identify variables related to organizational commitment.

OrganizationalResearch, Analysis and Problem Solving
CompareStudies: A Comparison of QuantitativeVersus Qualitative Methods
May30, 2010
RegentUniversitySchoolof Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship
IntroductionOrganizationalcommitment and leadership retention are significant issues in todays globaleconomy. As business becomes moreglobal, more complex and more fluid, the need for new leaders and a differenttype of leaders becomes more essential (Cormier, 2007, p. 262). Cormier continued Regardless of howaccelerated leadership development programs are, the development and incubationof new leaders takes time, further widening the gap in leadership needed fortoday (p. 262). This paper seeks to examinevariables impacting organizational commitment through utilizing qualitative anda quantitative research studies.Qualitative studies utilize verbal descriptions of phenomena,experiences, or processes inadequately captured by the preconceived conceptsand predefined tools (Kielhofner,2006, p. 327). In quantitative designs, the characteristicbeing studied will be defined, presented, and summarized using numbers (Jonesand Kottler, 2006, p. 11). Finally,these approaches will be compared in relationship to their contributions toidentify variables related to organizational commitment.Qualitative StudyCormier (2007) began by examining the literaturerelated to women in leadership. Theliterature revealed that women are now in leadership roles worldwide and womenare increasingly completing graduate degrees.In the USA, women hold over 50 percent of management and professionalpositions and over 85 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have at least onefemale officer (Cormier, p. 263). Whilethe role of women in leadership has grown, women continue to leave organizations. Cormier identified previous research thatindicated a womans commitment to an organization was negatively impacted bycompeting family roles and many organizations have initiated strategies toaddress this issue. However, Cormieridentified that more recent research published in the Harvard Business Review(Hewlett and Buck Luce, 2005) and FT Magazine (October 2005) shows that womenare currently leaving corporate life because of high levels ofdissatisfaction (p. 263). Due to thenegative impact on organizational commitment, Cormier initiated thisqualitative study to identify retention strategies. The research questionsincluded why do top leaders still feel like outsiders in their organizationsand what strategies will retain and support women in leadership today(Cormier, p. 262).Cormiers (2007) method involvedinterviewing 40 women individually regarding their personal experiences inleadership development. During theinterviews, these women candidly shared their dreams and professionalaspirations and the stories of the challenges they face in their leadershiprole (Cormier, p. 263). The sampleincluded women from the United States and Europe ranging in age from 35 to 60years of age (Cormier). These womenrepresented a variety of organizational settings including health care,technology and manufacturing.Information regarding strategies to establish validity or reliabilitywas not provided (Cormier). One of thelimitations of this study was the Cormier did not provide samples of theinterview questions. Additionally, thisstudy did not incorporate other qualitative research strategies.Results of this qualitative studyindicated a feeling of isolation and not being fully integrated into theorganization as recurring reasons for low organizational commitment (Cormier, 2007). Cormier identified that a feeling ofisolation was related to two sources:not fitting in and a lack of social networks. Examples included the use of all malepronouns, difficulty with communication styles and not prioritizing socialnetworking (Cormier). Based on theresults of this study, Cormier identified ways to improve the organizationalclimate. The first strategy involvedhelping individuals through coaching and mentoring (Cormier). Professional coaching and mentoring programsfor current and emerging women leaders are essential for complementing trainingand development opportunities provided by the organization (Cormier, p. 267). Secondly, Cormier identified the need for ashift to a corporate culture of integration (p. 267). The final organizational change involvedcreating networks and networking opportunities (Cormier, p. 267). Additionally, Cormier identified a changerequired by the women themselves. Womenmust acknowledge the value and necessity of networks to own professionalsuccess, and must prioritize coming together to interrupt their currentisolation (Cormier, p. 268).Cormiers qualitative research study has many limitations with regardsto methodology which will be discussed later but has identified practicalstrategies to address variables related to organizational commitment.The implications for organizationsincluded the need for networking opportunities, the need to engage inactivities to change to corporate culture to integrate women and providecoaching and mentoring opportunities. Networkingopportunities can serve to decrease isolation and is important for business contacts. Leaders typically set the tone oforganizational culture and they must lead the change to a climate ofintegration. Finally, coaching andmentoring provide opportunities for immediate and individualized feedback.Quantitative StudyMadsen,John, and Miller (2005) completed a quantitative study to examine the impact ofwork-family and family-work conflict; and health (physical and mental) onorganizational commitment and other organizational behaviors. A review of previous literature revealed thatwork-family and family-work conflict negatively impact job performance andcommitment (Madsen et. al.). Work-familyconflict was described as the conflict stemming from work and interferingwith family (Madsen et. al., p. 228).Conversely, family-work conflict involved family conflicts negativelyimpacting work. Madsen et. al. utilizedtwo theoretical frameworks, conflict theory and spillover theory. Conflict theory stated experiencingambiguity or conflict within a role will result in an undesirable state(Madsen et. al., p. 227). The spillovertheory can also be broadened to encompass the negative effects high levels ofwork-family conflict or poor mental and physical health can have on variouspositive workplace outcomes (Madsen et.al., p. 227). Previous literature alsorevealed that employees perceptions of poor health have a negative impact onproductivity in a variety of ways (Madsen, et. al.).Madsen, John, and Miller (2005)utilized a sample from four organizations in the state of Utah. Each participant completed 4 surveys andadditional demographics questions (Madsen et. al.). Sampling and methods of distributing thesurveys varied between organizations (Madsen et. al.). One organization distributed surveys to allemployees while another distributed surveys to all employees within sixpredetermined departments (Madsen et. al., p. 266). A third conducted a random sample ofsupervisors, management, and leadership within the organization (Madsen et.al., p. 266). Finally, we selected arandom sample of about two-thirds of all employees for the forth company(Madsen et. al., p. 266). Each surveywas assigned a tracking number in order to maintain confidentiality (Madsen et.al). Of the 758 distributedquestionnaires, 469 were returned; and 464 were deemed usable and included inthe study results for a return rate of over 61 percent (Madsen et. al., p.231).Thisstudy utilized adaptations of existing scales to measure each of the dependentvariables: work-family conflict,family-work conflict, mental health and physical health (Madsen, John andMiller, 2005, p. 230). Independentvariables included: organizationalcommitment, management/leadership relationships, job knowledge and skills, jobdemands, social relations, and readiness for change (Madsen et. al., p. 230). Reliability was reported for each of thescales and only the work-family scale demonstrated poor reliability (Madsen et.al., p. 230). The work-family scale wasconstructed and validated by Carlson et.al. (2000) and included six items ofeighteen items using a five point Likert scale (Madsen et. al., p. 267). This was changed to a seven point scale forthis study (Madsen et. al., p. 267).Validity was established with coefficient alpha ranging from .78 to .87and reliability scores varied from .64 to .41 (Madsen et. al., p. 267). However, reliability for the 6-item scaledropped substantially for the 18-item instrument (Madsen et. al., p. 267). In order to measure organizationalcommitment, a 9-item scale (alpha=.81) was used by Cook and Walls (Madsenet. al., p. 267). To measure readinessfor change a fourteen item scale from McNabb and Sepic (1995) that used a sevenpoint Likert scale was utilized (Madsen et. al., p. 267). The adapted instrument used in this studyhad a Cronbachs alpha of .82 (Madsen et. al., p. 267). The four final scales were adapted fromsubscales within Hanpacherns (1997) Revised Margin in Life instrument tomeasure health, management/leadership relations, job knowledge and skills, jobdemands, and social relations (Madsen et. al., p. 267). Based on the pilot test the alpha scoresranged from .66 to .87 on the subscales (Madsen et. al., p. 267).Pearson correlations were used totest the magnitude and direction of the relationship for the hypotheses (Madsen,John and Miller, 2005, p. 230).Additionally, frequencies, means and standard deviations were used toanalysis demographic results (Madsen et. al.).The first hypothesis confirmed that work to family and family to workconflict were negatively linked to mental health, physical health, andorganizational commitment (Madsen et. al., p. 231). The second hypotheses predicted that therewould be a positive correlation between work to family and family to workconflict and job demands, and this was the case (Madsen et. al., p. 232). The third hypotheses were also confirmedthat mental health and physical health were positively related toorganizational commitment (Madsen et. al., p. 232). The final hypothesis predicted that therewould be a negative correlation between mental health and physical health andjob demands, and this was the case (Madsen et. al., p. 232). Madsens studies support the importance ofprograms and initiatives to manage work-family conflict and to promote physicaland mental health.Strategies to manage work-familyconflict included flexible scheduling options, daycare assistance, andjob-sharing. Each of these allows theemployee to match the demands of family with demands of work. Programs to promote physical and mentalhealth include discount programs to local work out facilities, exercise at workprograms such as walking on lunch hour, and health education and screenopportunities. Many of these suggestionsrequire little economic resources but based on the study by Madsen, John, andMiller (2005) would have significant rewards.Comparison ofApproachesThequalitative and quantitative studies reviewed above contribute significantinformation in identifying variables related to organizational commitment andproviding recommendations for organizational climate. In qualitative study by Cormier (2007), theresearch question, what personal experiences impact organizational commitment,matches to the qualitative style which seeks to indentify and verbally describerelationships using open ended methods (Jonesand Kottler, 2006). However, onedifficulty with this study is that it did not document attempts to control forobserver bias or observer effect (Jones and Kottler). Keilhofner (2006) identified the followingways to enhance the trustworthiness ofdata including: interviewer training,prolong engagement in the field, reflexivity, triangulation, stakeholderchecks, and audit trails (p. 352).Additionally, Cormier utilized a small sample of 40 women but did use avariety of settings including the USA and Europe.Madsen, John, and Millers (2005)fit the quantitative research style by examining narrow, specific hypotheses,using a previously identified framework and presenting the findings using dataanalysis (Jones and Kottler, 2006). However, the study by Madsen et. al.demonstrated issues with sampling and instrumentation which impacts the abilityto generalize the results. Madsenutilized a significant sample size, survey research requires a minimum of 100in each major subgroup (Kielhofner, 2006, p. 522). However, Madsen et. al. utilized anon-randomized sample from a one locality, Utah. Madsen et. al. utilized adapted versions of existing instruments thescale reliabilities were good except for the two work-family conflict scaleswhich was a significant source of data for the two hypotheses related towork-family conflict (p. 234). As aresult, the results of this study must be interpreted cautiously. While this study provided practicalinformation for leaders regarding organizational commitment, not utilizingrigorous sampling and instrumentation limits the ability to generalize theresults of this study.ConclusionAdditional,quantitative and qualitative research studies are required to identifyvariables related to organizational commitment and organizational climate. Both quantitative and qualitative studies canmake important contributions to this body of knowledge. However, the study design must match theresearch question and must be designed to meet the standards for rigorousresearch.
ReferencesCormier, D. (2007). Retainingtop women business leaders: strategies for ending theexodus. Business Strategy Series. 8:262.Retrieved from.umi.com.library.regent.edu/pqdweb?did=1374488651&sid=3&Fmt=3&clientId=3927&RQT=309&VName=PQD”>http://0-proquest.umi.com.library.regent.edu/pqdweb?did=1374488651&sid=3&Fmt=3&clientId=3927&RQT=309&VName=PQD.Jones,P. W., and Kottler, J. A. (2006). UnderstandingResearch: Becoming a competent andcritical consumer. Upper SaddleRiver, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.Keilhofner, G. (2006).Research in OccupationalTherapy: Methods of inquiry forenhancing practice. Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company.Madsen, S., John C.R., & Miller, D. (2005). Work-FamilyConflict and Health: AStudy of workplace, psychological,and behavioral correlates. Journalof Behavioral and Applied Management. 6: 225.Retrieved from.umi.com.library.regent/”>http://0-proquest.umi.com.library.regent.edu/pqdweb?did=1050778571&sid=5&Fmt=4&clientId=3927&RQT=309&VName=PQD. OrganizationalResearch, Analysis and Problem SolvingCompareStudies: A Comparison of QuantitativeVersus Qualitative MethodsMay30, 2010RegentUniversitySchoolof Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship Introduction Organizationalcommitment and leadership retention are significant issues in todays globaleconomy. As business becomes moreglobal, more complex and more fluid, the need for new leaders and a differenttype of leaders becomes more essential (Cormier, 2007, p. 262). Cormier continued Regardless of howaccelerated leadership development programs are, the development and incubationof new leaders takes time, further widening the gap in leadership needed fortoday (p. 262). This paper seeks to examinevariables impacting organizational commitment through utilizing qualitative anda quantitative research studies.Qualitative studies utilize verbal descriptions of phenomena,experiences, or processes inadequately captured by the preconceived conceptsand predefined tools (Kielhofner,2006, p. 327). In quantitative designs, the characteristicbeing studied will be defined, presented, and summarized using numbers (Jonesand Kottler, 2006, p. 11). Finally,these approaches will be compared in relationship to their contributions toidentify variables related to organizational commitment.Qualitative Study Cormier (2007) began by examining the literaturerelated to women in leadership. Theliterature revealed that women are now in leadership roles worldwide and womenare increasingly completing graduate degrees.In the USA, women hold over 50 percent of management and professionalpositions and over 85 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have at least onefemale officer (Cormier, p. 263). Whilethe role of women in leadership has grown, women continue to leave organizations. Cormier identified previous research thatindicated a womans commitment to an organization was negatively impacted bycompeting family roles and many organizations have initiated strategies toaddress this issue. However, Cormieridentified that more recent research published in the Harvard Business Review(Hewlett and Buck Luce, 2005) and FT Magazine (October 2005) shows that womenare currently leaving corporate life because of high levels ofdissatisfaction (p. 263). Due to thenegative impact on organizational commitment, Cormier initiated thisqualitative study to identify retention strategies. The research questionsincluded why do top leaders still feel like outsiders in their organizationsand what strategies will retain and support women in leadership today(Cormier, p. 262). Cormiers (2007) method involvedinterviewing 40 women individually regarding their personal experiences inleadership development. During theinterviews, these women candidly shared their dreams and professionalaspirations and the stories of the challenges they face in their leadershiprole (Cormier, p. 263). The sampleincluded women from the United States and Europe ranging in age from 35 to 60years of age (Cormier). These womenrepresented a variety of organizational settings including health care,technology and manufacturing.Information regarding strategies to establish validity or reliabilitywas not provided (Cormier). One of thelimitations of this study was the Cormier did not provide samples of theinterview questions. Additionally, thisstudy did not incorporate other qualitative research strategies. Results of this qualitative studyindicated a feeling of isolation and not being fully integrated into theorganization as recurring reasons for low organizational commitment (Cormier, 2007). Cormier identified that a feeling ofisolation was related to two sources:not fitting in and a lack of social networks. Examples included the use of all malepronouns, difficulty with communication styles and not prioritizing socialnetworking (Cormier). Based on theresults of this study, Cormier identified ways to improve the organizationalclimate. The first strategy involvedhelping individuals through coaching and mentoring (Cormier). Professional coaching and mentoring programsfor current and emerging women leaders are essential for complementing trainingand development opportunities provided by the organization (Cormier, p. 267). Secondly, Cormier identified the need for ashift to a corporate culture of integration (p. 267). The final organizational change involvedcreating networks and networking opportunities (Cormier, p. 267). Additionally, Cormier identified a changerequired by the women themselves. Womenmust acknowledge the value and necessity of networks to own professionalsuccess, and must prioritize coming together to interrupt their currentisolation (Cormier, p. 268).Cormiers qualitative research study has many limitations with regardsto methodology which will be discussed later but has identified practicalstrategies to address variables related to organizational commitment. The implications for organizationsincluded the need for networking opportunities, the need to engage inactivities to change to corporate culture to integrate women and providecoaching and mentoring opportunities. Networkingopportunities can serve to decrease isolation and is important for business contacts. Leaders typically set the tone oforganizational culture and they must lead the change to a climate ofintegration. Finally, coaching andmentoring provide opportunities for immediate and individualized feedback.Quantitative Study Madsen,John, and Miller (2005) completed a quantitative study to examine the impact ofwork-family and family-work conflict; and health (physical and mental) onorganizational commitment and other organizational behaviors. A review of previous literature revealed thatwork-family and family-work conflict negatively impact job performance andcommitment (Madsen et. al.). Work-familyconflict was described as the conflict stemming from work and interferingwith family (Madsen et. al., p. 228).Conversely, family-work conflict involved family conflicts negativelyimpacting work. Madsen et. al. utilizedtwo theoretical frameworks, conflict theory and spillover theory. Conflict theory stated experiencingambiguity or conflict within a role will result in an undesirable state(Madsen et. al., p. 227). The spillovertheory can also be broadened to encompass the negative effects high levels ofwork-family conflict or poor mental and physical health can have on variouspositive workplace outcomes (Madsen et.al., p. 227). Previous literature alsorevealed that employees perceptions of poor health have a negative impact onproductivity in a variety of ways (Madsen, et. al.). Madsen, John, and Miller (2005)utilized a sample from four organizations in the state of Utah. Each participant completed 4 surveys andadditional demographics questions (Madsen et. al.). Sampling and methods of distributing thesurveys varied between organizations (Madsen et. al.). One organization distributed surveys to allemployees while another distributed surveys to all employees within sixpredetermined departments (Madsen et. al., p. 266). A third conducted a random sample ofsupervisors, management, and leadership within the organization (Madsen et.al., p. 266). Finally, we selected arandom sample of about two-thirds of all employees for the forth company(Madsen et. al., p. 266). Each surveywas assigned a tracking number in order to maintain confidentiality (Madsen et.al). Of the 758 distributedquestionnaires, 469 were returned; and 464 were deemed usable and included inthe study results for a return rate of over 61 percent (Madsen et. al., p.231). Thisstudy utilized adaptations of existing scales to measure each of the dependentvariables: work-family conflict,family-work conflict, mental health and physical health (Madsen, John andMiller, 2005, p. 230). Independentvariables included: organizationalcommitment, management/leadership relationships, job knowledge and skills, jobdemands, social relations, and readiness for change (Madsen et. al., p. 230). Reliability was reported for each of thescales and only the work-family scale demonstrated poor reliability (Madsen et.al., p. 230). The work-family scale wasconstructed and validated by Carlson et.al. (2000) and included six items ofeighteen items using a five point Likert scale (Madsen et. al., p. 267). This was changed to a seven point scale forthis study (Madsen et. al., p. 267).Validity was established with coefficient alpha ranging from .78 to .87and reliability scores varied from .64 to .41 (Madsen et. al., p. 267). However, reliability for the 6-item scaledropped substantially for the 18-item instrument (Madsen et. al., p. 267). In order to measure organizationalcommitment, a 9-item scale (alpha=.81) was used by Cook and Walls (Madsenet. al., p. 267). To measure readinessfor change a fourteen item scale from McNabb and Sepic (1995) that used a sevenpoint Likert scale was utilized (Madsen et. al., p. 267). The adapted instrument used in this studyhad a Cronbachs alpha of .82 (Madsen et. al., p. 267). The four final scales were adapted fromsubscales within Hanpacherns (1997) Revised Margin in Life instrument tomeasure health, management/leadership relations, job knowledge and skills, jobdemands, and social relations (Madsen et. al., p. 267). Based on the pilot test the alpha scoresranged from .66 to .87 on the subscales (Madsen et. al., p. 267). Pearson correlations were used totest the magnitude and direction of the relationship for the hypotheses (Madsen,John and Miller, 2005, p. 230).Additionally, frequencies, means and standard deviations were used toanalysis demographic results (Madsen et. al.).The first hypothesis confirmed that work to family and family to workconflict were negatively linked to mental health, physical health, andorganizational commitment (Madsen et. al., p. 231). The second hypotheses predicted that therewould be a positive correlation between work to family and family to workconflict and job demands, and this was the case (Madsen et. al., p. 232). The third hypotheses were also confirmedthat mental health and physical health were positively related toorganizational commitment (Madsen et. al., p. 232). The final hypothesis predicted that therewould be a negative correlation between mental health and physical health andjob demands, and this was the case (Madsen et. al., p. 232). Madsens studies support the importance ofprograms and initiatives to manage work-family conflict and to promote physicaland mental health. Strategies to manage work-familyconflict included flexible scheduling options, daycare assistance, andjob-sharing. Each of these allows theemployee to match the demands of family with demands of work. Programs to promote physical and mentalhealth include discount programs to local work out facilities, exercise at workprograms such as walking on lunch hour, and health education and screenopportunities. Many of these suggestionsrequire little economic resources but based on the study by Madsen, John, andMiller (2005) would have significant rewards.Comparison ofApproaches Thequalitative and quantitative studies reviewed above contribute significantinformation in identifying variables related to organizational commitment andproviding recommendations for organizational climate. In qualitative study by Cormier (2007), theresearch question, what personal experiences impact organizational commitment,matches to the qualitative style which seeks to indentify and verbally describerelationships using open ended methods (Jonesand Kottler, 2006). However, onedifficulty with this study is that it did not document attempts to control forobserver bias or observer effect (Jones and Kottler). Keilhofner (2006) identified the followingways to enhance the trustworthiness ofdata including: interviewer training,prolong engagement in the field, reflexivity, triangulation, stakeholderchecks, and audit trails (p. 352).Additionally, Cormier utilized a small sample of 40 women but did use avariety of settings including the USA and Europe. Madsen, John, and Millers (2005)fit the quantitative research style by examining narrow, specific hypotheses,using a previously identified framework and presenting the findings using dataanalysis (Jones and Kottler, 2006). However, the study by Madsen et. al.demonstrated issues with sampling and instrumentation which impacts the abilityto generalize the results. Madsenutilized a significant sample size, survey research requires a minimum of 100in each major subgroup (Kielhofner, 2006, p. 522). However, Madsen et. al. utilized anon-randomized sample from a one locality, Utah. Madsen et. al. utilized adapted versions of existing instruments thescale reliabilities were good except for the two work-family conflict scaleswhich was a significant source of data for the two hypotheses related towork-family conflict (p. 234). As aresult, the results of this study must be interpreted cautiously. While this study provided practicalinformation for leaders regarding organizational commitment, not utilizingrigorous sampling and instrumentation limits the ability to generalize theresults of this study.Conclusion Additional,quantitative and qualitative research studies are required to identifyvariables related to organizational commitment and organizational climate. Both quantitative and qualitative studies canmake important contributions to this body of knowledge. However, the study design must match theresearch question and must be designed to meet the standards for rigorousresearch.ReferencesCormier, D. (2007). Retainingtop women business leaders: strategies for ending the exodus. Business Strategy Series. 8:262.Retrieved from.umi.com.library.regent.edu/pqdweb?did=1374488651&sid=3&Fmt=3&clientId=3927&RQT=309&VName=PQD”>http://0-proquest.umi.com.library.regent.edu/pqdweb?did=1374488651&sid=3&Fmt=3&clientId=3927&RQT=309&VName=PQD. Jones,P. W., and Kottler, J. A. (2006). UnderstandingResearch: Becoming a competent andcritical consumer. Upper SaddleRiver, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. Keilhofner, G. (2006).Research in OccupationalTherapy: Methods of inquiry forenhancing practice. Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company.Madsen, S., John C.R., & Miller, D. (2005). Work-FamilyConflict and Health: A Study of workplace, psychological,and behavioral correlates. Journalof Behavioral and Applied Management. 6: 225.Retrieved from.umi.com.library.regent/”>http://0-proquest.umi.com.library.regent.edu/pqdweb?did=1050778571&sid=5&Fmt=4&clientId=3927&RQT=309&VName=PQD.

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