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Research Proposals

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· What is the role of theory in research proposals?

· What are the elements of a study plan? Where might a beginning researcher lose logical flow among elements in a study plan? Why might that happen?

· What are the pros and cons of selecting an established theoretical or conceptual model or framework? What are the pros and cons of creating/developing your own?

· What are some ethical issues particularly relevant to research in your discipline? What are some ways to address them?

· What are ethical concerns that are important at the beginning stage of the study? What about in the implementation and reporting stages?

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· What is the role of theory in research proposals?

Because the results of your research "will be discussed in terms of how they relate to the theory/line of inquiry that undergirds the study" (Pajares, 2007), you need to have a full understanding of the theory that you are using and you have to make sure that your reader does too. Explaining the theoretical background of your research project can also help you make connections between your research and unanswered problems in related fields (Committee on Defining and Advancing the Conceptual Basis of Biological Sciences in the 21st Century, National Research Council, 2008, p. 163).

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· What are the elements of a study plan? Where might a beginning researcher lose logical flow among elements in a study plan? Why might that happen?

The elements of a study plan depend on the organization for which you're writing your research proposal. Usually it includes:
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Marketing research

Scenario:

JavaJoy, Inc. was founded by Hank Sanchez in 1980. His vision was to elevate coffee to the epicurean level of fine wine. Hank's family had been in the coffee bean brokerage business for generations but he knew that even the finest and most carefully roasted coffee beans required an excellent brewing system to achieve a beverage with optimal flavor and aroma. He started JavaJoy to develop, manufacture and distribute high-end coffee brewing systems that would meet his exacting requirements.

JavaJoy has two primary sales channels. They market directly to the medium and large restaurant chains that maintain technical staffs who specify equipment like brewers. Sales to smaller chains, independent restaurants and institutions are generally made through a network of kitchen equipment suppliers (KES) that tend to be regional in focus. The JavaJoy product line is very well known and highly respected in the industry but, due to its high price, Hank had only enjoyed limited success until the market for gourmet coffee drinks exploded in the 1990's. With this new market growth, Hank wants to recast his 5-year strategy to take advantage of the expanding market.

You have been hired as JavaJoy's first Marketing Manager. You have questions about current market size, growth potential, buying habits, distribution channels, and competition, just to name a few. But you quickly realize that much of the existing market knowledge within JavaJoy is based on management experience and perception, which does not necessarily reflect the current reality of the booming market. You need to quickly sort out fact from opinion, determine how to clearly define the market(s) for beverage brewing equipment, and determine where these markets are heading so you can supply Hank with the information he needs to generate his revised strategy.

It's clear that Hank wants the company to grow, but how can this be accomplished? What are the possible alternative approaches, and which is best? What growth can be anticipated? What are the threats to growth? Remember that the ultimate decisions concerning how to grow constitute strategic planning. Your job at this point is to provide accurate and timely information to support that strategic planning process. To provide the answers you have to begin asking questions, gathering data, and developing information.

Task needing assistance

8-15 slides with notes for script
Details: Hank is very happy with your work and has asked you to go ahead and develop a marketing research proposal to determine if the company should pursue development of products for the consumer market. At this point you are not concerned with specific product features, just the feasibility of creating a position for JavaJoy in the consumer coffee brewer market. Consider how much of the recently developed information will be applicable to this project, and what new information will be required.

Be sure to include how you will measure market demand to place JavaJoy in a competitive advantage.

Objective - Develop a marketing research proposal.
Measure market demand and segment the market to achieve competitive advantage.
Analyze markets and describe buying behavior.

I am in need of grave assistance with this task - as I am unclear the difference between a marketing plan/marketing proposal. I have chosen India for my country of research/entry for the consumer market/commercial market. This task from what I am gathering focuses more on the consumer market. However any assistance would be appreciated as I am truly unclear on the specifics of a marketing proposal.

The research I have gathered to date is the following:
The marketing research proposal contains the essence of the project and covers all phases of the marketing research process. It describes the research problem, the approach, the research design, and how the data will be collected, analyzed, and reported. It additionally provides a cost estimate and time schedule for completing the project. The format of a research proposal may vary considerably, but most proposals address all steps of the marketing research process and contain the following elements:

Executive Summary: The proposal should begin with a summary of the major points from each of the other sections thereby presenting an overview of the entire proposal.

Background: This is an explanation of the background to the problem, including the environmental context.

Problem Definition/Objectives of the Research: Present a statement of the problem, including the specific components. If this statement has not been developed (as in the case of problem identification research), clearly specify the objectives of the project.

Approach to the Problem: At a minimum, present a review of the relevant academic and trade literature along with your analytical model. If research questions or hypotheses have been identified, they should be included in this section.

Research Design: The research design adopted is specified in this section. Information should be provided for each of these components: kind of information to be obtained, method of administrating data collection device, scaling techniques, nature of collection device (e.g., survey questionnaire), and sampling plan and size.

Data Collection: This section should detail how the data will be collected and the control mechanisms employed to ensure the quality of the data.

Data Analysis: This section should indicate the kind of data analysis that will be conducted and how the results will be interpreted.

Reporting: This section should include an indication of whether or not intermediate reports will be presented and at what intervals, the form of the final report, and whether a formal presentation will be made.

Cost and Time: Present the cost of the project and time schedule, broken down by phases.

Appendices: Any statistical or other information that is of interest to only a few people should be included in the appendices.

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