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MBA SEMESTER III-MB0050 –Research Methodology- (Book ID: B1206) Assignment Set- 2 -Feb Drive 201154.25

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Feb Drive 2011

                               MBA SEMESTER III
             MB0050 –Research Methodology- 4 Credits
                                 (Book ID: B1206)
                        Assignment Set- 2 (60 Marks)
Note: Each question carries 10 Marks. Answer all the questions

Q 1. What is questionnaire? Discuss the main points that you will take into account while drafting a questionnaire?[10 marks].

Q 2. What do you mean by  primary data? What are the various methods of collecting primary data?[10 marks].

Q 3.a. Analyze the case study and descriptive approach to research.                [5 marks].

b. Distinguish between research methods & research Methodology.                    [5 Marks]

Q 4. Explain the important concepts in Research design?                            [10 Marks]

Q 5. What are the differences between observation and interviewing as methods of data collection? Give two specific  examples of situations where either observation or interviewing would be more appropriate. [10 marks].

Q 6.Strictly speaking, would case studies be considered as scientific research? Why or why not? [10 marks].

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Q 1. What is questionnaire? Discuss the main points that you will take into account while drafting a questionnaire?

A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. Although they are often designed for statistical analysis of the responses, this is not always the case. The questionnaire was invented by Sir Francis Galton.
Questionnaires have advantages over some other types of surveys in that they are cheap, do not require as much effort from the questioner as verbal or telephone surveys, and often have standardized answers that make it simple to compile data. However, such standardized answers may frustrate users. Questionnaires are also sharply limited by the fact that respondents must be able to read the questions and respond to them. Thus, for some demographic groups conducting a survey by questionnaire may not be practical.

The main points that you will take into account while drafting a questionnaire
   * Use statements which are interpreted in the same way by members of different subpopulations of the population of interest.
   * Use statements where persons that have different opinions or traits will give different answers.
   * Think of having an "open" answer category after a list of possible answers.
   * Use only one aspect of the construct you are interested in per item.
   * Use positive statements and avoid negatives or double negatives.
   * Do not make assumptions about the respondent.
   * Use clear and comprehensible wording, easily understandable for all educational levels
   * Use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.
   * Avoid items that contain more than one question per item (e.g. Do you like strawberries and potatoes?)
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Q 1. What is questionnaire? Discuss the main points that you will take into account while drafting a questionnaire?
A questionnaire is a group of printed questions used to collect information from the people who answer them (usually called respondents). The questions may be either open-ended, where respondents are required to answer in their own words, or multiple-choice, where respondents are required to select one or more answers from those provided. The respondents may also be provided with checklists or rating scales. The questions may be concerned with the respondents' personal background, factual knowledge, attitudes or opinions, for example, about capital punishment or changing from using the pound to the euro.
 
The main points that you will take into account while drafting a questionnaire
Use simple words
Survey recipients may have a variety of backgrounds so use simple language. For example,  "What is the frequency of your automotive travel to your parents' residents in the last 30 days?" is better understood as, "About how many times in the last 30 days have you driven to your parent's home?"

Relax your grammar
Relax your grammatical standards if the questions sound too formal. For example, the word "who" is appropriate in many instances when "whom" is technical correct.

Assure a common understanding
Write questions that everyone will understand in the same way. Don't assume that everyone has the same understanding of the facts or a common basis of knowledge. Identify even commonly used  abbreviations to be certain that everyone understands.

Start with interesting questions
Start the survey with questions that are likely to sound interesting and attract the respondents' attention. Save the questions that might be difficult or threatening for later. Voicing questions in the third person can be less threatening than questions voiced in the second question. For example, ask: "How do your colleagues feel about management?" rather than "How do you feel about management?"

Don't write leading questions
Leading questions demand a specific response. For example: the question "Which day of the month is best for the newly established company-wide monthly meeting?" leads respondents to pick a date without first determining if they even want another meeting.  

Avoid double negatives
Respondents can easily be confused deciphering the meaning of a question that uses two negative words.  

Balance rating scales
When the question requires respondents to use a rating scale, mediate the scale so that there is room for both extremes.  

Don't make the list of choices too long
If the list of answer categories is long and unfamiliar, it is difficult for respondents to evaluate all of them. Keep the list of choices short.  

Avoid difficult concepts
Some questions involve concepts that are difficult for many people to understand.

Avoid difficult recall questions
People's memories are increasingly unreliable as you ask them to recall events farther and farther back in time. You will get far more accurate information from people if you ask, "About how many times in the last month  have you gone out and seen a movie in a movie theater or drive-in?" rather than, "About how many times last year did you go out and see a movie in a movie theater or drive-in?"  

Use Closed-ended questions rather than Open-ended ones
Most questionnaires rely on questions with a fixed number of response categories from which respondents select their answers. These are useful because the respondents know clearly the purpose of the question and are limited to a set of choices where one answer is right for them.  
An open-ended question is a written response. For example: "If you do not want a company picnic, please explain why". If there are an excessive number of written response questions, it reduces the quality and attention the respondents give to the answers.
However, InfoPoll allows you to use a wide variety of other types of questions.

Put your questions in a logic order
The issues raised in one question can influence how people think about subsequent questions. It is good to ask a general question and then ask more specific questions. For example, you should avoid asking a series of questions about a free banking service and then question about the most important factors in selecting a bank.  

Pre-test your survey
It is better to identify a problem during the pretest than after you have published the survey. Before sending a survey to a target audience, send it out as a test to a small number of people. After they have completed the survey, brainstorm with them to see if they had problems answering any questions. It would help if they explained what the question meant to them and whether it was valid to the questionnaire or not.

Naming your survey
Some people discard an electronic message based entirely on its subject or sender. You should consider other titles that will pique the interest of the recipients. Here are examples of survey names that might be successful in getting attention:  
-Memo From the Chief Executive Officer
-Evaluation of Services of the Benefits Office
-Your Opinion About Financial Services
-Free T-shirt
-Win a Trip to Paris
-Please Respond By Friday
-Free Subscription
-Win a notebook computer

Cover memo or introduction
Once a recipient opens your survey, you may still need to motivate him or her to complete it. The cover memo or introduction offers an excellent place to provide the motivation. A good cover memo or introduction should be short and includes:  
-Purpose of the survey
-Why it is important to hear from the correspondent
-What may be done with the results and what possible impacts may occur with the results.
-Address identification
-Person to contact for questions about the survey.
-Due date for response

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Q 2. What do you mean by primary data? What are the various methods of collecting primary data?
Primary sources are original sources from which the researcher directly collects data that have not been previously collected e.g.., collection of data directly by the researcher on brand awareness, brand preference, brand loyalty and other aspects of consumer behaviour from a sample of consumers by interviewing them,. Primary data are first hand information collected through various methods such as observation, interviewing, mailing etc.

Methods of Collecting Primary Data

Primary data are directly collected by the researcher from their original sources. In this case, the researcher can collect the required date precisely according to his research needs, he can collect them when he wants them and in the form he needs them. But the collection of primary data is costly and time consuming. Yet, for several types of social science research required data are not available from secondary sources and they have to be directly gathered from the primary sources.

In such cases where the available data are inappropriate, inadequate or obsolete, primary data have to be gathered. They include: socio economic surveys, social anthropological studies of rural communities and tribal communities, sociological studies of social problems and social institutions. Marketing research, leadership studies, opinion polls, attitudinal surveys, readership, radio listening and T.V. viewing surveys, knowledge-awareness practice (KAP) studies, farm managements studies, business management studies etc.

There are various methods of data collection. A ‘Method’ is different from a ‘Tool’ while a method refers to the way or mode of gathering data, a tool is an instruments used for the method. For example, a schedule is used for interviewing. The important methods are

(a) observation, (b) interviewing, (c) mail survey, (d) experimentation,

(a) observation:Observation means viewing or seeing. Observation may be defined as a systematic viewing of a specific phenomenon in its proper setting for the specific purpose of gathering data for a particular study. Observation is classical method of scientific study.

(b) interviewing:Interviewing is one of the prominent methods of data collection. It may be defined as a two way systematic conversation between an investigator and an informant, initiated for obtaining information relevant to a specific study. It involves not only conversation, but also learning from the respondent’s gesture, facial expressions and pauses, and his environment. Interviewing requires face to face contact or contact over telephone and calls for interviewing skills. It is done by using a structured schedule or an unstructured guide.

(c) mail survey:The mail survey is a data collection process for researchers. Research practitioners should recognize that this is a viable means of collecting specific market data.

(d) experimentation:The popularity of experimentation in marketing research has much to do with the possibilities of establishing cause and effect. Experiments can be configured in such a way as to allow the variable causing a particular effect to be isolated. Other methods commonly used in marketing research, like surveys, provide much more ambiguous findings. In fact, experimentation is the most scientific method employed in marketing research.


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Q 3/b. Distinguish between research methods & research Methodology.

Research Methods vs Research Methodology
Research Methods and Research Methodology are two terms that are often confused as one and the same. Strictly speaking they are not so and they show differences between them. One of the primary differences between them is that research methods are the methods by which you conduct research into a subject or a topic. On the other hand research methodology explains the methods by which you may proceed with your research.
Research methods involve conduct of experiments, tests, surveys and the like. On the other hand research methodology involves the learning of the various techniques that can be used in the conduct of research and in the conduct of tests, experiments, surveys and critical studies. This is the technical difference between the two terms, namely, research methods and research methodology.
In short it can be said that research methods aim at finding solutions to research problems. On the other hand research methodology aims at the employment of the correct procedures to find out solutions.
It is thus interesting to note that research methodology paves the way for research methods to be conducted properly. Research methodology is the beginning whereas research methods are the end of any scientific or non-scientific research.
Let us take for example a subject or a topic, namely, ‘employment of figures of speech in English literature’. In this topic if we are to conduct research, then the research methods that are involved are study of various works of the different poets and the understanding of the employment of figures of speech in their works.
On the other hand research methodology pertaining to the topic mentioned above involves the study about the tools of research, collation of various manuscripts related to the topic, techniques involved in the critical edition of these manuscripts and the like.
If the subject into which you conduct a research is a scientific subject or topic then the research methods include experiments, tests, study of various other results of different experiments performed earlier in relation to the topic or the subject and the like.
On the other hand research methodology pertaining to the scientific topic involves the techniques regarding how to go about conducting the research, the tools of research, advanced techniques that can be used in the conduct of the experiments and the like. Any student or research candidate is supposed to be good at both research methods and research methodology if he or she is to succeed in his or her attempt at conducting research into a subject.

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Q 5. What are the differences between observation and interviewing as methods of data collection? Give two specific examples of situations where either observation or interviewing would be more appropriate.

Ans:- Observation means viewing or seeing. Observation may be defined as a systematic viewing of a specific phenomenon in its proper setting for the specific purpose of gathering data for a particular study. Observation is classical method of scientific study.

Observation as a method of data collection has certain characteristics.
1. It is both a physical and a mental activity: The observing eye catches many things that are present. But attention is focused on data that are pertinent to the given study.

2. Observation is selective: A researcher does not observe anything and everything, but selects the range of things to be observed on the basis of the nature, scope and objectives of his study. For example, suppose a researcher desires to study the causes of city road accidents and also formulated a tentative hypothesis that accidents are caused by violation of traffic rules and over speeding. When he observed the movements of vehicles on the road, many things are before his eyes; the type, make, size and colour of the vehicles, the persons sitting in them, their hair style, etc. All such things which are not relevant to his study are ignored and only over speeding and traffic violations are keenly observed by him.

3. Observation is purposive and not casual: It is made for the specific purpose of noting things relevant to the study. It captures the natural social context in which persons behaviour occur. It grasps the significant events and occurrences that affect social relations of the participants.


4. Observation should be exact and be based on standardized tools of research and such as observation schedule, social metric scale etc., and precision instruments, if any.

Interviewing is one of the prominent methods of data collection. It may be defined as a two way systematic conversation between an investigator and an informant, initiated for obtaining information relevant to a specific study. It involves not only conversation, but also learning from the respondent’s gesture, facial expressions and pauses, and his environment. Interviewing requires face to face contact or contact over telephone and calls for interviewing skills. It is done by using a structured schedule or an unstructured guide. Interviewing may be used either as a main method or as a supplementary one in studies of persons. Interviewing is the only suitable method for gathering information from illiterate or less educated respondents. It is useful for collecting a wide range of data from factual demographic data to highly personal and intimate information relating to a person’s opinions, attitudes, values, beliefs past experience and future intentions. When qualitative information is required or probing is necessary to draw out fully, and then interviewing is required. Where the area covered for the survey is a compact, or when a sufficient number of qualified interviewers are available, personal interview is feasible.
Interview is often superior to other data-gathering methods. People are usually more willing to talk than to write. Once report is established, even confidential information may be obtained. It permits probing into the context and reasons for answers to questions. Interview can add flesh to statistical information. It enables the investigator to grasp the behavioural context of the data furnished by the respondents.





Observation is suitable for a variety of research purposes. It may be used for studying
(a) The behavior of human beings in purchasing goods and services.: life style, customs, and manner, interpersonal relations, group dynamics, crowd behavior, leadership styles, managerial style, other behaviours and actions;
(b) The behaviour of other living creatures like birds, animals etc.
(c) Physical characteristics of inanimate things like stores, factories, residences etc.
(d) Flow of traffic and parking problems
(e) movement of materials and products through a plant.

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