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Sample Research Proposal on Background of HSBC


The world of work and organization has become increasingly demanding and turbulent. There are eight major challenges currently facing organizations. These are globalization, responsiveness to customers, increasing revenue and decreasing costs, building organizational capability, change and transformation, implementing technology, attracting and developing human capital, and ensuring fundamental and long-lasting change. Thus, levels of competition among organizations have increased. Most organizations can copy technology, manufacturing processes, products, and strategy. However, human resource management (HRM) practices and organization are difficult to copy, thereby representing a unique competitive advantage. To be successful in the future, organizations will have to build organizational capability (Burke & Cooper 2004).


 HR professionals and HRM practices will be required to create value by increasing organizational competitiveness. Traditional views on competitive advantage have emphasized such barriers to entry as economies of scale, patent protection, access to capital, and regulated competition. More recent views have highlighted a different source of competitive advantage, a firm's human resources and human capital. New demands facing organizations as a result of heightened competition, globalization, and technological advances have put a premium on creativity and innovation, speed and flexibility, as well as efficiency. The critical firm assets do not appear on a balance sheet but reside, instead, in people and management systems. The role of firm strategy, human resources, and HRM in firm performance is being rethought. Rather than seeing the HR function as a cost, an HRM system that supports a firm's strategy should be seen, instead, as an investment, a strategic lever for the organization in creating value (Burke & Cooper 2004)


The 1990s witnessed a growth in research interest in examining the link between HRM strategies and practices and a firm's financial performance. HRM practices influence employee skills through the acquisition and development of human capital. Effective recruitment and selection practices can provide the firm with highly qualified applicants. Training and development opportunities contribute to increasing human capital. HRM practices can also influence levels of motivation through the use of performance appraisals, pay-for-performance incentives, and internal promotions systems based on merit. HRM practices can also influence the design of work so that highly motivated and skilled employees can use what they know in performing their jobs. The past decade has produced research evidence supporting the critical role human resource management plays in the success of an organization (Burke & Cooper 2004). Effective HRM practices are likely to reduce the direct and indirect costs of employee grievances. Performance benefits are likely to be seen in the elimination of jobs whose main responsibility is to monitor people whose main job, in turn, is to monitor other people (Burke & Cooper 2004). The paper is a research proposal about the effects of employee motivation and job satisfaction to HSBC's Business Success.

Background of HSBC

HSBC Holdings is a British financial holding company with origins in Hong Kong and Shanghai, where offices were opened in 1865 under a special charter which allowed Hong Kong rather than London as a headquarter location. The bank remained an eastern force until the 1950s, when overexposure to the crown colony and its textile industry pointed to a need for geographical diversification. A worldwide scan was made with rather disappointing results. Australia and Canada were protectionistic and so was the Continent, in addition to being over-regulated and well served by its own talent. Central West Africa was saturated by British banks and, after independence; the new countries gave priority to domestic banks. Only the USA was attractive because it offered dollar assets in a dollar-hungry world (Laulajainen 2003). But before anything could be done about it, events elsewhere called attention. HSBC was in intense competition all over Asia with Chase Manhattan which showed interest in a small bank in India and Malaysia. HSBC pre-empted by purchasing the bank in 1959. In the same year another defensive acquisition became necessary, when an investor group tried to buy the British Bank of the Middle East, strip its assets and sell the branches to HSBC, which did the bulk of its Middle East business through the bank (Laulajainen 2003).


 For example, Kuwaiti authorities kept half of their money there. With the purchase came a chain of retail branches in Cyprus. A few years later a banking crisis erupted in Hong Kong. HSBC was not seriously affected but Hang Seng Bank, the colony's second largest, was about to flounder in a run. Chase offered help but Hang Seng preferred HSBC, because of its local roots, and sold it a majority stake in 1965. These three deals illuminate the difference between corporate strategy and the realities of the marketplace (King 1991).Diversification had taken a beating although it was only in 2000 when acquisitions in Asia became topical again, in a small way. Two of them were part of the private banking drive, PCIB Savings Bank in the Manila area and Taiwan's leading asset manager China Securities Investment Trust Corp. in 2001, to be followed by an 8 per cent stake in the Bank of Shanghai (Laulajainen 2003).


HSBC had returned to its roots. Afterwards many more events unfolded including the turnover of Hong Kong to china this prompted HSBC to transfer headquarters to United Kingdom (Laulajainen 2003).HSBC sees the Internet as one of several exciting new media, to be incorporated as an integral part of its working. The bank has concluded that e-commerce will change the fabric of the financial services sector and sees it as a way of finding new customers all over the world and improving its services to existing customers. It intends to use e-commerce to reorganize the business so as to provide higher-quality customer services more efficiently. HSBC will be able to link its customers to the full range of international services and manage their processing wherever it chooses, which the bank sees as a considerable competitive advantage(Tansey 2002). HSBC has adopted a clicks and mortar strategy. This requires that customer Internet offerings must meet three criteria: customer needs and preferences come first; they must fit HSBC's existing distribution channels; and they must be multinational in scope. Recently the group has been reorganizing its work for the e-age and putting in place some major components of such a strategy. In 2000, over US$2 billion was spent on technology, including a significant proportion on initiatives. HSBC aspires to be one of the first to provide customers with facilities through the Internet on a multi-geographical and multi-product, basis (Tansey 2002). HSBC is one of the most successful financial institutions in the world. HSBC caters to different financial needs of the people and the company provides service through the internet and regular methods of banking.


Statement of the study

The welfare of employees is an important aspect of the success of a business. The welfare of the employees involves not only their financial satisfaction, to satisfy the welfare of the employees there is a need for the company to offer to the employees' motivation and job satisfaction. Employee motivation and job satisfaction creates a good relationship between the company and the end result is achievement of the goals of the company. The proposed study is to determine the effects of employee motivation and job satisfaction to HSBC's business success.


Aims and objectives of the study

While the research questions only refer to the information that the researcher intended to question. The objectives, however, will focus on the necessary problems and objectives that should be clarified in order to gather the intended information and also be able to derive specific information that are not limited by the previous questions. With these objectives, the study will be able to attain the necessary information that can help derive further conclusions and proper recommendations. The study intends to determine the negative effects of petrochemical engineering to the environment. The study intends to get the appropriate data to help in making the proper assessment. There are other aims and objectives of the study. This includes

  1. To determine what HSBC do to motivate their employees.
  2. To determine the things done by HSBC to give job satisfaction to their employees.
  3. To determine and assess the effects of employee motivation and job satisfaction to HSBC.
  4. To identify how successful the company is and how the employees contribute to the success of the company.


Research questions

Typical research questions concern the effects of marketing instruments and household-specific characteristics on various marketing performance measures. Examples of these measures are sales, market shares, brand choice and inter-purchase times. Given knowledge of these effects, one can decide to use marketing instruments in a selective manner. Recent advances in data collection and data storage techniques, which result in large data bases with a substantial amount of information, seem to have changed the nature of marketing research (Franses & Paap 2001).  Generally, the study intends to determine the effects of employee motivation and job satisfaction to HSBC's business success. Specifically, the study will try to answer the following questions: 

  1. What constitutes the employee motivation strategy of HSBC?
  2. How can the HSBC give job satisfaction to its employees?
  3. What are measures that can be used to determine business success?
  4. What factors contributed to the business success of HSBC?


Literature Review

Communication as a need of employees

Many of the surveys done during the past several years asking managers to establish priorities on the problems that confront them report that achieving good communications ranks number one. These findings are not surprising because communication makes the organization work. It determines the direction the organization will take and impacts on both the motivational level of employees and the understanding that employees have of organizational purpose and goals (Shell 2003).  Communication, in essence, is the major determinant of the supervisory-subordinate relationship, and is a fundamental management task (Shell 2003).


Organizations that list responsibilities for their managers often list communicating effectively among the top five. Unfortunately, communication is so pervasive that it is often perceived as everybody's responsibility, and this fact dilutes the ability of management to pinpoint particular communication problems or deficiencies. The achievement of good communication is a complex and difficult managerial task (Shell 2003). Communication must be effective to keep the workplace running efficiently. Managers must be able to express assignments to their subordinates. It can be a huge loss if a project is completed incorrectly due to miscommunication.


According to studies there are seven rules for effective communication. The first rule states that effective communication behaviors, processes, and systems must be considered as strategic imperatives. The second rule states that effective communication is everyone's responsibility and will become a highly critical performance criterion. The third rule states that effective communication requires continual learning and development. The fourth rule states that diversity both challenges and enriches communication practices.  The fifth rule mentions that network organizations provide the most efficacious communication environment (Shell 2003). The sixth rule mentions that organizational cultures exert a powerful impact on the effectiveness of communication behaviors, processes, and systems. The last rule states that continual networking will be the preferred mode for highly effective communicators. It is a challenge for managers to construct a strategic process of creating fast and efficient channels through which information can move effectively. There should also be an emphasis regarding accountability for process outcomes and training for the task (Shell 2003). Communication is an important part of the relationship between a company and its employees. Not only it helps in making the company successful, it assists in motivating employees. Communication creates a different kind of working environment. The new working environment encourages an employee to do his best in creating the product or service the company offers to clients.


Significance of the study

With the establishment of the purpose given, this study may be of importance to the purpose that have been discussed By fulfilling the aims that were stated in the previous section, this study will be helpful for other researchers who may be focusing on the different strategies and innovative techniques with regards to the method of gathering the information. Such data will hopefully be helpful for researchers in establishing their own means of conducting their study. As such, the notable significance of this study is the possibility that it may be able to use the findings for the other studies that may wish to analyze the factors for the success or demise of a particular study. The methods that this study will take must also be credible and help researchers in knowing how to look for particular information and know how to analyze them. It is through this that researchers will then be able to find out how they will be able to focus on their particular investigation and also know the possible methods that they may choose in the possible time that they may choose to already conduct their study. Thus, another significance of this study is to serve as a guide for researches that focus on determining the effects of employee motivation and job satisfaction to HSBC's business success.


Scope of the study

The study intends to determine the effects of employee motivation and job satisfaction to HSBC's business success. The study limits itself on gathering information from employees of HSBC. They will be helpful in knowing how are they motivated and satisfied by the company. The study limits itself to interviewing most probably 100 respondents to minimize the time and expenses that will be used in the study. By having lesser people as respondents the researcher will not waste time in interviewing more people that has different ideas and concepts. The researcher will also not have a hard time in spending more for materials and other forms.


Conceptual Model

The management

of the business

The employees of the business

Employee motivation,

Job satisfaction


Achievement of company goals and in the end success for the company


The conceptual model illustrates the relationship of that a management should have with the employees. It illustrates what the management can do with the employee to achieve success. The management of a business needs to provide motivation and satisfaction to the employees so that they can achieve their goals and they can attain business success. The management of the business needs to work together with the employees for the achievement of their employees.  



Type of research

The research process onion of Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill (2003) will guide the researcher in order to come up with the most suitable research approaches and strategies for this study. The research process union will be used as a basis to show the researcher's conceptualization of the most applicable research approaches and strategies that will lead to the gathering of the necessary data needed to answer the research questions stated, as well as to arrive to the fulfillment of this research undertaking's objectives. The research will use the descriptive method to determine the effects of employee motivation and job satisfaction to HSBC's business success. Descriptive research tries to explore the cause of a particular event or situation. It also wants to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study (Creswell 1994). In addition, such method tries to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the participants of the research. Basically, a descriptive research utilizes observations and surveys. For this reason, the study calls for the use of this approach because it is a goal of the study to gather first hand information from bank managers and other people knowledgeable about risk management and financial stability.


 The descriptive approach is also quicker and more practical in terms of financing. Moreover, this method will allow for a flexible approach, thus, when important new issues, probabilities, and questions come up during the duration of the study, a further investigation and confirmation may be allowed. Lastly this type of approach will allow for decisions to drop unproductive areas of research from the original plan of the study. The choice and design of methods are constantly modified during data gathering based on continuing analysis. This will give way for creation of an investigation of important new issues, concerns, probabilities and questions as they arose. 


Research Strategy

For this research data will be gathered through collating published studies from different books, articles from different related journals and studies, and other literary instruments. The next thing that will be done is to make a content analysis of the collected documentary and verbal material. The study will then summarize all the necessary information. By summarizing it additional knowledge of the study will be imparted to the researcher. The study will then make a conclusion based on the said information.


Data Collection and Analysis

The study shall use survey using questionnaires to gather pertinent data. The questionnaire will be made in such a way that the employees will spend less time in answering it. Moreover, the study shall also use previous studies and compare it to its existing data in order to provide conclusions and competent recommendations. Survey can be done either by personal survey, telephone survey, self administered questionnaire, mailed questionnaire, and email questionnaire.


Primary Data

The primary source of data will come from a survey using questionnaire conducted by the researcher. The primary data frequently gives the detailed definitions of terms and statistical units used in the survey. These are usually broken down into finer classifications. The primary source of data will give actual responses from people who encounter different kinds of things. This kind of data will give a further understanding of the situation.


Secondary Data

The secondary source of data will come from research through the internet; books, journals, related studies and other sources of information. Acquiring secondary data are more convenient to use because they are already condensed and organized. This kind of data can be found anywhere and at any time that is needed. Moreover, analysis and interpretation using the secondary source of data can be done more easily.



To determine the number of respondents that will be asked to participate and give information regarding the study random sampling will be used. The participants are different people working in HSBC. As much as possible the respondents should at least have been serving in the company for more than one year so that accurate data can be achieved. The respondents should have been in the company for more than a year so that the information that can be gathered from them will be tested by time and improved by the different experiences they had with the company.


Data analysis

            Data gathered will be analyzed through frequency distributions. These will give way to reviewing the data categories and the number of referrals in each category. With relation to data analysis, the indicators that will be used in evaluating the study include the age of the respondent; the social status; the educational attainment of the respondents; the position of the respondents in the company and the number of years the respondent served as an employee of the company.


The study will initially gather information that will serve as introductory part of the study. These kind of information helps the reader what the study is about, what it intends to do and what will be its result. The study will then gather related literature to prove the need for conducting the study. The literature review can help in determining what are the studies already done, what study needs to be corrected. The study will then determine the methods and means for data to be gathered and analyzed. In this part the data is being readied to be gathered and analyzed but the method to gather it will first be determined.  The next part of the study is gathering, presenting and interpreting the data. In this part the validity of the hypothesis and ideas about the study will be proven. The last part of the study will be the part where conclusions and recommendations will be stated. In this part final statement about the study will be done.


Time frame

The first thing to be done is to collect necessary data and information. This includes colleting data from primary and secondary sources. Within this time frame the questionnaire has been formulated and ready for use, the survey will be conducted to the respondents. After gathering such data the next thing to be done is analyzing it to use it in the study. This will be done for a month. The next activity is formulating the first two chapters. Within the said activity the data is integrated with the research, and the related literature is included. This will be done in 2 weeks. The next activity is formulating the last few chapters of the study wherein the data gathered from the survey is integrated and the analysis of the data is included in the research. This will be done for at least 3 weeks to ensure that the study is done well.  The last activity is finalizing the paper and preparation to present the results of the study.



There can be different constraints for the study. One constraint can be the time constraints. In making sure that the project goes well more time will be used. Time is not a luxury and it can at some point cause some hindrances to acquire data. Another constraint is the confidentiality of information. Participants in the study may not be keen to provide information. This may cause the project some wasted time. Lastly a constraint for the study is the unwillingness to participate of the personnel. Some of the respondents may not be willing to join such study because they believe it is just a waste of time and energy.


Major RiskOne of the major risks for the study is getting negative feedbacks from the participants. Some of the people might accept the purpose of the study but some might be offended by it. Some people might also question the importance of the study to their organization. Another risk for the study is to create changes not all people would be willing to accept. Lastly a risk for the study is it not able to find the information it needs at the allowed time. Finding the information may take some more time. 


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