Print Reference This Reddit This

Increase of competition in financial sectors

The “credit crunch” which started in 2008 has caused several large financial institutions to go bankrupt and it have forced the majority of the remaining ones to implement cut back strategies in order to stay in business. As a result a significant amount of the people working in the financial sector have been laid off and companies in this sector are not recruiting staff at the same paste as they did before the recession started.

The unemployment rate for the labor market in the UK was 6.5 percent for the three months to January 2009(ONS, 2009), up 1.5 percent since 2008. The sector “Finance and Business Services” did suffer considerably more than the average industry sector according to a government report released in March 2009(ONS, 2009). The report shows that from December 2007 to December 2008 a massive 220 000 jobs disappeared in this sector alone.

In an article published in The Guardian in January 2009 Professor Peter Dolton says that: “When you have rising graduate unemployment, the effects are felt worst by graduates of non-vocational subjects and graduates from less prestigious universities. That's going to get even worse in recession”(online). Gordon Brown has already promised £140 million to increase the number public and private apprentices by 35,000 to help undergraduates into the labor market, regardless it seems obvious that undergraduates are in for some hard times.

This research has been carried out to determine whether or not the increased competition for work in the financial sector will effect the motivation of LJMU students doing degrees related to this sector.

The researcher is confident that he will work with finance when he is finished with his degree and therefore he shows great interest in the ongoing financial crisis and its effect on the labor market. Because the researcher attended university before the recession started he is interested in finding out if this may have an effect on his and his fellow student’s motivation towards university, and therefore also have an effect on our final degree classification.

The researcher assume that the increased competition for work in the financial and business services sector will have a effect on the motivation of students who attended degrees related to this sector before the credit crunch. If his assumption is correct he believes that this is of interest to Universities as well as corporations in this sector.

4. Literature review

The term “motivation” originally derived from the Latin word movere, which means “to move”(Steers et al,1996). However this word does not provide a good explanation of what the meaning of the term motivation is. According to Steers et al(1996, pp.8) motivation is:“ behavior gets started, is energized, is sustained, is directed and stopped.”.

There are several other definitions of motivation as well, but they are all quite consistent. However it seems to be disagreement regarding what motivates people.

Over the last 100 years, many theories as to what motivates people have been developed. In the 1960s the interest towards the issue of motivation increased significantly, and this trend has continued since.

Some of the most recognized motivation theories will be discussed and critically reviewed below.

Maslow’s(1954) needs hierarchy is probably the most widely known motivation theory. Even though it is over 50 years old it is still widely used and referenced. Maslow(1954) suggests that humans are wanting beings whose behavior is guided by their needs. He argues that the needs of humans are arranged in a hierarchical fashion. The hierarchy is to be found in the appendix( Fig. 1).

He separates the different needs into two categories, deficiency needs(1-3) and growth needs(4-5). Maslow argued that you had to start at the bottom and work your way up the hierarchy and that by fulfilling the needs on one step you would automatically be motivated to fulfill the needs on the next step. However there is no research that has been able to establish the validity of the need hierarchy (Steers et al,1996).

Petri(1997) argues that our expectance of future success depends on expectancies developed as a result of past successes and failures. He also claim that how we interpret the available information around us effects our motivation and our future behavior, this suggest that an increased competition for work in the financial sector may effect the motivation of students doing degrees related to that sector.

Husman(1999) suggest that the impact the increased unemployment will have on the motivation of a student will vary depending on the Future Time Perspective(FTP) of the individual. She argues that students with a long FTP more easily can see the connection between their current efforts and the future benefits of it, and that these students therefore will be more motivated than students with a shorter FTP. If a student have a negative perception of the future it is likely to effect this person’s motivation in a negative way.

The importance of a how individuals perceive their future is also underlined in Markus and Nurius(1986) concept of “possible selves”. The possible selves represent an individual’s idea of what he or she might become, what he or she would like to become and what he or she is afraid of becoming. They found that by balancing different “possible selves” like for example the dream of becoming a financial analytic and the fear of becoming a school teacher, you are more likely to be more motivationally effective opposed to only focusing on the hope or fear.

Atkinson and Feather(1966) suggested that we all have two underlying motives within ourselves, and that it is the balance between these two that decides how we choose to face a challenge. The first is the need to achieve success and the second is the need to avoid failure. If you have a high need for success you are likely to take on a challenge regardless of your possibility to fail. If you have a high need to avoid failure you are unlikely to take on any challenging task.

A theory that supports Atkinson and Feathers(1966) relatively old research is the study of goal orientation (Ames, 1992). There are two types of goal orientations that have been commonly investigated, performance-goal orientation and mastery-goal orientation. Performance-goal orientation is defined in terms of having a focus on demonstrating high competence, seeking recognition of accomplishments and avoiding looking dumb opposed to mastery-goal orientation which represents a focus on learning, understanding and personal improvement (Kizilgunes et al., 2009). Ames (1992) argues that students with mastery-goal orientation appear to show more effort and persistence in their studies than the performance-goal orientated ones, however newer research conducted by Wolters et al.(1996) show that performance-goal oriented students also use deeper cognitive strategies when they study.

5. Methodology

5.1 Research Philosophy

The researcher will use a post-positivist research philosophy to try to answer the research objectives set out in section 2. of this report in the best possible way. This Philosophy will allow the researcher to use both interviews and questionnaires. The researcher will begin with an area of study and allow a theory to develop from the data he collects. According to Morris(2006) theory derived from data is more likely to resemble reality than theory derived by putting together a series of concepts based on experience or speculation.

5.2 Research Approach and Strategy

The researcher will use the inductive approach as well as the deductive approach in this study. This method is often referred to as a mixed methods approach. Bryman(2008) argues that quantitative research tends to bring out a static picture whereas qualitative research is more processual. By using the mixed methods approach the researcher will be able to combine both elements. Bryman (2008) argues that by doing so the researcher will have a better chance of answering his research question.

Both primary and secondary data will be used in this research. The primary data will be collected by questionnaires and interviews and the secondary data will consist of reports published by other researchers and books. After the data has been collected a theory will be developed to try to explain the observed phenomena.

5.3 Initial Stage

5.3.1 Quantitative Data

The quantitative data will be collected using questionnaires, the questionnaires will be self administrated via the internet. There are two major advantages of using this method. Firstly it is a cheap and easy way of collecting data, and secondly it will allow the respondents to remain anonymous.

The questionnaires questions will focus on collecting data data that will help the researcher answer objective 2 and 3( see section 2.).

The questionnaire will be sent to the university E-mail account of students doing business degrees at LJMU. The researcher will send the link to the questionnaire to 50 LJMU students (see section 6.3.2).

One of the biggest disadvantages of using self-completion questionnaires is that they typically generate a lower response rate than comparable interview based studies (Bryman,2008). May(2001) claims that unless people have an incentive , either through an interest in the subject of the research or some other basis the response rate is unlikely to be above 40 per cent. Bryman(2008) argues that if the response rate is low, the risk of bias in the findings will be grater. To avoid bias the researcher will use Mangiones (1995) standards for acceptable response rates, he suggests that a response rate higher than 60 per cent is acceptable.

Sappsford and Jupp(1996) suggests that a small-scale pilot investigation should be carried out before the main investigation. This will assess the adequacy of the research design and the instruments used to collect the data. A pilot study will be performed on 10 students. The researcher perceives this number to be sufficient.

The questionnaire will consist of 10 closed questions, the researcher would ideally have used 20 questions, but because of his limited resources he will use only 10. This is because he will use online survey software which only allow him to use ten questions free of charge ( When possible they will be arranged in a vertical manner. This is because confusion can arise when you use a horizontal design (Sudman and Bradburn, 1982).

Some example questions are given below:

1) How would you describe your own motivation towards university when you first attended your degree?

(Please tick the appropriate response)

Very strong 5

Strong 4

Fair 3

Poor 2

Very Poor 1

To ensure that the respondents are serious, some questions will be related to each other to enable the researcher to compare the answer and if necessary exclude some respondents if the answers differ significantly. An example is given below:

In the next set of questions you will be presented with a statement. Indicate your level of agreement by indicating whether you: Strongly Agree(SA), Agree(A), Undecided (U), Disagree(D) or Strongly Disagree(SD).

(Indicate your level of agreement by circling the appropriate response)

2) I was highly motivated when I first attended University.


In question 2 the researcher has used the Likert scale, when using this scale a vertical design will take up to much space. By using this method it allows the researcher to compare the answer from question 1 to the answer given in question 2 to test the respondent’s accuracy when answering the questionnaire as mentioned above. The answer will be rated like this:

SA = 5

A = 4

U = 3

D = 2

SD = 1

5.3.2 Sampling

The researcher will use the self-selecting sampling method when collecting participants for his questionnaire. This means that he will allow each individual to decide if they would like to participate in the research. The population used for this questionnaire will be students doing business degrees at LJMU.

To ensure a response rate of at least 60 per cent the researcher will provide the respondents with a good explanation of the purpose of the research. A remainder will also be sent to the students after two and four weeks, according to May(2001) this is likely to raise the response rate.

As mentioned earlier the questionnaire will be sent to 50 students doing business degrees at LJMU via e-mail. The researcher aims to get response from 60 per cent or more to meet the standard for an acceptable response rate set by Mangione (1995), by meeting this objective the researcher will be provided with at least 30 sets of answers.

5.3.3 Data Analysis Techniques

The data collected from the questionnaires is quantifiable, meaning that the data is measured numerically as quantities. The data for this specific research will be interval data, the researcher can therefore measure the difference between the data, but not the relative difference (Saunders et al.,2007). Data analysis software will be used to analyze the data collected. Since the questions provide the participants with five options to every answer the multiple-response method of coding will be used in the analysis.

5.4. Further Stage

5.4.1 Qualitative Data

To collect qualitative data interviews will be used. The interview will be done face to face, this is convenient for all parts and it will prevent the interviewee’s opinions being influenced by other participants. The researcher has decided to use a semi-structured interview form allowing him to adapt his interview as he goes along. All the interviews will be audio-recorded to allow the researcher to review and analyse them later.

The open questions will allow the researcher to explore the emotion and attitudes of the participants in depth. Bryman(2008) argues that there is a loss of spontaneity in the respondents answers if you use closed questions. Because of this the researcher will use open questions. They will be designed to help the researcher answer research objective number four and five (see section 2.)

Two example questions are provided below:

1) How do you think the credit crunch will affect your future career?

2) How would you describe your level of motivation when you first attended university?

Since it is possible that the place the research will be conducted can effect the data the researcher collect he has chosen to follow the advice given by Saunders et al.(2007). He suggests that the research should be conducted in a place that is convenient for the participants and a place where they are likely to feel comfortable. Because of this the interviews will done in a small room in the John Foster building.

The researcher will also wear a similar style of clothing as the interviewees to establish credibility and gain their confidence (Robson, 2002). Saunders et al.(2007,pp 322) says, ”the first few minutes will have a significant impact on the outcome of the interview”. By dressing appropriately and explaining the purpose at the beginning of the interview the interviewer hopes to make a good impression on the participant. The interviewer will also assure the participant that he or she will remain anonymous to increase trustworthiness (see section 5.6).

5.4.2. Sampling

The self-selecting sampling method will be used for the interviews as well. After finishing the online questionnaires the participants will be asked if they are willing to participate in an interview. An incentive in form of 50 pound in cash will also be handed out to one of the participants to try to increase the number of participants.

The researcher believes that this will provide him with at least 15 suitable objectives to interview.

5.4.3 Data Analysis Techniques

The non-numerical data collected in the interviews will be analysed manually. The audio-recordings will not be word processed after the interviews because of the researchers limited time resources. The researcher will use the three step “bottom-up” approach (Strauss and Corbin, 1998) to analyze the data. The steps are described below:

1. Open Coding:

In this step the data collected will be broken down into different sections and categories to make it easier to get an overview of the data.

2. Axial Coding:

In this step relationships between the different sections and categories of data are being established.

3. Selective Coding:

In this step a theoretical statement is formed based on the findings in the previous steps.

4. Conditional Matrix:

In the last step the theoretical statement is put in context of current knowledge.

5.5 Accessibility and Ethical Considerations

5.5.1 Access

The researcher is currently a student at LJMU and is therefore likely to gain physical access to their premises. If he is not allowed to use their premises to conduct his interviews he will try to gain access to the premises of the Liverpool Student Union. The researcher will ask a member of staff to gain access to the mailing list of LJMU business students and he finds it unlikely that he will be refused cognitive access.

5.5.2 Ethics

The questionnaires will begin whit a section which explains the purpose of the research and the fact that all answers given in the questionnaire will be processed anonymously. This procedure will be repeated verbally in the beginning of every interview as well to gain the participants thrust and prevent the interview objects from holding back information. They will also be informed that they do not have to answer a question if they find it uncomfortable or withdraw from the interview.

The researcher will remain objective to the participants answer and he will avoid situations which may stress, embarrass, harm or discomfort them (Saunders et al.,2007).

Since the researcher is likely to know one or more of the interviewees it is especially important that he follow the ethical guidelines he has set for him selves.

6. Timescale








Start to develop research question and objectives

2-3 weeks


1)Define Question and objectives

2) Research literature

3) Submit proposal

1) One week

2) Three weeks

3) -


Create literature review

Four weeks


1)Select research methods

2)Gain access

3)Create online questionnaire

4)Create interview

1) One week

2) Two weeks

3)One week

4)One week


Collect data

Three weeks


Start to analyse the data collected

Two weeks


1)Continue to analyse the data

2)Start to write the report

1) Two weeks

2) One week


1)Finish the report

2)Formatting and printing

1) Two weeks

2) Two weeks


Hand in dissertation


7. Resources

This research should be relatively inexpensive to carry out. The only cost will be the 50 £ cash incentive. The online questionnaire will be carried out through the site, this is cost free if the researcher use no more than 10 questions. The use of LJMU premises will also be cost free.

8. References

ATKINSON J., W. and FEATHER N.,T.(1966). A Theory of Achievement Motivation. John Wiley and Sons

BRYMAN, A.(2008) Social Research Methods, 3rd edition. Oxford University Press

CAMPBELL, J.P and PRITCHARD, R.D. (1976)Motivation Theory in Industrial and Orgisational Psychology. Rand Mc>Nally

HUSMAN, J. and LENS, W. (1999)The Role of Future in Student Motivation. Educational Psychologist. Lueven. [Online]Available from: <>.[Accessed on: 22nd of March 2009].

PETRI, L.H.(1997).Four Components of Motivational Behavior[online].8th Edition. Towson University. Available from: < >HYPERLINK "> [accessed" [accessed 10th of March 2009].

ROBSON,C.(2002) Real World Research, 2nd Edition. Blackwell

SAUNDERS, M., LEWIS,P. and THORNHILL ,A.(2007) Research Methods for Business Students. 4th Edition. Prentice Hall

STEERS M,R and PORTER W,L. (1979), Motivation and Work Behavior. McGraw-Hill

STRAUSS, A. and CORBIN , J.(1998) The Basics of Qualitative Research- Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. 2nd Edition. Sage Publications

SUDMAN, S. and BRADBURN, N.M.(1982), Asking Questions: A Practical Guide to Questionnaire Design. Jossey Bass

MANGIONE, T.W. (1995). Mail Surveys: Improving the quality. Thousand Oaks

MARKUS, H and NURIUS, P.(1986) Possible Selves.[Online]. Volume 41(9). American Psychologist Assosiation. Available from: < >. [Accessed on the 12th of March 2009].

MASLOW , Abraham H.(1954). Motivation and Personality. Harper and Row

MAY, T.(2001).Social Research, 3rd edition. Open University Press

MORRIS, T.(2006).Social Work Research Methods: Four Alternative Paradigms. Sage Publications

Office for National Statistics.(2009) Labor Market Statistics March 2009.[Online]. 1st Edition. Newport. Available from <>. [Accessed 8th of March 2009].

WOLTERS, C.,A., YU, S.,Y and PINTRICH, P.,R.(1996). The Relation Between Goal Orientation and Students Motivational Believes. Learning and Individual Differences. [Online]8th Edition. Michigan. Available from: "#db=ehh&AN=9611140725"&HYPERLINK "#db=ehh&AN=9611140725"hid=17HYPERLINK "#db=ehh&AN=9611140725"&HYPERLINK "#db=ehh&AN=9611140725"sid=1635c762-285f-4e11-9789e20d11ad5041%40sessionmgr9HYPERLINK "#db=ehh&AN=9611140725"&HYPERLINK "#db=ehh&AN=9611140725"bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=ehhHYPERLINK "#db=ehh&AN=9611140725"&HYPERLINK "#db=ehh&AN=9611140725"AN=9611140725. [Accessed on 26 of March 2009]

QURESHI, H.(2009) The Crunch Generation. [Online] The Guardian. Available from: <> [Accessed on: 29th of March 2009]

Need help with your literature review?

Our qualified researchers are here to help. Click on the button below to find out more:

Literature Review Service

Related Content

In addition to the example literature review above we also have a range of free study materials to help you with your own dissertation: