The Critical Ability To Evaluate The Research Project Marketing Essay
The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate the critical ability to evaluate the research project, taking into account: the nature of the research, the research question(s) that are being addressed; research design, literature review and methodological issues relevant to each qualitative and quantitative paradigm-based research paper identifying relevant issues and evaluating decisions.
The research is particularly of two kinds, one is quantitative research and the other is qualitative research. The researchers normally have a clear distinction between the quantitative research that emphasize on scientific sampling and analysis of numeric data and quantitative research that has a major focus on the less rigorous sampling and gamering textual information for non- statistical analysis. Two research papers/ journals are taken from Emerald Publication for their critical analysis. One of them deals with the qualitative paradigm and other is about quantitative methodology. Both of these paper deal with the same topic. The details of these papers are:Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal Vol. 12 No.1,2009 (Targets of commitment in service provider-consumer relationships): a prototyping study - Tim D. Jones - Qualitative Method Relationship Drivers In Provider-Consumer Relationships - Heli Arantola - Quantitative Method.
Quantitative research is concerned with numbers, logic and objective whereas qualitative research deals in words, images and the subjective.1.0 Critical review of the translation of research questions posed in two papers into research designs, including the appropriateness of the designs for the types of questions posed
This paper deals with three distinctive targets of commitment in relationships of consumers with their service providers. The paper explores the question of these three distinct targets of commitment in consumer's relationship i.e. commitment to the service company, individual service provider, individual provider as a friend or an acquaintance.
"This raises the question of whether there are distinct targets of commitment in a service setting".
It is necessary to explore whether or not consumer even perceive relationships with three targets and thus different commitments differently before these questions can be addressed.
Methodology (Research Design) - the prototyping approach/ qualitative method
Studying the nature of constructs of concepts that are primarily non-observable (e.g. commitment, love) is often accomplished in psychology by using prototype approach (Fehr, 1988, 1999; Fehr and Russell, 1984; Rosch, 1978; Rosch and Mervis, 1975; Rosenberg and Jones, 1972; Rosenberg and Sedlak, 1972).
The prototyping approach is used especially suitable for abstract concepts that may share a number of attributes (i.e there is substantial conceptual overlap) with other concepts in the same family. The concepts of interpersonal commitment, service provider commitment, and service company commitment would be considered members of the family of relationship commitment; these three concepts likely share a number of common attributes
This paper is based on consumer behaviour research dealing with the connected themes like shopping motivation, hidden or overt motivations, tension reduction (cognitive dissonance) internal and external forces that affect motivation, goal achievement as well as meta motives and basic needs.
Methodology (Research Design)- adductive logic and the research path/ quantitative method
The aim of the study was to construct structured understanding of the character of customer relationships from provider's and consumer's viewpoints by studying relationship drivers and suggesting relational motivation concept as common framework provider for the analysis of these views. The research questions were
Why do consumers end up in or decide to engage and remain in a customer relationship?
Why do providers aim for consumer relationships?
Which relationship drivers from the relational motivation of consumers?
Which relationship drivers from the relational motivation of providers
Critical evaluations of measurement issues, evaluations of validity, authenticity and reliability in the two papers in formulating data-gathering methods
Prototyping research involves at least two stages: the listing of representative attributes followed by the rating of the centrality of these attributes. Prototype researchers generally discover these representative attributes by having respondents list exemplars of a particular category or provide scripts that are representative of the concept in use (Fehr, 1998)
For our research, the existence of independent of distinct targets of commitment would be indicated by findings that.
attributes that characterize each of the commitments differ - i.e. there are unique attributes to each target; or
The most centrally rated attributes of a specific target are unique to that target.
Alternatively, the three targets of commitment are likely not independent if the most centrally rated attributes are shared by the targets. However, if there is a mix of centrally rated attributes - some of which are shared by the targets and some of which are unique to the targets, then we can conclude that while they may share some features, consumers do perceive there to be differences across these three relationships
In this study the exiting paradigm had a direct influence on the interpretation. The research strategy also made it possible to return to the supplier data with an improved conceptual apparatus after the consumer study, which is quality of the output.
Each decision in the research strategy, on the methodology, study object, nature of data, data collection technique, sampling tactic as well as decisions on meaning interpretation and linking concepts with data, was based on the experience gained in this specific research process. The time frame of the research process spanned 4, 5 years. The interviews for the provider study were made in the fall of 1999 while the interviews for the consumer study were completed in January 2002. These interviews were relatively short, between 45 and 60 minutes. The interview time was, however, not determined beforehand, but it ended when there were no more possibilities for further probing. The purpose of the study was, however, fulfilled with the set-up that was used and the end result was a thick and versatile description. The 14 respondents in 7 households added up to 96 individual memberships.
3.0 Critical evaluation of data gathering reported in each paper, both intended and actual.
As we have mentioned that the prototyping research is done in two phases (stages). They are explained as:
Phase 1: listing of the attributes for each target of commitment
The purpose of the first phase was to elicit the features or attributes of the three targets of commitment. Respondents were asked to list what they thought were the characteristics of service company commitment (SCC), service provider commitment (SPC), or interpersonal commitment (IPC). Respondents were asked to prepare a list describing one of the commitment targets. Respondents (N=73; 40 women and 33 men) completed one or two of the versions of the attribute generation questionnaires by electronic mail. Thirty six to forty subjects completed each version of the questionnaires yielding a total of 112 commitments protocols: 40 for IPC (interpersonal commitment), 36 for SPC (service provider commitment), and 36 for SCC (service company commitment).
Phase 2: centrality ratings of attributes specific to each target of commitment.
The purpose of phase two was to uncover the prototype structure of the concept of commitment as it applies to each specific target. Table II of the journal lists the mean centrality ratings for each attribute. A distinction was made between central and peripheral attributes for each target. In accordance with Fehr's (1998) procedure, a median split of centrality ratings for each target was computed as 5.655 for IPC, 5.545 for SPC, and 5.741 for SCC; attributes above this median were considered central to each target while those below the median were considered peripheral.
To uncover new insights three informants have been selected in different stages of life (age, family, job situation). In this way Arantola (2000) took a comprehensive picture of the market in Finland and also provided a basis for the consumer view, which was anticipated to include many industries. The conceptualization and the empirical study were carried out simultaneously, but the theoretical overview was a basis for both the interview guides, which then mostly determined the discussion. The discussion did not strictly follow the guidelines, however, and thus the meaning units were identified and reassembled for each interview separately and then for all the interviews combined. These combined units were then compared with the purpose of the study and connections to the theoretical models were identified. As discussed earlier, indicators of relationship drivers were identified in this manner, since questions about these concepts were not asked directly
4. Critical assessments of the authors' approaches to sampling
Respondents were adult consumers selected from the staff and faculty at one Canadian university. Respondents (N=73; 40 women and 33 men) completed one or two of the versions of the attribute generation questionnaires by electronic mail. Thirty six to forty subjects completed each version of the questionnaires yielding a total of 112 commitments protocols: 40 for IPC (interpersonal commitment), 36 for SPC (service company commitment), and 36 for SCC (service company commitment).
A quantitative pilot study was performed in 1998 to provide a knowledge base on the consumer's motives for joining customer loyalty programs as well as of the market in Finland as background for the empirical study of the market view. The data collection was based on one question in the Gallup Channel sample of Finnish consumers. The questionnaire of the pilot study (1998) was designed to suit MDC Gallup Ltd.'s Gallup Channel (GallupKanava) tool, which at the time of the study was a panel of 1000 households that were enrolled to respond to questionnaires on a weekly basis. The pilot study revealed the large number of households with two or more memberships, which was 59.5% of the respondents. The largest membership was the K-Group with 52.5%, second, S-Group with 46.8% and E-Group (Tradeka) with 33.9% of the respondents being cardholders. As for the daily shopping routines of the respondents 36% of the respondents shopped for groceries in only one store, 55% in two to three stores and 10% in a variety of stores.
5.Critical review and evaluation of reporting of ethical issues, consideration of them ahead of actual data gathering and how in practice this was handled
The paper has not presented any sort of definite answers to a list of ethical questions that might arise from this research.
Norms related to privacy and the protection of human research subjects take in the succinct statement in Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics. The individual data collected is to be strictly confidential gathered by statistical agencies. American Sociological Association's code of ethics states that sociologists should ensure that confidential information is protected to shield sensitive information obtained in research.
6. Critical evaluation of the analyses of data in the papers, how the analysis was used to provide answers to research questions and how these set up discussion of contributions to knowledge and suggestions for further research
The results of this study suggest that, based on consumer's own impressions, commitment to either the company, the service provider or the person do not just differ in terms of degree, but the actual domain of commitment to each target may be different. There are three pieces of evidence that emerge from this prototyping analysis to propose that the three objectives of commitment while related are somewhat independent. It is interesting to note that although service company and service provider attributes overlapped quite a bit, there were attributes that were unique to each, suggesting that, consistent with Patterson and Ward's (2000) contention, consumers do differentiate between their relationships with their individual service providers and the service company.
The aim of the study was to construct structured understanding of customer relationships nature from provider's and the consumer's viewpoints by studying relationship drivers and suggesting relational motivation idea common framework provider for the deep analysis of these views.
The empirical studies provided new insight into the actor-specific drivers. A definition of relationship drivers and relational motivation was proposed:
Relationship drivers affect relational motivation to begin and to continue a relationship. The state of relational motivation changes over time and is relationship-specific.
The initial frames of thought were amended with empirical input from the marketer study and later from the consumer study. The study concluded with an empirically grounded model of relational motivation in consumer customer relationships with both actors' views present. The purpose of the study was thus fulfilled with the research process.
Presentation of a synthesized view from the student of the relative merits of the authors' designs, methods, their execution and fitness for purpose.
Initial theories regarding targets of comment in service relationships are developed to the literature in psychology, marketing. Exploratory research keen on the commitment construct in the service relationships is carried out using a prototyping approach. The commitment is valuable variable in the study of relationship marketing: yet, in most marketing studies, the objective of a customer's commitment is not clearly expressed, nor have potential difference between diverse targets of commitment been fully investigated.
The empirical context of this study is one area of consumer relationship marketing, namely customer loyalty programs. Openly communicated loyalty programs are one marketing practice that can be identified from the outside. The empirical context is Finland: Finnish customer loyalty programs and their customers. This is a limitation, as it does not provide a cross-cultural view. These arguments are based on a literature review on consumer relationship marketing. The review is presented next.
Conclusion and Recommendations.
The paper 1 has referred to questions about target of commitment in service context. The presence of interpersonal commitment (entity= person, role = social exchange), service provider commitment (entity = person, role= economic exchange) and service company commitment (entity =service company/brand, role=economic exchange). The presence of these three targets of commitment has implications for further research on the role of consumer commitment in service. The data collected in the questionnaire format is qualitatively analyzed and the results are discussed. The authors have produced the work with findings which are practical and can be understood by a layman as well.
In paper 2 it is obvious that with the typology idea one must bear in mind that, based on the present study, a consumer does not adhere to a certain type in all their relationships, but instead the individual motives are likely to be different in different relationships. The sample of socio-demographically similar customers made it evident that relationship-proneness is not dictated by socio-demographics, and also that it may not be personality trait.
Topics for further research may be The nature of relationships in specific industries Segmentation Fit of motivational profiles: relationship strength and relationship equity The dynamics of relational motivation.