Repsond-to-5-MSA-Classmates-Discussion-Research-Topics-help

CLASSMATE POST 1:

A good research topic should address a specific issue. The topic should not be too broad in nature. A broad topic is too big, has limited data yielding the same results, and takes too much time to complete quality research. Smoking, politics, and abortion are all considered poor research topics. These topics are limited in discussion due to complex ideas, repetitiveness, and often times can be offensive to the audience.

  Administrative in nature means a problem within a business. The issue should be administrative in nature because data is easier to obtain within an organization, less complex, are very specific to an organizational problem, and yields specific results to the research topic. A broad or general topic can yield endless data, open up too many additional questions or topics, and become tremendously difficult to summarize into a quality paper.

  The research topic, “Characteristics of effective leaders” is too broad for a research topic. This topic can lead to many different results based on the audience. “Characteristics of an effective leader” is too general. This topic is open for debate and results will vary depending on geographical location of the leader, age, sex, organization, religion, or race. Great detail would also have to be paid attention to the audience that follows the leader, which is an incredibly difficult task. A better topic would be “Characteristics of an effective leader within the managed care community”. This topic is more specific in nature and can lead to manageable data; however, this is not considered administrative research. This is not a problem within an organization.

  The topic “Why do so many of the employees at XYZ Company arrive late and what can XYZ do to improve punctuality” is a great research topic because it is administrative in nature, addresses a specific issue, and one has the ability to obtain factual data that is relative to the research topic. Asking these specific questions for administrative research opens the topic up to create innovative ideas and concepts to assist employees of XYZ Company with punctuality. The results are more meaningful, provide insight into the issue, and will help to improve the organization’s problem.

  The research template is a huge help because students within the capstone course may find it difficult properly format the project after obtaining all of the necessary data. With the amount of research and collected data needed to complete the final research project, a student can easily become overwhelmed during the formatting process. This can be a huge reason for not completing the course. I have met and conversed with a couple of MSA students from other colleges. They both encouraged me to keep going in the program; however, they expressed that their capstone course was brutal. Their main complaint was the information overload from research, their failed attempts to incorporate all of the data into the final project, and how to format their paper with all of this information. Focusing on formatting a paper can lead to important information or data missing from the final project. Not having a tool to guide a student with formatting the final project is a complete disadvantage of having to write a research proposal without using or having this template.

CLASSMATE POST 2:

A good research topic is specific and not directed toward a commonly asked a researched question. A poor research question would be a question that has been answered in the past and there is a lot of research on already. To be administrative in nature could mean that the person has an internal drive to complete the task at hand and follow it completely through. Typically, an administrative person could be classified as responsible. A research topic should be specific so it can be readjusted and tweaked based on research. A broad research topic could have lots of previous research causing the paper to be broad and quote based, not your own thoughts or words.

Characteristics of effective leaders is a poor topic. It is very broad. The broad topic could cause the research paper to take several different directions and have little organization. A better research topic could be: what are the effects of an administrative leader in the remarketing industry. This is question has little research to back it up and questions a type of characteristic instead of the having the list characteristics.

The research topic of XYZ company employees’ punctuality is a little bit better than the pervious research question. This question is specific, yet questions a problem that the company is facing. This question will require research of the specific company to answer and could have a few different reasons.

I can’t think of any disadvantages to writing a research proposal with a template. I love using the templates because they provide you with an exact layout of what the professor is looking for and how the paper should be written. The template can also provide a excellent starting point for writing the paper and starting the research process. 

Following the recent accusation of Grand Rapids Auto Auction by the XLerate Group and Huron Capital, I would like to research the effect of a merger on hourly employees moral. I think it will be interesting to address the positive and negative affects.

Primary Question/Issue: How does Huron Capitals acquisition of Grand Rapids Auto Auction affect employee moral?

Sub-Questions: What are the most difficult adjustments employees will need to make? How could the Huron Capital make the adjustment easier?

Audience: Partners and senior management of Huron Capital

CLASSAMTE POST 3:

• Discuss what you have learned about good versus poor research topics. What does it mean that the topic be administrative in nature? Why is it important that the topic be specific rather than broad and general?

Good research topics are very descriptive and give necessary details for any reader to understand what you are trying to determine. It should narrow the subject down to a specific problem that may exist. A poor research topic does not clarify what you plan to examine, nor what you plan to do with the information you may obtain from your study. The topic may also be limitless in details and too problematic to contain.

• Is this a good research topic: characteristics of effective leaders? Why or why not?

I would not use this as a topic, it has way too many variables. Characteristics could mean different things to each person.  Would it be physical characteristics, how they handle on the job stresses, or point of view, or how they have handled projects in the past? 

• How about this one: Why do so many of the employees at XYZ Company arrive late and what can XYZ do to improve punctuality? Explain your thoughts.

This question clearly states a question, the problem, and that they are looking for a solution.

• Review the Research Proposal Template. After reviewing the Template discuss how you think it helps you and the other students in terms of progressing through the research process. What would be the disadvantage of having to write a research proposal without using or having the template?

The Template is a great resource for when we figure out what topic we will research.  I like how it guides the writer, from the cover page to the end and AP information to help you along the way. I was a little nervous about the APA standards as I cannot locate my copy of the handbook, and it has been a couple years since I used it.

• After discussing the preceding issues, post one-to-three ideas for your individual research topic that you will work on this semester:

1.  This study would help the company be more aware of how employees feel about this topic, and possibly make a choice to create a general neutral/family restroom, so that employees and customers can use the facilities and not have to define themselves with one sex or the other.

This study proposes that we should establishment Gender Free Restrooms here at ABC Company, and eliminate the Gender specific status, what actions can be taken to improve our customer visits?

  1. What information is readily available on the Internet?
  2. What are people’s feelings on the matter, and if they are bias would they answer honestly
  3. Would they reject the idea, or would they be understanding?
  4. Are they too afraid to be a part of the study?
  5. Compare their answers to any information that is available.
  6. What other factors would sway their answers?

2.  This study will determine if people use all or any of their Vacation days. Should we have a set number of vacations days or have an unlimited amount available? People who work for companies that offer unlimited vacation days seem to use less of their vacation days than people who are given a set number of days.

•  Analyze Vacation information from a company (a) that has a set number of days, and retrieve the same information from a company (b) that has an unlimited amount of vacations day to see if the ratio exceeds the number from company (a).

  1. Question/survey people to see if they are afraid to leave their job for vacation.
  2. Are work factors keeping them from taking Vacations, overly demanding job, only person trained to do their job?
  3. Do they not have families or interests that they would be able to do on vacation?
  4. What other factors would contribute to them not taking vacations.

My MSA Concentration is in Human Resources, and I believe both of my problems are worthy of research in that having general neutral restrooms, people will not be questioned on if they are in the correct restroom. My second question is on vacation days and do we really need a predetermined number of vacation days given to us or should we have the ability to take as many as we are comfortable with.

CLASSMATE POST 4:

Good research topics for this class should focus on narrow subjects that are specific to a problem that exists that most often affects efficiency or effectiveness in an organization.  Administrative topics are those that identify business problems that exist and provide solutions by sharing results with key stakeholders involved in the specified environment.  Broad topics are typically researched by large organizations devoted to broad-based research and are not appropriate for this learning exercise because they require a tremendous amount of time and effort to obtain adequate information and provide findings (far more time than we have in this course and the MSA Capstone Project). 

“Characteristics of Effective Leaders” is not a suitable research topic for this class because it is terribly broad.  The topic does not present a specific problem to solve nor does it indicate who the audience is that solutions/results could be shared with.  A more appropriate topic would be “What impact does effective leadership have on employee loyalty at XYZ Company”?  In contrast, “Why do so many employees at XYZ Company arrive late and what can XYZ do to improve punctuality?” is a much more focused topic.  It is specific to XYZ Company, identifies the problem of poor punctuality and will focus on providing recommendations to solve the problem. 

The research proposal template will prove to be a valuable tool.  It is clear exactly what type of formatting is expected, the order of the parts and solid examples of items such as the consent form and sample surveys.  Without this template, students could easily get distracted by not knowing the expected formats and fill with anxiety as they frantically search for answers on structure.  This takes up valuable time that could be spent more productively on the actual research, content and recommendations of the project. 

I have two individual research topics that I am considering:

  • What factors are contributing to reduced employee morale during a merger at ECI Healthcare Partners?
    • This is a real-life situation that is currently in the very early stages at my place of employment.  I’ve been through mergers and acquisitions before and have seen how employees experience many different emotions during the process.  In this particular example, most employees have not experienced a shift from small company to large, multi-business unit corporation.  Additionally, I have seen some very strong leaders who effectively coach their teams during these uncertain times and also those who do not do well with leading their teams through transitions. Subquestions:
      • How are leadership behaviors influencing employee morale?
      • Are personal factors outside of the workplace also contributing to lower morale?
      • What role does organizational communication (too much or not enough) play in employee morale?
    • The specific audience for this topic is the middle and senior leaders (2 people) of the Finance department.  If these leaders are not truly recognizing the factors that are contributing to lower morale, they may be able to use the results of this research to better direct the department through a smooth transition.
    • My MSA concentration is Leadership and this type of project aligns nicely with the type of organizational leader I aspire to be, one that gathers information, makes un-biased analyses, and move forward to correct a problem in the organization.  In this case, I’d like to advise the current leaders to understand how mergers can affect the organization, specifically employee morale.
  • What is the feasibility of starting an ergonomics assessment and equipment business in Traverse City, Michigan?
    • With my former employer, safety was an incredible piece of everyday life in the workplace.  Office-based safety was no exception and the company prided itself on keeping its workforce safe by providing the tools to reduce discomfort, pain and injury associated with sitting at a desk all day.  I became interested in the topic when I experienced a painful case of tennis elbow (due to improper form and excessive keyboarding), successfully followed the company’s suggestions to alleviate the pain and eventually became a workstation evaluator.  In this role, I would observe others who were working at their desks, noticing their posture, typing and mousing forms, chair positions, etc.  It was amazing to learn how just a few small adjustments in behavior and equipment (i.e. vision breaks, regular stretches, an adjustable desk, correctly-sized chairs) could significantly improve the office experience.  In my current job, none of these safeguards are in place and frankly, I miss them.  The prior company had ample resources to be able to support the initiative of office-based safety, specifically ergonomics.  It has made me consider what the demand would be for smaller businesses that value their employees well-being, but do not know what products and services are available to them.  Subquestions:
      • Does this service already exist in the area?
      • Are there companies in the area that are looking for ergonomic products and services?
      • Are local companies willing to invest in this type of product and service?
      • What is the likelihood that I could obtain financing for this type of business in the local area?
    • The specific audience for this topic would be a private investor or other financing provider who would back this new business.  Without determining the need and desire for services in the local area, there would be no basis to ask for financing.
    • I chose the Leadership concentration because it focuses on human and organizational relationships.  This potential business brings the value of human wellbeing in the workplace to the forefront of business strategy.  When you value your employees and their health, employees will value the employer often staying long-term and encouraging others to join the company.
CLASSMATE POST 5:

Good research topics need to be suitable for research. A good research problem needs to be one that is measurable or specific, and not too big. Specificity is key so that it is applicable to real world issues. It must be administrative in nature, or a more focused response to a problem. A topic that is too broad or general will be hard to actually measure, physically obtain data for research, or will take too long with too many variables. The topic characteristics of effective leaders is too broad because different type of leaders with different leadership styles are present in different groups. These leaders vary based on group dynamics. The second proposed research topic is a good research topic because it is specific to two different issues within 1 company. Considering that the issue is centralized to one company it is easy to gather data and analyze. 

After reviewing the research template, I believe that it is very helpful because it walks you through exactly how a research paper should be written down to each sentence that way there is no confusion. Without the template, a student taking an advanced research methods class may become confused an default to how they have written research papers in the past which are not true research papers. 

Considering that I am currently a corporate recruiter for Meridian Health Plan, my proposed administrative research topics are based on my current experience. I primarily recruit for care management based roles, and I have found my biggest challenge is recruiting nurses. At the completion of this research paper, these findings will be provided to my director to help future recruitment and retention efforts. This topic relates to my MSA concentration of Human Resource Administration because it will help me gain a better understand of recruitment and employee satisfaction. 

Proposed research topics:

-Why is turnover rates within call centers at Meridian Health Plan so high?

  • How long do employees stay in their roles before leaving?
  • What percentage of these employees leave the company completely?
  • What percentage of these employees move or are promoted into other roles throughout the company?

-Why is it difficult to recruit nurses for telephonic based positions?

  • What is the average caseload in telephonic roles in comparison to face to face based roles?
  • What is the average turn over rate for nurses in telephonic based roles vs. face to face based roles?
  • What is the average age of telephonic based case managers?
  • On average, how many years of experience do nurses have when beginning a telephonic based role?

 

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