Research questions should be clear and concise, yet in-depth enough to require many research sources and careful analysis before an answer is determined. Given Hostess’ current predicament, this research question will revolve around the company’s missteps and ultimate demise. Given this information, Team A will focus on the following question:
Which factor contributed the most faults for Hostess’ demise: management or the union? With a question in place, determining an appropriate research design will help keep the research focused, effective, and useful.
Define the Problem
As with most labor disputes, the company and the union have vested arguments regarding their respective positions. However, valid arguments do little for making a company profitable or keeping an employee working. Hostess allowed its collective bargaining agreement with the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union continue to grow over the years until it reached a point where it was impossible for the company to be profitable. Also, the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union refused to restructure the agreements in an act of good faith to keep the company afloat, indicating the union had made concessions to the company in 2009 which were scheduled to save the company $110 million dollars. According to the Hostess Brands website; “On November 20th, 2012 U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York today approved its emergency interim motion for the orderly wind down of its business and sale of its assets. The wind down was necessitated by an inflated cost structure that put the Company at a profound competitive disadvantage.” (HOSTESS BRANDS OBTAINS COURT AUTHORITY)
With the research question stated, the research design is ready to be developed. To research which party is to blame for the failure of Hostess, our team will implement an exploratory research design.