Defining the Problem Statement
The CIO Dilemma
Identifying the broad problem area
Sara Foster is the Information Technology Director of a medium-sized firm. She observes that the newly installed Management Information System (MIS) is not being used by middle managers as much as was originally expected. Some middle managers have occasionally approached the helpdesk or some other expert for help, whereas oth-ers make decisions without facts. Recognizing there is surely a problem. Sara develops the following broad prob-lem statement: "What should be done to increase the use f the newly installed MIS by our middle managers?"
Defining the problem statement:-
Talking to some of the middle-level managers. Sara finds that many of them have very little idea as to what the MIS is all about, what kinds of information it can provide, and how to access it and utilize the information. Sara uses Google Scholar to explore further information on the lack of use of management information systems in organizations. The search indicates that many middle-level managers - especially the old-timers - are not open to new ideas or ways of solving problems. lack of knowl-edge about what the MIS offers is also found to be another main reason why some managers do not use it. This information helps Sara to narrow the broad prob-lem area and to refine the problem statement: "To what extent do knowledge-related factors and openness to change affect the use of the MIS by middle managers?"
Sara develops a theory incorporating all the relevant factors contributing to the use of the MIS by managers in the organization. Prom such a theory, she generates various hypotheses for testing, one among them being: Knowledge of the usefulness of the MIS would help man-agers to put it to greater use.
Development of measures and data collection:-
Sara then develops a short questionnaire measuring the various factors theorized to influence the use of the MIS by managers. such as the extent of knowledge of what the MIS is, what kinds of information the MIS provides, how to gain access to the information, and c the level of openness to change of managers. and, finally, how often managers have used the MIS in the preceding three months.
Sara then analyzes the data obtained through the ques-tionnaire to see what (actors prevent the managers from using the system.
Based on the results, Sara deduces - or concludes -that a lot of managers do not use the MIS because they do not believe that using the system would enhance their job performance. Other managers do not use the system because they do not know how to use it effectively. These deductions help Sara to take necessary action to rectify the situation, which includes, among other things, organizing seminars for training managers on the use of the MIS and illustrating the advantages of using the MIS to the managers.
As part of the Business Research and Data Analysis course, students will learn to research a possible Retail business. Students will be required to apply the tools and methods learnt in the course. Each team of 4-5 students is going to evaluate for the retail endeavor chosen why customer prefer a brand over another brand in the same retail sector.
Once the teams of 4-5 students are formed in Lecture 2, the instructor will allocate to each team a business retail venture that you will research. Please note that you need to choose your team members carefully as if any student withdraws from the course, the scope of the project will not be scaled down. This venture will be located, and cater to consumers located within a Region (City) of the Country you are based in.
- Automotive Industry – (Car Brands)
- Consumer Electronics
- Office Supplies
- Home Furniture
- Fast Food Restaurant
- Sports Clothing
- Home Hardware
- Product Delivery Service – Logistics Provider
- E-Commerce Business
- Gas Station
- Grocery Store
- Convenience Store
- Airline Industry (Airlines)
- Medical Labs – Healthcare Industry
- Athletic Footwear
Identify for your specified retail industry topic, why consumers prefer a brand over another.
This research report will follow the format of 7 steps of Hypothetico Deductive Model studied in this course in Chapter 2.
- Part 1 - Identify the broad problem or opportunity area (also called PURPOSE) – Your Project purpose is to discover which brand in a retail industry (your project topic) is preferred by consumers.
- Part 2 - Define the purpose statement in words that allows the researchers to establish what is to be understood and resolved (i.e. scope of the research project). Often done through a preliminary research or by talking with people. You can do this by conducting preliminary interviews with consumers, PESTLE Analysis or Secondary Research on this topic. After conducting your research, modify the Research Purpose Statement.
- Part 3 - Develop hypotheses in order to understand the problem or the opportunity; “market segment not satisfied”, “territory not covered”. This (or these) statement (s) (i.e. hypothesis will need to be proven through research by identifying the various variables. Identify as a team what is your belief consumer behavior is like for your retail industry (hypothesis).
- Part 4 - Determine the measures (e.g. quantify preferably) by which we will be able to assess the impact of You can do this by creating a JMCO model for your Project as well as conducting a competitive benchmarking of at least 2 brands in your retail industry by using 4P’s of Marketing. Identify key factors which influence consumer preference of a band over another.
- Part 5 - Data collection where information is collected to understand the impact of variables. Design a questionnaire for your Project to collect information from consumers using Interviews. Questionnaire must include variables identified in Part 4 for your Project. You can also make use of Observations. Document your Questionnaire in this part of the report, along with your interview and observation strategy. At least 8 questions should be included in your questionnaire, consisting of structured and unstructured questions. Also Identify the sample size for your research. You can use one of the rules of Thumb taught in the course for this purpose.
- Part 6 - Data analysis will take the data collected and structure it in a way that allows us to properly understand its meaning and how variables Statistical methods are often used at this stage. Use qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques taught in the for analyzing answers rec’d from your questionnaire in Part 5. Make use of variety of tools taught in Ch 14 for this purpose.
- Part 7 - Interpretation of the data is the step that establishes which variables have the greatest impact and how this impact varies. Summarize the results of your analysis from Part 6 and draw a conclusion for your research. Answer the objective of the research. Identify if your hypothesis was valid or not. If not why not.
For this project you can use the CIO case study provided in our e-text in Chapter 2 as a reference
Report Structure for the 2 Phases:
- In front of each report, type the information as required on the template provided in e-Conestoga titled Cover Page.
- Each individual document is to be typed (maximum of 5,000 words for the report, excluding Bibliography and Appendix), single sided, paginated, single line spacing (not 1.5), font 12, Arial Font, and inserted in a 1-inch binder.
- At the end of each report, you might elect to add support material in an appendix. Each appendix needs to be properly identified, e.g. 1, 2, 3, etc.
- A Table of Contents is required.
- Format is to be as per APA. For further information, I expect to see, for Phase 1 and 2, a reference list on an individual page at the end of your report, including in-text citations for any text that is not yours.
- Nothing is to be handwritten (except signatures when required) as it will be disregarded when marking. You will also lose 0.1 mark each time.
- The goal of your instructor is to return your documents within 2 weeks with feedback allowing you to progress further and make the required adjustments for the subsequent phases.
- Only one student in each group needs to file the report.
- Your instructor will provide feedback on report in the Drop Box folder in which you submitted the report.
- The Group Project is worth 25% of the overall course mark and is subject to peer evaluation.
- Part 1 – 10 Points
- Part 2 – 10 Points
- Part 3 – 10 Points
- Part 4 – 10 Points
- Part 5 – 10 Points
- Part 6 – 15 Points
- Part 7 – 15 Points
- Document Appearance – 10 Points (Spacing, Font Type, use of APA Formatting, Referencing and Turnitin Score of Less than 25% for the overall report)
- Quality of Secondary Research – 10 Points (Bibliography – Relevance and Validity to retail Industry)
The points for each section will be awarded based upon the following scales:
- Does not meet expectations (Content is missing deliverables, is poorly written, lacks originality). Below Average Submission – 0-5 Pts
- Meets Expectations (Most of deliverables are met, quality of content is good) – Average – Above Average Submission - 5.1-7.7 Pts
- Exceeds Expectations (Content provided is beyond the specified ask. Quality of documentation is exceptional. Best in class work) – 7.8 -10Pts.
- Each phase has the value as indicated above.
- The marking for each phase will be on various scales and will be provided in the Rubric. Up to 20% of the mark for each report can be deducted because of spelling, grammatical, composition or formatting errors. A late submission will see the mark reduced by 20% per day or part of a day. Turn-it-in score of 25% or less is expected for these 2 reports. Negative marking expected for lack of original work (cut and paste of content vs use of original language)
- The marking will be based on the Rubric provided in this document.
- You are asked to apply and demonstrate your understanding of the tools and methods taught in the course.
- Please note that the content (in quantity and quality), and the format are key elements of the marking structure.
- The content of your findings as well as the method used to gather your findings will be evaluated.
- For the individual mark, the peer evaluation (refer to the template on e-Conestoga) will be a multiplier of the team mark, based on an evaluation of each student by its peers as per the team contract, and on my observations. Up to 100% of the team mark is at risk if individual performance is below the expectations. If an individual is not contributing, the team will apply a progressive disciplining process. If the student does not improve, the instructor has the right to ask the student to continue the project on its own.
- Project report is due in week 12.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your instructor at its Conestoga e-mail. Do not use eConestoga e-mail unless advise otherwise. Refer to Chapter 2 of our textbook for a Project Reference to give you an idea of how to proceed with your project.