Preparing to Conduct Business Research: Part 3 RES/351 February 20, 2012 Age discrimination is existent. Older employees are defined as members of the “mature” generation (58 or more years old); younger employees are members of three generations—the Baby Boom (post World War II or 38 – 57 year olds), Generation X (23 – 37 year olds), and Generation Y (18 – 22 year olds). The key to a company’s future success will be its adaptability – its capacity to deploy resources quickly to seize competitive opportunities and to draw from a labor pool that features a mix of multi-skilled, full-time workers, and specifically-skilled, contingent employees who contribute on a part-time or temporary basis” (Hall and Mirvis, 1998). Research is conducted when individuals or businesses want to find out the connection, if any, between two or more things. This paper will discuss, “Will hiring younger employees to take the place of older employees increase the productivity of a business? We will be discussing the different aspects of finding a solution to this very question. We are going to focus on four areas within our research. They will be broken down by significance, scope, magnitude, and feasibility of finding a solution to our question. We will discuss how using these different aspects of our research will help us determine the purpose of conducting our research. Working in businesses in which you have to make life changing decisions can be stressful. Factors to consider with this topic are age, experience, knowledge, and productivity.
The final solution will impact current employees and potential new hires; therefore, businesses need to be fair in the decision(s) being made and make sure it is in the best interest of all parties involved. Businesses must examine every aspect of a situation to avoid discrimination lawsuits, loss of business, or an increase in employee turnover. Overall, happy employees will produce an efficient workflow and exhibit a more positive attitude toward the company as well. “The two criteria to judge feasibility are cost required and value to be attained” (Wikipedia. com).
Many solutions can be prepared for various situations within a business environment. However, each solution needs to be logical and suitable for the situation. Businesses should test possible solutions to see which one will be the most beneficial by using feasibility studies. “Feasibility studies aim to objectively and rationally uncover the strengths and weaknesses of the existing business or proposed venture, opportunities and threats as presented by the environment, the resources required to carry through, and ultimately the prospects for success” (Wikipedia. om). The magnitude of finding a solution to the issue of whether or not hiring younger employees will increase productivity is very high. The business needs to continue to make a profit in this economy and if hiring young people is the solution, it is imperative that we make sure the solution is found. This task should not be difficult, however, as long as the decision making process is followed. We created research questions, a hypothesis, decided on what the variables are, and considered the ethical complications.
Following legal guidelines and the process of finding the solution will help us get to the right answer. The magnitude of finding the right answer is enormous since our business depends on it. Older workers are often liable to encounter difficulties in employment and occupation because of prejudices about their capacities and willingness to learn, a tendency to discount their experiences, and market pressures to hire younger workers who are often cheaper to employ.
To increase productivity and eliminate discrimination when it comes to younger employees versus older employees, the following measures could be taken to have a more productive workplace: (1) Set up a policy establishing clear procedures on non-discrimination and equal opportunities; and communicate it amongst all employees, (2) Provide training at all levels of the organization, in particular for those involved in recruitment and selection, as well as supervisors and managers, to help raise awareness and encourage people to take action against discrimination, (3) Set measurable goals and specific time frames to achieve objectives, (4) Modify work organization and distribution of tasks as necessary to avoid negative effects on the treatment and advancement of particular groups of workers, and (5) Address complaints, handle appeals and provide recourse to employees in cases where discrimination is identified.
To determine whether hiring younger versus older employees increase productivity in the workplace, there are a few questions that need to be researched in order to analyze the situation. (1) If we hire younger employees, will this be an open opportunity for a lawsuit for age discrimination? (2) Will productivity increase, decrease, or stay the same with younger employees? (3) Will it be cost effective to hire younger people who may be entitled to more compensation? The employer who would decide to replace older workers with younger workers to increase productivity, with the thought younger people are more energetic, therefore could work faster than older people. The younger employees may be easier to train and retain information better than older employees.
They may also look at the younger employees as being more comfortable with new and advanced technology. There are four variables to consider when it comes to making a decision about hiring the younger versus older employee. The variables are the independent variable, dependant variable, confounding variable, and the intervening variable. The independent variable is hiring younger employees to replace older employees. The dependent variable is the increase in productivity. The confounding variable is younger employees have fresh ideas. Lastly, the intervening variable is training the new employees. The research design that best suites how the information was researched was the Quasi-Experimental research.
With using this particular research for our topic, the quasi-experiment treats a given situation as an experiment, even though it is not wholly by design. The independent variable may not be manipulated by the researcher, treatment and control groups may not be randomized or matched, or there may be no control group. The researcher is limited in what he or she can say conclusively. The significant element of quasi-experiments is the measure of the dependent variable, which it allows for comparison. Some data is quite straightforward, but other measures, such as level of self-confidence in writing ability, increase in creativity or in reading comprehension are obviously subjective. In such cases, uasi-experimentation often involves a number of strategies to compare subjectivity, such as rating data, testing, surveying, and content analysis (Colorado State University. edu). One type of instrument that would be very useful in our research would be interviews. Interviews are a systematic way of communicating through talking and listening. “Through the knowledge of conversation “(KMExecutive, 2010), data can be collected on what new younger employees can bring to the organization, and how they feel they would better benefit the company over an experienced older employee. Within the interview, the interviewer and interviewee are able to become involved with talking about their views, and their perception and interpretation of the situation.
With the use of interviews in the survey method, we can initially get some very valuable information necessary for finding the key to hiring new younger employees within the company to help boost productivity, without causing any legal issues or moral falls with the older employees. In the interview section of the survey, we will be able to find out from the new potential employees what they want to bring to the table to boost our needs. Also, by doing one-on-one interviews with the older employees, we will be able to find out what areas have become complacent and what areas do not need to be touched. This will allow for us to find out if we need to hire new employees, for which section(s), and which ones we are able to leave alone. This will definitely eliminate the unnecessary desire for older employees of these areas to retaliate against the company. Another instrument type we could use would be experiments.
It would definitely benefit the organization to see if the new younger employees were able to provide the company with more production, especially if there is training involved. We would take the experimental variable (the younger verses the older) and put them to work side by side to see which one is more productive. This will give us an idea if we need to train more, or reconsider hiring new and getting rid of the old. By developing the constants, the researchers can evaluate the effect of the changes to the production quality and quantity. We would be able to test the effectiveness, appeal, and sales of various products that the organization is planning on developing or selling.
WE can divide the population into two groups, the younger group and the older group. In order to help solve the issue of whether or not hiring younger employees will increase the productivity in the workplace, we must take some samples. Samples help to determine which decision is the best. The type of sampling that will best suit this issue is probability, or random sampling. This will avoid any bias on the company’s part. This ensures that the participants will be random and of all ages. Survey questionnaires will be used as a sampling frame within a 30 day period. Each person randomly selected will have to complete the survey questionnaire which will contain all of the information needed to make an informed decision.
The sampling size will be determined by the amount of employees of the organization. While we cannot sample everyone we do want to give the issue a fair sampling size. We will want to sample the majority of them, around 75%. Therefore, if there are 20 employees, 15 will be sampled by using the survey questionnaire. “A statistical test provides a mechanism for making quantitative decisions about a process or processes. The intent is to determine whether there is enough evidence to “reject” a conjecture or hypothesis about the process; the conjecture is called the null hypothesis” (itl. nist. gov). “A set of data can only reject a null hypothesis or fail to reject it.
For example, if comparison of two groups (e. g. : treatment, no treatment) reveals no statistically significant difference between the two, it does not mean that there is no difference in reality. It only means that there is not enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis (in other words, the experiment fails to reject the null hypothesis)” (wikipedia. com). Based the types of instruments used such as experiments and interviews, to collect data pertaining to our topic of choice, the best statistical test to use would be the t-test. “The t-test assesses whether the means of two groups are statistically different from each other (socialresearchmethods. net).
With our topic comparing the productivity among older employees versus younger employees, we can better determine if age does or does not play a significant factor in current or future workflow processes and the implementation of new creative ideas. The results will be displayed as “the actual difference between two means in relation to the variation in the data (expressed as the standard deviation of the difference between the means)” (biology. ed. ac. uk). In this case, the two means are the older employees and younger employees; the variation in the data would be the productivity of the workflow, whether it would increase, decrease, or remain the same.
Everyone who wants to work should be able to and no one deserves to be judged by their age or any other factor that does not relate to their productivity (nytimes. com/2009). Considerations that should be taken into account when it involves hiring a younger versus older employee are discrimination and stereotyping. The repercussions of age-based communication and productivity can be devastating to older employees; this could lead to a decline in their self esteem and mental well-being. Discriminating against older employees could also lead to lawsuits; which eventually has a bad look on the employers. The steps in performing any type of research is crucial for finding the right answer to any situation that may arise.
With the issue of determining whether or not hiring younger employees to increase productivity, there is no answer. The quality of work and range of experience of one individual versus the next can make or break the moral of the employees in the workplace (Stanford). Therefore, changes in the workplace can be beneficial to the business as long as the basis does not conflict with business ethics. The significance of finding a solution is going to help eliminate the chances of having a lawsuit because of age discrimination. It will allow us to continue to grow as a business instead of losing business, and will help in decreasing employee turnover. Part of the significance is to create a happy work environment with a more productive workflow.
The Scope of finding a solution is the investigation into what will happen and the plan of action to make it happen. Within the scope we can determine what the negatives and positives will come of the solution. Magnitude will allow the company to continue to grow by increasing the productivity, and if this can be done with younger employees, then we need to make the changes the right way to incorporate this for our organization. This will possibly be a significant change, so we need to be prepared to make adjustments so we do not lose any productivity in the process of making the change. The last part of our discussion takes us into the feasibility of finding the correct solutions to our issue.
Here we discussed five ways to make this happen, such as create a policy for this type of situation, provide training for all levels to discourage discrimination, set goals to achieve objectives, make modifications to avoid negative effects of each group being changed, and address any complaints of discrimination that may have been founded earlier. Understanding our research process will help us determine the correct way to make the needed changes within the organization without the possibility of having severe repercussions. As an organization, it is important to do the needed research that will be certain to create more jobs in the future, and possibly prevent any lawsuits or discrimination acts in the process. References Hall, Douglas T. and Philip H. Mirvis (1998). “Increasing the value of older workers: Flexible employment and lifelong learning. ” In James A. Auerbach (ed. ), Through a Glass Darkly: Building the New Workplace for the 21st Century.
NPA Report #289. Washington D. C. : National Policy Association. Retrieved from: http://www. zurichna. com/NR/rdonlyres/AEFC0FF5-EE0B-4765-B5D4-F640D99E1412/0/Designingtheworkplacefortheagingworkforce. pdf Retrieved from: http://www. ilo. org/empent/areas/business-helpdesk/faqs/WCMS_DOC_ENT_HLP_BDE_FAQ_EN/lang–en/index. html Retrieved from: http://writing. colostate. edu/guides/research/experiment/pop3e. cfm Retrieved from: http://www. socialresearchmethods. net/kb/quasnegd. php Retrieved from: http://www. experiment-resources. com/randomization. html#ixzz1m8h0k9Zh Retrieved from: http://ibpsychology. wetpaint. com/page/Non-experimental+Research+Methods
Schindler, D. C. (20011). Business Research Methods (11th ed. ). In a. P. D Cooper. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Trochim, W. M. (2006, October 20). Introduction to Evalution. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from Research Methods Knowledge Base: http://www. socialresearchmethods. net/kb/intreval. php Trochim, W. M. (2006, October 20). Types of Surveys. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from Research Methods Knowledge Base: http://www. socialresearchmethods. net/kb/survtype. php Survey. (2012). Retrieved from http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/survey KMExecutive. (2010). The Knowledge Management Executive. Retrieved from http://kmexecutive. logspot. com/2010/03/gathering-company-knowledge. html 7. 1. 3. What are statistical tests? (2003 – 2010). Retrieved from http://www. itl. nist. gov/div898/handbook/prc/section1/prc13. htm The T-Test. (2006). Retrieved from http://www. socialresearchmethods. net/kb/stat_t. php Null hypothesis. (2012). Retrieved from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Null_hypothesis Student’s t-test. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. biology. ed. ac. uk/research/groups/jdeacon/statistics/tress4a. html Learning Team Log Group: Team ASubmission Date: 2/20/12 Course: RES 351 Meeting Type: In-Person E-mail Internet Chat Teleconference XOther Team Forum Student Name (printed) |X = Participated | x | | | x | | x | x | |Learning Objectives and Assigned Tasks |Activities and Outcomes | | |Combine the three parts of the Preparing to Conduct Business | | |Research assignment to develop a cohesive research proposal of no more than 2,450 words. | |Include the following elements: | | |Research problem and purpose | | |Significance, scope, magnitude, and feasibility of finding a solution to the issue, opportunity, or problem | | |Research question, hypothesis, and variables | | |Research design | |Instrument you developed or selected | | |Sampling method | | |Overall data analysis approach | | |Result reporting | | |Ethical considerations | | | | | |Discuss the overall data analysis approach and result reporting: | | |Which statistical test will be used and why? | | |How will the results be displayed? | |Using the T-test | | |Actual difference between two means | | | | | |Completing the team log | | |Develop or select the instruments your team will use to collect data. | | |Interview instrument. | | |Talking and listening | | |Different views on situations | | |Experiment instrument. | |Working side by side | | |Comparing productivity between young and old employees | | |Describe how you will sample the population: | | |What is the appropriate sampling method? | | |What sampling frame will be used? | | |What is the appropriate sampling size? | | |How will the sample size be determined? | | | | |Probability and random sampling | | |Using survey questionnaires | | |All age groups | | |30 days for sampling | | |75% of the employees | | | | Students’ Responsibility: Participation in Learning Team activities is an important factor in determining each student’s final course grade. Team members should work together to complete this form and submit it at the workshop following the team meeting. The log should provide details regarding the meeting, the attendance/participation of members, the results and actions of the team, and reflections regarding how the team process might be improved. Plus/Delta Exercise: What went well? What didn’t go well? What will we do differently next time? Everyone in our group works hard in participating within the week.
The only problem we run into is if there is a situation that prohibits a person from completing their assigned tasks on time, but for this group, it hasn’t hurt us because we keep in constant communication about those issues, and we work around them. For this group, there isn’t anything that we can do different, we keep everyone informed throughout the week of what is going on, when we need help someone always steps up to provide assistance, and the tasks are laid out so that it is very clear as to what each participant has to accomplish and when it needs to be in. Overall this group has been great, and has taken every opportunity to progress in a great team effort.