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7.0 Limitations of the research

The main weakness of the research has come about because of the fact that it underwent a metamorphosis following the paraphrased transcription of the interview. This meant that, even thought the interview was applied to the new topic, the research process was not designed specifically for the hypothesis in question. The following defects were found within the research process upon concluding:

  • While the interviews do go someway towards proving which aspects of the various marketing theories can be extracted using the twelve point framework there is no prove of a theory not being utilized by the organisation. This means that, while the interview exposed evidence of several theories, it did not provide any hard evidence that certain theories, or aspects of theories, were not used by the organisation. For example, the interview did not reveal any evidence of CRM within the company but also did not prove that the CRM concept was ignored by International Aviation. This could be viewed as a flaw in the interview technique.
  • Due to the initial study having a focus on the aviation industry the metamorphosis study was forced to use a case study organisation from within that industry. This meant that a specialist industry was used in which areas of traditional marketing theory did not apply [the place aspect of the various theories]. In retrospect it would be more productive to use an organisation that was not so specialised as the sample organisation or ideally to use more than one.
  • Continuing to build upon the previous limitation [regarding sample] the study would have benefited from more depth which could be obtained by interviewing a larger sample.
  • The academic approach to establishing the foundation of the marketing mix and proving that Borden’s framework was the most extensive marketing mix model could have, in hindsight been more neutral. Whereas the approach taken was to find evidence of links between the twelve point framework and the other models a supplementary section that attempted to disprove the links would have had value in increasing the credibility of the research.
  • To reveal a more accurate set of finding the information gathered during the analysis of International Aviation’s website could also be applied to the findings. This would show further evidence of the six I’s model [as an example there would be evidence of International Aviation applying the “interactive” aspect of the model]. The decision to omit this research from the conclusions was made because the new hypothesis, that the research aimed to test, was to discover how effective the twelve point framework was in retrospect of the newer theories therefore it was decided that the findings should come solely from the interview.
  • Although the number of traditional marketing mix theories that were tested was quite extensive the number of newer theories were lacking. The total of three modern theories [CRM, push and pull and the six I’s] was not really enough to make a broad generalisation about how Borden’s framework stands up by against the modern marketing. While the value of the research would have been increased by evaluating the framework against more theories the word count restrictions limited this possibility.

Overall, even with the research limitations, the final completed dissertation provides a valuable insight into the use of Borden’s twelve point framework in today’s economic climate while still allowing for focus on the researchers initial area of interest, the aviation training industry.

As highlighted in the original research proposal the value of this research would increase if it was added to an online knowledge bank (Bassey 1999) that was indexed and searchable by academics who wish to further their knowledge by reviewing existing literature. This is because the completed paper would be available and indexed with similar research projects so each piece of additional unique research would add value to the overall indexed topic. A suitable index for similar papers to this could be the credibility of traditional marketing models in today’s society or the evolution of the marketing mix.

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