Robson (2002) distinguished three purposes of conducting a research-
Explorative – considered as looking around, to find out what is happening, asking questions or studying a topic from a new angel.
Descriptive – research aims at accurately depicting people, events and situations.
Explanative – study which gains an explanation of a situation, usually in the form of causal relationships (Robson, 2002).
The main purpose of this study is to gain an understanding into the staffing policies of real operating Indian MNC in foreign market which will be done by investigating factors affecting staffing strategy and motives influencing the company to dispatch from home or hire locally. The purpose of this study is Descriptive.
Research approach: Induction and Deduction are two approaches for conducting any research. (Saunders, Lewis and Thorhill, 2007). In an Inductive study, the data is first collected then after analyzing theory is developed. Deductive study is opposite where the hypothesis or theory is first developed followed by a research strategy in order to test the theory (Saunders et al., 2007). Since existing theories are used to create a framework through which the collected data will be analyzed, the approach for this study will be deductive. Analyzing previous research and theories provide better understanding to underlying factors affecting the staffing policies in recruitment and selection process.
Nature of research can be qualitative or quantitative (Byman and Bell, 2005). The difference lies in the fact that in qualitative research the emphasis is often on words than numbers unlikely in quantitative approach. Qualitative approach hence becomes more inductive and interpreting. Denscombe (2000) stated that qualitative approach is favorable while conducting study on human activities and behavioral patterns. The current authors approach hence will be qualitative to analyze the collected data from interviews full of values, beliefs and perceptions which cant be quantifiable.
There are several other different research strategies including experiments, surveys, archival analysis and case studies (Yin 2003). Case studies can be conducted by one or multiple cases. Case studies are also recommended when the research aims at answering ‘how’ and ‘why’ (Yin 2003). Saunders et al., 2007 argues that when applying a multiple case study strategy it is possible to establish whether the findings in one case are related to others. In a case study it is possible to use number of methods to collect data.
The research purpose and approach of this study is in accordance with the Case Study Strategy.
The collection of empirical data for the case studies can be done through six commonly used sources of evidence: documentations, archival records, interviews, direct observations, participant observations and physical artifacts (Yin, 2003). According to Yin (2003), interviews are considered the most important method when it comes to collecting empirical data and it benefits the researcher as it allows to be focused on specific research topic.
There are three types of interviews such as open – ended, focused and survey. The current researcher will use the open ended so that the respondent has more freedom to answer. The questions will be semi structured which means that they will be based on an interview guide which will have pre-prepared list of questions.
As with any research, limitations are to be expected. A major limitation for any phenomenological research is that as human beings, we have limited cognitive information processing capabilities (Curral and Towler, 2003) and therefore certain key issues that are relevant to research might go unnoticed. This issue can be checked by recording all the interviews and wherever possible to transcribe the interviewee’s answers for facilitating a thorough study.
This study will be conducted in only one organization and the participants will only be that of HR team. Other support and administrative staff may not be included. While I acknowledge that other staff and functions would be of great impact in the process of implemented policies in global staffing, I will stick to the recruitment and selection as that is the sole area of the study.
As the research in this area of HR is requires in-depth study and travel to understand and underpin all that is required to prepare best piece of work. The time frame available may not help top achieve all the required data and from all the resources. The researcher can only spend a limited amount of time in the organization to collect all the sought after details and conduct interviews. This may result in hurried data collection process at best and inadequate data at the worst.
Adoption of single method research design and a highly subjective method of analysis, raises concerns of reliability, validity and issues of bias. Small sample size and restriction to management consultants would raise the question of ability to generalize beyond research organization (Yin, 2003). However there will be an attempt to carry out the focus group discussions after the interviews in order to validate the data.
Researchers prior work experience in the organization implies that there will be pre established views and assumptions, which can potentially interfere in the study (Saunders et al., 2007). This can most likely result in an subjective approach but this can be help the researcher gain the confidence of the participants to facilitate the flow of information.
An important limitation may arise upon key issue of the research: culture. Literature review suggests that culture accounts for a large amount of differentials in international staffing. This could have an impact on the respondent’s subjective interpretations of the reality. As many geographical regions would be involved in this study, researcher will try to focus the subject towards international prospect of staffing rather than a particular region so that a unifying experience will downplay the emergence of factors that could cloud the response related to a specific geography.
Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the researcher will be able to interview all the proposed interviewees especially as some of them are senior level staff who may not be available for the interviews. There is also the possibility that they refrain to share or be unwilling to provide some of the required inputs given that the sensitivity of the subject matter can be an issue along with the fact that the researcher is no more an employee of the company.
Last but not the least as the company is currently undergoing various levels of restructuring and there have been potential shifts of positions across the departments and functions of HR. The resulting tension and insecurities may pose a threat to carrying out the interviews. Employees might be uncomfortable to share their inputs. In such scenario, the attempt will be to conduct the interview informally outside the workplace. A personal talk over phone or home visit can be another option for gaining important information.
In spite of the problems likely to be expected, the research believes that the study will be conducted efficiently and effectively. All attempts will be made to reach the objective of the research and complete the process in accordance with the proposed schedule.
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