Individual Business Research Process
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According to Business Research Methods by Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P. S. (2014), “business research is a process of planning, acquiring, analyzing, and disseminating relevant data, information, and insights to decision makers in ways that mobilize the organization to take appropriate actions that, in turn, maximize performance” (pg. 4). There are several stages involved in the research process, such as identify the problem or dilemma that a manager is having. Then decide on the necessary resources to use to conduct the research. Decide what methods to use to start gathering and preparing the information.
Analyze the information, interpret, and report the findings to upper management. Susan, who is a supervisor of Devil’s Den, used these methods in the following case study to conduct her research. She discovered her co-workers were stealing from the company, which she knows is wrong. Her dilemma was between saying something now, which is the right thing to do, and be fired, or do nothing and watch it continue until she becomes a manager when she can change it, but for now becomes part of the problem. Neither was a good decision for her. She had to figure out a way of dealing with co-workers to keep them from stealing from the company and being hated or worse, fired (Wright, D, 2014). Dilemma
Due to poor management, Susan decides to do something about the situation of watching employees steal from the company. She cannot sit by and watch without saying something to someone in authority. If Susan says something to management, she may be fired. Confronting her co-workers would only turn them against her and “…eventually be forced from her position” (Wright, 2014). However, if she does not say anything, and let it continue, she could wait until she becomes a manager and will have the power to do something about it then, but then she would be just as guilty. Either decision was wrong. She needed to have a plan. She needed to do some research and gather as much information as she can before saying anything. By doing so, she may be able to convince management or owners that a change is required, maximize performance, increase inventory, and still save her job in the process. Research
The first thing Susan must do is, gather data, organize it, analyze it, and prepare a report of her findings and share it with management or the owners themselves. She begins her research by asking herself questions as in an explanatory study, such as why were her co-workers stealing; what can be done to stop them; when is a good time to inform upper management and/or owners; and when did it become the norm. Susan started calculating how much the employees were stealing on a daily basis and converting it into actual dollars, that they were stealing from the company. Then, she analyzes that information and compares it to how it would affect the company’s financial standing by the end of the fiscal year. By doing so, she could determine just how much the company was losing and if it continued could put the company at risk overall. Process
Because Susan had a plan and went through the process of gathering relevant information and organizing it in a business manner, she could then begin to find a solution. Susan realized that employees and some managers took the behavior as acceptable. She began to wonder if the owners were aware of what was going on with their company. Although she is not in a position to change her co-workers behavior, she determines that the problem lies with management because they did not tell the employees to stop. If she had the approval from the hierarchical authority, as a supervisor, she could change it. Endless Cycle
1. “Stealing is a benefit we deserve
2. Accepted by management
3. Observation of acceptance continued stealing reaffirms the belief
4. Foundation of group norm and general acceptance
5. Group norm reduces managements desire to counter the action which contributes to general belief (Back to 1)” (Wright, 2014).
This cycle showed Susan where the weaknesses lie. She decides that she will suggest a restructuring of the company to the owners to downsize and eliminate the most offensive employees to reduce the cost and stop the thieving. Her thinking is that if the actions of these employees continue, the business will crumble in the end. She believes that because the employees were underpaid and undervalued, they felt the need to compensate that feeling by taking from the company. So the best thing to do to deter that behavior, is to offer a bonus program to encourage the employees to give them “…a sense of belonging and feel rewarded for their efforts” (Wright, 2014). Finally, Susan’s conclusion is to pressure the owners into allowing her to make some “management decisions on their behalf and to the co-workers to change the norm” (Wright, 2014). Conclusion
In summary, Susan was able to rectify an intrapersonal dilemma and save her job. She did it by doing her homework and lots of research. She created a plan, gathered information, asked questions, organized, prepared, and analyzed it before making a conclusion and sharing it with the owners. In turn, she saved the company money, restructured the company, established a bonus program to help make employees feel valued and part of the company, and promoted to manager.
Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P. S. (2014). Business Research Methods (12th ed.). New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Wright, D. (2014). Case study dilemma. Retrieved from http://www.answers.com/Q/Susan%27s_dilemma_in_case_study_dilemma_at_devil%27s_den