In order to keep customers loyal to the firms, they adopt various loyal schemes. The increased competition has led the firms to come up with new techniques and methods to keep customers loyal to a firm. In this chapter, the methodology has been introduced in three parts. The Methodology comprises of the methods and the techniques that are followed and adopted to understand the loyalty programs which are conducted for the customers. The first part of the chapter introduces the philosophical considerations with the help of the quantitative and qualitative research methods.
The research onion is used in the second part of the Chapter 3 to explain the approach, strategy, philosophy, choice and sampling methods/techniques.
The third part of the Chapter has been named as Methods and Techniques. A pilot test has been introduced in the first part of Methods and Techniques. The effectiveness and the authenticity is verified with the help of a pilot test.
Once the pilot test will be over, the research participants will be introduced with the help of some numerical. This would help the readers understand the participants better.
Next, the measuring instrument will be introduced.
The last step in the Method and Technique part is the introduction of Research Procedure (Gregg, 2001). Lastly few tools will be introduced which will be used in the SPSS software.
3.2 Philosophical Considerations
An integral part of data collection, data interpretation and data analysis is Research Philosophy. There are two kinds of Research tools. They are Quality Research and Quantity Research. In this part of Philosophical Consideration, the difference between quantity research and quantity research is discussed.
3.2.1 Quantitative Research
Quantitative research can be explained as a method of research which is used to explain a phenomenon with the help of collection of numerical data which are analyzed with the help of Statistics or Mathematical based methods. It should be kept in mind that the most important part in quantitative research is explaining a phenomenon which is done by collecting numerical data and expressed with the help of Statistics. The numerical data that is collected is quantitative and authentic. This research can also be explained as a questionnaire with questions whose answers can be selected from a list of given possible responses by the respondents. Generally, in this approach rating and ranking questions are given. Rating questions can help understand the feelings of the respondents while ranking questions can analyze the preferences or choices of the respondents. This approach can be computerized, postal or telephonic (Hagan, 1995). Computerized approach can happen face to face using laptop or hand held computers. Since this research is represented in numerical data, the size of the sample is very significant in terms of the quantitative research. In general, in this approach the minimum number of responses in 30, but more valid data can be obtained in case of larger sample size.
The findings of this approach can be represented with the help of graphs or tables.
3.2.2 Qualitative Research
Qualitative Research can be explained as a method of research which collects verbal data. The data that is collected then is analyzed. Mostly with the help of this research, issues are explored and phenomenons are understood and then the questions are understood. Like quantitative research, qualitative research does not collect numerical data rather it collects information verbally. The data or the information is collected by observing the behavior of the people. This research gives us subjective and comprehensive data. Also with this research, in depth information or data can be obtained.
3.2.3 Qualitative research VS Quantitative research
The differential points between the two researches are as follows:
In general, we can say that qualitative research gives us data which is non-numeric while quantitative research gives us data which is numeric.
The following table explains the points of differences between the two researches:
1. This research aims at providing mathematical figures through which the topic is explained.
1. This research aims at providing detailed description of the topic of the research. This kind of research more complete and comprehensive view of the topic.
2. In this type of Research, the description of the topic is focused and conclusive.
2. In this type of Research, the description of the topic is broader and exploratory.
3. As the latter stages approach, researcher should adopt the quantitative research.
3. This research is suitable for earlier stages of the research.
4. In this kind of Research, the measuring instruments are questionnaires and surveys. Through these tools, the data can be measured mathematically.
4. In this type of Research, the measuring instruments are detailed information, documentary analysis, structured and non structured interviews.
5. The data which is collected are in the form of tables comprised of data in the form of mathematical numbers.
5. The data which is collected are figures in the form of graphs.
6. This research is objective in nature. This research deals with focused information and analyzes the information.
6. In this research, the researcher tries to understand the behavior of the human beings. So it is more subjective in nature.
3.3 Methodological Appropriateness
The research methodology comprises of four main parts. They are as design, sampling, accumulation of data and study of data. Research’s methodology has been discussed in this Chapter 3. The research onion has been developed by Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill (2007) which has been used in this research. This Chapter will give a detailed description of the approach, choice, time horizon, sampling methods and techniques, analysis of the collection of the data which has been adopted by the researcher (Seidman, 2012).
In order to carry on the research smoothly, it is vital to choose the correct research methodology. Your research will help you understand which methodology you would select. For example: if you want to measure the variables you should collect the quantitative data.
On the other hand, when you want to understand some meanings, you will always go for a qualitative research. Sometimes using both quantitative and qualitative approach is recommended. In depth interviews are carried on as a part of qualitative research while questionnaires are distributed or surveys are conducted as a part of quantitative research.
Figure2: The Research Onion
Source: Saunders et al. (2006) cited in Saunders et al. (2007)
3.3.1 Philosophy of Research
A significant part of Methodology of Research is philosophy of Research. The Research Methods and philosophies are a part of Research Philosophy. The Research Methods, techniques, philosophies enable the researcher to understand the topic of the research better. The researcher picks up a method in such a way taking into account of many factors like budget constraints or time constraints. Use of right philosophy helps the researcher to get rid of factors like time or budget constraints from their research. According to Mcnabb, there are three different philosophies like Positivism, interpretivism, and realism.
This philosophy involves highly structured methodology. Through this philosophy, quantifiable observations are possible. The results of the observations are evaluated with the help of Statistics. The use of this philosophy is mostly found in Natural Science. Being objective in nature, this is one of the critical philosophies in the Research Philosophy. The different Philosophy of natural science, laws of the universe and everything that happens in our nature are found in this philosophy of Positivism.
Through a general source, the researcher can use the positivism philosophy and can collect all figures and facts. Saunders says that the researcher plays the most important role in this research (Bradbury, 1999). The researcher is often seen as playing a role of an objective analyst in this research. The researcher gathers information and analyzes the same information. Finally he evaluates and finds a proper result which helps him in achieving the objectives or goals of the research.
Based on the interdependency of values, ideas, and beliefs of human beings, this research is also considered as a significant form of research methodology. There are many values and beliefs of humans which exist in the environment. According to the Realism Theory, the external reality inspires the nature and behavior of human beings. In this research, the human beings are not considered to be the objects. In this research, we can see the reaction of a human being towards a real situation.
The social and the business world of management are too complicated according to the Interpretivism Research. Hence it is difficult to formulate laws or theories which are done in Natural Science. The critical thinking about the Positivism Research is part of Interpretivism Research. A simple fact may have many truths and it is suitable for all kind of research problem and all kinds of situations. With the help of this Research, the final result from the gathered information can be obtained very effectively. This research philosophy involves interaction of the researcher with the environment. According to this research, there are various factors (like different living standards of the individuals, cultural and social differences in the environment, personality) that affect an individual’s nature.
18.104.22.168 Application of the Philosophy
For this research, argues that usually a combination of positivism and interpretivism are generally used in the management of business research. However, the research philosophy varies according to research question. This research focuses on impact of sales promotions on impulse purchases. Various authors have discussed the phenomenon that happens and the researcher is trying to explore the consumer behaviour on impulse purchase. The philosophy that is used in this research is realism. For this the researcher uses acceptable knowledge in the field of impulse purchase and consumer behaviour to understand the impact of sales promotion on impulse purchase and consumer loyalty. The researcher collects and analyses data using acceptable knowledge, so the research is more inclined towards realism.
Research approach is the next level in this process. The research approach is determined by the design of the research plan. This research uses the deductive approach, as we are required to develop a theory and set a hypothesis. Deductive approach help set up cause-effect connects to given variable without considering the individual understanding. Hence in this study, researcher was independent of what is being observed.
(Saunders, Lewis, &Thornhill, 2003) States that all research work involves theories and suggests the clarity of researcher’s theory at the beginning of the research may notify the process of research occupied in the research design. Two types of research approaches have been suggested by them, 1) Inductive approach and 2) Deductive approach.
22.214.171.124 Deductive Approaches
Developing a hypothesis or hypotheses based on the existing theory is known as Deductive approach. After developing the hypothesis, now in order to test it, a strategy of research is set. Deducting conclusions from propositions is known as Deductive approach. When an expected pattern is followed and it is tested against observations is known as deduction.
When reasoning is done from a particular level to a general level, it is known as deduction. In a deductive approach, the researcher deducts a hypothesis that needs to be verified. Once the hypothesis is formulated, through a definite methodology it has to be tested whether the hypothesis is incorrect or correct. The same can be explained with the help of a diagram which is as under:
The deductive approach tests a given theory and finds out whether the theory is appropriate or not in a given situation. This approach uses a reasoning path and formulates a new hypothesis. Then the hypothesis is tested and the end result is either a confirmation or a rejection.
126.96.36.199 Inductive Approaches
This approach begins with a topic and with the progression of research; the researcher starts identifying preliminary relationships. This research starts with observations and as the research comes to an end theories or laws are formulated. At the beginning of the research, the researcher starts it with no theories. The research can alter the direction of the research once the research had started and is in progression.
188.8.131.52 Application of the Approaches
The researcher has chosen the deductive approach over the inductive approach for this research. In deductive approach for this research, an initial stage presents a general hypothesis. This initial stage contains secondary data mentioned by various authors. This hypothesis is then tested using the data collection methods to answer the objectives.
The most feasible solution for this dissertation is the survey method. The survey method is connected with deductive approach. Deductive approach lets the gathering of a great quantity of data from considerable population in extremely inexpensive way. Utilising the questionnaire, data can be standardised allowing easy compilation. It is also a cheap option for the researcher. The survey plan also allows gathering quantitative data, which can be analysed using expressive tactics. The survey strategy utilises the creation of data collection method to make sure a good feedback rate.
184.108.40.206 Experimental Research
This method is a systematic method of carrying out a research. When one or more variables are manipulated by the researcher, the Experimental Research can be carried out. The use of controlled testing is often done by the researcher. There are some situations when the experimental research is used. They are as follows:
- There is a time priority factor in a relationship.
- A consistent effect is found in a casual relationship.
The experimental research is same as a true experiment.
220.127.116.11 Survey Research
When we try to analyze feelings, beliefs, and thoughts we often use Survey Research. The Research which takes place with the help of survey plays an important role in measurement. Research based on a survey involves asking questions to the respondents. A survey can take place on a feedback form and it can also involve a detailed interview of the respondent. There are different kinds of surveys. Surveys can be in the form of questionnaire or interviews.
18.104.22.168. Case Study
It is another method of analysis. This method involves detailed and close examination of the topic of the research. It is very difficult to define a case study with a single definition as there is no single definition of it but they have a very important place in various professions like education, social work, sociology, anthropology, psychology and political science.
The case that is studied can be an event, organization, event that exists at a particular time and in a particular place. It can also be a in-depth study of an individual.
22.214.171.124 Action Research
In order to help the researcher in improving his actions, this research is conducted. It is either a way to solve an immediate problem or a way to find better ways to address problems and solve them.
126.96.36.199 Grounded Theory
This theory is a general theory. This theory helps you to guide on the factors like collection of data. Often regarded as a qualitative theory but it is a general method.
The research which is used to conduct the systematic study of people and culture it is known as Ethnography. The study helps the researcher to find the cultural aspect from the viewpoint of the topic of the research (Reason, 1994).
188.8.131.52 Archival Research
This type of research extracts evidence from the old archival records. This is a primary research which is found to be more complicated and time taking research.
184.108.40.206 Application of the Strategies
In the case of this dissertation, the researcher plans to distribute questionnaire among the customers and thus do the survey for this dissertation. The researcher that adds to the cheapness of the survey will hand this out. The researcher is also planning to do two mini focus group interviews among the customers. Looking at all these options, the researcher feels that conducting a survey will be the best way to collect data for this research.
Two primary methods of data collection are there (Saunders, Lewis, &Thornhill, 2003). The methods are 1) quantitative data collection and 2) qualitative data collection. First method is used in research would be usually without numerical data. Example: Pictures or graphic clips. Second method is used in data would be numerical data having of statistical analysis.
Both the methods can be used by the researcher at a time (Saunders, Lewis, &Thornhill, 2003). If such approach is used then it is called as mixed method. Both these could be done at the same time or one after the other, but the methods cannot be combined. The weakness of both quantitative and qualitative methods can be overcome by using both the methods. If we use mixed methods, different methods like interview and questionnaire can be used for the study. A more comprehensive evidence for researching can be achieved than using just one method.
220.127.116.11 Application of the Choice
In the context of this research, the researcher used a combination of both quantitative and qualitative data techniques to find the data. The quantitative data is analysed with the help of questionnaires and the qualitative data is analysed with the help of interviews. The attitudes and impulse buying behaviour and perception of customers can be studied using the questionnaire surveys. For the qualitative data analysis, two mini focus groups consisting of three members each will be conducted by the researcher. The researcher will use the respondent’s observation and researcher’s observation to conclude his findings. In short, the researcher uses mixed method of data analysis to generalise the findings.
3.3.5 Time Horizons
Time horizons are required for the designing of research and to be independent of the research method employed (Saunders, Lewis, &Thornhill, 2003). Two types of time horizons are there 1) Longitudinal and 2) Cross- Sectional. The studies of first type are repeated over a long period while on the other hand, second type is restricted to a short amount of time. Hence this research is bounded to a short amount of time; the researcher must use the Cross-Sectional time horizon.
18.104.22.168 Application of the Time Horizons
When development or change happens over a long time, longitudinal research is taken on. Some limitations exist in adopting such study when there is restriction of time. Researcher tries to discover the connection between environment in an organization and its effect on behaviours (Lieberman, 1993). The aim that was adopted was to discover the connection at the current time.
3.3.6 Data Collection and Analysis
A questionnaire is often used to collect data. Through different methods like interviews, surveys, observations data is collected. Once the data or information is collected, the data is analyzed with the help of various kinds of research methods.
22.214.171.124 Data Collection
As mentioned in his studies (Saunders, Lewis, &Thornhill, 2003) that questionnaire is the mainly used tool to collect data in surveys. Hence, this study is as well uses a questionnaire consisting of three parts. The first segment of the questionnaire is demographic one assessing customers’ gender, age, profession and the purpose of their visit. The second segment made up of general questions like ease of access ofthe Hotel and the base to choose it. The third segment is connected to the customers’ satisfaction, which consists of 12 questions. These questions are based on file likert scale ranging from, 1) strongly disagree 2) slightly disagree 3) disagree 4) neutral 5) slightly agree 6) agree and 7) strongly agree. This segment assesses the insights of customers about the quality of the Hotel in relation with amenities.
126.96.36.199 Analysis of Data
A computer software package known as Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) is used to prepare results and analysis of the collected data, which can be found in next chapter. This was done in order to make the analysis as empirical and universally interpretable as possible. The analysis has been done to revolve around the hypotheses of the study, whereby the researcher seeks to test the validity or otherwise of the hypothesis. After the statistical analysis, the researcher goes a step further to relate the primary research findings with secondary research in a discussion that is done by the use of literature. This was done in order to ensure that the newly created knowledge from the primary research could be fitted directly into existing knowledge in literature. This means that the researcher accepts the position that knowledge is a complex phenomenon, which should have many different dimensions that must fit together to form a perfect whole. The discussion of the data also ensures that gaps that are identified in literature are bridged with new ideas from this study (Saunders, Lewis, &Thornhill, 2003).
188.8.131.52 Questionnaire Design
Only one section of the survey procedure is represented by the questionnaire. Though, it is a very important part of the process. The data will not be provided by poorly written questionnaire that are necessary or will give data that are inaccurate. Emphasis should be sufficient to take out the necessary information from the respondents and should be on using the correct terminology (Lieberman, 1993).
3.4 Method and Techniques
Data can be collected with the help of various kinds of methods and techniques like questionnaires, interviews or observations.
3.4.1 Pilot Test
A pilot-test was then performed to test the validity and reliability of the questionnaire. Due to the researcher choose the questionnaire which comes from Meyer and Allen (1990)’s journal, but the researcher choose the Thai customer as the test object. It is necessary to test these questionnaires which can be understood by them. To do the pilot test, researcher has asked 5 Thai people to explain the questionnaire. After that, researcher has collected the test outcome and compares the similarity (Table 2).
In the table 2, researcher lists the test outcome of the pilot test. Due to the researcher asked Thai people to the Pilot Test and the explain answer is in Thai (Saunders, Lewis, &Thornhill, 2003).
Researcher chooses 12 questions from the whole questionnaire and though the pilot test, researcher find it is easy for Thai customers to understand these questions.
Table 2 Pilot Test Outcomes
3.4.2 Research Participants
A research participant is a human participant who takes part in the research.
3.4.3 Measuring Instrument
A measuring instrument is a device which is used in order to understand the survey rating.
184.108.40.206 Scale Format
Various surveys rate the excellence of the customers understanding on a likertscale which uses a seven-point system starting from very satisfied to very dissatisfy (Herington, 2007). The questionnaire focuses on the on the whole stay, emergence and condition of the hotel and other amenities provided in the hotel.
220.127.116.11 Research Procedure
More or less 100 respondents should be selected from a population of all guests to Siam Kempinski Hotel. The volume of the sample has had to be made narrow because of less time, funds and available resources (Jupp, 2006). Probability sampling method will be the most suitable method for data gathering is what researcher found during this; hence there is no criterion for respondents except that they are Siam Kempinski guests. This procedure would make sure that a fair method is used to acquire respondents and also remove any bias.
3.5 Chapter Summary
Detailed explanation of the research methodology, the instrument of data collection, triangulation of data, sample design and the techniques of data analysis method has been given in this chapter along with the rationale for the choices made by the researcher in studying the relevance of international branding as market entry strategy and its impact on the customers in the foreign markets. The researcher conducted a survey of the customers regarding their perceptions and perspectives about the issue. The information forthcoming from these customers enabled the researcher to study the problem quantitatively and qualitatively. The collected data was then analysed using the techniques relevant for the analysis of both quantitative data as well as the qualitative data in order to interpret the accumulated information. This study predominantly uses the primary data, although extensive section of the research is derived from the secondary data as well.
This chapter has shown the research methodology process such as research philosophy, techniques and methods. The best available method was to conduct a survey and analysing the data using Likert Scale Technique. The respondents were visitors to the hotel staying at the Siam Kempinski Hotel. Although the responses of the customers may be biased as their opinion may be influenced by the service provided at that very moment, yet, this research gives a lot of exciting information concerning their insight of the service quality.
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