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Research Methodology: Cross Sectional Research Design

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 5445 words Published: 12th Jun 2017

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In the previous chapter it was discussed the relevant literature, which is connected with research topic. Research methodology as well as others methods are discussed thoroughly in this chapter. First, researcher explains research in general. After that research philosophy as well as approach has been discussed. Subsequently, research design has been conducted with research approach. Next, cross-sectional research design has been selected for this research. Later than, research tactics has been discussed and data collection methods with data collection instruments has also been discussed. Data sampling and non-probability sampling has been selected for this research as a sampling method. Finally this chapter discussed ethical consideration about research work.

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3.1 Research:

According to (Bruce Archer, 1997), “Research is a systematic enquiry whose goal is to communicable knowledge”. Here it has been stated that, research is an organized investigation about a particular illustration. The research is a kind of examination, where it finds the answer of investigation. The research is also called as goal-focused, whereas the purpose of the research investigation is set by explanation of the undertaking. The research is also stated as knowledge-focused, which will allow the investigation to generate actual knowledge or information regarding the study. According to Bruce Archer (1997), it has also been demonstrated that, research is a communicable knowledge, which emphasises simple understanding about any specific research finding. Moreover, this particular finding should be understandable to audience as well as to make sure that it has to be sited a particular structure.

3.2 Research philosophy and approach

Research Philosophy

This part of the research gives attention on the philosophical insinuation. According to (Johnson & Clark, 2006), ” as business and management researchers we need to be aware of the philosophical commitments we make through our choice of research strategy since this has significant impact not only on what we do but we understand what it is we are investigating”. This statement is strongly weighted by Saunder, who said, “Philosophical framework of social researchers effects on their understanding and perceiving all social phenomenon and behaviour” (Saunder, 2006). In addition, the author also illustrated that “Philosophical effects on research topics, designing and methodology”. Based on the research topic and approaches different philosophical statements are developed by researchers.

The future of the statements were extended by (Creswell, 2003), which is illustrated from the philosophical point of view, there are four different aspects.

  • Epistemology
  • Methodology
  • Ontology
  • Axiology

In addition, (Bryman & Bell 2001), demonstrated, “epistemological and ontological considerations and their associated methods are the most essential issues for social research”. Subsequently, (Benton & Craib, 2001), “Positivism and Interpretivism are two main epistemological positions that advocate the application of the methods in the study of social reality”. To support those statements, (Bryman & Bell, 2001) illustrated “objectivism and constructionism are two important ontological positions that assert the social phenomena and their meanings have an existence, which is independent of social actors” (Bryman, and Bell, 2001).

Positivism approach has been taken for this research paper. Moreover, the positivist research approach can ensure complete understanding about the research paper to audience by the experiment and evaluation.

Positivism consideration

According to (Remenyi et al,. 1998), stated that positivism research is ” working with an observable social reality and that the end product of such research can be law-like generalisations similar to those produced by the physical and natural scientists”. Consequently, different positivist scholars define positivism “behaviour of human beings can be objectively measured” (Hussey and Hussey, 1997). In addition, (Phillips & Burbules, 2000), illustrated “people cannot be positive about claims of knowledge when studying the behaviour and actions of humans”. From these definitions it’s revealed that, the most significant dispute is make two different part of positivism. These two separated parts of positivism are, fact and value, which constants plans to work within an independent attitude. On the other hand, Bryman and Bell (2001), illustrated that, “positivism is the most often treated as a supporting quantitative methods”. From this explanation, it’s very clear that quantitative research is more appropriate with positivism rather than qualitative research. In addition, (Gill and Johnson, 2002) illustrated, “It is frequently advocated that the positivist researcher will be likely to use a highly structured methodology in order to facilitate replication”. This explanation gives importance on quantitative evaluations, which are done by statistical analysis.

According to Smith (1975), illustrated below some advantages and disadvantages of the positivism research,

Advantages of Positivism:

  • Simply comparable facts and figures.
  • Cost-effective collection of huge quantity of data.
  • Good for researcher to keep control on overall research process.
  • Understandable theoretical viewpoints.

Disadvantages of Positivism:

  • Fail to understand social factors.
  • If data collection is started, difficult to change direction of research.

From the above discussion, positivism has more advantage compare to its disadvantage. Because of few disadvantage its gives more importance on phenomena, which is experimented and measured. Positivism not certainly impacts the essential mechanisms. For this reason, to support this statement, (Bryman and Bell, 2001), “In order to understand the mechanisms of positivism, it has to require researchers knowing how to grasp the underlying value”


According to (Bryman and Bell, 2001), under the ontological contemplations there are two most important fundamentals are objectivism and constructionism. Both aspects of ontology have been applies between business and management research for many years. Objectivism plays a significant role in the field of research. “Objectivism is an ontological position that implies social phenomena comfort us as external facts that are beyond our reach or influence” by (Bryman and Bell, 2001). Consequently, (Saunders et al, 2009), stated, “The position that social entities exist in reality external to social actors concerned with their existence”. (Full reference haven’t . it has been believed organization with tangible object has some rules and regulations. The organization approves some standard practices, which helps to get things into prospect. Within a distribution of employment people are appointed to different duties. There is a hierarchy as well as mission statement. The grade to which these features subsist from the organization to organization is inconsistent. People are eager to learn as well as later than people will apply this rules and regulations. For example in an objectivist view, each people use developed knowledge from the outside source at the same time they transferred knowledge or experience from one person to another. People normally learn from what they see, experience, here and read. If someone can explain summery of any idea in an understanding manner then other can catch that particular idea very simply. Learning is successful when people are trained. Objectivist approach can be applied in culture.

In this dissertation researcher followed the objectivist as a replacement of constructivism for the reason that the nature of researcher research is very closely parallel to all the fundamentals, which consist in objectivism.

Research Approach:

According to Saunder (2009), it has been illustrated that, there are two complete approaches to analysis of research, which are inductive and deductive approaches. For inductive research, a theory has been developed based on the collective data analysis. In addition (Arbnoe 1997), explains inductive approach like, “This approach is being indebted normally to interpretivism, which is able to explore the reality of study from emotion, action and intention”. We can call this research approach as a bottom-up approach, where research developing from data reasoning to specific theories. For deductive mode where theory has been develop based on data analysis as well as hypotheses test. According to (Hesse-Biber, 2004), demonstrated that, “deductive approach is using data to develop theory based on hypothesis testing”. We can call this approach as a top-down approach. Inductive approach is generally envoy with interpretivism on the other hand deductive approach is more comely attached with positivism approach. Deductive approach allow researcher to find out the specific theory because its start with the general and end with specific finding by following the scientific principles. Deductive approach is comely use to test hypothesis.

For this research, the deductive research approach has been selected. The research approach has been selected because a theory will be develop from collecting data analyze and hypothesis testing. Based on those analyses and finding it would be ensured whether the hypothesis are established or rejected. For carry out this finding of the study, different steps of deduction research approach will be used.

Deductive approach

According to Collis and Hussey, 2003, “It is the dominant research approach in the natural science, where laws present the basis of explanation, allow the anticipation of phenomena, predict their occurrence and therefore permit them to be controlled”. In addition to (Bryman and Bell 2001), explain deductive research approach present a quit general relationship among theory and research. Deductive approach begins with general thought, for examples theory, laws as well as scientific principles. Based on those thought, it has been established some individual hypothesis. These hypotheses are tasted on the basis of collected quantitative data, which are collected through different steps in quantitative research. Finally hypotheses are tested in order to prop up the thoughts or ideas. If the hypothesis is proved, researcher can say the hypothesis is established. On the other hand, if the hypothesis is not proved, researcher can say the hypothesis is rejected or not true for the study. According to Hussey and Hussey (1997), demonstrated that the deductive research approach is “a study in which a conceptual and theoretical structure is developed which is then tested by empirical observation, thus particular instances are deducted from general influences.” This is a kind of analysis, where theory is tasted by investigation observation.

To support this statements, deductive approach is theory has been developed from data analysis (Sunders et al,. 2009).

In this specific method researcher commonly start with a particular theory regarding the topic of interest. Afterward, researcher aims to make more precise the theory into some particular hypothesis, which researcher can test. In order to test that hypothesis, researcher selects research design, strategic as well as data collection methods. After that, researcher determines the respondents for data collections. As soon as researcher collects data from earlier sources and collected data are forward for future analysis. After the examination of data, researcher comes into the research finding and conclusion. From the analysis and discussion, researcher can test the hypothesis whether hypothesis is established or rejected with research particular theories.

3.3 Research Design

According to Bryman and Bell (2007, p 40), “A research design provides a framework for the collection and analysis of data”. There are number of research design are outlined for specific research activities. Among those design, there are five design are prominent, which are experimental and related, cross-sectional, longitudinal, case study and comparative research. Every design is particularly focused in terms of the research finding.

Experimental research is diverse from business management research, which is more laboratory-based research. Researchers explain that experiment is pure scientific research. Another type is survey strategy, which is more adopted with deductive research approach. The survey strategy is more frequent with business and management research as well as particularly use in collection of large volume of data and analysis. Case study is deeper understanding of a particular perspective. According to Robson (2002:178), case study is “a strategy for doing research which involves an empirical investigation of a particular contemporary phenomenon within its real life context using multiple sources of evidence”. The case study research design more associated with explanatory as well as exploratory research.

Action research is emphasised on field research. This type of research puts concentration on changes of an organisation, which change would be implementing with experience individuals. Grounded theory is where research theory or hypothesis is developed from the data generated by a sequence of observation. According to Goulding (2002), stated that Grounded theory allow business and management research to predict and give explanation regarding employees as well as consumers behaviour. Grounded theory frequently used in business and management research. Another type is Ethnography research, which we can explain as a naturalistic research. Ethnography research is more appropriate for deeper understanding about a specific background as well as better understanding from the background. This research more associated with positivism research. Modelling is another type of research design, where model is developed for a specific research purpose. Finally, operational research is which understanding the relationship about particular research activities.

Experimental Design:

Experimental research is a type of research design, where researchers have control all over the research factors can affect the research result. Moreover, control over the study researcher can predict what can occur.

According to Bryman and Bell (2007), Experimental research design is commonly held up as a benchmark because it prompts considerable confidence in the strength and trustworthiness of informal finding. This research design allows researcher to test theories and make a valid conclusion regarding relationships among independent and dependent variables.

Cross-sectional Design:

Cross-functional research design is one of the most popular research designs among other research design and which is also known as social survey design as well. According to (Easterby-Smith et al,. 2008; Robson, 2002) define cross-sectional design retain for survey strategy. In addition (Bryman and Bell, 2007), stated that “A cross-sectional design entails the collection of data on more than one case and at a single point in time in order to collect a body of quantitative or quantifiable data in connection with two or more variables, which are then examined to detect patterns of association”. Cross-functional research design is selection a specific variation (nation, people, organization or state) from those data is collected in order to answer the research objective and research question and it is called cross-functional research design.

Longitudinal Design:

Longitudinal design is a separate type of research design. This design allows changing plane of business and management research. According to Pettigrew (1990), explain the longitudinal research deign is understanding organization and collected data from the organization or particular on the basis of methods as well as processes through change are created. Longitudinal research design is very rare used in business and management research. The main aim of this design is to create the direction and importance the informal relationship.

Case Study Design:

Some of best business and management research are based on case study research design. The design is particularly concerned on the research difficulty. The principle focus of case study design is quality of theoretical analysis, in which research is engaged as well how well data are supported the analysis, which is developed.

Comparative Design:

  • Comparative research design is analyzed two or more groups based on one variable.
  • Above research design it is decided that, cross-functional research design are more appropriate for the research paper.

3.4 Research Strategy:

Research strategy is a plan by which researcher deals with the methods of the reasoning as well as it’s allow researchers to communicate research in a systematic manner. Research strategy help researcher’s to maintain constant connection with research goal and develop research quality within the long run. Research strategy associated with two main strategies, one is quantitative and other one is qualitative research strategy. According to methodological concern, its revealed that makes a distinction among qualitative and quantitative strategy is useful toward researcher. There are some fundamental differences among qualitative and quantitative research strategy according to many authors. For instance, quantitative strategy retains measurement. In contradictory qualitative research strategy does not. In addition, there is also epistemological foundational difference between quantitative and qualitative research strategy. In other word, (Brayman & Bell, 2003), “the connection between theory and research, epistemological considerations and ontological considerations both the research can be taken two distinctive cluster of research strategy”. It also correlates “Quantitative research can be construed as a research tactics, which emphasizes quantification of data collection and analysis of data” (Brayman and Bell, 2007). Quantitative research tactics creates relation among research and theories through deductive research approach. To support the statements (Brayman & Bell, 2007), also stated that, “Quantitative research has also incorporated the practices and the norms of the natural scientific model and of positivism in particular and embodies a view of social reality as an external, objective reality”.

In contrast, “qualitative research can be construe as a research strategy that usually emphasizes words rather than quantification in the collection and analysis of data (Brayman and Bell, 2007). Qualitative research strategy creates relation between research and theories through inductive research approach. In addition, (Bryman and Bell, 2007) stated that, “Qualitative research rejected the practice and norms of the natural scientific model and of positivism in particular in preference for an emphasis on the ways in which individuals interpret their social world and also embodies a view of social reality as a constantly shifting emergent property of individuals’ creation”. This research strategy generally develops theories rather than testing theories. Finally, it has been discovered quantitative and qualitative research strategy is completely two different research strategies according to their role of theory. In this study the quantitative research strategy has been selected. This strategy is appropriate because the survey related to this research paper is based on questionnaire, which is connected with quantitative research. It’s also appropriate with this paper because the role of theory in relation to research is deductive. Moreover, ontological orientation of research is objectivism. Because of above reason researcher select quantitative is the research strategy for this research paper.

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3.5 Data Collection Method:

Data collection method is very significant aspect for any type of research work. Right data collection method allows researcher to collect information in order to research object as well as systematic manner. It is very important to researcher to follow right data collection method, according to researcher object. If not it would be quite difficult for researcher to collect right answer of the research question. There are two types of data for any research work. One is primary data and the other one is secondary data.

Primary Data Collection Method:

Primary data collection is essential, when researcher cannot collect right information from secondary source. Researcher used different methods to collect primary data, such as interviews and questionnaires. Primary data is a kind of information, which is collected from firsthand experience and unique to the research as well as no one else, can be accessed to that particular information until the research publishes that specific research. Primary data can be qualitative or quantitative data. Apart from, interviews and questioner methods of primary data, there are some other methods such as observation, focus group interview, personal interview (one-on-one), case study, diary, critical incident, self-administrated (mail or internet), and portfolio, whish are researcher can use for collect primary data.

Secondary Data Collection Method:

Secondary data is a kind of data or information, which is already used for some other purpose, data are published and data are collected in past or from other parties such as government statistics, company annual report as well as data supplied organization. According to (Ghauri and Gronhaug, 2005), states that, the principle advantage of using secondary data is enormous cost-effective and time saving. Apart from above source of secondary data collection, there are some other source are available for collecting secondary data, which are answer the research question and objectives. Moreover, those sources are books, journals and articles, on-line databases, internet, broadcasts, CD-ROMs, videos, official or government sources, unofficial or general business sources, national and international sources as well.

In this research paper the primary data collection methods has been selected for the reason that data has been collected through questionnaires. Find out the answer of the research questions and its objectives through questionnaires are considered as a primary data collection method. This research allows some other methods as well.

Self-completion questionnaire:

Self-completion questionnaire is defined as a self-administrated questionnaire. These type of questionnaire answered by the participants themselves. Self-competition questionnaire can be several modes. The most well known mode of self-completion questionnaire is the mail or postal questionnaires. Through this well-known mode, researcher sent questionnaire toward target participants, whereby participants are answer the questionnaire themselves and asks them to return it by the post. This is the very effective way to collect primary data because it’s cost effective, quicker to administer as well as convenience for participants.


The face-to-face data collection method is one of the vital methods of primary data collection method. Throughout this method, researcher collect data direct in front of the participants, when participants complete answers the questionnaire in front of the researcher. According to Bryman and Bell (2007), response rate is higher of this method. The key advantage of this method is resource saving such as cost-effective and time saving.


Simplest and easiest way to collection primary data is through email. Through this method, researcher send questionnaire to target participants by electronic device. The statements elaborately by (Bryman and Bell, 2007) emphasized that, data collection through e-mail is most economical and time saving as well. More than 40% of my questionnaire has been accomplished using this method.

Telephone Survey:

Telephone survey is another most important aspect of primary data collection method. The advantage of this method is required information are gathered on time but little cost are associated with this method. In this research, researcher collects more than 20% raw data through this method. However, the disadvantage of this method is low response from target participants.

Internet mediated survey:

In this research, researcher conducts some Internet mediated survey to collect primary data. Using Internet mediated survey, researcher upload the questionnaire online as well as get reply from all around the world. Within the Internet mediate survey there are some useful aspects such as, monkey survey, face book and personal website as well. Through the monkey survey researcher get some good reply.

Data Collection Instrument:

Researcher collects primary and secondary data using data collection instruments as a media. There are different forms of data collection instruments; researcher used instruments in respect to research type. Right data collection is impotent to maintain the integrity of research. For this research paper, researcher select questionnaire as a data collection instrument.

In this research paper quantitative research method has been selected, which is deductive in character and positivist as well (Bryman and Bell, 2003). For this research questionnaire are used as a data collection instrument, which is allow to collect primary data. To determine the scale of the questionnaire it used (1) as strongly disagree to scale and (5) as strongly agree for the reason that according to to Malhotra (2005), “it is simple to create and moreover easy to understand and manage respondents”. It has been avoided 7-point psychometric scales as Miller (1956), argued that “the human mind has a span of absolute judgment that can distinguish about seven distinct categories, a span of immediate memory for about seven items, and a span of attention that can encompass about six objects at a time, which suggested that any increase in number of response categories beyond six or seven might be futile”.

Here, researcher divided questionnaire into four different part, which are following

First part of the questionnaire:

The first part of this questionnaire is included respondents demographic data, which is associated with gender and age.

Second Part of questionnaire:

The second part of this questionnaire is included questions about different aspects of knowledge creation and learning activities.

Third Part of Questionnaire:

Implementation of develop internal marketing; employee modification as well as service encounter regarding questions are included in the third part of the questionnaire.

Forth part of the questionnaire:

In this part researcher included a general question based on research topic.

3.6 Sampling

Data Sampling:

According to Bryman and Bell (2007), demonstrates that, sampling is the segment of the target population, which are selected for research investigation. There are two types of data sampling methods, one is probability sampling and another one is non-probability sampling.

According to (Bryman and Bell, 2007), explain probability sampling is ” a sample that has been selected using random selection”. In other word, when a sampling method use few form of sample selection than we consider its probability sampling method. The probability sampling method included several sampling methods such as simple random sampling, systematic sampling, and stratified sampling, Probability Proportional to Size Sampling, and Cluster or Multistage Sampling. Two things are general in all probability-sampling methods, which are nonzero and random selection at some point.

Non-probability sampling is completely opposed in terms of probability sampling method. According to (Bryman and Bell, 2007), defined non-probability sampling is “a sample that has not been selected using a random selection method”. In other word, non-probability sampling captures all forms of sampling methods. In this research, researchers select non-probability sampling method as a data sampling aspect. Hers, researchers select non-probability sampling because of limited resource as well as nonappearance of a sample frame. According to research pattern, non-probability sampling is vest suitable with this research. Snowball as well as convenience sampling methods are used in this research paper as a non-probability sampling aspects.

Convenience Sampling:

Convenience sampling is a type of sampling, which is simply obtainable to the researcher by good value of its understanding. According to (Saunders et al,. 2009), illustrated that, “The convenience sampling occupies selecting the elements of the sample which are the easiest to acquire”.

Convenience sampling is cost-effective and easy to collect related data. Researcher collects data from two major commercial banks of Bangladesh. In addition, researchers can collect data through Friends and family who had experience about these fields.

Snowball Sampling:

Snowball sampling is one of most useful sampling aspect of convenience sampling. Using snowball sampling, researcher can create an intelligent contract with small sample group, which are related with research objectives and finally that small sample group can build a productive sample group.

According to Brayman and Bell (2007), “the snowball sample is such an approach where the researcher makes initial contact with a small group of people who are relevant to the research topic and then uses these to establish contacts with others”. Snowball sampling is productive aspects of convenience sampling, which are allow to build networks as well as develop the number of respondents. Success of this sampling is depending on early contract with the sample group.

Sample Design


In the banking sector of Bangladesh more than 1 million people are working for these industries. This more than 1 million people consider population for this study


For this study researcher determines 125 sample over 1 million populations.

Face and content validity of the questionnaire:

According to (Bryman and Bell, 2007), “The face validity and content validity are defined as measurements reproduce the content of the conception and can be accessed through experts, who determine if the measurements reflect the concept, which the research tends to analyses” (Bryman and Bell, 2007). The face validity is carry out in this research in respect to the pilot testing of the questionnaire. According to (Politetal, 2001), explain, “Pilot study can be used in two different ways in social science research which refers to small scale feasibility studies or trials done in preparation for the major study”. In addition (Baker , 1994), “a pilot study can also be the pre-testing or trying out of a particular research instrument”. Piloting data not only make sure survey question work well at the same time data piloting make sure all other instruments are working well (Bryman and Bell, 2003). The most significant focuses of pilot study is allow researcher vast knowledge about questionnaire as well as any future modification or not.

3.7 Theoretical framework for Methodology

1. Research Question

Why learning factors are essential in knowledge generation procedure to improve internal marketing technique?


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