Unit 4 Research project
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Table of Contents
Task 1 Understand how to formulate a research specification
1. (A) Conduct an actual research project on any aspect related to business organizations that intrigues and interests you. Produce a professional research project brief, including the following:
(1) A Research Title
The title of present research project is to “Assess the impact of whistle blowing on sales of Abercrombie & Fich”.
(2) Research Aims and Objectives
Research aims and objectives for the current project can be given as under:
§ How sales of Abercrombie & Fich have affected due to whistle blowing in last 5 years?
§ How can Abercrombie & Fich manage whistle blowing so as to increase their sales?
§ What other financial negative impacts can be incurred by Abercrombie & Fich?
Research hypothesis for the present research are as under:
§ Sales of the organization does not get affected by whistle blowers
§ Abercrombie & Fich can manage the whistle blowing by developing workplace whistle blowing policy
§ Whistle blowing has negative impact on the share prices of the organization
(3) Rationale of the Research Project
The overall purpose of the present research is to understand negative impact of whistle blowing on organization named Abercrombie & Fich. Whistle blowing process can be understood as the reporting of misconduct happening in the organization. There can be several limitations of whistle blowing which may impact the organization especially in terms of financial impacts such as decline in the sales for the organization. Present project would analyze how sales for Abercrombie & Fich impacted due to the whistle blowing process reported in the organization. The present research project has been selected in order to understand the impact on sales for Abercrombie & Fich and to propose methods for improving financial performance of the company (Bradley, 2007). Further personally, I want to explore the area of ethics in business context and their impact on the business organization. Further it is of immense importance for me as a business manager to understand ways in which such situation needs to be dealt with so as to manage organizational financial performance. The actual data which is intended to be collected through present research would include the two sources i.e. primary as well as secondary source. The main source of secondary source would be literature review and case study method. Focus of secondary research would be to understand the process of whistle blowing in general and understand its impact on the sales of the organization by taking suitable example of any organization. Further primary research would be conducted with the help of data collected through questionnaire and focused group discussion method. Data collected through questionnaire and focused group discussion method would try to explore the impact for Abercrombie & Fich in terms of change in sales due to whistle blowing and probable ways through which Abercrombie & Fich can manage change in sales.
(4) Literature Review
Literature review pertaining to the present context provides impacts of whistle blowing process on sales of the organization. According to Near and Miceli (1996) whistle blowing process would create panic among the organizational employees as well as customers of the organization wherein customers would consider organization as unethical. Hence customer’s brand loyalty for the particular brand would get affected by the facts revealed in a whistle blowing event so the overall sales of the organization would decline. Dyck et al (2008) examined the impacts of whistle blowing on the financial performance of organization considering sales as the main criteria and it was explored in the research that there is a negative correlation between events of whistle blowing and sales of the organization. Further research highlights that the way in which whistle blower has presented the facts regarding organization would also be important in order to understand the overall impacts on sales for the organization. But the present research accepts the presence of negative impact for whistle blowing phenomenon on sales of the organization.
Callahan and Dworkin (1994) states that impact on sales for an organization through whistle blowing process would largely depends upon the reason for which this action has been taken by the particular stakeholder of the organization. In case the intention behind such an action is to make improvement in the overall system of the organization then there are ample amount of chances that whistle blowing process may contribute to the increase in sales for the organization. Dechow et al (1996) explored that whistle blowing process would affect the sales of the organization into positive direction as customers would get a positive impression regarding the organization that the employees are conscious and want to make changes in the organization towards positive direction. This would increase brand loyalty of the organization to customers and overall sales level would increase. Anechiarico and Jacobs (1996) states that in order to manage the whistle blowing process so that overall impact of whistle blowing remains positive for the organization it is important that a policy and culture should be developed and employees are aware about this. This would help in managing the impacts of whistle blowing on organization.
Hence looking into the different sources of literature pertaining to the process of whistle blowing it can be said that researchers have mix views for understanding impact on sales for the whistle blowing process. Further present research would fulfill the gap by collecting primary data pertaining to a particular organization for analyzing impacts and ways to manage the whistle blowing process in organizational context.
(5) Research Methodology: The present research would make use of the primary and secondary data resources in order to attain the objectives of research. Sources for secondary data would include existing research in field of business ethics, journals, articles, newspaper and case studies pertaining to this area. Primary data for the present research would be collected with the help of questionnaire and focused group discussion method. Sample selected for primary data collection would include business managers, researchers in ethics field and business consultants etc. Present research would take help of the qualitative research method wherein qualitative data would be collected through literature review, questionnaire and focused group discussion method (Marder, 2007). Case study method has been adopted in order to apply the business ethics as per the case adopted in the present research, questionnaire helps in collecting data pertaining to specific research objectives and focus group discussion method has been adopted so as to deeply explore the present research objectives. Limitation of present research would include small sample size for data collection which would include 30 respondents for questionnaire and 10 participants for focused group discussion and this limit the research results.