Research Methods For Strategic Managers
There are no standard rules for the selection of a research topic but the ender listed will serve as a guide for researchers. 1 . The topic must be educational in nature. The educational nature of a topic implies that the topic must be such that is geared towards providing a solution to an educational problem. It must also satisfy one of the major objectives of educational research – extension of knowledge and making a meaningful contribution in the teaching – learning process. .
The topic to be selected must be of interest to the researcher. A person’s interest in a topic provides the motivation that will enable the researcher complete the investigation. Interest also makes for dedication and commitment in the course of the study. This is one of the reasons; the supervisor should not select a topic for students. One cannot be committed to a study that has no personal meaning to him.
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3. Topic must be original: the originality of a topic first and foremost eliminates duplication.
A duplicated research study amounts to waste of energy, time, material and financial resources, because solution to that problem has already been provided. An original topic adds new knowledge which contributes to educational advancement. 4. Topic must be researchable: a epic is said to be researchable if it lends itself to investigation through the collection and analysis of objective and relevant data. It employs a systematic data gathering procedure for testing its theory and arriving at the solution to the problems.Example – does God answer prayers? God cures diseases. 5.
Availability of time and financial resources: the topic must be such that can be completed within the time and money available to the researchers. Excuses relating to time and financial handicaps are not tolerated in research. Many research studies are abandoned due to lack of time and financial resources. . Availability of data: the topic must be one in which the researcher can easily identify his subjects and means Of collecting data from the subjects.Subjects in research may be human being, objects, events and structures such as buildings. 7.
Facilities for data collecting must be available; such facilities like the libraries, computer and information centers. This is important for review of literature and analysis of data. 8. Topic must be significant: it must be capable of adding to new knowledge thereby providing solution to some knotty educational and social problems. Its findings must infinite some individuals. A critical consideration of most of the above principles will make topic selection as easy task for researchers.The study was conducted at a large life insurance organization in the London, but was contained to the Operations business unit, which is the office support to the largely sales driven teams that sell life insurance products or solutions.
The Operations unit is the largest business unit, but also one of the units that do not have incentive reward programmer. The outputs of this unit are significantly important to the organization as its key functions are processing f new policies and claims, which often have to be performed under high levels of pressure and against deadlines.The organization has as one of its strategic drivers, a high performance culture as a business priority and strategic intent. Creating a high performance culture requires a number of elements to be present, one of which is high levels of job performance that is underpinned by a highly motivated workforce. The organization is thus under constant pressure to revise its benefit offering to staff, which includes a reward and recognition programmed that staff buy-in too, is satisfied with ND which is linked with the organization ‘s strategy.AIMS OF THE RESEARCH An organization can use recognition as a strategic measure to show employees that their contribution to the organization is recognized, and in so doing, influence their motivation and job performance. Based on the findings of the research, the organization could improve and encourage the use of effective recognition in the feedback process of the performance management system.
The findings of this research study could also influence the company to consider a more structured approach to recognition that would enable the high performance culture it strives to attain.The aim of this research is to investigate the role that reward and recognition plays in motivating employees. The study Will explore which of these factors, reward or recognition, has a greater impact on employee motivation and satisfaction. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The objectives of the study are: 1) To determine if there is a relationship between rewards and recognition and employee motivation and satisfaction. 2) To determine the impact of rewards on motivation and satisfaction. 3) To determine the impact of recognition on motivation. 4) To determine which factors contribute to work motivation and satisfaction.
To determine the impact of biographical variables on work motivation and satisfaction. HYPOTHESES (i) There is no statistically significant relationship between work content, payment, promotion, recognition, working conditions, benefits, personal, leadership/supervision, general and work motivation and satisfaction in the Operation business unit of an insurance organization. (ii) The nine independent variables (work content, payment, promotion, recognition, working conditions, benefits, personal, leadership/supervision and general) will not significantly explain the variance in work motivation and satisfaction. Ii) There are no statistically significant differences in rewards and recognition based on the biographical variables (gender, home language, marital status, age, race, job classification, educational, qualifications, job grade and tenure). LITERATURE REVIEW The focus of this chapter is to provide insights to the theories that have shaped the understanding of motivation, by focusing on the content theories of motivation. The chapter proceeds with an in-depth presentation of a total rewards management programmer and the support that a performance management process can provide to such a programmer.Given the focus of his research study, it is important to have a sound understanding of the meaning of rewards and recognition, as they are often used interchangeably, but the literature indicates that there are unique, tangible differences between these concepts.
2. 1 INTRODUCTION Today’s reality is that people influence important aspects of organizational performance in a multitude of ways. People conceive and implement the organizational strategy, while the mix of people and systems mostly determines an organization’s capabilities.Competencies are required to execute the strategy, and these competencies are primarily a function of the kills and knowledge of an organization’s human capital. Therefore, if an organization is to treat its employees as its most important asset, it has to be knowledgeable about what it is that motivates people to reach their full potential (Lawyer, 2003). Harris (1996) maintains that the workplace rules have changed. The workplace realities of yesterday no longer exist and what was once a dream of a lifetime job guaranteed in exchange for lifetime company loyalty has died.
As the workplace rules have changed, so too must the way organizations meet the new motivational needs of today’s employee. This changing work environment is well summarized by Beer et al. (1984), in which they support the fact those organ actions today have significantly changed. In order for an organization to meet its obligations to shareholders, employees and society, its top management must develop a relationship between the organization and employees that will fulfill the continually changing needs of both parties.At a minimum, the organization expects employees to perform reliably the tasks assigned to them and at the standards set for them, and to follow the rules that have been established to govern the workplace. Management often expects more: that employees take initiative, supervise themselves, continue to learn new skills, and be responsive to business needs. Ata minimum, employees expect the organization to provide fair pay, safe working conditions, and fair treatment.
Eke management, employees often expect more, depending on the strength of their needs for security, status, involvement, challenge, power, and responsibility.Just how ambitious the expectations of each party are vary from organization to organization. For organizations to address these expectations an understanding of employee motivation is required (Beer et 984). Carnegie (1975) emphasizes the human aspects of management. They postulate that as it is people who make a business succeed – or fail – it is the organization’s chief responsibility to motivate their people so that they will assure success. The authors believe that each human being has the potential for creativity and for achieving goals.The infinite question is how organizations reach this potential and how they stimulate creativity and foster in their people the desire to succeed and to achieve self-fulfillment through their work.
The common theme of the above authors is the belief that people deed to be respected and treated as precious human capital, more essential to an organization’s effectiveness than its financial capital. People are now seen as the primary source of a company’s competitive advantage. Therefore, the way people are treated increasingly determines whether an organization will prosper or even survive (Lawyer, 2003).Organizations are under constant pressure to enhance and improve their performance and are realizing that an interdependent relationship exists between organizational performance and employee performance. In the following section the focus will be on the devotional theories and the impact that these theories have on enhancing employee performance. MOTIVATION AND JOB PERFORMANCE Motivation is defined as “a set of processes concerned with the force that energies behavior and directs it towards attaining some goal” (Baron, 1983). Grittier and Kinetic (1992, p.
62) postulate that motivation represents, “those psychological processes that cause the arousal, direction and persistence of voluntary actions that are goal directed. ” If it is the role of managers to successfully guide employees toward accomplishing organizational objectives, it is imperative that they understand these psychological processes. Motivation is further described as being intentional and directional. The word ‘intentional’ refers to personal choice and persistence of action, whilst ‘directional’ denotes the presence of a driving force aimed at attaining a specific goal.In other words, a motivated person is always aware of the fact that a specific goal must be achieved, and would direct their effort at attaining that goal (Nell et al. , 2001). Mol (1992) on the other hand distinguishes between the terms ‘movement and ‘motivation’.
When a person carries out a task just for the sake of being remunerated, the person is moved rather than motivated. It is only when individuals carry out a task because they are enjoying it or are totally involved in it that they are motivated.According to La Motto (1 995), motivation is simply the reason individuals have for doing the things they do. In day-to-day society many different things motivate people, and that which motivates one person may not necessarily motivate another. Things such as a love for life, a desire to succeed, fear of failure, the need for self-fulfillment or self-esteem, are all factors that influence motivation. In conjunction with this, employee motivation is a process that an organization can foster and nurture so that it an occur spontaneously.If organizations believe that people are naturally motivated, they must simply provide the environment and atmosphere that fosters and supports their motivation (Baron, 1983).
La Motto (1995) posits the view that, the common wisdom is that managers have to learn to motivate people. He believes that employees bring their own motivation, and what they need from work is to be liberated, to be involved, to be accountable and to reach their full potential. Harris (1996) advances the notion of ‘horsepower’, which he defines as employee’s engaged passion for excellence.In accordance with this, organizations that capture the hearts of their employees seldom have to be concerned about motivation, as engaged hearts motivate themselves. People who are engaged and self-motivated do not have to be managed, as they are motivated by doing a job they believe in, in a constructive direction. According to Lawyer (1973) as cited in Barbing, Vulgar and Blue (1987), a theory of work motivation must account for the control and prediction of behavior.It must account for the phenomenon of voluntary behavior being initiated, that is, it should identify the energies of voluntary work behavior.
A theory of work motivation must explain how human behavior is directed or channeled. It is evident that a good reward and recognition system can contribute to people’s satisfaction and their willingness and desire to learn and improve their skills and can lead to greater retention. The types of rewards and recognition that people receive are a major contributing factor to their level of satisfaction.The more highly rewarded and recognized people are, the more satisfied they tend to be with their job and with their life. This implies that satisfied employees are less likely to quit, change jobs, join unions, or be absent. In summary, organizations are better off when they provide people with a reward level that leads them to feel at least moderately satisfied (Lawyer, 2003). Consistent in the literature is that, albeit a well-researched area, many organizations are still not leveraging off the value that a well-structured total reward programmer could add.
It would appear that many organizations continue to make the mistake to have programmer that focuses primarily on reward, rather than a healthy balance of reward and recognition. The Proposal in Qualitative Research The purpose of “qualitative” or “naturalistic” research varies according to the search paradigm, methods, and assumptions. Generally speaking, qualitative researchers attempt to describe and interpret some human phenomenon, often in the words of selected individuals (the informants).These researchers try to be clear about their biases, presuppositions, and interpretations so that others (the stakeholders) can decide what they think about it all. Unlike conventional, positivist research, there is no single accepted outline for a qualitative research proposal or report (Morse, 1 991 The generic outline that follows is suggested as a point of departure for alliterative research proposals, and it applies specifically to the research paradigm and methods that seem most applicable to the study of families and family therapy (e. G. Post-positivist, phenomenological clinical observation and long interviews).
The outline is intended to serve as a point of departure for researchers, who must decide how to organize their proposals (a) to best communicate their ideas to their intended audiences and (b) to satisfy the demands of the context. I. Introduction A. Begin with something interesting, e. G. , a quote or story, to capture the readers interest. B.
Introduce you question or curiosity. What is it that you want to know or understand? How did you get interested in the topic? If your question has evolved since you have begun, describe the process.C. Tell why there’s a need for the study. Cite relevant literature that calls for the need for the research in this area, or demonstrates the lack Of attention to the topic. In your own words, describe how you think this study will be useful. D.
Describe the intended audience for your research (e. G. , the public, family therapists). E. Describe your research product. What form will the report take (e. G.
, scholarly manuscript, magazine article for the public, script for a documentary video)? F. Conclude the introduction with an overview of your proposal. II.Research Paradigm This section should be included in your proposal when you expect to have readers who are not familiar with the naturalistic research paradigm. It may not be necessary in contexts where qualitative research is an accepted form of inquiry. A. Use specific language to name and describe your research paradigm (e.
G. , naturalistic, post-positivist). The term “paradigm” is used here to represent the epistemological, conceptual foundation for qualitative research. See Cuba (1990). B. Describe the philosophical correlates of your research paradigm (e. G.
, phenomenology, hermeneutics).C. Cite authors who have defined your research paradigm in the social sciences and suggested its application to your field of study and/or your specific topic of study. See Moon, Dillon, and Sprinkle (1990). D. Explain the assumptions of your research paradigm. 1.
Broadly speaking, describe what you intend to accomplish through this research (e. G. , expanding a knowledge base, generating hypotheses for quantitative research, developing a grounded theory, emancipating informants, establishing the trustworthiness of a theory). See Atkinson and Heath (AAA, Bibb); Lincoln and Cuba (1985). . Explain the assumptions about the nature of knowledge and reality that underlie your research paradigm. Discuss how a formal literature review will be used.
3. Describe the major tasks of the researcher in this paradigm of research. Comment on how the tasks differ in conventional social science research. 4. Explain the type of relationship that the researcher has with the informants (e. G. , unobtrusive observer, participant observer, collaborator, emancipation).
E. Suggest the appropriate criteria for evaluating the research findings, research recess, and the research report.The criteria should be consistent with your research paradigm and well documented. See Atkinson, Heath, and Channel (1991). Ill. Research Method A. Identify and generally describe your research method (e.
G. , ethnographic field study, single case study), and your research procedures (e. G. , long interviews, observation). B. Cite the major authors who have described your research method. See Lincoln and Cuba (1985); Glares and Strauss (1967), etc.
C. Describe what you intend to do in detail, as you begin your study. 1 Explain how you will select informants and gain entry into the research intent (if relevant). . Describe the procedures you will take to protect the rights of your informants (e. G. , informed consent, human subjects approval, debriefing).
3. Describe the kind of relationship you intend to have with the informants. Will you be neutral, collaborative, objective? 4. Describe the kind of data you will collect (e. G. , field notes from memory, audio tapes, video tapes, transcripts of conversations, examination of existing documents, etc. ).
5. Describe your intended data collection procedures. Elf interviews are to be used, list your question(s) or attach as an appendix. Describe any equipment o be used. . Describe the procedures you will use to keep track of the research process. This will become part of your audit trail.
A. Process notes: Day to day activities, methodological notes, decision making procedures. B. Materials relating to intentions and reactions: personal notes about motivations, experiences with informants, etc. C. Instrument development information: revisions of interview questions, etc. 7.
Describe your intended data analysis procedures (coding, sorting, etc. )? A. Data reduction: Write-ups of field notes, transcription procedures and conventions, computer programs used, etc. Data reconstruction: development of categories, findings, conclusions, connections to existing literature, integration of concepts. 8. Describe how the research design may evolve as the process unfolds. 9.
Describe how you will organize, format and present your data, interpretations, and conclusions. D. Describe how you will consider and protect “reliability” and “validity. ” Will you use systematic methods and procedures, triangulation, member checking, peer debriefing, auditing? IV- Preliminary Biases, Suppositions and Hypotheses A.Summarize and reference all of the relevant literature that you have viewed to date. B. Describe how your review of the literature has influenced the way you are approaching the research.
C. Discuss how your previous experience with your topic has influenced the way you have conceptualized this research. Summarize relevant personal an professional experiences, if you have not done so in the Introduction. D. Disclose the anticipated findings, your hypotheses and your hunches. E. Describe the procedures you will use to remain “open” to unexpected information (e.
G. Peer debriefing). F. Discuss the limitations of your study in the context of the limitations Of all similar studies. Characteristics of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods There are 2 broad categories of data collection methods: quantitative and qualitative. The difference in the 2 categories lies in the approach and the types of questions they seek to answer. There is the erroneous perception that quantitative methods are more objective and that qualitative methods are more subjective.
Today’s researchers recognize that both methods have subjective and objective qualities.Quantitative Methods Quantitative research uses methods adopted from the physical sciences that are designed to ensure objectivity, reliability and the ability to generalist. They seek to exert maximum control over the questions and potential answers and most often incorporate probability sampling methods to allow for statistical inference to the larger study population. The researcher is considered external to the actual research, and results are expected to be replicable no matter who conducts the research. Quantitative methods help to answer questions such as who, how much, and how many.Where probability sampling is used, statistical analysis will provide precise estimates for study variables, such as frequencies, averages, ranges, means, and percentages, at a known and quantifiable degree of confidence. The intent is to gather data to test a pre-determined hypothesis and only answers to those questions/variables included in the questionnaire are collected.
Questions are not open-ended and respondents are expected to provide short ‘answers’. This eases analysis, but limits the degree to which respondents participate and are able to provide explanations that they perceive (causes, rationale).Rather, explanations are sought by comparing associations and potentially causal relationships between variables (e. G. Diarrhea prevalence is lower among children whose primary drinking water resource is a borehole; the lower prevalence, therefore, is explained by the source Of water). Strengths Precise estimates, backed by statistical theory’, are often invaluable for decision-making and advocacy because they are robust and objectively verifiable if the data is collected and analyses correctly.Weaknesses The greatest weakness of the quantitative approach is that it can take human behavior out of context in a way that removes the event from its real world setting.
Factors or variables left out of the data collection instrument are simply not considered in analysis. Qualitative Methods Qualitative research methods are designed to provide the researcher with the perspective of target audience members through immersion in their culture or situation and through direct interaction with them. These methods help to answer questions such as how and why.The focus is on presenting perceptions, judgments, and opinion ions and on explaining meanings, processes and reasons. Qualitative interviews differ from traditional structured interviews, in which formal questionnaires are used, by not being limited to a set of predetermined questions to be asked in sequence. Instead, the interviewer sees a checklist of topics to guide the interview, pursuing avenues that open along the way. When applying qualitative methods, the researcher becomes the instrument of data collection and results may vary greatly depending upon the researcher.
Hypotheses and additional ‘follow-up’ questions are generated during data collection and analysis, and measurement tends to be subjective. Therefore, by their very nature, the methods are Often not objectively verifiable. The strengths of using qualitative methods are that they generate rich, detailed data that leave the participants’ perspectives intact and provide a context for their behavior. Respondents provide their own explanations in a participatory exchange with interviewers. Weaknesses The weaknesses of using qualitative methods are that data collection and analysis may be labor intensive and time-consuming.As a result the number of respondents to which the method is applied is usually far fewer than for quantitative methods. Another disadvantage is that qualitative methods are often not objectively verifiable.
When to use Quantitative or Qualitative Methods It is often appropriate to employ both quantitative and qualitative methods as they complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Qualitative methods might be used to explore issues during the early stages of a longer study, enabling the researchers to understand better what closed-ended and focused questions need to be asked as part of a quantitative study.Conversely, quantitative methods might highlight particular issues, which could then be studied in more depth through the use Of qualitative methods and open-ended discussions. Also remember that quantitative data can result from qualitative methods and qualitative data can result from quantitative methods, such that the distinction between the 2 is often blurred. It is critical o note that the indicator does not necessarily pre-determine the data collection method. More often than not available resources and staff expertise will drive the decision to choose one data collection method over another.