Research in an Organization
The Use of Research in Dell Inc.
Research is vital for every business that intends to remain relevant in the market. Dell Inc uses research as a tool to identify its customers. Dell Inc may recognize the tastes and preferences of its target customers through surveys. Dell usually employs market research in its investigations. So, to interact with consumers, the company uses Dell.com. The interactive course provides Dell with vital data on consumers’ feelings towards products, and what they think could be done to enhance these products.
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Subsequent to such feedback, from the public, the corporation can enhance its services and products. Dell, as well, employs online questionnaire, where they gather reactions about certain ideas, new suggestions, and thoughts from their clients. Idea storm enables Dell society members to recommend intriguing ideas regarding services and products they would wish Dell to provide. Such recommendations can be shared among other individuals of society.
Moreover, such research allows Dell business to analyze its competitors, in the industry, and imitate some strategies that may, similarly, help in its actions. It, as well, provides the company with an opportunity to update itself on the newest market tendencies; this information proves helpful in the preparation of valuable concepts and strategies for sensation in the market. Thus, Dell Inc can construct knowledgeable and educated decisions through research.
Dell employs marketing research as an instrument to resolve any marketing troubles they may be experiencing, or they expect may occur in the prospect. Dell can maintain track of marketing practices, new inclinations, and the occurrences of its market, through research. Dell usually collects valuable marketing information, through research, which keeps the company conversant with the interests of the clients. This assists the business to construct marketing strategies and other plans they may desire to execute, so as, to cater to the needs of the consumer.
The introduction of online tools enables market research at Dell. At present, Dell can manage to get to its markets and acquire credible data for contribution into its planning and business procedures like establishing whether a product idea is a feasible/possible demand for a product; perceiving the traits of a service/product that may interest customers; making enhanced service or product depending on the interests of the customers; creating improved target promotion and other advertising plans; shaping price points for services or commodities; restoring dialogue with long-lost or quiescent clients, and making individuals aware of subsidiary commodities.
Current Areas of Research at Dell Inc.
At present, Dell is conducting research about the latest models in its private computer line. Dell wants to have a demographic outlook of the amount and people or corporations, who will buy the latest model in its personal computer line. Since, managers, at Dell, do not have the time or proficiency to acquire such data, and the marketing sector may not be, in a position, to offer the detailed data from previous knowledge, Dell is using market research to obtain this information.
At present, Dell is, also, using business research to examine upcoming rivals in the market. Dell usually starts with secondary research data or data that are already accessible. Dell wants to know the proportion of consumers in the market who buy its products against those consumers who purchase products of its competitors. Hence, researchers, at Dell, are examining the purchasing tendencies in the business, with the intention of boosting Dell’s share in the market. Increasing market share in a business leads to enlarged sales and profits.
Dell is also, using business research to ascertain sufficient distribution of its commodities. Dell is conducting a distribution follow up study to make sure that its clients receive ordered products on time. The company is also, using research to advertise all its products to consumers. This helps to determine whether Dell needs to enlarge its distribution, especially of the new computer lines.
Besides, Dell is pursuing business research, in order to assess the potential success of new commodities. Businesses should know the nature of services and products that consumers need/desire ahead of marketing. Currently, Dell is interviewing individuals to assess the usability of its new products in the market.
Areas that Need Further Research in the Company
Dell hardly conducts research to evaluate its advertising efficiency. I feel that Dell should focus on this area of research, as it is of significant value. Dell could use business research to ascertain the proficiency of its advertising. For instance, Dell could scrutinize the percentage of people who viewed its latest television commercial. The company may discover that other persons come to know of its advertising depending on the duration that the ad runs. Dell may necessitate running its television ads at diverse t phases if few individuals have seen the ads. Dell can, as well, utilize business research to investigate whether customers remember the slogan or message of its commercials.
I, also, feel that Dell needs to conduct further research on the experiences of customers during the buying process. For instance, the company could research how the customer got to know about their products and his/her experiences during the buying and acquisition process.
So, to accomplish this, a survey that contains questions like how the customer got to know about the products, and why the customer decided to purchase that product, and no other substitutes, could be formulated. Questions regarding after-sales service and usability of the commodity to the customer can also be included in the survey. Through this course, the company will be able to identify its fields of weaknesses and strengths, and areas that make it remain top, as compared to its rivals.
Dell is also reluctant in surveying the price of its commodities. It is vital for any company to compare its prices with those of the rivals, regardless of quality. This, in turn, makes the company remain relevant, and not to risk losing clients.
Thus, corporations conduct research for various reasons, including collecting fundamental data regarding business and consumer clients. Nevertheless, firms should ensure that they employ the proper methods for gathering customer data. Several company market researchers utilize online surveys, so as, to obtain reliable data, hastily. Nevertheless, businesses should ensure that they fill sufficient surveys so that the outcomes can best characterize the views of the whole demographic that they should serve.
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Secondary search and qualitative and quantitative research
The Distinctions between Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources in a Secondary Search
Primary sources are initial resources on which other researches become founded. They give information in its original shape, not construed or appraised by other writers (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). Primary sources provide original views, describe findings, or distribute new data. Some examples of primary sources consist of letters, personal narratives, speeches, and government documents.
Secondary sources are explanations that could be written following the fact with the advantage of retrospection. They describe, deduce, examine, and assess primary sources. They interpret and discuss data, which gets offered by primary sources. Secondary sources are works that are not directly linked to the occasion or data to which they submit. Some examples of secondary sources include textbooks, journal articles, dissertations, and magazines.
Tertiary sources collect, incorporate, and evaluate secondary, or, even, primary sources. They have a tendency of presenting factual information. Some examples of tertiary sources comprise abstracts, directories, and bibliographies.
Problems of Secondary Data Quality Researchers Face
The setback of secondary data quality, which a researcher should face is determining and substantiating the value of the secondary resources that the researcher should employ (Cooper & Schindler, 2006). When using secondary sources, researchers should attempt to verify the precision of the data. For instance, a researcher who quotes a newspaper item, regarding a court hearing, ought to dig further to confirm the data. Researchers may be required to obtain records of the court hearing, in order to accomplish this task. Researchers should establish the merit of secondary sources, every now and then (McDonnel, 2010).
So, to utilize reliable secondary sources and obtain precise and honest data, a researcher should authenticate the sources through evaluating them, carefully. A researcher should consider the principle, power, scope, and audience that the data relies on, in order to assess secondary sources (Cooper & Schindler, 2006). Establishing these aspects will assist a researcher select secondary sources that have significant value.
The Differences between Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research
Qualitative research becomes opinionated in approach as it attempts to realize human actions and reasons that motivate such actions. Researchers are apt to be subjectively absorbed in the topical issue, in this research technique. In quantitative research, conversely, researchers are apt to stay alienated, impartially, from the topical issue. Thus, the approach of quantitative research is objective, since it just seeks exact measurements and investigation of target notions to answer inquests (Fink, 1995). Qualitative research becomes used in the early stages of research projects, whereas quantitative research gets recommended for the last fractions of research projects.
Quantitative research gives the researcher a lucid image of what to anticipate in his research, as opposed to qualitative research (Carmines & Zeller, 1991). The researcher, in qualitative research, acts as the main data gathering tool.
Here, the researcher utilizes a range of data-collection strategies depending on the approach or drive of the research. Examples of data-collection approaches employed in qualitative research are an entity, profound interviews, focus groups, non-structured and structured interviews, narratives, archival research, documentary or content analysis, and participant observation. Conversely, quantitative research utilizes tools like surveys, questionnaires, and other apparatus to gather measurable or numerical data.
The Difference Between Data from Qualitative Research and Data in Quantitative Research
First, qualitative research presents data, in the shape of words, which comes from interviews, images, or artifacts. Conversely, quantitative research presents data in the form of figures, graphs, and tables (Neil, 2007). Second, qualitative research relies on human analysis ahead of computer coding, which makes the researcher to observe the contextual structure of the event getting assessed, whereas quantitative research employs computerized investigation, such as, mathematical and other statistical methods. The quantitative method, unlike the qualitative analysis, maintains an apparent division between opinions and facts. Also, it may continue in the course of the project.
Third, qualitative research has a profound height of appreciation, and researcher involvement in data gathering enables insight to form and be experienced during the course. Conversely, quantitative research gets restricted by the chance to investigate respondents and the eminence of the original information collection tool; insights pursue data gathering and data entry, with a restricted capacity to re-interview partakers.
Recommended Qualitative Research for a Manufacturer of Small Kitchen Electrics
A Manufacturer of Small Kitchen Electrics wants to establish if some Innovative Designs with Unusual Shapes and Colors Developed for the European Market could be Successfully Marketed in the U.S. Market
The best qualitative research technique would be to carry out various focus groups, where the new designs can be revealed to customers, in order to observe their responses. This can be carried out through video-conference or online. A focus group is a qualitative research whereby a cluster of persons gets asked about their views, insights, attitudes, and beliefs regarding a commodity, concept, service, idea, or promotion (Henderson, 2009).
Queries become asked in an interactive group situation where members are, at liberty, to converse with other members, in the group. Focus groups enable businesses wishing to name, expand, test markets, or package a fresh product, to observe, discuss, and assess the fresh commodity before it becomes accessible to the community. This offers valuable information regarding the potential market of the commodity.
The benefit of such a focus group is that the sample can be obtained from wide demography and geography, where the designs are observable.
Research with Experimentation
“Adolescents report both positive and negative consequences of experimentation with cigarette use” by Brady et al.
The Independent and Dependent Variables Used in the Study
The dependent variable is changeable which may be considered to be the outcome of an independent variable (Sarstadet & Mooi, 2011). In the study by Brady et al. (2008), the dependent variable is experimentation with cigarette use. Conversely, an independent variable is changeable which may be considered to be the origin or rationalization for dependent variables. The independent variable in this study is adolescents.
The Sampling used to gather Subjects, as well as on the Reliability and Validity of the Study
Reliability gets concerned with ensuring that the process of data gathering results in inconsistent outcomes. This can be determined by having diverse researchers pursue similar processes, in order to see whether results will be identical. The method can be said to be reliable when the outcomes are similar. Conversely, validity refers to the study being able to measure what it got designed to measure.
The study became limited to only 155 adolescents who reported smoking whole cigarettes or puffing, at any of the four-time periods throughout the study (Brady eta l., 2008).155 adolescents are too few to represent the entire adolescent population. Again, this population became obtained from California high schools only. Although these students came from different backgrounds, they might have gotten influence by the environment at California High schools.
Thus, there is no way this study could give accurate results since the study did not become conducted in the actual environments of adolescents. Thus, we can not say that the behavior of adolescents from diverse backgrounds, at California Schools, represents how the same adolescents could behave in their home environments. This can be supported by the fact that different environments influence human behavior in diverse ways.
Also, the sample of the study became limited to those adolescents attending two northern California public high schools. The study did not consider those adolescents who were out of high school. The study, besides, left out those adolescents from private schools. Thus, the results of this study cannot be reliable as the study became limited to a narrow population.
The data became collected every 6 months throughout the ninth and tenth grades (Brady et al., 2008). This demonstrates that the results did not get collected at the same time length, yet the results were similar. Hence, we can say that the study was valid, from this perspective.
In the study of Baddy et al., there is some validity drawing from the research method. The focus of the experiment necessitated the collection of qualitative data, for evaluation. Brady et al. (2008) gathered qualitative data from high school learners in California and obtained in-depth information, which got afterward transformed into quantitative data. Such information is hard to collect from other research techniques like laboratory experiments, where participants get denied an elongated duration to convey their true views and emotions because of time restrictions, occasionally, having to select a response quantitatively.
The study appears reliable as figures get used to demonstrate results. Using figures in a study makes the work be reliable and worthy of trust. Brady et al. (2008) reveal “45% of adolescents reported both positive and negative consequences of experimentation, in comparison to a third who reported no consequences and smaller groups of roughly 10% who reported only positive or only negative consequences” (p. 6). Also, he reveals “of the entire sample of adolescents who reported smoking at some time point during the study, 47% initially reported only puffing on cigarettes while 53% initially reported having progressed to smoking whole cigarettes” (Brady et al., 2008, p. 6). Using figures makes the data appear real. He, also, uses tables, in the analysis, which makes the work easy to analyze.
Brady et al. (2008) only used surveys and did not employ other methods of data collection. Thus, the trustworthiness of the data can be questioned. In premise, no study can be trusted entirely except when one can verify to the reader that the data is accurate. The most appropriate way to achieve this is to employ diverse methods of data collection including questionnaires, interviews, and observation, and strive to attain a similar result, in order to validate the hypothesis.
Researchers become concerned with both internal and external validity. External validity denotes the degree to which the outcomes of a study can be indiscriminate. This implies that the results can be applied to a wide population, or the outcomes can be applied under different contexts. Although participants, in the study, reported diverse ethnic backgrounds, we can not ascertain that their behavior at California public schools represents the behavior at their places of origin. This is because the learners from diverse backgrounds could have become influenced by the behavior of other adolescents, in the same school, making them adopt the new behavior. Thus, the results of this study do not fit to be generalized to the entire world.
The study has internal validity. This denotes the strict steps to which the study became carried out, including the design, performing measurements, as well as, decisions regarding what was and was not to be measured. Participants, in the study, and design became well organized. Measurements became, also, prearranged.
For instance, Brady et al. (2008) explain “adolescents were asked their level of smoking experience for each type of smoking (1 time, 2–5 times, 6–10 times, more than 10 times)” (p.5). Brady et al. (2008) explain that the study did not measure all of the outcomes that got related to adolescents’ decision making regarding cigarette smoking. He, also, explains that the testing lacked the sample size or data collection waves to check whether early experiences could be linked with ensuing intention to smoke and the smoking activities.
The study has criterion validity. This is because the criteria of the study, starting from the participants, to the design and conclusion, became organized well.
However, the study lacks construct validity. Construct Validity tries to find agreement connecting a theoretical concept and a measuring tool or process. This is because there lacks theoretical support for some procedures; that takes place, in the study. For instance, former research has not studied the proportion of adolescents reporting certain consequences after experimenting with cigarette use (Brady et al., 2008). Hence, there is no agreement between theory and procedure.
However, from the conclusion that “adolescents experience both positive and negative consequences of experimentation with cigarette use”(Brady et al.,2008, p.10), it is apparent that the study was valid, as it was able to serve the intended role, or, else, it was able to measure what it could be expected to measure.
Research with Survey
The study aimed at investigating reasons that led most college students to purchase Linux laptops. So, to conduct the study, I prepared a questionnaire that had six independent questions (in the appendix). The questionnaire got administered to 10 college students, who were in possession of Linux laptops. All of these university students were course mates at Australian University.
What need(s) did you want to satisfy?
10 % of the participants said that they purchased the Linux laptops out of essential needs. 60% of the participants reported that they acquired the Linux laptop out of the need for belonging and self-esteem. Finally, 30% of the participants reported that they obtained the Linux laptop for esteem purposes.
How did you realize your need(s)?
10% of the participants reported that they realized the need for a Linux laptop from the desire to complete assignments on time. 60% of the participants reported that they realized the need for a Linux laptop from the desire to watch movies like their classmates who had such laptops and to associate themselves with their colleagues. 30% of the participants reported that they realized the need for a Linux laptop, as it was prestigious to have such an item.
What information sources did you check to obtain data about the laptop?
20 % of the participants reported that they obtained data about the Linux laptop from the Internet. 50 % of the participants reported that they obtained data about the Linux laptop from friends. 10 % of the participants reported that they obtained data about the Linux laptop from magazines. Lastly, 20 % of the participants reported that they obtained data about the Linux laptop from TV advertisements.
What evaluative criteria did you use?
40% of the respondents said that they did not evaluate the Linux laptop against others, as they became already convinced that it was the best brand. 30 % of the participants explained that they evaluated the features of all the laptops, such as the durability of the battery, size of the hard disk, and memory capacity, as well as, speed. The remaining 30% explained that they considered the authentic appeal and portability of all the laptops.
Why did you pick the Product a Linux laptop?
30 % of the participants explained that they preferred the Linux laptop against the Toshiba, HP Compaq, and Dell laptop, as it had a lasting battery, a larger hard disk, and memory capacity, as well as, a higher speed than the rest. The remaining 30% explained that they preferred the Linux laptop over the others because of its authentic appeal and portability, as it was not as heavy as others.
The remaining 40% reported that they picked the Linux laptop because they had seen their friends and relatives use the brand with no complaints.
Were you satisfied with the purchase and why?
90% of the participants agree that they became fully satisfied with their purchase, as it serves the intended function. All of this group express their satisfaction regarding the after-sales service, especially how the laptop became packed in a nice bag. 10% of the participants did not get contented with the purchase. This is because the laptop, occasionally, becomes slow in reading the movies. When the respondent complained to the support representative, he became informed that he had to give a minimal fee for hard disc replacement before his problem could be solved.
The Validity and Reliability of the Questionnaire
The questionnaire had a clear objective, which was to investigate reasons that led most university students to purchase Linux laptops.
The questionnaire made use of both structured and unstructured questions, which gave respondents an opportunity to express themselves, fully. Hence, the results could be valid. The questionnaire used a small sample size of 10 college students, who are too few to represent the entire population that uses the Linux laptop.
The questionnaire, also, used just questions, thus making it precise, and easy to interpret. The questionnaire has internal validity. This denotes the strict steps to which the study got carried out, including the design, performing measurements, as well as, decisions regarding what was and was not to be measured. Participants, in the study, and design became well organized.
The questionnaire has both internal and external validity. External validity denotes the degree to which the outcomes of a study can be indiscriminate. This implies that the results can be applied to a wide population, or the outcomes can be applied under different contexts.
The questionnaire focuses on the collection of qualitative data, for evaluation, which becomes later transformed into quantitative data. Hence, the questionnaire seems to be reliable as it allows the employment of both the quantitative and qualitative methods of measurements (Thomas, 2003).
The questionnaire has external validity. External validity denotes the degree to which the outcomes of a study can be indiscriminate. This implies that the results can be applied to a wide population, or the outcomes can be applied under different contexts.
The questionnaire can measure what it should measure. Hence, it is valid. However, the reliability of the questionnaire can not be ascertained, unless we use other methods of data collection, to confirm these results.
The questionnaire appears reliable as it allows the use of figures in demonstrating results. Using figures in a study makes the work be reliable and worthy of trust.
However, the questionnaire became limited to only 10 college students who owned the Linux laptop. This proportion of college students is too few to represent the entire university population that uses Linux laptops. Again, this population became obtained, mainly, from the Australian university. Although these students came from different backgrounds, they might have become influenced by the environment at the Australian University.
Thus, there is no way this study could give accurate results since the study did not become conducted in diverse environments of the students. Thus, we can not say that the laptop buying behavior of college students from diverse backgrounds, at the Australian university, represents how the same learners could behave in their home environments. This can be supported by the fact that different environments influence buying behavior in diverse ways. The questionnaire did not consider the laptop buying behavior of learners from other colleges, apart from the Australian university. From this perspective, this questionnaire cannot be reliable as it got limited to a narrow population.
Brady, S.S., Song, A.V., & Halpern-Felsher, B.L. (2008). Adolescents report both positive and negative consequences of experimentation with cigarette use. San Francisco: University of California.
Carmines, E. G. & Zeller, R.A. (1991). Reliability and validity assessment. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.
Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P. S. (2006). Business research methods. 4th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Fink, L.A. (1995). How to measure survey reliability and validity. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Henderson, N. R. (2009). Managing moderator stress: take a deep breath. You can do this!. Marketing Research, 21, 28-29.
Leech, N. L., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2007). An array of qualitative data analysis tools. School Psychology Quarterly. 22, 557-584
McDonnel, D. (2010). Issues regarding reliable and valid research studies. Web.
Neil, J. (2007). Qualitative versus quantitative research: key points in a classic debate. Web.
Sarstadet, M. & Mooi, E. (2011). A concise guide to market research: the process, data, and methods. London: Sage.
Thomas, R.M. (2003). Blending Qualitative and quantitative methods in theses and dissertations. New York: Oxford University Press.
To investigate reasons that lead most university students to purchase Linux laptops
- What need(s) did you want to satisfy?
- Essential Needs
- Need for belonging
- How did you realize your need(s)
- What information sources did you check to obtain data about the laptop?
- TV Advertisements
- What evaluative criteria did you use?
- Why did you pick the Product a Linux laptop?
- Are you satisfied with your purchase and why?