Method & Methodology
Within this section there is a description regarding the research philosophy, research approach, research design and research purpose. Thereafter a description of how the chosen method for data collection and sampling took place. This is then finalized with a discussion regarding the chosen method for analysing the data and as well a discussion regarding the quality of the data.
It is important that one recognizes the difference between method and methodology, which often could be used interchangeably (Saunders, Thornhill & Lewis, 2012). According to Saunders et al. (2012), the difference is explained in the way where method is the technique and way of collecting the data; meanwhile the methodology is the theory of how the research is understood through philosophy and how the research is approached. This is important to declare, as it is explaining and linking to the underlying choices of the soon to follow method (Saunders et al., 2012; Crotty, 1998).
Research Philosophy – Interpretive Philosophy
There are four proposed types of philosophies: positivism, realism, interpretivism and pragmatism. They are the underlying explanations of the ways a researcher see the nature of reality, what the researchers see as acceptable knowledge and what the view of the values are (Saunders et al., 2012).
In order for this study to best answer the research question, this study need to accept knowledge that is in-depth and therefore need to operate in a natural setting and to explain the phenomena in a subjective way. This study aims to explain the phenomena through in-vestigating people and organisations as social actors instead of as objects and through this be able to answer the research questions with a deeper understanding. Positivism and Realism is two objective philosophies in which it is independent from social actors and is see the world as a generalizable, law-like reality and the researcher therefore sees research in an ob-jective stance. Concretely means that the view of the world is explained as generalizable and that there is one truth, where the views of nature is as well objective and that the reality is explained by objects being independent of human minds, however is less fixed on the em-pirical and is instead accepting that there are unobservable forces affecting the phenomena (Payne & Payne, 2004; Saunders et al., 2012). As opposed to positivism and realism, inter-pretivism is seeing the reality as complex and research should therefore be treated with rich insights. According to Saunders et al. (2012), interpretivism is suitable when there is a com-plex business situation which in many cases are unique, which is argued to be the case in this situation as well. (Saunders et al., 2012; Malhotra, Birks & Wills, 2012). It is therefore sug-gested by Saunders et al. (2012) that there is an interpretive philosophical assumption in this study, since the aim of the study is to get a deeper understanding of the phenomena of criteria involved while selecting advertising agencies.
Research Approach – Abductive Approach
The research approach tells the reader how much is clear of the theory before conducting the research. Declaring this approach is important concerning the design of the research and what research strategy is to be chosen (Saunders et al., 2012). According to Saunders et al. (2012) there are three different approaches to the theory of research: inductive, deductive and abductive research. Deductive approach is an approach where there could often be a hypothesis, premise, idea etc. derived from previous research and theories retrieved before the primary research is done. There is therefore a theoretical framework framing the study and the use of data is made to evaluate propositions or hypotheses derived from the theo-retical framework. An inductive approach is however the opposite, where the theoretical approach is based on little or no theoretical framework at all and through this find patterns and themes which derive new hypotheses and propositions, based on the collected data. One could therefore say that with an inductive approach, theory follows data (Saunders et al., 2012; Malhotra et al., 2012). This brings us to a third approach towards theory, which does not describe where researchers moves from theory to data or vice versa, but instead moves back and forth from data and theory. This approach is called abductive theory and is usually used in when there is a study with a mixed method research design (Suddaby, 2006; Saunders et al., 2012). According to Saunders et al. (2012), an abductive approach is however not only used in mixed methods and there could occur an overlapping use of theoretical approaches (which is often the case with abductive research) and there is a misconception that there often is a clear division between inductive and deductive approach.
This study aims to identify and highlight the most important criteria (as is depicted in RQ 1), which is still a well-researched area and is based on a well-founded framework for the study. The authors use theory in this case where they form the study, based on assumptions derived from previous theory. This suggests that the study works from theory to further conclusion. However, the main focus of this study is to research about how and why managers think like they do with regards of purchasing advertising services (as depicted in RQ 2), since there is very little or no existing theory within this field, will this study therefore aim to develop the existing quantitative theory. This suggests that there is a continuous movement moving back-wards and forwards, from theory to result and from result to theory and would therefore suggest that the researchers of this study have an abductive approach towards this study (Suddaby, 2006).
Research Design – Qualitative Research
The research design declare how the overall plan of what the design will look like while retrieving the needed data to best answer their research question. There are three main re-search strategies in which one could conduct a study: quantitative, qualitative and mixed method design. A basic way to clarify the difference between the different research designs is to basically look at them as that quantitative research involves numeric data, qualitative non-numeric data and mixed methods uses both of the previous two research designs. It is suggested that there should be emphasis on that the research design is coherent, logical and have a clear red thread in its’ reasoning, together with the research approach and research philosophy and that all of these three components clearly links back to the research question and how it is defined. A researcher could therefore relate the philosophical assumption and research approach on a broader way towards either quantitative, qualitative or mixed method design (Saunders et al., 2012).
A qualitative research is often associated with an interpretive philosophy. This since an in-terpretive philosophy would allow the researchers to operate in a “naturalistic” and subjective setting. This will in turn set a research context which will create trust, participation, access to meanings and an in-depth understanding needed to best answer the research question (Saunders et al., 2012, p. 163; Denzin & Lincoln, 2011). Furthermore, a research including an abductive approach is also related to a qualitative research where the “inductive inferences are developed and deductive ones are tested iteratively throughout the research” (Saunders et al., 2012 p.163). Concretely this means that this study will be constructing the research based on the assumptions derived on previous theory and through a qualitative research be linking back to existing theory in categories, or discover surprising emergencies. Most importantly will this study explain the relationships and underlying reasons between these developed categories. Since this study is aiming on getting a deep understanding and room for theory development whilst building on previous theory, the authors of this study will therefore be using a qualitative research design.
1.4 Delimitations of the study
2 Theoretical Background
2.1 B2B theory
2.2 Agency-client relationship (Agency Theory)
2.3 The agency-client life-cycle
2.4 Selection process
2.5 Organizational buying behaviour (OBB)
3 Method & Methodology
3.3 Summary of the Method
4.1 The agency-client relationship
4.2 The advertising selection process
4.3 Agency-client life-cycle
4.4 Important criteria affecting the selection of advertising agencies
5.1 The agency-client relationship
5.2 Agency-client Lifecycle
5.3 The selection process
5.4 Analysis of the important criteria of decision makers
7.3 Suggestions for future research
List of references
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Selecting Advertising Agencies Understanding the influencing criteria