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Research Methodology

Discuss about the Research and evaluation in education and psychology.

Every research is conducted by following the systematic stages to develop a synchronized process. Every researcher tries to formulate a sequential process that would develop the clear understanding of the research subject with the appropriate methodological approaches (Bernard 2011). In general, the research methodology is applied to the field research where two types of data collection techniques are developed, such as primary data collection and secondary data collection. The study concentrates on the Critical Analysis of Marketing Approach in Toyota Motor Corporation, which aims to identify the marketing techniques suitable for the company. The study attempts to focus on the business practices undertaken by Toyota Motor Corporation to develop the suitable marketing approach that would turn out to be profitable for the company. Focusing on this context, it is essential to develop the considerable ideas of the internal and external market influence. The application of the appropriate methodology would be helpful enough to formulate an informative research study. The research is based on mixed method, in which both the Primary and Secondary Data is collected. The chapter discloses the sequential use of the appropriate research methods for developing the clear understanding related to the subject area.

Research onion was first introduced by Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) to describe the systematic research approach for analyzing the research study. The layers associated with this research onion unfold each of the stage that helps in understanding the research areas in a detailed way.

Figure 1: Research Onion

(Source: Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill 2009)

The first layer described the research philosophy, which is the starting point of the research process. The second layer unfolds the appropriate research approach that set the direction to focus on a particular method. The third layer is research strategy, which depends on the proper understanding of the exact strategic way to direct the research. The final layer formulates the idea of the scheduled timeframe within which the entire research process is finished. The further section of the study would present the justification of the selected research method.

Research philosophy develops the detailed understanding related to the entire method the research. It emphasizes on the method of seeking information and analyzing in an appropriate way (Crouch and Pearce 2012). The epistemology paradigms are categorized into three different types, such as positivism, realism, and interpretivism (Lodico and Spaulding, 2010). The positivism and realism philosophy deals with the extraction of the truth expressed by the people who have been experiencing the real scenario (Lewis 2015). For example, in a primary data collection process, the necessary information is collected from the responses of a number of populations. The group of people taking part in this process is the ones who have been dealing with the situation in their real life. Positivism philosophy deals with such truth, which can reveal the actual scenario (Flick 2015). It is generally free from the interpretation, which makes it more authentic and reliable. On the other hand, the interpretivism philosophy is a form of human interpretation that is presented after gathering the information from various secondary sources. The process is generally quite manipulative and it requires more knowledgeable approaches related to the subject matter. While selecting any particular philosophy for a research process, it is essential to develop the enriched knowledge regarding the subject area (Smith 2015). This research process has selected the positivism philosophy for extracting the necessary information.

Research Onion Model

The positivism philosophy is undertaken to justify the research issues addressed by the people who have been experiencing it in their real life scenario (Taylor, Bogdan and DeVault 2015). In this study, it has been observed that the research objective demands for the exploration of the diverse techniques used by Toyota Motors Corporation to mitigate the emerging issues. Therefore, it is essential to discuss the issues with the managers and the employees of the company. It has been observed that the managers and the employees have been facing the issue in their daily lives. Moreover, they have the better understanding of the process that is undertaken in a day to day business. These business stakeholders have even participated in the primary data collection process and shared their experiences. In order to derive the informative solutions from their responses, the use of the positivism philosophy is appropriate. It provides the clear ideas about the real life scenario, business techniques, and the responses from their customers. It helps in extracting the real truth as well.

The research approach provides the insightful ideas about selecting the appropriate approach or direction to gather relevant data based on the subject area. This research approach is classified into two major sections, such as deductive and inductive approach. According to Greenfield et al. (2015), inductive approach is developed by keeping focus on the existing theory. In other words, it can be interpreted that the inductive approach usually starts with an observation and ends with a research outcome, which formulates theory (Elo et al. 2014). On the contrary, the deductive approach concentrates on the proposition of the hypothesis and ends up with the final decision of either confirmation or rejection. It has been observed that in a primary data collection technique, the researchers tend to focus on the subject variable more specifically and develops the understanding clearly that address the research issues (Sekaran and Bougie 2016). The study has utilized the deductive approach for conducting the research widely.

The study has developed the deductive approach and formulated hypothesis of the research issue. The major issue identified in this study is the inappropriate marketing techniques of Toyota due to which it is necessary to make the modifications. Moreover, it is essential for the company to justify the issue with the current market practices and develop the understanding about the challenges as well. Hence, in order to collect the feasible data, it is necessary to concentrate on the research variables. The existing theory cannot provide the exact scenario specification, which would have been the major drawback for this research study. Hence, the researcher has selected the deductive approach to formulate hypothesis and analyze the research issue in a detailed. Therefore, it can be inferred that the study has adopted the right approach for the further analysis.  

Research Philosophy

The structured design of the research is needed to be developed prior to undertake any specific data collection process. Research design is thus segregated into three divisions, such as exploratory, explanatory, and descriptive. According to Bryman and Bell (2015), the exploratory research design intends to establish priority and develops the operational definitions in most of the cases. On the other hand, explanatory research focuses on exploring the new element identified in the research process. However, as explained by Meyers, Gamst and Guarino (2016), the descriptive research depicts the extraction of the information in an accurate way by deriving responses from the participants. This descriptive method is generally observational and the method of keeping the accurate track of the collected data (Wang 2015). The detailed analysis of this particular research study has thus utilized the descriptive design for analyzing the collected data.

The study is widely concentrating on the innovative marketing techniques that are needed to be undertaken by Toyota to mitigate the issues with the frequent customer complaints. If the company gather the ideas about the basic needs and preferences of the automobile goods, services, or features, it would be easier to develop the accurate operational process. When the participants are associated in the data collection process, it develops the better understanding of the tactics that are to be followed prior to implement the new marketing techniques. This accurate process of gathering data from the participants helps in developing the clear understanding of the research process and scenario. Hence, the use of the descriptive design to analyze the collected primary data is completely justified for this study.

Every research study is based on the collection of the adequate data related to the subject area. While gathering the information as per the study subject, it is essential for the researcher to select the right data collection technique (Mertens 2014). The mixed-method data collection process in a research study is thus categorized into two major sections. The first method of collecting data is the primary data collection process whereas the other one is secondary data collection process. Some of the researchers tend to use any one type of data collection technique whereas some search for both the options to make the research more informative. The study is conducted by collecting both the primary and secondary data. The further section of the study would help in understanding the conceptual ideas about these data collection procedures.

Research Approach

The information collected from the secondary research sources is noted as the secondary data. In order to develop the understanding, often it is required to gather ideas about the previous similar studies (Palinkas et al. 2015). The secondary data is thus derived from the secondary sources, such as journals, books, and website articles. Sometimes, the company annual report is also considered as the secondary data for extracting the enriched knowledge about the initiatives undertaken. The updated and authentic sources are required being used for the research. The study has thus developed the literature review section in which the collected authentic and relevant data is assimilated.

The primary data collection process determines the information gathered from the primary sources (Meyers, Gamst and Guarino 2016). For example, when a group of people present their experiences or share their views about the related subject variables, it is considered as the primary data (Ma et al. 2017). The study requires identify the views of the business professionals including managers and the associated employees. The study requires understanding the new marketing techniques for the better future of Toyota. Therefore, the study has undertaken the primary data collection process, which is further segregated into two sections, such as quantitative data collection and qualitative data collection. In the further section, the strategic analysis of these two types of primary data collection techniques would be discussed.  

The quantitative data is collected by gathering responses from a larger number of the people experiencing the issues in their regular life (Afergan et al. 2015). The quantitative data collection process is generally based on the survey process. In this survey process, the participants would answer by selecting the options in the questionnaire. The questionnaire includes the multiple questions that address the issues they have been experiencing in the organisation. These participants have to select the preferable answer and provide their response. The collected feedback or responses would thus be analyzed to measure the severity level of the identified issues. Observing the responses, it would be easier to present the preferable recommendations for the future success.

The qualitative data collection process, on the other hand, depends on the sufficient information gathered from the business professionals (Sinha 2016). In this process, a telephonic interview session is developed. The managers from Toyota Motors Corporation would be taken the participation in this interview section. In this process, the managers would share their strategic insights to resolve the emerging challenges and develop the new marketing techniques. The discussion of the suggestive information would also be explained in this process. The interpreter would also be available if necessary. Hence, the study would be able to gather the relevant data by using these superior techniques.

Research Design

The quantitative and the qualitative data collection processes are needed to be undertaken by using the appropriate method. The right amount of respondents is also needed to be selected (Palinkas et al. 2015). It has been observed that the researcher has selected probability, simple random technique to gathered responses from 50 employees of Toyota in primary data collection process. The majority answers received from the random respondents is considered here as the dominant answer for the research issue. 

On the other hand, the researcher has used non-probability, convenience sampling method for taking the interview of 3 managers from Toyota. The managers answer their questions as per their convenience and the comfortable level. In fact, it is even possible that they are reluctant to share their strategic insights, which is a confidential part of a company. Hence, in such cases, the mangers would answer the questions as per their convenience level.

The collected data from the primary and the secondary data collection process is needed to be analyzed in an accurate way (Palinkas et al. 2015). It has been observed that the collected information reveals the insights regarding the underlying issues and the areas of improvement in Toyota. Hence, it is required being much cautious while analyzing the responses collected from employees and managers. In order to analyze the data collected from the survey process in the quantitative data collection would be analyzed by using the software called MS Excel. The statistical method would also be utilized to analyze the data in an accurate way. After analyzing the data, it would be presented through the graphical and tabular form to make it more attractive and understandable. On the other hand, the researcher can even use the interpreter to memorize the conversation with the managers in the qualitative data collection process. Keeping the record of the collected information would benefit in the further implications of the study and to provide the greater insight for the future prospect.

Collecting the primary data and the secondary data and analyzing them to provide the informative solution is not an easier process. The researchers often face the considerable challenges while receiving the access of these data sources. In fact, after getting hold of the sources, the researchers even face the enormous issues to gather the responses. First, in the secondary research, it has been observed that there is the lack of sufficient updated research sources. The modern research process seeks the updated information as the business world and consumer demands are rapidly changing. The lack of updated data is thus one of the major concerns.

Data Collection

On the other hand, during the quantitative data collection process, the biased responses of the participants are quite insignificant in generating the better understanding of the actual scenario. Even in many of the cases, the respondents withdrew their responses due to which the researcher faced the issues to interpret the information. In the qualitative data collection process, the managers were reluctant to share the strategic decisions that would be implemented in the company. It is quite obvious that the mangers would not share the company’s confidential data or the strategy with others. Hence, the limitation in collecting these responses is also quite significant in such context.

Prior to take any research study, it is essential for a researcher to take some of the ethical considerations into account. For example, the researcher cannot force any of the participants in the survey process to provide their answer. This decision would be completely depended on the respondents whether they want to answer few questions or ignore. They would not be persuaded in any manner. On the other hand, they can withdraw their responses at any point of time and the researcher cannot make any comment on this. Above all, one of the most significant aspects that are needed to be taken into consideration is the maintenance of the privacy. The names of the respondents would not be disclosed and these would be anonymous. The researcher needs to ensure that the responses collected in this process would not be shared with any other researcher. As per the Data Protection Act, 1988, the information of the employees or the participants in the survey process would not be disclosed in anyway (Meyers, Gamst and Guarino 2016). Maintaining these specific ethical considerations would determine the successful approach of a complete research study.  

Main activities

1st week

2nd week

3rd week

4th+5th week

6th week

7th week

Selecting the Research topic

ü   

Review of the Literature

ü   

Formulating the Research methodology

ü   

The source of Collection of primary data

ü   

Analysing the collected  data

ü   

Results

ü   

Stating teh Conclusion and Recommendation

ü   

The Submission

ü   


Table 1: Timeframe

(Source: Created by the Author)

The chapter summarizes the appropriate use of the methodological approach to formulate a complete understanding about any research study. The major issue identified in this study is the inappropriate marketing techniques of Toyota due to which it is necessary to make the modifications. This research chapter provides the insightful ideas about the appropriate research philosophy, approach, and research techniques that are adopted for developing an informative research study. The research methodology is applied to the field research where two types of data collection techniques are developed, such as primary data collection and secondary data collection. The chapter also describes the helpful data collection methods to gather the enriched information related to the research issue. It is essential to develop the considerable ideas of the internal and external market influence. The application of the appropriate methodology would be helpful enough to formulate an informative research study. The recognized accessibility issues and the ethical considerations are presented in this section of the study. One of the most significant aspects that are needed to be taken into consideration is the maintenance of the privacy. The names of the respondents would not be disclosed and these would be anonymous. The researcher needs to ensure that the responses collected in this process would not be shared with any other researcher.  A scheduled timeline provides the idea about the entire timeframe for completing the entire research study. Based on such methodological approaches, the further study would present the appropriate data collection and analysis process.

Conclusion

References

Afergan, M.M., Leighton, F.T., Johnson, T.P., Mancuso, B.J. and Iwamoto, K.G., Akamai Technologies Inc, 2015. Method of data collection among participating content providers in a distributed network. U.S. Patent 8,972,530.

Bernard, H. R. 2011 Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. 5th ed. Plymouth: Alta Mira Press.

Bryman, A. and Bell, E., 2015. Business research methods. Oxford University Press, USA.

Crouch, C. and Pearce, J. 2012 Doing Research in Design - Page 68, 2nd ed. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Dul, J. and Hak, T. 2012 Case Study Methodology in Business Research, 3rd ed. Oxford: Elsevier

Elo, S., Kääriäinen, M., Kanste, O., Pölkki, T., Utriainen, K. and Kyngäs, H., 2014. Qualitative content analysis: A focus on trustworthiness. Sage Open, 4(1), p.2158244014522633.

Flick, U., 2015. Introducing research methodology: A beginner's guide to doing a research project. Sage.

Greenfield, B., Bridges, P., Phillips, T., Adams, E., Bullock, D., Davis, K., Nelson, C. and Wood, B., 2015. Reflective narratives by physical therapist students on their early clinical experiences: a deductive and inductive approach. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 29(2), pp.21-31.

Lewis, S., 2015. Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Health promotion practice, 16(4), pp.473-475.

Lodico, M. G. and Spaulding, D. T. 2010 Methods in Educational Research: From Theory to Practice, Page 24, 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Ma, Y., Zhang, S., Lin, C. and Li, L., 2017. A Data Collection Method Based on the Region Division in Opportunistic Networks. Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society Journal, 32(1).

Mertens, D.M., 2014. Research and evaluation in education and psychology: Integrating diversity with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Sage publications.

Meyers, L.S., Gamst, G. and Guarino, A.J., 2016. Applied multivariate research: Design and interpretation. Sage publications.

Palinkas, L.A., Horwitz, S.M., Green, C.A., Wisdom, J.P., Duan, N. and Hoagwood, K., 2015. Purposeful sampling for qualitative data collection and analysis in mixed method implementation research. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 42(5), pp.533-544.

Saunders, M. N., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. 2009 Research methods for business students, Page 52, 5th ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall

Sekaran, U. and Bougie, R., 2016. Research methods for business: A skill building approach. John Wiley & Sons.

Sinha, A.K., 2016. Ranked set sampling: as a cost-effective and more efficient data collection method. Statistical Journal of the IAOS, 32(4), pp.607-611.

Smith, J.A. ed., 2015. Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods. Sage.

Taylor, S.J., Bogdan, R. and DeVault, M., 2015. Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource. John Wiley & Sons.

Wang, K.T., 2015. Research design in counseling. Nelson Education.

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