The hallmark of an educated entrepreneur is that they utilize the scientific method to develop workable solutions, rather than relying on gut instinct. The scientific method involves developing a hypothesis, which is a possible solution that needs to be investigated to determine if it is a viable and an appropriate solution. The nature of the problem and the hypothetical solution dictates the type of information that must be gathered. The actual investigation, or research, involves collecting valid evidence (data) from a variety of sources using either primary or secondary research, comprising either quantitative data, or qualitative data. The analysis of this evidence then leads to the development of logical explanations that are supported by that data. The researcher must also be able to communicate that knowledge in a succinct and understandable way that further enables to entrepreneur to defend the conclusions and move ahead with management decisions based or a sound footing of scientifically rigorous evaluation.
The Unit 2 Assignment will give you the opportunity to demonstrate a rigorous approach to some basic research.
In last week’s assignment, you looked at TOMS® Shoes as your company of focus. This week, you are continuing this look and will build upon this by completing some unique “secondary” research using academic research sources, such as the Library, Google Scholar and similar sources. “Unqualified” sources such as Wikipedia, blogs, about.com or ezines.com are unacceptable.
In completing your Unit 2 Assignment, please do the following:
- Evaluate primary and secondary resources for research by answering the following:
- Define primary research and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of primary research.
- Define secondary research and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of secondary research.
- Conduct your own “secondary” research on TOMS® Shoes, to determine how the following micro environmental factors influence TOMS® Shoes’ strategy and decision making and how these same groups have their strategy and decision-making influenced by TOMS® Shoes. Be sure to include at least one or two strong paragraphs to communicate and defend your conclusions for each of the following micro environmental factors:
- TOMS® Shoes company employees and managers
- Suppliers who provide the products that TOMS® Shoes sells
- Marketing intermediaries who sell TOMS® Shoes’ products
- Competitors of TOMS® Shoes
- Customers of TOMS® Shoes
- The Public and other Stakeholders