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CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY - 3.pdf · PDF fileCHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ... proposed six social science paradigms and three methodological approaches, ... that the purpose

Feb 12, 2018




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    This Chapter details the methodology used to conduct this research. The Chapter starts with

    a definition of the operating paradigm guiding this study. This operating paradigm as a

    foundation, it then details the research methodology, including data collection methods,

    measurement instrument used, study population and sample, implementation plan, and finally

    ends with the data analysis approach that was used to analyze the study data.

    3.1. Methodological Paradigm

    Arbnor and Bjerke (1997) defined the methodological approach as a set of ultimate ideas

    about the constitution of reality, the structure of science ... that is important to methods,

    that is, to the guiding principles for creating knowledge (Abnor and Bjerke, 1997, page. 26).

    It is also stated that for a study successfully to address its research question, it must be

    firmly grounded within a methodological approach (Maggs-Rapport, 2001, page. 373).

    Arbnor and Bjerke (1997) proposed six social science paradigms and three methodological

    approaches, these are as follows:

    Methodological Approach 1: The analytical approach

    1. Paradigm 1: Reality as concrete and conformable to law from a structure independent

    of the observer.

    2. Paradigm 2: Reality as a concrete determining process.

    3. Paradigm 3: Reality as mutually dependent fields of information.

    Methodological Approach 2: The systems approach

    4. Paradigms 2 and 3.

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    5. Paradigm 4: Reality as a world of symbolic discourse.

    Methodological Approach 3: The actor approach

    6. Paradigm 4.

    7. Paradigm 5: Reality as a social construction.

    8. Paradigm 6: Reality as a manifestation of human intentionality.

    These above mentioned six paradigms works as a continuum. At one end of the

    continuum reality is viewed as objective and rational (for example, Paradigm 1). It explains

    the researcher believes in universal laws and truths that are constant and consistent and hold

    for all. This generally represents the analytical methodological approach. On the other end of

    the continuum (for example paradigm 6) reality is viewed as completely subjective. That is,

    reality is completely determined.

    The field of the study with which the current study focused on gaining insight into

    and integration of attitudinal and behavioral components of consumer-brand relationships is

    lying in the middle of the continuum. In essence, it did this by looking at how consumers

    form relationship with brands, what are the stages at which they form the relationship with

    the brands.

    3.2. Research Methodology: Mixed Methodology

    The current research positioned its study paradigm in the middle of the possible spectrum of

    methodological choices. This positioning of the studys operating paradigm suggests a

    research methodology that combined both the perspectives, such as quantitative and

    qualitative approaches, known as Mixed Methodology. There are three primary reasons

    for choosing a mixed methodical design over traditional research designs:

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    1. The problem statement and research objectives mentioned in Chapter 1 requires a

    combination of qualitative and quantitative methods.

    2. Research questions formulated in this study requires the exploration and integration

    of attitudinal and behavioral dimensions (qualitative) and its empirical validation

    (quantitative). It is clear that the individual understanding (use of a single approach)

    do not address the primary purpose of the study.

    3. There is insufficient information available in the literature regarding the role of

    attitudinal and behavioral dimensions in consumer-brand relationship building. The

    detailed understanding of this requires the mixing of qualitative and quantitative


    This mixed method research design helps the researcher to go for inductive and

    deductive reasoning techniques in order to more accurately answer the studys research

    questions that cannot be completely answered through qualitative or quantitative research

    alone (Norman and Lincoln, 2000). Denzin and Lincoln (2000) stated that mixed research

    design exphasises on the explanation and application factors in which process of the

    research is benefited, which ultimately lead to the interpretation of the subject matter, its

    applications and implications for the field of the study. Rocco et al. (2003) suggested the

    advantages of mixed methodology, in which the authors justified that the legitimacy of

    qualitative methods is enhanced through the incorporation of quantitative methods, known

    as triangulation.

    As the study follows the mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, and these

    two approaches were applied in sequence (qualitative first and quantitative later), in which

    quantitative research design dominates over the qualitative approach. Following Leech

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    and Onwuegbuzie (2009) typology of fully mixed method research design, the design

    proposed in this study could be classified as Fully Mixed Sequential Dominant Status

    Design. This typology of mixed method design involves combining or mixing both

    qualitative and quantitative research approaches within one or more of or across the stages

    of the research process. In this study, the qualitative and quantitative research approaches

    were mixed within all the four areas, like research objectives formation, data collection,

    type of analysis, and type of inference. These phases occurred sequentially and more

    weight would be given to quantitative approach.

    In this study the quantitative findings were presented as either helping to elaborate

    on or extend the qualitative findings (Creswell, 2003). This approach of mixing is more

    valid and robust, because rather than inferring and conceptualizing the attitudinal and

    behavioral dimensions of consumer-brand relationships from the qualitative data alone (in-

    depth interviews), rich empirical data provided a context for quantitative interpretation and

    support. It is also supported that mixed method design allows the researcher for the

    objective examination of two separate data sources as a means of ensuring accurate

    interpretation through triangulation (Creswell, 2003) 1

    . The following Figure (Figure 3.1.)

    shows the outline of sequential dominant status mixed research design.

    Figure 3.1. Fully Mixed Sequential Dominant Status Design .

    1Triangulation is a multiple data collection and analysis method, in which the researcher uses

    multiple data sources, multiple analysts, and multiple theories or perspectives. It is also stated

    that the purpose of triangulation is to test for consistency rather than to achieve the same

    result using different data sources or inquiry approaches. (Rocco et al., 2003, page. 20).

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    Step 1: Sample Selection

    Step2: Data Collection for

    Model Validation (225 Res.)

    Step 3: Data Analysis:

    Structural Model Validation

    Step 4: Model Validation

    Step 1: Development of


    Step 2: Instrument


    Step 3: Sample Selection

    Step 4: Pre-test (small scale

    survey, 30 Res.)

    Step 5: Data Collection for

    Model Calibration (250 Res.)

    Step 6: Measurement Model

    Validation (Validity Checks): LISREL 8.72

    Step 7: Structural Model:

    (Alternative models)

    Step 8: Formulation of New


    Step 6: Development of a

    Conceptual Model through

    Following Grounded Theory

    Step 1: Development of

    sampling strategy: Theoretical


    Step 2: Development of

    Interview Guide

    Step 3: Data collection: Depth


    Step 4: Data Analysis: Making

    Sense of the Findings

    Grounded Theory

    Step 5: Exploration of the

    Dimensions or Categories






    Research Problem

    Development of a

    Conceptual Model through a

    Qualitative Study

    Empirical Model

    Development and Testing

    Using SEM

    Empirical Model Validation

    Using SEM

    Qualitative Phase Quantitative Phase Quantitative Phase

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    3.3. Research Framework

    Figure 3.1. displayed the research framework of this study. During the first phase of

    qualitative or exploratory investigation, the study conducted a series of in-depth interviews

    to explore the attitudinal and behavioral dimensions of consumer-brand relationships. In

    which the study adopted a grounded theory approach (Strauss and Corbin, 1994) for data

    collection, analysis and inferences, aimed to develop a conceptual model of consumer-

    brand relationships. During this stage the study also developed the hypotheses to link the

    attitudinal and behavioral dimensions backed by previous literature. During the second

    phase, the study followed a quantitative design which mainly dealt with testing and

    validation of the conceptual model followed by a survey. During this stage the

    measurement was taken in a self-reporting manner. For measuring self-reported beliefs and

    behaviors, a self-administered questionnaire survey is considered to be appropriate and

    widely used approach in a relations

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