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英国重点大学mba thesis:Methodology

时间:2012-08-24 15:17:52 来源:www.ukthesis.org 作者:英国论文网 点击联系客服: 客服:Damien

论文题目:research methods
论文语种:英文
您的研究方向:工商管理
是否有数据处理要求:是
您的国家:英国
您的学校背景:英国大学,排名……我也不了解,大概前20
要求字数:11000
论文用途:mba毕业论文
是否需要盲审(博士或硕士生有这个需要):否
补充要求和说明:1.写作格式及其他注意事项请参照dissertation handbook内的规定 2.研究数据可以虚假,但数据的搜集来源以及涉及到的公司名称请编写完整,并用SPSS软件作分析。 3.在分析数据及整个论文的写作中请多用些图表来论证和陈列数据 4.第四章写完后先发给我,剩余部分可待全部完成后一起发过来

Methodology

1 Introduction
The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the methodology of http://www.ukthesis.org/dissertation_writing/MBA/  this dissertation. The second section discussed the choice of methodology in this paper. The third part explained the methods selected in this study. The fourth part presented the research question. The fifth part showed the research instruments. The sixth part discussed the method of data statistics. The last part of the paper points out the limitations of the methodology.

2 Choice of methodology
Positivism was adopted as the research philosophy of this study. Positive research refers to the research that researchers carry out for putting forward theoretical hypotheses or testing theoretical hypotheses by gathering observation data by themselves. Positive research has a distinct characteristic of direct experience. The basic principles that positivism advocate are the objectivity and universality of scientific conclusion, emphasizing that knowledge must be established based on empirical facts of observation and experiment. The principles require revealing general conclusions through experienced or observed data and experimental research means, and this kind of conclusion should be provable in same conditions. According to the above principles, positive research methods can be summarized as a kind of research method which is through a number of observations, experiments and investigations towards research objects to obtain objective material, from individual law to general law to sum up the essence of things. In this research, firstly of all, it was based on relevant existing literatures to propose research questions and hypotheses. Then it was through collecting first-hand information to confirm or reject the research hypotheses, summing up related features of cost control of the hospitality industry in China to propose recommendations for cost control of the hospitality industry in China in future. This paper adopted a deductive approach, as there were a large number of research theories about cost control and cost control methods, this study deduced researches on cost control problems of the Chinese hospitality industry from the theories.#p#分页标题#e#

3 Research methods
3.1 Quantitative research
Quantitative research refers to the scientific research which determines the quantity of a thing of certain aspect, it is a research method and process which expresses problems and phenomena in quantitative terms to analyze, test, interpret, so as to get significance. The quantitative refers to measuring based on digital symbols. Quantitative research is based on comparison of the quantity measured according to certain standard towards characteristic of a research object to determine the characteristic value of the object, or to seek out variation law of some factors. Its purpose is to explore attributes of quality of a thing or its movement. Main methods of quantitative study include investigation method and experimental method. This article was mainly through a questionnaire to explore relevant problems of cost control in the hospitality industry in China, based on the questionnaire results, it carried out a further statistic and analysis. The advantages of applying questionnaire to this paper are reflected in the following areas.
Firstly, questionnaires can break through the restriction of time and space to investigate lots of objects in a wide range at the same time, which is also the most important advantage of questionnaires. Secondly, anonymity is another advantage of questionnaires. It enables research objects to express their own ideas freely, which allows researchers to get more actual answers. Thirdly, questionnaires are in favor of saving manpower, time and money. However, it should be noted that questionnaires also have the following disadvantages. First of all, a questionnaire can only obtain written social information, it can not understand vivid, specific social situation, which is its biggest disadvantage. Then, it lacks flexibility, it is difficult to make an in-depth qualitative research. Finally, questionnaires are only completed by respondents’ simply ticking the answers which they think right. At the same time, driving by mass-following psychology, respondents are likely to answer in line with the mainstream of social consciousness, which fails to guaranteed the truth of the answers. To compensate for these shortcomings, this study also used a qualitative research.

3.2 Qualitative research
Qualitative research is a method used by researchers to define a problem or solve a problem, it is a market research method to reveal the nature of a thing. Popularly speaking, it conducts an in-depth study to understand respondents’ view to further explore the reasons for the respondents’ certain status or behavior. In other words, quantitative studies answer ‘what is it’, then qualitative researches address ‘why is it being that’. Qualitative research methods include interview method, observation method, delphi method and so on. This article was mainly through an interview to understand related questions about cost control in the hospitality industry in China. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2007)(1)Reasons for adoption of an interview in this lie in the following areas (Saunders, et al., 2007): firstly, it is able to obtain more in-depth, detailed and comprehensive information. Secondly, researchers can talk with objects to understand their psychological activities and ideas. Thirdly, researchers can have depth knowledge of the background of a behavior and the broad determinants that influence the behavior. Fourthly, researchers have more opportunities to share and learn about respondent's viewpoint. However, interviews also have some shortcomings. First of all, an interview process is susceptible to influences of interviewers’ levels of asking questions, leading to respondents’ failing to reflect their own views, the integrity of the quality of interview results is also dependent on investigators’ skills. The results of data are often difficult to be analyzed and interpreted. Then, as interviews take much time and cost lot of money, in actual operation, only a small amount of interviews in depth can be used in a research project, resulting in inadequate sample size. Finally, results of interviews are not convenient to carry out quantitative analysis and data statistics. In this paper, it adopted a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, which is beneficial for making uses of their respective strengths and compensating for their shortcomings to make the research results more reliable and authentic.#p#分页标题#e#

3.3 Research question
According to Lion’s (2007) suggestion, this study was from a perspective of strategic cost management to explore cost control problems in Chinese hospitality industry. Strategic cost management refers to the use of cost data and information to provide each critical step of strategic management with cost information, so as to facilitate the formation of an enterprise’s competitive advantage and the creation http://www.ukthesis.org/  of its core competitiveness. Basic frame of strategic cost management is composed of three parts: strategic positioning, value chain analysis and cost-driven analysis. As the methods, steps and realization mode of strategic cost management are inseparable from the above framework, this paper is based on the frame to proceed with the study.
3.3.1 Value chain analysis
From the initial raw material inputs to arriving at consumers finally, a product must go through numerous interconnected operation links, this is so-called operation chain. This chain is not only a production process of products, but also is a kind of value formation and value added process, leading to the formation of value chain in competition of competitive strategy. In this paper, according to Joung et al. (2010)’s research, it identified and confirmed the value chain of the Chinese hospitality industry from procurement management, human resource management and customer relationship management. The research of this part was mainly completed through a questionnaire.
3.3.2 Strategic cost driver analysis
In strategic cost management, cost driver analysis is beyond the narrow scope of traditional cost analysis (concern about a few factors, such as enterprises’ own production, material consumption, etc.), it uses a broader method which combines with strategy to analyze cost drivers. The intangible cost drivers that strategic cost management focuses on are just which traditional cost management ignores. Strategic cost driver analysis is from a high perspective to manage cost, it has a more far-reaching and durable impact on costs, once the influence forms, it is difficult to be changed, therefore it should cause enterprises’ attention. Strategic cost drivers can be divided into structural cost drivers and executive cost drivers. Structural cost drivers refers to the cost drivers which relate to determining an enterprise’s basic economic structure, such as a long-term investment, it often takes a long time to form them, but once they are established, it is often difficult to change. At the same time, these factors tend to occur before the start of production, these factors not only decide an enterprise’s product cost, but also have an extremely important effect on the enterprise’s product quality, human resources, finance, production and other aspects. Therefore, the selection of structural cost drivers will determine an enterprise’s situation of cost. After using structural cost driver analysis to determine an enterprise's cost management strategy, it must takes the results of executive cost driver analysis as foothold for improving its costs, which is more conducive to the enterprise’s establishment of its competitive advantages. Executive cost drivers are the cost drivers which determine an enterprise’s operation procedure. Executive cost drivers are developed when structural cost drivers have been determined, if these drivers are successfully executed, they can reduce costs, otherwise they would increase costs. Executive cost drivers include employee participation, comprehensive quality management and capacity utilization rate. Strategic cost driver analysis should be conducted based on these two aspects. This paper was based on Pion’s (2005) research to analyze the cost drivers of the hospitality industry in China from structural cost drivers and executive cost drivers, study of this part was mainly completed through an interview.#p#分页标题#e#
3.3.3 Strategic positioning
The ultimate question that strategic cost management faces is how to combine cost management with enterprise strategy. Different strategies require different management control systems. strategic positioning refers to how enterprises select competitive tools in a market to confront competitors, it is an important content of strategic cost management. Potter proposed generic competitive strategy, including cost leadership, differential competition strategy and target concentrated strategy. In this study, it was based on the results of the questionnaire and strategic cost driver analysis to bring forward recommendations for Chinese hotels’ strategic positioning in future.

3.4 Research instruments
3.4.1 Questionnaire
The research objects of this paper are personnel who are responsible for cost control in the hotels in Beijing, as they are more familiar with information related to cost control in the hotels in China, they have been chosen as research objects. There are 50 interviewees. The questionnaires were distributed and taken back through e-mail. The questionnaire is composed by contents of four parts. In the contents of first part, it explains the purpose of this questionnaire and the method of completing the questionnaire. It ensures that respondents’ personal information won’t be disclosed, all information will be used in this research only. The second part investigates relevant information about the hotels, including the hotels’ annual income, scale, and so on, which will be used to determine whether the selection of samples is representative. The third part is from strategic positioning, value chain analysis and cost driver analysis to investigate the present situation of Chinese hotels’ cost management. Each option of a question is expressed by Likert scale, from 1-5, it represents ‘totally disagree’ to ‘totally agree’, 3 represents agree. The last part expresses gratitude to respondent.
3.4.2 Interview
Recently, western theories on cost control have made rapid development, many international hotels have achieved a success under the guidance of these theories. However, the development of the hospitality industry in China started late, its cost control concept and method are more backward, and because of lots of differences in corporate culture, management and market environment between Chinese and western hotels, leading to many Chinese hotels’ failure in effective uses of these theories for controlling costs and facing with a management difficulty. This problem has caused many scholars to pay much attention to this field, some scholars (Weins, 2004; Right, 2008) began their study in this area. In this dissertation, it was through a semi-structured interview to explore issues of cost control in Chinese hotels, which aimed at, firstly of all, providing a viable theoretical framework for a scientific study of cost control problems in Chinese hotels; then, offering a more perfect measuring tool for subsequent quantitative research; finally, providing practicers of cost control with a guidance.#p#分页标题#e#
3.4.2 Interview objects
The choice of research object directly affects the scientific of interview conclusions, Allan and Skinner (2002) considered that, it should take into account the following factors: firstly, objects should have an extensive representativeness and practical significance; secondly, objects should reflect a fierce market competition, they should be those which are able to reflect an enterprise’s a variety of operating capacities most; thirdly, research data should be available easily, which enables researchers to complete a study with limited time and costs. Based on this, this paper chose Beijing International Hotel, China World Hotel – Beijing, Huangyuan Grand Hotel and Yan Shan Hotel as the interview objects. Among the four hotels, Beijing International Hotel and China World Hotel – Beijing belong to five-star hotels, Huangyuan Grand Hotel and Yan Shan Hotel belong to four-star hotels. The four hotels belong to two different levels of scales of Chinese hospitality industry, to interview them helped to understand the present situation of cost control in China’s five-star and four-star hotels, thereby having certain representativeness. The four hotels all have a big profit. In 2011, profits of Beijing International Hotel, China World Hotel – Beijing ranked NO. 6 and 7 among China’s five-star hotels. Huangyuan Grand Hotel and Yan Shan Hotel also ranked NO. 6 and 7 among China’s four-star hotels in 2011. It indicates that the hotels have relatively good operation abilities, research on their can better reflect their achievements and problems in cost control. In the choice of these hotels, the interviewer has gotten their agreement of accepting the interview, which is conducive to completing the study with prescribed costs and time. The objects of the interview are the managers in the hotels who are responsible for cost control, as the personnel who deal with cost control directly in the hotels, they have mastered relevant information, which makes them naturally the best interview objects.
3.4.2.1 Methods of interview
In this study, before, conducting the formal interview, the author made use of his personal interpersonal relationship to contact with managers of three hotels by telephone and written forms to explain the purpose, significance and objects of the interview. The managers all showed their willingness to accept the interview, they showed great interest in the topic of this interview. As these hotels are located in Beijing, China, the interview was carried out through a video network software: Skype.
According to levels of interviewers’ controls of an interview, interviews can be divided into: structured interviews, unstructured interviews and semi-structural interviews. A structured interview is also known as a standardised interview, it requires certain steps, interviewers design a good interview outline in advance and according to the outline to ask respondents questions in turn, the respondents are asked to answer the questions according to the prescribed standards. In an unstructured interview, interviewers do not prepare a detailed interview outline beforehand, the interviews are relatively free and informal interviews between both interviewers and respondents. Semi-structural interviews are between structured interviews and unstructured interviews. In a semi-structural interview, although interviewers control the structure of the interviewer to some extent, respondents are given opportunities to express their views and opinions. Semi-structural interviews have advantages of both structured interviews and unstructured interviews. A semi-structural interview can not only avoid a structured interview’s lacking flexibility and failing to conduct a thorough interview, but also avoid unstructured interviews’ time-consuming, laborious defects, as well as difficulties in analysis. Therefore, in this article, it took a semi-structured interview to collect data.#p#分页标题#e#
Each interview in this study has been implemented through a semi-structural way, through the adoption of open-ended questions to guide the respondents. At the beginning of the interview, the interview first explained the purpose of the interview, how the content of these interviews would be used and committed all the information related to the hotels would be secreted absolutely. Each interview lasted for fifteen minutes. After each interview, the respondents were asked to provide detailed information about the hotels as much as possible, including internal information, news information, other scholars’ relevant research reports, background information about the industry, so that the interviewer could have a more comprehensive understanding of information about the hotels’ business, background, etc., they were a strong evidence which composed a qualitative research paradigm (Saunders, et al., 2007).
3.4.2.2 Interview outline
In carrying out the study, an interview outline has been designed. On the basis of referring to suggestion of relevant scholars, and the adoption and the field is suggested on the basis of relevant scholars, three major issues relate to this study have been eventually determined, of which three questions are about customer relationship management, three questions are about  human resources management, the last three questions are about procurement management.
In order to allow respondents to have respondents have an opportunity to express themselves freely, another two questions have been designed as as a supplement, one is from structural cost driver to analyze cost control of hotels, the other is from executive cost drivers to analyze cost control of hotels. This will help with enriching the investigation contents or even making up the omission of important information in specific interview process.

3.5 Data statistics
The main tool used in this study for the data statistic of the questionnaire was SPSS16.0. The process was completed by two steps. First of all, the author tested the reliability and validity of the questionnaire. Reliability testing was processed by using an inter-item consistency method. Through SPSS to calculate Cronbach's α, if the value is more than 0.6, indicating that the reliability of the questionnaire is qualified. Expert analysis was applied to testing the content validity of the questionnaire. Multiple regression analysis was adopted to process related data. If the value of the statistical results is less than 0.05 (P<0.05), it will be considered as having a statistical significance, in this study, all data are shown by means ± standard deviation ( ±S) (Creswell, 2003).

3.6 Limitation
This study has the following defects in its research method:
3.6.1The successful implementation of an interview needs requires highly skilled and trained interviewers. The interviewer of this study has also learned relevant professional knowledge, but there may be deficiencies existing in the interview skills.#p#分页标题#e#
3.6.2 As recording and analysis of interview methods are time consuming. Therefore, the sample sizes are usually small. In this study, the sample size is 3, which is small.
3.6.3 Interpretation of the obtained data also needs researches’ rich experience and a high level of skills, therefore limited to the research’s level of scientific research and experience, the obtained information may not be interpreted fully.
3.6.4 In the process of carrying out the interview, it http://www.ukthesis.org/dissertation_writing/MBA/  may be due to the unskilled recording leading to the omission of important information, making the interview lack validity.
In this study, the sample size is 50, as an empirical study, the sample size is small, affecting the representativeness of this study.

 


 

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