This chapter presents the methodology and the design that is to be used in carrying out the study of Airbnb which is an online platform that connects house owner to the people who are looking for accommodation. The research mainly focuses on the success of the system in Western countries and wants to find out whether this achievement of Airbnb could be achieved in China. It further describes the research design, the model, the study area, target population, sampling techniques and sample size, type and source of data, research instruments to be used, the pilot study, data collection and data analysis. The research is aimed at benefiting the people of China and also those who visit China and may want to seek accommodation. Besides, helping the guest, it would also make it will easy for the host to market their accommodation facilities.
The research design of this study will be a survey of China. A survey is a detailed examination of a sampled individual unit from a population. The study's principal aim is to find out factors and relations among the influences that have impacted the behavior under which a researcher is carrying out the research. The strategy of the investigation that best suited the study was found to be a survey as it would be quick and would give the active response and hence, enhancing the meeting of the objective.
Additionally, a survey will be used in carrying the research on Airbnb thou a traditional method it is meant to seek reality in non-experimental descriptive. This approach was found to be suitable for the study as it will be able to capture a lot of information from the consumers of Airbnb for the instant their usage habits, user interface friendliness of the platform among others.
The population to be used in examining how the Airbnb system can be utilized in the Chinese market to be successful like many western countries which have used it will be narrowed down to thirty consumers. The thirty Chinese are to have used Airbnb platform regardless whether he or she was a host or guest. Reduced number of people to take part in the study is due to financial constrain. The selected participants will be expected to give their expectation when using the Airbnb and also advise on it the improvement.
Prior research has indicated that Airbnb has been widely used worldwide in the recent year with over two million people. Although this figure of users has only 1.5 percent people using Airbnb from China, this percentage would make about 30000 users. However, due to the financial difficulties and the time outlays the proposal will only have a sampled size of 30 users from China. Tested size will have both the hosts and guest who are familiar with the platform.
The sampling method to be used is purposive where customers who have used Airbnb services will be randomly picked to participate in the provision of information in the study area. In China, there are many accommodation provision companies as many people visit the country for business purpose hence a large population of both hosts and accommodation seekers. Researcher through the purposeful random sample can select the persons who are readily available and convenient to respond to the question. Random sampling method enabled the researcher to sample out 30 users out of the estimated 30000 users in China.
The study will attempt to analyze the factors that have led to the success of Airbnb in Western countries and other factors that have influenced less number of users of the system in China. The achievement of these will be through the use of the question formulated to the sampled size. The interview guide will be the source of both secondary and primary data to be fetched from the user of the Airbnb.
While carrying out the interview the interviewer has to poses some qualities that will help him or her be able to capture a lot of quality information from the interviewee. One of the qualities includes being a good listener, who is able to create a good and conducive environment for the respondents to be able to tell their view on the subject. The listener has to not only listen to the verbal message but also the non-verbal message like emotions of the interviewee which is important while carrying out research. Keeping eye contact, adopting any open posture and staying relaxed will aid ease the interviewee to speak out.
Most respondents prefer to answer open questions because the questions are simpler to interprets and understanding. Open questions, unlike closed question prompt the interviewee to respond freely. For example, instead of asking the interviewee do you like Airbnb? It is better to ask tell me about Airbnb? The second question is open, general and does not limit the way the respondent will answer. Using who, when, what, where are to be used in the interview to get information about places while how and why will give motivation to the listener and interviewee. No follow up question will be included in the research interview or probing the interviewee as this might demoralize the interviewee and have a negative attitude towards the interview. Probing leads to biased respondent which reduces the quality of results and finds gotten from the interview. One example of probing question can be Who do you feel about the interview and are you will to be interviewed next time. Instead the listener should appreciate and welcome the person to be interviewed.
The interview will help single out reality from the Chinese community how they view the system the influences and other factors. Administering of the interviews will be done in some hotels in China which have implemented the system. The hotel managements are urged not to influence the guests on what or how to respond to the questions as this would limit acquiring the right information that is needed.
Interviewing of the sampled size will also be used to acquire information. Simply, interviews are questions that subjected to the people relating to the topic that the interviewer is researching on. Discussions are grouped into two face to face interviews and telephone interviews. Face to face interviews could be the qualitative and quantitative approach, but on these study, it will only take the quantitative approach. Despite the approach been expensive, it is aimed at collecting more complex information, unlike other data collection method. Face to face is only limited to acquiring most personal and sensitive information.
Face to face Interviews will be scheduled a date which all the participants will be made aware of the dates to avail themselves in the nearest listed hotel. The interviews questions will be different depending on how one would be knowledgeable about the first series of question which would be similar for all the interviewee.
Also, telephone interviews will be implemented as they are economical and also effective in the collection of data on usage Airbnb in China and Western countries. There is need to have the telephone address of the sample population who are to be interviewed. The questions to be asked are to interviewed in this approach are to be direct, precise and short. Although the length of the phone call is limited but vary depending on subject area and the motivation.
Interviewing have shortcoming, for instance, they can be time-consuming and expensive to carry out which may limit the quality of data collected. The researcher of Airbnb proposes to resolve the two disadvantages by reducing the number of participants to reduce cost. On the issue of time, the researcher has opted to increase the duration that the study will take time.
A group discussion is a conversion between a numbers of researchers debating a specific topic with an aim of collecting data. Group discussion is a cheaper a quicker means of getting important data. The participants are introduced to the topic and reflect on the study like example how China can replicate the use of Airbnb like the way Western countries’ this data collection method has difficulty in managing the discussion and also controlling the participants. The validity and reliability of focus discussion on this research is poor and contributed to its elimination as the discussions are not replicated. Some people are introverts and may not be willing to contribute and others may want to dominate the group and cause conflicts among all the people participating in the discussions. Additionally, the method poses a challenge to recording of the data as it is not easy to take notes when many people are talking at the same time. Tape recording could only record only the closest and not clear. After the evaluation of all the data collection methods the researcher found out that the best suited method is interview as will be able to capture all the required data.
Questionnaires were viewed as ineffective for this study as not all people know how to read and write. Also, questionnaires are expensive to administer as will add a cost of writing materials to the budget as compared to interview. Questionnaires are inadequate as does not incorporate some form of information like emotions, feelings and emotions making it hard. The validity of the questionnaires in the context of this study is minimal as compared to the validity of other data instruments. The understanding of people may differ and hence their response may be biased depending on their interpretations of the questions.
Reliability of the Data Collection Instrument
Reliability of data instruments can be defined as the level of consistency which the data instruments measure the feature it is designed for research. The data instruments used in this study are considered reliable. Interview questions which are to be answered by the two group of users that is the host and guest are expected to reveal constituency in response. Acquiring of biased data would be reduced through administration of interviews been done by the researcher. Geographical and psychological location where the data collection will take place that is in the selected hotels is made comfortable for both the interviewee and interviewer as it will ensure privacy and confidentiality. Through creating a rappel between the research and the sampled users would her reduce the tension that can led to incorrect data. The interactions also helps the interviewer learn the strength and weakness of interviewee thus able to create a friendlily and conducive environment for them.
The use of interview is expected to be effective as both phone call interview and face to face interview have weakness, but they when used together complement each other when used together. This will therefore help in improving the dependability and reliability of the methods of collection of data. Dependability is the degree of the measures that would be implemented in use the data collection instruction giving the correct results.
A letter of introduction from the institution will be required to underscore the drive of the research objective before the commencement of the research. It is also important that a close rapport is reached between the researcher and the respondents as it will aid in understanding each other and ease the achievement of the research objectives. It is important as the respondents would provide all information without the fear of being disclosed to other people. A collection of data is to be carried out systematically and strictly monitored.
The interviewer will document the responses and interaction of the respondents regarding the issue under discussion. Phone and face to face interview will be tape recorded and then transcribed word for word. The transcribed text will be coded and placed in their various themes after which data analysis will begin taking place. The researcher will need to tape record the whole interview while taking notes on the same. Quotes that are deemed relevant and are direct will be written down. The researcher will need to include the basic demographic information including the title of the interview, time it takes place, date, respondent’s features, and location. The second aspect is for the researcher to review the tapes and notes written down and to commence writing down an interpretation and analysis of the information provided as per the themes of the research.
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The chapter of research design in this proposal has outlined research methodologies, approaches and design that the researcher will employ in the course of the research. As discussed, the design that will be used in the Airbnb replication in China includes the use of qualitative research approach with interview guide as the key tool for data collection. Further, the author has explained the interview procedure, data analysis methods and the justifications of the methods of data collections used. There is an examination of other data instrument and reasons that caused them to be ruled out. The research design proposed was a survey which was sampled down from 300000 consumers to a sampled size of 30 users. The next chapter will be results and findings which will attempt to analyze the data collected through interview and get the results.
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