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Chapter: 3

Methodology

THE METHODOLOGY

3. In this chapter, the research process of the children’s influence in family purchase
decision-making in Delhi (India) is well-defined and described sequentially. Starting with
(1) research preparation, in terms of the purpose of the study, research objectives, research
hypothesis, research approach; (2) process of the survey, concerning research design,
participants/respondents, sample size, sample procedure, sample plan, research instrument,
pilot testing, scale refinement and (4) method of analysis and the limitations including the
scope for future research are discussed in detail.

3.1. Purpose of the study

In India, gradual changes are taking place in the cultural and sociological ethos, which
have triggered changes in the purchase process and consumption patterns of Indian
children (Gupta & Chundavat, 2002). Rise in consumerism, emergence of nuclear families
in the urban context, rise of middle class, increasing financial independence of women,
more convenience oriented lifestyles, fewer children per household, increased media
exposure and many more factors have contributed a lot in the roles played by children in
purchase decision making process.
The main purpose of the study was to examine the purchase behaviour of children in India,
their changing needs, lifestyle and attitudes in family purchase decisions as they have
effectively assumed the role of potential consumers and constitute a significant proportion
of the market across different product categories. They not only make purchases for
themselves but also influence family purchases too. This study has empirically tested the
effects of socio economic and demographic factors, family communication patterns,
parental style, socialization agents and media on children's influence in family purchase
decisions in Indian context where such type of study has not been conducted earlier. The
study was conducted in order to help in understanding the children consumerism in terms
of their influence in family purchases and hence provide a feedback to the policy makers
in formulation of strategies because there is a huge potential in this market and down the
line it will be a prime concern to major players. India is the largest kids market in the world
and approximately Rs. 20,000 crore is distributed over sectors like Apparel, FMCGs,
Gizmos, Media/Entertainment, Games, Toys, IT and Telecom, Nutrition and Food, Journals
and it is expected to grow at the rate of 30-35 percent per annum. Children have evolved

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from being active influencers and participants in the purchase decisions of all project
categories to becoming consultant to their parents. Today they are highly involved and are
decision makers in categories like clothes, accessories, bicycles and even for high end
product categories such as mobile phones, computers, cars etc. Thus a research needs to be
conducted to understand this market properly and to formulate strategies so as to tape this
market at a proper time.

3.2. Objectives of the study

A review of the existing literature pointed out the need for conducting in-depth
investigation in to children’s influence in family purchase decisions, for the purpose of
formulating the marketing strategies to tap this market in a better way. Review of the
existing literature also showed lacunae in terms of lack of availability of detailed research
in the area of children’s influence in India. Thus a research regarding children influence in
purchase decisions needs to be conducted, which will act as an input to the policy makers
who will be interested to deal with this market in future. Hence the Primary objective of
the study was:
 To get a deep understanding of the behavior of children in Delhi (India) from
different socio-demographic statuses in terms of their participation and influence in
family decision-making process.
Socio-demographic statuses refer to a set of variables (i.e., children, parent and
family characteristics) of a population under study (i.e., children) and whether it
have an impact on their purchase behaviour related to participation and influence in
family purchases. In other words it analyzes the impact of children, parent and family
characteristics on children’s influence in family decision-making process. In order to
conduct the research in a more comprehensive way and in accordance with the above-
mentioned primary objective, this study was acknowledged with the following sub-
objectives:

 To identify and analyze children’s role as influencer for different product categories
along different stages of developmental during purchase decision-making process.
 To identify and analyze the impact of family communication pattern including
parental style on children’s influence during purchase decision-making process.
 To identify and analyze the dimensions of children’s consumer socialization,
affecting children's influence in family purchase decision-making process.
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 To identify and analyze the impact of media, especially television advertisements


on children’s influence in family purchase decision making and thereby finding out
any differences based on age and gender.

3.3. Hypotheses

For the purpose of achieving the objectives of the study hypotheses were presumed. These
were formed on the basis of previous and current studies on the topic of children’s
influence in the family decision-making process; the hypotheses are described as follows:

Hypothesis-1.
H1o: There will be no significant difference between the children of different age groups
regarding their influence in family purchases.

H1a: There will be significant difference between the children of different age groups
regarding their influence in family purchases.

Hypothesis-2.
H2o: There will be no significant difference between the children of different age groups
regarding their influence in family purchases for different product categories.

H2a: There will be significant difference between the children of different age groups
regarding their influence in family purchases for different product categories.

Hypothesis-3.
H3o: There will be no significant difference between male and female children regarding
their influence in family purchases.

H3a: There will be significant difference between the male and female children regarding
their influence in family purchases.

Hypothesis-4.
H4o: There will be no significant difference between male and female children regarding
their influence in family purchases for different product categories.
.
H4a: There will be significant difference between male and female children regarding their
influence in family purchases for different product categories.

Hypothesis-5.
H5o: There will be no significant difference between the children from parents of different
income levels regarding their influence in family purchases.

H5a: There will be significant difference between the children from parents of different
income levels regarding their influence in family purchases.

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Hypothesis-6.
H6o: There will be no significant difference between the children from parents of different
professions regarding their influence in family purchases.

H6a: There will be significant difference between the children from parents of different
professions regarding their influence in family purchases.

Hypothesis-7.
H7o: There will be no significant difference between the children from parents of different
educational levels regarding their influence in family purchases.

H7a: There will be significant difference between the children from parents of different
educational levels regarding their influence in family purchases.

Hypothesis-8.
H8o: There will be no significant difference between the children from parents of different
age groups regarding their influence in family purchases.

H8a: There will be significant difference between the children from parents of different age
groups regarding their influence in family purchases.

Hypothesis-9.
H9o: There will be no significant difference between the children from families of different
number of sibling regarding their influence in family purchases.

H9o: There will be significant difference between the children from families of different
number of sibling regarding their influence in family purchases.

Hypothesis-10.
H10o: There will be no significant difference between the children from families of
different communication pattern and parental style regarding their influence in family
purchases.

H10a: There will be significant difference between the children from families of different
communication pattern and parental style regarding their influence in family purchases.

Hypothesis-11.
H11o: There will be no significant difference between the children regarding the level of
socialization influence by different socialization agents.

H11a: There will be significant difference between the children regarding the level of
socialization influence by different socialization agents.

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3.4. Research Approach

The influence of children in family purchase decision making process has been recognized
as an area in a tremendous need of research. Many debates globally on how children
influence their families in what to purchase and what not to purchase, have led to many
studies and research projects. While many studies conducted in this regard focus on the
influence of adolescents (ages 12-16 years) in family purchase decisions and very little
research is available on children in their mid-childhood and early adolescence (ages 6-14
years). According to (McNeal, 1992), children between 6-14 years are more adaptive-
decision makers, competent enough to make autonomous decisions and self-evaluation and
employ an influential style to negotiate for preferred outcomes (McNeal, 1992). Thus
through this study, children between 6-14 years in Delhi were studied for their influence
and whether children from different demographic characteristics vary in their influence.
Quantitative approach of data collection was adopted to get better results on the problem.
The need for using this approach was to get a deeper understanding of the research
problem as this approach was more appropriate for the study than qualitative research
approach because with qualitative approach a direct connection (associations) between two
or more variables could not be assessed (Cozby, 2001). An association was determined by
using quantitative method by allocating numerical values to the variables (Yaremko et al.,
1986). With the aid of such assigned numerical values, the results were quantified by using
different statistical ways.

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3.5. The Research Design

The children market is very distinctive and different. The distinctiveness of the segment
suggests that special kind of marketing procedures and techniques must be used in order to
explore and understand this market in a proper way. This study used descriptive study
design, as it allowed the researcher to gain insight into the problem by investigating
children’s views on the problem, how they interpreted it and how they influenced since this
was relatively a new area with no prior/limited research studies available in India. Further
this study utilized both primary and secondary data in order to get a deep understanding of
the problem as shown in figure (3.5).

Data

Primary Secondary

Quantitative Qualitative Books Publications Journals

Questionnaires Interviewing

Figure (3.5) Research Design

In the primary data part, quantitative method including the survey approach was used
owing to its appropriateness for the study. Survey research approach provided the
information about children's influence by asking subjects a variety of structured questions
through a structured questionnaire. The questions were personally administered and any
clarifications on the research topic or difficulty in understanding the questions were
attended on site that ensured 100% response rate.

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The secondary data consisted of all the information required to finish the project. The
secondary data used all the relevant information of the reference books, published research
reports and academic journals. This information was used to get a preliminary insight into
the research, provide a background to the study and classify and categorize all the key
issues that could be addressed by the primary research. The secondary data also provided
some help in overcoming the difficulties that arose during the primary data collection
(Cowton, 1998). In this study both primary and secondary data were not collected
individually, but were integrated with each other. The primary data used secondary data
(literature review) to describe the topic and all the factors in the form of dependent
variables that needed to be studied by quantitative method. Both the methods of data
collection i.e. primary and secondary, presented advantages and disadvantages for the
researcher. Secondary data was easily available and accessible, but was always associated
with the biasness, where as the primary data was more expensive and time consuming.
Still, both of the methods were used to back the information and guidelines needed for the
research.

3.6. Participants

For the purpose of this study children of different age groups (6–14 years of age) were
studied by self-administered questionnaires. Although children of all ages have certain
influence in family purchase decisions, but the influence varies across the different age
groups. First older children of the age of 12 years or more have more influence on their
parent’s decision making than younger children of the age of 3 to 11 years (Moschis
&Mitchell, 1986; McNeal & Yeh, 2003; Gotze et al., 2009). Second younger children
simply ask for products to purchase, while as elder children use variety of influence
strategies to make their parents to purchase (Palan & Wilkes, 1997). The variation in the
purchase behaviour of younger and older children in terms of their purchase influence
reflects difference in cognitive and social development. In comparison to younger children,
older children tend to be more mature and skillful in obtaining, encoding, organizing and
retrieving the information. Based on cognitive and social development, John, (1990)
classifies children in to three different stages of consumer socialization as perceptual stage
(3-7 years), analytical stage (8-10 years), and reflective stage (11-16 years). Children
influence varies across the three different stages of development and it is seen that older
children in reflective stage rather than younger children in perceptual and analytical stages

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were more influential owing to their cognitive and social skills. Hence it is clear that there
is variation in the degree of influence across different stages of developmental process,
therefore children of all age groups from 6-14 years were suitable subjects for this
research.

3.7. Sample Size

Sampling is one of the main elements of the research design. Sample size is the number of
respondents that could be included in the study. Determination of sample size is a very
crucial decision and takes various qualitative and quantitative aspects in to consideration
(Malhotra, 2004).
Sample size determination was done on the basis of secondary data, like census report
(2011) on total population of children in five districts of Delhi. The sample size was
calculated by assuming 95 percent confidence interval and margin of error 3.5 percent. At
this confidence level, one would expect that if all the children were asked the same survey,
that responses to the survey would change no more than ±3.5 percent. Calculation of
sample size determination by proportion was made as follows, using the maximum
possible population variation (π = 0.5). The Precision of D in this study was 0.035 for a 95
percent confidence level. Sample size using the formula given below was calculated as
under:
π * (1 - π) * Z2
n=

Where n = D2 Sample size


π = Population variation
Z = Confidence interval
D = Precision Margin
n = [(0.5)* (1 – 0.5)*(1.96)2 / (0.035)2] = 784

3.8. Sampling Procedure

Cluster random sampling (CRS) was applied to gather the sample responses from children
between 6 and 14 years of age. The clusters were formed by dividing the target population
in to mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive subpopulations or clusters. Then a
random sample of these clusters was selected based on the probability sampling technique.

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The required information was collected from a simple random sample of the elements
within each selected cluster.
The sample was drawn from various private and public schools. The type of schools (i.e.
Private and Public schools like kendriya vidyalaya and MCD schools) formed different
sample group clusters for participant selection. A random sampling was conducted to
obtain and allocate samples for each of these clusters (Neuman, 2005). Children from each
of these schools were randomly sampled. The sampling plan was used to certify that
samples were collected from different groups within the population.
CRS was chosen for the following reasons:
 Cluster sampling is cheap, quick, and easy.
 Cluster sampling is usually more efficient statistically than simple random.
 It gives all the clusters equal chances of being selected.

3.9. The Sampling Plan

The ‘population’ of interest for the present study comprised all the children of India below
14 years (male 187,450,635/female 165,415,758) estimating 29.7% of the total population
of India (i.e. 1,205,073,612) as per 2011 census. The entire country consists of 35 states in
which all the children reside and exhibit great diversity in terms of language, culture and
climate (Census of India, 2011). As it was not feasible to cover all these states due to huge
geographic spread, inaccessible terrain, diversity of spoken languages, cultural differences,
as well as time and monetary constraints, it was decided to focus on the northern state of
Delhi which is the National Capital and second most populous metropolis in India after
Mumbai, with a population of 16753235 in 2011 census. According to last Census of India
carried out in 2011, the total population of children in Delhi below the age of 14 years was
45 lacks roughly estimating 24.7% of the total population.
Delhi exhibits a rich diversity in terms of religion, caste, languages and culture
composition. Further, its inhabitants (children) mostly speak a language (Hindi) which was
not alien to the researcher and he was familiar with the cultural nuances which otherwise
would have seriously hindered research. It should be kept in mind that children not from so
literate families are very traditional in their outlook and quite secretive about inside
information pertaining to their family. Interestingly the literature review also revealed
paucity of research focusing on Delhi, especially, in the context of children influence in
family decision making.

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The state of Delhi is divided into 9 districts or blocks, which comprises of East, North East,
West, South, South West, North, North West, Central Delhi and New Delhi. It was decided
to divide the whole Delhi in to five major clusters as, South Delhi, East Delhi, West Delhi,
North Delhi and Central Delhi. Data was collected randomly from all the five
blocks/cluster of Delhi. Lists of schools were prepared for each cluster in such a way that
each list contained both private and public (kendriya vidyalaya and MCD) schools. From
each of these lists, one school from each category i.e. private and public (kendriya
vidyalaya and MCD) schools were randomly picked for each cluster up using Random
Number Generator feature of SPSS software. The objective behind this exercise was to
have a representative sample as also minimize biasness. The diagrammatic representation
of the broad sampling plan for the study is given in the figure (3.9) below.

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Figure (3.9) Diagram Representing Broad Sampling Plan for the Study
(Source: Author’s own creation)

The reasons for selecting Delhi for the present study were manifold. First, Delhi had
attained the status of one of the mega-cities along with Mumbai and Kolkota, each with a
population of more than 10-million. Selection of Delhi was made because it had children
from diverse social and demographic backgrounds. The influence from Western culture has

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shaped the perception and lifestyle of the children there. So instead of choosing sample
from all the states, it was thought to choose it from Delhi as it represented a diverse set of
cultures. Second, the Hamdard University i.e. the institution where the researcher was
enrolled for the PhD program was situated in Delhi. Hence keeping in view the ease and
access to the all secondary data like research papers, it was selected for the research. Third,
the researcher had close contacts with the schools where from the data was collected.
Another issue was that of identifying the schools that consisted of children of interest to the
researcher. The researcher had good rapport with the school authorities and one-to-one
relationship with them proved to be of immense help in identifying the same, otherwise the
schools would not have agreed to involve children for the final data collection.
As it is difficult to ‘break in’ and get the desired information by directly approaching the
schools, the researcher made it a point to be present in all the events organized by the
schools in the selected blocks/clusters beginning from the month of September 2012 to the
end of December 2012 (the period during which the final data was collected). The fact that
researcher was a male, proved to be of immense help in gaining the confidence of all the
types of children ranging from upper, middle and lower class of the society, who otherwise
were totally resistant to interact with the researcher and fill the questionnaires.
As there was a proper database of all the schools in Delhi to rely on, the researcher
prepared a tentative list of the schools both private and public (kendriya vidyalaya and
MCD) meant for the data collection from the five blocks. After interacting with all the
concerned authorities of the schools, the researcher prepared an exhaustive list of schools,
block-wise, that fulfilled the broad criteria for inclusion in the study. Data was collected
from all the variety of schools (i.e. private and public) from children belonging to primary,
middle and secondary school levels of the national education system.
The researcher administered the written questionnaires which contained short, simple,
precise, direct, and relevant questions in English on 784 children as respondents in the age
group of 6-14 years (belonging to three age groups i.e., 6 to 8 years; 9 to 11 years and 12 to
14 years) in all the schools taken for the study. The respondents were asked to indicate
their involvement and influence in the purchase decision. The administration of written
questionnaires in the class rooms was considered as an ideal choice for the data collection
(Malhotra, 2004). The various reasons for this practice were: 1) the children were highly
inspired to answer the questionnaires when they saw their friends all around doing it; 2)
teachers motivated and encouraged the children that led the children in to answering the

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questionnaire; 3) it built trust in the parents that the questionnaires were allowed by the
schools and 4) it was a time saving practice as maximum questionnaires were collected at
same time rather than doing it individually. Cookies and trophies were also distributed to
children while filling the questionnaires to support their motivation to fill in the
questionnaires correctly. While administering the questionnaire the respondents were
instructed to personally fill up the questionnaire and in case of the weak children; they
were helped to fill it after explaining to them the contents of the questionnaire. The
children were not allowed to consult one another and both the researcher and teacher were
present so as to respond to doubts and queries regarding the questions in the research
instrument. Initially a few questions were asked to make a repo with them and
subsequently they were allowed to fill the rest questions. In case of children from lower
classes and especially in MCD and KV schools, researcher read the questions to the
children in more understandable manner and gave a duration time for each question for the
children to answer the questions. By doing this all children in all the three age groups with
different educational background were motivated and handled accordingly to fill the
questionnaires correctly. It should be kept in mind that the data collection instrument was
same for all the children belonging to all the levels of education system. This was
necessary for avoiding bias of any type and it also facilitated comparative study of the
sample. After collecting the data from 800 children, at the editing stage, it was found that
questionnaires from 727children were suitable for further analysis. The rest of the
questionnaires had to be discarded as they were incomplete in various respects such as
missing information pertaining to critical questions etc.

3.10. The Research Instrument

The research instrument (Annexure-1) consists of structured disguised questionnaire which


was prepared on the basis of the literature survey. The objectives of the study were kept in
mind and also the coverage of the secondary data analysis. An attempt was made to cover
all the variables linked to influence and the respondents (children) were required to
indicate their level of involvement. The closed-ended questions with multiple options were
used. In some questions, children were given the choices to describe their reasons, so as to
have a clear picture of their influence in the family decisions. The questionnaire for the
children was designed in such a way that it could be easily understood by children keeping
in view their cognitive capabilities. Only those topics and words that were quite familiar to

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children were asked. The words were reduced to be simple, precise and direct and related
to the topic keeping in mind the respondents being children in particular. It was assured
that they would not face problem in understanding the questions and thus provided clear
unambiguous responses.
The structure of subjects and questions in the questionnaire were in chronological order
and broadly organized in to various sections, which are as follows;
 The first section of the questionnaire contained questions on demographics
and was necessary to generate the profile of the sample.
 The second section of questions in the research instrument dealt with
purchase planning.
 The third section questions were related to decision making process.
 The fourth section questions were related to shopping process.
 The fifth section questions were on peer influence and
 The sixth section questions were related to media influence.
Since separate questionnaires were administered on children, there were independent
responses to the same questions from the children permitting comparison of responses
between the various children.
One other aspect of the methodology used in this study deserves comment. Similar to many
other studies of children’s roles in decision making, we made use of direct questions about
the involvement of each child in family purchase decisions. Direct questions of this sort
assumed, according to Kenkel, (1961) that individuals were: (1) willing to admit it to
themselves and others and (2) able to recall with accuracy how influence was distributed in
some past decision making session. While these assumptions were undoubtedly
questionable, we felt, as do others, that direct questions about specific decisions
represented the best interim approach for identifying roles ( Davis & Rigaus, 1974). This
solution seemed even more appropriate in this study since independent data from children
in the same age group allowed us to assess the validity of these questions measuring this
influence (Davis, 1971).

3.10.1. Pilot Testing of the Research Instrument

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Pilot testing of the measurement instrument was necessary to assure the validity of the
items used to measure the influence. This is because some of the measurement items were
modified for the purpose of this research. The pilot testing was conducted in a series of
steps. A preliminary questionnaire was developed with relevant inputs from the previous
literature and tested to validate the items used.
The English version of the preliminary survey questionnaire was given independently to
subject experts and resource personnel’s (professors) to obtain feedback regarding the
content, layout, wording and ease of understanding the measurement items. They were also
asked to offer suggestions for improving the proposed scale and to edit the items if
necessary to enhance clarity, readability and content adequacy (Linguistic validity). In
general, the comments were positive with some suggestions which were taken into account
while revising the questionnaire.

The questionnaire was first pre-tested on a representative sample of 200 children from the
target population. Reliability and validity (internal validity, sensitivity and linguistic
validity) was measured to certify that the constructs were measured through the
questionnaire. The main purpose of the pilot study was threefold. First, it was to recognize
the difficulties in understanding of the semantic meaning of each item used to measure the
constructs. Second, it was to exclude all the potential difficulties and irrelevant items so as
to lessen questionnaire length and the subject fatigue. Third, the inputs from these
interactions were further used in refinement of the questionnaire. Such interaction also
proved to be of great help and instrumental in deciding on the sample size for the final
study.

All the inputs from the children; words, idioms, and sentences in the questionnaire that
were not clear were noted indicating the need for clarity. Moreover, the feedback and
instructions given by children was placed at the top of each page and care was taken to
incorporate all this in the final study.

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3.11. Scale Refinement and Validation

A crucial aspect in the evolution of a fundamental body of knowledge in any management


theory is the development of genuine measures to obtain valid and reliable estimates of the
organization level and their relationships to another. Unless reliability and validity are
established, it is hard to standardize the measurement of the items, without which it is
difficult to know whether the items actually measure what they are supposed to measure.
In present research, data was collected through a field survey. Then the instrument was
subjected to tests of reliability and validity, thereby ensuring operationalization and
standardization.

3.11.1 Reliability

Several measures of reliability can be evaluated in order to establish the reliability of a


measuring instrument. Reliability is operationalized as internal consistency, which is
degree of inter correlations among the items that were used to measure the constructs
(Cozby, 2001). Among other measures, internal consistency was estimated using reliability
coefficient Cronbach’s alpha (Cronbach, 1970). Internal consistency refers to the ability of
a scale item to correlate with other items in the scale that are intended to measure the same
construct. Items measuring the same construct are expected to be positively correlated with
each other. If the reliability is not acceptably high, the scale can be revised by altering or
deleting items that have scores lower than a pre-determined cut-off point. If a scale used to
measure a construct has an alpha value greater than 0.70, the scale is considered reliable in
measuring the construct (Hair et al., 1978; Leedy, 1997). According to Schuessler, (1971) a
scale is considered to have good reliability if it has an alpha value greater than 0.60. Hair et
al., (1998) suggest that reliability estimates between 0.6 and 0.7 represent the lower limit
of acceptability for reliability estimates. The decision was made to use an alpha value
greater than 0.6 for the reliability estimates in this research. The reliability values of
demographic along with various stages in decision-making processes are given in Table
(3.11.1) as under:

Reliability Statistics
Demographics Purchase Decision Purchasing Socialization Media
Planning Making agents influence
.650 .701 .705 .602 .654 0.67
Table (3.11.1) Reliability Statistics showing Cronbach’s alpha

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All the values well exceeded the obligatory requirement, thereby testifying that the items in
the questionnaire were internally consistent and were suitable for use in the study.

3.11.2. Validity

The validity of a measurement instrument refers to how well it captures what it is designed
to measure (Cozby, 2001).Validity is important in descriptive studies: if the validity of the
main variables is poor, you may need thousands rather than hundreds of subjects.

The validity may be defined as the extent to which differences in observed scores reflect
true differences among objects on the characteristic being measured rather than systematic
or random error.

In this research, the content validity of the measurement instrument was assessed by asking
three professors from the subject area to examine it and provide feedback. As already
discussed, after they had reviewed the questionnaire, changes were made in line with the
suggestions.

3.12. Method of Analysis

So as to maintain data integrity, at the outset, the database was maintained using SPSS 16
Software Package. This was essential because for each child data entries (the demographic
and the rest sections of the questionnaire under study) had to be performed. The maintenance
of such a huge database was not possible using any other available software. The nature of
the data necessitated the use of non-parametric test viz. cross tabulation using chi-square
Chi square (Malhotra, 2004; Aczel & Sounderpandian, 2006) for the following reasons:
First, the chi-square test was the most commonly used test in studies dealing with
demographics. Second, the population was at least 10 times as large as its respective
sample. Third, the sampling method used was random in nature. Forth, the questionnaire
was nominal in nature and was used to determine whether there was a significant
association between the two categorical variables from the sample population. Fifth, the
questionnaire used for study purpose had an extensive list of questions as variables, so to
control the effect of additional variables, cross tabulation and chi-square was used.
For the purpose of ascertaining whether there were significant differences in the responses
vis-a-vis demographic profile of respondents for the various decision stages, chi square
test was employed on the respective frequencies (number of cases or respondents) in

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different categories. Figure (3.12) shows the flow chart depicting scheme of analysis given
in the figure as under.

Development of
Survey Instrument

Views of Subject Literature Interactions with


Experts Review Representative
Sample

Data from Five Blocks


Randomly Selected

Reliability Analysis Using Cronbach’s alpha


Validity Checked through Subject Experts

Cross tabulation was used to analyze a basic Chi square was used to analyze difference in
picture of how two variables inter-relate. involvement in different stages of decisions-
making vis-à-vis demographics.

in the family and life stages

Findings vis-à-vis Involvement of Children


in family purchase decision-making
process
in the family and life stages

Figure (3.12) Flow Chart Depicting Scheme of Analysis


(Source: Author’s own creation)

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3.13. Limitations

Though, a number of precautions were taken to increase the reliability of the present study,
yet the researcher feels that there are certain limitations which should be given due
consideration:

 Limitations of time, funds and willingness of the respondents dictated that the
sample could not be larger than the present one. Although this fact limits the
generalizability of results, the researcher believes that it represents a necessary and
economical first step in identifying useful concepts and relationships that can later
be tested in larger, more representative samples in the Indian rural context.

 Since the results pertained to only a special group of respondents indicate the need
for additional work to examine a number of methodological and practical questions.
These include:

1). The extent to which measures of influence attributed to children affected


by the size of the decision making unit.

2). The nature of the influence structure in households having compositions


different from those in this study.

3). The manner in which household decision making involving different


types of decision making units is affected by the product/service category
being purchased.

 India being a multilingual, multi-religious and multi-regional country, the sample


drawn may not be representative of the entire Indian population and therefore,
generalization has to be done with caution.

 The findings cannot be generalized to the country as a whole owing to socio-


economic and cultural diversity.

 There is a possibility of respondent’s bias vis-a-vis conservative social norms


prevalent in Indian families. Being an issue concerning inside information of their
family, the respondents may have given answers desirable from social point of
view.

 There is a possibility of respondent’s bias from another angle. They may have
given replies that were desirable from their point of view.

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 Though, effect of type of family (i.e. nuclear and joint) on family purchase
decisions was studied, yet, some other moderating variables may also have been
responsible for shift in influence of family members such as duration of marriage.
Thus, there is a need for detailed study of the same.

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3.14. Demographic Profile of Respondents

Demographic profile of respondents was discussed under three main headings as; children
characteristics, parent characteristics and family characteristics illustrated below:

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Children characteristics: The above Table-3.14 presents the demographic profile of the
study sample. From 727 participants “children”, 64% were boys and 36% girls studied
from both private and government schools respectively. Children who participated in the
study belonged to the age groups; 6-8, 9-11 and 12-14 years in proportion of 32.3%, 30.3%

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and 37.4% respectively. Further it was analyzed through parity order that 32.6% of the
children were in first order, followed by 42.2%, 19.5%, 4.7% and 1.0% who belonged to
second, third, fourth and so on.

Parental characteristics: The above results revealed that children belonged to parents
(mother/father) of varied age groups, professions and educational backgrounds. Over a half
52.1% of the respondent lived with their mother who were aged between 32-37 years,
followed by 24.6%, 17.9%, 2.8%, 1.7% and 1.0% whose mothers were between 26-31, 32-
37, 38-43, 44-49 and 50-55 years respectively. Similarly 46.2% respondent lived with their
fathers who were aged between 38-43 years, followed by 34.8%, 11.6%, 5.5%, 1.5% and
0.4% whose fathers were between 26-31, 32-37, 38-43, 44-49 and 50-55 years respectively.
In terms of parents profession, 83.8% of respondents had mothers as housewives, followed
by 6.9% working as academicians, 4.7% working in private jobs and so on (Table-3.14).
On the contrary, 36.9% of respondents had father’s working in private jobs, followed by
24.3% working as business men, 10.0% working as professional (Doctor/Layer/ Engineer)
and so on (Table-3.14). Moreover, the study finding reflected that, 11.8% of respondents
mothers were illiterate, followed by 28.9%, 22.6%, 21.2%, 8.7%, 6.6% and 0.3% whose
mothers had middle school, high school, under graduate, graduate, post graduate and
doctorate degrees. Similarly 1.5% of respondent’s fathers were illiterate, followed by 7.8%,
12.2%, 16.1%, 45.7%, 15.4%, 0.8% and 0.4% whose fathers had middle school, high
school, under graduate, graduate, post graduate, doctorates and others degree not
mentioned in the list.

Family characteristics: Further results revealed that respondent children belonged to


families having different income levels, family structure and diverse number of siblings. A
very small portion of 2.2% respondents had family income less than 3 thousand/month,
followed by 13.5%, 31.5%, 36.3%, 12.9% and 3.6% whose family income/month was
between; 3-10 thousand, 10-20 thousand, 20-50 thousand, 50 thousand-1lac and more than
1lac. Regarding the family structure, 93.0% respondents lived with dual parents (mother
and father), followed by 1.7%, 3.0%, 1.9%, 0.3% and 0.1% who lived with single parents
either father only, mother only, mother and stepfather, father and stepmother or with others
not mentioned in the list. Concerning the number of siblings in the family, 27.2%
respondents had no brother, followed by more than a half 53.6% who had one brother,

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13.8% who had two brothers and so on (Table-3.14). On the contrary, 41.7% had no sister,
followed by 42.2% who had one sister, 13.2% who had two sisters and so on (Table-3.14).

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