One of the most important activities that companies and organizations need to carry out is research. While it is especially tempting to believe in the constant top performance of a corporation in the presence of qualified professionals and good operational profits, the truth is that even the most successful ones have truly come down to their knees. To remain relevant and prosperous in an industry, organizations require regular improvement and development of their teams and strategy to be able to not onlymaintain a competitive edge in the industry, but also surpass the opponents (Barratt and Fulop 2016). To achieve such feats, business structuresmust invest in corporateand market research, given that itis not only a reserve of the medical and science fields, but also an essential part of the business environment. The capacity and ability to conducta research can easily help in differentiating between well-performing and failing organizations. Thus, research is not only a part of the business, but also an essential tool in evaluating organizational performance.
Problems Facing Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC)
KPC is a state-owned oil conglomerate in Kuwait responsible for exploration, production, refining, and marketing of oil and gas in Kuwait. It is also the parent company of several other state-owned oil subsidiaries in the country (Progressive Media Group 2016). While the company has had a good performance in the past, recently, it has faced a challenge with its training. According to Calderwood (2011), the company’s growing workforce has not been similarto its investment in training its workforce. In relation to research, it is important to define the company’s research problem, as a part from introducing the company to the importance of the topic (training of the workforce) it also places the topic into the company’s context in addition to providing the framework for result reporting (Bryman 2007).
In conducting survey research, there are three types available, which include exploratory, descriptive and causal research (Spillman 2014). Exploratory research is particularly relevant when conducting marketing or business strategy. It has a focus of the exploration of ideas and insights rather than the collection of statistically accurate data (Spillman 2014). On the other hand, descriptive research has a preplanned format and has a definite structure in its design to enable statistical inference of the information collected on a population. At the core of descriptive research is the definition of opinions, attitudes or behavior of a group towards a given subject. Finally, causal research aims at finding the cause and effect relationship between variables (Spillman 2014). The main aim of the research design is to determine the effect and the cause between the variables as well as to find out the type of their connection with the predicted effect. For the problem facing KPC, descriptive and causal research designs are much more appropriate in exploring the issue. Descriptive research will be relevant to the problem, as it will allow the managers to collect the opinion of those workers who are on the training course. Causal research, on the other hand, is important, as it will help in the discovery of the relationship between training and organizational performance.
In conducting the research, the company can collect data from its workers, or from other sources. Data collected directly from its workers is a primary one. However, data collected from other sources, which had conducted similar research is considered secondary. The workers can provide firsthand information on the training needs and the training gaps in the company, on the other hand, other sources can display aninsight in how other organization handled similar problems, and replicate the solutions to KPC.
Another option in conducting the research is using qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative data is information presented non-numerically, and includes feelings and opinions (Sogunro 2002). Quantitative data uses numbers analyzed using statistical procedures in testing the theory (Sogunro 2002). The two types of data are important, as they will help in getting not only the opinion of the workers on the training, but also the effect in individual turnover that the training has on the company.
Factors to Consider When Setting up a Training Center
It is crucial to conduct a research both to evaluate project`s viability and its execution possibility before starting the project itself. In underscoring the importance of research, Fincham and Draugalis (2013) posit that research must take precedence if organizations are able to handle the competition. In discussing the requirements for an education and training center and their vision of building a state-of-the art building to house the center, several questions require addressing. For the first question, is the location suitable, considering the forecast growth in the demand of the education and training services? From the case brief, the manager has indicated a forecast growth in the demand of the education and training services in the next five years, given the growing population of individuals above 50 years. The location of the facility is important as a convenient location makes it easier for customers, staff and support services to access the facility easily (BBC 2014). Moreover, given the advanced age of the customers, the location should be convenient for the customers in access and proximity to their residential areas or places of work.
Apart from the location, the next most important question is what will be the expected percentage increase in average demand? Since the facility is planning to put up a new building, it is important to know the average increase in demand for the services to factor in the demand when putting up the new building. Demand in the service means more space, however, it is important to know the average demand to allocate enough space and avoid excesses, which may not only increase the cost of construction, but also cause delays in completion and take up unnecessary space.
In addition to the location and the expected demand, it is also important find out whether there is enough space for the new state-of-the-art building? Given that the old building would not be demolished to make space for the new building, it is important to consider the available space, and whether it will be enough to put up the new building. The available space is especially important to consider since the additional technological features that the new building hopes to incorporate may require some extra metric area. Moreover, as an education and training provider specializing in delivery of IT programs and courses, space for data centers, servers, and other IT related equipment, hardware, and features is important to cater for not only the current, but future demand and changes in IT as well.
Although the manager has identified the government as the provider of the funds for the capital cost of the building, it is also important understand, what are the government’s requirements for providing the funds? In providing funding for different projects, most governments have a set of requirements that each organization must satisfy. For instance, according to Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (n.d.), an organization applying for grants must be a non-profit unitand demonstratethe viability of the project. Therefore, the manager must ensure that the organization satisfies all the government’s requirements before application.
Evaluation of Response Rates in Surveys
The last couple of years showcased a decrease tendency among the telephone survey`s response rates. According to Desilver and Keeter (2015), such decline in survey response rates has a great impact on polling, contributing to high rates of poll flops. The response rates are not affecting pollsters only since market researchers and advertisers are also feeling the pinch. Desilver and Keeter (2015) argue that the growth of cellphones and the growing unwillingness of people willing to answer survey question are part of the reasons for the decline of the response rates. Although it is possible for thecompanies to make callsdirectly to customers’ mobile phones, apart from the landlines, the growth of call screening applications and devices on mobile platforms and landlines respectively will continue the further decline in response. With the applications and devices, consumers can easily block calls from marketers making it impossible to reach them bytheir cell phones and landlines.
Aside from technology that allows screening of calls on mobile phones and landlines, there has been a significant change in lifestyles today comparing to thosein the past. Currently people are busier and have a greater mobility making it more difficult to contact them (Desilver and Keeter 2015). In addition, more people refuse to respond to surveys following the growing concern over their privacy and confidentiality. Advances in technology have made it increasingly invasive of individual’s privacy, making more people apprehensive about surveys in relation to the securityof their personal information. Moreover,the majority finds surveys burdensome, and therefore refuses to participate (Desilver and Keeter 2015).
The decline in survey response rate is a concern for many marketers and pollsters, and therefore, there is a necessity to find ways of improving response rates for better research samples and drawing accurate conclusions. One of the ways it can be achieved is reducing the number of questions posed to respondents, and therefore the time respondents consumeanswering survey questions (Desilver and Keeter 2015). There is a general agreement among researchers that the time spent by respondents in answering survey question puts a burden upon them, and therefore the need to reduce the time (and questions) given the busy lifestyle that has become a mandatory.
Desilver and Keeter (2015) posit that callbacks are another option in improving response rates. Callbacks allow the survey teams to increase the chances of reaching respondents and to make surethe survey has the correct sample of interviewed respondents (Desilver and Keeter 2015). Callbacks additionally help to underscore the seriousness of the survey, helping to change the attitude of the respondents towards it.
Research is an important part of the business process. Conducting a business/running an organization requires a constant update of the market, including changes and trends that shape the market the organization operates. In conducting research, there are different research designs available for use. What the organization hopes to achieve with the research determines the design thatshould be used. Additionally, there are multiple factors for consideration before putting up a new building. Further, while telephone surveys have increasingly been difficult to conduct due to decrease in response rates, reducing the respondent burden and callbacks are among the methods, which organizations can use to improve the willingness of people to participate, even as they look for alternative means of collecting survey information.
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