TESCO Research Proposal
Tesco is the biggest retail chain in the United Kingdom. Tesco’s mission statement is “creating value for customers to earn their lifetime loyalty”. There are two values which fuel Tesco’s operations and business decisions. These are (1) no one tries harder for customers and (2) treat people how we like to be treated. From these values, the visions of the company were created. The visions focus on customers and the company’s people. The company intends to be better than any organization in understanding the customers. The company also endeavors to provide better products and services as well as become the most innovative company in terms of products and services. The objectives of the company centers on the philosophy that if they look after customers well and operate efficiently and effectively then shareholders’ interests will always be best served by the inevitable outputs of those – growth in sales, profits and returns (Tesco PLC 2009). Thus, it can be said that the objectives of the company are (1) growth in sales, profits and returns, (2) satisfy the customers and gain their loyalty by providing quality products and services, and (3) satisfy its shareholders/stakeholders.
In researching on topics such as customer retention, the research methodologies to be employed must be considered. The researcher can opt to employ triangulation. Triangulation refers to the use of more than one approach to the investigation of a research question in order to enhance confidence in the ensuring findings. Triangulation is one of the several rationales for multi-method research. The researcher can employ a two-step approach. Both quantitative and qualitative research approaches can be used. First the research can conduct a qualitative exploratory study consisting of a literature review, key informant interviews, and interviews with TESCO representatives. Second, the researcher can conduct a quantitative field study to test the model. The researcher can design a questionnaire that will be sent to customers. By combining quantitative and qualitative approaches, the researcher will be able to overcome the weaknesses of both approaches and combine their strengths. The quantitative paradigm is based on positivism which takes scientific explanation to be nomethetic (i.e. based on universal laws). Its main aims are to measure the social world. To test hypotheses and to predict and control human behavior (Newman and Benz 1998). Quantitative research is based on the assumption that the world can be investigated using scientific method and that there is an independent reality. Quantitative research is based on the belief that measurable influences (independent variables) affect measurable outcomes (dependent variables) in a cause-effect manner. Quantitative research is generally conducted in a controlled environment, such as laboratories, or using anonymous data such as statistics collected through surveys, questionnaires, structured interviews or tests. Quantitative studies are studies in which the data can be analyzed using conventional statistical methods (Peat 2001). As its name implies, quantitative research is concerned with quantities – how to measure phenomena and how to express those measurement. A researcher who takes a quantitative approach to investigating a topic aims to learn more about it. Taking a quantitative approach to research implies asking questions about the phenomena that can be counted. Researchers who take a quantitative approach often work within positivism, as this paradigm frames the world as a collection of apparently independent phenomena to be counted, measured and otherwise catalogued as the prelude to deducing the rules or laws underlying them and giving them coherence (MacNaughton et al 2001).
On the other hand, the qualitative paradigm stems from antipositivistic, interpretative approach, is idiographic, thus holistic in nature, and the main aim is to understand social life and the meaning that people attach to everyday life (Peat 2001; Darlington and Scott 2002; Hansen 2006). According to Newman and Benz (1998) a qualitative research involves an interpretative, naturalistic approach of the subject matter. Qualitative research is about studying things in their natural settings. A researcher conducting qualitative research attempts to make sense of, or interpret, phenomena in terms of the meaning people bring to them. Qualitative research involves different methods of gathering and collecting of empirical materials such as case study personal experience, introspective, life story, interview, observational, historical, interactions, and visual texts. Qualitative methods in health research are now becoming popular among researchers. One reason for this is because qualitative research methods are well suited for investigating the meanings, interpretations, social and cultural norms and perceptions that impact on health-related behaviors, medical practice and health outcomes (Jordens and Little 2004; Sayre 2000). Qualitative research methods also allow researchers to explore issues from the perspectives of the individuals directly involved in the experiences. In qualitative research, behaviors, understandings, actions and experiences are not measured using statistical analysis as in quantitative research (Devers 1999; Sofaer 1999). Instead, detailed written descriptions and explanations of the phenomena under investigation are produced. Qualitative methods are those that collect data in the form of talk, words, observations, visual images and documents.
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