Unit 8 Research project

Unit 8 Research project

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Table of Contents

Part-1 Research Proposal
1.1 This should cover brainstorming session where various suggestions about research topic can be discussed among student and tutor. Be free to mention as many research ideas as you possibly can.
The present research relates with the Harrods which is into the business of departmental store and the market competitiveness for Harrods would be examined through suitable factors involved the in the process of market competitiveness assessment of an organization. The five important elements of industry analysis and overall competitive analysis for Harrods i.e. bargaining power of consumers, bargaining power of suppliers, market rivalry, threat of substitute product and threat from the new entrants in market (Bradley, 2007). Depending upon the overall force for these factors competitiveness for Harrods would be decided in departmental business. Other research ideas for the present research includes determination of the employee satisfaction index for Harrods, to determine the impact of competitive advantage of Harrods on overall competitiveness in the market and determining brand perception among consumers of Harrods.
1.2 Discuss what factors influenced or motivate your choice of research ideas.
Selection of present research topic for determining competitive strength of Harrods has been done depending upon several factors given below:
§  Developing marketing strategy for Harrods based on the market competitiveness for the organization
§  Management of Harrods is keenly interested in exploring factors contributing in low market competitiveness for the organization
§  Area of competitiveness determination for Harrods is quite unexplored and need attention from management researchers
1.3 Provide at least ten references to backup these topics.
In order to initiate research on the market competitiveness of Harrods there are several sources which would be referred. The first source would be the extracts of interview with Michael porter would be referred in academy of management executives which would provide the general framework for competitiveness of an organization. Bringing discipline to strategy article would be referred from The McKinsey Quarterly in order to understand the various aspects of strategy formation in the organizational environment. Third article referred for the present research topic was pertaining to “The Five competitive forces that shape strategy” by Michael Porter which provides the broad framework in order to understand the five parameter affecting overall market competitiveness of the organization. Fourth article was referred through Strategic management journal named “A resource based view of the firm” authored by Werner Felt in order to understand resource present in the organization and their constraints. Fifth article pertains to McKinsey Quarterly named “Bringing discipline to strategy” and provides the strategic aspects for the organization. Sixth article provides the important of competitive forces in shaping strategy i.e. “How competitive forces shape strategy” authored by Porter. Competitive strategy framework authored by Michael Porter builds the general framework for developing competitive force analysis in present context. Understanding strategy aspects authored by Ireland talks about the important parts of strategy for the organizational context. Marketing management book authored by Kotler provides the complete framework and implementation of framework in context to particular organizations. Strategy Safari article authored by Mintzberg and Lampel provides the strategy aspect for the particular organization.     
1.4 Specify research questions for present research
Research questions confronted in the present research can be given as under:
§  To explore factors affecting the competitive advantage of Harrods in industry
§  To identify factor which limits the competitive advantage of Harrods in industry
§  To explore ways in order to enhance competitive advantage of Harrods for retail industry
1.5 Provide a Gantt chart with time scale on how you intend to proceed and complete your research
The present research for exploring competitive advantage of Harrods would be undertaken in four major phases which are given as under:
Project task
Time taken
Start data
End date
Research planning
Literature review
Data collection and analysis
Final business research thesis
Table 1: Showing the project timeline for current project
Figure 1: Showing the Gantt chart for the current project
Part-2 Research project
2.1 Research questions and research hypothesis
Research questions concerning the current project for determination of overall competitive strength for Harrods in retail industry can be given as under:
RQ1: What is the overall competitive strength of Harrods in retail industry?
RQ2: Which are the factors limiting and enhancing competitive strength for Harrods in retail industry in UK?
RQ3: What are the methods which can enhance the overall competitive advantage for Harrods in UK retail industry?
Research hypothesis based on the above research questions can be given as under:
H1: Harrods has high competitive strength among the various industry players in retail industry in UK.
H2: High rivalry between industry players is the limiting factor to competitive strength of Harrods while high bargaining power from suppliers is the motivating factor for Harrods in UK market.

H3: In order to enhance competitive advantage Harrods should develop low pricing strategy.