This present chapter describes the methodology

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3.1 Introduction

This present chapter describes the methodology that was used in this research. The present study was carried out to establish the factors affecting Chinese consumers to buy jewellery.  The objectives were to establish the behavior of customers when buying jewellery. To collect the necessary data needed for the research, a mixed approach was utilized. This chapter therefore, discusses the research design, data collection tools, sampling and data analysis.

3.2 Research Designs

Cassell and Symon (1994) explain that research design is a framework that guides the researcher in carrying out the study.  They go on to state that research design links the research questions to the data collected. There are several research designs that a study can employ, these designs are grouped depending on their logic, results, process and objective of the study. It is also possible to describe a single project using different ways.

One of the research designs is quantitative research which is used to measure individuals, cases or units and evaluate limited aspects using numbers. On the other hand, qualitative research normally entails qualitative data and assesses a lot of aspects of a small population of cases over a short or long time and explains those aspects. Similarly, a researcher can use a mixed approach where he combines both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Accordingly, this present research applied a mixed research design, to get better results since the each design complement another.  As noted by Polgar and Thomas (1995), the mixed approach offers more insights in the aspect being researched.  Polgar and Thomas (1995) add that qualitative method gives verbal data instead of numerical values. Therefore qualitative method does not use statistical analysis, but rather uses content analysis to describe and understand the research findings.  Using this method, a research uses inductive reasoning and not deductive. Cassell and Symon (1994) explain that the key aspect projected through quantitative methods the validity of the measurement and its reliability. Using these two aspects, the researcher can generalize the findings and have a clear predication of the cause and effect.

This research used questionnaires and interviews; this allowed the research to get comprehensive information about the customers and from managers.

3.3 Data collection

There are two ways of collecting data to be used in a research; this could be either through secondary data collection or by using primary method. Sekaran, (2003) explains that secondary data entails data collected from past studies, while primary research is data that is collected for the first time. The present research utilized these two methods, primary and secondary methods.

3.3.1 Secondary data method

Using secondary data collection method, the study employed past information from books, articles, journals and the internet through literature review carried out.

3.3.2 Primary data

Primary research can be obtained through qualitative methods or quantitative ones. For example, qualitative methods include interviews and observations, while surveys and some form of observations are quantitative. In this present research, primary data included responses given by respondents in the survey carried out, and the interviews that were done.

3.4 Data collection methods

3.4.1 Interview

This research aimed at establishing factors that determine Chinese consumers to buy jewellery.  Owing to the fact that the companies and businesses that sell jewellery formulated marketing strategies that play a big role in attracting or influencing consumers to some level to purchase jewellery, a number of managers were interviewed to gather relevant data about customers. As noted by Sekaran (2003) interviews are carried out to determine important information as well as clarification on aspects that the questionnaires failed to capture.

Telephone interview method that involved the research and selected 20 respondents (managers) was carried out. The researcher used semi-structured interview questions to guide him during the interviewing process.  This approach was used to make sure that questions asked are same, and the information sought is similar. In addition, semi-structured interview helps both the interviewer and the respondents to be focused, while it allows a level of freedom and flexibility in obtaining the required information. Sekaran (2003) informs us that the by selecting key people with information and knowledge of the issue being researched reduces response error and this informed the researcher to select managers.

To reduce the biases level and increase reliability of the interview, the researcher contacted the 20 managers in advance to set convenient dates for the interview. In addition, interview questions were sent to these managers to examine prior to the interview date.  The objective of undertaking these steps was to make sure that details and correct information is collected within the shortest time possible.  The interview was short and it only lasted between 10 and 15 minutes. Recording of the responses was done for later analysis.

3.2.2 Questionnaire

According to Malhorta (2006) quantitative research mainly requires questionnaires as a data collection tool. The current research therefore used questionnaires to collect its data, which include a number of psychological constructs like attitude, cultural orientation and beliefs using a rating scale of 1 to 5. The data gathered using these questionnaires allowed the researcher to analysis the link between different constructs.

As noted by McDonald and Adam (2003) telephone interviews, face-to-face and mail survey are the main methods applied to gather survey questionnaire.  Of late, on.............


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