Research Method and Design Proposal
A research design is the approach utilized for a study used as a guide in gathering and analyzing data. There are two popular methods of research; qualitative and quantitative research methods. Qualitative research is an inductive, holistic, subjective, and process-oriented method technique employed to understand, interpret, describe, and establish a theory on a given topic, phenomena, or setting. Investigators employ this technique when their studies attempt to describe life experiences and give them meaning. In most cases, the method has associations with words, language and experiences, rather than measurements, statistics and numerical figures. When the investigators use this method, they adapt a person centered, and holistic view to comprehend the given phenomenal without focusing on particular concepts. In addition, this method is dynamic and developmental, and it does not employ the use of formal structured instruments (Hodkinson, 2009).
Most importantly, qualitative data methods are flexible and unstructured; hence captures verbatim reports or observable attributes producing information, which is not in numerical form. Words, films, postcards, art, and other sensory data are qualitative data, unless one changes them into numerical form. This method applies in a wide range of topics, across numerous fields because it derives meaning from the participant's point-of-view. Qualitative research method is a tool used by investigators to examine the context of existing diverged perceptions. The objective of qualitative research is to develop new perceptions in order to generate new theories. The intent of conducting qualitative research is to describe phenomena and generate a hypothesis. There is a possibility that investigators can generate a hypothesis when the qualitative study does lack a prior hypothesis.
Nevertheless, qualitative inquiry has the capacity to elicit proper hypothesis, but the current study does not give a prior hypothesis; however, it offers a guiding question. When compared to quantitative research methods, the qualitative research is proper when attempting to understand human emotions because such are difficult to quantify. Therefore, for the guiding question, the qualitative research method is effective when investigating human responses when compared to quantitative research (Walker, 2005). Generally, a quantitative research follows some stages, which are similar to quantitative research. In the conceptual phase, the investigator formulates the aim, research question and the objectives of the study (Vickers and Offredy, 2004). In the research design, the investigator makes known the research design, and in the empirical part, the investigator suggests the actual data collection, analysis, and interpretation. There are many research designs under qualitative research methods, but in this case, descriptive research suits the phenomena of study.
Descriptive Research Design
Descriptive research refers to studies that have accurate representations of characteristics of situations, groups, or people as their main objective. Investigators use this approach to describe variables rather than test relationships between variables. In addition, descriptive research aims to offer a description of what causes a phenomenon. Therefore, it attempts to answer questions, which relate to who, what, when and how. Most importantly, the research may be quantitative or qualitative. In the quantitative context, the objective is to describe the data and attributes about the phenomena under research; however, it does not provide the reason for the situation. On the other hand, in the qualitative context, descriptive research will give potential reasons as to why the situation is the way it appears (Vickers and Offredy, 2004).
Notably, descriptive research features in most business and other aspects of life. In addition, most of the marketing studies qualify under descriptive research. This is because the studies try to describe some business issues, or group of people, or their entities. In addition, descriptive research attempts to describe the characteristics of a particular group. The studies attempt to establish the...
Most importantly, the design can assist investigators to make particular predictions (Hodkinson, 2009). A typical example, the level of difference seen in brand loyalty between youths of developing countries and those of developed countries. Investigators can use this research to accomplish a variety of research objectives, but the information collected becomes useful if the investigators follow research problems or queries as their basis of research.
In the study, it is apparent that the environments will be different in terms of geographical aspects. The aim is to identify or gain insight into the difference between two variables; brand loyalty among the youth in developing countries (Kenya) versus developed countries (USA). In such a setting, the aim is to provide reasons or answers to the outlined topic. Therefore, this will require formulation of numerous questions in relation to the topic to understand how the brand loyalty differs across the two settings. In addition, the investigator will need to study the youth from the two settings to describe the characteristics of the two, which will assist in achieving the objective of the study.
In this case, it is likely for the investigator to determine whether the youth are loyal to a brand. Nevertheless, it is likely some youth who are not loyal to a particular brand. Therefore, the study will aim to establish the proportion of the youth who are loyal to a specific brand, which will provide the basis of the study. However, to establish this, descriptive research design must apply because the design will help to describe the study (Vickers and Offredy, 2004). This design is appropriate because it will help in making future predictions. For instance, it will help to determine the state in the next five years. Nevertheless, this design will assist to ascertain whether there is a relationship between brand loyalty among the youth in developing countries and that in developed countries.
Other Research Designs
Exploratory Design (Qualitative)
In comparison with descriptive research design, exploratory design aims to provide a better understanding on a given problem; however, it does not offer reasons, or final decisions on the problem. In the given topic, the aim is to establish the difference in brand loyalty exhibited in the two settings. In so doing, there has to be reasons, or answers as why it is how it will be after the study is over. The objective of exploratory design is to produce the hypothesis concerning what is going on in relation to the situation. In addition, one of the objectives of descriptive research design is to provide a prediction on how the current situation or the hypothesis found in the future (Hodkinson, 2009).
Experimental Design (Quantitative)
Experimental design is a quantitative research design, which unlike descriptive research design, aims to provide numerical statistics for a given study. In addition, this type of design is applicable when investigators are investigating scientific phenomenon. However, it is widely applicable, especially when investigators want to achieve reliable information. Nevertheless, it does not apply for the given study this because it will require the investigator to take part in the study. In addition, the given study takes place between two geographically different settings and the investigator will not have a chance to take part in the study directly (Walker, 2005).
Strengths and Weaknesses of Descriptive Research Design
Descriptive research contributes to the formulation of principles and generalizations across an extensive array of fields. For instance, if the current study provides a similar finding to prior studies on the same topic, then it is possible to formulate a principle or generalization concerning the topic. In addition, this design makes it possible to predict the future of such topics based on the findings on prevailing correlations (Grimes and Schulz, 2002). For instance, if the current study provides a hypothesis such as, brand loyalty for youths in developing countries is higher when compared to that of youths from developed countries; it is possible to predict the situation five years to come.
Moreover, this design provides a basis for decision-making. Many institutions, including the government rely on descriptive researches to make policies. Although this research design employs questionnaires, online surveys, interviews and examination of prior studies, it provides an in-depth and better understanding of a given research problem. Most importantly, descriptive researches help in shaping the many instruments utilized by scholars, students, and investigators when conducting their researches. It shapes the tools used in measurements, in all qualitative studies. The instruments include schedules, scorecards, and checklists, rating scales.
However, the research design does not fall short of weaknesses. The research design has probabilities for error and subjectivity. For instance, when researchers develop questionnaire, the questions are usually pre-determined and prescriptive. In addition, the study can have numerous errors because it is possible that the investigator can record what they want to hear and ignore information, which does not conform to the research hypothesis. It is impossible to beat research bias in descriptive research. Therefore, investigators who use the design must acknowledge their influence on the results of the given study.
Confidentiality is another aspect that contributes to the weakness of descriptive research designs. Prior studies postulate that confidentiality is the primary weakness of descriptive research. In most cases, this occurs when the participants are not…
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