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Lecture 2: Conceptual Frameworks and Writing Aims and Objectives

Dr. Kate Armstrong

Market Research Tools

Todays Session
Writing Aims & Objectives & Research Questions Literature reviews as Conceptual Frameworks

Market Research Tools

Dr. Kate Armstrong

Aim and Objectives


Typically have 1 aim Several objectives [that are instrumental in satisfying the aim] But, be careful, you dont necessarily have objectives if youre using Quant *hypothesis+ BUT you dont have to have hypothesis just because youre using quant.

What is an aim?
Why do you want to do the study and what you intend to accomplish? (Locke et al., 2007) An example of a real aim: This studys aim is to provide a better understanding of todays challenges that Austrian advertising agencies and clients face when implementing IMC [2010 UG dissertation submission] To contribute to current understanding of members consumption of art museums using the involvement construct and the Tate as a case study

The aim is important because it has implications for


oDesign o Measurement o Analysis o Reporting

It outlines your intentions


And ultimately leads to research questions (but is not the same) It identifies your research strategy, participants & where you are going to do your research

Qualitative Aims [Creswell]


Focus on a single concept or idea & develop a general working definition of it Use action verbs e.g. describe, develop, discover Try not to bias your questions Include words that explain your research strategy e.g. case study, ethnography Mention the participants e.g. designers, arts manager Identify the sites under investigation e.g. producing theatres or the programme e.g. school arts programmes

Quantitative Aims
The same principals apply but you use a different language Identify the theory, model or conceptual framework Identify the independent and dependent variables & any moderating or control variables Use words that connect variables e.g. the relationship between, comparison, association The independent variable goes first, dependent variable second & moderating variable in the middle Identify your research strategy (normally a survey) Identify your participants e.g. young people, aged 16 to 24 years or unit of analysis e.g. mixed arts venues Try to define each variable age explains itself but what do you mean by participation?

Conceptualising Objectives [Gilbert, 2008]


After you have defined your purpose, you need to get more SPECIFIC You do this by identifying research questions OR hypotheses These are central to the success of a project as they focus you and provide further direction & define your boundaries They guide:
the questions you ask in interviews [qual] And the questions you write & scales you use in surveys [quant]

Where do I get my aim from?


From your reading (literature review) and/ or your observations of what is happening in practice Conceptual framework: A conceptual framework is used in research to outline possible courses of action or to present a preferred approach to an idea or thought Questions & hypotheses often emerge from these activities BUT You should ALWAYS read around a subject to get as good an understanding as you can (or you miss things) Read, read and read some more.

Where do I get my aim from?


You then build your research design / project to ensure you answer your questions or test your hypothesis Essentially YOU ARE NOT ON YOUR OWN making these up most students make the mistake of thinking that they have to make everything up [then fail] you dont! USE the literature to help you make YOUR DECISIONS Then use the research paradigm to help you make more decisions Use your interest in the context you have chosen to FUEL these decisions DID WE MENTION THAT YOU HAVE TO READ A LOT??

What are objectives?


This is your to do list that are instrumental in achieving your aims They are derived and organised as a result of your literature review, your conceptual framework, and the gaps in theory, can be organised around a particular model/framework, replicate a previous study etc...
Marketing Research Tools Dr. Kate Armstrong

Objective Examples
UG Project on integrated marketing communications:
1. To review literature of IMC; 2. To explore the perception and implementation of the IMC concept among Austrias advertising agencies; 3. To examine how Austrian advertising agencies measure and evaluate IMC campaigns; 4. To discover clients experiences of IMC implementation and measurement; 5. To provide conclusions and recommendations for future research and practice of IMC.
Marketing Research Tools Dr. Kate Armstrong

Objective Examples
Consultancy Project:
1. To discover more about how Tate Members are involved (interact physically and emotionally) with the Tate and how it fits into their lives. 2. To understand what involvement with the Tate means for members. How do they see their involvement with the Tate and do they want to be more involved? 3. To examine Members deeply held values in relation to their interaction with the Tate brand. 4. To compare the characteristics of Tate Members across the involvement spectrum.
Market Research Tools Dr. Kate Armstrong

Objectives lead to qual questions


Objectives To examine female attitudes to online shopping Questions Tell me about your shopping experiences Where do you shop? How often do you go online? What online stores do you use? What do you like about them?/What dont you like?
Probe: why do you say that?

Qual Research Questions


Have a central question & sub-questions Sub-questions can then be used during interviews Focus on one concept or phenomenon Link them to a research strategy Use exploratory verbs Use open ended questions Specify participants/ sector/ research site Dont worry if they change through the research process

Qual questions seek to


Discovery To seek to understand To explore (a process) Describing experiences Reporting on stories

Research Questions examples


Are members of art museums involved with the museums they belong to? Can involvement facilitate understanding of how members consume art museums? What are the characteristics of involvement in an arts museum context? Is involvement in an arts context different to other services? And how can membership managers apply these findings to the development of their membership schemes?
Market Research Tools Dr. Kate Armstrong

And Objectives can/do lead to Hypotheses...


Clear Simple Direct Measurable

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Dr. Kate Armstrong

Hyp. Examples
AIM: which variables influence product involvement among young people. 1. Young peoples level of product involvement is negatively influenced by youngsters age, i.e. The older the child, the lower the product involvement. 2. Young peoples level of product involvement is positively influenced by youngsters subjective product knowledge, i.e. the higher the subjective product knowledge, the higher the product involvement. 3. Young peoples level of product involvement is positively influenced by parents, i.e. the stronger the influence of parents, the higher the product involvement. 4. Young peoples level of product-involvement is positively influenced by the attitudes of peers towards the product, i.e. the stronger the influence of peers, the higher the product involvement
Market Research Tools Dr. Kate Armstrong

Quant questions
Research questions describe or explore relationships between variables Objectives indicate goals or objectives of a study Quantitative hypotheses predict relationships between variables (e.g. attendance). You then TEST each hypothesis using a sample They are normally fixed throughout the study You questions or hypotheses NOT both

Types of Quant questions


Questions look at different areas e.g.
Description of single and multiple variables Examine associations between variables in different populations Explain the direction & strength of influences between variables & dependent/independent variables Infer what is going on by estimating whether characteristics found in a sample exist in other populations

Quant questions
The words you will use include:
Describe Affect Influence Impact Determine Cause Relate Association

Choosing A Topic
Interest and Relevance: [it should excite you & be interesting to external audiences too]; Topic Adequacy: check against assessment criteria & your overall discipline [is their secondary research you can explore?]; Access: do you have access to those people that need to answer your questions?

6 Stage Process for your Topic


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Identify broad topic & academic discipline; Determine the scope; Brainstorm issues, puzzles and questions; Map & structure issues; Conduct a reconnaissance; Frame your research aim.

What is a conceptual framework?


Cause and effect [sometimes] Hierarchical relationships [sometimes]; Matrix conceptual frameworks [sometimes] Keep it simple!

Writing a Literature Review


Concerns:
What should I write about? How do I do research? Where do I find everything? How do I know what to do? Everyone else seems to know what they are doing.

How to cope?
It is hard, no one can write this but you.. But, its one of the most rewarding experiences youll go through So long as you are organised, attend lectures, do the reading, stay focussed and draw on your experience and hardwork from other units you will stay on track We are here to help you but you lead the process.

Using other peoples literature


Hopefully you now know how to search for journal articles and use databases if not? See my previous lecture then GIVE IT A GO! Its a process of trial and error *even once youre experienced] whilst you track down what you need. Once you have a few papers the search snowballs and youre off! Preparing for a literature review is about reviewing other peoples work and reviewing it yourself And analysing it And paraphrasing it And understanding it..

How?
Using databases can you name any that you have come across here? Reading a lot! Its the ONLY way to familiarise yourself with the literature in your field and others Its complex, it hurts, but you have to perservere.

What is it?
Scholarship and conceptual frameworks refer to the assimilation of different sources of information into a new piece of written work [Hackley, 2003, p.20]. In academic work, the concept argument refers to all kinds of scholarship conducted in written form written to persuade.

What is it?
The writer wishes their argument to be perceived as plausible and convincing from the evidence put forward in the paper You must do the same. The arguments put forward in a literature review are not final or not up for dispute the student must position themselves on the argument and put forward quotations or paraphrases to support or refute the position.

For example
3.1. The Nature of Personal Values Values have a long history as theoretical constructs to explain the behaviour of individuals (Segal, Segal, & Niemczycki, 1993), and have been of interest to social scientists for decades (Allport, Vernon and Lindzey, 1960; Williams, 1968). The term values has been used to define interests, likes, preferences, pleasures, duties, moral obligations, wants, goals, desires, needs, attractions, aversions and many others (Pepper, 1958; Williams, 1959, 1968, 1970; Rokeach, 1973). Central to most definitions of values is the idea that they are concepts or beliefs, about desirable and/or end states, that go beyond specific situations, guide selection or evaluation of behaviour and events and are ordered by relative importance (Morris, 1956; Pepper, 1958; Maslow, 1959; Allport, 1961; Smith, 1963; Scott, 1965; Williams, 1968; Rokeach, 1973; Levy and Gutman, 1974; Schwartz and Bilsky 1987; Schwartz, 1992). Personal values have also been defined as self-centred (Rokeach, 1979) and refer to the individuals beliefs about what is desirable (Lai, 1995). Personal values range from being very general, abstract philosophical or religious notions, to highly specific concepts based on experiences (Vinson et al., 1977). To conceptualise the term values reflects the influence of several disciplines such as anthropology, sociology and psychology (Vinson et al., 1977). These disciplines suggest that values underlie a variety of individual and collective behaviours (Munson and McQuarrie, 1988).

The previous example ...


Has a topic heading You organise your literature review either TOPICALLY or CHRONOLOGICALLY Typically you organise it topically [see journal articles for examples] use headings to signify the content and flow from broad concepts [definitions etc] to specifics [current research an understanding] Remember, youre just joining a conversation that has happened previously. You need to report on this conversation before you can contribute [ through your own primary research and analysis]
Market Research Tools Dr. Kate Armstrong

So a literature review is
Both factual [here is what the literature says, and heres who says it+ And insightful *isnt this interesting, because all these people say this thing X and all these people say this X]
You will only be able to report like this once you have READ WIDELY in an area

Gathering your Information


Gathering your information Searching on databases Evaluating your results Are the results relevant? - if not, why not? Are the authors well known/respected?

Is the source of information (e.g. a journal title) well known/respected

Whats the style?


You need to be professionally academic, but emotionally unattached Not: this is awful, because But this: It could be aruged that this is detrimental to X, as Smith et al., [2003] found from their studies that

What language is appropriate?


Not I Me My Whilst some writers like Brown have made a living/name by writing in the 1st person its the safer option to opt for the traditional 3rd person approach [and is the one favoured by this school]. But: It can be argued/contended/maintained/suggested/concluded/postulat ed that. Not: It can be proven EVER!!! Dont make grand claims.. The tone and style of certain journals has become ingrained over the years especially in the top journals You just have to get used to this and start to mimic this style

Characteristics of a good review?


Careful use of evidence to support arguments Care and accuracy in the identification of information sources Thoroughness in the coverage of the subject matter [well balanced/researched] Credible *well research dating back to the beginning of interest in the topic] Clear signposting: headings and clearly numbered headings guide the reader through the concepts and topics CRTICAL not just descriptive

What CAN I do?


You can make intelligent assumptions about the literature
1. If nothing has been written in an area since the early 90s make some comment on this. 2. If the article you are reading is dated in the 1970s ..make some comment on this! 3. Make some comment on the journal in which the article is in 4. Make some comment about the methodology/sample .

For Example
1. From an extensive review of the literature in the services marketing/PR genre, it was revealed that little has been written on XXX since the early 1990s thus illuminating a gap in the research that this study aims to address

2. However, as this article was written in the early 1970s, it can be suggested that it is slightly dated in its thinking and more recent research may be able to contribute to understanding in this field

For Example
3. As this paper was written for the Journal of Public Opinion/Journal of Consumer Research assumptions can be made of the aim and scope of the research it may be prudent to examine health journals to examine this issue further.
4. Inherent to the research design was the notion that quantitative methods were the most appropriate to explore XXX however, given that little research has been executed into this area, a qualitative approach may be more appropriate, as it can explore values, attitudes and beliefs in more depth [Gordon and Langmaid, 2008].

Writing up the Literature Review


Typically starts with an introduction to the concepts or context [e.g. Organic food consumption/on line shopping/brand extension] Defines terms if necessary [nearly always is] or reviews what other people have said about the terms/definitions and then your voice draws the similarities and distinctions between them. Then follow with your conceptual framework [your theory window+ that you will explore the context with...e.g motivation....decision making...or a specific model such as the TAM/SERVQAL/TPB/TRA etc

For example
CAM Defined The two most commonly used terms for this form of health care are complementary and alternative. The former is viewed as working alongside orthodox medicine (OM) (Sharma, 1992) and the latter is seen as something sitting outside the boundaries of the established health care system, with little or no support from the governmental or medical establishments (Saks, 1992). Some reflection on these terms is deemed necessary before leading to the justification of the term CAM (complementary alternative medicine), which is to be used in this study. Fisher and Ward (1994) argue that the word alternative suggests a substitution, an either-or relationship, which is not typical of the way that most people use CAM (Ernst et al., 1995a; Vincent and Furnham, 1996). More recently, the word complementary has also been used, thus moving away from an alternative, towards a modality used to complement the offerings of conventional orthodox medicine (OM) (OConnor et al., 1997). For some however, the term complementary is not satisfactory either, because it embraces some therapies that sit outside of OM (Fisher and Ward, 1994). The struggle to find a name for this type of healthcare is highlighted by the dichotomy of these two commonly used terms. Thus, unison of the terms is to be used for this study complementary, alternative medicine (CAM), which is supported by several scholars (Astin, 1999; OConnor et al., 1997; Thompson and Troester, 2004) and establishments such as the National centre for complementary medicine (NCCAM) (2005) and the House of Lords report (2000). Other scholars writing on the topic refer to CAM as alternative medicine (Siapush, 1998, 1999a, 1999b) or alternative therapies (Kelner and Wellman, 1997a), however, it is clear that they are all conversing on and researching the same type of medicine and healthcare approaches, yet they have stipulated their own definition for purposes of their particular articles, which OConnor et al., (1997) suggest is reflective of their own perspectives and affiliations with establishments. For the purpose of this research, a definition provided by the national centre for complementary and alternative medicine - NCCAM (2005) sums up CAM, Complementary and alternative medicine, as defined by NCCAM, is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine (NCCAM, 2005, p.1)

Writing up the Literature Review Finding your voice


Although the literature is largely a description of what has been said before about your topic we must hear your voice amidst this. How? Through your clever paraphrasing and arrangement of the review.

Arranging the Review


Introduction as weve said before Organising the literature into themes
Much the same as they do in journal articles You can follow suit, or, from your vast reading, you will find a way of organisiing the themes the become apparent.

Content page example

A literature review:
1. Summarises 2.Synthesises 3. Analyses 4. And is authoritative

ESSENTIALLY, IT IS YOU, REPORTING ON WHAT OTHERS HAVE FOUND OUT ABOUT THE TOPIC THAT YOU ARE INTERESTED IN.

Summary linking the literature review to your dissertation


You are looking for gaps in current research [the conversation] to support why you wish to do what you want to do [you can find this from reading extensively, summarising key points, looking to the limitations of each study you WILL find what you are looking for] Helps you find your research questions, aim and objectives/hypothesis

It is not..
Just a shopping list of who said what Unstructured and descriptive Unfocussed and scholarly Based only on non academic resources

Round and Round