Assessment task 3 requires the preparation of a full project proposal that should contain the following components:
This is an individual research task. You are required to demonstrate your understanding of the relevant body of works to a real-life business research. We expect you to read and reflect on at least twenty recent refereed journal articles on your topic supported by any other evidence or information that can help refine the problem of your research, formulate conceptual framework and the methods of data collection and analysis. Please see detailed guidelines about specific research requirements on the unit Moodle site. You can write 3000 words maximum for this assignment. The cover page and the list of references are not counted in the word limit.
Price war is one of the devastating forms of interplay in the competitive world that have remarkable consequences. Companies suffer huge losses in terms of customer satisfaction and consumer equity. It is often assumed that lowering the prices of the services would attract more customers and this will overall increase the productivity of the companies. Therefore, this decrease in price often affects the overall productivity of the companies. This pricing pressure increases the level of competition among the companies and therefore, this affects the quality of the products. Customers want their products to be of high quality and therefore, this price war ultimately causes consumer dissatisfaction. The following research study will discuss about the impact of price war on product’s quality. Furthermore, this reduced quality of products overall causes dissatisfaction and this will also be discussed in detail.
2. Problem statement
Pricing strategy is one of the most competitive strategies in the Indian market that affect the overall market structure of the telecommunication industry. Kotler (2015) commented that market competition is prevalent irrespective of any product-based innovation. Companies try to invest in research and development sector that allows them to innovate new products and this increases the level of competition. Arasa & Gathinji (2014) opined that price war is the most threatening condition within Indian market that could affect the overall productivity of the employees. Bharti Airtel Limited is one of the fastest telecommunication industries that has been facing tremendous effects due to this increased price war. Bharti Airtel Limited employs about 25,400 employees and it has a total equity of about 743 billion (Airtel, 2018). The company has 2,327 billion assets and its net income is about 354 billion. It has been noticed that Reliance Company first initiated this price war. The company launched Jio network and this soon occupied the entire market. The company proposed to provide free calls along with high-speed internet at free prices. [Refer to Appendix 1]
It has been seen that these free calls and internet services attracted the customers and occupied almost 60% of the market. This Reliance Company provided 4G internet at relatively lowest prices and this grabbed the Indian market. Therefore, this initiated this price war among the companies and affected the other leading companies. Bharti Airtel limited is one of these affected companies and this price war affected the quality of the services. Moreover, this price war also affected the customer's perception about availing any services and therefore, the overall market structure of the company got affected. Bhadani, Shankar & Rao (2016) opined that price war among companies is one of the leading reasons behind increased customer dissatisfaction and resistance of the consumers from availing this Indian market.
3. Aims and objectives
Aim: The main aim of the research proposal will be to analyse the impact of price war on quality of products and customer dissatisfaction in case of Bharti Airtel telecommunication industry (BAL).
4. Research questions
The research questions of the research study are discussed as follows-
5. Justification of the research study
It has been seen that price war has a huge impact on the quality of the products and services. Sagar et al. (2015) commented that in case of Bharti Airtel Limited, there has been reduced number of consumers due to the increased price war among the competitors. However, Kasana & Chaudhary (2014) opined that most of the companies believe that reducing the price range would attract more customers and this would overall raise their income and productivity. Therefore, most of the companies exhibit huge loss due to this increased price war within the Indian market.
It has been seen that about 49% of Indian companies suffer huge losses due to this price war among the market. Moreover, it has also been seen that this price war affects the overall customer’s perception regarding any products. Therefore, it could be said that this price war overall affects the quality of the products (Association for Consumer Research, 2018). Furthermore, this price war also causes customer dissatisfaction and these impacts the quality of the products.
It has been seen that almost half of the companies get impacted due to this price war. In this case, Bharti Airtel Limited gets affected due to this Reliance Company on launching Jio network. Therefore, this affected the overall product quality and market price. Furthermore, it has also been seen that in this case, customers get dissatisfied on receiving lower quality of products and therefore, it is essential to understand the impact of a price war on the quality of products (Kotabe & Kothari, 2016). Pricing is one of the most essential criteria that affect the product quality and therefore, it is essential to understand the impact of this price war on products quality.
This research study will shed light on understanding and analysing the impact of price war on product quality and dissatisfaction of customers.
6. Potential output
The main outcome of this research proposal will be to evaluate the impact of this price war on product’s quality. Customers want high quality of products and therefore, this reduced quality of products affected the overall perception of customers. These customers get dissatisfied and this overall affected the profitability of the company. Moreover, it has also been seen that this price war causes customers dissatisfaction due to lower quality of products. Henceforth, it is essential to discuss about the impact of this price war so that companies could take effective steps in order to mitigate the issue faced by the consumers. They should be provided with proper hands high quality of products and therefore, it is essential to understand the impact of this price war. Moreover, it has also been seen that companies believe that this price war could improve the productivity of their companies since this would attract customers. However, it is essential to make them realise that this reduced pricing range would not have attracted customers but they could have been dissatisfied with lower quality of products.
7. Literature review
Price war has a definite impact on the quality of products and this affects the customer’s behaviour towards any services of telecommunications.
Primary and secondary data will be accumulated in order to carry out this research study. These data will be accumulated in an ethical manner in order to prevent any issues while conducting this study.
Research methods: The researcher will follow post-positivism research philosophy in order to carry out this study. In this case, a proper evaluation and analysis of price war and its impact on product quality will be evaluated by this research philosophy (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2010). Therefore, the researcher will choose this post-positivism philosophy in order to draw a conclusion from previous journals and studies.
The researcher will choose deductive research approach in order to understand the impact of a price war on customer's perception while availing any telecommunication services. The researcher will choose this approach since there is little scope for identifying and analysing new ideas that are related to the study (Wiegmann and Shappell, 2017). It has been seen that this price war has a definite impact on the quality of products and its effect on customer dissatisfaction will be evaluated with the help of this approach.
The researcher will choose descriptive research design while carrying out this study. It is essential to deduce the results in order to analyse the impact of this price war on customer’s perception regarding any products (Yin, 2013). It has been seen that in case of Bharti Airtel Limited, there has been reduced number of customers due to the increased price war among the competitive companies. Reliance Company has initiated this price war by launching Jio and therefore, it is essential to deduce data and information in order to analyse the impact on the customer. Furthermore, Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2010) commented that this descriptive design would help the researcher to analyse the qualitative data.
The researcher will use both qualitative as well as quantitative data analysis method in order to carry out this research study. The qualitative data will be collected from journals and interviews while the quantitative data will be retrieved with the help of demographic surveys and studies.
Primary data collection and analysis: In this case, the researcher will carry out primary quantitative data in order to carry out this research study. The researcher will provide a set of close-ended questionnaire in order to survey customers. These customers will be chosen by a simple random method from Bharti Airtel Limited in order to analyse the impact of price war of their satisfaction. This simple random sampling method will be chosen by the researcher in order to prevent any form of biases while conducting this research study. The researcher will choose this quantitative research method as it is essential to understand the impact of price war on quality of products. Customers of BAL will be better able to analyse this impact on their perception and buying behaviour. Therefore, the researcher will choose this quantitative data analysis method to obtain authentic information regarding the impact of price war. Moreover, the researcher will choose this questionnaire method as this will be less budget exhausting in comparison with qualitative method.
Secondary data collection and analysis: Secondary data is the type of academic literature that is already published in books or articles. Wiegmann and Shappell (2017) state the evidence from secondary data are most abundant in nature and can be verified easily. Secondary data source is economical and hence suitable to be used in budget-curtailed studies. Dignified databases and information repositories like Taylor and Francis, Elsevier and Springer will be referred to in the search of valid and transparent information regarding the present issue. Reports and trends on client preference can shed light on the issue. Qualitative data can be retrieved from articles and quantitative data are made available in governmental survey reports.
Ethical consideration: Ethical considerations in research studies are standards that enable the researcher to conduct the study from a strong moral viewpoint. Researcher will obtain informed consent from the participants prior to the data collection stage. Any personal data will be archived securely until the conclusion is reached, and destroyed after that. Researcher would also prevent fabrication or falsification of information (influenced by Kasana & Chaudhary, 2014). Researcher will collect and document secondary data to provide in a way that provides ample attention on the original source of the insight or opinion. Compliance to Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 encourages the researcher to avoid plagiarism in the analysis and documentation of secondary information.
9. Project schedule and budget
Table 9.1: Project budget
(Source: Given by Student)
The table shows the essential costs to reduce client dissatisfaction in the present price war between Bharti Airtel and its competitors. Installation of fibre optics and a better server would boost the customer service quality. Employee training, incentives and business expansion can also give rise to enhanced services (Bhadani, Shankar & Rao, 2016). Overhead and miscellaneous costs are critical to establishing a healthy and productive task force.
Thus from the above information, it can be stated that Bharti Airtel must ensure that the present price war with its competitors does not affect its clientele base. It can be recommended to make further investment to recognise the needs and preferences of the clients. Airtel must expand and strengthen its network by the use of fifth generation server and fibre optics for a better bandwidth. Use of a primary quantitative method has ensured faster recognition of market trends. Secondary information on qualitative and quantitative nature has provided significant evidential backup to the observed primary data. The planned budget has been influenced by essential factors that are linked to the proposed issue. The limitation of this study is its time and budget bound nature. However, the researcher has implemented the available resources to accumulate and analyse the data in a critical manner.
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Appendix 1: Competitive pressure on industries
Appendix 2: Demographics of Indian telecommunication industries