1. characterised as an approach to social research. The

1.Introduction Thischapter describes the empirical research of this thesis. The overall approach ofthis project is to demonstrate and analyse how luxury fashion brands implementinfluencer marketing strategies and their impact on customer relationship andpurchase intention. The chapter defines the research design and methodologyused in the dissertation. 2.

Research philosophyResearchphilosophy describes the way in which data should be gathered, analysed andused. Based on philosophical assumptions, research can be classified aspositivism, realism or interpretivism. In the western tradition of science, positivismand interpretivism have been identified as the two major research philosophies.(Galliers, 1991) 2.1Positivism Thepositivist researcher adopts a distant, detached, neutral and non-interactiveposition. (Morris, 2006:3) The researcher assumes the role of an objectiveanalyst. The goal is to make detached interpretations about collected data in anonjudgmental manner.

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The positivist interprets quantifiable data in ananalytical way. (Druckman, 2005:5) Furthermore, positivism is characterised asan approach to social research. The topics of this dissertation, such ascustomer relationship, purchase intention and the power of influence consider asocial research approach.   3.nature of research design – exploratoryAsin this dissertation a qualitative method in form of expert interviews is usedas well as a quantitative survey, the research design is called exploratorydesign. The exploratory character of research permits the gathering of newinformation. 4.

Methodological choiceThecombination of quantitative and qualitative research is particularly popular inmanagement and business research. This strategy is called mixed methods. The researchconcepts combine qualitative and quantitative methods. According to the topicthe quantitative method will be more important, as consumer behaviour is in thefocus of the paper.

5.Research approaches – deductive / inductive According to Saunders1 a mixed methods researchdesign is likely to combine two research approaches, the deductive and the inductiveapproach.