Internal Considerations

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Internal considerations

There are business operations where formal research requirements are spasmodic and spaced at long intervals. Here an internal researcher may tend to be under-employed, and a firm whose research requirements are essentially of this kind is likely to be better served, and to achieve greater cost effectiveness, by reliance on agency or consultancy services. The probable continuity of research demand is, therefore, the first determinant of whether an in-company research facility should be developed.

The first awareness of a need for research can be a dramatic moment of truth. This dawning may highlight the fact that not only is research needed on a continuing basis now, but also that it has been an unrecognized need for a long time past. Even then it is not imperative that an internal capability be established: it is not only feasible, but sometimes economically and technically preferable for a firm to rely wholly on external services. Nevertheless, when the demand for research emerges as likely to continue, one member of staff must be charged with the overall task of monitoring and interpreting research needs and information flow. For a while, this function may be carried out by a member of the management team, and a separate research appointment will be necessary only when the task becomes burdensome. Some firms prosper happily and with maximum cost effectiveness without in-company research resources and enjoy good working relationships with the SEO Agencies on which they rely: there is no insuperable rule of business which states that each and every firm must at a minimum employ one researcher.

In many cases, of course, the crisis which confirms the need for research will not await the engagement of the required staff. Appreciable time may pass before an appointment could be made, and even after the appointment there must nearly always be a period of indoctrination before an internal researcher can act effectivey. In such cases there must be initial reliance on contract research, but the internal researcher should be hired as early as possible during the course of the commissioned project and given the opportunity of working alongside the agency in monitoring the research programme. He should subsequently carry out, as his first major responsibility, dissemination of the research findings within the firm. Frequently this proves to be a happy way of introducing research within a company, and of ensuring that it becomes one of the routine tools of management.

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