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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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RESEARCH CHOICES

As mentioned in the previous chapter multiple methods have been chosen. Thus, more than one data collection technique and different analysis procedures are combined. Hence, the following chapter shall illustrate on these more precisely. Therefore, the terms quantitative and qualitative are briefly introduced, to discuss the method choice in more detail.

According to Saunders et al. (2009) do researchers, especially within business and management research, use the terms quantitative and qualitative “to differentiate both data collection techniques and data analysis procedures”  . Quantitative is predominantly used as a synonym for any data collection technique (such as a questionnaire) or data analysis procedure (such as graphs or statistics) that generates or uses numerical data.  In contrast, qualitative is used predominantly as a synonym for any data collection technique (such as an interview) or data analysis procedure (such as categorising data) that generates or use non-numerical data.   Qualitative therefore can refer to data other than words, such as pictures and video clips.

The choice of research method is becoming increasingly relevant and is frequently discussed within business and management research. Here, especially the selection of a mono-method or a multi-method approach stands in the centre of discussion.  While a mono-method is self-explaining and either has a qualitative or a quantitive relation, the term multi-method must be elaborated in more detail. Multiple methods are divided into multi-methods and mixed methods. While multi-methods can use different data collection technique and analysis procedures, they are still restricted in a qualitative or quantitive manner, as only one is applied. Hence, a multi-method research can be divided into a quantitive or a qualitative approach.  

However, mixed-methods do not hold this casual relationship to a quantitive or a qualitative approach but are also differentiated into two subcategories based on the combination of quantitive or a qualitative approach and not the usage of either of them. Thus, mixed-methods can be divided into mixed-method research and mixed-model research. Mixed-method research on the one side does not use quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques and analysis procedures at the same time but uses these either parallel or in sequential steps.  Mixed-model research on the other side does combine quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques and analysis procedures at the same time.

Some researchers argue that multiple methods advantageous in answering the research question.  They highlight this by stating, that different methods can verify data to a larger extent which in return has an impact on the trustworthiness of the finding.  According to Tashakkori and Teddlie (2003) mixed-methods have a further distinctive advantage, which is the combination of different research strategies, i. e. a descriptive and an exploratory, within one approach such as a questionnaire.   This knowledge does not only enhance the data collection but also creates the opportunity for more in-depth analysis as well as insight into the research topic. In this regards Saunders et al. (2009) from Bryman (2006) developed reasons for using a mixed-method design which highlights advantages from a mixed-method such a triangulation, facilitation and complementarily.

As a result, this thesis aims at implementing mixed-model research for the following reasons. First, the research nature of the topic is relatively complex, and a multi-method approach offers the possibility of investigating the problem from different perspectives. Secondly, the abductive and practical approach already suggests that more than one method might be applied. Third, both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods can be chosen and implemented. Moreover, last, the collected data might hold a higher validity which in return supports the research finding and therefore the research question.

The following chapters are briefly identifying the time horizon of the study, elaborate on the role of the researcher and mention differences to the preliminary investigation, the "Project Description", then commenting on ethics, before going into more detail on the data collection tools (Research Design) and the evaluation methods.

TIME HORIZON

As the research has a particular time constraint, which does not leave the option for a longer longitudinal study, only a cross-sectional research is an acceptable alternative.  The researcher chose to investigate a certain problem at a particular time by means of primarily a questionnaire and literature research. Research show, that studies, which include questionnaires, case studies or interviews, are often cross-sectional research.  

THE ROLE OF THE PRACTITIONER-RESEARCHER

As researchers found out, that the investigator's choice towards the research structure , his underlying belief system and fundamental beliefs , but also, his affiliation with an organisation, can have a both positive and negative impact on the research.  Especially the data collection can be affected, so that screwed raw data might prevent certain issues from exploration.  Hence, the role of the researcher needs to be addressed as it is vital to the outcome of the study. Not only does the researcher's mindset impact the whole study approach, but also the results of a study can be influenced by conscious and/ or subconscious prejudice of the researcher.  No matter how much the researcher tried to avoid any bias, especially within the research objective, but also within the hypnosis are some form of conscious or subconscious prejudice present. It is therefore said, that the researcher has influenced the research process. Thus, in order to reflect on this matter, the personal objectives of the researcher have been highlighted earlier. In addition to this, a reflexive and subjective analysis of the research process will be conducted towards the end of the study.

DIFFERENCES TO PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Were there issues at some point? How did I deal with them?

The researcher did implement changes after the initial investigation (Project description), these changes between the initial investigation and current research are described and justified in the following paragraph.

Difference 1

Difference 2

Difference 3

ETHICS

It should be added that the researcher is aware and does comply with the "Danish code of conduct for research integrity". Hence, even though the study did not need to have ethical clearance by an ethics committee, the researchers' supervisor acted and approved the research in agreement with the ethical guidelines of the department/ university. All participants within the data collection process have given their consent to participate in the study. Furthermore, special attention has been given to the anonymity of the participant, a discreet handling of all information and no link to the respective businesses. No effects on the research have been experienced.

The following part describes the research design relating to data collection tools.

DATA COLLECTION TOOLS

To support the research objective of the study, three main data collection methods are used. The first is an analysis of reasons concerning existing corporate failures in China. The second is a broad literature review concerning the general field of international market selection with the purpose of finding a theoretical solution to the problem. The third is the creation of a questionnaire, which the main goal is to conduct research on how companies select a target market. The following chapters illustrate the research design for each of the methods.

MARKET FAILURE COMPARISON

In order to find the best possible explanation for the researchers' observation of the preliminary research, the researcher reviews well-known market failures of international (western) companies in Mainland China as well as related literature. The researcher focuses on large, well-known corporations, due to the fact, that detailed data and information on market failure from western corporations in China is rare. Especially small or medium sized companies do not draw much media attention if they decrease market activity or fail in entering a market, which makes data of these companies inaccessible to the researcher. In contrast, larger multination corporations tend to get much more attention from both from media and researchers. Hence, large multinational corporations are taken into focus in order to find reasons for market failure.

The researcher intends to find reasons, which ideally support the researchers' observation and theory, concerning secondary research question (a) “Why do companies fail in China and what are the underlying reasons for market failure in China?”. Furthermore, besides the objective to support the initial observations, this is also part of the hypotheses development process. The researchers' hypothesis is based on observations from the market failure comparison. Therefore, it is to mention, that the research only relies on existing literature concerning these companies and shall merely serve as additional information material in order to visualize the researchers' point of view.

For this reason, no actual case analysis is undertaken, but only a data collection from first and secondary sources is practiced. This approach is mainly due to limitations such as time constraints and limited information accessibility, due to the fact that this research is not written in cooperation with a company. Such cooperation could have held a large amount of information, in specific, more in-depth information concerning the specific case.

However, the research objective is to verify the observation in general terms which enables the researcher to make suggestions which can be practically applied. Having taken these factors into account, a broad overview of risk and success factors are in combination with several corporate failures tend to hold more information regarding general trends. As a conclusion based on a single case analysis does not represent a population to a sufficient degree and the researcher believes that the single case analysis does not hold the premises for universal adaptation of the results. However, one or several in-depth case analysis would be suitable for further complementary research. However, for this research, the researcher decided to conduct a questionnaire concerning common corporate praxis regarding the field of interest to gain more in-depth information.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The literature review is an essential part of the study, as the field of international market selection is very broad in content, is studied from different perspectives and needs to be seen within a wider context of i.e. internationalization and market entry strategy. The literature review shall begin with the clarification of some specific terms. The need to address this issue became evident as confusions concerning the respective terms arose within the preliminary instigation. However, also existing research notes this need.  Therefore, a precise definition of these terms is essential for the further study of the subject and to put the research in the right perspective. Following this, the theory is explained within the complex field of international marketing. Moreover, a description and an introduction of main researchers and their respective theories within the study of international market selection are given. On this basis, special points are highlighted due to their possible relevance to the study. Eventually, conclusions are drawn on the basis of existing literature and the researchers' observations which will contribute to the development of a questionnaire.

QUESTIONNAIRE

The largest data collection tool is the development of a questionnaire. The preliminary investigation showed that the initial observation is lacking in information content, especially in regards to a possible explanation of the researchers hypothesis. Therefore, a questionnaire has been chosen as a tool to gather information about the verification process of the study in a short and precise form, and without many aids provided. More details regarding the questionnaire can be taken from the relevant chapters within the empirical part of the study (Chapter 7). These chapters include the objectives for the development of a questionnaire, methods for questionnaire analysis, data collection tools, implementation and statistical methods.

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