SECTION A (a) Questionnaire Data Analysis
- Create two questionnaire type questions which might be useful in business research (there are many examples in these materials and in the textbook). Then identify the kind of data which will be produced by these questions, reflect on any coding issues which the data might raise, and suggest what kind of analysis you could do on the data.
- Extremely long
- Very Long
- Moderately Long
- Slightly Long
- Not at all
Q. What is the possibility that you would recommend our company to others? (Please elaborate on your answer).
- If there is no other option
- Not at all
The above two questions seek to extract information about customer satisfaction. They seek to assess the popularity of the product or service being researched. The questionnaire is designed to quantify the satisfaction of a customer which is otherwise not quantifiable. The data collected by these questionnaires can be analyzed by assigning percentage or scale values to each answer. Thus the number of customers who achieved full satisfaction (100% or 10 on 10) would be identified by those who answer (e) to the first question that is those who did not have to wait at all while those who answer a may be classified as 0% satisfaction or extremely dissatisfied. A comparison of satisfied and dissatisfied customers will give the business an idea of their success. A qualitative survey analysis would be required to understand the reasons for the dissatisfaction and the changes that need to be made in case many of the customers are found to be dissatisfied.
- Summarise the differences between postal and web-based questionnaires (practical or other kinds of differences) and upload a URL to a publicly available online questionnaire, commenting on the quality of the questions.
These days, questionnaires may be filled online. Using web based questionnaires is obviously cost effective since it saves the cost of postage. Moreover, response is relatively more assured to a web-based questionnaire whereas mailers may be put aside for filling up later and then forgotten.
A study conducted by Nojin Kwak and Barry Radler published in the Journal of Official Statistics, Sweden, compares online survey forms with mailers. The study revealed that each survey method had its own advantages and disadvantages. While response to web surveys is faster, mailers elicited a more thought out reply. Mail surveys showed a better response rate as compared to web surveys.
The study showed that in case of repeated contact with respondents, web surveys showed a lower response over a period. In general, the following advantages can be seen in web surveys –
- Web surveys elicit quick response
- They are cost efficient
- They are more accurate in terms of errors of data entry since respondents enter data into the database directly.
- Since data is entered directly into the system analysis of, data is easier and quicker.
- Web Surveys elicit honest responses since respondents feel safe in the anonymity of the web.
- Questionnaires are easier to design and change.
Web surveys have certain disadvantages too –
- The sampling is limited to users of the internet
- Lack of human interface which can provide explanation for questions and assess response
- Sometimes web forms may be ignored or missed because of deletion of spam mail.
Analytic Induction is a method of qualitative analysis. In this method, certain hypotheses are developed using earlier data. These hypotheses are then tested using new data. In other words, Analytic Induction seeks to answer three questions –
- When do patterns appear?
- What are the exceptions to the pattern?
- How significant are these patterns and exceptions?
Bogdan and Biklen (1992) have given examples of analytical induction where the purpose is identification of patterns of social processes. As a research strategy, researchers take a specific deviant pattern and develop theories which are then tested.
Inductive analysis begins by organizing non-numerical data into a coding sheet. This is done by reading the available material repeatedly and making notes to be incorporated into the coding sheet. The process is time consuming but effective for documenting the available data and identifying trends. However, the reliability of the research is dependent on the material available and if sufficient material is not available, the sampling may not be accurate.
Qualitative text data in is often gathered from open ended questions about a certain topic in order to explain the quantitative findings and view the experience from different perspectives (Sproull, 1988). The technique of cognitive mapping is used to organize the subjective data collected through open ended survey questions. The advantage of using open ended survey questions is that such questions provide a real insight into the situation. Such questions offer anonymity and elicit honest opinions. (Erickson and Kaplan, 200). The responses are often diverse and explanations which may not be otherwise forthcoming are elected.
The analysis is time consuming, as all the responses have to be read repeatedly in order to understand the responder's views and organize them. The inference drawn from this approach and the strength of the emerging theory depends on the method of analysis.
Template analysis is an analytical technique used to analyze and structures the subjective data collected through qualitative research. King (2004) advises adopting one of these positions when beginning template analysis –
- Having pre-defined codes in place before exploring the data
- Developing codes after briefly studying the data
- Having pre-defined codes and refining them after studying the data.
- Once the code has been established the next steps for analysis are –
- Sorting the material into segments based on the code
- Studying the material for each code in detail
As the data is analyzed, situations will emerge and the researcher can perceive and identify areas where improvement is required.
Template analysis is best suited to the health care industry and it is a well established approach to research in that field.
Section B Question 4
Identify the advantages and disadvantages of non-probability sampling techniques (especially quota, convenience, and snowball), list them, and give an example of a business research question which could use each technique for sampling. You may find it easiest to do this in table format.
Non probability sampling is often used by researchers to select samples based on subjective judgment. The reasons for choosing this method of qualitative research are that though there is a need to make generalizations using the sample, it is not a primary need. Also, selecting samples based on knowledge and experience is easier and faster as compared to probability sampling where the sample is selected based on objective criteria. Meeting the criteria can be costly and time consuming and often research may be abandoned because of non availability of samples. There are several types of non-probability sampling methods. We will discuss the three main ones here –
The objective in this type of sampling is to select a group which has a proportionate distribution (based on some criteria like gender) as compared to the total population. This type of sampling is often used when it is not possible to select a sample based on probability. The selection is non-specific yet this is not purely a non-probability or random selection. The selection is based mostly on availability. Depending on the criteria for distribution, the process of selection may be time consuming and expensive.
A convenience sample is based purely on accessibility as against quota where some criteria are applied. This type of sample is easy and quick to collect and does not cost much. Such samples often elicit information which may not have been forthcoming had the samples been selected more objectively. Since there is no defined frame for selection, this type of sampling is often subject to bias.
This type of sampling is used when the population you want to sample is hard to reach. This method depends on word of mouth. It is used in research on sensitive issues like AIDS and HIV where the members may not be forthcoming. Once one or two units are reined in, the sample is collected mostly by members informing and recruiting other members. This type of sample may be difficult to collect and because the issue is most probably sensitive, the information gathered may not be complete or accurate.
Search the web to find a global business which uses scenario-building. Technology companies are a good place to look.
If you are unable to find an example on the web, then base your answer on any suitable academic sources you can find.
Write a brief review of the usefulness of scenario-building for global businesses
Scenario planning refers to a systematic analysis of possible future outcomes. It begins by classifying available data and knowledge into certain and uncertain. It facilitates managerial decision making by taking into account as many possible future outcomes as possible and selecting the most likely and most beneficial one. Strategies are then designed to achieve those outcomes. Scenario analysis can be extremely useful in any business and particularly in global business where the number of variables is high.
Scenarios present several possible futures for the company. In a global company, this is particularly important because they deal with several different cultures and the number of variants is considerable. Taking all permutations and combinations of these variants can result in a number of different outcomes. The organizations can be prepared to deal with all possibilities if they are fore warned.
Scenarios open the minds of the decision makers to all possibilities and it becomes possible to recognize the weaknesses and strategize to overcome them.
It helps improve the organizational learning process as it involves all the participants in the decision making and opens their minds to various probabilities.
Scenario is a flexible and self satisfying exercise wherein all the participants learn to think with an open mind and consider all possibilities rather than simply relying on past performance and forecasting the future. It believes in foreseeing rather than forecasting.
A comparison between mail and web surveys: Response Pattern, Respondent Profile, and Data Quality.http://www.barold.com/www/jos%20article.pdf
Bogdan, Robert C., & Sarri Knopp Biklen (l992). Qualitative research for education (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Sproull, N. (1988). Handbook of research methods: A guide for practitioners and students in the social sciences (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. (retrieved from http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/research/Concept%20Mapping%20as%20an%20Alternative%20Approach%20for%20the%20Analysis%20of%20Open-Ended%20Survey%20Responses.pdf) Erickson, P. I., & Kaplan, C. P. (2000). Maximizing qualitative responses about smoking in structured interviews. Qualitative Health Research, 10, 829-840. King, N (2004) Using templates in the thematic analysis of text, in C.Cassell and G.Symon (Eds.) Essential Guide to Qualitative Methods in Organizational Research. London: Sage.
Int. J. Technology Intelligence and Planning, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2005 Copyright © 2005 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. Advantages and disadvantages of scenario approaches for strategic foresight Dana Mietzner and Guido Reger