The topic being researched for this doctoral work is marketing in the banking industry. Before delving into the research too much for this topic, the researcher will first enumerate the goals that are to be attained. These goals, as also suggested by the parameters of the assignment, include meeting proper validity and reliability standards, avoiding bias, not posing hypotheses or ideas that are self-fulfilling prophecies or that have desired answers on the part of the researcher. There is also the consideration of using critical reasoning and strong logic skills so as to avoid making conclusions that are not supported by the evidence and/or that are completely contradicted by that same evidence (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).
Reliability & Validity
Reliability and validity are two hallmarks of any good research and they must both be satisfied for the research outcomes to have any staying power or good ongoing reputation amongst peers that do or review the same sort of research. Reliability is the idea that if the research is done the same precise way by another party, then the same result will be garnered. This does not to speak to whether the conclusions are realistic or proper, that is what validity addresses, but if the research is done the same way 10 times, the outcome should be the same 10 times or very close to it (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).
Validity is how "valid" the conclusions garnered are and whether they can be extrapolated under qualitative and quantitative techniques given how the research was done, how completely it was done, whether there was any sloppiness or other mistakes in the methodology and so forth. Basically, research is only valid if the research undertaken was done in a proper manner and the conclusions stipulated are supported and in no major way undermined or contradicted by that same research. Additionally, if there are methodology problems or major important parts of what should have been included in the research are noticeably missing, then that would undermine the research and any good researcher that reviews the data and methodology later would almost certainly catch it upon further review (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).
Critical Thinking & Analysis
Critical thinking seems to be a lost art and such sloppiness even pervades into research and doctoral studies to some degree. Lacking critical thinking even in daily life can hamstring and hamper even the best of people even if they are otherwise sound in their daily routines and habits. It can be an advanced art but it can also be as simple as remembering to grab an umbrella is there is a chance of rain in the forecast. One of the major parts of critical thinking that is missed by many and this is very much true in the research and studying dynamic is the art of differentiating between correlation and causality (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).
Correlation is simply when two events seem to coincide. It does not necessarily mean that they are related and indeed they may not be related at all. In other words, if and when one event happens has no bearing on the other but they do happen to occur at either the same time or in succession. This is where causality comes in. Causality is when one event occurring (or not occurring) causes another event to occur. For example, if it doesn't rain for a week, a flower can die. If it dies, this can be attributed (much of the time) to the lack of water. However, the flower may have been trampled, may have been sprayed with pesticide or otherwise may have been killed by something else. Just because there was a drought does not mean the drought killed it but there is a strong chance. There is definitely a correlation but there may or may not be a causality. Getting and reviewing a recitation of the events preceding the flower's death, the condition of the flower when it was found dead, etc. would all allow a person to critically review whether event A (the drought) caused event B (the death of the flower) (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).
A major part of the above is logic. Logic is the fluid that drives critical reasoning because it begs the user of logic to ask him/herself whether the conclusion or course of events make sense given all of the known variables and particulars of the situation. If there are missing details or facts, then the use of critical reasoning and logic is needed even more. Despite the fact that a lack of detail can make definitive conclusions hard if not impossible, the use of logic and reasoning can indeed fill in a lot of blanks with at least some amount of certainty and finality (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).
In closing, the author would assert that having the proper validity, reliability, critical reasoning and logic is important to make this project go off properly. The author of this report, while undergoing the banking marketing doctoral report, will strive to be unbiased and will let the chips fall where they may regarding the direction of the research and any preconceived theories or notions about the same. The author will make a best guess about where things are and where they are headed but the author is not afraid to be proven wrong if and when it happens. No good research should be above having their theories or preconceived notions disproven by the facts as they truly exist. Regardless, opening up to other perspectives and ideas is never a bad idea (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).
Part II -- Opinion of Doctoral Research
The author of this ensuing doctoral thesis chose marketing in the banking sphere for a number of reasons. Banks became a huge lightning rod of disdain and vitriol during the Great Recession in the United States. However, even before that, banks were never held as paragons of virtue or otherwise noble in nature due to the seemingly inordinate of nickel and diming that they engage in including ATM withdrawal fees, balance check fees, overdraft fees, check cashing fees, money order fees, cashier check fees and so forth. It is not out of the ordinary to be charged three to ten dollars for withdrawing a meager 20 dollars. One does not need to be good at math to know how out of phase that is.
The author of this study on marketing in the banking sector will seek to comb through all the vitriol and bad feelings as well as the retorts from the banks themselves to find out what is really going on and going wrong in the marketing sector of the banking industry. Given that the banks took huge bailouts numbering in the billions of dollars during the Great Recession, let alone what happened with AIG, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and so forth, it begs the question why the money was needed, whether the money was needed, whether the banks acted improperly or perhaps if the government is overreacting a bit by calling banks predatory even when they clearly spell out the terms to customers that either cannot understand what they are signing or do not want to.
The author of this research wants to find out whether banking giants like Wells Fargo and Bank of America were truly bilking people out of money when they were at the lowest in their life or if the customers were willing victims to the marketing that they were being subjected to. It should be asked just how much burden falls on an investment or savings bank client to read and understand what they are getting into before the push their money over and when the bank is just taking advantage of a bad situation and/or ignorant customers. It is true that investment icons and banks themselves, including stalwarts like JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, have had to pay settlements for their marketing and sales activities (Touryalai, 2012)(Orol, 2011). However, some have asserted that they were simply making a calculation to avoid further prosecution and were paying off the federal government to go away.
On the other side of that coin, many other folks have assailed the marketing and sales practices of the banking sector and have wondered aloud why the criminal prosecution provisions ensconced in Sarbanes-Oxley and other legislation that demand that bankers knowingly allowing faulty numbers or faulty practices be going to jail (Norris, 2009). However, the question that this begs to this researcher is why no one has been charged given the laws and options that are in place and Eric Holder and President Obama are certainly not friends of big banks engaging in criminal behavior if their past statements and actions are any evidence of that. Even so, many have assailed those two men for being too soft and not aggressive enough on the banks (Wilbanks, 2013). This research asserts that there has to be an explanation for this as either the banks are not as criminally conducive as they…