Business Research Methods

Wal-Mart currently has a program in place called Operation Impact. Operation Impact was initiated to try and keep the new customers the company attracted because of the poor economic environment. When people think of Wal-Mart they do not necessarily think of great customer service, quality products, clean environment, or fast service. The organization dilemma is how the company goes about keeping these new customers and changing the old perception.
To answer this question, the formalized or descriptive research design should be used.   According to Cooper & Schindler, formalized research design describes the population with who, what, when, where, and how, discovers the relationship between the variables, and helps to estimate the proportion of the population that relates to the question (Cooper & Schindler, 2006, p. 151).   The advantage of descriptive research is the information is obtained from a natural, unchanged environment and the information can be a precursor to more quantitative research (Shuttleworth, 2008).
While we are seeing descriptive research as quantitative research the information gathered for Wal-Mart’s situation can be viewed additionally as qualitative. Qualitative research will take into consideration the human behaviors and reasons of why and how decisions are made. In addition, qualitative research will allow the program to be evaluated based on statements from the customers or the feedback that was provided. Looking at the qualitative information about the customers’ feedback and views on the service they receive at Wal-Mart the management staff is able to take into consideration the changes that would be necessary to improve customer satisfaction and scores.
Many factors can affect the research information obtained.   Some variables to consider include the number of customers surveyed; their individual experiences while in the store, which store they visited, the customer’s mood that day, and the customers’ expectations of reward from a...