“Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals. “
– David Ogilvy
Research is just not about collecting data but includes the process of deriving the objectives of the study. For this a proper method should be adopted. This method will define how you will reach to your problem’s solution, what step need to follow (Goddard, W. and Melville, S. 2004). Methodology for a research is defined by Panneerselvam, R. (2004) as a system of models, procedures and techniques used to find out the results of a research problem. In the context of the study, this part of the study tends to describe the entire process of the research i.e. outline the research plan. Here in this chapter, the methods, sample, population, tools and techniques used in the study will be discussed. The pros and cons of the selection of particular technique along with the authentication of the choice will be done. It describes the what and how questions of the process, like; what must be done; how it will be carried out; what data are required; what data collection device should be used; how to choose sources of data; what analysis tools and calculations should be used and how to derive the conclusions (Singh and Bajpai, 2008).
A research can be a very abstract and complicated in nature. While designing it, researchers need to create some logical understanding of the issue or topic of the research. This logical understanding or framework helps in understanding the issue clearly and accurately. There are two major philosophy related to the research- positivist and interpretive (Crossan 2008, p. 48).
Here for the research a positivist philosophy has been adopted. Positivist philosophy believes that any reality is independent of human behavior and it cannot be a creation of human mind. It is considered that real knowledge can be derived from the observation of objective reality (Flowers 2009, p. 265). Positivism is mainly based on collection of facts and data through different observation which are reasonable, true and valid. These data mainly collected through the quantitative methods like surveys and experiment and for their analysis different statistical tools and methods are used. In research related to the organization, positivists assume that whatever happens in an organization can be measured or discovered through study of people and system. Data gathered from them represents the reality (Vaus 2002, p. 223).
Whereas there is another researcher philosophy termed as constructivist, also known as anti-positivist. It provides an alternative for the conducting a research. In this philosophy it is believed that reality does not exist in a vacuum and there are certain factors which influence the truth or reality (Flowers 2009, p. 265). Culture, gender, beliefs are some of the factors which influence the construction of reality. Positivism claims about the truth through generalization and law, whereas interpretive search for valid and sound proof evidences to describe a phenomenon. Here our research is an explanatory one where our intention is to avoid subjectivity. For this a positivist philosophy best serves the research aim.
It has often been observed (e.g. Benbasat et al., 1987) very precisely that no single research methodology is better than any other methodology, many authors call combination of research methods best way to improve quality (e.g. Kaplan and Duchon, 1988). In contrast, some institutions enforce that amy single methodology should be used (Galliers, 1991).
While designing a research, the most significant decision is related with choice of research approach. Its selection should be done systematically and accurately, because the choice determines how we would obtain the information for our research.
Explanatory research tries to elucidate why and how there is a rapport between two or more aspects of a situation or phenomenon whilst, an exploratory research is a type of qualitative research that focuses on understanding the current state of the affairs with respect to specific settings. Explanatory research is one conducted in order to clarify any behavior in the market. It could be done through using questionnaires, group discussions, interviews, random sampling, etc. The nature of this research is more explanatory and provides the relevant data about the specific variables that are being examined. This research can be used for establishing cause and effect relationship between the variables and outcomes. This approach would help us in determining that up to what extent consumers’ buying behavior gets influenced by celebrity endorsement (Matthews and Kostelis 2011, p. 221).
3.1 Research Methods
Research means different to different people. In a layman’s words research is a formal way of asking questions. Usually we start research by specifying our area of concern I.e. what we want to know and about what. Then we go for asking the questions following a structured approach. This structure is nothing but the methodology.
Different kinds of methodologies are there to be adopted for carrying out a research. Some of them are very simple whereas some are very complicated. Research methodologies used here are:
Each of them can be applied for different purposes. They can be applied separately as well as in combination also.
Qualitative method aims to sharpen and deepen our understanding about the behavioral aspects. This means study beyond the numbers. Through qualitative research we can give resins to our numerical findings. This method complements the quantitative methods. More often both will be used together for a better and bigger view of the situation. This method enables us to flesh out the story.
Quantitative method involves data or information’s in the form of numbers. By this method we can measure or to quantify the outcomes. Through this method we derive a causal effect or relationship between the variables. The most common way for conducting quantitative research is the use of survey. Surveys can be carried out by filling questionnaires. The worth of a survey is in its being standardized since each respondent (person who will fill out the questionnaire) will have to answer exactly the same questions. Once you are over with the response collection, you can apply quantitative techniques on the observed data and analyze in accordance with your research problem.
Case study research permits the exploration and understanding of complex issues. It is considered as a vigorous research method mainly when a holistic and in-depth study is required. The role of case study method in research has become more important for issues regarding education (Gulsecen & Kubat, 2006), sociology (Grassel & Schirmer, 2006) and community based problems (Johnson, 2006), like poverty, unemployment, drug addiction, illiteracy, etc. Through case study methods, a researcher can go further than the quantitative statistical results and understand the behavioral conditions. By including both quantitative and qualitative data, case study assists explaining both the process and outcomes of the phenomenon through inclusive observation, modernization and analysis of the cases under investigation (Tellis, 1997).
Case study method is a way of capturing concrete details of a real time or fractional situation, supporting your area of study. This method has its roots in history of last 80 years. In a case study data will be presented in a structured and compact way. Case studies put in the picture the story which is quite lively and colorful. Case studies are used in almost all disciplines. They help to have an insight of particular problems of businesses and their remedial actions in that particular situation. As in a case study a structured format is followed, they facilitate the comparative studies.
Quantitative data can be justified as backed by some numbers, whereas this is not the case for qualitative data. This unique feature of quantitative methods makes them much preferred among the researchers. Here, a blend of qualitative, quantitative and case study methods is used for fulfillment of the objectives.