The word ‘Acentric’ has dual meaning – it means both ‘off-centre’ and ‘without centre’. To really understand the world, we need to be ‘off-centre’; taking a truly independent approach to thinking about problems, following the evidence wherever it leads. To understand customers requires the researcher to have a focus that is ‘without centre’ (not self-centred), away from ourselves and our own perspectives to the perspective of consumers.
Acentric subscribes to five key research values:
1. Bible-centred Christianity. Science was founded by Christians who believed in a rational and loving Creator, the implication being that we can gain knowledge through honest observation and repeatable experiments.
2. Deal directly with the researcher: You deal with the person executing your entire project from proposal to results presentation. You will not be passed from researcher to researcher, nor will you suffer the ‘outsourced to juniors’ problem.
2. Customised-research processes: While the methods used are in many cases transparent and available in the academic literature, it takes years of study to fully grasp and understand them. You’ll never have to endure ‘cookie cutter’ research processes. Research is a complex activity, and templates produce sub-optimal results which fail to answer the research questions.
3. Consumer/respondent preservation: Evidence suggests that response rates have been in decline since the 1950s*. The interviewing experience is one of the factors driving this trend. In order to improve the interviewing experience every questionnaire is evaluated to increase the likelihood of the respondent being open to research in future.
4. Empirically substantiated: Empirically substantiated methods are key to research success. Unless a method has been proven to be reliable and valid it may not perform as expected.
* Biener L., Garrett C., Gilpin E., Roman A., Currivan D. (2004), Consequences of Declining Survey Response Rates for Smoking Prevalence Estimates American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol.27, Issue 3, Pages 254-257
*Baruch Y. (1999), Response Rate in Academic Studies – A Comparative Analysis, Human Relations, Volume 52, Number 4, 1 April 1999 , pp. 421-438(18)
*Cycota, C.S. & Harrison, D.A. (2006), What (Not) to Expect When Surveying Executives: A Meta-Analysis of Top Manager Response Rates and Techniques Over Time, Organizational Research Methods, Vol. 9, No. 2, 133-160.