The purpose of this section is to provide an overview of the methodologies adopted by the researcher. The chapter highlights design of the current study, how the research problem is to be explored, sample size and research philosophy and the procedure to be followed to gather data. In addition, the ethical aspects of undertaking the are discussed.
3.1 Research design
This study is investigating about how to improve the employees job satisfaction and their performance to achieve the goal of organization. Fundamentally, the questions that must be answered by this study are:
1. Are employees at Pakistan Mobile communications Ltd (Mobilink), a leader Pakistani Telecom Company satisfied with their jobs?
2. What are the chief causes of job dissatisfaction at Mobilink ?
3. How does job satisfaction vary amongst employees of Mobilink based on demographic characteristics of respondents (namely, gender, educational level, tenure, age, marital status, and income and job status)?
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4. What actions/policies/practices should management at Mobilink consider that will lead to increased job satisfaction?
In order to answer the research questions and achieve the objectives of this study it is very important to outline an effective research strategy. Primarily, a research study can be qualitative, quantitative or a mix of both (Merriam, 1998, p. 6). There is a clear differentiation between these two types of studies and each requires a specific research design. It depends upon the philosophical approach of the researcher with which he/she wants to study a problem. Cooper and Schindler (2008) outline the differences between qualitative and quantitative research. According to them qualitative research includes an array of interpretative techniques which seek to describe, decode, translate, and otherwise come to terms with the meaning not the frequency of certain more or less naturally occurring phenomena in the social world (Cooper and Schindler, 2008). Various types of the qualitative methodologies for data collection includes focus groups, individual depth interviews, case studies, ethnography, grounded theory, action research and observation. This method emphasizes the in-depth understanding of a phenomenon. On the other hand, quantitative research draws upon precise measurements; hence, it emphasizes the extent and frequency of the occurrence of a phenomenon. This is usually used to test a theory and more often this research tries to generalize the findings of the research beyond the sample studied, and tends to increase the scope of research (Jacobsen, 2002). There are advantages and limitations of both the approaches and the choice of an approach is recommended according to the nature of research problem.
Due to the exploratory and multi dimensional nature of the first part of the research problem, case study method will be employed to obtain a multi perspective view of the phenomenon in an organization. Case study methodology according to Yin (1995) is an intensive study of a single group, incident, or community and it involves individual and (sometimes) group interviews, record analysis and observations. In this study, primarily, a case study will be more viable method to establish a detailed understanding of the diverse processes involved in the management system. Lack of resources limits the researcher to probe into a multi dimensional phenomenon like this in more than one organization at a time. In addition, it will also allow cross analyses of the processes involved with in one phenomenon. This will be done through comparisons of various documents to reveal the changes implemented in the HR policy of the company in general and employee motivation and job satisfaction scheme in particular to see for example which new techniques of job satisfaction are used and how? A major advantage of the cross analyses is that the data extracted from the company sources by this technique helps in triangulation of the research findings (Saunders et al, 2003:191).
The second part of the research problem deals with the effects of appraisal methods on employees' job satisfaction and involves measurement procedures which suggest that quantitative method should be employed in order to collect and analyze the required data. For this purpose, a self administered questionnaire will be used to find out levels of employees' satisfaction. A quantitative method for later part is proposed, as Konarzewski (2000) outlines the importance of measurements in providing the fundamental connection between empirical observation and mathematical expression of quantitative relationships.
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Both primary and secondary data will be obtained for this research study. In first phase, primary data will be obtained through individual interviews. Participants will include both managerial and non-managerial employees of the company. Second phase of the primary data collection will involve the employees' job satisfaction survey throughout the company. The sample of employees will be selected through HR department with the help of HR manager of the company. Primary data collection will involve following quantitative and qualitative methods respectively.
The above mentioned methods of primary data collection will utilize self administered questionnaire as a tool for employees' job satisfaction survey, and semi structured interviews along with observations will be used for studying the employees perception of the methods used by the organization for job satisfaction. All of these methods are explained in detail below.
3.2 Data Gathering Instrument
For the purpose of current study both qualitative and quantitative methodology will use and a structured questionnaire and interview will be used as the assessing instrument.
The questionnaire is an important tool of quantitative method. Quantitative research is perceived as analytical, relying on statistics methods and can be considered mathematically. The key advantages of well designed questionnaires are that they can be quickly completed in well-organized way, can secure participants' anonymity, and are less costly to obtain information than other measuring instruments (Leary, 2004). There are some disadvantages as well. The response rates from questionnaires are frequently very low and questionnaires, are not the best tool for asking for detailed written responses (Weller, 1998). To overcome these problems first approach that research will use is gives some questionnaires to manager and assistant manager many employees with stamped return envelops will provide, with the belief, these letter would never return, next approach will take through direct interaction. The researcher will go to see individual with a pre-booked appointment. As the questionnaire was simple in context, so they didn't bother about time and with little interest they filled them up. Some questionnaires were also sent by e-mail and responses were quicker than hand given methods. During that many questions were raised by respondents, author noticed them as a part of interview.
The data gathering techniques to be used included a biographical questionnaire (see in appendix 1) and the Job Satisfaction Questionnaire (see in appendix2) which is a self-administered.
18.104.22.168 Biographical Questionnaire
The biographical questionnaire was a self-developed questionnaire that includes the personal information of the respondents, gender, marital status, age, race, education and job grade etc. Anderson, Hohenshil, & Brown (1984), Drafke and Kossen (2002) ,Robbins et al., (2003) and Okpara (2004) suggest that a strong positive relationship exists between age and job satisfaction. Several studies found that there is a significant difference between males and females in terms of job dimensions impacting on job satisfaction (Chiu, 1998; Murray and Atkinson, 1981; and Tang and Talpade,1999). A number of studies have found a strong relationship between race and job satisfaction (Strawser & Slocum (1972), O'Reilly & Roberts (1973), Gold, Davis (1985), Martin & Tuch (1991), Milutinovich (1977), Webb & Smith (1982) all cited in Friday et al., 2004); Robbins et al., 2003, Henault (2004) , Jackson (1991), Erasmus (1998) . Some of them show direct relationship between race and job satisfaction and some of them show indirect relation. Kh Metle, 2003 and Johnson (2000) Studies carried out on the relationship between the level of education and job satisfaction. Jamal and Baba (1992) also found a positive significant relationship between job satisfaction and marital status.
22.214.171.124 Job Satisfaction Questionnaire
There are many approaches available to construct the questionnaire which could efficiently measure the satisfaction level and different attitudes of employees. The Job Descriptive Index (JDI) was developed by Smith, Kendall and Hulin in 1969 and is the most widely used measuring tool for employees' job satisfaction (Kreitner & Kinicki, 1995). Smith et al. argue that that job satisfaction is composed of five different areas: work on present job or work content, present pay, opportunities for promotion, supervision, and co-workers on present job. The measuring tool consists of seventy two (72) items - nine (9) items each for the aspect of promotion and pay, and eighteen (18) items each for work itself, supervision, and co-workers (Smucker & Kent, 2004). Same questionnaire is used in survey and interviews with miner changes. Job Satisfaction Questionnaire consists of different aspects of job satisfaction, which is divided into six dimensions rather then five are includes work at present job or work content; payment or salary; benefits and rewards; supervision; promotion opportunities or recognition system and Co workers.
Reliability of the JDI
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“The reliability of a determine refers to the consistency with which it measures whatever it measures”( Foxcroft and Roodt (2002, p. 41). According to Smucker et al. (2003), seventy eight researches carried out assessing the job satisfaction level with the JDI yielded the subsequent results for the reliability Cronbach alphas: 0.90 for the aspect of supervision satisfaction, 0.88 for pay satisfaction, 0.78 for promotion satisfaction, .91 for work satisfaction, 0.77 for people satisfaction, and .92 for overall satisfaction. The consequences achieved replicate the reliability of responses to the measure items. Smith et al. (1969) designed the split-half coefficients for the parts of the JDI by relating the Spearman-Brown formula. The results acquired for the different facets of the JDI ranged between 0.80 and .88. Schneider and Dachler (1978) also recognized the test-retest reliability of the JDI ranging between 0.45 and 0.76.
Validity of the JDI
According to Anastasi and Urbina (1997, p. 8), “validity refers to the degree to which the test really measures what it purports to measure.” According to Smith (1981 cited in van Zyl & van der Walt, 1994, p. 22), “construct validity concerns the extent to which a test/questionnaire measures a theoretical construct.”
According to Nagy (2002), the JDI was managed in over 400 studies and has acknowledged evidence of convergent and discriminant validity. Furthermore Futrell (1979) is provided support for the convergent and discriminant validity of the JDI. Results illustrated convergent correlations of between .36 and .75. The JDI is considered as the most carefully calculated and developed tool for measuring job satisfaction (Vroom, 1964 cited in Schneider & Vaught, 1993). Smith (1969) cited in Spector (1997) positions that the JDI is a proven valid and reliable tool for the measurement of job satisfaction.
Interviews are a qualitative research method. Qualitative research do extremely well at “telling the story from the participants' point of view, providing rich descriptive detail” (Cassell, 2005). Accordingly Weller (1998) maintains that a qualitative study focuses on construction a complete, reporting the examination of the informants.
According to Hair et al (2003) the series of questions depends on the type of information desired. “In general, the less that is known about an area, the more appropriate are unstructured, open-ended methods.” (Citation?) A variety of methods for performing interviews were evaluated by some researchers. It all depending on the subject knowledge and the participants to be interviewed. Interview questions about job satisfaction, which is composed of five different areas: work on present job, present pay, opportunities for promotion, supervision, and co-workers.
126.96.36.199 Methods for Interviews
Author will conduct semi-structured interviews with individual employees in order to get the first hand information. Total 20 people will be interviewed, from different departments will chose by their senior manager. The author will write an e-mail or call to individual employee, asking whether they would like to talk with him. They also chose time and place. Each interview will around 15 to 20 minutes, beginning with a brief introduction of the purpose of the research and possible procedure. The interview is developed which consisted of five different areas: work on present job, present pay, opportunities for promotion, supervision, and co-workers to measure the employee job satisfaction in organization. The interview questions will have answers brief explanations and comments about various aspects of job satisfaction, organization job satisfaction and motivation techniques and all the relevant issues. These interviews will conduct in a friendly environment, with pre-booked appointments with Mobilink staff.
3.3 Secondary Data
According to Saunders et al, (2003), “secondary data are re-analyzing data that have already been collected for some other purpose”. Secondary data include both qualitative and quantitative data, and also can be used in both descriptive and explanatory research (Saunders et al., 2003).
It includes official records, articles, company record, diaries, journals, newspapers, magazines and internets. Magagines, journals, some of company records newspapers will assist to present useful information to explore the primary questions and research objective. On the other hand secondary data is used when about to start to answer the research questions. (Saunders et al, 2003).
Secondary data will provide the researcher with a wide range of views on the subject matter related with job satisfaction.
3.4 population and sample
According to Sekaran (2001, p. 225) the “population is the entire group of people or things that the researcher wants to explore.” A sample is a representative of the entire population. Sample means a part of the entire population. There are certain members which are selected from a given population which forms the part of sample. In other words some but not all elements of the population forms the sample. A sample is thus a subgroup or subset of the population. By studying the sample, the researcher was able to draw a conclusion that was generalizable to the population of interest (Sekaran, 2006). The sample for the current study is achieving from a large Telecom Industry in the Pakistan Mobile communications Ltd (Mobilink), a leader Pakistani Telecom Company. All employees are requested to participate in the study. Thus, one hundred questionnaires will be distributed. The respondent will be informed in advance of the purpose of the research, by their Head of Department and senior managers will assist in managing the questionnaires. The researcher has permission from the Pakistan Mobile communications Ltd (Mobilink) to undertake this study and staff are aware by management of this also, therefore making it easier to make sure they will co-operation and follow up. The unit population consisted of approximately 130 employees who are mostly positioned in the Mobilink Telecom Company. The sample will comprise of males and females, permanent and contract Employees members across the following occupational classes: Directors, Managers, Assistant managers, Service Officer, Personnel Officer, Administrative Officer, and Accountant. The study is using non- probability sampling method. The foundation for using this sampling method is appropriate to the participants being easily available, as well as it is inexpensive and less time consuming to data gathering.
Sampling is, “the process by which a researcher selects a sample of participants from the population of interest” Leary (2004, p. 118). A total of 110 questionnaires were sent to respondents. According to Sekaran (2001), a response rate of 30% is satisfactory for most researches.
3.5 Research Ethics
Saunders et al (2003) has pointed out that in any research ethical issue has to considered and given a lot of significance. The participants in the research will be volunteers. They will have the right to withdraw at any time or moment. According to him, any researcher taken utmost care in addressing ethical issues and not fall under any issue where it might lead to embarrassment or any other material disadvantage. Ethics is a part of a larger part of life. Formally the author is governed by two formal codes of ethics. Firstly by Mobilink as the researchers employee and secondly by De Montfort University as the researchers institution where the researcher is studying human resource management as a professional course. Ethics is come acrossed in every part of his research from data collection, analysis and interpretation. Ethics is also play a very important role for researcher, as it is depict the researcher's behaviour in relation to the different stakeholder viz. the researcher's university and also place of employment. While depicting ethics, in researcher's view it includes being honest to yourself and to your stakeholders, being reliable to the utmost sense, bringing trustworthiness in your own eyes as well as in the eyes of other people, acting with a lot of spirit and integrity and lastly being very much equitable. Being equitable in the ethical sense would mean that the researcher is collected and captured the best data possible, interpret it objectively.
The researcher is also ensured that none of his information so intended to collect or collected on a larger part hurt any stakeholder or the society and other organizations at large. The researcher is used and revealed information which is sanctioned to be disclosed and interpret that only. The researcher is assured a spirit of confidentiality to me maintained at every level wherever required, and work progressively with everyone around the researcher. In this research the researcher is assured to take special care on the matters of confidentiality and are not be used any names or other such literature without the knowledge of the respondent or the organization at large. For example, the researcher is not taking any written material in respect of the employee's data about salary and other incentive plans without the permission of the responsible supervisor. Even the names of the required personnel and employees are used after prior permission. Whatever other data which is given to the research by Mobilink is kept very confidential. Other than this the researcher is follow a general code of conduct like keeping it legal, understanding expectations, acting in accordance with the expectations, being honest and being completely committed to the employer and to the University of De Mortfort.
Saunders et al, (2003, 99) refers to triangulation “as the use of different data collection methods within one study in order to ensure that the data are telling you what you think they are telling you.” Joseph (2003) refers triangulation as the combination of methods or source of data in a single study. He further said by drawing on other types and sources of data, observers may gain deeper and clearer understanding of the setting and people studied. Hair et al (2003) said that the written document should not be use as an objective but rather to lend insight into organisational processes and the perspectives of the people who write and use them as well as to alert the researcher to fruitful lines of inquiry. With the use of all the mention methods, this will help to enhance the reliability and validity of the outcome of the result.
The author will use three different methods which include questionnaires, secondary data and semi-structure interviews. The use of these self administered questionnaires may have problem and this problem can be solve with the use of semi-structure interviews. Furthermore, problem or weakness that may be encounter with the use of semi-structure interview will be resolve when applying the use documentary secondary data. This will give an insight into the written and the non-written document of the organisation.
3.7 Reliability, Validity and Representativeness
When conducting organizational study, it is necessary to take the reliability and validity into account since they measure whether the study can be repeated with similar results and whether the research really reflect true differences among individuals on the characteristic being measured, rather than constant or random errors (Hair et al, 2003).
Reliability is the amount to which a similar outcome could be presented by self-sufficient but similar procedures of the same feature, or construct (Hair, 2003). As acknowledged by (Joseph, 2003: 155), “reliability is apprehensive with the research outcomes and is one feature of the credibility of the findings”. It is about whether the research can be constant and the same outcomes can be achieved.
In order to increase the reliability, both questionnaires are designed with a short introduction for guided, through which respondents are able to understand how to answer accordingly.
According to Hussey et al (1997) “validity refers to the problem of whether the data collected is a true picture of what is being studied” (p. X). Hair (2003) explains that validity is the extent to which differentiation in observed scores reflect true differences among individuals on the characteristic being measured, rather than constant or random errors. It measures the research instrument's ability to measure what the questionnaire aims to assess. As stated by Collis (2003: 155), “reliability is concerned with the findings of the research and is one aspect of the credibility of the findings”. It is about whether the research can be repeated and the same results can be obtained.
In order to increase the reliability, both the two questionnaires will be designed with different sections, each section guided by a short introduction, through which participants are able to know the purpose of each part and answer accordingly. To make certain validity in this research, different level of answers will be considered in order to avoid overuse of the neutral grouping. With each question, you have a choice of five answers.
Strongly Agree = 1
Agree = 2
Not sure = 3
Disagree = 4
Strongly disagree = 5
More over, some spaces will be left for additional comments, which kept the questionnaires open to amendment, in hence increasing the reliability as well.
Representativeness refers to the question of whether the groups of people or the situation studied are typical of others (Hussey et al., 1997). If we do not know whether our examples are representative, we cannot claim that our conclusions have any relevance to anybody else. Stratified sampling technique proposed to be used in this study will help to make sure the participants are proportionately representative of the population. Participants from different levels of management as well as from different geographical locations where the company currently operates will be selected according to the number of employees. In addition, as mentioned earlier that sample will include both managerial and non-managerial employees, this will increase the level of representativeness of the sample as well. Furthermore, special attention will be given to that sample is selected evenly according to the current HR profile of the company i.e. age, gender, ethnic background of the employees will be proportionately taken into account.
3.8 Pilot study
A first draft of the questionnaire which is prepare is known as the pilot study (Ghauri and Gronhaug, 2005). As every questionnaire needs to test before it was sent and circulated. Author will present questionnaires to his supervisor and co-researchers who are at the same positions, and they are also in same process to develop thesis to fulfill degree requirements. All of these steps will take to make sure that questionnaire is valid. Same sort of activities are being done for analysis techniques as well. The data analysis will present to his supervisor and co-researchers before to make final research paper. Necessary rectifications will make at all stages as recommended by other fellows to make the research contents more authentic and valuable. This process continued until author obtains the valid tools, techniques, instruments for measuring job satisfaction and up to end of research. A time table was scheduled and it will decide that each task should cover within given time slot.
3.9 Data analysis
Analysis is the function of way of thinking to value and interpret the data that have been collected (Zikmund, 2003:73). Analysis of the collected data depends upon the assumptions of the researcher which defines his/her philosophical stance toward the phenomenon under study. Two distinct philosophical perspectives are undertaken in the research i.e. positivist and phenomenological. Former mainly draws upon the quantitative research design which emphasizes the objective measurements of facts while later draws on qualitative designs and are mainly concerned with subjective measurements taking perceptions, cognitions and attributions of the participants into account. Analysis of the data also depends upon the research design of the study. In quantitative studies, various statistical and mathematical methods dominate (e.g. correlation techniques, significance tests, analysis of variance, multivariate analyses, factor and meta-analyses etc.) and a clear distinction between facts and judgments is maintained. While, qualitative studies use techniques like discourse, content, narrative and grounded analyses in which researcher primarily focuses on the contextual framework of the phenomenon under study. It is regarded that in qualitative research design, distinction between facts and judgments is usually less clear (Cooper and Schindler, 2008).
For interviews this study will rely on the stranded analysis method because, instead testing any theory or objective of this study is to explore the job satisfaction and motivation techniques used by a company in the private sector of Pakistan i.e. Mobilink Telecom Ltd. The analysis will review the subject matter and represent a clear picture of the system. Later on, after revealing the methods of Human Resource Management system used by the company, effects of these methods on employees' satisfaction will be explored through quantitative methodology i.e. employees' self-administered survey. The quantitative data obtained will be analyzed by using statistical methods like graphical and tabular presentation to provide in order on information of key demographic aspects, as well as the means and standard deviations and measurement of association like correlation techniques (Spearman Rank Correlation) through SPSS for the responses on the Job Satisfaction Questionnaire. The mean will provide an arithmetic average for the circulated of scores. The standard deviation, on the other hand, is a assessing of variability (Joseph, 2003).
The choice of an appropriate methodology is of critical importance in achieving the research goals. The combination of different ways of research was proven to be the most effective and the most appropriate. Questionnaires provide by the researcher with data that can be analyzed quantitatively.
Finally, open end structure interview is taken, which increases the reliability and validity of research (Hair et al, 2003). Bearing the objectives in mind and using the appropriate method, this research is discovered the real working environment and employer-employee relation in a real world.
What you haven't told me in this is what data you are collecting, you've told me the type but not what it is - opinions, facts, attitudes etc, nor why it should be collected.