layer of the research onion finds the three different philosophies that can be
used within the business area I am interested with (see figure 1 above). The
part of research I am interested for the dissertation is regularly a mixture
between positivism and interpretivist. I have joined these two philosophies as
it has given me more flexibility during the research.
assumes that reality exists independently of the thing being studied.1 Using this philosophy
made me collect all the data and readings about it. Positivism is in accordance
with the researcher view that knowledge stems from human experience. It has an
atomistic, ontological view of the world as including separate, observable
elements and events that interact in an observable, determined and regular
manner.2 Per Saunders, et al,
(2007, p106), conducting the research using the interpretivist philosophy
‘prompts us to the difference between humans in our role as social actors’. The
interpretivist philosophy seemed as being more improved to the ever changing
world of business organizations (Saunders, et al,, p 115-116).
choice of this philosophy is strengthened by the fact that to do the research I
needed to enter the business world of consumers and tried to understand their
world in their point of views (Saunders, et al, p116). This philosophy was well
improved to the Business world where I needed to understand the different
levels of influence that was different to the people surveyed. The positivism
philosophy continued to have more weight during the research.
3.2 Research Approaches
deductive approach might be considered particularly suited to the positivist
approach, which permits the making of hypotheses and the statistical testing of
expected results to an accepted level of probability (Snieder & Larner,
2009).3 However using a
deductive approach can also be used for a qualitative research technique. Though
in such cases the expectations formed by pre-existing research would be
formulated differently than through hypothesis testing (Saunders et al, 2007).
deductive approach is characterized as the development from general to
particular. Quantitative research was designed to test the theory about all the
factors to have a successful business and to analyses all the outcomes of the
research. The inductive approach is characterized as a move from the specific
to the general (Bryman & Bell, 2011).4 This approach has no
framework but can formed after all the data has been collected. So for my
research I have gone ahead with using the inductive research as all the data
and information has been collected so then can focus on the research.
3.3 Research Strategies
Research strategy is to show how the researcher intends to carry out all the
work (Saunders et al., 2007).5 This strategy includes
different approaches, such as experimental research, action research, case
study research, interviews, surveys, or a systematic literature review.
Experimental research refers to the strategy of creating a research process
that examines the results of an experiment against the expected results
(Saunders et al., 2007). It can be used in all areas of research, and usually
involves the consideration of a relatively limited number of factors (Saunders
et al., 2007). The relationship between the factors are examined, and judged
against the expectation of the research outcomes. Action research is
characterized as a practical approach to a specific research problem within a
community of practice (Bryman, 2012). It involves examining practice to
establish that it corresponds to the best approach.
study research is the assessment of a single unit. It can offer an insight into
the specific nature of any example, and can establish the importance of culture
and context in differences between cases (Silverman, 2013).6 This form of research
is effective in financial research, such as comparing the experiences of two companies,
or comparing the effect of investment in difference contexts.
theory is a qualitative methodology that draws on an inductive approach whereby
patterns are derived from the data as a precondition for the study (May, 2011).7 When this is added all
the results are been added all together from the research that has been
completed. So for my research I’ll be doing a questionnaire where I would
collect all the information from different consumers and add that altogether
for a final result. Surveys tend to be used
in quantitative research projects, and involve sampling a representative amount
of the people (Bryman & Bell, 2011). The surveys produce quantitative data
that can be analysed. Surveys are most commonly used to examine causal variables
between different types of data.
involves the close observation of people, examining their cultural interaction
and their meaning (Bryman, 2012).8 When this process has
been included the researcher tries to understand all the different meanings and
the importance of behavior.
the dissertation, I have used the survey as suitable research strategy to
answer the research question. The survey strategy is related to the deductive
approach used in the research approach, to allow me narrow down my research and
analyse all the outcome of the research. Using research surveys has helped me
reach different target audience to get information from them on how they came
up with their own business and what were the advantages and disadvantages of
becoming a successful business. Saunders, et, al (2006, p138) explained that
these data are consistent and allow easy judgement. Surveys are easy to
understand for respondents as they are well shown and used to answer surveys.
Also, using surveys was the best way to collect a large amount of answers
3.4 Market Strategies
Business that is successful has a clear and understanding market strategy that
makes everything that had been done all will be done more effective. Strategy
is simply the decisions you need to make so your tactics work better. Marketing
strategy is the foundation for creating awareness, generating interest, closing
new sales and continuing customer engagement. The marketing strategy guides the
whole company culture, and also the products and services mix and pricing.
some businesses which are small owned businesses get caught in to daily
marketing such as building the website sending emails, tweeting about the
company and advertising blogging and so on, that they are not taking the time
to work on the decisions that’ll improve the performance of their tactics.
The 5 Keys of Marketing
Who is your narrowly defined target customer?
In which category does your business exist?
What is your unique benefit?
Who is your real competition?
How are you clearly different from your competitors?
3.5 Time Horizons
5 of the research onion has two time horizon methods. Time Horizon is the time
framework within which the project is planned for completion (Saunders et al., 2007).
First is the cross sectional that is used to conduct a short time study. The
other method is longitudinal is used when doing a long term study.
Cross-sectional can be used by doing qualitative and quantitative research in
the cross-sectional method. It helps observing the behavior of a group of
people or an aspect. This same method can be used to study on an individual at
one point of time. Longitudinal method also used qualitative and quantitative
research methods. However this method to study behavior and events with focused
samples over a longer time. Between these two types
of time horizons, the cross-sectional is the one that is relevant to the
planned research project. I am researching about the factors on how to become a
has the benefit of being used to study change and development. Furthermore, it
allows the establishment of some control over the variables being studied. The
time horizon selected is not dependent on a specific research approach or
methodology (Saunders et al., 2007).
3.6 Methods and
this research, I have recognized some important information I was interested in
studying. Through this research I was interested in finding out how a consumer
comes up with their own business and what kind of things they go through as the
market is changing I wanted to see and understand what kind of things they are
facing.I was interested to understand what influenced the owner through their
decision-making process to get a successful business. The questionnaire counts
10 questions and takes to respondent between 3 and 5 minutes to answer. To
answer the research question, I have used descriptive studies. For the
research, I needed to combine these two kinds of study since. I have used both
deductive and inductive approaches to answer the research question. Moreover, I
have used descriptive study to test the theory. This has been done by
collecting and analysing quantitative data through a survey, during the
3.7 Data analysis
Analysis is evaluating data using analytical and logical reasoning to examine
each section of data provided. This analysis is just one of the steps that have
to complete when showing a research experiment. There are a variety of specific
data analysis method, some of which include data mining, text analytics,
business intelligence, and data visualizations. I have used Google Forms to
design the questionnaire and collect data; I have also used the analysis graphs
tools offered by Google. Graphics images were important in the analysis of the
results since they allowed me to see and then analyses the results in a clear
3.8 Limitations to the research
Through the processes
of writing up this dissertation, I came across a few factors of limitations to
this research I have chosen to do. The time was one of the limits that I had
faced in writing up this dissertation. Writing up the theories and also
explaining all the data that was collected for this dissertation it sometimes
to find the time and concentration and energy needed to carry the best research
for this dissertation.
The last and one of the most important
limitations was the information that I had found from the literature on the area. The business world is
increasing is recent and I have sometimes come across
some problems to find a lot of valued and accurate information on the subject.
3.9 Data collection
answer the research question during the dissertation, I have used primary data
collection. Using primary data collection allowed me to talk about specific
issues to consumers about their use of Social Media and how these media exactly
influence their purchase decision-making processes.
collection was a serious part of the research since this was the basement of
the findings. Moreover, using primary data gave me a greater control on the
collection of information. I have decided when I wanted to spread the
questionnaire online and when I wanted to stop the collection of information.
Data collection has started on the 13th October 2017 and has finished on 29th December 2017.
The collection lasted about 2 months this gave me enough time to collect all the
data analysis and also wait for different responses from consumers. I had about
3 weeks after the collection of the data to analyse all the results in the
questionnaire, having 2 months was a good amount of time to get many
respondents to the questionnaire.
To create the
questionnaire I used google forms. This was a good site to use as I have used
it many times before to create questionnaires so using this was site was good
for me as I knew were and how to use it. Google forms is a free site it doesn’t
have any kind of restrictions to how many questions you add to the
the possibility to collect data for free with no limitations was an important
issue for me since I needed to ask an important number of questions to be the
most specific possible.
I already had the chance to use Google Forms in the past so I was already
familiar with its different functions available for designing the questionnaire
and collecting the necessary data for the research.
Social Media’s platforms and tools to collect data was very useful in my research as this allowed me to quickly
share the survey by posting on Social Networks ‘feeds’ and sending messages to
my contacts to ask them to share the survey to their own contacts.
Research Methodology based in this chapter
recognizes and explains the choses for conducting different research. Saunders,
Lewis and Thornhill define research as “the systematic collection and
interpretation of information to find things out”.
Types of the research methods according to the
nature of research can be divided into two groups: descriptive and analytical. Descriptive
research mainly deals with the “description of the state of affairs as it is at
present” 9(K.R) and there is no control over variables in
Analytical research, on the other hand, is
fundamentally different in a way that “the researcher has to use facts or
information already available and analyse these in order to make a critical
evaluation of the material” 10(K.R)
A concept map is
a type of graphic planner used to help organize and represent knowledge of a
subject, into a narrower and clear idea. Concept maps begin with a main idea
(or concept) and then branch out to show how that main idea can be broken down
into specific topics. I have added the following Concept Mapping to best
explain the research by providing a better understanding of the concept of a
successful business. This is important to me to have the widest picture of all
Business. Therefore, before starting the research I wanted to be sure that I
had completely understood the different stages.
The research onion was established by
Saunders et al. (2007). It shows the stages that must be covered when
developing a research strategy. When the research onion is viewed from the
outside, each layer of the onion describes a full detailed stage of the
research process (Saunders et al., 2007). The research onion offers an effective
development through which a research methodology can be designed.
Figure 1 – Research Onion
Saunders et al, 2007
This research Methodology has been used
to write up this dissertation by using the Research Onion. By using the
Research Onion this helped me understand my topic much better and helped me
successfully structure the research methodology by evaluating the research and
applying it through the different Onion Layers (Figure 1 above). Viewing the
research methodology and the methods in the different layers all helped me
answer all the different parts that were needed to carry out this research.
Furthermore, using the Onion’s layers helped me to best structure the research
starting from the most general to the most specific aspects.
4 Banister, P., Bunn, G., Burman, E., & Daniels, J. (2011).
Qualitative Methods In Psychology: A Research Guide. London: McGraw-Hill
5 Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2007). Research
Methods for Business Students, (6th ed.) London: Pearson.
6 Silverman, D. (2013). Doing Qualitative Research: A practical
handbook. London: Sage.
7 May, T. (2011). Social research: Issues, methods and research.
London: McGraw-Hill International.
9 4 Kumar, R. (2008) “Research Methodology” APH Publishing
10 5 Kumar, R. (2008) “Research Methodology” APH Publishing