November 25, 2008

A Research Proposal on Investigating Solid and Liquid Waste Disposals and their Environmental Impacts: An Empirical Study of Woodlawn (South West Sydney)

 

1.0  Title

The working title of the research is initially drafted as Investigating Solid and Liquid Waste Disposals and their Environmental Impacts: An Empirical Study of Woodlawn (South West Sydney). The study will explore the how Woodlawn conforms to responsible waste management and the environmental consequences of the lack of effective solid and liquid waste management systems and also the treatment, disposal and disposals of these wastes. The role, functions and responsibilities of people in Woodlawn, the government and the authority having jurisdiction will also be investigated.

2.0  Background of the Study

Waste management refers to the process of collecting, transporting, processing, recycling and disposal of waste materials. Such process is usually connected with various human-related activities that generate wastes and is undertaken for the purpose of reducing its effects on health and the environment as well as to recover utilizable resources from it. Various forms of wastes are solid, liquid, gaseous or radioactive substances that are perceived to hazardous. In addition, practices and processes of treating waste management vary for developed and developing nations, for urban and rural areas and for residential and industrial.   

The City of Sydney recognises the importance of its role in managing wastes and the impact that it will have on the future of Sydney. As claimed, the role transcends beyond mere domestic waste collection and disposal into encouraging people to recycle and resource recovery in reducing the amount of waste transported in landfills and making the place more sustainable. Notable is that the domestic, commercial and industrial waste as well as the littering and illegal dumping places enormous pressures on the natural environment. To manage the waste, Sydney implements the Waste Management and Minimisation Act 1995 and Waste Avoidance and Recovery Act 2001.

In the local waste management schema, South Western Sydney is taking part on this through building recycling plant at Woodlawn (Frew, 2007). The extent to which Woodlawn is participating in combating the environmental consequences of generating waste volume is unknown; this research will investigate this subject.

3.0  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to conduct an exploratory research on the solid and liquid waste management in Woodlawn and to evaluate how this impacts the environment. To accomplish this, the research will attempt to address the following specific objectives:

§         To determine the solid and liquid waste management strategies in Woodlawn and the actions to improve such

§         To distinguish how the people and the government take their responsibility in planning, collecting, segregating, transporting and storing wastes 

§         To discover the risks of improper waste disposal in Woodlawn and how this affect the environment

§         To learn the functions of waste disposal authorities and waste management policies in Woodlawn 

4.0  Research Plan

This study will adapt an interpretivist approach in research using exploratory research strategy because it aims to know more about the phenomenon of solid and liquid waste management. Interpretivism is the necessary research philosophy for this study because it allows the search, of the 'details of the situation, to understand the reality or perhaps a reality working behind them (Remenyi et al., 1998). From the interpretivist perception, it is necessary to explore the subjective meanings motivating people's actions in order to understand their actions. The research strategy will be used as the study will involve literature review, interview of experts in the field, and survey of respondents.

The approach in the study will be using both quantitative and qualitative. As such, Primary and secondary research will be conducted in the study. In primary research, the study will survey the people of Woodlawn and will interview experts regarding the matter. A structured questionnaire will be developed and it will be used as the survey tool for the study. It is planned that the questionnaire will have a 5 point Likert Scale, as well as ranking questions. Data on both medium will be compared and evaluated using SPSS.

Aside from survey, a secondary research will also be conducted in the study. Sources in secondary research will include previous research reports, newspaper, magazine and journal content, the Internet and books. Sometimes, secondary research is required in the preliminary stages of research to determine what is known already and what new data are required, or to inform research design. Basically, interpretation will be conducted which can account as qualitative in nature.

1.0  Expected Outcomes

The research shall be divided into five chapters in order to provide clarity and coherence on the discussion of the environmental effects of solid and liquid waste management in Woodlawn. The first part of the dissertation will be discussing the problem uncovered by the researcher and provide ample background of the topic. The chapter shall constitute an introduction to the whole dissertation, the hypothesis, and the statement of the problem in order to present the basis of the study. Moreover, the chapter shall also have a discussion on the scope of its study as well as the significance of the study to society in general and specific effects of corporate disclosures.

The second chapter shall be discussing the relevance of the study in the existing literature. It shall provide studies on proper waste treatment, storage and disposal and how the environment can be affected in the process. After the presentation of the existing related literature, the researcher shall provide a synthesis of the whole chapter in relation to the study.

The third part of the study shall be discussing the methods and procedures used in the study. The chapter shall comprise of the presentation of the utilized techniques for data collection and research methodology. Similarly, it shall also contain a discussion on the used techniques in data analysis as well as the tools used to acquire the said data.

The fourth chapter shall be an analysis on the tabulated data. After the said tabulation, the data are statistically treated in order to uncover the relationship of the variable involved in the study. With the said data, the chapter seeks to address the statement of the problem noted in the first chapter.

The last chapter shall comprise of three sections, the summary of the findings, the conclusions of the study, and the recommendations. With the three portions, the chapter shall be able to address the verification of the hypothesis stated in the initial chapters of the study.

 


An Experimental Research Proposal Study of Consumers’ Attitude and Behavior Towards Online Fashion Shopping: Cross-Cultural Study of Malaysia And United Kingdom

Abstract

            Rapid explosion of the number of online retailers as well as online customers has been observed in these past few years. This experimental study seeks to explain and investigate the customers' behavior and attitude towards online shopping. But what makes this interesting is the cross-cultural investigation, a comparative study of Malaysian customers' behavior and attitude with the English customers' attitude. Quite difficult is the implementation of different methods for analysis since this is a psycho-socio-cultural study. The customers' behavior and attitude towards online shopping differentiates on socio-cultural basis. Moreover, the role of advertising significantly contributes to the differentiation of attitudinal and behavioral framework of different customers may it be a Malaysian or an English.

Introduction

            The rapid development and changes in technology brought a significant shift to people's consciousness, behavior and attitude. The presence of online shopping attracts different people of different cultures. This becomes a concrete manifestation of how technology influences and shapes the world today. Insofar as business still kicking and colonized all possible channels for profit, it would be continuously bring interested people for researches and further studies.

Background of the Study

These fast few years have seen a rapid explosion of the online retail business which includes an explosion in the sheer number of available products as well as number of online stores. Some researches made data gathering on investigating customers' online shopping behaviors and attitudes by collecting huge amount of clickstream data to find possible behavior patterns within. The use of cognitive modeling and structural equation model on customers' stickiness and customers' preferences are what researchers used to identify particular type of behavior and attitude of customers who used to go online shopping. Malaysians and English people are equality have the same needs but differences lies on the fact that they invoke different ways due to social, cultural, and economical constraints.

Statement of the Problem

            This paper seeks to answer the questions like what prevailing attitude and behavior does a customer has despite the differences in culture, what are the distinct cultural behavior a Malaysian has that an English do not have and vice versa and finally, what are the cultural and social attributes we can get in a Malay/English attitude and behavior during their access to online fashion shopping.

Research Objectives

            The primary objective of this study is to present customers' differences in attitude and behavior on online shopping using a cross-cultural approach. It would be an interesting study to tackle the cultural and social underpinnings of customers who are using an online fashion shopping. Hence, in order to further understand their behavior and attitude

Research Questions

            The questions raise some critical points on the topic. It asks how culture makes differences on the behavior and attitude of a customer given the same channel which is the internet. Further, it questions the validity of previous methodologies in understanding the behavioral and attitudinal framework of customers.

Significant/Justification

            This study gives new thoughts in understanding the behavior and attitude of customers. What makes this study significant is the fact that it takes a quite difficult task of understanding inductively the behavior of customers using a cross-cultural approach.

Scope and limitations

            The study will particularly focuses on selected customers in Malaysia and UK. In order to come up with such scheme, the study will also select dominant online shopping websites in which customers from UK and Malaysia are permanent subscribers.

Design and Methodology

            The use of cognition modeling and structural equation model will be utilized in terms of measuring the behavioral and attitudinal framework of customers. Cultural methods and approaches will be in use to further investigate the underlying cultural elements in the behavior and attitude shown by customers.

Project Deliverable

            Due to time constraints and other external factors affecting the whole of the research the need of setting a timeframe will be opt in order to have an organize research deliverance. The gathering of data, information, and observation will be made in three months prior to the approval of the study. After such, the rest of the months will be used for analysis of filed report and interviews in preparation for presentation and examination of panel

References

Atchariyachanvanich, K. (2007). A Study on Factors Affecting the Success of Electronic Commerce. Department of Informatics, SOKENDAI, Japan.

 

Chang, P., Mendonca, D., & Im, I. (2004). Inside the Customer: Modeling Cognition during Online Shopping. Proceedings of the Tenth Americas Conference on Information Systems, New York.

 

Kurniawan, S.H. (n.d.). Merged Structural Equation Model of Online Retailer's Customer Preference and Stickiness. Detroit, MI, USA

 

 


November 21, 2008

The presence and effectiveness of management and leadership attributes in multinational corporations

I.       Background of the Problem

The dynamics present in a common organisation varies from one to another. As seen in numerous organisational studies, controlling and administration of these dynamics tend to fall on leaders and managers of the organisation. Seeing this, a long standing topic discussing the sameness and difference of the two concepts has been present in decade's worth of organisational and leadership studies. Basically, studies have mentioned that managers and leaders tend to differ because of the inherent difference frameworks of leadership and management. Alpander, Carter, and Forsgren (1990, 9) noted in their early work that managers have a systematic and structured way of making decisions for the organisation. On the other hand, Sosik (1998, 111) have maintained in his work that leaders often use perception and instincts in carrying out decision making practises. In the same regard, differences in the manner of treating culture (Tannenbaum 2003, 19; Barsade, Chatman, Neal, Polzer 1998, 749), competitiveness (Bass 2000, 18; McWilliams, Van Fleet, Wright 2001, 1), and change (Bass 2000, 18; Bielski 2005, 21) are similarly addressed in organisational literature. This dissertation will be trying to relate these elements to dynamics of an organisation connected to the consumer product industry.   

II.    Statement of the Problem

The study intends to find out the presence and effectiveness of management and leadership attributes in multinational corporations. Specifically, the discussions will be focusing in the behaviour of managers focusing on their display of both management and leadership attributes. The study intends to answer the following questions:

1. How do the managers solve problems for the organisation?

2. How do the managers address the culture of the organisation?

3. How do the managers tackle the competitiveness of the organisation?

 4. How do the managers deal with change in the organisation?

5. How do these leadership and management attributes of the managers contribute to the overall performance of the organisation?

III.  Methodology

The study will be using the descriptive form of research. In this study, the data acquisition method will be based on qualitative studies. This means that the discussions will essentially review empirical data established by works related to the topic within the literature. The study will be focusing on one of the leaders in the consumer product industry, Unilever. The observations, examination and arguments are to be based on the primary source of data which will come from articles and journals directly related to management, leadership principles, and the environment in Unilever. The collected data will be processed and analysed in relation with the central questions of the study.   

IV.Significance of the Study

The bulk of the literature on management and leadership tends to focus primarily on the dynamics of the common commercial organisation. This study will be a welcome addition to the abundant literature on management of multinational organisations. At some level, one of the minor intentions of this dissertation is to trigger an impetus that will prompt other academics and scholars to take on the topic of leadership and management at a wider range and with more comprehensive objectives.

V.   Scope and Limitations

The study will be focusing on the problem statements discussed in the earlier part of the paper. In this regard, the possibility of bias or any other possibility of veering away from the topic will be averted. In the same regard, the study also has an inherent limitation such that it only covers a limited number of qualitative data on the company itself. Thus, the generalisability of the findings will be rather doubtful. Nevertheless, the findings will be surely effective with the respondent organisation used in this dissertation. 

VI.References

Alpander, G., Carter, K., Forsgren, R., (1990) "Managerial Issues and Problem-Solving in the Formative Years." Journal of Small Business Management. 28(2), 9.

Barsade, S., Chatman, J., Neal, M., Polzer, J., (1998) "Being Different Yet Feeling Similar: The Influence of Demographic Composition and Organizational Culture on Work Processes and Outcomes." Administrative Science Quarterly. 43(4), 749.

Bass, B (2000) "The Future of Leadership in Learning Organizations." Journal of Leadership Studies.7(3), 18.

Bielski, L. (2005) "What Makes a Good Leader? the Go-To "Guy" with Vision and Passion Will Top the Org Chart-And Lead Change Management." ABA Banking Journal. 97(12), 21.

McWilliams, A., Van Fleet, D., Wright, P. (2001) "Strategic Management of Human Resources for Global Competitive Advantage." Journal of Business Strategies. 18(1), 1.

Sosik, J. (1998) "Transformational Leadership and Dimensions of Creativity: Motivating Idea Generation in Computer-Mediated Groups." Creativity Research Journal. 11(2), 111.

Tannenbaum, M. (2003) "Organizational Values and Leadership: Learn More about the Importance of Aligning Core and Operational Values in the Strategic Planning Process and the Bottom-Line Benefits of Investing in a Performance-Oriented Organizational Culture." The Public Manager. 32(2), 19.

 

 

 

 

 


CORE RETAIL BUSINESS ACTIVITIES AND THEIR ENHANCEMENT THROUGH FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

Summary

7-Eleven is convenience store in Hong Kong that seeks appropriate strategy to maintain it leadership in the industry. This paper has analyzes its organization and its competitors as well as the industry as a whole. Having analyzed the internal and external environment of the organization, a performance-based development strategy is the identified appropriate strategy for the organization. In addition, an improvement plan is formulated to give the organization a guide for the execution of the plan.

In the past decade, there has been a substantial decline of small supermarket operators. Between 1997 and 2004, the number of supermarket operators decreased by 31 percent whereas the sales and the number of persons engaged in the supermarket industry rose by 11 percent and 29 percent respectively (USDA Foreign Agricultural Services, 2006). These figures reflected that the supermarket industry has been growing but in a way not favorable to small operators. Many small operators left the market due to severe competition.

Almost all Hong Kong supermarkets require listing fees, that is, a fee charged to allow a new product to be put on their shelves. This is a one-off fee for a trial period. The listing fees are extremely negotiable and vary greatly among different supermarket chains. Major supermarket chains, such as Wellcome and ParknShop which have many branch stores, have expensive listing fees. Industry sources revealed that key supermarket chains may charge HK$1,000 (US$130) per SKU for each of its store (USDA Foreign Agricultural Services, 2006). A 30 percent discount may be offered to certain suppliers. The discount offered varies tremendously depending on the popularity of the products and the bargaining power of the supplying companies. Agents/importers will not bear this cost, which is transferred to their principals. In short, all supermarkets require listing fees except those belonging to Japanese department stores.

Hong Kong consumers usually demands for numerous trading term from Hong Kong food retailers, such as promotional discounts; back-end income (flat rebate per year that a U.S. exporter has to pay to the retail chain based on the annual turnover); D.G.A. (Distribution allowance - the fee that the supermarkets charge for distributing the products from its warehouse to its many branch stores); and incentive rebate (a percentage of turnover rebated to the supermarkets in case sales exceed the agreed amount). It can be expected that the bigger the supermarket, the harsher the trading terms. For general reference, about 15 percent of the annual turnover has to rebate to the major supermarkets and 8 percent to small ones (USDA Foreign Agricultural Services, 2006). Agents representing very popular items with large turnover usually have a stronger bargaining power and will be able to negotiate for a lower rebate rate.

 

RESEARCH PROBLEM

            To be able to analyze core retail business activities and their enhancement through facilities management. 7-Eleven is convenience store in Hong Kong that seeks appropriate strategy to maintain it leadership in the industry. This paper has analyzes its organization and its competitors as well as the industry as a whole. Having analyzed the internal and external environment of the organization, a performance-based development strategy is the identified appropriate strategy for the organization. In addition, an improvement plan is formulated to give the organization a guide for the execution of the plan.

There are already 600 superstores and convenience stores in Hong Kong today not including their outlets. Competition is more dynamic today and organization must possess flexibility in order to cope up with the dynamic changes in the industry. However, with the increase of working women, convenience stores sales have increased in the year 2006. Convenience stores have increasing become popular giving 7-Eleven more opportunities to expand. However, in order to attain sustainable competitive advantage human resource development plays a vital role in the success of any organizations objectives through development of its employees.

OBJECTIVES

-          to investigate the behavior of consumers who buy in retail stores

-          to determine purchasing trends of food and its relation to marketing trend

-          to determine the factors that affect the purchasing decisions of shoppers

-          to evaluate the current effectiveness of 7 Eleven's marketing strategy as to its effects on the consumers' decision to purchase

 

METHODOLOGY

The research design used in the study is descriptive research. Descriptive research intends to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study (Creswell, 1994). It is also concerned with relationships and practices that exist, beliefs and processes that are ongoing, effects that are being felt, or trends that are developing. In addition, such approach tries to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research (Creswell, 1994).

In addition, the descriptive method is widely used in studies concerning behavioral sciences. This means that this method will be able to capture the essence of the study, which is to determine the purchasing behavior of online shoppers particularly those who are 7Eleven customers. The use of the descriptive method also suggests that the research will be focusing on obtaining qualitative data. Qualitative research is an umbrella that refers to various research traditions and strategies. This type of research design was chosen since it gives emphasis to attitudes and beliefs of that explain the way they interpret and make sense of their world. In the case of this research, the perception of the consumers regarding shopping in retail stores for food and other related items.

 

 

 

Reference:

Creswell, J.W. (1994). Research design. Qualitative and quantitative

approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

USDA Foreign Agricultural Services (2006) Hong Kong Market Development

Reports Exporter Guide 2006. Available: http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:gkajYCPgXXoJ:www.stat-usa.gov/agworld.nsf/505c55d16b88351a852567010058449b/f270704242c0cfdc8525720b00738baf/%24FILE/HK6025.PDF

 


Business Plan Development for Manufacturing Seaweed Health Food Product

 

1.0  Introduction

According to McKeever (2007), a business plan is a written statement that describes and analyses the business and provides detailed projections about its future. The plan also covers the financial and legal and liability issues aspects of starting the business. The importance of writing a business plan is to strategically analyse the environment into which the business will venture through industry assessment and competitor analysis as well as to decide on the most appropriate modeling techniques. As such, business plans are decision-making tools which ensure profitability and resource optimisation. Business plans also improve the business concept as well as the odds of success (pp. 8-9).   

The question now is: why write a business plan? Given that a business plan is considered as the roadmap for the development of a company, the goals of a business plan must be realised. With that said, a business plan purports in developing and implementing the ideas into actual business practices, products or services; identifying strengths and weaknesses of a company and its competitors; developing guidelines for the operations of the company and assisting to obtain financial resources from lenders or investors.

Writing a marketing business plan, on the other hand, benefits the company in several ways. Manufacturing business plans highlight details on production structure, production process, facilities and equipment, main subcontractors and main material suppliers. Benefits of outlining a manufacturing business plan consists of bringing together ideas and research into a structured format, deciding whether or when the business will be commercially available, clarifying the business purposes and communicating it to the relevant stakeholders, predicting future scenarios and pitfalls and addressing such before they threaten the likelihood of success, setting out business strategies including the marketing strategies and setting targets and objectives so that the business can monitor its performance on an ongoing basis.

Further, one of the industries that are experiencing significant growth over the past few years is the organic foods industry. Seaweed food products, for instance, are increasingly becoming well-known because of its health benefits. As Carper (2005) puts it, modern science confirms seaweed contains pharmaceutical quality. In Malaysia, seaweed is now popular product because of the intensified, ongoing seaweed production. Commercial seaweed comes from West coast of Sabah and coastal dwellers. While in other parts of the world especially Europe, seaweed products have already ventured into skin care, bath products and flakes and chips among others.   

As such, in Malaysia, the manufacturing of these products would be plausible because of the abundance of the raw material and the initial acceptance and preference of the local consumers. However, business plan development for seaweed food products is essentially scarce thereby the need to formulate and develop a manufacturing business plan that will enable the researcher to determine the commercial viability of producing and marketing seaweed products. This is interesting to examine in the organic foods industry and the emergent seaweed food because of the fact that seaweed manufacturing would be a great help to Malaysian consumers in acquiring more choices of seaweed products as well as to Malaysian government in maximising the economic potential of the business and in providing jobs to nationals. The aim of this paper is to bring about the element of developing a manufacturing plan intended for the seaweed food products business and determine the feasibility of seaweed production in the Malaysian business environment.     

 

2.0  Problem Statement

The problem to be explored in this study is on how to develop a sound manufacturing plan for seaweed products. In lieu with this, the study will seek to answer the following research questions.

1)     How manufacturing business plan differs with the typical business plan?

2)     What are the contents of a manufacturing business plan?

3)     In what ways does the manufacturing business plan could help in determining the commercial viability of seaweed food products in Malaysia?

4)     What are the challenges in developing a sound manufacturing business plan for the seaweed production business?

 

3.0  Purpose of the Research

The aim of this research is to propose a study that will investigate the development of a manufacturing business plan intended for seaweed health food products. The following are the objectives of this research:

  • To provide a discussion about the seaweed food products sector in Malaysia
  • To apply manufacturing business plan development practices and theories in seaweed production
  • To search and discuss literatures that provide examples of manufacturing business plan in organic industry
  • To analyse to what extent does the manufacturing business plan could assist in rational decision making

 

4.0  Methodology

The research will be descriptive in nature. A descriptive research intends to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study (Creswell, 1994). It is also concerned with relationships and practices that exist, beliefs and processes that are ongoing, effects that are being felt, or trends that are developing. In addition, such approach tries to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research (Creswell, 1994).

 

5.0  References

Carper, J. (2005). Health benefits of seaweed. The Food Pharmacy.

 

Creswell, J. W. (1994). Research design. Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

 

McKeever, M. P. (2007). How to Write a Business Plan. Berkeley, California: Nolo Press.


Employee Performance Research Proposal

 

Developmental organizations embrace performance management processes that enable employees to become their greatest asset. When managers function as performance coaches, they become trainers, confronters, mentors, and counselors, providing positive feedback and reinforcement to improve skills and competencies that ultimately enhance overall employee performance. Performance management functions as an integral part of a comprehensive development strategy, although too few organizations subscribe to this philosophy (Gilley & Maycunich 2000). . Hence, the business world overflows with mediocre, stagnant, or failing organizations that stubbornly or ignorantly overlook their employees' potential. We believe that well-designed and well-executed performance management provides an excellent vehicle for promoting continuous employee and organizational growth and development (Gilley & Maycunich 2000).

 

Developmental leaders rely on performance-oriented principles to help their organizations achieve the business results needed and to improve employee performance and productivity through continuous growth and development. These three principles performance partnership, organizational performance improvement, and effective communication provide a foundation for excellence by allowing leaders to communicate their expectations in a clear, motivating, and inspirational manner. Developmental leaders possess effective communication skills that enhance their ability to deliver performance feedback, conduct performance appraisals, confront poor performance, and provide career counseling and mentoring. As a result, their communication skills improve employee performance, productivity, and willingness to participate in growth and development activities that enable the organization to achieve desired business results (Gilley & Maycunich 2000).

 

Development aims to improve employee knowledge, skills, and competencies for current or future jobs. Since employee performance and organizational productivity are impacted by developmental activities, it makes sense to hold the same people responsible for all three areas. Human resource professionals are not held accountable for employee performance and productivity because the organization does not ask them to explain why performance, productivity, or quality decline. Logically, then, development should be managers' responsibility since they are the only organizational members held accountable for employee performance and firm productivity (Gilley & Maycunich 2000).  Managers judge their subordinates during formal performance appraisals, evaluating quality, measuring performance, and discussing strategies for improvement and development. Given these responsibilities, it makes sense that managers are held responsible for development (Gilley & Maycunich 2000).  The employee performance is measured by various people in a company through different means. Every employee's performance should be monitored and evaluated so that the weak spots they have can be analyzed and given proper solutions.

Hr Practices

Human resources play a critical role in developing and implementing organizational strategies and structures. Successful HR professionals will be those who can align their organizational HR practices with the unique demands of team-based organizational structures. In addition to recognizing and adapting the assumptions on which they base their practices, HR professionals must also modify those practices to support teams. The practices to be modified cluster in five areas: recruitment and selection; task design; training; evaluation; and compensation. Working effectively in a team requires a particular set of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that were not as critical in traditional organizations. During recruitment, organizations aspiring to create a workforce of effective team members should clearly communicate the importance of these proficiencies (Korman & Kraut 1999).

 

The second set of practices that must be modified relate to task design. Effective teams are designed around the tasks they perform. Two key considerations are that teams should be relatively self contained and handle many aspects of their own functioning. First, teams should be collectively responsible for an identifiable and substantial part of the work of the organization. To the extent possible, support services should be included in the team so that it has the resources necessary to accomplish its goals (Korman & Kraut 1999).  Training constitutes a third set of practice modifications for effective team implementation. There is often a mistaken belief that people who are highly educated have the basic skills to work effectively in team settings. In fact, highly specialized individuals are often used to working alone and may lack some of the basic interpersonal skills necessary for collaboration. Training programs designed for interpersonal skills in teams take one of two approaches that includes traditional classroom instruction in which a lecturer delivers material about techniques or strategies for working in teams and creative off-site team-building sessions in which teams participate in athletic, artistic, or competitive activities unrelated to their actual day-to-day responsibilities (Korman & Kraut 1999).

 

A fourth set of practices that must be modified involves evaluation. If organizations wish to motivate teamwork, they must incorporate teamwork KSAs into their appraisal systems. It is important that the appraisal system not only reward good team players but also discourage behaviors that are not conducive to team effectiveness. An organization-specific job analysis should be conducted to determine the precise nature of the behavioral and performance measures to be included in the appraisal form for each individual team member. A final set of HR practices that should be examined when implementing teams pertains to compensation. Good practices for rewarding team performance require good processes for defining what the performance should be and for measuring and evaluating the performance (Korman & Kraut 1999). The HR practices dictate the performance of the employees.  An HR practice that is based on proper governance provides good employees that any company can rely upon.

Changes in workforce

Organizations are downsizing, restructuring, merging, and reinventing themselves. Mid-level management layers are diminishing. Functions are being eliminated and replaced by online automation and networked infrastructures. Knowledge workers with technological and people skills must manage processes and themselves in cyberspace with speed, efficiency, and accuracy. These and other changes continue to impact the relationships, rights, and obligations between employee stakeholders and organizations. Organizations saw their workforce as permanent, and tried to build loyalty among employees by making financial investments in training and by providing guaranteed long-term employment (Sims 2003). Employees were committed to the organization and expected steady advancement up the corporate ladder. The seeds of change are taking root, and with these changes new social contracts are developing between organizations and their members. No longer is the traditional social contract that once existed between the organization and the employee valid. Changes like those cited thus far have profoundly changed the ways in which organizations and their employees relate (Sims 2003).

 

 Three decades ago, employees stayed in the same company for years, and those companies rewarded that loyalty by offering job stability, a decent wage, and good benefits. Today's typical worker has had nine jobs by the age of 30. The workforce of today is more mobile, less loyal, and more diverse. Their trust in their employers has eroded over the past twenty years to the point where only 38 percent of employees surveyed felt their employer was committed to them. Today's employees aren't looking for a promise of lifetime employment. Instead, they are seeking competitive pay and benefits coupled with opportunities for professional growth (Sims 2003). They want employers who provide them with opportunities, recognize their accomplishments, and communicate openly and honestly. These workforce changes have contributed to a newly emerging social contract between employers and employees. Employee stakeholders today are more sensitive about employee rights Issues because of experiences like those of the new hires and the new social contract. Employee rights may be afforded on the basis of economic, legal, or ethical sources of justification. Failure to understand and effectively manage the rights of employees can create many ethical dilemmas for organizations and further strain the social contract with employees (Sims 2003).

 

Many social investors are concerned about the ethics, social responsibility, and reputation of organizations in which they invest; and a growing corps of brokers, financial planners, portfolio managers, asset management, and mutual funds have made themselves available to help investors evaluate investments and purchase stock in ethical organizations for their social impacts (Sims 2003). As the world changes so thus the situation in the workplace changes particularly the attitudes of personnel. Personnel of this generation have changed the way they beliefs with regard to employment and opportunities. The personnel of this generation is more peculiar on opportunities rather than loyalty.

References

Gilley, JW & Maycunich, A 2000, Beyond the learning

organization: creating a culture of continuous growth and

development through state of the art Human Resource

Practices, Perseus Publishing, Cambridge, MA.

 

Korman, AK & Kraut, AI (eds.) 1999, Evolving practices in

Human Resource Management: responses to a changing world of

work, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

 

Sims, RR 2003 Ethics and corporate social

responsibility: why giants fall, Praeger, Westport, CT.

 

 

 

 


November 15, 2008

RESEARCH PROPOSAL SAMPLE ON THE IMPACT OF FREE CASH FLOW ON PENSION

 

 

            Free cash flows simply refer to revenues minus cash expenses plus nonrevenue cash receipts plus or minus cash changes in working capital minus capital expenditures (Priest and McLelland, 2007). The word 'free' in free cash flow refers to the idea that after the company funds cash expenses and the changes in receivables, inventories, and fixed assets required to generate the revenues, the remaining cash flow is 'free' to be used for whatever management decides is best for the company" (Priest and McLelland, 2007). Free cash flow can basically be derived from any liabilities that the company has. For instance, in the pension system of the company, free cash flow can be extracted in cases when an employee becomes unqualified for a pension scheme. Free cash flow can also be obtained in pension when the total pension expenses are lesser than the total budget allotted for the pension system. Priest and McLelland (2007) stated: "free cash flow is a specialized concept that allows us to determine the true amount of cash available for immediate, discretionary, strategic use by a business". This type of cash flow may perhaps have a significant impact on the company's pension system as mentioned earlier. This study will explore this issue and will try to identify the impact of free cash flow on the overall pension system of the company. The purpose of this study is to be able to identify the advantages and disadvantages of free cash flow, and the company can basically benefit from it by using it on their pension policies. It will also explore how much free cash flows the company can acquire from pension and how they are used.

 

PROBLEM STATEMENT

This study will explore the impact of free cash flow on the pension system of the company respondent. Free cash flow can be achieved from anything the company has considerably saved. Free cash flows can be used in any investments other than current investments that company has. In other words, free cash flows might benefit the pension systems of the companies. Of course, this depends of what type of pension system the company has. There are three kinds of pension that the World Bank stated: Pillar 1; Pillar 2; and Pillar 3. Pillar 1 is the state Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) scheme; Pillar 2 is State-Earnings-Related-Pension-Scheme; and Pillar 3 is the defined benefit (DB) schemes (Arthur, 2001). Barr and Diamond (2006) mentioned several others such as the defined contribution (DC), Fully Funded schemes and the Notional Defined Contribution (NDC). Among those, the UK followed the three pillars that the World Bank suggested: the PAYG; SERP; and DB. However, the SERP has been abolished lately and replaced with the newer S2P or State Second Pension (Arthur, 2001). Each of these pension systems have different approaches and may be affected differently by the free cash flow of the company.

 

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

            The following research questions will be explored in the study:

Ø      What are the advantages and disadvantages of free cash flow and its relationship with the pension system?

Ø      How does free cash flow affects the pension system of the company?

Ø      Is free cash flow being used by companies to improve their current pension systems?

 

RESEARCH AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

            The aim of this paper is to identify the advantages and disadvantages of free cash flows and their impact to pension system. The study will try to achieve the following objectives:

Ø      To conduct a case study on a specific company in UK and research about how much free cash flow they get annually and identify how it impacts their pension system.

Ø      To be able to account the value of FCF and how it affects the distribution of cash in the pension system.

METHODS

The research will be descriptive in nature. A descriptive research intends to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study (Creswell, 1994). It is also concerned with relationships and practices that exist, beliefs and processes that are ongoing, effects that are being felt, or trends that are developing. (Best, 1970) In addition, such approach tries to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research (Creswell, 1994). Primary data specifically the company's annual report, the rate of FCF and the total budget for pension will be collected. Then an accounting computation will be conducted to identify the relationships between the two variables.

 

References:

Arthur, T. (2001). UK Pension Policy: World Leader Turning Laggard? IEA Economic Affairs, Vol.1, pp.41-45

 

Barr, N. and Diamond, P. (2006). The Economics of Pension. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol.22, No.1, pp.15-39

 

Creswell, J.W. 1994. Research design. Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

 

Priest, W.W. and McLelland, L.H. (2007) Free Cash Flow and Shareholder Yield. Wiley: New York.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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