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Radio-Frequency Identification

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Introduction

Radio-frequency identification, RFID, is a new technology which is used to transfer data from a small tag which is usually attached to the object on sale. The technology is used to monitor and determine the movement of items in a store or in a factory where they are manufactured. This technology is non contact and use radio-frequency electromagnetic fields. In some cases, no batteries are needed for the hip or tag to be felt. The tag usually contains electronic information regarding the object it is attached on. The chip or tag  can be felt by the reading machine from far, unlike in bar codes where the bar has to be very near to the reader for it to sense. The use of the technology has been on the rise in many sectors as will be discussed in the paper. Some of the uses are in retail outlets, monitoring of pets and animals, pharmaceuticals among others. These will allow the management team to be able to determine the position of a product within an organization. There have been critics on the use regarding the privacy of a person if it is used on someone. However, there are many more benefits associated with the technology, surpassing the concerns of the critiques. Due to its efficiency and success in the areas it has been used, this technology will only become more popular and will be adopted in more areas than it currently done today (Koh, Kim & Kim 2006).

In this study, Radio Frequency Identification in relation to the retail industry will be examined. The effects of this technology on the performance of the business world will be looked into and the causal relationship examined. An expert in this industry will be used to collect data and available data regarding the issue examined in order to come up with a knowledgeable and well informed research. In this case, previous studies on the use of RFID will be heavily consulted and the data collected used to draw explanations on the effects of RFID in the retail industry. During the process of data collection, a retail expert who has knowledge regarding the use of RFID will be consulted. The major categories that will be ascertained from the study will be (a) improvement of inventory management, (b) retail cycle velocity, (c) the business model, and (d) efficiency of velocity operations of the store. Further, the problems attributed to the use of the technology were highlighted. The intrusion of the privacy of the customer due to the use of the technology was the main challenge. The goods are sold with the tag and the movement of the customer would be monitored or the item is used to profile the owner. This is a high level of violation of ones privacy rights. The study was able to conclusively connect the use of RFID to bring the factors such as improved cycle of retail business as well as better management of the inventory (Koh, Kim & Kim 2006).

Literature Review

Koh, Kim & Kim (2006) notes the potential benefits of RFID as numerous for all stakeholders in retailing industries. Some of these benefits include reduced labor costs, simplified business processes, improved inventory control, increased sales, and reduced shrinkage. In fact, many retailers and suppliers have already initiated various projects to utilize the technology, such as Wal-Mart, which has mandated its top suppliers to start using RFID on cases and pallets. Studies have shown that most companies are intensely interested in the technology as a means to improve operation and gain competitiveness in the market. A recent study, commissioned by Wal-Mart, empirically demonstrated that RFID improves inventory management by significantly reducing downtime from stock turnover (Hardgrave 2005). It is predicted that the global RFID market will reach $3.0 billion by 2008, with a minimum annual growth rate of 23% (Chen 2004).

For the retail industry, bar codes have long been an important technology for Quick Response (QR) by helping the industry save production costs, hold inventories low, and prevent overstocking (Fiorito, et. al. 1998; Hill 2004; Ko & Koncade 1997; Sweeney 1995). Recently, apparel retailers such as Benetton and Prada have consid­ered RFID as a new technology to reinvigorate the trend of “quick-response” (Shim 2003). Retail chains, such as Marks & Spencer, are expected to benefit the most from the technology because it could support the industry’s increasing demand for speed, frequent delivery, and collaborative planning along the value chain (Koh, Kim & Kim 2006). The technology can be particularly beneficial to high velocity retailers, because it can revo­lutionize and accelerate the way products are designed, manufactured, transported, and inventoried. To maximize the benefit and minimize the risk associated with RFID, retailers need to identify critical success factors for increasing competitive advantage through the use of the technology, and assess the challenges and issues that it poses.

Technological Innovation in Retail Industry

Today, retailers is face many serious challenges due to the rapidly chang­ing market conditions, which are further escalated by the increasing global competition, expaetcations of higher by both customers and market, and the ever evolving technologies (Lin et al. 2002). During the past three decades, the industry has grown significantly due to tech­nological innovations, and by adopting supply-chain management techniques, such as QR, which combines technologies, modular layouts, process reengineering, total quality management, and employee involvement (Fiorito, et. al. 1998; Kincade 1995; Ko & Kincade 1997). While QR has been a successful initiative for the retail industry, there is a growing need for a new technology to sustain and revive its vitality in order to deal with the increasing market pressure and customer demand. The industry wel­comes RFID as a possible solution to this challenge, although it is not clear what the limits of the technology and how to harness it to maximize its benefits while control­ling its risks. Accordingly, there is demand for a comprehensive framework of RFID that can be used as a roadmap for researchers as well as practitioners.

Benefits of RFID for Retailing

The Radio Frequency Identification technology is being touted as a tool to revolutionize the way of doing business due to its far reaching impacts on a wide range of processes such as manufacturing, material handling, logistics, cashless payment, inventory tracking and management, safety and security, and customer service (Chen 2004; TIBCO 2005). With RFID technology, a retail business can provide better customer service along with improvements in store layout, adjacencies, fitting rooms, and customer amenities (Koh, Kim & Kim 2006). For instance, RFID can help retail businesses track stock more efficiently by beaming out a product identity code, plus the type, size, and color when prompted by a radio signal from a nearby RFID reader (Koh, Kim & Kim 2006). In other cases, specialty apparel retailers, such as Zara and Prada in Europe, enhance their ability to design, manufacture, and stock the latest products in disposable chic fashions that change almost weekly by monitoring and responding to consumer preferences more effectively and promptly (RFID Journal 2004; Koh, Kim & Kim 2006).

For retailing, RFID technology has numerous advantages over the prevailing bar code technology, for suppliers, retailers, and consumers. Some of these benefits include: (a) improved accuracy in managing inventory; (b) improved visibility of orders and inventory; (c) reduced costs for logistical operation; (d) improved efficiency of store operation; (e) shorter retail cycle of designing, manufacturing and stocking the latest products; (f) improved sales floor planning for desired styles, sizes, and colors; (g) improved customer service; and (h) improved security, among others. RFID promises many benefits, and as such, it is not hard to understand why retailers are eager to integrate the technology. However, it is imperative to recognize that RFID has limitations, which must be addressed and resolved, before technologist benefits can be realized.

Exploratory Analysis of RFID Applications

Due to the lack of a comprehensive framework of RFID technology, this preliminary and exploratory study was conducted to identify as many issues and concerns related to the technology as possible. We searched ABI Index for all articles with the keyword “RFID.” ABI Index is one of the most comprehensive indexing systems available for business-oriented publications. The search returned 1,177 articles published between 1985 and the first half of 2004. For each article returned, we recorded all keywords used to describe the article by the index, which resulted in 113 substantially distinct keywords. Table 1 shows the top ten keywords and the count of articles in which each keyword was covered by year. Notably, most of the top ten keywords in the table (e.g., inventory, retail, supply chain, logistics, and market) provide support for a commonly held contention that RFID has the most profound impact on supply chain and inventory management, particularly in retail.

Research question

The research question for the study will be: what is the extent of use of the RFID technology and what are the impacts of automation on retail outlet stores?

Aims and Objectives

To determine the extent of adoption of the RFID technology among the retailers

To determine the benefits that the retailers get from the use of the technology

To determine the effects of using RFID to the customers

To determine the reception status of the technology

To determine the examples of places where the technology is being used

Materials and Methods

The research was carried out in the form of issuing an interview questionnaire. An in-depth discussion of the matter was made between Mr Imad, who is the company Information Technology Project manager at the retail downstream company, and the researcher. Mr Imad takes responsibility for the automation of retail operations in fuel stations as convenience stores and the sale of gasoline in all outlet sites in the emirate. Further, old works were visited and several journals that gave clear information about the previous studies were consulted. The methods of data collection were excellent in this form of research that is not numeric and the results are aimed to answer aims and objectives that can not be quantified. The research seeks explanations and involves a large group of people such as the retailers. The consultation of previous studies has also been used since some of the data obtained may not clearly reflect he whole picture. When the research findings are combined with findings of previous studies better and more reliable results were expected. The interviews would give unlimited information necessary for the study thus provides the researcher with as much entry points and understanding as he can get. The method of analysis was textual since there was no numerical data collected during the research. Qualitative research requires that the correct methods are put in use. This is because it is a complicated and subjective form of research that requires professional and ethical methods of data collection in order to get the correct information. During the research, two methods were employed, interview and internet ethnography.

Review of the Methods Used

The methods used in the research were chosen carefully to ensure that all the desired areas are well covered. Interviews and internet ethnography were chosen. Interviews have been used in the past and have been best in some of the most sophisticated qualitative surveys. They have been efficient in the delivery of the required information since the respondent and the researcher have the time to talk and fill any gaps that the respondent might have left during the response. This ensures that the research is successful in terms of information used though the researcher should be at the best in controlling time and resources available for the research. If interviews are well carried out, they give a very broad point of view on the issues that need to be covered. It also gives the researcher a better understanding of the people that the study is carried out around.

The other method used was internet ethnography. This is a new method that replaces the traditional methods of ethnography research. With the increase in the internet use, there has been need for researchers to get a way to integrate their research techniques in the advancing technology. There are many difficulties that are associated with the switch from the traditional social research methods with the new internet ethnography. Data gathering, interviews, online observations, and the analysis of the supplementary material used in the research are among the most important issues that should be addressed before this new method is completely used in future studies (Sade-Beck 2004).

Internet has incorporated human and mass media, and has therefore introduced a new mode of human communication (Sade-Beck 2004). This is because the media has allowed people to get feedbacks as opposed to most other electronic media such as television and radio. The users are in this case active participants in passing of information (Sade-Beck 2004). It allows people to navigate and in that sense move from one place to another while sitting from the same place. One is able to move from one site to the next through the click of the mouse.  Its accessibility is also made easier and more efficient due to its operations on any day of the week at any hour. This creates a very rapid, immediate and multi-layered world, which does not imitate the traditional ways of communication.

Internet has been integrated into the society and has been included in the social changes that the present day society is currently undergoing. A new social friendship has been formed where the people are getting closer together and forming bonds through the new technology. It is therefore hard to alienate the society from internet. However, the new social bond is in a form where there is no face-to-face meeting, yet the communication is very efficient. In most cases, the conversations are held through writing where it can be in real time, while in other cases it could be in a form where messages are left and replied later. In any case, there is a very efficient conversation that has been in place and the society has since embraced. However, there remain conflicting issues over whether this is as efficient as it is documented since the facial and physical emotions can not be displayed on the conversation which is done through writing. However, studies have shown that there is a perfect emotional expression through the medium, coupled with increased self exposure (Sade-Beck 2004). In the recent past, the innovation of video conferencing and visual transmission has further created a better and more efficient way of increasing social intimacy.

 Different authors have defined internet ethnography in different ways. Some regard the mode of research as an important way of studying the cultural dynamics while some term it as an important tool that can not only be as a research field, but also as one that can be used in gathering of data. There are however many complex challenges involved in the processes that involve internet due to its unending social integration. It is hard to learn from a specific society since internet is accessible to everyone. It also changes with every passing day and will need regular updates and regulation. The anonymity of internet users is also a barrier.

When the method is used to collect data, the respondent usually writes the answers and it is perceived that he or she has enough time to think about the answer that he would give. This gives the researcher less concrete answers than a face to face interview. In this case, the real-world response is lost. This creates a difference between the real world and the virtual world. It is therefore important that the researcher incorporates other methods of data collection other than solely using internet ethnography.

Interview Method

This refers to the data collection method where the researcher identifies the most knowledgeable person in the area of research and prepares a session to interview that person. It involves asking questions to the participant and ensuring that the question is answered with details and depth to give as much information as possible. It requires a lot of competence by the researcher in order to get the correct data that would not be exaggerated or scarce.

Advantages of Interviews

This method allows the interviewee to obtain the best data since the person to interview is carefully selected in order to obtain the best data. If the researcher is competent, he is able to control the emotions of the respondent and ensure that the data obtained s not biased as a result of change in emotions or boredom.

Unlike questionnaires, this method allows the r5epindent to get the wider understanding since the respondent is given the time to express himself with the attention of the researcher. Other methods such as questionnaires are used to collect data but the respondent is controlled in cases such as closed questionnaires.

Disadvantages of Interviews

The method requires high level of competence in dealing with people. The researcher should be able to control the emotions of the respondent and keep them on the desired track so that the correct information is obtained without being compromised. It is therefore hard for the research to be carried out by new researchers as they require profound guidance to get the best results from a research.

The method is time consuming. One has to get a proper preparation prior to the research. The preparation would involve notifying the respondent in order to allow them to create time for the interview. This leads to a waste of time and resources as the respondent ha to be allowed time to allow the researcher to carry out the research. At the same time, this method leads to the researcher spending a lot of time on one respondent leading to the long spells being spent on him. This is unlike questionnaires where the researcher can issue many questionnaires to many people at the same time.

Internet Ethnography

This method involves observation and examination of the available literature regarding the issue being researched on. The culture of the people being investigated is studied and incorporated in the findings of the research. Those who use this method of secondary method of data collection have to be part of the culture that they investigate and have a good understanding of the method. Failure to this, the researcher would end up with the wrong information that would result into the wrong data being obtained at the end of the day. Internet ethnography demands that one takes time to understand other people who use internet with regard to the issue they research on. When the researcher is involved in most of the internet data available, the results would be free from bias.

At the same time, interviews can be conducted online through video conferencing or messaging.

Advantages of Internet Ethnography

Since the researcher spends a lot of time with the people they research on, they are able to gat the fine details of the people’s culture and they are able to get the accurate details. They are able to make clarifications so that the correct information is collected and used for interpretation. This therefore allows the researcher to account for any inconsistencies that may arise during the presentation of the research findings. This method was therefore welcome in the RFID research since the different people who use internet in form of blogs to express their views regarding the use of the device express their views well and the researcher can easily interpret their feelings due to the extensive study of many blogs.

The method is also cheap since it only requires one to read information from the internet. Internet access and use in the recent past, has increased and made easier by the improved technology and increased popularity. Compared to other methods, this method is therefore easier and cheaper to use in research.

The method also ends to be accurate since many people who post their thoughts on internet are sincere and would not allow themselves to be discredited. The data obtained is therefore reliable. Further, if a person shows discontent over a commodity, it is in most cases true since they would only do that if they have reliable information regarding the weaknesses of that commodity.

Disadvantages of Internet Ethnography

This method may take some time to understand the people being researched on. This is because one first observes their thoughts and way of life before the necessary data is collected. The research could therefore take time to complete as compared to other methods where data is collected within a given time frame.

Internet mostly uses messages where the researcher conducts an interview in a messaging system, either in real time or in a passive way. When writing is used, the researcher may not get the actual information since the respondent is given time to think about the answer they would give, as opposed to face to face interviews. At the same time, the researcher would not be able to capture the facial expressions during the interview.

The method also requires a high level of competence and professionalism. This is because the researcher could get emotionally involved and this could lead to biased results. The researcher needs to be as indifferent as possible and should not get carried away by the sentiments of the research participants and the way they perceive things. At the same time, the participants have to be kept in the dark and not get aware of the fact that they are being interviewed on. This would result to their change in mannerisms and biased results.

Finally, people may behave differently due to certain conditions at that particular time. Such would include the political and technological environment of the time thus the researcher could collect the wrong data as a result of the prevailing conditions.

Data Analysis

The different responses of the respondents were analysed in words and statements. This was done in line with the research question, aims and objectives of the research. The information was presented in headings and well organised grammatical statements. The data from other studies was heavily consulted to compare it with the findings of the current study.

Findings and Implications

Retailer Advantages of using RFID

RFID would provide inventory Information on Real Time. Stock can therefore be easily controlled via monitoring stock outs, stock location within the store, and reduce the chances of inventory shrinkage. From this, better and more effective pricing mechanisms would be adopted. In a study that involved 71000 shoppers who faced a shop out of their desired product, more than half of the customers who would not find the product they need would not pick an alternative. This cost retailers about 4% of sales. A third would visit another retail outlet to find their desired product (Chappell et al 2003). Since stock outs accounts for about 8%, the use of RFID would reduce this level to a lower number which would be better and less costly to manage (Corsten, Daniel & Thomas 2004). Proctor and Gamble (P & G) is currently using the technology and they believe that if they reduced their stock out levels to about 2-3% of sales, they would have much higher profits (James 2004). Finally, the use of this new RFID technology would result to better service levels and support to sales. Labor Costs are reduced: In the retail outlets where RFID is used, manual operations are reduced. Checking of stock is no longer carried out through physical counting and what one machine can be able to do would be done by multiple persons. The retailer therefore cuts the costs of the operations and running of the premises. According to Chappell et al (2003)it is believed that RFDI, that is effectively run, reduces a wide range of cost channels such as stocking (cost is reduced by 22-30%), receiving (50-65%), checking out (22-30%), cycle counting (40-60%) and physical counting (90-100%).

The technology prevents theft, inaccurate stock taking as well as accountable inventory write-offs: The inaccurate stock taking, or inventory, is known as ‘shrinking’ in retailing terms. It is caused by theft by customers, employees, misplacement of items on the shelves, stock reordering among other irregularities within the premises. A Retail Survey carried out in 2000 estimated that shrink accounts for 1.69% of sales to retailers (James 2004). However, the use of RFDI would ensure that any movement of goods would only be done legally. If there was any illegal movement, it would be easily detected and the necessary measures taken. This would eventually lead to the reduction of theft and provide, with a high degree of accuracy, an automatic inventory in real time.  A retail outlet will carry out an inventory write-off if the goods become unfit for human consumption. It can also be done when the demand or the goods among the customers is no longer there. The write off can also result from damages while still in the care of the retailer. The RFDI technology would keep information such as the expiry date so that the goods would not spoil while in the retailer’s custody. They could be given off as offers. This way, the losses would be reduced and a better inventory management system will be enhanced. The system would indicate the product demand at any given moment and the more profitable goods or those in demands would be increased in stocks. It is estimated that a firm using RFID would reduce their shrink from 1.69% of the total sales as low as 0.7%. At the same time, inventory write offs would reduce by 20% (Chappell et al 2003). 

Totally Integrated Opportunities would be created. The use of RFID would result to invention of marketing opportunities that are new and also unlimited. This would be an addition to n improved supply chain. The accurate following of the movement of goods would give new ideas on how and when new goods should be added. Alternative goods as well as related goods would be easily identified and introduced. This would be done through tracking what a customer as purchased before they leave the retailing premises. The system would also help the retailer provide information customer suggestive selling inside the premises. This way, the retailer could encourage customers to buy a certain product as a complimentary or addition good. Wine station uses a lot of this technology while 64% of customers from a retail store in Rheinberg Germany regarded it as highly important (Retail Survey Report 2000). This way, the retailer would be able to retain customers as well as ensuring that incremental sales increase.

Some of the retailer disadvantages that the research learnt about is the hiugh cost of investment and a low return and middleware issues  where the technology has been complex to deal with. Another limitation was reduced consumer feedback due to the use of RFID (Corsten, Daniel & Thomas 2004; Michael 2004).

Consumer Drawbacks

The concealed presence of the tag would result to a customer carrying with him the tag all over without his or her consent. The RFID wave would easily move from one place to another through clothing, plastic among others. Therefore, this information can be accessed without the knowledge of the customer whenever he gets close to a radio reader. The consumer drawbacks to the technology were identified as unique identifiers for all objects worldwide, and the object owner can be identified at any point (US Strategies Inc. 2005). The technology stores the customer information which exposes him to undesired people. At the same time, due to the accessibility and wave movement, the customer would be screened in many areas without his knowledge. Finally, the technology can prompt tracking as well as profiling of individuals. This could be a very dire violation of the rights to privacy since when the tag is hidden in a shoe or a purse, a profile of the owner could be created and their status determined. This would be even worse if the process is being done without the consent of the customer.

Cap Gemini Findings on US Consumer Attitudes toward RFID

A recent Cap Gemini study for the National Retail Federation indicated that few consumers were even aware of RFID (in the U.S. only 23%), which means that for the most part, consumers have not formed strong opinions on the subject (Thomas 2004). Lack of awareness represents an opportunity for businesses to begin the education and communication process necessary to ensure a smooth transition and implementation for RFID on the unit level. If businesses collectively fail to take the initiative to educate the public and create usage guidelines, consumer advocacy groups and government legislators will guide that process alone. This could severely impede the implementation process and also lead to widespread consumer disapproval. According to the Cap Gemini Consumer Study, of the 23% of consumers who have heard of RFID technology, 42% view it favorably, 31% had no opinion, 17% did not know and 10% had an unfavorable opinion. One issue that elicited a fair amount of consumer concern was price. In spite of the fact that Wal-Mart has said it would not accept increased costs from suppliers as they applied RFID tags at the case and pallet level, that message has not filtered down to the consumer. One consumer in the group said, “Any new technology means a raise in the cost of the product.” Overall, 41% of the consumers in the group said that RFID would increase the cost of goods, 17% said it would lower the cost, 18% said it would have no impact on the costs and 25% said they didn’t know (Koh, Kim & Kim 2006).

Of the consumers who participated in the Cap Gemini study, women tended to rank many of the potential benefits from RFID as being more important than the rankings given to the same benefits by the men participating in the sample. Women responded positively to the security issues related to prescription drugs, to the possible consumer savings and improved food/safety quality (US Strategies Inc. 2005). Further trends indicated that consumers age 25-49 in the group tended to rate the benefits as more important than other age segments within the group. Consumers in the study indicated they had serious concerns involving a variety of categories. 69% were “extremely concerned with consumer data being used by a third party, followed by 67% being concerned with being targeted more with direct marketing, 65% were concerned about tracking of consumers via product purchases, 56% expressed concerns regarding health issues stemming from RFID, 45% were concerned with the environmental impact possibilities, 43% expressed concern with RFID tags that can’t be eaten or dissolved and 42% expressed concern that tags could be read from a distance (US Strategies Inc. 2005).

Thomas (2004) questioned the customer privacy rights that RFID technology violated. They are tags that are attached to items and the customer does not know their loacation, thus can be tracked and their privacy intruded. He gave the following recommendations.

  • Consumer Notification—consumers should be given clear notice of the presence of EPC/RFID tags on products or packaging through the use of an EPC logo or identifier.
  • Consumers should be informed that they have a choice to remove or disable EPC tags from the products they purchase
  • Consumer should have the opportunity to easily obtain accurate information about EPC and its applications as well as information about advances in the technology.
  • As with UPC technology, companies will use, maintain and protect records generated through EPC in compliance with all applicable laws. Companies should publish on their websites, information regarding the retention, use and protection of any consumer-specific data generated through their operations.

Conclusion

Qualitative research is a complex form of research whose data is collected and presented in textual form. The methods of collection are vital since they may give the required details of the research or fail to. Therefore, this form of research requires competent people since the researcher may alter the findings of a study due to the manner in which he or she handles the clients. Unlike in quantitative research where any researcher will get almost similar results as any other, qualitative research is different since different researchers could get different results. The differences would depend on the ability of the researcher to handle clients in terms of language and expression as well as physical look and presentability. It is therefore said that a qualitative researcher is always part of the research as compared to quantitative research.

Qualitative research is more complex to handle due to the numerous variables that are is therefore said to be among the most complex form of research as the environment where it is carried out is usually the natural setting where the researcher can not control the external variables.

The analysis of data is complex since different people will have different views. The researcher has to look at all the data from all the respondents and give a result that cuts across all the answers obtained during the study. If the data is poorly analysed, wrong interpretations would be made and consequently the conclusions. Though there is software developed to analyse data from qualitative research, they are not always effective and the researcher would have to analyse the statements obtained from the field. This is a very tedious job that requires concentration and skills to ensure that the correct interpretations are made for a given research.

Data collection methods in this form of research involved the use of questionnaires and interviews. Interviews are better but more expensive since a wide variety of data would be obtained, some which is irrelevant to the study. However, it may give the researcher extra ideas that would not have been obtained if other tool such as questionnaires were used. The researcher would have to be competent enough to remain focused in answering the research questions as well as follow the objectives of the study.

As a qualitative researcher, one of the most important lessons I have learnt is the importance of obtaining enough knowledge regarding the subject of investigation before the actual research is carried out. If the researcher does not have an idea about what to expect from the field, the findings may be very varied and the analysis difficult. In this case, no meaningful conclusions would be possible. This would mean that the intended purpose of the whole research would not be obtained.

A competent researcher should be able to control the research in terms of obtaining the correct and unbiased answers. Though critiques argue that qualitative research is biased, a competent researcher should be as non-partisan as possible. This would mean that the research findings would be based on the interviewee response and not from the knowledge of the researcher. Emotions and affection towards respondents would lead to poor data being collected and wrong decisions inferred in the end.

In order to obtain the most reliable data using questionnaire, the researcher should have the most effective and workable questionnaire that use manageable language and easy to understand. They should also be brief and precise in the formulation of the questions. If the questionnaire was poorly phrased or used very complex language the respondent may misunderstand the question and give the wrong and probable contradictory response.

 Qualitative research is best to use when carrying out social studies, also referred to as soft sciences. It is important in development of theories that are later narrowed down and tested using quantitative research. They are however important in exploring important social aspects that can not be quantified in numeric forms and their measureability is low. Therefore, among the most important forms of research that should be conducted with utmost care, ethics and professionalism is qualitative research. This would ensure that the data obtained is as accurate and as sincere as possible in order to come up with the most reliable findings at the end of the research.

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