I am an MBA student and one site did this chapter for me
kindly I want one of your writer to review it for me to see if it needs and amendment. so I have sent it for him /her attached with the proposal
waiting for his advise
Human Resource Policies within Small Firms and their Perceived Impact on Employees’ Organisational Commitment
Research Methodology Chapter
This chapter will discuss the processes employed by the researcher in conducting the research. The objective of the research is to identify the impact of HR policies on the organisational commitment of employees in small firms. The extent of formality or informality of HR policies in small firms has been identified in the literature review as an important construct in studying the HR policies of small firms. It has been identified that since organisational commitment is developed by having clearly defined rules and policies, formal job evaluation, and rational approach in compensation practices, then the extent of formality can be used as a variable in studying the organisational commitment of employees in small firms.
The focus of the study is to identify how HR policies in small firms influence organisational commitment. The researcher primarily looked for available databases of private SMEs in the KSA. Unlike large firms that often welcome researchers conducting case studies, personal contact is crucial among SMEs as owners are not likely to grant interviews unless they know the interviewer, and how the information will be used. The researcher has decided that to be able to gain access to these SMEs, key contacts as well as building a favourable working relationship are both important.
To be able to identify the perceived impact of HR policies in small firms on the organisational commitment of employees, the research methodology involved two parts: the first part is interview with the ones who set the HR policies of small firms which are usually the owners or administration managers, and the second part is the survey among the employees of the sample firms.
The objective of the interview with the owners or administration managers is to identify the extent of formality of the HR policies within the firms. The objective of the survey is to identify the perceived impact of the HR policies on the organisational commitment of employees.
The researcher initially identified 50 samples, which are owners of private SMEs in the KSA. However, the final number of sample became 27 as other respondents declined the researcher’s request for an interview as part of a research on the HR policies of small firms. The firms in the sample are more than ten years in operation, with fewer than 200 employees.
The researcher contacted the owners of the private SMEs based in the KSA to ask permission for the involvement of the firm in the study. Once the owner/administrator agreed to participate, the interview schedule was set. Although the researcher planned for an exploratory interview with the owner or administration manager of the small firm, the interview questions were sent in advance so as to provide the interviewee enough time to reflect on the questions. Another purpose for sending the interview questions ahead of time is also for the interviewee to be comfortable and confident of the interview.
Among the key measures of the study is firm size, which was measured during the time the interview and survey was conducted. Using a natural logarithm for the statistical analysis, the positively skewed distribution of this measure was transformed by the researcher.
Since the extent or degree of formality is a key construct that characterises the HR policies of small and medium-sized firms, the formality of HR practices by each firm in the sample was identified by interviewing the owner or administration manager of the firm. Adopting the eight items as identified by Nguyen and Bryant (2004) to measure the formality of HR practices, the owners and administrative managers were interviewed by the researcher.
Using Nguyen and Bryant’s (2004) description of informal and formal adoption of HR practices, the researcher structured the exploratory interview in such a way that interviewees will be able to offer answers that will be complete and descriptive as to how the small firms adopt HR policies. Since having a formal compensation structure is not included in the original informality and formality descriptions, the researcher added a ninth question on the compensation practice. The interview questions focused on the five HRM practices which include recruitment, selection, training and development, performance appraisal and compensation.
Who handles the HR function in your organisation?
Do you have written criteria/policies/rules for recruitment? How do you conduct recruitment?
Do you have written policies/rules for terminating employment? How do you terminate employment?
Do you use the services of professional recruiters in looking for talent, or do you rely on your own personal framework? How do you look for talent?
Do you have a written HR plan? How do you manage HR?
Do you allot budget for employee training? Do you have training programmes? How do you train employees?
Do you have a written description for all the job positions in the organisation? How do you ensure that job descriptions are performed?
Do you have a written policy for performance appraisal?
Do you have a formal compensation structure being followed in the organisation?
To be able to assess the affective commitment, continuance commitment, and normative commitment of the employees of the sample organisations, the 24-item Organisational Commitment Questionnaire by Meyer and Allen (1990) was adopted by the researcher. Using a 5-point scale ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree, the participant employees of the sample SMEs responded to the survey which included statements that express continuance commitment, affective commitment, and normative commitment. As advised by Meyer et al. (1993), the researcher presented the survey questions in random order and scores within each scale were averaged.
Meyer and Allen’s (1990) Organisational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ)
The initial proposal of Meyer and Allen (1984) involved two types of commitment: affective commitment and continuance commitment. As a construct of organisational commitment, affective commitment means having a sense of belonging and emotional attachment to the organisation. Emphasising the perceived costs of leaving the organisation denotes continuance commitment.
In 1990, Allen and Meyer introduced a third component of organisational commitment that reflects the perceived obligation to stay with the organisation, referred to as normative commitment. Subsequently, Meyer, Allen and Smith (1993) transformed the normative commitment scale to make the distinction between normative commitment and affective commitment more clear.
The earlier versions of the OCQ offered 24 items, with eight items for each scale (Allen and Meyer, 1990). The subsequent versions, however, only contained 18 items, with six items for each scale (Meyer, Allen and Smith, 1993; Meyer and Allen, 1997). The change in the number of scales was primarily for the normative scale. This research, however, will adopt the OCQ with 24 items since it is more comprehensive in measuring organisational commitment.
As a self-scoring questionnaire, responses of the sample to the Organisational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) are rated using a 5-point Likert scale with anchors labelled: 0 = strongly agree, 1 = disagree, 2 = neither agree nor disagree, 3 = agree, and 4 = strongly agree.
The researcher has chosen to adopt the OCQ in identifying the organisational commitment of employees in small firms primarily because upon examination, Allen and Meyer (1990) discovered that the relationships between the commitment scales showed that continuance commitment was relatively independent, with affective (p<.001, r = .06) and normative (p<.001, r = .14).
The Organisational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) by Allen and Meyer (1990)
Affective Commitment Scale Items:
I would be very happy to spend the rest of my career with this organisation.
I enjoy discussing about my organisation with people outside it.
I really feel as if this organisation’s problems are my own.
I think that I could easily become as attached to another organisation as I am to this one.
I do not feel like ‘part of the family’ at my organisation.
I do not feel emotionally attached to this organisation.
This organisation has a great deal of personal meaning to me.
I do not feel a ‘strong’ sense of belonging to my organisation.
Continuance Commitment Scale Items:
I am not afraid of what might happen if I quit my job without having another one lined up.
It would be very hard for me to leave my organisation right now, even if I wanted to.
Too much in my life would be disrupted if I decided to leave my organisation now.
It wouldn’t be too costly for me to leave my organisation now.
Right now, staying with my organisation is a matter of necessity as much as desire.
I feel that I have very few options to consider leaving this organisation.
One of the few serious consequences of leaving this organisation would be the scarcity of available alternatives.
One of the major reasons I continue to work for this organisation is that leaving would require considerable personal sacrifice – another organisation may not match the overall benefits I have here.
Normative Commitment Scale Items:
I think that people these days move from one company to company too often.
I do not believe that a person must always be loyal to his or her organisation.
Jumping from organisation to organisation does not seem at all unethical to me.
One of the major reasons I continue to work in this organisation is that I believe loyalty is important and therefore feel a sense of moral obligation to remain.
If I got another offer for a better job elsewhere I would not feel it was right to leave my organisation.
I was taught to believe in the value of remaining loyal to one organisation.
Things were better in the days when people stayed in one organisation for most of their careers.
I do not think that to be a ‘company man’ or ‘company woman’ is sensible anymore.
Data Collection Procedure
The data collection procedure for this study involved four steps. First, the researcher identified the small firms in the KSA that will be the sample of the study. This involved visiting the owners and administration managers of the small firms, and explaining to them the objectives of the research. Once the researcher has secured the participation of the small firms in both the interview and the survey, the second step involved scheduling interview appointments. The third step is the distribution of the survey questionnaires among the employees of the sample firms. The data collected in this procedure was compiled using the total scores for all participants. The fourth step is the conduct of interviews with the owners and administration managers of the small firms.
Along with the demographic form, the OCQ survey form was distributed to the employees of the small firms. At the top of the OCQ survey form, the researcher included a statement that explains the research. The statement also mentions that participation in the study was voluntary, and the information that will be collected will be confidential. Most of the respondents completed the survey form in 10 minutes.
This research aims to identify the impact of HR polices on the organisational commitment of employees in small firms. The formality dimension of HR policies has been highlighted as a factor that influences the organisational commitment of employees, as commitment is developed by having clearly defined rules and policies, formal job evaluation and rational approach in compensation practices. The researcher interviewed the owners and administration managers of small firms to be able to determine the extent of formality. To be able to determine if the extent of formality has an effect on the organisational commitment of employees, the Organisational Commitment Questionnaire by Allen and Meyer (1990) was used. A total of 27 owners and administration managers of small firms were interviewed, and a total of 270 employees participated in the survey.
Allen, N. and Meyer, J. (1990), The measurement and antecedents of affective, continuance, and normative commitment to the organisation, Journal of Occupational Psychology, 63, pp. 1-18
Meyer, J. and Allen, N. (1997), Commitment in the workplace, Thousand oaks, CA: SAGE Publications
Meyer, J., Allen, N. and Smith, C. (1993), Commitment to organisations and occupations: extension and test of three-component conceptualisation, Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, pp. 538-551
Nguyen, T.V. and Bryant, S.E. (2004), A Study of the Formality of Human Resource Management Practices in Small and Medium-Size Enterprises in Vietnam, International Small Business Journal, Vol. 22(6), pp. 595-618
Student Name: HANAN FOAUD MAHMOUD
Student Registration Number:
Programme Title: MBA DL
Module Title: Dissertation Proposal
Human Resource Policies within Small Firms and their Perceived Impact on Employees’ Organisational Commitment
The exponential technological advancement has resulted in the globalisation of product markets, where a competitive human capital proves to be an asset for the organisations. Management of human capital has been associated with Human Resource practices, and with the passage of time, new policies have been adopted for entertaining the resource. Chew and Chan (2008) stated in their study that high level of investment in managing employees would assist an organisation to attain extraordinary corporate financial performance. Thus, there is a need for better exploration of the role of Human Resource policies and practices in managing employees. This research is targeted to provide concrete guidelines to small firms about the significance of Human Resource policies while considering organisational commitment of employees. Hence, the following are the research questions for this study:
RQ1: What is the impact of Human Resource policies on employees’ organisational commitment within small firms?
RQ2: Which Human Resource policies and practices can managers implement to enhance employees’ organisational commitment?
These research questions are interesting from the research’s point of view as they will assist in understanding the major factors that can increase organisational commitment of employees within small firms.
This proposed research will be based on the previous research that has explored the integration between Human Resource policies and the organisational commitment of employees within small firms. Different perspectives have been used to define organisational commitment by different researchers. For instance, Steers (1977) defined organisational commitment as the strength of an employee’s identification and his association with the organisation. Porter et al. (1974) explained that organisational commitment is affirmed by way of three elements: trust and affirmation of goals and missions, an enthusiasm to show positive effort, and an aspiration to ascertain membership with the organisation. In the view of Conway and Monks (2008), the commitment level of an employee is deeply associated with Human Resource policies.
Even though, there are a number of researches that claim a strong relationship between Human Resource policies and organisation commitment of an employee, the utilisation of Human Resource polices to enhance organisation commitment is still not deeply explored (Wright & Kehoe, 2008; Giauque et al., 2010). SamGnanakkan (2010) believes that Human Resource managers, who are willing to enhance organisation’s efficiency and efficacy, should undertake maximum investment in developing organisational commitment. Fiorito et al. (2007), in their study, considered the Human Resource practices and organisational activities that are relevant to organisational commitment. Their study revealed that systems, such as, performance appraisal and complaint resolution, are effective in increasing organisation commitment; however, compensation cuts are negatively associated with the same.
Many studies (Wright & Kehoe, 2008; Giauque et al., 2010; SamGnanakkan, 2010) have investigated into the impact of management communication in managing organisational commitment. According to Wright and Kehoe (2008), management communication is a vital element that serves as a bridge between the management and employees for sustaining the process of decision-making. This communication process turns to be a proof that employees are being acknowledged in the process of decision-making. The process also helps the employees to understand that the management considers and respects their suggestion or judgement (Wright & Kehoe, 2008). In the view of Guzley (2001) and Fink et al. (2008), a transparent method of communication, along with the provision of sufficient right to contribute in the decision-making, helps to develop a significant commitment level.
Gong et al. (2009) explained the fact that organisational commitment of an employee is also effected by the concept of perceived organisational support. Gong et al. (2009) further stated that a common observation is developed by the employees pertaining to the level to which the organisation presents their problems and concerns relating to their welfare. Giauque et al. (2010) believed that perceived organisational support presented by an organisation, assists employees in offering their jobs competently. A recent study conducted by Islam et al. (2012) in the IT industry revealed that those IT companies have proved to be successful in increasing organisation commitment, which has provided the opportunity to their employees to take increased level of responsibility for their tasks and decision-making processes. Schmidt et al. (2012) illustrated the fact that with the increasing level of competition within economic sectors, only those organisations that are able to increase organisational commitment of their employees would succeed.
For conducting this research, primary as well as secondary methods will be used for the purpose of data collection. Primary data will be gathered through questionnaires and interviews, while secondary data will be gathered by way of electronic databases, libraries, peer-reviewed articles and journals focusing on the Human Resource policies and employees’ organisational commitment. The research will actually be based upon a survey method. This is actually a survey form of research that makes sufficient efforts to adequately respond to the research topic through the collection of immediate data. Through the survey technique, personal interviews along with research questionnaires will be used to collect pertinent information on the subject of Human Resource policies and their perceived impact on employees’ organisational commitment.
The proposed study will be based upon qualitative as well as quantitative methods. The principal investigator will use the qualitative method for analysing the interviews and the secondary data, while the quantitative method will be used to analyse the questionnaire data. The principal investigator will target five small firms within the KSA for the collection of primary data. These firms will be selected by considering the ease of access. The targeted research population will be the employees where a sample size of 100 employees is finalised for the questionnaire. This figure includes participants from different hierarchical levels ranging from managers to junior officers. The principal investigator will visit these firms to gather contact information of the employees. The questionnaire will be sent to the participants through e-mail, and prior to handing over the questionnaire, a consent form will also be delivered. The participants will be selected on the basis of their level of interest for this research. The principal investigator is aware of the fact that a 100 per cent return rate is practically impossible; therefore, a return rate of at least 65 per cent is initially predicted.
Although, questionnaires possess the ability to provide pertinent statistics, however they fail to present detailed information. Due to this reason, personal interviews will also be scheduled. The sample size is five for the personal interviews. The participants for the interviews will be selected two from each firm. A smaller number of participants have been selected for interviews in order to save precious time and cost constraints. Like questionnaires, this figure will include participants of different hierarchal levels ranging from managers to junior officers. Official permission will be gathered from the University for conducting interviews at these business firms. The interviews will be in-depth and will demand detailed answers from the participants. Purposive sampling method will be used for both the questionnaires as well as the interviews for interacting with only those participants that will deliver useful information relating to the impact of Human Resource policies on the organisational commitment of employees. After collecting the primary data, it will be exposed to statistical analysis by using Microsoft Excel and SPSS. The analysed data will then be presented in suitable tables, graphs, and diagrams.
This segment of the proposal highlights the expected challenges and difficulties that the principal investigator will have to face while conducting the research. The major challenge for the principal investigator is the inadequate time frame that the targeted participants will devote for the purpose of research. The employees working at the selected small firms are usually busy; thus, there is a high probability that they will show unwillingness in answering the questions that are asked to them for immediate data collection in the form of interviews and questionnaires. Therefore follow-ups will be required. Furthermore, due to the issue of confidentiality, the employees of the selected firms may hesitate in offering valuable information about the Human Resource policies of their firms.
Another major issue for the principal investigator is the biasness of the information. This means that the participants may deliver biased information as a result of a conscious attitude or unfamiliar circumstances. Creswell (2012, p. 118) highlights the fact that it is impossible that all the participants reply, and also, there is a high probability that even some questions will remain unanswered. Another possibility is that the participants may try to present themselves as more intelligent or experienced and may end up in giving false information. For all these circumstances, the principal investigator will try to cope up and verify all the gathered information through triangulation by making a comparison with secondary data. To cover up the limitations of data gathering through questionnaires, personal interviews are planned so that the accuracy of the data is enhanced. The accuracy will be measured by asking the same questions to interviewees that will be asked through the questionnaire so that any perceived variation in answers is simplified.
For every research, ethics is a significant element that assists a research in proving to be socially and morally accepted. Not only this, ethics is also considered as a primary factor for the approval of a research in the educational context (Creswell, 2012). As a result, the principal investigator is attentive to the ethical issues that may hinder this piece of academic work. The principal investigator will guarantee the integrity of the direct as well as indirect participants and will also try his best in avoiding any kind of undesirable settings during the interaction with the participants of this study. Before selecting the research topic, the principal investigator made sure that the study will not prove harmful to any of the past work, to the integrity of any individual, and that it will also comply with the human rights.
To assure confidentiality of the participants, consent forms used and will be handed over before the data collection. These consent forms will be signed by the participants and then, they will be kept separate from the accumulated responses. The information about the participants will not be leaked during and at the completion of the research. The names of the participants will not be mentioned anywhere, and only pseudonyms will be used. The principal investigator’s purpose is to objectively code, organise, analyse, and explain his study’s data as it relates only to the dissertation topic, problem, and purpose.
This dissertation will adopt the following time table where a clear time distribution has been provided for the selected activities. The activities are expected to be accomplished within the respective time divisions. Each of these activities has been considered by keeping in view the crucial commitments.
Tasks to be Completed
|Formation of Research Proposal|
|Approval of Research Proposal|
|Completing Introduction and Literature Review|
|Research Methodology involving Fieldwork|
|Data Analysis and its Presentation|
|Finalising the Dissertation and Submission|
(Word Count: 1774)
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