Primary Research and Management in the 21st Century

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Methodology

Primary Research

Primary data is defined by Saunders et al (2003) as “data collected specifically for a research project being undertaken.”

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Because of the changing technology and business environment, it becomes hard for the managers and supervisors to understand the best way to run the organizations. Hence it is important that managers encourage frequent primary research within and outside their organization to receive information that can help in such areas rather than depending on past research works or information (Timm & Farr 1994). Primary research involves the use of methods such as observation, interview and administering of questionnaires.

Research in Sheffield management and New Castle

Questionnaires were administered in carrying out the research to obtain the primary data. This is because questionnaires are a strong tool that provides quantitative data used to test hypothesis (Koshy, 2005). According to Koshy, Questionnaires are important also as they enable the researcher to collect data with ease, and before undertaking the intervention. Furthermore, questionnaires are also important in helping the researcher to develop questions that can be used in personal interviews or observations to be conducted. The questionnaire used was designed by the RM project after New Castle had earlier gone live and presented RM training. The same questionnaires as the first were used to maintain uniformity in data collection.

Interviews were to be conducted in Sheffield management and New Castle but due to management restrictions, it was not possible. The management plans of the research outlined the intention of carrying out interviews with the staff. The system is beneficial in that it helps the researcher to eliminate ambiguity in questions or answers given by respondents (Kvale 1996). Interviews also help the researcher to understand the answers more by reading the body language of the respondents (Gubriom & Holstein, 2002).

A follow-up questionnaire was administered after the RM went live. This enabled the researcher to understand the true feelings and experiences of the respondent. Pilot studies were carried out during the training to test the feasibility of the research and the appropriateness of tools to be used. The pilot study was administered to the training colleagues, as there was no time to carry out a full pilot study.

The questionnaires were broken into three sections. (Appendix-). These various sections were important in providing a better means of analysis at every stage of research.

A second part of the questionnaire was an in-depth questionnaire that was carried out after the RM system so as to determine how well the system had been equipped to perform well. Questionnaires were also used in this survey to ensure a continuous uniformity in the system.

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The third part involved random sampling of respondents that were picked by an administrator by feeding data into an excel spreadsheet. Random sampling means that all respondents have equal and independent opportunities to be picked, and this holds a truly representation of the population (Baker, 2001). Furthermore, random sampling and involvement of the administrator in picking the samples helped to avoid any biasness by the researcher. The sample involved a total of (give number of questionnaires administered)… respondents. This was ideal because in many research works, there are many cases of non-respondent (Survey Value Inc.) Therefore, this sample gave room to avoid biasness because of the errors that might have arisen due to non-responded.

Desktop research was carried out in April to review the happenings in the organization, as a means of reviewing the current happenings in the organization. Furthermore, observational study was carried out to see how the employees were coping up with the training. Observation is a method that helps to reveal first hand information of the subject of study and reduce errors in the research work, (Robin & Babbie 2005.) Finally, a presentation was delivered to a sample of the Sheffield staff so as to see how they would like the Blended learning implemented. Presentation was considered because it is more appealing to many people (Truelove, 1997).

Secondary Research

Secondary Research is defined by Saunders et al (2003) as “data used for a research project that were originally collected for other purpose”. Secondary research acts as a benchmark for the primary research and gives a good direction for the researcher to undertake in carrying out research work.

Previous research that was conducted in 2003 by Green was one of the materials that were used in secondary research as a measure of comparison. The research was a part of the CIPD program. The other secondary source were survey strategy and the intranet, as well as informational discussions with managers and staff. This helped to give a general overview of the subject of study.

Results were then analyzed using (give method of analysis.)… The importance of using this analysis method is that it gives room for both qualitative and quantitative results to be discussed and compared. The results were then discussed that led to the conclusions given.

Literature Review

The history of technology use as a learning and teaching material can be traced back in the 1920,s. This is when Thomas Edison predicted that motion pictures would replace textbooks in classrooms (Rosenberg 2001). The first modern technology was used in training of the American soldiers who were going in the Second World War. This technology was successfully used, and after the war, the soldiers continued to research on the same for improvement. The research was extended in collaboration with the higher institutions of learning.

The research brought about the development of using the computers instead of television. The widely used World Wide Web has enabled many students and tutors to access information more easily than before (Holmer & Gardner 2006). Information concerning business enterprises can as well be easily found. Apart from business information, companies can use technology to educate and train their employees. According to Harrison (2006), when learning and business are linked, the company can use the employees’ development to convert strategy into action. The use of employees’ knowledge and skills can create a competitive advantage for the organization. Smith, Araujo, & Burgoye (1999), argued that both an individual and the organization needs to learn for the betterment of the organization, especially in achieving of organizational goals. When good conditions are put in place, they can enable an individual to learn and in the end influence on what the organization knows. There are so many processes involved in learning. According to (Lehaney, 2004.),

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“ Knowledge management involves people, processes, activities, technology, and the broader environment that enable the identification creation, communication or sharing and use of organizational and individual knowledge. It is about the processes that govern the dissemination, and utilization of knowledge to attain organizational objectives”, (pp 13).

Therefore, knowledge management involves creating, generating, codifying, and transferring of information and ideas from one source to another. According to Lehaney, knowledge management has become an important aspect to all organizations, and trawl in the Web will result in thousands of entries in this areas. To transfer knowledge from one source to another, it requires techniques that are appealing to both the trainer and the trainee.

For instance, the training has so far become vital with the way the presentation is done. The presentation will judge the quality of the trainer. According to Truelove, (1997), visual presentation can help a person to relive nervousness especially at the beginning of the presentation as trainees will be glued to the presentation giving the presenter time to relax while gaining courage. Overhead presentation is commonly used nowadays. They are important as they can include graphs and pictorial information while presenting. A person who is not a good trainer can use presentation to send the message to the trainees.

This technique has led to a lot of improvement in the management and work environment in general. A technique that can enable improvement in all organizational aspects leads to many people chasing for that technique (Hardingham 2000).

Many people respond positively to different learning stimulus, (Thorne, 2003). Therefore, organizations offering any kind of teaching or trainings should work towards making the learning place an enthusiasm for learners.

Blended learning has been used to provide rich and stimulating learning experience tailored to an individual. This learning system has made many organizations to tap into adult education whom they feel can be more beneficial to the organization because of the experience they have. But many adults are also not yet ready to learn because of the difficulty associated with learning. According to Swanson, Holton, & Knowles, (1998), “adults who are willing to and able to learn are prized members of the society … corporations realize their true value lies in the hidden brain power of their employees …[but] many adults are not wiling to learn or have difficulty learning”, (pp 180).

To avoid negative attitude towards learning, organizations need to develop a pull approach rather a push approach towards learning. (Pardo, Steed & Wilson, 2001). Managers in assisting employees to integrate new ideas that have been learnt can accomplish this. According to Sloman, (2007), the understanding of the learner and motivation to acquire new knowledge will reflect the effectiveness of a process and in the end will enable the organization to achieve its business objectives.

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Most of other, trainings are taking place replacing the normal courses. According to the report given by the CIPD (2006), “only a third report that managers are trained in the appropriate skills to support development of their teams, and only a fifth report that efforts are made to find out what motivates employees to learn”, (Sloman 2007, pp 137). It has been found that to enhance e-learning, technology is a prerequisite. The technology has to provide easy access of information to the learner, and facilitate ubiquitous. And, on the teacher’s side, technology should provide support for modularization strategies and ease administration (Hoffman, 2005). This can be achieved by removing barriers that can affect the training and offering the required intervention (Stolovitch, 2006). This kind of interventions in the organization might include pinpointing practices and barriers that require undoing. The practices might be contributors of negative attitudes towards learning. Trainer should understand the theory part before doing the practical part, (Epic Thinking 2002).

Bibliography

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Epic thinking (2002), Web.

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Hardingham, A (2000): Psychology for Trainers, ISBN0846451379, Beekman Books, Incorporated.

Harrison R: (2006): Learning and Development; ISBN 8179924491, Janico Publishing House.

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Hoffman. S. (2005): Building e-learning organization, Web.

Koshy. V (2005): Action for improving Practice: A Practical Guide, ISBN 141290756X.

Kvale. S. (1996): An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing, ISBN 080395820X, Sage Publications Inc.

Lehaney B. (2004): Beyond knowledge management, ISBN 159140181X, Idea group Inc (IGI).

Pardo D., Steed C. & Wilson D. (2001): Building E-learning into your Organization, ISBN 0566084171, Gower Publishing Ltd.

Robin A & Babbie E. R (2005): Research Methods for Social Work, ISBN 053462109, Thomson Wadsworth.

Rosenberg M. J. (2001): E-learning: Strategies for Delivering Knowledge in the Digital Age, ISBN 0071362681, McGraw-Hill Profession.

Sloman M (2007): The changing world of the Trainer: Emerging Good Practice, ISBN 0750680539, Elsevier.

Smith M.E, Araujo L. & Burgoyne J (1999): Organizational Learning and the learning Organization: Developments in …ISBN 076195165, Sage Publications Inc.

Stolovitch H. D (2006): Beyond Training Aint Performance Fieldbook: Strategies Tools and Guidance’s, ISBN 1562864076, ASTD.

Survey Value Inc (N.d): Don’t Let Your Research Investment Be Torpedoed By These Common Sampling Problems. Web.

Swanson R. A; Holton E.F, & Knowles M.S (1998): The Adult learner: The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human, ISBN 0884151158, Gulf Professional Publishing.

Timm, C. F & Farr R.C (1994): Business Research: An Informal Guide, ISBN 1560522496, Thomson Crisp Learning.

Truelove. S. (1997): Training in practice, ISBN 063120251X, Blackwell Publishing.

Thorne K (2003): Blended learning: How to Integrate online and Traditional learning, ISBN 07494391017 Kogan page.

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