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Applied Research Methods

Trabalho da matéria de Applied Research Methods no curso de Pós Graduação da Instituição Cavendish College, Londres.

Cavendish College


Applied Research Methods

Danilo Gomes de Matos – MBA

Sunderland ID: 089068287

Lecture: Pavlos Stavrakakis

Date: 15/05/2009

Table of content

1 - Indicative title. 3

2 – Introduction. 3

3 – Research Problem.. 3

4 - Aims and Objectives. 4

5 - Research Question. 4

6 - Literature Review.. 5

7 - Research Methodology. 6

7.1 - Research Design. 6

7.2 - Type of Research. 7

7.3 - Data Collection Methods. 7

7.4 - Target Population. 8

7.5 – Sampling. 8

7.5.1 - Size of sampling. 8

7.6 - Data Analysis. 9

7.7 - Elimination of Bias. 9

7.8 - Ethics aspects. 10

7.9 - Study Limitations. 10

8 – Conclusion. 10

References. 11

1 - Indicative title

International expansion adaptation x standardisation: a case study of Marks and Spencer with a potential expansion in Brazil.

2 – Introduction

The research report will focus on how Marks and Spencer can expand internationally in Brazil. The report will be based on a case study in order to identify if Marks and Spencer should adopt their products to the Brazilian culture or follow the same standard that the company uses in Europe. A background of the study will be presented followed by the aims and objectives of the research.

The research question will be identified after the aims and objectives, followed by the critical literature review which will cover what were published about the selected title to justify the topic chosen. The research method will include the research design, the type of research, the data collection design, the data collection techniques, the target population, the type and the size of sampling, the data analysis, the elimination of bias and the ethics aspects. A conclusion will be made to address the expected outcomes.

3 – Research Problem

Expanding the brand internationally is not an easy task. Considerations must be done in order to clarify if is worth make business abroad. Issues such as cultural issues can be determinant in the strategy and standards of the companies.

Marks and Spencer were chosen in this research report because the company is already established in UK with more than 450 stores and is also established in more than 25 countries worldwide.

There are a lot of cultural issues that Marks and Spencer will find in Brazil. For example, the food and eating habits in Brazil is totally different from UK. Normally in Brazil is served coffee, milk, bread, jam and butter, sometimes cheese and ham, with fresh fruit. During the lunch the workers have at least one hour break to lunch. The workers leave their offices to eat with their colleagues and friends in restaurants and coffee shops. The dinner time is the "family" meal where it is served at night and everybody have a dinner together. There is no take away where you can eat on the bus, or in the car or even walking as it can be seen in UK. People in Brazil prefer to buy their food in a monthly or weekly basis, and they prefer to cook themselves instead to buy frozen and ready meals.

Another cultural issue is the way people in Brazil do their shops. There are a lot of shopping centres in Brazil where people can go shopping. The shopping centres in Brazil contain different stores in different sectors and it is part of the culture people going there to do shopping. Marks and Spencer will have to face different types of competitor from big retailers to very small retailers.

4 - Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives for the research can be seen as follow:

- To review extant conceptual models and theoretical frameworks related to adaptation and standardisation and its applicability to Marks and Spencer;

- Identify what is worthier in a potential international expansion to Brazil between adaptation and standardisation the products;

- Identify the cultural issues;

- Analyse the potential level of acceptance in the region chosen to open the stores.

5 - Research Question

The main question to be answered in this research is to identify what is better to Marks and Spencer between adaptation and standardisation processes of products when the company go internationally, in this particular case, to Brazil.

6 - Literature Review

According to G1 (2009), in February 2009, the retail sector in Brazil had a growth of 5.6% comparing to February 2008.Tthe good results of retailing in general in February reflect the continued increase in income. The crisis did not affect the labor market in Brazil as occurred in other countries, which benefits the retailer.

The Brazilian consumption should rise from R$1.74 trillion to R$1.86 trillion (£580 billion) in 2009 where 51,4% of the consumption in the Southeast region, 18,8% of the consumption in the Northeast region, the region South with 16,3% of the consumption, 7,8% of the consumption in the region of Central West and the region North with 5,7% of the consumption (Globo, 2009).

Brazil is one of the world's largest retail markets. The sales in the industry have been growing strongly since 2003 and are expected to continue at this momentum only over the next few years as constantly declining inflation rate allows for continued expansion of real incomes (increasing demand for non-durable consumer goods) and credit conditions ease (sustaining demand for durable goods). A process of consolidation of the retail industry has been underway but overall, the market remains relatively fragmented, indicating substantial scope for the larger players to grow their market share in future. The top five supermarket chains account for approximately 40% of total sales. Three players, Brazil's Pão de Açúcar, France's Carrefour and US's Wal-Mart, currently dominate the market, (PRlog, 2008).

Retail sales volumes in Brazil crept higher in February 2009 for the second straight month, rising 1,5% from January 2009. Sales have been expected to increase 1,1% on a month-on-month basis, according to the median forecast of 19 analysts surveyed by Reuters. Estimates ranged from an increase of 0,20% to 2,50% (CNBC, 2009).

According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistic (2009), in January, sales had risen 1,40% on a month-on-month basis, bouncing back after three straight months of declines. When compared with the year-earlier period, retail sales rose 3,8% in February. The specialists were expected to climb 3,65% on a year-on-year basis. Estimates ranged from an increase of 0,6% to 5,6%.

According to Calantone et al (2004), standardisation means selling the same product in the same markets, without any change in the process that the product is produced. The author also evaluated that customers in different countries have different requirements and use conditions which a standardised product may not satisfy the needs.

According to Czinkota and Ronkainen (2004), there are products which need small modifications and some products which need much more adjustments. The authors also said that it can modify the label, packaging, measurement units, logos and brand name of the products.

According to Jobber (2001), adaptation can improve the performance of business. The fact that markets in different countries have not the same characteristics it is necessary to adopt the marketing mix to customize the product in order to satisfy the buyer's needs in each market.

7 - Research Methodology

7.1 - Research Design

A case study will be adopted for the research. Robson (2002) defines case study as 'a strategy for doing research which involves an empirical investigation of a particular contemporary phenomenon within its real life context using multiple sources of evidence'.

Yin (2003) also highlights the importance of context, adding that, within a case study


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    Danilo Matos