Conceptually a survey is also not tied to any particular philosophical

Conceptually a survey is also not tied to any

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Conceptually a survey is also not tied to any particular philosophical viewpoint and thus can be taken to be objective (Mayring 2010 :48–51). Therefore we chose an IS as the basis for this study in order to create an image of the reality on the basis of the subjective view of the relevant interviewees. IS’ are always accompanied with certain limits and restrictions; thus it is crucial for the researcher to consider and rate these issues in order to avoid problems later during the evaluation induced by missing data or incorrect questioning which might lead to a bias. Besides the subjective infl uence by the interviewee himself (Töpfer 2010 :223–224, 234), infl uences due to choosing the random sample must also be taken in consideration in order to avoid erroneous conclusions (Robson 2009 ±:230;± Töpfer 2010 :232–233; Wolff, 2010:344–345; Robson 2009 :233). This short over- view, which does not claim to be complete, shows, that by using IS’, shortcomings will always be included and have to be accepted. Thus, it is relevant to explain the applied procedure and circumstances in which the IS’ have been executed and aimed at, in order to allow the reader make an own rating or judgement of the situ- ation and to avoid the dubiousness some researchers see in the large amount of gathered data which fi nally can affect its validity (Kumar 2011 ±:149;± Creswell± 2010 :162–163; Töpfer 2010 :217–234; Robson 2009 ±:231).± For the aforementioned purpose, fi rstly, the type of study population must be characterised. For this study, it is represented in the business-to-business character of the SMEs of the equipment industry, since the technicians and the entrepreneurs (decision makers) are the group of people who are relevant for evaluating informa- tion about methodical product development. Here, a major characteristic of this industry is its distribution over a wide geographical area. This fact motivates us to F. Kauf and J. Kniess
87 choose two different exhibitions for performing the IS, represented by the BAUMA 1 and the Fach-Pack 2 which are leading exhibitions in these two major fi elds of the equipment industry. The applied procedure for the IS follows the aforementioned segmented PLC, which can be interpreted as a refl exive control design explained by Kumar ( 2011 :339). Both exhibitions offer a wide product range which serves nearly the whole PLC of the OoI, being considered, and additionally they are slightly dif- ferently oriented. This means: whereas the BAUMA is mainly concentrated on product development and manufacturing of Production products, the Fach-Pack tends to the packaging and delivery of the products. This study design guarantees that the whole PLC is considered suffi ciently and a valid outcome can be expected. Next, the criteria for a signifi cant random sample is defi ned using an approach from Christians and Wirth ( 2009 :16–19), where a 1 % sample size is required for reaching a relative standardised failure of 38 % within the outcome. Within this study the main unit consists of approximately 6000 enterprises (Wiechers and Gesine 2011

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