Tag: Research Proposal

Protection of the endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal – Research Proposals

Qualitative Proposal: Attitudes and Fishing Techniques of Fishermen on the North Shore of Oahu and their Effects on Monk Seal Populations

Statement of the Problem

            The Hawaiian monk is the most endangered seal species in the United States and among the four types of seal species that live in the tropics. Currently, the species’ survival is at risk because of a range of negative factors which include shark predation and fishing. Human interference is particularly a significant factor owing to the increasing frequency of fishing activities in the Hawaiian Islands. The North Shore of Oahu provides optimal conditions for the survival of this rare species. Thus, it is necessary to examine the current human interference patterns in this area in order to determine the feasibility and essential measures needed to create a new successful colony in the region.

Research Questions

The main research questions for this qualitative study are:

  1. What are the standpoints of the local population on the survival of the monk seal in the North Shore of Oahu?
  2. What are the main motivations for fishing in the Oahu area?
  3. Which are the main fishing methods used in the North Shore of Oahu?
  4. What are the current regulations concerning the protection of marine life in the area, especially as regards the monk seal?

Purpose Statement

            The purpose of this study is to evaluate the background of the North Shore of Oahu with regard to the protection and existence of the Hawaiian monk seal. The study’s findings will contribute immensely to the efforts of creating a new colony of this species in the area. In particular, the results will reveal the main risks of survival and the current status of conservation efforts.

Literature Review

            The Hawaiian monk seal mainly breeds in the Hawaiian archipelago, although there is a record of a few number of births in the main Hawaiian Islands. Despite the slow pace of reproduction and a relatively low population, the monk species faces risks of extinction arising from commercial lobster fishing, longline fishing, marine debris, shark predation, and male aggression. Evidently, a majority of these factors are largely driven by human activities, which is why this study is necessary.

Researcher’s Influence and Ethical Concerns

            The role of the researcher in the research process will mainly revolve around administration of questionnaires and interviews to local residents, fisheries personnel, and hotel departments that engage in fishing within the Oahu area. They will also collect data from conservation experts and visit various sites to conduct observations. The research will be conducted with the consideration of the LOS articles 245 and 250 with a special request permit from the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific affairs.

Research design

            This research will adopt a case study design through which the researcher will investigate conservation efforts and specific risks that jeopardize the survival of the Hawaiian monk seal in the North Shore of Oahu. The case study research design is qualitative in nature and has been applied in similar studies on archipelago marine research, human impacts on marine ecosystems, and other areas of marine biology. This approach is fitting in the context of this research as it will allow a large scope of data to be collected as well as enable the researcher to adapt ideas and produce novel hypothesis that can be used in future studies.

Data Collection and Analysis

            The study will involve in-depth examination of the Oahu North Shore area in the context of the Hawaiian monk seal survival. The research will collect data through direct observation, archival records, interviews, questionnaires, and participant observation since the study involves the comprehensive investigation of the locality. Study participants will be selected through quota sampling owing to the need of including participants with varying characteristics, such as fishermen, tourists, and locals. The collected data will be analyzed by use of pattern matching and categorization of information in various matrix categories.

Quantitative Proposal: Impacts of Great white shark populations on the survival of the monk seal: A case study of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands

Introduction

            Shark predation is a major detrimental factor in the juvenile survival of the Hawaiian monk seal species. In particular, the Great White Shark poses a substantial threat to the subsistence of vulnerable pups that have not learned to avoid predators. Shark predation is especially common at the French Frigate shoals, which is among the largest atolls supporting the survival of seals. Even so, research concerning the effect of the presence of the Great White Shark in the Hawaiian waters on monk seal population is lacking. The purpose of this research study is to close this research gap by examining how Great White Shark population affects the survival of the monk seal. The following are the hypotheses that will guide the research:

  • An increase in the number of Great White Sharks results in a decrease in the number of monk seals in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.
  • The presence of Great White Sharks in Hawaiian waters leads to decreased juvenile survival of the monk seal in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.
  • The presence of Great White Sharks is negatively related to the lifespan of the monk seal in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.

Materials and Methods

            This research will employ a descriptive research approach which will be correlational in nature. Correlational research utilizes two or more variables from the participant group which are potentially related. In this study, the researcher will use a dependent variable, an independent variable, and two control variables. The number of sharks will represent the independent variable while the number of monk seals will stand for the dependent variable. The two control variables will be represented by the availability of food and human interference through fishing. The data will be collected from various participants including, fishermen, conservation experts, hotel personnel, and local populations, and will include the number of shark and seal populations in specific areas, their estimated age, availability of food, and human interference data such as fishing frequency.

Expected Results

            The collected data will be organized in tables and analyzed through scatter plots and regression analysis. SPSS statistical package software will be used to screen for correlations between dependent and independent variables as well as the control variables. The findings will then be represented in tables, histograms, and charts in relation the results obtained in the quantitative analysis process.

Discussion

            The results of the regression analysis will be interpreted through regression coefficients to show correlation. The researcher will utilize graphical analysis and quantitative analysis of residuals as well as via the R2 coefficient of determination to test validity and ensure the accuracy of the results (Keller 699). A negative relationship between the independent and dependent variable will translate to the conclusion that the number of sharks can contribute to the annihilation of the monk seal. However, the study will face limitations with regard to data collection and the scope of discussions. Regardless of the chosen data collection methods, there is a possibility that the integration of other methods would have increased the depth of the analyses. Additionally, the researcher’s limited experience in the field of research could compromise the nature and depth of the study. These limitations can be resolved by the use of various control measures and the utilization of measures of validity. In general, the results of this research are crucial to the conservation of the Hawaiian monk seal and are a vital resource in the conservation efforts of all seals worldwide.

Mixed Methods Proposal: Effects of Human Activities and Predation on Monk Seal Survival in the Hawaiian Islands

Introduction

            The Hawaiian monk seal faces the risk of extinction in consequence of shark predation and bad human fishing practices. Despite the significant conservation efforts and decades-long multi-disciplinary research, the future survival of this species is still fragile and only about 1400 monk seals remain to date. Existing monk seal populations are largely divided into subdomains which exist in different parts of the Hawaiian Islands, but each faces the risk of annihilation. This necessitates further examination of the survival of the species. In this study, the researcher explores the effects of predation and human activities on the existence and reproduction of the Hawaiian monk seal by use of a mixed methods approach. A mixed methods approach is a research design that integrates both qualitative and quantitative methods of research (Creswell 228). The use of mixed methods in this research is essential because the relationships drawn from the quantitative analysis of variables will need to be substantiated through examination of qualitative data. The research purposely aims at examining the current ecological status of the Hawaiian seal and the factors that can be adjusted to ensure its future survival. The following research problems represent the focus of the research:

  • What is the effect of predation on monk seal populations
  • How does human fishing practices affect monk seal populations
  • What factors affect the subsistence of monk seal populations in the Hawaiian Islands?

Methods

            The research will utilize explanatory and exploratory research designs. The exploratory design will involve the use interviews to understand the perceptions of various parties concerning the Hawaiian seal and its survival as well as the identification of the underlying relationships between relationships. On the other hand, the explanatory strategy will encompass the collection and analysis of quantitative data followed by analysis of qualitative data. The following diagram illustrates the methods design.

The researcher will analyze the collected data by use of correlation and multiple regression analysis. Correlation will be used to establish relationship between the variables while the regression analysis will be utilized in the evaluation of the impact of human practices and predation on the survival of the monk seal. The study will also make use of descriptive statistics such as Breush Godfrey test, heteroskedasity test, multicollinearity, and non-normality to describe the data and draw conclusions. After conducting the quantities analysis, the research will use a qualitative analysis to draw justifications of the identified relationships. The obtained results will finally serve as an answer to the research questions. 

Discussion

            The findings of the research will comprise of quantitative and qualitative outcomes. In order to validate the mixed results, the researcher will use a range of statistical tools to test validity. They will also compare the results of the quantitative methods with those of obtained from qualitative interviews to draw definitions. The main limitation in the study will be study design and instruments as the researcher is not experienced in the field of research and is bound to select methods that are not optimal for the type of study. Even so, the use of mixed methods was beneficial in eliminating bias and errors. In summary, the discussion section of this research highlights the effects of shark predation and fishing practices on monk seal populations and the underlying explanations. These results are instrumental in conservations programs as it is necessary to comprehend the major factors that ensure the survival of this rare species.

Market Potential for Coconut Sugar Imports from Indonesia to Canadian Market – Research Proposal

Introduction

Globalization has strongly boosted international trade, especially international business activities increasingly grow in Asian markets. Therefore, it is obvious that there will be more Canadian companies that tend to trade with Asian partners. In addition, Canada and Indonesia have maintained strong bilateral relations and have been partners in reputable multilateral organizations, such as World Trade Organization (WTO), the G20, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Regional Forum (ARF), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Government of Canada, n.d.). These two countries experience comprehensive cooperation in various industries.

Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of coconut; however, through the past five years, Indonesian coconut-related imports contributed a very minor proportion to total Canadian coconut and its bi-products imports even though the demand from Canadian market for this category is substantially higher than its domestic supply.

As a sweetener with a distinct flavor, coconut sugar has become more popular since there is greater interest in traditional taste in more countries around the world and stronger health consciousness of worldwide consumers, especially in developed nations. This market’s potential for supplying qualified coconut and its bi-products should be put into thorough consideration. This research, therefore, serves as an evaluation of Indonesian market potential for coconut sugar and provides appropriate suggestions for Canadian importers as well as Indonesian exporters to promote international trading of coconut sugar.

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Background

Coconut sugar also known as coco sugar, coconut palm sugar and coconut crystals is predominantly manufactured in Thailand, one of the world’s largest coconut producing countries located in South Eastern Asia. According to Beck (2014), coconut sugar is sited to have a lower glycemic index when compared to other sweeteners. This low glycemic index does not increase one’s blood glucose nor insulin levels as other sweeteners do. The use and consumption of coconut and its bi-products has increased significantly in the United States of America in recent years and as such its popularity, uses and benefits have been known based on heightened awareness and positive results from usage. However, many worldwide regions such as South Eastern Asia and the Caribbean have known the use coconut and its many bi-products for many years as this product has been a part of their culture.

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 Canada on the other hand, has not been a country that has gravitated to the use of coconut sugar. Canada, known as the multicultural community with influences from South Eastern Asia and the Caribbean possibly has the potential to explore offering coconut sugar in the Canadian marketplace.

 The framework for exporting from Thailand to Canada has been put in place and this has been supported by EDC Trade (n.d.) and TFO Canada (n.d.) embodied in a free trade agreement between both countries. Through TFO Canada (n.d.) available suppliers in Thailand can be located through TFO’s online database by Canadian buyers with the assurance that the necessary documentations, health and food safety regulations and approvals have been ascertained by these companies as compliance is imperative for a developing nation to be supported by TFO. Thailand is a developing country support by TFO and EDC Trade.

Business Opportunities

Importing coconut sugar into Canada is an opportunity that should be explored entirely to maximize the benefits and gains that will come from this pursuit. Coconut sugar is used as a traditional alternative sweetening for years in South-East Asia. Its popularity has also reached other markets such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, and many more. One of the main reasons why coconut sugar industry is continuously growing is because of the demand; coconut sugar is one of the healthiest alternative sweeteners available in the market. In 2014, ‘coconut sugar’ was named the single most sustainable sweetener by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the World Bank. The product has its glycemic index lower compared to the accustomed cane sugar and honey. Coconut sugar compared to other sweeteners lessens the sugar level rise in an individual’s bloodstream. This in turn, along with the rise of healthier lifestyles and the amount of people living with diabetes, makes it apparent that the demand for coconut sugar isn’t going down anytime soon. The growing awareness towards health is the prime driver for the coconut sugar industry.

In addition, the group believes that Indonesia should be the main country of focus in terms of importing coconut sugar into Canada because Indonesia is the largest coconut-producing country in the world, with over 15 million nuts being produced, averaging to 18.3 million tons (APSEC, 2017). The demand for coconut products exceeds the current supply of coconuts (Dillinger, 2017). This is why the group suggests that Indonesia is the most viable country for this venture because they have the most land area being used for coconut farming and production, approximately 3.61 million hectares (APSEC, 2017).

Overall, the opportunity in importing coconut sugar in Canada seems to be apparent. However, further research is required to consider the challenges that might come along with this possible venture, and other opportunities that will arise from it.

Research Objectives

To determine the strength of the demand for coconut products in Canada, in order to discern if exporting “coconut sugar” to Canada is a worthwhile opportunity

The multicultural country of Canada, presently has a market for coconut products however, coconut sugar is not a popular product in the market place. It must be ascertained as to how lucrative it would be to increase the importation of coco sugar and if through marketing and building knowledge awareness and base, if this medium will assist in positively influencing the demand for this product amongst Canadians.

To identify the needs and wants of Canadians, when it comes to their diets to fully maximize the health benefits coconut sugar can offer

As stated by Beck (2014), coconut sugar has the same nutritional values as offered by white sugar as it relates to calories and carbohydrate contents. The difference can be seen in coconut sugar being a higher retainer of mineral content especially potassium and having a lower glycemic index which is a positive factor for diabetics. These benefits can positively impact the health benefits from consuming this sweetener. It must then be examined, that even though Canada is known to be a health conscious nation when compared to other nations, would the populous consider using this product? Being mindful that a sector of the population is familiar with this product and one would not need to convince them.

To assess the current Canadian sweeting industry, in order to detect the variances between the different sweetening products (cane sugar, agave, maple syrup)

Langlois, Kellie, Garriguet, Didier, (2015) states that one in every five calories consumed by Canadians includes sugar. These calories are obtained through natural sugars or additives. This figure translates to a 21% daily average intake from added sugars in the overall food and beverage consumption of an individual. With this information, it can then be analyzed that if the sugar intake for additives is at this consumption rate, it is important to examine the nutritional values that may be available in other sweeteners and a comparison be carried out. The benefits for coconut sugar have been sited and it can be ascertained that there is a possible permanent place in the market for this product.

Methodology

This research incorporates both primary and secondary sources of data with a priority on secondary sources regarding the demand for coconut products in Canada. Research information will be based on both quantitative and qualitative approach.

Primary will be collected by interviews with experts and representatives from the TFO Canada and the Indonesian Consulate. Also, there will be surveys and questionnaires to be collected from Canadian customers about their preferences, behaviors, attitudes and perceptions to assess the quality aspects of coconut sugar. Research will be conducted in Toronto, Canada with estimated number of 50 customers.

Secondary sources will include various Internet sites and previous publications and reports which provide Canadian consumers study reports, Canadian governmental regulations on food safety, coconut sugar market and product information, general information on bilateral trade of Canada and Indonesia with a focus on Indonesian coconut-related imports. Reference websites will include reliable governmental and non-governmental sources, such as: TFO Canada, Health Canada, Export Development Canada (EDC), Government of Canada.

Implementation Plan

The group decided on having four main steps for the research. Each succeeding step requires the previous step to be finished before the succeeding step can be conducted.

  • Conduct Initial Research to Analyze the Current Information Available: 1 week
  • Plan and Design the Research Questions that Need to be Answered: 2 days (The questions will be based on the lacking information in Step 1).
  • Data Collection: 3 days
  • Data Analysis in Accordance to the Secondary Data Obtained in Step 1: 1.5 weeks.

Overall, the maximum time of finishing the research will be 4 weeks; the minimum is 3 weeks. The total estimated budget is roughly 10,000 CAD. 15% of the budget will be allocated to Step 1, 10% for Step 2, 40% towards to the data collection, 25% for the data analysis, and the remaining 10% as petty cash.

Conclusion

With high potential of coconut sugar products and positive prospects of Indonesian import growth, this research will determine the opportunity to export Indonesian coconut sugar into Canadian market as well as evaluate the size of the market for this product. Furthermore, the research will be valuable in providing helpful suggestions for businesses in Canada and Indonesia to take advantage of the coconut sugar market. The results may benefit both business objectives of expanding operations and government targets of promoting global trade, especially between developed and developing countries.

Consumer Satisfaction in HSBC bank – Research Proposal

Introduction

Egyptian banking sector has experienced rapid changes in terms of marketing due to financial crisis and Middle East uprising that was witnessed in the recent past. The global financial crisis that was witnessed in 2008 as well as the uprising that led to ousting of President Mubarak from the drawn posed challenges to the Egyptian banking sector (Karim, 2014). As a result, most banking institutions in the country have invested heavily in ensuring that the satisfaction of the consumers is also enhanced. The level of consumer satisfaction can be used to measure the position, potentials and effectiveness of the services offered by the bank. In addition, banking sector collects information from the consumers so that they can use the same information to improve its services (Leila, 2014). It is important to understand that consumer play a crucial role in any market and their satisfactions determine the future and progress of the market. For example, banking sector is a service industry and its successes is highly depended on consumers trust and commitment.  

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However, it is undoubtedly Egyptian banking sector has witnessed substantial growth and development after the global financial crisis recovery. The growth in the sector has also been attributed to a strong growth and resilience of industrial revolution in the country (Amir, 2011). These changes necessitate the banking sector to relook at their philosophy on how to organize and provide products that are consumer centered. This research proposal will focus on examining the consumer satisfaction in HSBC bank.

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Background of the study/ Literature review

For many years, the commercial banks have served a pivot role in the society and in the global economies in general by offering superior to their consumers. These superior and high quality services to the consumers leaves a long-lasting image in the eyes of the bank consumers’ (Kimpakorn, & Tocquer, 2010). As a result, the consumers are motivated and encourage to seek services from the specific banking institution, thus enhancing their profitability, competitive advantage and improved services. Studies have indicated that consumer services in a service industry requires a well-thought out approach since it defines the future and successes of any business enterprise.

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For instance, most commercial banks have shifted from the traditional way of conducting their transaction that required a lot paperwork to a paperless transactions. In addition, most consumers would prefer to conduct their transaction at the comfort of their office, home and shopping stores in a very secure system (Karim, 2014). Looking at these changes, they are all intangible and it is challenge to recognize the service quality and consumer satisfaction. This means that consumer satisfaction and loyalty is the key contributing factor that determines the monetary performance and long-term survival of a business enterprise. Therefore, the improvement in quality standards translates to more consumers and loyalty in the service industry.

HSBC is a renowned bank in Egypt and has been in operational in the country in past four decades. It operates more than 100 branches across the country including 15 Islamic banking branches with its headquarters situated in Cairo. 

Services feature

The primary objective of this research proposal is to determine the consumer service quality in HSBC bank regarding the different service feature provided by the HSBC bank. In this case, service feature comprise of a range of different services offered by the bank (Leila, 2014). The emphasis will also include evaluating the scope of different service that may decrease the consumer complaint, improve service quality and customer satisfaction in an appropriate manner. Analysis indicated that service quality, service features and customer complaint directly correlate with customer satisfaction in the banking sector (Thaku, 2013). Further studies have indicated that enhanced customer features and services reduces customer complaints and increased consumer holder of banking services offered by HSBC. Therefore, banking institution requires to regularly monitor consumer satisfaction in order to increase consumer loyalty.

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The consumer is the major driving force for success to any business enterprise and the companies that offer superior services that benefit the end-user increases the possibility of attracting that consumers from the competitor (Sanjug, 2014). This is clear indication that bank should continually refine their customer services in order to align consumer needs with their services. Studies have shown that there is correlation between the creations of service quality such as compliance with customer satisfaction.  

Consumer complaints

Studies have indicated that most service industries emphasize on retaining the consumers by providing quality and better services. This is the most appropriate method of ensuring that consumer complaints are reduced (Sakhaei, 2014). Nonetheless, some studies have shown that consumer complaint can for the basis of understanding where the problems lies when it comes to service delivery. Almost all the banking institution have suggestion boxes in their branches and the feedback option in their websites where the consumer can register their complaints or suggestion about the quality of service offered. It is important to note that consumer satisfaction is determined by service quality, consumer complaint and service features.

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It is the responsibility of the management and consumer care to ensure that all the complaints received from the consumers are addressed accordingly because studies have shown that consumer complaint that has not being addressed has proved to cause the biggest negative impacts on consumer satisfaction (Thaku, 2013). The interrogation of the effects of service quality on consumer satisfaction indicated that superior consumer service feature and service quality have the greater impact on the consumer satisfaction. Therefore, when the service quality and service features are effected successfully, it increases consumer satisfaction and behavior. This means that consumer complaint is a form of communication where the consumer raise a problem that affects the company and necessary effort should be put in place to address the issues raised.

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Several studies have outlined various mechanism that banking sector can utilizes to solve the problem of consumer complaint. Some of the approaches include the use of consumer feedback to enhance success, victory and survival of the company in a competitive environment (Amir, 2011). However, the approach taken by the company should ensures that it works in the betterment of the company towards improving customer satisfaction.

Service quality

In terms of quality management, emphasize is portion between service and product. Based on the product, the quality is measured from the physical appearance of the product such as features and goods, which is something that is easily identifiable. In the case of service, the human element play a crucial role because it is purely a way consumers and service providers interacts, thus influencing the perception of the quality (Kimpakorn, & Tocquer, 2010). Generally, the physical quality of the product is standardize and objective. However, it is important to note that it is challenging to measure the quality of service in a purely service-oriented because the expectations and perceptions of the consumers greatly differ. Therefore, it is important to enhance service quality in order for the banking industry to increase the loyalty and trust of the consumers. Finding from the studies have indicated that service quality influences the consumer satisfaction.

Service quality is determined based on guarantee, receptiveness service design, functions and consistency. Studies have shown that service quality influences the decision of the consumers in different dimensions such as consumer value and closeness (Kotler, & Keller, 2012). Some studies have concluded that there is positive correlation between consumer service quality and service quality. The service quality also determines the short-term and long-term tenure between the consumers and banking sector. Further analysis indicated that factors associated with service quality have direct impact on consumer loyalty and satisfaction. The five factors associated with service quality identified by earlier studies are perceptibility, guarantee, sympathy, receptiveness and consistency.

Research objectives

The general objectives of this research proposal is to determine the factors that influences consumer satisfaction in HSBC bank in Egypt in relations to sustained growth in revenue and expansion in customer face (Creswell, 2009). For the purposes of establishing the significant of customer satisfaction in the banking sector, this proposal focus three important factors that influence the consumer satisfaction: service feature, consumer complaints and services quality. The specific objectives of this research proposal are:

  1. To examine the significance importance of service feature, consumer complaint and service quality in perspective of consumer satisfaction.
  2. To evaluate the relationship between service feature, consumer complaint and service to consumer satisfaction.
  3. To determine the correlation between consumer loyalty and consumer satisfaction.
  4. To determine the influence of consumer satisfaction on performance, growth and increase on the revenue generated by HSBC bank in Egypt.

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Research hypothesis

This research proposal will be guided two propositions: null hypothesis (HO) and alternative hypothesis (HA).

HO: Service feature, consumer complaint and service quality have positive relationship with consumer satisfaction in HSBC bank in Egypt

HA: Service feature, consumer complaint and service quality does not positive relationship with consumer satisfaction in HSBC bank in Egypt.

Research question

The general question that this research proposal seeks to answer is about the issues of customer satisfaction in HSBC bank in Egypt. The specific questions that this research paper seeks to answers are:

  1. Whether service feature, consumer complaint and service quality in HSBC bank influence consumer satisfaction?
  2. What is the levels of customer satisfaction in HSBC bank?
  3. Does the consumer satisfaction improve the revenue and customer loyalty of HSBC bank?
  4. How can HSBC bank improve consumer satisfaction?

These four questions form the basis of this research study and it will be answered from the perspective of customer satisfaction theory. The formulation of these question was arrived on the consideration of the fact consumers forms the backbone of any business enterprise. The previous studies have concluded that customer satisfaction is essential to the service industry (Kotler, & Keller, 2012). This calls for more studies in the field especially the banking industries which have recently operated in a very competitive environment. It is undoubtedly HSBC banking sector operates in a very competitive industry in Egypt and its ability to fulfill consumer demands and satisfaction is very crucial in maintaining consumer base and loyalty. The relatedness of these questions with the scope of this research proposal is the proposition that superior service feature and high service quality extended to the consumers leads to a decreased consumer complaint in any business enterprise especially the service industry such as banking sector. This means that increased levels of consumers satisfaction is directly correlated with consumer loyalty. This explain why consumer have short-term and long-term loyalties to specific banking institution (Sakhaei, 2014). Comprehensive analysis of most banking institution in Egypt indicated that they provide almost similar service to their consumers but in different mode. Those banking institutions that package their service in manner that consumers perceive to be superior tend to attract more consumers and gain competitive advantage.

Methodology

This research proposal will use a large scale structured survey that will be distributed among HSBC consumers. Considering that Egypt is a multilingual country with majority of the citizens speaking Arabic, the Arabic version of structured survey will be created under the guidance of bilingual experts (Creswell, 2009). The translated version will be cross-checked independently by a group of bilingual experts. In order to ensure that the created structured survey meet all the standards and is reliable, a pilot testing of 30 respondents will be conducted. The outcome of the pilot study will allows for final adjust be made on the questionnaire (Saunders, et al., 2012). The structured survey will contain two sections: the first section will require the respondent to indicate their demographic information and the second section will be about satisfaction scale where the respondent indicate the level of satisfaction based on five dimensions (Hair, et al., 2010). These dimension are privacy, fulfillment, responsiveness, efficiency and reliability. In second section, the respondents will be required to indicated their satisfaction level through a five-point Likert-scale statement (1 = ‘Strongly Disagree’… 5 = ‘Strongly Agree’) in the five dimensions.

Population size

The sample size for this research proposal will 100 consumers of the HSBC bank drawn around Cairo. The respondents in this research proposal are limited to clients of HSBC which resides in Cairo due to financial constraints and proximity (Saunders, et al., 2012). The participants will be randomly selected from the all branches of HSBC banks located within Cairo.

Data collection

There are several methods that a researcher may use to collect the data such as primary and secondary. In this research proposal, questionnaire technique will be used as the main source to collect the data (Creswell, 2009). Questionnaire was chosen as the appropriate data collection instrument because this research proposal adopted quantitative method. During data collection process, it is anticipated that some participants may not be willing to take part in the process. This may affect the number of respondents that will conclusively respond to all the questions presented in the questions (Hair, et al., 2010). The other aspect that is commonly a challenge to questionnaire is the biasness of the respondents. These are the two major challenges that are anticipated to affect the process of data collection.

Sampling technique

There are two major sampling technique that are commonly used by the researchers to identify the individuals that can participate in the research process: non-probability and probability sampling (Saunders, et al., 2012). This research paper will use probability sampling technique which is consistent with random sampling technique as stated in the earlier paragraph.  

Data analysis

Descriptive analysis will be used in this research proposal because it will give a general overview of the outcome. This will include the computation of the central tendency and dispersion of the data obtained from the questionnaires (Creswell, 2009). Other analysis methods that will be used is correlation analysis. Correlation analysis will be used to determine the relationship between service features, customer complaint and service quality with customer satisfaction. The outcome of correlation analysis will allows to determine whether null hypothesis (HO) will be rejected or not rejected (Saunders, et al., 2012). The descriptive and correlation analysis will be performed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. This software was chosen because it is the most appropriate when analyzing data that was collected through a quantitative technique.

Reliability statistics

The validity and reliability of the instrument in this research proposal will be determine through the use of chron bach alpha reliability coefficient (Hair, et al., 2010). The value ranges from 0 to 1 where the higher the value, the more reliable the instrument. Testing of 25 items shows that the questionnaire was reliable because the chron bach alpha value was above 0.6.

Conclusion

Although there are several previous studies done about consumer satisfaction, many failed to comprehensively outline the correlation between service features, consumer complaint and service quality in the banking sector. Most of the previous studies focused on tourism and hospitability industry which is also a service-oriented industry (Sanjug, 2014). There is limited information about consumer satisfaction in banking sector especially in Egypt. Therefore, this research proposal finds it relevant to explore consumer satisfaction in HSBC bank in Egypt. In extension, this research proposal finds it necessary to comprehensively determine the relationship between service features, consumer complaint and service quality with consumer satisfaction based on the five dimension which are privacy, fulfillment, responsiveness, efficiency and reliability (Thaku, 2013). The future studies should focus on policy formulation that ensure consumer satisfaction is effectively nurtured in the banking sector. These include specific methods that each industry should adopt in order to ensure that consumers’ demands and expectations are met without negatively impacting the performance of the enterprise.

Significance of the research proposal

The findings from this research will provide Egyptian banking sector and other financial institution around the globe with the information about the importance of quality scope in empowering and changing the quality of service delivery. The findings from this research will also assist the banks to put in place mechanism that will enhance consumer satisfaction, thus improving the revenues of the banks and competitive advantage. These will serve the banks the hustle of finding new consumers to replace those who have left. In addition, HSBC bank will serve as benchmark in terms of service delivery. Therefore, the findings from this research will be significant in the operations and performance of banking sector in Egypt and globally.

Infection Control through Hand Hygiene – Research Proposal

Purpose Statement

            The purpose of this report is to highlight the importance of hand hygiene as a way of controlling transmission of pathogenic infections. Interactive educational programmes are effective in increased hand hygiene.

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Problem Statement

            There is a significant concern regarding infections that circulate in homes and the community. The threat of the infectious diseases is projected to increase in the coming years owing to environmental, demographic and health care trends. The changing demographic factors in the community and the constantly changing nature of the infection causing pathogens will affect the resistance towards the infections in the coming years. It is for these reasons that the paper proposes a mechanism for improving hygiene as a strategy of controlling the pathogenic infections in our community.

Scope of the Project

            This paper seeks to empower the community population on the importance and strategies of improving hand hygiene. The advocacy programme that the paper proposes will educate the community on the need to control infectious diseases, elucidate on the hand hygiene strategies and why this is important for their health and prevention of the evolution of the disease causing pathogens. 

Infection Control Through Hand Hygiene

            The strategy of hand hygiene has been found to be one of the most effective forms of infection control. According to (Mathur, 2011) the spread of infectious diseases has increasingly drawn the attention of the government, nongovernmental bodies and community based organizations. (Bloomfield, Aiello, Cookson, O’Boyle, & Larson, 2007) also notes that the advance in medicine and public health were met with premise of total eradication of infectious diseases, which unfortunately has not been the case.

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            The community population consists of people of diverse races, occupation, age and educational levels. The rates of infections among the less education people are high compared to those who are highly educated. School going children are more likely to suffer from respiratory tract infections due to contact with surfaces, toilets and food substances (Bloomfield, Aiello, Cookson, O’Boyle, & Larson, 2007). Moreover, people in occupational activities such as healthcare and farming are at the risk of contacting infectious diseases.

The control of infectious diseases is costly and yet this major source of concern can be prevented. The healthcare costs in the United States have been on the rise, which makes it important that these infectious diseases be prevented before their spread. The common knowledge is that prevention is better than cure. Through prevention strategies, the morbidity, mortality and costs of treatment associated with infectious diseases can be reduced.

            The community offers a platform where people come in contact with one another, through hands. Hand hygiene in such non-clinical setting has been found as one of the most effective strategies for the prevention of infectious diseases (Babeluk, Jutz, Mertlitz, Matiasek, & Klaus, 2014). The authors further points that simple hand washing is likely to save over a million lives in a year. Consequently, hand washing should become an educational priority in the community setting, as a strategy for preventing infectious diseases.

            Hand hygiene can be done using water and soap or alternatively using hand-based hand rub. In addition, hands should be dried using a dry clean towel. In addition, (Bloomfield, Aiello, Cookson, O’Boyle, & Larson, 2007) points to the need to look at hygiene in the view of food hygiene and environmental hygiene in addition to personal hygiene (hands hygiene). The general environment, which includes surfaces, toilets and hand basins, contact with domestic animals, increase risks of infections. The authors provide a holistic approach in hygiene, while noting that most of these other agents involve hand contact at some point or another.

Proposed Procedure

            The hand hygiene educational program shall be done among the community population. The educational program shall be led by trained healthcare workers, who will teach the locals on the hand washing procedure. The paper proposes a six-step process adopted by WHO in hand hygiene. According to WHO, the use of soap with clean water in a six step process is effective in killing germs (Chai, 2016). The following process is proposed.

  • Wet the hands using dollop of soap.
  • Rub the palm of the fingers when closed, then when interlaced.
  • Move the palm of the right arm over the dorsum of the left arm with interlaced palms and rub in between the fingers.
  • Interlock the fingers and rub the back of them by turning the wrist in a circle.
  • Clasp the left thumb in the right palm and rub in rotational motion, from the finger tips to the end of the thumb. Switch the hands.
  • Scrub inside of the right hand with the left fingers closed. Rinse the hands with clean water and dry them with clean dry one-person towel.

Budget

            Hand hygiene education programme is community health campaign programme. The success of the project depends on the effectiveness of awareness created among the local population. The local people shall be informed about the project through print and electronic media, mainly the local radio station and local media publications. The educational program shall be done through a mix of electronic and verbal means. The laptop and projector will be useful in showing the actual hand washing process, while the stationery like pen and paper shall facilitate the teaching process. In addition, other program requirements include lunch and travel expenses for the facilitators. A summary of the items is given in the table below.

ItemCost
Stationery$500
Laptop and projector$1400
Banners$1250
Radio and other local media advertisement$3000
Others (lunch, travel)$1000
Total$7150

Task Schedule

            The hand hygiene program shall be a five-day program that shall be conducted in the local halls and school, local church and college visits. The main reason why the program will employ these venues is to attract both young children and the older members of the community. The schools provide a good opportunity for encouraging young children to adopt hand hygiene and reduce possible absenteeism that may arise from infectious illness such as respiratory tract infections that are caused by poor hand hygiene. The following is the task schedule.

DayEventVenue
1Educate locals  about hand hygieneLocal church
2Hand hygiene and strategiesLocal school
3The importance and strategies of hand hygieneLocal community hall
4Importance and methods used in hand hygieneLocal college hall
5Teaching on why it is important to maintain hand hygieneLocal university hall

Qualifications

            I have extensive knowledge on public health gained through class and personal research. I hold a degree in healthcare with strong background on infectious diseases.

Conclusion

            Hand washing education should be made a priority among the children and adult. The nature of occupations and changing healthcare and demographic trends placed the community population at greater risk of infectious diseases. The use of simple hand washing procedure is the best way of preventing such infections.

Recommendations

            The report recommends that hand washing should be made an educational priority. The nature of occupations and demographic changes exposes everybody to the risk of infectious diseases. Treating such diseases can be costly and may affect the health and education of school-going children. However, these infections can be prevented through effective hand hygiene as proposed in this report. The implementation of the report will go a long way in ensuring a healthy society, which is in line with state and government policy of improving the health standards of the citizens. Moreover, the program intends to reduce the number of infections from occurring in future, thus reducing the costs of treatment.

Why Do Most Businesses Fail to Expand Internationally? – Research Proposal

Introduction and Background Information

            In the recent past, economic globalization has grown at a very high rate. The growth means that there are many opportunities for businesses in the global arena (Shenkar, Luo, and Chi, 2015, p.6). However, there are barriers that are deterrent to internationalization of business entities. While it is not all businesses that are unable to venture in international market, it is quite important to note that most entities often face difficulties in their endeavor to expand their reach across their territorial borders (Shenkar et al., 2015, p. 16). The world of business is characterized by stiff competition and thus, organizations should keep abreast of the emerging issues to remain competitive. Internationalization is one of the emerging trends in the business environment as stakeholders have discovered the need for extending business operations beyond domicile country.

Research has shown that many companies that have gone global are likely to generate much revenue in foreign countries compared to their home countries. For instance, Nokia, Honda and Toyota, have made more profits in their foreign operations than the revenues generated domestically (Shenkar et al., 2015, p. 11). Advantages of expanding the operations of a business globally are not just embedded on revenues, there are other benefits that are connected to foreign trade which include: cheaper resources, labor that is competitively priced, and vast market opportunities (Yoder, Visich, and Rustambekov, 2016, p. 236). In most cases, businesses have strategically shifted their facilities of production to developing economies where it easier to acquire the benefits. In the same vein, expanding globally can also be disastrous to a majority of businesses especially when it is not adequately planned (Henry, 2014, p. 3875). Additionally, firms may face unforeseen circumstances such as foreign policies that interfere with the ease of doing business. These are one of the challenges that force entities to fail in their quest for international expansion. This research will focus on addressing the reason for failure in international expansion.

Research Aim

This research proposal aims at addressing the underlying reasons why most businesses fail to go international and obtain findings that can be used to push for formulation of policies that enable global expansion of businesses.

Research objectives

  1. To review recent literature for the purpose of exploring and discussing various reasons why most companies fail to expand globally.
  2. To examine the whether there are factors that are within the powers of an individual business.
  3. To determine the major factors that are deterrent to global expansion and are beyond the powers of an individual business to highlight the necessity for global reforms on ease of doing business internationally.  

For definition of terms, Internationalization means expanding to foreign markets. Firms/businesses/organizations/corporations/companies have been used interchangeably to refer to entities. Additionally, global expansion/international expansion means cross-border investing/trading.

Literature Review

Expansion of business to foreign countries is associated with a positive outcome on an organization’s performance. Literature on global and international strategies posit that firms can enjoy greater economies of scale and cost efficiencies as a result of greater business volume (Nur & Can, 2009, p.108). Many businesses aspiring for global expansion have faced many challenges which have forced them to shed their ambitions. The challenges are mainly brought by trade barriers that are present in the host countries. While all businesses are exposed to similar challenges, it is important to note that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) faces more setbacks than larger firms. Although SMEs are considered to be risk-averse compared to larger corporations, the need for growth has forced to pursue cross-border opportunities (Lanos, 2014, p. 11). However, trade barriers in foreign markets have caused many businesses to maintain their operations in their home countries.  

Corruption is one of the main barriers to global expansion. Firms have faced numerous instances where they are required top officials in the host countries to get a nod for their operations. According to research, corruption affects licensing decisions and customs practices thus undermining the tenets of the system of international trading (Borchert, Gootiiz, and Mattoo, 2012, p. 18). When the amount charged by the corrupt officials is added to other expenses required to establish an enterprise on foreign soil, it becomes costly for most companies especially SMEs. Furthermore, some firms such as those from the United States have been prohibited from engaging in corrupt dealings (Molyneux, 2013, p. 5). As a result, the firms cannot expand their operations to countries where bribe is needed to gain access to foreign trade.

There is an emerging trend in some countries where localization barriers are imposed to favor or protect domestic industries at the expense of foreign-owned businesses. According to a 2010 report by National Trade Estimate (NTE) of the United States, these measures are deterrent to a healthy competition between foreign and domestic firms as they lead to unreasonable differentiation of foreign and domestic products, intellectual property, suppliers, or services (Lanos, 2014, p. 17). Many firms are usually unable to withstand the frustration of such measures because they negatively affect the smooth running of business processes and profitability. In that way, internationalization becomes untenable causing most companies to reconsider their decision of extending their activities across their territorial borders.

SMEs face an array of constraints while in global expansion. In essence, SMEs do not have the financial power to conduct global scanning which causes them to lack the managerial expertise to capitalize on international opportunities (Shenkar et al., 2015, p. 141). Economists argue that SMEs faces management time constraints and, in that respect, they opt for short-cuts in information gathering and decision making (Nur & Can, 2009, p.108). The short-cuts are detrimental especially when the firms are deliberating in establishing foreign entities. Moreover, international expansion means that the SMEs should invest heavily on communication and coordination among various units in different parts of the globe, which is expensive. Time and financial constraints are a hindrance to internationalization.

Many businesses suffer resource and scale drawbacks compared to their international rivals. The drawbacks have an adverse effect on the probability of achieving success in the international arena (Molyneux, 2013, p. 18). Unlike large companies, SMEs may easily succumb to competition due to inadequate administrative capacity and inferior products leading to the inability to seize business opportunities. In addition, any initiative that is geared towards global expansion usually consumes a bigger proportion compared to a big firm (Nur & Can, 2009, p.109). In case of failure, SMEs suffer a great loss thus increasing the level of risk of investing abroad.

            Language is an essential yet ignored factor in international business. Piekkari, Welch and Welch (2015) argue that, even with the current enhancement of technology, many businesses rely on face to face interaction or social exchange which is hard to maintain through hiring the services of professional translators or automated translation (p. 1). Reports indicate that the efficiency of trade between two countries that share a common language is 42% greater than in countries that do not share a language (Piekkari et al., p.1). Language plays a pivotal role in global trade as it facilitates global expansion. Firms that are in their first stages of internationalization faces much difficulty trying to gather information about foreign market in a country that uses a completely different language. Also, promotional activities become costly to firms aiming to enter foreign markets that are characterized by differences in language. For instance, there are minimal chances of success for companies from non-English-speaking countries entering in English-speaking countries (Piekkari et al., p.20). As a result, language barrier is deterrent to international expansion.  

            Economic and political uncertainty in foreign market discourages international expansion to a larger extent. In research that was conducted by Al-Hyari, Al-Wesha, and Alnsour (2011), firms that believe that a foreign market may be faced with economic and political uncertainties are usually hesitant to venture in such markets (p.202). They researched on Jordan’s trade relations with Iraq and how the Iraq war affected Jordanian foreign businesses in the country. Iraq was the biggest importer of products from Jordan before the outbreak of the war. Additionally, there were many Jordanian firms in Iraq that had employed many Jordanians. The investigators found that the war led to the closure of many Jordanian businesses that had been established in Iraq. SMEs were the most affected and it is reported that many of the firms have since been adamant to venture in countries where there is perceived economic and political uncertainty.

            Lack of a strategic location hinders global expansion. Different consumers have different location preferences. In his research on factors that led to the failure of America’s Wal-Mart in South Korean market, Kim (2008) found that location was one of the major factors (347). It is argued that South Korean consumers prefer to shop more frequently because they buy goods in small quantities compared to American who tend to shop less frequently because they purchase goods in large quantities using their cars. Thus, location is not an issue in America as it is in South Korea. It is reported that when Wal-Mart entered South Korean market, it opted for distant locations where land would be cheaper. Also, Wal-Mart expected that consumers in South Korea would drive to the distant locations but their expectations were not met. On the other hand, local rivals had strategically located their stores closer to consumers thereby enabling them to attract huge customer traffic (Kim, 2008, p. 350). As a result, location had a significant impact on the competitive position of Wal-Mart. Lack of a strategic location to set up a business in foreign market has caused many firms to turn away from investing across their territorial borders.

            Inadequate protection of rights to intellectual properties make firms to fear expanding globally. This problem is usually faced by SMEs that operate in foreign markets. According to a report, U.S SMEs find difficulties operating in the European Union because their trade secrets and patents are not adequately protected (Lanos, 2014, 27). The SMEs complained of higher costs needed for protection of patents and trade secrets. When entering a foreign market, it is the goal of every firm to minimize costs as much as possible. It an entity finds that such costs are unreasonably high, then it avoids cross-border trading.

            Transnational cartels have had a devastating impact on international expansion of most business enterprises. Studies have shown that the cartels have the power to deny newcomers entry to the market. The power of cartels was discovered in the years between 1916-1934 (Schröter, 2012, p. 149). Scandinavian countries, despite being small, were able to dominate the forestry industry after forming cartels on pulp, paper, and timber. The countries became so powerful that they barred the Soviet Union from joining the export markets of forestry products. Transnational cartels go to the extent of controlling every aspect of the market including pricing. Thus, companies willing to joining cartel-dominated markets inn the global arena may fear to take risk of harassment and mistreatment by the cartels.

            From the literature reviewed, it is evident that there are many reasons that have caused numerous companies to fail in their endeavors to establish international branches. However, there lacks enough case studies on multinational companies that have failed as compared to case studies on successful international companies. Additionally, there is no literature that has put particular emphasis on major factors that discourage global expansion. The main reason for stressing on the major factors is that some challenges are within the powers of an entity and they can be solved using alternative means by the respective businesses. This research will focus on the main reasons that bar businesses from expanding globally and are beyond the jurisdiction of a business that is aspiring to expand globally.

Research design

            This research shall be a qualitative research. The reason for using this type of research is that it is ideal for investigating a social phenomenon to get an understanding of people’s behavior and the factors that guide such behaviors. Particularly, it focuses on “why” instead of “how” of a specific phenomenon (Rovai, Baker, and Ponton, 2014, p. 15). Furthermore, a qualitative researcher focuses on the process and not the outcome or products. In the case of this research, more focus is put on investigating on why businesses fail to venture abroad rather. In a nutshell, the study seeks to understand what leads to failure. Since qualitative research focuses on the process, it is often descriptive as the researcher is concerned with understanding and meaning obtained through pictures or words (Silverman, 2016, p. 7). Among the assumptions of qualitative research is that reality is a social construction and variables are interwoven, difficult, and complex to quantify. Thus, the researcher must be present during the collection of data and its analysis.

            The methods of data collection for the study shall be structured interviews and official reports. Interviews shall represent primary sources while official reports shall represent secondary data. The importance interviewing is that they it is a credible source for first-hand information (Rova et al, 2014, p. 22). In the same vein, the interviews shall be tape-recorded to ensure that conversations are accurately kept for future retrieval, Also, tape-recording will ensure that no data is lost as notes cannot capture everything (Noor, 2008, p. 1604). Moreover, official reports are essential reports as they offer reliable data that is based on research and that shall enhance the credibility of secondary data. The frequency of data obtained shall be listed in order of merit in order to determine the major factors that undermine global expansion. Data shall be analyzed through content analysis after which coding will be done using SPSS (statistical software for social sciences).

            Official reports shall be accessed from the official websites of the relevant bodies. The reason for preferring data from the websites is that it is cost-effective. For interviews, a letter of request shall be sent to the selected firms. The letter shall entail shall entail information pertaining the purpose, duration, and scope of the interview, its designated place and time as well as the specific person expected to be interviewed. The letter shall also explain the benefits that the selected firm will obtain from the interview.

            Participants shall be recruited from 5 industries which include: service, health, manufacturing, fast-food, and banking. The study sample will comprise of regional managers from the industries because they receive communication from the top management and thus, they are involved during business expansion. The study population will involve 4 regional managers from each industry which means that the total study sample will be 20. The reason for arriving at this number is because it is cheaper for the study.

            Research ethics shall be upheld to ensure accuracy of data collection, analyses, and conclusion. The recruitment of the participants will be based on informed consent (Silverman, 2016, p. 42). They shall be given prior information about the research before the agree to participate. Besides, participation will be voluntary and the participant’s confidentiality shall be protected at all costs. Moreover, this research proposal shall be submitted to the relevant IRBs (Institutional Review Boards) for approval (Rovai et al, 2014, p. 9). IRBs are responsible for ensuring that a research meets the required ethical standards. 

            The inclusion criteria shall for the selected firms and the study sample shall be as provided below:

  • Firms that have been in operation for more than 10 years.
  • Firms that have ever attempted to expand globally but failed due to some reasons.
  • Regional managers who have been in the position for more than three years.

Optimizing Customer Feedback -Research Proposal

Research Background and Aim

The onset of the 20th presented new opportunities for business savvy persons across the globe to establish their enterprises while using new strategies to ensure that they thrived. Keeping these businesses afloat was a primary objective for most entrepreneurs with most of these individuals painstakingly seeking ingenious methods to outmaneuver their competitors.  It soon became apparent that the customer was the most integral cog that ultimately set these businesses in motion. Without their presence, many of these companies would fail and were soon back to the drawing board (Anderson & Dubinsky, 2004, p. 78). Successful conglomerates were famous for staying in touch with their customers in a bid to establish whether or not they had a worthwhile experience dealing with the company. The thinking behind these follow-ups was that additional information would be gathered from the clientele in a bid to determine whether the services they obtained were to their liking and the changes that needed to be instituted (Barlow & Møller, 1999). It’s from this epoch that we trace customer experience as an integral construct for the success of any commercial enterprise. Popular belief had it that customer satisfaction only involved the purchasing action of a potential customer. However, it’s evident that this assumption was erroneous as other intricacies have to be taken into account to conclusively cover customer experience (Bolton, 2016, p. 58). In contemporary times, customer experience has become the subject of concern for small enterprises and large corporations alike due to its importance whenever a customer comes into contact with the brand (Bergman & Klefsjo, 2010, p. 67). Customer experience, therefore, encapsulates the feelings that the target clientele has towards a particular brand and how they perceive it. Opinions do matter, and hence strategies by world-renowned brands to create an image that will be readily accepted by their target market together with all those who choose to purchase their wares.

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Optimizing customer feedback, therefore, seeks to use a holistic approach in dealing with the experiences of all those who come into contact with a firm’s products. The brand message is consequently unified with its identity to ensure that there is consistency in the quality of the goods and services provided at every step of the way (Charantimath, 2011). The aim is to ensure that the customers are always happy with the products and services that they get while feeling like they do matter. The primary reason for carrying this study has to do with the fact that I have personally experienced the difficulties that can plague an enterprise in the absence of proper customer experience. My business associates and I own a business language school that serves various companies. The business model that we have embraced involves contracting teachers and trainers who are then sent to specific business sites to train individuals from multiple departments on how to use the English language when conducting business. The purpose of these training programs is to ensure that our clients are well-versed in all aspects of using English in business, which may range from general communication, presentation skills, teleconferencing, delivering negative news to making orders and requests. The debacle facing the company stems from a lack of customer service skills amongst the employees which is having adverse effects on output together with the shared relationship that is meant to exist with the trainees.  Nevertheless, it’s vital to acknowledge that the firm receives feedback from our clients. The problem lies in the fact that no proper mechanism exists to deal with the feedback, resulting in volumes of paper with comments that are never acted upon. Moreover, it has been noted with great concern that trainees intentionally avoid participating in these programs, making little or no progress. Most of these individuals are coerced into participating making them loathe the experience, with absconding being the only option. It’s also vital to acknowledge that progress has been slow with most of these individuals blaming the situation on the current state of affairs. The primary aim of this research paper is to find the most viable way to introduce change to the company and enable it to gain relative success in ensuring that the trainees have an easier time making progress. In essence, this research proposal seeks to solve this particular issue by presenting the best ways I which the company can optimize customer feedback, therefore improving their experience.

Research Questions

The following research questions have been identified in this study:

  1. Why is customer feedback optimization of the utmost importance to the business in question?
  2. How does the business in question miss the customer requests made?
  3. How has the lack of action on a customer request affected the interviewees?

Literature Review

Customer experience has always been an area of interest for previous studies. Fortune 500 corporations would go out of their way to fund numerous studies seeking to have a better understanding of customer experience and all the dynamics that surround it. In reality, the customer is the most critical person in transactions involving the firm and the reason why particular attention has to be paid to their satisfaction (Cook & Kogan Page, 2008, p. 34).  It’s therefore vital for companies to have developed customer service skills that are ideal and those that foster good relations between the two parties involved in the transaction. Once in a while, customers will have issues with some of the services provided by a company and their integrals that their feedback is considered and looked into whenever concerns are raised (Films Media Group, & Video Arts (Firm), 2016, p. 32). These strategies are lacking in our language department with the main worry being a lack of satisfaction by our customers who provide us with vital feedback. Receiving such information and acting on it is one of the essential actions that need to be undertaken to improve the success rate.  Optimizing a customer’s experience and feedback is vital to any brand because their satisfaction level is the main reason why they would choose to use a product again (Garber, 2005, p. 98). Therefore, optimizing feedback is a crucial differentiator of various brands offering the same services or product. Correctly implementing this strategy would increase a firm’s revenue due to an increase in the number of happy customers who are willing to use the product again (Gupta & Lehmann, 2008, p. 43). Moreover, optimizing customer feedback is an essential step for any firm with the intention of boosting its sales since it will, in the long run, ensures that loyal customers are retained. Hemorrhaging of sales is an expected effect of any firm that fails to receive comments from their customers with the urgency that they require.

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According to Kaufmann (2012), businesses and the improvements made after that create a symbiotic relationship between the two entities involved. A business seeks to understand what it can do to for its clients to ensure that they enjoy their experience while obtaining the product or service. The client seeks the satisfaction of receiving the highest quality of service during their quest to obtain a product. In such a scenario, both the business and the customer are dependent upon each other to fulfill each other’s needs. Any company doing business seeks to make the highest amount of profit from any transaction (Harrell, 2010, p. 97). The objective is to improve the yearly projections to a point where it makes noticeable gains that will ensure that it remains buoyant in an ever-changing market. The customer, on the other hand, seeks to provide that they make the most out of the money they will be spending on a particular product or service. In such a scenario, the goal out of such a situation is to ensure that they get value for the money they will be spending while appreciating the whole experience. Additionally, a study by Dobrusskin (2015) reveals that optimizing customer feedback can be an essential problem-solving tool that businesses need to embrace (p. 222). Firms and companies need to acknowledge that at any given moment, even when they have used all their resources to improve their brand, lapses always seem to occur. These debacles may be brought about by human errors in the provision of the required service with the best option being to confront them (Hayes, 2008, p. 3). Businesses that spend most of their time focusing on correcting any obvious operational difficulties end up benefitting it in the long run. Customers develop a sense of appreciation for the brand and the manner in which the staff goes out of their way to ensure that any anomalies that had been noted are corrected swiftly.

Similarly, Binsar &Panjaitan (2014) opine that customer service is one of the most critical aspects of a company and is responsible for maintaining customer loyalty. In every single occasion, companies seek to ensure that they retain those first customers that tried their services. By so doing, they remain loyal to the brand in all situations and subscribe to the services provided. Even in adversity, they would brave the weather and make numerous sacrifices to ensure that they purchase the said products due to the top-notch services that they obtain from such an entity (Hickman & Wicks, 2006, p. 37). Loyalty is built on the first impression that an individual gets once they decide that the product being offered is worth their time and money. Under normal circumstances, these individuals wouldn’t want to move from one brand to another and would instead provide their opinion on changes they would love to see instituted to improve their experience. Companies which take this feedback seriously often indicate that they value their clients and are ready to make the necessary changes that would benefit them shortly. Such customers are highly likely to stick to a single brand that has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they care about the opinion provided. Firms that often apply empathy in their operations are likely to act quickly whenever a customer raises any pertinent issue that is of concern to the customers. In some cases, the clients are encouraged to make any formal complaints whenever the company doesn’t deliver on its promise to provide them with the service that they require. Customers, therefore, end up feeling as though they have a say in the manner in which a particular company conducts its business as it is a clear indication that their opinion is valued by the top executives. Numerous benefits accrue whenever such a state emerges since most of these individuals would choose to stick with a brand that listens to them.

Tan (2012) suggests that there is a direct relationship between the level of customer satisfaction that exists and customer care skills (p. 67). Optimizing feedback is one among the many customer care skills that are necessary for a business to thrive. These powers are inherent in some of the employees, but not all; hence the urgent need to ensure that they are provided with necessary directions on how to handle the customers.  Developing these skills might involve costly extended sessions that might introduce new expenses to the company. In the long-run, however, it’s a worthwhile investment since the company will benefit directly from the skills that their staff will have gathered throughout the years. A business enterprise with a workforce that is well-versed in tending to their customers ensures that any complaints and feedback is recorded an acted upon with the urgency that is required. The whole idea is to deal with the issues raised within the shortest time possible which would ensure that the customers get a better experience the next time they seek these services. There are moments when customers request to be treated as equals, and this often happens when customer care representatives act on the grievances that they had presented. Over the years, numerous companies have made use of this technique to ensure that they attract more clients in a competitive market. Instead of focusing on their marketing strategies, companies would invest heavily in their customer care services and capability to respond appropriately to any issues raised. Kaufmann (2012) is particular about the focus that entities should put on customer care skills and the urgency with which they should respond to the questions posed. In most situations, companies are usually too busy delivering their service or wares that they are oblivious to the challenges customers may be facing when handling their products. Opening feedback as a line of communication ensures that they are aware of their flaws and are subsequently poised on responding to the feedback gathered.

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Harrell (2013) opines that feedback is a litmus test for most business entities (p.43). The general expectation is that the responses received on the product and services provided are meant to improve the company’s standing and its outcomes. These entities are intended to produce goods that will be of value to their customers. It would be pointless for a business entity to be operational when it is apparent that the opinions of those they serve are always ignored. Capitalizing on the feedback provided is a precondition for growth especially when entities decide to treat it as constructive criticism.  The feedback provided can be used as a platform for the company to catapult itself to greatness (Hill, Allen, & Roche, 2007, p. 76). Companies have an opportunity to learn from any of their mistakes when they decide to take capitalize on the feedback provided and seek viable solutions that would improve the company’s standing. A customer’s response is a unique chance for a firm to come to terms with all the issues of concern that the business might have missed (Inc. (Firm), 2014, p. 54). Correcting these mishaps ensures that a company deals appropriately with any of its short-comings that will enable it to make small but noticeable changes. Optimizing customer feedback, nonetheless, serves as a keystone habit that a firm can capitalize on to ensure that all the employees have a better chance at dealing with issues raised by customers (Jansen, 2008, p.  78). From time immemorial, it has been proven through extensive studies that massive overhauls in the manner in which entities operate had little to no bearing on their success rate. In most cases, these knee-jerk reactions end up as total fiascos that leave the whole company reeling from the massive losses incurred during this difficult period (Moreira, 2017, p. 21). Optimizing the feedback provided by the customers enables allows a workforce to confront each case with the urgency that it requires while ensuring that every issue of concern is dealt with immediately. In such an event, customers are now able to appreciate the services they obtain and enjoy each experience, benefitting the company in the process.

In optimizing customer’s feedback, Di Pietro, Mugrion & Renzi (2013) suppose that proper identification of the specific requests made is vital if headway is to be made. Customer care representatives need to ensure that they fully comprehend the offer made to ensure that it’s dealt with as per the customer’s request (Johns, 2015, p. 23). Customers are usually particular in making a request. In most scenarios, there are particular things that they do not fully appreciate when seeking services from the company and their quest usually involves having these issues dealt with. A company needs to ensure that these particular requests are understood and identified to avoid a situation where there is a mix up that would lead to negative consequences. The assumptions made by the customer are that these issues will be dealt with and they should be able to realign them with the requests made earlier (Odden, 2012, p. 90). If the same customer experiences the same difficulty, the assumption made will be that the firm decided to ignore the requests made intentionally. Such a misunderstanding might be detrimental to the company’s standing since the customer might assume that their applications were intentionally ignored (Saleh & Shukairy, 2011, p. 56). The ripple effect in such a situation might lead to adverse effects on a company’s standing, especially if the customer in question would decide to go public with information on how the company makes responses. History is littered with occasions during which firms ended up making massive losses that were as a result of a misunderstanding from the requests provided by the customer and their subsequent appeals. Customers require feedback that is precise while seeking to respond appropriately to the requests that had been made earlier (Shaw, 2011, p. 57). The general idea in such a situation is to ensure that a customer’s desires are met and every request that they had made dealt with appropriately. Uniformity ensures the company is in good standing with its customers and meeting all their needs while solving any issue that may be of concern.

Research Plan

Overall Strategy

            The objective of conducting this research is to delve into customer services and the how instrumental they are in any firm. Over the years, it has come to our attention that customer service skills are lacking in our business, which impedes our ability to carry out our mandate. The problem extends to the relationship that we share with our trainees as the feedback provided is not dealt with by our team. The overall strategy in this research study is make an overall assessment of all the factors surrounding all the customer requests made and impediments to the feedback process. An overall assessment of where the business might be going wrong is vital in ensuring that all issues that are of concern are brought to the limelight to enable a speedy resolution to the matter (Szwarc, 2005, p. 77). Generally, the strategy used in this study will be one seeking to find the actual cause of the problem faced to ensure that there is a practical solution to the issue at hand. In essence, the study aims to come up with the best option regarding responding to this their requests and optimizing feedback to improve output.

Underlying Assumptions

The following are some of the underlying assumptions made in this study:

  1. The instruments that will be used in collecting data will elicit responses that can only be termed as reliable
  2. All respondent will have fully understood all the questions asked before responding to any of them.
  3. The respondents will be honest when providing their answers and will do so within their scope of knowledge.
  4. The questions posed by the researcher will be provided in a consistent manner

Methodology

            In this research, quantitative methods will be used in assessing the best optimization technique. This will ensure that there is a standardized system capable of handling the feedback that the study seeks to delve into. It will be imperative to look into the feedback forms that had been received from the clients which would then allow for a detailed response as to why issues raised were never dealt with (Timm, 2011). In this particular case the study will involve 100 feedback forms that will be picked randomly and no more than 3 years old. This is to ensure that only recent matters are dealt with to establish the primary reason why the output was being affected. These methods provide that there is a conclusive analysis of select requests made and the reason why feedback was either delayed or non-existent. By using this technique, the study will present the reasons behind the prevailing state of affairs while interrogating the observer’s viewpoint. Quantitative methods ensure that the study is inter-subjective especially with the number checking technique to provide that the data collected from the interviewees is consistent with the general situation in the firm (Texas, 2001). This method aims to ensure that there is a correlation between the information provided and to ensure that statements collected are not misunderstood.

Origin of Samples to be studied

            The samples that will be put under this study’s scope will be obtained from the company’s logs. They include customer requests made to the company in the past three years and will only include those which were not addressed. These samples will be vital in assessing the strength of the customer service skills that the firm is lacking in and the ripple effect that this state of affairs has on the business (Thomas & Applegate, 2013, p. 59). Most of the trainees attending the program have complained of being forced to attend most of these sessions. The study will assess these responses with the requests made to establish whether it was the Human Resource departments in these companies also had a role to play by incorrectly grouping the trainees.

Data Collection Methods and Analysis of Results

            The data in this study will be collected using a combination of interviews and the filling of questionnaires. Participants will be selected based on the 100 customer requests that had been obtained awaiting responses. Interviews will first be conducted on the trainees to assess the damage that lack of appropriate response from the firm will have. This will establish the level of distraught that most of them feel when seeking to answers concerning issues that are of grave concern to them. Similarly, questionnaires are important in such a study to gauge the adverse effects that this delay in response is having on the trainees and the company in general. It’s possible to make use of a Pareto analysis model to make a precise classification of the factors that might be directly affecting the customer relationship (United States & United States, 2002, p. 56). Using its 80/20 principle, it will be possible to establish the origin of the problem and the most appropriate way to solve it. Moreover, it will be possible to use the cause and effect analysis in seeking the actual questions being encountered and how to solve them.

Ethical Review

All participants will receive sufficient information on the nature of the study beforehand to ensure that they understand what it entails. The purpose of this standard operating procedure is a measure to ascertain that they were aware of what the study required and was not coerced to participate in the study (Wellington, 2010). It’s also essential to ensure that all participants fully comprehend the study’s threshold to ensure that they were not coerced into participating in the research and did it on their volition.

Writing A MPhil/PhD/EdD Research Proposal – Guidelines

If you are applying for a postgraduate doctoral programme, you will need to submit a research proposal with your application. The research proposal is crucial to your application because it forms the basis for making a judgement about your suitability for postgraduate research, particularly in relation to your:

  • potential contribution to knowledge through original research or advanced scholarship,
  • knowledge of literature: ability to demonstrate elements of understanding of a body of knowledge which is at the forefront of the field of study or area of professional practice,
  • theoretical understanding: some evidence of ability to conceptualise and apply theoretical resources,
  • research methods & methodological appreciation: understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry,
  • quality of the writing: potential to write at doctoral level (all candidates will have to meet the minimum English requirement for entry),
  • qualifications and experience: appropriate qualifications and/or experience which suggest potential to succeed with this study,
  • alignment of your proposed research with the interests and expertise of available supervisors and research centres of the School. 1

Your proposal will be read by academics that will assess the proposal according to the above criteria as well as how closely the proposal follows the guidelines below. Preference will be given to candidates who are interested in researching topics identified as strategic priorities within our four research centres and/or those that align closely with individual interests of the team. It is therefore imperative that you think carefully about the content of your research proposal, as it will be closely considered by potential supervisors. The purpose of the proposal is to demonstrate potential for doctoral level study, you need to be open to the idea that your research will evolve following negotiation and guidance from your supervisors and through your own reading. Your supervisors are experts in the field and understand what is required for you to succeed at doctoral level therefore you should consider your proposal is a starting point for your doctorate.

Writing MPhil/PhD/EdD Research Proposal

A postgraduate research proposal should:

  1. clearly define the topic that you are interested in studying
  2. show that you have begun to identify and develop an interesting and original research question in relation to your chosen topic
  3. explain your reasons for wanting to undertake this research

Your proposal, should therefore demonstrate that you:

  • understand your intended research area
  • are able to identify an interesting and original research question
  • have some understanding of how to conduct research
  • have read some of the academic literature in the proposed field

You will probably need to write 4-6 pages (2,000 – 3,000 words) to be able to address the key components outlined in these guidelines. You should include a list of references.

What should a MPhil/PhD/EdD Research Proposal contain?

Ideally, a proposal should follow the traditional format for presenting and describing research ideas or projects, starting with an outline of the background or context of the research and knowledge of the literature; followed by consideration of the participants and methods you may wish to focus on; and then an assessment of why the research is important and how it could influence or impact areas such as educational theory, policy or practice. The sections should include the following:

Introduction and context

Introduce the proposal by outlining the research topic and its relevance to educational practice and/or policy; or theoretical/conceptual debates or foci; or relevant empirical applications or studies.

Knowledge of literature and theoretical understanding

The introduction and context should be followed by a concise (not exhaustive) review of relevant literature and theories relating to the research area. Be careful to reference any major lines of argument and/or published work of key researchers in your chosen field. It is important that you seek to identify a gap in existing literature and/or practice that your proposed research will aim to address.

Research methods & methodological appreciation

Although the specific methods of your research may change during the course of your studies it is important at this stage to provide a well-reasoned suggestion for how you could conduct research on your chosen topic. This should demonstrate to potential supervisors that you already have a good understanding of research methods and how they may be applied in particular or varied settings.

This section should therefore provide an outline of the methods that could be used and a rationale for why these are best suited to your area of research.

You need to clearly consider and justify the context of the research (e.g. geographical; educational sector i.e. primary/secondary/tertiary/university), as well as the participants (e.g. individuals; small groups; larger groups or classes), and any special considerations (e.g. access; particular ethical issues). In addition, it is helpful to provide an idea of the anticipated duration and timeline of the study (taking into account whether you are applying for full- or part-time study).

Contribution to knowledge and impact

Clearly it is not possible at this stage to know what your findings will be but on the basis of the rationale you have provided about the background literature, gaps in the knowledge base and proposed methods, it should be possible to speculate about the ways in which your research will make a contribution to knowledge. This could be about influencing educational policy and/or practice, developing theoretical ideas or about equipping teachers/students/managers with particular skills.

Whatever your focus is, you should seek to explain in this section what the potential impact of your research could be and for whom.

Qualifications and experience

You should take the opportunity to explain how your previous qualification and experience relates to the topic and will help you to succeed with this study.

Information about you

Doctoral study is extremely rewarding for many people and also challenging; it is helpful for us to learn a little more about you; why you, why now, why here? You can include in your proposal a section to explain your motivations for wanting to pursue the Doctorate generally, and also your topic specifically, and why this is the right time for you to be doing this. Completing a doctorate requires flexibility, openness, tenacity, commitment and interest and we would like to know that you feel prepared to tackle the challenge!

How should the proposal be presented?

You are applying for high-level study and so your proposal should be presented in a way that conveys your professionalism and academic ability; poorly presented proposals suggest that the application has not been considered carefully enough during the preparation stage. Reviewers will be paying close attention to the quality of your English writing and potential to produce work at doctoral level. Therefore, your proposal must be typed/word- processed; express your ideas in good, accurate English; be well structured, clear and legible; and include references in a standard academic format such as the Harvard system.

Finally…

Remember that the proposal is intended as a preliminary indication of your suitability for postgraduate research and so first impressions do matter. It is worth dedicating time and effort to the proposal at this stage in order to stand a better chance of being accepted onto a research degree programme. Supervisors do not expect you to have all the answers or be fixed in your ideas at this point. We want to know about your ideas at this stage but we do know that these will develop and even change in the course of your studies.

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Unhealthy Humor in the Workplace – Final Problem Solving Researched Proposal

Introduction

Humor is an important aspect in human interaction. It plays an essential role in developing interaction and cohesion in a group. Humor also has particular impact on the organization or workplace. For employees at the workplace, humor regards their working mood and team members’ interaction. Adequate use of humor in the workplace can develop a fun environment and resolve conflicts, dilemmas, and embarrassment among individuals, creating familiarity with each other and add to the interpersonal relationship quality. It can as well accumulate extra support from other individuals so as to boost individual psychological energy (McGhee 1). Moreover, humor assists in muscles relaxation. With the laughter sound and happiness feel, one can create a positive emotions that counterbalance the negative impacts created by work pressure. Nevertheless, humor is considered as a double-edged sword which holds both bad and good traits. It can contains both positive and negative impacts. Thus among the varying humor styles, there may be some which are not suitable for mental and physical health and can even be harmful or dangerous to others or oneself. In this regard, workplace health need to be controlled to ensure unhealthy humor is completely suppressed in favor for health humor that bring in a number of benefits in a work environment (Sathyanarayana 165).

Statement of the Problem

Humor is normally used to create a relief in life. Although it was initially employed in social settings and was highly associated with unofficial settings, humor employment in work environment has been adopted gradually. This has been facilitated by extensive research that demonstrates the importance of humor in a work environment. Although workplace humor is associated with a number of benefits, it is important to note that those benefits are only enjoyed when the humor is healthy.  On the contrary, negative humor or unhealthy humor can be destructive to the workplace since it propagates the destruction of relationships, widening the gap among diverse individuals. Unhealthy humor can also be used by leaders to manipulate subordinates through fear or support. Unhealthy humor is a common problem in organizations that have embraced the use of humor. This is not uncommon to our organization.

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After making a close observation, I have realized that most employees are suffering from effect of negative humor directed to them by their supervisors, fellow colleagues, and managers. This humor may appear normal to other audience but one can notice the discomfort and chance of mood of the person at the receiving end. This can highly impact the organization performance negatively despite of the employment of all other possible measures to enhance the organization performance. In this regard, our company needs to identify negative or unhealthy humor that are used among workers and by managers to be able to identify the best strategy that can be employed to suppress this behavior. This ensure that the negative effects of negative humor do not nullify the organization efforts to enhance the organization performance.

 Research Objective

This research aims at identifying the harmful or unhealthy humor in the workplace and establishing its impact on workers or humor receiver and establishing the best way to suppressing the unhealthy humor in the organization.

Rationale of the Research

Humor is growing in popularity in different work environment. This has created great benefits to the organizations that have managed to embrace positive humor which is associated with a number of benefits. However, there is negative humor which is shallowly researched but which can highly destroy the organization performance. Thus, it is important to identify negative humor in organization and suppress its utilization in our organizations.

Literature Review

Humor is regarded as any communicative occasion that is perceived to be humorous and contains verbal and nonverbal communication that produce a positive erective or cognitive reply from listeners. In this regard, organizational humor contains funny communications which yield to positive cognitive and emotions in the organization, group, or individual.  However, this definition of organizational humor is only applicable in case of health humor. On the contrary, unhealthy humor may contain the humorous aspects but with the wrong intention which mostly involve enjoying a humorous laughter at the cost of others. Unhealthy humor is defined as a multilayered notion which encompasses of sarcasm, satires, slapstick and jokes.  Thus humor can also be used humiliate, or demoralize a person in the workplace (Romero and Cruithirds 59).

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Regardless of the belief that workplace involve serious business, humor can ease the mood in organizational setting and change the work environment to be extra enjoyable. Workgroup are normally driven by human interaction rules, and thus comprehending the multifunctional obligation of humor in a work environment can essentially add to effective personnel management. Actually, the proper utilization of organizational humor can offer valuable advantages to organizations and even extra valuable instruments to management for staff motivation, effective communication and discord mitigation. According to (Romero and Cruithirds 58), humor contains a number of styles and facets. It is frequently regarded informally as a communicating levity approach, however, there is a science to humor which can be applied effectively as a serious leadership or management tool in an organization. More than mere laughing and joking or development of comradeship, humor can act as a complete toolkit with a number of particular tools which can be used selectively and employed by management.

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Humor hold the ability to remedy a number of organizations issues and enhance healthy social association in the workplace. It supports efforts to develop group cohesion, increase creativity, improve communication, add to higher productivity, and boost satisfaction of subordinate. Humor is also found to be constructive in maintaining and creating organizational culture, generating camaraderie and promoting leadership. Humor can be used in organization leadership to enhance the association between a leader and the followers. Although humorous leadership might not be the basic principle for business success, it is very essential for developing an effectual team with great performance (Lyttle 240). Frequent utilization of humor at workplace by leaders is an effective way to restore and inspire morale. Humor can also be employed to assist leaders in attaining three basic results which include lowering work stress, to assist subordinate to comprehend the management models of leaders via communication and finally, to inspire followers or subordinates. Thus, humor plays an essential bridging role in a workplace. Apart from resolving the discomfiture resulting from various opinions, it assists in upholding good interpersonal relationship among the members of the team and boost love of colleagues. In addition, humor stands for a positive attitude to assist leaders in handling difficult business situation successfully. Actually, humorous leadership can assist organizations and enterprises in developing a more positive and proactive culture (Ho 6675).

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Positive humor can be of great benefit to an organization as discussed above. However, not ever humor used in a work environment are healthy. Humor can also be used negatively mostly by leaders who wish to demoralize or humiliate their workers. The two forms of humor classified as negative humor include the aggressive humor and self-defeating humor. Aggressive humor is unhealthy humor founded on the superiority theory where by the speaker consider him or herself to be better than others. Thus, this is a form of humor that is comprised of jeer and sarcasm, ridicule, and it is insulting to the listeners. This humor is positively correlated with nervousness, aggression, and hostility. It is normally utilized in an organization to order or manipulate team members via one’s superiority sense (Ho 6676).

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Self-defeating humor is another form of unhealthy humor.  In this case, speaker seems to be over insulting to herself or himself so as to please others. This is a defense mechanism that involves self-denying which appears to cover negative feelings away from issues via humor. This form of humor is frequently positively correlated with anxiety and depression and negatively associated with satisfaction of social support, happiness and self-esteem. Employment of self-defeating humor in a workplace is aimed at getting along with others and gaining their approval. Nevertheless, the use of this kind of humors by leaders might lower the subordinate confidence toward their leaders (Ho 6677).

Unhealthy humor picks on others as groups or individuals. They cause pains and widen gaps between individuals. Normally, individuals who employ negative humor focus on getting the laugh at the expense of another person. They normally fails to consider the effect of their action to the directed person, or they do it deliberately to cause humiliation. Normally, harmful humor is employed in a workplace among subordinate when an individual base the joke on race aspects, physical appearance, work mistake, gender based and other discriminative factors. This can be done intentionally or unintentionally. Whichever the case, humor based on such aspect maybe hurting to individuals in the receiving end. Negative humor can also be used to propagate sexual harassment in the work place.

Research Methodology

The research will focus on identifying negative humor in workplace, its impact to the workers and leaders and mechanism to suppress negative humor while promoting the positive one. To identify accomplish this, the research will perform qualitative research in the researcher workplace where negative humor incidences have been identified as a major problem in the organization. The main aim of conducting this research is to identify possible forms or aspects of negative humor that are used in the organization and their impacts to individual workers based in who used the humor, how it was used and who was the receiver of the humor. This will be done through the use of structured interview and structured questionnaires where workers will be required to identify cases where they have been insulted by jokes, words or acts that enticed others. The identification will include the person who initiated the joke, and who were the audience and the audience reaction.

The research will target all workers in the organization since they all have equal chance of experiencing healthy or unhealthy humor. Thus, the only discriminative factor will be used while selecting the research participant is that one must be an employee or a manager in this company.  Workers will be selected in this case since they have a higher chance of being in the receiving end of unhealthy humor. The questionnaire will take a total of 20 minutes to fill in. On the other hand, interviews will be directed to the managers of the organization who are most likely to employ negative humor to control subordinates. The interview will be recorded for later transcription. The interview will take not more than 30 minutes. The researcher will also employ literature review to identify the best strategies to employ to surpass this kind of behavior in an organization.

Research Validity and Reliability

Structured questionnaires and interviews are associated with a high level of validity since they are based on standard responses that restricts the respondent on the solutions to pick. The validity of a structured interview and questionnaire is measured at 4.0 (O’Connell 1). Thus, the research will be based on a high level of validity. The two techniques are also highly reliable since they involves use of tools that can be easily analyzed to maintain a high level of accuracy (Le. Ac 5).

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Data Analysis

The data analysis will involve grouping the identified negative humors in similar group and identifying the possible theme for each group. Each theme will be provided with a number that will be used to establish its frequency of occurrence. The researcher will then make use of data analysis software such as SPSS to evaluate the probability of occurrence of a certain form of humor. To establish the best strategy for surpassing the level of negative humor in the organization, the researcher will also group the identified recommendation based on whether the recommendation is evidence-based or whether the recommendation is based on the scholar evaluation of possible solution through other means. The evidence based solution should be given the highest priority. The recommended solution must also match the identified negative humor to be able to address the actual problem that the company is experiencing (Sagepub 328).

The Research Schedule

The research will be done in a period of 4 weeks. The first 3 days of the research, the researcher will be engaged in obtaining the permission of conducting the research in the organization. This will be done using a formally written letter to the human resource manager. After obtaining the required permission, the researcher will develop the research questionnaires and interview questions for a period of 2 days. The researcher will then identify the best day to distribute the questionnaires and to conduct the interview. The entire process should take 7 days. This should be followed by 5 days of conducting intensive literature review to identify strategies that can be employed to surpass unhealthy humor in the workplace. This review should focus more on evidence based proposition and information from scholars who have credit in investing matters related to impact of humor in organizations. This will be followed by the data analysis process which will take a period of 7 days. This will be followed by data presentation and reporting of the findings which will take a period of 4 days. This scheduling is presented in the Gantt chart below.

Conclusion

Humor which has for a long time been associated with social affairs have slowly been making way to the corporate world. Humor is being used in the corporate world to enhance communication and thus, to strengthen relation in the organizations and to promote a conducive work environment. However, this only happens when positive humor is employed in the work environment. When a work environment is dominated by negative humor, negative outcomes are experienced. Unhealthy humor is a common problem in a number of organizations that have embraced humor to effect its operation. Unhealthy humor is associated with a number of negative aspects that destroy the relation among the workers and the association between the workers and the managers as well as supervisors, based on the user of the humor and the receiver of the same. The researcher’s working environment is currently experiencing the effect of negative humor and thus, something need to be done to ensure that the situation does not destroy the productivity of the organization.

Recommendation

The growth and development of any organization depends highly on human resource. An organization with a conducive work environment motivates workers relation, communication and team performance among other positive aspects. Humor employment in the work environment can play a great part in enhancing the work environment. In this regard, every organization should consider promoting positive humor by enhancing inclusion and respect to diversity. Managers should learn more about the two forms of humor and their effect on the workers spirit and hence the organization performance. This will allow them to choose or apply their humor wisely for the advancement of the organization operation. Workers should be encouraged to apologize to their fellow workers in case one employs unhealthy humor unknowingly and end up humiliating a colleague in the process. This will play a great part in enhancing cohesion among workers. The organization director should employ an open whistleblower technique to report on leaders that have a high tendency of employing humor to demoralize workers. This will ensure that managers are put under control to eliminate their ability of utilizing their position to destroy the work environment in an organization.

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PSYCH 635 – Self Regulation of Learning – Research Proposal

Self Regulation of Learning

In simple terms, self-regulation refers to the ability to develop, implement and maintain a certain behavior to achieve certain planned goals. It is critical for reliable emotional well-being of an individual. Self-regulation may be also defined emotionally and emotionally. As such, behaviorally, self-regulation may be defined as the ability of people to act in the best self-interest, which is consistent with the values they hold dear. Emotionally, self-regulation may be defined as the ability of individuals to calm themselves down even when they are upset and lift themselves up when they are emotionally down. As such, self-regulation is the ability to control emotions. There has been significant progress in theory and research on human self-regulation in the past decade. However, the major focus of research on self-regulation relates to emotional regulation of people who have normal behavior or in behaviors that can be easily quantified using experimental methods. However, very little is known on components of self-regulation in complex dysfunctional behaviors such as personality disorders, offending behaviors, or other issues in forensic psychology. Offending behavior is usually associated with antisocial and borderline personality disorders. Research on self-regulation would help in the formulation of effective therapeutic interventions for offender groups. However, this would require two steps. The first step is the determination of the self-regulatory patterns of offender groups. The second step is the translation of self-regulation patterns into practical suggestions that would help in the modification of known behavior intervention strategies. However, it is vital to determine efficient methods of measuring self-regulation in forensic psychology.

To determine self-regulation it is vital to first focus on conscious self-regulation on non-psychopathic offenders, since all modern theories of self-regulation focus on theoretical problems, it is vital to focus on the theoretical source that would help in reconciling the findings of different studies on self-regulation. Personality Systems Interaction Theory would provide the framework for measuring self-regulation. However, due to the fact that the theory is very elaborate, it is difficult to test it whole. However, one can test certain predictions that may be derived from subcomponents of the theory. According to the personality systems interaction theory, there are two mechanisms that facilitate behavior and three that hinder behavior. Self-regulation and self-control are the facilitatory modes. On the other hand, volition inhibition, volition avoidance, and self-inhibition are the inhibitory modes according to the theory (Greenberg, Koole & Pyszczynski, 2013).

Self-regulation comprises of several unconscious physiological skills that are closely related to self-motivation, mood management, and decision control. Alienation, preoccupation, and rumination are the major deficits of self-regulation. According to the theory, people can consciously access self-regulation. Planning, impulse control, and taking an initiative are the mechanisms associated with self-regulation (O’Donohue & Levensky, 2004).

The inhibitory modes refer to difficulties that an individual may experience in maintaining a set of behavioral goals that the individual set previously. Inhibitory modes are made up of negative mental states that impede the realization of volitional intentions or goals. Inhibitory modes are related to how prone an individual is to being distracted from tasks at hand or lack the energy, initiative or concentration to complete the tasks.

Personality systems interaction theory asserts that there is a mediating role of positive and negative modes, which helps in modulating the dynamics between the different volition systems. The positive and negative affect regulate the dominance of volition systems, which facilitates certain behavioral responses. For instance, if an individual has surplus activation of positive affect leads to the inhibition of analytical thinking. In so doing, it leads to increase in automatic action (Greenberg, Koole & Pyszczynski, 2013).

As such, personality systems interaction theory would play a critical role in measuring self-regulation in forensic psychology. It would helps in testing various hypotheses in forensic psychology. Use of volitional components questionnaire would be critical in using personality systems interaction theory to test hypotheses in forensic psychology. Volitional components questionnaires help in mapping various components of self-regulation. Use of a four point Likert scale throughout the research would help in providing a framework for determining people’s experiences on self-regulation, self-control, self-inhibition, volitional inhibition, and volitional avoidance, which are the major mechanisms that facilitate or impede behavior of individuals. Therefore, use of the five component scale helps in determining both the facilitatory and inhibitory modes that would be used in testing the main hypothesis as it relates to forensic psychology. Volitional components questionnaires have undergone extensive reliability and validity checks that have shown that they are a suitable tool for testing the hypothesis. Volitional components questionnaires have also been validated with normal clinical and non-clinical samples. These samples include patients with obsessive compulsive disorders, alcoholics, and psychosomatic patients (Zimmerman & Schunk, 2013).

While testing the hypothesis it is vital to determine whether the sample showed more deficits in self-regulation and self-control than the control sample. Analysis of literature on the issue would help in providing an explanation of the behavior of the sample under investigation. In this specific research, it would be vital to determine whether the sample, violent offenders, had more deficits in self-regulation and self-control than non-violent offenders. Analysis of literature on the issue shows that they do.

It is also vital to determine whether the self-regulatory variables are related to aggression in the sample. If this is proved to be the case, then it would be vital to determine the variables would significantly related to aggression independent of other variables that have been proved to be directly related to aggression. These include personality disorders and emotional instability (Greenberg, Koole & Pyszczynski, 2013).

The next step would be to explore certain predictions that have been derived from the personality interactions theory. According to the theory, deficient self-regulation is associated with failure of an individual to down-regulate the negative affect if it has been aroused. In addition, according to the theory, low self-control is related to high positive effect. This would help in testing the hypothesis that self-regulation is positively related to good capability to down-regulate the high negative affect when it is aroused and both volitional inhibition and self-inhibition are negatively related to ability to down-regulate high negative affect. The results of the research would help in determining the balance in the behavior of offenders. The violent offenders may be people who can self-regulate effectively in most instances. However, their aggressive behavior may be caused by a sudden inexperience to self-regulate when they are exposed to certain emotionally threatening situations (Greenberg, Koole & Pyszczynski, 2013).

The next step would be to compare the self-regulation strategies of a smaller sample of different types of offenders. Volitional components questionnaire was used in the study. A scale with seven sub-scale, which would help in determining how people perceive their emotions and how they cope with their emotions. Comparison of a smaller number of different offenders would be statistically significant. It would help in determining the emotional experience of the group and the vulnerability of the group to certain behaviors. Comparison of the smaller group with the larger sample that was previously used in the research would help in determining the level of emotional self-regulation of offenders. This would be crucial in the development of therapeutic interventions for offender groups (Schunk, 2012).

Research using this method may have several methodological shortcomings. One of the major shortcomings of the research would be sample size used in the research. The research would use a small sample size. The sample was also heterogeneous. Use of self-reported data also posed several challenges to the research. This is due to the fact that the sample may provide false information. The reporting of the offenders is also dependent on the type of offense the offenders committed. Certain offenders may have certain interpersonal coping strategies related to their personality. In addition, the variables related to self-reported self-regulation do not have a direct effect on certain criminal behaviors. The relation between self-regulation and various criminal behaviors may be explained by various psychological concepts in different subfields of psychology. These include personality, cognitive, clinical, interpersonal, and social psychologies. Another limitation of the research is the fact that it is impossible to test personality systems interaction theory using self-report methodology. Therefore, to clarify the findings of the research it would be critical to repeat the research using experimental, non-reactive research designs. The samples used for the studies should have a more homogenous size, personality features, and types of offense that the offenders committed (Greenberg, Koole & Pyszczynski, 2013).

Delinquency Among The Adolescents – Criminology Research Proposal

Abstract

The research proposal wholesomely seeks to establish the major contributing factors to the onset of the evident delinquency among the adolescents rationally.This study gets based in the United States. This research aims at establishing the possible interventions that can adequately be employed by the criminal justice system in their attempts to assist the young offending generations before their delinquency can graduate into the attention of the criminal justice system. Identification of the major factor components contributing to the onset of delinquency among the adolescent sheds light into the establishment of effective delinquency intervention and prevention measures.

The proposal, therefore, focuses on four particular distinct issues as the leading and broad categories of contributors to Delinquency Among The Adolescents In Developed Countries like the United States. The four issues are; media influence, child maltreatment, adolescent’s free lives and neighborhood disadvantage. This research gets entirely based on the idea that with a conclusive understanding of the root causes of juvenile delinquency, we can be successful in our attempts at preventing the onset of delinquency in anadolescent.

Theresearch, therefore, examines and outlines the first-hand findings on the causes of delinquency in adolescents. We can, therefore, utilize the key findings of this research in eradicating the identified causes of delinquency among the adolescents for us to keep our communities safe and friendly for all.

Introduction

Throughout the entire times of crime prevention, researchers have invested their time and skills in establishing the most effective crime preventing measures. The criminal justice system has been the mostapplicable model for crime intervention. However, the young generation has not showed a recognizable positive response to the criminal justice system(Flowers, 1986). They do not cope well with the system.

Sometimes the system is too harsh on them with much labeling effect making the environment more unfriendly thereby only accelerating their hatred for people and the surrounding. Research has always revealed that the criminal justice system has no clear considerations of the root causes of delinquency among the young offendersAmerican Society of Criminology (Frost et al., 2010). We therefore as a parental community, are obligated with tasks of seeking for the most effective methods, techniques and ways of preventing, reducing and combating delinquency among the adolescents in our midst.

Our people, our responsibility! It is imperative that we understand the adolescents, show involvement in their lives so as to be able to identify the interest stages in their lives that get associated with the onset of the evident criminal lifestyles that most of them live. With proper and appropriate knowledge about the adolescents in our communities, we can, therefore, understand the onset of delinquency in them and be able to prevent timely them from developing into the criminal justice system(Child Welfare League of America, 1998).

The research questions and hypotheses

The whole research idea is to familiarize us with the understanding about the onset delinquency contributors among the adolescent.  It thus poses the research question as ‘the contributing factors to the onset of delinquency among the adolescents, focusing on the media influence, child maltreatment, adolescent’s free lives, and the neighborhood disadvantaged.  The research has endless potentials in shining alight to the individual parents and the community at large in matters about adolescents delinquencies. The research will, therefore, develop the understanding of the community to the prevention strategies govern with the factors that contribute to the onset of the adolescent delinquency.

The entire concept of the research is of great significance to the community developmental programs, the public agencies, the national youth services such as the youth mentoring programs, the youth independent units, the criminal justice departmental studies related to the youths and the family members. It examines the roles and need for the family involvements into the lives of the adolescents. Practices like youth monitoring and their significant contributions to the lives of the youths.

The results of this research should, therefore, have a great individual and societal impact.Individual members of the society should, therefore, find pleasure in implementing the results of this research by creating public awareness campaigns. They also lead on by initiating the youth mentoring programs and effectively integrating policy measures that would assist the whole community and individual family members to show great involvement with concern into the lives of the adolescents so as to prevent the onset of delinquency.

 

From the major research points of concern, the following are the research hypotheses;

  • Childhood uncontrolled media freedom can contribute to violent delinquent

Media influence includes among others the violent programs thatrequire the parental advice and the adult shows with content not appropriate for the young. These programs are not appropriate for the young children. Young children are creative and quick at acquiring models from their perceptions regarding what they see and desire. The research on this hypothesis will present questions relating to the relationships between media and adolescent delinquent.

  • Child maltreatment contributes to adolescent delinquency

This hypothesis has questions that revolve around the history as well as the relationship of the family violence. It will focus on the family abuse or victimization to the life of the child and adolescent delinquency.

  • Inappropriate neighborhood causes juvenile delinquency. This hypothesis revolves around the surrounding neighborhood, its effect on the life of the child growing in such a disadvantaged neighborhood.
  • Lack of child or youth monitoring contributes to adolescent delinquency. It relates to the lack of parental involvement in the life of the child and its associated impacts to the child.

Research objectives

The objectives of this research include the following;

  • To provide the red signs or indications to the factors of negative media influence to the child or an adolescent.
  • To establish the indications of child maltreatment practices.
  • To provide signs of a disadvantaged neighborhood and expose us to signs of lack of monitoring in the young all geared to the establishment of effective preventive and intervention measures to the onset of delinquency among the adolescents.

Developing effective and appropriate prevention and intervention measures to the onset contributors to juvenile delinquencies at the family level is of great impact to the fight against delinquency among the adolescents. Throughout the years, It has been noted that effective prevention of juvenile delinquency has much to do with the input from the community, family as well as youth services. Integration of these three bodies has always proven more effective than the juvenile justice system.

Literature review

Media and child maltreatment has a direct delinquency effect on the young. It is according to the article ‘Understanding the link between childhood maltreatment and violent delinquency’ by Scott, Crooks, Chiodo and Killip (2007). In the research, child media influence and maltreatment assessment were done with the help of the Child Trauma questionnaires in the northern states.  The results were that the male children who got exposed to media without control coupled with maltreatment stood higher chances of delinquency.

It got also noted that the parental involvement in the children lives played a significant role in the modification of the individual child behavior. The questionnaires were supplemented with direct interviews to ensure that the research methods were both qualitative and quantitative.

The disadvantage neighborhoods have significant influence on the youth’s behavior and delinquency (Lacourse et al., 2007)(Cavanagh et al., 1999). According to the journal with the title ‘affiliations to the youth gangs during adolescence’, they found out that there was a significant chance for youths in the Canadian gang full neighborhood to join the gangs.

These people used the survey method to study the Canadian neighborhood targeted small group. The findings pointed out the effects of the disadvantaged neighborhood to the adolescent growing within it. They got exposed to the lives they see in the surrounding and chances are high for them to follow the footprints of the ones they can see.

Data collection

The research got dominatedby the quantitative methods that suit best in generating precise data. These methods provide for the specific requirements and details that form the baseline standard for the effective data reporting. In the research, the standard variables are the details such as gender, age and area of residence.

Supplementary questionnaires that suit well for the quantitative surveys also are deemed appropriate for the study. The questionnaire covers details about the age bracket, social class, behavior, attitude, among others to help generate the general but detailed profile of an individual.

The results of this research will get measuredregarding their effects upon practice and the geographical coverage or reflection of the results. The analysis will be done by the key research domains and the establishment of the trustworthiness of the gathered and presented information, how well the information got gathered, where and by whom. It will entail the descriptive analysis that includes the description of my purpose of study including the study site as well as the people involved in my study. The results of this research will be presented in a report accessible to the larger populations as depicted by its scope.

Conclusion

Media influence the social networks, child maltreatment, disadvantaged neighborhoods and lack of parental involvement are the core cultivators to delinquency among the adolescents. They get associated with the core causes of delinquency in adolescents. Community, parental and youth programs play vital roles in fostering change among the adolescents.