Essay: Organizational Studies

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[. . .] " An independent variable in the first hypothesis is the content of the OTC medicine advertisements. Dependent variables in the first hypothesis are the degrees to which the consumers are distracted and to which they are captivated and/or engaged. An independent variable in the second hypothesis is the OTC medicine advertisements. Dependent variables in the second hypothesis are the shopping patterns and attitudes of the consumers regarding OTC medicines. The content of the OTC medicines will not change in either hypothesis. The relationships among the OTC medicine advertisement content and the subsequent attitudes and/or behaviors of the consumers as a result of consumption of the advertisements are contingent on the ads themselves. This logic guides the assignments of dependent and independent variables in each hypothesis. The critical variable in the hypotheses is the OTC medicine advertisement content. This is a primary focus in the article in Part 1 and it arises in both instances in the hypothesis developed by the author. Therefore, it seems that a due amount of attention is necessary regarding the OTC medicine advertisement content.

As instructed, four articles were located with similar independent and dependent variables as the ones in the article in Part 1 and the original questions & hypotheses developed by the author. The first of the four articles to be understood is "Direct-to-Consumer Drug Advertisements on Network Television: An Exploration of Quantity, Frequency, and Placement." The primary research question of this article could be "How can we understand the relationship between pharmaceutical companies and television executives based on startling data regarding quantity, frequency, placement, and duration of drug advertisements?" Early on in the piece the authors describe the purpose, intention, and result of their study. Though they do not pose a research question as a question, what they write and the study they conduct is the answer to the aforementioned question:

"Although OTC drug ads were more common, Rx drug ads on average were significantly longer. Direct-to-consumer drug ads appeared most frequently during news programs and soap operas and during the middle-afternoon and early-evening hours. Overall, we found that direct-to-consumer drug advertisements occupy a large percentage of network television commercial advertising and, based on time and program placement, many ads may be targeted specifically at women and older viewers. Our findings suggest that Americans who watch average amounts of television may be exposed to more than 30 hours of direct-to-consumer drug advertisements each year, far surpassing their exposure to other forms of health communication." (Brownfield et al., 2004,-Page 491)

This question is relational and descriptive. One hypothesis is "From a health communication perspective, direct-to-consumer drug ads may be useful for increasing awareness and knowledge among the public of specific conditions and available treatments, but they also may lead to inaccurate self-diagnoses or incorrect perceptions of illness risk or treatment efficacy." (Brownfield et al., 2004,-Page 492) An independent variable is the ads and dependent variables are inaccurate consumer perceptions. The authors differentiate between theoretical constructs in the research question. They do so clearly.

The second article located is "A Decade of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs." The primary research question is "What is the history of the specific affects of direct-to-consumer drug ads has on society?" This research question is descriptive, relational, and casual. The authors want to know, now that a significant duration of time has expired, what they can learn about the affects these ads have and in what areas of society and culture the affects appear. One hypothesis is "Evidence suggests that direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs increases pharmaceutical sales and both helps to avert underuse of medicines and leads to potential overuse." (Donohue et al., 2007,-Page 673) The dependent variable are the advertisements created in the space of time they study. The dependent variables are the economic, political, social, psychological, and physical affects the ads have on society. The theoretical constructs are implied, yet they are directly stated in the research question. The constructs could be clearer by providing a more definitive perspective from which they conduct their research. Otherwise, all other elements are clear.

The third article located is "Regulating pharmaceutical advertising: What will work?" The primary research question of the article is "What does it mean that drugs ads are granted exorbitant production budgets and are (seemingly) intentionally unregulated in regard to content?" This question is descriptive and relational. The author spends a long time detailing his revelations of how much money is spent to produce pharmaceutical and OTC medicine drug ads. He also expresses shock as to the lack of regulation of content in these ads. These are his primary concerns for the first few pages. This leads me to believe this is his primary research question. One hypothesis is

"…manufacturers are now using promotional strategies that are particularly difficult to regulate. These include providing drugs at lower than the usual cost to ensure their inclusion in managed-care formularies, and using direct-to-consumer advertising to take advantage of the public's lack of sophistication in interpreting scientific evidence." (Shapiro, 1997,-Page 359)

The independent variables are the ads, the budgets, and the lack of regulation. The dependent variables are the consumption of the drugs, and various other social affects the ads have on viewers. The theoretical constructs are evident from the beginning. This is an extremely concise reading.

The final article located is "Direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising: trends, impact, and implications." The primary research question is "How are the increasing number of drug ads affecting doctor/patient relationships as consumers are more educated?" This question is relational, descriptive, and casual. The authors directly state this as their research question/endeavor almost immediately. One hypothesis is "clinical quality of care is harmed by DTC advertising." (Wilkes et al., 2000,-Page 110) The independent variable is the advertising. The dependent variable is the quality of the care experience. The theoretical constructs are articulated clearly as are the variables and hypotheses.


Brownfield, E.D., Bernhardt, J.M., Phan, J.L., Williams, M.V., & Parker, R.M. (2004) Direct-to-Consumer Drug Advertisements on Network Television: An Exploration of Quantity, Frequency, and Placement. Journal of Health Communications, 9, 491 -- 497.

DeLorme, D.E., Huh, J., Reid, L.N., & An, S. (2010) The state of public research on over-the-counter drug advertising. International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, 4(3), 208 -- 231.

Donohue, PhD, J.M., Cevasco, M., & Rosenthal, PhD, M.B. (2007) A Decade of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs. The New England Journal of Medicine, 357, 673 -- 681.

Shapiro MD, PhD, M.F. (1997) Regulating pharmaceutical advertising: What will work? Canadian Medical Association, 156(3), 359 -- 361.

Wilkes, M.S., Bell, R.A., & Kravitz, R.L. (2000) Direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising: trends, impact, and implications. Heath Affairs, 19(2), 110 -- 128.

References: [END OF PREVIEW]

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Organizational Studies.  (2012, March 2).  Retrieved June 19, 2019, from

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"Organizational Studies."  March 2, 2012.  Accessed June 19, 2019.