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Research Methods for Business Management

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|Research Methods for Business and Management |
|Expansion plan for Kat Maconie’s entrance to the Indian market |
| |
| |
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|Kapil Bam |
|15-Aug-14 |
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Significance of the study/ Research rationale 2
Research aims 3
Research objectives 3
Research questions 3
Literature Review 4
Research Design and Methodology 4
Research Philosophy 4
Research Approach 4
Research Strategy 4
Data collection method 4
Accessibility issues 4
Ethical issues 5
Data analysis plan 5
Research limitations 5
References 6
Holts G.B. (2004). How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding. Harvard Business School 6


The systematic way of collating data which involves designing and following a number of steps for the purpose of analysis or in pursuit of seeking solution to a problem is known as research. Research is conducted in order to obtain knowledge and information about a specific area or problem. It helps in exploring the problems related to the field of research and thus finding out possible and feasible solutions (Alkins, 2010). The application of the scientific method in searching for the truth about business phenomena including defining business opportunities and problems, generating and evaluating ideas, monitoring performance, and understanding the business process.” (Zikmund, 2010). In reference to business and management, a research mainly aims at identifying gaps in a market and exploring possible solutions.

The following study is conducted in order to explore the most viable marketing strategy for Kat Maconie, an upcoming UK designer shoe brand to enter into the Indian market.

1 Significance of the study/ Research rationale

Since this research focuses on indentifying the right entrance strategy for Kat Maconie, the most appropriate area for this research is marketing. Marketing is the most important link in the value chain of a company and marketing mix helps plan and implement strategies for promoting the product and services of the organization (Atherton and Elsmore, 2007). It includes more than one step of the value chain. In addition to promoting the product, it plays a vital role in the placement, pricing and even distribution of the products, eventually determining its profitability (Daniel and Sam, 2011). Correct marketing strategy positively affects brand image and customer trust and loyalty for the product as well as the company (Flick, 2011). It is particularly important in a new market to ensure that customers not only notice but also have a positive image of the product as well as the organization.

Kat Maconie is a young, vibrant and ambitious brand that currently sells its products though big departmental stores like Selfridges and Dune. After featuring in London Fashion week and being awarded by the Draper’s as ‘shoe of the year’, the next logical step for the brand is to plan expansion to developing countries with increasing disposable income, like Asia ( This study will examine the Kat Maconie’s presence in the current (UK) market, its success and failures. The report will also include study of the Indian market and aim to present a conclusive rather than assumptive marketing strategy for the brand in order to enter the Indian market.

1 Research aims

Effectiveness and implementation of marketing strategies, especially the marketing mix, of an organization are utmost critical for its success. The correct marketing mix elevates the performance and profitability of a company by boosting its sales and potential revenue (Creswell, 2003). Brand image is another key player in fueling growth of a business. It affects and to a great extent even controls people’s perception of the brand, helps justify the cost and helps consumers relate to the product (Sobh and Perry, 2006). Therefore the primary focus of this paper is to perform feasibility and identify the best marketing strategy for the launch of this international brand in Indian Market.

2 Research objectives

In order to devising a practical and potentially successful expansion/ market entry plan we have divided the process in three simple steps:

1. Identify the present market position (Brand equity) of the brand in the UK (COO) – To explore the opportunities and limitations for its entry and expansion in the Indian market 2. Identify a new market for the expansion of the company 3. Help the brand build brand awareness and equity 4. To propose a conclusive market entry/ expansion plan

3 Research questions

In order to fulfill aim of this research, it is important to establish grounds for pursuit of the objectives. This can be done be seeking answers to some question relevant to the subject of the research (Martin and Guerin, 2006)

1. What is the current brand image of Kat Maconie? 2. What are the identifiable and distinguished qualities of the products? 3. What is the socio-economic situation of the market? 4. What are the opportunities and threats of Indian market? 5. What is the target customer group for Kat Maconie? 6. What is the desired Mental Map for the brand? 7. Who are its competition and what are the aspirations? 8. How can the brand create a point of difference in the Indian market?

Answer to these questions would help the researcher understand both, the existing product and the new desired market, and hence recommend the most suitable entrance strategy for the brand.

Literature Review

Geographic extension is the necessary fate of brands. The brand’s growth and its ability to innovate and to sustain its competitive edge in terms of economies of scale and productivity depend on it (Kapferer, 2012). Of many different reasons for global expansion (e.g. saturation of local market, high demand in the foreign market), the opportunity of expanding customer base is what attracts most of the brands. In the face of globalization and an increasingly interconnected world many firms attempt to expand their sales into foreign market. International expansion provides new and potentially more profitable markets; helps increase firm’s competitiveness; and facilitates access to new product ideas, manufacturing innovation and the latest technology (Hollensen, 2007). According to professor Levitt (1983), national differences and preferences would no longer carry any weight in the face of the progress and reduced costs associated with international products and brands. With everyone in the world travelling either physically or, in most cases, via satellite television, the desire to buy products and brands sold in other countries would also greatly increase (Friedman, 2005).

Recently many companies have shown interest in expanding to the growing markets of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), as the American, European and the Japanese markets are more or less saturated now. The constant economic growth in these countries, even during the turbulent times of economic depression, has opened a whole new window of opportunity for many brands.

While internationalisation brings new prospects for the companies, it has its own disadvantages. According to Keller and Georgson (2008), the difference in administrative processes, legal environment, and consumers’ needs, wants and usage patterns are some of them. Solberg (1997) discusses the conditions under which company should ‘stay at home’ or further ‘strengthen their global position’ as two extremes. In this scenario, advance planning has often been regarded as important to the success of new international ventures (Knight, 2000)

Research Design and Methodology

For the purpose of this research, model of Research Onion Process (Mark Sauders et al, 2003) has been selected as it indicates all steps involved in the research process. It presents a very comprehensive framework for the research by giving options for research process in every step involved.

1 Research Philosophy

Scholar has the option of selecting two research philosophies first is interpretivism and other one is positivism. Philosophy of interpretivism works on the principle that nature and society are two different objects (Martin and Guerin, 2006). It states that there can be many approaches to deal with a specific issue. On the other hand philosophy of positivism states that logical treatment is the best method of gathering the desired information. It is also known as scientific philosophy and is based on the facts. In this study interpretivism philosophy will be adopted because the sample size is small and it is applied in case of small sample size only.

2 Research Approach

There are two approaches inductive and deductive. For the following study inductive approach will be applied because it will follow the bottom up approach (Daff, 2011). First it will identify the specific information then it will drive towards generalized findings of the results. The report does not aim on creating any hypothesis; rather work with the theories and models present .

3 Research Strategy

A combination of survey and ethnography will be used for the purpose of this research. Survey is one of the most popular methods of collecting data for research. A series of relevant questions will be asked and the recorded responses will be used for the purpose of analysis. Ethnography is a written description of a particular culture- the customs, beliefs and behaviours- based on information collected through fieldwork (Marvin Harris and Orna Johnson, 2000). These two methods would aid the understanding of Indian culture, market and assess potential customers’ readiness for the new product.

4 Data collection method

In order to make the findings of the report more conclusive, a combination of different methods including sampling, secondary data, observation and questionnaire will be used. Since the research explores to forecast the acceptance and success of Kat Maconie in Indian market, sampling of target population for the purpose of questionnaire would help achieve accuracy (MRS, 2007). For the purpose of collating and analyzing secondary data, relevant books, journals and online sources would be referred (Dey, 2002). Also email and other internet communication forms are recommended for the process as they are cost effective and have very almost no possibility of bias. This would help the respondents in answering sensitive questions with ease. Although the response rate in this process is lower as compared to telephonic or face to face interaction, the high number of solicited respondents and the speed of response makes up for it.

5 Accessibility issues

• Financial data of the company not available – Kat Maconie is a new company (established in 2009) and the financial data for the company is not available online or though any other sources. This prohibits the researcher to explore the current actual financial situation of the company in order to make specific recommendations from the cost and profit point of view.
• No access to present logistic structure – The inaccessibility to the present logistic system, including storage and transportation arrangements and costs involved in these process in order to budget the new process accordingly.
• Limited information about the Supply-chain Management and distribution system - Not only this inhibits the study and of the current system in order to evaluate its effectiveness and feasibility in a new market like India, but also stops the researcher from distinguishing between the value add and non-value add steps in the supply chain in order to make an effective transfer of the framework to the targeted market.

6 Ethical issues

Authenticity of the information/ data collected is of utmost importance, not only for the accuracy of result but also to abide by the ethical framework. It is imperative that all the research related activities are conducted in an ethical and legal manner and the researcher should possess an accurate and comprehensive knowledge of the subject (Creswell, 2003). The respondents must be encouraged to voice their true knowledge or opinion about the subject. The identity of the respondents should not be disclosed without their permission and their participation in the process should not put their well being at risk in any way.

7 Data analysis plan

The primary reason for collecting data is to analyse it, in order to conclude and find a solution to the problem. It helps in describing and stimulating the data and identifying the relationship between variables. The accuracy of the forecast of the outcome largely depends on the correct analysis of the data. The data collected can be segregated in two categories, Qualitative and Quantitative. While Qualitative data works best for hypothesis testing, Quantitative data gives quantifiable and easy to understand results. A combination of summarizing data and generalising from the sample would give us a wholesome analysis. For the purpose of formulating responses from survey questionnaire, a combination of Ordinal and Numerical Scale will be used as some questions might include the rating of quality of the product while others might require the respondent to arrange the responses given in the order of their preference (McBurney and White, 2009). Following theme will be formulated and used for a systematic approach to data analysis.

Organizing data for assessment -> Categorizing and evaluating main points -> Classifying the information -> Designing the thematic pattern -> Elucidating the designed themes

8 Research limitations

Due to the accessibility issues mentioned above and limited time available for the research, the outcomes might not be very accurate. Also, since the research will use sampling and not survey the entire population of prospect customers, the results and therefore the suggestion based on those results will be indicative.


Activities |1st Week |2nd Week |3rd Week |4th Week |5th Week |6th Week |7th Week |8th Week |9th Week | |Creating research proposal | | | | | | | | | | |Developing aims and objectives | | | | | | | | | | |Framing literature review | | | | | | | | | | |Collecting primary data | | | | | | | | | | |Collecting secondary data | | | | | | | | | | |Evaluate secondary data | | | | | | | | | | |Design research | | | | | | | | | | |Selection of Research methodology | | | | | | | | | | |Designing questionnaire | | | | | | | | | | |Performing interview | | | | | | | | | | |Obtain the information | | | | | | | | | | |Draft findings | | | | | | | | | | |Evaluate the data | | | | | | | | | | |Conclusion | | | | | | | | | | |Wait for feedback | | | | | | | | | | |Improve and draft | | | | | | | | | | |Submit | | | | | | | | | | |


Alkins, M. S. 2010. Explaining the Epistemological Belief System: Introducing the Embedded Systemic Model and Coordinated Research Approach. Educational Psychologist. 39(1). pp.19-29.

Atherton, A. and Elsmore, P. 2007. Structuring Qualitative Enquiry In Management And Organization Research: A Dialogue On The Merits Of Using Software For Qualitative Data Analysis. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal. 2(1). pp.62-77.

Clarke-Hill, C., Comfort, D. and Hillier, D. 2008. Marketing and sustainability. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 26 2, pp.123 – 130.

Creswell, W. J., 2003. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. SAGE.

Daff, L., 2011. The research proposal. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal. 24(4). pp.553 – 553.

Daniel, P. S. and Sam, A. G. 2011. Research Methodology. Gyan Publishing House.

Dey, C., 2002. Methodological issues: The use of critical ethnography as an active research methodology. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal. 15(1). pp.106 – 121.

Durling, D., 2002. Discourses on research and the PhD in Design. Quality Assurance in Education. 10(2). pp.79 – 85.

Ferrell, C, O., 2012. Marketing Strategy Text and Cases.6th ed. Cengage Learning.

FILM: The Marketing Mix At Tesco, 2013. [Online]. Available through: . [Accessed on 25th July 2014].

Flick, U. 2011. Introducing Research Methodology: A Beginner's Guide to Doing a Research Project. USA: SAGE.

Holts G.B. (2004). How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding. Harvard Business School

Jenni R, et al. (2004). Brand and Advertising Awareness: A Replication and Extension of a Known Empirical Generalisation Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ), Volume 12, Issue 3, 2004, Pages 70-80
Kapferer J N. 2008. New Strategic Brand Management: creating and sustaining brand equity long term. 4th Edition. Bodmin Cornall

Kapferer JN, Basrien V. 2012. Luxury Strategy: break the rules of marketing to build luxury brands. 2nd Edition. Kogan Page

Keller K. L. 2008. Strategic Brand Management, Building Measuring & Managing Brand Equity 3rd Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall

Martin, S. C., and Guerin, A. D., 2006. Using research to inform design solutions. Journal of Facilities Management. 4(3). pp.167 – 180.

McBurney, D. and White, T. 2009. Research Methods. Cengage Learning.

Morgenstern, K., 2010. Marketing Mix of Starbucks. GRIN Verlag

Pride, M, W, and et. al., 2012. Marketing Principles. Cengage Learning.

Promotion Mix. 2013. [Online]. Available through: . [Accessed on 13th August 2013].

Sobh, R. and Perry, C., 2006. Research design and data analysis in realism research. European Journal of Marketing. 40(11/12). pp.1194 – 1209.

William G. Zikmund. 2010. Business research methods /. 7th ed. c2003.…...

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...Business Research Methods Kim Smith QNT/561 June 25, 2012 Leda Villalobos Business Research Methods Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer but revenues are on a consistent growth trajectory, cost of sales has also been increasing (Consolidated Statements of Income, 2011). One strategy to leverage revenue growth against the risk of increasing expenditure may be to use current assets in new ways. The boutique-within-the- store concept will apply current infrastructural and personnel resources to reach a demographic with greater disposable income. The target market will be working women with young families who can purchase an item suitable for work, picking up children from school or daycare, and with a few accessories she is ready for an evening out. The product offering will compete with Dress Barn and Cato and be similar to that of Target’s new marketing thrust. The research question will emanate from analysis that applies the Management Research Question Hierarchy and further tested for alignment with the management dilemma. The research design will establish the feasibility of proposed solutions to the management problem through a stratified random sample of Wal-Mart customers. Background Information Wal-Mart was founded in 1962 with the opening of the first Wal-Mart discount store in Rogers, Arkansas (Wal-Mart Corporate, 2012). The organization has grown and is established in 27 countries in which it operates under 69 banners employing over 2.2......

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Business Research Methods

...Business Research Methods, Part I Nikkei Crowder, Jessica Thompson, Delores Winton QNT/561 Anthony Matias August 13, 2012 Business Research Methods, Part I There are elements needed when conducting research, such as developing a theory and hypothesis, determining an appropriate research design, collecting data, providing analysis of the data, and revising the theory upon results. This paper will develop a research design behind the auto industry bailout and identify a sample design used for collecting data. Organizational Dilemma What was the ultimate cause of the downfall of the auto industry resulting in a bailout? This research question arising from the dilemma in the auto industry is one that many American’s found him or herself asking after the government decided to bail them out of their financial crisis. In 2008, the auto industry found itself in a downward financial spiral. Gas prices reached over $4 a gallon and the credit debacle is only a couple of reasons for the dilemma the auto industry faced. The country was facing a recession and they blame up-and-coming technologies of distracting technologies to validate and continue the old routine and procedure to fill their pockets with money and bonuses to retain the status quo in the industry without any regard to others affected, even if this method compromises their long-term strategy.  Roche (2009), “This qualifies as failed management syndrome because they consider themselves royalty......

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