Secondary sources are data sources referenced during research that have been made by external parties. Secondary sources contain opinions, reports, analysis, or interpretation of primary data by other experts or researchers. Such data are useful to gather all the facts and experiences already existing about a topic or industry. Hence, the study of secondary sources is extremely helpful to begin explanatory analysis. Each factor affects the decision to include or not include particular data or inference into the study.
The objective of the secondary source informs the management about the intent with which the document was prepared and if it has achieved its goal. The intent can highlight the reason for it's was development. The management through this can identify if any information bias has been presented by the source.
Scope helps management to identify the situations in which the secondary source is valid and if it applies to them. The data presented should be recent, regularly updated, valid across the geography and demography required, and analyzed according to industry benchmarks.
The credibility of the data and the author of a secondary source is extremely important. Management's trust in the data depends on the authenticity of the source. As secondary sources can be prepared by anybody, only data sources from verified agencies or credible research bodies are used in research.
Information sources published are always intended towards a certain group of users. This can be towards researchers, students for academic purposes, government officials, or casual reading. Each document based on the audience can be presented with different biases and format. The management needs to validate the type of audience the data is intended for its correct usage.
The way the data is presented in secondary sources helps the researcher to quickly understand and interpret the facts required by the management. The format may include charts, tables, infographics, videos, etc. Each format has its own pros and cons in depicting research. The management needs to identify the correct format required for their secondary research suitable for their needs.
Secondary research involves an in-depth analysis of existing sources regarding a particular topic. The information sources used in secondary research can be classified into three major categories, namely primary, secondary, and tertiary.
Data sources which contain information in native format without any changes or interpretation done by another party is known as a primary source of data. Usually considered the most genuine data that can be used as the researcher can model the data according to the specific needs of the research. e.g. census data, labor data, original transcripts of interviews and group discussions, official policies and documents.
Secondary sources of data contain descriptions and explanations done by another party of primary data. These sources are easier to understand and implement. The sources use various graphs and charts to explain the primary data and present several insights drawn from them. The researcher can directly use the insights from secondary sources without the need for analyzing the primary data. e.g. published market study reports, journal articles, etc.
Tertiary sources of data are usually opinions made up using secondary insights. These are the least reliable sources of information unless made by a subject matter expert. Tertiary sources are the least credible and authentic and usually discarded in research activities. e.g. blog content, online articles, etc.
A possible problem with reference to the management dilemma, Exhibit 5-4 in the textbook defines the management question as "What can be done to improve the CompleteCare program for MindWriter product repairs and servicing " It hereafter develops corresponding exploration and research questions. In this question we make an effort to identify alternative management problems that cause the management dilemma, and develop corresponding management and research questions. The management dilemma is provoked by increasing complaints and letters about post purchase service. This seems to indicate deteriorationin service quality over time. One class of management questions concerns trouble shooting or control situations , and if the management dilemma is viewed within this perspective, then management questions extend beyond decision choices to improve service quality. The focus here is the control process, issues of responsibility and accountability, and appropriate procedures to limit the possibility of failure or deterioration in the quality of service.
Management Questions :
•What is the cause for the increase in post purchase service complaints
•In terms of systems, controls, and trouble shooting, what should be done to decrease the number of complaints
•From the standpoint of the organization, which personnel and which stages of the process should be identified as responsible and accountable for service quality deterioration
Research Questions :
•Is the increase in complaints merely an outcome of the increased volumes in the market, or is there a real deterioration in service quality
•How many complaints have occurred at different stages of the service process, and what has been the pattern over time (For instance, the complaints at the stage of telephone inquiry, pick-up time, repeat complaints, delivery delays, initial telephone clarifications after sale, etc.)
•What are the categories of complaints, and what has been the pattern of complaints over time (Categories: complaints regarding software installation, hardware, power supply, delays because of: parts availability, late pick up, late delivery)
•What are the existing controls in the company, and how do they compare to industry norms
•What are the norms and control systems recommended (These norms generally relate to outcome and behavior controls and systems.) Controls and norms would be norms such as:
1.percentage of calls where problems should be solved on the phone
2.maximum percentage of repeat complaints
3.average repair time
4.average delivery time
5.maximum average breakage allowed
6.average repair cost per laptop
7.average number of laptops repaired per technician per day
Examine Appendix 5a for information on potential government sources of information to assist in solving Jason's research question. Beginning sources can be from the FCC or FTC that focus on difficulties with customer complaints and their common sources. Articles may be obtained on customer satisfaction versus customer complaints and their sources of complaint. A "What" search is recommended. See Exhibits 5a-2 and 5a-3 for additional ideas.