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Problem statement

Formulate research questions and describe and critically evaluate differing research methods, including the formation of hypotheses, or other research models, or paradigms and justify the selection and use of specific research methodologies;

Integrate and plan key research activities and schedules including the setting of timetables and research objectives, and the acceptance of accountability for all aspects of the conduct of a research project

Understand the importance of, and be able to effectively demonstrate skills in, the conventions which are required for the carrying out of a major research project including the design of experimental and non-experimental research projects; the preparation of an integrated research proposal and effectively manage the design and delivery of this.

Comprehend and critically evaluate the differentiation between qualitative and quantitative methods as they are used in research design and evaluate the appropriateness of their application, use, and value in differing aspects of business functions and requirements.

Critically appraise the importance of, and the definitions and nature of, primary and secondary data, and be able to plan for (a) the selection, collection, or creation of data for interpretation and data analysis; and (b) critically analyse, interpret and manipulate data, and (c) synthesis results and interpretation of data and form conclusions.

Assimilate and review an appropriate range of literature sources and other appropriate sources/evidential materials.

Identify the underlying principles of various analytical methods commonly applied in business and management research;

Select appropriate analytical techniques according to the nature of the research;

Compute descriptive and inferential statistics using SPSS;

Be able to communicate effectively in, numeric, verbal and literary form to a variety of audiences using appropriate business language, terminology, and concepts including Construct questionnaires, evaluate their reliability, and analyse and evaluate the data produced (quantitative/qualitative or other)


Mark and Spencer Plc is a well-known retail giant in the UK that has the presence in many countries of the world. However, the company has the main establishment in the UK. The history of the company had witnessed of having $1 billion pre-tax profit as the UK retail giant in 1998 (, 2016). The company is present in the cities as well as in the suburban areas of the UK with the different form of establishments - supermarkets, convenient stores and online shopping. M&S had expanded its business internationally for the last four decades (, 2016). However, it was observed that the company's operation had been collapsed in many countries internationally (, 2013). The operation of developing countries had been stable though and international expansion had not overlooked by the management. M&S is specialised in providing many types of products in its stores. The key aspects of the company are to provide different demographics with the different format of the stores as well as the ranges of products for their satisfaction (, 2016).


M&S had faced the problem of issue related to religious belief of the Muslims to serve alcohol and pork to the customers in their stores. The problem was raised by the customers as they boycotted the company in 2013, Christmas due to uneven policy of not providing them service for pork and alcohol in the stores due to the division was controlled by the Muslim employees (International Business Times UK, 2013; Carter, 2013).

The gravity of the issue was associated with the religious belief of the employees and their motivation while serving the customers pork and alcohol. The employees might find it difficult for them to concentrate in this divisional environment where they were divided into two parts for different religious beliefs and practices. The issue was important because of anger of the customers regarding the matter as well as they boycotted the company at the due course. The significance of the issue was associated with other communal beliefs while working in M&S and religious belief through its debatable operational policy (Jones, 2013). The issue had raised the boycott in online blogs among the customers and was really important regarding the internal policy of the company.  

The main aim of the research was to find out the impact of motivation due to different policies regarding religious belief, race and gender in M&S, on the employees of this company.

To critically analyse the employee motivation regarding different policies

To find out the impact on the business performance due to motivation of the employees

To recommend the suitable action to reduce any adverse condition due to lack of motivation among the employees How different policies can affect the motivation of the employees?

What are the impacts of motivation in business-performance?

Employees’ motivation in a big organisation like M&S is crucial as they serve the retail customers and their activity of serving is one of the most important in satisfying the customers. Thereby, motivation of the employees may bring the harmony in performance of the company as it is elemental for achieving the hundred percent from the employees. There are many factors that influence the motivation of the employees. However, there are different stimuli in making the employees enthusiastic in their work. Therefore, the review of the others’ research may provide us the important information regarding the motivational factors and its influence on the employees. The work culture of the employees may be found as another instinct of motivating them in the workplace. There are many researches has happened in this context and the different conclusions could be achieved from those regarding the impact of the motivation on the performance of the employees as well as of the business as a whole.

Research aim

Concept framework

Figure 1: Concept framework

Maslow’s hierarchical needs of motivation expressed the different needs to attain the psychological needs while working in different environment. He also saw that the model had tried to explain the different stages of needs in motivating the different types of employees. In this respect, Tong et al. (2012) observed that many companies were in the way to fulfil the greater necessity of physiological needs of the employees. However, they overlooked the important factor of safety of the employees in workplace. However, the safety of the employees from physical stress could be increased by the employers by maintaining strict policies of operation. The motivational needs were the main attributes of the employees’ satisfaction. Thereby, the hierarchical factors in this model were important for the employees of the industry to achieve one by one. The scarce of the low level motivational factors did not allow the employees in getting the higher level motivational traits (Bratton and Gold 2012). According to Tong et al. (2012), the hierarchical achievement was mean to be step by step motivational factors for the employees with their enhancement in employment. However, the elements of achieving the motivational factors might reduce the long-term motivational score of the employees due to its overemphasised situations regarding the employees’ motive of working in the firms (Baker, Meyer and Chebat 2013).

Tong et al. (2012) said that physiological needs had overpowered by safety of the employees in workplace, which consisted of benefit of healthcare scheme, benefit to the women employees during their pregnancy, working safety and others. The physiological needs of the employees could not surpass the safety of the employees as it could provide the benefits of short-term (Cherian and Jacob 2013). In the meantime, the employees of the firms might have the problem of making relationship with the colleagues due to their disturbing past. Overriding this stage for those employees might make them motivated in their workplace to find their satisfaction with their activities. The argument from Cherian and Jacob (2013) showed that love and belongings might generate overconfidence among the employees as they might feel it as additional power for their attitudes. In this regard, performance of the employees might be enhanced during the process; but, they might react overconfidently throughout the process. The self-esteem of the employees could be achieved from other employees and colleagues in the workplace. The esteem among the employees might provide them respect from others, self-confidence strength to compete with others etc. The self-confidence of the employees may change the generic form of the attitude of the employees with empowering the lower level of esteem.


The final and the highest attributes in hierarchy needs of the employees was the self-actualization. It was described by Baker, Meyer and Chebat (2013), as the part of the highest need for the human being as well as for the employees while performing in their daily activities. This hierarchy might develop the specific desire among the employees and they might attain their level of desire by maintaining objectives to achieve the specific target. It was also found in the research of Manzoor (2012) that ambitious employees might not find it difficult to target for their career and goals in their firms. However, the employees with low level of ambition might find it difficult for developing any specific height in their career within certain time.

The model developed by Herzberg was based on the two factors – hygiene and motivational factors. According to Manzoor (2012), hygiene factors were suitable to make adjustment with the short-term motivational factors of the employees in the workplaces. However, the factor was not helpful in delivering the long-term objectives of the employees as it lagged of stability through modelling in the workplace. Hando and Ahern (2012) found that hygiene factors might provide short-term satisfaction to the employees due to its small presence among their mind. Hygiene factors helped the employer to prevent the dissatisfaction of the employees. However, to motivate the employees, the primary need was to motivate the employees in long-term where the motivational factors might work appropriately (Malik and Naeem 2013). Baker, Meyer and Chebat  (2013) found that initial stage of satisfaction of the employees was based on the hygienic factors in the workplaces as it reduced the rage against the management of the workers or the low level employees.

Hygiene factors

The initial stage of satisfaction of the employees was assessed through the level of hygiene factors in the firms. The distribution system of responsibilities as well as the compensation methods were well-known in enhancing the model of hygiene among the workers. In this context, Bratton and Gold (2012) found that payment was the main basic for the employees to become satisfied in their job. Due to low wage rate, the rage in the workplace might happen and that might disrupt the sustainability of the business. Thereby, payment and the rate of payment had become a crucial factor for the workers to endorse their satisfaction from the responsibilities. However, Dar et al. (2014) found that payment might increase the level of attention and responsibility in the workplace among the employees due to flow of primary level of satisfaction. However, Cherian and Jacob (2013) found that fringe benefit for the employees might be the opportunity to take off with their skills and performance in the daily as well as the long-0term activities. He also found that top level and the middle level executives could perform better in this type of environment where they might be entitled with the fringe benefits for their extraordinary performance. Manzoor (2012) saw that general fringe benefit used to be a motivational tool for the employees for the lower level executives as they might consider it as a tool for their satisfaction such as medical levy and insurance for the family. His scholarly research about insurance products as well as the influence of it on the employees observed that majority of the middle level executives found it difficult to pay for the medical bill for their family due to their growing age.  


Interpersonal needs of the employees were the most important aspects in this regard among the hygiene factors. Moreno-Mas et al. (2014) saw that relationship between the employees was worth of the team play and spirit in a team and in the firms. Further, it was also found that office and work environment could be created using this attribute among the employees. It was desired for the employees to have the pleasant environment in the office for using their fullest potential in the workplace (Yusoff, Kian and Idris 2013).  The factor like interpersonal skill might be reduced due to different race, religion, gender treatment and other demographic issues. Park and Ryoo (2013) found that difference in demographics of the employees might require to provide some of the special social advantage to some of the employees. It might generate the different focus group in the workplace among the employees unrelated to operation and might not much effective for meeting the organisational objectives. Thereby, it was necessary for the employers to reduce the social groups in the offices as it might differentiate the work culture of the employees and generate some unproductive cluster and issues (Gonen and Lev-Ari 2016).

Motivational Factors   

Motivational factors were the key input to satisfy the employees for a long-term and it did not stop the employees to be dissatisfied like hygiene factors. In this context, Bentley et al. (2013) found that some of the motivational factors of the employees might enhance their skills as well as career. The skill longevity was one of the most important factor for the management to attain sustainability in skill development among the employees. Thereby, recognising the potential of the employees in the workplace was one of the best way to praise the skills and making that employees motivated. Pegler (2012) said that performance recognition might not be in a way of promoting an employee as promotion was the mean of recognising the set of the activities including the performance of the employees. Promotion might generate the motivation among the employees for dealing with the additional responsibilities among them. Ungureanu and Rizescu (2014) saw that responsibility might change the psychology of the employees due to change in their attitude. He stated that responsibility was the mean of value proposition to the employees. They could feel the value from the top management for their activities in the business and might become emotionally attached with the firms to deliver their best.

Maslow hierarchy

The cultural dimension model of Hofstede was made off six index mainly. The cultural dimensions might provide the management an idea of satisfaction among the cross-cultured employees in the workplace (, 2012). The change in the culture among the employees might affect the team performance in the business (Hofstede, 2011). Therefore, it was necessary to evaluate the cultural dimensions of the employees in a group. However, this assessment might not provide the individual assessment of performance due to different culture in the office. In this context, the main usage of individualism versus collectivism would be evaluated critically due to its effectiveness in assessing the individual employees’ performance (Malik and Naeem 2013). The groups with different culture could be formed by aggregating the different people in a group while they might have different cultural background. In this model, collectivism was the mean of team play of the employees while individual score of the employees might be important in delivering the performance to the firms (Baker, Meyer and Chebat 2013).

The firm also might assess the gender base assessment using this model. The assessment might find the track and the policies of the firms for the female and male employees. The female employees might be provided with some additional privileges on the due course of application as they had to commit for maintaining the family. Hando and Ahern (2012) saw that traditional approaches of working style might not change the cultural vagueness due to its short-term effect on the employees’ culture.

H0: Psychological needs may not affect the motivation of the employees

H0: Different cultural dimension cannot change the motivation level of the individual employee

H0: Interpersonal skill of the employees may not drive the performance at new height


From the above discussion, we could see that different reviews regarding the models associated with the motivation of the employees. It was seen that employees could be motivated using the different factors for multiplying their ability in the activities. Further, it was also observed that the employees might be influenced by the external as well as the internal factors of the firm at the workplaces. The individual might become more motivated as it was depended on the personal traits. However, the group employees could be motivated due to change in the policies of the firms for the employees. In this regard, the Hofstede model was useful in assessing the focus group motivation as a whole. Maslow and Herzberg could provide us the motivational factors for the employees in shorter and longer duration where the employees could make themselves satisfied during the commitment towards the firm.


The method of conducting the research may provide the insights of logic behind every step of study. The structural differentiation and the change in the method of the study may be achieved by defining the suitable research method. This chapter normally generates the approval for the researcher to conduct the study in an appropriate format due to its explanatory mode of presentation to the readers. The method of research must be presented before conducting the study as there would be no negative consequences aftermath of the results from the research. The research outcome from the study can be understood from the structural evidences as well as the considered philosophical differentiations. In this due course of action, the main advantage for the researcher is to line up the methodological structure of the study for the researcher to achieve the desired outcome from the research. The structure of the research will be as follows:

Research framework

Figure 2: Research framework

The philosophy of the research will provide the researcher insights on the style of studied material regarding the information of the topic. It is found in the course of McGivern (2013) that philosophy may provide the important key to the study as it encapsulate the action of the study as well as the behaviour of the researcher. There are many philosophies present in the context of studying the social facts; however, the current context will use the positivism due to its flexibility towards bridging the gap between the past and the future. The philosophy has the style of binding the two types of style of the research in many context as well as it will approve the comparative study with the contemporary research in motivation of the employees. Positivism philosophy will allow the researcher to narrow down the study with the review from the past research.

The design of the research may make the researcher to understand the way of conducting the same as a whole. The design of the study will provide the researcher an idea of starting and the finishing style of the entire study (McClaren 2015). There are many designing methods present in the context of overall research design. However, the design of describing the problem and contemporary issues in the study will be suitable to understand the issues of the research in current context comparing with the past reviews. However, the causal and correlational effect of the research will not influence the study as there will no chance of conducting the study using the real life cause-effect in researching the past information (, 2016). Further, the study of will not explore any new variable while understanding the motivation of the M&S employees.

The study will try to conduct using the approach appropriate in this context. The study has the aim of finding the motivational changes among the employees due to some reasons. Thereby, the approach of conducting the study will be deductive by deducing the theoretical base regarding the research topic from the contemporary reviews. However, the base of the approach will not follow the review of the past only, but also it will try to evaluate the problem using the contemporary current data in this context. Deductive approach will provide the provision of setting the hypothesis from the gap of the existing literature regarding the contemporary topic of the research (Gast and Ledford 2014). Therefore, it will be justified using the deduction rather inductive as the parameter of descriptive mode of research will be undergone in this case.

There are many types of strategies that can be followed while conducting a research. However, the application of all the strategies are not suitable for all the studies (Blumberg Cooper and Schindler 2014). The strategy will be based on the time frame and the types of data will be used to evaluate the critical part of the research. Case study is suitable for conducting the research using the secondary data in small time frame. However, with a small time limit, we can conduct a research using the primary data. In this case, survey is suitable for the study as it may provide the primary information to the researcher. In this due course of action, the study will follow the survey strategy for gathering information for analysing the objectives of the study (Flick 2015).

There are three research methods mainly – mono, multi and mixed method for conducting any deductive research (Taylor, Bogdan and DeVault 2015). In this context, the suitable one will be to conduct the study using the mono method where the primary research method will be followed by the researcher. The main target of the researcher will be to gather the raw information about the motivation of the employees of M&S in the UK in the current circumstances to understand the impact of differential policy and rules for the Muslim employees in the workplaces. Additionally, the method is suitable as the new rule was against the policy stated by the management of the company. The primary method of research will provide the information regarding the current changers happen among the employees of the firm and the consequences of that in the firm’s operation as well (Robson and McCartan 2016).

Further, the primary method will allow the researcher to conduct the study using the quantitative data or quantifying the general data to analyse the motivational model of assessment. It will provide the researcher an insight of comparing the change of the motivation of the employees in the current context with a comparative mode of study.  Therefore, using the primary method will be justified for this study in future.

There are many instruments while conducting the survey method, gathering the primary information. Therefore, the researcher has to select one of them to conduct the entire study for gathering the information. The justification of setting the questionnaire while surveying the employees of a firm will be to conduct the research within short frame of time. Additionally, the bounded questionnaire may provide the structural pattern to the results and the outcome where the set hypothesis and the research questions can be found (Neuman and Robson 2012). The interview is an instrument where the structural pattern cannot be achieved for the researcher and evaluation of the responses of the participants may take huge time. However, the time frame of this study has been selected to be short and cross sectional; thereby, it is justified to select the survey questionnaire with the structured pattern for the participants so that the study can be completed within stipulated time frame (, 2016).

The most difficult part of the research is defining the sample size for the open population. However, there will be lesser complication while defining the sample size for this survey. The population of the research will be the employees of the M&S. According to the information provided by the company, officially the company has more than one million employees in the UK (, 2016). In this regard, the sampling formula may not provide the conclusive result for the researcher as it may be found that random sampling of the all employees will not be possible for the study. Therefore, the researcher will need the appropriate size of the sample while surveying and gathering the primary information. The formula for getting the sample size of the survey will be based on the deviation of the size of the employees of M&S as 6 (, 2016). Further, at the 95% confidence level, the sample size will be 153 – it means that the researcher has to conduct the survey among the 153 employees.









Linking to research questions

How different policies can affect the motivation of the employees?

The different policies of the firms may not allow the employees to become satisfied working there. Therefore, the change in the policies regarding the religious advantage of the Muslim employees may not make other employees satisfied as well as they may lose their motivation in the workplace. The literature of the proposal has been concluded the motivational factors as well as the race and religion also have some link with the motivation of the employees. The different policies for the different religion in the workplace may reduce the integration of the work culture in the firms. Therefore, it can be said that the literature review and the research questions are contemporary in this study.

What are the impacts of motivation in business-performance?

This question will assess the current motivational status of the employees as on current basis. Therefore, the literature of the thesis has implied on the impact on the employees due to performance of the business. The performance of the business may be deteriorated due to employee responding activities that can be enhanced using escalating the motivation.  

The analysis method will follow the simple formula of prediction of satisfaction of the employees measuring with some of the variables as follows:

Y (satisfaction) = beta + f(salary) + f(time) + f(policy) + error

Here satisfaction will be used as the proxy of motivation of the employees in M&S. Salary, time and policy will be the part of the model of analysis due to its presence as the variables of factors influencing the motivation of the employees.

Researcher will conduct the study maintaining the ethical consideration such as the information gathered from the survey will not be used in any commercial purpose. Further, the outcome of the study will not divulge any name or the identity of the participants in the survey.

The time frame of the research will be as follows:

 1 week

2-3 week

4-6 week

7 week

Selection of topic


Identified problem


Gathering secondary information


Gathering reviews of past research


Selecting the research method


Conducting the survey


Data modelling and analysis


Conclusion from the outcome of the research



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