The collapse of major banking firms

Published:

The research title is should bank and business executives bonuses be blamed for the collapse of major banking firms and businesses. The downturn in the economy has caused collapsed of many businesses resulting in immense job losses, the research focus on the main cause of recession and if anything could have been done to avert the problem in the first place. The study will start with a brief discussion of the background of the research and the problem that will be looked at, it will also include a questionnaire which will be conducted through the general public and the results will also be examined will be examined to draw a conclusion on the research.

Research Problem

The monetary market which has been labelled as the most profitable areas for short term and long term investors is facing problems relating to market crisis with a number of banks and businesses going under administration in order to survive, getting nationalized or merged with other banks to remain operational. While this being the problem in the financial market, there has been reports of some CEO's and other executives of banks pocketing enormous amounts of bonuses and inducement in line to their deals which has been completed successfully and commitment (Allen, 2007). This matter has recently stunned shareholders making them being astonished as to what stage is the huge payments are necessary and how and why are company executives being paid such a massive part of the turnover which does not give a good explanation for them through the financial reporting and require them to take an appropriate long term assessment in the issue.

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Banking has become every day part of our lives. Banking business has developed sharply from the traditional liaison purpose of being a link between the savers unit of the economy and the borrower units of the economy to more stylish functions like funds, transfers, credit cards and other financial services like raising and marketing of capital as offered by banks. Bankers have been acknowledged as extremely performing, well paying and goal-oriented individuals; however, of recent they have been analysing for the harmful roles they played in the downturn in the economic.

(www.bbcnews.co.uk) Accessed on 21/04/09

Recent crash in the financial market is due to soaring and false pay supplement made by organisation to their staff and executive which is extensively believed to have very much affected shareholders and other stakeholders in the banking industry harmfully. In light of recent collapses of major companies such as Lehman Brothers, major financial organisations are under inspection from the government due to the fact that directors are still receiving a huge amount of funds in pay supplement. Although there are different ways in which business directors could be rewarded, the common consent is that they all are mechanism which has been invented in order to aid business prospect in a short term. One explanation for the short term is that, rewards stock options are usually given to CEOs for meeting economically measured business objectives. It usually implied that, stock options are a risk to directors and insure their best performance for the business; but the dilemma is that decision-makers in many organisations with stock options may perhaps cash in before the ordinary share price plunge. If the share prices plunge, they may then be escaping the fine for a more unproductive attainment by both the business, and the financial market. There are quite a few company strategies where a manager is not capable to sell their share options for some years although it has been given award to them. Normally, this type of reward will in time assist the institution in the short-medium term view of the company in order to steer clear from adjusting the share option into hard cash in precede to a unsurprising descend in share price occurs.

In contrast to investment bankers, their salaries and bonus are not expected to be change due to the credit crunch. According to Alan Johnson who is the observer of payment model in Wall Street, he believes that further payment in bonuses will in fact rise by up to 15% for middle managers alone. In the beginning of 2007, the start of the recession become apparent, In general bonuses and rewards system in the main Wall Street business had increased from $86billion to $94billion which is an astounding amount of money unidentified for bonuses for the first three quarters of a year. This fact mean that executives are not being disciplined when it comes to their bonuses, when performing ineffectively however they were still being compensated when they had achieved their target and completed a successful financial year. Bank executives in fact work as essential individual taking all kind of danger and anxiety consecutively to increase the value of funds. In return they deserve a hand sum and rewarding pay. Most recent years has seen executive been compensated with massive amount of enticement/wages and set profound pay supplement for their hard effort. These payments has been use keep the best managers the business. This research consent to the fact that imbursement of vast amount of bonus was always accurate for directors who have been taking chances and operating on swelling income for shareholders. At the same time it can be disputed that these spending would have been made as encouragement on those returns to a certain extent, than paying them chunk amount disregarding the fact that all the cost were always in favour. Existing market situation where banks are closing down due to the recession would have been guarded if such action were taken on time (Taylor, 2008). The crumpled of some banks and financial organisations does not elevate problem on enormous payments but also on the regulatory system to losing their grasp in the wave of globalisation.

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According to Bebchuk and Fried cited in McConville (2005), managers has the control concept on a number of present description of managerial reward which can be explain precisely as a result of the effect of the CEO implementing substantial supremacy above the board of directors who are significantly responsible for making a decision upon executive reimbursement. As a consequence of these powers, the boards arrange compensation requirements with the advantage of the CEO being the most important worry, and the concern of shareholders are seen as of less significance. In relations to this, compensation preparations which have been acknowledged by the boards of directors often swerve from the most constructive contract simply just because manager may perhaps be convinced by the executives, systematic to supervision, or purely useless in managing payments. The consequence of such discrepancy from management theory, being that executive may be able to gather additional pay in excess of the level of that would be the best possible for shareholders; this extra payment consist of charges. Executive power may be able to direct a move towards the use of unproductive reward arrangements which might be unsuccessful or in addition collapse with the purpose of dropping the worth of shareholder.

Objectives

In this research, to critically evaluate the above statement, it will examine the whether the risk which has been taken by investment banks in order to gain a high profit is appropriate. The report will also evaluate the effect of high risk investment on the economy, bonuses and the consequences of executive compensations could make on an organization in the long terms. It will also evaluate the reason for bonus and executive compensation payments are and their flaw, why shareholders are perceived not to be provided with useful information about companies' long -term prospects. Based on the highlighted analysis, the study will be making some recommendations to correct the lapse and reaching a conclusion.

Research Method

In order to carry out this research successfully, the issue regarding why so many firms are collapsing and the payment which has been made by organisation to their executives will be scrutinise through an effect use of sampling and different types of metrology. To ensure a consistent and non-bias research has been conducted, information will be gathered from the general public and businesses using a questionnaire. The questionnaire will consist of different type of questions in relations to some of the issues which have been raised in the research problems. The aim of this survey is to convey whether the question which has been forward could demonstrate a link between the collapsed of major businesses and financial institutions and the rewards given to business executives.

Data Analysis:

Choosing an appropriate method to analysis a data in research is very importance since its aid in deciding whether the research was successful or not and it also helps to eliminate any data which does not relate to the research topic. To gain the best result from the research I propose to use Excel, frequency tables, pie and bar charts to analyse the information I gathered. This data analysis technique will hopefully assist me in determining whether the research has been up to my expectation.

Conclusion:

The main focus of this research will based entirely on the effect of the recession to businesses and individuals understand of whether company's executives are responsible for collapsed of those some organisations. The analysis of the data which will be gathered will hopefully help to come up with a result to as what the reason why this problems started in the first place and the outcome will also help again a deeper understanding of the facts and subsequently draw a preside conclusion to the study. The issue which has been put forward in the study is very important in terms gaining a brief perceptive of current stage of the economy and what could be done to utilize the resources which are available to society in order to solve the problem. As a student in my second year of study, it is very important to know the current climate of the economy in order to aid in choosing the right career path which increase chances of getting employment at the end of studies. This research will therefore not just comment on the issues at hand but also raised a general concern and come up with solution as what could be done to avert a similar problem happening in the near future.

TIMESCALE:

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15 March 2009= the beginning of the proposal and intensive research about the subject which would be discus

25 March 2009= Started planning drafting the questions which would be included in the questionnaire

29 March 2009= Received a bad new about my brother who has just passed way which brought a huge setback to the project since I was unable to concentrate entirely on the study. .

15th May 2008= I asked the course coordinator for an extension to the research which was approved.

TASK 2/: Design and conduction of a small pilot study

Background to the Study:

This research is base on two arguments one being what cause the collapse of major banks whether it was due to sky-scraping bonus payments to business executives to achieve business objectives and the other being whether banks CEOs should be hold responsible, as they did not make available crucial information to the shareholder and the government about the high risk mortgage investment which has been made in these fragile organisations. A few years ago the stock markets was performing extremely well all kinds of investors produce good returns with or without appropriate efforts and banks were forced to reimburse their managers enormous amounts of payment to maintain to motivate them in order generate more profit. Last decade has seen intense competition of talent which has driven the managerial reward scheme even further. The problem began with large British banks like RBS Bank, HBOS, and Barclays seeking extra financial help from their shareholders and started intensifying their trade in areas like mortgage distribution, investment banking and provided a fresh stage to the financial market to drive for more profit. The starvation for more success and the constant rivalry of other financial institutions in the market has driven race for more experience staff and increased the demand for a rise in staff cost which also forced business to make huge payments increasing fixed cost for organizations. The future was always bright owing to the then state of the market when the returns were rewarding in terms of profit generation and everything worked as planned. However, this executive's reward drove some manager's crave for more achievement in order to maintain their organisation in higher ranking of financial market, which also led to a vast amount of high risk mortgage investment not being disclose in the annual reports.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1579345/Biggest-brain-drain-from-UK-in-50-years.html Accessed on 13/06/09

In the last few months more pressure has been raised on business manager on decisions made by the organization on behalf of shareholders and this exercise has been taking seriously after the down turn in the financial market. It is believed such actions would make obligatory for shareholders to get involved in the decisions making during trades and almost certainly this could curb the risk and allow an infallible plan on crucial investments in the near future. Also the decisions would remain more transparent and controlled once this practice becomes mandatory to all financial institutions in near future.

Research Questions

Do you think bankers and business executives deserve the huge bonuses they reserves for their work?

In order to stop cash eager CEOs pocketing a huge amount of money, should their wages be regulated by the government?

Should the downturn in the economy solely be blame on these payments which has been made to company's CEOs?

Objectives of the study:

The main aim of this research is to examine what factors motivated the collapsed of many businesses and the effect it has caused to individual like my fellow student who are struggling to gain employment after graduation.

Critiquing the literature/academic paper

Summary of the paper

This task will focus on a journal by L, A Bebchuk and J, M Fried entitled "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem" which examines how managerial powers are creating huge problems for major institutions. The paper measures the impact a performance pay can make on a top executive motivation. The article analyse the characteristics of the allowance of reimbursement amongst high ranking business executives. It also talks about how the existing increase in economic theory has produced a clear uncertain justification of the arrangement of pay among the top CEOs. It also examine different types theory such as tournament theory which was developed by Lazear and Rosen (1981) projected that, the compensation of a company top CEO may well go further than any evaluation of his subsidiary product but how ever be realistically proficient in the managers favour. The author's also emphasise on how effectiveness an institution are often confined by the moderate top wages acting as an inducement to those lower down the business hierarchy, who agree to wages at less than their own predictable marginal product freely engage in a self economic quasi risk where the most important return is the top CEOs job. To the extent of my understanding the importance of tournament theory is that, in order to propose a reasonable enticement, it may be fundamental to swing very large salary assortment among those who holds the top managerial positions of a corporation.

On page 82 the authors refers to a work by (Jensen and Murphy, 1990) which talk about the leading progress to the study of executive wages amongst top managers which has for sometime been named the most advantageous constricting approach. This system allows executive compensation to be exercise in large open traded businesses are seen as being created to reduce the institutions expense that exists among senior managers and shareholder. Agency theory suggest that, a separation of ownership in an organisation points to matter which can be to a certain extent address through propose of management reimbursement schemes . In particular employees, who may be seen as agents of a big business, would in general have a tendency to stay away from dangerous investments with an aim to enlarge their own wealth. The paper also talks about how the outcome of this wealth seeking strategy is the interests of staff are not always connected with those of shareholders. The consequences of connecting pay and how well an individual performs is that, the performance compensation agreement can be utilize to aid the organization in the short terms and well being of the workforce with those of shareholders. Lynch et al (2003). There was no actual research strategies outlined in the journal, but the authors persistently refers to work of other scholars in order to support their arguments. Finally they also developed a continuous margin and ideas to enable other author to a sufficient plat form for future research concerning the issues at hand.

Main Critique

The abstract of the paper is extremely easy to understand and it gives the reader a clear understanding of the issues which has been discussed in a brief summery. It also persuade the reader to carry on reading since the subject area which the journal covers is introduce with less confusion which lead straight to the point with an intension of conveying the study questions and significantly compare the subject with other studies in the first paragraph. The author also underlined the aim of the study and consequently provides adequate information of the narrative combined with some examples in relation to the subject which makes it easier to read. The main area of the research is supported with arguments and comment, either encouraging or non-encouraging to avoid favouritism on one side of the argument. Although the journal covered most part of the research, it did not give an explanation or recommendation as what should be done in order to avert a similar problem happening in the financial market. Some comparable studies by other author were also mention in the paper but not examine in a very great details. The structure which has been employed to analyse the information is very expressive than hypothetical because it is based mainly on the authors prior expertise and knowledge rather than an assumption.

There is no clear method of data gathering in the paper which makes it difficult to determine how accurate the research really is. In my judgment, the paper could have been writing using expertise and personal views of the author which is not an appropriate way to gathered information on a particular subject. The explanation of my contest method of the journal writing is, since business executive has not been questioned about their rewards and the results being presented it very difficult to come up if a conclusion to justify the authors claim. Then at the same time, it could have been impossible for the writer to carry out an accurate survey since many business executive will be unwilling to disclose their salary. Although this issue was been highlighted in the journal, I presume it would have been helpful to provide some sort of qualitative research or interview in the study in order to demonstrate the true findings of any study which was done. To compensate the lack of actual survey in the paper, the author continuously refers to works which has been done by other authors to provide additional information on the subjects. The author concluded the paper with an extremely well-constructed evidence of the current problem which has been discussed, made their own recommendation on the study. They also refer to the work of other authors which personally gave me a strong platform in terms of getting more information on the subject and they encourage an additional research to be done which made me observation the issue from a different perspective. Also boundaries and suggestions for future investigation was mention which shows that the current problem is not avoidable and potential future study need to test the limits on their findings.

Although the paper presented me with a great understanding of the issue at hand, it also had some disadvantages about it. The downside is the contents of the paper and how it was structured which could be a bit confusing if you are not used to reading academic journals. Also there was some information which could have been mention in the beginning of the paper but left till the last paragraph meaning any potential reader has read the entire paper in order to understand the mean points of the subject. The other concerning issue is the lack of additional research to support the arguments. Most importantly, the journal presented a subject matter which is quite delicate to mention in the business would that is the reason why I still thinks it extremely good piece of paper, which support the interest of other individuals. The authors did not only review his concern about the problem but also but into account the worry of other individual and companies. This journal could be regarded as very pioneering since it present the findings in a very precise way and question why business executives are being rewarded with such a huge pay supplements.

Conclusion

The critique can be concluded by saying that generally, the journal was researched and written in a very appropriate way which demonstrates a theoretical systematic method of the study. The author studied the topic with the knowledge of the present importance of the subject and stated clearly what the study problem is whilst stating the main aim and the objective of the research. The findings of journal was connected well with the subject matter and although the method could have been expanded with a broader approach, the analysing technique of the data was with a clear statistical background and therefore very encouraging. The explanation and the recommendations in particular of the author were much extended and practical which intern makes them exceptionally valuable as a guideline for future researchers.

RESEARCH STRATEGIES

In this part of the study, different research strategies will be examined. First, in their theory with some practical examples and then will comment on how relevant the strategies are to me independently as a business student carrying out research. With reference to the lecture programme, six different research strategies will be assessed and their advantages and disadvantages will be discussed.

The purpose of the research strategy is to answer the research questions through defining the objectives, identifying the sources of data collection and considering the constraints involved in the research process (Mark Saunders et al, 2003)

Experiment:

The experiment theory can be divided into experimental and not experimental where the former include true experimental and quasi- experimental and the latter "ex post facto", "comparative" and "correlation".

The experiment strategy is a common form of research which is concerned with assessing the effects occurring from the functioning one variable to another variable.

The true experiment is carried out to test the theory surrounded by comparison or action groups that have been randomly chosen. In this case the study controls the individual variables which could be in practice, a reason affecting the groups employed.

The quasi-experiment is somewhat different in that it does not by chance choose its subjects or groups but still have an impact in the treatment.

With regards to the non-experiment part, firstly, there is the ex post facto or after the fact which monitor a previous incident and the effects which can arise. For example: whether or not the amount of alcohol that a person consumes contributes to the chances of getting liver failure. Secondly there is the comparative non-experiment which is not so much concerned with the cause of a phenomenon but with the examination of the relationship between two or more variables. Therefore the differences between the groups of subjects are investigated and the groups are compared to each other.

Thirdly the correlation part discovers the relationship between the variables through investigating the relations rather than the differences. It helps to calculate and command the direction and power of the relationship and shows whether it is constructive or unconstructive.

Advantages:

The experimental strategy is important in terms of trying the theory and calculations as well it is statistically dependable and the results can be expected for the population

In additional, small numbers of variables can be calculated and controlled.

Disadvantages:

The statistical method have a tendency to ignore the order of measures and the consideration of independent cases also variable choice can lead to researcher bias and often does not make clear the reasons for peoples' actions.

SURVEYS

Surveys are usually the most popular type of research strategy that people seem to use in the form of a questionnaire, planned observations and prepared interviews where all interviewees are asked the exact same questions.

Advantages:

This enables you to gather a vast amount of information from many different types of people everywhere. This type of survey is easily constructed and easy to understand and analyse. It also enables the researcher to have full control of the research process.

Disadvantage:

It is very time consuming getting the right questions together and pilot the study and analyse it. The data range might be narrower than that of the research strategy and the researcher might find it harder to find the answers they were looking for, to find that it is not appropriate for tentative research.

CASE STUDY

The strategy allows the researcher to gain an intensive perception of one or more cases. It can be used to study and defy existing hypothesis and usually answers the "how" and "why" questions asked. The data collection process may include questionnaires, interviews, observations and documented analysis. This allows the researcher to comprehend the framework and involvedness of a case.

Advantages:

It allows a thorough understanding of a case even if it is a typical or not understood; also it can provide other research advances.

Disadvantages:

The data collection and analysis can be very time consuming as in the survey and it involves a lot of details. Therefore, the research procedure takes a vast quantity of time and it often lacks severity.

GROUNDED THEORY

In grounded theory there is no primary theoretical structure and as a result data has to be gathered to develop a framework, generally throughout an array of observations. Subsequently this pilot to predictions which are regularly further tested and confirmed as constructive or unconstructive. This entails theory building throughout a mixture of induction and deduction.

Advantages:

It is a very practical hypothesis as it gives numerous controls to the person following the predictions and applications it involves and is useful for creating theories.

Disadvantages:

This is also very time consuming and intense as well as being demanding on data gathering and study. Additionally it was criticised as it focused too much on building the theory rather than supporting the practical work.

ETHNOGRAPHY

This strategy that arises from anthropology is linked to naturalism and deduces the collective world of the research focus. This happens over time during the examination of what take place, what is said and through pulling together data. The research procedure needs to be flexible as pattern can alter and thus the researcher needs to be quick to respond in their progress and observations.

Advantages:

Supply the researcher with a thorough awareness and understanding of the knowledge and the usual situation it take place in.

Disadvantages:

It is not a general business strategy as it is very time consuming as the development occurs over a vast period of time and regularly the researcher loses part of his objectivity and can get into moral or ethical disagreement.

ACTION RESEARCH

The information gained from action research is the administration of change in combination within information gathering. The researcher generally work together with the specialist and is consequently a part of the administration and thus of the research and alter procedure. This allows him to obtain his understanding through practice as well knowledge.

Advantages:

It is useful for the specialist as there is a high employee contribution required and through the researcher rigorous understanding it can be used as a pilot study before coming to a decision on other research strategies.

Disadvantages:

Because of the relationship between the two parties, each case is separate and cannot be generalised. Another flaw is that the substance of the study is usually not based on a casual validation and that the description is often unspecific.

RESEACH METHODS

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYTICAL TOOLS/TECHNIQUES

Through the data collected and the help of the theoretical framework I was able to build upon ideas about how to construct my research. The most appropriate version for me was to focus in quantitative research and choose the questionnaire as my data collection technique. For the sample size I choose 15 respondents which were selected at random, at different times of the day. The reason for this was to avoid unnecessary bias.

The sample questions started with details such as their age, marital status and employment and then with the most important demographic questions. Further the questionnaire asked about how they were affected, if at all with the economic crisis. At this point I designed the questions to be more specific, thus I could observe to what extent people were affected. This leads to the question highlighted in the theoretical framework, should banks and Business executives bonuses be blamed on the collapse of major banking firms and small businesses.

ANALYSIS FINDINGS RESULTS

Although no particular gender was deliberately targeted, majority of the sample population were fameless at 73% with only 27% males. The population age which was involve in the sampling were also grouped into four different category, and the results for the respondents were as follows: 33% were age between 26 to 38 years old, 40% 39 to 59 and 27% of age 18 to 25 with 0% 60 and above. In regards to their marital status, the majority of the individuals who were involved in the questionnaire single (53%) and (40) were married or living with partner with only 7% representing other.

A third (33%) of my sampling population were self employed it was extremely difficult to establish the link between how importance of the research topic because individuals who are self employed does not receive bonuses. The second major representatives were also student at (33%) followed by (27%) unemployed and (7%) claiming they have an employment within a company.

The question about how concerned people are about the current financial situation was also interesting. The following pie chart illustrate clearly that in general people are very concern by the state of the economy with an absolute majority demonstrating their concerns.

In regards to the question to what extent have they been affected the downturn in the economy, I measured each factors on the scale of one to ten, 1 to 5 being not affected and 6 to 10 being very affected. Clearly as most of the population either married of living with partner, I assumed that some may have children as well. The majority of the sample population at 73% said that they are very affected and only 27% who claimed that they were not affected.

Concerning the question of what drastic measure have taken to change their lifestyle, the majority of people at (40%) said yes they have done something to change their lifestyle in order the cope financially, 27% has done a bit and 33%has not done anything. Most of my sampling population also admitted that they have cut down eating out, drinking, and their weekly shopping. Furthermore, the majority of sample population felt that they no choice but to reduce their daily spending in order to survive.

As I was expected most of respondents said that, CEOs contributed the most to the downturn in the economy at (67%) which I think it was very significant in the research and about 27% also believed that their high risk lending strategy contributed the must. Only 6% of the respondents thinks the government had anything to do with the recession

The figures below also illustrate results of a poll which was done by student chartroom.com to gained an idea of what my fellow students thing is responsible the recession and clearly shows that they thinks is the CEOs.

View Poll Results: Who is responsible for this Credit Crunch Mess?

The UK government

3

5.08%

The Us government

13

22.03%

The Bankers (US and UK)

30

50.85%

The landlords (US and UK)

0

0%

The Brits

3

5.08%

The Americans

10

16.95%

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=778958 Accessed on 23/8/09

The question of whether company executives should only be blamed came up with a an interesting responses with 8 out of 15 respondents expressing that we should be blame for the recession and only 7 out of 15 people saying that are CEOs responsible.

The next question which was asked was whether bankers and business executives deserves the huge payments for their work, and astonishingly 10 out of 15 respondents thought they do not deserve they wages with 5 respondent in favour of the bankers.

This question was concern with whether executives pays should regulated also came up some interesting results with 67% of the sampling population responding yes and only 6% saying no with 27% thinking it does not need regulating.

The last two questions was asked about people perception of how the issue concerning executive bonuses and the recession has being handled in an appropriately by the government and whether more could have been done the sort out the situation. A majority of 88% of the respondents think more could be done to deal with the economic crisis and only 12% of the people who answered the questionnaire are happy with the way it being handled

CONCLUSION

To conclude the research and the data analysis, it can be stated that there is a clear pattern between individuals who are more concern about the state of the economy. Most of the people who married or living with partner was mostly affected by the recession whilst those who are single were not affected as much; furthermore, the majority also thinks that CEOs does deserve the bonuses that they receive. Some people also thing not a lot has been done to rectify the problem which could be down to the fact that the bank has stop lending to business although the government has pump a huge amount of money into the banking system.

REFLECTIVITY - EXPERIMENTAL LEARNING

In the beginning of the unit it was very difficult to adapt to the regime of carrying out research in such an intensive way since I was used to writing reports and essays rather than doing a research. What even made it more hard was the fact that, I had to carry out research by myself in such depth but also the quantity of task combined in one project which was not quite familiar made even more interesting. That is perhaps why I felt somewhat anxious so I therefore tried to make the most out of the lectures and seminars that I attended. They were both ran in a very practical way which gave me a new insight of learning things by doing them. Through getting taught the theory of a subject in the lectures and then being directed on how to use it in practice in the seminars were very helpful in terms of that when I began the project I already had the knowledge of how to do things. However, the seminars at the start of the semester was very confusing in terms of students choosing the groups they wanted, and so therefore there were sometimes not enough computers and even chairs for all the students who decided to turn up.

In regards to the subject matter which was covered during the modules when learning about the research proposal, it was extremely useful in terms given me an accurate information about what needed to be achieve and the process that needed to be done in order to achieve it effectively . Although I knew what a research proposal is, I never really understood it thoroughly, and going through various proposals in detail and pointing out their flaws and positive, it made me more aware and understands what was expected of me. As well as examine other research problems and connected objectives within group work it helped me gather m own understanding and greater knowledge in finding my own subject area. Furthermore I could use this new "knowledge" in other areas like marketing research, where some of the task at hand were quite similar and gave me an advantage.

It was helpful that the critique was covered as quite early as it gave students the time to think about as most of us have never done this before. Regrettably, I didn't make use of this time and used it to the best of my advantage; I left it too late which resulted in a poorly written critique. My problem was that I kept on choosing the wrong papers as I wasn't sure what it had to include. On the other hand the detailed information about the different kinds of research through various resources was excellent and so helped me immensely in doing research for other subjects and for my dissertation next year.

Another advantage of the seminars is that they are hassle-free and feel personal which gave me the chance to swap ideas and concern with my fellow students and a chance to speak to seminar tutors about them. I was impressed with the way the tutor made sure that everyone had understood what he was saying and doing, so this guided us in the right direction and did not stray us too much into going down the wrong path in researching our topics.

All the topics from lecture one to five extended my knowledge, so this means that I am much more secure in doing research in general and preparing work in my final year. As time went by I found myself somewhat anxious as the topics got more and more theoretical and it confused me as I was unsure of how to go about it next. My main concern was with the hypothesis testing and the different ways of understanding my data in a statistical way. As mentioned before, in the beginning I felt more comfortable with SPSS. The seminar and workbook helped me a lot as it explained all the different steps (labelling etc) which we always practised. Maybe through the fact that I missed seminars on occasions, this issue occurred and the problem was that it was very hard to catch up on things that I missed as the nature of the topic demands practising and that by just reading up on it from a book was sufficient enough.

When doing the individual work it was helpful but a stressful experience as everything took longer than I anticipated, considering I was only use to doing relatively short essays that could be done in a short space of time. The fact that the whole portfolio had to be handed in on the same date and coincide with the deadlines for other subjects as well, the task had to be started at the beginning of the semester. Regrettably I was unaware of this so therefore prioritised other subjects and focused more on group work assignments, and so, this is why I found this task so particularly stressful. I do now see this as a gain rather than a loss as I have a better understanding of what was expected of me in the future, not only at university but also in my everyday life where situations like this will surely occur.

Considering myself as a potential business student researcher I can recognise that my time management skills are by far my greatest weakness. I am not fully confident with many techniques that are necessary to do a successful research, but I know that with time this will change. However, there were many parts of the research project where I benefited from and can see where I could use my creativity to develop my natural interests.

In conclusion I can declare that I have learnt a lot about the research procedure itself and all the aspects relating to it. I have also learnt how to approach different types of questions to research about and even though my strength in carrying out research is not yet up to perfection, I have gained a considerable about of knowledge about some parts of research which will provide me with a head start on projects to come. Moreover, I am very aware of how significant time management is and what I could do to improve mine and develop further the skills that I have and yet to learn.

REFERENCES

Saunders M, Lewis P, and Thornhill A. "Research Methods for Business Students" 4th Ed,

Beene R., (2008), "CEOs get better pay, fewer perks, more scrutiny", Crain's Detroit Business, Detroit, June 30th, Volume 24, Issue 26, pg E5, [British Library, London, Shelf-Buss/08/252]

Bebchuk, L,A. And Fried J.M (2003) 'Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem', (17), pp. 71-92

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