Research design

Part II – Research Design
This part of the assignment will consist of a description of primary, applied/empirical, research (e.g. customer or potential customer surveys) to address the specific information requirements of the situation. This is a description of “applied” research to be conducted to provide knowledge that will assist in the decision making for your assigned problem.

You will describe: 1) the specific information to be collected (i.e., the variable(s) to be measured), 2) the relevance of the information to the decision process, and 3) the methodology by which the information will be collected (the research design). The methodology is where the researcher identifies the specific steps that will be taken to collect the information needed to answer the research questions.

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The design of an unbiased research methodology is the focus of the second part of this course. It is imperative that you understand, and can control, the potential sources of bias in a study.

Format:
I. Introduction
An explanation of the decision to be made (or problem solved or issue addressed). An explanation as to what information will be generated and how that information would be used to assist in the decision process for the problem assigned. This section should provide a clear description of the concepts to be studied and the variables that will be measured.
II. Research Plan
A description of the methodology/research plan. (See below)
III. Conclusion
A summary that ties together the sources of information (From both Part I and Part II of this term assignment) to demonstrate a comprehensive covering of the relevant information. Note: the conclusion of the paper cannot, for obvious reasons, present the results of your proposed research. But it should present a summary of how the information to be gained will inform the decision to be made.

Research Plan:
Identify the type of research to be conducted: exploratory, descriptive and/or causal/experimental (and your logic for your decision).
The research design will:
a) Define the nature of the information to be collected,
b) Identify the population of interest, the sampling frame, and the sample from which the data will be collected,
c) Describe the instrument (e.g., questionnaire) to be used to collect the information – including scales to be used,
d) Outline the fielding technique (the data collection method for administering the questionnaire, incentives, etc.), and
e) Explicitly state any known shortcomings of the research design.
When causal/experimental studies are proposed, this section should also define the experimental design to be used to control threats to internal and external validity. For complex hypotheses, this section will also include a description of the method by which subjects will be assigned to the various experimental and control groups.

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