Management Research Methods

Part 1. Guided Literature Search

Guided Literature Search Guided Literature Search Guided Literature Search

Part 2. Literature review of the 5 articles provided within your topic Critical discussion of key concepts

All the five articles focus on consumer decision making styles and the factors that influence consumer decision making. The five papers agree that shopping decisions are significantly affected by a consumer’s mental orientations which is then reflected in the styles through which a consumer makes purchase decisions. The authors differ in their approach to the topic: Maggioni et al. (2019) and Henry and Borzekowski (2015) consider the effect of health and wellbeing on consumption decisions, Bakewell and Mitchell (2006) consider the effect of gender of purchase decisions, Rothenfluh et al. (2016) consider the effect of consumer reviews on purchase decisions, Carey et al. (2008) consider the effect of ethics on decision making. Though the authors use different approaches to the topic, most of them apply the resubsumption and recategorisation theory, which posits that consumers apply same logic they learned from a previous experience when they encounter new phenomena. This concurs with Oke et al. (2016) and Wolny and Charoensuksai (2014) who infer that consumer past experience has a significant effect of future purchase decisions. Other theories that have a significant effect of consumer decision making are social power and resource theory, which are particularly evident among male shoppers (Frederiks et al. 2015). Therefore, it is effective that these theories are only applied by Bakewell and Mitchell (2006) who consider the role of gender in shopping decisions.

Through the five papers, five themes are recurrent namely time, affect and likeability, quality, and price perception. Time pressures are established to negatively affect consumers’ cognitive abilities resulting in buying what is readily available. Other consumers feel that different stores is a waste of time, thus purchase what is available in the nearest store. Additionally, most consumers are said to focus on minimising the price paid for a specific product while others engage bargaining therefore they have different stores where they acquire different products at low prices. Most consumers are also see to go for high-quality products which is determined by the ingredients used manufacturing products. Further, the papers show that most consumers make purchase decisions based on the outward appearance of a product (how it is packaged and how a service is presented).

2. Time-consuming

A lot of time is spent on demolishing structures using conventional methods (Zhang, 2007). This is already a violation of the regulation that states the method adopted for demolitions should take the minimum time possible. As such, conventional demolition methods are not feasible for large structures. Otherwise, if used, it will take a huge number of operatives and considerable timeframes. The project may not prove cost-effective in the long run.

Critical review of methods

Two of the articles are quantitative (Maggioni et al. (2019) and Bakewell and Mitchell (2006)) while three are qualitative (Rothenfluh et al. (2016), Henry and Borzekowski (2015), and Carey et al. (2008)). According to Saunders et al. (2009), quantitative research collects statistics and numbers to test hypothesis, look at cause and effect and to make predictions while qualitative research collects qualitative data to understand and interpret the problem under study. This difference between qualitative and quantitative data was used to determine which articles were qualitative and which were quantitative. In addition, research can be inductive or deductive. Deductive research develops hypothesis and designs a research strategy to test the hypothesis while inductive research collects data to develop a theory (van Wyk 2012). Among the five studies, oe is deductive, Maggioni et al. (2019), while four are inductive, Bakewell and Mitchell (2006), Rothenfluh et al. (2016), Henry and Borzekowski (2015), and Carey et al. (2008). Research philosophy refers to a system of belied and assumptions about the development of knowledge (Saunders et al. 2015). Studies reflecting the positivism philosophy work with observable social reality to make law-like generalisations (Goduka 2012). In addition, positivism compels a researcher to use existing theory to develop hypotheses which implies that the results can be tested and confirmed (Mkansi et al. 2012). Among the five studies, Maggioni et al. (2019) uses the positivism research philosophy. On the other hand, interpretivism research philosophy holds that the social world is too complex to be limited into theories that can be tested and proven. Instead, interpretivists believe there are numerous interpretations of reality which are a part of knowledge to be developed (Antwi and Hamza 2015). Other than the study conducted by Maggioni et al. (2019), the other four studies adopt the interpretivism research philosophy.

A researcher’s ability to demonstrate accountability and transparency throughout the research process is what makes qualitative research to be of high quality (Kalu and Bwalya 2017).Rothenfluh et al. (2016), Henry and Borzekowski (2015), and Carey et al. (2008) demonstrate a clear understanding of the world and explain their view of the world when justifying their research topic. In addition, the authors use theory to structure their research process, which according to Nardi (2018) makes good qualitative research. Further, the authors provide information on how they conduct the research and how they recruit participants. They explain how data is collected and analysed, which further builds to the quality of the research. Moreover, the authors use interviews to build the credibility of their studies. In analysing the collected information, the researchers remain neutral, which eliminates moderator bias resulting in high quality findings. Though the studies are of high quality, most of them remain silent on ethical considerations.

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Analysis of findings/conclusions

The five articles establish that time, quality, price, ethics, and appearance of a product affects consumer decision making. Although Bakewell and Mitchell (2006) agree that these factors affects purchase decisions, they hold these factors differently affect male and females. For example, Bakewell and Mitchell (2006) state that although time pressures influence consumer decision making for both male and female, males are more affected thus they tend to purchase from a single store and any available brand unlike women who explore in a variety of stores. Similarly, Bakewell and Mitchell (2006) hold that price affects decision making for both men and women but women tend to be better bargainers compared to men. Unlike the other four articles holding that price-conscious consumers go for the best possible deals, Bakewell and Mitchell (2006) state that price-conscious consumers believe that the higher the price the better the quality thus prefers products sold at high prices. The findings of all the articles are convincing given they collect and analyse data in a credible way. Bakewell and Mitchell (2006) and Carey et al. (2008) agree that resources significantly affects purchase decisions holding that men have more resources thus easily purchase what they desire. From this finding, future researchers should establish whether economically empowered women use the same consumer decision making styles as men.

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Conclusion

Given there is no standard style through which consumers make purchase decisions, I would design a qualitative research on the topic. I would also prefer the inductive approach. Today, more women are economically empowered thus it is biased to generalise that men have more resources which differentiate their decision making styles from those of women. This implicates future research on consumer decision making styles among economically empowered women preferably those working at management levels. Additionally, there would be need to establish whether men with fewer resources have the same consumer decision making styles as those of men with more resources. More gender-sensitive studies would also be important in establishing whether ethics equally affects men and women in the decision making process. Finally, more studies on the effect of information availability on consumer decision making should be conducted given the current information era.

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References

  • Antwi, S.K. and Hamza, K., 2015. Qualitative and quantitative research paradigms in business research: A philosophical reflection. European Journal of Business and Management, 7(3), pp.217-225.
  • Bakewell, C. and Mitchell, V.W., 2006. Male versus female consumer decision making styles. Journal of business research, 59(12), pp.1297-1300.
  • Carey, L., Shaw, D. and Shiu, E., 2008. The impact of ethical concerns on family consumer decision‐making. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 32(5), pp.553-560.
  • Frederiks, E.R., Stenner, K. and Hobman, E.V., 2015. Household energy use: Applying behavioural economics to understand consumer decision-making and behaviour. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 41, pp.1385-1394.
  • oduka, N., 2012. From positivism to indigenous science: A reflection on world views, paradigms and philosophical assumptions. Africa insight, 41(4), pp.123-138. Henry, H.K. and Borzekowski, D.L., 2015. Well, that's what came with it. A qualitative study of US mothers' perceptions of healthier default options for children's meals at fast-food restaurants. Appetite, 87, pp.108-115.
  • Kalu, F.A. and Bwalya, J.C., 2017. What makes qualitative research good research? An exploratory analysis of critical elements. International Journal of Social Science Research, 5(2), pp.43-56.
  • Maggioni, I., Sands, S., Kachouie, R. and Tsarenko, Y., 2019. Shopping for well-being: The role of consumer decision-making styles. Journal of Business Research, 105, pp.21-32.
  • Mkansi, M., Acheampong, E.A., Qi, B. and Kondadi, K.R., 2012, June. Research philosophical debates and classifications: Students’ dilemma’. In Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management, University of Bolton, Bolton, UK (pp. 277-284).
  • ardi, P.M., 2018. Doing survey research: A guide to quantitative methods. Routledge. Oke, A.O., Kamolshotiros, P., Popoola, O.Y., Ajagbe, M.A. and Olujobi, O.J., 2016. Consumer behavior towards decision making and loyalty to particular brands. International Review of Management and Marketing, 6(4S), pp.43-52.
  • Rothenfluh, F., Germeni, E. and Schulz, P.J., 2016. Consumer decision-making based on review websites: are there differences between choosing a hotel and choosing a physician?. Journal of medical Internet research, 18(6), p.e129.
  • Saunders, M., Lewis, P., Thornhill, A. and Wilson, J., 2009. Business research methods. Financial Times, Prentice Hall: London. Saunders, M.N., Lewis, P., Thornhill, A. and Bristow, A., 2015. Understanding research philosophy and approaches to theory development.
  • van Wyk, B., 2012. Research design and methods Part I. University of Western Cape. Wolny, J. and Charoensuksai, N., 2014. Mapping customer journeys in multichannel decision-making. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 15(4), pp.317-326.

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