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The National Retailers Association

Essay by   •  September 23, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  2,773 Words (12 Pages)  •  1,227 Views

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Executive Summary

The National Retailers Association (NRA) is an industry organisation that provides professional services to the retail and wider service industry throughout Australia.

The NRA realizes that they need to better understand their members' needs to further develop targeted programs. Their goal is to make sure that businesses within the service sector are able to access specialised knowledge and industry-specific expertise so that they are able to grow and prosper.

The aim of this research report is to assist the NRA in identifying the training needs of retailers of small to medium sized enterprises (SME). Our research team will be using exploratory followed by conclusive research to help fill the gaps in previous research results, particularly in relation to SME training within Australia.

Problem Definition

What types of training and educational programs do these members need in order to improve critical management skills and knowledge to efficiently and effectively, manage and grow their business?

Research Questions and Hypothesis

1. What are the most needed training priorities of these members?

2. What are the critical management training barriers?

3. Are there preferred delivery channels for management training? If yes, what are they?

4. Are there different segments within the membership of NRA with different training needs?

Hypothesis:

1. The most needed training priorities of these members is computer skills

2. The critical management issues are not enough time

3. The most preferred delivery channels for management training is online

4. There are different segments within the membership of NRA due to members having different levels of skill in different training topics.

Research Design

This research design will start by using exploratory research, followed by a conclusive descriptive research to accurately answer the current marketing research problems, which are based on improving the critical management skills and knowledge of managers.

Exploratory research should be used to determine what training skills and programs are most important to retailers. This exploratory research will provide researchers with a greater understanding of the problem situation. Furthermore, it will help distinguish the problem for the conclusive research that follows. In this particular research design, primary data will be used as oppose to secondary data, as this approach is specifically targeted at the marketing problem being undertaken. Secondary data consumes less time and is collected over a shorter period, however

Primary research is current data, which relates directly to the problem at hand, hence it should not be replaced by secondary data.

In this instance, we will be using qualitative research when regarding the marketing research problem, as it will assist the researchers into understanding the main areas needed for improvement. The direct approach will be administered, which is basically when the respondents are aware of the purposes of the task. There are two methods when using the direct approach: focus groups and in-depth interviews. In this situation, focus groups should be administered as it consumes less time than an in-depth interview would. Another benefit of using focus groups is that there is the opportunity for free-flow discussions that can result in unexpected information, which could potentially be useful for the conclusive descriptive research aspect. Focus groups are meant to contain small groups; between 10-20 people. In this scenario we will be using 12 people with each 6 focus groups, equating to 72 respondents. In order to analyse the focus groups, each session will be video-recorded, and we will ensure that the moderator of the focus groups is experienced in order to gain maximum results.

Once the exploratory research has been completed, the descriptive research can commence. Researchers will be adopting a quantitative approach to gain results. This provides the option of surveys or observation. In this instance, the survey method of collecting data will be administered. This method has been chosen for numerous reasons but namely due to the fact that surveys are easy and simple to create, and have fixed responses, which decreases the chance of variability. Prior to the distribution of the surveys, respondents will be given notice of the survey. Notice is provided so that researchers can avoid low response rates and also allow the respondents to decide on whether they actually want to participate in the research. In this situation, surveys will be distributed through two channels being telephone and email. The reason for this is because our survey is directed towards managers, and the two main forms of communicating to managers are through phone and email (this information is provided on business cards and on the internet). Telephone surveys allow for good sample control and information is collected rather quickly. Email surveys are desirable as they are low cost at high speed. Once the surveys have been distributed, a follow-up should be conducted to respondents who have not responded. This will also assist in minimizing the low response rate.

Sample Plan

The National Retailers Association (NRA) must now design a suitable sampling procedure by first specifying their target population - small to medium enterprise owners and managers - as this will define who should and who shouldn't be included in the sample. This target population will be defined in terms of elements, sampling units, extent and time frame.

Once this has been identified, the NRA will then determine the sampling frame listing that will be compiled. The NRA will choose the representatives of the research frame during the data process collection in an attempt to eliminate sampling frame error and that inappropriate population inferences can be avoided.

Thirdly, a probability sampling technique more specifically cluster area sampling will be chosen as this will be possible for the NRA to select a sample size appropriate for their sampling plan, they will also be able to draw inferences about the target population.

The NRA will then need to determine the

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