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The design of this study will be conducted in a fashion that is different from the typical survey design. This study will be examine the effects of each pay scenario independently from the others. Employees will self-assign themselves to a group based on their answer to a particular question in the survey, which is worded in such a way that they will have the perception that they are voting on a new pay method. They will be divided into groups based on which method they chose. Therefore, a nonequivalent group design will be used.
The sample population can be divided according to their preferred method of pay. In addition, it can be divided into groups according to gender. ANOVA and non-equivalent group design will be used to examine the differences between males and females and between the three study groups. It is important to understand the differences between these groups, as well as how they relate to the entire population.
Data Collection Instrument
The research instrument will be conducted using a survey. The survey will consist of 12 questions. The survey will contain an opening paragraph that will lead the employee to believe that they are being asked to "vote" on a new payscale and/or incentive plan. They will be under the impression that the choice they select could be enacted by the board. This choice will serve two purposes. The first will be to determine into which category the employee will be grouped. The second will be to determine which pay method receive the highest percentage of "votes."
The only demographic data that will be included will be whether the person is male or female. Pay cannot be based on demographic information, therefore gender will be collected for statistical purposes only. The employee will not be asked to make any identifying marks on the survey to assure that information cannot be used against them. This will help the researcher to obtain the most honest answers possible.
The remainder of the survey questions will help to determine the potential effectiveness of the chosen pay method. It will examine the amount of pay needed and/or incentives needed to produce the greatest boost in morale. It will measure the employee's amount of outside stress due to financial concerns. It will examine the potential effectiveness of other non-monetary incentives that could be added to the plan. The questions on the survey will provide a means to measure the other factors that will affect the ability of the plan to raise employee morale and productivity.
Survey for this study will consist of 20 Likert type responses, as well as other question formats that are easily analyzed using statistical methods. Likert-type responses are easily quantifiable will determine if hypothesis testing requirements have been met. However, they limit the respondent and there might be factors that were not anticipated by the researcher that affect the results.
The rationale for this data collection plan is based on the concept that employees will respond more truthfully if they believe that their choices could effect the outcome of their work environment. The study will not only address the hypotheses, but will provide an in-depth view of what the employees feel will make motivate them to higher production levels. It will also explore outside factors that will affect productivity as well. This survey will provide management with the tools that they need to boost worker morale and increase productivity. The results of this survey will produce actionable results.
Systematic Procedures for Conducting the Study
The conduct of this survey will require minimal assistance from the human resources department. The surveys will be printed and dropped off in the human resources department. The selected employees will be paged and told to report to the human resources department. They will be told that they have been randomly selected to participate in an opinion survey. They will be informed that they will receive a $10.00 bonus on their next paycheck for participating. Human resources personnel will them hand them the survey, which they will complete in the office and return it as soon as completed.
Data will be analyzed using ANOVA and the techniques described earlier. Reliability of the study will be determined by calculating Cronbach alpha reliability co-efficient for the study questions. Crohnbach's alpha coefficient will be used to validate the survey instrument. A critical value of 0.6 will be used as a limit to verify the reliability of the scale.
Frequency distribution will be used to compare results and determine the most prominent answer. Two-Tailed tests will be used as validity measures. Internal validity will be measured using paired analysis of the various groups. A p-value of.05 will be used for acceptance of the validity of these questions. A p-value of less than.05 could indicate that the survey contains internal bias.
The dependent variable in this research will be the choice preferred by the employee, as well as other factors, such as financial stabiliy and over all job satisfaction. The working environment and conditions pay scale at the plant will represent the independent variable. An examination of human resource policies will help to determine if these factors might account for differences between the working conditions of various departments.
Limitations of the Study
As with any research of this nature, it is possible the situations may exist that are beyond the control of the researcher that may limit the ability to draw conclusions. The research will use random sampling techniques, in most cases, this sampling technique produces results that are scattered randomly throughout the population. In this case, it will be necessary to gain a perspective from different lines and departments. However, because the researcher has no control over who is selected for the study, there may be a cluster of employees that are from one particular part of the plant. This could effect the results of the study, especially if these employees harbour strong feelings about their work environment.
There are several issues that may affect the internal validity of the study. It the results find that there are a significant number of employees from one particular department or line, then it could result in sample bias. If a subgroup is found in the population, then the results of this subgroup will be compared to the sample population as a whole using ANOVA. If no biases are detected then the sub-group will not be considered to have biased the results. However, if the results indicate sample bias, then the survey process will be repeated with another sample group.
It is assumed that the employees chosen will represent their true feelings and provide accurate information. They may be hesitant to reveal certain types of information that are considered sensitive in nature. The may fear retaliation if they feel that their answers represent themselves or reveal negative feelings about the company. However, steps have been taken in the survey design to help eliminate these potential sources of bias. Identifying information will be omitted, to eliminate sources of bias that stems from the participant themselves.
Another potential source of bias stems from the survey instrument itself. Some types of survey questions may be leading. For example, a question that begins, "do you have" a certain object may lead the participant to think that the research wants them to indicate a certain answer. However, questions of this type are difficult to avoid. It is assumed that the participants in the survey will see the necessity of answering the questions honestly.
Although there is some potential for breeches internal validity, it is felt that these potential sources of bias have been addressed adequately in the experimental design. The external validity of the research is expected to be satisfactory such that the results can be used to form company policy. The external validity of the study is closely connected to the ability to increase productivity. Sample bias plays a major role in the ability to generalized results across various departments and lines. It is felt that the issues that may effect the ability to do so have been addressed sufficiently as well. The results of this survey are expected to be valid, both internally and externally such that the results can be generalized to the population of the plant.
Alternative Empirical Research Studies
This research study will focus on pay incentives as a motivator. However, there are many other aspects of motivation that have not been addressed in the present research study. These other elements may provide a solid basis for further studies in future. Pay was selected as the first element of motivation to be studied, as this element was easily controllable from a managerial standpoint. In addition, it was the opinion of management that this research would be the most likely to produce fast, concrete results.
In addition to pay incentives, reward and recognition were also found to be important employee motivators (Hansen & Smith, 2002). These elements…[continue]
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