. It can give guidance for future research.
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Classification According to the Purpose

Exploratory Research, An Example
The manager of a multinational corporation is curious to know if the work ethic values of employees working in its subsidiary in India are different from those in its subsidiary in America. Since very little is known about what work ethics values mean to people in other cultures, the manager had to conduct Exploratory Research, to satisfy his curiosity, via interviewing employees in the Indian subsidiary. Religion, political, economic, and social conditions were revealed to play a major role in how people view their work in different parts of the world.
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Classification According to the Purpose

Descriptive Research
The goal is to offer to the researcher a profile of the phenomena of interest from individual, organizational, industrial, or other perspective. What are the qualifications of different groups of employees? It helps understand the characteristics of a group, think systematically about a given situation, offer ideas for further research, and/or make certain simple decisions. Data collected is often quantitative and statistical techniques are used to summarize the information.
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Classification According to the Purpose

Descriptive Research, An Example
A marketing manager might want to develop a marketing strategy (including: pricing, sales, distribution, and advertising) for a certain product. Thus, he/she might ask for information regarding the competitors, with respect to: % of competitors hiring in-house staff to handle sales and those who use independent agents. % of competitors spending more dollars on advertising/promotion to those spending less, plus media used. Types of distribution channels used. % of those using the web dot coms to sell their product.
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Classification According to the Purpose

Analytical (Explanatory) Research
Is a continuation of the Descriptive Research. It includes, not only describing the situation, but also the analysis and the explanation (Why, How). It aims to understand phenomena by discovering and measuring causal relations among the different factors (i.e. variables).

How can we reduce the number of complaints made by customers? How can we improve the delivery times of our products? How can we expand the range of our services?
It relies on hypothesis testing to explain the variance in the variables defined.
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Classification According to the Purpose

Analytical (Explanatory) Research, An Example
A marketing manager wants to know if the sales of the company will increase if he doubles the advertising budget. Here, the manager would like to know the nature of the relationship that exists between advertising and sales, for a given market conditions and a specific product/service. The hypothesis which will be tested here is:

If advertising is increased, then sales will also go up.

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Classification According to the Purpose

Predictive Research
It goes even further than the Analytical Research. It builds on the analytical research to forecast the future for a similar situation. It aims to generalize from the analysis by predicting certain phenomena on the basis of hypothesized, general relationships. The solution to a problem can be applicable to similar problems. It provides How, Why, Where, What if answers to current event.
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Classification According to the Purpose

Predictive Research, An Example
Given the higher levels of crimes nowadays in big and small cities, A researcher might be interested in predicting the factors that would significantly account for the variance in peoples decisions to purchase guns. Here, the researcher would have theorized the factors that influence peoples decision to possess guns (via literature review and interviews), and then test the hypotheses to predict the variances in peoples intention to buy a gun.
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Classification According to the Process

Quantitative Vs. Qualitative Research
Quantitative approach is objective in nature and concentrates on measuring phenomena. Quantitative approach involves collecting and analyzing numerical data and applying statistical tests. Qualitative approach is subjective in nature. Qualitative approach involves examining and reflecting on perceptions in order to gain an understanding of social and human activities.
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Qualitative Vs. Quantitative Research

Qualitative Research
To gain a qualitative understanding of the underlying reasons and motivations Small number

Quantitative Research
To quantify the data and generalize the results from the sample to the population of interest Large number


Sample Data Collection Data Analysis

Interviews/Focus Groups Non-statistical

Questionnaires Statistical

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Classification According to the Logic

Deductive Vs. Inductive Research
Deductive Research is a study in which a conceptual and theoretical structure is developed and then tested by empirical observation. In Deductive Research particular instances are deduced from general inferences. Deductive Research is moving from General to Specific.

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Classification According to the Logic

Deductive Vs. Inductive Research
Inductive Research is a study in which theory is developed from the observation of empirical reality. In Inductive Research general inferences are induced from particular instances. Its about Theory/Model Development. Inductive Research is moving from Individual observation to statements of general patters or laws (from Specific to General).

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Classification According to the Outcome

Applied Vs. Basic (Fundamental) Research
Applied Research is done with the intention of applying its findings to solve a specific, existing problem demanding a timely solution. Basic Research is done mainly to enhance the understanding of certain problems that commonly occur in organizations, without immediate application (Theory Building). Basic Research is more academic and its aim is to make contribution to the knowledge in the various functional areas of business. Such knowledge is usually applied later for problem solving. Despite this distinction, both types of research follow the same systematic steps of research.
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Hallmarks of a Good/Poor Research Project

Objective Good Literature Review Sound Primary Research Logical Structure Testability (Analytical) Generalizable Underpinned by Theoretical Framework

Subjective Poor/uncritical literature review Poor/little primary research Haphazard structure Descriptive Case-specific Little/no theoretical framework

Integration between methodology, literature, analysis, conclusion

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No integration between elements


Research Process
Identify Research Topic and Broad Problem Area

your interest, study assignment, job, readings

Literature Review

theory behind
Definition of Research Problem and Research Objective

narrowing down the general interest

Theoretical Framework & Research Design/Methodology

research paradigm, methodology

Collect Research Data

methods to collect quantitative/qualitative data

Analyze and Interpret Research Data

tools for analysis based on data collected

Write your MBA Thesis

the write-up of the final thesis

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Steps 1, 2, and 3: Broad Problem Area, Literature Review Problem Definition & Research Objective
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The Research Process

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Step 1: The Broad Problem Area

It refers to the entire situation where one sees a possible need for research and problem solving. The specific issues that need to be researched within this situation may not be identified at this stage. The broad problem area would be narrowed down to specific issues for investigation after some preliminary data gathering.
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Examples of Broad Problem Area

Inventory control is not effective. CRM function is not performing well. The sales volume of a product is not picking up. The newly introduced IMS is not being used by the managers for whom it was primarily designed. The introduction of flexible work hours has created more problems in the company. The anticipated results of a recent merger have not been forthcoming.
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Preliminary Investigation: Secondary Data Collection

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Preliminary Data Gathering

Secondary data are the data which already exist and do not have to be collected by the researcher. Researcher uses secondary data sources, or unstructured interviews to help better define the problem. Example: Many companies are introducing Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP). Rather than immediately working toward making the package more attractive, talking to individuals might reveal that employees perceive ESOP as a tool to save taxes rather than providing a true opportunity for employee involvement and participation. This understanding help researcher attack the real issues, rather than working on the surface symptoms.
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A Comparison of Primary & Secondary Data

Primary Data Collection purpose Collection process Collection cost Collection time For the problem at hand Very involved High Long Secondary Data For other problems Rapid & easy Relatively low Short

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A Classification of Secondary Data

Secondary Data



Ready to Use

Requires further processing

Published Materials

Computerized Databases

Syndicated Services

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Criteria for Evaluating Secondary Data

Data Collection Methodology

Data collection method, response rate, quality & analysis of data, sampling technique & size, questionnaire design, field work. Examine errors in approach, research design, sampling,data collection & analysis, & reporting. Time lag between collection & publication, frequency of updates. Why were the data collected? Definition of key variables, units of measurement, categories used, relationships examined. Expertise, credibility, reputation, of the source. &

Data should be reliable, valid, & generalizable to the problem. Assess accuracy by comparing data from different sources. Census data are updated by syndicated firms. The objective determines the relevance of data. Reconfigure the data increase their usefulness. to

Error & Accuracy Currency Objective Nature Dependability

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Data should be obtained from an original source. 42

Types of information to be gathered in preliminary investigation

I. Background Information on the Organization/Sector -The origin and history of the company -Size (in terms of capital and assets) -Location (national, regional, etc.) -Resources (human, physical, etc) -Relationships with other companies (i.e. competitors) -Relationships with government entities, and other institutions -Financial Position in the last 5-10 years

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Types of information to be gathered in preliminary investigation

II. Information structural aspects on Company Policies, managerial and

-Organizational structure -Roles of employees at each job level -Communication channels (formal vs. informal) -Control systems -Reward systems -Workflow systems

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Types of information to be gathered in preliminary investigation

III. Perceptions, Attitudes, and Behavioral Responses -Nature of the work -Workflow interdependencies -Participation in decision making -Organizations attitudes toward employees, and vice versa -Opportunities for advancement in the organization -Performance on the job -Companys/employees involvement with community and other social groups
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Preliminary Data Gathering

Is seeking all those types of information always necessary?

The main idea in gathering information is that these might reveal the root of the real problem.

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Step 2: Literature Review

Literature Review is the of documentation the published of a comprehensive review and

unpublished work, from the secondary data sources, in the area of specific interest to the researcher. It is one way of summarizing secondary data. A start point is the Library: books, journals, magazines, conference proceedings, doctoral and masters dissertations, government publications and reports.
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Why Conducting Literature Review?

The problem statement can be made more precise and clear. LR insures that no important factor (variable) that has been found to have an impact on the problem is ignored. It may happen that researcher spends considerable time and effort to discover something that has already been thoroughly researched. LR would prevent such a waste of resources, i.e. the risk of Reinventing the Wheel. LR gives a good basis to proceed further with the research process, and provides the foundation for developing a comprehensive theoretical framework (What variables would be most important). LR also facilitates the creative integration of the information gathered (via interviews, survey, etc.) with what is found in previous studies.
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How to conduct Literature Review?

1. Identifying the relevant sources 2. Extracting the relevant information 3. Writing up the literature review

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1. Identifying the Relevant Sources

It involves identifying the various published and unpublished materials that are available on the topic of interest and gaining access to them. Today, almost every library has an online computer system to locate published information on various topics (by topic, author, keyword, etc.) Databases are also available for statistical information (Marketing, financial, etc.) Published articles in journals, newspapers, periodicals, and conference proceedings are now available on databases. 3 types of databases exists, these are: The Bibliographic Databases The Abstract Databases The Full-text Databases
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2. Extracting the Relevant Information

The abstracts provided by the databases, and library online systems that seem to be relevant to the topic in hand are then obtained as a full text. After the collection of all the relevant materials (book chapters, articles, web pages, statistical info, etc.) researcher starts the reading and extracting process. While reading, it is possible that certain other factors (variables) are found to be closely related to the problem in hand. Example: while researching the effectiveness of employee motivation, the researcher may find that the size of the company is also an important factor, thus wanting to read more about organization size categories. Resources considered relevant are then listed as references using the appropriate referencing format.
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3. Writing up the Literature Review

The documentation of the relevant studies, citing the author, and the year of the study is called literature review or survey. It is a clear and logical presentation of the relevant research work done so far in the area of investigation. LR should bring together all relevant studies/information in a logical manner instead of presenting them in a chronological order. A Good LR should leads the reader logically to the problem statement. A suggested patterns is as follows: Introduction/Background/Overview (History of the business /Industry/Sector) Overview about the ABC (Theoretical Part) Worldwide Cases (Best Practices) Local Case (Egypt)
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Step 3: Problem Definition

After the unstructured interviews and the literature review, the researcher should narrow down the problem from its broad base and define the issues of concern more clearly. A Problem does not necessarily means that something is seriously going wrong with the current situation, and needs to b rectified immediately. A Problem could simply indicate an interest in an issue where finding the right answers might help improving an existing situation. Thus, researcher should define the Problem Statement as any situation where a gap exists between the actual and the desired ideal states. Symptoms of the problem should not be defined as the real problem. Example: a manager might have tried to increase productivity by increasing the piece rate, but with little success. Here, the low productivity may be a symptom of the real problem which is the low morale and motivation of the employees.
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Step 3: Problem Definition

Problem Definition OR Problem Statement It is a clear, precise, concise, to the point statement of issue that is to be investigated with the goal of finding solution or building understanding It is either existing business problem where urgent solution is needed, situations in which improvement is desired, or areas where some conceptual clarity is needed for a better theory building.

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Step 3: Research Objective

Should identify the expected outcomes of the research, the theory to be employed, the methods and refer to the study population. It is normal to write in the passive. Use the future tense in the proposal. Use the present tense when the study has been Completed. The Paradigm-Based Objective Statement.
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Research Objective: Qualitative Paradigm

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Research Objective: Quantitative Paradigm

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Step 4: Theoretical Development Step 5: Research Questions & Hypothesis Development

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The Research Process

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What is a Theory?
Theory: is a set of interrelated constructs (variables), definitions and propositions that present a systematic view by specifying relationships among variables with the purpose of explaining natural phenomena.
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The Need for Theoretical Framework

A Theoretical Framework is a conceptual model of how one theorizes or makes logical sense of the relationships among the several factors (variables) that have been identified as important to the problem. This theory flows logically from the LR (documentation of previous related researches). TF is no more than identifying the network of relationships among the variables considered important to any given problem situation. From TF, research questions and hypotheses can be developed and tested via primary data to examine whether the theory formulated is valid or not. Thus, the entire research rests on the basis of the TF.
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What is a Variable?
A variable is anything that can take on differing or varying values.
Production Units: One worker in a manufacturing
department may produce one packet per minute, a second might produce two per minute, and a third might produce five per minute.

Motivation: The levels of motivation of employees to

learn in a work team might take on varying values ranging from very low to very high.

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Types of Variables
The Dependent Variable The Independent Variable The Moderating Variable The Intervening Variable
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Dependant Variable: Definition

It is the variable of primary interest to the researcher. The goal of the research is to understand and describe, or to explain its variability, or to predict it. The researcher tries to analyze the dependent variable (i.e. finding what variables influence it) in order to find solutions to the problem. For that, the researcher will be interested in quantifying and measuring the dependent variable, as well as other variables that influence it. It is possible to have more than one dependent variable in a study.
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Dependant Variable: Examples

A manager is concerned that the sales of a newly introduced product is not meeting his expectations. Since sales of the product can vary (low, medium or high) and since sales is the main focus of interest to the manager, it is the dependent variable. A vice president is concerned that the employees are not loyal to the organization. The DV in this case would be organizational loyalty. The VP may want to know what accounts for the variance in the loyalty of employees, with the purpose of controlling it. If he finds that pay level affects loyalty, he can offer then pay raises to keep them in the organization.
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Independent Variable: Definition

It is the variable that influences the dependent variable in either a positive or a negative way (i.e. with each unit of increase in the independent variable, there is an increase or decrease in the dependent variable. Thus, the variance in the dependent variable is accounted for by the independent variable. This relationship is called: Cause & Effect.
Causal Effect

Independent Variable(s)

Dependent Variable(s)

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Independent Variable: Examples

New Product Success
Independent Variable

Stock Market Price

Dependent Variable

Research Studies indicate that successful new product development has an influence on the stock market price of the company. The more successful the new product turns out to be, the higher will be the stock market price of that firm. In other words, the degree of success of the new product developed will explain the variance in the stock market price of the company.

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Moderating Variable
It is the variable that has a strong effect on the independent variable-dependent variable relationship. Thus, the presence of this variable modifies the original relationship between the independent and the dependent variables. Independent Variable(s) Dependent Variable(s)

Moderating Variables
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Moderating Variable: Examples

Workforce Diversity
Independent Variable

Organizational Effectiveness
Dependent Variable

Managerial Expertise

Moderating Variable

By theory, the diversity of the workforce (comprising people of different ethnic origins, races and nationalities) contributes more to organizational effectiveness because each group brings its own special expertise and skills to the workplace. However, the effective utilization of different talents, perspectives, and capabilities of the various groups for enhanced organizational effectiveness is contingent on the skill of the managers to act as catalysts.
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Distinction between Independent & Moderating Variable

Sometimes confusion occur between IV and MV.
The decision whether to label them dependent, independent, or moderating depends on how they affect one another. An independent variable of one research, might become a moderating variable in another different research.
Training Programs Quality

Employee Growth Needs

Employee Willingness To Learn

Training Programs Quality

Employees Willingness To Learn

Research 1

Research 2

Employee Growth Needs

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Intervening Variable
Workforce Diversity
Independent Variable t1

Creative Synergy
Intervening Variable t2

Organizational Effectiveness
Dependent Variable t3

Managerial Expertise

Moderating Variable

It is the one that surfaces between the time independent variable start operating to influence dependent variable and the time its impact is felt on it. The creative synergy results from the diverse workforce interacting and bringing together their multifaceted expertise in problem solving. Creative synergy will not result from the diverse workforce unless the manager is capable of harnessing that synergy by coordinating the different skills. If manager lacks the expertise to perform this role, no matter the workforce have different skills, synergy will not surface, and organization will not function effectively.
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Components of Theoretical Framework

The variables should be clearly identified and labeled. The relationships between the identified variables should be clearly stated (how two or more variables are related to each other). The direction of the relationships (whether positive or negative) should be indicated (on the basis of the findings of previous researches). A schematic diagram of the theoretical framework should be sketched, indicating previously defined relationships directions.
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Why Theoretical Framework is Important Step?

It is the foundation on which the entire research project is based. It describes the logical network of relationships among the variables relevant to the problem situation. Literature review provides a solid base for developing theoretical framework. The next step is to develop relevant hypotheses to test whether the relationships that have been theorized do in fact hold true. Based on the results of hypotheses testing, the appropriate solution to the problem can be suggested.
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Simulation Exercise

John Campbell, the CEO of Roadway Hospitality, was wondering how to differentiate among the three different types of facilities offered under the offered Roadway Hospitality flagship so as to attract the right type of clients to each of the facilities. The Roadway Deluxe was meant for business travelers, the Roadway Express was meant for those looking for the least expensive accommodation, and accommodation, the Roadway Royal was meant to provide high quality services for big spenders. Campbell felt that revenues could be quadrupled if only clients understand the distinction among the three types of facilities offered. Keen on developing a viable strategy to eliminate the brand confusion and make confusion clear the distinctions, John Campbell conducted a customer survey of those who survey had used each type of facility and found the following. The consumers were consumers blissfully unaware of the differences among the three types of facilities. Many facilities. complained about how old the buildings were and how poorly the facilities were facilities maintained. The quality of services was also rated as poor.
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Simulation Exercise, Cont.

Furthermore, when rumor seems to have spread that one of the ideas of ideas Campbell was a name change to differentiate the facilities, franchise franchise owners became angry and the mixed messages they gave to the customers customers had not helped clients to understand the differences. Campbell thought that he first needed to understand how the different different classifications would be important to the several classes of clients, and then clients, he could develop a marketing strategy that would enhance revenues. revenues. Simultaneously, he recognized that unless the franchise owners fully fully cooperated with him in all his plans, mere face lifting and improvement of improvement customer service would not bring in the added revenues he hoped for. a. b. c.
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Identify the problem Develop a theoretical framework Develop at least four hypotheses

Are all your variables measurable??

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Operationally Defining A Concept

Buyer Behavior Age Motivation Gender Satisfaction

Job Status


Observable & Measurable characteristic behaviors (Elements)

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The Concept of Achievement Motivation


Achievement Motivation
D1 D2 D3 D4 D5

Driven by work

Unable to relax

Impatience with ineffectiveness

E Do not accept even small mistakes

Seeks moderate challenge

E Opts to do a challenging rather than a routine job

Seeks feedback

E Constantly working E Very reluctant to take time off for anything

E Perserving despite setbacks

Opts to take moderate rather than overwhelming challenges

E Thinks of work even at home

E Does not have any hobbies

Do not like to work with slow or inefficient people

E Asks every body for feedback on how the job has been done

E Impatient for immediate feedback

Source: Adopted from Sakaran, 2000

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Research Questions
Major and Minor R.Qs. R.Qs. Major R.Q. Minor R.Qs the Broadest Question in the study. help design Data Collection Instrument. Major R.Q.= 1 and Minor R.Qs = No. of Variables. Begin with words what, how, or to what extent. what how extent Use non-directional wording and avoid wording that suggests a nonavoid relationship between variables, such as affect", "influence", affect", "influence", "impact", "determine. impact", "determine Use open-ended questions without reference to the literature or opentheory, unless otherwise dictated by the research design.
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Hypotheses Development
A hypothesis is a testable statement of logically defined relationship between two or more variables/groups. Hypotheses are developed based on the theoretical framework to test whether the relationships that have been theorized do in fact hold true. By testing the hypotheses (using software like SPSS), and confirming/ or rejecting relationships, it is expected that solutions can be found to correct the problem.
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Hypotheses Formats
Hypotheses can be set either as propositions or in the form of if-then statements. Propositions:
Employees who are more healthy will take sick leave less frequently.

If-then Statements:
If employees are more healthy, then they will take sick leave less frequently.

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Hypotheses Classification

Directional OR Non-Directional
According to Type

Null & Alternate

According to Format

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Directional Hypotheses
Directional Hypotheses are those in which the direction of the relationship between 2 variables or 2 groups is indicated. They include terms such as positive, negative, more than, less than. Examples: - The greater the stress experienced in the job, the lower the job satisfaction of employees. - Women are more motivated than men.
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Non-Directional Hypotheses
Non-Directional Hypotheses are those which postulate a relationship or difference (between 2 variables or 2 groups), but offer no indication of the direction of these relationships or differences. They are formulated either because the relationships or differences have never been previously explored, thus no basis for indicating direction, or because there have been conflicting findings in previous studies on the variables. Examples: - There is a relationship between age and job satisfaction. - There is a difference between the work ethic values of American and Asian employees.
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Null & Alternate Hypotheses

Null Hypothesis (H0) a statement which express no significant relationship between 2 variables, or no significant difference between 2 groups. Alternate Hypothesis (HA) a statement which express a relationship between 2 variables, or indicate difference between 2 groups. Alternate hypothesis is the opposite of Null hypothesis.
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Null & Alternate Hypotheses, Cont.

Null hypothesis imply that any differences found between 2 groups or any relationship found between 2 variables is due to random sample errors, and not due to any true differences between 2 sample groups (men & women), or relationships between 2 variables (sales & profits). Thus, Null hypothesis is formulated to be tested for possible rejection. If analysis lead us to rejecting the Null Hypothesis, then Alternative hypothesis could be supported. Theory allows us to have faith in the Alternative hypothesis generated in research.
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Null & Alternate Hypotheses, Cont.

Women are more motivated than men. The Null Hypothesis for the above example H0: Mm=Mw OR H0: Mm-Mw=0

The Alternate Hypothesis for the above example If Directional: HA: Mm<Mw OR HA: Mm>Mw

If Non-Directional: HA: MmMw

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Step 6 Research Design (Methodology)

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The Research Process

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Research Paradigms
It refers to the progress of the scientific practice based on people's people's philosophies and assumptions about the world and the nature of knowledge (Schools of Research). Paradigms offer a framework comprising an accepted set of theories, methods and ways of defining data. Two types of Paradigm: Quantitative and Qualitative Quantitative: Qualitative:
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Objective, Scientific Subjective, Humanistic


The Quantitative Paradigm

Features of Quantitative Research
Tends to produce Quantitative data Uses large Sample Concerned with hypothesis testing Data is highly specific and precise Reliability is high Validity is low Generalizes from sample to population
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The Qualitative Paradigm

Features of Qualitative Research
Tends to produce Qualitative data Uses small Sample Concerned with generating theories Data is rich and subjective Reliability is low Validity is high Generalizes from setting to another
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Quantitative vs. Qualitative Paradigms Criteria for Paradigm Selection

Nature of the problem Audience for the Study Training and Experience of the Researcher

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Research Methodology

It refers to the overall approach to research process, from the theoretical support to the collection and analysis of the data

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Types of Research Methodology

Surveys (Quantitative)
Sample from Population to make inferences about the population Sample selection is critical and statistical techniques needed

Cross-sectional Studies/Surveys (Quantitative) CrossTake a snapshot of an ongoing situation Conducted when there is constraint of time and resources To find correlation/association between variables Are not expensive and are conducted simultaneously

Longitudinal Studies/Surveys (Quantitative) Studies/Surveys

Continuously done (Long Time)
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Types of Research Methodology

Experimental Studies (Quantitative)
In Lab or natural setting in a systematic way Allowing to eliminate certain variables or keep some variable constant Causal relationship to be identified (Independent vs. Dependent)

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Types of Research Methodology

Action Studies (Qualitative)
Planning, acting, observing and reflecting It is applied Research Its main aim is to enter the situation, attempt to bring about change and to monitor the results It takes a form of consultancy project

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Types of Research Methodology

Case Studies (Qualitative)
It focuses on understanding the dynamic present within single setting setting It is exploratory Research, needs in-depth and long time research, to inunderstand, and to collect data

Ethnography (Qualitative)
Ethno (folk) graphy (description) It is used to understand the observed patterns of human activities activities Data collection through observation (member in a team) It takes long time

Triangulation, use different research approaches

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Research Designs
Cross-Sectional Designs:
A type of research design involving the collection of information from any given sample of population only once. It is the most frequently used type of descriptive design in marketing research. These designs may be either: Single Cross-Sectional, or Multiple Cross-Sectional A type of research design involving a fixed sample of population which is measured repeatedly. The sample remains the same over time (i.e. Same respondents are studied over time). In contrast to the cross-sectional design, which gives a snapshot of the variables of interest at a single point of time, longitudinal study provides a series of pictures that , when viewed together, offer an in-depth view of the situation and the changes that take place over time. The term Panel is often used to describe the sample of respondents who have agreed to provide information at specific intervals over an extended period.

Longitudinal Designs:

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Relative Advantages and Disadvantages of Longitudinal & Cross-Sectional Designs

Evaluation Criteria Detecting Change Large amount of data collection Accuracy Representative Sampling Response bias Time & Cost Cross-Sectional CrossDesign + + + Longitudinal Design + + + -

Note: A + indicates a relative advantage over the other design, whereas a - indicates a relative disadvantage.
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Cross-Sectional Versus Longitudinal: More Examples

Cross-Sectional Designs: A marketing manager is interested in measuring customer demand towards a specific newly developed product that is to be launched by the company. Data are collected in mall interviews pattern from the main 6 retailers outlets. Longitudinal Designs: A marketing manager is interested in attracting the pattern of sales of a particular product in 4 different regions of the country on a quarterly basis for the next 2 years. Since data are collected several times to answer the same issues, it is considered longitudinal.
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Measurement and Scaling: Fundamentals Techniques

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Measurement & Scaling

Measurement is the Assignment of numbers or other symbols to characteristics of objects according to certain pre-specified rules.

Scaling is the generation of a continuum on which measured objects are located

Example: Measuring Consumers attitude towards Department Stores

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Primary Scales of Measurement

Nominal Scale: A scale whose numbers serve only as labels or tags for identifying and classifying objects with a strict one-to-one correspondence between the numbers and the objects. Ordinal Scale: A ranking scale in which numbers are assigned to objects to indicate the relative extent to which some characteristic is possessed. Thus, it is possible to determine whether an object has more or less of a characteristic than some other object. Interval Scale: A scale in which the numbers are used to rate objects such that numerically equal distances on the scale represent equal distances in the characteristic being measured. Ratio Scale: The scale. It allows the researcher to identify or classify objects, rank order the objects, and compare intervals or differences. It is also meaningful to compute ratios of scale values.

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Primary Scales of Measurement, Cont.

Scale Nominal
Numbers Assigned to Runners Rank Order of Winners
Third place Second place 9.1 First place 9.6 Finish
7 8 3




Performance Rating on a 0 to 10 Scale Time to Finish, in Sec.






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Primary Scales of Measurement, Cont.

Scale Basic Characteristics

Common Examples
Social Security #s, numbering of football players Quality rankings, rankings of teams in a tournament

Marketing Examples
Brand Numbers, store types Preference rankings, market position, social class Attitudes, opinions, index nos. Age, sales, income, costs

Nominal Numbers identify & classify


Nos. indicate the relative positions of objects but not the magnitude of differences between them Differences between objects can be compared, zero point is arbitrary


Temperature (Fahrenheit, Celsius)


Zero point is fixed, ratios of Length, weight scale values can be compared

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A Comparison of Scaling Techniques

Comparative Scales The scaling technique in which there is direct comparison of stimulus objects with one another (Ordinal Non-Metric Scaling).
Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi?

Non-Comparative Scales The scaling techniques in which each stimulus object is scaled independently of the other objects in the stimulus set (Interval or Ratio Metric Scaling).
Evaluate Coke on a 1 to 6 preference scale

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A Classification of Scaling Techniques

Scaling Techniques

Comparative Scales

Non-comparative NonScales

Paired Comparison

Rank Order

Constant Sum

Continuous Rating Scales

Itemized Rating Scales

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Semantic Differential


Paired Comparison Scaling

A comparative scaling techniques in which respondent is presented with 2 objects at a time and asked to select one object in the pair according to some criterion. This technique is frequently used when the stimulus objects are physical products. The data obtained are ordinal in nature (e.g. a respondent may state that he/she likes Crest more than Colgate). It is used when the number of brands is limited, However, with a large number of brands, the number of comparisons become unwieldy. Coca-Cola is reported for conducting more than 190,000 paired comparisons before introducing new Coke. This is the most widely used comparative scaling technique.
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Obtaining Shampoo Preferences Using Paired Comparisons

Instructions: We are going to present you with ten pairs of shampoo brands. For each pair, please indicate which one of the two brands of shampoo you would prefer for personal use. Recording Form:
Jhirmack Finesse Jhirmack 0 0 a 0 Finesse 1 Vidal Sassoon 1 1 1 Head & Shoulders 0 0 0 Pert 1 1 3 2 1 Number of Times Transitivity of Preference Assumption Preferredb aA 1 in a particular box means that the brand in that column was preferred over the brand in the corresponding row. A 0 means that the row brand was preferred over the column brand. bThe number of times a brand was preferred Nada Megahed, 2009 110 is obtained by summing the 1s in each column. Vidal Heads & Sassoon Shoulders 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 4 Pert

Disadvantages of Paired Comparison Scaling

The most common method of taste testing is paired comparison. The consumer is asked to sample two different products and select the one with the most appealing taste. The test is done in private and a minimum of 1,000 responses is considered an adequate sample. A blind taste test for a soft drink, where imagery, self-perception and brand reputation are very important factors in the consumers purchasing decision, may not be a good indicator of performance in the marketplace. The introduction of New Coke illustrates this point. New Coke was heavily favored in blind paired comparison taste tests, but its introduction was less than successful, because image plays a major role in the purchase of Coke. Disadvantages The order in which objects are presented may bias the results. Bear little resemblance to the marketplace situations which involves selection from multiple alternatives. Respondents may prefer one object over others, but they may not like it in the absolute sense.
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Rank Order Scaling

A comparative scaling techniques in which respondent is presented with several objects simultaneously and asked to order or rank them according to some criterion. Commonly used to measure preferences for brands. Like Paired Comparison, this approach is also comparative in nature, and it is still possible that the respondent may dislike the brand ranked 1 in the absolute sense. However, this type of scaling more closely resembles the shopping environment. Also, most respondent understand the instructions for ranking. The major disadvantage is that this technique produces only ordinal data.
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Preference for Toothpaste Brands Using Rank Order Scaling

Instructions: Rank the various brands of toothpaste in order of
preference. Begin by picking out the one brand that you like most most and assign it a number 1. Then find the second most preferred brand brand and assign it a number 2. Continue this procedure until you have ranked all the brands of toothpaste in order of preference. The least preferred brand should be assigned a rank of 10. No two brands should receive the same rank number. The criterion of preference is entirely up to you. There is no right or right wrong answer. Just try to be consistent.

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Rank Order Scaling, Cont.

Brand 1. Crest 2. Colgate 3. Aim 4. Gleem 5. Macleans 6. Ultra Brite 7. Close Up 8. Pepsodent 9. Plus White 10. Stripe
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Rank Order _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________

Constant Sum Scaling

A comparative scaling techniques in which respondent is required to allocate a constant sum of units such as points or dollars among a set of stimulus objects with respect to some criteria. If attribute is not important, the respondent should assign Zero. If attribute is twice as important as some other attribute, it receives as many points. The sum of all points should be 100, hence, the name of the scale. The attributes are scaled by counting the points assigned to each one by all the respondents and dividing by the number of respondents. Results are limited to the context of object scaled, they can not be generalized to other stimuli not included in the study. Hence this method should be considered an ordinal scale. The major disadvantage is that respondents may allocate more or fewer units than specified (e.g. 108, or 94)
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Importance of Toilet Soap Attributes Using Constant Sum Scale Instructions

On the next slide are eight attributes of bathing soaps. Please allocate 100 points among the attributes so that your allocation reflects the relative importance you attach to each attribute. The more points an attribute receives, the more important the attribute is. If an attribute is not at all important, assign it zero points. If an attribute is twice as important as some other attribute, it should receive twice as many points.
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Constant Sum Scaling, Cont.

Form Average Responses of Three Segments

Attribute 1. Mildness 2. Lather 3. Shrinkage 4. Price 5. Fragrance 6. Packaging 7. Moisturizing 8. Cleaning Power Segment I Segment II Segment III

8 2 3 53 9 7 5 13 Sum 100

2 4 9 17 0 5 3 60 100

4 17 7 9 19 9 20 15 100

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A Classification of Scaling Techniques

Scaling Techniques

Comparative Scales

Non-comparative NonScales

Paired Comparison

Rank Order

Constant Sum

Continuous Rating Scales

Itemized Rating Scales

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Semantic Differential


Continuous Rating Scale

Also referred to as graphic rating scale. In this techniques respondents rate objects by placing a mark at the appropriate position on a line that runs from one extreme of the criterion variable to the other. The form of the continuous scale may vary considerably. For example, scale point in can be in the form of points or brief description, may be few or many.

Probably the worst ------------------------------------------------------------------ Probably the best

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Very good Neither good nor bad

Very Bad

Probably the worst ------------------------------------------------------------------ Probably the best

Once the respondent has provided the ratings, the researcher divides the line into as many categories as desired, and assigns scores based on the categories into which the rating falls. They are easy to construct, however scoring is unreliable. Moreover, they provide little information, hence, their use in marketing research is limited.
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Itemized Rating Scale

A measurement scale in which the respondents are provided with a scale that has a number or a brief description associated with each category. The categories are ordered in terms of the scale position. The respondents are required to select the specified category that best describes the object being rated. Itemized scales are widely used in marketing research. The commonly used itemized scales are: Likert, Semantic Differential, and Stapel scales.
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Likert Scale
Named after its developer, Rensis Likert. It is a widely used rating scale that requires the respondents to indicate a degree of agreement or disagreement with each of a series of statements about the stimulus objects. Each scale item has 5 response categories, ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree I get a feeling of accomplishment from the work I am doing
Strongly Disagree 1 Disagree 2 Neutral 3 Agree 4 Strongly Agree 5

Likert scale is easy to construct and administer. Respondents readily understand how to use the scale, making it suitable for mail questionnaire and telephone interviews. The major disadvantage of this scale is that it takes longer to complete than other scales, because respondents have to read each statement.
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Semantic Differential Scale

In this technique, respondents rate objects on a seven-point rating scale bounded at each end by one of two bipolar adjectives. Respondents mark the blank that best indicates how they would describe the object being rated. The ve adjective or phrase sometimes appears at the left side of the scale and sometimes at the right. This controls the tendency of some respondents (particularly those with very +ve or very ve attitudes) to mark the right or left sides without reading the labels. Items on the scale may be scored on a 1 to 7 scale. This techniques is popular in marketing research, and widely used in comparing brand, product, and company images.
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A Semantic Differential Scale for Measuring Self- Concepts, Person Concepts, and Product Concepts
1) Rugged :---:-X-:---:---:---:---:---: Delicate 2) Excitable :---:---:---:---:-X-:---:---: Calm 3) Uncomfortable :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Comfortable 4) Dominating :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Submissive 5) Thrifty :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Indulgent 6) Pleasant :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Unpleasant 7) Contemporary :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Obsolete 8) Organized :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Unorganized 9) Rational :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Emotional 10) Youthful :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Mature 11) Formal :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Informal 12) Complex :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Simple 13) Colorless :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Colorful 14) Modest :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Vain
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Stapel Scale
Named after its developer, Jan Stapel. It is a unipolar rating scale with 10 categories numbered from -5 to +5, without a neutral point (Zero). This scale is usually presented vertically. Respondents are asked to indicate how accurately or inaccurately each term describes the object by selecting an appropriate numerical response category. The more accurately, the larger the plus number you should choose, and the less accurately, the larger the minus number the respondent should choose. This scale produces results similar to the semantic differential. Moreover, Stapel scales do not require a pretest of the adjectives or the phrases to ensure true bipolarity. However, some researchers believe that this scale is confusing and difficult to apply. Of the 3 itemized rating scales, this is the least used.
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+5 +4 +3 +2 +1 High Quality -1 -2 -3 -4 -5

Summary of Itemized Scale Decisions

1) Number of Categories Although there is no single, optimal number, traditional guidelines suggest that there should be between five and nine categories In general, the scale should be balanced to obtain objective data

2) Balanced vs. unbalanced

3) Odd/ even no. of categories If a neutral or indifferent scale response is possible from at least some of the respondents, an odd number of categories should be used 4) Forced vs. non-forced In situations where the respondents are expected to have no opinion, the accuracy of the data may be improved by a non-forced scale An argument can be made for labeling all or some scale categories. The category descriptions should be located close to the response categories A number of options should be tried and the best selected

5) Verbal description (Verbal or Numerical) 6) Physical form

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Balanced and Unbalanced Scales

Extremely good Very good Good Bad Very bad Extremely bad

Extremely good Very good Good Somewhat good Bad Very bad

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A variety of scale configurations may be employed to measure the gentleness of Cheer detergent. Some examples include. Cheer detergent is: 1) Very harsh ------------- --- Very gentle

Rating Scale Configurations

2) Very harsh

Very gentle

3) . Very harsh . Neither harsh nor gentle . Very gentle 4) ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Very Somewhat Neither harsh Somewhat harsh Harsh harsh nor gentle gentle 5) Very Neither harsh harsh nor gentle
-3 -2 -1 0 +1

____ Gentle

____ Very gentle Very gentle



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Some Unique Rating Scale Configurations

Thermometer Scale Instructions: Please indicate how much you like McDonalds
hamburgers by coloring in the thermometer. Start at the bottom and color up to the temperature level that best indicates how strong your preference is.


Like very much Dislike very much

100 75 50 25 0

Smiling Face Scale Instructions: Please point to the face that shows how much you like the
Barbie Doll. If you do not like the Barbie Doll at all, you would point to Face 1. If you liked it very much, you would point to Face 5.

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Basic Non-Comparative Scales

Scale Basic Characteristics
Place a mark on a continuous line




Continuous Rating Scale

Reaction to TV commercials

Easy to construct

Scoring can be cumbersome unless computerized More consuming time-

Itemized Rating Scales Likert Scale Degrees of agreement Measurement of on a 1 (strongly attitudes disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) scale Seven-point scale with Brand, product, bipolar labels and company images Measurement of attitudes and images Easy to construct, administer, and understand Versatile

Semantic Differential Stapel Scale

Controversy as to whether the data are interval Confusing and difficult to apply

Unipolar ten-point scale, -5 to +5, without a neutral Nada Megahed, 2009 point (zero)

Easy to construct, administer over telephone

Choosing a Scaling Technique

Certain practical factors should be considered in selecting scaling techniques for a particular marketing research problem. Theses include: The level of information (nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio) desired. The capabilities and knowledge of the respondents. The characteristics of the stimulus objects. Method of administration of data collection. As a general rule, using the scaling technique that will yield the highest level of information in a given situation will permit the use of the greatest variety of statistical analysis tools.
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Sampling Design & Procedures

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Sampling Concepts & Terminology

A Target Population is the collection of elements that possess the information sought by the sought researcher and about which inferences are to be made. A Sample is made up of some of the members of the population. A Representative Sample of any population should be so drawn that every member of that population has a specified non-zero probability of being included in the sample. In other words, nonwords, Every member of the population has a statistically equal chance of being selected. A Sampling Frame is a list of the population from which all the sampling units are drawn. For are example, in a large company, a list of all employees will form the sampling frame from which you the can take a sample. Sample Size depends mainly on the size of your study, and the size of your population. You may use the entire population. A Parameter is the summary description of a given variable in a population. The mean income of all families in a city and the age distribution of the citys population are parameters. city A Statistic is the summary description of a given variable in the study sample. Thus, the mean sample. income computed from a survey sample and the age distribution of that sample are statistics. A good sample must be: Chosen at random. Large enough to satisfy the needs of the research. Unbiased (e.g. volunteers to participate in the study).
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The Sampling Design Process

Define target population Obtain or construct sampling frame Select Sampling Technique & Determine Sampling Size

Execute the Sampling Process

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Methods of Selecting A Sample

Probability Sampling

LOGIC Of Probability Sampling

Non-Probability Sampling

The implications of Homogeneity & Heterogeneity Probability sampling provides an efficient method for selecting a sample that should adequately reflect the variation that exists in the population as a whole. A basic principle of Sampling is the following: A sample will be representative of the population from which it is selected if all members of the population have an equal chance of being selected in the sample. Probability Samples will never be perfectly representative of the population , but are typically more representative than other types of samples. Probability Theory permits you to estimate the accuracy or representativeness of your sample.
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Probability Vs. Non-Probability Sampling

Probability Sampling: A sampling procedure in which each element of the population has a fixed probabilistic chance of being selected for the sample.

Non-Probability Sampling: Sampling technique that do not use chance selection procedures. Rather, they Rely on the personal judgment of the researcher.

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Classification of Sampling Techniques

Sampling Techniques

Non-Probability Sampling Techniques

Probability Sampling Techniques

Judgmental Sampling

Quota Sampling

Simple random Sampling

Systematic Sampling

Stratified Sampling

Cluster Sampling

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Probability Sampling
1. Simple Random Sampling (for small & Large Sample): For small population, numbers might be chosen at random, where every member of the population is given a number. For large populations, numbers are taken from Tables of Random Numbers. Numbers Bias will occur if sample is chosen by a person, as it will lead to favoritism, or chosen haphazardly. Example: Population: 7,500 Sample Size: 300 Number the names from 1 to 7,500, and then use the Random Numbers Table to select a Numbers random sample of 300. The division of 300 into 7,500 is called the Sampling Fraction. In this case the it is 25. That means, a random selection of one name in every 25. However, the selection must be truly Random. If your Sampling Frame is in electronic version, SRS can be selected automatically through the selected use of a Sampling Computer Program. Program.
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Probability Sampling, Cont.

2. Stratified Sampling (for relatively small sample): sample): Random sampling might result in some members of the population being significantly under or over presented. Stratified sampling overcomes this problem as each identifiable Strata of the population is taken into account. Strata Example: Population: 850 (580 females and 270 males) Sample Size: 100 580/850*100=68 Females AND 270/850*100=32 Males Real Case: If your sampling frame consists of all the employees in a particular company, particular you may identify the following strata: Directors, Managers, administrators, and administrators, production workers. And if 25% of the whole employees were production workers, you production have to ensure that 25% of your sample are production workers.
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Probability Sampling, Cont.

3. Cluster Sampling (for reducing physical areas covered/interviewing cost): covered/interviewing cost): Takes the advantage of the fact that most populations are structured in some way, or could structured be divided into sub-sections according to certain characteristics (i.e. they can be clustered). subRandom selection is made from a sampling frame listing groups rather than individuals. rather Every individual in a selected group is then interviewed. Example: Population is clustered into 3 levels: State, region, and local section 13 State, each contains 25-40 region, each contains 120-260 Sections. 25120-

Work systematically from level to level with the table of random numbers. First we choose, say, 4 out of the 13 state at random. (4 States) From each of those four we choose, say, 6 regions at random. (24 Regions) From each of those 24 regions we choose, say, 8 sections at random. (192 Section) random. Finally, from each of those 192 sections, we choose 10 people at random for our sample. at Result: < 2,000 names/addresses, accurately representative & clustered geographically. clustered
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Probability Sampling, Cont.

4. Systematic Sampling (Virtually Identical to SRS): Occasionally, when the Sampling Frame is available, researchers usually employ this method rather than the SRS. In Systematic Sampling , every kth element in the list is chosen for inclusion in the sample. Population: 300 Sample Size: 10 First divide the population by the required sample size: 300/10=30 300/10=30 Start by selecting a randomly chosen number between 1 and 30, say 23. Then choose the say thirtieth one after that, until ten have been selected. 23, 53, 83, 113, 143, 173, 203, 233, 263, 293 This method involves one danger: If the list of elements is arranged in a cyclic pattern that coincides with the sampling interval, a grossly biased sample might be drawn. This is called Periodicity. Periodicity Example: Employees Database
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Non-Probability Sampling
Despite the superiority of probability sampling methods, non-probability methods are nonsometimes used instead, for those situations in which the probability methods are expensive, probability and/or when precise representativeness is not necessary.

Judgmental Sampling (for Pilot Work) To select your sample on the basis of your own knowledge of the population, and the nature of your research aims. Researcher chooses the elements to be included in the sample, as sample, he or she believes that they are representative of the population of population interest. During the initial design of your questionnaire, you might want to want select the widest variety of respondents to test the broad applicability applicability of your questions. Findings would NEVER represent any meaningful population, but might effectively uncover any particular defects in your research research instrument. Common examples include: test markets selected to determine the potential of a new product.
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Non-Probability Sampling, Cont.

2. Quota Sampling (for Marketing Research) Can be viewed as 2 stage restricted judgmental sampling. The first stage consists of developing control categories, or quotas, of population elements. The relevant control characteristics may include: sex, age, race, race, and are identified on the basis of judgment. In the second stage, sample elements are selected based on judgment. The only requirement is that the elements selected fit the control control characteristics. Often, the quotas are assigned so that the proportion of the sample elements possessing the control characteristics is the same as the proportion of population elements with theses characteristics. Quota sampling attempts to obtain representative samples at a relatively low cost. Under certain conditions, this method obtains results close to those of probability sampling.
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Sample Size & Sampling Error

A samples Accuracy is more important than its size. sample A properly drawn sample can give us more reliable estimates on a population of many millions. Statistical tables exist which will show the Sampling Error which is theoretically obtainable for samples of different sizes. Thus, the accuracy of a given result might be plus or minus: 2% of a sample of 2,000, OR 6.5% of a sample of 200 Example: A finding that 30% of our sample said YES to a particular question must therefore YES be interpreted to mean that the true figure for the population will most likely lie will between 28% - 32%, or between 23.5% - 36.5%, depending on Sample size. Theoretically, adequate sample should be 3%-6% of the total population. However, 3%sample size will be determined by other factors such as: cluster size, required accuracy of estimates, nature of the population, and of course by the constraints of time and cost. constraints
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Step 7: Data Collection

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Data Collection Methods

Focus Groups Interviewing:
Unstructured Vs. Structured Interviews Face-to-Face Vs. Telephone Interviews

Surveys/Questionnaires Delphi
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(1) Focus Groups

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Focus Group Interviews

A Focus Group is an interview conducted by a trained moderator in an unstructured and natural manner with a small group of respondents. The main purpose of focus groups is to gain insights by listening to a group of people from the target market. The value of this technique lies in the unexpected findings often obtained from a free-floating group discussion. Number of focus groups that should be conducted depends on: 1) nature of problem, 2) time & cost.

Focus groups are so popular that many practitioners consider this technique synonymous with qualitative research
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Basic Steps of Focus Group Discussions

Several focus groups are used in any research project. There may be variation between groups, but an individual group must be comprised of similar types of people. Recruitment is usually done by telephone. Participants are screened for verbal ability, experience and willingness to be candid about their opinions. Setting is important. Many firms use central facilities with one-way mirrors and sophisticated electronic recording equipment. Hotel rooms and other meeting facilities can be quite acceptable venues for a focus group especially for the professional and business community. Major issues are reviewed prior to the group. The moderator should prepare the agenda (also termed a "protocol") which will guide the group discussion. Focus groups are usually Video/Audio-taped Under no circumstances should this be kept secret; participants must be informed both of the recording devices and that they are being observed. Anyone who is uncomfortable may leave.
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Elements of Success of Focus Groups

Group dynamics are critical. The meeting must be positive and lead to easy interaction on the part of group members. Homogenous group composition is the norm. It is usually unproductive to combine young and old, or junior and senior in the same group unless they are united by a strong common interest. The comfort level respondents have with each other is extremely important to gaining useful information. Moderator skill is very important. It requires maturity, research experience, and substantive knowledge of the field. A clear agenda for the group discussion is essential. The topic must be familiar to all participants with the agenda consisting of 5 10 main issues. A common mistake is to "load" the agenda with a detailed set of questions which need to be explored. When participants are rushed, they will not provide in-depth reactions. For example, in a two hour (120 minute) focus group of 12 participants with 20 issues, each has 30 seconds on average to react to each issue.
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Characteristics of Focus Groups

Group Size Group Composition 8-12 Homogeneous, and respondents prescreening Relaxed, informal atmosphere Questions flow from general to specific 1-3 hours Use of audiocassettes and videotapes Observational, interpersonal, and communication skills of the moderator

Physical setting

Time duration Recording Moderator

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The key Qualifications Of the Moderator

Quick Learner A Friendly Leader Excellent Memory Good Listener Flexible yet Focused A Big Picture Thinker

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Problems in Group Dynamics

Tolerate silence. It is important to respect the need for individuals to collect their thoughts. If you have spent time explaining why their thoughtful opinions are important to the research, why rush them for information? Enlist the aid of dominant participants. Ask another person to react to the dominant participants comment. In this way, others have the opportunity to enter the discussion. Drawing out those who are reluctant to speak is the mark of a skilled moderator (i.e. ensure that everyone speaks). Conflict is an indicator of mixed opinions on the issue. Exploring these differences is important. Of course, personality conflicts among group members are unproductive and mediation skills are another indicator of a god moderator. A minimum number of groups are needed if the population is low diverse. Fewer sessions may be conducted if the range of issues is slight and if variation within the population is expected to be low.
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(2) Personal Interviews

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2. Personal Interviews
No other skill is as important to the research worker as the ability to conduct good interviews. Interview, unlike most other techniques, requires interpersonal skills of a high order: Takes from 30 minutes to more than one hour, Putting the respondent at ease, Noting down responses without upsetting the conversational flow, Giving support without introducing bias. They are essentially of two kinds: Unstructured (Exploratory or Depth) Interviews Structured (Standardized) Interviews
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Depth/Unstructured Interviews
Unstructured interviews are so labeled because the interviewer does not enter the interview setting with a planned sequence of questions to be asked to the respondent. The objective of this type of interviews is to uncover underlying motivations, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings on a topic. Thus, depth interviews help in the formulation of the research problem, collect percepts and ideas and to improve the conceptualization of research questions and articulation of hypotheses, based on the Hidden Agenda of the researcher. No fixed questions. The Hidden Agenda is only hidden in the sense that it should not be too obvious to the respondent. The interview should move naturally from topic to topic, and the interviewer may start with any of the topics on the Agenda and proceed in any order. In depth (unstructured) interviews, every effort is made to get respondents to express their own ideas spontaneously in their own words.
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Structured Interviews
Structured interviews are those conducted when it is known what information is needed. The interviewer has a list of predetermined questions to be posed to the respondents. The questions are likely to focus on factors that had surfaces during the unstructured interviews. The same questions are asked to everybody. Sometimes, however, the experienced researcher, based on the situation might take a lead from an answer and ask other relevant questions not on the interview protocol. At this point of research process, the interviewer does not have the luxury of initiating new topics, adding new questions, or even following up interesting ideas. You should be bound by the requirement of Stimulus Equivalence. Interviewer should be able to distinguish three types of questions: Factual Questions, where he/she is expected to read out the question as printed, but has some latitude to offer explanations or correct misunderstanding. Attitude & Opinion Questions, in which interviewers are forbidden to explain or reword in any way.
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Unstructured Vs. Structured Interviews

Problem Definition Objective of the Study Theoretical Framework

Redefine Problem
Unstructured Interviews (Ideas Collection)

Redefine Variables of Interest

Data Analysis & Interpretation

Structured Interviews (Data Collection)

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Advantages & Disadvantages of Depth Interviews Versus Focus Groups

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Comparison of Focus Groups, Depth Interviews

Criteria 1. Degree of Structure 2 Probing of individual respondents 3. Moderator bias 4. Interpretation bias 5. Uncovering subconscious information 6. Discovering innovative information 7. Obtaining sensitive information 8. Involve unusual behavior or questioning 9. Overall usefulness Focus Groups Relatively high Low Relatively medium Relatively low Low High Low No Highly useful Depth Interviews Relatively medium High Relatively high Relatively medium Medium to high Medium Medium To a limited extent Useful

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(3) Surveys

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3. Surveys/Questionnaires
A questionnaire is a formalized written set of questions for obtaining information from respondents. Questionnaires are a efficient data collection mechanism when the researcher knows exactly what is required and how to measure variables of interest. In the present context, the term Questionnaire can be fairly used to cover postal questionnaires, self-administered questionnaires and structured interview script. Advantages of the Survey Method: 1. Questionnaire is simple to administer. 2. Use of fixed-response questions reduces the variability in the responses which may be caused by interviewers. 3. Coding, editing and analysis of data are relatively simple Disadvantages of the Survey Method: 1. Respondents may be unable or unwilling to respond if the information requested is sensitive or personal. 2. Wording of questions is not easy.
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A Classification of Survey Methods

Survey Methods

Self-Administered Self-



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(4) Delphi Method

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4. Delphi Method Overview

The Delphi Method is based on a structured process for collecting and distilling knowledge from a group of experts by means of a series of questionnaires interspersed with controlled opinion feedback The objective of most Delphi applications is the reliable and creative exploration of ideas or the production of suitable information for decision making. The outcome of a Delphi sequence is nothing but opinion (Qualitative). Single experts sometimes suffer biases; group meetings suffer from follow the leader tendencies and reluctance to abandon previously stated opinions. The main point behind the Delphi method is to overcome the disadvantages of Personal Interviews and Focus group discussions.
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Steps of the Delphi Method

Formation of a Delphi team

2. Selection of experts to participate 3. Development of the first round questionnaire 4. Transmission of the first questionnaire to the panelists 5. Analysis of the first round responses and feedback 6. Preparation and transmission of the second round

7. Analysis of the second round responses (Steps 6 and 7 are

repeated as long as desired)

8. Reporting on the exercise

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Steps of the Delphi Method

1. Formation of a Delphi Team


The team will be responsible for developing the entire exercise, choice of experts, development of questionnaires, analyzing the questionnaires and for feedback, as well as for monitoring the process and for preparing report. The Delphi technique requires a coordinator to organize requests for information, information received, and to be responsible for communication with the participants. The Delphi technique also requires an efficient communication channel to link the coordinator with each of the participants.

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Steps of the Delphi Method

2. Selection of Experts
Once the list of nominees is formed, each person should be contacted individually. Experts from the required disciplines are first identified and asked to participate in the inquiry. The results of a Delphi depend on the knowledge and cooperation of the panelists Knowledgeable persons are usually identified through literature searches for who has published on the subject under study, recommendations from institutions. One possibility that helps ensure that the required skills are represented is to form a matrix in which the required skills are listed.
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Steps of the Delphi Method

2. Selection of Experts, Cont.
The rows of the matrix consist of the names of the prospective participants. The cells are checked to indicate the "coverage" that the nominees are expected to provide. One interesting method for choosing the experts is the so-called Lock-and-Key Approach. In this approach, the researcher attempt to match the capabilities of participants with the requirements of the questions, and questions are addressed only to those respondents whose profiles match. Weighted sum method is used to evaluate the experts based on the same parameters, which will be used to evaluate the questions.

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Steps of the Delphi Method

2. Selection of Experts, Cont.

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Steps of the Delphi Method

3. Development of the first questionnaire (1st Round)
The next step is to formulate the questions. The questions must be sharp and answerable. Phrasing of questions is important. For this reason, it is desirable to conduct a test of the instrument. In-depth interviews with experts have been used with great success as an alternative to questionnaires. In this approach, the same kinds of experts are first identified, invited to participate, assured of their anonymity. Appointments are made at the convenience of the interviewees. Interview protocols are prepared and tested to elicit judgments. Feedback can be introduced if two rounds of interviews are employed; however, single-round studies are used more frequently. An advantage of one-on-one interviews is that they provide flexibility, which is absent in questionnaires.
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Steps of the Delphi Method

4. Transmission of the first round questionnaire
Once qualified in this way, the questionnaire would be sent to the participants. The cover letter would remind the participants about the objectives of the study, establish the schedule for the response, and include the return address. In most cases, the first questionnaire poses the problem in broad terms and invites answers and comments. For example, what actions should be taken to improve the quality of renting services? The first questionnaire asks each participant to engage in individual brainstorming so as to generate as many ideas as possible for dealing with the issue. Essay-type answers could be permitted at this stage. Each participant returns the list anonymously to the coordinator.
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Steps of the Delphi Method

5. Analysis of the first round responses and feedback iteration
Some studies indicate that a response rate from 40 to 75 percent of the participants can be anticipated. Responses obtained from the panel are collated by a central coordinator and fed back to the respondents in a synthesized form. A feedback round would be used to present the results, the reasons for the extreme positions, and a call for reassessment. The reasons, in Delphi style, would be placed in front of the participants who answered the first round. They would be then asked to reconsider their former answers in view of the reasons for the extreme opinions.

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Steps of the Delphi Method

6. Preparation and transmission of the second round questionnaire
Responses to the first questionnaire are used to construct the second questionnaire. The coordinator prepares and sends a second questionnaire to participants that contains all of the ideas sent in response to the first questionnaire and provides space for participants to refine each idea, clarify issues, identify areas of agreement or disagreement, to comment on each ideas strengths and weaknesses for addressing the issue, to develop priorities and to identify new ideas. This interactive process can be repeated as many times as appropriate. The aim of each round or iteration is for responses to become stable. Participants anonymously record their responses to the second questionnaire and return them to the coordinator.
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Steps of the Delphi Method

7. Analysis of the second round responses
The coordinator analyses the responses, summarizes them, and asks for additional clarifications, strengths, weaknesses, and new ideas. Preparation, transmission, and analysis are reiterated as long as desired or necessary to achieve stability in the results. If desired, the coordinator performs iterations of the preceding process until it becomes clear that no new ideas are emerging and that all strengths, weakness, and opinions have been identified.

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Steps of the Delphi Method

8. Reporting on the exercise
The outcome of a Delphi sequence is nothing but opinion. The results of the sequence are only as valid as the opinions of the experts who made up the panel. The data from a Delphi can be displayed in several ways. The group judgment should be based on the median rather than the mean, since single extreme answers can "pull" the mean unrealistically. Furthermore, it is incumbent on the analyst to show the spread of opinion, which can be done by showing the inter-quartile range (the range that contains the answers of 50 percent of the respondents).

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Drawbacks of the Delphi Method

Delphi studies are difficult to perform well. A great deal of attention must be given to the choice of participants; the questionnaires must be meticulously prepared and tested to avoid ambiguity. Multi-round studies require a great deal of time; inevitably, some participants will drop out during the process. Finally, a weakness of the Delphi method is the time that it takes. A single round can easily require three weeks; a threeround Delphi is at least a three to four month affair, including preparation and analysis time.
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Questionnaire Design

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A Framework for Questionnaire Design

al er es en pl G nci i Pr

Objective Types & forms of Questions Wording of Questions

fic ci ples e Sp nci i Pr

Formatting of Questionnaire

Pre-testing the Questionnaire (Pilot Work)

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Define Questionnaire Objective

The general principle is that the first layer of a questionnaire that needs to be dealt with is the questionnaires objectives. You can not begin to formulate questions and worry about wording and formatting unless you know what you want to accomplish with your questions and words. Begin with an introduction which includes the questionnaire's purpose, who is conducting it, to what use the information will go, and confidentiality.
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Building A Questionnaire
Questions Types: Open & Closed-ended Questions

The Build-up of Question Modules

Order of Questions within Modules

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Types of Questions
There are 2 types for classifying questions: On the basis of FORMAT: 1. Open-Ended Questions 2. Closed-Ended Questions On the basis of Targeted Response: 1. Factual Questions 2. Non-Factual Questions
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Types of Questions (Opened vs. Closed)

Open-ended questions are those where respondents provide their own answers to the question, without any previously provided options. These are fill-in-the-blank responses. They allow respondents to express their own thoughts and comments but are more demanding of both the respondent and the person doing the analysis. Close-ended questions have answer options provided and respondents must select either one answer or multiple answers from what is given. These questions have greater uniformity in responses but depend on your knowing and including all relevant responses. Responses for close-ended questions must be exhaustive [i.e. include all possible answers] and also mutually exclusive in providing for the selecting of a single response [without the choice seeming to belong to more than one option].
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Types of Closed-Ended Questions

1. Multiple-Choice Questions: Respondents are asked to select one or more of the alternatives given. How frequently is a systematic monitoring of work progressing? Every month Every quarter Twice a year Once a year The response alternatives should include the set of all possible choices. The general guideline is to list all alternatives that may be of importance and include an alternative labeled Other (Please Specify)
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Types of Closed-Ended Questions

2. Order (Ranking) Questions

Instructions: Rank the various brands of toothpaste in order of

preference. Begin by picking out the one brand that you like most most and assign it a number 1. Then find the second most preferred brand brand and assign it a number 2. Continue this procedure until you have ranked all the brands of toothpaste in order of preference. The least preferred brand should be assigned a rank of 10. No two brands should receive the same rank number. The criterion of preference is entirely up to you. There is no right or wrong answer. Just try to be consistent.

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2. Order (Ranking) Questions, Cont. Brand 1. Crest 2. Colgate 3. Aim 4. Gleem 5. Macleans 6. Ultra Brite 7. Close Up 8. Pepsodent 9. Plus White 10. Stripe
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Rank Order _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________

Types of Closed-Ended Questions

3. Dichotomous Questions: Respondents have to choose only one out of 2 alternatives; Yes/No, approve/disapprove, and so on. Often a neutral alternative is supplemented. Do you intend to buy a new car within the next 6 months? Yes No Dont Know Underlying decision-making process may reflect uncertainty, which can be best captured by multiple-choice respondents. Sometimes, when the neutral response is included, respondents are can avoid taking a decision, thereby biasing the results.
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Types of Closed-Ended Questions

4. Likert Scales Questions: It is a widely used rating scale that requires the respondents to indicate a degree of agreement or disagreement with each of a series of statements about the stimulus objects. Each scale item has 5 response categories, ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. I get a feeling of accomplishment from the work I am doing
Strongly Disagree 1 Disagree Neutral 3 Agree 4 Strongly Agree 5

Likert scale is easy to construct and administer. Respondents readily understand how to use the scale, making it suitable for mail questionnaire and telephone interviews. The major disadvantage of this scale is that it takes longer to complete than other scales, because respondents have to read each statement.
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5. A Semantic Differential Scale for Measuring SelfConcepts, Person Concepts, and Product Concepts
1) Rugged :---:-X-:---:---:---:---:---: Delicate 2) Excitable :---:---:---:---:-X-:---:---: Calm 3) Uncomfortable :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Comfortable 4) Dominating :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Submissive 5) Thrifty :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Indulgent 6) Pleasant :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Unpleasant 7) Contemporary :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Obsolete 8) Organized :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Unorganized 9) Rational :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Emotional 10) Youthful :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Mature 11) Formal :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Informal 12) Complex :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Simple
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Opened vs. Closed Questions

Open-ended Questions
Advantages: Freedom & spontaneity of Answers. Opportunity to probe. Useful for testing hypotheses about opinions & ideas. Disadvantages: Time Consuming. Costly of interviewers time. Coding: very costly and may be unreliable.

Closed-ended Questions
Advantages: Require little time. No extended writing. Low costs. Easy to process. Make comparisons easily. Less interviewer training. Disadvantages: Loss of spontaneous responses. Bias in answer categories. Sometimes vague. May irritate respondents.

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Types of Questions (Factual vs. Non-Factual)

Factual questions deals essentially with FACTS. They might seem the easiest to design, since after all, they are questions to which there must be a True answer. However, experience shows that simple factual questions are often neither simple nor factual. Non-Factual questions deals essentially with aspects of the state of mind of the respondent (opinions, awareness, and attitude questions). Therefore are more difficult to verify, and produce less reliable results.

Thus, it is often unwise to rely on single questions when dealing with Non-Factual questions.
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The Build-up of Question Modules

Gather all questions which are related to one variable together. NOT A RULE. Always beer in mind two sets of considerations: 1. Internal logic of inquiry; and 2. The likely reactions of respondents. Often, these will have conflicting requirements! Piloting the questionnaire, however, may show us that the logic sequence is irritating to some respondents. Some respondents become very embarrassed by the Knowledge or Awareness questions at the beginning, because they feel it puts them on the spot. Keep the Personal Questions Module till the end of the questionnaire.

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Order of Questions within Modules

The Funnel Approach is a strategy of ordering questions in a questionnaire in which the sequence starts with the general questions, followed by progressively specific questions. A Filter Question is used to exclude some respondents from a particular question sequence if those questions are irrelevant to them. Start by asking few multiple-choice questions about the respondents own habits, and backgrounds. Further questions follow naturally about wider issues. However, dont leave important questions till the end. Always use the suggestions of the Pilot Work. A simple way is to attain logical order is to prepare a flow chart for the logical possibilities and then develop branching questions and instructions based on it.

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Wording of Questions
Whats wrong with the following question? What
Do you approve or disapprove of people that go to football matches matches

1. 2.

Yes No Please comment on Why:

Well, quite a lot. It is an example of an unanswerable question because: The answer categories (Yes or No) are not appropriate to the form of question. form Approve/Disapprove might be better. Also, a leading question, since the approve precedes the disapprove. approve disapprove Fails to offer any kind of middle position, such as: uncertain OR it depends. uncertain depends Does not have a No answer or Not Applicable to cater for people who have No Applicable no experience of football matches. Probe is grammatically incorrect. Poor grammar may irritate respondents. respondents.
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Wording of Questions
Whats wrong with the following question? (Cont.) What
Do you approve or disapprove of people that go to football matches matches

1. 2.

Yes No Please comment on Why:

Now let us look at the layout of the question:

No question mark after matches. matches More importantly, No instructions have been given to the respondent (Tick, ring, or underline). respondent

Now come the most serious deficiency in this question that is not immediately apparent: not

What is the PURPOSE of this question?

No way does it qualify as a factual question, nor will it allow us to infer how often the respondent go to football matches.

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Wording of Questions
Can we lay down some rules?
Length: Not more than twenty words. If longer is needed, break up into several shorter sentences. Always add Introductory Sentences before each section, and never forget the Sentences answering procedures on self-administered questionnaire. selfAvoid Double-Barreled Questions: What is your evaluation of the price and convenience Doubleoffered by BMWs showroom?. Would a positive answer refer to price, to convenience, or to both? BMW showroom? Avoid Double Negatives: Do you know if the deadline has expired yet?. A negative answer yet? might mean that the respondent does not know, or knows that the deadline has not yet expired. Always be Positive. Dont Know & Not Applicable: In case of an opinion question such as Do you think that the Don government is doing a good job? a Dont Know response makes good sense. job? Don Know Use simple words, avoid Abbreviations & Technical Terms. All closed questions should start their lives as open ones (Answer categories based on Pilot Work). Dont Over-tax the respondents memories. Don Overrespondents
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Wording of Questions
Use unambiguous Words

In a typical month, how often do you shop in department stores? Never Occasionally Incorrect Sometimes Often Regularly In a typical month, how often do you shop in department stores? Less than Once 1 or 2 times correct 3 or 4 times More than 4 times

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Wording of Questions
Special Problems
Classification Questions Leading Questions Loaded Words Social Desirability Bias
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Wording of Questions
Special Problems: 1. Classification Questions

ARE special types of factual questions that asks about age, income, education,
occupation, family size and so on.

Please specify in which of the following categories would you place your annual income: No income Less than 10,000 EGP 10,000 20,000 EGP 20,000 30, 000 EGP 31,000 40,000 EGP
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Overlapping Categories

Wording of Questions
Special Problems: 2. Leading Questions

ARE so worded that they suggest what the answer should be, or indicate the
questioners point of view.

You usually dont forget to pay your mobile bills; Do you?

Most people nowadays believe in privatization; Dont you?

Solution: Avoid Making Assumptions & Suggestions

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Wording of Questions
Special Problems: 2. Leading Questions, Cont.
Do you think that Egyptians should buy imported automobiles when that would put Egyptian labor out of work? Incorrect Yes No Dont Know Do you think that Egyptians should buy imported automobiles? Yes No Dont Know


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Wording of Questions
Special Problems: 3. Loaded Words
Loaded word or phrase is one which is emotionally colored, and suggests an automatic feeling of approval or disapproval. For instance: Nazi, Jewish, intelligent, socialist.
Respondents react not so much to the issue posed by the question, as to the loaded phrase itself.

Trials will show differences in distribution of answers to a question using the phrase bosses compared to the one using Leaders. Both are loaded phrases, but are loaded in different directions.

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Wording of Questions
Special Problems: 3. Loaded Words (Solution)
Here are some items from a questionnaire dealing with different aspects of Job Choice Choice Each item consisted of a pair of choices, of which only one could be selected by the respondent. could This technique proved to help overcome the problems of loading. A job in which you do a lot of hard thinking. Where the pay is not very high, but you get pension when you retire.


A job where, once you have learned it, you always know how to do it. Where the pay is high, but you dont get a pension when you retire.

Items are fairly balanced and respondents will express their preference without really reacting to such loaded words such as: Routine Jobs Or Security. Thus, Much leading comes from a failure to state alternatives.
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Wording of Questions
Special Problems: 4. Social Desirability Bias
We should know that many questions are loaded with Prestige. People claim many things: making donations, visiting museums. People are reluctant to admit lack of knowledge, and do not like to think of themselves as fools. There is no simple answer to this problem, but there are two general measures that may help:


Use filter questions, or word the main question in such a way that a low-prestige answer is equally possible. Example: Instead of Have you read any of the following magazines at all within the past week?, use Have you had time to read any magazines within the past seven days. Tell the respondents that Accuracy is the prime requirement and that a negative response is as good as positive one.

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Reliability & Validity of Questions

Both are technical terms and you have to distinguish between them. Validity is concerned with the factual (Concurrent Validity) hereand-now (Is the respondent telling you the truth?). But it might also be concerned with forecasting (Predictive Validity) (Will the respondent really consider buying this product?). I.e. tells Reliability refers to the purity of a measure, i.e. to the probability of obtaining the same results again if the measure was to be duplicated. Example: Clock: It is possible to have a measure that is highly reliable yet of poor validity. If the measure has excellent validity, then it must also be reliable.
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Reliability & Validity of Factual Questions

In this case, the respondent is used as repository of facts. An intermediary between the researcher and the required information. To ascertain Reliability, you should plan to have a number of internal checks. Examples: (1) Introduction of non existent brand name or TV program, endorsement of such items would suggest guessing or carelessness on the part of the respondent. (2) Can you tell me if you have visited any of the following within the past two weeks? Followed by a question about frequency. To ascertain Validity, a variety of technique, usually known as external checks, where a second, independent source of information is required. In some cases, quality checks are made by highly trained group of senior interviewers, who can often track down a discrepancy.
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Reliability & Validity of Non-Factual Questions

In this case, questions are more sensitive to changes in wording, context, emphasis, and so on. Thus, it is almost impossible to assess reliability by asking the same question in another form. When measuring non-factual questions, we should have a set of questions (Attitude Scales). A set of questions are MORE RELIABLE than a single question, and they give more consistent results. By using SETS of questions, provided they all relate to the same attitude, we maximize the reliability by reducing the instability due to particular moderating factors such as: mood changes and so on. Non of the previously mentioned Internal Checks can be applied. Instead, Factor Analysis (Analytic Statistical Tool) can enable you to find out what are the main underlying dimensions of the SET of any Attribute/Variable. The chief difficulty in assessing the Validity of those questions is the lack of criteria.
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Formatting The Questionnaire Some Guidelines

Begin with an introduction which includes the questionnaire's purpose, who is conducting it, to what use the information will go, and confidentiality. In mailed questionnaires, use cover letter. Make the first questions non-provoking and interesting.The beginning questions should not be open-ended or questions with a long list of answer choices. Put the more important questions at the beginning. Arrange the order of questions to achieve continuity and a natural flow. Try to keep all questions on one subject together. Put the more general questions first, followed by a more specific question. Place demographic questions (age, gender, race/ethnicity, etc.) at the end of the questionnaire. Keep the whole question and its answers on the same page. Pre-code items and response categories as much as possible, to help in data tabulation and analysis. Use instructions for self-Administered Questionnaires. Use transitional statements to build continuity.
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Pre-testing the Questionnaire

This means a careful examination of the individual questions and the questionnaire as a whole. Allow enough time to incorporate any revisions. Unfortunately, too many people consider pilot testing as a superficial task they can avoid, but find later that the intended respondents did not understand well enough to deal with most questions.
Is each question measuring what it is intended to measure? Are all the words understood? Are questions interpreted similarly by all respondents? Does each close-ended question have an answer that applies to each respondent? Does the questionnaire create a positive impression, one that motivates people to answer it? Are questions answered correctly? Are some missed? Do some elicit uninterpretable answers? Does any part of the questionnaire suggest bias on the part of the researcher?

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Checklist For Eliminating Questions

Does the question measure some aspect of one of the research questions? Does the question provide information needed in conjunction with some other variable?

(If NO to both 1 and 2, drop the question; if YES to one or both, retain)
Will most respondents understand the question and in the same way?

(If NO, revise or drop; if YES, retain)

Will most respondents have the information to answer it?

(If NO, drop; if YES, retain)

Will most respondents be willing to answer it?

(If NO, drop; if YES, retain)

Is other information needed to analyze this question?

(If NO, retain; if YES, retain only if the other information is available or can be obtained)
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Piloting The Questionnaire

Questionnaires do not emerge suddenly, they have to be created, tested, adapted and developed to maturity before being used in a real field work. Questionnaire have to be composed and tried out, improved and then tried out again, often several times until we become sure that they can do the assigned job. This whole lengthy process of designing and trying out questions is usually referred to as: Pilot Work. On whom should our questions be tried out? In principle, respondents in pilot work should be as similar as possible to those in the main enquiry, which means they should be a Judgmental Sample to test questions for relevance and sensitivity. Can Experts help? This temptation should be firmly resisted, mainly because it is based on illusions. What should be piloted? Every thing. At this stage, you are not trying to obtain true measures from each respondent, you are trying to obtain ideas, concepts, forms of words and material for future questions.
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Summary of Questionnaire Design Process

Specify the Information Needed Specify the Type of Interviewing Method Determine the Content of Individual Questions Design the Question to Overcome the Respondents Inability and Unwillingness to Answer Decide the Question Structure Determine the Question Wording Arrange the Questions in Proper Order Identify the Form and Layout Reproduce the Questionnaire
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Eliminate Bugs by Pre-testing


Approaches to Increase Response Rate

Advance Warning: A letter informing the respondent of the study in advance, and inviting participation. Explanation of Selection: Explaining sampling method, and WHY ME? Sponsorship: Research organization pamphlet, Covering letter of introduction from someone expected to be influential. Envelope: Addressed personally, looks professional rather that a Junk Mail. Incentives: Small may help, larger may not. Confidentiality: In the sense that only the researcher will have access to them. Steps must be taken to ensure that information will never be published about identifiable persons or organizations. Explicit statement or promise should be made. Reminders: May help in mail surveys.
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Approaches to Increase Response Rate (cont.)

Appearance: Layout, face type, color, quality of papers. Length: Thickness of the questions booklet, number of questions, time required. Degree of Interest to Respondents: It is the only motive to complete a long interview or questionnaire. Rapport: A personal skill that must be existing in the interviewer. Return Envelops: Will increase response rate for Postal Questionnaires.

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Thesis Structure
Chapter 1: Introduction
Includes, prob. def., objective, theoretical framework, questions, methodology,

Chapter 2:

Literature Review
Where we stand, where we go and problem def, theories/models behind, ..

Chapter 3: Chapter 4:

Theoretical Framework and Methodology

Road Map, development of data collection instrument like questionnaires

Data Collection, Analysis, and Findings

In the finding you get back to the research questions, objectives

Chapter 5:
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Conclusion, Recommendations and Future Work


Logical Flow of Knowledge/Information and Locations

Chapter 1: Introduction Problem/Objective Questions, Result Chapter 2: Chapter 3: Theoretical Framework and Methodology Chapter 4: Chapter 5: Data Collection, Analysis, Findings Literature Review State-of-the-Art

Conclusion, Recommendations Future Work Bibliography and Appendices

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Chapter 1: Introduction
It must create reader interest in the topic. It must establish the problem that leads to the study. It must place the study within the larger context of the literature. It must reach out to a specific audience. Includes: Topic Overview, Problem Definition, Objective, Summary of Theoretical Framework, Questions, Methodology, and Thesis Structure.
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Chapter 2: Literature Review

Chapter 2 is about what happened and when in the area of the research. Chapter 2 should include the relevant theories, models that have been used for similar cases or studies. Chapter 2 also talks about the variables in connection with the models or theories stated in the literatures. So, you can write about the importance of the variables under study. It includes pointing out to the authors who worked in similar studies and mentioning their findings. (the researcher is encouraged (the to put his/her input and opinion and justifications). justifications). Relevant Figures and tables from literatures can be used to facilitate facilitate explaining and writing.
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Chapter 2: Literature Review, Cont.

Chapter 2 is the reference for everything in the thesis. It is the database/information-base/knowledge-base/event-base, fact-based, database/information- base/knowledge- base/eventfactEvidences-Based that you will rely on, in your design (chapter 3) and Evidencesyour arguments (chapter 4).

Structure of Chapter 2:
2.1 Introduction/Background/Overview (History of The business/Industry/Sector) 2.2 Overview about the ABC (Theoretical Part) 2.3 Cases (Practical Part/best practices) 2.4 Local Case/Business

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Chapter 3: Research Design & Methodology

Chapter 3 is the Design and the Plan of the research. It has to be a reflection of what is written in chapter 2 (as outcomes). It is the Top-Down Design TopFull of justifications Structure of Chapter 3: 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Problem Statement 3.3 Research Objective 3.4 Theoretical Framework 3.5 Research Questions and Hypotheses 3.6 Research Methodology (Type, Sampling, Data Collection, Analysis Techniques)
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Chapter 4: Data Analysis, Findings and Discussions

4.1 Descriptive
It includes description of the collected data. Here, you can start start with the reliability test for the data collection instrument (questionnaire) by reporting Cronbach alpha. Then you start show different and only the relevant Histograms, Frequency tables (can also any form, like Pie Chart, etc ) and you should comment on the results (but be careful, you are describing describing here the sample and not yet the population). So, do not generalize generalize yet the results.

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Chapter 4: Data Analysis, Findings and Discussions

4.2 Inferential This section is about Hypotheses testing (in case of quantitative research paradigm). All p-values have to be mentioned and reported for each test. You should here comment and justify why you rejected or fail-to-rejected this particular hypothesis. fail- toDo not be sad or disappointed that a lot of the hypotheses have been failed-to-reject. Yes, it means that the researcher failed to prove failed- tohis/her point, but it can be because of the following options: The Questionnaire questions were not well designed, formulated or understood from the or respondents, OR the Respondents were careless/not-serious in their answering the careless/not questions, OR the sample size (collected questionnaires) were not enough, not OR, it is the reality .
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Chapter 4: Data Analysis, Findings and Discussions

4.2 Inferential, Cont. In case of qualitative research paradigm in which rarely you find hypothesis testing, researcher has to rely mainly on his/her wording in the explanation. It needs a lot of explanations to convince the reader with the answering of the questions. You have to know here that the inferential statistics are tools to help the researcher to explain and analysis the point under study (in case of quantitative paradigm), which is not valid for qualitative research. That is why a lot of efforts needed from the researcher researcher side to substitute the inferential analysis in the qualitative paradigm.
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Chapter 4: Data Analysis, Findings and Discussions

4.3 Discussion of Findings Here you have to link/compile all results with the objective to answer the minor research questions. You have to refer to the literature in chapter 2 to support your findings.

Do not forget that this chapter is your own ground, i.e., you should use all your language and opinion in the interpretation of the results, of course with the support of the literature (it is about benchmarking your results with respect to the results and the finding from the other literatures) and the results that literatures) you got from your analysis of the data.

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Chapter 5: Conclusion, Recommendations and Future Research

5.1 Conclusion Remind the reader with the problem and the objective, methodology, methodology, models/theories, sampling etc. Then you summarize the most important findings (from chapter 4, section 4.3). 4.3). 5.2 Recommendations (Based on the findings) Business, Industry, Customers, Government .etc. Make sure that all recommendations HAVE to come from the research that has been done by you Be close to the tactic level, i.e. be away from the macro level Be realistic in your recommendations 5.3 Future Work Suggestions, new Ideas as a results from the research experience. Can come from the assumptions and limitations that you have put in chapter 3.
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References Follow the guide on the web site and Harvard System for referencing Appendix A: Questionnaire or/and Interview Questions Appendix B: Glossary Appendix C: ---------Biography (it is the last page in your thesis) Here you write a brief biography about yourself, which includes your birth date, your education path and your career path to date. This takes around one paragraph (10-12 lines) (10 Nada Megahed, 2009 225