Reserach Methods

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Devising a research strategy

Read the following extract and in teams of four devise a research strategy for conducting a study of the issues raised in this document.

1. What are the aims and objectives of this study? What issues are you trying to investigate?

2. Describe the research design that you propose to adopt to conduct your study:

a. Who constitutes your study population? (size, demographic and other characteristics) b. What data collection methods are you planning to use? (e.g. interviews, questionnaire, case study) c. Why did you select this design? What are the advantages and limitations of the design?

Work/life balance: senior management champions or laggards?

Background

In 2003 a study was undertaken in a major Irish organisation to examine the career paths and histories of managers, including any blockages to career advancement, in order to identify and gauge the likely success of strategies to improve gender balance, diversity and leadership capacity in senior management. Work/life balance emerged as a key strategic issue which it was felt had important gender implications. Further research was undertaken to identify the obstacles impeding the adoption of work/life balance, particularly at senior management level. It sought also to identify the strategies and mechanisms that might lead to work/life balance in the organisation.

Barriers impeding WLB in organisations

The UK literature charts a range of concerns by employers to explain the reluctance to introduce flexible work arrangements (Kodz et al., 2002). While companies are conscious of potential benefits for their employees, they regard these as diffuse, difficult to quantify and outweighed by administrative costs and disruption caused to their operations. Employers also tend to raise concerns in relation to setting a precedent, worrying that the general availability of such policies will “open the floodgates” to...
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