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Research is one of the most important parts of a dissertation that cannot be avoided. In fact, a dissertation is incomplete if a proper research is not included. The research helps in collecting in-depth information regarding the topic of the dissertation and also helps in seeking the solutions to the problems that the dissertation aims to address. Every dissertation is aimed to address a certain problem and its solutions are being sought from the literature available at the researcher¶s disposal. The literature helps in validating the findings that are made during the course of the research. The purpose of the dissertation is to provide new information related to the topic, help the reader understand the topic with more depth and provide authenticate knowledge to the field. This can only be one when the research is carried out using a valid research methodology that is being designed after thorough study of the aims and objectives of the study (Wilson, 2009). The process of designing a methodology for the research is said to be the stepping stone for the research (Amaratunga et al., 2002). It acts as a roadmap for the researcher and the research is being conducted according to the route defined by the methodology. This helps in addressing the research questions and the research objectives in a way that the research yields valid results that help in authenticating the overall dissertation. The reason for conducting the research in the current dissertation was that this dissertation was aimed to collect information regarding employee motivation and retention by the introduction of reward schemes. Furthermore, the dissertation also aimed to collect information regarding the various reward schemes that are being used by various firms in order to motivate their employees and evaluate these schemes to assess which scheme best serve the
purpose. This required detailed information about what reward schemes are currently used and the way these schemes have been helpful for the firms in increasing the motivation level of the employees. The research was also aimed to collect information about which reward scheme, amongst the mostly used, is the most appropriate for the purpose. It was also aimed to collect data about whether the selection of salary is beneficial or the selection of a complete package. The primary data for the research was collected by using two important means. First, the employees of the firm were asked to fill a custom-made questionnaire that was based on openended questions and involved some basic questions that were supposed to help in collecting valuable information from a relatively large sample. Then, interviews were used to collect more information from some employees of the selected firms. Secondary data was also included in the research in order to increase the validation of the overall research and provide extra information related to the topic.
Figure 1: The Process Onion (Source: Saunders et al., 2003)
Designing of a research methodology is a step by step process. It is necessary that all the steps are being followed in sequence, in order to design a valid methodology that would help in collecting authentic data related to the topic. In order to facilitate the process of designing the methodology, Saunders et al. (2001) proposed a figure in which they provided all the steps that are involved in the process.
The selection of a philosophy is the very first step that is involved in the process of designing a research methodology. There are many research philosophies that can be used depending upon the requirements of the research. Saunders et al. (2001) have stated the names of various theories in the first circle of the proposed figure. Two of these theories are most commonly used because of their wide acceptance; these philosophies are Positivism and Interpretivism. Positivism philosophy recommends having a strong theory as a base of the research which is then tested during the course of the research. While using Positivism, the researcher has to create hypotheses and then test them using various research methods (Remenyi et al. 1998). The hypotheses are formed by using the research questions that are and a thorough study of the research objectives. Further, existing theories of some well known scholars that are accepted by the masses and are found to be relevant to the research requirements, along with the related facts are used for the development of statements that are then converted into hypotheses. Interpretivism on the other hand, is based on the facts and figures that lead the building of the research. The end results obtained are used to form statements that are capable of
representing the findings. Interpretivism is used when the research is aimed at addressing a particular issue and therefore, the results obtained from such researches cannot be generalized (Easterby-Smith, 1991). Both the philosophies have some restrictions that might affect the completeness of information that is required for the current research and therefore, a philosophy that is called µPost-Positivism¶ will be used as it will ensure the quality of the results and that the findings are aligned with the requirements. The Post-Positivism Philosophy allows the researcher to have some statements as the base of the research and also accepting any additional information that would help in addressing the requirements of the research. The reason to use Post-Positivism philosophy is that the employees of the firm, who are the sample for the research, might propose more than one idea that is found to be helpful in addressing the research requirements. Ignoring these facts would affect the validity of the research.
The second step involved in designing the methodology involves the selection of research approach for the collection of data. There are two approaches that can be used by the researcher, Inductive approach and Deductive approach. Using these approaches in the research allow the research in adding new information to the field that it belongs (Hyde, 2000). The need to use the Inductive approach arises when the research is expected to yield data in the form of statements and words. Such data is usually obtained when Inductivism is used. The tools that are usually used in such researchers are interviews, questionnaires with openended questions, etc.
Deductive approach is used when the research is expected to yield data in the form of numbers or replies that are countable. This usually occurs when Positivism is being followed. For such researches, a wide variety of tools can be used like questionnaires with close-ended questions, survey questionnaires, etc. The current research involves the perceptions of the respondents regarding the effects on motivation and retention of employees through the introduction of reward schemes that a firm offers. The respondents were required to share their experiences and perceptions regarding such schemes and explain how these schemes have helped in increasing the motivation of employees and have helped the firms in retaining them.
The third step in the creation of a valid research methodology is the selection of a technique. This process too, involves thorough study of the requirements of the research along with the data that is expected to be collected from the research. It can be said that the selection of a technique relies on the selection of the research approach and the philosophy that is used as these techniques further support the first two steps. There are two techniques that can be used in any research, Qualitative and Quantitative. Qualitative techniques are used when the data is expected to be in the form of words, sentences, expressions, etc. These techniques are mostly used with the Inductive approach. These techniques help in the treatment of data that is collected. The data is being treated to form statements that represent the majority of the replies and cover all the important information discussed in the data. Quantitative techniques are used when the data collected from the research is in the form of numbers or are the replies of the respondents that countable. These techniques are mostly used
in combination with the deductive approach as the data under deductive approach is usually found to be in the form of numbers or is countable. The current research involved the study of perceptions of the people along with the facts and figures related to the topic. Therefore, Qualitative approach for the processing of data was used. The reason being the fact that the data was in the form of sentences and was in descriptive form. The use of qualitative techniques for the treatment of data helped in bringing clarity to the data and converting it into useful information.
Many researches have been conducted in order to know about the factors that help the firms in increasing the motivation of their employees and retaining them with the firm for a longer term. The data for this research can therefore be available in abundance as every firm in the world tend to reduce turnover and keep the employees motivated in order to maintain their operations and keep them optimized. The selection of appropriate channels for the collection of data is crucial because of the wide choices available at the disposal of the researcher. The data for the current research was collected from many sources that were considered to provide important information that would help in addressing the research questions and ultimately, helping in serving the purpose of the research. These included primary as well as secondary sources.
Primary sources serve as important means for the collection of data for any research. Primary data is the one that is obtained by the researcher directly from the respondents and is considered to be fresh (Dennis & Harris, 2002). Such data have the capability to address the research questions directly as it is collected by considering the research objectives, aims of the research and the research questions.
Instruments for Data collection In order to collect data that serves the requirements of the research and tends to incorporate completeness, two instruments will be used in this research. One of them is a survey questionnaire and the other is interview. Survey questionnaires are one of the most commonly used tool for data collection in the human resource management (Jonassen, et al., 2008). The questionnaire consisted of open-ended questions that facilitated the respondents in explaining their ideas and feelings along with their experiences regarding the issues. Open-ended questions allow the respondent to explain their perceptions in detail while survey allows the researcher to collect data from a comparatively large sample size. Interviews are another important source for collection of data. It is a process that involves the exchange of ideas between two persons and the topic is of interest of both the parties (Iorio, 2004). It helps the researcher in explaining his requirements clearly to the respondents and also observe their body language. The use of tool is time consuming and requires more effort from the researcher as compared to other tools and can be conducted with a comparatively smaller sample. Sample A sample is a subset of the total population. The reason for dividing the overall population into small pieces is to create an accessible portion with which the research can easily be conducted as collecting data from the whole of the population is literally impossible for the researcher. The selection of a sample from the overall population is a critical process that involves a thorough study of the population. The sample must be a representative of the overall population.
The sample that was selected for the current research consisted of people aged between 18 and 65, both males and females, working for [name of firm]. This sample was selected for the survey. The interviews were conducted with the human resource managers of five firms. Five employees from the surveys were also selected for interviews. The reason to conduct the survey with the employees was to know their perception regarding the use of reward schemes for increasing the motivation and job satisfaction. On the other hand, the human resource managers were interviewed in order to get information regarding how they see things at their end and how effective these policies prove.
Secondary data consists of the observations and findings of other people usually in the works of scholars that is found to be related to the topic that would help in addressing the research questions (Groenewald, 2004). The secondary data, in most cases is found to be addressing most of the research requirements but is not able to address them completely as the researches were aimed to address the particular problems of other researches (Crowther & Lancaster, 2008). The secondary data for the current research was collected from many sources that included various books, journal articles, websites, etc. The following are some of the examples of the sources that were used for the collection of data: Books y y y y Strategic Human Resource Management Organization Change: A Comprehensive Reader International HRM: A Cross-Cultural Approach Contemporary Human Resource Management: Text and Cases, etc.
Journals y y y y Human Resource Management Journal International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal The International Journal of Accounting Information Systems The International Journal of Innovation and Learning, etc.
Nature of data
The data that was collected from different sources for the research was in descriptive form as it consisted of facts related to the experiences of people present in the sample.
The methodology plays an important part of the overall research as it acts as a roadmap for the researcher. It helps the reader in understanding the procedures that were used for the collection of data. The philosophy that was selected for the research was Post-Positivism as it was considered to serve the purpose of the research in the most appropriate manner. The approach that was selected was Inductive because the data collected during the course of the research was in descriptive form. The data was then treated using Qualitative techniques. The collection of data was done using two tools at the same time. Survey questionnaires and interviews that were conducted with some of the employees of the selected firm and with five human resource managers who were accessible by the researcher. The secondary data was collected from various sources that included books, journals, websites, etc. It was made sure that the data that was collecte4d was relevant to the research objectives and helped in addressing the research questions and in validating the research findings.
Amaratunga Dilanthi, Baldry David, Sarshar Marjan and Newton Rita, 2002. Quantitative and Qualitative Research in the Built Environment: Application of Mixed Research Approach. Work Study, 51(1), p. 17-31. Dennis, C. & Harris, L. 2002. Marketing the E-Business. London: Routledge. Easterby-Smith, M., 1991. Management Research: An Introduction. London: Sage. Groenewald, T. 2004. A phenomenological Research Design Illustrated. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 3(1), p. 42. Hyde K.F., 2000. Recognising Deductive Processes in Qualitative Research. Qualitative Market Research. An International Journal, 3(2) p. 82+. Jonassen, D.H., Tessmer, M. & Hannum, W.H., 1999. Task Analysis Methods for Instructional Design, Mahwah N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates. Remenyi, D., Williams, B., Money, A. and Swartz, E., 1998. Doing Research in Business and Management. London: Sage. Iorio, S., 2004. Qualitative Research in Journalism: Taking it to the Streets, Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. 2003. Research Methods for Business Students (3rd ed.). London: Prentice Hall-Financial Times Wilson, E. 2009. School Based Research: A Guide for Education Students. London: Sage Publications.
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