Quantitative Research Plan- CSU Australia

Dissertation Sample

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Introduction

Employee performance has always been an important concern for every organization because employees are the assets for the organization that incorporate their efforts to lead the organization towards success. This research proposal is based on an esteemed company- Vodafone Australia, that is experiencing deteriorating performance among the employees at the lower level within the company due to job stress. This research will focus on identifying that what are the main issues that are surrounding the problem of job stress among the employees. The research involves the dependent variable to be the “Job Stress” that has been influenced by three different independent variables- “Workload”, “Role Conflict”, and “Inadequate Monetary benefits”. The research proposal begins with explaining the variables and the hypotheses of the research, and provides a well designed questionnaire along with its justification. The research design further provides an explanation that what all will be the techniques and the methods that the researcher is likely to employ while undertaking the research to effectively attain the required outcomes and results, and draw relevant conclusions.

Dependent Variable

Job Stress (Dependent Variable)

Dependent Variables are those variables that changes with the changes in the independent variables. This is the most important element that is manipulated during the research to achieve concrete evidence. Hopkins (2000) has highlighted that the dependent variable can be considered as a criterion variable that is likely to be changed when independent variables experience changes. In this research, the dependent variable is the “Job Stress” that is influenced by a variety of different factors. Job Stress can significantly impact the job performance. Job Stress is inversely proportional to Job performance. The lower the job stress, the higher will be the job performance and this aspect remains the same in every situation. This ensures the reliability of Job stress as a dependent variable while assessing Job performance. Furthermore, Job stress is typically influenced by different factors that are likely to be change with time, and have differentiating impacts over the job stress, which ensures the validity of the dependent variable that it is affected by the other factors in a significant manner.

Other Variables

The dependent variable in this case is typically dependent on several other variables that could be mediating, intervening or independent. Independent variables are typically different from all other variables that have the ability to influence or impact the dependent variable to ensure that the correct explanation or the result can be achieved using the dependent variables. Independent variables have their own ability to manipulate the dependent variables and are not influenced by any other variable. In this research, three independent variables have been identified that can impact the dependent variable in a significant manner. These three dependent variables include workload, Role Conflict, and inadequate monetary reward.

Workload as highlighted by Robbins (1996) refers to the overall intensity of the jobs of the tasks that have been assigned. It is a direct source of mental stress among the employees. It has further been identified that the change in the workload may result in the changes in the level of stress among the employees that ultimately impacts the performance of the employees.

Role Conflict on the other hand as researched by Dipboye   et   al.   (1994)   points   out   that   the role conflicts can undertake different forms that can be classified as conflicts among the family and within the workplace. These conflicts may give rise to job tensions and job dissatisfaction, the overall confidence reduces and results in increasing of the job stress.

Inadequate Monetary Rewards are decided by the company on their own individual level which is not likely to change due to job stress. Rather, the monetary rewards lead to impact the job stress where it has an inverse relationship. If there are inadequate monetary rewards, the employees will remain in stress and this will deteriorate the overall performance.

 

 
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hypothesis

Workload: Workload can be defined as the overall concentration of the assignment at the work. Indefinitely workload is one of the major causes that lead to stress among the employees. However, it is a matter of fact that employees have different attitudes while evaluating workload. Some of the people are able to comfortably manage workload at workplace, while some finds is difficult to be managed.

H1: Workload can significantly impact the overall job performance of the employees.

Role Conflict: When the role requirement of a person is negative, it may give rise to conflicts among the roles. It turns out to be a critical situation as the adherence to the need for the role of an individual can make it difficult to adhere to the requirements of another.

H2: The role conflicts can significantly impact the performance of the employees on the job.

Inadequate monetary rewards: when the employees consider that they are not properly reward for the efforts that they are contributing in the firm, this result in the creation of stress among the employees and thus, their work performance deteriorates. Though it is possible that by increasing the monetary rewards, a corporation will be able to motivate and retain talented employees, but it will result in high operating costs.

H3: Inadequate monetary rewards significantly impact the performance of the employees on Job.

Questionnaire

The designing of Questionnaire is one of the most important aspects in the research. The use of this instrument can facilitate the flow of information from the respondents to the researcher. Acquiring valid and reliable information in the research tends to be the most important aspect to ensure that the research brings out the most effective conclusion. Ormrod and Leedy (2001) concluded that the quantitative research tends to be specific in its experimentation and surveying because it is completely based on the existing theories. The methodology that is used in a quantitative research helps to maintain the concept of the empiricist paradigm. This research is considered a self-research because it does not require a researcher. A researcher can simply distribute the instrument for data collection and the respondents can simply fill up the questionnaire and return back. This actually the most important aspect of the research and the data acquired using this technique can be used to measure the reality in an objective manner. In simple words, the quantitative research helps to give meaning to the research with the use of the objectivity that is generated within the data collected.

The questionnaire that has been developed for this research (attached in the appendix) consists of a series of 15 questions that primarily focuses on the idea of the research. All the questions have been developed on the basis of the quantitative analysis where the responses from the respondents will be attained using the Multiple choice questions and likert scale. Multiple choice questions involve all the possible responses that a respondent is likely to give for a specific question. This helps to evaluate the results of the research in an effective and efficient manner, because the conclusion from the research will be limited to the responses that are provided in the questionnaire and also facilitates the maintenance of a flow in the research and maintain the integrity of the research as well. On the other hand, most of the questions within the questionnaire have been based on a likert scale where the responses from the respondents are based on the rating scale of 1-5 where the respondents can rate their experiences on this scale. It is a bipolar scaling method that helps to identify the negative or the positive responses pertaining to the research. The likert scale that has been used in this research is- 1 (Never), 2 (Seldom), 3 (Sometimes), 4 (often), and 5 (Always). Out of the 15 questions in the research, 12 out of these 15 questions are based on likert scale and the first three questions are based on the multiple choice responses.

The first three questions of the research are based on the demographics of the respondents that include the age of the respondent, his marital status to identify his household composition, and the overall level of education possessed by the individual to identify the capabilities and the level of awareness of the respondent.

The next three questions of the research are based on evaluating the workload of the employees within the organization. Since workload is an important variable of stress, these four questions focus on the satisfaction levels of the respondents in terms of their employment. The first question evaluates that if the respondent at the workplace has clear directions to perform the assigned tasks. In the absence of clear direction, the employee generally becomes frustrated and ends up doing tasks incorrectly. The next question is focused on identifying if the employees are being forced to work for very long hours at the workplace and is a cause of stress because they are unable to get time for themselves. The third question evaluates that if the respondent is stressed because he has to neglect other works in his life because he has to work a lot. Last but not the least, the fourth question evaluates the overall ability of the employees that if they are able to maintain a balance between their personal life and professional life because it is also a constraint especially if the individual is married.

The next set of four questions evaluates the workplace roles and relationships that drive job stress in an organization. Collaboration of the employees within the workplace is a crucial aspect and thus, the first question evaluates the collaboration level at the workplace. The second question evaluates the overall influence that is offered by the supervisor to the individual to work effectively. The next question evaluates the role of the customers and clients that how to they can affect the stress levels of the employees. Last but not the least, the fourth question evaluates that if the employees find any form of interruptions during their work that contributes toward job stress.

The last set of questions evaluates the overall rewards that the employees are offered at the workplace. Rewards play an important role and affect the employees stress level, and thus, the first question of this set identifies that if the employees are satisfied with the monetary compensation that they receive from the firm or not. The next 2 question evaluates that if the employees require the company to offer some non-monetary rewards or fringe benefits apart from the monetary compensation that they receive from the firm. The last question evaluates the interest of the employees if they are looking forward to leave the job or would they continue with their job.

Research Design

The research design of a research helps to identify that what all are the techniques that will be employed while conducting the research and what will be the pattern of the research that will be followed. The quantitative research method as defined above is a self-assessment research that does not require a researcher to be there while collecting the data. Thus, this research involves a descriptive design that has been further explained in the following sections:

Sampling

The research will be undertaken at the Vodafone Australia office that is located in Sydney. In total, the company employees almost 5000 employees, however, the basic problem of employee dissatisfaction and reduced performance has been encountered among the employees operating at the lower level. The lower level employees consists of almost 1000 employees, hence, this research will develop a sample size of 50 employees (5%) from the lower level and will conduct the research considering that the sample size will represent the overall population. The respondents in the sample will be selected using a random simple sampling method which is an easy and simple method that ensures that the overall population has been involved in the research. The random sampling method does not make a distinction among the persons, rather using this method the researcher randomly select the individuals to be a part of the research.

Method for Data collection

The questionnaire (attached in appendix) that has been developed will be used to conduct the research. This instrument covers all the three variables and consists of a series of questions that will help to collect the data. The method that will be employed for data collection will be face to face where the researcher will seek permission from the HR Manager at Vodafone and will visit the office on a day that is mutually decided to undertake the research. The researcher will distribute the questionnaires among the selected sample and they will be required to fill the questionnaire individually without seeking any help from any other person. Moreover, it will be ensured that none of the respondents are talking or asking anything from the other employee. The filled questionnaire will be submitted to the researcher who will keep the forms with him/her and will not let any other person view the responses, to maintain the integrity of the data.

Data Analysis

After collecting the data, the next step will be focused on its analysis to draw conclusions about the validity of the dependent variable towards the business performance. In order to analyse the data, the researcher will enter all the responses into an excel sheet where different statistical tools will be employed to review the overall data. The technique that will be used here is descriptive analysis where the data will provide results using different statistical techniques such as mean, median, and mode. Further to seek a larger image of the data collected, the researcher will make use of bar charts and diagrams to assess the responses where the responses from the respondents will be presented in percentages.

Ethical Considerations

There is a possibility of a variety of ethical considerations. First of all a company would not let any third party to evaluate the shortcomings prevailing in their organization. Hence, a written letter of concern from the institution under which the research is undertaken will be drafted and will be showed to the company to ensure that the research is being undertaken for educational purpose. Further, it is also possible that the responses provided by the employees might be incorrect or manipulated. Hence, the researcher in the way of maintaining the integrity of research will keep the filled questionnaire with him/her and will ensure that the information will not be shared with any third party. Apart from this, a consent form will be developed that will have to be signed by each respondent prior to the research that will state that all the responses that will be provided by the employees will be true and correct, and the researcher can make use of the data for educational purpose. The data will not be shared with any third party, and the results of this research can be provided to the respondents for review by requesting the researcher via mail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix

Questionnaire

  1. What is your age?
  • 20-25
  • 25-30
  • 30-35
  • 35-40
  • 40-45
  • 45-50
  • 50-55
  • 55-60
  • 60 above
  1. What is your Marital Status?
  • Married
  • Unmarried
  1. What is your highest level education?
  • School
  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate
  • Masters
  • Other
  1. Generally do you have clear directions for what you do?
  • 1 (Never)
  • 2 (Seldom)
  • 3 (Sometimes)
  • 4 (Often)
  • 5 (Always)
  1. Do you have to work for very long hours?
  • 1 (Never)
  • 2 (Seldom)
  • 3 (Sometimes)
  • 4 (Often)
  • 5 (Always)
  1. Do you have to neglect some tasks because you are forced to do a lot of work?
  • 1 (Never)
  • 2 (Seldom)
  • 3 (Sometimes)
  • 4 (Often)
  • 5 (Always)
  1. Do you feel that it becomes hectic to maintain a balance between your work life and your personal life?
  • 1 (Never)
  • 2 (Seldom)
  • 3 (Sometimes)
  • 4 (Often)
  • 5 (Always)
  1. The employees at the workplace are collaborative?
  • 1 (Never)
  • 2 (Seldom)
  • 3 (Sometimes)
  • 4 (Often)
  • 5 (Always)
  1. The supervisor encourages you to work?
  • 1 (Never)
  • 2 (Seldom)
  • 3 (Sometimes)
  • 4 (Often)
  • 5 (Always)
  1. Do you have to face trouble from the side of customers or clients?
  • 1 (Never)
  • 2 (Seldom)
  • 3 (Sometimes)
  • 4 (Often)
  • 5 (Always)
  1. Do you experience interruptions from the people at the workplace?
  • 1 (Never)
  • 2 (Seldom)
  • 3 (Sometimes)
  • 4 (Often)
  • 5 (Always)
  1. Do you feel that your compensation is not enough?
  • 1 (Never)
  • 2 (Seldom)
  • 3 (Sometimes)
  • 4 (Often)
  • 5 (Always)
  1. Do you think that apart from monetary rewards, the company should also focus on non-monetary rewards?
  • 1 (Never)
  • 2 (Seldom)
  • 3 (Sometimes)
  • 4 (Often)
  • 5 (Always)
  1. Does the company offer any fringe benefits?
  • 1 (Never)
  • 2 (Seldom)
  • 3 (Sometimes)
  • 4 (Often)
  • 5 (Always)
  1. Do you prefer to continue your employment?
  • 1 (Never)
  • 2 (Seldom)
  • 3 (Sometimes)
  • 4 (Often)
  • 5 (Always)

 

 


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