Applied Research Methods for Business and Management - Job Satisfaction

Essay, 2007

17 Pages, Grade: 69% - B




Literature Review

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs


Research Philosophy

Research Approach

Research Strategy

Data Collection

Analysis of qualitative Data



Ethical Issues


Employee satisfaction is a widely discussed topic in today’s working environment. The author implies the hypothesis that unmotivated employees are not satisfied and therefore will not provide efficient work under which an organisation will suffer. There is a need, especially in the service industry, that employees are enthusiastic, committed and support organisational goals. (Boddy, 2002) “The optimum job design seeks to utilize fully the skills and competencies of individual employees, while devolving maximum responsibility to provide opportunities for decision-making and personal development” (Molander and Winterton, 1994)

Bartol and Martin (1998) define motivation as “the force that energises behaviour, gives direction to behaviour, and underlies the tendency to persist.”

The notion of job satisfaction is one of the most extensively researched topic areas in organisational management as it associates with individual and organisational outcomes. Even though many studies were conducted already in a variety of industries, there seems to be a lack of research amongst seafarers on cruise ships.

According to Testa et al (2004), the cruise industry has been one of the fastest growing industries within the tourism industry and is still growing by 10 % annually. The workforce of a cruise liner often covers up to 100 different nations. This truly multicultural work environment involves a high level of different national and ethnic cultural challenges. Therefore, the researcher will provide, apart form the general strategic and operational literature, a section on the impact of culture on employee motivation.

For this study the researcher will use an inductive approach with a qualitative research design. In order to measure the above mentioned variables in such a unique and complex workplace, the researcher will develop suitable interview questions and conduct interviews with employees working in the cruise market industry.

Literature Review

According to Denscombe (2003), a literature review is “a review of material that already exists on the topic in question. It should demonstrate how the research being reported relates to previous research and, if possible, how it gives rise to particular issues, problems and ideas that the current research addresses.” (Denscombe, 2003, p. 293)

In order to answer the research question, it is important to firstly outline a strategic overview in order to provide the reader a more holistic view of the subject area. The importance of employee motivation will be pointed out on the basis of various theoretical views such as Maslow and Herzberg. The chosen literature will put the research topic in a conceptual and theoretical context.

Porter (1985, cited by De Witt and Meyer, 2004, p.258) states that “competition is the core of success or failure of firms”. Therefore, a company must search for its most favourable position in order to sustain competitive advantage in their industry by considering the factors ‘where to compete’ and ‘how to compete’. Porter assumes that the factors determining industry competitiveness and attractiveness are driven by rather external than internal factors. Porter conducted a theory of five competitive forces (Figure 1) which emphasises all elements that may drive competition in an industry. This model explains the attributes on how to gain competitive advantage in an attractive industry and thus states that opportunities will be higher and threats lower. (Barney, 1991, cited by De Witt and Meyer, 2004)

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: Porter’s Five Forces Model

(Source: The Power of Perfect Strategy,

In contrast to Porter, Barney (1991) recommends that companies gain competitive advantage by exploiting their “internal strength, through responding to environmental opportunities, while neutralizing external threats and avoiding internal weaknesses

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 2: SWOT Analysis


Barney identified three key concepts, which build up sources of sustained competitive advantage (firm resources, competitive advantage and sustained competitive advantage). Firm resources incorporate all assets (physical capital, human capital and organisational capital) controlled by a firm and comprise the strength which they can utilise to implement their strategy. Competitive advantage is gained by a company when it is putting into practice a strategy which is not concurrently being implemented by any other competitor, whereas sustained competitive advantage means that the competitors additionally are not able to duplicate the benefits of the theory. (Barney, 1991)


Excerpt out of 17 pages


Applied Research Methods for Business and Management - Job Satisfaction
University of Sunderland  (Faculty of Business and Law)
Applied Research Methods for Business and Management
69% - B
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
451 KB
Job Satisfaction, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, SWOT, Five Forces Analysis, Cruise Ship Industry, Realism Approach, Deductive Approach
Quote paper
Miriam Mennen (Author), 2007, Applied Research Methods for Business and Management - Job Satisfaction, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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