Examine appropriate research methodologies and approaches as part of the research process.
Conduct and analyse research relevant to a business research project.
Communicate the outcomes of a research project to identified stakeholders.
Reflect on the application of research methodologies and concepts.
This year the theme, set by Pearson, is transformation in the workplace. Workplace transformation is the rethinking of flexible workspaces to accommodate different kinds of work, workers, and technology. Driven by new technologies and increasing globalisation the workplace has been evolving rapidly to support these constant changes. The changes in technology, roles and competencies have provided countless opportunities for enhancement and change within organisations and as the world or work changes so does the workplace.
Deloitte in their report entitled ‘ Workplace transformation in the digital age’ identified four dimensions of the workplace ecosystem that needed to be considered in any workplace transformation strategy:
- space, relating to the design of office buildings and space;
- place, relating to how the workforce is spread across different locations;
- technology and the requirements needed for employees to carry out their roles and collaborate;
- talent relating to organisational structure and culture.
In the wake of the recent global pandemic all these dimensions of the workplace ecosystem are having to be reimagined. Many organisations already have had to refocus their workforce plan to ensure a fully remote workforce has the capabilities and technologies available to continue employee connectivity, engagement and productivity. Navigating this new way of work is crucial to support business operations and far-reaching implications for the future. The specific topic on which you will be focusing your research is “The impact of the global pandemic on accelerating workplace transformation”
Scenario and Project
Imagine that shortly after completing a HND in Business, you are working for a small new HR consultancy company. You are approached by an organisation that wants to learn about the challenges faced by their employees due to global pandemic when embarking on workplace transformation initiatives so that it can use these insights to transform its operations more efficiently. In your role as an HR Consultant, you are asked to conduct of all the following activities.
Activity 1 – Research Methodologies and Process
To demonstrate your skills and understanding of a research project, you are first asked to provide the following background information.
In order to do receive a strong evaluation, you can:
- (critically)evaluate research methodologies and processes in business research projects and justify the selected methods by placing them on philosophical /theoretical frameworks.
To be regarded as at least satisfactory by the client, you must as a minimum:
- producea research proposal or hypothesis that clearly defines a research question and is supported by a literature review, and
- thinkabout, formulate and refine a Project Title and
- devisea set of Project Aims and Objectives that fit with the Scenario outlined above.
- examinesuitable research methods and approaches to primary and secondary research.
Activity 2 – Project Execution/ Conducting Small-Scale Research
Moving into the Project Execution phase, to generate knowledge to support the project, you need to provide the following steps.
For your report to be regarding as outstanding by your client, you could therefore:
- discussadvantages, limitations and difficulties of approaches to data collection and analysis.
For your work to reach the basic standard expected by the client, you will need to:
- conductprimary and secondary research using appropriate methods for a business research project that consider costs, access and ethical issues, and
- applysuitable analytical tools, and
- analyseresearch findings and data.
First, you should carry out Secondary Research to address “The impact of the global pandemic on accelerating workplace transformation” topic posed earlier. In the secondary research, it is recommended that you consider the distinct phases that support a coherent and logical argument. You should be able to use this Secondary Research to inform a Primary Study.
Then, you should carry out Primary Empirical Research to help it with the Consultancy questions posed earlier:
- What are the challenges faced by their employees due to global pandemic when embarking on workplace transformation initiatives?
- How can it use these insights to transform its operations more efficiently?
While carrying out the research, you should apply both qualitative and quantitative research methods that are appropriate for meeting the aims and objectives of the project. In the field work, it is recommended that you consider carefully how you should select a sample from organisations, businesses or individuals; what sampling approaches and techniques are the most appropriate; and whether any ethical or other problems will arise.
Finally, analyse your research and data, using appropriate tools and techniques.
Activity 3 – Project Findings
In your role as an HR Consultant, you are asked to report the Findings from your Research (i.e. the one that notionally approaches you and that you in fact have access to).
For this part of the report to be effective, you can:
- provide(critical analysis) of the research outcomes demonstrating how they meet set research objectives.
Meanwhile, for this further report to be considered at least satisfactory, you must:
- providevalid and meaningful conclusions from the research and data analysis.
Activity 4 – Reflection on the application of research methodologies
On your return to the Consultancy, you will carry out a Reflection on the application of research methodologies and work on the practical recommendations you would make to the business.
You are instructed that to be highly rated in this activity you would:
- providereflection of the Research process along with (valid & justified) recommendations for future improvement
As a minimum to succeed in this activity, you are informed that this part of the report needs to:
- reflecton the effectiveness of research methods applied (whether they have met the objectives set in the beginning of the business research project), and
- think aboutalternative research methodologies and lessons learnt related to the outcomes.
To do this well, you can think about and prepare answers to questions like the following:
- How well did the project go? How good were your project outcomes? Was the project useful for the business you have consulted for? What changes or developments took place which went differently from the initial project management plan?
- How useful is the project management process for meeting planned objectives? Does it support the way that an organisation can perform in a sustainable way?
- Did you learn anything from the project management process? How valuable is the project management process as a tool for supporting your own learning or performance? Can you learn from it for the future?
- Did you learn anything from the research process or the use of quality research? How valuable is the research process as a tool for supporting your own learning or performance? Can it help you to meet your objectives? How?
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