Share
Explore BrainMass

The Scientific Process as Described by Sekaran U - Research Methods for Business

Analyze a recently published business research study (THE SCIENTIFIC PROCESS as described by Sekaran U. Research Methods for Business, Wiley & Sons.) selected from the academic literature. The comprehensive analysis should be framed against all the steps suggested in the Sekaran (2003) research process.

The specific study select to be analyze should contain the basic components of a formal research project (a literature review, statement of the problem, hypothesis or hypotheses, data collected and analyzed to test the stated hypothesis, etc.), preferably of a business related topic. The study can be quantitative, qualitative or mixed.

Solution Preview

THE SCIENTIFIC PROCESS as described by Sekaran U. Research Methods for Business, Wiley & Sons.
1- Observation
2- Preliminary data gathering (corresponding to the Information phase?)
3- Problem definition
4- Theoretical framework (function analysis? still in the Information phase, although I have always considered it a separate phase)
5- Generation of hypothesis (obviously Creativity)
6- Scientific research design (definition of Evaluation criteria?)
7- Data collection, analysis and interpretation (Evaluation and Development?)
8- Deduction (Recommendation/Presentation)"

THIS IS THE SPECIFIC STUDY SELECTED
TQM And Organizational Change And Development
By Thomas Packard, D.S.W.
From Total Quality Management in the Social Services: Theory and Practice. Burton Gummer and Philip McCallion, Eds., Albany, NY: Rockefeller College Press, (1995).

Table of Contents
Introduction
TQM as Large-Scale Systems Change
People's Expectations and Perceptions
Sources of Resistance
Dealing with Resistance
Exhibit I: A Force Field Analysis
Exhibit II: Resistance to Change
Current Reality and Preconditions
Exhibit III: Conditions Supportive of Change
Visionary Leadership
Steps in Managing the Transition Process
Institutionalization of TQM
Some Do's and Don'ts
Summary
References

Introduction
THIS IS 'OBSERVATION' CORRESPONDING TO SEKARAN'S STEP ONE.
This is the preliminary observation stage where the researcher is making general observations about the area of research he has selected.
While Total Quality Management has proven to be an effective process for improving organizational functioning, its value can only be assured through a comprehensive and wellthoughtout implementation process. The purpose of this chapter is to outline key aspects of implementation of largescale organizational change which may enable a practitioner to more thoughtfully and successfully implement TQM. First, the context will be set. TQM is, in fact, a largescale systems change, and guiding principles and considerations regarding this scale of change will be presented. Without attention to contextual factors, wellintended changes may not be adequately designed. As another aspect of context, the expectations and perceptions of employees (workers and managers) will be assessed, so that the implementation plan can address them. Specifically, sources of resistance to change and ways of dealing with them will be discussed. This is important to allow a change agent to anticipate resistances and design for them, so that the process does not bog down or stall. Next, a model of implementation will be presented, including a discussion of key principles. Visionary leadership will be offered as an overriding perspective for someone instituting TQM. In recent years the literature on change management and leadership has grown steadily, and applications based on research findings will be more likely to succeed. Use of tested principles will also enable the change agent to avoid reinventing the proverbial wheel. Implementation principles will be followed by a review of steps in managing the transition to the new system and ways of helping institutionalize the process as part of the organization's culture. This section, too, will be informed by current writing in transition management and institutionalization of change. Finally, some miscellaneous do's and don't's will be offered.
THIS STAGE CORRESPONDS TO SEKARAN'S PRELIMINARY DATA GATHERING. THAT IS STAGE 2 It is at this stage that the researcher is gathering information about the subject matter of the research. A preliminary review of literature is also included. The stories that employees tell gives basic starting information.
Members of any organization have stories to tell of the introduction of new programs, techniques, systems, or even, in current terminology, paradigms. Usually the employee, who can be anywhere from the line worker to the executive level, describes such an incident with a combination of cynicism and disappointment: some manager went to a conference or in some other way got a "great idea" (or did it based on threat or desperation such as an urgent need to cut costs) and came back to work to enthusiastically present it, usually mandating its implementation. The "program" probably raised people's expectations that this time things would improve, that management would listen to their ideas. Such a program usually is introduced with fanfare, plans are made, and things slowly return to normal. The manager blames unresponsive employees, line workers blame executives interested only in looking good, and all complain about the resistant middle managers. Unfortunately, the program itself is usually seen as worthless: "we tried team building (or organization development or quality circles or what have you) and it didn't work; neither will TQM". Planned change processes often work, if conceptualized and implemented properly; but, unfortunately, every organization is different, and the processes are often adopted "off the shelf" "the 'appliance model of organizational change': buy a complete program, like a 'quality circle package,' from a dealer, plug it in, and hope that it runs by itself" (Kanter, 1983, 249). Alternatively, especially in the underfunded public and notforprofit sectors, partial applications are tried, and in spite of management and employee commitment do not bear fruit. This chapter will focus on ways of preventing some of these disappointments.
THIS STAGE CORRESPONDS TO SEKARAN'S PROBLEM DEFINITION. STAGE 3 The authors at this stage gives us the basic problem, the statement of the problem and he states it as basic assumptions.
In summary, the purpose here is to review principles of effective planned change implementation and suggest specific TQM applications. Several assumptions are proposed: 1. TQM is a viable and effective planned change method, when properly installed; 2. not all organizations are appropriate or ready for TQM; 3. preconditions (appropriateness, readiness) for successful TQM can sometimes be created; and 4. leadership commitment to a largescale, longterm, cultural change is necessary. While problems in adapting TQM in government and social service organizations have been identified, TQM can be useful in such organizations if properly modified (Milakovich, 1991; Swiss, 1992).
TQM as LargeSale Systems Change
THIS CORRESPONDS TO THEORETYICAL FRAMEWORK STAGE AS GIVEN BY SEKARAN'S STEP FOUR. This stage provides further information, albeit from theoretical sources. This is a slightly different phase because the author is evaluating the background in which the problems need to be examined.
TQM is at first glance seen primarily as a change in an organization's technology its way of doing work. In the human services, this means the way clients are processed the service delivery methods applied to them and ancillary organizational processes such as paperwork, procurement processes, and other procedures. But TQM is also a change in an organization's culture its norms, values, and belief systems about how organizations function. And finally, it is a change in an organization's political system: decision making processes and power bases. For substantive change to occur, changes in these three dimensions must be aligned: TQM as a technological change will not be successful unless cultural and political dimensions are attended to as well (Tichey, 1983).
Many (e.g., Hyde, 1992; Chaudron, 1992) have noted that TQM results in a radical change in the culture and the way of work in an organization. A fundamental factor is leadership, including philosophy, style, and behavior. These must be congruent as they are presented by a leader. Many socalled enlightened leaders of today espouse a participative style which is not, in fact, practiced to any appreciable degree. Any manager serious about embarking on a culture change such as TQM should reflect seriously on how she or he feels and behaves regarding these factors. For many managers, a personal program of leadership development (e.g., Bennis, 1989) may be a prerequisite to effective functioning as an internal change agent advocating TQM.
Other key considerations have to do with alignment among various organizational systems (Chaudron, 1992; Hyde, 1992). For example, human resource systems, including job design, selection processes, compensation and rewards, performance appraisal, and training and development must align with and support the new TQM culture. Less obvious but no less important will be changes required in other systems. Information systems will need to be redesigned to measure and track new things such as service quality. Financial management processes may also need attention through the realignment of budgeting and resource allocation systems. Organizational structure and design will be different under TQM: layers of management may be reduced and organizational roles will certainly change. In particular, middle management and first line supervisors will be operating in new ways. Instead of acting as monitors, ordergivers, and agents of control they will serve as boundary managers, coordinators, and leaders who assist line workers in getting their jobs done. To deal with fears of layoffs, all employees should be assured that no one will lose employment as a result of TQM changes: jobs may change, perhaps radically, but no one will be laid off. Hyde (1992) has recommended that we "disperse and transform, not replace, midlevel managers." This no layoff principle has been a common one in joint labormanagement change processes such as quality of working life projects for many years.
Another systems consideration is that TQM should evolve from the organization's strategic plan and be based on stakeholder expectations. This type of planning and stance regarding environmental relations is receiving more attention but still is not common in the human services. As will be discussed below, TQM is often proposed based on environmental conditions such as the need to cut costs or demands for increased responsiveness to stakeholders. A manager may also adopt TQM as a way of being seen at the proverbial cutting edge, because it is currently popular. This is not a good motivation to use TQM and will be likely to lead to a cosmetic or superficial application, resulting in failure and disappointment. TQM should be purposeoriented: it should be used because an organization's leaders feel a need to make the organization more effective. It should be driven by results and not be seen as an end in itself. If TQM is introduced without consideration of real organizational needs and conditions, it will be met by skepticism on the part of both managers and workers. We will now move to a discussion of the ways in which people may react to TQM.

THIS STAGE CORRESPONDS TO SEKARAN'S STAGE OF GENERATION OF HYPOTHESIS THAT IS STAGE FIVE. The generation of hypothesis is an act of creativity but in research creativity is not based on abstractions but is rooted in the information and facts. What the workers view as TQM is hypothesized not on the basis of conjecture by solid information.
People's Expectations and Perceptions
Many employees may see TQM as a fad, remembering past "fads" such as quality circles, management by objectives, and zerobased budgeting. As was noted above, TQM must be used not just as a fad or new program, but must be related to key organizational problems, needs, and outcomes. Fortunately, Martin (1993) has noted that TQM as a "managerial wave" has more in common with social work than have some past ones such as MBO or ZBB, and its adaptations may therefore be easier.
In another vein, workers may see management as only concerned about the product, not staff needs. Management initiatives focused on concerns such as budget or cost will not resonate with beleaguered line workers. Furthermore, staff may see quality as not needing attention: they may believe that their services are already excellent or that quality is a peripheral concern in these days of cutbacks and multi problem clients. For a child protective service worker, just getting through the day and perhaps mitigating the most severe cases of abuse may be all that one expects. Partly because of heavy service demands, and partly because of professional training of human service workers, which places heavy value on direct ...

Solution Summary

The solution analyses a study called TQM And Organizational Change And Development by Thomas Packard and answers as a report, containing observations, data gathering, hypothesis generation, research design and deductions. 7543 words with references.

$2.19