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RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

Introduction

This chapter presents the methodology that will be used to carry out this study. Research methodology is defined as an operational framework within which the facts are placed so that their meaning may be seen more clearly. The methodology includes the research design, population to be studied and sampling strategy, the data collection process, the instruments used for gathering data, and how data is analyzed and presented.

Research Design

In this study a descriptive survey design will be used. Descriptive research portrays an accurate profile of persons, events, or situations (Robinson, 2002). It allows the collection of large amount of data from a sizable population in a highly economical way. It allows one to collect quantitative data, which can be analyzed quantitatively using descriptive and inferential statistics. Therefore, the descriptive survey is deemed the best method to fulfill the objectives of this study. The design is preferred because it is concerned with answering questions such as who, how, what which, when and how much, (Cooper and Schindler 2001). A descriptive study will be  carefully designed to ensure complete description of the scenario, making sure that there is minimum bias in the collection of data.

Target Population

Target population is the specific population about which information is desired. A population is a well defined or set of people, services, elements, events, group of things or households that are being investigated. The target population will consist of the following population: Top level management, middle level management and lower level management from Kenya Revenue Authority.

Data Collection Instrument and Procedures

Primary data will be used in this study. According to Ochola (2007), primary data refers to what is collected directly by the researcher for the purpose of the study. The data will be collected by the use of questionnaires and interviews. Research questionnaires having both structured and unstructured questions will be designed and administered. This enables the researcher to get vital data directly from the respondents. The researcher will interview the respondents in person and also through telephone using interview questions that will be both structured and unstructured; Interviews will ensure immediate feedback, accuracy, clarity and they will help reveal sensitive information. Interviews were used as a primary data collection technique.

This method is advantageous because of the direct feedback to the researcher. There is an opportunity to reassure respondent(s) should s/he be reluctant to participate, and the interviewer also clarifies certain instructions or questions. The interviewer also has the opportunity to probe answers by asking the respondent to clarify or expand on specific response(s). Finally, the interviewer can supplement the answers by recording his/her own observations, for instance; gender, time of day/place where the interview will take place.

Validity and reliability

Mugenda and Mugenda (2003) asserted that the accuracy of data to be collected largely depended on the data collection instruments in terms of validity and reliability. Validity as noted by Robinson (2002) is the degree to which result obtained from the analysis of the data actually represents the phenomenon under study.

Validity will be achieved by pre-testing the instrument to be used to identify and change any ambiguous, awkward, or offensive questions and technique as emphasized by Cooper and Schindler (2003). Reliability on the other hand refers to a measure of the degree to which research instruments yield consistent results (Mugenda & Mugenda, 2003). In this study, reliability will be ensured by pre-testing the questionnaire with a selected sample. The pre-test exercise will take place at the convenience of both the researcher and the research assistant

Data Analysis

The data will be collected by use of questionnaires. Questions will be analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively by first editing to get the relevant data for the study. The edited data will then be coded for easy classification and to facilitate tabulation. The tabulated data will then be analyzed by calculating various frequencies and percentages where possible. The collected Data will then be calculated by use of statistical inferences such as mean and mode where applicable. Presentation of data will be in the form of tables and figures.

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RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

1 Introduction

This section should be brief and indicate the content in the study.

2 Research design

This refers to the outline/scheme or plan that will be used to collect information. The researcher should identify the design and justify why it was selected. Justify with citation. (1/2 page)

3 Target Population 

This section indicates the group the researcher would like to focus on in the study. The researcher should justify why the group has been selected and its contribution to the study.  The researcher should indicate the group’s characteristics including size.

4 Sampling procedure

This section indicates how the sample will be selected and the sample size. One should justify the sample design

5 Data collection instruments and procedures

In this section the researcher identifies the research instrument (s) that will be used in data collection. The researcher justifies why the instrument(s) has/have been selected. The quality of the instrument (Validity/reliability) is addressed. One should indicate the procedures of administering the research instruments. It should indicate how the authority to collect data will be sought, methods of ensuring high response rates, ethical values to be considered.

Mugenda and Mugenda (2003) asserted that the accuracy of data to be collected largely depended on the data collection instruments in terms of validity and reliability. Validity as noted by Robinson (2002) is the degree to which result obtained from the analysis of the data actually represents the phenomenon under study.

Validity will be achieved by pre-testing the instrument to be used to identify and change any ambiguous, awkward, or offensive questions and technique as emphasized by Cooper and Schindler (2003). Reliability on the other hand refers to a measure of the degree to which research instruments yield consistent results (Mugenda & Mugenda, 2003). In this study, reliability will be ensured by pre-testing the questionnaire with a selected sample. The pre-test exercise will take place at the convenience of both the researcher and the research assistant

6 Methods of data Analysis

This section should indicate how the variables will be measured and presented. The statistical methods used should be justified

7 Research Limitation

In this section the researcher highlights some of the challenges likely to be encountered during the study and how they will be addressed.

8 Research Ethics

This section indicates some of the values that the researcher will reinforce during the study

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RESEARCH PROPOSAL

RESEARCH PROPOSAL

A research proposal is a document written by a researcher that provides a detailed description of the proposed study.  It is an outline of the research process that gives a reader a summary of the researchers’   intention to carry out a study.

It is therefore a detailed work plan on how a research activity will be conducted. The research proposal is ones way of showing that one has an idea that is of value and can contribute important knowledge to the specific field.  A research proposal is intended to convince the readers that one has a worthwhile research study and that one has the competence and the work-plan to complete it.

The proposal should have sufficient information to convince readers that one has an important research idea, that one has a good grasp of the relevant literature and the major issues, and that methodology is sound. A research proposal should address the following questions:

  • What one plan to accomplish,
  • why one want to do it and
  • How you are going to do

To propose means to state an intention, suggestion. It indicates a researcher’s intention to carry out a study. A Research proposal is written in future tense since the study has not yet been carried out. A research study starts with a brief introductory section that narrows down to the specific problem to be studies.

FORMAT OF A RESEARCH PROPOSAL

A proposal is divided into the following sections

COVER PAGE
PRELIMINARIES

This is the first section of the proposal. However it is the last to be written. It includes  the following:

Title page

It is often times referred to as the cover page, this section is where one indicates the title of the  research, name, institutional information . This section includes

  • The research title
  • Name and student number
  • Statement- A research proposal submitted in partial fulfillment for the degree of (insert the name of the Degree) of kenya Methodist University
  • Month and year of submission

Declaration Page

This includes the declaration by the student and supervisor:

c) Dedication

This is not compulsory and may apply to an individual who has had a major impact on the researcher. It should not exceed 25 words

d)Acknowledgement

This refers to individuals who in one way or the other have contributed to the success of the study. It should not exceed 150 words

e)Abstract

This summarizes the major areas in the proposal. It should not exceed 500 words. It should be comprehensive with no paragraph.

f) Table of contents

This indicates all the section in the proposal. The page numbers should be included

  1. g) List of tables
  2. h) List of figures
  3. g) Abbreviations and acronyms

The Research Process

The research begins with a selection of identification of a subject/problem to be studied. Once the subject has been identified, the researcher takes the following steps:

  • Formulating the research problem.
  • Defining the hypothesis.
  • Research design.
  • Determination of the type of data to be collected.
  • Data collection procedures and data analysis and generalizations
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STEPS OF RESEARCH PROCESS.

STEPS OF RESEARCH PROCESS

Problem identification.

Research problems can emanate from different sources i.e. area of interest, results from observation of phenomenon, issues being shared in media, practical problems shared in newspapers that require attention and area of specialization.

Formulating research objectives and questions/hypothesis

To address research problem.

Literature review.

After identifying research problem, research of related literature on research problem are conducted. This is the process of finding out what is already and not known about study.

Research design.

Researcher should come up with a design that will help him or her arrive at answers to research questions. The research design is basically mechanism employed for sampling population, data collection and analysis.

  1. Hypothesis formulation-Optional.
  2. Objectives and research questions(RQ)
  3. Objectives and hypothesis(HOs)

Its possible to carry out a research study without hypothesis in which case,RQ will be necessary.

Data collection.

Researcher selects instruments/tools for data collection. Data collection tools include:

  • Questionnaires
  • Interview schedules
  • Interview guides
  • Focused groups
  • Experiments

Sampling.

Select people who will be in your study as participants.

Data collection.

Researcher goes to field to gather data required for answering research questions. Data collection can be undertaken by administering questionnaires to students, focused group discussions and carrying out experiments.Data processing.

Data is usually collected in raw form and should be processed so that meaning can be made out of it.

 Report/project writing.

This is the last stage in research process where the researcher documents important details of research. The report should explain in detail the various stages of study and present results as well as the recommendations.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Refers to an

RESEARCH ETHICS

Ethics are guidelines that deal with the conduct on an individual. Ethical considerations must be kept in mind when dealing with respondents. Ethical research requires personal integrity from the researcher.

  1. Confidentiality and Privacy
    • Respondent’s anonymity request must be adhered to when promised.
    • Confidentiality must be kept where promised.
  2. Physical and Psychological harm
    • Asking embarrassing questions, expressing disgust when collecting data, using threatening statements, etc.

Voluntary and Informed consent.

    • Respondents must willingly participate in research. Researcher must disclose the real purpose of the research. Informed consent includes the following information.
  1. Purpose of the study
  2. Any unforeseen risks

A guarantee of anonymity and confidentiality

  1. Identification of the researcher
  2. An indication of the number of subjects involved
  3. Benefits and compensation or the lack of them

Use of vulnerable and/or special populations such as children, mentally disabled people, and sick people etc. permission must be obtained from those who care for these special populations.

Financial Issues and Sponsored Research

Sponsor of a research demands compromise on quality of research to save time and/or money. Sponsors may demand that research findings be distorted. An ethical research should never accept such compromise in order to protect their integrity. Unethical conduct also occurs when researchers divert research funds for other purposes. This affects the quality of research and may yield misleading data.

Dissemination of Findings

A research must not conceal research findings after conclusion of research. Where findings are sensitive, modalities of releasing results should be agreed on. It is a waste of resources to undertake research only to hide the findings.

Research Plagiarism and Fraud

Plagiarism is a situation where a researcher refers to another person’s work as theirs without acknowledging the author. Stealing ideas from another scholar is also considered plagiarism. This is a crime punishable by law. It erodes the integrity of the victim and has serious professional consequences.

Fraud occurs when a researcher fakes data that has actually not been collected. Fraud also includes false presentation of research methodology and results. It is a punishable crime.

RESEARCH METHODS TERMS

  1. Concepts: a concept is a bundle of meaning or characteristics associated with certain events, objects, conditions or certain situations. Classifying and categorizing objects or events that have common characteristics beyond the single observation creates concepts. Concepts are acquired through personal experience. Some concepts are unique to a particular culture and not readily translated into another. For instance, we might ask respondents for an estimate of their monthly total income. We might receive confusing answers unless we restrict the concept by specifying the following:

 

  1. Time period. I.e. weekly, monthly or annually.
  2. Before or after income taxes.
  3. For the head of the family or all family members.
  4. For salary and wages only or also for dividends, interest and capital gains.

Constructs: this is an image or idea specifically invented for a given research or for theory building purposes. Constructs are built by combining simpler concepts especially when the idea or image we intend to convey is not directly subject to observation.

Definitions: words may have different meanings to parties involved. An operational definition is a definition stated in terms of specific testing criteria or operations. These terms must have empirical references. We must be able to count, measure or gather information through our senses. Whether the object being defined is physical, e.g. a machine or abstract, e.g. motivation, achievement, the definition must specify the characteristics to be studies and how they are to be observed. The specifications and procedures must be clear so that any competent person using them would classify the objects in the same way.

Variables: a variable is a measurable characteristic that assumes different values among the subjects. There are 5 types of variables that one is likely to find in a study.

Independent variable (IV): this is the variable the researcher manipulates in order to determine its influence on another variable. It influences the dependent variable either positively or negatively.

Dependent variable (DV): this variable attempt to indicate the total influence arising from the total effect of the independent variable.

Moderating Variable (MV): in typical situations and relationships, there is at least one IV and one DV. For simple relationships, all other variables are considered extraneous and ignored. E.g. in a typical office, we might be interested in studying the effect of the 4 day work week on the productivity. Our hypothesis will be: the introduction of the 4 day work week (IV) will lead to higher office productivity (DV). However, a simple one on one relationship needs revision to take other variables into account. The MV is the second IV that is included because it is believed to have a significant contributory effect on the original IV, DV relationship. Our hypothesis is; The introduction of the 4 day work week (IV) will lead to higher productivity (DV) especially among older workers (MV).

Extraneous Variable (EV): these are at times referred to as confounding variables because they confound the effect of the IV on the DV. They affect the outcome of a research study, either because the researcher is not aware of their existence or if the researcher is aware, there is no control for them. In routine office work (EV control), the introduction of a 4 day work week (IV) will lead to higher productivity (DV) especially among older workers (MV). For example Teaching methods are the IV, genes of students (EV) and performance (DV).

Intervening Variables (IVV): this is a conceptual mechanism through which the IV and MV might affect the DV. It is defined as that factor that theoretically affects the observed phenomenon but cannot be seen, measured or manipulated. It must be inferred from the effect of the independent MV on the observed phenomenon. E.g. Introduction of a 4 day work week (IV) will lead to higher productivity (DV) especially among older workers (MV) by increasing job satisfaction (IVV).

Research Theory: a theory is a systematic explanation of facts. A good theory is simple and free of jargon and has predictive accuracy. It should also be of importance to the society and discuss current issues. These are characteristics of an “elegant theory”.

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FACTORS AFFECTING THE TOPIC SELECTION/POINTS TO OBSERVE WHEN SELECTING A RESEARCH PROBLEM

FACTORS AFFECTING THE TOPIC SELECTION/POINTS TO OBSERVE WHEN SELECTING A RESEARCH PROBLEM

  1. Personal interest-Interest produces enthusiasm on what one is doing. It is the interest that makes the experience adequately rewarding.
  2. Topic one selects should be important-The topic selected should not be brought forward just because of personal interest but also because it will add to knowledge.
  3. Time-Due to time limitations, writers of academic research need to avoid complex topics as they may require large population samples. It is important to compare the time that topic will take against time available.
  4. Newness-It is always good to look at a new area so that, what one is doing is a little different from what others have done in past.
  5. Accessibility to material and respondents-A suitable topic is one which allows researcher to access the material. It is important to note that getting materials and respondents in some areas might not be an easy task.

Examples include

  • Senior government officials.
  • Vice chancellor of a university private or public.
  • Health officials.
  • National intelligence service.
  1. Ethical consideration-It is both unethical and illegal to conduct research that may slander or do physical or psychological damage to subjects involved hence a researcher needs to take care of a subject in a very humane manner.
  2. Subject /topic selected for research should be familiar.ie known to unknown or general to specific.
  3. Costs involved
  4. Selection of a problem must be pre-decided by a preliminary study.
  5. Avoid the following;
  6. A subject that have been overdone
  7. Too narrow/fake problem
  8. Controversial subjects.

STEPS IN TOPIC SELECTION

Identify areas that puzzles an interest to you-Many issues may interest or puzzle a researcher and this may be social, economic, political, hr related issues, culture and religion.

Identify/select key words for the topic-Researcher should narrow  down to the real aspects that are puzzling or interesting him/her and express the in specific key words. Example in human resource management, researcher may be interested on how mergers and acquisitions affect company loyalty.

Define the topic-Researcher analyses selected key words and tries to put them together meaningfully.

4.Formulate the topic-After problem identification and definition it is important that reseacher comes up with a complete topic e.g. impact of mergers and acquisitions on company loyalty in a private sector.

QUALITIES OF AN EFFECTIVE RESEARCH TOPIC

  1. Clear and an un ambiguous.
  2. Supported by credible evidence.
  3. Should captivate or interest researcher.
  4. Should be researchable.

WHERE TO GET RESEARCH TOPIC FROM/SOURCES OF RESEARCH PROBLEMS.

  1. Current issues(Newspaper)
  2. Observation of environment behavior.

Personal Experience

  1. Course; lecturers, discussion groups and literature.
  2. Lifestyle
  3. Previous research work i.e. impact of microfinances on SMEs

Natural calamities

  1. Review of related literature-Review of published literature eg textbooks, journals, magazines etc. Other sources in this categories include. Research bulletin, research projects, research thesis, journals of management research, dissertations and internet.
  2. Consultation with experts and research institutions.
  3. Participation in professional discussions-forums, seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Social development –social changes and technological changes.
  • Media-news like alcoholism, drug abuse, addiction and immorality.
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TYPES OF RESEARCH

TYPES OF RESEARCH

CLASSIFICATION OF RESEARCH

In business world there exists different kinds of problems. Consequently different types of research are also used. The following are the basic modes of classification:

  1. The field of study in which the research is conducted. i.e. Discipline; for example educational research, sociological research, marketing research etc.
  2. The place where the research is conducted. Hence we talk in forms of field research, laboratory research, community research etc.

3.Application of the research – the way/mode in which the findings of the research will be used eg, Action research(small scale and situational), service research etc A good example is census that is mainly used by the government to plan.

  1. Purpose of the research i.e. basic research (pure and fundamental research), action research, applied research and evaluation research(analyze data to make a decision).
  2. By methods of analysis, i.e., descriptive research(mean, mode, median, variance, standard deviation) and empirical research (practical rather than theory),
  3. Character of data collected i.e. qualitative research and quantitative research.
  4. Procedure/Design used – experimental research, survey research, observation or historical/documentary etc.

TYPES OF RESEARCH

Basic research

  • It is also referred to as pure or fundamental research.
  • It is a type of research which is characterized by a desire to know or to expound the frontiers of knowledge.
  • It is research based on the creation of new knowledge.
  • It is mainly theoretical and for advancement of knowledge.
  • Basic researchers are interested in deriving scientific knowledge which will be a broad base for further research.

Applied Research

  • The type of research which is conducted for purpose of improving present practice, normally applied research is conducted for the purposes of applying or testing theory and evaluating its usefulness in solving problems.
  • Applied research provides data to support theory or suggest the development of new theories. It is the research done with the intention of applying the results of its findings to solve specific problems, currently being experienced in an Organization.

Action Research

  • This is a small scale intervention in the functioning of the real world and a close examination of the effects of such interventions.
  • Normally situational and it is concerned with diagnosing a problem in a specific context and attempting to solve it in that context.
  • Conducted with the primary intention of solving a specific, immediate and concrete problem in a local setting.
  • Not concerned with whether the results of the study are generalized to other settings, since its major goal is to seek a solution to a given problem.
  • Limited in its contribution to theory, but it is useful because it provides answers to problems that cannot wait for theoretical solutions.

Examples;

  • Studies done on new teaching programmes in mathematics for secondary schools
  • Effective ways of dealing with absenteeism in work place
  • Effective ways of dealing with absenteeism in schools

Descriptive Research

  • Undertaken in order to ascertain and be able to describe the characteristics of variables in a situation.
  • Descriptive studies are undertaken in organizations in order to learn about and describe characteristics of employees. g. Education level, job status, length of service etc
  • The most prevalent method of gathering information in a descriptive study is the questionnaire. Others include: interviews, job analysis, documentary analysis etc.
  • Descriptive statistics such as the mean, standard, deviation, frequencies, percentages are used in the analysis of descriptive research.

Correlational Research

  • Usually descriptive in that it cannot presume (not certain) a cause-and-effect relationship.
  • It can only establish that there is an association between two or more traits or performance.
  • Involves collecting data to determine whether a relationship exists between two or more quantifiable variables.
  • Main purpose of correlation research is to describe the nature of the relationship between the two variables.
  • Helps in identifying the magnitude of the relationship.

 Casual Research

  • Refers to one which is done to establish a definitive ‘cause’ ‘effect’ relationship among variables.
  • The researcher is keen to delineating one or more factors that are certainly causing the problem.
  • The intention of the researcher conducting a casual study is to be able to state that variable X cause’s variable Y to change.
  • A casual study is more effective in a situation where the researcher has already identified the cause of the problem.

 Examples

  • Relationship of young and old employees in an organization.
  • Remuneration package
  • end month and mid moth performance
  • Facilitation e.g. transport.

Historical Research (USE OF DOCUMENTS)

  • This is the systematic and objective location and synthesis of evidence in order to establish facts and draw conclusions about past events.
  • The act of historical research involves the identification and limitation of a problem of an area of study which is based on past events.
  • The researcher aims to:
  • Locate as many pertinent sources of information as possible concerning the specific problem.
  • Then analyze the information to ascertain its authenticity and accuracy, and then be able to use it to generalize on future occurrences.
  • Historical research is important because:
  1. It enables solutions to contemporary problems to be solved in the past.
  2. Throws light on present and future trends.
  • Allows for the revelation of data in relation to select hypothesis, theories and generalizations that are presently held about the past.
  • Ability of history to employ the past, to predict the future and to use the present to explain the past gives historical research a dual and unique quality which makes is exceptionally useful for all types of scholarly study and research.

Experimental Research

  • The investigator deliberately controls and manipulates the conditions which determine the events to which he is interested in.

Qualitative Research.(Human behaviors and aspects)

  • Includes designs, techniques and measures that do not produce numerical data.
  • Data is usually in form of words rather than numbers and this words are grouped into categories
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INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH METHODS.

INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH METHODS

BRIEF OVERVIEW

The managers of tomorrow will need to know more than any managers in history.  Research will be a major contributor to that knowledge.  Managers will find knowledge of research methods to be of value in many situations.  Business research has an inherent value to the extent that it helps the management make better decisions. Interesting information about consumers, employers or competitors might be pleasant to have but its value is limited if the information cannot be applied to a critical decision.  If a study does not help the management to select more efficient, less risky, or more profitable alternatives than otherwise would be the case, its use should be questioned.  The important point is that research in a business environment finds its justification in the contribution it makes to the decision maker’s task and to the bottom line.

At the minimum, one objective of this study material is to make you a more intelligent consumer of research products prepared by others, as well as be able to do quality research for your own decisions and those of others to whom you report.

Governments have allocated billions of dollars to support  research, driven by motivation to overcome disease or to improve the human condition.  Nations driven by threat of war and national pride have also played a major role in the advance of physical science.  Much of the findings of their research are in the public domain.

Business research is of much more recent origin and is largely supported by business organizations that hope to achieve a competitive advantage.  Research methods and findings cannot be patented, and sharing findings often results in a loss of competitive advantage; “The more valuable the research result is, the greater the value in keeping it secret.”  Under such conditions, access to findings is obviously restricted.  Even though there is a growing amount of academic business research it receives meager support when compared to research in the physical sciences.

Business research operates in a less favorable environment in other ways too.  Physical research is normally conducted under controlled laboratory conditions. Business research normally deals with topics such as human attitudes behavior, and performance.  People think they already know a lot about these topics and do not really accept research findings that differ from their opinions.

Even with these hindrances, business researchers are making great strides in the scientific arena.  New techniques are being developed, and vigorous research procedures are advancing rapidly.  Computers and powerful analytical methods have contributed to this movement but a greater understanding of the basic principles of sound research is more important. One outcome of these trends is that research-based decision making will be more widely used in the future than it has been in the past.  Managers who are not prepared for this change will be at a severe disadvantage.

Business research could encompass the study of human resource management, marketing research, entrepreneurship  etc. for example, in marketing research we could address issues pertaining to product image, advertising, sales promotions, packaging and branding, pricing, new product development.

HINTS.

  • Clear title ,A study of the Factors that Enhance the Organisational Commitment of Employees.
  • Avoid jargons.
  • Avoid using ambiguous words and sentences.
  • Avoid plagiarism-Anti plagiarism software exists in the market.
  • Always plan your work-Failing to plan, is planning to fail.
  • Conform to stipulated guidelines font, font size, spacing, header, footer
  • Tense to use when developing proposal and project.
  • Recommened sample is usually 10% from population.
  • Avoid using 1.0,2.0 instead use 1.1,2.1
  • Cover page-Centre your details.
  • Chapters-centre
  • Sub headings-Sentence case and prepositions should be in lower case.
  • Conform to APA 6th edition format ( American Psychological ) referencing style
  • No fullstop at the end.
  • Capture author sur-name.
  • 10 years down the line 2020-10=2010

Example

Kamau,J(2006) Methods of Research OR

Kamau,J(2006) Methods of Research(3rd ed.)Longhorn Publications Nairobi

  • Capture Appendices (Any detail that reinforces the body of the proposal and project can be included in an appendix)
  • Time schedule
  • Budget
  • Data collection instruments and any other document that the researcher may consider important for the readers

REPORT/PROJECT FORMAT

  • Preliminary information
  • Chapter One: Introduction
  • Chapter Two: Literature Review
  • Chapter Three: Methodology
  • Chapter Four: Data Analysis Presentation, and Interpretation
  • Chapter Five: Summary of Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations
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ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN SELLING

ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN SELLING

LEGAL ISSUES IN SELLING

Consumer protection by the law is very much a twentieth-century phenomenon. Before that the prevailing attitude can be described by the phrase caveat emptor – let the buyer beware. Much of the legislation has been drawn up since 1970 when there was recognition that sellers may have an unfair advantage compared with consumers when entering into a contract of sale.

THE CONTRACT

All this activity is centered upon the contract entered into when a seller agrees to part with a good or provide a service in exchange for monetary payment. A contract is made when a deal is agreed. This can be accomplished verbally or in writing. Once an offer has been accepted a contract is formed and is legally binding.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

As the name suggests, terms and conditions state the circumstances under which the buyer is prepared to purchase and the seller is prepared to sell. They define the limit of responsibility for both buyer and seller. Thus both buyer and seller are at liberty to state their terms and conditions. Usually the buyer will state them on the back of the order form and the seller will do so on the reverse of the quotation form. Often a note is typed on the front of the form in red ink: ‘Your attention is drawn to our standard terms and conditions on the reverse of this order.’ Typical clauses incorporated into the conditions of a purchase order include the following:

  1. Only orders issued on the company’s printed order form and signed on behalf of the company will be respected.
  2. Alterations to orders must be confirmed by official amendment and signed.
  3. Delivery must be within the specified time period. The right to cancel is reserved for late delivery.
  4. Faulty goods will be returned and expenses charged to the supplier.
  5. All insurance of goods in transit shall be paid for by the supplier.
  6. This order is subject to a cash discount of 2.5 per cent, unless otherwise arranged, for payment within 28 days of receipt. Any payment made is without prejudice to our rights if the goods supplied prove to be unsatisfactory or not in accordance with our agreed specification or sample.
  7. Tools supplied by us for the execution of this order must not be used in the service of any other firm without permission.

FALSE DESCRIPTIONS

Unscrupulous salespeople may be tempted to mislead potential buyers through inaccurate statements about the product or service they are selling. In Britain a consumer is protected from such practice by the Trade Descriptions Act 1968. The Act covers descriptions of products, prices and services and includes both oral and written descriptions.

FAULTY GOODS

The principal protection for the buyer against the sale of faulty goods is to be found within the Sale of Goods Act 1979. This Act states that a product must correspond to its description and must be of merchantable quality, i.e. ‘fit for the purpose for which goods of that kind are commonly bought as it is reasonable to expect’. An example is a second-hand car that is found to be unroadworthy after purchase;

INERTIA SELLING

Inertia selling involves the sending of unsolicited goods or the provision of unsolicited services to people who, having received them, may feel an obligation to buy. For example, a book might be sent to people who would be told that they had been specially chosen to receive it. They would be asked to send money in payment or return the book within a given period, after which they would become liable for payment.

Non-payment and failure to return the good would result in letters demanding payment, sometimes in quite threatening terms.

EXCLUSION CLAUSES

Another practice that some sellers have employed in order to limit their liability is the use of an exclusion clause. For example, a restaurant or discotheque might display a sign stating that coats are left at the owner’s risk, or a dry cleaners might display a sign excluding themselves from blame should clothes be damaged

BUYING BY CREDIT

REGULATED AGREEMENTS,

Collusion between sellers In certain circumstances it may be in the sellers’ interests to collude with one another

in order to restrict supply, agree upon prices (price fixing) or share out the market in some mutually beneficial way

ETHICAL ISSUES

  1. Bribery-This is the act of giving payments, gifts or other inducements to secure a sale. Such actions are thought to be unethical because they violate the principle of fairness in commercial negotiations.
  2. Deception-A problem faced by many salespeople is the temptation to mislead the customer in order to secure an order. The deception may take the form of exaggeration, lying or withholding important information.
  3. The hard sell-A criticism that is sometimes made of personal selling behavior is the use of high pressure (hard sell) sales tactics to secure a sale. Some car dealerships have been accused of such tactics to pressure customers into making hasty decisions on a complicated purchase that may involve expensive credit facilities.
  4. Reciprocal buying-Reciprocal buying occurs when a customer agrees to buy from a supplier only if that supplier agrees to purchase something from the customer. This may be considered unethical if the action is unfair to other competing suppliers who may not agree to such an arrangement or not be in a position to buy from the customer.
  5. Promotional inducements to the trade.
  6. Slotting allowances-A slotting allowance is a fee paid by a manufacturer to a retailer in exchange for an agreement to place a product on the retailer’s shelves.
  7. Pyramid selling-The primary purpose of pyramid selling schemes is to earn money through recruiting

other individuals

TOPIC NINE EMERGING ISSUES IN SELLING

This refers to new issues that are coming up as far as selling is concerned.

  • Use of advanced technology-computers which have come up with new changes ranging from less paper work and many people are unemployed.
  • E-Commerce
  • E-Government-Application of advanced ICT to deliver government services
  • E-procurement

 NB Outsourcing- It is management strategy by which an organization outsources major non-core functions to specialized, efficient service providers. The basic objective is normally cost reduction and concentration on core activities.

Benefit of outsourcing

  1. a) Time management
  2. b) Reduced staff costs
  3. c) Increased flexibility
  4. d) Cost certainty
  5. e) Reduction in staff management problems
  6. f) Improved consistency of service
  7. g) Reduced capital requirements
  8. h) Reduced risk

 Problems of outsourcing

  1. a) Redundancy costs
  2. b) Quality of service maintenance problems
  3. c) Long term commitment absent
  4. d) Over dependence on suppliers
  5. e) Lack of suppliers flexibility
  6. f) Lack of management skills to control suppliers
  7. g) Possible loss of competitive advantage particularly in the loss of skills and expertise of staff
  8. h) Insufficient internal investment and the passing of knowledge and expertise to the supplier who may sieve the initiative.
  • Emergence of automatic teller machines.
  • Emergence of mobile banks.
  • Emergence of customer care services department to handle financial matters only.
  • Emergence of m banking
  • Globalization-This is interaction and integration among people, companies and governments of different nations.

It is a process whereby different systems and parts of a related trade, function as a closely-knit system at the international level. Communication and transport have vastly improved and affects many aspects of economics from competition policy to monetary policy and agricultural policy.

  • Mergers and joint ventures of institutions so as to increase the institutions capital base.
  • Drug abuse menace.
  • Pollution-air, water, noise and solid waste due to drastic economic changes.
  • Environmental Corruption.
  • Depletion of natural resources.
  • Rogue economics-recent credit crisis shows how financial deregulation and globalization has contributed to many new problems which leave economies vulnerable to financial speculation.
  • Pressure on commodities-the world is used to dealing with a situation of abundant supply of raw materials, but diminishing supply and growing demand threatens to change that. Oil prices are rising due to speculation and due to fact demand is simply rising faster than supply.
  • Shifting balance of global economy-in post war period, US economy was dominant. The old phrase when America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold was very much appropriate. Sleeping giants have risen.
  • Dealing with commodity shortages there is the introduction of government quotas, tariffs, protectionism etc.
  • Growth of china economies.
  • HIV aids menace.
  • Emergence of consumerism movements-this is an organized movement of citizens and government agencies to improve the rights and power of buyers in relation to sellers
  • Destruction of environment e.g. lumbering, desertification etc.
  • Emergence of fraudsters who produce counter fake products.
  • Emergence of environmentalism movement-this is an organized movement of concerned citizens and government agencies to protect and improve people’s current and future living environment.
  • Liberalization-this is removal of trade barriers-i.e. free trade.
  • Regional economic integration- e.g. EAC, COMESA, PTA boundaries become irrelevant.
  • Emergence of export processing zones-this are areas set aside by government where industries can set up firms to process goods for export at little or no charge.
  • Enactment of new government policies ranging from quotas, rules, regulations and law enactment e.g. media bill, mututho law,traffic law and tobacco bill.
  • Establishment of National Employment Authority(NEA) to address the issue of unemployment in Kenya
  • Infrastructural advancement-Red lines in Thika super highway to usher in Bus Rapid Transit System, Direct flights to US( A major milestone)
  • Crafting of National Addressing System to assist in dissemination of information.
  • Emergence of drones in Rwanda to supply drugs in interior areas.
  • . Business Ethics 1. Ethics: this is a set of moral principal that govern the action of an individual or group
  • Social Responsibility Refers to the roles undertaken by business organization on the surrounding environment
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SALES SETTING

SALES SETTING

INTERNATIONAL SELLING APPROACH

Companies contemplating entering overseas markets will need to develop specialist knowledge and expertise in these areas. Some sales managers feel that selling abroad is impossibly difficult, but most who try it see that, although it is ‘different’, it is no more demanding than selling in the home market.

Success depends largely on the attitude and approach of the firm and the personal qualities of the salespeople – not every salesperson is suited to such a task from the point of view of understanding and empathy with the foreign market concerned. While it is hoped that this text will contribute to the development of the personal qualities necessary for successful salesmanship, the chapter concentrates specifically on those aspects of international selling with which a firm either exporting or contemplating it should be familiar.

One study found evidence to support the hypothesis that there are four identifiable stages in a firm’s internationalization. The four stages are:

  1. Non exporters,
  2. Export intenders,
  3. Exporters, and
  4.  Regular exporters.

KEY ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN INTERNATIONAL SELLING

Social

Cultural

Religion

Legal

Economic

Political

Technological

  • Concept of balance of payment.
  • International trade.
  • WTO
  • General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

INTERNATIONAL SELLING AT COMPANY LEVEL

The fact that national economic prosperity depends on selling overseas is not without relevance to individual companies. There are, however, a number of more pressing reasons why companies benefit from selling overseas:

  1. Trade due to non-availability of a particular product:
  2. Trade due to international differences in competitive costs:
  3. Trade due to product differentiation

We have looked at three broad reasons why individual firms become involved in selling overseas, but there are other more situation specific reasons:

(a) To become less vulnerable to the effects of economic recession, particularly in the home market, and to counter market fluctuations.

(b) Loss of domestic market share due to increased competition.

(c) To take advantage of faster rates of growth in demand in other markets.

(d) To dispose of surplus or to take up excess capacity in production.

(e) Loss of domestic market share due to product obsolescence.

(f) To achieve the benefits of long production runs and to gain economies of scale

(g) The firm has special expertise or knowledge of producing a product that is not available in a foreign market.

(h) Simply the existence of potential demand backed by purchasing power, which is probably the strongest incentive of all.

ORGANISATION FOR INTERNATIONAL SELLING

Organisation to implement international sales operations can be complex. Decisions must be made on arranging the interface between manufacturing and sales and in delegating responsibility for international operations. Each problem can have alternative solutions and an optimal decision must be tailored for each firm.

Some companies are so deeply involved in international trade that it forms the majority of sales turnover, while others are simply content to supply export orders. A distinction is made between multinational marketing, international marketing and exporting and each is now considered:

Multinational marketing

Relates to companies whose business interests, manufacturing plants and offices are spread throughout the world. Although their strategic headquarters might be in an original country, multinationals operate independently at national levels. Multinationals produce and market goods within the countries they have chosen to develop. Examples of multinationals are Shell, Ford, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and McDonald’s. To be successful multinationals need to understand their competences and weaknesses. The Microsoft case history examines this company’s bright and dark side.

International marketing covers companies that have made a strategic decision to enter foreign markets, have made appropriate organizational changes and marketing mix adaptations.

Exporting is at the simple end of the scale and the term is applied to companies that regard exporting as a peripheral activity, whose turnover from exporting is less than 20 per cent.

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TRAVELLING SALES PERSONNEL

TRAVELLING SALES PERSONNEL

A travelling personnel is an individual moving door to door selling goods. Refers to an individual whose job is to travel to different places in a particular area and sell products or get orders from customers.

DUTIES OF TRAVELLING SALES PERSONNEL.

  1. Assisting customers in selecting products.
  2. Answering questions about products.
  3. Keeping check on the inventory/stock.
  4. Generating/closing sales.
  5. Travelling and visiting prospective buyers and current clients.
  6. Overcome all objections from customers and make sales.
  7. Build lasting relationships with customers
  8. Get new orders.

DISTINCTION BETWEEN INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL TRAVELLING SALES PERSONNEL.

  • Hours of working
  • Internal-Individual customers. external-Oraganizational and individual buyers.
  • Customer assistance level-limited to internal.
  • Level of professionalism-courteous, vocabulary etc.

CHALLENGES OF TRAVELLING SALES PEOPLE

  1. Repeated rejections-sales people may suffer repeated rejections when trying to close sales. This may result to low confidence and lack of motivation.
  2. Absence of permanent address-they have to move from place to place looking for prospects with no specific location.
  3. Heavy work load-moving from place to place and performing every duty on their own is tiresome and can result to health issues or disturbed family life.
  4. No time for self-due to movement from one place to another.
  5. Health issues e.g. backaches, disturbed stomach, depression, fatigue etc.
  6. Inadequate resources for transport and moving the family from place to place.
  7. Future of such a job is uncertain because it is usually temporary due to absence of prospects or low sales can result to dismissal at any time.