Change Management Consultants in the Value Creation of the Digitalization among Banking Sector

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The role of change management consultants in the value creation of the digitalization among Banking sector within the U.K.

Executive Summary

This research aims to assess the effectiveness of change management consultants in the creation of value in the digital transformation of Banks within the U.K.

This research is important as the digitalization of financial services has affected not only the banks but the whole economy. Indeed, the introduction of new technologies have changed the way consumers use the traditional banking system. Moreover, it is very challenging for consultants to lead change in the digital transformation of banks.

The review of the literature highlights the current situation of the banks in U.K. and the challenges brought by the development of the new technologies. In fact, one of the main discovery from the literature review reveals that after the financial crisis, the banks are facing a digital crisis. It is considered to be a crisis situation as banks have no choice but to act quickly in order to shift from the traditional banking system toward the digitalization of their business model. There is a risk for banks to be obsolete within the next few years if they don’t plan the digitalization soon. This study is going to be different from others as it will help consulting firms to create greater value through the digitalization of banking sector by investigating two variables which are the impact of the effectiveness of consultants in helping banking and how it will ultimately benefit the economy of the country.

The proposed data collection for this study will be based on a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods through primary and secondary data. Hence, it mainly focus on the collection of primary data by conducting interviews and questionnaires. The sampling method will be an heterogeneous purposive sampling technique and the data analysis will be done through quantitative and qualitative methods.

Finally, the expected outcome of this study will be the development of a framework with the intention to help consultants helping more effectively banks.

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

Introduction :

Background of the research:

Problem statement:

Significance of the research:

Aim of the study:

Research questions:

Research objectives:

Literature review:

Gap in the literature review:

Summary of the literature review:

Research Methodology:

Research philosophy:

Research approach:

Research strategy:

Research design:

Research methods:

Data collection:

Sampling methods:

Proposed data analysis methods:

Ethical issues and access:

Validity & Reliability:

Reliability:

Validity:

Gantt chart:

Bibliography

 

 

Introduction :

Background of the research:

The role of consultant has increasingly become important in the business world. Consulting firms play a significant role in the economy in terms of business prosperity. Indeed, every company needs to make some crucial decisions at some point and therefore needs expert advice to make the right decision. Every company not no matter their size need the help of consultants in order to improve In other words the role of consultant is crucial for every business which needs to remain on the market.

The recent digitalization of businesses has lead to many changes in the banking sector. According (Tyler, M., 2015) to financial services is one of the sectors that will be the most affected by the recent digital transformation within the next 5 years. Indeed, the authors have conducted a research to find out which sectors will be the most affected by the digital disruption and the least ones. The survey showed that among 12 industries “Financial services” are ranked at the fourth place behind “Media” and “Retail” industries.

The introduction of new technologies has provided the U.K. banking industry with opportunities such as enhancing the consumer experience. Indeed, according to nowadays Banks in U.K. are changing the way they are connecting with consumers and the way they do business with the help of new technologies.

A recent study released  in 2014 looked at the trends across the banking industry in U.K. assessing the changes in the industry including the digitalization, (Barty, J. & Ricketts, T., 2014). It showed that the use of branch banking has decreased. As shown on the figure below, 24% of the population use branch banking at least once every three months and 23% use it at least once a month.

Figure 1: Use of branch banking. 

(Barty, J. & Ricketts, T., 2014), affirmed that the whole banking system is changing at a fast pace. The digitalization of banks is needed for their own survival on the market.

It is critical for Banks to review the way they engage with customers at every level, . affirmed that “digital transformation” is the only way. Indeed, Banks must shift quickly toward the digitalization of their services otherwise they risk to be obsolete in the near future.

The digitalization of services has not only affected the banking industry but also consultants as they are faced with new challenges. Consultants are usually hired by companies to help them improve their overall performances and efficiency. (Cameron, E. & Green, M., 2004) have defined the role of consultant as an expert that applies its specialized knowledge in a specific area.

Currently, consulting firms are under pressure as they have to react quickly to the changes occurring in the Banking sector so they can help their clients to manage the change smoothly.

Therefore, consulting firms need to permanently learn new skills, gain knowledge and upgrade their techniques in order to keep on satisfying their clients by offering them effective and sound solutions.

 

Problem statement:

Recently the banks in U.K. have undergone such changes in the way they operate due to the digital innovation in terms of payments and  other transformation enabled by digital technologies. According to (Broeders, H. & Khanna, S., 2015), digital transformation currently occurring in the banking industry will benefit those who have the ability to make the change and fail those lacking behind.

However, the digital transformation has not only brought opportunities but some major challenges have also risen. Banks are needing Consultancy expertise more than ever in order to move from the traditional service to the digitalization of their services. It is very critical for Consultants as they have to facilitate Banks moving toward a new business model.

 

 

 

 

Significance of the research:

This research is important as it will not only help the Banking industry in U.K. in enhancing their customer service but also it will provide Consulting firms specialized in change management with a framework. Indeed, this study will provide a useful framework for  consulting firms to help banks more effectively through digital transformation. The outcomes of the thesis which will be the conception of a framework will increase consultants’ performances in driving more effectively change through digital transformation.

Hence, this research will present European consulting companies with the knowledge on effective change management in the use of digital transformation. Other countries will be able to make use of the contribution made to improve considerably their performance.

The value created by consulting firms for the banking industry will benefit consumers as well as they will be provided with much better services.

Finally, this research is essential as consultants play an important role in the economy of the country.  They put in practice their expertise to help companies improving the way they do business. this contribution will help consultants gain knowledge in a specific area which then will be used to help Banks. The value created by consultants will benefit the whole country at large as banks will then offer financial service of higher quality to businesses and consumers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rationale:

Although, there is a large number of study on the effectiveness of change management, there is very few research made on the effectiveness of change management for the digital transformation. The recent innovation of digital technology in the recent years have also brought challenges which have not been fully investigated to provide consulting firms with a useful conceptual framework.  It seems that the previous contribution made were focusing on change management rather than the digital transformation. There’s no investigation made to help consultants in creating higher value for their clients with the use of digital technology.

The insufficient literature made on the digital transformation of financial services has made it a relevant research topic as the contribution will be greater.

As a result, this research will concentrate on the gap in literature to develop a framework on value creation for consulting firms in the area of change management in the digitalization of banking service that will benefit both consulting firms and the banking sector. Hence, this piece of work will look at innovative ways for consultants to lead change efficiently.

Key definitions:

Digital transformation:

Digital transformation means different things to different people, the simplest way to describe it is the fact that there’s a transformation of the traditional business model. This transformation involves the use of new technologies.

Change management:

It is a set of techniques and skills that allows leaders to change people’s behaviour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aim of the study:

This research will investigate the issues banks are currently facing and assess the effectiveness of consultants in helping banks moving from traditional services to the digitalization of their services. Ultimately, it will provide a guideline for consultants to help banks more effectively through the digital transformation.

Research questions:

The formulation of the main research question is connected to the aim of the study.

 

How do small and medium sized consulting companies in U.K. create value for the banking industry through digital transformation and what guidelines can be formulated for consultants to implement such changes effectively ?

 

 

 

The main research question has been divided into three sub questions in order to formulate a complete answer through this study.

  • What are changes that occur in the Banking sector with the digital transformation ?
  • How effective are the current small and mediums consulting firms in helping the Banking sector to implement the changes ?
  • What guidelines can be formulated from the consultants perspective, to implement such changes effectively ?

Research objectives:

  • To identify the changes that occur in the Banking sector with the digital transformation.
  • To assess the effectiveness of consultants in helping the Banking sector to implement changes.
  • To develop a framework for consultants to implement change more effectively.

Literature review:

The current practices in the banking industry in U.K.:

After recovering from the financial crisis in 2008, the banking industry is currently facing another crisis. This time it is a technology crisis which requires banks to adapt themselves at their environment at a fast pace. Indeed, banking sector is now challenged by the pressure of new regulation, increase in the customer expectations,  new competitors entering the banking sector and the new technologies that are continuously evolving and reshaping the banking sector.

Indeed, banks in the U.K. are under pressure as they are underperforming and they must go toward the digitalization of their services in order to keep up with their changing environment. If banks don’t shift toward the digital financial services they risk to be obsolete within the next decade, (McKinsey Quarterly, 2017). The traditional banks have a serious issue to resolve and act quickly so as to protect themselves from rise of the new technologies and the challenge brought by the digital transformation.

(Vasiljeva, T., & Lukanova, K., 2016), have studied the impact of digital transformation for both banks and Fintech companies. The researcher had 231 respondents for the survey which has been analyzed through mixed method quantitative and qualitative. The insight gained revealed that Fintech are far more prepared that traditional banks in the era of digital technologies.

FinTech companies are entering the banking sector by using the internet space they can offer efficient services in the same price range than traditional Banks do. Very often FinTech companies are some start-ups with the ability of enhancing their performances through the use of new technologies. They constitute a serious threat for Banks since they compete in the same market but with the advantage of being present online only so they don’t run their businesses with as much cost as traditional banks do. Fintech companies can be categorized through different categories, there are the small start-ups although they gain market shares they doesn’t constitute a major threat for banks. Then there are the online banks that act just like banks but with a dedicated financial service offered online. Finally, the biggest threat for Banks are the new entrants such as Google Company, Apple, Orange and Facebook that offers banking online. These big companies have the ability to heavily invest in the new technologies to boost their ability to perform online.

However, (Macknight, J., 2017), cited Banks should not see the digital transformation as a threat but rather as new business opportunities. Indeed, the author indicated that the rise of new technologies represent opportunities for banks to leverage their capabilities and also increase their customer services through the conception of new tailored services. The fact that banks will develop their digital abilities will help them in gaining insight of data from online services with the intention to track customers use of the banks and provide them with personalized financial services.

  • New insight gained:

Considering these reviews, the only way forward for traditional banks is the digitalization of their services. It would be necessary for banks to consider these threats and act quickly to overcome the threat of new entrants especially big competitors such as Google. Banks should really use the digital innovation as an opportunity for them rethink their entire business models for them to remain in the market in the next decade.

How are these changes affecting the banking industry ?

Most European Banks are lacking behind in terms of digitalization. claimed that banks have digitized only 20 to 40 percent of their processes. The author added that nearly 90 percent of banks invest only 0.5 percent in digitalization.

cited the main changes are the online products offered that are growing among retail banks in U.K.

According to a report from PWC consulting group, more than 80% of CEO surveyed asserted that they weren’t confident about the future of the banking industry.

Bankers are not really keen on investing in the use of digital technologies as they are waiting to see if this trend isn’t going to change and give place to another one. (Adkisson, K. , 2014) reported that Banks are not heavily investing in developing their financial services as they are concerned about the ever changing environment. The author added that nowadays market trends change at a fast pace that they are not reliable anymore for banks to follow. Most of Banks leaders fear that by the time they will innovate to offers new IT solutions to their clients, those services might be either not efficient anymore by the time they are offered to consumers or at worst they might be obsolete by that time.

  • New insight gained:

The review of these articles reveal that Leaders are not ready to embrace the financial digitalization by fear to invest in a “market trend” that risk to be obsolete within few years. This studies show that Leaders are not confident anymore in investing and they also don’t rely anymore in the market trends judging it not reliable because of the speed at which their environment might risk to evolve. The evaluation of this reviews shows that Banks don’t know how to manage change. They don’t know if either they should embrace the change or wait until a new market trend reshape their environment. For the time being this current situation for Banks is beneficial for the new entrants in the financial service.

 

 

 

Change management:

Change management is challenging, therefore leaders should be question whether the change is needed and why before engaging themselves into change. Indeed, the justification of change is needed

The author described the process of change management as three different stages. In the first stage leaders should first answer the why question so as to establish the need for change which is followed by the what question which defines the area of change and then the how question will enable managers to identify how they will proceed to successfully achieve the future state of change.

The role of consultant:

The role of consultant is to provide expert advice in a specific field for to solve a specific problem encountered by a firm, (Scott, B. & Barnes, K., 2011) .

The role of consultant is essential in change management as the expert manage people to help them change their habits and embrace the new culture, (Hodges, J. , 2011) .

From this two definition of the role consultants occupy in the change management it is now clear that consultants possess the know-how of change management and the ability to apply management tools to assist their clients in implementing change.

Issues consultants are currently dealing with:

Though, even the experts in change management can face challenges in implementing change. Some consultants have difficulties in helping their clients in embracing change. Change has become vital for most sector, particularly for the banking sector.

(Kane, G., Palmer, D., Philips, A., Kiron, D. and Buckley, N., 2015), cited that consultants are not effective when digital transformation as they focus on technology rather than the set of strategy to employ in order to enable the digital transformation to happen within banks in U.K. According to this research finding, consultants are having difficulties as they often lack of digital ability to rethink a business model. Hence, the central issue here is that consultants have the wrong approach in digital transformation. The DT requires them to be able to approach the change management differently than the tradition change management.

This study also reveals another factor of failure when managing change in DT from the consultants perspectives. It says that early adopters of DT have developed robust DT strategies by focusing on  the set of skills needed so as to develop them to make sure employees have the competencies required for them to embrace the new change.

Here it is clear that the finding of this study shows the importance for consultants to seek of developing banks abilities to shift toward the digitalization rather than just looking at the technological aspect of the DT.

Gap in the literature review:

This literature has revealed that CEOs are fully aware of the market trends and recognized the need for the digitalization of banks. A large number of studies have shown the key drivers of digitalization but no guidelines have been made for consultants to create greater value in helping banks in developing their digital strategies with the intention to leverage their digital abilities to keep up with the market trend.  Indeed, minor incremental changes are no longer sufficient in this era.

The market complexity requires a business transformation that will enable banks to rethink their business models and adopt the digital technologies. The adoption of a new business model integrating the use of new technologies will enable banks make the change happen by learning new skills and implementing new processes. The study of survey and journals made it clear that there’s a lack of study in the area of managing change to allow a digital transformation of the banking sector banks.

It appears that consultants approach change management the same way with digital transformation but it doesn’t seem to work effectively. Therefore this study aims to find out how consultant can create greater value for their clients (banks), when managing change using new technologies. In fact, the change needs to happen virtually, therefore it requires consultants specialized in change management to develop a deeper understanding on how the new technologies can enhance banks performance.

Summary of the literature review:

In this literature review the researcher has firstly looked at the current situation of the banks in U.K. to determine the current practice. Then it has enable to understand the challenges the banking sector is facing relating to the digital transformation. Hence, it seems that the banking sector in U.K is facing a second crisis. The first one was the financial crisis in 2008, the current crisis is due an increase in consumers’ expectations in terms of customers service offered by banks, the pressure of regulatory rules, the eruption of digital transformation and the threats of new entrants in the market such as Google that are offering same offers to consumers. The banking sector needs to rethink their entire processes and business models in order to remain in the market.

Indeed, the DT has not only brought some opportunities but also challenges that banking sector is suffering from. The sector is desperately needing expert advice on what to do. Leaders don’t seem to want to go for digitalization as they appear to think it is just a market trend. They are taking serious risks in not taking actions quickly as they risk to become obsolete in the near future. In the other way, consultants are also facing issues related to the digital transformation.

Research Methodology:

Introduction:

This research aims to answer the main research question so as to formulate a guideline for consultants to help more effectively banks shifting toward the digitalization. The completion of the literature review provided this study with sufficient knowledge to move toward the research methodology.

The data collection is going to be divided into two phases. In first part, this study will look at the issues banks are facing in terms of digitalization by collecting primary data from banks through survey. The second part of the research will then be the collection of primary data from consulting firms to identify the issues they are facing in implementing changes. The literature review will be reviewed on a regular basis throughout the research to keep this study up to date. All the research strategies will be set according to the expected outcome of this study established above.

The use of the research onion is going to be central in the completion of this study. The research onion has been created to help researchers to develop a research strategy when conducting a research, (Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A., 2007). There are different layers of the research onion that should be covered in order for the research to develop a set of research strategies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2: Research onion, (Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A., 2007)

 

 

Research philosophy:

Research philosophy is the way  with which a researcher is going to develop a knowledge and the nature of that knowledge, (Saunders, M. & Lewis, P., 2012) .

The choice over the research philosophy is based on the research questions this study attempts to answer.

  • Positivism:

By definition it is a philosophy that aims to uncover the truth about a phenomena. This philosophy is very often used with quantitative method as it is based on data that has  been scientifically verified, (Remenyi, D., Williams, B., Money, A. & Swartz, E. , 2005) .

  • Interpretivism:

In opposite to positivism philosophy the interpretivism tries to understand a phenomena.

  • Pragmatism:

Pragmatism is a combination of Positivism and Interpretivism philosophies.

Justification of the research philosophy chosen:

Pragmatism appears to be the research philosophy to be adopted in this case as it will enable the research to use a mix of both Positivism and Interpretivism philosophies.

Research approach:

(Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A., 2007), argued that before choosing whether the research approach will be deductive or inductive, there are two criteria to consider which are the purpose of the research and the selection of the most appropriated methods to analysis a phenomena.

Another source explained that there’s no research approach that is better than the other one. Each of them are better at different things depending on where the research focus is at, (Tashakkori, A. & Teddlie, C. , 2010 ). The author added that they are both valuable instruments that yield valuable data.

  • Deductive:

(Maykut, P. & Morehouse, R., 2005), cited deduction approach moves from a generalized theory to data.

  • Inductive:

(Ketchen, D., Ketchen, J., & Bergh, D., 2006), has defined the inductive approach as being the formulation of a new theory based on explanations made from the data collected.

(Miles, B., Huberman, A., & Saldaña, J., 2014), cited that inductive method is the result of observations on a specific problem.

In opposition to deductive approach the inductive approach requires that the investigator starts its research with an open mind which means that the research has absolutely no idea of the contribution that will be made once the research will be completed.

Justification of the research approach chosen:

In this case, inductive approach seem to be appropriated as the purpose of the study is to contribute to the consulting sector by generating a new  management theory based on the data collected from both the banks and consultants.

(Lancaster, G. , 2005), wrote that inductive approach is the best suited for consultancy-based research in management. According to the author the flexibility offered by this approach makes it its best strength. Indeed, theories can be developed from the observation of an issue and the analysis of its data.

However, (Lancaster, G. , 2005) added that a combination of both deductive and inductive approaches are often required in successful management researches. The author then explained that researchers may often start a research by using the inductive approach by observing a problem that needs to be resolved and the theories developed from those observations can be tested with the use of the deductive approach. In this particular case, the researcher will develop a framework based on the data analysis on data collected from both the banks and consultants to come up with a generalized theory. The inductive approach is very relevant to this study as it allows the researcher to approach a problem in different ways. The new theory will then need to be tested and refined using deductive method so as the researcher will assess the validity of the new theory.

Finally, the research for this case will then use a mix of inductive and deductive methods in order to effectively contribute to the enhancement of consultants in helping banks. This research will start by an inductive approach which will then be followed by a deductive approach.

Research strategy:

There are several research strategies from which the researcher needs to choose from when studying a phenomena which includes the use of a case study, survey, experiment, ethnography and grounded theory.

It has been said that there’s no research strategy that is either superior or inferior to any other, (Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A., 2003). Most importantly, the research strategy chosen should enable the researcher to answer the research question and meet the objectives set.

Justification of the research strategy chosen:

The research strategy to be adopted will be the survey and the grounded theory. (Lancaster, G. , 2005), cited that grounded theory is tremendously valuable and relevant to consultancy-type research.

In the first part of this study the data will be collected from secondary source which will form the base of the study. The secondary data will be the beginning of it all as it will help in building a literature review. Then the collection of primary data will give more insight and reliable data to be analyzed by the researcher.

The collection of the primary data will be done through surveys. The survey will be achieved through the administration of questionnaires and interviews. Indeed even though it is challenging to conduct interviews, the data gathered through interviews will be highly valuable in this study as people give more details through interviews as they normally do when answering a questionnaire.

However, a questionnaire is going to be administered as well as it is another way of collecting valuable data. For the questionnaires, the website www.smartsurvey.co.uk will be used as it will enable the research to collect smart data which will provide reliable data and help in building an analysis.

Therefore the quantitative analysis will be employed to gather reliable data through literature review from financial reports and the use of survey strategy then the qualitative method will be used to gain insight over the data collected through surveys.

That’s when the grounded theory will be useful in this study. According to (Goulding, C. , 2002), grounded theory is a useful research strategy as it explains behaviours and it focus on developing a theory from data analysis. Indeed, grounded theory is the formulation of a theory that is built from the collection of data.

It is really important for this study to use the grounded theory as it will enable to produce a theory that will then helps consultants in adding greater value to the banks when helping them in managing the change through the digital transformation.

Grounded theory will analysis two variables which are the challenges from the banks perspective and from consultants perspective. These variables will then be studied to gain insight on how the digitalization has affected financial services and how it has impacted consulting firms in providing guidance for banks in managing changes. The determination of the challenges faced by both and the insight gained will enable the formulation of a theory that will present consultants with the knowledge on how to manage changes related to digital transformation more effectively.

Therefore survey and grounded theory are both going to be the  research strategies employed in this study. At the beginning of this research the quantitative analysis will be conducted to gather relevant data from banks and from consultants then it will be followed by a qualitative analysis to explore the data and make sense of it using the grounded research strategy. Ultimately a theory will be built around that data analysis through the use of multiple method of quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Finally , the theory will be then tested and refined using quantitative data when comparing it with other theories. Another qualitative analysis will then help the researcher to improve the initial theory.

Research design:

There are three different types of research design which are exploratory, descriptive and explanatory.

Justification of the research design chosen:

The most appropriate research design research for this case would be a combination of the descriptive and explanatory method when answering the research question. The first research question aims to describe the current situation of the banking sector. So the descriptive method matches perfectly the need of the research at this stage. Also, it is going to be used to describe the current challenges consultants are facing in managing changes. Finally, the explanatory research design is going to be used to explains the relationship between two variables. For example, the second research question aims to assess the effectiveness of consultants in helping banks managing change through digital transformation. The explanatory method will enable to provide explanation on the relationship between how consultants are implementing change within banks and how banks are performing. This data

This case study aims to understand the root causes of the issues banks and consultants are currently facing. The exploratory research design is not relevant to this study as there were others researchers that have already studied change management. The use of both descriptive and explanatory methods will benefit this study by helping the researcher in conducting this research to provide a comprehensive analysis from both Banks and Consultants in order to contribute to the formulation of a framework.

According to (Creswell, J. & Plano Clark, V., 2011), multiphase design is a combination of research design with different phases of data collection. The multiphase research design is the most appropriated research design for this study as there will be different phase of data collection and this study will use a mix of two research design.

Time horizon:

Without any doubt, a longitudinal study will be considered for this research rather than a cross-sectional study in which the data is collected at once. In this specific study there will be different phase of data collection.

Research methods:

Data collection:

The data collection is going to be collected from primary and secondary data. It is important to note that this research will focus more on the primary data.  Data collection will be made from a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative data will be collected from secondary data for the empirical literature review and from the primary data from survey through questionnaires and interviews. Questionnaires will be administered through the website www.smartsurvey.co.uk

  • Population:

The population in this study are the most popular retail banks which represent the major banks within the U.K. Concerning the data collection from banks, the researcher will seek to survey a large number of professionals. It is relevant to survey senior professionals or those who at least have 10 years of experience in first place.

The reason why the researcher needs to focus on seniors professionals is simply because they have assisted at the change. It is important to keep focusing on why the data needs to be collected. Seniors member of staff are more likely to have experienced themselves the challenges that digitalization has brought, how banks have dealt with it and most importantly their opinion on the digitalization of financial services.

However, Junior member of staff can not be neglected as they might have a different opinion on the impact of the digitalization of the banks. The questionnaires will be administered online and the interviews will be conducted in London as that’s the capital and therefore all banks are headquartered in London.

A list of the bank is shown below;

List of Banks Number of employees Composition of employees
Lloyds Bank 5 employees for each bank – CEO or 1 senior manager

– 3 seniors

– 1 semi-senior

– 1 Junior

Barclays Bank
HSBC Bank
Natwest
Halifax
The Royal Bank of Scotland
Metro Bank

The data collection from Banks will take place in London from beginning of September 2017 in London. However, it is important to note that there are no interviews that are going to be conducted for “The Royal Bank of Scotland” as the headquarter is based in Edinburgh which makes it a limitation of the study since the financial budget allocated for this study is limited. The questionnaire will be administered for this bank and there might be some interviews conducted via Skype in order to overcome this limitation so as to try to interview some of the senior members of staff in  based Scotland.

The consulting firms in London form the second population of this study. The list of Consulting firms will be extracted from the MCA which represents the body of management consultancy in U.K., (www.managementconsultanciesassociations.co.uk).  Also, data collection will be done through the use of “LinkedIn” as it is an efficient way to get in touch with consultants as seniors consultants are more likely to have a LinkedIn profile on which they describe their past experiences and most importantly their achievements. Although, it will be time consuming to extract the primary data from both sample frames, the quality of the data is essential for the completion of this study. Highly valuable data will allow enhance considerably the quality of the analysis and enable the researcher to gain valuable in-depth insights.

Once the population, ( group of people or organizations), has been identified the researcher needs to think of the appropriateness of the sample technique that will be used when collecting the data to answer the research question. In this study there are two sampling frame one composed of the main retail banks in U.K. as cited in the figure above and the other one is the list of the consulting firms in U.K. that are specialized in change management and digital transformation. It is essential for the validity of this study that Consulting firms are specialized in both field. The second sampling frame will not be exclusively composed of consulting organizations but also of independent consultants or consultants in U.K. that are specialized in both fields.

Sampling methods:

  • Sampling techniques:

Sampling technique are used in every study as it is not practicable to collect data from a whole population. Sampling techniques are composed of two categories which are known to be the “probability sampling” and the “non-probability sampling”.

For this case study the non-probability sampling seems to be the most appropriated as the researcher doesn’t have access to a whole population due to the limitation of access to the population and at the feasibility of the study. This study needs to be conducted within 2 years so the time limitation also plays a role in the selection of the sampling category. The following step will look at the selection of the sampling technique that will best help the researcher answer its research questions by helping at collecting valuable data for the study.

As expected, according to the criteria set previously for the data collection, the most appropriate sampling technique for this study will be the purposive sampling technique which will allow the researcher to choose the group of people who will be best able to answer the research questions and meet the objectives. Purposive sampling technique has been described as a type of non-probability sampling with which the researcher select the population with a specific purpose.

More specifically the sampling technique will be the heterogeneous type of purposive sampling as it will allow the researcher to provide some variation in the data collected.

The researcher has chosen to interview a specific population which is banks and specifically senior managers but in that specificity the researcher is looking at some variation in the data that will be collected by interviewing senior managers but at the same time interviewing junior manager or manager with less experience that might have a different opinion than seniors  managers. For consulting firms it will be relevant to interview seniors and juniors managers specialized in change management.

Sampling technique will be the same for both sample frames as they will both look for something specific. Heterogeneous purposive sampling technique will be used for both consulting firms and for banks.

  • Sampling size:

For the qualitative method, the sampling size doesn’t really matter as it will not affect the outcome of the study. However, the sampling size should be of a sufficient amount to cover all important aspects of the study. For this kind of study the size of the sample should be relatively small as it is labour intensive and time consuming to collect the data.

The sampling size chosen for this research will be the saturation method. Most of the qualitative and mixed methods research use the principle of saturation, (Glaser, B & Strauss, A. , 2011). Indeed, the saturation means that if a larger sampling size is used for the study, the data collected will be repetitive which will reduce the value of a study.

The author explained that saturation is reached when the researcher collects data which doesn’t provide any additional information on the issues studied. For this study the sampling size will be reasonably small and the researcher will determine the size using the saturation concept.

Proposed data analysis methods:

The data will be analyzed with the use of quantitative and qualitative methods in order to enhance the research findings. By combining the two methods the researcher will seek to use the strengths of each of them to overcome their limitations while being used separately.

Ethical issues and access:

Ethical issues are the issue related to the way the research will be conducted and it ensures that no individual or entity will be negatively affected by the report. Therefore, there are many things to be considered by the researcher while conducting the project.

cited that ethical problems are the set of values and mores a researcher should ensure to not violate when conducting research.

Therefore when conducting this study the researcher must ensure that the data collection must comply with the guidelines provided by the Social Research Association.

Therefore, the research will ensure to carry the whole research process being honest in the way data will be collected, analyzed and in a biases manner.

The research will also make sure participants ( professionals and organizations) will not be named at any moment to ensure their anonymity and confidentiality. Before conducting any interview or administering questionnaires, the research will ask their permission onto what information will be used from each entity or individual and have their agreement prior any activity takes place. The research must ensure data will be protected at all time and used only for the study purpose and at the end of the study all data saved must be deleted.

  • Preparation before each activity:

Before every and each interview or questionnaire takes place, the research must send an email presenting the purpose of the research, explaining the importance of the research and the expected outcome. The research must ensure that all participants understand and agree with it all prior to any activity. Also, the researcher must inform all participants of the law and inform them from their own rights.

  • Justice and inclusiveness:

Researcher will guarantee that data collection will be made treating all participants equally. This means that the research will ensure that all participants are going to be treated the same way. Their gender, religion, ethnicity, age etc will not be subject to an exclusion. Also, all participants will be given the opportunity to gain insight from the outcome of the research by having a copy of the research findings once published.

  • Non-maleficence and beneficence:

This section is one of the most important regarding ethical issues when conducting a research. The researcher should ensure that the investigation will not have a negative impact on any participant or organization. The expert needs to ensure that the research is driven by the outcome which means throughout the entire process the researcher needs to ensure all data collected and analyzed will serve only for answering the research questions and also the research needs to make sure that the outcome of the study will not have any negative impact on anyone or any organization.

Validity & Reliability:

This section is concerned about how the researcher is going to ensure that the data collected is valid and reliable. First it is important to consider the reliability of the data and then its validity.

Reliability:

In order to make this research as reliable as possible, there are some strategies that are going to be put in place such as the mechanically recorded data for interviews for example which will allow the researcher to reanalysis the interview in order to double check that the data analysis is reliable. The investigator position will also be adopted in order for the researcher to increase the reliability of the data collected. For example the researcher will formulate explicitly the purpose of the research, the design and the subjects. Also, the research will try as much as possible to collect different variety of data from different source to enhance the reliability and therefore the results of the study.

  • Data collection:

There are a number of issues that arise with the access of the data when conducting a research. Although, researchers find it very difficult to access data and also it is very often challenging to access to the company in first place. The researcher needs to make sure the data provided by the company will still be useful to the research by meeting the research objectives set initially. This way the researcher can ensure that the data collected it valid and useful for the study.

Validity:

Concerning the data validity,  the following mains instruments are going to be used; triangle, member checks, Peer examination, and research bias.

Research bias claims that throughout the whole research process, the expert will carry the activities with ethical rules such as remaining nonjudgmental,  .

The research will ensure that ethical rules will be applied and there the research will make sure to be as clear and nonjudgmental as possible in order to provide valid data. Another instrument that will be applied here is the “triangle” which will ensure that the researcher will use diverse source of data which includes questionnaires, interviews and building a literature review.

For the literature review as well the researcher will use a variety of sources such as journals, reports, books, and statistics. The member checks instrument will enable the researcher to maximize the validity of the research by returning results from questionnaires and interviews to participants in order to double check with them that the data collected is the most accurate possible.

Peer examination is the sharing of the knowledge with other non-participants in order to gather feedback on the research made. It is important to note that when using this instrument the researcher needs to make sure that non-participants are expert in the field to make sure that their feedback are going to be useful for the research.

 

Gantt chart:

The author has described the Gantt chart as the translation of the research into  different stages. The literature review is the only activity that is going to be carried throughout the whole research in order to keep the research updated at all stages and enable the elaboration of an accurate framework.

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