Repeatedly, there have been arguments for and against business involvement in political issues. Mature democracies, such as the USA advocate for business participation in political issues while non-democracies oppose business involvement in political issues. In the USA, BIPAC that was formed in 1963 handles this issue. The organization is independent, and its members are businesses and business associations in the USA. The organization specializes in providing factual political information to its members that is likely to influence them positively. For the time the organization has been in existence, it has been producing annual reports on the progress of the issue among its members (Fernando, 2006). This paper critiques one of BIPAC’s market research for the year 2011-2012. Thesis: the paper argues that the report looks great and convincing, but failure to include critical factors in the report, such as sampling method, sample size, and data collection process among other things weakens the report.
Research Design Used
With regard to research design used in the study, the report indicates that researchers conducted an online survey that involved interviewing employees of BIPAC’s member companies from the USA. Beyond this point, the report does not provide further information on research design. From the information contained in the report, a person cannot tell how the researchers conducted the study; thus, a person can only speculate on this issue.
From a general viewpoint, there is no framework or theory in this report. This means that an individual cannot tell how the researchers went about collecting data (Boswell, & Cannon, 2011). In spite of this fact, the report has clearly identified the research participants as US employees from BIPAC’s member companies. For this reason, one does not struggle to identify the research participants. This notwithstanding, the report does not do the following. First, it does not account for the reliability and validity of the instruments used in collecting data. To enhance its findings, the report should have highlighted these two issues. Reliability concerns itself with the ability of the instrument to measure the concept under study accurately and consistently. On the other hand, validity concerns itself with the ability of the instrument to measure what it is supposed to measure (Coughlan, Cronin, & Ryan, 2007). Given that this report does not address these two issues, it becomes difficult for one to tell whether the instrument used in the study was consistent and accurate; thus, effective to measure what it was supposed to measure. This aspect weakens the outcomes of the study because one is unable to determine the effectiveness of the instruments used in the study.
Second, the report does not indicate the plan followed in conducting the study. The report does not highlight the processes followed in collecting, and analyzing data, and the boundaries of the study (Ryan, Coughlan, & Cronin, 2007). This being the case, the findings of the report are weak even though the report has covered critical areas of business politics.
Data Collection Methods
The report indicates that researchers conducted online survey on the target employees, but it does not categorically indicate how the researchers went about this process. In other words, the report does not specify the steps that researchers used in collecting data. Apart from this, the report does not indicate the period that researchers spent in collecting data. Providing this information in the report would be helpful in determining how often data collection process took place as well as the process followed in this exercise. With regard to instruments used in collecting the data, the report does not provide details that point towards that direction. In addition, the report does not provide details as to who designed tools used in data collection process as well as validity and reliability of those tools if such tools were used (Coughlan, Cronin, & Ryan, 2007). Based on this analysis, the report does not provide details regarding data collection process in full, but it leaves this issue at the reader to speculate how researchers collected data.
In order to strengthen its findings, the report should have provided full information regarding data collection process. However, given that the report has not provided such details, the report appears weak because a person cannot tell whether researchers conducted the study or they simply provided their thought on the subject matter. Researchers should provide details that relate to data collection process because they are essential in all research studies (Boswell, & Cannon, 2011). In spite of this fact, the report does not provide such details.
Analysis of Questions Discussed
The report does not provide the research questions that were used in collecting data. However, even in the absence of these questions, it is possible to identify some of the main questions because they are highlighted in the report. In relation to this understanding, an individual can tell that the first main question relates to the sources of political information for employees. With regard to this question, the study establishes that only 37 percent of the respondents go for political information from their employers’ websites. In addressing this question further, the report divides this question into different segments. The first segment asks the respondents to identify the most trusted source of political information. This question is critical as far as the study’s scope is concerned (Stockhausen, & Conrick, 2002). With regard to this segment, the report establishes that younger employees identify employers as the most trusted sources of political information than older employees do. Gender does not differ significantly because the percentage of men and women that trust their employers in providing political information is almost the same. The second segment of the first question relates to frequency with which employees evaluate political issues through their most trusted sources of political information. Majority of the respondents appear to be evaluating their most trusted sources on a weekly basis. The third segment of the first question asks the respondents to identify the frequency with which they use political information from their employers.
The second main question that is critical in this report relates to how employers share political information with their employees. This question seeks to understand employees’ satisfaction with the way employers share political information with them, and what employees wish to see their employers do about political information. Majority of the respondents are satisfied with the way their employers provide political information to them, but they would wish employers to compile weekly and monthly updates on the same.
The third main question focuses its attention on employees’ involvement in political issues. This question aims at establishing whether political information that employers provide to their employees have any significant influence on employees’ involvement in political issues. This is a critical question in this study because of what it seeks to establish. The fourth main question focuses its attention on issues that employers capture in political information. The fifth question focuses its attention on PAC’s activities with an aim of establishing whether employees understand its role in political issues. The last question focuses its attention on the influence that political information that employers provide to employees have on them. Generally, these six main questions are critical as far as the report is concerned; thus, they enhance the credibility of the report on the subject issue.
Description of Sample Design, Sample Size, Sample Bias and Sample Population
In spite of having critical questions that address the subject matter, the report does not indicate the number of research participants that took part in the study. This is in relation to the fact that the report does not highlight this number anywhere in its analysis. As a result, one cannot tell the size of the sample (Ryan, Coughlan, & Cronin, 2007). With regard to sample design used in identifying the research participants, the report does not provide details on this issue as well except indicating that researchers conducted an online survey. No one knows how this survey was conducted because the report does not provide details that point towards that direction. Nevertheless, the report provides some characteristics of the research participants in that it indicates they are employees of BIPAC’s member companies. The report also provides some demographic information of the research participants in that it analyzes them in the first part and provides details regarding their gender and age groups.
With regard to sample bias, it is not possible to determine this factor because the report does not indicate the process that researchers used in selecting the sample. A person does not understand how many research participants were invited to participate in the study. At the same time, if researchers invited research participants to take part in the study, an individual cannot tell the method the researchers used to eliminate research participants from the study in case there was such elimination. An effective report should indicate clearly the method used in selecting the sample population. It should also indicate the criteria used to include or exclude research participants (Boswell, & Cannon, 2011). While this is the case, the report does not address these two issues. This being the case, a person cannot tell whether the research participants were coerced to participate in the study. In other words, an individual cannot tell whether ethical considerations were taken into account in the study.
The Purpose of the Report
From a general viewpoint, the purpose of the marketing research report in question appears to be obvious in that one can determine it from the title of the report. This is in relation to the fact that the title appears to be clear and focused on the subject matter. In addition, the rationale behind the report appears to be well highlighted in the report.
In summary, from the report’s title, the purpose of the marketing research report appears to be evaluating the extent at which employers play critical roles in providing political information to employees through their websites. This purpose appears to be relevant in business because a person would wish to know whether employers could play critical roles in providing such information to their employees. Therefore, from what we have from this report, employers can play critical roles in providing political information to employees (Fernando, 2006). In this respect, employers can play critical roles in providing political information to employees that affect businesses and families.
Summary of Key Findings and Conclusion
With regard to key findings, the report has six of such findings. The first one states that employees still consider employers’ websites to be credible sources of political information for BIPAC’s member companies followed distantly by labor unions and political parties. The second key finding states that majority of the research participants consider political information from their employers to be useful to them. In relation to this finding, a quarter of the respondents acknowledge the fact that this information is useful to them when making political decisions and deciding whether to vote in general elections. The third key finding states that respondents’ involvement in political processes for the period in question increased after they received political information from their employers.
The fourth key finding states that employers’ or association’s websites are the third main sources of political information for employees. This is in relation to the fact that 37 percent of the respondents claim that they visit these websites for political information. The fifth key finding states that employee involvement in political issues contributes to early voting. This practice rose from 15 percent to 32 percent between 2010 and 2012. The sixth and the last key finding states that political information from employers has received considerable appreciation among employees. This is in relation to the fact that only 8 percent of the respondents find no value from it and only one percent of the respondents view this information negatively.
Based on the above key findings, the report concludes that employees now consider employers’ or association’s websites to be credible sources of political information. The report claims that this aspect emanates from the fact that employers rely on government’s website as they provide political information to employees. In relation to this fact, the report observes that employers have tremendous opportunities of covering political issues that affect their jobs and families. The report goes further to observe that there is no reason that demonstrates that this practice can influence employees’ voting behaviors. Accordingly, employers can continue providing political information to employees because BIPAC is positively impacting this practice.
From the above critique, it is evident that the report in question has provided authoritative information on business political involvement for the year 2011-2012. However, this report is weak because of the following reasons. First, the report does not provide critical information regarding data collection process even though it indicates that researchers conducted online survey. Second, the report does not provide information regarding research design used in conducting the study. Third, the report does not provide information regarding the sample size and sampling method used in the study among other things that relate to sample. Fourth, even though one can tell the purpose of the study by evaluating the report’s title, the report does not address this issue in full. Based on these four major reasons among other minor reasons evaluated in the critique, the report is weak even though it provides authoritative information on business political involvement for the year 2011-2012.
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Fernando, A. (2006). Corporate governance: Principles, policies and practices. New Delhi: Pearson Education.
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