Sunday, 24 August 2014

Use of outside research firms

Meaning of outside research: Outside research involves the procurement of research and to some extent development services from other firms. These firms are specialized and have expertise in the research field given their exposure in running projects which is their core business.
  • Reduced bias due to group thinking- The problem of using internal research or in house research is that the process and the result may be biased and subjected to other staff being unable to challenge ideas or opinions of their superiors thus subjecting the entire process to mob mentality and sycophancy. Outside research reduces this bias because the information they gather is what they report and this is not influenced by the executives at the firm.
  • Proprietary software and systems resources highly qualified researchers- Due to concentration and specialization outside research firms will over the years discover new valuable processes and softwares that may improve the reliability and validity of research. These systems will be patented and thus to access these resources the only option would be to procure their services.
  • The ability to cover more ground- Outside research firms has invested in human resources and systems to ensure they perform the research function efficiently. Thus they are able to utilize a large number of human resources to conduct the research and so in turn speeding up the process.
  • Provides time to internal staff to concentrate on other tasks core business- By procuring outside research the internal research department would concentrate on formulating projects to pursue. Thus they will be available for creative purposes and the performance of the actual research process can then be outsourced.
  • Ability to gather specialist expert opinions- given their existence in the research field outside research firms develop valuable networks of opinion leaders and experts who they can easily source information from faster than an internal research firm could.
  • Obtain outside opinion which you can use to build on internal knowledge- Outside research firms facilitate information sharing between the company and themselves. The benefit to the company is that they would notice or be informed on other ideas originating from the research firm that they may not have thought of in the first place.

  • Rigid guidelines and requirements may not move at the same pace as the org- Outside research firms has their way of doing things and this makes them very rigid. This may be seen through resource need whereby they may need more that the company can provide and they may not offer customizations because of their internal procedures.
  • Lacks an opportunity for internal customization where the marketing staff can discuss features with engineering to see what is viable- Internal research has the ability to consult with different other departments on a one on one basis to know what is possible and what may take time to achieve thus providing a better outlook and direction of the research in real-time.
  • Inability to Act on info instantly as it comes up through the research-some of the information that comes up during a research may require immediate attention or action. Thus an internal research department would quickly deliver this information to concerned parties for expeditious action.
  • Fake results or use outdated information- external research firms may also offer fake results this is especially if the resources provided were not enough or they did not perform the service appropriately. Thus to meet deadlines they may present fabricated data and misguide the company.
  • May be working with your competitor info risk leaks are high- given that an outside research firms are at liberty to work with any other company. Chances are they may also be working for your competitor. Information disclosure becomes an issue and the competition may get information on what the company is trying to do.

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