Business Research Methods, Zikmund, Babin, Carr, and Griffin 9th Edition.
In this case, the final product you will prepare is a formal Research Proposal. When conducted in house, rarely do we write formal research proposals with the level of detail you will be preparing here. Yet all of these elements must be understood by everyone. By everyone, I mean the research team AND the management team they are supporting.
However, many firms do not have in-house research capability or it will have a very limited ability. When the capability in-house is limited, frequent the answer is to contract out the project. But this is not a simple thing. It involves an understanding of the firm’s expectations, an understanding of what the research team is obligated to deliver, and financial obligations on the part of both parties. Zikmund discusses research proposals as a contract. Read that text. Understand your proposal constitutes a contract. The model of a proposal presented in Zikmund may or may not satisfy all of the legal required of contract law or the contracting parties; however, it does contain all of the basic or technical considerations of a research project.
You are required to approach the case as if you were a contract researcher trying to win a contract with Edward Jones. Also understand that if you were to win this contract YOU would have to run the full project. Approach it accordingly. You will also have to prepare a research proposal for your research project so look at this as a first trial or writing research proposals.
Prior to starting, read Ch. 6 and 7 and be certain you understand a research proposal is a contract.
Review the Edward Jones case in the text p. 158.
Apply the logic as expressed in Exhibits 6.4, 6.5, and 6.6. Do not include these tables in your submission. They are your preparation guides.
Develop a research proposal following the basic structure in Exhibit 6.8
Address those questions from exhibit 6.9 that are appropriate.
Focus on the populations identified in the case and apply only qualitative research tools to your research proposal.
What qualitative tools would you use from chapter 7?
Drill down and develop the plan further
Who will you sample?
How large a sample will you collect?
What would you expect or want the sample composition to look like (what are the demographic characteristics of your sample)? Does that address the research question adequately?
What about Costs?
Where will data collection occur?
How long will it take?
How do you address disadvantages of the research method you chose?
What type of business research are you doing (ch4)?
CASE: Call for Research Proposals. Edward Jones
Edward Jones is one of the largest investment firms in the United States, with over 4,000 branch offices in this country, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It is the only major brokerage firm that wxclusively targets individual investors and small business, and it has nearly 6 million clients.
Edward Jones’ philosophy is to offer personalized services to individual clients starting with a one-on-one interview. During interview, investment representative seek to identify each client’s specific goals for investing. Richard G. Miller, one such representative, says that he needs to thoroughly understand what a client wants before he can build an investment strategy for that person. His initial conversation starts with, “Hey, how are you?” Gregory L. Starry, another representative, confirms the Edward Jones philosophy: “Most of my day is spend talking with and meeting clients [rather than placing stock trades]”
Only after learning these goals do the representatives design an investment strategy that will provide a client with income, growth, and safety. Each client’s goals also evolve over time. Young people are focused on earning enough money to make a down payment on their first home or to buy a car. Clients in the 35 to 45 age range are concerned about getting their children through school and about their own retirement. Those in retirement want to make sure that they have an adequate income level. Miller notes, “It’s not the timing in the market, but the time in the market” that will help clients achieve their goals.
1. Many people in minority groups, including African americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans do not invest. We are interested in research that explores these minority markets taht will inform business development plans.
2. Another group with low investment activity includes those who stopped their education at the high school level. We are interested in research that explores this category of potential customers. The results of this research should be informing of business development plans.