Research Topic, Aim, and Objectives
The profitability of an organization has been consistently linked to the effectiveness and efficiency of the workforce. In the highly complex and ever-changing business environment, organizations are in a constant state of competition, which entails the intensification of the need to improve workers’ performance (Shannon, 2018). Therefore, because companies’ success depends on the implementation of successful marketing and operation strategies, there is also a need for the management of human resources (HRM). This area of strategic operations is concerned with the handling of companies’ most valuable assets – employees that work both individually and collectively to fulfill what is expected from them.
Therefore, it is imperative for the HRM of any company to continuously discover how to boost motivation to ensure that employees have the strength and inspiration to meet the long- and short-term goals. Motivational strategies are usually aimed at performance improvement, enhanced productivity and values, all of which are reflective of the overall effectiveness of a company, helping maintain an organization’s competitive advantage (Shannon, 2018). Thus, this research will deal with employee motivation as an approach intended to boost performance capacity and meet organizational objectives.
The aim of the study is to investigate the impact of employee motivation strategies within HRM on organizational performance and competitive advantage. This research aim is relevant because, in the modern business environment, success depends on utilizing talents and using them to the advantage of organizations. While most human resource managers understand that an effective motivation system is needed, it remains a challenge to identify the strategies that will fit the majority of workers because different individuals respond to various motivational forms. Besides, discovering the impact of employee motivation strategies on workers’ performance is essential because, in some instances, not all workers’ needs align with organizational needs.
The specific objectives of the research are the following:
- To determine the motivational strategies used by human resource management professionals with an organization [Organization’s Name, Industry, or Country];
- To identify the factors that positively influence employees’ performance in the organization;
- To determine the factors that negatively influence employees’ performance in the organization.
The research questions of the research on employee motivation strategies are the following:
- What is the correlation between employee motivation strategies and workers’ performance in an organization?
- What are the positive and negative implications of employee motivation strategies for workers?
Drawing from the research topic, aim, objectives, and questions, the study has great significance for understanding the underpinnings of competitive advantage of companies as a result of motivation improvement. It is among the most prominent tasks of every Human Resources manager to create an environment in which employees will feel motivated and inspired to do their best in order to benefit their organization. There may be several benefits of having a highly motivated workforce, such as improved employee satisfaction, reduced turnover rates and absenteeism, as well as less friction and misunderstanding among workers. The potential contribution of this study entails adding to the bulk of research literature with the help of a quantitative approach. The topic of employee motivation has primarily been explored qualitatively because of the ease of its implementation (Shannon, 2018). It is much easier for scholars to implement a qualitative analysis of employee motivation because workers can be interviewed while their answers can be analyzed thematically. However, the value of this study is in the quantitative approach, which will be further explored in the methodology section.
Methodology, Methods, and Ethical Considerations
This chapter aims to discuss the methodological procedures and approaches to be implemented in order to reach the aims and objectives of the study and help answer the research questions. It will also include considerations of ethics of conducting research with live subjects. In a proposal, it is imperative to discuss a research methodology, which provides the understanding of specific procedural rules for research claims assessment and the validation of the gathered knowledge. The research design is intended to provide the basis of the research model. A constructive research methodology is very pertinent to discuss because it will provide an overview of the necessary strategies and tools that will be adopted in the study.
The research will take the quantitative approach toward problem investigation because of the appropriateness of the method for the identified problem and aims. The approach fits the identified research aim and objectives because quantitative studies aim to test objective theories by means of examining relationships between variables. Such variables can be measured with the help of quantitative instruments so that numbered data can be analyzed with the aid of statistical procedures (Adams, Khan and Raeside, 2014). For the chosen topic and research aims and objectives, the quantitative approach has several advantages. Specifically, to find the correlation between employee motivation strategies and performance outcomes at the organization, the researcher can include a larger research sample and involve more subjects to facilitate results’ generalization (Adams et al., 2014). In addition, the quantitative methodology allows increasing the objectivity and accuracy of the study because there will be only two variables involved as the study relates to close-ended information.
In this study, the deductive approach will be taken, which entails taking steps inherent to the inductive research, with their order being reversed. The research will start with the theory that employee motivation strategies are likely to influence employees’ performance positively. Then, the theory will be tested using the research data to find its implications. Therefore, the purpose of the deductive approach is moving from a general level to a more specific one, which goes in line with the purpose of scientific investigation. Based on the available evidence for the positive impact of employee motivation strategies, the study will aim to test the hypothesis using the quantitative approach toward data analysis.
The study on the effects of motivation in the workplace will use the correlational design. The aim of correlational research is to determine the degree of a relationship between two variables by using statistical data (O’Leary, 2020). In such a type of design, the relationship between employee motivation strategies and workers’ performance outcomes is expected to be found. In this research, the scholar will recognize the patterns and trends in data; however, it is not likely that the analysis will go as far as to prove the causes for the relationship between employee motivation strategies and performance outcome (O’Leary, 2020). This means that cause and effect is not the framework for this type of observational research, with the data, relationships, and variables being studied only. It is also important to mention that variables will not be manipulated in this study and will only be identified and explored as they take place naturally.
This study will entail a survey strategy involving real-life participants who have had experience with motivational strategies implemented at their workplace. Surveys have become commonly used by Human Resource managers who are tasked with questioning employees about their everyday work, what inspires and motivates them, the issues that they encounter, as well as their recommendations for employers as to how they can improve their work climate (Castro Christiansen, Biron, Farndale and Kuvaas, 2018). Survey research is a quantitative search strategy, namely, using questionnaires with numerically rated items for ease of implementation. The survey strategy is relevant for this study because it can be used to describe and explore human behavior, which is a crucial indicator of employee motivation.
One of the critical characteristics of survey research is the possibility to carry out population-based data collection. This means that the study can involve a large group of employees not from one but from two or several organizations, and these workers may have a different experience with motivational strategies on the part of Human Resource managers. Besides, the survey method will allow to obtain information quickly and efficiently, leaving a lot of time for data analysis and findings interpretation. In the context of the current pandemic and social distancing restrictions that many employers follow, survey research is beneficial because data collection can be carried out remotely (Hensen et al., 2021). For example, the surveys can be developed using an online survey developing tool (e.g., SurveyMonkey) and sent to participants via email. While such a method may result in a reduced response rate and more surveys will have to be sent, it implies the ease of implementation on both sides – the researcher and survey respondents.
Before discussing the study’s ethical implications, it must be mentioned that survey studies have some limitations. The most important limitation is the bias of survey research, which calls for the implementation of techniques for reducing such bias for making relevant and accurate conclusions about the information being reported with bias. The research must implement a survey-friendly friendly survey design and follow-up procedures for non-responders when it comes to the lack of responses from all individuals in a sample. To address measurement error, the researcher will have to implement valid and reliable instruments, pretest questions, user-friendly graphics, and other visual aids to enhance the understanding of surveys.
Ethics includes ideas about what is morally right and wrong. In the study, several ethical issues may arise and will need to be addressed. These issues include confidentiality, informed consent, anonymity, persuasion and pressure, and failure to disclose interest. Confidentiality means that the researcher will have to promise not to disclose any personal data about participants and store and handle data safely (Bos, 2020). Informed consent will be obtained to ensure that survey respondents understand the purpose and aim of the study and agree to participate and for their data to be collected and used for meeting research aims and objectives (Manti and Licari, 2018). Preserving anonymity entails the correct segregation of personally identifiable information from survey responses and the safe and accurate storage of information. It is important that survey responders participate in the study without any pressure and persuasion. Finally, the study will have to disclose an interest in case if there are sponsors that are funding it. For example, if an organization in which the survey data is collected has any connection with the financing of the study, this information must be researched.
The aim of this section is to provide an appropriate timeline for the research proposal. It is expected that the study will be carried out in the course of five months, starting from the initial background search of the research topic and ending with the submission of the full document containing all sections of a research paper. The five-month timeline for this research is laid out below:
- 5 MOS: Implementing a comprehensive and thorough review of available literature to identify gaps in research conducted by experts in the field of Human Resource Management;
- Identifying research aims, objectives, and research objectives, considering the overall vision and the preliminary review of available data.
- 4 MOS: Contacting organizations to evaluate the readiness of employees to participate in a quick survey;
- Implementing snowball sampling methods to recruit as many participants as possible in order to guarantee the representativeness of the sample.
- 3 MOS: Developing a 15-question survey using the SurveyMonkey tool to disseminate among study participants;
- Obtaining guidance from colleagues or instructors regarding the format and content of developed survey;
- 2 MOS: Sending surveys to study participants;
- Collecting data from participants, analyzing the results of the surveys;
- 1 MO: Writing a research paper with the literature review, methodology, data analysis, and discussion sections;
- Checking the paper for accuracy, possibly obtaining a peer review;
- Finalizing the paper and submitting it.
Adams, J., Khan, H.T.A. and Raeside, R. (2014) Research methods for business and social science students. New Delhi: SAGE Publications.
Bos, J. (2020) Research ethics for students in the social sciences. New York: Springer.
Castro Christiansen, L., Michal Biron, M., Farndale, E. and Kuvaas, B. (2018) The global human resource management casebook. New York: Routledge.
Hensen, B., Mackworth-Young, C., Simwinga, M., Abdelmagid, N., Banda, J., Mavodza, C., Doyle, A. M., Bonell, C. and Weiss, H. A. (2021) ‘Remote data collection for public health research in a COVID-19 era: ethical implications, challenges and opportunities’, Health Policy and Planning, 36(3), pp. 360-368.
Manti, S. and Licari, A. (2018) How to obtain informed consent for research. Breathe (Sheffield, England), 14(2), pp. 145-152.
O’Leary, Z. (2020) The essential guide to doing your research project – Steps in quantitative analysis. Web.
Shannon, C. (2018) Effective management communication strategies. Walden University. Web.