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Excerpt from Research Proposal :
The initial list is to consist of ten e-business firms whose basis of selection is pegged on the uniform probability distribution of all the companies selected for the sample pool. So as to come up with a comparable list of data samples, I am to consider a set of e-businesses that are based in other parts of the world such as Europe. The eligibility of the selected firms is based on three major criteria;
The initial criterion is that the company must be based on the larger U.S.A.The a second criterion is that the company is to have publicly quoted stock exchange data. The third criterion is that the chosen firm must have a direct involvement with its customers in its provision of various forms of transactions that are based on the electronic exchange of data. In order to have a fully acceptable and representative research, the sample must be drawn from companies with a multinational presence but whose base or headquarter is in the United States. This also highlights the decrease in the role played by geography in the virtual markets' domain.
The chosen companies must also be publicly traded companies. This is to allow for easier access and increased availability of the data gathered .The accuracy of which is also enhanced.
The choice of publicly traded companies' lies in the fact that they have a vast data source that can readily be collected and appropriately organized for the ease of subsequent analysis. The demerit of this technique of selection is the disadvantage associated of public data while ignoring the data that exists in a select number of private companies. The overall effect is the limitation of the scope of my research. There is however danger involved in the selection of public companies for the research sample.
The data to be used for the research is to be gathered from publicly available sources. These include annual reports, company websites, IPO data and investment reports gathered from analysts. The research questions are to be gathered using structured and open ended questionnaires. The data to be collected include the date of the company's formation, its size, business model and the services provided. The financial data is also gathered. The other important parameter to be included is the role how the company is positioned in relation to its competitors.
The data analysis is to be carried out by means of inductive technique. The difference between the processes of data analysis and data collection is very slim. This is because the process of constructing the theory is based on data is done through an iterative process. The resulting framework is then systematically compared to the cases that are presented in the research (Eisenhardt, 1989). Several scholars have argued that it is therefore better to employ a data collection coupled with analysis as a joint process (Glaser and Strauss, 1967). The joint process is then employed and then a continuous
process which entails the comparing of the data and then model advanced is then used. This is refereed to as a cross-cased analysis (Yin, 1989).
The data analysis is to be carried out using evidence acquired from within-case techniques. Notes are then to be taken. The process is to involve the answering of the questions that are enumerated in the questionnaire. Several data sources are also to be integrated and then subsequently triangulated from the various sources of data (Yin 1981, 60). The analyses carried at this stage are important since they are important in the process of formulating the research hypotheses. The hypotheses are also to provide us with the appropriate insight into the major elements of e-business. A final model is the derived from the process of cross-case analysis of the various data sets.
Proposal prepared by [Date, Month]
Literature review to be finished by [Date, Month]
Fieldwork to be accomplished by [Date, Month]
Analysis to be accomplished by [Date, Month]
Presentation to be done on [Date, Month]
Final report to be completed by [Date, Month]
Limitations: The main limitation that is most likely to hinder the progress and timely completion of this research is time constraint. This is due to the very short period of time that makes up a semester. The research is therefore to be completed exhaustively within a very limited period of time. The other source of problem that faces this research is the tedious and long process involved in the booking of appointment with various organizations that participate in e-business. This limitation results to a slow pace in the process of data collection. This inevitably results too much delayed analysis and hence a delayed research project. The final limitation that faces this research is the existence of multiple variables each of which carry varying weights. This results from the fact that these variables bear different interaction levels with the research topic.
The final limitation that faces this research is the possibility of lack of correlation between the theory of e-business phenomenon and the real-life context of the same. This results in the research strategy lacking a clear cut boundary between the context and the phenomenon that is observed (Yin,1981: 59).
Delimitations: In the process of completing carrying out this research, I opt not to work with multiple teams despite the obvious advantages associated with it such as the ability to have comparability; a crucial element needed for having a thorough and in-depth analysis of the research topic. The use of structured interviews is also to be avoided in my research so as to minimize the effects associated with obtrusiveness of the interviewee and even my own.
A. Faculty Honorarium
B. Faculty Summer Stipend ($3,700 max)
C. Student Summer Stipend ($5,700 max)
D. Student Summer Housing
Secretarial and other paid assistances
Travel (for research purposes) not to include travel to conferences
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