Research Proposal Essay

Correctional inmates engage in drug-related and sexual risk behaviors, and the transmission of HIV, hepatitis, and sexually transmitted diseases occurs in correctional facilities. However, there is uncertainty about the extent of transmission, and hyperbolic descriptions of its extent may further stigmatize inmates and elicit punitive responses. Whether infection was acquired within or outside correctional facilities, the prevalence of HIV and other infectious diseases is much higher among inmates than among those in the general community, and the burden of disease among inmates and releases is disproportionately heavy.

A comprehensive response is needed, including voluntary counseling and testing on request that is linked to high-quality treatment, disease prevention education, substance abuse treatment, and discharge planning and transitional programs for releases. General area being studied Sexual activity among inmates is a complex phenomenon that occurs along a continuum, from the entirely consensual to the violently coerced.

The New York Times detailed a gang-run system of sexual slavery in a Texas prison, where at least 1 gay inmate claimed he was bought and sold numerous times and “forced into oral sex and anal sex on a daily basis. 9 Recent federal legislation called for research into the prevalence and patterns of rape and other sexual victimization within correctional facilities to inform policy changes aimed at controlling these abuses. 9 A Human Rights Watch report presented accounts of sexual slavery from inmates in Texas, Illinois, Michigan, California, and Arkansas and asserted that sexual victimization threatens inmates’ essential human rights.

Importance of the studied area Conditions vary widely between correctional facilities and among these conditions is an opportunity for inmates to engage in sexual activity and drug use. Despite the denials of many correctional administrators, sexual activity and illicit drug use do take place in prisons and jails. A survey of inmates in a southeastern state prison system estimated that, on average, 44% of the inmates had sexual contact with other inmates. 1 Studies of US correctional systems published between 1982 and 2002 found that anywhere from 2% to 65% of inmates had homosexual contact while incarcerated. Studies of incoming, current, and former inmates in New York City, Illinois, Canada, Hungary, Thailand, and many other countries showed the prevalence and the riskiness of inmates’ sexual and drug use behaviors. 2–7 Because of the general lack of condoms and sterile needles/syringes, such behavior may involve greater risk within correctional facilities than on the outside. 8 Stated Problem During the early years of the AIDS epidemic, prisons and jails were commonly called breeding grounds for AIDS. Such statements are still made today.

A Google search on May 19, 2005, of the terms breeding ground AND HIV AND prisons yielded more than 800 entries from newspapers, United Nations agencies, AIDS activist groups, and human rights organizations around the world. However intended, such opinions imply that unprotected sex and the sharing of drug injection equipment are rampant in prisons and that these activities commonly result in the transmission of HIV, hepatitis, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Background of problem Overall, there are uncertainties about the extent and the nature of infectious disease transmission within correctional facilities.

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Some of the aforementioned studies reached qualitative conclusions about the extent of transmission that are not supported by their analyses. Moreover, even when studies estimated the annual incidence of infection among inmates, the meaning and significance of such figures are not clear. On its face, an annual incidence rate of 0. 5% seems low. Yet, if such rates are applied to the total prison population, or even to that proportion of prisoners who engage in high-risk sexual or drug use behaviors, they may translate into substantial numbers of infections.

However, even such numbers do not justify the use of metaphors such as “breeding ground” to characterize correctional facilities. Although some inmates are clearly being infected as a result of drug-related and sexual risk behaviors while incarcerated, the vast majority of cases among inmates probably are the result of exposure while in the general community. Sexually transmitted diseases are known to be more prevalent in correctional facilities. Although, sexual activity is prohibited in prisons sex acts still takes place.

Transmitted diseases are higher among jail and prison population because inmates do not have access to condoms. Correctional facilities see giving condoms to inmates as encouraging homosexuality. However, numerous local screening studies and several national literature reviews reveal that women specifically girls in juvenile facilities and women in adult correctional facilities are more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease than men in these type facilities (Hammett, 2009).

According, to the HIV and Aids Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Incarceration, among Women National and Southern perspectives study; the prevalence of HIV and other Sexually transmitted diseases are higher amongst female than male population in jail and prison facilities. This study advises the infectious disease HIV is three percent to two percent nationally. However HIV is found to be more common among prisoners released from correctional facilities in the south. In 1999 twenty six percent of people living with HIV were released from prison or jail that year.

The study also reflects fifteen percent of women with HIV were correctional releases; the study also suggests that incarceration rates are higher in the south than majority of other regions and most women with HIV are poor African American women from rural areas (Hammett, 2009). However, one must ask themselves does this study reflect inmates going in to serve a sentence or inmates being released from prison. Because there are several ways in which males can contract HIV.

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Research Proposal Essay

Overview

This dissertation aids in identifying the fundamental, extrinsic aspects influencing the dynamics of employee turnover and how it affects the surrounding atmosphere including internal and external behaviour of an organization. Employee turnover is one of the much talked challenges faced by employers which hinders an organization’s sustainable growth and generates negative synergy among other employees. This review can assist in analyzing strategy for retention and reduction of employee turnover in both public and private sector organizations. Organizations invest immensely in recruiting and developing their employees as it relates to continuous success of the organisation. Hence employee turnover is a potential loss for any firm. HR managers try to prevent the employee turnover by implementing effective retention strategies. Employee turnover is a common issue in Indian IT sector, though the trend has been reduced for the interim due to the recession.

This dissertation helps in suggesting productive retention strategy in the organizations; and make recommendations to management of the organizations on how to effectively retain employees and reduce turnover. This review focuses on labor cost being a quintessential factor in the employee turnover process. In order to minimize the costs associated with the turnover, firms are implementing various strategies. Considering the fluctuation in direct and indirect costs of labour turnover, therefore, management does incessant studies to recognize the reasons why people leave organizations so that appropriate action can be undertaken by the management. Providing competitive salaries and other benefits, empowerment, providing stock options, flexible work hours are few of such strategies adopted by the firms to retain their staff. But how significant are these strategies to the employees? (James and Mathew: 2012. 79,page 1) Bussin (2002) asserts that constant training and development of employees’ skills can actually aids employee early turnover rather than strengthening their retention.

Providing employees with the latest training and development opportunities enhances the employee skills leading to escalating their chances of mobility. (Samuel and Chipunza; 2009) Our discussion proceeds in following steps. First, we investigate the aspect of money being the main motivator of employee turnover or could there be other motives. Next we identify the role of management to achieve a self- actualised employee and understand the factors that lead to this phenomenon.The final section of this dissertation discusses the results of the study and the conclusion. One of the main challenges to Emiratisation in the private sector is related to adapting the legal framework to accommodate national jobseekers’ needs. While they are well protected and privileged in the public sector, Emiratis find themselves vulnerable in private sector jobs. This is mainly due to a stricter legal framework that is mainly designed for the transient expatriate workforce in the private sector.

A simple comparison between the contents of the Labour Law No. 8 of 1980 (and its amendments), which governs the employment relationship in the private sector and the employment legislations in the government sector reveal vast differences in favour of citizens who work in the public sector, as opposed to those working in the private sector. In general, employment legislation in the government sector stipulates in detail various rights and obligations of workers, while much of the employment relationship in the private sector is left to be determined through contractual agreements between employers and employees. Also, residence permits tend to tie expatriates to one specific employer, tipping the balance in labour turnover unfavourably against citizens, who are not tied in this way (Mellahi and Wood, 2002).

A study by Abdalla et al. (2010) examining the determinants of employment and wage levels in the UAE found evidence to support the notion of a dual labour market that is segmented by sectors (public versus private) and nationality of workers (citizens versus expatriates). The experience of UAE citizens, who until recently had easy access to public sector jobs with wages inconsistent with the market value of their human capital, makes their expectations regarding wages and working conditions unrealistically high. This makes them unattractive to profit-oriented employers in the private sector. As a result, GCC citizens often prefer to wait for a government job rather than take a private sector job, even if they are aware that the wait might last many years (Shaban et al., 1995)

Another 23 per cent of the respondents indicated they would take a private sector job as a temporary measure to earn a salary until finding employment in the public sector. In total, half of the interviewees indicated that they see no future career for themselves in the private sector at all. These answers were consistent across all three groups of interviewees. Respondents were very clear about the factors that make them prefer one sector over the other. For those who prefer the public sector, the main factors were job security (39.5 per cent), salary levels (31.5 per cent), and advancement opportunities (30 per cent). Other significant, but less frequently cited reasons to prefer the public sector, were more vacations (10 per cent) and relatively less working hours (8.3 per cent). When asked what a private sector organisation would need to do to make her apply for a job, a female graduate in our sample answered: “I don’t want to sign my death paper. The salary, the working hours and the contractual conditions I would sign would equal that.”

It is interesting to note that while a small number of respondents (15 per cent) indicated that they would prefer to work in the private sector, many (38 per cent) said that good career opportunities exist in the private sector. Those who prefer the private over the public sector cited advancement opportunities (44 per cent) and finding a job consistent with one’s specialisation (33 per cent) as the reason for their preference. However, these attributes were not sufficient to attract many Emiratis to pursue employment in the private sector due to several structural barriers reflected in inferior salary levels and employment conditions in the private sector compared to the public sector.

In addition to the basic preference for public sector employment, it was also clear that this preference is supported by a strong sense of entitlement to such jobs and the salary levels coming with it, as one male student puts it: “We are a rich country – Thank God – and the government pays well because it can afford to do so. It is our right as nationals to have jobs that pay well.” This sense of entitlement (Al Gergawi, 2008) is deeply rooted in the existing social contract, changes to which Forstenlechner and Rutledge (2010) argue need to be communicated urgently if citizens are no longer able to be employed in the public sector at current levels.

When asked about factors affecting their decision to accept a job offer from an employer, respondents gave the highest rating to employee rights (48.3 per cent) and job security (45 per cent). These were followed by working conditions and availability of advancement opportunities. Table I further shows that Emiratis in general are unwilling to take risks with regard to their job and career choices. Job security and protection of employee rights are their top priority, followed by working hours and advancement opportunities. Despite the importance of salary and benefits, these were not on the top of the list as shown in Table I.

Salary:

Salary expectations

Our findings support the contention that one of the major barriers to Emiratisation in the private sector is the high reservation wage required by Emirati job seekers. When asked what minimum monthly net salary they would work for, 38 per cent indicated that they would accept 6,000-10,000 dirhams[1]. However, 32 per cent had a reservation wage of 10,000-15,000 and a further 12 per cent said they require 15,000-20,000. The remaining 18 per cent said their required salary would be above 20,000.

However, when asked what they think they should get paid, respondents’ answers were higher than their individual reservation wage. In this case only one female respondent said she considered a monthly salary of 6,000-10,000 fair. 37 per cent of respondents said they should get 10,000-15,000, 20 per cent indicated that they should get 15,000-20,000 and 8 per cent said fair pay would be 20,000-25,000 monthly. The remaining 30 per cent, however, considered a fair wage to be upwards of 25,000 monthly, with 10 per cent actually expecting a monthly net salary between 35,000 and 50,000[2]. These expectations are clearly driven by public sector (welfare) wages, as one male student explained:

Salary expectations

Our findings indicate that young Emirati jobseekers on average have a higher expected salary than their – already relatively high – individual reservation wage. This points to several somewhat troubling conclusions:

. The average reservation wage for young Emirati job seekers is high compared to the expatriates they are competing against in both sectors, confirming previous research (Bremmer, 2004; Godwin, 2006; Mellahi, 2007).

. The perceived fair pay for young Emirati job seekers is higher than their reservation wage, which means they are likely to experience pay dissatisfaction even when they accept job offers in the generally lower paying private sector. . The perceived fair pay and the reservation wage required by the majority of Emirati job seekers interviewed in this study is comparable to the going rates in the public sector for national employees of similar calibre. This clearly indicates the need to consider the potential impact of pay policies in the public sector on Emiratisation efforts and policies, as they effectively hinder private sector employment.

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We see the roots of such expectations in the structure of the labour market, where public and private sector are governed by different considerations and different rules and regulations. Therefore, one of the key hindrances remains the salary difference between the public and the private sector. As it is unrealistic that public sector pay will be lowered, as recommended by the IMF (2004), and just as unrealistic to expect the private sector to match public sector salaries and benefits in the context of the UAE, we therefore support a recommendation made by Abdalla et al. (2010) to revise the wage-setting mechanism in the public sector. They suggest to separate the total public sector wage into two parts:

pay related to market considerations and productivity of workers (efficiency wage); and (2) a portion motivated by the desire to improve the standards of living and wealth distribution for citizens (welfare). They assume that, in the UAE, only part of the wage paid to national workers in the public sector is related to the value of their human capital or their work performance, while the other part is a transfer payment to raise the standards of living for citizens. Separating the two components has two advantages:

(1) it sends the right signal to national workers about the realistic value of their human capital; and (2) it helps to remove the distortion of labour market mechanisms in setting wages according to market forces.

Mechanisms to extend the welfare component of pay to those citizens working in the private sector will need to be implemented. Subsidizing wages of citizens in the private sector to bridge the gap between the efficiency and welfare components of pay might be a reasonable alternative. Funding of these subsidies can be secured through fees imposed on employers who recruit foreign workers. Selective application of such fees on employers depending on number of foreigners recruited and affordability to pay might be needed to ensure fairness and avoid excessive burdens on certain employers. As mentioned previously, salary is, of course, not the only aspect where expectations are driven by the public sector. The same is true for days off work, as one male student puts it: “All I am asking for is normal vacations”, with “normal” in this case meaning those vacations the public sector offers.

Recommendations for further research

Further research is needed to clarify the perspective of private sector employers on localisation, for example the perceived threshold of tolerable legislative changes and their perception and intention of compliance. Also, research is needed to analyse the potential effects of employment laws and regulations on the effectiveness of workforce localisation policy and the legislative changes that might be needed to enhance its outcomes. Further quantitative, large-scale testing of some of the conclusions regarding the attitude of jobseekers would also be beneficial to further investigate the perceptions of jobseekers, possibly by delivering a survey to a large number of students enrolled in the higher education system.

Understanding the process of employee turnover has been interpreted differently by various researchers depending on the controlling factors of the socio-cultural environment. This is because different factors have been found useful when it comes to interpreting employee turnover, and these have been used to model turnover in a range of different organizational and occupational settings. They include: job satisfaction (Hom and Kinicki, 2001); labour market variables (Kirschenbaum and Mano-Negrin, 1999); various forms of commitment (see Meyer, 2001 for a review); equity (Aquino et al., 1997); psychological contract (Morrison and Robinson, 1997); and many others (see Morrell et al. (2001a) for a review). S. Wren (1980) also suggested that to reduce employee turnover the company should keep employees informed on company matters, encourage employee innovation and setting clear communication channels between top management and lower employees. Also Inge, Peter , Arnold and Jan (2003), suggested that work motivation is related to emotional exhaustion which in turn induces employee turnover rate in their longitudinal study.

Considering the prolonging economic downturn, the primary stimulating factor impacting employee turnover has been money, as consequently it affects both employees and their respective organizations. However, organizations try to implement other strategies to keep employee turnover to a minimum level by rewarding their employees with better incentives and bonuses. Research has portrayed that even when people’s main motivation for work is not money, if they are offered a higher salary by other organizations, they would not be hesitant to leave their current job, thus leading to high employee turnover.

In response, researchers have recently turned their attention towards employee work motivation as predictors for employee turnover (Richer et al., 2002), as motivational sources have been found to influence employee turnover beyond job satisfaction and organizational commitment (e.g. Mitchell et al., 2001). In fact, some authors proclaim that the primary aim of incentives is to enhance better motivation by satisfying an individual employee’s needs indirectly through means of pay and bonuses (Anthony and Govindarajan, 2007; Kunz and Pfaff, 2002).

Some UAE scholars pointed out that “Motivation is an important subject area for researchers and practitioners all over the world. ( Abubakr M and Nawal , p 86)” It is an ongoing universal argument if money is the main motivation causing high employee turnover within an organization. Therefore, this literature review is based on theory testing evidenced by past studies on staff turnover and retention, not supported by theory building.

All these theories consolidated as one forecasts potential costs of organizations in diversifying pay, mainly through two kinds of de-motivating factors: first, individuals that don’t earn as much as they feel their work deserves may perceive that they are less-well valued than their higher-paid counterparts; and second, higher-paid individuals may perceive that they are more valuable than they actually are (Kohn, 1998; Carr, 2004).

In reference to (Abdulla j., Djebarni R. and Mellahi K, 2011, p138) employees in the UAE put a strong emphasis on salary and incentives especially for non-UAE nationals because of their impact on living standards and importance in providing a sense of security where perceived job security is very low. Furthermore, the high importance of salaries and incentives could be due to the high cost of living in Dubai compared to other Middle Eastern emirates.

Having reviewing the EU countries such as Greece, extrinsic rewards such as pay give better outcome in the organizations and their governments actually want to convince private sectors on the importance of intrinsic rewards where workers are motivated to work without expecting a reward and love what they do. (Manolopoulos D., 2008)

Crucial factors like employee involvement and the process of performance rewarding impacts the degree to which employees are included in decision-making processes. Are they occasionally asked for input or feedback? Or are they authorized and challenged to make a difference? Obviously, the greater an employee’s level of involvement in the decision-making process, the greater the sense of ownership for the outcomes of such decisions, which, in turn, assures employees that he/she is a part of the organization as a whole. (Dell’Agnese, 2001; Mintzberg, 1994a,b,c, 2001a,b; Pfeffer, 2001a,b; Piggott, 1997). One of the effective ways of reducing staff turnover is making more effective use of existing staff resources and in attempting to put together a pay package which attracts and retains staff, through rewarding them fairly for their performance (A. Baines, (1991) pp. 8 – 10).

According to one source (Curtis S. and Dennis W. 2001, p.59), the cost of replacing an employee is higher than recruiting a new staff. This is because of accumulated cost of the loss of skills, knowledge, experience and the investment in training. There is also the disruption to the work and staff, when a new employee is recruited, there are barriers like new challenges of adopting to the culture of the organization, personality conflicts, time taken to familiarize with the job description etc. Also, many other administrative cost associate with the employee turnover process like agency fees for recruitment firms, wasted time in exit interview process and administrative process of recruitment being time consuming and expensive etc.

As further discussed by (Curtis S. and Dennis W., 2001, p.61-62), to get employees committed quickly, they should feel emotionally attached to the organization and feel that resigning would be a personal sacrifice for them where they would have an obligation and responsibility to stay. One of the interesting fast track employee commitment mentioned is offering flexible hours. Organizations should have improved retention schemes through flexible working options implementing other family-friendly policies like baby-sitting facilities, special consideration for new mothers and expecting mothers etc. Other initiatives might include workshops aimed at achieving a better work-life balance, access to a range of domestic services, extended maternity leaves, paid vacation breaks and extended parental leave. Since, the UAE is a family oriented culture, majority of employees would appreciate having easygoing strategies in their work place which allows them to have a work-life balanced with family life.

A worker lacking motivation is a problem waiting to happen. That’s why companies need to be able to ensure that their workers are fully motivated to do their jobs. If this isn’t the case then all that knowledge that they may possess isn’t fully utilized as a result of them not putting in 100percent (Maria C. Osteraker, 1999, pp. 73 – 77). Money as the sole motivation for work or production isn’t exactly the right solution. As portrayed within the proposal it is an important aspect, but should not be classified as highly crucial, since it is evident that other factors are arising. Taking into consideration that employees may transfer to other companies for a higher rise in money, however the effect is only temporary as behavioral aspects is also taken into account. Therefore it’s a balance of both. As Carolyn Wiley put it, Motivation is not a fixed trait; it is a combination of various aspects. (Wiley C., 1997, pp. 263 – 280). Going by this article (Industrial and Commercial Training, 1975, pp. 508 – 508).

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It details that it was Herzberg in the 1960’s who determined that money was not the sole motivator. It also goes on to state how the issue of money could be mixed. Both negative and positive, a worker will not accept a job that pays less simply because the all-round package was better. However he/she may accept a similar paying job if other aspects were improved. In other words they are looking for the right balance between the two. The dissertation is crucial because it shows the organizations the reasons behind employee turnover; it explains why it is happening in an organization. The main purpose of this dissertation was examining the impact of the retention on employee turnover; high employee turnover leads to collision on the competence and continuation within the organization.

It is seen that many organizations features these kinds of issues with the labor turnover because it can lead to loss of the organizations, time consuming of the management and stress in the workforce plans. The study portrays that; pay can be one of the main motives for staff turnovers, also culture of the organizations and the job satisfactions. These three factors lead to labor turnover within the organization. Employee would stay in the organization if retention strategies are available like training sessions, good work timings, and employee’s proposal. Welfare benefits can be assigned as one of the main motives; as penetration after employee retirement and insurances. And other factors like personal and job satisfaction. (Employee Retention Strategies: IT Industry, Leena James and Lissy Mathew, July-Sept2011), (the impact of career motivation and polychronicity on job satisfaction and turnover intention among hotel industry employees, Jichul Jang, B.S, August 2008)

This paper can be applied to the UAE. This is because almost half of the UAE population made up of expatriates. As a result the workplace is incredibly varied. So the question is why these people come from far and wide just to seek employment. Is it money or just a better work environment? Judging by the influx of new foreigners each year it is most likely a combination of the two. Humans are different in their own way so one person’s needs may differ from another, however if there’s one thing that’s been proven it is that money cannot be the only factor when selecting a job as then no-one really benefits.

References

1. Alan D. Smith, William T. Rupp, (2003),”Knowledge workers: exploring the link among performance rating, pay and motivational aspects”, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 7 Iss: 1 pp. 107 – 124

2. Carolyn Stringer, Jeni Didham, Paul Theivananthampillai, (2011),”Motivation, pay satisfaction, and job satisfaction of front-line employees”, Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 8 Iss: 2 pp. 161 – 179

3. Anders Dysvik, Bård Kuvaas, (2010),”Exploring the relative and combined influence of mastery-approach goals and work intrinsic motivation on employee turnover intention”, Personnel Review, Vol. 39 Iss: 5 pp. 622 – 638

4. Kevin M. Morrell, John Loan-Clarke, Adrian J. Wilkinson, (2004),”Organisational change and employee turnover”, Personnel Review, Vol. 33 Iss: 2 pp. 161 – 173

5. Abubakr M. Sulaiman and Nawal Al-Sabri (2009), Surviving through the global downtown; employee motivation and performance in healthcare industries, the open business journal. Vol. 2 Iss: 2 pp. 86 – 94

6. Stuart C. Carr, Matthew R. Hodgson, Duncan H. Vent, Ian P. Purcell, (2005),”Pay diversity across work teams: doubly de-motivating influences?”,

Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 20 Iss: 5 pp. 417

7. Susan Curtis, and Dennis Wright (2001), “Retaining Employees – The Fast Track to Commitment”, Management Research News, Vol 24 p.59-61

8. Jassem Abdulla, Ramdane Djebarni, Kamel Mellahi, (2011),”Determinants of job satisfaction in the UAE: A case study of the Dubai police”, Personnel Review, Vol. 40 Iss: 1 pp. 126 – 146

9. Golnaz Sadri, Brian Lees, (2001) “Developing corporate culture as a competitive advantage”, Journal of Management Development, Vol. 20 Iss: 10, pp.853 – 859

10. Dimitris Manolopoulos, (2008),”An evaluation of employee motivation in the extended public sector in Greece”, Employee Relations, Vol. 30 Iss: 1 pp. 63 – 85

11. Maria C. Osteraker, (1999),”Measuring motivation in a learning organization”, Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 11 Iss: 2 pp. 73 – 77

12. Industrial and Commercial Training, (1975),”Money as a motivator”, , Vol. 7 Iss: 12 pp. 508 – 508

13. Stephen Flynn, (2011),”Can you directly motivate employees? Exploding the myth”, Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 25 Iss: 1 pp. 11 – 15

14. A. Baines, (1991),”Appraisal-based Pay”, Work Study, Vol. 40 Iss: 2 pp. 8 – 10

15. S. Wren (1980), “Motivation is the key to reducing turnover” ,ABA Banking journal. Vol.72 Iss:9 pp.28

16. Houkes, Inge; Janssen, Peter P. M.; de Jonge, Jan; Bakker, Arnold B. (Dec 2003), “Specific determinants of intrinsic work motivation emotional

exhaustion and turnover intention: A multi sample longitudinal study”, Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, Vol. 76 Issue 4, p427-450. 24p.

17. Carolyn Wiley, (1997),”What motivates employees according to over 40 years of motivation surveys”, International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 18 Iss: 3 pp. 263 – 280

18. SCMS Journal of Indian Management July-September 2012, Employee Retention Strategies: IT Industry Leena James and Lissy Mathew

19. The impact of career motivation and polychonicity in job satisafaction and turnover intention among hotel industry employees, Jichul Jang, B.S., August 2008)

20. (Employee retention and turnover: Using motivational variables as a panacea; African Journal of Business Management Vol.3 (8), pp. 410-415, September, 2009 DOI: 10.5897/AJBM09.125 ISSN 1993-8233,2009; Michael O. Samuel* and Crispen Chipunza) Mohammed A. Al-Waqfi and Ingo Forstenlechner, The case of young citizens in an oil-rich Arabian Gulf economy. Of private sector fear and prejudice Vol. 41 No. 5, 2012 pp. 609-629

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Research Proposal Essay

To many students, it may be the first time that they write a research proposal. This booklet serves as a reference guide to highlight the process in preparing a research proposal and basic elements that should be included. Students should bear in mind that this booklet is in no way an exhaustive list of topics that need to be considered in preparing a thesis proposal. Different disciplines may have different expectations and requirements on the substance, format and length of a proposal. In this regard, students are strongly advised to consult their supervisor(s) and the department beforehand. Graduate School

All MPhil and PhD students in HKU are required to have their candidature confirmed by the end of the probationary period. By the end of the probationary period, every student is required to submit a thesis proposal for consideration by the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee (DRPC) and the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee (FHDC). The thesis proposal is one of the most important documents that the University will consider in determining whether the candidature of a student should be confirmed or be terminated. It is also important to students as a plan for how the research should be implemented and to set a time schedule so that the thesis could be completed within the specified time frame.

Before writing the thesis proposal, a student should have already taken most of coursework and done an extensive literature review. He/she should have a solid understanding on the background materials and previous research done by other researchers in the same field. Most importantly, he/she should have identified a research topic with his/her supervisor. In developing a research topic, it is advisable to develop two to three topics first and then finally focus on a topic to develop further. You may like to ask the following questions in deciding on a research topic:

As your proposal will probably go through several drafts before you are ready to submit it, you should set aside each draft for a few days, or even a week, before attempting to revise it. This will give you some distance from the draft, enabling you to spot mistakes or gaps in logic that you simply could not see before. It also allows you time to show it to your supervisor to get his comments and advice. If you start preparing your proposal a few days before the deadline, the proposal will be rushed, and more likely will be flawed.

Writing a thesis is the beginning of a scholarly work. You should write a thesis that you can manage within your present resource and time frame. Developing a research topic and writing a proposal cannot be done within a week. You must allow yourself enough time to develop your research topic and proposal well before the deadline. You need time for your library research and to make sure that you understand all the issues involved in your proposed research. You may also need time to learn about the particular research methodologies that you propose to use.

You should consult your supervisor in the process and be open to any advice that he/she may be willing to give. It is helpful to look at some sample products, i.e. theses in your field, before writing your proposal because at the end of the day, the final product of your thesis proposal is the thesis. You need to know what it roughly looks like before you can propose what to do in order to produce it. If possible, ask for copies of past theses that your supervisor has approved. Having a sample of a successful thesis can make the preparation of your own much easier.

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Do not take the thesis proposal lightly. A good thesis proposal is half-way to a good thesis. It will help you to focus on what you would like to do and plan to do in your research. It is also a reflection of your knowledge of your field of study and research methodology and how serious you are in doing research. A sloppy thesis proposal will not impress people who are examining it that you are ready for your research. In writing the research proposal, you should:

III. Basic Elements of a Thesis Proposal

The following topics/chapters are the most commonly suggested elements of a thesis proposal. It is highly recommended that students should consult the supervisor(s) and the Department for the specific requirements in their own field of study

If you have conducted a pilot study, please also provide the details here and

discuss how the methodology will be improved in view of the previous experience. For qualitative research, as there are no well-established and widely accepted general rules or principles, you need to elaborate more on the data collection process and how you will analyze the results.

The methodology carries great weight to affect the success of a piece of research. You can have a very good research topic but a poor research methodology could easily ruin the outcome! In order to prepare yourself for your research and to enable the reviewer to understand your proposed study better, you should be more detail in your research methodology. For example, how to collect your data, how many samples to take, what specific methods will you used in analyzing your data.

8. Work Schedule

Every student is supposed to submit the thesis for examination by the end of the study period, i.e. 2 years (full-time)/3 years (part-time) for MPhil; 3 years (full-time)/4.5 years (part-time) for 3-year PhD and 4 years (full-time)/6 years (part-time) for 4-year PhD. Hence, you should not start a research that could not be possibly completed within your study period.

In this section, you need to identify the tasks and make realistic estimates of the time required for each task. This could be easily done in a table or chart format. Setting important milestones could definitely help to monitor the research progress.

9. Expected Results and Implication of Results

Obviously you do not have results at the proposal stage. However, you need to have some idea about what kind of data you will be collecting, and what methods will be used in order to answer your research question or test your hypothesis. You should also state the contribution expected from your research efforts.

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Research Proposal Essay

There has been an alarming drop in bookings for the XYZ travel agency as of June this year. This worries the agency’s proprietor and staff as there have been no observable changes from the previous years that could have caused this drop. As of this month, a 38% drop has been observed, as opposed to the same month last year. The agency had been in service for almost a decade and no competitor had put up shop in the same town. For the last 5 years, the agency’s growth in revenue had been steady. The agency’s 6 employees are contented with their job and are hard-working, pleasant people.

So, this sudden drop in bookings is a puzzle to the travel agency. Bookings are falling equally for all geographical locations. Bookings for European, Asian, African, Australian, and American holidays had decreased uniformly. Terrorism threats have decreased, and weather patterns had been relatively pleasant, so these factors do not explain the sudden decrease in bookings. And although brochure prices have increased slightly, this has only been in line with inflation. If this decreasing trend continues, there is a probability that the business might go bankrupt and might have to close.

Purpose The goal of this research is to discover and identify the factors that affect the number of bookings processed by the XYZ travel agency. Significance of the Study This research is important in the sense that it shall identity the root causes of the problem. Once the root causes have been identified, solutions can be drawn up to bring the business back to on its successful feet. The proprietor and the staff can rest at ease knowing that the problem can be remedied and no business closure and loss of jobs would occur.

Furthermore, this research can uncover new grounds in which the XYZ travel agency might have not yet explored, thereby opening new doors for the business in the area of service enhancement and expansion. II. Literature Review Leedy (1997, p. 71) states that the literature review serves several purposes, the central purpose being that the literature review provides assistance in attacking the research problem. Literature review equips the researcher with deeper insight and more complete knowledge to tackle the problem he/she is investigating. As indicated in Tuckman (1994, p.

44), looking into relevant studies helps uncover ideas about variables that may be significant or insignificant to the study, as well as information about work that may be explored or applied. Prior to starting the actual research for this problem, a literature review should first be conducted. Other travel agencies might already have experienced the same problem and may have already conducted their own research. If the researcher can tap into previous research, it would save the researcher time and effort in chasing after information that may not be important to the study.

Literature review, in itself, can serve as a data collection method, and so this proposal takes the review as a task that is, in essence, to be conducted upon commencement of the research. The actual, detailed literature review should be included in the research report. III. Methodology For Burns & Grove (1997, p. 49), the Research Design is the blueprint that outlines the conduct of the study. The research design is created to maximize control over factors that could interfere with the expected outcome desired by the researcher.

There are two main types of research designs, distinguished mainly by the type of data they operate by: Qualitative and Quantitative. Qualitative research involves analysis of data such as words, pictures, and objects, while Quantitative research concerns itself with analysis of numerical data (Neill, 2007). There had been various debates as to which method is superior and more accurate. According to one researcher, Donald Campbell, “All research ultimately has a qualitative grounding. ” Another researcher, Fred Kerlinger, counters: “There’s no such thing as qualitative data.

Everything is either 1 or 0,” (as quoted from Miles & Huberman (1994, p. 40)). However, both methods can actually be used in conjunction with each other (Barnes et al. , 2005, “Qualitative vs. Quantitative Debate”). For this research, it would be advisable to follow a preliminary Qualitative approach followed by a Quantitative analysis. Qualitative research has the following objectives: 1) to gain an understanding of underlying reasons and motivations, 2) to provide insights into a problem for the generation of ideas and hypotheses for later Quantitative research, and 3) to uncover prevalent trends in thought and opinion (Snap Surveys, Ltd.

, 2007). The second objective is the groundwork from which the researcher can base the methodology for this research. As justified by McCullough (2003, ¶5), “Qualitative research is appropriate for two uses: to generate ideas and concepts (list of possibilities), and to uncover consumer language in order to subsequently ask consumers the right questions in a way they most accurately understand. ” Since no causes of the problem of decreasing bookings are known just yet, a Qualitative research must be conducted to collate the possibilities.

The data could then be organized into structured hypotheses that would then be the starting point for the conduct of a Quantitative research. Following this outline, the methodology for this proposal is then divided into 2 sections. Qualitative Research Creswell (1994) states that Qualitative research is “an inquiry process of understanding a social or human problem, based on building a complex, holistic picture, formed with words, reporting detailed views of informants, and conducted in a natural setting,” (as cited in Leedy, 1997, p.

104) For the research to be conducted on why there is a sudden drop in bookings for the XYZ travel agency, an exploratory Qualitative Research will be the first step. “The primary purpose of exploratory research is to provide insights and create an understanding of the problem confronting the researcher. Exploratory research is appropriate in situations of problem identification and definition,” (Veni, 2001, c. 5. 3). Population and Sampling Burns & Grove (1993, p.

779) defines population as all elements that meet the sample criteria for inclusion in a research or study. The population can be individuals, objects, and events. To be able to identify the factors that may have contributed to the decrease in bookings, we need to solicit information from the business’ customers. Therefore, for this part of the research, the population is defined as all travellers in the city where the travel agency is located.

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As this population may be very large, and the researcher does not have enough resources to gather information from every traveller in the city, a “purposive sampling” can be applied. In purposive sampling, the researcher already has a purpose in mind (Trochim, 2006, “Nonprobability Sampling”), as in this case wherein the researchers will be looking for travellers. The researcher can draw a sample from the travel agency’s clients for the last 5 years. This would work on the premise that the travel agency had kept a record of their clients’ names and contact information for the last 5 years.

Using simple random sampling methods that can be executed using a computer (this can be quickly done using an EXCEL spreadsheet), a sample, say 25% of the total clients or whatever number may seem representative of this population, can be drawn. Instrumentation and Time Frame The best and most convenient way for the researcher to conduct this exploratory research would probably be through telephone interview. The interview can be in a semi-structured form. First, the interviewer drafts a standard questionnaire to be used for each interview.

As the interview progresses, the conversation can drift towards an unstructured format where there is more interaction between the interviewer and interviewee. The topics in the questions should revolve around behaviours, opinions/values, feelings, knowledge, sensory, and background/demographics (McNamara, 1997). Proper interviewing etiquette should be observed in all interviews. The interviewer must try to remain objective in probing into the clients’ feelings and opinions. Furthermore, the interviewer must be careful not to take too much of the respondent’s time, as this would no longer be appropriate for a telephone interview.

The interview sessions can be conducted by 3 employees for an indefinite duration, depending on how accurate and fast the interviews had been conducted, or until the desired number of respondents had been sampled. Analysis Plan The main purpose of the interviews at this point is to identify the factors that have an effect on customers’ motivation to travel, preferred destinations, preferences in choosing travel agents, etc. Further inquiry can then reveal the customers’ experiences with the travel agency, their current practices for booking their travels, as well as the expectations that they think should be met by the travel agency.

When the interviews had been conducted, the data should then be collated and similar responses grouped together to come up with a list of ideas and information from which the researcher shall be basing his/her survey in the second part of the research. At this point of the research, the researcher already has data not just to create various hypotheses but to be able to draw, through statistical analysis, some form of a conclusion as well. However, the researcher must not stop here for the reason of external validity. External validity, as defined by Burns & Grove (1993, p.

270), is “the extent to which study findings can be generalised beyond the sample used in the study. ” The sample used in the study was obtained from the agency’s client list, which is not exactly representative of other travellers who may not have attained the services of the agency, as well as the non-travellers who may have some possible contributory information to add to this research. Quantitative Research Burns & Grove (1997, p. 27) defines Quantitative Research as “a formal, objective, systematic process in which numerical data are utilised to obtain information about the world.

” Quantitative Research can be Descriptive, Quasi-Experimental, or Experimental. A Descriptive design is used to gain more information about particular characteristics within a field of study, while Quasi-Experimental and Experimental or often used to establish causality or to determine cause-and-effect relationships (Ross & Chadwick, 1999, “Ways of Approaching Research: Quantitative Designs”). For this part of the research, a quantitative, descriptive survey design shall be used, using the data obtained from the preliminary qualitative research.

Population and Sampling The population for this study may then encompass all people within the city capable of physical travel, as the research would entail having to obtain information from the non-travellers as well. Information derived from this area can help the agency arrive at various methods to broaden their client-base. To obtain an adequate and representative sample for this study, we can have a 2-stage method of sampling — first, a cluster random sampling followed by a simple random sampling of respondents within the cluster.

In cluster sampling, the researcher can divide the population into clusters (perhaps the researcher can draw a map of the city and divide it into a number of sectors). Next, the researcher should randomly sample clusters, and then proceed to simple random sampling of the residents of each cluster. The researcher can identify a specific number of samples desired for each cluster, and then send out an employee to randomly conduct a survey on each sample cluster. Instrumentation A survey would be most appropriate for the purposes of this research.

Surveys obtain information through self-report, that is, the people provide information by responding to a series of questions posed by the researcher (Polit & Hungler, 1993, p. 148). The survey can be conducted by means of questionnaires. Three types of measurement questions are usually contained by questionnaires (Cooper & Schindler, 1998, p. 327). First, administrative questions to identify the respondent; second, classification questions the allow grouping of answers; and third, target questions that tackle that investigative aspect of the study. The target questions can be structured (closed) or unstructured (open questions).

Analysis Plan When the survey has been conducted, the data should then be collated and statistically analysed. The major factors that contribute to the decrease in bookings can then be identified. These factors will then serve as the starting point for the agency to improve upon. Other information gathered from the survey can help the agency improve their service, provide new services, expand their business, and acquire new clients. IV. Ethical Considerations In any research, there are ethical issues that must always be considered. For this research, all methods and tasks must be carried out on the principle of voluntary participation.

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The respondents for the interviews and surveys must not be forced into giving out information, but rather, they must give their informed consent. The researcher must ensure that the participants are informed of what the research is about prior to conducting any interview or survey. Furthermore, the researcher must guarantee confidentiality. Any information given out by the participants must be used for the research’s purpose only and not for any other intention (Trochim, 2006, “Ethics in Research”). References Barnes, J. et al. (2005) Generalizability and Transferability [Internet], Colorado State University Department of English.

Available from: [Accessed 02 August 2007]. Burns, N. & Grove, S. K. (1993) The practice of nursing. Research conduct, critique and utilization. 2nd ed. USA: Saunders Company. Burns, N. & Grove, S. K. (1997) The practice of nursing. Research conduct, critique and utilization. 3rd ed. USA: Saunders Company. Cooper, D. R. & Schindler, P. S. (1998) Business Research Methods. 6th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Creswell, J. W (1994) Research Design – Qualitative & Quantitative Approaches. USA: Sage Publications. Leedy, P. D. (1997) Practical research.

Planning and design. 6th ed. USA: Prentice Hall, Macmillan. McCullough, D. (2003) Quantitative vs. Qualitative Marketing Research [Internet], MACRO Consulting, Inc. Available from: [Accessed 02 August 2007]. McNamara, C. (1997) General Guidelines for Conducting Interviews [Internet]. Free Management Library, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Available from: [Accessed 02 August 2007]. Miles, M. B. , & Huberman, A. M. (1994) Qualitative data analysis. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Naidu, Veni (July 2001) Key Challenges Facing Strategic Market Planning in the Presence of HIV/AIDS. Master of commerce thesis, KwaZulu-Natal: Scholl of Economics and Management Science, University of Natal-Durban. Neill, J. (2007) Qualitative versus Quantitative Research: Key Points in a Classic Debate [Internet], Wilderdom. Available from: [Accessed 02 August 2007]. Polit, D. F. & Hungler, B. P. (1993) Essentials of nursing research: methods, appraisal and utilization. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott. Ross, J. & Chadwick, S.

(1999) Research Home Page [Internet]. Available from: [Accessed 02 August 2007]. Snap Surveys Ltd. (2007) Qualitative vs Quantitative Research [Internet], Snap Surveys Ltd. Available from: [Accessed 02 August 2007]. Trochim, W. M. K. (2006) Research Methods Knowledge Base [Internet]. Available from: [Accessed 02 August 2007]. Tuckman, B. W. (1994) The enlightened eye: Qualitative inquiry and the enhancement of educational practice. New York: Macmillan.

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research Proposal Essay

Introduction

Adolescent substance abuse in Virginia is below the national average according to a study for the Department of Adolescent Health with the Department of Health & Human Services (2011) teens in grades 9-12 disclosed usage of alcohol at a rate of 18 percent compared to 20 percent of the national average for having drank more than a few sips before they were 13 years old. For Marijuana the rate was 32 percent of high school aged adolescents have used marijuana in their lifetime and that is also below the national average of 40 percent. Inhalant usage was 10 percent with a national average of 11 percent, cocaine was listed at 3 percent directly coinciding with the national rate and lastly nonmedical use of pain relievers was 7 percent higher than the national percentage of 6 percent (Department of Health & Human Services Office of Adolescent Health, 2011). Literature Review

It is no secret that an individual’s development begins within the environment he or she develops. However, questions begin to arise when one wonders how particular settings or environmental factors affect an individual’s development and to which degree these factors impact one’s life. Further investigation may be necessary when the stage of development of the individual being studied is considered. Adolescence is a unique and critical stage in the development of every human being and organizations such as the Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base (ASK) suggest that substance use and abuse is at least an issue, if not a major problem facing many adolescents. According to ASK the most commonly used substances for adolescents age 12 to 17 are tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana. The ASK website supports that claim with the following statistics: the national average age of first alcohol use is 15 years old, nationally 17.3% of youths have used tobacco in the past month, and the national average annual incidence rate for marijuana use among youths is 6.3% (http://www.adolescent-substance-abuse.com/state-stats.html).

A commonly held belief is that parents or family factors can often predict the development of substance use and abuse by adolescents, one website even goes so far as to label parents the “Anti-Drug” (http://www.theantidrug.com). So what leads adolescents to develop a habit of using substances such as tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and others? Do parent and family factors play a role in behavior of their adolescent sons and daughters? The purpose of this research proposal is to review the existing literature on parental and family factors and the impact these factors have on predicting the development of teen substance use and abuse. Most research has been done in the area of parental communication and involvement in an adolescent’s life seeking to determine how parenting can influence an adolescent’s substance use or abuse in a positive or negative manner. For example, Farrell and Kung (2000) utilized a number of models to represent the relations between parenting practices, family structure, peer pressure, and drug use in a sample of 443 seventh grade students. It is important to note that this study was conducted in an urban area, in which many of the subjects were classified as being from low-income families, also a high percentage of those researched were of African American descent.

Over half of the adolescents surveyed lived within an intact family or a family with a single parent and extended family members living in the same household. An interesting finding of this study was that peer pressure was more strongly related to drug use than was parenting. That being said, parenting practices were also found to temper the relationship between peer pressure and substance use. This means that parenting can serve as a defensive factor in that children who receive sufficient parenting are better prepared to resist pressures from their peers to use substances than those who do not receive adequate parenting. Ennett, Bauman, Foshee, Pemberton, and Hicks (2001) explored communication between parents and adolescents regarding alcohol and tobacco use through a national study of 537 adolescent and parent pairs. The researchers investigated what was discussed between parent and child and how that communication impacted the adolescent’s behavior. This data was gathered via phone contact on two separate occasions, with the second contact taking place one year after the initial contact.

There were a number of interesting findings from this study, one of which was that parents who smoked tended to converse more regularly about antismoking rules than did parents who didn’t smoke; in comparison, parents who drank spoke less regularly about rules regarding alcohol use than those that didn’t drink. The study actually produced evidence that parental conversations with adolescents about rules and consequences for alcohol and tobacco use may have caused adolescents who had already tried smoking or drinking to increase their use. Finally, the study also showed that while communication had little in the way of positive effects on adolescent tobacco and alcohol use parental modeling was a much better predictor of an adolescent’s behavior. For example, parental smoking often led to adolescent tobacco and alcohol use, and parental drinking forecasted the rise of alcohol use in many instances (Ennett, Bauman, Foshee, Pemberton, & Hicks, 2001).

Another study on the parent-adolescent relationship, this by Wood, Read, Mitchell, and Brand (2004), used mail surveys to contact 578 late-adolescent subjects in the summer before entering college to research parental and peer influences on their alcohol use. The study revealed that men drank nearly twice as much as women, and to negotiate for this known gender discrepancy the authors of the study considered gender in the equations used to calculate their final results. As was the case with similar previous studies, this study revealed that peer influences such as offerings of alcohol and perceived norms were associated with unconstructive consequences as related to alcohol use. The study further supported prior research by confirming that parental behaviors, attitudes, and values correlate directly with late-adolescent alcohol use and problems, and that perceived parental disapproval was associated with lower levels of alcohol use.

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As the previously discussed research suggests, parental involvement in an adolescent’s life can significantly impact an adolescent’s attitudes and behaviors towards substance use and abuse. However, not all adolescents are fortunate enough to be brought up in environments where parental influences occupy a normal presence within their lives. It is important to consider the impacts of insufficient parenting or nontraditional parenting arrangements on adolescent substance use. Research Question

Will the rate of teen substance abuse decrease if there is more family involvement within teen adolescence? Hypothesis

I hypothesize that the rate of teen substance abuse will decrease once there is parental involvement in an adolescent’s years of development Research Design

Department of Adolescent Health with the Department of Health & Human Services studied 361 individuals ages 14 to 17, all subjects came from two-parent and single parent families and were enlisted from within the Hampton Roads area in which the study was to be conducted or from clinical treatment programs in the area. The purpose of this study was to create parental involvement measurements applicable to a child’s adolescent lifetime, to differentiate adolescents who were for all practical purposes neglected by their parents from others, and to examine the effects of parental involvement on adolescent behaviors involving drugs and alcohol. Through the use of cross-sectional studies, researchers analysis data from questionnaires. Sampling Strategies

The sampling method best used for this research would be non-probability sampling because it opens the opportunity to specify the participants to be researched. This sampling method allows the researcher to create a handpicked research group of participants. Data Collection Method

Questionnaire

A random sample of 361, 14-17 year olds, stratified by sex and postcode sector, was drawn from the school registration database of Hampton Roads. Ethics committee approval was granted but required that names and addresses be passed to the researchers only after potential respondents had consented. Via their parents, all were sent an information sheet, questionnaire (to establish smoking status), consent form to be countersigned by a guardian, and a freepost return envelope. Results

Through the use and analysis of a questionnaire the researchers were able to determine that 75 of the adolescents studied were in situations with

low-parent involvement, which the researchers designated as the Neglect group. Those subjects not in the Neglect group were labeled the “Reference” group. The most substantial observed difference between the Neglect and Reference groups indicated that individuals in the Neglect group, those with less parental involvement in their lives, possessed a weaker ability to resist social pressure to substance abuse. Discussion

These numbers show a rising usage of even younger teens beginning to indulge in substances. According to ask the average age of substance experimentation is 14. This study examined the effects of parents talking to children about substances versus those parents who do not. There were a number of interesting findings from this study, one of which was that parents who smoked tended to converse more regularly about antismoking rules than did parents who didn’t smoke; in comparison, parents who drank spoke less regularly about rules regarding alcohol use than those that didn’t drink. The study actually produced evidence that parental conversations with adolescents about rules and consequences for alcohol and tobacco use may have caused adolescents who had already tried smoking or drinking to increase their use. Finally, the study also showed that while communication had little in the way of positive effects on adolescent tobacco and alcohol use parental modeling was a much better predictor of an adolescent’s behavior. For example, parental smoking often led to adolescent tobacco and parental drinking forecasted the rise of alcohol use in many instances. The purpose of this study was to create parental involvement measurements applicable to a child’s adolescent lifetime, to differentiate adolescents who were for all practical purposes neglected by their parents from others, and to examine the effects of parental involvement on adolescent behaviors involving drugs and alcohol

Limitation

The limitation that would effect this proposal would be the percent of honesty and integrity of the participants. Some participants may feel reluctant to tell the truth either due to fear of parents finding out substance use, or the fear of being labeled. This lack of honesty has a major effect on the data collected from the study. Also using non-probability sampling will result in limited generalizability of the findings. Implications

Practice Implications: When I comes to training social workers on how to treat teens suffering from substance abuse, they have a greater sense of which direction to demonstrate practice. Also allows social workers to understand the history as well at the trigger to initial substance use. Social workers are able to address adolescent clients from different system levels once they are aware of factors that lead teens to abuse substances. Profession: As professionals, these findings help to guide practice in ways to better provide services to teens who suffer from substance abuse and to create preventative methods to keep teens from abusing even in the absence of parental guidance. Target Population: These findings give teens an understanding of how peer and parental influences play a major factor in their curiosity in substances Professional Development: As a professional, this research has given me a sense of direction when it comes to treating and dealing with teens who may suffer from substance abuse. Also gives me a better understanding of the history of teen substance abuse and how if occurs. Recommendations for Future Research

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In future research, study recommend to offer aid, support, and services for those teens who are founded to be abusing or using substances. If challenges are met early, there is a greater chance of transforming these habits. The goal is to strengthen the community through service delivery.

References

Clark, D., Thatcher, D., & Maisto, S. (2004). Adolescent neglect and alcohol use disorders in two-parent families. Child Maltreatment, 9(4), 357-370. Ennett, S., Bauman, K., Foshee, V., Pemberton, M., & Hicks, K. (2001). Parent-child communication about adolescent tobacco and alcohol use: what do parents say and does it affect youth behavior? Journal of Marriage and Family, 63(1), 48-62. Farrell, A., & Kung, E. (2000). The role of parents and peers in early adolescent substance use: an examination of mediating and moderating effects. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 9(4), 509-528.

Highlights of Study by State on Youth Drug Use. (2007). Retrieved January 13, 2011, from http://www.adolescent-substance-abuse.com/state-stats.html Wood, M., Read, J., Mitchell, R., & Brand, N. (2004). Do parents still matter? Parent and peer influences on alcohol involvement among recent high school graduates. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 18(1), 19-30.

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Research Proposal Essay

This research project is entitled ‘Safe pedestrian practices: the perception of children in Sri Lanka’. Road traffic accidents are one of leading causes of death amongst child pedestrians in low-income countries. Despite this, little research has been done into effective interventions to reduce child mortality in these countries. This study aims to provide original and useful data from Colombo, Sri Lanka which will help in the development of new or existing road safety interventions and education, particularly in relation to child knowledge and perception.

The method of research involves recruiting school children aged 8-9 years from the Holy Family Convent and St. Peter’s College schools situated on Galle road, Colombo. These schools have been selected as they have similar location, one being a girls school, the other a boys school.

The first part of the study involves a draw and write technique where the children will be asked to draw a picture of themselves crossing Galle road, the main road by their school. They will then be given a piece of paper with the instruction ‘tell me what you have drawn and why’. Six children from each class will be then purposively selected to take part in a focus group. Content analysis will be used when analysing this section of the results. Finally I will carry out a two day observation of child pedestrian behaviour on Galle road. Behaviour of the children will be compared using the UK’s Green Cross Code.

It is estimated that the research will take approximately four weeks to complete. This includes, recruiting and gaining consent from the participants, carrying out the draw and write activity, completing two focus groups and carrying out the observational study. The estimated cost of this research £1163. Background

Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide with 86% of deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries despite accounting for only 40% of motor vehicles[i]. RTAs are the overriding cause of child injuries killing approximately 180 000 children under 15 each year. Children are rarely the cause of road traffic accidents but suffer as pedestrians, cyclists and passengers[ii]. Lack of research in low-income countries has meant a slow introduction of effective intervention strategies to reduce the mortality rates.

Many factors are accountable for the high RTA rates in low-income countries including impaired driving, lack of enforcement and vehicle type. However the most significant differences found in low-income countries are the wide variation in road vehicles and the high number of vulnerable road users. The mixture of road users including pedestrians, bicycles, handcarts, mopeds, rickshaws, motorcycles, vans, cars, trucks and buses means that schemes to combat this problem have not been required in the same extent in high-income countries and therefore local research is needed[iii].

Child pedestrians account for a large proportion of vulnerable road users. The high number of pedestrian and cyclist casualties in these countries reflects not only their inherent vulnerability but also insufficient attention to their needs in policy-making3. A study in Pakistan observed 250 pedestrians in the top 10 risk areas for pedestrian RTAs in Karachi. They observed walking and crossing the road and walking on the pavement. Only 60% of the pedestrians looked left and right before crossing. 52% crossed the street less than 2 seconds before a vehicle passed the point they had just crossed. 35% caused the traffic to swerve to avoid the observed pedestrian. Of the 250 pedestrians observed walking on the street edge, 82% had a pavement available to them but were not using it[iv].

Of the pedestrians using pavements 28% encountered an encroachment and 84% of these stepped on to the street to avoid it. Among those who were observed stepping on the road from the sidewalk, 66% did not look out for oncoming traffic4. Possible study limitations were that only pedestrian behaviour was studied, not actual accidents and the study sites were the top ten risk sites for RTAs in Karachi so may not be transferable to other situations. The advantage of this data is that it was carried out in a low-income country which means the findings can be drawn on for other settings. Policy changes such as restricting the amount of pavement space being used by stalls or shops and publicity to highlight the danger of such behaviour along with the important of observation when crossing roads may make a large difference to fatality rates.

Risk perception has been widely studied as a risk factor for injuries however literature relating to child pedestrian safety is seriously lacking. Zeedyk et al[v] carried out research on children who had been taught a programme of road safety. They carried out two studies, both focussing on the skill of finding a safe place to cross the road. Firstly they tested the effect of the programme in improving knowledge and secondly whether the children transferred their knowledge to change their behaviour in a traffic environment. Initial results encouragingly showed that the interventions were effective in increasing the children’s knowledge of safe and dangerous places to cross roads and that this information was retained for six months.

The second study however showed that this knowledge did not influence behaviour and that those children who had received knowledge on safety when crossing roads behaved no differently from those children who had receive no information whatsoever. That is the children were not applying the knowledge they had displayed during pre-testing5. The study’s main limitation is that it does not allow any further information on why the children didn’t apply their knowledge in the real situation, only that they didn’t.

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Research in Australia[vi] into the parental risk perceptions of childhood pedestrian road safety found that cultural risk factors significantly affected risk perception and safety behaviour. The results showed that Chinese and Arabic speaking parents perceived the road environment to be significantly less risky to their children than parents from the other two language groups. One significant limitation of this study is that assumptions were made that the language spoken by an individual was closely linked to their cultural make-up. Since the main finding was the differences between perceptions from different cultural groups it seems important that this factor is reliable. Despite this, this study reinforces the need for local research from which local interventions can be implemented.

As described there is very little research on road safety in low-income countries, particularly regarding the safety of child pedestrians. Intervention strategies to help reduce child pedestrian mortality can only be implemented if the factors underlying the increasing rates are established.

It is hoped this study will help to describe the behaviour and perceptions of children in a named area in Sri Lanka regarding safe pedestrian practice. The study will help build on existing knowledge of child pedestrian safety but provide an original and detailed description of the behaviour and perceptions of Sri Lankan children in a defined area. The data produced from this study will identify the knowledge and behaviour of child pedestrians, what they perceive to be safe practices and why they think this. This study anticipates highlighting the importance of child perception in safety behaviours. Child perceptions should be taken into account when considering the design of safety education programmes and road safety interventions. Research Question

The background literature shows a clear gap in research into the behaviour, knowledge and perceptions of child pedestrians in low-income countries.

The research question for this study is: Child pedestrian fatalities: the accountability of child perceptions in Sri Lanka

The aim of this study is to discover the perceptions children in Sri Lanka have regarding road safety and specifically related to their own safety as pedestrians which may influence their risk of being involved in a RTA. The results of this study will enable a greater understanding of how a defined group of children in Colombo, Sri Lanka use the local roads, what they know about road safety, how they perceive it and therefore whether they generally behave in accordance to their knowledge and perceptions. This was discussed above by Zeedyk et al5 who found the knowledge of the children in their study did not affect their behaviour.

The objectives of this study are to: – Observe and record the road behaviour of children in the local area – Identify what the children know about pedestrian safety – Discover whether the children know why certain practices are safe – Make comparisons between what the children know about road safety and say they are aware of and how they behave in the real situation

Detailed Research Proposal

pedestrian injury Children are particularly vulnerable to pedestrian death because they are exposed to traffic threats that exceed their cognitive, developmental, behavioral, physical and sensory abilities. This is exacerbated by the fact that parents overestimate their children’s pedestrian skills. Children are impulsive and have difficulty judging speed, spatial relations, and distance. Auditory and visual acuity, depth perception and proper scanning ability develop gradually and do not fully mature until at least age 10.

Method

RTA death rates in Sri Lanka totalled 11 per 100 000 population in 1995[vii] with pedestrian accidents accounting for 45% of the total fatal accidents, one of the highest rates in Asia[viii].

The research will be carried out among children in Sri Lanka. The selected site is Galle Road, Colombo which is the main road from Colombo to Galle along the west coast of Sri Lanka and is the location of a number of schools. The assumption will be made that the majority of child pedestrians walking alongside and crossing that particular road are from one of the local schools.

The study population will be girls and boys aged 5-15 years old attending schools in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Research shows RTAs predominantly affect those under the age of 15 [ix]. Schools in Sri Lanka are commonly single sex which means children will be selected from 2 schools, St Peter’s College, a boys’ school and Holy Family Convent, a girls’ school. Worldwide, boys are more likely to be affected by RTAs than girls so studying boys and girls may highlight important differences which could account for such a difference between them[x] [xi].

I was unable to find any research indicating which children are most at risk of RTAs only that those under 15 are an increased risk compared to the rest of the population. Research from Canada suggests children aged 6-9 years are most at risk and in a survey on children’s road safety practice several countries including the UK, New Zealand and the US identified those under 10 as most at risk[xii]. Research such as this in low income countries is scarce.

Consequently I have decided to select the age groups 7-8 and 9-10 years as my sample. The methods being used in this study have been deemed inappropriate for children under 6 to carry out. Two classes of children, aged 7-8 and 9-10 from each of the schools mentioned year group will be studied, giving a total of 4 classes. Variations in ages might allow for difference in safety knowledge due to age to be identified. For example if the younger children perceive a certain dangerous practice to be safe and the same results are found in the older children this may indicate a problem with safety education or local road dangers rather than naivety due to age.Now that we have defined the problem, we have a clear idea of what the approach must be. We have a vision and all the results that are obtained from this research will be applied to our problem. The first step in our research design is highlighting a number of possible reasons that may cause our sales level to fall. This will outline the different hypothesizes that need to be researched. Once this is done, we will start with primary research.

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In this we will look at our past sales records, customer reviews, suggestions, complaints, and other data that has been previously collected. All the data obtained from this will be analyzed in full detail and this analysis will vaguely identify where the problem lies and will also help in creating a basis of our future research. The primary research will not identify what exactly is the reason for the fall in level of sales. For this, we need to go in the market and interact with the customers who matter the most.

A quick and concise questionnaire will be developed which will include questions that deal with the different hypothesis that were identified earlier. Our target audience will be identified and a survey will be carried out outside any shopping mall. A shopping mall has been selected as our location because of the reason that our target audience can be easily found there. This method will also ensure that the participants are randomly selected.

They will be asked to fill out the questionnaire that was developed. The qualitative and quantitative data has to be converted into information and for this it needs to be analyzed. The analysis is very important as this will answer our research problem. If this is not done accurately the market research that was carried out will be pointless and will not benefit the organization at all. Lastly, the correct hypothesis will be accepted and the rest will be rejected.

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Research Proposal Essay

I would like to write about a famous Arabic writer, Naguib Mahfouz. His poetry and works inspire me a lot and I enjoy reading his things. My father always used to read them to me, because his poems were true. Mahfouz always talks about the issues affecting the people of Egypt: generational, historical, religious, and political. Egyptians always have something going on. With his writings, Mahfouz’s introduces the reader to Egyptian reformers and modern and traditional characters as they change. We all know that as a country Egypt constantly reforms, even at an early age, Mahfouz has been able to capture hints of revolution.

Mahfouz’s novels are stories of love, ethics, moral responsibility, and crises that characterize a culture that has had many changes. His stories talk about and describe the lives of ordinary individuals caught in struggles of identity and religion. His fictional work paint a picture of Egyptian Muslims that are ruled by their own culture, as well as those they encounter as a result of the outside influence of colonialism. This simultaneity allows Mahfouz to depict the contemporary Egyptian identity as both modern and traditional. In Naguib Mahfouz’s short story “Zaabalawi” there see a young man in search of the mysterious Zaabalawi, because he afflicted with a disease which doctors are unable to cure. Zaabalawi is known to cure illnesses, a holy man that has healing powers. Zaabalawi is like a mysterious figure that has some strange powers to accomplish the impossible.

While in this search, the protagonist visits a variety of figures including a religious lawyer, a book seller, a government officer, a calligrapher, and a musician. Not able to find any definite answers as to the whereabouts of Zaabalawi, he begins to doubt his existence. Eventually, however, while in a drunken sleep in a tavern, he dreams that he is in a beautiful garden and experiences a state of harmony and contentment. He awakes to find that Zaabalawi was with him but has now disappeared again. Though upset at having missed him, the main character is encouraged by his dream and determines to continue his search for Zaabalawi.

In this story the author uses symbolism to convey his message to his audience, that the quest to find Zaabalawi is a journey into our souls in search of the inner peace that inside us. Mahfouz uses a lot symbolic meanings, such as irony, that is why I want to write about this work. I have always been drawn to these types of writing.

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Annotated Bibliography

1. Aboul-Ela, Hosam. “The Writer Becomes Text: Naguib Mahfouz and State Nationalism in Egypt.” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, 27:2 (2004 Spring), pp. 339-56.

– I chose Prof. Aboul Ela because his work because it’s easy to read and very simple, some of the other materials was a bit too hard to put together.

2. Naguib Mahfouz. “The Happy Man” ONE WORLD OF LITERATURE Shirley Geok-Lin Kim and Norman A. Spencer. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1993. p.46-p.53 – Im using this source because it’s going to help me explain other literary works of Naguib Mahfouz in this essay.

3. Modern Egyptian Short Stories by El-Gabalawy, Saad (trans.) (Najib Mahfouz, Youssef Idris, Saad Elkhadem) ISBN: 0919966039 – Im using this other source because of the type of writing. This book explains how Mahfouz writes his stories, and what he uses in terms of grammar and how he builds the story, symbolism and irony.

4. http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/mahfouz.htm

– This source is going to help me discuss the state of mind of Naguib Mahfouz when he wrote his books. It explains how Mahfouz became a beginning of an era not only in the Egyptian literature but also in the Arab literature.He was always lonely, maybe that’s the reason why his writings were always kind of sad.

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Research Proposal Essay

1TITLE

An assessment on how product branding effects consumer purchase decisions in Food Market Chain Group (FMCG) goods and durable goods.

2BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Branding is a vital element in a business. Without a brand, retailers may be confused or give the customers the wrong products, while the customers have to explain in detail the type of products they want to fully satisfy their needs and wants. It can therefore be assumed that a brand acts as a sign, name or symbol for products and services. The main aim of a brand is to identify the products or services of a seller or a group of sellers and differentiate an offering of a seller from that of its rivals (Kotler, 2003). In recent years, brand played a significant part in the market as the marketers added value to the brand to make it more preferable compared to other brands in the same market segment. For example, when quality rice is mentioned, most people will think of Tastic rice. This is just one of the successful branding strategies

3STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The purpose of the study is to know the effect of brand elements on customer purchasing decision. The brand elements are brand image, brand association, brand name, brand logo and brand awareness. The findings from the literature and the primary data shows that brand elements have significant impact on customer purchasing decisions as well as the success of the retailer. It is common knowledge that the customer’s choice is influenced by many surrogates of which the simplest of them all is the brand name.

Products offered by the retailer may be equally satisfying but when the consumer is satisfied with some brand he or she is not willing to spend additional effort to evaluate the other alternative choices. Once he or she has liked a particular brand, the customer tends to stay with it, unless there is a steep rise in the price or discernible better quality product comes to his or her knowledge which may prompt the consumer to switch the brand. Companies spend a lot of money and time on the branding and thus it needs a careful evaluation on the effect of branding on consumer buying behavior.

3.1RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The above examples show that some customers prefer one brand over another even though that brand is more expensive. Price may not be the important factor while the psychological factor may be greater, for instance .Therefore, the research aims to achieve the following objectives: * To establish if any relationship exists between branding and consumer’s purchasing decision. * To identify the major aspects of branding that influence the consumers’ purchasing decision. * To examine the consumers tendency to recommend brands and its effects on purchasing decisions of their friends and family. * To establish the changes in the relationship between branding and consumers’ purchasing decision when other factors such as price are introduced. * To understand the choice of the customer on whether it is branded or non-branded goods.

3.2RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The study will answer the following research questions:

(a)Does any relationship exist between branding and consumer purchasing decision? (b)What are the major aspects of brand elements that influence consumer purchasing decision? (c)To what extent do consumers tend to recommend brands and the effects of consumer purchasing decisions on their

family and friends? (d)How do other factors such as price when introduced affect the relationship between branding and consumers’ purchasing decision? (e)Is the choice of the customer branded or non-branded goods? 3.3Significance of the study

To theory

The research will help in a way because it equips readers with the requisite knowledge about how brands and their elements affect consumers’ purchasing decisions. Readers can learn through the suggested recommendations provided by the researcher hence they can be able to make wise purchasing decisions during shopping. Therefore it helps to bridge the gap in areas not being addressed and also to advance knowledge in product branding and consumer purchasing decisions.

To practice

The recommendations from the findings of the study may assist retailers in the Food Market Chain Group (FMCG) to effectively brand products that help them gain a competitive advantage by influencing consumers on their purchasing decisions. Therefore the research enlightens companies in the FMCG on not to spend a lot of money and time on branding and thus it helps them to careful evaluate on the effect of branding on consumer buying behavior.

To self

The research is conducted in partial fulfillment of the requirements to acquire a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Degree in Retail Management. The research also equips the student with the relevant skills and knowledge which he will acquire during the research.

3.4Limitations

The following are the limitations envisaged in the carrying out of the proposed research: a)Availability of resources The researcher is a full time student with limited financial resources therefore it is a challenge to obtain the required material for the research. Money is needed for typing, printing and travelling costs to gather the required information. To cut costs the researcher will use questionnaires to collect data in order to cut expenses. b)Access to information

The type of research will mainly depend on available information from leading retailers in the FMCG. Some of the Branch Managers may consider the information confidential depending on the aspects of branding asked to them by the researcher. They may fear that the information will be used against them by their competitors. Therefore the researcher will assure the information will be used for academic purposes only.

c)Time constraint

The research is running concurrently with final year semester courses therefore the time may be inadequate considering other important and competing academic commitments. Therefore to balance the forces the researcher will use a small sample of the population to save time.

3.5Delimitations

The study will be carried out at leading retail supermarkets especially TM and OK supermarkets. The research is limited to the leading supermarkets because they offer all kinds of product brands. The respondents will include customers and employees of the retail outlet.

3.6Definition of terms

Brand

The name ,term, design and symbol that allow consumers to identify the goods and services of a business and to differentiate them from those of the competitors ( Jones and Hall 2008 ) FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods)

The industry includes food and non-food everyday consumer products that are usually purchased as an outcome of small-scale consumer decision so they are heavily supported ( advertising ) by the manufacturers. Customer

Refers to a person, organization or other entity that buys goods or services from a store, person or other business.

4LITERATURE REVIEW

5 METHODOLOGY

The sub heading outlines the techniques that are to employed by the researcher to collect the relevant data and its subsequent analysis.Haralambos (1992) postulates that methodology is concerned with detailed research methods through which data is collected and analysis of data are used. It discusses the research design ,target population and respective sampling techniques ,data collection methods and the research instruments.

5.1 Research design

Fisher (2004) defines research design as the specification of methods and procedures for acquiring the information needed to structure or solve the problems.The function of a research design is to ensure that the evidence obtained enables us to answer the initial question as unambiguously as possible.Dawson et al (2002) postulates that a research comprises of redefining problems and is thus ,an original contribution to existing stock of knowledge making for its advancement.Therefore searching for information and presenting it is the job of the researcher.

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The qualitative approach is the best research methodology which leads to a better understanding of how product branding affects consumer purchasing decisions. The qualitative approach includes questionnaires, observations and interviews. Interviews will allow the researcher to probe the respondents for more information. Saunders et al (2007), notes that survey design is a popular and common strategy in business and management research.

3.2Study Population

Frankel and Wallen (1996) highlights that the study population includes all individuals whom the researcher is interested in getting information from and making conclusions. They further explain that study population consists of those subjects whose characteristics are similar to those of the in the sample and one makes conclusions from the sample drawn from this study population. In this study a population will refer to TM supermarkets specifically in Harare, Gweru and Karoi.O.K supermarket Gweru can also be included for the research to be effective and also to cut transport costs to the researcher.

5.3Sampling

Allison, Scott and Russel (2001) stress a sample as a group of subjects whom the researcher collected information. A sample is a small part of the population which has the same characteristics of the population. The concept of sample arises from the inability of the researcher to test all the individuals in a given population (Castillo 2009). Sampling is therefore a process of selecting group(s) of subjects for a study in such a way that the individuals represent the larger group from which they were selected.

The main decision which the researcher has to make is to whether go for a census or sample research. The sample was selected on a random basis that avoids bias and makes the findings more representative and credible. According to Kothari (2007) census means each and every element which forms part of the research will be investigated and sample means few elements which represent the entire research would be investigated. Practically it is not possible to conduct a census. Hair (2003) defines sampling as a process of selecting a relatively small number of elements from a larger defined group of elements so that the information gathered from the smaller group allows one to make judgments about the larger group.

Sampling Techniques

a) Random Sampling Method

Basically there are four methods of sampling under random sampling. Simple random sampling is a method, which ensures that each element of the population has an equal chance of being selected to become part of the sample (Peatman 1947). Systematic sampling is when elements are chosen from the population at a uniform interval that is measured in time, order or space. Saunders et al (2007) describes stratified sampling as involving the dissection of a population into groups of strata along some dimension that uniquely distinguishes each stratum from the rest and is relevant for the information sought after.

Stratified sampling involves dividing the population into strata, with each stratum having relatively homogeneous elements. Once the strata have been identified a simple random sample is selected from each stratum separately, the sample corresponding to the proportion of elements in each stratum. Stratified sampling is used when the population is thought to consist of a number of smaller subgroups or sub populations such as male/female, different age/ethnic / interest groups, which are thought to have an effect on the data to be collected (Allison et al; 2001). Cluster sampling involves splitting the population into groups called clusters and is usually used when the population covers an area that can be divided by regions (Allison et al; 2001). The sample elements are then chosen from the different clusters to come up with one sample. b) Non Random Sampling

Non-random sampling can be done through four ways, which are convenience, quota, judgmental and snowball sampling. Convenience sampling is where the sample is drawn for the convenience of the researcher. Convenience sample only includes those subjects that are immediately to hand (Allison et al; 2001).

Quota sampling is where the respondent selection is in the same ratio as found in the general population. Judgmental sampling includes elements thought to be representative of the population and in this case the researcher attempts to come up with sample using judgment and the amount of error depends on the expertise of the researcher. Snowball sampling is commonly used when it’s difficult to identify members of the desired population (Saunders et al; 2007). The researcher adopted a non- probability sampling method because of limited resources at her disposal since it is based on available elements. Only operational managers and departmental heads of short term insurance brokers firms were targeted. Views were also taken from assistant insurance brokers. Sample Size

According to Saunders et al (2007) the sample size is determined based on a 95% confidence rate interval, an estimate of margin of error and the total population which the sample was to be drawn. A general rule of thumb is to always use the largest sample possible. The larger the sample the more representative it is going to be, smaller samples produce less accurate results because they are likely to be less representative of the population (Wood and Haber 1998). The selection of respondents will the sample more representable of the retail sector and the findings credible. 2 questionnaires will be distributed per each retail supermarket.

5.4Instrumentation

4 Research instruments and Data collection

For the purpose of this study, the researcher employed the survey design in which data was collected by way of questionnaires and interviews. This was done to ensure more internal validity of the research. According to Cohen and Manion (1980: 280), “the use of two or more methods in data collection is referred to as the triangulation method” The data sources can be divided into primary and secondary data sources. 3.4.1 Primary Data

Primary data is that first-hand information collected directly from public. The data obtained through primary means usually accurate and provides more reliable information about the subject investigation. When primary data sources are used, data is acquired from the main source and is not derived from any pre-existing research. The primary data sources the researcher used in doing this research were

(a) Questionnaires

(b) Personal Interviews

3.4.1.1Questionnaires

According to Saunders et al (2007) a questionnaire is a technique of data collection in which each person is asked to respond to the same set of questions in a predetermined order. Brian White (2000) postulates that a questionnaire is regarded as a series of questions; each one providing a number of alternative answers from which the respondents can choose. The questionnaire was used as this enabled the researcher to gather as much data as possible since the question was in both standard and open ended questions.

Advantages

(a) Questionnaires are cheap and the researcher does not incur high travel and accommodation expenses. They are printed on bond paper which is not costly though and need not to be necessarily colorful. (b) They provide anonymity of respondents and thereby giving assurance of their confidentiality. (c) Questionnaires are a relatively quick way of receiving a response. In some instances, the researcher had to wait while the respondents filled in the questionnaires and some of the questionnaires had to be collected a day after they had been dropped. (d) They avoid interview bias. Personal questions are often more willingly answered as the respondent is not face-to-face with the interviewer

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Disadvantages

(a) As questions cannot be complicated, and need to be simple and straightforward, the richness of information that is sometimes collected with other methods is lost. (b) You may not receive a spontaneous answer as respondents may discuss the questions with others before completing the questionnaire. As all questions are seen before they are answered, the answers cannot always be treated as independent. (c) Respondents gestures and facial expressions could not be observed as these are essential communication signs that can effectively be used to evaluate responses. (d) The targeted respondents may not complete the questionnaire. For instance, a busy manager may ask a personal assistant to complete it on their behalf.

Personal Interviews

The targeted interviewees were busy people due to the nature and demands of their roles in their organizations therefore the researcher did not carry as many interviews as the number of questionnaires that were distributed. Appointments were made with respondents prior to interviews. Since the interviewees were busy with other company commitments, the researcher had to save on time and used a structured approach where a set of prescribed questions for the interview were set.

Advantages

(a) The real benefit of an interview is that you are face-to-face with the interviewee and thus any misunderstandings are cleared immediately. (b) In addition to the above benefit, also during the interview the researcher can re-word or re-order the questions if something unexpected were to happen. (c) The interviewer can encourage the respondents to answer as fully as possible and check as appropriate, that the question is correctly understood. (d) Response rates are usually higher than for other methods of questionnaire administration (e) Materials that need to be shown to respondents can be properly presented

Disadvantages

(a) They are time consuming, taking into consideration the length of the interview, the time taken traveling to and from interview and notes revision. (b) Interviews are subject to bias as some interviewees may tend to please the interviewer and as a result may not tell the truth. (c) Relatively costly time wise and in monetary terms.

Secondary Data

This refers to information from sources other than the main source, whereby some intermediate agent has compiled data or information in their own research and has now presented it as some part of a bigger study. This proved to be the most helpful method and thus accounts for much of the data used, especially in the literature review and the analysis sections of this research project.

The Internet

The internet unarguably forms the most endowed ‘library’ ever. The researcher accessed e-journals, e-books and works by other scholars and organizations via the internet. With ease, the researcher could check both technological and legal developments in electrical safety of other countries. Some of the questionnaires were sent to respondents via e-mail.

Advantages

(a) Provides the researcher with current updated information (b) The Internet is user friendly and provides the researcher with all referencing and cataloguing done electronically.

Disadvantages

(a) Internet speed and efficiency is dependent upon how congested the network server is and the higher the congestion, the slower it will be to retrieve information there from. (b) The internet is vulnerable to the virus risk. Computer viruses can easily corrupt documents before or after the researcher completes his work.

Textbooks and Journals

The researcher made reference to numerous text books and journals on competitive advantage. These journals and textbooks showed the researcher the different views of writers from all over the world.

Data analysis and presentation

Data collected from both primary and secondary sources will be analyzed and presented through tables, pie charts and graphs.

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Research Proposal Essay

College students are among a significant population who experience extremely high levels of stress. According to the CDC one out of five college students have reported being stressed (CDC, 2012). The pressures of being a successful student and maintaining good grades along with juggling work, extracurricular activities, and a social life, are all factors that cause increased levels of stress and anxiety among college students.

Research shows that people who undergo chronic stress have higher risks of developing major mental health implications such as higher levels of anxiety and depression to the extent where it can significantly damage their daily-life functioning (National Cancer Institute, 2012). The prevalence of mental illness among college-aged students is at an alarming rate considering the substantial amounts of stress students go through while in college. According to the American Psychiatric Association (2012), an AHA survey conducted among college students reveal findings that confirm 1/3 of students reported feeling depressed to the point where it impaired their ability to function (American psychiatric association, 2012).

Along with major depressive symptoms, half of the whole population of students also reported having feelings of overwhelming anxiety. Furthermore, an additional study done in 2008 presented findings which showed that 53% of college students in a sample reported having high depressive symptoms as well as 52.8% of students undergoing high levels of anxiety (Downs & Ashton, 2011). Protective factors need to be considered when looking for efforts to improve the mental health and wellbeing of students among this population.

One protective factor that has been linked with positive mental health is increased levels of physical activity (Buchan, Ollis, Thomas & Baker, 2012). Previous research and theory has shown that physical activity can increase the release of serotonin and norepinephrine which are neurotransmitters that have been connected with and can ultimately decrease risk of anxiety and mood disorders (American psychiatric association, 2012).

Furthermore, according to the Journal of American College Health, Bray and Kwan found through their research that students who did not engage in vigorous physical activity sufficiently scored lower on psychological well-being than students who engage in vigorous physical activity sufficiently (Bray, Kwan 2006). Thus, the purpose of this study is to determine whether or not there is an effect of engagement in physical activity on the stress levels and moods among undergraduate students at California State University, Fullerton. Based on this statement, it is hypothesized that increased amounts of physical activity will be associated with lower stress levels and an over better mental health among undergraduate students. The theory we will use to test with our hypothesis will be the transtheoretical model (TTM).

Also known as the stages of change model, the main theme of this model suggests that a change in behavior is not understood as a single event, but as a process and that when a person attempts to make a behavior change, they will go through multiple stages (Rimer, Glanz, & NCI, 2005). The five stages of change include: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. The stages of change model is like a cycle, not a linear model, in which people may start the process of change at any given stage and then may take a step back to a previous stage (relapse) and have to start over.

This theory informs our hypothesis that increased levels of physical activity will reduce levels of stress because previous research has proven that the transtheoretical model, which has been applied to numerous health behaviors such as diet, weight control and exercise, is successfully effective in increasing levels of physical activity (Jackson, Asimakopoulou, & Scammell, 2007). Since previous studies show a positive association between physical activity and overall better mental health, this theory can be used to support efforts (such as coming up with strategies for interventions) in order to increase the amount of physical activity college students engage in, with the aim of ultimately improving their mood and stress levels.

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We are testing this theory with our hypothesis by examining and analyzing the multiple aspects of a person’s beliefs about the behavior, their intentions and readiness to change their behavior, and actual engagement of behavior as it relates to their mood.

Method

Participants and Procedures

Our sample will include eighty to one hundred students between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four that are currently enrolled at Cal State Fullerton. We will be conducting a survey by having students at Cal State Fullerton from the classes Dr. Espinoza conducts as well as colleagues from other classes answer a survey questionnaire. Being that one out of five college students have reported feeling stressed (CDC, 2012) we will make a detailed survey that will help us determine the underlying factors and main stressors that increase the average college students stress level. Our survey will take approximately five to ten minutes to complete and will be anonymous.

However, we will ask students to write their class status on the survey which will help us to determine if stress levels overall increase, decrease or remain the same the longer the participants have been enrolled in school. Measures

In our survey we will be asking students to rate their current stress level on a scale of 1-10. Since one person could consider a stress level of an 8, for example, differently than another, we will include a key to the description of each rating to ensure accuracy. We will also be asking them what their key stressors are, how much they exercise, what type of exercise they participate in and at what level (vigorous, light, etc.). In addition, we will ask our participants their feelings about exercising; whether or not they think it is necessary or important to them to perform a fair amount of physical activity in order to maintain a healthy mind.

We will use these questions to analyze the students’ attitudes/beliefs about physical activity and how they think it relates to their mood. With the detailed questions we are asking we will be able to make a correlation between stress levels and exercise. We anticipate to see those who exercise regularly have lower stress levels than those who do not exercise regularly. Conclusion

Looking at several research studies done previously on this topic of interest indicates that stress can be related to physical activity and most certainly can affect a college student’s mental health.

Our research will look more into the stress of college students and will be able to compare the year of the student in which they are enrolled in, to how much physical exercise they participate in, to how much stress they are feeling. Obtaining this research is necessary because it will be helpful for college students. It is important for college students to be able to identify their stress properly and know how to cope with it so their mental health is not at risk of decreasing. Even though our research will be taking place at California State University, Fullerton, it will be beneficial for all college students.

References

American Psychiatric Association (2012). College Students | psychiatry.org. Retrieved from http://www.psychiatry.org/mental-health/people/college-students

Bray, S. R., & Kwan, M. W. (2006). Physical activity is associated with better health and psychological well-Being during transition to university life. Journal Of American College Health, 55(2), 77-82. Buchan, D. S., Ollis, S., Thomas, N. E., & Baker, J. S. (2012). Physical activity behaviour: an overview of current and emergent theoretical practices. Journal of Obesity, 1-11. doi:10.1155/2012/546459

CDC. (2012, aug 12). College Health and Safety http://www.cdc.gov/family/college/Cdc.

Downs, A., & Ashton, J. (2011). Vigorous physical activity, sports participation, and athletic identity: implications for mental and physical health in college students. Journal of Sport Behavior, 34(3), 228-249. Jackson, R., Asimakopoulou, K., & Scammell, A. (2007). Assessment of the transtheoretical model as used by dietitians in promoting physical activity in people with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. doi:10.1111/j.1365-277X.2007.00746.x National Cancer Institute (2012). Psychological Stress and Cancer – National Cancer Institute. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/stress Rimer, B. K., Glanz, K., & National Cancer Institute (U.S.) (2005). Theory at a glance: A guide for health promotion practice (2nd ed.). Bethesda, MD: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute.

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