This paper will discuss the method of research to be used, the respondents of the study, the sampling technique, the instrument to be used, the validation of the instrument, the administration of the instrument and the statistical treatment of the data that will be gathered.
Method of Research to be used
According to Swetnam (2000) "Writing Your Dissertation" How To Books, research falls into two basic styles, "objective" and "subjective". Objective approaches are concerned with the physical characteristics and the external world, universally applicable rules and laws, tested through hypothesis, experiment and survey. Subjective approaches deal with the created social lives of groups and individuals through observation and explanation.
Although a great number of research methods are available i.e. Action Research, Surveys, Experimental Methods, Ethnographic, Case Study and Historical etc. It was important during the research method selection process, to consider such constraints as time, cost, access and ability.
Given the nature of the dissertation it was the intention of the author to use "Action Research" as the primary method of investigation. However given that the author no longer has direct access to the "featured" organisation (Dunlop Hiflex Ltd), it would have been impossible to plan, monitor or change any experimental situation focused on organisational development, within the organisation. Since the research methodology is based on experimental conditions, no observation or interaction could have been achieved and so, no meaningful data could have been obtained. Given this fact this research technique was abandoned.
Again due to the nature of the dissertation, and the accessibility to research data. This study will utilise the descriptive approach. The descriptive research method uses observation and surveys. In this method, it is possible that the study would be viewed as limited. It might also suggest unanticipated hypotheses. Nonetheless, it would be very hard to rule out alternative explanations and infer causations. Thus, this study will use the descriptive approach. This descriptive type of research will utilise interviews and observation in the study.
The author was able to secure limited access to the "featured" organisation in order to conduct the investigation.
In order to illustrate the descriptive type of research, John W Creswell (2002) "Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Method Approaches" Sage Publications, will guide the researcher when he states: The descriptive method of research is to gather information about the present existing condition. The purpose of employing this method is to describe the nature of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study and to explore the cause / s of particular phenomena. The author opted to use this kind of research considering the desire of the author to obtain first hand data from the respondents so as to formulate rational and sound conclusions and recommendations for the study.
This study basically intends to identify the critical success factors of a sustainable lean manufacturing programme within the organisation, Dunlop Hiflex Ltd. Specifically, the study is determined to know the current thinking on lean manufacturing and continuous improvement programmes; the lean manufacturing programmes that the organisation utilises; the level of effectiveness of the organisation, in the implementation of a sustainable lean manufacturing programme according to maintenance of machinery, human resource management, and manufacturing processes; determine the level of effectiveness of the organisation, regarding the satisfaction of its primary customers in terms of quality of products and product delivery; and to ascertain whether there is a significant relationship between the satisfaction of its primary customers and the level of effectiveness of the organisation, with regard to the...