Measurement Techniques

Measurement Meaning, Role and Techniques

Table of Contents:-

Meaning of Measurement

In organizations, each functional area of management (production, marketing, finance, and personnel) makes numerous decisions. Among all the decisions, decisions taken in the marketing function an heavily based on the attitude of the current/potential customers of a company. Measurement is the process of observing and accurately documenting the data gathered during a research endeavour. Technically speaking measurement can be defined as the systematic process of mapping various attributes within a specific domain onto corresponding values within a defined range. In measuring, we devise some form of scale in the range (in terms of set theory, the range may refer to some set) and then transform or map the properties of objects from the domain (in terms of the domain may refer to some other set) onto this scale.

For example, in case we are to find the male-to-female attendance ratio while conducting a study of persons who attend some show, then we may tabulate those who attended the show according to sex.

Definition of Measurement

According to G.C. Helmstadter, “Measurement is a process of obtaining a numerical description of the extent to which a person or object possesses some characteristics”.

According to Johan Galtung, “Measurement is the mapping of the values on a set of numbers”.

According to Kerlinger, “Measurement is the assignment of numerals to objects or events according to rules”.

The primary application of this data is in the field of marketing, where managers seek to understand the opinions and attitudes of both existing and potential users toward their product, service, concept, or idea. This knowledge of attitudes could result in decisions which would be effective and sensible. Some examples of managerial decisions which rely on attitude measurement are product positioning and market segmentation, advertisement message decisions etc.

The measurement of attitudes typically centres on beliefs and emotional sentiments. It is important for marketers. Marketers try to understand these attitudes and influence them to attain a competitive edge in the market. Measuring attitudes is a challenging task. Unlike measuring physical attributes such as height or weight, attitude measurement scales are less precise. Researchers can employ various attitude scales to measure attitudes with precision. Attitude has objective reference and trait has subjective.

For example, one, who has a hostile attitude towards some poor people, may be hostile only to poor people but if one has the trait hostility, is to a high extent hostile towards everyone.

Role of Measurement in Research

Measurement plays the following roles in research:

1) Allows Quantification and Statistical Sophistication

Measurement plays an important role in research design across two key areas. Firstly, measurement allows researchers to quantify abstract constructs and variables. Additionally, the level of statistical sophistication in data analysis depends directly on the measurement scale used to quantify the variables of interest.

2) Important for Research Approach

Decisions regarding measurement influence the way the researcher will approach and solve all the other problems that arise in completing the research. Consequently, choosing the research measures is an essential and pivotal step in the research process. Moreover, if the researcher carefully selects good measures early in the planning phase, he will be more likely to conduct a better research project.

3) Provide an Important Set of Tools

Measurement procedures and instruments are essential tools for enhancing the quality of information used in decision making. This applies to research findings and their potential influence on policy or program changes. However, measurement instruments only give some of the facts. Researchers (decision-makers) must use these fits within their appropriate real-world, political context to decide upon their interpretation and use. Measurement instruments serve as tools, not ultimate goals, in the research process. Their purpose lies in facilitating the analysis and interpretation of data, tasks that only the researcher can undertake. This is a crucial point to remember when evaluating any potential measure for your study.

4) Allows Making Systematic Observations

Measurement allows making systematic observations of what is happening in a situation, and are likely to understand the situation far better, than if depended upon subjective evaluation alone. Personal finances provide a strong illustration of the impact of this statement. Many individuals struggle to manage their money because they lack awareness of their spending habits. Many people find it surprising that their subjective perceptions of spending habits differ from reality when they meticulously track all expenses over two months.

5) Allows summarising information

Information measured systematically allows summaries of the information more efficiently and is particularly helpful in understanding and interpreting the data collected. In addition, the researcher can communicate this information to others in a more succinct, practical fashion, such as in the form of tables, charts, and graphs. Presenting research findings in an engaging, concise, easily understandable, and practical manner is more likely to capture the attention of potential consumers.

Related Articles:

Measurement Techniques

In general, there are four techniques available to a researcher, which are as follows:

  1. Questionnaires
  2. Depth Interviews
  3. Attitude Scales
  4. Observation
Measurement Techniques

Measurement techniques are explained below:

1) Questionnaires

This is a set of questions, used as an instrument for seeking relevant information directly from respondents like behaviour, demographic characteristics, knowledge, opinion, attitude, belief and feelings. Generally, a question or set of questions represents a variable used in research. Researchers develop these tools with the unique requirements of a specific study in mind, ensuring their validation before application. However, it’s important to note that in several research studies, researchers may choose to utilize standardized inventories or tests designed and tested by external experts.

2) Attitude Scales

These scales elicit self-reports of beliefs and feelings towards an object. There are various types of attitude scales, including:

i) Multi-dimensional scales and scales developed using conjoint analysis used for inferring specific aspects of an individual’s attitude towards an object against the direct evaluation of the respondents (as in the first two scaling methods).

ii) Rating scales involve placing the object on a numerically ordered continuum as per the respondent’s judgment;

iii) Composite scales that require the respondent to express a degree of belief about several attributes of an object;

3) Observation

This is a direct examination of behaviour or results of behaviour. These procedures require a person to dedicate his or her attention to the behaviours of an individual or group in a natural setting for a certain period. Using disinterested, pre-trained, unbiased observers enhances the credibility of this approach, and that’s its primary advantage. Formal observations frequently highlight actions and attitudes that might be missed otherwise. Observations can be very time-consuming, and at times, they can make those being observed uncomfortable. The presence of an observer alters what is taking place in a situation.

4) Depth Interviews

These are interviews in which individuals are made to express their emotions without any fear of disagreement or disapproval. The details are documented on specially designed sheets. In-depth interviews are useful when one wants detailed information about a person’s thoughts and behaviours or wants to explore new issues in depth. An interview is frequently employed to provide context to other data, such as outcome data, which helps create a more comprehensive understanding of what occurred in the program and why. In-depth interviews should be used in place of focus groups if the potential participants may not be included or comfortable talking openly in a group, or when one wants to distinguish individual (as opposed to group) opinions about the programme. They are frequently used to fine-tune questions for future surveys targeting a specific group.

You May Also Like:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top