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Employee Attitudes Impact On Customer Satisfaction At Tesco Management Essay

The central part of this research will be concerned with the employee attitudes and its impact on the customer satisfaction. Employers need to recognise the needs of their employees as meeting these needs is essential in creating positive mental attitudes and employee satisfaction, which has a direct effect on customer satisfaction.

To review the extent conceptual models and theoretical frameworks related to employee attitude and customer satisfaction.

To examine the impact of employee attitude on customer satisfaction.

To identify the root cause of dissatisfaction among employees.

To examine the impact of employee attitude on organisational profitability.

Research Questions

Throughout the organisational history the importance of quality management has increased for organizations and has by now become one of the most important parts of company’s policies. Nowadays, customers have specific expectations with regard to the quality of the service they receive. Especially in relation to the employee attitudes and customer satisfaction, this makes on-going improvements necessary.

Following are the few research questions for the proposed research

Is there any link between employee attitude and customer satisfaction?

What should organizations do to ensure high job satisfaction among their employees?

How employee attitudes influence organizational performance?

Does employee attitude improve customer satisfaction and company’s financial performance?

Organisation for Research for Selected

The main organisation which I have selected for conducting this research is Costco Wholesale UK Ltd.

Review

Organisations success depends upon the various factors but employee satisfactions and their attitude towards work determines the level of success an organisation. Customer satisfaction is a critical business requirement. Employees are increasingly important for the success of the organisation. Employees have attitudes or viewpoints about many aspects of their jobs, their careers, and their organizations. However, from the perspective of research and practice, the most focal employee attitude is job satisfaction {Rynes, et al, 2002}.

The most widely used definition of the job satisfaction is given by Locke {1976}, who defined it as “. a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experiences” {p. 1304}. The most cited cross-cultural work on employee attitudes is that of Hofstede {1980, 1985). He conducted research on employee attitude data in 67 countries and found that the data grouped into four major dimensions and those countries systematically varied along these dimensions. The four cross-cultural dimensions are:

(1) Individualism-collectivism

(2) Uncertainty avoidance versus risk taking

(3) Power distance, or the extent to which power is unequally distributed

(4) Masculinity/femininity, more recently called achievement orientation.

The four dimensions have been a useful framework for understanding cross-cultural differences in employee attitudes, as well as recognizing the importance of cultural causes of employee attitudes.

Job Satisfaction and Job Performance

The study of the relationship between of employee attitudes on performance. Shortly after the Hawthorne studies, researchers began taking a critical look at the notion that Most of the earlier reviews of the literature suggested a weak and somewhat inconsistent relationship between job satisfaction and performance.

Employee and Customer Satisfaction

According to Brooks {2000}, “the relationship between financial success and customer and employee variable {customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction} and found that, depending on market segment and industry, between 40 and 80 percent of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty was accounted for by the relationship between employee attitudes and customer-related variables”.

As Berhardt, {2000}, describe the relationship between employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and profit longitudinally showing that, although the effects of employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction on business profit at a given point in time might not be detectable, they become visible and prominent over time.

Research Procedure

The basic objective of this research will be to Judge Employee attitude and its outcome on the satisfaction of valuable customers. Answers of my research questions will take me to find the outcome of Employee attitude and its impact on the satisfaction of valued members.

Research Paradigm

Mainly educational research is valued with the understanding and exploring the social phenomena which are educational in nature. According to Schultz {1996}, there are different paradigms used for the social sciences research. Two main paradigms which have been identified are positivism and anti-positivism.

As my proposed study consists on the qualitative data and interpreted information, I will be using the anti-positivism or interpretive paradigm.

In qualitative research different theories can be used in several ways to employ theory as a broad explanation, much like in quantitative research. This theory provides an explanation for behaviour and attitudes and it may be complete with variables, constructs, and hypotheses. In qualitative research, theory can help to find out what issues are important to examine and the people that need to study {Creswell, 2003}.

The qualitative approach to research strategy is characterised by lower sample numbers, than quantitative research, and participants will be selected to expand variability and represent the natural population. The interpretive approach also helps to explores first and then develop the theory thus allowing deeper explanations and insights.

The researcher is an active participant often immersing themselves in a setting, becoming part of the group under study in order to understand meaning and significance. Typical techniques include participant observation, in depth interviews, group interviews and documentation collection with an emphasis on fieldwork.

Research Approach

My research is based on Tesco as a case study that investigates issues related to employee attitude and their performance with regards to customer satisfaction. This research will be in qualitative approach based on small sample satisfying the demands of the dissertation. In qualitative research, “The researcher should commence his or her study with a cool and open mind to the possibilities of the data and the perspectives of subject” {Hyde, 2000}.

Strauss and Corbin {1990} said that most often qualitative research follows an inductive process. Grounded theory, in this researcher will collect the data from the participants and try to derive a general, abstract theory of a process, action or interaction. Exploratory research will be used to find out the impact of employee attitude and its impact on the customer satisfaction Grounded theory will be used for the data analysis purpose.

Research Methods

Primary Data

This research is basically focused on the primary data as well as on the secondary data. The data obtained firsthand by the researcher on the variables of interest for the specific purpose of the study. Primary data are individuals, focus group etc {Seka ran, 2003}. There are many advantages and disadvantages are associated with primary data. The primary data is the basic data for the research and information comes from this is unbiased. Another benefit of primary data is that no one else has this data which is playing an important role in research. Data will be directly collected from primary source like from the management of the organisation.

Christ {2008} indentified the advantages and disadvantages of primary data. First advantage is that the information has been directly related to the research. This helps the researcher to understand the issue and collect the information which he or she wants to know. In secondary data it is quite possible that researcher is unable to get required information but in primary everything is under researcher’s control. So, another advantage is control of researcher over data collection.

Data Collection

After formalized the research design the next step is collecting of data from participants {Zikmund, 2000}. In qualitative research for collecting primary data normally four methods are use by researchers. In these methods the researcher is playing a vital role to get the right information.

The four methods are;

Interview structured, semi-structure or unstructured

Survey Questionnaires

Focused Group Discussion

Observation

My research methods will consist of the following few data collection methods

Semi-Structured Interview

The semi-structured interview data collection method is used in this research. There are many types of interviews and they also have some differences. According to Bry man {2004} interview method is used in both qualitative and quantitative research but both interview methods are different in many ways.

Qualitative research contains less structured interview than quantitative research because in quantitative research focus is on structured interview to maximize the reliability validity of measurement. In structured interview researcher has specific questions. In qualitative research interview the interviewee has its own perspective so answer has been general.

In qualitative research the interview imitates the interviewee’s point of view and in quantitative research interviewee is restricted to give the answer according to researcher’s concerns.

In the qualitative interviewing the interview can start from any point and even ask new questions during interview which can comes after the answers given by interviewee. Sequence of questions can be up and down. In structured interview these cannot be happen due to focus on reliability and validity and interviewee has to ask the specific set of questions and in specific order.

Questionnaires

The second method which is used in this research is questionnaire. In this method, respondents answer questions by completing the questionnaire themselves. Some of the questionnaires are sent to respondents through email and some of them are given to respondents personally. Survey questionnaire and interview method are somehow same and have some difference as well. The main difference between them is that in survey questionnaire there is no interviewer to ask the questions and respondent must need to read the questions and then answer the questions.

Following are the similarities between survey questionnaire and interview method.

Like interview, survey questionnaire also has open ended questions to know the personal point of view of respondent instead of close ended questions which are easy to give the answers.

The risk that respondent will leave or will miss the questions can be reduced by follow the different design of questionnaire which helps in minimizing this risk. In interview method respondent also cannot skip any question from giving the answer.

Be shorter to reduce the risk of respondent fatigue, since it is manifestly easier for a respondent who becomes tired of answering questions in long questionnaire to consign it to waste paper bin than to terminate an interview.

There are also many advantages of survey questionnaire over the interview method. First is survey questionnaire is less expensive than interviewing especially when sample is from different place or samples are widely distributed geographically. Questionnaire can be sent to respondents through post or email them in large quantity at the same time.

The main disadvantage of survey method is that there is no one to facilitate the respondents if they are facing difficulties in filling questionnaire. So in survey method it is very important to make sure that questions in questionnaire are clear and have no ambiguity in understanding.

Case Study Methodology

For this qualitative research the approach which researcher used is case study. Case is commonly correlates with a location, such as a community or organization. Mostly focus on study of the setting. It is usually link with qualitative research because of its design which supports qualitative research like unstructured interviewing and participant observation. Case study can be used for both qualitative and quantitative research {Bry man, 2004}.

Yin (1994) case study approach is better when researcher is looking for the answers of those questions which start from ‘how’ and ‘why’ i.e. questioning a particular process. Because data will be collected through interviews, documentations, direct observations and physical artefacts and due to this mostly researcher select this approach to collect detailed data. Many authors described guidelines for the development of the design and execution of a case study.

Yin {1994} and Stake {1995} also recognized six sources for collecting data in case studies

Documents

Archival records

Interviews

Direct observation

Participant- observation

Physical artefacts

Analysing the case study is one of the most difficult parts of this approach. Mostly two general strategies of qualitative data analysis are used by researchers, analytic induction and grounded theory.

Data Analysis

After the collecting primary data through interview and questionnaire data collection method the next step will be to analyse the qualitative data. One of the main difficulties with qualitative research is that it is very rapidly generates a large, cumbersome database because of its reliance on prose in the form of such media as field notes, interview transcripts, or documents. The tool which will be used to evaluate the survey questionnaires for analysis is SPSS software. This software allows generating the results from the questionnaires.

Grounded theory, in this research I will collect the data from the participants and try to derive a general, abstract theory of a process, action or interaction. Exploratory research will be used to find out the impact of competition on retail industry with relation to customer satisfaction. Exploratory research provides qualitative data. It offers greater understanding of a concept or crystallizes a problem, rather than providing precise measurement or quantification {Zikmund, 2000}.

Time Frame

The time limit for the completion of this project is estimated between 10 to 12 weeks, with the help of my project supervisor.

Biblography

Brooks, R. {2000}. Why loyal employees and customers improve the bottom line’, Journal of Quality & Participation.

Bryman, A. {2004}, Social Research Methods. 2nd Edn, Hampshire.

Berhardt, K.L., Donthu, N., and Kennett. {200}. ‘A longitudinal analysis of satisfaction and profitability’,

Christ, P (2008). Planning for marketing research, {online} Available www.knowthis.com/tutorials/principles-of-marketing/planning-for-market-research/primary-research-advantages.htm

Creswell, J.W {2003} Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods approaches. 2nd Edn. Thousand Oaks.

Hofstede, G {1980}. Culture’s consequences: International differences in work related values. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Locke, E. A {1976}. The nature and causes of job satisfaction. In M. D. Dunnette {Ed.}, Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology.

Rynes, S. L., Colbert, A. E., & Brown, K. G. {2002}. HR professionals’ beliefs about effective Human resource practices: Correspondence between research and practice. Human Resource Management,

Sekaran, U. {2003}. Research Methods for Business, 2nd ed., New York: Wiley.

Sherman W., Bohlander G. W. and Snell S. {1995}. Managing Human Resources, edn. 10, Michigan: South-Western College Pub.

Schultz, Majken, Hatch and Jo {1996}, Living with multiple paradigms: The case of paradigm interplay in organizational culture studies, in Academy of Management Review

Stake, R. {1995}. The art of case research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Strauss,A.L. and Corbin,J. {1990}, Basic of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques, Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Yin, R.K. {1994}, Case Study research- Design and Methods, Rev. Edn, Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publication.

Zikmund, W {2000}. Business Research Methods, 6th Edn, Fort Worth: Harcourt College Publisher.

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