This is a solution of Methodology Assignment part 2 in which we discuss this study aimed at investigating how window displays, income level and credit card offers influence the level of impulse buying in the Chinese retail market.
Methodology Assignment part 2
The research philosophy is chosen based on the research motives (Punch, 2013). Based on this research, the researcher aimed at investigating the influence of window displays, income level and credit card offers on the level of impulse buying in the Chinese retail industry. The observable variables that were objectively measured by the researcher included window displays, credit card offers and the level of income. The observable facts were measured using the ordinal numbers that were scored on the five Likert scale. The scores were analysed descriptively using the SPSS software in which the measure of dispersion (mean) was used. The researcher similarly used a large sample of customers from the Chinese retail industry to ensure that the results obtained were free from bias. Additionally, research findings in this case study were purely tested empirically. Based on the requirements of this research, the researcher adopted the positivist philosophy.
There are various reasons why the researcher preferred positivism as opposed to other philosophical approaches. Firstly, positivism philosophy helped the researcher to test the research findings empirically. Secondly, the positivism philosophy allowed the researcher to collect a large sample using online survey questionnaires to ensure the reliability of the research findings. Thirdly, by using positivism philosophy, the researcher was able to establish the causal and effect relationships between the observable facts and the impulse buying in the Chinese retail industry. Fourthly, since this research required a highly structured methodology, positivism philosophy was the best as opposed to realism, interpretivism and pragmatism that do not require a strict methodology. Similarly, unlike interpretivism, realism and pragmatism, the positivism philosophy allowed the researcher to analyse the data descriptively using the SPSS software. Interpretivism was not adopted because it emphasises on qualitative analysis. As indicated in Table 2, interpretivism is highly subjective and that might have compromised the reliability of the research findings. Table 2 also indicates that interpretivism, realism and pragmatism do not allow the use of large samples, thus making them unsuitable for this study (Myers, 2013). Therefore, based on the requirements of this study, the positivist philosophy was the most appropriate as opposed to interpretivism, realism and pragmatism.
The two common research approaches are quantitative approach and qualitative approach (Bowling, 2014). Bowling (2014) indicates that it is vital for the researcher to understand the different research approaches to enable him to select the most appropriate approach. Further, Bowling (2014) explains that the research assignment approach selected is determined by the selected philosophy. The quantitative approach is linked to positivist paradigm because it entails deductive reasoning (Gray, 2013). Under the quantitative approach, the data collected is converted into numerical figures so that it can be easily analysed using the statistical techniques to draw conclusions. Further, as argued by Saunders & Lewis (2012), in quantitative studies, researchers must formulate hypotheses to predict the possible outcome of the research findings based on the variables under investigation. The data collected in quantitative research is analysed statistically. The qualitative research approach is associated with social constructivism or interpretivism paradigms and involves inductive reasoning (Saunders & Lewis, 2012). In qualitative studies, research is not based on the formulation of hypotheses. Similarly, in qualitative research, small samples are used when collecting data. Qualitative data is not converted into a numerical form. Thus, statistical methods are not used in data analysis (Saunders & Lewis, 2012). This research aimed at investigating how window displays, income level and the credit card offers influence the level of impulse buying in the Chinese retail industry. The data collected was scored in a five-Likert scale and analysed using descriptive statistics. The research was also based on the pre-determined hypotheses. Therefore, based on the requirements of this study, the researcher adopted the quantitative research approach. The qualitative approach was unsuitable because it involves small samples and the research is not based on pre-determined hypotheses. Similarly, a qualitative approach was not fit for this study because it does not involve statistical analysis.
The research strategy is another critical component that determines the success of the research study. As notified by Saunders & Lewis (2012), the research strategy selected is associated with both the research strategy and the research approach. The three common research strategies include surveys, experiments and case studies (Zikmund et al., 2012). Experimental research strategies aim at showing the link between the independent and dependent variables and are commonly applicable in the exploratory studies (Zikmund et al., 2012). The survey strategy is used when the researcher intends to use large samples when collecting data. One of the tools used to collect data in the survey strategy is the questionnaires. The case studies are widely used in traditional science studies (Punch, 2013). As indicated earlier, the researcher in this study adopted the positivism philosophy, implying that this is quantitative research. The researcher intended to use a large sample to ensure that his findings were reliable and unbiased. The data collected was to be analysed quantitatively using the descriptive statistics. Therefore, the most appropriate research strategy in this study was the survey strategy. The researcher intended to investigate the impact of window displays, income level and credit card offers in the Chinese retail industry. The researcher had to collect data from a large sample. The survey strategy enabled the researcher to reach a large audience using the online survey questionnaire. The case study strategy was not appropriate for this study because it is widely used in traditional sciences. Similarly, the experimental strategy is widely applied in exploratory studies making it inappropriate for this research.
According to Saunders & Lewis (2012), a research design can either be descriptive, exploratory or casual depending on the requirements of the research study. Further, Coleman & Ringrose (2013) note that it is essential for the researcher to have a good understanding of the various research designs to enable him to achieve his research objectives. The core aim of this research was to study the influence of window displays, income level and credit card offers in the Chinese retail industry. To precisely select the research design, Bryman & Bell (2015) note that the researcher must understand the research philosophy, research approach and the strategy selected. The researcher in this study collected data using survey strategy. The data was quantitative and analysed using statistical methods. Therefore, the most appropriate research design was descriptive research design. The research design selected enabled the researcher to align his study with his objectives. Similarly, the descriptive research design is associated with positivism approach selected for this study. Therefore, the exploratory and causal research designs were not appropriate in this study because they are associated with social constructs and interpretive approaches. By using either exploratory or causal research designs, it could have been difficult for the researcher to collect data from a large sample. Similarly, it could have been difficult for the researcher to analyse data statistically.
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