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Sample Research Proposal on Motivation at University of Hull

Labels: Human Resource Research Proposals, Training and Development Research Proposals, UK Research Proposals


Executive Summary
Organisational studies have incessantly been tackling the issue of motivation and its

importance to the organisation as a whole. Though a bulk of it is carried out in the manufacturing and industrial organisations, the majority of the findings tend to display a rather universal manifestation of the significance of motivation in attaining organisational gaols. This study is going to be a welcome addition to the existing organisational studies relating to motivation and effectiveness of the organisation. Specifically, the study will provide a proposal highlighting the element of staff motivation in educational institutions.

The primary objective of the study is to establish the relationship of staff motivation and the performance of the staff in Hull University. It is the findings of this paper that a project plan would be generated. On the whole, the respondents of this study would be generally the faculty members of the university. In measuring the possible relationship of motivation to the effectiveness and efficiency of their work, a detailed plan would be developed in the context of human resource management methods. The arguments and observations provided for in this paper are to be based on academic and scholarly journal relating on human resource management and employee motivation.


Literature Review
The issue of staff motivation tends to fall under the tenets of human resource

management (HRM). This indicates that the issue of motivation tends to cover a whole lot of

elements related to the work environment to which the employee is subjected. Some studies looked into the relationship of training and development and motivation among employees. Earlier studies indicated that training prior to the actual implementation of the job requirement among the employees tends to boost the motivation and performance of the organisation as a whole. (Baldwin, Loher, and Magjuka, 1994, 282) However, in the study of Bozeman, Carlson, Kacmar, McMahan, Wright (2000, 271), they noted that the provision of training and development processes is not enough to ensure effectiveness of the employee. They coined the term "training motivation" as an indispensable requirement in the individual level.

Other similar studies have pointed out that the performance management of the employees implemented by the company tends to similarly improve the motivational levels in the organisation. Performance management is seen to be composed of two elements: goalsetting and appraisals. (Pierce and Taylor, 1999) Essentially, a considerably bulk of the literature presented in this type of motivational root is pay. Indicated in the recent works of Moynihan and Pandey (2005, 421) they claimed that pay is only one of the possible tools in ensuring the proper management of the overall performance of the employees. They indicated the need for an actual improvement of the overall environment of the organisation. They have also noted that employees in the management-level positions have the task of improving on this environment and do their best to control those factors which appear to influence the performance of their subordinates.

Another major determinant of motivation is seen in terms of compensation and incentives. As indicated in the earlier part of this paper, money is a great motivator among employees. However, recent studies have indicated that pay-performance incentives tend to be

ineffective to some degree especially in the context of teaching. In the study of Gratz (2005, 568), though teachers are given a particularly appealing pay-performance incentive, this does not ensure that the current status of their performance will improve. As discussed in his study, these individuals are paid a certain amount regardless on whether they "try harder" than that expected of them.

As seen in the discussions above, the presented issues fall under the general definitions held in HRM processes. In the context of this paper, the discussions above have considerably shed light into the possible relationship of these HRM processes to the level of motivation and essentially to the performance of the employees. These HRM processes are similarly implemented in schools and universities. The academic profession has similarly been subjected to studies involving the HRM processes of the organisation. In an early study of Adler and Bartholomew (1992, 551) they have indicated that in the 90s, studies have focused directly on organisational behaviour and human resource management. This means that majority of the early works on motivation also dealt with the issue of diversity and its management, especially in the academic profession. However, recent studies have claimed that an imminent shift in the existing paradigm is in order. (Palmer, 2002, 127) With the emergence of a new market for postgraduate education in countries like UK, USA, and Australia, the proper management of those involved in the learning process should thus be considered.


Statement of the Problem

The educational institution is an important part of society. It is where the individual

creates his own consciousness of the world. It is for this reason that the proper management of

the personnel of universities and other higher education institutions is imperative. There have been studies implicating the undermotivation of university personnel. One study indicated that aside from the tenure situation that employee tends to find themselves into. There are similar findings that the rewards may possibly provide a greater manifestation of this issue. (Bess, 1998, 1) A similar finding is seen in the study of Greisler (2002, 1125) where he found out that the faculty tends to see students as an "inconvenience." This shows a disconcerting fact on the entire nature of higher education. With this observation, it shows that a self-destructive development is within the midst of the entire educational system. Regardless of the fact that the study is made in a different educational institution, personal experience indicates that this transpires more often as anticipated. In any case, this occurrence reveals a manifestation of low staff motivation models among the faculty displaying such demeanours. On the other hand, other studies have described the teaching profession as an inherently demotivating job because of the nature of it. (Prentice, 2001, 80) They claimed that the rather isolated and the apparent lack of integration tend to affect the levels of motivation of the faculty which in turn adds up to the turnover rate in higher education.


Background of the Topic

There are perceptively a rather scarce amount of studies relating to the relationship of

staff motivation and performance. This study will attempt to establish that connection in the context of Hull University. The context of staff motivation is largely connected to the proper implementation of human resource management practices. Other works tend to highlight this term as it pertains to total quality management techniques (TQM). (Sallis, 2002, 35) To some extent, the application of such a term on the academic profession tends to emphasise the

impression to a more general term: empowerment. To this end, this research will attempt to coalesce the theories of both HRM and TQM definitions of motivation to look into the process inherent in the academic sector. Specifically, the item of quality management will be analysed in terms of the environment on which the employees of the Hull University. In the same manner, the discussions and findings will be tackled in three major factors influencing motivation: training and development; performance management; and compensation and benefits.


Research Purpose
The research is going to be based on the discovery of the staff motivation of Hull

University and its implications on the faculty of the said institution. Moreover, the specific implications sought would be based on the responses of the faculty members based on the researcher-made questionnaire forwarded by this study. In the same manner, the training and development, performance management, and compensation and benefits programmes provided for by the university will also be taken into consideration. The findings of this paper will be a combination of the qualitative data and quantitative data collected by the researcher.

A. Scope and Limitations

The study will be covering the human resource processes that the Hull University implements to their personnel. Moreover, the analysis provided for in this study will be used to measure the staff motivation of the respondents. The major limitation established in this paper is the rather small range of research done. This means that a generalised theory will not be in the imminent future of the paper. It could only stay close to the findings made within the Hull

University and not in the entire educational system.

B. Significance of the Study

The study will be a welcome addition to the considerable number of motivation studied in the organisational literature. In the same way, it could be a great inclusion in the scarce resources that could be seen in staff motivation in higher education institutions. Moreover, this research proposal will be an impetus for a project plan that will considerably influence the general operations of the university in terms of the training and development; performance management; and compensation and benefits of the faculty. At any rate, the students, faculty, and the university as a whole will benefit from this study.


Conceptual and Context

The theory of motivation has also been included immensely in the organisational

literature. Studies like that made by Wright (2001, 599) have used the motivational theories of Maslow to look into the level of effectiveness of the employees in the public sector.

In the same manner, the study of Perry (2000, 471) highlighted the need of achievement of public service personnel to boost their motivation levels. To this end this said study closely adheres to the theory of McClelland which in the same manner highlights the need of power and need for affiliation among individuals.

Similarly, the goal-setting theory has also been implemented numerous times in the academic setting. However, such studies have focused on the perspective of the students and their learning motivation. (Madden, 1997, 411)

VII. Research Question

The focus of the study is to establish the relationship of the staff motivation of the faculty of Hull University with the effectiveness of the HRM programmes of the institution. The study intends to answer the following questions:

1. How effective is Hull University's HRM programmes in terms of y y y training and development; performance management; and compensation and benefits.

2. What are the particular HRM programmes that the Hull University with regards to y y y training and development; performance management; and compensation and benefits.

3. What is the level of staff motivation among the faculty of Hull University? 4. How does Hull University manage the staff motivation of the faculty?

VIII. Methodology
The study will use both qualitative and quantitative methods of research. The use of qualitative research will ensure that an illicit understanding of the topic will be provided. (Myburgh and Poggenpoel, 2005, 304) This provides a concrete foundation on the theories and past studies relating to motivation. The use of quantitative methods will also provide a concrete manifestation of the findings on an actual setting. In the same light, the use of this type of research allows the researcher to measure the parameters held in the objectives of the paper. (Benz and Newman, 1998, 2) This also indicates that the study will use questionnaires and interviews as the main tools for collecting data. Moreover, the respondents will be limited to the faculty of Hull University.


Title. A brief summary of the topic not exceeding 15 words. Mention of the nature of the