What is the best type of research to use when dealing with human attitudes and emotions and how do you measure and analyze the results? For example, if I am running a retail store and I am receiving customer complaints that several of my employees are treating customers rudely, what would be the best type of research to use to determine why and how to correct the situation? I have considered qualitative, quantitative and possibly focus groups but am unsure how the research design for each of these would look and how the data derived from this research could be used to construct theories that could be used to formulate a plan of correction.© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 24, 2021, 11:18 pm ad1c9bdddf
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The designs are quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. It is the types of qualitative that vary. Phenomenology, case study, ethnography, are all various qualitative studies. The methods used within each design vary. The instruments vary as well. Note taking, recording, focus groups, interviews, are various types of instruments for qualitative. Interviews, surveys, questionnaires are quantitative methods. These are the best methods, either combined or individual will work. You could do just a quantitative, but it deals strictly with empirical facts, the numbers, not the emotions or personal thoughts or interactions which might be key to solving these problems in this situation.
This is a case where mixed methods will be an excellent choice. You will design a dual study using both quantitative information and qualitative. Under the quantitative portion you can identify, from customers, their points of view on the store and its employees. A good survey, handed out or with instructions on a receipt to go to a survey site online (or both dependent on your customer base) will help you gain the information of customer perspectives on the best and worst aspects of the store. You might include questions about store design, ability to check out, types of goods offered, and difficulty in trying on items or getting a good idea of the use or value of an item. This helps you in analyzing the employees in a different perspective. Are the store and its design/offerings part of the problem?
Now this may seem strange, but actually a product line where customers complain about checkout lines, access to products, warranties, can frustrate employees creating a difficult and unhappy relationship. If employees have to follow a person through a store because the layout is not friendly for watching over and helping customers, this may cause problems on both sides.
Remember to offer an incentive for participation.
The qualitative portion can be focus groups or simply taking notes as you or someone hired to do so, walk around and observe the customers, the employees, the interactions they have. Embedding yourself in the situation gives you a unique opportunity to see what works, what is frustrating, what needs to be put into effect during training. You can ask questions when you see a pattern emerge, from the employees point of view and from the customer point of view.
From each of these, you can form theories of what is happening and therefore how to correct the issues. More importantly, you are involving and empowering everyone in becoming part of the solution and participating in making the store more productive and successful.© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 24, 2021, 11:18 pm ad1c9bdddf>