This paper focuses on the research methodology for the present topic of employee training and development and impact on the performance of the employees of the Pipe industry. Several dimensions of the research method and philosophies have been discussed in this paper. Research philosophy, data collection method and data analysis method have been described extensively in this paper. Research limitations have been highlighted as every research has some gaps due to time, cost or resource constraints. There is scope for future research, which has also highlighted later in this paper.
Key elements of Research philosophy and Methodology
As stated by Knobe and Nichols (2013), research philosophy presents the essence of the research. Research philosophy reflects the nature of the study that whether the research is qualitative, qualitative or descriptive. In the view of O’Gorman, Lochrie and Watson (2014), research philosophy is a belief about the data collection method. Epistemology and doxology are two terms used in the discussion of research philosophy. Epistemology tells what is true and in contrast, doxology tells what is believed to be true. Scientific research is a process of transforming belief into known. As highlighted by Broad (2014), two main research philosophies widely used in the research are positivism and interpretevism.
There are philosophical differences between studies, which focuses on facts, numbers or mere description. Eriksson and Kovalainen (2015) identified four types of research philosophies such as positivism, pragmatism, interpretivism and realism. Philosophies are based on certain assumptions, which are influenced by the perception from surrounding environment and prior knowledge.
Positivism philosophy focuses on the reality of the events and is based on scientific research. This philosophy can be described from the objective point of view. Positivism philosophy is highly structured with facts. An important characteristic as pointed out by Gray (2013) is that researcher uses positivism while working with large sample data. Quantitative data analysis method is generally used; however, qualitative method can be used in data analysis. Andersen et al. (2013) argued that although this type of research is based on the grounded reality, predictions can be done based on experiences, observations and realities. Due to its nature, this philosophy is quiet popular in physical and natural sciences. However, positivism can be used in social research also as it allows to consider broader aspects of the research that is using qualitative and quantitative data together. There are several debates regarding the relevance of the positivism philosophy for the social science. However, the approach is accepted in every type of research presently.
Interpretivism philosophy deals with small sample and depth analysis. It mainly focuses on the qualitative and descriptive research. Although descriptive, researcher needs to explore greater knowledge on the research issues and results. Investigative nature facilitates the researcher with interpretivism philosophy. As pointed out by Coghlan and Brannick (2014), important aspect of interpretivism philosophy is interviews and observations. Participants are interviewed to gather responses and to find out source of the problem. As highlighted by Babbie (2015), this research philosophy has different variations such as hermeneutics, phenomenology and symbolic interactionalism. Herneneutics philosophy is used to focus on the wisdom literature. Researcher emphasises understanding the environment and experience. Symbolic interactionism focuses on the culturally constructed phenomenon (Morgan 2014). While positivism philosophy focuses on strong explanations and prediction, interpretivism can make weak prediction as prediction is based on intuition of the researcher.
Realism philosophy considers the independence of human thought. As discussed by Mingers (2014), realism can be divided into two categories that are direct and critical approach. Direct realism reflects the application of human sense and the critical realism depicts that humans experiences the images of the real world and not the actual world. Therefore, the image of the world in the human mind may be illusory.
Pragmatic research philosophy
Pragmatic research approach is mixed method, which considers both qualitative and qualitative research. Pragmatism accepts the philosophy of both positivist and interpretivisism (Martela 2015). This philosophy critically analyse issues using depth of knowledge. Mixed method makes the analysis robust as it focuses on different angle of the research. Dependent and independent variables are chosen for the research extensively. The main difference between pragmatism with other two philosophies is integration of more than one research approach within same study. This method may deductive or Inductive. No proper definition is required for this kind of research.
Justification for pragmatism philosophy
The present research wants to evaluate the effectiveness of the training and development on the performance of the employees. Pragmatic research philosophy would be appropriate as the researcher wants to use both qualitative and quantitative method. Qualitative method has been used to analyse the interview response of the managers of selected companies in the TMK Gulf International pipe industry in Oman. Research questions formulation is most important part of using this philosophy (Onwuegbuzie and Frels 2013). Research questions lead towards right findings of the research. During evaluation of the effectiveness of the training, one aspect is needed to consider such as effects of training on the benefits of the organisation. Company makes investment in the company in the form of training of employees for the skill formation. Enhanced skills would be further used for the benefit of the company. Evaluation of training facilitates the researcher to identify gain of the organisation, cost and benefit ratio and necessary for further training in future.
Shusterman (2016) analysed that no single research method can be better than other can intrinsically. A combination of different philosophy may help for better answering of the research question. All methods are valuable for the current research. It is not that any single research philosophy is unable to find out merits and demerits. However, incorporation of both positivism and interpretevism philosophy makes the research analysis more effective. However, researcher needs to be careful regarding use of research philosophy so that all the characteristics can be maintained. Pragmatism philosophy has been chosen in this context as it possesses all the characteristics and does not bound to any particular norms. Pragmatism philosophy allows researcher to choose freely the research method without looking any restrictions (Popa, Guillermin and Dedeurwaerdere 2015).
Survey method has been used for data collection and exploratory study has been conducted throughout. Researcher had no prior knowledge regarding the employee training process and development and their impact on the performance of the organisation. The research process has progressed by exploring theories and facts on the pipe industry and employees training methods used in different companies operate in this industry of Oman. Literature review has helped to gather knowledge in this respect. Pragmatism philosophy has been used as it concerned with real life situation and real organisations.
Survey method is useful for the study as it helps researcher to gather knowledge regarding different practices, situations and belief though interviews to the employees and the managers (Halcomb and Hickman 2015). The guiding philosophy of the organisations is known through interviews regarding the employees training method. Research has used own inference during data analysis method after receiving the feedback and statistical results. As different aspects of a research have been used in the study, pragmatism philosophy is appropriate for the present study.
Research design is one of the important steps a proper research (Lewis 2015). The research design is entirely depended on the purpose, arguments and the hypothesis of the research work (Creswell and Poth 2017). The entire research is processed and conducted well when it maintains and follows a proper research design. The research design includes exploration, description, explanation, evaluation, prediction and history of the research. The research design is instrumental in solving the research problem and also sets an example for further research on the subject (Lewis 2015). This research design would include the features like skills and viability of the research (Lewis 2015). The design will also become instrumental in structuralising the availability of the research material and suggest the nature of the problem (Kratochwill and Levin, J.R 2015). This design is constructed according to the time and budget of the researcher. Every research requires an investment of time and money (Creswell and Poth 2017). The investment of time and money should be allotted properly as it helps in planning of the research (Kratochwill and Levin, J.R 2015). The budget of the research should be correct and suitable to the issue which is chosen for the research. The allotted time and budget helps to move further into the data analysis process (Fowler 2013). The flexibility of this design will ensure its adaptability in different situations during the research (Kratochwill and Levin, J.R 2015). The design is constructed with accurate description about the project (Fowler 2013). It was important to create a design, which is unbiased (Wang 2015). An unbiased research minimises the limitations of a research and produces profound results (Wang 2015). The research will is regarded as authentic and is granted by higher institutions only if it is unbiased. A neutral view point is extremely important in a research (Wang 2015). A neutral view point can present a right result for a research (Fowler 2013). The design of a research incorporates the objectives of the study and decides on the methods of the data collection, sample selection, and data collection procedure (Fowler 2013). The research design is important to important for further research activities (Fowler 2013). Therefore, this is a key step in the research in order to plan and collect the data and to obtain the results of the study (Fowler 2013). This research design is based on manipulation, right form of control and random sampling (Fowler 2013).
According to Grove and Burns research, design is blueprint of the design in order to conduct the research properly (Grove Burns and Gray 2013). This blueprint helps in controlling the entire research and makes the researcher understand that the research is correctly (Grove Burns and Gray 2013). If the research is not working correctly, the researcher finds it out by comparing the practical situation with the blueprint and acts to rectify it on time (Creswell 2013). However, the research design is flexible in nature to shift the core of the research according to the situation (Grove Burns and Gray 2013). If a study faces a crisis, or a new finding changes the course of the research, the blueprint can be changed accordingly by the researcher in order to reach the results. Another expert researcher Professor Kader Parahoo states that the research design is extremely important to construct a process for the research (Green 2014). It is instrumental in directing the research in a specific way (Green 2014). It is a construction, which ensures that the purpose of the research is achieved properly (Green 2014). Parahoo states that the research designs ensure all the process succeeding this. Polit describes the research proposal as important as it helps in assessing the research question and testing the research hypothesis (Miguel, et al. 2014).
This research deals with the TMK Gulf International Pipe industry in Oman. This corporation is one of the leading industries in the country. Gulf International Pipe Industry was established in January 2007 (Tmk-gipi.tmk-group.com. 2017). Earlier it was named as Limited Liability Company in Sultanate of Oman (McDonnell and Onuoha 2015). It is a first of its kind industry in Oman. TMK Gulf International pipe Industry is a manufacturer of High Pressure Steel Lines Pipes of Oman (Tmk-gipi.tmk-group.com. 2017). Along with this it also produces Casing pipes. It has outsourced its manufacturing unit in India (McDonnell and Onuoha 2015). The company primarily produces high pressure steel pipes of 24 inches. These pipes are of 24 inches and are Electric Resistance Welded (ERW) (McDonnell and Onuoha 2015). It has achieved a lot in the field of pipes (Tmk-gipi.tmk-group.com. 2017). At present it has thirty production units in various countries including Russia, Romania, the United States of America, Oman, Kazakhstan and UAE (McDonnell and Onuoha 2015). TMK GIPI has invested about one hundred and ten million USD in the industrial area in Sohor (Tmk-gipi.tmk-group.com. 2017). The core production unit of the company is based in Oman. This industrial firm covers more than two hundred and forty thousand square meters. The company has ably produced more than 200 thousand metric tons of steel pipes per year (Tmk-gipi.tmk-group.com. 2017). The company has been reportedly using the fifth generation technology in order to increase the production and develop the working conditions in the company (Tmk-gipi.tmk-group.com. 2017). It has been instrumental in maintain the rules and regulation of oil and gas companies. Through this it has ably maintained the international standards (Tmk-gipi.tmk-group.com. 2017). The company has been instrumental in maintaining the international standards like supporting the welfare of environment, health, safety and security (Tmk-gipi.tmk-group.com. 2017). The key factor of the research is based on the affectivity of the training in the performance of the employees (Tmk-gipi.tmk-group.com. 2017). The affectivity of training is very important to understand for the employees (Tmk-gipi.tmk-group.com. 2017). The training is conducted by the company in order to enhance the performance of the employees (Tmk-gipi.tmk-group.com. 2017). The enhancement should be in quality as well as quantity (McDonnell and Onuoha 2015). It should affect the behaviour as well as enthusiasm of the employees (McDonnell and Onuoha 2015). The purpose of the research is to evaluate the impact of the training programs according to their performance (McDonnell and Onuoha 2015).
Data collection method
A researcher can take into consideration different types of data collection methods while carrying out a research work (Smith 2015). However, before zeroing on a particular method, the researcher needs to understand the three broader data collection methods that are needed to carry out the work. According to Taylor, Bogdan and DeVault (2015), the three types of broader data collection methods that a researcher can use while carrying out a research, are:
- Qualitative research methods
- Quantitative research methods
- Mixed research methods
Qualitative data collection method can be used when the numbers of participants are less (Bryman and Bell 2015). The researcher will be able to gain an insight of the topic in detail. Data can be collected from the participants where they will be giving their feedback in detail. As opined by Bryman (2015), the qualitative data collection will help in knowing the feedbacks of the individuals in detail. While a researcher will be carrying out a qualitative research, it will be acting as a base for carrying out the quantitative research work. The reasons, opinion of the people and the motivation are taken into consideration in qualitative data collection method (Cohen, Manion and Morrison 2013). While collecting the data in the qualitative data, the researcher will be able to get better idea of the topic. As stated by Rubin and Babbie (2016), the questions that will be asked in the qualitative data collection method can be structured or unstructured. The main thing that should be the concern for the researcher is to get a detailed feedback regarding the topic. The researcher will be able to form focus groups and discuss the topic within the group (Bowling 2014). Face-to-face interviews are also another way to get the feedbacks of the participants or collect the data. As pointed out by Zikmund et al. (2013), the participants will be able to tell about their opinion in a detailed manner. The researcher can observe the participants or the data without asking any direct questions. Thomas, Silverman and Nelson (2015) further added that the questions in the qualitative data collection method are open-ended. The participants are asked to give detailed feedbacks. As the questions are not limited to any one answer or multiple choice answers, the participants can tell about the subject in a detailed manner (Fowler Jr 2013).
A quantitative data collection method is mainly used when the data is being used for statistical use (Fellows and Liu 2015). This type of data collection is used when there is need to generate the numerical data. When the numbers of participants are more, it becomes difficult for the researcher to get the feedbacks of the participants in detail. Hair (2015) has stated that by applying quantitative data collection method, the feedbacks of the participants could be retrieved in an overall manner. The data collection method is mainly used to see the way a whole lot of people feel about a topic or a situations. As rightly pointed out by Lazar, Feng and Hochheiser (2017), quantitative data collection method use measurable data so that the result can be precise and the data is able to tell about the way the people think about the issues. The participants may not be able to give a detailed feedback about the topic but the feedbacks will help the researcher to get an idea the thought process of an entire population. According to Duncan and Fiske (2015), the questions of the quantitative data collection method are close-ended. The answers for those questions are being framed as multiple-choice. The participants can give limited replied to the questions (Punch and Oancea 2014). The data collection techniques can be carried out by indulging in various forms of surveys (Brinkmann 2014). The researcher can take the help of online survey, face-to-face survey, telephonic interview or online polls. Carrying out the surveys will not be an issue for the researcher. As The only issue, that the researcher might face while retrieving the data from the quantitative data collection method is with time (Patten 2016). Berger (2015) argued that the time issues could also arise for the qualitative data collection method. However, as the numbers of participants are less for qualitative data collection method, it might not take as much time as the quantitative data collection method. The numbers of participants for quantitative data collection method is minimum 50. The researcher would not be able to carry out the survey until the desired numbers of participants are reached (Jackson 2015).
Mixed data collection method is mainly used when both the qualitative data collection method and quantitative data collection method (O'Sullivan, Rassel and Berner 2016). Many research works need to get an idea about the thought process of the mass as well as get an in-depth understanding of the topic. In such a situation, quantitative data collection method as well as qualitative data collection method will be used (Johnson 2015). Barker and Pistrang (2015) further added that the researcher might then use the quantitative data collection method to know the way the mass feels. It would help the person who is carrying out the research to know the feedbacks of the entire population. In addition to this, Yanow and Schwartz-Shea (2015) pointed out that with the help of the qualitative data collection method the person will be able to know the about the topic in detail. The researcher uses the quantitative data collection method when the feedbacks of the customers or huge numbers of employees or any community are needed. In addition to this, there can be need of knowing better about the topic from the people as if head of the clan or the managers of some company are needed.
Once the researcher has decided on which broad topic for the broader data collection method, the there is a need to decide on the narrower methods that will help in collecting the data (Smith 2015). However, it is necessary to decide the proper data collection method as per the people whom the researcher wants to get the data from.
According to Hair (2015), some of the specific ways of data collection method that can be applied by the research are:
According to Taylor, Bogdan and DeVault (2015), a person can carry out an interview either face-to-face or over the telephone. Prior time is foxed for the interview. The questions for the interview can be structured that is mainly used while someone is taking the interview in a formal manner (Bryman and Bell 2015). The interview can be semi-structured when there is no specific need to formal or informal. The interview questions can be informal mainly when the person is interviewing someone known to him or from a community where structure questions might not be helpful. As pointed out by Bryman (2015), if a person is carrying out a research work that is based on social issues then informal questions should be formed as the researcher might not be able to get proper answer if the questions are being framed in formal manner. Moreover, while a person is being interviewed on any social cause or any culture, then it might not be possible to stick to the questions framed and many more questions might be formed while the interview process is on. As stated by Liamputtong (2013), for the managers, formal structure of the questions might is mandatory as they are working in corporate world and structured questionnaires will be best suited for them. The researcher will have to decide on the people or group who will be interviewed. Choosing the groups or the people is the most important work while the person is taking the interview (Rubin and Babbie 2016). Cohen, Manion, further supported the idea and Morrison (2013) when they stated that the entire interview might go wrong of proper participants is not decided beforehand. The interview process is mainly carried out while a person is doing a qualitative data collection method. The person will be able to know about the topic in detail and the person can analyze the data by using descriptive method (Bowling 2014).
- Questionnaires and surveys
Questionnaires and surveys are used while the researcher is carrying out a study on a huge population (Zikmund et al. 2013). The results acquired from the questionnaires, surveys are given certain numerical value, and those values are being analyzed based in any statistical method. The researcher can make use of SPSS to analyze the data, regression or correlations (Thomas, Silverman and Nelson 2015). The participants who are taking part in the interview with the help of questionnaires and surveys are given close-ended questions. The participants will to give the answers in the forms of likert scale or multiple-choice answers. The researcher will find it easier to use the data while taking the interview in the forms of questionnaires and surveys (Fowler Jr 2013). As numerical data is enough to analyze the feedbacks of the participants hence, it is much easier for the researcher o carry out a research that is based on questionnaires and surveys (Fellows and Liu 2015).
When the researcher is collecting the data with the help of observation, the person can collect the data by becoming an Omni present character (Lazar, Feng and Hochheiser 2017). The person might not interact with the participants but study the behaviour of the participants. The researcher cans study the dynamic of situations. According to Duncan and Fiske (2015), the person can also study the frequency count of the behaviour of the participants. The main advantage of collecting data with the help of observation is that the person can also study of the behaviour of other members along with the participants (Punch and Oancea 2014). At times, the people who are living in the surroundings of the target participants affect the behaviour of the participants to a great deal. Observations help in getting an idea whether the people who are living in the surroundings of the target group is affecting them in anyway (Brinkmann 2014). At times, medical experiments take help of observations to study the behaviour of the participants.
The researcher at times forms groups with common interests and try to evaluate their thought process and this type of group formation is known as data collection with the help of focus groups (Patten 2016). Data collection with the help of focus groups helps the researcher to get a collective opinion or perspective about group. As stated by Berger (2015), with the help of focus groups, the researcher will be able to concentrate on the similarities and differences amongst a people belonging to the same group. The feedbacks of the participants will show whether that have any difference sin thoughts even though the claim to be hailing from a similar group (Jackson 2015). The responses of the participants are categorized and analyzed. As stated by O’Sullivan, Rassel and Berner (2016), at times, the researcher is able to analyze the feedbacks of the participants thematically.
- Ethnographies, case studies an oral history
Many researchers try to evaluate the behaviour of the participants in a single phenomenon and that is where the person applies data collection with the help of ethnographies, case studies and oral history (Johnson 2015). The natural setting is the main concern for the researcher who uses ethnographies, case studies and oral history. According to Barker and Pistrang (2015), the natural setting should not be violated so that it does not affect the behaviour of the participants. Observation is the best way to evaluate the behaviours of the participants, as the natural setting would not be harmed at any cost. Yanow and Schwartz-Shea (2015) has rightly pointed out that ethnographies are mainly used to study a cultural phenomenon. The researcher mainly uses interviews when the person wants to collect data based oral history. Case studies can also be done with help of observations or can be studied with the help of documents and records. Smith (2015) further stated that the analysis would be descriptive if the person is collecting with the help of ethnographies, case studies and oral history.
When the researcher takes into account the existing data and works then it be called that the researcher is taking the help if documents and records to collect the data (Taylor, Bogdan and DeVault 2015). The documents can be articles or books. The research works by other authors can also be used any scientific experiments can also be used to by a researcher to add value to the research work (Bryman and Bell 2015). Collecting data with the help of documents and records is the cheapest way of collecting data. However, Bryman (2015) argues that the data that has been collected with the help of documents and records might not be up to the mark and can be incomplete at times. The researcher can make use of documents and records while carrying out qualitative data collection (Liamputtong 2013). The data can be analyzed in a descriptive manner.
Use of data collection method for the present research- Interview, Questionnaires, Surveys, Case Studies, Documents and Records
Use of data collection method for primary data collection- Interview, Questionnaires and surveys
For the present research, the training and development of the TMK Gulf International Pipe Industry in Oman will be evaluated. The employees of the organization and the managers of the organization will be interviewed to get an idea whether the training and development is helping in enhancing the performance of the employees. To know the effects of training, the feedback of the employees are necessary, as they will be able to tell whether they are being benefitted by the training and development. The employees will be able to understand whether training and development has helped learning any new process or techniques. They will also be able to throw light on the fact that whether the training and development has helped them to learn new skills that they did not have n idea before. As the number of employees will be more, hence the feedback of the employees will be taken in the form of questionnaires and surveys. The employees will be given questionnaires where they will be giving their feedback regarding the influence of training in their performance. The employees will be given close-ended questions. They will be giving answers on multiple-choice questions or on the liker scale. The answers of the employees will be given numerical data. The numerical data will be then analyzed on SPSS. The result of the numerical analysis will throw light on the fact that where the employees are being benefitted from the trainings. The feedbacks of the managers will be taken in the form of interview. Three managers will be interviewed so that they will be able to tell the types of training and development program they take part in and the way it will be helpful for the employees. The managers will be able to tell about the need for training the way it has helped them to enhance their business. The questions that will be asked to them will be open-ended and they will be giving their answers in detail. The numbers of managers who will be interviewed is less and hence, detailed feedbacks can be taken into consideration.
There will be no need for observation as it will be taking a lot of time and the research will not be able to devote much time for the research work. To observe the situation in this research, there is need to have a core idea of the work that the organization is into. The change could be observed only when there is an idea about the previous skills of the employees and the way they used to carry out the work and the later part when they have acquired the skills. There will be a need to study the work process and the work process later. The most important part of the research is that it will take time to know their operations before the evaluation period will start.
Use of data collection method for secondary data collection- Case Studies, Documents and Records
As far as the secondary data is concerned, the documents records and the case studies will be evaluated to get an idea of the issue. Many authors have shared their views on the positive effects of training and the way it has been helpful in changing the operations of an organization. The perspectives of those authors will be studied. If any organization has implemented any types of training and development program then the results will be evaluated in the research paper. The works of various authors will also be evaluated while carrying out the secondary research. The data that has been collected by previous authors will be used. If any of the authors is using any concept or giving rise to any theory the idea will also be used in the present research. The data that will be collected from the books or the articles will be analyzed in descriptive manner. The data and the information from various sites will be collected and then the data will be described in the present research work. The main thing that should be taken care of by the researcher is that is the data should be recent so that it puts some validity in the research work. In addition to this, the work that will be used in the paper will be properly referenced. According to Cohen, Manion and Morrison (2013), it is one of the most important parts of the research work that the data should be recent so that readers know that the research can be used for future purpose. Rubin and Babbie (2016) further added that if any researcher used outdated data then there is huge chance that the data might have been changed later. In such a situation, the research paper will become invalid and the researcher might have to repeat the research work (Thomas, Silverman and Nelson 2015).
Data analysis methods
As pragmatism research philosophy has been used, both qualitative and quantitative research analysis methods have been used (Grbich 2012). Research has started with quantitative study and progressed with qualitative research subsequently. Collected data have been recorded in the excel spreadsheet for the analysis. Data can be analysed using excel data analysis tool or SPSS, result generation is easy process. Using excel for doing analysis of collected data has numerous advantages as it provides multiple options for the analysis. The multiple options for analysis are such as using excel for ANOVA, using excel for Linear Regression, using excel for Correlation and few others (Tesch 2013). Descriptive statistics and regression analysis have been used for the basic analysis. These analyses have used to indicate acceptance or rejection of the research hypothesis in the present context. Regression model helps to develop relationships in between the explanatory and the dependent variables. The regression line helps in analyzing the potentiality of relationships of dependent and explanatory variables such as those are strong or weak. Quantitative analysis may differ from qualitative analysis (Miles, Huberman and Saldana 2013). However, combined analysis has helped to find the research gap. Descriptive analysis discusses about the mean, median, mode and standard deviation of the responses, which have indicated the nature of sample distribution. Mean governs the data analysis with a formula, which gives the resultant value by dividing the sum of elements in a set with the number of elements in the set. The resultant value can be treated as a collaborative property of the entire values set. This is very handful in attaining a very useful data. Mean can be calculated with the help of following formula (Frels and Onwuegbuzie 2013):
Mean= Sum of the elements of a set / number of elements
The importance of mean is in its capability to provide single value for ma large number of elements in a set (Petty, Thomson and Stew 2012). For example, comparing an average household income of one place with another would be difficult to calculate by considering every single household present in the target places. However, the use of mean has made this simpler because it gives an average value, which is only needed to understand the differences in incomes. An average value in such circumstances would give one single value to a large participant. Nevertheless, a single value is easy to understand for making differences. Median on other hand is another important technique to analyse the data. This is generally calculated by finding the middle term of a series of elements. The series further can be of two types such as series containing odd numbers and series containing even numbers. If the series contain odd numbers of elements in a set then the middle value of the series would be termed as the median value (Flick 2013). For example, if the series has 11 elements in it then the 6th term of the series would be the median value for that particular set. If the series has elements in even terms then the median would be the average of the two middle values. For example, if a set contains 10 elements in it then the median would be as follows:
Sum of 5th term + sum of 6th term / 2 (number of terms) = median value of the set (Bernard, Wutich and Ryan 2016)
Median is more specific than the mean value because it gives answers that are more specific. The following given series would help to understand the theory:
1, 2, 5, 6, 2000
The mean value in the above given series would be = 1+2+5+6+2000 / 5 = 402.8
However, the median value for the given set of elements would be = 5
The above results do clearly validate the fact that median value is more specific to mean value (Bazeley 2013).
Mode is another useful technique that helps to find a single value for the given set of elements. It is calculated theoretically by picking up the most frequent element in the given set, which means that the frequently appearing numbers would be the mode value for the given set of elements (Davies and Hughes 2014). For example, in the given set of elements (1,2,2,2,2,2,2,3,3,3,3,4,9,11,56), 2 would be the mode value because it has quite frequently occurred in the set. In normal distribution of elements, it is equal to the value of mean and mode values. However, it differs in skewed or other kinds of distribution. Quantitative methods have been applied further while evaluating performance of the employees in terms of return on investment. The formula that can be applied to measure return on investment (ROI) = (monetary benefits – cost of training)/ training cost * 100 (Bazeley 2013). In the calculation of development costs, salary, benefits, incentives are verified. This research will consider other aspects in the analysis such as cost of time needed to learn new practices, change in productivity. Three companies will be chosen from the pipe industry of Oman.
In order to collect the data, both primary survey and secondary survey will be conducted. Data on training cost can be available on the annual report or the sustainability report. Data on other variables can be gathered through primary survey by developing questionnaire. Recorded responses will be analysed using statistical method. In the qualitative method, detailed analysis will be made for the assessment of the interview response. Impact on the performance of the organisation in terms of revenue, profit is evaluated in the qualitative study.
Quantitative study only tells about the significance of the regression model, independent and dependent variables (Bryman 2015). It also indicates the acceptance or rejection of the hypotheses based on statistical criteria. However, further analysis has been done using qualitative method to verify the statistical measures with the data gather from interview of the managers and the annual report of the companies. Dependent variables in this research are performance of the organisation and independent variables are training of employee and the performance of the employees. Multivariate regression analysis has been used for this study considering all independent variables to study the impact on the dependent variable (Palinkas et al. 2015).
The research is not free from limitations. Limitations are some constraints that have stopped the researcher from getting the most accurate results (Davies and Hughes 2014). Limitation can be in any form such as in the form of high numbers of unresponsive respondents or in the form of less serious respondents. The research was conducted to analyze the effect of training and development programme on the employees of TMK Gulf International Pipe Industry in Oman. The researcher has aimed to get responses from the employees who are getting trained in the company. The researcher has also aimed to get valuable responses from the mangers. The first limitation of the research is the questionnaire, which had close-ended questions with multiple options for each question. The problem with such questionnaire survey is the shortcomings in terms of its results. The derived results had less quality responses because respondents had chances to give their responses in multiple options only. Moreover, multiple options sometimes do not elaborate the entire meaning of the responses (Lefcourt 2013). For example, if the respondent has selected the option that he or she is okay with the training, it does not specify the meaning of okay. Although survey has provided the options to interact with employees but still, it is difficult to get the responses of the same respondents during the survey as well. The respondent might try to skip the survey in order to keep him or herself safe from any managerial strictness.
The questionnaire is good for getting an overview of the responses. This is helpful in understanding the effectiveness of the training and development program that had been given to the employees. The researcher had selected the questionnaire mode of taking feedbacks on the training and development program from employees because this is helpful in getting the numbers of satisfied employees. This can be derived with the help of various techniques such as mean, median and mode. This has helped the researcher in his quantitatively research mode. However, to get the best results and to reach to any conclusion it is necessary that the researcher have some quality data with himself as well. Moreover, the quality data is also useful in understanding the real issue that is in the TMK Gulf International Pipe Industry in Oman. The qualitative data is also helpful in recommending some solutions to the existing circumstances. The second limitation of the research is the participation of the respondents in the survey process. The survey process is generally bit lengthy, which might be unfeasible with some employees. However, the researcher had wanted the participation of every single employee in order to attain results that are more accurate. The participation of large respondents helps to gather the maximum variance in the results, which is helpful for understanding the real issue in the organization (Simon and Goes 2013). However, approaching to the single employee is a constraint on the researcher, which is never feasible in the very short time span that had been allotted for the research. The researcher could have attained results that are more accurate if it has sufficient time for the research. However, it is never feasible under such a short time span. Another constraint in the survey was the transparency in answers. Some employees were less serious about the survey. They did not entertain the survey process. They rather responded in a less descriptive manner. Nevertheless, this had caused the loss of time for the respondents, which were proved invaluable for the research. Moreover, shortage of time has prevented the researcher from getting valuable responses, which could have been valuable for the researcher’s knowledge skills and for the betterment of the organization as well.
The third limitation of the research was interacting with the managers of the TMK Gulf International Pipe Industry in Oman. The researcher had taken prior permission from them quite before the start of the research. They had agreed to the proposal as well. However, they have their own issues. They hardly had times during the interview, which has hampered the results of interview as well. The limitations of time had prevented the researcher from getting accurate data from the managers of the TMK Gulf International Pipe Industry in Oman (Jardine and James 2012). During the very short period of interaction with the managers, they had shared some valuable feedbacks with the researcher. Their feedbacks had actually helped the researcher to know actually a bit about the issue in the organization. However, the shortage of time had actually prevented the researcher in getting answers on the problems, which the employees of the organization feel (Bell 2014). The employee’s feedbacks on the management & the company and the manager’s feedbacks on the employees are necessary to conduct a comparative study of the collected data. However, both the types of respondents could not share the sufficient data on their feelings towards each other. It is very necessary that the researcher have sufficient data from employees and from the managers as it helps in reaching to the conclusion. However, the research limitations that are mentioned above have prevented the researcher in reaching to the possible valuable results.
The uncovered sections because of various research limitations that the researcher had, has prepared a platform to various future studies. Future studies might be more productive and high in quality data if it is provided with sufficient time for the questionnaire and the survey with the employees of the company. In addition to this, the researcher can get potential data from the interviews with the managers provided if they have sufficient time for the interviews. Potential interviews and the questionnaires & survey would be highly helpful for getting the potential results. This would also help to understand the real issue behind the training and development process. The future research would help as well in understanding the feelings of employees as the research is expected to have much time for the surveys with the employees. Moreover, a high time spending on the surveys would help the researcher understand the issue more accurately.
Ethical consideration is of high importance when conducting a research on such a topic, which needs the interactions with the employees and the managers (Miller et al. 2012). Such topic is very sensitive as privacy issues come into the place. The human resource rules and regulations is another constraint, which is needed to be paid highest of attention. The first ethical consideration for the research would be to interact to the employees with prior permission from the human resource management department. Employees are supposed to adhere to certain rules and regulations proposed by the human resource department. The researcher has tried to interact to the employees under the strict adherence to every rules and regulations imposed by the HRM of the company.
The second ethical consideration is to keep the data collected from the employees under utmost privacy. The responses that were generated after conducting the research with the employees would be kept under high protection under the Data Protection Act of 1998. Their responses would not be shared with any third person and would be utilized only under utmost privacy. The responses thus generated would not be published anywhere as it is necessary to protect the data of employees (Kumar 2014). Some feedbacks might not be acceptable to the management of the company, which is why the data is needed to be kept under high privacy. This would prevent any clash of thoughts in between the employees and the managers. Clash of thoughts can be harmful for the employees because some autocrat kinds of leader might harm their job as well.
The other ethical consideration is to prevent the data collected from the managers. This is very necessary because its competitors might use the collected data, which would be harmful for the business of the company (Fowler Jr 2013). Nevertheless, the researcher would prevent the collected data from being published on the website. In addition to this, the researcher would use the data only for education purpose under the supervision of the Data Protection Act of 1998. The researcher has already ensured the same to the managers quite before the research was conducted.
The fourth ethical consideration is to behave professional with the managers at the time of interview. The researcher has done the same. The researcher has behaved completely professional at the time of interview. The high importance paid to the collected data and the high respect given to the managers would certainly help many future works in future. Ethical considerations are of high importance in research works when it is conducted on big organizations with large number of respondents. This helps to attain the highest of supports from all the participants such as the employees and the mangers (Sieber and Tolich 2013). The employees and the managers thus help the researcher by giving their important time once they are assured of the safety with their responses. It requires high generosity for the managers to take some time out of their busy schedules.
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