To critique is to review or discuss critically. Mostly, the critique should be balanced discussion and evaluation of the strengths, weakness and notable features. There is a variety of research which is different from each other in terms of quality and credibility. Therefore, research can be criticised on specific criteria; for example, the clarity of aim, the methodological framework and so on. The reason to critique these journals is to better understand the nature of design research. This report will critique 3 research papers from International Refereed Journals which are Branding strategy and consumer high-technology product (Haman et al. , 2007), Event pitching: The role of design and creativity (Berridge, 2009), and Service design and operations strategy formulation in multicultural markets (Pullman et al., 2001), respectively.
Paper 1 Design, innovation and branding
- Branding strategy and consumer high-technology product
To begin with the first review, Branding strategy and consumer high-technology product (Haman et al. , 2007), the study aims to propose a model to examine the relationship between price, use, quality and culture regarding to the adoption of high-technology and branding strategy by using a designed questionnaire to collect data and using the computer-aided data analysis programme to assess the findings. As the aim mentioned, there is a clear and precise purpose as stated above in that the authors also attempt to discover the reasons behind individual buying decisions of a strong brand in the high-technology market place. This can be seen that the objectives were presented frequently and logically.
Due to the increasing competition among the high-technology sectors and a reduction in purchasing power at the present time, it is crucial for the marketers to keep up with the current circumstance and their reasons which consumers use to make a decision (Quelch, 2009). This idea related to the current needs because it could provide the effective strategies and necessities to brand managers and marketers.
In terms of methodological framework and research tools, the authors presented a well-organised context which leads to four logical hypotheses based on price, product, usage and culture. They collected data from a wide range of recent literature reviews and conducted quantitative research by sending questionnaires via respondents' e-mail.The questionnaire was translated into HTML code on a web server online so that researchers could evaluate and analyse accurately. The researchers used a Likert scale throughout the questionnaire and posed a question which contributed to aspiring answers because of its clearer appearance and easier handling (Malhotra and Birks,2000). However, the sample size (94 people) might be too small to be the representative of the majority. The selected tools are appropriate, but it would be better if obtaining the consumers' reason behind buying innovation was done by interviews or focus groups (Morgan, 1998).
The findings and analysis were integrated logically, but not well-presented. It is difficult to understand because of a lot of data was shown by extensive description and interpretation concurrently. The results were analysed thoroughly and rationally, but they should be also represented in a table or a graph (Gillan et al., 1998). In my opinion, there is no evidence of creative thinking in this study because it was designed to discover the motivation behind the purchasing decision process on innovation which is similar to the general consumer behavior research focusing on innovation.
Based on the findings, it showed that people do not buy high-technology products to satisfy particular needs, but for their usage and perception change of cultures affected the adoption process of high technology. This shows the impact on consumers and suggests how branding strategies can be improved. Moreover, the findings and outcomes are all relevant and answerable to the aim and objectives. Focusing on innovation, this shows that the possibilities of using the findings for general purposes were narrowed down. In addition, although the responses come from 21 different countries, the small number of respondents leads to a less reliable outcome in term of generalisability globally.
Paper 2 Creativity or Sustainability or Trends forecasting
- Event pitching: The role of design and creativity
Turning to the second journal, Event pitching: The role of design and creativity (Berridge, 2009), the research aims to provide a better understanding of some of the roles of design and creativity in the pitch phase of an event bid by conducting qualitative research from nine participants involving the event management field to find out the key features within event pitching to clients.
At the present time, bidding for events plays an important role in daily lives for agencies working with corporate and public events. Not only the creative ideas for the event make the agencies distinct from others, but the creativity on the way they pitch is also significant to their contract (ref). Regarding to the aim, it is unambiguous that this paper will focus on the role of design and creativity in event pitching process. As the increased number of competition among the event industries (Talwar, 2009), this research is highly related to the existing knowledge and current needs. Hence, this paper could be beneficial for people who are new to the event industries and unfamiliar with the pitching process.
As for the methodology, the author chose to conduct the qualitative research by face to face interviewing and the secondary research from the literature reviews. Since the writer conducted qualitative research, this is an appropriate tool to obtain an insight from participants (Mack, et al.,2005). The number of the sample group might be too small, however, the selected people were experienced and involved particularly in this field. The group sample come from a variety of positions in creative and design agencies contributed to reliability of the results (ref).
Regarding to the findings, the author identified only the key issues from the conversation. The data is presented in a narrative structure with verbatim comments, and it is easy for readers to approach the interviewees' experiences. The key findings and analysis were well-formatted and covered all the main points.
In my opinion, there is some creative thinking about linking the role of design and creativity in many steps of the pitching of the event from pitch tactics, event design or even communication in a non-routine way. It is because when talking about event pitching, most people would think about the idea for the event or focus on client's perspectives rather than the creativity of presentational pitch process as well as there is no formalized research conducted to assess the growth of this industry(ref).
About the validity of the outcome, although the research is conducted with only nine respondents, the responses and experiences come from the group of people obtaining a considerable proportion of their work from pitching to client. The examples from participants can be implied that design and creativity infiltrate throughout event proceeding which is related to the purpose of the research and can be feasible at the present time.
Paper 3 Product and/or service design strategy
- Service design and operations strategy formulation in multicultural market
The third journal which will be critiqued is Service design and operations strategy formulation in multicultural markets (Pullman et al., 2001).This journal aims to suggest an approach for determining the extent of both service product and process attribute standardization versus customization in multicultural settings by using the discrete choice analysis (DCA) method to model the preferences of multicultural segments and evaluate the change to each attribute of specific service design for a segment. After analysing, they determined the appropriate service strategy for service providers to implement the suggested operations.
The aim of the research is stated clearly and explicitly in a format which indicated to focus and direction of research. There is a specific purpose and target group including the compelling reasons why this research should be conducted.
This topic is related to the contemporary professional needs because they focus on the distinctive concept of the multinational facility that service to multicultural customer segments which has remained under researched particularly from a service management perspective (Danaher, 1998). From various wide ranges of reliable cited references in the background, this study can be realistic and relevant to existing knowledge which is valuable for many service industries and other related individuals in the future.
In terms of the methodological framework and research tools, they proposed a conceptual framework with two contrary propositions leading to the methodology for evaluating service design. They selected an appropriate tool (DCA) for modeling customer preferences in response to experimentally designed service profiles because this tool can be used to model decision-makers' choice processes in a variety of academic disciplines (Louviere and Timmermans, 1990 Pullman and Moore, 1999; Verma and Thompson, 1996). Furthermore, the DCA method enables researchers to evaluate changes to each attribute of a specific service design for a segment and to consider about the financial tradeoffs of implementing different service approaches. The authors conducted a detailed case analysis of the food court operation at Big City International Terminal (BCIT).They interviewed 100 randomly selected airline passengers divided into three segments. This is the effective method to achieve the multicultural responses and allow researchers to create the segment preferences roughly; however, the size of the sample is too small and might not be powerful enough to determine the most frequently attributes accurately. Using language and country of origin to represent a proxy for cultures might not be the best choice; for example, there are the number of Spanish speaking people living in the United States of America (U.S. Census Bureau. International Data Base). Moreover, conducting the survey from just one airport seems too limited to be representative for all food-service providers.
Although there are a lot of procedures to collect data, it is well-organized and consistent. The data from each stage was linked to others, explained objectively, well-represented and answerable to all of the authors' questions. The outcomes are several attributes where the cultural segments' preferences differed and were related. These all outcomes are used appropriately to support the propositions.
It shows a creative thinking about conducting the research from multicultural segment in term of a service management perspective. Although the final outcomes are logically stated and practical, there are some weaknesses which should be considered. They might not be able to be generalized to other types of services because not only the food-service operations, but there are also some other service industries that face multicultural segments. Furthermore, the attributes might be difficult to customize for all different markets and also cost for companies in practical (Rest et al., 1994).
After that, the BCIT authority implemented the suggested operations which contributed to a significantly increased profit later. This shows the validity and reliability of outcomes.
By comparison, paper 3 appears to be the best research paper. Apart from a too limited sample size of respondents, this paper is complete in aspects of the idea, the methodology, the organization and the practical base. The introduction and conceptual background composed of a wide range of reliable literature reviews and unbiased perspectives. In addition, the whole journal is organised excellently leading to easy understanding for readers. Moreover, the finding is well-presented by a table and narrative interpretation concurrently. Furthermore, this research contributes something new to knowledge and future research which can be looked at different types of service as well. The most distinctive part comparing of the other papers is about practice-based outcome which illustrate the use of the method in an actual case and eventually succeed. In my opinion, it is complicated to obtain the exactly results from service design, however, the authors have represented the approach for formulating service strategy in multicultural environment which can be developed further.
In summary, these reviews are criticized from three different journals in aspects of the clarity of aim, the relevance, the methodology, the findings, the creative thinking and the validity of outcomes. This manner contributes to better understanding of the nature of design research and the process of doing research.
From this critical review, the influence of the paper on my thinking about the nature of design research is that it is creating something to get the ideas to build new practice. Moreover, all steps should be linked together and the methodologies should be tested to confirm the validity of the outcome.