January 26, 2010

MP3 players

INTRODUCTION

            Important changes in the understanding and management of MP3 players have been developed in the past 10 to 15 years. Various researchers, practitioners and policymakers now acknowledge that MP3 players and the issues involved within them can be conceptualized from a functional perspective and that appropriate interventions involve the development of alternative measures to cope up with their emerging existence.

Individuals today have to be efficient, flexible and profitable. Without these factors, it would be very difficult for them to compete and be effective in heir profession. Gone are the days when people work on their desks for eight hours a day. Today's employees want to become as productive as possible while in their offices and interact with different individuals and groups in different settings. The technological advancement in wireless technologies such as MP3 players has allowed people to access communication tools in new settings. Because of this rigorous and hectic schedule of people, it became imperative for them to indulge in relaxing music to help them ease the pressure after every day's work.  

Statement of the Problem

            MP3 players and their sudden emergence in the market have been remarkable. Hence, the causes of this emergence and the quality of MP3 players as perceived by their users must be investigated and effective strategies must be done and implemented in order to cope up with their existence.

Purpose of the Study

This study will be conducted in order to determine the causes of the sudden emergence of MP3 players in the market and the quality of their services as perceived by their users, and produce meaningful strategies to cope up with the advantages of their existence.

            This study will also aim to increase the awareness of consumers and provide a better understanding of the issues concerning MP3 players in order to contribute an effective approach in addressing these issues.

Significance of the Study

If the causes of the sudden emergence of MP3 players and their service quality will be determined, this study will be a benefit to other people who have yet to experience the benefits of having an MP3 player. Also, if effectiveness is supported, this study will be significant in developing MP3 players as productive and effective technological equipments in the future.

Research Questions

Specifically this study will address the following questions:

1.      What significant causes of the sudden emergence of MP3 players were determined?

2.      What specific alternatives or measures can be done to help improve the performance of these MP3 players so we could cope up with their advantages?

Assumptions

The research will be based on the following assumptions: (a) all participants will be utilizing the correct procedures as outlined in the guidelines for the specific methodology employed, and (b) all participants will answer questions honestly to the best of their ability.

Limitations

Time will be the greatest limitation to this research, which could hinder long-term outcome objectives. Environmental factors, such as socioeconomic status, were not controlled, and this could create many variables within the research. As this study will utilize a small sample of participants, the results may not effectively represent the general population.  

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

An MP3 player is a device that stores, organizes and plays digital music files. It can be also called a digital audio player (DAP) because of the large amount of audio files that it can store and play. Basically, there are three (3) main types of MP3 players. These are:

  • MP3 CD Players - Devices that play CDs.
  • Flash-based Players - These are devices that store digital audio files on either internal or external media, such as memory cards. As they are in enclosed in a rigid state and do not have movable parts, they are very handy and easy to use.
  • Hard Drive-based Players - Devices that read digital audio files from a hard drive. The Apple iPod and Creative Zen are examples of popular digital jukeboxes.

Advantages of MP3 Players

A. Convenience

The MP3 player's dedication to quality for has led to the satisfaction of millions and millions of its users worldwide. MP3 player was created by a group of people who pursued the best quality and craftsmanship in terms of digital audio recording. The MP3 players that its users conveniently use today are still being manufactured using nothing but the original and unparalleled raw materials. An MP3 player's portability, flexibility, bright color and affordability are the main reasons why its users feel so convenient in using it.

B. High Quality Standards and Safety

The raw materials used in the production of MP3 players are able to meet the high quality standards and specifications. The packaging materials where MP3 players are sold are also being subjected to strict quality standards. In line to product safety, appropriate measures are taken in the manufacturing process of MP3 players and all of its brands to prevent the possible contamination of the products. MP3 players are manufactured under the implementation of the principles of the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) system as a testament to their dedication to quality and safety.

C. Affordability / Cost-efficiency

MP3 players and their prices are usually based on several key trends that continuously shape the global marketplace of mobile technologies. One particular trend is labeled as "premium-tization". This phenomenon causes the polarization of different markets. This would then trigger the consumers to demand and pay much higher prices for perceived MP3 player quality. However, discounting in MP3 player prices is also simultaneously taking place, therefore squeezing out the middle range. More often than not, MP3 player dealers undergo internationalization which leads to a tighter squeeze for shelf space. This will in turn leave its consumers as winners. It is for this reason why MP3 player dealers value the "premise sector" so much because this would allow consumers can to try their MP3 player brands at low risk and price.

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY

 

            This study will be conducted in order to determine the quality of MP3 players as perceived by their users. In this study, the interview method of data gathering will be utilized, with a total of 115 MP3 player users as participants.

Methods of Research to be Used

 

            For this study, the descriptive method will be utilized. In this method, it is possible that the study would be cheap and quick. It could also suggest unanticipated hypotheses. Nonetheless, it would be very hard to rule out alternative explanations and especially infer causations. Thus, this study will use the descriptive approach. This descriptive type of research utilizes observations in the study.  To illustrate the descriptive type of research, Creswell (1994) guided the researcher.

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. The researcher opted to use this kind of research 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.

To come up with pertinent findings and provide credible recommendations, this study will utilize two sources of research: primary and secondary.  Primary research data will be obtained through this new research study. Questionnaire survey and in-depth interview will be conducted. On the other hand, the secondary research data will be obtained from previous studies on the same topic. 

The Research Design

            In order to come up with the most suitable research approaches and strategies for this study, the research process "onion" will be undertaken. This is because conducting a research is like peeling the back layers of an onion—in order to come to the central issue of how to collect the necessary data needed to answer the research questions and objectives, important layers should be first peeled away. With the said process, the researcher was able to create an outline on what measures are most appropriate to be applied in the study.

Saunders et al (2003) said that while it is not unusual for a researcher to first think of his research undertaking by considering whether one should, for instance, administer a questionnaire or conduct interviews, thoughts on this question should belong to the centre of the research 'onion'. That is, in order to come to the central issue of how to collect the data needed to answer one's research questions, there are important layers of the onion that need to be peeled away: the first layer raises the question of the research philosophy to adopt, the second considers the subject of research approach that flows from the research philosophy, the third examines the research strategy most applicable, the fourth layer refers to the time horizon a researcher applies to his research, and the fifth layer is the data collection methods to be used.

            Figure 1 shows how the researcher conceptualized the research approach to be applied in this study by Saunder et al (2003), in order to come up with the pertinent data needed to answer the research questions stated in the first chapter, as well as to arrive to the fulfillment of this research undertaking's objectives.            Then again, the research philosophy that is reflected in this study is positivism. With this research philosophy, a researcher prefers to work with an observable social reality in order to come up with law-like generalizations similar to those produced by the physical and natural scientists (Remenyi et al, 1998), and in this tradition, the researcher becomes an objective analyst, coolly making detached interpretations about those data that have been collected in an apparently value-free manner (Saunders et al, 2003). In addition, the emphasis is on a highly structured methodology to facilitate replication (Gill & Johnson, 1997) and on quantifiable observations that lend themselves to statistical analysis (Saunders et al, 2003). In here, the assumption is that the researcher is independent of and neither affects nor is affected by the subject of the research (Remenyi et al, 1998; Saunders et al, 1998).

            Meanwhile, the second layer shows that this study has undertaken a deductive approach. Accordingly, this approach has five sequential stages: deducing a hypothesis; expressing the hypothesis in operational terms; testing this operational hypothesis; examining the specific outcome of the inquiry to either confirm the theory or indicate the need for its modification; and finally, modifying the theory in the light of the findings (if necessary) (Robson, 1993, p. 19).             Further, the deductive approach has a number of important characteristics. First, this approach is a search to explain causal relationships between variables, which consequently leading to the development of a hypothesis. Second, it involves the collection of a quantitative data (although it can, as well, use qualitative data), and these data are important to test a hypothesis that has been previously developed. The third characteristic of a deductive approach is that it controls to allow the testing of hypothesis. However, one must remember that with this approach, it is important that the researcher is independent of what is being observed—that is, the researcher should be objective and not subjective—so that the principle of scientific strictness will be pursued, as this approach emphasizes scientific principles. (Saunders et al, 2003)           Also, it is important that concepts are operationalized, which will enable facts to be measured quantitatively. Finally, the deductive approach is generalization (e.g., to be able to generalize about regularities in human social behavior, one must be able to select a sufficient numerical size of samples). (Saunders et al, 2003)

Instruments to be used

A self-administered questionnaire, or the type of questionnaire that is usually completed by respondents (Saunders et al, 2003), had been constructed by the researcher to gather the needed data. To further enhance the study on the customer satisfaction, the researcher prepared a survey-questionnaire wherein the respondents graded each statement. The equivalent weights for the answers were:

            Range                                                Interpretation

           5                                                   Strongly Agree

                        4                                                       Agree

            3                                                        Uncertain

            2                                                        Disagree 

                        1                                                      Strongly Disagree

            The decision was made to use a questionnaire for the data collection for this project due to the sensitivity of the information being obtained.  It is important for the respondents to be open and honest in their responses. The use of the questionnaire provides the researcher with the ability to test the views and attitudes of the patients.

            The survey-questionnaires also will use open-ended questions to obtain as much information as possible about how the interviewee feels about the research topic.  Interviews will take between one and two hours. The questions that will be used during the interview will be based on the research questions for this project; they have been reviewed, refined and approved by the project supervisor. The researcher designed a semi-structured interview. Here, the researcher will encourage the interviewee to clarify vague statements and to further elaborate on brief comments. The interviewer did not share his/her own beliefs and opinions.

 

Ethical Considerations

            In keeping with the procedures and in the interest of maintaining the integrity of the proposed research, the researcher will make every effort to ensure that the ethical guidelines will be strictly followed.  All data collected from the sites will be kept in a secure location. The names of the participants and their scores will not be revealed. The appropriate measures of the data will be obtained with the statistical instruments selected, and all results will be revealed in the study.

            There will be minimal risk involved to the participants of the study. The participants' names and pertinent information will not be revealed.  Information will be recorded as part of the entire group.

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Condrey, Stephen E. Handbook of Human Resource Management in Government. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2001, pp. 47-48.

 

Connolly, Thomas R., et al. "Transforming Human Resources." Management Review, June 2002, issue # 3, pp. 10-16.

 

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

 

Eisenstat, Russell A. "What Corporate Human Resources Brings to the Picnic: Four Models for Functional Management." Organizational Dynamics, 2001, pp. 6-14.

 

Gill, J. and Johnson, P. (1997). Research Methods for Managers. London: Paul         Chapman.

Remenyi, D., Williams, B., and Swartz, E. (1998). Doing Research in Business          Management: An Introduction to Process and Method. London: Sage.

 

Robson, C. (2002). Real World Research, 2nd Ed. Oxford: Blackwell.

 

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2003). Research Methods for Business Students, 3rd Ed. London: Prentice Hall Financial Times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX

 

MP3 PLAYER SURVEY

 

 

Dear Respondent,

 

 

I kindly request for your cooperation in this survey. I am currently assessing whether MP3 players are formidable technological devices as an academic requirement.

Your response will be treated with outmost confidentiality.

 

 

I.                     PROFILE OF THE RESPONDENTS

 

1.        GENDER

 

q       MALE

q       FEMALE

 

 

2.        CIVIL STATUS

 

o       SINGLE

o       Married

o       Widow/widower

o       Others, please specify

 

 

3.        AGE

 

q       23 below

q       24-27

q       28-31

q       32-35

q       36-39

q       40-43

q       44-47

q       48-51

q       52 and above

 

 

4.        Educational Attainment

 

q       BS Degree

q       BS with MA

q       MA Candidate

q       PHD student

q       PHD Candidate

q       PHD

 

 

5. EMPLOYMENT STATUS

 

q       Probation

q       Permanent

q       Casual

q       On-the-job/Internship

q       Others, pls. specify

 

 

range

interpretation

5

Strongly Agree

4

Agree

3

Uncertain

2

Disagree

1

Strongly Disagree

 

 

MP3 PLAYER FEATURES STATUS

 

1. The batteries of your MP3 player are replaceable.

 

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Uncertain

Agree

Strongly Agree

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The headphones of your MP3 player are of high quality.

 

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Uncertain

Agree

Strongly Agree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The memory card of your MP3 player can store large amounts of audio files.

 

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Uncertain

Agree

Strongly Agree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVICES STATUS

 

1. The level of efficiency of the services offered by your MP3 player is high.

 

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Uncertain

Agree

Strongly Agree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The level of quality of the services offered by your MP3 player is high.

 

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Uncertain

Agree

Strongly Agree

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The level of speed of the services offered by your MP3 player is high.

 

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Uncertain

Agree

Strongly Agree

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. You are satisfied with the cost-efficiency of your MP3 player.

 

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Uncertain

Agree

Strongly Agree

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. You are satisfied with the overall quality of services offered by your MP3 player.

 

 

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Uncertain

Agree

Strongly Agree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE

 

 

Dear Respondent,

 

 

I kindly request for your cooperation in this survey. I am currently assessing whether MP3 players are formidable technological devices as an academic requirement.

Your response will be treated with outmost confidentiality.

 

 

II.                   PROFILE OF THE RESPONDENTS

 

5.        GENDER

 

q       MALE

q       FEMALE

 

 

6.        CIVIL STATUS

 

o       SINGLE

o       Married

o       Widow/widower

o       Others, please specify

 

 

7.        AGE

 

q       23 below

q       24-27

q       28-31

q       32-35

q       36-39

q       40-43

q       44-47

q       48-51

q       52 and above

 

 

8.        Educational Attainment

 

q       BS Degree

q       BS with MA

q       MA Candidate

q       PHD student

q       PHD Candidate

q       PHD

 

 

5. EMPLOYMENT STATUS

 

q       Probation

q       Permanent

q       Casual

q       On-the-job/Internship

q       Others, pls. specify

 

 

QUESTIONS

 

  1. What other ideas do you think should manufacturers of MP3 players implement to improve their efficiency?
  2. Do you agree that there are certain features of MP3 players that need to be altered or enhanced? Why or why not?
  3. If sufficient funds are available for improving MP3 players, where do you think the most consideration should be allotted?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX 2: GANTT CHART

Activity

Month 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

Browse previous literature

·                                 search for published literature (books, journals, periodicals)

·                                 check on online sources

·                                 contact groups or organizations that can provide additional information

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Topic Selection

·                                 base selection on literature

·                                 develop possible topics of interest

·                                 consult /meet with adviser

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Definition of the Problem

  

  

  

  

 

  

  

  

  

Development of the Objectives

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Selection of Methodology

·                                 identification of the method to be used

·                                 description of the participants

·                                 identification of the research instruments

·                                 description of the research procedures

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Check the availability of resources

·                                 determine the availability of the respondents

·                                 acquisition of consent

·                                 determine availability of library and online access

·                                 development of data protection techniques

  

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Verify the accessibility of the resources

·                                 create schedule for the research process based on participants' availability

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Write the draft of the proposal

·                                 create a proposal outline

·                                 refer to research books for guidelines

·                                 develop the proposal discussion based on the outline

·                                 seek approval of the adviser

·                                 do the necessary revisions

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Prepare interview schedule and survey questionnaire

·                                 develop questions for the questionnaire and interview based on the following: facilities, features and services

·                                 design questionnaire in Likert format

·                                 conduct validity tests

·                                 seek approval of the adviser

·                                 do the necessary revisions

  

  

  

  

  

 

  

 

  

Secure adviser's approval

·                                 submit final proposal, questionnaire and interview schedule

- do final revisions

  

  

  

  

  

 

  

 

  

Conduct research proper

·                                 go to the research site; contact the selected population

·                                 conduct the sampling technique

·                                 identify all selected participants

  

 

  

 

  

  

  

 

  

Administer research tools

·                                 distribution of research questionnaire

·                                 conduct the interview; note down findings

  

 

  

 

  

  

  

 

  

Gather and analyze results

·                                 compute for the descriptive statistics

·                                 develop the acquired details into an analytical discussion

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Do the necessary data presentation

·                                 convert all data from the questionnaire into graphs

·                                 support graphical presentations with the data from the interview and desk research

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

  

  

Interpret findings

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Preparation of the final report

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Formulation of conclusions and recommendations

·                                 summarization of the entire study report

·                                 identification of the major findings

·                                 development of plausible suggestions to the main issue being studies

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Preparation of the table of content, appendices

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Editing and Final Formatting

- proofread report; check for typographical errors

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Printing

·                                 print final research report

·                                 arrange details into chapters

·                                 submission

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

 


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