Answer to Question #159254 in Management for Kamal

Question #159254

1.How do exploratory, descriptive and casual studies differ from each other?( please give at least 10 points of difference between three of them) do these differences influences their utility at the different stages of marketing decision making? (Please answer in at least 5 points)

Expert's answer

1.How do exploratory, descriptive and causal studies differ from each other

  • The major objective of exploratory research design is to discover ideas and insights, whereas descriptive research design involves describing market aspects and functions. Nevertheless, causal research design tries to determine the cause-effect relationships in the research one is conducting.
  • A major feature of the exploratory design is its flexibility, its adaptability, and the front end of total research design. However, the descriptive research design is marked by the past formulation of specific hypotheses from observations and studies. This design is pre-planned and structured. The causal research approach can proceed through one or more independent variables. Other mediating variables that fall under this design can also be controlled.
  • An exploratory research approach entails using surveys, case studies, information from other studies, and qualitative analyses. In contrast, a descriptive research approach uses information from other studies, panels, analyses, and observations. Causal research design strictly uses experiments.

2.How do these differences influences their utility at the different stages of marketing decision-making? 

Exploratory research is best suited as the beginning of your total research plan. It is most commonly used for further defining company issues, areas for potential growth, alternative courses of action, and prioritizing areas that require statistical research. When it comes to online surveys, the most common example of exploratory research occurs in the form of open-ended questions. Think of the exploratory questions in your survey as expanding your understanding of the people you are surveying. Text responses may not be statistically measurable, but they will give you richer quality information that can lead to discovering new initiatives or problems that should be addressed.

The main idea behind using the descriptive type of research is to define better an opinion, attitude, or behavior held by a group of people on a given subject. Consider your everyday multiple choice question. Since there are predefined categories a respondent must choose from, it is considered descriptive research. These questions will not give unique insights on the issues like exploratory research would. Instead, grouping the responses into predetermined choices will provide statistically inferable data. This allows you to measure the significance of your results on the overall population you are studying, as well as the changes in your respondent’s opinions, attitudes, and behaviors over time.

Like descriptive research, causal research is quantitative in nature as well as preplanned and structured in design. For this reason, it is also considered conclusive research. Causal research differs in its attempt to explain the cause and effect relationship between variables. This is opposed to the observational style of descriptive research because it attempts to decipher whether a relationship is causal through experimentation. In the end, causal research will have two objectives:

  • To understand which variables are the cause and which variables are the effect.
  • To determine the nature of the relationship between the causal variables and the effect to be predicted.

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