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Chapter 3 Methodology : Management practices of American International


Assurance Company (AIA)

Chapter 3

Methodology

This study was conducted in order to assess the business practice or

strategy of AIA in Hong Kong. The focus of the assessment was on the firm's

management strategies. In order to gather the necessary data, the researcher

utilized the descriptive method, using both qualitative and quantitative


approaches. A total of 50 respondents were randomly selected as

participants. The survey-questionnaire method was the research instruments

used for data-gathering.

The senior managers who have been chosen in this study

accomplished a survey questionnaire to evaluate the strategy used by AIA.

The results of the survey were then processed by computing the weighted

mean of each survey item. The computed values were compared to the Likert

scale for data interpretation. Relevant literatures were also used to support

the gathered findings.

The credibility of findings and conclusions extensively depend on the

quality of the research design, data collection, data management, and data

analysis. This chapter will be dedicated to the description of the methods and

procedures done in order to obtain the data, how they will be analysed,

interpreted, and how the conclusion will be met. This section is to justify the

means in which the study was obtained and will help in giving it purpose and

strength as it will then be truthful and analytical. All these will help in the

processing of the data and the formulation of conclusions.

Specifically, this research will cover the following: the research design

and method, the respondents or subjects to be studied (which will include the

sampling method), the data collection instrument, and the data analysis.

These will be presented below.

In this research, I will use descriptive method of research is to gather

information about the present existing condition. The purpose of employing

this method is to describe the nature of a situation, as it exists at the time of

the study and to explore the cause/s of particular phenomena. The researcher

opted to use this kind of research considering the desire of the researcher to

obtain first hand data from the respondents so as to formulate rational and

sound conclusions and recommendations for the study.

I. Research Method
For this study, the research used qualitative and quantitative approach.

The qualitative method permits a flexible and iterative approach, while the

quantitative research method permits specification of dependent and

independent variables and allows for longitudinal measures of subsequent

performance of the research subject.

The value of qualitative research can best be understood by examining

its characteristics. One of the primary advantages of qualitative research is

that it is more open to the adjusting and refining of research ideas as an

inquiry proceeds.

Also, the researcher does not attempt to manipulate the research setting, as

in an experimental study, but rather seeks to understand naturally occurring

phenomena in their naturally occurring states. Inductive reasoning, as

opposed to deductive reasoning, is common in qualitative research, along

with content or holistic analysis in place of statistical analysis (Meyer et al,

1995).

On the other hand, quantitative method is compatible with the study

because it allows the research problem to be conducted in a very specific and

set terms (Cooper & Schindler, 1998). Besides, quantitative research plainly

and distinctively specifies both the independent and the dependent variables

under investigation.

It also follows resolutely the original set of research goals, arriving at

more objective conclusions, testing hypothesis, determining the issues of

causality and eliminates or minimises subjectivity of judgment (Kealey &

Protheroe, 1996). Furthermore, this method allows for longitudinal measures

of subsequent performance of research subjects (Matveev, 2002).

II. Research Instrument

The researcher designs a self-administered questionnaire for the data

gathering process to get qualitative and quantitative data. The primary aim of
the questionnaire is to determine the strategy used by American International

Assurance Company to overcome the challenges given by the banking

industries that offers both insurance and investment plans as part of the

product portfolio. This research will use a mixture of closed questions and

more open comments in the questionnaire. A closed question is one that has

pre-coded answers. The simplest is the dichotomous question to which the

respondent must answer yes or no. Through closed questions, the

researcher will be able to limit responses that are within the scope of this

study.

III. Respondents of the Study

The study will have senior managers of AIA. All of these participants

were selected through random sampling. This sampling method is conducted

where each member of a population has an equal opportunity to become part

of the sample. As all members of the population have an equal chance of

becoming a research participant, this is said to be the most efficient sampling

procedure. In order to conduct this sampling strategy, the researcher defined

the population first, listed down all the members of the population, and then

selected members to make the sample. For this purpose, a self-administered

survey questionnaire in Likert format was given to the respondents to answer.

The senior managers assessed the management strategies of AIA

terms of the outcome of its process (e.g. key resources, strengths and

weaknesses). No inclusion criteria were applied for the individual applicants;

hence, all were made part of the population. However, due to time and budget

constraints, the researcher opted for a smaller sample size.

Research Instruments

For this study, the survey-questionnaire instruments were used achieve

the main objective of the study. A self-administered questionnaire was


distributed to the selected senior managers. The questionnaire given to the

senior managers aimed to assess the business practice of AIA in competing

with other insurance and finance industry. In addition, this also aims to

evaluate the efficiency of the strategies of AIA in terms of the mentioned

aspects above. In general, the performance of the AIA was evaluated for this

study in order to determine whether its strategy is effective or not. This focus

of the assessment was based on the principles introduced by various authors.


The questionnaire was structured in such a way that respondents will be able

to answer it easily. Thus, the set of questionnaire was structured using the Likert

format with a five-point response scale. A Likert Scale is a rating scale that requires

the subject to indicate his or her degree of agreement or disagreement to a statement.

In this type of questionnaire, the respondents were given five response choices. These

options served as the quantification of the participants' agreement or disagreement on

each question item. Below are the designated quantifications used in the

questionnaire:
1 Strongly Agree
2 Agree
3 Uncertain
4 Disagree
5 Strongly Disagree

Data Analysis and Presentation

The study utilised first hand data which comes from the chosen

respondents who answered the survey-questionnaires given to them. First

hand data are those that come from the respondents who have been

surveyed prior to the research. The study also utilized secondary

data. Secondary data include raw data and published summaries, as well as
both quantitative and qualitative data. Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill (2003)

deduced that secondary data fall into three main subgroupsdocumentary

data, survey-based data, and those compiled from different sources.

With this particular study, the researcher utilized documentary

secondary data (in the form of articles from books, journals, magazines, and

newspapers) that are generally about the marketing strategies and customer

satisfactions as well as relevant literatures and survey-based data in order to

meet the objectives of this study. In order to analyse the data gathered from

the survey, the weighted mean for each question item was computed.

Weighted mean is the average wherein every quantity to be averaged has a

corresponding weight.

These weights represent the significance of each quantity to the

average. To compute for the weighted mean, each value must be multiplied by

its weight. Products should then be added to obtain the total value. The total

weight should also be computed by adding all the weights. The total value is

then divided by the total weight. Statistically, the weighted mean is calculated

using the following formula:

or

The computed mean was then compared to the scale below for interpretation:
Range Interpretation
0.00 1.49 Strongly Agree
1.50 2.49 Agree
2.50 3.49 Uncertain
3.50 4.49 Disagree
4.50 5.00 Strongly Disagree
Results of the survey were presented in tables. Excerpts from the

interview process were integrated based on the analysis outline. Relevant

literatures to support the findings are also included.

Validity

In order to test the validity of the evaluation tool which used for this study, the

researcher tested the questionnaire to 5 respondents. These respondents as

well as their answers were not part of the actual study process and were only

used for testing purposes. After the questions have been answered, the

researcher asked the respondents for any suggestions or any necessary

corrections to improve the instrument further. The researcher modified the

content of the questionnaire based on the assessment and suggestions of the

sample respondents. The researchers excluded irrelevant questions and

changed vague or difficult terminologies into simpler ones so as to make the

survey more comprehensive for the selected respondents.

Ethical Considerations

As this study utilized human participants and investigated on company

practices, certain issues were addressed. The consideration of these issues is

necessary for the purpose of ensuring the privacy as well as the security of

the participants. These issues were identified in advance so as prevent future

problems that could have risen during the research process. Among the

significant issues that were considered included consent, confidentiality and

data protection.

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Chapter 1 Introduction (1)
Chapter 2 Review of Related Literature (1)

Chapter 7 Conclusion (1)

Chapter I Introduction (1)

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