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Privatization -- a Comparison of Two Studies
A Comparison of Two Studies
The author of this paper is asked to offer a review and analysis of two major studies that both pertain to corporate privatization. The author is asked to break down the analysis into eight major categories. Those areas, in order, are epistemology (how relevant/correct the method is for the study relative to what is being studied), the associated literature reviews, the methods employed overall, the data analysis underpinning the results for each study, the interpretation of the results for each study, the overall readability of each study's summary, the relevance of the conclusions reached, and the contribution of the research to the overall body of knowledge as parlayed by the two studies.
The overall approach of the Craig/Amernic study is to focus on the senior management discourse of companies that take the privatization route. The study notes that a narrative perspective is adopted and the results/review of the study are stated in accounting-type language. There is perhaps a danger in not sticking to verifiable and provable figures, but the overall method employed for this study was solid. There is a huge qualitative dimension to this subject and that has to be recognized. A modicum of academic prowess is maintained via the use of accounting-based language because this is a set of jargon and terminology that many professionals reading this study will understand implicitly due to the shared knowledge set and culture of the accounting industry around the world (Craig & Amernic, 2008).
The methodology behind the Yonnedi article was much more quantitative in nature because a standardized questionnaire was used. For that reason alone, any conclusions drawn will generally have much more weight and validity because qualitative analysis can be very subject to bias and preconceived notions and that can cloud and pollute the efficacy and validity of any results offered, even if the conclusions happen to be the right ones (Yonnedi, 2010).
Literature Review & Research Question Connection
The Craig/Amernic report has an extensive section that covers prior theory and research. The study goes so far as to offer a breakdown of certain trends and terms starting on page 1094 of the treatise. Example topics include operating ratio/adjusted operating ratio, compensation and benefit policies and so forth (Craig & Amernic, 2008).
The Yonnedi study also has a section like the above but it is much smaller, spanning only a few pages. That being said, there is certainly a "bang for the buck" as they author apparently assumes that most people reading the study will know the basics and jargon behind the industry and they just get to the "meat" of prior research and conclusions so as to quickly inform the debate and questions that are about to come. Immediately after this section, the Yonnedi report gets right into the development of the hypotheses of the study (Yonnedi, 2010).
As noted above, there is a fairly strict difference and demarcation between the way that each study was done. The Craig/Amernic study went for the qualitative dimensions whereas the Yonnedi study went for a much more quantitative direction with a standardized measurement instrument. Truly, any good study would have to blend the two methods because statistics can be deceiving and the qualitative aspect of this subject simply cannot be ignored. Indeed, there are probably instances where making (or keeping) a business private is the optimal way to proceed and there are also times where going the public route makes a lot more sense, probably mostly for a venture capital/investment reason that a private solution would not be able to address (Craig & Amernic, 2008)(Yonnedi, 2010).
Interpretation of Results
The results of the two studies were noticeably different, but they were not conflicting. The Craig/Amernic study focused on using standardized and industry-accepted language to describe corporate progress and processes whereas the Yonnedi study focused on the fact that the expected change variables vis-a-vis privatization and what comes with vary a lot based on the overall ownership structure of the companies being assessed. Again, the results are not conflicting as they do not contain bits of information that are glaringly at odds. The two studies just look a different dimension and part of the privatization process and debate but both of the studies use real-world anecdotes and/or statistical data to come to their conclusions rather than engaging in "ivory tower" supposition that is not reliable in the least (Craig & Amernic, 2008) (Yonnedi, 2010).
The overall readability and user-friendly nature of both studies is quite good. For someone that is at least somewhat versed in the relevant topics surrounding global firms and how well (or even if) they go private and the results that ensue, then either one of these studies would not be a hard read. However, a person reading the Craig and Amernic study would probably be a lot more informed if they were completely or somewhat new to the topic because the foundations and definitions offered in the literature review and theory explanation is much more expansive than the Yonnedi study (Craig & Amernic, 2008)(Yonnedi, 2010).
A delicate balance has to be struck between keeping the study readable and "dumbing it down" too much for people that are not as informed on the subject. Generally, so long as the studies stay away from getting too technical and entrenched in using words and terms that not even most business professionals even know and as long as the words and conclusions are not too simplistic, then anything between that is generally fine. It is a matter of keeping it complex enough to be truly applicable to real world practice and simple enough so that people can easily comprehend what is being said and what led to the conclusions. Both of these studies are easily within the proper spectrum (Craig & Amernic, 2008)(Yonnedi, 2010).
Relevance of the Conclusions Reached
Both of the conclusions reached, as a whole, by the two relevant studies are both positive and relevant in their own ways. The Yonnedi study carries a little more weight because they used a homogenous measurement instrument across the board but the Craig study dug into the minutia that belies any numbers that could be garnered. Both studies would have more well-served (and more relevant) if they both used a blended approach whereby quantitative and qualitative data could be blende to show a unified results where each type of analysis in the study leads to the same overall conclusion (Craig & Amernic, 2008)(Yonnedi, 2010).
As an example, they could say that a certain quantitative result was discovered and that this quantitative results was buttressed and validated by a certain piece (or series of pieces) of qualitiative data. Such melding of the two methods could also be used to fetter out anomalies and "false positives" that would perhaps lead to invalid conclusions were only one method used instead of a blended approach. That being said, and all else equal, a quantitative study is going to hold more weight and it's not hard to see why. Even so, statistics can be used to exhibit bias if they are not wielded and used in the proper way. Also, simple mistakes and methodology miscues can also lead to the most well-intentioned research to go south and yield conclusions that simply aren't true, or at least not all of the time (Craig & Amernic, 2008)(Yonnedi, 2010).
Contribution of the Research to the Body of Knowledge
As noted above, neither of the studies are perfect because they seem to take too high-level or simple an approach to what is being covered. There is something to said for taking on too broad a topic and there is also something to be said for drilling down too far. The overall level of perspective in these…[continue]
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