Review Various Research Methodologies Commerce Essay

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Research methods refer to systematic, focused and orderly collection of data for the purpose of obtaining information in order to solve/answer a specific research problem or questions (Ghauri and Gronhaug, 2005).

There are three main types of research design; exploratory, descriptive and casual. I have selected descriptive research for my dissertation. Descriptive research is used when the problem is well defined and researcher starts systematically with secondary data and if relevant secondary data is unavailable, then the plan would be to collect data by questionnaire, emails and interviews (face to face and telephonic). Descriptive research illustrates a behavior or type of subject and does not look for any specific relationship, or to connect two or more variables.

Lot of information can be acquired through research and it is also useful for identifying variables & hypothetical constructs, which can be further investigated through other means. Cronbach and Meehl (1948) define "A hypothetical construct as a concept for which there is not a single observable referent, which cannot be directly observed, and for which there exist multiple referents, but none all-inclusive".

Measurement

Measurement of research methods can be categorized into two; quantitative and qualitative. Qualitative research is collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data by observing what people do and say (Ghauri & Gronhaug, 2005). For my dissertation, I chose qualitative method of measurement as the aim is not to test or verify past concepts but to understand the problems related to restructuring, its impact and benefits in PTCL. This method provides in-depth and detailed analysis for the report, which is hard to measure through quantitative technique.

Data Sources

Data sources are of two types: Primary and Secondary (Ghauri & Gronhaug, 2005). A combination of both primary and secondary data will be used for this project. Secondary data is used to find literature on definitions of restructuring, impact and benefits of restructuring and some possible suggestions. The data has been collected through books, journals, websites, previous articles and dissertations. Secondary data played a key role to gather direct information from managers and employees' of PTCL to understand the real situation and implementation of restructuring plan in organization (Primary data).

A significant amount of primary data will be used in this research. The most important aspect for the successful completion of this project is the selection of right population to be used in the research process. For selection of respondents care would be taken to have them with different exchanges located at different cities and different departments (HR, Engineering, Operations and Customer service department). Reseach method will be employed which will be based on personal interviews conducted with the help of structured questionnaires given to a sample of population.

Data Collection

Secondary data about corporate restructuring details was collected from executives and employees working in PTCL. Interviews (both telephonic and personal) were conducted for this purpose. Restructuring team members and coordinators have been directly approached for interviews (through telephone). The personal face to face interviews will now be conducted.

Sampling

After an appropriate research design and data collection tool has been developed, the next step is sampling. Two main reasons for taking a sample instead of including whole population are; the much higher costs of including all the population and the time needed to do so will be often too long (Ghauri & Gronhaug, 2005).

Sampling Procedure

Sampling procedures can be divided into two types namely probability and non-probability sampling. As the population in this research has been well defined, a random sample selection is not possible; so, a systematic sampling has been used so that the sample fairly represents all individuals. To avoid haphazard selection of the research population, I chose probability sampling. This type of sampling is selected to know either each member in the population has a measureable chance of selection i.e. either the population is right to investigate the process. This view of choosing the population is supported by Knowledge Networks "Probability Sampling should be designed to guard against unplanned selectiveness".

Before moving further it is necessary to understand the core function of PTCL because that is highly affected by the change process. And sample selection is concerned with this area.

Core Function

When I took the informal telephonic interviews of some of the employees in PTCL about the impact of restructuring process in PTCL in my effort to collect the Primary data, I was told mostly about the operations and customers of the company. PTCL is earning revenues because of its core function which is the operations of the company. It has three key departments which enable this company provide services to its customers.

Operations

Switching

Multimedia & Broadband (MM & BB)

Major Areas

As indicated by Khalid that PTCL restructured through McKenzie Revamp Project in order to improve its operational efficiencies and increase the satisfaction level of the customers. Some of the general comments from average interviewees are; operations of the company have become very smart, complaints are handled very promptly and satisfaction level of the customers has improved which have improved the performance of the Company.

Sample Size

The purpose of sample is to represent the whole population; so, following sampling size will be taken by conducting time and again interviews with all concerned individuals:

Sample Target

Number of people

Human Resource Personnel

5

Managers

10

Employees

48

Sample Selection

The units of the sample have been selected with respect to their degree of importance. The supportive function of HR is directly involved in planning and implementing the restructuring process in PTCL along with the assistance of core function. As HR team is dealing with all

The employees in core function who are directly affected by this change and are also in charge of cutting down the cost of extra wages in shape of lay-offs. As the major changes have been brought in core function (Operations, Switching, and Multimedia & Broadband) so the main target population which I have selected for this purpose is the employees who are directly affiliated with core function. I have decided to take interviews for the collection of the primary data in two ways.

Employees who are directly affiliated to the core function of the company.

Management, HR and Engineers who are managing those activities.

I have decided this approach for the data collection as by taking the views of the employees and management of the core function I can not only understand the change which is being brought, the impact of that change, the problem faced by the employees but I can also be in a better position to give suggestions on those problems. I have prepared questionnaire for employees and management. In my effort to collect the primary data to review the restructuring plan in PTCL I have designed the following interview Questionnaire "9 structured questions with 2 unstructured questions at the end". I have used this approach of structured and unstructured questions at the same time in order to analyze that what had been and is happening in the core function and what suggestions do they have in order to improve the quality of this function or in order to develop my own views to detect the flaws in the system to give and support my recommendations and suggestions at the end respectively.

To analyze and investigate the service and operations quality before the plan has been implemented I have decided to select the employees who have been working in core function since 2000. It is quite necessary to know about the core function and its quality and service standard before restructuring plan has been implemented i.e. before 2006. So that comparison may be made to find out the improvement due to the change or impact of restructuring.

I have decided to take the sample size of 48 employees from the different exchanges of the Punjab. My main aim is to review the process and investigate its impact, so I have decided to establish a clear goal to collect the primary data. I need to review the restructuring plan in ptcl. What this plan is and how it is affecting the performance of that organization. It is supported by Article base "Establishing a vivid goal boost the self-esteem as it improves the quality of the research".

Division of Sampling Size

To avoid biased sampling this size has been divided into two categories.

Old Employees

Newly Recruited Employees

Interview questionnaire for core function's employees working more than 10 years (since 2000 or so) Total number (24)

This size is further divided into three categories in order to cover the core function as a whole.

Working in operations (8)

Working in Switch room (8)

Multimedia & Broadband (MM & BB) (8)

Interview Questionnaire for Old Employees

What were the components of the service (operations) before 2006?

What were the standards set to check the validity of a good service?

How did you use to provide that service?

How did you use to have check & balance against those standards?

When and how have you been rewarded for giving good quality service according to the set standard?

Did operations use to remain smooth?

What was the ratio of complaints?

How did you use to handle the customer's complaints if the operations did not remain smooth?

What was the concept about after sale service (MM & BB)?

Were you satisfied with what had been happening?

What do you think could be done to improve the service?

I have designed this questionnaire to know about how the company had been performing before the change under the old management. I have decided to select these numbers of employees (workers & managers) from different exchanges throughout the Punjab Province. So that views and perceptions of all the employees from different part of the country can be taken to increase the validity of the data and eventually give good findings.

To analyze and investigate the impact of change on the operations of the company and after sale service I decided to put same questions to the newly hired employees so that there may not be any biasness in answering the questions. I think if I will put the same questions from same employees to understand the service quality before and after the change, it would be quite difficult for them to differentiate clearly and unbiased. This is why I have decided to select different employees in my sample size so that there may not be any amalgamation in the data.

Interview questionnaire for core function's employees working less than 4 years (since 2006 or so) Number (24)

This size is further divided into three categories in order to cover the core functions as a whole.

Working in operations (8)

Working in Switch room (8)

Multimedia & Broadband (MM & BB) (8)

Interview Questionnaire for New Employees

What are the components of the service (operations) in PTCL?

What are the standards set to check the validity of a good service?

How are you providing that service?

How are you been checked against set standards?

When and how have you been rewarded for giving good quality service according to the set standard?

Do operations remain smooth?

What is the ratio of complaints?

How are you handling the customer's complaints if the operations do not remain smooth?

What is the concept about after sale service?

Are you satisfied with what is happening?

What do you think can be done to improve service?

As commented by Mehmood on the change which is brought to increase efficiency, he told that management is also under great pressure as there are interconnection of each individual work with others. Even engineers now have to move physically in the field to check the performance of their network and workforce. So for me they are truly a right population for probability sampling to conduct the research as they have been affected by the change directly.

Interview Questionnaire for Management, HR & Engineers

What is McKenzie Revamp Project?

What changes have been brought under that project?

How you have brought those changes?

Are you satisfied with the induction of improved process?

What are your recommendations for improvement?

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