Preparing to Conduct Business Research Part Three
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In the business world today, management must know how to conduct business research for their organization to stay competitive. Organizations that stay competitive are those who have the knowledge to conduct business research and/or surround themselves with management that has the knowledge to do so. Knowing the right question to ask and how to get the answer is significant to reaching the organization’s goal. Problem and Purpose
The key to staying competitive is communication. One must clearly be able to identify the problem and the purpose of each program one is ready to implement either to improve or reach the businesses’ destination. For example, at Valley, the problem is that majority of the production standards are incorrect and not up to date, which causes the production to be inefficient. For instance, if the standard says twelve hitches an hour and the operator can only make ten hitches an hour, the efficiency is out the door. On the other hand, if a program was implemented and discovered that the standard is ten hitches an hour, the efficiency is good.
The purpose of implementing the program is to find the root-cause, improve the process, and update the new data into the system. Without a clear thought and view of the situation, one will likely end up wasting valuable time and money. In short, if a business wants to be successful, a business must know the bottleneck and the resolution of implementing the program. The Significance of finding a Solution to the issue, problem, and opportunity. The significance of finding a solution to the issue, problem, or opportunity is to improve the production line and stay in business. For example, at Valley, without the implementation of the program to improve and correct the standard pieces an hour, it does not matter how hard the employees work, management will see the employees as not performing to the organization’s expectation.
Thus, the employees will be reprimanded. By implementing the program, Steve and his team discovered new process of expediting production line and correcting the standard on pieces an hour, which it improves the efficiency. It is vital that data collected are input into the system for the system to have accurate reading on the performance of the employees. Without the solution to the problem, the results will not be in management’s favor. Thus, the inefficiency will show upper-management that the organization is not profitable. Research Questions, Hypothesis, and Variables In every experiment or study, there are questions, hypotheses, and variables one must take into consideration. For instance, questions, such as why are implementing this program, is this program appropriate for this experiment or study or how are we going to improve our goals.
As mentioned early on preparing to conduct business research part one, Steve and his team made several hypotheses such as, if the team put an experienced employee to run the robot will the robot produce more products or if the team expedites the welding speed will that improve production, and still have the same weld penetration on the parts. Hypotheses such as these will eventually lead to the goal. Variables as mentioned early in the first essay, when an experienced employee ran the robot, we produced more products compared to an entry-level employee or the speed of the employee; the employee has to keep up with the robot in order to produce more parts. Variables such as these also need to be considered as well.
Knowing the proper research design for his or her business is another element to consider when one wants to implement a program to either solve the issues, problems, or just to improve the opportunity. There are several research designs that can help solve the issue, problem or improve the opportunity. Before such a program can be implemented, one must know the business financial state and which program is appropriate to meet the goals. As noted on the second preparing to conduct business research essay, at Valley, Steve and his team used the exploratory study for two reasons. First reason was by using the exploratory study Steve and his team will discover other ways to improve or improvise the process of producing a part.
The second reason is the most important reason it save time and money. Steve and his team could have chosen Causal Study, but it would have been inefficient, as the causal method would only solve one problem at a time.
Instrument Developed or Selected
There is an old saying, “There is more than one way to skin a cat;” in other words, there is more than one instrument that can be used to accomplish a goal. One can either use an instrument that has already by developed or develop a new one. It is always good to challenge the status quo to develop new concepts and think outside the box. A creative management is one who will likely be more successful than one who is not. As noted by Golicic and Davis, (2011) “Using multiple methods to study a phenomenon is proposed to produce results that are more robust and compelling than single method studies.” The data instrument Steve and his team used at Valley was communication.
Steve and his team first interview the operators; they asked the number of years the operators have been operating the machines, their skillset, their ability to multi-task, their machine troubleshooting knowledge, and how parts were documented: hourly or by shift. After collecting the data, Steve and his team started conducting time studies for each operation. By collecting data and conducting time studies, Steve and his team not only resolved a problem, but they also improved the existing manufacturing process.
Every management has his or her way of doing sampling. It depends on what a management wants to accomplish. At Valley, Steve and his team conducted the sampling by doing time studies on cycle time for each operation and on each employee. Since it is an ongoing process, every time a new work order appears, Steve and his team would have to conduct the sampling. Steve and his team sampling method were not that difficult because they can control the environment and the atmosphere. Steve and his team starting with the entry-level employee and work their way to the senior-level employee. Different management has different style of doing sampling. Overall data analysis approach
There are many ways a management can approach a data analysis. One can process by monitoring or surveying. At Valley, Steve and his team approached by monitoring and surveying. At first, Steve and his team monitor each employee’s performance such as how the employee would run the machine or robot and compare it to other employees. By monitoring the employees’ performance, Steve and his team managed to find the most effective way of operating the machine or robot. After monitoring, Steve and his team survey the employees by conducting interviews and communication. In doing so, in some area where the standard varies, Steve and his team can come to an agreement of a median standard for that particular work order and process.
A management can use any research design or approaches on data analysis to discover or reach the goal. The important factor in using the program is the results. In the end, the upper-management would want a final report on the results. Questions and concerns have to be answered if results are not in upper-management’s expectations. By reporting the results, upper-management will be able to make their decision whether to proceed with the program or if it is just a waste of time. In other words, did upper-management get their money’s worth? Another factor in reporting the results is that upper-management now will have a better understanding of the organization’s culture, tradition, and goals. Ethical considerations
Ethics in the workplace is very important. Ethics has many meanings; to some people, ethics can mean doing something that is appropriate and legal. On the other hand, to others, ethics can mean whatever it takes to get the job done. In our experiences, poor management wants the results to be in their favor; they would even resort to research data manipulation to reflect their agenda positively. In the end, management gets the results that they wanted, but lose a few hard working dedicated employees who value ethics. On the other hand, a good management cares for their employees’ safety and well being. They have employees who do what is right and legal. In an article from the Trade Journal, the author stated, “A recent International Study by Walker Information and the Hudson Institute found that 55 percent of workers who describe their workplace environment as ethical are more likely to be loyal and stay with the same organization” (Sherren, 2005).
For companies who care about, respect, and recognize their employees’ hard work, are rewarded with employees who are very loyal to the organization and work even hard to see that the organization succeeds. There are companies in Asia who value and maintain an ethical workplace culture that have employees work their entire careers under the same organization and have family members working alongside them. This is an example of a great company-employee relationship that emphasizes trust and ethics that transcends numbers, and profit margins, and have thus become symbiotic in nature; turning a traditional work environment into a more familial culture.
There are many kinds of management in the business world; some emphasize one business culture over the other. Whatever the case may be; there is one ruling goal in business, and that is to make the most profits by any means necessary. Businesses that are successful are the ones that have knowledge of conducting business research methods and know what questions to ask, who to ask and where to get the answers. It is also important that business who conduct business research to consider the long-term ramifications and possible unintended consequences that their decision will have on their employees, stockholders, clients and the society as a whole.
When conducting a business research, it is important to consider the problem and the research purpose, the significance of the research and the different opportunities it would bring. A researcher should also take into account the research method, the hypotheses, the variables, and the ethical considerations that their data analysis will bring the company, not because it is legal, but because it is simply the right thing to do.
Cooper, D.R., & Schindler, P.S. (2011). Business Research Methods (11th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database. Golicic, S. L., & Davis,, D. F. (2011, June). Benefits and challenges of conducting multiple
methods research in marketing. Academy of Marketing Science. Journal39.3, Vol. 39, Issue 3(), p.
Sherren, J. (2005, June). Ethics in the workplace. Trade Journals, Vol. 8, Issue 4 2p.p.4-5.
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