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Table of Contents

Change Management in Transition from Traditional Sales Force to Key Account Management: Greece Pharmaceutical Companies - Part 7


3.4 Ethical considerations

3.4.1 Population and sampling frame

In order to achieve the objective, the study will be done by selecting a population that would be representative of the characters under the study’s definition of pharmaceutical companies. Therefore, the population under study will comprise of 100 companies’ executives all from within the geographical location of Greece. (Looney, 1997) However, due to efficiency purposes in terms of reach and cost, the whole population cannot be reached for the survey hence a need to apply the questionnaire to select few who would be representative of the population under the study. In that respect, a sample of 30 will be taken from 2 largest cities in Greece. In getting a representative sample, stratified random sampling method will be applied for its ability to achieve a fair representation as well as from the fact that the sample’s mean is likely to be close to the population’s mean. (McDaniel & Gates, 1995)

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Further, the sampling method applied will seek to ensure convenience in terms of identifying respondents who are easily available and reachable in terms of their emails availability through which the questionnaires will be sent. In that respect, the whole country will be analyzed with executives from each town being targeted for a total target of 100 respondents. However, it is expected that out of the 100 respondents; approximately 30 will respond to the questionnaires and mail them back making a respondent pool of 30 percent of those receiving the online questionnaire. (Patton, 2001)

Bennekom (2005) the principal at Great Brook Consulting has explained that a 30 percent response rate for online is satisfactory for small online surveys. The Instructional Assessment Resources (IRA) (2011) at the University of Texas also explained that a 30 percent average return rate can be expected for online surveys. The smaller rate of respondents is acceptable when the research has a goal to gain insight instead of measuring effects or drawing general conclusions about a large sector. (IRA, n.d.)

3.4.2 Data collection

Data collection will be done through primary and secondary methods. The primary method will involve a questionnaire that will have open ended questions which seeks to collect the suitable data to answer the research questions. The questionnaires will be sent to respondents through Linked In mail for the purpose of efficiency in terms of cost and timely delivery as well as timely replies. In addition, secondary sources will be used as a source of data which will involve collecting the already published data on pharmaceuticals in Greece by a comprehensive literature review. The information is available in industry reports and past surveys done in respect to the industry’s operations. (Patton, 2001)

The questionnaire was typed into and sent through the Acrobat Adobe Forms Central Site to meet privacy and ethical issues. The questionnaires were sent to 100 connections through the LinkedIn platform. The connections were self-described Greek pharmaceutical professionals. They had been contacted before the online questionnaire was sent so they would be expecting it and any questions could be answered. When the respondents were contacted they were told that ethical rules would be followed concerning anonymity and confidentiality, and that the results would be used in a Greek pharmaceutical sector change management research study.

The response rate for the questionnaire was calculated by the following equation.

Equation 3- 1 Response Rate

  • The following guidelines were used.
  • Clear instruction son completing and submitting the questionnaires were developed for the participants.
  • The questions were developed so that they would be easy to understand and few instructions were needed.
  • Contacts who had been previously contacted on LinkedIn and involved in the Greek pharmaceutical were the potential participants who were sent the questionnaire.
  • The survey was divided into the following three sections.
  • Demographic and Organizational Background,
  • Change and Key Account Management, and
  • Customer account management

Table 3- 1 Message to Potential Participants using Adobe Forms Central



Surviving the austerity measures in Greece: Account Management Pharmaceutical Sector Questionnaire

Dear Participant,

Thank you for agreeing to take this survey to be used to better understand the impact on the austerity measures to the account management of the Greek Pharmaceutical Sector. Your survey will be coded so your name will be kept absolutely confidential.

Adobe Forms Central

3.5 Data analysis

The data collected will then be analyzed through qualitative methods including application of statistical measures like the mean and tabulation of percentages as a way of describing the research results and findings. This will involve use of Likert scales which are uni-dimensional and non-comparative scaling techniques meant to measure a single aspect. (Likert 1932) It will involve respondents indicating a certain agreement level with statements in an ordinal scale. In that respect, responses vary with the most common variation being the 5-point scale that range from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. Thus, each scale level will be assigned a code or numeric value that starts with one increasing by one to the last. (Patton, 2001)

The Likert scale is named after psychologist Rensis Likert who invented it and is commonly used in survey research. (Likert 1932) It involves measuring the level of agreement with a Likert item which can be defined as a statement that respondents are expected to evaluate according to any objective and subjective criteria. In that consideration, a five level scale will be used in the questionnaire for this analysis with the format including Strongly disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree and Strongly Agree all of which measure the negative or positive responses. In addition, the analysis will seek to find convergence between the findings from the collected primary data in the survey and the findings with application of secondary data. (Malhotra, 1996)

The Microsoft Excel program was used to analyze the data and create graphs.

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3.6 Summary

In summary, the research methodology will take the form of descriptive survey in which primary data collection with application of qualitative method where a questionnaire will be used to collect data from the pharmaceutical companies and customers. Further, there will be triangulation with a mix of methods where secondary sources will be used to collect existing data on the survey parameters. For the questionnaire, the data will be collected from all over the country to reflect fair representation in which a population of 100 companies’ executives will have a representation by a sample of 30. In addition, the data collection will include both primary and the secondary method where a questionnaire will be the primary source while industry reports and companies’ websites will form the secondary sources.

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