Case 1 Running the Numbers: Does It Pay?
(Download the data sets for this case from www.cengage.
com/marketing/zikmund or request them from your instructor.) Dr. William Ray, a research consultant, has received a government grant of $75,000 to fund research examining how aspects of a student’s college experiences relate to his or her job performance. Senator B. I. G. Shot is being lobbied by his constituents that employers are discriminating against people who do not like math by giving them lower salaries. Senator Shot has obtained $50,000 of the $75,000 grant from these constituents. The senator was also instrumental in the selection of Dr. Ray as the recipient and hopes the research supported by the grant will help provide a basis to support the proposed legislation making discrimination against people who do not like math illegal.
The research questions listed in this particular grant proposal include: RQ1: Does a student’s liking of quantitative coursework in college affect his or her future earnings?
RQ2: Do people with an affinity for quantitative courses get promoted more quickly than those who do not? Dr. Ray has gained the cooperation of a Fortune 500 service firm that employs over 20,000 employees across eight locations. The company allows Dr. Ray to survey employees who have been out of college for three years. Three hundred responses were obtained by sending an e-mail invitation to approximately 1,000 employees who
fit this profile. The invitation explained that the research was about various employee attitudes and indicated that employees would not be required to identify themselves during the survey. Respondents were informed that all responses would be strictly confidential. The e-mail provided a click-through questionnaire which directed respondents to a Web site where the survey was conducted using an online survey provider. Each invitation was coded so that the actual respondents could be identified by both e-mail address and name. Dr. Ray, however, kept this information confidential so the company could not identify any particular employee’s response. The following table describes the variables that were collected. Variables Available from Company Records
1 = “Promoted”
0 = “Not Promoted”
Nominal indicating whether
the employee has been
Self-Reported GPA in Last
Year of College
0 (lowest) to
1 = “Female”
0 = “Male”
Salary from Last Year
Questions from Survey
The quantitative courses I took in
school were the most useful courses.
Very few topics can be understood if you
do not understand the arithmetic.
I hated going to math classes in college.
I learned a great deal from the quantitative
projects assigned to me in college.
Students do not need to study quantitative
topics in college to succeed in their careers.
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Please use the following items to describe your undergraduate college experience. For each pair of items, choose the check box closest to the adjective that best describes your experience.
1. Does this grant present Dr. Ray with an ethical dilemma(s) in any way?
2. Derive at least one hypothesis for each research question listed above. Provide a sound rationale or theoretical explanation that leads to the hypothesis.
3. Use the data that corresponds to this case to perform an adequate test of each hypothesis. Interpret the results. 4. Is there evidence supporting the discrimination claim? Explain.
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