1 Department of Marketing and Statistics, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
As the complexity of problems and the speed of changes increase for companies, the accuracy of research relies on the measurement of behavior close to the real world of the respondents. Recent reviews within different research fields of the social sciences have pointed at the need for more interactive methods of collecting data [1, 2]. To collect real-time data as opposed to retrospective data, new methodological traits are needed. The paper proposes that a behavioral simulation supported by Web technology is a valid new research strategy to handle the collection of real-time data. Adapting the knowledge on agent-based modeling [3, 4], a behavioral simulation synergizes the benefits of self-administered questionnaires and the experimental design, and furthermore, introduces role-playing [5, 6] and scenario [7-11] strategies as very effective methods to ensure high interaction with the respondents. The Web technology is the key to make a simulation for data collection objectives 'light'. Additionally, Web technology can be a solution to some of the challenges facing the traditional research methodologies such as time, ease, flexibility and cost, but perhaps more interesting, a possible solution to 'survey fatigues' and the lack of interaction [1, 12-16]. The concerns of the paper are the contributions of a simulation, the opportunities and challenges with Web technology, ensuring the validity and reliability of the data collected, and finally, a designed behavioral simulation is presented as an example, before implications and future trends are given.
Real-time data collection; Simulation; Web technology