Which type of research design— exploratory, descriptive, or causal—is appropriate for the following examples? Explain why.
• The goal of this research is to discover the real nature of the problem and to suggest new possible solutions or new ideas.
Exploratory. Why: the study is as a beginning stage where the researcher just wants to discover the nature of the problem, and possibilities about solutions.
• A food manufacturer wants to know the demographics of people who purchase organic foods.
Descriptive. Why: A descriptive study would discover who is likely to purchase organic foods, and where they are.
• A firm is considering hiring American celebrity Paris Hilton to endorse its products.
Casual. Why: A causal study discovers the effect of something, in this case, the effect of using a celebrity endorsement for products.
• British Airways would like to test in-flight Internet services on one of its regular flights from New York to Tokyo. The company charges $30 one week and $15 the next week.
Causal. Why: In this case a causal study would be best because you are testing the effect of the price on the usage of their internet service.
• This type of study attempts to discover answers to the following questions: who, what, when, where, or how much.
Descriptive, describes the characteristics of a variable.
• A manufacturer investigates whether consumers will buy a new pill that replaces eating a meal.
Exploratory. Why: An exploratory study will discover the demand for such a product, and if people need it.
• Cosmopolitan magazine sends out a cover in selected markets featuring a female model to half of its readers and a cover with a female and male model to the other half of its readers to test differences in purchase response between the two groups.
Causal. Why: This is a causal study because Cosmopolitan is discovering the effect of the male model vs the effect of the female model on its consumers.
• A hair-care manufacturer interviews wholesalers, retailers, and customers to determine the potential for a new shampoo package.
Exploratory. Why: This is exploratory research because the researcher is still discovering the need for the product, and the need of their consumers.
• This type of research attempts to capture a population’s characteristics by making inference from a sample’s characteristics and testing hypotheses.
Descriptive, because this discovers the who, what, when, why, and where.
• On the CBS television show Undercover Boss, top executives disguised as middle level or lower level employees investigate company departments to discover potential issues or problems.
Exploratory. Why: This is an exploratory study because the boss is going in simply to discover the issues and problems.