College of Graduate Studies MGTM 614: Business Research Methods ASSIGNMENT I “UNSUNG HERO” By SB20896RISHNI PREMARAJAN SB20902 TIAH WEN LI U N I V E R S I T I T E N A G A N A S I O N A L Question 1: Why do you think that it would be more advantages for managers to know about research? The business world has become increasingly competitive with the emergence of the ever advancing Internet that has brought about globalisation. Thus businesses may it be domestic or global are increasingly practicing data mining and data warehousing in the race for survival. A key factor in data mining and data warehousing is through research.
Research provides the knowledge and the skills needed for fast paced decision making environment. Research is needed to acquire more information before selecting a course of action especially for a new business plan and also to evaluate and resolve a current management dilemma. Hence, managers reap many advantages when he or she knows about the research conducted in the organization. Firstly, research facilitates good decision making because through research the pros and cons of the product, service or business model exposed to the organization in the business perceptive.
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With this information, managers are able to calculated risks with probabilities attached. Managers are able to understand the complexity of the variables that will be impacting the organization financial stability and reputation. More importantly, on a short term or day-to-day basis, research helps the managers to plan, organize, lead, market and control the research output. Planning is setting goals and deciding on courses of action, developing rules and procedures, developing plans (both for the organization and for those who work in it), and forecasting (that is, predicting or projecting what the future holds for the firm).
Organizing entails identifying jobs to be done, hiring people to do them, establishing departments, delegating or pushing authority to subordinates, establishing a chain of command (in other words, channels of authority and communication), and coordinating the work of the manager’s subordinates. Leading means influencing other people to get the job done, maintaining morale, molding company culture, and managing conflicts and communication. Controlling is setting standards (such as sales quotas or quality standards), comparing actual performance with these standards, and then taking corrective actions as required.
Decisions are made by managers every day. Ideally, such decisions would be made on the basis of evidence thoughtfully and appropriately gathered. The more important the decisions and their impact, the more important the research becomes. Some decisions may have consequences resulting in considerable harm to a large number of people. Research methods experience and knowledge is useful because it gives rules or guidelines helpful in evaluating the quality and utility of evidence gathered by another. Often, managers and supervisors are eager to use invalid and unreliable evidence simply because it is easily available.
In some cases, managers want evidence that supports an existing opinion or preference. In other cases, they want evidence with unambiguous findings and conclusions (which is rarely found). Question 2: It is important for manager and research to have a good rapport and relationship in research. Explain the rationale. Excellent relationships between managers and research and development personnel actuate greater autonomy for scientists and engineers. They also were permitted to exchange non-proprietary information with colleagues outside the company which, in turn, fostered innovation.
Other than that, successful researchers reported greater managerial support, in the form of emotional and administrative assistance, particularly for unconventional and risky projects. When they faced technical obstacles, these employees also saw their managers as more motivating and encouraging, quicker to act on paperwork and financial requests, and less likely to penalize failure. Again, we found a strong correlation between relationship quality, managerial support, and process and product innovation. Finally, R personnel with excellent elationships were more committed to the organization; they reported more inner drive, higher work satisfaction, better attitudes towards innovation, and more willingness to engage in activities that would help the organization. First, since good relationships make it physically, emotionally, and politically easier for scientists and engineers to be creative, project leaders and staff must be compatible. R personnel in poorer relationships were less likely to take risks, engage in unconventional thought, and garner resources necessary to the creative process.
Second, we may need to sacrifice some technical knowledge for the sake of harmony—since, in the end, individual brilliance means little if team members don’t cooperate. Q3: how do you resolve the conflicting roles of a manager and a researcher (if it ever happens)? Conflict is a natural part of any organization. Unfortunately, when conflict exists in a company or business it can cause stress, negative attitudes, and result in a decrease in productivity. Conflict management training helps manager support researchers, bring teams back to productivity, and utilize conflict constructively.
Managers should learn some conflict negotiation skills to help resolve problems between themselves and the researchers. First of all, a manager needs to depersonalize the conflict. This means that the manager should work with researchers to help them understand that this conflict is not a result of a personal disagreement. Secondly, managers should clearly state desired outcomes of the particular project or research. Researchers should be advised focus on finding a solution that will work for everyone involved. Third is to establish areas of agreement between both the manager and researcher.
Before negotiating begins the areas of conflict, first direct the researchers to consider what areas were agreed upon. Other than that, managers should also practice good listening skills. During conflict, it’s easy for all parties to shut down and refuse to talk or indulge in shouting matches. Researchers should focus on listening completely, without formulating responses. Besides that is finding a common goal. Managers should try to get all the team players focused on a common goal, something they can all agree to work towards. If your team doesn’t agree about the end goal, you’ll struggle with making true progress.
Lastly, managers should avoid criticism totally. Managers can help the researchers move forward by asking each member to state their position. By listen carefully without implying any criticism for their views or their actions, the manager can build a strong confidence between himself and the researcher. Q4: Based on the article, which type of research is more pertinent or relevant – basic or applied research? Justify your arguments. Basic research is defined as research driven by a scientist’s curiosity or interest in a scientific question.
The main motivation is to expand man’s knowledge, not to create or invent something. Applied research on the other hand is designed to solve practical problems of the modern world, rather than to acquire knowledge for knowledge’s sake. One might say that the goal of the applied scientist is to improve the human condition. There is no obvious commercial value to the discoveries that result from basic research. Based on the article, the Unsung Hero, it can be easily said that applied research is more relevant compared to basic research.
When Fujio masuoka conducted his various research projects, it is clear that each time he embarked on a research project; he was fuelled by a desire to improve the existing semiconductor industry. Many if not all of his projects had commercial value in them. Whilst basic research certainly has its own part to play, many a times being the catalyst to the beginning of an applied research project, it is only when it reaches the applied research stages that we begin to see possibilities of improving the human standard of life.
Q5: Discuss some ethical issues if one is to be involved in research at Toshiba. If one is to be involved in research at Toshiba, there are some ethical issues that he/she should look into first. One of the obligations of research is that it should be based on truth. In denying that the invention of flash memory was actually the work of Fujio Masuoka, further claiming that the invention was that of Intel, Toshiba had violated that rule. The Company also failed to give credit and rewards where it belongs.
Whilst working for Toshiba, Masuoka failed to get the remuneration he deserved for coming up with the inventions. When a Japanese newspaper finally gave him an award for the invention and Toshiba could no longer deny the fact that flash memory has in fact first been invented in the Company, they rewarded Masuoka with a measly few hundred dollars. Furthermore, when Toshiba later benefitted from the invention by earning royalties for the invention, Masuoka was never reimbursed accordingly.
Lastly, instead of providing full support to encourage a talented employee to develop to his full potential, Toshiba tried repeatedly to ‘promote’ Masuoka to a position where he would no longer have free usage of subordinates working under him to assist him in his research. Masuoka later had to hide his progress by working on his new inventions only during weekends and nights as the Company did not show support in his inventions. The act of ‘promotion’ that Toshiba forced upon Masuoka is not an ethical one.