Posted: March 18th, 2023
In order to study career aspirations, a survey of fifteen students was conducted to determine what level the student expected to achieve as their highest level. The students polled were all business students. The unit of analysis was scalar, with the options reflecting hierarchical levels within a corporation. The results of the survey were as follows:
These results show that business students have a wide range of aspirations and expectations for their careers. While some see themselves on a path to executive-level leadership, others see themselves slotting into middle- or upper-level managerial positions as their apex. None of the business students surveyed felt that they were likely to end up in a non-management role. Because of the desire to create scalar units of measurement, the question did not distinguish between these levels and entrepreneurship. So the size of the company in question was open to the interpretation of the respondent — a response of ‘executive’ might simply reflect a desire to become an entrepreneur.
2. 1. The first consideration is the management dilemma, which in this case is that the return rate on the publication reader service cards seems to be getting lower. The investigative questions are to determine a) what the return rate actually is and b) what the reason(s) is (are) for the change in the return rate. Management is specifically interested in testing whether or not people are using other means of communicating with advertisers instead of these cards. Management is also exploring if the cards are simply not delivering a fast enough response time, by looking at the drivers of response time.
2. The main ethical issue in this study is privacy. There usually aren’t too many ethical issues with gathering information, but it is important to maintain privacy of respondents at all times. Further, the research becomes less valuable if the survey is not anonymous in nature.
3. The sampling method was disproportionate stratified random. The disproportionate is ok, because they are trying to get a sense of variations in responses between customer groups, not to extrapolate the results across the entire population — they are studying behaviors. This method is stronger for looking at behaviors — they aren’t trying to prove a hypothesis here, but rather gain information through exploratory research. This method seeks to give an accurate portrayal of the customer base; a proportionate survey would not be as effective with that.
4. I’m not crazy about the research design. It seems haphazard. It is unclear what they are going to find out. The research is obviously exploratory in nature. Weighting responses doesn’t seem to make much sense. Also, no information is provided about the 40 interviews that were conducted. At the end of the day the relatively useless findings confirm my view that the research lacked focus. I paid these researchers to give me useful information about the cards and they’re coming back telling me about how many people called long-distance numbers vs. local numbers? That’s not the information I asked for. The sampling was fine, for the most part, but they seem to have asked a bunch of irrelevant questions.
5. The survey isn’t provided, but based on the response information provided the survey is weak. It does not provide useful information — that people are expecting to use email and websites is not exactly ground-breaking stuff in 1997. The survey questions need to generate insightful responses and in this case that didn’t happen. The question is whether to keep making those cards or not, but the survey doesn’t really spend much time asking the actual question at hand — do you plan to use these cards in the future? Using other methods is not necessarily mutually exclusive to using these cards. The survey kind of danced around this key issue.
6. The survey wasn’t provided. I don’t know what codes they were using. I wouldn’t bother with SPSS to tell me something I could have figured out for myself in five seconds. If I’m the CEO, I don’t authorize this because I’m not interested in crunching numbers for the sake of it. Right now, my ROI on this survey is negative, and that’s not good enough.
7. I would present the statistical information in a table with a brief summary in English. I would not use math jargon when talking to a decision-maker. They want the data in an easy-to-read format that helps them make decisions quickly.
8. The limitation of the study is that it didn’t ask the question directly. There’s a lot of tangential information but nothing that says “In the future, x% of customers expect to use these cards.” The study is rather limited by a lot of big thinking about research design and completely failing to answer the one question we asked at the outset.
9. I wouldn’t order further research. This survey looks like a waste of time and money. I have enough information to make a decision. I’m looking into the future and seeing these cards as obsolete technology. I can barely wrap my head around what these cards are, they sound so utterly archaic. Why are we the gatekeepers between buyers and our advertisers? On what planet did that ever make sense? I’m cancelling them. I would ideally have liked to know from our research team whether buyers intended to keep using them, but they didn’t ask that question and I’m not interested in throwing good money after bad.
Lund Research (2012). Stratified random sampling. Lund Research. Retrieved April 3, 2014 from http://dissertation.laerd.com/stratified-random-sampling.php
No author (2014). Business research process: An overview. EIS.HU.EDU. Retrieved April 3, 2014 from https://eis.hu.edu.jo/ACUploads/10643/Chapter%204.pdf
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