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  • What are the potential research objectives and questions that can address the problem?
  • Why is your chosen project important both theoretically and practically? What are the potential outputs and outcomes of your research?
  • An analysis of the literature relevant to the research topic that will give you the conceptual basis for conducting this research.
  • Methodology: Based on the conceptual framework, research aim(s) and objectives, you need to provide a detail description of the data collection methods and tools, data sources and the methods/tools that you will use to analyse the data.
  • Write the names of the chapters/sections of your research report, and briefly discuss what you will write in those chapters/sections followed by a brief description of budget for conducting this study and project schedule i.e.
Objectives of Research

In the current business scenario, information technology is a big issue for companies which use manual technology in the retail industry. These issues are related to effectiveness, efficiency, profitability, and advantages. For optimum utilization of resources, the company needs the information technology because the manual process takes more time to access the information. Moreover, information technology has evolved into cheaper which is more accessible application in Australian retail industry. It is also used to get more competitive benefits. The capabilities of the workforce with respect to technology are the required to effectively implement IT within Woolworths. The effects of IT within the business rely on different factors such as human resources and business size (Dos Santos, et al., 2013). Hence, for this report, the effect of IT is the business of Woolworths Ltd is selected as a research issue.

The main objectives of this research are as follows.

  • To analyze the existing IT system at Woolworths
  • To analyze the existing business system at Woolworths
  • To understand how the current business system of Woolworths is affected positively or negatively with the introduction of IT in place of manual management
  • To research on how Woolworths have implemented policies to enhance IT performance in the operations of the company

What is the existing IT system of Woolworths?

Which kinds of business system are used by Woolworths in the current scenario?

How the current business system of Woolworths is affected positively and negatively with the introduction of IT in place of manual management?

How Woolworths have implemented different policies to improve IT performance in business operation?

This report is effective for the store manager to deal with the customers. It also evaluates that existing IT and business system at Woolworths which is beneficial for managers to take the reliable decision. It is also significant for the company to assess how the current business system of Woolworths is affected positively or negatively with the introduction of IT in place of manual management. As a result, it will help Woolworths to gain their output and effectiveness due to taking corrective action to mitigating the possible issue (Klettner, et al., 2014).

This research would provide the depth understanding about the existing IT system as well as a business system at Woolworths. This research will also find out that how existing business system of Woolworths is positively or negatively affected with introducing IT instead using manual management. In the last, this research will also conclude that Woolworths have implemented different policies to improve their IT performance in the company’s operation.

The below structure will be followed by researchers to conduct the research:

It will be the first chapter of the research which will show the initial point regarding research. In this chapter, the researcher will discuss the research title, research background, aim and objectives, research question, and justification of the study.

Effect of IT on Woolworths' Business System

This chapter will involve the critical analysis of the effect of IT on the business of Woolworths Ltd. It is a beneficial chapter to develop the depth information regarding research issue and also effective to create a conceptual framework. The result of this section will enable the researcher to design the appropriate primary research questionnaire and also defines the gap in the existing information.

This will be third chapter of the research which would be beneficial to develop an understanding of the research methodology. It will also gain an understanding of different approaches, philosophy, and techniques which will be used in research with justification. This will be also effective to gather and assess the information regarding research issue.  

This chapter will present the information through the different graphs, charts, and tables. It will also demonstrate the interpretation by supporting it with literature review. Moreover, it will facilitate the effective findings with respect to research objectives.

Chapter 5:  Conclusion & Recommendations

This will be last chapter in which researcher will summaries the concluding outcome of the findings. It will also provide concluding outcome related to research objectives. In the last, it will describe some recommendation for future implications.

According to the Padin and Svensson (2015), Woolworths uses IT system in its operation to increase the sales and profit. Due to increasing globalization, information technology is effective for both points of sale and supply. Moreover, it plays a significant role in the complex retail operation management. Woolworth uses IT system to get market knowledge and control of data within the retail stores. As a result, it is the key to getting competitive benefits. The market has to continue to grow and become more competitive as the company uses the simple procedure of retailing like implement innovative IT system in their retailing business process. It also involves the IT system in their transaction process to provide added value to customers.

In contrast to this, Morioka et al. (2016) stated that Woolworth uses effective IT competencies due to different reasons such as it enables the retail stores to enhance its capabilities to respond towards the marketplace with high speed and resilience. It is also beneficial to gather and evaluate the information about customers and also makes differentiation among them. It uses inventory management IT system to effectively use of inventory and enhance their business process. It is identified that IT is significant for retailers to boost their revenue. Since, it speeds up the business procedure and provides the cost-effective benefits to the organization.

Research Methodology

In the view of Bailey (2017), Woolworths uses the effective business system to run the business. In this way, it mainly focuses on the customer to increase its profit. Further, it has built the efficient business foundation for its customers to ease customer service. It also provides the good prices with a wide range of products and services for customers to influence them towards their stores. It also delivers the fresh products to the customer to deliver added value to them. It also organizes store renewal program to get competitive advantages in the retail industry. In the business system, Woolworths focuses on the culture of customer and gives first priority to them for enhancing the loyalty of the customer.

Chart 1: Business system of Woolworths

(Sources: Kang and Gray, 2013).

Chart 2: Strategy used in existing business system of Woolworths

(Sources: Ntim, 2015).

In support to this, Scott and Walker (2017) stated that organization develops one team to deal with the customers because, it creates a positive image in the customer’s mind towards the company. This strategy is beneficial to decline the conflicts among team members because they solve the issues in a team.  It also builds the refresh store for their customers and employees as it is effective to increase the customer’s demand and retain the employee for the long term. It also updated their products frequently to pull the attention of a large number of customers. Moreover, Woolworths develops the cohesive brand by recruiting proficient employees in its organization. As a result, this strategy is beneficial to increase the profitability of the company because employees reduce the cost and improve the process by using IT in its system. 

According to the Muthoka and Oduor (2014), IT plays important role in the retail industry because it has a positive impact on the company. Further, the current business system of Woolworth is positively influenced with the introduction of IT in place of manual management. Because, it enables the retailers to collect the information of customers in effective and efficient manner while the manual process takes a long time to gather the information. 

In support to this, Ferro et al. (2017) stated that IT is effective to increase transparency and tracking in the business process. It is analyzed that IT has a positive impact on Woolworth because gain transparency between systems together with create effective and efficient tracking to assimilate the system from production to customer. As well as, it obtains the information regarding sales and customers. 

Findings and Interpretation

In the view of Pantano (2014), IT is beneficial for global data synchronization so it has a positive impact on the business position. IT enables the Woolworths for using radio frequency identification and electronic product’s coding hence it has a positive impact on the supply chain of the organization. It also enables the Woolworths to use the real-time information in terms of assessing the inventory level. In addition, radio frequency recognition builds the company’s position for its safe shipping because IT allows the organization to track the products from producers to the entire supply chain.

In the view of Lueg et al. (2015), the company can implement the effective policy to improve the IT performance in the company’s operation. In this way, Woolworths can use the inventory control system because it is basic IT tool to manage the retail stores. It also enables the corporation to access the merchandise, and order list which is received and sold by the retailer. Once this system is setup then it will automatically update in the database. Together with, it will allow the company to access the location where products and services are delivered such as warehouse and stores. Moreover, the company can keep track of the business by using this strategy as it would be beneficial to reduce the wastages from inventory. Moreover, it will allow the company to view and select the product as per its cost, margin, manufacturing and expiry date, price, and UPC codes. This will take less time to generate new categories of products and services such as style, size, and color.

In opposed to this, Schneider and Spieth (2013) stated that company should use the electronic inventory system to improve customer satisfaction. Because, it will enable the customer to check the stock and order hence it will decline the waiting timing of customers. This will also facilitate the company to respond towards the customer’s question with few keystrokes. Moreover, the company can assess the inventory which is in stock in different stores with multiple locations.

This section of research problem entails certain research methods and strategies like research, philosophy, approach, design and data collection methods which facilitate the research to obtain effective data regarding solving the research issue.  This chapter aims to develop an understanding of the effect of IT on the business of Woolworths Ltd. For this, different journal article will be considered to keep balance among research topic and associated information. This comprehensive methodology will improve the research quality and increase the reliability and validity of the research by implementing different sources of facts and figures.

Conclusion and Recommendations

For this research, interpretivism philosophy will be used by researcher due to subjective nature of research topic. The main reason for using this research philosophy is that it is associated with the philosophical situation of idealism. It would be beneficial for researchers to consider different realism approach to solving the research issue. This research is required subjective interpretation hence researcher will choose interpretivism research philosophy to interpret the information as an element of scientific knowledge.

For this research, the inductive approach will be used by research due to its relevancy with interpretivism philosophy. Further, the research topic is based on the subjective nature hence there is no need to create a hypothesis. Moreover, the inductive approach will be used by researchers for gathering the huge data associated with the effect of IT on the business of Woolworths Ltd. This research is also appropriate to identify the different views and opinion and also consider the ideals for concluding the findings. In contrast to this, the deductive approach would not be used by researcher due to no need of proving the hypothesis and data in this research.

For this research, mix research design will be used by researcher due to increasing the quality of research. This research design entails the characteristics of both qualitative and quantitative design. In this way, qualitative research design will help the researcher to assess the participant’s belief about the effect of IT on the business of Woolworths Ltd. As well as, quantitative research will enable the researcher to measure the number of participant’s responses. Hence, this research design will help the researcher to attain the research aims and objectives in a specified time period.

For this research, survey through questionnaire will be used by a researcher to assess the effect of IT in the business of Woolworths Ltd. This research design will enable the researcher to get the first hand and fresh information about the research issue because it is directly collected from participants. For conducting the survey through a questionnaire, research will send the former consent email to the senior manager of Woolworth Ltd. In this email, the researcher will provide detail information regarding research, the involvement of participants and time duration. After that, research will make the research questionnaire regarding research topic through MS-office and sent it to the participant through e-mails.  

Along with this, a literature review will be used by a researcher to accomplish the aim and objectives of the research. In the literature review, research will use secondary sources like an annual report, journal articles, books and online and offline sources to get depth information about the research topic. It will enable the researcher to create theoretical knowledge about the effect of IT on the business of Woolworths Ltd. This strategy enables the researcher to obtain a reliable and valid outcome.

Business System of Woolworths

Data gathering procedure is significant to meet the aims and objective of research because it allows the researchers to gather data and information efficiently and effectively. There are mainly two kinds of data is collected by a researcher named primary and secondary data. For this research, primary data will be collected by using the survey through questionnaire and secondary data will be collected through different secondary sources like a journal article, academic publication, textbook, online sources, company’s websites and offline sources. These data collection method is effective because it provides the authentic information in less time and cost. 

For this research, probability sampling will be used by the researcher due to subjective nature of research topic. In this sampling, random sampling method will be selected by the researcher on random basis because it eliminates the biases in choosing the respondents for the research. In opposed to this, non-probability sampling method will not be used by a researcher because it creates biases in selecting the participants.

For conducting this research, 40 store managers of Woolworth Ltd will be selected from 800 stores. These stores will be selected from different geographical areas hence it will enable the researcher to gather relevant facts and figures about the research issue. This will enable the researcher to increase the reliability as well as the validity of research outcome and also support to attain the research aims and objectives.

Data analysis is the significant part of research methodology chapter because it provides the reliable and consistent result. This technique is used to interpret and assess the information with the intention of obtaining relevant information. There are different methods is used by the researcher to assess the data like conversational analysis, disclosure analysis statistical analysis, and content analysis. For this research, researchers will use statistical analysis to assess the data. In this technique, researchers will use Ms-Excel software to obtain a reliable and valid outcome. This software will enable the researcher to present the information through the different chart, graph, and tables. It would be effective for readers to understand the information in a comprehensive manner.

A research takes more time to meet all tasks effectively and efficiently. In this way, project budget and the schedule are used by researchers to accomplish the task. For this research, the researcher will use following budget and schedule to attain the research objective in a specified time period:

Activities that will be performed/Weeks

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Identification of research problem

Detect the research background

Evaluation of literature review

Identification of gap and obtain survey through questionnaire

Feedback from participants through e-mail

Data analysis and report writing

Proof-reading and makes changes if required

Final submission

Strategies Used in Existing Business System

The above timescale would be beneficial for researchers to meet the research objectives in a specified time period. Since, it will enable the researcher to understand the completion time of each activity. By using the above timescale, the researcher can complete the whole research in a specified time period. 

Activities

Cost (in £)

Market research to identify the research issue

12000

Conduct market survey in IT industry to detecting the research background

8000

Review from different authors and purchasing articles

16000

Identification of gap and obtain survey through questionnaire

18000

Feedback from participants

4000

Analysis the data by different techniques

6000

Data findings

3000

Final submission

2000

References

Aguirre, E., Mahr, D., Grewal, D., de Ruyter, K., & Wetzels, M. (2015). Unraveling the personalization paradox: The effect of information collection and trust-building strategies on online advertisement effectiveness. Journal of Retailing, 91(1), 34-49.

Bailey, M. (2017). Absorptive Capacity, International Business Knowledge Transfer, and Local Adaptation: Establishing Discount Department Stores in Australia. Australian Economic History Review, 57(2), 194-216.

Bloom, N., Garicano, L., Sadun, R., & Van Reenen, J. (2014). The distinct effects of information technology and communication technology on firm organization. Management Science, 60(12), 2859-2885.

Dos Santos, M. A., Svensson, G., & Padin, C. (2013). Indicators of sustainable business practices: Woolworths in South Africa. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 18(1), 104-108.

Ferro, C., Ferro, C., Padin, C., Padin, C., Svensson, G., Svensson, G., ... & Høgevold, N. M. (2017). Validating a framework of stakeholders in connection to business sustainability efforts in supply chains. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 32(1), 124-137.

Kallweit, K., Spreer, P., & Toporowski, W. (2014). Why do customers use self-service information technologies in retail? The mediating effect of perceived service quality. Journal of retailing and consumer services, 21(3), 268-276.

Kang, H., & Gray, S. J. (2013). Segment reporting practices in Australia: Has IFRS 8 made a difference?. Australian Accounting Review, 23(3), 232-243.

Klettner, A., Clarke, T., & Boersma, M. (2014). The governance of corporate sustainability: Empirical insights into the development, leadership, and implementation of the responsible business strategy. Journal of Business Ethics, 122(1), 145-165.

Kurnia, S., Choudrie, J., Mahbubur, R. M., & Alzougool, B. (2015). E-commerce technology adoption: A Malaysian grocery SME retail sector study. Journal of Business Research, 68(9), 1906-1918.

Lee, H. J., & Yang, K. (2013). Interpersonal service quality, self-service technology (SST) service quality, and retail patronage. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 20(1), 51-57.

Lucas Jr, H. C., Agarwal, R., Clemons, E. K., El Sawy, O. A., & Weber, B. (2013). Impactful Research on Transformational Information Technology: An Opportunity to Inform New Audiences. Mis Quarterly, 37(2).

Lueg, R., Pedersen, M. M., & Clemmensen, S. N. (2015). The role of corporate sustainability in a low?cost business model–A case study in the Scandinavian fashion industry. Business Strategy and the Environment, 24(5), 344-359.

Morioka, S. N., Evans, S., & de Carvalho, M. M. (2016). Sustainable business model innovation: exploring evidence in sustainability reporting. Procedia CIRP, 40, 659-667.

Muthoka, M., & Oduor, P. (2014). Effects of strategic alliances on organizational performance: supermarkets and their alliances in Kenya. European Journal of Business and Management, 6(34), 75-89.

Ntim, C. G. (2015). Board diversity and organizational valuation: unraveling the effects of ethnicity and gender. Journal of Management & Governance, 19(1), 167-195.

Padin, C., & Svensson, G. (2015). Intertwining ecologic, social and economic efforts and achievements of business sustainability in business networks. International Journal of Logistics Economics and Globalisation, 6(3), 195-204.

Pantano, E. (2014). Innovation drivers in the retail industry. International Journal of Information Management, 34(3), 344-350.

Peppard, J., & Ward, J. (2016). The strategic management of information systems: Building a digital strategy. USA: John Wiley & Sons.

Ray, G., Xue, L., & Barney, J. B. (2013). Impact of information technology capital on firm scope and performance: The role of asset characteristics. Academy of Management Journal, 56(4), 1125-1147.

Schneider, S., & Spieth, P. (2013). Business model innovation: Towards an integrated future research agenda. International Journal of Innovation Management, 17(01), 1340001.

Scott, P., & Walker, J. T. (2017). Barriers to ‘industrialization for interwar British retailing? The case of Marks & Spencer Ltd. Business History, 59(2), 179-201.

Yang, K., & Forney, J. C. (2013). The moderating role of consumer technology anxiety in mobile shopping adoption: differential effects of facilitating conditions and social influences. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, 14(4), 334.

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