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Preparing to Conduct Business Research

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  • Category: Business

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UPS is an organization that depends on reliable and efficient employees and management. More importantly, the organization must maintain dependability and efficiency while upholding a strict set of safety procedures and guidelines (“Ups Enterprise Portal”, 2013). It is essential that all employees are properly trained on all operating safety procedures and for management to continually enforce safety guidelines.

In the recent months, it has come to the attention of UPS regional manager Bob Thomas that there has been a significant increase in employee safety violations at one of his company’s locations. With a strong focus on the importance of following safety procedures carefully, Bob’s concern leads him to investigate the issue further. Bob begins his investigation by proposing three possible research questions and hypotheses. He questions whether the issue is related to improper enforcement, inadequate training, or negligence. Bob then develops hypotheses stating that the safety violations are either related to improper enforcement, inadequate training, or negligence.

With every research question and hypothesis that is presented, there are also a number of variables that can be linked to them in order to come to a conclusion. The variables in this case would be: what are the ages of the employees who made violations, the length of time the employees had been employed with the company when the violation occurred, which staff member(s) trained the employees, and under whose management did the violation occur? Understanding these variables will help narrow down whether the employee safety violations are a result of improper enforcement by a particular manager, inadequate training by designated trainers, or if the violations are a result of negligence by the employee, could it be attributed by the employees age or length of time within the company.

We begin to look at the sampling methods and what would the most appropriate method would be to use, we determined that the most appropriate sampling method to be used is probability sampling. This type of sampling will allow UPS to survey employees at random and every employee has an equal chance of being picked for the survey. Probability samples are also the only way to obtain precise estimates in order to determine what is causing so many safety violations at UPS. Our sampling frame will be the list of all current employees. If we have narrowed down the safety violations to a certain hub, then the sampling list can be the current employees of that facility. If privacy policies permit us to, we can obtain this list from the human resources department. The sampling size for the research will need to consist of a larger population of the employees in order to gain the most precise results. The sample size will be based on the nature of the research questions, and the degree of precision that is needed to reach the desired results.

In addition, the sampling size will be determined by the amount of resources available. All of the employees and representatives understand the legal and ethical issues in giving and receiving gifts in which it affects their reputation and could be perceived as bribes for service. UPS is all about being committed to the health, wellness and safety for all staff, and management is all about keeping this in check. They want to keep the staff protected and well informed. Everyone is and should be involved in the health and safety of everyone. When an unsafe condition or practice, or non-compliant action is identified, prompt and appropriate action must be taken to correct the condition and prevent it from recurring. Their commitment to Integrity is of the utmost importance, they are committed to the set of beliefs guided by the founders and successors. They ask the retails for their trust that people are honoring. They conduct business fairly, honesty, and ethically and they must act responsibly or this could be damaged.

The commitment about integrity is about having a climate for continued success. Creating an environment where people make good decisions for the company, doing the right thing in every business situation. Using good judgment and respecting others. Their ethical behavior has them attracting and holding the best people and loyal customers. This helps in the global markets. Compliance with our legal and ethical obligations is the responsibility of every UPS employee and representative, as is the responsibility to report potential violations of those obligations. Reporting may be accomplished directly through a discussion with a member of the management team or by using the UPS Help Line. Information about the UPS Help Line is available on UPSers.com. Finding a solution to the safety violations is a priority for UPS since keeping employees safe leads to strong job performance and ultimately customer satisfaction. Before solving the problem, UPS must first determine what the causes of the safety violations are.

Improper enforcement, inadequate training, or negligence are all possible causes, perhaps the enforcer does not have the proper tools or understanding to enforce the safety rules to company standards. With inadequate training, this would mean a look at the training process at the specified location would need to be looked at. Finally, negligence could be another cause. Having the knowledge of what is causing the safety issues will help UPS take proper action to ensure safe business practices in the future. Given that there is a series of safety violations, the issue comes to whether a solution can be attained to correct this sequence of events. The overall purpose is to find a solution that can address each issue and bring about a much safer work environment. Separating the incidents makes the tasks simpler. When it comes to inadequate training a degree of ownership must come from the training sector.

Since this is one of the building blocks that composes the job a more detailed or critical emphasis must be placed on it. Once effective training has taken place, the employee will have a set structure to follow. In the event that the employee is negligent of their duties proper, enforcement will be the consequence. Enforcing a system of rewards and penalties can increase the success rate. Whereas the penalties can include disciplinary action, suspension, or termination if consistent negligence is observed. Overall, the role of safety must be an underlying factor to their daily routine, properly re-educating the employees that safety is the main concern and that the purpose is not to punish but to help make the job easier for all.

Overall data analysis approach and result reporting:
Statistical Test to be used
A test is used to determine the statistical significance of an observation. The types that may occur are type 1 when a false negative results and is obtained in the term of the null hypothesis. A type II error is when a positive result is obtained in the null hypothesis by obtaining a false negative measurement. The statistical test will be positive for a true statistic is called sensitivity and the test may be a negative for a negative statistic called specificity. The table below shows the names given to the actual state of the observed test results. resultname

true positive resultsensitivity

false negative result1-sensitivity

true negative resultspecificity

false positive result1-specificity

Meant by a statistical test? This provides a mechanism for quantitative decisions about a process or processes. It determines if there is enough to reject a conjecture or hypothesis in the process. Concept of null hypothesis This occurs in the process of control studies. One-sided tests of hypothesis This may mean many light bulbs have a lifetime of at least 500 hours. This means the lifetime is greater than or equal to 500 hours. Significance levels The null hypothesis is about a belief. Could be what we believe to be true. Errors of the second kind Failing to reject the null hypothesis when in fact false in not chosen by the user but is shown as one might expect or the real discrepancy. Referred to as the error of the second kind.

Using statistics in research involves a lot more than make use of statistical formulas or getting to know statistical software. Results Displayed

Once all the data has been collected and analyzed the next step will be to organize the data and present it in the best way. Finding the ideal way to organized and present the results will help people within the team understand the results. Ideal data presentation will also help team members present their findings to those outside of the team as well. If the data is not organized and reported in a manner where the necessary parties can understand it then in a way the entire process has been wasted. Organizing the results using proportionate stratified sampling will allow the team to divide the data into useful sections. This technique will allow the data to be divided into groups so the research team can identify if certain groups are problem areas. This technique will allow the data to group employees by numerous different categories such as job type, years with the company, employee performance, and other categories. By grouping the data in this manner the team will be able to better identify problem areas with employee safety. If there is a particular problem area within UPS the proportionate stratified sampling technique will make it much easier to find the commonality.

The method used to report the results will be a bar graph. The bar graph displays different data measurements into independent columns. Another form of the bar graph report is the double bar graph. The double bar graph report can be used to compare two different data sets. The double bar graph will be helpful in presenting the proportionate stratified sampling used. The different groups divided by the proportionate stratified sampling can be compared and contrasted in an easy to understand manner using the double bar graph method. There are numerous advantages to using bar graphs such as they are usually easy to understand, visually appealing, and also multiple sets of data can be viewed at the same time. All organizations face challenges such as the one UPS faced regarding employee safety violations. When a group like UPS faces a challenge such as employee safety it is important that they deal with it properly. First UPS had the integrity to identify issues and deal with them properly then used good business research techniques to formulate questions, hypotheses and identify variables. The problems with employee safety were able to be identified and solutions put into place to correct them. Regardless of how complicated or large an issue may seem if a group uses proper research as UPS did in this situation they will be much more likely to correctly identify not only the problem but also the solution.


Cooper, D. & Schindler, P. (2011). Business Research Methods (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Ups Enterprise Portal. (2013). Retrieved from http://Upsers.com ITL.NIST.GOV Business Research Methods page 276

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