3 Emperical research structure

In chapter two I have captured a literature study of scientific theories and concepts of customer satisfaction to create a common understanding of customer relation management and all facets of customer satisfaction in particular. The literature study has formed the basis of my empirical research structure. This chapter describes the empirical research structure by its type, strategy and method, objectivity and reliability, data collection, data processing, and research assessment.

3.1 Research type.

The paper concerns a pragmatic oriented research. The basis of the research design lies in the extension of problem focus and diagnosis phase. See figure 12.

Intervention cycle

Figure 12 Intervention cycle.

3.2 Research strategy and method

Research strategy and research method need to comply with the research questions, if not, they will not enable the researcher to find the right answers. Accordingly I have chosen for a cross-sectional non-experimental research strategy, using examination and document research techniques. See figure 13.

Cross-sectional research refers to data collection across multiple sources, individuals, and so on, without time discrimination; a momentary snapshot of a given situation. It differs from longitudinal research which monitors sources over a course of time (Wikipedia). Non experimental stands for a systematic empirical and research independent approach. Kerlinger and Lee define this as follows:

"Nonexperimental research is systematic empirical inquiry in which the scientist does not have direct control of independent variables because their manifestations have already occurred or because they are inherently not manipulable. Inferences about relations among variables are made, without direct intervention, from concomitant variation of independent and dependent variables." (Kerlinger and Lee, 2000;558)

Research strategy and method.

Figure 13. Research strategy and method.


3.3 Research objectivity and reliability.

I have examined the research with an open attitude instead using my own standards and perspective, to find methodical answer on the research question. Using the latest theoretical valid knowledge will legitimate my research objectivity. My research is controllable and traceable driven by the above mentioned research strategy and methodology. As a consequence, both empirical and literature study are research worker independent and independently reproducible over time. Therefore, I classify the obtained data as reliable.


3.4 Research data collection.

I have gathered my research data from different angles, using desk research methods. I have researched customer satisfaction models to determine how existing cause and effect models comply against my set of model criteria within the (six) model categories.


3.5 Empirical desk research

From a best practice point of view relevant research findings are copied and reused in this research study. I have not copied texts or taken ideas from someone else's work in order to use that as if they were my own, notwithstanding the fact that it could have been my reflection of that specific topic.