Research Methodology

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Research Methodology based on this chapter identifies and
explains the choses for conducting this research. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill
defines research as “the systematic collection and interpretation of
information to find things out”.

Thorpe, Esterby-Smith and Jackson, mention 4
philosophical ideas regarding research which are anthology, epistemology,
ontology and methods and techniques. These methodology approach itself links to
the primary research data collected in order to understand consumer’s thoughts
on whether advertising effects their purchasing decision or other causes of
their purchasing decisions (Business Research Methods 2017).


Concept mapping is used as a tool for knowledge and
organisational technique. This underline concepts are circled or boxes, and
relationships between concepts which are indicated by connecting lines which
link in to concepts. Words on the line, which are referred to as linking words
or linking phrases.

The main approach to gather information within this
project was qualitative data. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) define this
approach as a seeking of exiting theory which helps shape the qualitative research
process as well as the data analysis. Business research is used academically on
topics which relate to business and management. Business research reflects on
what is going on within the organisation as well as question which occurs
within the research. The research philosophy adopted contains important
assumptions about the way in which marketers view the world. These assumptions
will then underpin research strategy and methods chosen for that strategy.
Johnson and Clark (2006) has noted that business and management researchers
which we need to be aware of philosophical commitments which we make through
our choices of research.

Research objectives were achieved through a combination
of data collection tools, such as primary and secondary research as well as a
combination of qualitative and quantitative research. Primary research however
identifies the breakthrough to the topic findings. The research onion has been
used for the data collection and data analysis. The second layer of the onion
whilst collecting my data was cross sectional, which then follows on to mono
method. Mono methods are positioned because they consider one methodological
approach which is inherently superior and is simple because superiority is said
to hold across a broad spectrum of the organisation question (Topics, R. and Research, Q. 2017).




The layers of the research onion seen in figure 1, contain
the philosophical stances which are associated philosophies. Each choice within
this level requires thought due to providing structure, guidance and
limitations. The research Onion (Research Onion – Explanation of the Concept 2017) has been used to gather the relevant
information which is needed for the chosen topic (The effects of
advertisement). The research methodology is used to collaborate the
dissertation with its results. The Research Onion shows a variety of different
methods which can be used to gather information. Within my gathered research the
philosophies which have been used are pragmatism, positivism and Realism. All
three philosophies combine as well as link independently with the research

Pragmatism defines that the research question is the most
important determinant. One question may be more appropriate than the other. If
a positivism or interpretivist philosophy is adopted, then this confirms the
pragmatist view which is perfectly possible to work with variations in
epistemology, ontology and axiology.  

Positivism adopts the philosophical stance of a natural
scientist. Positivism is a philosophy which relates to using methods to gain
data which is logically or mathematically proven. The philosophy states that
“there can be no real knowledge but that which is based on observed facts”.

Realism is a philosophical position which relates to
senses which show us reality is the truth. Realism identifies the belief that
social reality and the researchers are both internment which does not create
any biased results within the findings. This philosophy is like positivism as
they are both based on the scientific approach to knowledge. Realism is
identified as a “critical realism” which states, what humans experience are
sensations, which are representations of what is real (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2009,

Interpretivism is a philosophy which can be contrasted to positivism.
This is based on researchers understanding different methods which people act
in depending on their social role. Interpretivism advocates that as humans we
play a very important role of the stage of human life. This is the total
opposite to positivism as interpretivism requires the researcher to assess the
individual attributes of all participants.

The philosophies which will be adapted within this projects
will be positivism and realism due to the variety of data information collected
and analysed. The research will have been conducted form the findings in the
literature review to identify the effects of advertisement on consumer
purchasing decisions. The choice of both philosophies is strengthened by the
fact that if research needs to be collected, then it is vital to understand the
consumers and enter the mind of the consumers.

3.1 Research

Continuing from the research onion, the next layer
identifies the research approach. The research approach identifies if the
research should use the deductive approach, in which a theory and hypotheses
and design a research strategy to tests the hypothesis, or the inductive
approach, in which you would collect data and develop Saunders’s has identified
to different types of research approached which is the deductive and the
inductive approach (Meta-Analysis 2017).

The approach most suitable for the project will be the
deductive approach as this approach involves the development of the theory
which is subjected to a rigorous test. Robson (2002) lists five sequential
stages through which deductive research will progress. They include deducing a
hypothesis, expressing the hypothesis, testing the operational hypothesis,
examining the specific outcome of the inquiry and modifying the theory within
the light of the findings. The main two players throughout the whole
dissertation is the industry (market) and the targeted customers. The
quantitative research was designed to understand the different effects when
consumer’s a purchase a pair of jeans as well as advertising being one of them.
The deductive approach itself will help when analysing the theory and to
understand why factors have been chosen as well as why something is happening.


There are several research strategies which are
identified within Saunders et al. (2007). The strategies include, experimental,
survey, case study, action research, grounded theory, ethnography and archival
research. Within my project I have decided to use the survey, as it simplifies
the time of my target audience as well as allows me to gather information
quicker. The survey strategy is linked to the deductive approach as is
appropriate to the collected research as well as the appropriate methods. The
research strategy was purely based on the guidance from the project question. The
questionnaire was designed online to email those participants who volunteered
to take part within the collected the apocopate data.


The questionnaire itself was designed online using google
forum to make it simple for participants to fill in when they get the time.
This was sent to volunteers through email. The questionnaire included open
ending questions, due to considering the different thoughts and opinions
consumers think. The questions were therefore created to find out the relation
to its findings.

In total the questionnaire was designed as 12 questions
which were presented on a forum which then was completed by consumers aged 19
and over. The questions included the respondent’s effects of what they
originally know about advertising and what possible effects surrounds the
topic. Demographic factors were also included within the questionnaire which
included the gender of all participants, to understand if both genders have
similar views or different views within what impacts their purchasing decision.

The disadvantages of using a questionnaire is that the
number of questionnaires are limited due to respondents themselves not having
the time to fill in a questionnaire with 50 questions. However, if respondents
did have the time, most likely the research collected will not be 100% true.
Questionnaires are also inadequate to any type of emotions, behaviour or
feelings which consumers feel towards the topic (Learning,
I. 2017).


Cross sectional study has been used to collaborate the
research. Saunder’s, Lewis (2012) has stated that time horizon is “snapshot”
taken at a specific time. The time horizons therefore are independent based on
the research strategy chosen as well as the topic. Cross sectional studies will
relate to the project due to the amount of time required for the completion of
the project.


This stage then discusses the appropriate method which
will be used for the collection of the data. The researcher chooses between
three different research methods which are known as mono methods, the mixed
methods and the multi methods. Tashakkori and Teddlie (2003). Use a generic
term research design when referring to multiple methods. The questionnaire
which was designed was a self-administered questionnaire used upon the
internet. The mono method was used to collect the data as it is described to be
a single method used within conducting and analysing research. The research
question is majorly based on consumer thought an opinion, making it appropriate
for the quantitative approach to be linked. The collected data was examined
according to the respondents and their opinions and as well as reasons why
advertising effects their purchasing decision.




3.2 Data
Collection and Analysis

To gather the required information for the dissertation
topic, both primary as well as secondary data has been used to identify the
targeted audience as well as the effects of advertising on consumers (Data Collection for
Dissertation & Thesis Research 2017).

The data collection was the specific area where a variety
of different opinions and viewpoints could be compared. The questionnaire
collaborated was designed using a google forum, which was then sent out to the
targeting consumers through email. The data collection lasted throughput 3
weeks, all completed by University of Wolverhampton students, aged between
19-27. This age range was specified so a wide range of opinions, based on the
effects advertisement.

Using Google Forum for my questionnaires made it simple
for my respondents to fill in and share it across to other students. Google
Forum seemed very simple as well as knowledgeable to use. As well as the design
of my questionnaire it was vital that the right questions had to been asked to
gain the right information. Therefore 12 specific questions were planned then
gathered through the forum.

A questionnaire was planned thoroughly before being
transferred on to a google forum where all applicant completed the
questionnaire through their emails. This method seemed to be easier as
applicants were not rushed to fill in the questionnaire and most likely took
their time answering all questions correctly, helping within understand and
developing on the collective data. Quantitative data of the questionnaire was
analysed and then illustrated within Bar Charts and tables with a description
of the studies data. Charts are a form of visual displays which offer a simple
method of bringing factual results to life.

As well as my own primary research, using secondary
research was another method which was valuable in terms of consumer
information. A variety of different reports as well as journals were used to
gather information based on the jeans industry using sites such as Mintel,
Keynote as well as internal Journals. The use of secondary information allowed
a deeper understanding of what consumers look for when purchasing jeans and
what effects are caused through consumer purchasing decision, as well as how
advertisements effect purchasing decisions.

3.3 Sampling

Sampling has been conducted through non-probability
methods. The limits of time and budgets restrict data collection. There is a
wide range of consumers who could possibly share their views and opinions which
would have differentiated to the current, collected data. However, to much data
would make the research question difficult to summarise on a whole. The size of
the sampling methods narrowed down to 40 partisans aged between 19 and over, as
I felt this was the set audience which needed to be targeted.

Due to the research specifying on advertisement, it
seemed appropriate to ask those who were constant shoppers as well as those who
shop when needed and the cause behind this. Here I could clarify the sectors of
shoppers available. Hague and Morgan (2008) state that probable sampling method with people
from a certain place would imply bias and may lead to an inaccurate result (Non-Probability Sampling – AAPOR

3.4 Limitations
of the Research

The limitations of the dissertation research involved
many different aspects of the process within gathering required information. Firstly,
the planning of the dissertation required more time, to fully develop and
understand which consumers to target as well as what method to approach them
with. A different approach to research could possibly be situated, which would
require a focus group of 50 participants, as well as a well-designed questionnaire.
Overall this research project was impacted by time constraints which influences
the amount of data collected. The variety of tools demonstrated knowledge of
methods available and how they were application the research question. All
research methods were key to understand the research question


3.5 Ethical

Throughout the project all methods have been undertaken
with thorough ethical consideration. The questionnaire had been answered by
those who wish to participate and sent out with a message declaring anonymity
for all data. It is vital to take to consider the privacy of those who
volunteered to participate, as well as confidentiality of the data individuals
provided. Informed consent within business research focuses on the information
required for participants to decide in whether they would like to take part in
the questionnaire or not. All participants were given information beforehand of
the purpose of this research and how it will benefit the project. Ethical
consideration advantaged the participants as they were left alone when filling
in the questionnaire, making them comfortable and at ease when filling in the

Ethical norms are vital in research as it portrays the
important of the research, Ethics will help falsify information which is
misrepresented through research. This will help to justify all primary research
during one’s own research and collaborating data. Ethical standard promotes
values which are essential to collaborative work which consist trust, accountability,
respect and fairness.

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