All assessments are to be submitted in 12 point Times New Roman font, at 1.5 line spacing, and paragraphs must be fully justified. All pre-prepared material, where appropriate, is required to follow the appropriate academic referencing guides and demonstrate:
• A development of a body of knowledge in the field
• The application of theory to the case
• Referencing – LTU Harvard
The individual assignment is designed to allow you to work on your own. You may choose any problem of interest to you on the subject of La Trobe university.. You are then required to formulate an appropriate research question(s), design a quantitative method of investigation and prepare a research instrument in the form of a questionnaire. This stage consists of steps that will guide your project from conception through to implementation. A research proposal ensures that all aspects of the study are consistent with each other. To address all the components of a research design efficiently and effectively, you will have to study the relevant chapters of your prescribed text thoroughly. There are some good examples and case studies in your text which explain how to apply the theoretical knowledge in practical situations.
• For any type of study, a title is to be given. A title is basically a broad initial statement on the problem. • The next step is to provide a background to the nature of the problem. You must understand the background of the problem by analysing the environmental context. In order to provide a better view on the nature of the problem, you will have to collect and analyse information from secondary sources (eg. journal articles), conduct discussions and interviews with management, industry experts and other knowledgeable individuals. In some situations, you may have to conduct some form of qualitative research.
• After defining the problem on its correct perspectives, you may formulate a series of research questions that will be resolved through the study.
• The proposal should convince the reader that a study of this nature is justified to undertake. You should indicate the value of the information that will be collected and should focus on the benefits. In drawing your research plan, you should schedule your timing for completion of each stage of the research process.
You are expected to specifically outline the objectives that are intended to be accomplished through the study.
• The research objectives are your version of the marketing problem and they should be achievable and measurable. While setting the objectives, you should take into consideration the limitations of time and costs.
• Hypothesis is an unproven statement/proposition about a factor or phenomenon that you are proposing to investigate. In its simplest form it is a declarative guess. Hypothesis forces a researcher to be clear about what is expected to be found through the study. All hypotheses need to be empirically tested.
• The questionnaire design is one of the most critical stages in the survey research process. A good questionnaire is the result of long, painstaking work. There is no scientific principle that will guarantee an optimal or ideal questionnaire. Design of a good questionnaire is an art and the skill is acquired through experience.
The objectives of your study will determine the information requirements and you will have to translate and transform hypothesis into specific questions that the respondents can and will answer. A questionnaire must uplift, motivate, and encourage the respondent to cooperate and to complete the interview and it should minimise response error.
• You will have to design a structured close-ended questionnaire with a minimum number of dichotomous questions. For measurement of attitudes of the respondents to a particular phenomenon, use 5-point Likert Scale. The guidelines of your text are to be followed meticulously while phrasing and sequencing each individual questions. Pre-testing of your questionnaire is not necessary for this assignment. But, you can get some constructive feedback by administering your draft questionnaire to different individuals. This may help to reveal errors and they can be corrected easily.
(a) Research proposal:
• A statement of the marketing problem: broad statement of the problem
• A summary of the background to the marketing problem along with an outline of the research questions that will indicate what issues need to be investigated. (Information to be collected through exploratory research and from secondary sources and it should be linked with your proposed study.)
• References from literary resources to substantiate problem solution.
• Justifications for the study. (Why primary data collection is necessary and how it will benefit the management decision-making process.)
• Research Plan (Schedule for completion of each stage of the research process & estimation of the costs involved).
• The nature and scope of the research: specific components of the problem. (Purpose/objectives of the study is to be clearly specified. The set objectives are to be accomplishable within the scope of this research).
• Formulation of relevant hypotheses, if any.
• The method of data collection (e.g. specify the survey methods to be used for data collection).

(b) Development of a questionnaire for the research: This must be included as an appendix to the research proposal. The following elements are to be taken into consideration while designing the questionnaire:
1. The general rules of the questionnaire design process and its composition.
2. Specific components of the problem, i.e. the objectives of the study, the research questions and the hypotheses that have been formulated.
3. The structure, precise wording and layout of the questionnaire.
4. The time limits that may restrict the number and length of any interview.
5. The capabilities of your respondent to understand and answer your questions and provide the responses you require.
6. The pre-coding requirements of the analysis package you will be using.

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