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Sample Research Proposal on Interaction between ERP System and Organization Privatization and Restructuring Process

ABSTRACT

 

            The existing conditions of the global business economy as well as the other trends that affect the entire operations of international organizations require the need to review and change some segments of the organization. It is no longer just a strategic option but a requirement especially among business organizations who aims to prolong its operations in their area of industry. The global environment is moving towards an economy without controls. In other words regulatory agencies are scare. This has become a positive impact for stakeholders and investors of companies with good financial standing. Furthermore, deregulation has promoted a competitive climate. Hence, there is a critical need for businesses to transform or change business processes in order to gain a competitive edge. Development, improvement, innovation and efficiency fuel the business world of today.

            This research proposal aims to discuss the interaction between Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and organization privatization and restructuring process using the case of Saline Water Conversion Corporation (S.W.C.C.). This also includes the main parts in which this proposal will delve into particularly its background, statement of purpose, significance, brief literature review, methodology overview, time scale/research planning, problems, and bibliography.

 

INTRODUCTION

            Organizational change is part of and a result of struggles between contradictory forces, also change management practice is related with endeavoring to manage their competing demands. To understand why and how to change organizations, it is first necessary to understand their structures, management and behavior. According to Burnes (1996) these systems of ideas are crucial to change management in two respects. First, they provide models of how organization should be structured and managed. Second, they provide guidelines for judging and prescribing the behavior and effectiveness of individuals and groups in an organization. It is clear that in many organizations there is no clear understanding if the theories. Change cannot hope to be fully successful under circumstances.

            "Organizations are neither the rational, harmonious entities celebrated in managerial theory nor the arenas of apocalyptic class conflict projected by Marxists" (Bacharach & Lawler 1980). Hardy and Clegg (1996) believe that modern organizations passed by the guild structures and as organizations grew larger, skills become increasingly fragmented and specialized and positions become more functionally differentiated. It can be said that organizational change is one of the critical determinants in organizational success and failure (Appelbaum et al. 1998). Appelbaum and colleagues (1998) stated that the focus of successful organizations is on customers and their needs, which includes investing in ways to improve sales and provide superior service to clients, and they do not forget that their customers and their customers' needs underlie their organization's existence. In addition, adapting factors crucial to the success of certain missions and the implementation of solutions to problems are common traits of a successful organization (Appelbaum et al. 1998). The lack of such initiatives can throw an organization into confusion, being stuck in traditional practices that cannot solve or handle the current problems faced. Thus, the lack of such factors stresses the need for a strategic organizational change. It is basically a flexible strategic planning process as opposed to a static form of strategic planning.

            To address the need to deal with the demands of contemporary business organization, changes in the environment and customers as well, organizations like Saline Water Conversion Corporation (S.W.C.C.) implement strategic decision to shift from one business state to another. On this case, it is privatization and organizational restructuring process. S.W.C.C., according to Daya (2007), is the world's biggest desalination company which accounts for about 25% of global desalination capacity. It has 30 plants that produce 3.4 million cubic meters of water per day as this is accounted for around 60% of the kingdom's requirements in 2004. The plan for this corporation is to be restructured into a holding company which will incorporate a number of production units (Daya 2007).

 

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The primary purpose of this study is directed towards the determination of the variables related to the interaction of ERP and organization privatization and restructuring process of the said company. To address this objective, the researcher will identify the current condition of the organization. This study will also examine the gaps and deficiencies and how these affect the performance of the organization particularly in its future organizational plans.

            This study will also examine the state of services provided by the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (S.W.C.C.). Here, attitude towards the organization privatization and restructuring process will be investigated. The researcher will find out if the management of S.W.C.C. is addressing the needs of the market. This is necessary for the further understanding as to what extent these sector play significant role in designing strategies intended to improve the progress of its industry sector. Finally, and importantly, this research will provide recommendations on how to solve the problem of organizational privatization and restructuring process.

 

BACKGROUND

The mounting financial problems faced by countries of the developing world over the past decade have forced many governments to consider reducing the role of the state in economic activity by divestment to the private sector of enterprises operated by the government. The growing acceptance of privatization and restructuring process derives in part from the gradual ideological change that has taken place in many countries since independence from colonial rule and in part from external pressures for reform that have been applied by bilateral and international donor agencies (Cowan 1990).

With broader acceptance of privatization and restructuring process has come increased knowledge of the process that it entails and greater sophistication in dealing with the problems that it may present for the governments. The initial concentration on divestment of industries has given way to greater attention to privatizing and restructuring in other sectors of the economy, most particularly in services formerly made available to the public by the government alone.

Essentially, privatization as well as restructuring can be considered a major tool to attract local and foreign investment (Sader 1994). The success of the privatization and restructuring programs will help to speed up economic reform and eventually created more attractive investment environment.  Globally, privatization and restructuring programs are an integral part of public policies associated with economic reform, liberalization, monopoly control and improving competitiveness. All of us look forward to seeing more investment opportunities mobilize national savings toward control and improving competitiveness or more lucrative businesses. Therefore, this will ensure increased foreign direct investment (FDI), upgrade productivity rates and increase employment opportunities.

In this case, it is safe to assume that the main motivation for the organization privatization and restructuring process of S.W.C.C. is closely linked to the main goals of privatization – increase in revenues locally and internationally. Ghafour (2006) presented three options that the company is considering which includes the formation of five companies to privatize the organization and is expected attract and earn investment amounting to approximately more than SR60 billion. The company hired the services of Booze Allen Hamilton in 2005 to serve as counsel on its privatization plan. In the report of Daya (2007), Saad Bakheit – the S.W.C.C.'s head of privatization stated that the holding company will be established in a year or so, and the production company tenders are expected in two years. Bakheit affirmed that the holding company will kick off as 100% government-owned. The, the production units will be converted gradually – one by one – over the next 10 years to the private sector.

Historically, Fehail Al-Sharief said that the S.W.C.C. management considered three options such as "calls for converting the corporation into a joint stock company, and offering part of its shares for public subscription" (Ghafour 2006). The other option involves the "participation of the private sector in SWCC assets" while the third option will comprise of "five independent companies would be formed to operate main desalt plants" (Ghafour 2006). Eventually, after presenting the options and a series of deliberation, which include a special panel of accountants commenced on the evaluation of the corporations; financial condition as well as its total assets, the privatization and restructuring process was finalized by the Supreme Economic Council (SEC) earlier this fiscal year. 

Meanwhile, the application of ERP systems among contemporary organizations is very evident. The effectiveness of these systems is also evaluated. In this case, the interaction of ERP and organization privatization and restructuring process will be studied. The S.W.C.C., as an organization who plans to restructure and privatize its operations is taken into account. Similarly, the usage of ERP for the past three years is also associated to the future decision-making and taking as well as implementations within the organizational boundaries.

S.W.C.C. selected the deployment of Oracle Corporation's Oracle E-Business Suite in its privatization efforts (Oracle 2004). Oracle Corporation is among the most popular and the largest enterprise software company in the world. Oracle initially implemented some applications as part of the process such as "Oracle Financials, Oracle Human Resources Management System (HRMS) and Oracle Procurement to streamline and integrate its business processes from 27 desalination plants and 3 separate IT sites into a single, online environment" (Oracle 2004). With this, the ERP efforts of S.W.C.C. and the Oracle E-Business Suite anticipate the eventual development of the whole corporate business conditions particularly in major areas concerned.

To quote, Oracle (2004) describes the Oracle E-Business Suite as "the industry's first integrated suite of Internet business applications that automate critical business processes, offering customers unprecedented choice and flexibility in implementing business applications. Its open architecture and single data model allow applications to be deployed as individual modules, business flows, or as an entire integrated suite. The Oracle E-Business Suite is offered as traditional software on CD ROMs or as an outsourced service." With this, S.W.C.C. is considered to possess one of the most innovative and guaranteed effective software solutions that will be used in the planned improvement of corporation's various areas of operations.

 

SIGNIFICANCE

This study is an attempt to illustrate the interaction of ERP and organizational privatization and restructuring process of S.W.C.C. This will come in a form of case study using the said organization and related and affecting factors. Theoretically, this study is intended for management practitioners, academicians, and social sciences students in providing body of knowledge that they may use in the performance of their own duties. It is also an attempt to contribute on the literature focusing on the said subject. Moreover, this study seeks to give information on issues ranging from the effects of privatization and restructuring towards organizational functions, the potentialities of ERP, and the degree of its potential effects. Empirically, this study is intended as a theoretical basis that can be used in problem-solving and decision making and taking situations in the business setting. This study is a source of valuable information on how to manage such changes within organization and enterprise levels.

To the researcher, this study is an avenue to apply the learned research methodologies and develop critical thinking and rational analysis. More importantly, this research is a means of sharing known facts and at the same time gaining new information relative to the topic that may be useful in the future endeavors. It also motivates the author to develop personality traits basing from the experiences during the course of the research. The personal realization on the morals that may be learned in doing this project is perceived to be invaluable. Lastly, this will serve as the main tool in acquiring a higher degree of education.

 

LITERATURE REVIEW

            The wide range of literatures related to business management and marketing as well as various phenomena affecting its totality are extensive.  Given with this fact, this chapter goes over the related literatures conducted on the area of study. By embarking on such pursuit, the research may be guided accordingly by firstly discovering where the research is coming from, what and how much have been studied regarding the topic and what it is yet to tackle.  Besides providing background to the study, this study will provide the necessary theoretical and conceptual aspects in order for the research to stand credible. References from this segment of the paper are a product of broad researching and information retrieval.

 

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) – the application of Oracle E-Business Suite

 

            Just as the business world changes, so do the wants and needs of customers change also. The most recent movement calls for being more knowledgeable. Customers like to be aware and thus are more prone to educating themselves on what is out there in order to receive the most quality at the best price.  So also, businesses too, educate themselves. However, they learn about their customer. In order to gain a superior business advantage, they study their clients.

It can be therefore concluded that there is a shift in the business climate from being process-oriented to client or customer focused.  However, ironically, businesses began to realize that even being customer-oriented does not mean that one stops focusing on process improvement. Other factors do come into play including processes, technology and the social environment (Cohen and Moore 2000). Hence, in order to bring out exceptional customer services within the company operations, the management should employ fine-tuned organizational restructuring. Moreover, employing proactive customer commitment involves the consideration on culture and infrastructure (Lowenstein 1997).

The best suppliers continuously update and upgrade their service deliveries in order to answer the demands of their customers. Customers have the ever-increasing demand on getting their hands into the products which can lead to change in supplier if expectations are not met. This is the reason why suppliers who are also industry leaders trend toward more reliable delivery services across their customers. However, problems of delivery are usually attended by most companies through with either quick fixes that do not work or complete and comprehensive designs that take too long and are expensive.

According to Ward (2006, p. 30), ERP software suites are business applications that join together processes across the enterprise and link them to a common data repository. The definition from the Center for Digital Government (2002 cited in Ward 2006) is straightforward: "Business applications used by enterprises to manage and integrate best practice business, financial, administrative, and operational processes across multiple divisions and organizational boundaries. These applications act as the backbone of the enterprise and are designed to support and automate the processes of an organization."

It is an absolute must for a company to be efficient in business and sales forecasting, project planning and scheduling. ERP is an elemental solution to achieve all this factors. ERP provides greater access to accurate information, raising the visibility of business results across organizational boundaries (Ward 2006). The Enterprise Resource Planning Cycle is dedicated to achieving excellence in Financial, Human Resources Capital, Customer Service and Interaction and Supply Chain Management (The ERP Toolkit 2007). If implemented correctly, ERP will give any entrepreneur such as FTC that competitive edge. Businesses will be able to run more smoothly, efficiently and have a fast reaction time to varying economic trends. The change that will be implemented is most useful in the overall operation of the business since the software promises to provide the efficient and reliable service to the company.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         & nbsp;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               & nbsp;                                                                                                                                                                                                                  From all executives including the CEO to the ordinary employee in any department or any other third-party customers will be advantageously affected. Since the success of any business organization lies in the harmony that comes with working together of the different arms of the company, innovative ideas work well in implementing change fueled by the ability of the human resources to foresee, plan and decide on strategies that will be most beneficial in the long run. Financial stability and customer relationship of the company are likewise considered in making any business endeavor and venture successful. This will answer the need of the firm to gain competitive advantage against other business firms in the industry.

In this case, the ERP used was Oracle E-Business Suite. To quote Oracle's announcement with regards to the privatization process:

"The impetus for the SWCC's major Oracle project is to centralize financial management and create a supply chain foundation to connect its desalination plant production, maintenance and procurement operations to the organization's Riyadh headquarters. The major benefits that SWCC anticipates are greater control over its procurement and supply chain functions, lower operational costs, better insight into financial performance through daily business intelligence, and more advanced forecasting and analysis of production and supply chain" (Oracle 2004).

Also, the corporation expects that its new business infrastructure will deal with the several challenges present within and affecting the organization. This includes "automating the inter-plant transfer process, better management and deployment of human resources, and integrating project expenditure with the overall procurement cycle" (Oracle 2004). With Oracle partner Ernst & Young who providies on-site consulting expertise, the Oracle implementation at the SWCC has already long initiated. The SWCC's partnership with Oracle delivers a momentous foothold for the software provider in the Middle East's increasingly privatized utility sector (Oracle 2004).

The Oracle E-Business Suite is directed to improved efficiency in major areas of business operations especially in relation to maintenance, customers, electronic procurement, human resources, financial system, production and other parties involved. The objectives of the project identified are the following:

  1. Restructuring procedures and shorten the course of action.
  2. Application System (ERP) within the period specified in the format required.
  3. Increasing customer satisfaction (stations, the staff, senior management, suppliers, etc.).
  4. The flexibility and speed.
  5. Brevity (procedures, documents, etc.) or dispense with the procedures of value added others.
  6. Reducing paperwork and documents so as to achieve the following:
    • Identify the purpose of the existence of these documents, basically.
    • cancellation of others, including necessary taking into account both formal.
  7. Determining beneficiary and better ways to deliver services to him (Officer, telephone data, invoices Aramco, Saudi Airlines, customer inquiries, etc.).
  8. The use of technical (technology) in restructuring.
  9. Integration procedures and the non-recurrence input (INTEGRATION).
  10. Automating all items negotiable mechanization.
  11. Taking into account the principle of cost and benefit (administrative cost).
  12. A strong control over the accuracy of data and speed of circulation.

 

Specifically, there are many useful functions and specified advantages of the project. In terms of financial system, the application using the Oracle E-Business Suite revolve around which the rest of automation systems, and associated directly or indirectly, which is the last line of defense for these regimes where the institution is faced with the Foreign regular, as well as both the internal reports the precise details will be helpful in decision-making at all levels of administrative Perkins. Other details will be discussed comprehensively in the research writing proper. Meanwhile, in maintenance system, the project uses the latest technologies available and benefit from global experience in the same area (Best Practice), which facilitated this process of linking the system with other systems, maintenance and thus became the various sections at the enterprise level operating system, a single integrated and interdependent. The application included within the new maintenance program stations on the following regulations: (1) corrective maintenance Corrective Maintenance (CM); (2) supporting services & Support Services; (3) maintenance revisionism Modification (MD); (4) preventive maintenance (Scud breaks and periodic) Preventive Maintenance (PM); and (5) linkage program with other systems (materials and financial). Similarly, such details are included in the discussion proper of the research process. In human resources, there project will deal on the most fundamental aspects of the human resources system including its components and objectives as well as specifics namely applications, the advantages of the system, and expected problems solved. This and other systems (customers, electronic procurement, production and other parties) will be discussed comprehensively in the main body of the research.

The role of ERP in the privatization process is exemplified with the identification of improved functions within the corporation as well as its given advantages. The traditional applications of the corporation are replaced with the sophisticated and time- and cost-effective systems provided by Oracle E-Business Suite. It is also noted that the role of ERP in the privatization process, aside from merely affecting the organization's operations, is among the coverage of this research. Thus, it is hoped that the researcher is able to indicate the significant role of ERP particularly in the implementation of organizational operations and transactions involving the new business solution – the Oracle E-Business Suite.

 

Organization Privatization and Restructuring Process – the Concept

Privatization is both a political and economic process that involves the transfer of ownership and control from the public to the private sector. Typically, privatization is one aspect of a policy package that involves deregulation, economic liberalization, and opening of the markets to foreign producers and investors.  Privatization is frequently associated with industrial or service-oriented enterprises, such as mining, manufacturing or power generation, but it can also apply to any asset, such as land, roads, or even rights to water. In recent years, government services such as health, sanitation, and education have been particularly targeted for privatization in many countries.

The objectives of privatization include increasing efficiency of the economy, attracting foreign investment, balancing budget deficits, reducing public debt, broadening share ownership among the public, and encouraging entrepreneurial initiatives. At times, privatization is one part of a broad set of structural reforms imposed by external funding agencies such as the World Bank and the IMF (Rittippant and Rasheed 2000). The process of privatization can be achieved through a variety of mechanisms such as management contracts, outright sales to a domestic or foreign investor, joint ventures with private investors, auctions, and initial public offerings.  Each of these mechanisms has their own strengths and weaknesses.

During the last decade, developing countries particularly those in Asia have embarked on significant privatization. The Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s provided added impetus to the drive towards privatization. However, like many other developing countries, Asian countries have also experienced significant internal resistance to privatization. Hence, there are always obstacles that have often resulted in significant slow down in the privatization process as well as a failure to realize its beneficial economic results.

Privatization is a policy instrument that can be used in developing countries to bring about significant economic gains. However, it needs to be used in a selective and pragmatic manner, not as an ideological crusade. Experience has shown that there is a host of constraints to successful privatization that need to be recognized and controlled, that a variety of forms and types of privatization are required, and that serious consequences for the credibility of the broader economic reform process arise if privatization is mismanaged.

Privatization also needs to be seen as a part of a broader strategy aimed at improving the public enterprise sector's performance (Cook and Kirkpartrick 1998). Privatization alone is unlikely to be sufficient to significantly ease the economic burden which the public enterprise sector places on the economy of many developing countries. Other forms of public enterprise reform, where ownership remains with the state but the contractual relationship between the enterprises and government is redefined, are needed.

Ultimately, the contributions that privatization make to economic advancement in developing countries is determined by political will and commitment. There is now sufficient experience and evidence for economists to advice, with some confidence, on the appropriate design and execution of privatization proposals, as part of a program of public enterprise reform. This knowledge is the first prerequisite for successful privatization; the second prerequisite is a government commitment to the use of privatization as one of the means of advancing the nation's developmental goals. Privatization has had many successes since the late 1970s and through 1990s (Kelly et al. 2003). The evidence is clear that government goods and services can be provided better and cheaper by the private sector. The major problem to be overcome is to convince those affected that they will be better off if their product or service is provided privately rather than by government. When this is done, privatization can succeed.

Amid such growth and organization structural change in various industries in the post-war decades, two competing perspectives evolved in investigating the causal relationship between the structure of industry and technological development. One looked at the interaction between the changing market environment and strategic decisions within a firm. This may be termed an intra-firm. The other was the inter-firm suppliers and examined the effect of these linkages on the corporate effort at and capacity for innovation.  To be sure, most of the descriptive writings on industries focus on the impact of corporate structural change on innovation, the reasons for the change, and its outcome. They investigate these issues by combining two perspectives of analysis. For example, they attribute the change in the inter-firm structural relations to not only the market environment at large but also to strategic reorganization within a firm.  Similarly, they point out how an understanding of inter-firm linkages can help to pinpoint the sources of product innovation in an industry as well as trace obstacles to corporate innovation to their origin. Because it has built its analysis within the context of a domestic market environment, however, the descriptive model of inquiry is inadequate for generating explanations and serving as a decision aid for achieving competitiveness in a globalizing world economy. Still, it provides competition which, to this date, they struggle to maintain.

In his more recent works, Chandler (1977; 1990) has elaborated further on his earlier analysis. He notes that after the managerial revolution had changed the market environment, adding functionally organized operating units became the way in which American industrial firms competed and expanded: A modern manufacturing enterprise first made throughput-based specific investment to obtain economy of scale in production. It then integrated other functions, ranging from specialized marketing and supplies to R&D, to capture the benefits of economy of scope as well as reduce transaction costs. Yet it was ultimately "the existence of this (managerial) hierarchy," with the middle and top managers supervising and coordinating the activities of the independent operating units, that made "the activities and operations of the whole enterprise more than the sum of its operating units" (Chandler 1990, 15).

This was because under a managerial hierarchy, compared to the market, the competition had shifted from production costs alone to an emphasis on "functional and strategic effectiveness" that was aimed at seizing larger market shares with a higher profit margin. After they had sunk in specific investment, corporations sought to improve coordination of the activities of their functional departments by running the finance department more effectively to redirect the internal cash flow speedily in response to changes in technology and market demands. As a result, the large and vertically integrated (Perry 1978) corporations that had established positions in a concentrated market controlled innovation in the national economy. In this manner, managerial hierarchy came to establish a toehold in the major sectors of the industry – mostly American, spearheading economic expansion while themselves growing within the nation as well as overseas.

            The organizational development and changes among variety of industries has seen dramatic throughput the 19th century and the 20th century. This organizational development has been due to the changing market demands, globalization and the emergence of advance technology.  The changes can be seen on how a certain industry has positioned itself in the global market in the present market condition. It shows that the scientific management of these industries as well as the innovative initiative and implementation has been one of the key factors for having a more competitive and developed organizational structure. This organizational structure has also led the industries to become the leader in the world market. It seems that until this very moment, industries are still trying to maximize all their resources to develop a strong organizational structure.

            In the case of S.W.C.C., the commencement of the ERP particularly the implementation of Oracle E-Business Suite as innovative infrastructure is expected to alter the traditional processes of the corporation. It is also deemed that this software will serve as a competitive advantage of the company especially in addressing the stiff competition in the global business today. More importantly, given the proper maintenance of the software, this will bring about increase in corporate revenues as well as improvement of service, thus, resulting to consumer satisfaction and industry dominance. Then again, it is identified that such assumptions will be considered in the overall research procedure.

 

METHODOLOGY

In every research, there is a need to have an appropriate research design that will lead to the solution of the research problem. The research design is a master plan that specifies the methods and procedures for the collection and analysis of data (Zikmund 2000, p. 29). In order to complete the purpose and objectives of the study, the qualitative research approach will be applied. Qualitative research methods in comparison with quantitative research methods are more diverse. Myers (1997) stated that this kind of research process was "designed to help researchers understand people and the social and cultural contexts within which they live". According to Mays and Pope (2000), the qualitative research approach is most appropriate when conducting descriptive and exploratory study in order to quantify data that seem immeasurable, such as feelings, beliefs, and thoughts. Meanwhile, qualitative research is defined by Collis and Hussey (2003) as "a subjective approach which includes examining and reflecting on perceptions in order to gain an understanding of social and human activities" (p. 353).

            This type of research will utilize case study.  To illustrate the descriptive type of research, Creswell (1994) will guide the researcher when he stated: Descriptive method of research is to gather information about the present existing condition. The purpose of employing this method is to describe the nature of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study and to explore the cause/s of particular phenomena. When a person make a detailed study about one person or unit over a considerable period of time, he/she is engaging in what is known as a case study. Punch (1996, p. 150) states that case studies involve looking one or more cases, which are "studied n detail, using whatever (research) method seems appropriate". It aims to develop full understanding of the case as possible and is not linked with any particular research technique. This method involves the researcher to inquire deeper and examine thorough behaviors of a person or a circumstance. It is also noted how these behaviors change as the individual or circumstance adapts and reacts to the environment. Furthermore, it includes the discovery and identification of all the important variables which have contributed to the history or development of the chosen subject. This means that the researcher is going to gather data which include the past experiences and present condition of the subject as well as the environment. It will attempt to find out how these factors relate to one another and how they have affected the subject.

Case studies may sometimes involve small social units such as clubs, a family, a school, or any group of individual who shares common interest. The researcher who uses the case study research design needs such respondents as he/she searches for solutions of some important problems. Researches in the field of guidance illustrate the use of case studies to solve some of the most important problems and queries. Accounts of respondents' thoughts, dreams, and actions are noted down to provide an insight into human behavior which may lead to the discovery of new findings not known before.

The case study method refers several advantages. The greatest advantage a researcher can derive in this method is its depth. By digging deeper into the whole personality of an individual or group or a certain situation, the researcher can probably tell some imperative knowledge or explanation such as on the kind of behavior or attitudes. Another advantage that can be derived from case studies is the opportunity of the researcher to gain insights into the basic concepts of human behavior or any given body of knowledge. Through intensive investigation, it is possible that the researcher may come across previous unsuspected relationships of variables.

On the contrary, case studies also have few disadvantages. Its depth can mean its lack of breadth. Generally, it is difficult to generalize findings to include other people when these findings have been drawn only from a certain fragment of a given population. In short, it is not really a representative of the entire population. Hence, it lacks of extent. As a researcher, the possibility of subjectivity or even prejudiced is high. This is because there might be preconceived events, things, and people or any other condition that may affect the flow of the research. Such preconceptions may also affect the insight and the bias might determine what behaviors to be studied or to be ignored. It will likewise affect the procedures of interpreting the observation, which will not be scientific. But in the long run, these situations can be avoided and solved by being objective at all times. The researcher opted to use this kind of research purpose considering the desire of the researcher to obtain first hand data from the respondents so as to formulate rational and sound conclusions and recommendations for the study.

            In using the qualitative research approach, data is collected by such methods as watching, asking questions, and examining documents. It may also range from very unstructured to highly structured point of data collection. In this case, the researcher will use various techniques ranging from observation and participant observation (fieldwork), interviews and questionnaires, documents and texts, and the researcher's impressions and reactions in data gathering. For instance, standardized interviewing or observing for specific behaviors produces quite structured data; whereas open-ended questions allow respondents to talk freely. In the latter case, structure is provided by the researcher at the analysis stage as the researcher tries to make sense of the data. A clear advantage of this is that respondents can describe in their own words rather than being overtly constrained by researcher's perceptions (Punch 1996, p. 60). On the contrary, the disadvantage is that is difficult to make comparisons between respondents.

            Primary data are the result of interview, questionnaires, observations and participant observation (fieldwork. Secondary data, on the other hand are based on the literatures related to the case. Myers (1997) enumerated sources of written data which include published and unpublished documents, company reports, memos, letters, reports, email messages, faxes, newspaper articles and so forth.

 

TIME SCALE/RESEARCH PLANNING

A data or information analysis plan was prepared to organize the information collected orderly so as to make the presentation of the results more comprehensive as well as to make sure that research objectives are achieved and the research questions were answered. In summary, the researcher will undergo four major phases to complete the study:

 

Phase 1: Problem Identification for Research – In the first phase, the researcher will identify the specific focus of the problem to be researched. This involved reviewing existing theory, research, and practices from professional literature. This process helped integrate theoretical perspectives and empirical findings with the own understanding of the problem, and discern the aspect of the problem the researcher want to research and learn more about.

 

Phase 2: Administration of the Instrument – After reviewing literature, the researcher will formulate questions for the survey and makes a set of guide questionnaires for the interview. These are then presented to the adviser for validation purposes. After this the researcher initiated a process of building collaborations with the respondents who participated in the study.

 

Phase 3: Data Collection and Analysis – In the third phase, the researcher will collect and analyse data for the purposes of identifying critical contextual variables specific to their setting. These data will enable the achievement of a specific understanding of the problem.

 

Phase 4: Data Synthesis and Generation of Recommendations – In the fourth phase, the researcher will synthesize the findings from the previous phases and relevant previous research. The focus of this stage is to modify existing hypotheses and account for different factors that will transpire during the analysis, as well as generate recommendations based on new understandings. During this phase, practice-based recommendations for action will be generated.

 

 

PROBLEMS

            There are problems associated with the research. It is identified that the researcher is working on the specified organization, thus access to information especially in acquiring facts is slightly easier. However, it is recognized that it may be difficult to gain some information during the privatization implementation period which is about 2 years starting from 2008 due to that fact and figure and data may change fast until the privatization process completed. On the part of the respondents, people often find it very difficult to explain their behavior or their motivations. Another problem is that many people are reluctant to tell what makes them do what they do. Sometimes respondents will try to guess their answers. On other occasions, respondents may give answers that they believe are true but are simple versions of the true reasons. To address these, the researcher provided multiple choices in order to give the respondents an idea on what is asked from them. The problem of language is very important with surveys. Some people do not understand the statements. To solve this, the researcher might used pre-tested the survey questionnaire using 20 people as to ensure the clarity and comprehension. Also, simple words are used.

This study is limited in examine the interaction of ERP and organization privatization and restructuring process particularly to the case of S.W.C.C. There are limitations in the respondents because some of them tend not to take time and concern in the answering of questions no matter how brief or detailed the question may be. They are limitations themselves because of their attitude towards the research procedure.

Ethical considerations are also evident. The risks that will be involved upon undertaking this research study include the approval of the participants to allow the researcher to observe and conduct the survey and interview. The request must be approved first by them and other authorities, thus, the researcher will ensure that no individuals oppose to the request. Participants in the research will be treated as autonomous agents (ones with the capability of deciding and making choices for themselves). The researcher is accountable for participants with diminished autonomy. Traditionally, consent follows when researcher and participants have adequately communicated over the options, risks, benefits and costs of a proposed procedure. However, other barriers, beyond those of poor communication, can prevent fully informed consent. In this research inquiry, the researcher will make it sure that there is a mutual consensus between the involved parties.

Lastly, the research is also limited by time and circumstance since the topic is extensive in nature but local-based literature is neither unavailable nor inadequate. The entries in the bibliography are primarily focused on the theoretical and conceptual aspects.


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