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Financial Incentives and Job Performance in the USA Coursework

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Positivism declares scientific research as the only source of accurate knowledge and came out against philosophy as metaphysics (Alexander 2014; Spurling 2013). Positivism is a philosophy of constructive knowledge that rejects theoretical speculation as a means of obtaining information and comprehension. Mill, one of the creators of the identified philosophy, argued that only a collection of sciences gives the right to consider the world as a whole (cited in Hoefnagels 2017; Pearce 2015). Thus, if philosophy is scientific, then it should not attempt to judge the world as a whole. In this connection, the comprehension of truth is possible only on the basis of the coordination of scientific and cognitive activity with ideas on the uniformity of nature, the experimental origin of knowledge, while laws are perceived as repeated sequences (Hughes & Sharrock 2016). Positivism is a new type of philosophy that is designed to solve the problems of systematization, codification of scientific knowledge, and elimination of non-experimental constructions.

The ideas of positivism philosophy were systematically developed by Comte, who considered classical philosophy as the one that lost a rational sense, overcome by the development of modern European science, and, therefore, not having the right to exist (Ryan 2015). Since the main tasks of scientific knowledge based on the principles of an inductive or experimental method are used to identify cause-effect connections, positivism will be used to reveal the role of financial incentives in job performance in the US. The key goal of the proposed research is consistent with the ideas of this philosophy (Aliyu et al. 2014). It is the facts, but not the inexperienced intellectual constructions that will form the answer to research questions (Killam 2013). In addition, positivism states that science has a cumulative nature as a continuous process of accumulating facts about essential properties of the phenomena of nature and culture. In this regard, the proposed research will analyze the effects of fiscal stimulus on job routine aspects in a long-term period.

There are two stances that specify positivism, including ontology and epistemology. The latter is the doctrine of being that acts in the system of philosophy as one of its basic components. As a section of philosophy, ontology studies the fundamental principles of the structure of being, its beginnings, essential forms, properties, and categorical distributions (Walter & Andersen 2013). In its turn, epistemology is a philosophical and methodological discipline in which scientific knowledge is studied, both functioning and development (Yilmaz 2013). The key epistemological problems are the ways knowledge works, the principles of its implementation in practical and theoretical activities, and general tendencies in its acquisition.

Data Collection Methods

For the proposed study, a quantitative method of data collection will be used. In particular, a questionnaire based on open-ended questions will be prepared in advance and offered to participants. The identified method is used to survey a large group of people to obtain empirical information regarding objective or subjective facts (Burns, Bush & Sinha 2014). The survey tool is a questionnaire, which contains instructions for filling in and a list of questions with possible answers, among which a respondent should select the most appropriate one or several answers (Fink 2015). With the help of the questionnaire method, it is possible to obtain a high level of research at the lowest cost (Neuman 2016). Questioning is conducted mainly in cases when it is necessary to reveal people’s opinions on some issues and cover a large number of people in a short period of time.

Among the key advantages of questionnaires, one may note the possibility of obtaining information directly from the participants working for the selected organization or living in one area (Denzin 2017). A survey allows receiving information on a wide range of topics, and it brings to the study a significant number of respondents. Therefore, it is possible to state that the survey allows collecting information from an unlimited number of informants (Fowler 2013; Morse 2016). At the same time, with an anonymous survey, one can get a greater number of truthful and open statements. Even though the mentioned advantages are important and valuable for research studies, some disadvantages should also be clarified.

A method questionnaire provides a collection of information outside the natural situation. In other words, there is the dependence on the representativeness of the choice, the veracity of the answers, the distribution of the elements in the overall sample, and the sampling plan (Brace 2018). Also, any information received in the course of the survey involves some extent of subjectivity associated with the pressure of social approval. For example, about 60 percent of participants may say they will go to the elections, while the actual turnout may be about 20 percent since this activity is considered a socially approved action. The influence of subjective factors such as unwillingness to give truthful answers, haste, and rashness of answers should also be taken into account.

In order to ensure the study’s credibility, random sampling will be applied based on an online platform, which promotes the direct transition of collected data to SPSS programs for further analysis (Ward et al. 2014). The sampling strategy will identify approximately 100 participants namely, workers living in the US and willing to contribute to the study. Such tools as Survey Monkey or any other similar instrument will be used to locate questions, customize them, and then receive relevant answers. It should be emphasized that positivist studies have a high level of reliability, while validity can be verified with the help of pilot surveys, the results of which may be used to adjust questions (Bolarinwa 2015). 30 survey questions will target such issues as employee satisfaction, turnover rates, the presence of burnout, potential impact of each of the financial incentives, the link with non-monetary benefits, and workplace environment.

Data Analysis Technique

Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) is software for analyzing data based on statistical tests. This survey tool improves the accuracy and reliability of surveys. It helps to determine the required sample size, create clear questions, and develop a professional design of the questionnaire (Nardi 2018). Using SPSS, one can build more accurate profiles based on error-cleansed and prepared data collected via the Internet and self-completed questionnaires (Weigold, Weigold & Russell 2013). It is also important as it significantly reduces the time spent on analyzing, interpreting, and representing survey data.

First of all, the collected data will be presented in the form of diagrams, tables, and other representative structures to provide visualization and translate a lot of raw data into meaningful information. Larson‐Hall and Plonsky (2015) state that once the necessary data is gathered, it should be processed and analyzed with the use of SPSS software. Second, for the proposed research, it is necessary to identify statistically significant patterns, determine the statistical distribution of response options, and estimate proximity to the normal distribution. In particular, correlation, multiple regression, and factor analysis tests will be conducted.

Correlation is a statistical indicator of a probabilistic relationship between two variables measured on a quantitative scale. According to Leech, Barrett, and Morgan (2013), the key purpose of multiple regression is to analyze the relationship between several independent variables that are called regressors or predictors, and the dependent variable. One can determine which positions are undervalued (lie below the regression line), which are overestimated (lie above the regression line), and which are considered adequately (Ho 2013). In its turn, factor analysis is a method by which a large number of variables related to existing observations is reduced to a smaller number of independent influencing factors (Yong & Pearce 2013). Thus, the purpose of factor analysis is to find such complex factors that explain as fully as possible the observed relationships between the variables available.

Ethical Considerations

Ethics is rather important for any study as it shapes the framework and guidelines for both researchers and participants. One of the pivotal considerations is the guarantee of confidentiality of personal information that is will be coded to ensure the anonymity of respondents (Bryman 2016; Punch 2014). The second issue is related to the voluntary participation and transparency of analysis. Before the study, every potential respondent will receive a consent form with a detailed description of goals, procedures, and expected outcomes (Babbie 2013; Bryman & Bell 2015). These forms are to be signed in case a person decided to contribute to the research. No deception of any kind will be practiced to ensure the convenience of respondents (Creswell & Creswell 2017). Even though some questions may seem confusing to persons, they will be notified of the need to answer honestly and in a full manner.

Reference List

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Aliyu, AA, Bello, MU, Kasim, R & Martin, D 2014, ‘Positivist and non-positivist paradigm in social science research: conflicting paradigms or perfect partners’, Journal of Manageemnt and Sustainability, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 79-85.

Babbie, ER 2013, The basics of social research, 6th edn, Cengage Learning, Belmont, CA.

Bolarinwa, OA 2015, ‘Principles and methods of validity and reliability testing of questionnaires used in social and health science researches’, Nigerian Postgraduate Medical Journal, vol. 22, no. 4, 195-201.

Brace, I 2018, Questionnaire design: how to plan, structure and write survey material for effective market research, 4th edn, Kogan Page Publishers, London.

Bryman, A 2016, Social research methods, 5th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

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Creswell, JW & Creswell, JD 2017, Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches, 5th edn, Sage, London.

Denzin, NK 2017, The research act: a theoretical introduction to sociological methods, Routledge, New York, NY.

Fink, A 2015, How to conduct surveys: a step-by-step guide, 6th edn, Sage, New York, NY.

Fowler, FJ 2013, Survey research methods, 5th edn, Sage, London.

Ho, R 2013, Handbook of univariate and multivariate data analysis with IBM SPSS, 2nd edn, Chapman and Hall/CRC, New York, NY.

Hoefnagels, M 2017, Research design: the logic of social inquiry, Routledge, New York, NY.

Hughes, JA & Sharrock, WW 2016, The philosophy of social research, 3rd edn, Routledge, London.

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Larson‐Hall, J & Plonsky 2015, ‘Reporting and interpreting quantitative research findings: what gets reported and recommendations for the field’, Language Learning, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 127-159.

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Pearce, T 2015, ‘” Science organized”: positivism and the metaphysical club, 1865–1875’, Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. 76, no. 3, pp. 441-465.

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Ryan, A 2015, ‘Mill and Paternalism by Gregory Claeys, and: Mill on Justice ed. by Leonard Kahn, and: Mill by Frederick Rosen’, Victorian Studies, vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 127-130.

Spurling, L 2013, Phenomenology and the social world: the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty and its relation to the social sciences, Routledge, London.

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Ward, P, Clark, T, Zabriskie & Morris, T 2014, ‘Paper/pencil versus online data collection: an exploratory study’, Journal of Leisure Research, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 84-105.

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Yilmaz, K 2013, ‘Comparison of quantitative and qualitative research traditions: epistemological, theoretical, and methodological differences’, European Journal of Education, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 311-325.

Yong, AG & Pearce, S 2013, ‘A beginner’s guide to factor analysis: focusing on exploratory factor analysis’, Tutorials in Quantitative Methods for Psychology, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 79-94.

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