Business Research Analysis
Placement organizations are institutions that students attend for internship and where they are assigned different roles according to their area of specialization (Brakman, 2001). They acquire relevant experience in their area of study, and their skills are developed through these placements. Companies in UK highly benefit from these kinds of placements of undergraduate students, while students acquire refined work skills from these institutions (Sen, 2009).
In Tynecastle Business School (TBS), there is a program in which third year students participate in placement programs as a unit that is examinable. The university keeps track of what their students are doing when they join these organizations. The school wants to know whether the degree that they offer is relevant to the skills that are needed in the business world. The content of the degree is important in preparing fully equipped individuals to fit into the working environment (Brakman, 2001).The study also seeks to determine the level of preparedness of students who go for placement (Sen, 2009).
Distribution of the Questionnaires
Questionnaires are used to gather important information about the performance of students in placement organizations, and the results that are derived are used to make general conclusions about the relevance of skills that they have acquired (Brakman, 2001).The method of distribution of these questionnaires, therefore, needs to be efficient and bias-free. Scientific method of choosing the sample is required in order to determine the required institutions, which will be included in a sample (Culpan, 2002).
After organizations are determined, the appropriate method is chosen to distribute questionnaires. There are various methods that an individual can use in order to ensure that questionnaires are fully distributed. The use of Internet to send questionnaires by e-mail is appropriate for companies that have already embraced technology in their operations (Culpan, 2002). This method is faster and more efficient. It requires a person to use information in the database to email parties of interest. There are other methods of distributing questionnaires, which include use of mails or manual delivery (Sen, 2009).
Challenges of Distribution Method
There are various challenges that are experienced in the process of distributing questionnaires in placement organizations (Mucchielli, 2004). Some organizations do not respond to e-mailed questionnaires. They ignore the email that researchers have sent them. In other cases, they do not see that e-mail (Culpan, 2002). This undermines the work of researchers because they are not able to get full information about their students who are in the placement organization.
Scientific method that is used in choosing which organizations are to be accessed is not strictly followed. Theoretical determination of visit organizations is easy as to the actual implementation of the method on the ground (Culpan, 2002). Selected companies may refuse to respond to questionnaires, and this will make the researcher prefer to work with organizations that are cooperative.
This method of distribution of questionnaires using e-mails has some benefits. The institution is able to reach many organizations in a short time (Fujita, 2002). It uses the information that it has in its database to get information about the company. Organizations are e-mailed questionnaires that are filled out to evaluate students who are in placement.
This method is also cost-effective (Fujita, 2002). Costs associated with the use of transport are eliminated through the use of e-mails. The researcher does not need to travel to the area of the study (Sen, 2009). This makes this method not only cost-effective but also time-effective. A researcher saves a lot of time because it is not necessary for him or her to go to the field to collect data. He only needs to email the questionnaire to the placement organization.
Method of Tackling Non Response
When questionnaires have been distributed, it is not guaranteed that all placement organizations will respond to these questionnaires. There is a likelihood that 30% will not respond to questionnaires (Martin, 2006). This may be due to ignorance of the organization or due to lack of time (Fujita, 2002). One way to respond to this type of challenge is to have a follow up with a placement organization. This gives these organizations motivation to create time needed to respond to questionnaires.
The other method is to include a questionnaire in a contract between the business school and the placement organization. When this becomes a requirement of the contract, none of the parties will fail to fulfil this requirement because it is binding. This will provide very good information about students in placement and will allow to determine whether students are fully prepared for the job market (Levi, 2005).
Evaluation of the Questionnaires
The placement unit in TBS wants to get information about the placement program that is part of their program at school. Questionnaires include both close-ended and open-ended questions. They seek to know whether their students have acquired relevance skills that are required during three years that students have been in school (Fujita, 2002). This area critically looks at the relevance of questions that the institutions have included in the questionnaire.
Does the Intern have Financial and Management Skills in Accounting for Business?
This is a closed question that requires a "yes" or "no" answer. During their first year in schools students were introduced to the topic on financial and management skills in accounting. The school expects that students who go for placement at least have the knowledge and skills related to accounting. This is expressed by the way the student understands concepts that are there in the business. These skills will help the student build up on the practical skills during the placement period in the organization.
Does the Organization Pay Some Remuneration to Students?
The organization that students are placed in to gain technical experience usually pays some token to students in order to motivate them (Peng, 2009). When students are given something small out of their labour, they become motivated and are encouraged to work more. Research has shown that majority of institutions that give their interns a token motivates them to perform better than students in institutions that do not engage interns in the company in any of the considerations (Peng, 2009). This question on whether the institution pays any remuneration to the interns deliberately aims to determine performance of the interns that are engaged in work during the placement period and those that just go for the normal placement as a unit requirement by the school. Most institutions are willing to pay interns small amount of money so that they can boost their morale and maximize their level of production.
Does the Organization Offer Any Support to the Students During the Period of Placement?
Organizations that offer placement for students ought to have a program in which students are monitored and guided along when they are acquiring technical skills (Pickle, 1976). With the guidance of people who have skills in the area of specialization one is able to understand technical knowledge. This is the best way in which students are able to make sense of the theories that are learned in class. Students also become prepared for what awaits them in the industry (Scott, 1995).
Do the Organizations (Placement Organization) Have a Duty to Absorb the Students Who Train With Them?
The issue of placement taking a responsibility of students who attend their internships is of great importance. Each and every student wants to know whether the organization that they have been placed in will later provide them with an employment opportunity. The question puts the organization under pressure to ensure that it looks for opportunities to secure jobs for the interns.
Structure of Questionnaires
The questionnaire has been developed using various structuring methods of questions. There are some questions that are open-ended and others that are closed-ended. Open questions require that questions that are being asked do not have limited answer "yes" or "no" but provide the respondent with an opportunity to express his or her opinion at some level (Oldman, 2005).
Closed questions, on the other hand, have definite answers "yes" or "no". They are the questions that do not need one to express opinion (Oldman, 2005). They are also referred to as direct questions. They are short and very specific on the aspect that they address.
A lot of data that is to be collected in this research design is not statistical but exploratory form of data. It involves setting up guidelines that direct the researcher when carrying out a research about something. In most cases, it requires a researcher to have one-on-one interview with the past design to source information from. He will be able to retrieve other information from the conversion. The questionnaire is not developed to gather qualitative information. There is some statistical information that is formally analyzed statistically. This ensures that respondents present correct information about institution's performance and areas that need to be improved.