Purpose of Business Research and Business Research Proposal

Purpose of Business Research and Business Research Proposal

Part 1. Purpose of Business Research
Researches play the determinant role in the study of different problems and opportunities of business. In actuality, it is impossible to achieve a considerable marketing success without conducting a profound research. In this respect, modern business is particularly dependant on the effective research design because modern companies need a high degree of reliability of the results of the research, validity and objectivity of the study. All these purposes can hardly be met without the application of an effective research design. At the same time, there is no ideal or universal research design in the modern business environment. Instead, today, specialists apply various research designs which can vary consistently and they applied in different context and either research design has its own strengths and weaknesses that limits and, simultaneously, specifies its applicability. In other words, some research designs are more effective in certain context, while others are more effective in a different context that makes these research designs effective in different contexts which define the specialization of research designs, i.e. their application in particular studies and circumstances, when they provide the maximal effectiveness. Nevertheless, what proves to be beyond a doubt is the necessity of the use of research design because it glues the research and makes it valuable and solid work.
In order to understand the importance of the research design, it is necessary to briefly dwell upon the essence of the research procedure. As a rule, a research involves a variety of methods and strategies which scientists use to conduct the research. At the same time, a research includes sample groups, measures, treatments or programs, and naturally methods of assignment. However, all these constituent elements of a research are not interlinked with each other. Instead, they represent a relatively chaotic selection of tools and elements which may be incorporated into a research. In fact, without the research the development of business is disorganized and disintegrated. As a result, its effectiveness and successfulness decrease dramatically.
Instead, the research contributes to the proper organization of the business and development of all its constituent elements. Moreover, the research can contribute to the selection and proper organization of elements of the business which are the most effective to achieve purpose of a specific business project. In such a way, the research proves to be the power which defines the effective performance of modern companies.
In such a context, benefits of the application of different types of research are obvious. In this respect, it should be said that the weaknesses and strengths of various research designs. Basically, it is possible to distinguish three major types of research design: randomized or true experiment, quasi-experiment and non-experiment. All these research designs imply the application of methods and strategies as well as other elements of a research which are the most effective for them. Moreover, they can be clearly distinguished into two categories: on the one hand, there are research designs that involve experiments, while, on the other hand, there are research designs that do not involve experiments or are non-experimental.
Specialists (Bangert-Drowns, 1993) often refer to experimental research designs as the most rigorous of all research designs, or as the “gold standard” against which all other designs are judged. Such a view of experimental research designs is, to a significant extent, justified because if it is possible to implement an experimental research design well then the experiment is probably the strongest design with respect to internal validity (Anderson, 1979). At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that the internal validity is at the center of all causal or cause-effect inferences. Therefore, when a researcher wants to determine whether some program or treatment causes some outcome or outcomes to occur, then he or she is interested in having strong internal validity. To put it in simple words, the research design may be briefly worded in the following manner: if the program is given, then the outcome occurs. In fact, such an obvious simplicity is probably the major strength of experimental research design which it is possible to refer the randomized or true experiment.
On the other hand, there is quasi-experiment research design which looks like an experiment research design but lacks the key ingredient – the randomized assignment. Specialists (Borg, 1989) argue that such research designs give the experimental purists a quasi feeling. With respect to internal validity, they often appear to be inferior to randomized experiments, but, nevertheless, taken as a group, these experiments are easily more frequently implemented than their randomized cousins (Campbell, 1988).
In this respect, it is important to explain that the randomized or true experiment research design implies that the design uses randomized assignment to groups. As for the quasi-experiment design, this research design does not involve the use of randomized assignments to groups. Instead, it uses multiple groups or multiple waves of measurement. In actuality, these two types of design are quite different and have their own strengths and weaknesses. For instance, the true experiment research provides the possibility to use the sample group and to make it pass through a series of assignment which can differ consistently. In such a way, it will be possible to study in details the sample group and distinguish basic responses of the group to different assignments. As a result, a detailed analysis of the sample group may be conducted and its reactions in different contexts may be researched.
Basically, this research may be used effectively in social studies when the reactions of people on different environment are needed to study. For instance, researchers can use this research design to study the impact of various stressors on the relationship between people within the sample group. The subjects can be exposed to various stressors and after that researchers can study how their relationship within the group changes and what is the reaction of the subjects on the stressors.
However, this research design has a substantial drawback because the entire research, the experiment is focused on one sample group selected by the researcher. Hence, it is impossible to study possible effects of the experiment on different people. For instance, the impact of stress factors is different on different people, but various groups of people may develop different relationships and, therefore, the responses to the impact of stressors will be different. Consequently, their relationships will change in a different way and the use of one sample group only may be a substantial limitation for the entire research, its validity and reliability.
In stark contrast, if multiple groups or waves of measurement are used this problem may be eliminated since researchers can analyze the outcomes and results of the research using multiple groups. In such a context, if responses of different groups do not coincide the researcher can reveal basic principles and points which are common for all the subjects of the research in all of the groups.
On the other hand, the quasi-experiment research design, which involves multiple groups or waves of measurement, has its own limitation compared to the true-experiment design, since it does not use randomized assignments and, therefore, the entire research may be focused on the specific issue and it can fail to take into consideration the impact of other significant issues. For instance, returning to the example of the research of the impact of stressors on the relationship of a sample group, the quasi-experiment research design is likely to be focused on the impact of a specific type of stressors on multiple groups rather than on the use of various stressors on one sample group. As a result, the impact of one type of stressors can be researched in details only.
Thus, it is obvious that various research methods can be applied to conduct a business research. At the same time, it is important to understand that the application of various methods can reveal numerous important factors which affect business, including cultural background of employees, which is particularly important nowadays, when many companies from Europe and the USA attempt to involve specialists from developing Asian countries, such as Thailand, where the local culture is totally different from traditional western culture. As a result, western companies need to adopt their management style and organizational culture to local peculiarities of such countries as Thailand in order to maximize the effectiveness of Thai employees’ performance.

Part 2. Business Research Proposal
The Influences of Thai culture on Employee Involvement
Background


The current development of international economic cooperation is characterized by the growing integration of countries in the field of economy. At the same time, the process of globalization, which has enhanced integrating trends, leads to the expansion of many European and American companies onto Asian markets, such as Thai market. In actuality, Thailand is one of the leading Asian countries that attract foreign investors due to its natural and human resources. In this regard, the development of petrochemical industry in Thailand is particularly prospective, taking into consideration the fact that oil is a scarce resource, while traditional centers of petrochemical industry have been already divided between leading multinational corporations.
In such a situation, many American companies, such as ExxonMobil, Texaco and others attempt to develop their business in Thailand, creating their subsidiaries in this country. At the same time, the penetration of American companies into Thai petrochemical industry implies the introduction of new management style, organizational culture, management strategies and approaches which are traditional for American companies, but, which are absolutely innovative and unfamiliar to Thai employees. In this respect, the gap between American and Thai culture is obvious, though many companies underestimate the significance of local cultural peculiarities and they attempt to establish their own organizational culture and management style, regardless of Thai culture and traditions.
Obviously, such an approach to the development of business in Thailand is risky since the cultural gap between American managers and Thai employees can lead to communication problems and, what is more, it can undermine consistently the effectiveness of the organizational performance since employees are unable to maximize their performance because of the cultural difference in the management style and their traditions. In this respect, the studies of Thai culture (Komin, 1990) reveals a huge gap between American and Thai cultures, which cannot fail to affect the organizational performance of American companies developing their business in Thailand. Unlike American culture, which tends to individualism and professional success of each employee, Thai culture differs in a number of aspects. At this point, it is possible to remind the concept of face, which is of the utmost importance to Thai employees, who always attempt to maintain face and avoid criticism. In contrast to American individualism, Thai employees are particularly concerned with people around them. Furthermore, Thai employees exhibit gratitude to those who have shown kindness and consideration in relation to them. In such a context, interpersonal relations are very important to Thai employees and, what is more, they attempt to avoid conflicts and develop smooth interpersonal relationships. In addition, they develop interdependent social relations and appreciate achieving success through social relations more than individual success (Komin, 1990).
Obviously, these characteristic of Thai employees differ consistently from traditional American values, which are characterized by the high level of individualism, which makes the individual success the ultimate goal of an American employee. Moreover, interpersonal relations in American environment can be accompanied by interpersonal conflicts, including conflicts between employees and managers, while for Thai employees the position and authority of managers is unchallengeable.


Research objectives
Taking into consideration the current trends of the growing penetration of American and European companies into Thai market, it is necessary to examine the assumptions behind the management technique of employee involvement. In actuality, the management style can be a determinant factor that defines the effectiveness of interaction between a manager and an employee. Furthermore, it is necessary to establish characteristics of the Thai national culture. In this respect, it is necessary to underline the fact that cultural background of managers and employees can, to a significant extent, define their interpersonal and professional relationships. In fact, the existing cultural gap can undermine the organizational performance if employees and managers cannot understand each other and interact as a team. The difference of the Thai culture can affect consistently the management style American and European companies should implement while developing their business in Thailand. On the basis of the research of the Thai national culture, it will be possible to achieve another objective of the research – to identify the opinion of Thai employees and their managers, working in American-owned organizations in Thailand, such as Exxon Chemical Thailand Ltd., Texaco Energy Development (Thailand) Co, Ltd. and American Petrochemical (Thailand) Co., Ltd., toward values underpinning employee involvement. The achievement of this goal is very important because the position of employees and managers will reveal the extent to which standards established in American-owned companies are applicable in the Thai cultural environment. Finally, on the basis of the research and achievement of aforementioned goals, it is possible to achieve the final objective of the research – to draw conclusions about the applicability of traditional American employee involvement to Thai employees. In fact, this objective is extremely important because it will define the further strategic development of American-owned companies in Thailand. On the one hand, the company will either adopt new organizational culture and management style to meet employees’ needs and traditions, or develop a compromise between traditional American corporate culture and specificity of the Thai culture.


Methods
Obviously, the effectiveness of the research heavily relies on the methods applied by researches. Taking into consideration objectives of the research, it should be said that it is necessary to focus on the methods of the qualitative analysis in order to identify and qualify the effects of possible cultural gaps between American corporate culture and cultural traditions of Thai employees. At the same time, it is necessary to apply several research methods in order to reach objective outcomes of the research.
Firstly, it is necessary to focus on the analysis of the literature dedicated to the Thai and American culture. In actuality, the research of the literature will provide larger opportunities for the analysis of the cultural environment in which American companies are supposed to work in Thailand. In this respect, the analysis of Thai culture and traditions is very important because they give insight to possible models of behavior which Thai employees are likely to follow. At the same time, on analyzing Thai and American sources, it is possible to identify principal differences which can affect the organizational performance and relationships between managers and employees.
Secondly, it is necessary to conduct the field research and reveal the actual opinion of Thai employees as well as American managers who have already got experience of work in Thailand concerning the work of American-owned petrochemical companies in Thailand. In fact, the use of questionnaires is an effective method that can be applied in terms of this research because it will reveal the opinion of employees and managers. In addition, questionnaires can reveal possible problems they have already faced, while working at American-owned companies in Thailand.


Timescale
January–March 2009: review of literature
April 2009: draft literature review
May 2009: review research methods literature and agree research strategy
June 2009: agree formal access to three organizations for collection of primary data
July–August 2009: compile, pilot and revise questionnaire
September 2009: administer questionnaire
October–November 2009: final collection of questionnaires and analysis of data
November 2004–February 2010: completion of first draft of project report
March–May 2010: final writing of project report


Resources
The resources needed for the research should be both American and Thai sources, which can help adequately assess the difference in the cultural background of American companies and their managers and Thai employees. In addition, it will be necessary to use computer hardware and software to access to three organizations, which has been already negotiated to be under the study and which are subjects to confirmation. All accidental costs are agreed to be paid by the employer as part of course expenses.

References:
Anderson, J. A. (1979, Nov. 10-13). Research as argument: the experimental form. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association, San Antonio, TX.
Bangert-Drowns, R.L. (1993). The word processor as instructional tool: a meta-analysis of word processing in writing instruction. Review of Educational Research, 63 (1), 69-93.
Borg, W. P. (1989). Educational Research: an Introduction. (5th ed.). New York: Longman.
Campbell, D.T. (1988). Methodology and epistemology for social science: selected papers. ed. E. S. Overman. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Komin, S. (1990) Psychology of the Thai People: Values and Behavioral Patterns, Thailand, National Institute of Development Administration (in Thai).
Rokeach,M.(1979) Understanding Human Values: Individual and Society, New York: The Free Press.