01. Research Project Proposal
Provisional Topic Title: How does product development process contribute to enhance the customer satisfaction in apparel industry?
Proposal structurally approved by workshop tutor: Yes
New product development process involves with developing and launching a new product to the new market or existing market. In order to ensure business smooth operation process and maintain the continuous success of the business, most literature interpretations emphasize the importance of new product development to meet the changes in customers’ preferences. New product development process helps to organization to achieve growth perspective of the organization, influence the profit performances of the organization and business plan should be documented considering potential new product development plans and possibilities. Generally new product development process involves with competent employment, economic growth, and technological advancements, increase the customers’ living standards etc. Therefore it is important to establish and implement new product development strategies to the organization.
1.2 Research objectives
1) To identify the factors need to be considered in product development process.
2) To understand the strategies to ensure customer satisfaction through product development.
3) To determine financial and non-financial implications on product development.
4) To evaluate the internal environmental factors which effect to product development process.
5) To evaluate the external environmental factors which effect to product development process.
1.3 Research questions
6) What are the factors need to be considered in product development process?
7) What are the strategies to ensure customer satisfaction through product development?
8) What are the financial and non-financial implications on product development?
9) What are the internal environmental factors which effect to product development process?
10) What are the external environmental factors which effect to product development process?
1.4 Research strategy
Research strategies in the research methodology plays vital role in research data gathering process and research data analyzing process. Further selecting the best and most suitable research strategy, author will be able to attain the research objective successfully. Further practicing the most appropriate research strategy, author will be able to complete the research within pre-determined timeline and reduce the time consumption for the research (Warwick and Osherson, 2000).
The common research strategies are case strategy, survey strategy and action strategy. Further application of the research strategy is based on the qualitative and quantitative nature of the research. For the quantitative research it is better to apply survey strategy which arrives to the research conclusion based on the research experiments. Case study strategy and action strategy is used for the qualitative research. Case study strategy and action strategy uses the research questionnaire method to gather the research data as primary research data. In this research author uses the research questionnaire approach to gather the research data.
1.5 Research time horizon
In order to compete the pre-determined research activities, there should be strong time plan to execute the relevant research activities at right time. In planning the research time plan, author should consider on research strategies, research approaches, complexity of the research problem, research independent variables etc. There are two types of research time planning techniques such as cross sectional research time plan and longitudinal research time plan. Cross section time plan emphasizes that research should be completed within short time period due to the limitation of internal environment and external environment factors. As a result, cross sectional time plan encourages to use limited research activities and shorten the research scope. However, longitudinal time plan emphasizes that it should be taken long time period to complete the research. Longitudinal time plan is appropriate for the researches which are executed as experiments. When compare with the cross section time plan research and longitudinal time plan research, longitudinal time plan research provides more accurate research findings. Due to the time limitation for this research, author uses the cross section time planning approach to decide the research time frame.
1.6 Primary data collection
In order to arrive and attain the research objectives, there should be a strong mechanism to gather the research primary data. Defining the primary research data gathering process is the most important part of the research methodology. That is due to primary data gathering involves with gathering the research objectives and research questions oriented data. Further in the primary data gathering process, author has power to change the research questions based on the nature and behaviors of the research sample participants. In this research, author uses the research questionnaire approach to gather the primary research data which includes both open ended research questions and close ended research questions. Further research questions are formulated based on the research independent variables and research hypothesis.
1.7 Secondary data collection
Secondary data is extracted from the public available data sources. In this research, author uses websites, books, e-books, magazines, journals, reports etc. as the secondary research data sources. However, based on the reliability of the secondary data source, author prioritize the secondary data source to gather the secondary research data. In the literature review section author uses the other researchers’ findings and discussion as a secondary data sources.
1.8 Sampling the research population
Due to the time constraints to the complete the research activities, it is not practical to interview the all the participants in the research populations. As a result, most researchers decide the research sample in order to gather the research data. In this research author defines the research population as total number of employees who are working MAS Intimates (Private) Limited. In order to pick sample for conduct the research questionnaire, author selects the 50 number of employees in MAS Intimates (Private) Limited using random sampling technique. The main reason to use the random sampling technique is, it ensure the chance to all the target population participants to the select into the research sample.
1.9 Data analyzing techniques
Research data analysis techniques are used to identify the behaviors and hidden features of the research data. Based on the research data, research data analyzing technique will be vary. For the qualitative research data, researchers use the professional judgment and professional skepticism to arrive the research conclusion. However, data analyzing for the quantitative research can be executed through statistical and mathematical techniques. In this research author uses the SPSS software and Ms Excel to analyze the research data. Further tables, charts, pie charts etc. are used to represent the analyzed research data.
1.10 Validity and reliability
It is essential to ensure the validity and reliability of the research data due to author uses the research data to arrive the research conclusion (Bryman and Bell, 2011). There are positive correlation between research findings and validity and reliability of the research data. That means high level of validity and reliability of the research data ensures the high level of accuracy of the research findings and lower level of validity and reliability of the research data ensures the lower level of accuracy of the research findings. In order to ensure the validity and reliability of the research, author should use the research objective and question oriented data and control of the research data gathering process should have with the author in order to change the data gathering approach based on the chances in internal and external environmental factors.
1.11 Ethical consideration
In order to execute the research in professional manner, there should be set ethical standards in gathering the research data and those standards should be communicated to the research questionnaire participant properly. In terms of gathering secondary data relating to the internal information of the research organization regarding research problem, author takes the proper approval from the relevant authorized personnel. In addition to that top of the research questionnaire, it is clearly mentioned that parcipating to the research questionnaire is not mandatory and it is voluntary. Further author does not collect any personal information of the research questionnaire participant and gathered information are used only for the research purposes. Further it is clearly mentioned that gathered information is not disclose to the outsiders for commercial purposes.
1.12 Brief literature review
Business organizations carry our businesses in a highly dynamic environment. All most all external and internal factors are undergoing frequent changes. Therefore to survive in the business environment organizations must adapt to such changes. The firms which cannot tolerate and adapt to environmental changes will wipe from the competition (BALACHANDRA and FRIAR, 1997). Therefore we can identify the evolution of the products. This is mainly due to the change in customer requirement. With the other environmental factors human life style is also changing. Therefore customer needs and wants also subjects to frequent changes creating the importance of changing the organizational products. Product change process consists with several stages such as environmental analysis, need identification, formulating the alternative solutions, selection of most appropriate selection, feasibility testing, implementing and controlling and review (Baxter, 1995). Environmental scanning identify the trends and patterns of each and every environmental factor, then customer need and wants are identified and ensure necessity of the product change in the need identification stage.
During the product development stage it’s all the costs that the company has to incur on the research and development. Which includes searching for the market specification a coming up with a solution. In the introduction phase the companies can offer the services at a premium price where the services are targeted for the early adopters (Scheuing, 1974). In this stage the companies need to spend more on the promotion to achieve the product awareness in the market that they operate. As it goes on an enters in to the growth stage where the service is better known in the market and the competitors are starting to come up similar packages offered at a lower price (Scheuing, 1974). During this phase also the service provider will have a certain level of cost incurred on the promotion but the profits would be increasing for the provider.
According to the discussions in previous chapters almost 1/3 of the new products launches are ended up with the failures and wasting the resources invested for the new product development. Organization should focus on factors which help to avoid the new product development failures in order to execute better new product development process (Souder, 1987). Based on the different literature interpretations, author discusses the following factors which help to the success of new product development process.
• New product development process should have high level of new product innovation degree.
• Organization should perform the target market survey to identify the target market characteristics.
• Product development experts should be used to decide and design the new product features based on outcome of the target market survey.
• Use the technological help to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the new product development process.
• Organization should have required resources to execute the expected product development practices.
• New product development process should be integrated with the product development plan.
• Define the quality measuring standards for the new product development process and keep the whole process within the quality standards.
In addition to above factors market orientation approach plays vital role in determining success of the new product development process of the organization. Market orientation approach should consider the organization’s capacity to evaluate market potential for a new product, understanding the needs of the target market and translating such information into product development plan. In order to define the product characteristics for the new products, organization can adhere to low cost approach, high quality approach, superior performance approach and unique attributes approach. In order to select right product characteristics approach, organization should analysis the customer behavior of the target market. Further need to link the product new development strategies with corporate strategies of the organization is identified as a key factor to execute proper new product development practices (Wheelwright ; Clark, 1992). This will help to plan the required resources to the new product development process by considering organization’s strengths and capabilities. Further below factors will determine the success of the new product development process. At the initial stage of the new product development process, organization should perform external and internal environmental analysis to identify the strengths and weaknesses which will affect to the new product development process (Wheelwright & Clark, 1992). Based on the outcome of environmental survey product development plan should be documented.
• Internal Factors
– Technical capabilities
– Organizational capabilities
– Success of the current business model.
– Top management vision.
• External factors
– Capabilities in the external factors
– Industry structure.
– Rate of technological change.
– Awareness programs
– Changing attitudes
– Training programs
– Collecting creative and innovative ideas
– Reporting programs which are needed to implement
– What are the expected targets?
– Achieving the target
– Quality of achieved targets
– The process used for coming to the aim
– Recognizing points, that should be developed and week points
– Continuous improvement of respective processes.
In an environment where the needs and wants of people are escalating the businesses come up with various solutions which can be used by the consumers to fulfill their desires. When the businesses are coming up with a particular solution they need to assure that the solution serves the defined specifications of the consumer (Belliveau et al, 2002). This requires a high level of attention of the business people where they will have to come up with a quality product/services packages which covers all the required elements so that they have the assurance that the packages will not fail when it enters in to the real market and it survives among the other competitive substitutes.
New product development process involves with developing and launching a new product to the new market or existing market. In order to ensure business smooth operation process and maintain the continuous success of the business, most literature interpretations emphasize the importance of new product development to meet the changes in customers’ preferences (Cooper, 1993). New product development process helps to organization to achieve growth perspective of the organization, influence the profit performances of the organization and business plan should be documented considering potential new product development plans and possibilities (Cooper, 1993). Generally new product development process involves with competent employment, economic growth, and technological advancements, increase the customers’ living standards etc. Therefore it is important to establish and implement new product development strategies to the organization.
In development of the market strategy of the product it is essential to know clearly about the features of the products and services that they need to possess. Characteristics of the products and services can be defined as the features that make a particular product different from the rest of the products that are there in the market (Cooper, 1998). These are specific, where in tangible products it looks at the attributes of the products (food). In case of services the characteristics of the service totally depend on the service provider (Hotels, Hospital etc.). So the companies need to have procedures in place to ensure that they maintain the consistency and right standard of quality provided.
In last few decades’ domestic and international market involve with lager number of new product introductions and it was helped to increase the industry participants’ awareness on importance of new product developments (Crawford, 1987). Most of technological related new products came into the market as a result of new product development strategies of the organizations in varies industries. However organizations should have adequate and competent human resource with innovative ideas to find out new product features and new product requirements to the market. Further there should be proper financial strengths of the organization in order to deploy the new product development strategies into action (Crawford, 1987). Time constraints affect to new product development process due to changes in peoples’ requirement’s happen rapidly. Therefore new product development process should be processed and completed within during that shorter period to deliver right product at right time to the market.
According to Cooper, (2001) majority of the new products fail in the respective target market and failure rate spreads between 25 percent and 45 percent. Booz, Allen & Hamilton, (1982) states that “For every seven new product ideas, about four enter development, one and a half are launched, and only one succeeds”. Most research interpretations highlights that most organizations continue to products that are failed in the market and it is the main reason to identify new product development as most riskiest and confusing operation process of an organization. There is positive relationship between investment for new product development and pressure to get maximum return from the new product development. It is estimated that 45 percent pf resources allocated to new product development will be a wastage due to the higher probability of failing the new product developments in the market.
The new product development process consists of all the functions carried out by the organization from new idea generation to new product development to launching the new product to the market. According to Booz, Allen & Hamilton, (1982) “A new product that is introduced on the market evolves over a sequence of stages, beginning with an initial product concept or idea that is evaluated, developed, tested and launched on the market”. In order to establish effective new product development strategies, management of the organization should be knowledgeable of the new products and should have less uncertainty mind about the new product and there should be proper product plan which addresses the all the functions from beginning to end of new product development process (Crawford, 1979).
In the maturity stage the business is at its peak. Where the profits would be at a very high level whereas the cost would be very less as by the middle of the maturity stage all the research and development costs are covered. This is the right time for the companies to start investigating what market opportunities are emerged so that they can do research on them and come up with a new product. And at the decline phase the service would be divested as the service has established long enough (Kelley 2015). At this time the new product or service would be introduced and the cash reserved from the previous product would be spent on the success of the new product.
New product development or introducing a new product to the market increase the long term financial performance and the organization’s value. It is a result of increasing the customer base as a result of touching new market segments through the new products. Effective new product development practices help to organization to enhance the stakeholders trust on organization’s going concern due to new product development process open the gate to implement change management strategies to adapt into new market changes and market expectations. Further entering new market segments involves with product entry in a new market yields the highest top-line, bottom-line and stock market benefits.
According to Crawford (1987) successful product development strategies are engines the long terms growth of the organization. Further product development culture will increase the employees understanding and knowledge. That emphasizes that organization requires competent and skilled human resources who has innovative thinking ability. As a result of new product development strategies organization have to hire or train the existing employees to increase the innovative thinking ability of the employees. It will cause to create the competitive advantages and internal operational strengths as a result of acquiring expertise and competent human resources.
New product development process will impact to organization’s bottom line financial performance through increasing customer demand, increasing the gross profit margin, increasing the net profit margin, reduce to customer acquisition cost and reduce the customer retention cost. Further as result of new product development functions, organization’s financial position may have temporary impact due the product innovation functions. However organization can acquire competitive capabilities on permanent perspective through effective new product development strategies.
With respect to increase of organization’s customer base, competitive abilities, internal strengths etc. value of the organization’s increases eventually. This is a key benefit of the overall new product development process and strategies of the organization.
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02. Ethical issues in preparing, planning and undertaking the research project
2.1 Discussion on ethical issues
Geoffrey Alderman emphasizes that the common cheating method is cut and paste from the internet sources. However, due to the advancement in current technological environment it is easy to capture those cheating approaches. In addition to that most lectures complain that most of the students who are not continuously participated for the lectures and academic programs submit the brilliant assignment reports. Privacy is a critical aspect of the research data gathering process. That means all the researchers are responsible to ensure the privacy of the research questionnaire participant. However, most of the researchers fail to ensure the privacy. For example some researchers includes the research questions such as age, marital status etc. as research questions. However, most students use their own formats in preparing, planning and undertaking the research project. In addition to that most students do not seek advises from academic coordinators from the beginning of the research and most students tend to meet the academic supervisors at the last stage to the deadline. Another academic misconduct has been reported Greenwich University, that is using the similar nature reporting format by five student to submit their final research report. Another case study related to Ollie who Glasgow Caledonian University student, was accused to submitting the similar content assignment report which is similar to his friend. In addition to the contest other sections such as approach, conclusion, references etc. also similar to his friend’s work. However, student has argued to prove that he is not cheating the assignment report.
Most researchers gather the primary research data using human. As a result result in order gather the best and high quality research data, author should ensure the transparency in the data gathering process from researcher point of view and research participant point of view. As a researcher it is essential to communicate both benefits and risks of providing the research data to research participant to get the consent of the research participant. Further most of the students tend to outsource the research work academic writing service providers to complete the research activities (Blumberg, 2005). As a result students do not have proper understanding over how respective academic service providers ensure the anonymous of the research questionnaire participants. Most of the students who are migrated to the host country involve in academic misconducts related activities. The main reason for that are changes in different cultures and practices of the social environment. Geoffrey Alderman emphasizes that the common cheating method is cut and paste from the internet sources. However, due to the advancement in current technological environment it is easy to capture those cheating approaches.
Copy and paste (C; P) is the most common form of literal Plagiarism and is characterised by adopting text verbatim from another source (Maurer et al., 2006; Weber Wulff, 2011). Shake and paste (S; P) refers to the copying and margining to text segments with slight adjustments to form a coherent text, e.g. by changing word order, by substituting words with synonyms, or by entering or deleting filling words (Webber Wulff,2010). According to my study about plagiarism, I can recommend some of factors to avoid the plagiarism. According to my opinion, I believe that the main responsible party is the institutions. Because if they give better awareness about plagiarism to their students by showing the impact of plagiarism. Most of universities have advised to the students not to use the reproducing software to deliver the previously published materials using the reproduced software. However, due to the lack of time management of the students, most of the students fail to deliver the quality works to get a higher mark. Geoffrey Alderman emphasizes that the common cheating method is cut and paste from the internet sources. However, due to the advancement in current technological environment it is easy to capture those cheating approaches. Most universities do not have proper mechanism to capture those kind of incidence to report the students who are getting the service of academic writing service providers. The main reason for that is there are lots of academic writers who prepares the complete assignment report instead of the students in order to get higher mark. However, most universities have implemented proper technological systems to detect those cheating attempts.
University of Buckingham professors has identified two types of cheating approaches. One is coping and pasting from internet sources. However, now it has been decreasing due the advancement of new software are using the universities. Second method of cheating is getting the academic writing service from academic writers. However, students have to higher charges for the academic writing service as well. Most universities do not have proper mechanism to capture those kind of incidence to report the students who are getting the service of academic writing service providers. Niall Hayes, a lecturer at Lancaster University Management School, highlights that academic programs of the university are linked with the oral tests as well. It will help to capture and measure the real competencies and knowledge of the students. Most universities do not have proper mechanism to capture those kind of incidence to report the students who are getting the service of academic writing service providers. According to the Catherine Wyat 50,000 University Students Have Been Caught Cheating In The Past Three Years. From the 129 UK universities which featured in the investigation, the University of Kent came out on top with the highest number of academic misconduct cases. However, most universities have implement proper technological systems to detect those cheating attempts. As a result, now those cheating incidences are decreasing during the last three periods. However, second cheating approach of completing the assignment report from the academic writers is the most popular cheating approach in UK. Due to the lack of mechanism to detect those cheating approaches in the university, academic writers in UK are increasing rapidly.
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03. Choices of research philosophy and importance of research philosophy
3.1 Discussion on research philosophy
Research philosophy includes four aspects such as positivism research philosophy, interpretivist research philosophy, realism research philosophy and pragmatism research philosophy. Below sections discusses each research philosophy in detailed. Research philosophy mainly concern on research data gathering process and research data processing mechanism. Further, it involves with providing the right and structured direction to the researchers to conduct the research study effectively and successfully. Research philosophy involves with developing knowledge of particular subject matter in order to define the philosophical paradigm. However, developing certain understandings and knowledge is not an easy and simple task. Changes in internal environment and external environment factors is a critical challenge determine the most appropriate research philosophy. However, most researchers tend to develop the assumptions and interpretations in developing the research philosophy (Holden ; Lynch, 2004). Further research objectives ensure the accuracy and completeness of the research questions as well. In addition to that planning and executing the research methodologies related strategies and activities is a challenging process. However, defining the research data gathering process and research data analyzing process should be based on the research philosophy. Further statistical significance is another important factor of determining the nature and characteristics of the research philosophy.
Positivism research philosophy creates practical issues and problems in applying the research strategies and research practices. The main practical issue is positivism research philosophy focuses on wider aspect while researcher focuses on narrow aspects. As a research researchers has to take lots to time considerations and resource considerations in developing the research strategies and executing the research activities. Positivism research philosophy involves with developing the approaches and mechanism to develop the knowledge and understanding over research implications based on the natural and social science. In arriving the conclusion and recommendations over research independent variables and dependent variable, author should concerns the behaviors of social environmental implications.
Interpretivist research philosophy helps to understand the difference between human and human’s role as a social actor. Interpretivist research philosophy helps to identify the differences in performing the researches for human and objects. The main factors of choices between positivist research philosophy and interpretivist research philosophy is whether research is quantitative and qualitative. For the quantitative researches it is recommended to use positivist research philosophy and for the qualitative researches it is recommended to use interpretivist research philosophy. Research strategies and research activities under interpretivist research philosophy should be determined the role of human categories who directly impacts to the conclusion and recommendations of the research. In this research philosophy, researchers are encourages to access to the social behaviors based on the languages, shared meanings, values etc. in the social environment.
Realism is another research philosophical approach which involves with scientific inquiry in arriving the research conclusion and recommendations. The core concept behind realism is, research strategies should be formulated considering the current circumstances and implications of real world. In other hand realism emphasizes how to uses the independent thoughts to deliver the critical conclusion and recommendation over research problem. Realism research philosophy believes that nature of the object is independent from the human mind. Nature and characteristics of realism research philosophy is more similar to positivism research philosophy. There are two elements of realism research philosophy such as direct realism research philosophy and indirect realism research philosophy.
Pragmatism research philosophy considers the approaches and activities which are relevant to core actions in terms of supportive actions. Further pragmatism research philosophy emphasizes that there are no single approaches to determine the research strategies and entire picture should be considered based on multiple realities. In addition to pragmatism research philosophy uses both objective and subjective research ontology. In addition to that interpretations of research questions and research objectives are considered in determining the research philosophy. In this process researchers should evaluate the ultimate aspirations of research objectives in order to achieve at the end of the research study. Further research questions need to be considered in order to understand the research problem in defining the research strategies and research activities. The module discusses the basic fundamental of research and it laid the platform for this research.
Further it is required to consider research strategies and research data collection methods in determining the research philosophy. For example deductive research strategy encourages using positivist research philosophy while inductive research strategy encourages to use interpretivist research philosophy in conducting the research activities and practices. Further research timeframe is another important factor to decide the choices of the research philosophy. Having proper research methodology, author can integrate the research independent variables with research dependent variables properly. In addition to that research philosophy emphasizes the interrelationship between research problem and research objectives. Further research objectives ensure the accuracy and completeness of the research questions as well. Quantitative research approach is performed under deductive research strategy and qualitative research approach is performed under inductive research strategy. As discussed above positivism research philosophy guides the researchers how to implement and execute the deductive research strategies based on the research objectives and research questions while interpretivist research philosophy guides the researchers how to implement and execute the inductive research strategies based on the research objectives and research questions.
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