Research Study Proposal
Background of problem
Riordan Manufacturing is a firm whose business is molding plastic injections. The strategic objective of the firm is to be a high-performing organization. The firm management believes that in order to achieve this objective, Riordan Manufacturing need to hire people with the ability to be effective leaders into sales leadership positions. In the past, Riordan Manufacturing promoted internal employees to be sales leaders basing their performance in their current roles. However, the management of Riordan Manufacturing changed the selection process to hiring externally by comparing candidates and picking the best.
Purpose of the research
Sales records at Riordan Manufacturing have shown that several applicants who had high score in the new recruitment and selection process tend to be less competent than sales leaders who were selected using the previous method. Additionally, the selection procedure has not been a dependable indicator of applicant’s future performance in the firm. The management is concerned, firstly feels that the new selection process does not result in high performing leaders. Senior sales managers are concerned, firstly due to the fact that the selection processes costs the company large sums of money and secondly because the labor turnover remained high even after the new selection process was introduced. The purpose of the research is to determine the effectiveness of the new selection process in selecting high performing leaders. It is apparent that the problem Riordan Manufacturing seeks to solve is to determine whether the leaders selected using the revised selection process demonstrate higher performance competencies. The outcomes of this study will assist senior managers in either coming up with a new strategy or amending the current one.
The problem statements:
1. To evaluate whether leaders selected using the revised selection process demonstrate lower critical performance competencies.
2. To evaluate the competence of sales managers in implementing the new selection process?
The research questions:
1. Do leaders selected using the revised selection process demonstrates lower critical performance competencies?
2. How competent are sales managers in implementing the new recruitment and selection process?
Leaders selected using the revised selection process demonstrates lower critical performance competencies.
Research method and design appropriateness
The research method that will be used in this study has been chosen with the aim of acquiring information and deducing conclusions about the effectiveness of the revised selection process. The study will employ a quantitative research methodology. Descriptive quantitative research involves identifying characteristics of observed occurrences.
This research will be directed by a systematic methodological foundation with regard to its development, organization, presentation, investigating and analysis of data thus improving the reliability and validity of the recommendations and conclusions that will be made from this study.
The research methodology that will be used for this research comprised a literature study, an experimental study, a survey and secondary data. Research methodology enables the researcher to use the research questions to derive clear objectives, indicating the source of the data is to be used and considering the limitations of the research, which will inevitably be encountered.
a. Literature study
The literature study will be conducted with an aim to identify best practices for the selection and recruitment process.
b. Secondary data
In this study, secondary data will include data on the turnover of sales leaders in the last one year as well as Riordan Manufacturing’s policy on selection and recruitment.
c. Empirical study
The empirical study will be done by means of questionnaires which will be mailed to respondents.
d. Mail survey
A mail survey will be administered using electronic mail and conducted among senior sales managers. The questionnaires will examine the effectiveness of the new selection process as perceived and implemented by the managers. The survey method is often linked to a deductive approach. Using surveys, large amounts of data are able to be collected from a large population in a very economical way.
For purposes of this research, a questionnaire will be designed as a tool for data collection. A questionnaire will be appropriate for this study because the data to be collected has to do with opinions, behaviors and attitudes. Interviews are quite time consuming and complex to analyze for inexperienced researchers while case studies are less appropriate for gathering opinions and attitudes.
The sample will consist of fifteen sales managers at Riordan Manufacturing who are responsible for one hundred and fifty sales consultants. The questionnaires will be sent to the managers via electronic mail. Respondents will have a choice between sending back the questionnaire by hand, by e-mail or by fax machine, according to the practicability of the situation.
Questionnaire Design and Layout
The design and layout of the questionnaire are essential aspects of this tool. These aspects will enable researchers to capture the respondents’ interest and obtain the relevant information. The design of the self-administered questionnaires to be used for this study should be attractive so as to encourage the respondents to complete and give back the questionnaire. The questions will be designed in a way that allows respondents to select one response from a number of alternative answers. Where applicable, attitudes will be summarized in fairly brief statements.
The statistical analysis of data will mainly be carried out by calculating the percentages obtained for different questions and by representing the percentages by means of tables and graphs. The graphical presentation will be done using bar graphs to facilitate the display of a wide range of data in a concise format. The data to be covered will be in 4 subsections namely; Biographical data, Company policy, Recruitment and Selection.
Section A: Biological details of respondents
This section will require respondents to provide their biographical data. The aspects to be covered will include; Job title, Length of service in managerial position, age and highest qualification.
Section B: Company Policy
This section will cover Riordan Manufacturing’s recruitment and selection policy and procedure. Respondents will be required to answer questions about their perception and implementation of the company’s policy at their branches.
Section C: Recruitment
This section will include questions on the process of recruitment. The formulation of questions will be derived from the theoretical argument of the recruitment process.
Section D: Selection
This section will cover the selection process which will also be derived from the theoretical discussion.
Improving research reliability and validity
Reliability and Validity are two essential attributes that every measuring research tool should possess. Validity may be defined as the degree to which a measuring device measures what it is expected to measure. On the contrary, reliability is the degree to which an instrument consistently measures whatever it is expected to measure.
In this study, validity will mean that the measuring tool actually assesses the effectiveness with which selection and recruitment evaluation strategies are used at Riordan Manufacturing. Great caution will be taken while developing the questionnaires to make sure that valid information is collected. The questionnaire will be cautiously designed to echo the information that will be collected in the theoretical research. Close-ended questions will be used to ensure that the responses are valid and easy to compare. The questionnaire will also be forwarded to a professional in the Human Resources Management field to ascertain the validity of the tools of measurement.
In regard to reliability, only useful information will be collected. For instance, collecting information from a respondent on the same subject would not be useful if different responses are acquired each time the information is collected from the same respondent. Besides comparing the information collected with other information from different sources, the internal consistency approach will be used. This approach will involve comparing the responses to all the questions in the questionnaire. It will hence measure the uniformity of responses across the questions in the questionnaire.
Potential threats to internal and external validity and how you might prepare
So as to avoid confusion, questions that consist of two or more ideas will have to be avoided. Respondents can easily consider such questions as two different questions. This can contaminate the accurateness of the answer. The researcher should also avoid multiple questions, that is, questions that request a lot of content that they can be separated into two or more questions.
The researcher will only ask questions that contribute important information toward responding to the research questions, and not those that produce interesting information. The researcher will avoid asking questions whose answers can be inferred from a different question. Unnecessary details will be left out by basing the questionnaire on appropriate research.
The content and suitability of questions will be determined by considering the information level of respondents. The target group for this research is responsible for selecting and recruiting applicants in the organization where the research will be conducted. Hence it is assumed that they will have the required knowledge to complete the questions in the questionnaire.
The respondents’ ability to answer questions adequately will be important when the questions overburden their ability to recollect information. Unless an event was dramatic, people may not recall much of what occurred in their past. The questions to be covered in the questionnaire for this study will be related to current practices and respondents will not be required to remember past occurrences.
Care will be taken when constructing the questionnaire in order that the queries follow a consistent sequence. They will not be clustered together and they will have a design that can be followed easily. The questions will be precise in order for the respondents to know exactly what they need to respond to.
Neutrality will be maintained all through the questionnaire. As much as is possible, leading questions will be avoided so that respondents are not forced to make up their mind with no influence whatsoever. Loaded questions are those in which social suitability or unsuitability may influence respondents to respond in a particular way. Such question will also be avoided. In this way, the research will be neutral and hence valid.
Steps to ensure you conducted ethical and responsible research
Honesty, accuracy, efficiency and objectivity are some of the values that are shared by all researchers and ensure responsible conduct of research. Honesty involves conveying information in truthful manner and honoring commitments; accuracy involves reporting findings in a precise manner and avoiding errors; efficiency involves using resources in a wise manner and avoiding waste; and objectivity involves letting people make inference from the facts and not being bias. Responsible research is one that is founded on these values at the very least, and other essential values that ensure integrity in research.
Since the research will involve human beings, the research will have to comply with all applicable Federal regulations and any relevant state and local regulations, laws, and policies associated with protection of human subjects. The research will also follow other applicable codes that professional groups have formulated. Among other things, meeting these responsibilities will require:
a. Being aware that research is subject to regulation
b. Accepting responsibility to comply
c. Comprehending and adhering to the rules for research approval
d. getting relevant training
For the purpose of confidentiality, some data will be collected with the agreement that only authorized people will have access to them for specific reasons. In such cases, caution will be taken to be taken to reassure participants that privacy agreements are adhered to. The data to be collected in this study contains personal information that can be associated to with specific individuals. Data that are can be subjected to privacy restrictions will be put in a secure place that can only be accessed by authorized personnel. Additionally, random codes will be used in identification of individual subjects to protect private information.
Informed consent; Research participants should be well informed concerning experiments that they are likely to participate in. They should give their consent prior to being involved in such studies. The research will be careful not to raise difficult questions regarding respect for persons, justice and beneficence.
Research participants will have the right to retract from the research at any time they want to. They will be forced to participate if they feel a need not to take part.
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