Polit and Beck (2012:1) classify a research design as “the means for the researcher to answer the research question or to test the research hypothesis”. Research design details the key parts of the research study such as the samples or groups, measures, programs, etc and work together so as to address the research questions.
This study is designed to collect data to determine how service quality dimensions affect customers’ loyalty in banking industry. Different research designs are utilised for different types of research studies.
Even though there are a range of research techniques, the most commonly used are qualitative and quantitative. The terms state the means used to collect and analyse data. According to Myers (2009:8), qualitative research is an extensive work of social and cultural phenomena and concentrates on text whereas quantitative research scrutinises general moves across population and emphasises on numbers.
Qualitative data sources refer to the fieldwork, that is, participants are being interviewed by means of texts or questionnaires. It consists also of the researcher’s impressions and feedback (Myers, 2009:8). Qualitative research presents data as expressive reading with words and attempts to understand facts in “natural settings”. Myers, (2009:8) stated that quantitative research methods use questionnaires, surveys and experiments to collect data that is reworked and tabularise in statistical data. Quantitative researchers assess variables on a sample of topic and express the relationship between the variables by using statistical results such as correlations, relative frequencies, or differences between means; they focus on the testing of theory.
In general, quantitative research consists of two types: experimental or descriptive. Experimental research examines the precision of a theory by establishing if the independent variable(s) (controlled by the researcher) produces an effect on the dependent variable (the variable being measured for change). Frequently, surveys, correlation studies, and measures of experimental conclusion are evaluated to institute antecedent within a probable confidence range.
According to Creswell (2003:1), descriptive research measures the sample at a moment in time and simply describes the sample’s demography. This type of design is intended to present a representation of a situation as it naturally happens. It may be used to substantiate existing practice and make decision to build up theories. For the purpose of this study, descriptive research will be used to gather information about the evaluation of service and the impact of service quality on customer’s loyalty at MCB. It further obtains information on what service quality dimensions affect customer loyalty.
Types of Research
Quantitative data sums up all research strategies. By studying a representation of a sample of a population, it helps to establish statistically noteworthy conclusions. The population refers to the whole group which is being investigated. The population can be broad or narrow; the only thing that matters is that it consists of every individual that fits the description of the group being studied.
As it is unfeasible to take into account everybody in the population because of regular turnover and resource limitations, a representative illustration is selected from the population. The sample is rightly chosen to be statically identical to the population and conclusions so that it is incidental to the population.
These data ranges are analysed by forming simple tables or diagrams that illustrate the frequency of event by establishing statistical correlation between variables to multifarious statistical modeling (Kothari, 2004:39).
Different research strategies can be used. Case studies are a type of descriptive research which looks at individuals, a small group of people or a unit. The data is collected by inspection, contribution and a range of other methods including examining existing records, interviews and tests. On the other hand, interview is another type of research strategy which relate to a discussion with one or more people. The information gathered are recorded and subsequently examined. Interviews can be well structured or unstructured and relaxed.
Furthermore, the survey research is commonly used in social science research. It frequently gathers quantitative data. However, it may also group qualitative data through open-ended questions. Surveys are carried out on a sample of respondents from a selected population through the administration of a questionnaire. The questionnaire can be done online, face-to-face or over the telephone.
The survey approach is typically linked with deductive approach (Saunders et al., 2003:1; Bryman & Bell, 2007:11). The quantitative methods provide a large view and a distance from data. The method is known to be focus, methodical and give the possibility for generalisation by population membership (Ghauri & Gronhaug, 2010:106).
For the purpose of this research, a survey research will be used as it enables the compilation of considerable amount of statistics from a considerable population in a really efficient way. In addition, survey research presents better command of the research progression (Saunders et al., 2003:66-67). The major reason amongst others for carrying out surveys is to have probability sampling (Saunders, et al., 2003:66).