Structure of Research Activity

  • Chris West
Part of the Macmillan Business Masters book series


In order to fully understand the research services that are available it is necessary to understand how research activity is structured. Where once this was simple it is now complex. There are few professions — indeed, there are few businesses — which do not, amoeba-like, fragment themselves into increasingly specialised segments, and market research is no exception. Just as the general legal practitioner has been increasingly marginalised by those who specialise in divorce, conveyancing, corporate, marine or patent law, the market research business is made up of a series of specialisations which have become increasingly distinct from each other in terms of what they do and the methods they use. The divisions reflect the different characteristics of the markets studied, the wide variety of market information that is required, the speed at which it is needed, the proliferation of research techniques and the applications for the information. The organisations or research techniques best suited to one problem may be totally inappropriate for another, even though they may appear superficially similar.


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  1. 1.
    Larry Kahaner, Competitive Intelligence: From Black Ops to Boardrooms — How to Gather, Analyse and Use Information to Succeed in the Global Marketplace (New York, Simon & Schuster, 1996).Google Scholar

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© Chris West 1999

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  • Chris West

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