Research Methodology

The objective of this paper is to define the method of the research and identify the proper method to find the result of this research paper. Moreover, within this chapter, it includes the all process of the research methodology, also determine the important of each part to find the answer of the research aims and objectives. The structure of this chapter is constructed as following:

• Research Approach

• Research Design

• Pilot Study

• Data Analysis

• Ethical Issue

• Limitation

• Chapter Summary

3.1 Research Approach

Generally, understanding the research methodology is definitely required to conduct the research as the most important part of doing the dissertation. Moreover, the understanding the research methodology is the path of many sections including business management in order of solving the problem as well. So, is order of finding the proper approach is the most important, which leads to create the appropriate research and to know which approach is the right for doing research according to the research question or topic. In addition, to create more understandable about research methodological approaches, there are good rank journal examples to show and discuss about the use of research methodological approach and the concept. The research methodology is the general basic question for discipline dealing with human interaction, which possible define into two roughly methods, observation and elicitation (Wolfson, 1986). William (2011) claimed that there are three main specific research methods which consist of qualitative method, quantitative method, and mixed method, then the researchers can select any method to their studies to conduct their research and figure the result of the study depend on the proper or suitable methodology.

3.1.1 Qualitative and Quantitative

According to Bryman (2006), he mentioned that, there are two different type in research approaches, including qualitative and quantitative. Amaratunga et. al (2002) argued that the quantitative research conducted the results in identifying the numbers in method of scaling which represented opinion or attitude of the respondents. Quantitative is the research that determine from numeric data in order of statistical analysing (Gelo, Braakmann and Benetka, 2008), and quantitative approach conducts about social research and social phenomena (Bryman, 1984). In contrast, qualitative, concluded that qualitative paradigm or phenomenological seems more natural than artificial in data collecting, more chance to understand people’s feelings, and attitude, possibility to look for alternative processed over the time, and more in-depth understanding through each respondent (Amaratunga et al., 2002). There are some researchers claimed that in-depth qualitative research is particularly well appropriated for showing higher level concepts and theories that are not unique to a particular participant or setting (Misco, 2007).

The qualitative approach, which it represents ‘interpretivism’, possible to consider in scientific paradigms of “Inductive” approach (Perry, 1998). Sim (1998) claimed that the data collection of qualitative research come from the people’s perception and experiences by using observation, in-depth interview, and focus group techniques. ‘In an idealized model of analytic generalization, qualitative researchers develop conceptualizations of processes and human experiences through in-depth scrutiny and higher-order abstraction’ (Polit and Beck, 2010). Meanwhile, qualitative research, the data requires coding from non-numerical to numerical form leads to the conducting of the result (Harrison and Reilly, 2011). Hunt also showed that qualitative is usefully complement in quantitative analyses (Hunt, 1994).

Within the quantitative research, Firestone (1987) illustrated that quantitative research is commonly based on positivist model which considers that there are social facts with an objective reality apart from the beliefs of individuals, however qualitative research is frequency based on phenomenological one which dominances that reality is socially constructed through particular or collective definitions of the circumstance. Also, Carr (1994) illustrated that the quantitative research needs a random picking the sample from related population of studying by improving questionnaire and interview survey. Moreove, Pluye et al. (2009) argued that quantitative approach is connected to the “deductive approach”.

According to this research paper, it using quantitative research approach to determine the result of the study, which was found the most suitable for this paper. In term of marketing instruments and household-specific characteristics analysis, quantitative models are the most relevant method to conduct the suitable data and identify the particular addresses (Franses and Paap, 2001). Moreover, Sukamolson (2010) supported that quantitative method is suitable for explain some phenomena, for instance the relationship between the factors or theory, also appropriate to testing hypotheses, and quantitative is useful for qualify main attitude and behavior of all of the audiences, within the the large number of respondents. Finally, Choy (2014) supported that quantitative research data patronize researches to create relationship between variables and outcomes.

3.2 Research Design

According to the term of research design, it is the explanation of the researcher in order to describe how to conduct the research also identify the guide of the research (Bryman and Bell, 2015). Within this criteria, there are the explanation along each part of research in case of data collection, it includes of primary and secondary data, questionnaire structure, questionnaire design, distribution of questionnaire, and the targeted sample size.

3.2.1 Primary Data and Secondary Data

This research paper is the topic investigation on brand equity to determine the attitude of the customers towards convenience store 7-Eleven in Thailand, by using both primary data and secondary data. Primary data is the specific data purposes of a research project which collected by the researchers, also in term of primary data collection, the research is able to collect by questionnaire, survey, web-survey, transcripts of interview, observation, charts, maps, table or diagram, diaries and result of experiments (D O’ Gorman and Macintosh, 2014). In this research paper, the collection of data process was developing online questionnaire. Oppenheim (1992) described that questionnaire the the fast gathering of data, which is quick access and easy in order to interpret the numerical data. In addition, Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2007) supported that the collection of data by conducting the questionnaire is time saving, avoided the financial problem or cheap, and it is convenience to both researchers and respondents. Also, Wright (2005) added that in case of online survey or internet access questionnaire, it will rapidly spread within the unique audiences or targeted samples, moreover in term of geographic factors, the researchers are able to collect the data across the continents by using online questionnaire in order of quick response. According to current technology and the spreading of internet covering, the respondents are able to access the internet communication easily, also they possible to access online anytime and anywhere. In addition, it would be easier for researcher to collect the data, also the answers are automatically saved in online database, then the researchers are able to access and download the raw data and transfer the data to statistical program (SPSS). Thus, the use of online questionnaire to collect the data from targeted respondents is suited for this research.

In addition, Cowton (1998) stated that secondary data is the data that collected by others, or existing data, it may or may not specifically for the research questions, he also mentioned that there are several types of secondary data, government and regulatory bodies, press releases, company profile or information, academic researches and private sources, company reports or company memorandums. The cost of gathering secondary data is cheap, within the selection of data review, the researchers are able to access the free, cheap, or expensive data in order to conduct own research (Avison and Stewart, 1986). The secondary data is the information that has been collected and analyzed by researchers which some soucres are able to access the information without payment or low price charged also it consumes less of time since the data has been collected and analyzed already. Furthermore, there are many reliable secondary data from the scholars which published for famous academic journals or books. Thus, the secondary data is one of the crucial for this research as it uses secondary data for gathering relevant data to conduct research such as literature review and questionnaire development.

3.2.2 Sample Size

Sample is the group from the population who are under the examination (Bryman and Bell, 2007). Moreover, Bryman and Bell (2015) mentioned that there are two methods to select the sample, which include probability sample and non-probability sample, probability sample is the random selection, then each specific population may know that they are being selected, for the non-probability sample, it is the sample of randomly spread which not be selected.

There were 250 respondents participated in online questionnaire. Further, the respondents were asked to spread the questionnaire to their relatives such as friends, family, colleagues, and so on.

3.2.3 Questionnaire Design, Structure and Distribution

The main purpose of conducting this research is to examine the attitude of the customers towards the convenience store, 7-Eleven in Thailand by establishing online questionnaire as Ballinger and Davey (1998) questionnaires are used to determined views or attitudes of the sample, further ‘questionnaires may also sometimes be used to collect information about the characteristics of a particular client group or to follow up the progress of clients after a particular intervention’. According to this research, the questionnaire was developed based on the theoretical framework, also adapted from the reliable researches.

The distribution of the questionnaire is consisted of several processes in order to collect data for this research. Begin with the design the questions that will be used in the research questionnaire then upload all the questions to the online software called ‘Google Document’ which is flexible and convenience to design questionnaire and easy to download all of the data in numerical spreadsheets and put in to statistic program (SPSS). Then separate the sections of each theory into Google Document., after that complete all the choices and selection of information. Finally, spread the URL or link of the online questionnaire on social network, for instance Facebook, Tweeter, Line, WhatsApp, and other communication softwares, then the participants are able to access the questionnaire at anytime.

Within the design of the questionnaire there are 7 main sections, which include: 1. Demographic questions about the profile of the respondents; 2. General questions; 3Brand Awareness; 4. Brand Association; 5. Brand Loyalty; 6. Perceived Quality; 7. Repurchase Intention. In addition, there are several researches were using to conduct each question to be reference in the questionnaire (See figure 6).

Figure : Lists of variables, questions, and references

Question

Description

Citation

Section 1 : Demographic Question

1.

Gender

2.

Nationality

3.

Age

4.

Education

5.

Occupation

6.

Income

Section 2 : General Question

1.

I have seen this logo.

(Baldauf, Cravens, and Binder, 2003)

2.

I have visited or purchased from …..

(Baldauf, Cravens, and Binder, 2003)

Section 3 : Brand Awareness

1.

I can recognize .…. quickly among other competitor brands.

(Wang and Yang, 2010)

2.

I familiar with …..

(Oh, 2000)

3.

When I think about convenience store, ….. is first brand come in my mind.

(Radder and Huang, 2008)

4.

Within past 6 months, ….. is the most frequent brand which I talk about or heard among all of the convenience store.

(Radder and Huang, 2008)

Section 4 : Brand Association

1.

….. has very unique brand image while comparing with other brands in the market.

(Tong and Hawley, 2009)

2.

I like the brand image of …..

3.

I have ‘no’ difficult in imagine the image of ….. in my mind.

(Kim, Sun and Kim, 2008)

4.

It is difficult to forget …..

(Kumar, Dash and Purwar, 2013)

5.

I can quickly recall ….. logo.

(Atilgan, Aksoy, and Akinci, 2005)

6.

I admire and respect people who visit …..

(Tong and Hawley, 2009)

Section 5 : Brand Loyalty

1.

I will recommend ….. to friends or others.

(Kim, Kim and An, 2003)

2.

I intend to visit ….. again.

3.

I satisfied purchasing from …..

4.

After compare with other brands, I selected ….. as the first choice.

5.

I considered to be loyal to …..

(Tong and Hawley, 2009)

6.

I will keep buying from ….. , as long as it provides me satisfied product and services.

Section 6 : Perceived Quality

1.

The overall quality of the products and services of ….. is impressive.

(Kumar, Dash and Purwar, 2013)

2.

The product which provided by ….. is high standard.

3.

….. provides good products than other brands.

(Baldauf, Cravens, and Binder, 2003)

4.

I trust ….

(Tong and Hawley, 2009)

5.

Products from ….. would be very good quality.

Section 7 : Repurchase Intention

1.

I will purchase from ….. again.

(Zhang et. al, 2011)

2.

I intend to continue purchasing from …..

(Yen and Lu, 2008)

3.

I plan to continue purchasing from …..

4.

I intend to recommend the ….. that I regularly visit to other people.

(Kim et. al, 2012)

5.

I would purchase from ….. at least at current frequency in the future

(Kim and Ok, 2009)

In description, from the above table, the first and the second questions are provided by the choices of suitable answer that respondents are able to select the best answer which describe them properly. Moreover, the questions from the third to the last question are provided by the multiple choices of Five-Level Likert Scale (1 = Strongly Disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = Neutral, 4 = Agree, 5 = Strongly Agree) to determine the attitudes of the respondents.

3.3 Pilot Study

Since the establishment of questionnaire, then the pilot study was organized, Bryman and Bell (2007) supported that, pilot study is the tool that bring the researchers get the better answers, or results. Moreover, the researchers use pilot study to determine and identify the problem of the survey both interview and questionnaire, and the pilot study is the example launch which included only some people on the study (Bryman and Bell, 2015). Pilot study should be used in order to create the well organized questionnaire, better quality, and diminished the problems or mistakes while the respondents are taking the survey (Saunders et al., 2009). Therefore, the researchers should perform a pilot study, to eliminate the problems and test before the actual launch, after the adjustment.

According to the pilot study, which is important test before the actual releasing of questionnaire. This research questionnaire was distributed to 15 respondents, in case of age and occupation, in order to find the mistakes of the questions, structures, grammar, and the jargon words in the questionnaire. The first 5 people are Master degree students within the age of 24 – 27 years old, second 5 people are the PhD students within the age of 27 – 40 years old, and the last five are the people between 19 – 40 who are not students, in order to find the general and specific problems. After finish the test, the final updated questionnaire was issued on the August 20th, 2016.

3.4 Data Analysis

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