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Research Methods for Business

Research Methods for Business

Abstract

Civil aviation is a very competitive, high technology, safety-sensitive service industry. Employees must be the arena of an organization’s core competence. The economic globalization has become extremely vibrant; therefore, the capacity of industries to compete in the global arena is defined by the quality of human resources they possess. Many organizations are becoming more and more reliant on the knowhow of their employees to gain a mirage in the global arena. The study focuses on the influence of human resource management on performance of an organization with reference to Abu Dhabi Aviation Co. Specifically, the study sought to assess effects of employee recruitment and selection on the organizational performance in the public sector; establish effects of compensation on the organizational performance in the public sector and evaluate effects of training and development on the organizational performance in the public sector. The study used a case conducted through an explanatory research design. The study sampled 270 employees working for ADAC. Quantitative data from primary sources were collected through self-administered and semi-structured questionnaires. Data analysis was done through the use of descriptive and inferential statistics, in which Pearson correlation and regression analyses were done to assess if there exists any relationship between the HRM practices’ variables and organizational performance. The results indicate that among other factors, employee training, development, recruitment, selection, and compensation are key determinants of organizational performance from the human resource management perspective. The study recommends ADAC to align its human resource management practices to its organizational strategy with the help of relevant stakeholders. The study suggests that further research in this area should be carried out in other regions to ascertain whether their findings will be similar to these ones or otherwise. Further research needs to be conducted to look for other factors that may influence organizational performance.

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List of abbreviations and acronyms

  • HRD Human Resource Development
  • HRM Human Resource Management
  • HRPs Human Resource Practices
  • PMSs Performance Management Systems
  • R&D Research and Development
  • ADAC Abu Dhabi Aviation Company
  • UAE United Arab Emirates

Research Methods for Business

Introduction

This chapter builds the case for the study of the function played by Human Resource Management practices on the organizational performance with reference to Abu Dhabi Aviation Co. More specifically, it focuses on the study, the statement of the problem, the research objectives and hypotheses, the significance and scope of the study in the order as discussed below.

Background to the Study

Performance of any organization is very critical area that is interesting to any researcher. It is only through performance that comparison of firms to rivals can be done. In addition, it is through performance that an organization is able to evaluate its performance, environment, and actions from time to time (Nishii, & Wright, 2007).

Civil aviation industry strategy is based upon two fundamental properties that evolved since deregulation of the US airline industry in 1978: the first one is the ever-increasing global worry for safety. The second one is the growing consumer expectations of service excellence and broad service choice. Proper records now indicate that poor service quality and accidents are primarily engraved in socio-technical human factors and no in technology. Sub-optimization in regards to the decision-making, management, employee motivation, teamwork, or communication can result in the loss of market share, loss of customers, loss of organization’s assets, and in extreme case, loss of life. There is, therefore, the need to act appropriately in such a customer service-centric as well as safety-sensitive industry in order to maintain appropriate relations. Human resource management’s knowhow is more essential than before to forefront internal marketing strategies for the purpose of backing of the customer. The primary focus of HRM strategy is the manner, in which the HR department aligns general activities, policies and procedures with the imperative opportunity of the organization. Such relevant HRM expertise constitutes nothing less than a powerful strategic opportunity (Nishii, & Wright, 2007).

Overview of Abu Dhabi Aviation Company

Abu Dhabi Aviation Company is located in Abu Dhabi in the United Arabs Emirates. The airline opened doors in 1976 and is currently operating helicopters and fixed wing aircrafts. The company serves economic facilities and oil-fields of the UAE and other states. It operates the largest commercial helicopter in Middle East with a total of 58 helicopters. It is owned by nationals (70%) and the government (30%) of Abu Dhabi. The company has over 900 employees, and this number includes around 340 maintenance engineers and 150 pilots. The airline serves mainly engineering, construction and offshore oil companies including other businesses, such as photography, survey, and medical evacuation, and charter. The company also deals with aerial spraying of plantations in the UAE and some parts of Oman.

Statement of the Problem

The need to manage human resources effectively has made it necessary to conduct this study. The rapid increase in competition, growth of aviation industry, increase in labor turnover, acute labor shortage, and the corresponding high cost of employee replacement have driven companies to aggressively compete for employees. Various studies have brought out a positive relationship between organizational performance and HRM practices. In organizations, human resource management practices function as a mediator between HRM strategies and HRM outcomes (Guest, 2007). HRM strategy has four functions: employment skill and work policies, performance measurement and reinforcement, supportive environment and market organization (Guest, 2007). This strategy is divided into three categories, which are the innovation, focus on the quality, and cost reduction. Many organizations recognize the benefit of high commitment work system. The reason is that they respond to employees’ needs and motivate them to take responsibility for their careers. They also motivate them to behave in ways that ultimately benefit the organization.

A number of researchers have found out that organizational performance is achievable through employees’ involvement. It is the employees’ attitude that translated HRM policies and practices into explicit performance (Nishii, & Wright, 2007). Hence, this study is timely and in line with aspiration to disclose the contribution of human resource management practices to the performance of an organization with reference to Abu Dhabi Aviation Company. With the impact of Human Resource Management practices on the organizational performance, the study will focus on three key practices, namely employee recruitment and selection, training and development, and employee compensation.

Research Objectives

The study will focus on both general and specific objectives.

General Objective

The general objective of the study is to evaluate effects of human resource management practices on the organizational performance in the public sector. The aim of this is to enable the public sector to operate efficiently and effectively without losing out to the private sector.

Specific Objectives

The study seeks to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To assess effects of employee recruitment and selection on the organizational performance in the public sector;
  2. To establish effects of compensation on the organizational performance in the public sector;
  3. To evaluate effects of training and development on the organizational performance in the public sector

Significance of the Study

The government of Abu Dhabi will benefit from improved human resource practices that can aid in gaining enhanced organizational performance in relation to the private sector as the public and private sectors compete for resources of human capital.

The employees attached to the ADAC will benefit from best human resource practices and recognition. They will also better their chances for talent management and nurturing.

The regulators will not benefit from employee turnover costs and continuous hiring to replace the departed employees. Instead, the organizations will concentrate on building strong employee foundations for longer term.

Other stakeholders in the aviation and service sectors, both private and public, will benefit from the recommendations suggested by the study. Academicians will also benefit from both literature and further areas of research that the study will suggest.

Scope of the Study

The study is limited to the effect of human resource management practices on the organization performance with reference to Abu Dhabi Aviation Company. The human resource practices that will be studied herein include employee recruitment and selection, compensation, training, and development. Due to the limited resources, the study is concentrated on the citizens of the United Arab Emirates working for Abu Dhabi Aviation Company. However, this will not affect the expected scope and outcome of the study significantly. The study was conducted between July and September 2014. It evaluated the period between 2005 and 2013.

Research Methodology

Introduction

This part presents the plan and methods used to carry out the study. It contains the research design, target population, sampling design, data collection instruments, data analysis and presentation, expected output, and study limitations.

Research Design

The study uses a case conducted through an explanatory research design. The design describes the relationships that exist between the independent and dependent variables (Donaldson, 2006). Research design is a structure, which holds all the elements in a research project together. Further, explanatory studies establish the causal relationships between variables. The emphasis is on studying the situation or the problem in order to explain the relationships between variables.

Study Area

The study was conducted at Abu Dhabi Aviation Company. The company’s headquarters is situated at the Abu Dhabi International Airport and forms the study area.

Target Population

The target population is 270 employees making 30% of the total personnel from various departments working at Abu Dhabi Aviation Company. The employees were gathered from different departments that make up the authority, including air navigation, safety engineers, airport operations, human resource management, and finance and accounting, as seen below.

Units

Population size

Percentage

Airport Operations

42

15.5

Air Navigation

52

19.2

Air craft Maintenance Engineers

65

24.1

Human Resource Management

15

5.6

Finance and Accounting

21

7.8

Support Staff

75

27.8

Total

270

100%

Data Collection Methods and Instrument

Primary data were collected directly from respondents using questionnaires that were semi-structured (Mugenda, & Mugenda, 2003). Numerical records are considered as different groups of documents and they include figures, reports, and budgets. The repercussion of this is that there is the incorporation of valuable statistical data in the study.

Administration of the Data Collection Instrument

The questionnaires were self-administered, with emailing, and a couple of interviews being conducted.

Data Analysis and Presentation

Descriptive statistics were used to analyze quantitative data that were collected and presented through percentages, frequencies, and mean and standard deviation. Before analysis, the completed questionnaires were edited for completeness and consistency. Data collected were mainly quantitative, and have been analyzed using descriptive techniques, such frequencies, percentages, and mean and standard deviation. Descriptive statistical tools enhanced the research to describe the data and determine their effects. The study findings were presented using tables and charts. This offered a systematic description of the objectives of the study. Multiple regression models and Pearson’s Product-Moment Correlation were used to make inferences.

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

Introduction

This chapter presents a synopsis of the research findings, discussions, conclusions, and recommendations. The implications of the results and areas for further research are presented as well.

Summary of the Study

The study uses two types of data analysis, namely descriptive analysis and inferential analysis. The descriptive analysis helps the study to describe the relevant aspects of the phenomenon under study. The standard deviation, the mean, minimum, and maximum values were determined. For the inferential analysis, the study uses a multivariate regression analysis technique to establish the relationship between independent and dependent variables.

Conclusions

It can be concluded that moderate organizational performance is experienced in the study area owing to moderate motivation levels among employees. Specific attribution is on the human resource practices, such as recruitment and selection, compensation, training, and performance management practices. The study also concludes that staff recruitment and selection practices employed in the study area should be considered in order to be more effective.

It is seen from the study that compensation is moderate in the organization, thus determining sensible employee and organizational performance. With the ever dynamic cost of living, employees can be motivated to work efficiently only through effective compensation. Training and development was found to be inadequate. There is a need for a full-fledged human resource unit manned with competence to implement the training plan. Other attributed factors are lack of organizational empowerment to decide when and where to train staff, lack of supervisor support, and inadequacy of training budget.

Recommendations

Civil aviation sector, which is well managed, is the pride of any state. It is therefore important to have good aviation policy and proper regulation in order to achieve the results. Research has found out that more than 70% of commercial airplane accidents are as a result of human error.

It has been found in the ADAC context that organizational performance depends heavily on HRM outcomes, such as employee recruitment and selection, compensation, performance management, training, and development. However, the results of HRM competence for these practices are critical, and have the biggest effect on organizational performance.

The ADAC should require well-designed, consistent, and suitable HRM policies for providing its employees with the necessary abilities and adequate motivation.

Aligning HRM policies with organizational strategies will positively affect effectiveness of HRM policies, and thus will improve organizational performance.

Suggestions for Further Studies

  • Further research in this area could be carried out in other regions to ascertain whether those findings will be similar to these ones or otherwise.
  • Further research in this area could be carried out to look at other factors that may influence organizational performance.