STANDARD DISSERTATION TOPIC AND OUTLINE

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Topic: Credit Crunch and Financial Crisis Effect on Consumer Buying Behaviour

1. Introduction

1.1 Aims and Objectives

The aim of the research is to assess the impact of the global financial crisis on the changes in consumer behaviour in the UK.

The objectives of the research are:

  • To discuss the causes of the global financial crisis;
  • To find out the factors that determine consumer buying behaviour;
  • To assess how the changes in the economy have affected consumer buying behaviour in the UK.

The question of the research is: “To what extent has the global financial crisis affected consumer buying behaviour in the UK?”

2. Literature Review

2.1. Theoretical Frameworks

This study uses several theoretical frameworks as the foundation for the research. These include the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs, Howard-Sheth Model, Andresen Model and Stimuli-Response Model. Additionally, theoretical literature argues that consumer buying behaviour is significantly affected by internal factors, which are reflected in the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the Theory of Reasoned Actions. However, academic literature also distinguishes the role of external shocks to consumer behaviour, which can be found in the Consumer Decision Model.

3. Research Methodology

3.1. Design of Research

The design of the research is shaped by its philosophy, approach and strategy. This investigation is guided by the philosophy of positivism, which suggests that logic, deduction and statistical or scientific analysis are the sources of knowledge. This philosophy is contrasted to interpretivism, which views social reality as a dynamic system that cannot be analysed using quantitative methods, and that different interpretations can be given to the reality. This study is approached using deduction, which implies a testing of the theory or hypothesis and is used to validate empirical observations with scientific methods. This approach is contrasted to induction, which is generally used for building a theory. The survey is the main research strategy implemented in this study. This strategy has been preferred to such alternatives as the case study and action research because the survey allows for collecting multiple observations in a rather short period of time. Moreover, this strategy is consistent with a deductive approach and positivism, which will allow for the quantitative analysis of the data to answer the research question.

4. Findings and Analysis

The findings are expected to reveal significant changes in consumer buying behaviour. This chapter will show the types of products and services that suffered a decline in demand from consumers during the global financial crisis, how spending patterns of consumers changed, how consumer preferences were altered and what can be done by marketing professionals and companies to restore the demand, retain customers and increase sales.

5. Discussion and Conclusion

This chapter will discuss the findings of the research in light of the reviewed literature and theoretical frameworks. The results are expected to be consistent with the previous research conducted in a similar context. However, some differences can be expected since the studies use different methodologies and different data to achieve the results. The discussion of results is followed by the conclusions, in which the research question will be answered and all aims and objectives addressed.