The chapter introduces the research methodology and the means to which it will be applied in the study. This will be achieved through an introduction to a variety of approaches and the provision of justifications on the same. On this note, the chapter is constituted by the research design, data collection, data analysis, quality of the research, reliability, and validity.
3.1 Research Design
Design is an outline or the plan taken up in a study to implicitly depict or produce answers to the research questions. Yin suggested that a research design is purposed at laying the groundwork for carrying out the research (Yin 2009). In the same breath, Bryman and Bell connote that it provides the guidelines needed in the gathering and analysis of data (Bryman and Bell, 2007). On this note, a sound research design guarantees the relevance and applicability of the empirical data collected and thus, enables researchers to solve the research query with constrained resources and time (Ghauri and Gronhaug, 2005). It can be highlighted that there are three types of research designs (Robson, 2002)- explanatory, descriptive and exploratory. Descriptive statistics purposes at formulating a comprehension of situations or events (Saunders et al. 2009). The format or research design provides extensive information regardless of the combination of methods utilized- qualitative, quantitative or an amalgamation methods. It attempts to identify relationships between differing variables and deciphering their connections or relationships. The measurement or evaluation requires being clearly stated to ensure the collection and assessment of behaviors of the chosen sample (Dhawan, 2010)
The study will take on a descriptive approach as it tries to explain the power of electronic word of mouth and its impact on brand equity. On this note, a descriptive research endeavors to answer the question of who, what, where, how and when. For this, it is assumed applicable to answering the research queries. In the same vein, a descriptive research describes the characteristics of an event or situation- consumers’ attitude power of electronic word of mouth and its impact on brand equity. The study aims at evaluating the relationship of the impact of consumer’s attitude power of electronic word of mouth and its influence(s) on brand equity. In this light, there is an aim accorded to the research in deciphering a positive or negative effects. A quantitative causal research strategy is selected to evaluate the cause and effect relationship on the consumer’s attitude on actualizing electronic word of mouth and brand equity.
3.1.2 Deductive reasoning
There are two methodologies can be assumed in business research, in particular, deductive and inductive approach (Hyde, 2000). These two methodologies vary in the relationship between hypothesis and data. Deductive research alludes to research when a hypothesis is tried in the light of the existing theory of the area by breaking down empirical data (Bryman and Bell, 2007). The specialists keep on collecting information given existing theories and standards. The purpose of the research underlies testing the possible impacts attributed to consumer electronic word of mouth on brand equity. From the theoretical framework hypotheses, have been matured.
H1. e-WOM has a positive effect on brand equity.
H2. e-WOM has a positive influence on consumers’ attitude toward the brand.
Thus, the theoretical framework will be founded on the underlying variables upon which these hypotheses will be tested.
In this regard, a deductive approach can be assumed to apply in the situation. Evidently, it is from the fact that the study aims at identifying a positive of negative impact of consumer electronic word of mouth on brand equity and attitudes toward the brand. Additionally, the research was conducted through the collection of questionnaires aimed at testing the existent theories.
3.1.3 Quantitative Research
As per Bryman and Bell (2007), a business research is characterized into quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Quantitative research involves a deductive approach and can be viewed as a system that underlines evaluation and examination of information (Bryman and Bell, 2007). As indicated by Creswell (2009), quantitative research is an approach that goes for offering a general idea of the populace. On this note, the quantitative method is chosen in conducting the study. The study is objectified at deciphering the impacts of electronic word of mouth on brand equity. The method was chosen as the study aims to make generalizations and attempts to involve numerous consumers from two different geographical locations through the use of questionnaires. In this regard, it can be connoted that the quantitative approach is more applicable. Furthermore, in identifying impacts, positive and negative relationships need to be established which can be denoted to be the eventual purpose of the research study. Also, the study aims to test hypotheses H1 and H2
3.2 Survey Design
Operationalization is seen as a procedure that transforms conceptual hypotheses into rationale factors in an examination (Bryman & Bell, 2007). It is a procedure to interconnect the review with this present reality hone. In general, operationalization comprises of four stages of giving hypothetical bits of knowledge, posting potential factors, selecting factors and in the long run gathering information (Bryman & Bell, 2007). From the extensive research based on the literature review in this study, research questions were formulated from the proposed model to be utilized for the online survey which is considered as the essential source of the gathering of experimental information for this research endeavor. Hence in this operationalization, there is a linkage between literature review with the proposed model.
Table 1: Operationalization
Electronic Word of Mouth
Electronic Word of Mouth encompasses a significant amount of power which can impact awareness.
A measure of the comprehensive relationship between e-WOM, consumers’ attitude, and brand equity.
Brand Equity incorporates various aspects such as brand image, awareness, loyalty, perceived quality, and association.
An illustration of the power of e-WOM on Brand Equity.
A psychological construct that will be employed to evaluate consumers’ favour
The measure depicts the consumers’ attitude towards brand equity as influenced by e-WOM.
Consumers’ subjective likelihood of performing and maintaining a given buying behaviour.
A measure of purchasing intentions by consumers and loyalty as depicted by repeated purchases.
It reflects how attitude influence purchase intention.
3.3 Data Collection
It can be highlighted that data sources constitute of primary and secondary data. The study aims to utilize primary data which shall be collected through an online survey in two different locations- Cairo and Dubai. A survey is attributed to the quantitative research design aiming to gather standardized information by using a representative sample of the whole population. On this note, questionnaires will be mailed to electronic media- 300 participants are targeted for the exercise. The choice of an online survey is pegged on the fact that the approach has a broad reach, less time consuming and cost effective. The collection of primary data provides up-to-date information and is fashioned to answer specific research queries. In particular, the sample survey method is utilized. Potential biases in the research study are limited as the author does not have direct contact with the respondents.
3.4 Data Analysis
It can be highlighted that for quantitative studies; data requires to be analyzed using statistical software. Therefore, for the study, SPSS will be utilized in the evaluation of the data. The following analyses shall be made: descriptive statistics, reliability analysis, frequencies, regression, correlation and hypothesis testing.
Frequency analysis- In deciphering consumer attitudes it is deemed crucial to observe a balance of the respondents in the terms of age, gender and income. This is because attitudes are subjective and hence, influenced by the factors as mentioned. In so doing, the study will be able to present the data and highlight how frequently each alternative is answered by the different respondents.
Correlation analysis- For the study, it aims at establishing the quality of the research-validity. In addition, the researcher will be able to identify or signify a relationship between consumer word of mouth towards the brand equity.