Previously, employees were known as just another factor in the production cycle of goods and services. The element that changes this age-old thinking was the research, commonly known as the Hawthorne Studies which was carried out by Elton Mayo between 1923 and 1933. This research specified that staffs in an organisation are de motivated by the means of capital and that nature of employees can be closely associated to their outlook. (Dickson, 1973).
The responsibility of a manager in an organisation is to ensure that things are carried out in a proper manner through employees. For undertake this task, the manager should be able to encourage and motivate the employees. However, it is not a simple task. Motivational practice and theory are complex subjects which covers various managerial issues.
2.0 Organisational Background
McDonald's Corporation is one of the leading chains of fast food service which serves more than50 million consumers every day. The business was established in the year 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald in the state of California. Since the year 1937, the brothers are running the restaurant business.
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After realising that McDonald formula was a ticket to success, it was further decided to franchise their restaurants throughout the entire country.
McDonalds operates in about 119 countries over the globe and are recorded to cater around 45 million consumers daily. McDonalds own more than 30,000 restaurants globally with and employee count of over 1.5 million.
With over a million staff, influence by McDonalds on the employees is prominent. By year 2000, every eighth American employee at one point of time worked for McDonald. Being one of the major expenses and one of the more volatile elements of the system, a lot of strain was undertaken to systematise the employees. McDonalds decided to employ young staff along with establishing advanced technology to substitute manual labour.
McDonald's current motivational structure
The most critical resource of an entity is its employees. They make sure that the involvement of monetary, manufacturing and other companies can operate. In recent times, mangers are aware that monetary remuneration is not the sole source of motivation. There are several forms of financial motives that exit related to employee's contentment of needs, like employee acknowledgment, involvement in the decision conducting procedures, individual development etc.
McDonalds Company embellishes on a important benefits which permits organisations to dwell in foremost situations in their organisation. The company follows the rule: 'the outcome is conducted by an individual'. McDonalds evaluates its staff as a prime basis of development in the area of production and quality. McDonalds is known to implement certain principles in regards to the performance of its staff:
The organisation must detail out the various structures of motivation for different departments.
The resources must have transparent and achievable objectives.
The goals need to be flexible: managers must have an objective for first half of the year.
The increase of compensation must be reasonable for every worker
McDonalds is concerned with three major elements of motivational structure in their jurisdiction. The above discussed elements are mentioned in motivational theory of Maslow. Still, Maslow justifies that every requirement needs to meet one after one. Research study on McDonalds, its structure, strategy proves that a synchronised achievement of staff's requirements will boost a staff's performance.
Although McDonalds has tried to apply strategy in order to implement productivity in the organisation. Still, considering the fact that McDonald operates in a complex environment it can be observed that they face high turnover of staff mostly blaming the issue of staff treatment and motivational factors. Hence, the researcher intends to carry out this research to gauge the attitudes of the employees and the administration and to plan out factors which would further motivate the employees on a larger scale or which would be kept on a flexible scale where employee's dynamic nature would be instantly met with motivational factors portrayed by the managers.
4.0 Research Questions
Research is to determine and understand the human nature. 'Formal' research process are initiated in response to a specific purpose i.e. monitoring and investigating a given issue or situation. (Johns and Lee-Ross, 1998). Problem is the heart of every research project. It is the prime factor to the achievement of the research effort.
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The main problem concerned with McDonalds is further divided into sub parts which would be lot simpler for the researcher to consider and solve. The study aims to address the following questions in relation to the motivational factors in regards to the motivational factors in McDonalds restaurants.
The research questions are discussed below.
1) What are the factors creating an impact on the performance of McDonald employees?
2) How are McDonald employees motivated?
3) What management issues can be addressed in order to minimise the de-motivational issues for the McDonald Staff.
These above questions would enable the researcher to know all the possible information about the motivational factors currently undertaken by McDonalds with respect to their employees. The motivational factors thus analysed would help the researcher to evaluate the possible and flexible motivational factors which can be optimised in the future.
5.0 Research Objectives:
Research is a systematic process of collecting, analysing and evaluating data in order to facilitate the understanding of the issue concerned with the topic. (Leedy and Ormond, 2005)
The researcher aims to find out the motivational factors currently undertaken by McDonalds management team. The researcher will evaluate the management and employee performance issues faced by McDonalds. The researcher intends to analyse the motivational factors in McDonalds and the performance of employees affected by the motivational factors.
The researcher's prime objective is evaluating the key motivational factors that impact the performance of workers in McDonalds and how restaurants all around the globe can adopt motivational factors to improve the performance of the organisation.
The research proposes to address the following objectives:-
1) To analyse management dynamics in McDonalds and scrutinize employee motivational factors in the restaurant environment.
2) To develop a list of best motivational tools that would improve the performance of the employees and help McDonalds achieve their objectives in the future.
3.0 Literature Review
Motivation' is a very critical factor for today's organisation's to consider. Motivated employees are known to more productive and efficient are allow organisations to achieve their targeted vision. The topic of motivation is quite sensitive since it deals with human behavioural aspect which can be dynamic and depends on situation to situation.
The research discusses the various theories undertaken in the field of motivation related with employee performance. The research discusses the theory undertaken by famous theorists like Maslow who discuss the general requirement of employees in different levels
The researcher's main objectives lies in analysing positive and negative motivational factors which in turn affects the performance level of the employees in an organisation. Motivation can be of various dimensions and this research aims in scrutinising the critical elements of motivation which impacts the organisational performance on the whole.
It is advised that a research study must consider the research conducted by other researchers in the same field which generally manages to add into the knowledge database of the related subject. (Johns and Lee Ross, 1998)
Understanding motivational factors and the way employees can be encouraged was the spotlight of several theorists after the release of the results of Hawthorne Study (Torstar, 1979).
Motivation can be termed as a measure to minimise and influence the gap prevailing between an individual's real condition and the desired condition. Usually, the motivational system is tailored according to the organisational situation.
Although a vast research has been conducted on the topic of motivation, it is yet not clear and mostly it is been feebly followed. In order to carry out motivational practices, it is critical to understand the human nature beforehand which is quite complex in its own sense.
Human motivation is an intricate and well acknowledged concept which has dispersed origins in a varied collection of educational orders which also includes psychology, science, economics and politics. In simple words, the term motivation can be defined as, "the reason behind individual's behaviour" (Denhardt et al., 2008). However, this definition does not bring out the other vital aspects of motivational literature.
The general criteria about the definition of motivation covers that 1) motivation is objective oriented (Lawler, 1994), 2) motivation brings out the success and fulfils goals of an organisation and 3) motivation is highly dependent on the environment (Pettinger, 1996).
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Since the term motivation is complex to define, it would be better to analyse about what motivation is not actually in real. Denhardt and Aristigueta (2008) specifies in four examples. Motivation is not 1) is straight forwardly observable, 2) same as contentment, (3) motivation is usually cognisant, and (4) openly convenient to manage. However, motivation is not a simple concept. "Motivation is an inner condition which enables individuals to behave in a specific manner to achieve specific goals and objectives. It is possible to watch the outset of motivational factors but not entirely the motivation itself" (Denhardt, 2008)
Motivation cannot be directly controlled. "Motivation is not a thing that individuals do for other people. Motivation comes from the inner minds and hearts. Managers can impact the procedures of motivation but are unable to manage it" (Denhardt et al., 2008)
Many theorists have defined the concept of motivation. Motivation can defined as an inner force which promotes human nature and directs it.
Kreitner, 1995 stated that motivation as an emotional procedure which directs and gives a reason to the behaviour of an individual, a tendency to perform in a specific way to accomplish special requirements (Buford &Bedeian, 1993). For this particular research, motivational attribute can be stated as the central motive which encourages entities to achieve individual as well as organisational objectives.
Smith(1994) has justified the need for having motivated employees. The prime need is survival. Dynamic workplace requires motivated employees since they help the organisation to survive in complex situations. To be effective, organisational managers need to understand the concept of employee roles and the tasks they perform in a work place. This understanding for their motivation is required for the fact that the requirements for employees keep changing and organisations need to adhere to those changing demands to keep the motivational factors effective for the employees.
The Birth of Modern Motivation Theories.
Novel theories based on motivation are all originated from the Elton-Mayo study which was famously known as Hawthorne Studies. General knowledge in the previous time were as a result of worker productivity (Taylor, 2008). This theory was developed by Fredrick Taylor in 1911 and was known as Scientific Management and is still followed by several known organisation.
Further probing into multiple theories of motivation, one can conclude that there are couple of basic motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivational behaviours are hunger, motivated to perform duty, humanity, and a wish to feel encouraged.
Types of Motivation: Intrinsic and Extrinsic
By looking deeper into the multiple theories of motivation, one will find that there are two basic types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsically motivated behaviours are seen when there is no other apparent reward except the activity itself (Deci, 1975). Malone and Lepper (1987) have defined it as "what people will do without external inducement." Examples of intrinsic motivation are hunger, a sense of duty, altruism, and a desire to feel appreciated. Extrinsically motivated behaviors are those where the controlling mechanism is easily seen (Deci, 1975).
Extrinsic motivation examples are monetary, rules and regulations and the physical environment. Deci and Ryan (1985) justifies that intrinsic motivational behaviours are usually the result of extensive pressure and results in low self-esteem and anxiety. It is always believed that extrinsic motivational tools can be used to attain high job productivity. However, the truth is completely the opposite in reality.
Understanding what aspects motivated employees and what was the process to motivate them was the prime source of concern of many employees. Critical theories that have widely led to the consideration of motivation are Maslow's need-hierarchy theory, Herzberg's two-factor theory, Vroom's expectancy theory, Skinner's reinforcement theory and Adam's equity theory.
According to Maslow, employees have generally five basic needs which are:
It was justified that before making it to the second level, the junior rank had to be justified. Herzberg on the other hand categorised motivation into specific concepts namely: motivators and hygiene's. Motivator or fundamental elements like attainment and acknowledgment help achieve work contentment levels. Hygiene factors like job remuneration and protection offers work displeasure.
Vroom's theory is underlined by the theory that staff attempt will encourage performance and the same performance will to certain accomplishments. These rewards may be good or bad. The more the reward is positive, the more the employee would feel motivated. On the other hand, the negative reward would be less motivational factor to the employees.
Skinner's theory believed that the employee's behaviour that lead to positive results would be repeated and the ones which result into negative results will not be repeated (Skinner, 1953). Managers of organisations must ensure that the employee's behaviour must always lead to positive results and negatively emphasize or strengthen behaviour that results into negative outputs.
It is possible for Human behaviour and nature to be quite simple and very complicated too. Accepting and appreciating human nature is the beginning step of effective motivational practice in any organisation which can be achieved with effective leadership and management practices.
Research has proved that well motivated employees are often productive and also innovative to some extent. Performance is known as a result of capability and inspiration. Hence,
Job Performance = f (ability) (motivation).
6.0 Research Methodology
'Methodology' is the wide term that states the whole procedure that needs to be carried out including the important justification and theoretical aspects. (Johns and Lee-Ross, 1998). Methodological approach echoes the particular choices of the researchers and the research sponsors.
This research proposal aims to justify the research topic about analysing the motivational factors impacting the performance of the employees in McDonald restaurants. The research proposal covers the literature related to the main topic of motivation and the importance of research in the specified area. The research proposal also gives an insight in McDonald's background and the need to conduct a research in the fast food industry.
The research revolves around the issue of McDonalds and the complex environment in which it operates. It has already been discussed above in the case study that McDonalds employ younger crowd to meet its objectives. However, younger workforce means a little less mature group whose motivational factors are quite different than those of the experienced ones. Hence, the researcher intends to analyse the current prevailing motivational factor and would investigate about the motivational factors which would be more suitable to apply on the younger workforce wherein they would be better performers and in turn McDonalds would be able to achieve their targeted objectives.
6.1 Methodological Approach and Design
Motivation is considered as the prime areas of research in the field on organisational behaviour. One of the challenges for today's leaders is how to effectively motivate employees. One of the reasons for the complexity of the motivational issue is the reason that it is so personal. Some inexperienced leaders are of the belief that the same factors that motivates them would motivate the other employees.
This research intends to analyse the motivational factors carried out in McDonalds Restaurants. The researcher intends to analyse the performance level of the employees and what motivational factors impacts their performance.
Hence, the researcher intends to apply both Qualitative and Quantitative methods of research.
7.0 Research Methods
The literature discussed in the beginning of the proposal explained the researcher about the practical procedures to be undertaken as future steps. Research is all about understanding and discovering the human nature. 'Formal' research questions are initiated after coming up with an issue or a situation. (Johns and Lee-Ross, 1998). The most vital step in the research process is to evaluate the issue with resolute transparency and to state it in simple and understandable terms. (Leedy and Omrod, 2005)
The literature encourages the researcher's knowledge of the motivational factors followed and supports the research activities related the psychological subject in organizational performance. Understanding and learning the qualitative and investigative procedures helped the researcher to adjust the effective methods for the particular focus of this research.
7.1 Research Approach and Design
Johns and Lee-Ross, 1998 specified three elements of a Research procedure - anecdote, observation and hypothesis.
In the Anecdote stage, the original hint about motivational factors related to employees is explained. The normal observation within MCDonalds further encourages the research process to be implemented which would justify the specific methods of questioning or observation which are more probable to have a sensible answer.
For the need of a research, an Observation must be undertaken to learn the specifics related to the issue faced by McDonalds. Within the case study of McDonalds, the employees and the managers were questioned about the concept of motivational factors in their restaurants.
Analysis of observations would be processes in order to analyse the issues rising between McDonalds managers and the employees. The communication channel in McDonalds would be evaluated through established personal channels.
Hypothesis would further justify observations, normally by connecting one statement with other. Evaluating data from analysing organizations would further enable the researcher to advance generality about the impact of motivational factor on employee's performance. A hypothesis would enable the researcher to understand, justify and model the organizational environment.
7.2 Quantitative Research Methods
Quantitative research methods are mostly used for the collection of information or analysis of data (graphs, questionnaires or use of statistics) that may either use or suggest numerical information. (Saunders et al, 207). Fast food restaurants largely benefit by quantitative methods of data collection and investigation. This method help organisation with data related to consumer behaviour, market trends, quality control and employee's outlook towards task.
Quantitative research is generally conducted in social science subjects like sociology, anthropology and political science. Conducting research in arithmetical knowledge like physics can also be termed as 'quantitative' by meaning although it can be used in altogether different context. However, in social sciences, the concept associates to experimental forms, which would origin in theoretical positivism and the record of statistics, which opposes qualitative research methods
Quantitative research methods are used when:
One wants to know "how many" and/or "how often"
You want to outline a target audience by underlining what part of the audience has particular behaviour, intentions, attitude and knowledge related to health concern etc.
Conducting market quantitative research generally involves:
Conducting survey in a large group of people (mostly in hundreds), and
Using a structured questionnaire that contains primarily closed-ended, forced-choice, questions.
The following Quantitative techniques in evaluation would provide the researcher some notion of the sturdiness and reliability of the findings. (Johns and Lee-Ross, 1998)
The researcher intends to collect some common data regarding the structure of McDonalds restaurants. The questionnaires would be distributed to the employees of the restaurant to collect their views in regards to the motivational steps undertaken by the organisation.
The Semi-structured interviews may start with the discussion of the internal structure of the restaurants such as the employees on an average working in every restaurant, number of managers responsible in the restaurant.
7.3 Qualitative Research Methods.
This research method would form the prime source of research method since it has the ability to investigate deeply and would help evaluate even the minor and complex elements. (Johns and Lee-Ross, 1998). Here, the researcher intends to undertake interviews using small size samples.
Qualitative methods would generate data for the specific issues considered, and any more common termination is pure theory.
During the research procedures, practical and theoretical data knowledge to investigate the case would be collected by conducting Qualitative research methods. Undertaking these research methods would also enable to develop the communication level between the interviewer and the respondents. Undertaking qualitative research methods is an obvious method since it would not only give the researcher the data about the values and attitudes about the respondents, but will also allow the employees of McDonalds an insight into the researcher's views.
7.4 Data Access (Data Collection Techniques):
The data collection process generally involves setting up limits for conducting research study, collecting data with the help of observations and interviews, documents, visual aids . (Creswell, 2009)
Interviews: Verbal answers to questions gathered from a particular employee group of interview respondents.
Observations: Recording the interviewee's words or actions without asking them any questions.
Documents: written data like letters, drafts, information archives.
The interviews would be carried out to achieve an understanding of the motivational factors approach taken, the process of the employee teams and why certain plans and policies work for the employee and while others do not create a positive impact. The researcher plans to record the interviews which would be a reliable source and would also be a simpler to analyse as compared to written notes. However, the recording would entirely be on the permission received by the respondents. The researcher would not be recording the interviews if the respondents or the management of McDonalds would have any sort of objections towards it. The researcher would have another option of jotting the points of the interview for analysing in the latter stage.
7.5 Sampling Methods
Qualitative researchers gather their information from various sources like foucs teams, objects, texts archives, audiovisual records and electronic records. The particular element the researcher selects includes their sample and the process of considering and selecting them is known as sampling. (Leedy and Ormrod, 2005).
The vital advantage of conducting sampling methods is that it saves time and helps the researcher to control and organise the information as very specific amount of individuals are involved. (Saunders et al.2007).
This research specifically uses the form of snowball sampling method. The researcher will undertake snow ball sampling since it is an easier way of sample where the researcher would be communicating a limited group of people at the beginning who are closely related to the research topic and then use the data to gain contact with others in the organisations. (Bryman, 2008). Snowball sampling can be generally used when it is nearly impossible to know the number of respondents. (Saunders et al, 2007). The research on McDonalds would involve generating a sample of employees working in the busiest restaurant.
7.6 Validity and Reliability
In many research cases, research design has been the matter of concern. The validity and reliability of researcher's information collection and measurement tools has the capability to gauge and control to a level where one can understand some of the data which is to be evaluated, and can come up with some valuable conclusions. (Leedy and Ormrod, 2005).
In order to minimise the chances of the getting a wrong answer is that more significance would be given to couple of aspects of research design: Reliability and Validity. (Saunders et al,2007). Conducting Quantitative research always comes with an issue of reliability.(Bryman, 2008).
This particular research would analyse all the details in regards to the motivational factors depending on the literature review available. The data produced in the literature review would be from well known theorists and the analysis of the data collected would be done with the reference to the literature review available. The researcher intends to make this study reliable as far as it possible with keeping the reliability and validity issues in concern.
The recommendations that the researcher would give at the end of the thesis would be a source of literature review for future researchers planning to research in the same field of motivation.
8.0 Research Ethics
Research ethics basically related to queries in regards to the origin and clarification of the research topic, design and the methods of research conducted in an ethical way. (Saunders et al, 2007).
Diener & Crandall, 1978 divided the vital moral issues in the following sub parts which the researcher would consider:
If there is any damage to the applicants of the research study
To know if there is a lack of knowledgeable sanction
To know if there is an incursion of privacy
To know is any fraudulence is conducted.
The researcher intends to regard the above concerns and undertakes to inform the research respondents about the nature, process and intended subjects of the research study. The researcher would also indicate the respondents about what their participation involves and justifies any risks included. (Bryman, 2008). The researcher would also ensure that the questions asked to the respondents would not be of a sensitive nature and that there would be no personal questions asked to respondents regarding any matter related to the study. The research would also ensure that the respondents would not be intimated for any questions and they would have their own free will to cancel the interview or stop the interview process. The researcher would make sure that every respondent would be given a copy of questions before hand so they have a chance to prepare for the questions and that nothing would be a surprise for the respondents.
9.0 Research Implications
The main apprehension for the researcher related to the limitation of the research is actually related to reliability problems.
Robson (2002) justifies that there are definite threats to reliability which are:
Subject or participant error- The level of positive answer from the participants might not be the same. The researcher aims to resolve this issue by interviewing the employees when they are in a neutral behaviour i.e. neither on a 'high' or a 'low' attitude. (Saunders et al, 2007)
Subject or participant bias- Respondents answers might be biased due to superior pressure in the organisation. Necessary steps would be undertaken to make sure that the respondent's identity is secured and kept anonymous. (Saunders et al, 2007)
Observer Error - Various questions for getting near to perfect answers may lead to this mistake. The researcher intends to implement high level of structure in the interview schedule where this particular threat would be handled. (Saunders et al, 2007)
The other implications to this particular study is that due to the insufficient resources available, the researcher would be restricted to carry out structured interviews in the restaurants near London and inside the city. However, the researcher intends to send online questionnaires to few employees outside the city of London and also conduct some telephonic interviews with the managers around to gather some information on motivational data. The research also has a limitation of being biased by certain respondents since being young generation and mostly in the student criteria, they have a fear of losing their jobs, hence they feel insecure to divulge certain managerial information regarding management and work conduct.
Some of the respondents might also answer in a way that their organisation and managers might be impressed or on the other hand may answer in a way the interviewer expects them to answer although that may not be the way that the question was framed. Here the researcher aims to be subtle in asking questions and would ensure that none of the questions are of a sensitive manner.
The research activities are explained in the timescale below:
Formation of research idea April 5th to April 15th
Research questions write up April 16th to April 22nd
Research objectives planning April 23rd to April 25th
Research proposal write up April 26th to May 10th
Research proposal submission May 24th
Literature review write up May 15th to May 25th
Interview questions preparation May 26th to May 30th
Interview with McDonald's Rest. May 31st to June 15th
Research Methodology write up June 16th to June 30th
Findings and Analysis July 1st to July 15th
Conclusions and recommendations July 16th to July 25th
Report preparation July 26th to August 1st
Submission of draft August 5th
Final Dissertation submission August 8th - August 10th
While conducting this research it is quite important to understand the basic concepts of learning. Some of the prime learning concepts would be discussed here in this section. For conducting research it is important to acquire knowledge either in a formal, informal or incidental manner. Kolb (1984) has introduced a famous learning style which is known as Experiential learning which includes a series of steps based on learning from experience. Effective learning involves a lot of activities which must include Active experimentation, Experience, Observation and reflection and Abstract Conceptualization.
Theorists of learning and psychologists have mentioned that there are four basic learning styles. Kolb suggests that there are four various learning types which are known as activists, reffelctors, theorists and pragmatists. Kolb mentions that every individual wish to foloow particular style of learning like those who are activist, work best when they are leaders in particular discussions, when they are responsible to give out presentations and when they operate in a team to solve problems or come up with innovative ideas.
Reflective learners on the other hand focus on the aspect of motivation, their behaviours and attitudes. They also consider the skills or competences which are needed for various elements of study and the concept of learning. They are also keen to analyse the elements which try to block their path of learning and acknowledge any gaps in their knowledge and skills and they might work towards achieving the specific target.
'Reflection' can thus be simply defined as a conscious thinking and evaluating a particular subject about what a person has already done in his course of learning.
The researcher in this particular research would be diving the entire activites of dissertaition into various sub parts like
Description - where the researcher would be describing the exercise or experience into various stages or parts like sub dividing the tasks into different learning stages throughout the entire process of dissertation.
Feelings- the researcher would describe his thoughts and feelings both in the form of personal attitudes and doubts like the researcher would be describing the various limitations he would be facing or the criticisms about a particular theory.
Evaluation - the researcher would also be evaluating the findings from the research like whether the information was relevant or not. What are the specific opportunities and threats facing an organisation.
Analysis- Here the researcher would be investigating the analysis of the research to summarise into the certain conclusions or results. Here the researcher would also discuss about the general theories related to the concepts.
Conclusion - the researcher would also comment on the findings and analysis and summarise the entire research. The researcher would mention all the activities which enhanced the researchers experience and the individuals who were involved into making the research a success.
Research learning would also discuss the research methods which would be carried out in order to gather information for this specific research. The researcher intends to implement Qualitative and Quantitative methods of research. The researcher also intends to respect the privacy of the respondents and would ensure that all the ethical issues would be considered while collecting information during this research.
The researcher's intention to cover Qualitative methods and if possible quantitative methods of sampling for this particular research. The researcher intends to interview a group of young workforce from McDonalds who have worked in the complex environment and who have contributed in achieving the business target of McDonalds. Here, the researcher would gauge the attitudes of the employees and would investigate about the factors which would more influence them for attaining better performance in the future.
Undertaking Qualitative research would be more beneficial since the respondents would be able to express themselves and state the issues which they would otherwise be hesitant to answer in the questionnaires either due to lack of questions or improper source. Using Qualitative analysis would enable the researcher to gather information regarding the behaviour of the respondents, their verbal responses and also their reactions to certain questions. Conducting Qualitative research would also help the researcher to form a better communication connection with the respondents and they would open up comfortably in front of the researcher.
The researcher aims to overcome certain research limitations which would be faced during the process of research. The limitations would further be used as a recommendation guide for future researchers who are planning to research in the same area of subject.