Workplace diversity, as a global organisational phenomenon, has captured the attention of researchers, experts and opinion makers in different fields of science (Mahadevan & Mayer 2017; de Aquino & Robertson 2017; Profili, Sammarra & Innocenti 2017; Chin & Trimble 2014; Hays-Thomas 2016; Triana 2017). Diversity in the workplace has also been discussed in different seminars, conferences and training workshops, as alluded in the works of Atyah (2015).
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Many of these training courses strive to explain how to promote organisational diversity, while consultancy companies have taken a proactive role to provide advice to managers on how to improve group dynamics and intergenerational productivity (Atyah 2015; Crowley, Payne & Kennedy 2014).
It is important to understand the concept of workplace diversity in today’s workplace environment because several social, political and economic forces are influencing employee satisfaction. For example, in America, millions of immigrants have found placement in several industries as employees. They have unique needs and preferences, which could ultimately affect how they perform (Atyah 2015). In other western counties, like Canada and Australia, many illegal immigrants are employed as casual or semi-skilled labourers (Atyah 2015).
These employees often come with different skill sets, cultural orientations, beliefs and norms about their jobs, based on their ages or places of origin (Duntley-Matos et al. 2017). Generally, the effects of these differences in values vary across different regions, but age variation is a universal problem for many companies because few organisations employ people from only one age group (de Aquino & Robertson 2017; Profili, Sammarra & Innocenti 2017; Chin & Trimble 2014).
Relative to the above assertion, Gelbtuch and Morlan (2016) note that “each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one before it and wiser than the one that comes after it” (p. 1). This statement manifests the challenge that most organisations will have to tackle in today’s workplace environment, which could be characterised by the presence of up to five generations in the workplace (Gelbtuch & Morlan 2016).
If each generation thinks of itself as smarter than their predecessors do, it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile their value predispositions to create one team to achieve organisational goals (Sharma & Bajpai 2014). The multiplicity of different generations in the workplace has been associated with a great potential for progress and employee frustrations (Duntley-Matos et al. 2017). This dichotomy of results has birthed the need to create intergenerational synergy in the workplace.
Intergenerational synergy is a concept that has been highlighted by several researchers to signify the need to bring people from different generations together (Mahadevan & Mayer 2017; de Aquino & Robertson 2017; Profili, Sammarra & Innocenti 2017; Chin & Trimble 2014; Hays-Thomas 2016; Triana 2017). Relative to this assertion, intergenerational programs often strive to educate and support different cohorts of employees to create one team to achieve organisational goals.
An increasingly growing number of ageing employees and the advent of Millennials in the workplace environment poses a problem for many organisations because of gaps in the creation of intergenerational synergy (Bolser & Gosciej 2015). In today’s age of economic uncertainty and the quest by organisations to become leaner and more efficient, organisations around the world are struggling to actively engage multigenerational leaders to address this pressing problem (Bolser & Gosciej 2015). Based on this background, this report is a research proposal to improve intergenerational synergy among employees of the Marriott group of Hotels.
Aims and Objectives of the Research
For a long time, intergenerational synergy has been studied as a human resource issue affecting teamwork or employee performance in an organisation (Chuang, Jackson & Jiang 2016). Many researchers who have investigated this issue have done so without a proper context of analysis. Furthermore, they have not effectively considered unique regional or organisational dynamics that could affect how employees communicate or even solve intergenerational conflicts.
The shreds of evidence available, which have delved into understanding intergenerational synergy have been descriptive and non-industry specific (Chuang, Jackson & Jiang 2016). Therefore, there is ambiguity regarding what strategies managers should use to promote intergenerational synergy in the workplace (Chuang, Jackson & Jiang 2016).
Particularly, there is a need to understand how to promote intergenerational synergy in the hospitality industry because it is among the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Furthermore, since it is a service-oriented business, it is increasingly important for multinational companies operating within the sector to make sure their employees meet customer needs, regardless of their personal differences or value propositions.
Atyah (2015) shares this view by saying that one of the most common characteristics of large organisations is the diversity of skills or labour. This diversity exists because such organisations have people with various characteristics, including age, gender, nationality, religion and the likes. Therefore, it is important to understand the methods for facilitating knowledge sharing in such organisations because it aids in their proper functioning. However, intergenerational learning is a poorly investigated concept, at least from an empirical point of view (Sprinkle & Urick 2018).
To promote intergenerational synergy among employees at the Marriott Hotel Chain. The objectives are outlined below.
- To explore key communication strategies that could be used to promote intergenerational synergy among employees of the Marriott Hotel Chain.
- To describe the differences in work ethic among different generations of employees at the Marriott Hotel.
- To find out how to proactively prevent intergenerational conflicts among different employees of the Marriott Hotel.
- To identify strategies for improving teamwork among employees of the Marriott Hotel.
The methods for promoting intergenerational synergy have been highlighted by several researchers such as Parry (2014), Byrd and Scott (2014). At the same time, the advantages of intergenerational synergy have not only been demonstrated in the business field or in studies that have focused on organisational behaviours; researchers have proven that it also portends great benefits to businesses or organisations, which are in other sectors as well.
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For example, a study by McQuaid et al. (2017) showed that intergenerational synergy helped to create an increased utility of diverse forms of creative strategies. The study was developed after investigating how intergenerational communication could be used to increase civic engagement in Jinja, Uganda (McQuaid et al. 2017). The overall research proved that intergenerational synergy helped to improve the effectiveness and productivity of participant-led campaigns to share knowledge regarding environmental protection (McQuaid et al. 2017).
In line with the above views, the proposed study will be significant because Amos and Klimoski (2014) say that leaders and managers who fail to address intergenerational differences in their workplaces could suffer from several negative outcomes including low productivity, high rates of employee turnover and high levels of employee dissatisfaction. Therefore, by understanding how to improve intergenerational diversity at the Marriott Hotel chain, its managers would be better equipped to make important decisions regarding their human resource practices.
Such information would also be useful in policy formulation because the managers would similarly be better able to understand how to solve some of the inherent problems associated with the lack of intergenerational synergies, such as conflict resolution, at the hotel.
Lastly, the findings of the proposed study would expand the volume of literature regarding workplace diversity in the hospitality industry. Particularly, the information obtained from the proposed investigation would be relevant to understanding how multinational companies in the hospitality industry could better harness the potential that exists in their human resources to improve their competitive positions. These insights would also contribute towards promoting generational diversity in the workplace, as a force to propel organisational success and not a demographic liability.
The contributions of the proposed study’s findings to the fields of hospitality and accounting are partly highlighted by Sprinkle and Urick (2018) who say that improved learning will only occur in organisations where there is a targeted strategy for employee socialisation. The researchers also say that most organisations, which benefit from intergenerational diversity, have to respond well to new trends and preferences through developmental programs (Sprinkle & Urick 2018). Here, the managers of the Marriott group of hotels could leverage multiple approaches, including formal or informal initiatives, such as on-the-job training or mentorship programs to improve their performance (Sprinkle & Urick 2018).
Although the insights highlighted in this section of the report point to the need for organisations to understand the context-specific factors affecting workplace performance, the proposed study will drive the agenda of understanding why intergenerational synergy is important in professional development and management. Indeed, although employee engagement is generally an important tool for many organisations to improve their competitive positions, those operating in the hospitality industry, such as the Marriott hotel chain, are vulnerable because the industry is primarily service-driven.
Therefore, when organisational synergy is realised, employees will create a “personality” of the company, which could be used as a competitive tool. Therefore, what will be known from the proposed research is how well these strategies will work to promote collaboration across different generational cohorts at the Marriott Group of hotels.
The main motivator for undertaking the proposed study is to provide a context-specific analysis of how to promote intergenerational synergy at the hotel Chain. By using this approach, it would be easy to answer the research questions, which are centred on exploring key communication strategies for promoting intergenerational synergy, describing differences in work ethic among different generations of workers, finding out how to proactively prevent intergenerational conflicts and identifying strategies for improving teamwork among employees of the Marriott Hotel chain.
Differences Among Generations
Many studies suggest that generations of workers are motivated by different value systems, which cause gaps in the realisation of organisational synergy. For example, there is a belief that younger generations are not as hardworking as older ones. A study by Pyöriä et al. (2017) investigated this assumption. Using the Statistics Finland’s Quality of Work Life Survey to gather data in a longitudinal study that spanned from 1984 to 2013, the researchers asserted that there have been no major differences in how different generations value work (Pyöriä et al. 2017).
However, Pyöriä et al. (2017) pointed out that the importance of leisure and family life has increased among younger generations (Millennials). Overall, the findings suggested that older generations do not value work more than Millennials do (Pyöriä et al. 2017).
In a different study, authored by Woodward and Vongswadsi (2017), which sought to investigate differences in communication strategies among different generations, found that there was a convergence of strategies for three types of generations – baby boomers, generation X and generation Y. Their study also suggested that the generational differences are nuanced (Woodward & Vongswadsi 2017). Therefore, the overall assumption is that there is not much difference in how different generations conduct their work.
Although several researchers have pointed out that generational differences pose a significant workplace challenge in today’s global economy, some researchers have expressed their concern with this characterisation. For example, Lyons et al. (2015) say they have a problem with how some people stereotype members of a specific age group. They also say that the influences that purportedly shape a generation may not apply to any specific member of the group (Lyons et al. 2015).
In this regard, they believe that the construct of the concept of a “generation” is flawed. They further point out that if the construct of generational stereotypes were to be left as they are, it would amount to generational determinism (Lyons et al. 2015). The logic behind this argument is that certain demographics, such as birth, would determine how people behave in an organisation.
Lyons and Kuron (2014), who investigated generational differences in the workplace by analysing several variables, including personality, work values and employee attitudes, also highlight these concerns. The results showed that time lags and the effects of cross-temporal meta-analytics undermined the proof of concept that generational diversity, as an operational construct, could have on organisational productivity (Lyons & Kuron 2014).
Relative to the above arguments, researchers say that generations are not inherently monolithic and that they are more complex than the mere determinism that people who are born within a specific time should behave in a specific way (Lyons & Kuron 2014). In this regard, within each generational cohort, there are people who oppose, agree with, or are neutral about the broader generational consciousness (Lyons et al. 2015).
Causes of Conflict
Urick et al. (2016) pointed out that intergenerational conflicts were a common problem for many organisations. In line with this observation, the researchers sought to find out the nature, causes and strategies for managing conflict in the workplace. To accomplish this goal, the researchers conducted two qualitative empirical studies (Urick et al. 2016). Their findings revealed that most of the conflicts affecting the workplace were identity-based, behavioural-based and value-based.
These issues were identified after the researchers pointed out that most of the differences affecting the generations studied were based on differences in how the organisations pursued its operational strategies (Urick et al. 2016). In line with this observation, the researchers pointed out that the differences in strategies were based on whether the generations were motivated by the need to pursue achievement, satisfy their egos, or protect their images (Urick et al. 2016).
In a different study, Milligan (2016) investigated the experiences of managers and supervisors concerning managing an intergenerational workforce. Data were collected from 20 employees who worked in several retail stores around Virginia and it was established that the main cause of the intergenerational conflict was the lack of skills among management to promote intergenerational synergy (Milligan 2016). Particularly, the researchers established that poor communication was a source of weakness in the management of a multigenerational workforce (Milligan 2016).
In a study to investigate intergenerational conflict in the US airline sector, it was established that the imposition of a retirement age on older employees created conflict between younger and more experienced pilots (Fraher 2017). At the same time, Fraher (2017) also observed that the imposition of a retirement age created a competitive environment for the scarce resources in the organisations sampled. Fraher (2017) developed these findings after undertaking 43 semi-structured interviews with junior pilots and captains.
In a different study, authored by Cannon and Kendig (2018), perceptions of intergeneration conflict were assessed relative to the views of Millennials and how they understood the existence of conflict in the workplace environment. The findings suggested that most people believed that younger employees had limited opportunities for career growth and development compared to their older counterparts (Cannon & Kendig 2018).
Here, the analysis was mainly limited to comparing perceptions of intergenerational conflict between Millennials and baby boomers (Cannon & Kendig 2018). Regarding intergenerational conflict, the researchers argued that there was generally a low perception of conflict among the generations studied (Cannon & Kendig 2018). However, they also noted that younger generations were more likely to perceive the existence of intergenerational conflict compared to older workers (Cannon & Kendig 2018).
Creating Intergenerational Synergy
Based on an acknowledged need to promote intergenerational synergy in the workplace, different researchers have tried to come up with unique ways to increase collaboration among intergenerational teams. For example, in a study conducted by Bratianu and Leon (2015) to identify and analyse the main strategies used by universities to promote intergenerational synergy, it was established that these higher institutions of education use a nested organisation structure to promote intergenerational learning (Bratianu & Leon 2015).
Within this nested structure, it was also established that the organisations prefer to use mentoring, intergenerational workshops and the creation of intergenerational teams to improve the synergy of different groups of employees in the institutions (Bratianu & Leon 2015). These findings were developed after the researchers conducted interviews and surveys on students from different universities (Bratianu & Leon 2015). At the same time, data were also collected through literature search and content analysis techniques (Bratianu & Leon 2015).
Researchers have also proposed knowledge sharing as a tool for achieving employee harmony (Bricic & Mihelix 2015). Stated differently, they say the benefits of knowledge sharing can only be achieved if employees share information effectively (Bricic & Mihelix 2015). Bricic and Mihelix (2015) further draw our attention to the need to understand knowledge sharing among different generations of employees because each one of them has unique competencies.
To understand how to encourage employees to communicate effectively across the generational divide, Bricic and Mihelix (2015) analysed several individual factors – motivation, communication, collaboration and willingness. After sampling the views of 268 respondents, the researchers found that there was a positive relationship between employees’ willingness to communicate and the motivation to do so (Bricic & Mihelix 2015). The researchers also pointed out that communication and collaboration had an insignificant relationship.
The conceptual framework for the proposed study is the theory of generations. The theory was developed by Karl Mannheim in the late 1920s to explain generational diversity in the workplace (Muller-Schwarze 2014). The theory introduces the concept of social-historical events, which stem from common and shared historical experiences influencing people’s norms and values (Muller-Schwarze 2014). However, the theory does not assume that people’s views are homogeneous because its recognises class, cultural and regional differences as having a secondary effect on how people process historical events (Meja & Kettler 2017).
Broadly, the theory of generations presupposes that the events that happen in someone’s youth influence how they view organisational dynamics and personal relationships (Muller-Schwarze 2014). One of the main criticisms of this theory is that lacks a broader historical and cultural context (Pilcher 2017).
The theory of generations will be used to understand how intergenerational synergy can be fostered in organisations. In line with this vision, the conceptual framework will be based on the need to understand generational differences and the importance of diversity management in organisations. The concepts of diversity management and generational differences may not seem related, but they will help to highlight the nature of generational differences across different age-sets as well as how to manage each group to promote workplace diversity.
Most of the pieces of pieces of literature sampled in this review are largely descriptive. This finding aligns with the works of Lyons and Kuron (2014), which show that most of the literature on intergenerational synergy in the workplace published in the last five years remain largely descriptive. Therefore, there is a need to provide a focused understanding of how to promote intergenerational synergy in the workplace. Concentrating on the Marriott Group of Hotels will provide such focus. The proposed structure for the final dissertation is as follows:
- Chapter 1: Introduction
- Background to the Study
- Research Gap
- Research Aim and Objectives
- Significance of Study
- Chapter 2: Literature Review
- Chapter 3: Methodology
- Research Philosophy
- Research Methods
- Research Design
- Data Collection Methods
- Sampling Criteria
- Data Analysis Methods
- Chapter 4: Research Findings and Analysis
- Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations
A list of the literatures to be read appears below.
- Al-Asfour and Lettau (2014)
- Amayah and Gedro (2014)
- Chawla, Dokadia and Rai (2017)
- Costanza and Finkelstein (2015)
Research Paradigm and Overall Approach
According to Addae and Quan-Baffour (2015), research studies often have three major dimensions: ontology, epistemology and methodology. Based on these dimensions, research paradigms are used to contextualise these dimensions by referencing an all-encompassing system of practice and thinking that is interrelated to create a comprehensive assessment of a research issue (Addae & Quan-Baffour 2015).
Antwi and Hamza (2015) classify research paradigms into three key groups: critical post-modernism, positivism and interpretivism. These three types of research paradigms are instrumental to the development of the proposed study because they are related to the qualitative research method, which will form the baseline for the execution of the research methods, which will be used to answer the research questions. The diagram below outlines their relation with the qualitative research method.
Based on figure 1 above, the main research paradigm that will guide the proposed study is the interpretive paradigm. It presupposes that people have their unique experiences about the world (Thanh & Thanh 2015). Since everybody processes their experiences uniquely, their views are also unique in the same manner (Antwi & Hamza 2015). Here, there are no right or wrong theories for understanding intergenerational synergy in the workplace; instead, the researcher will assess each construct identified in the research process based on how well they help to answer the research questions. Therefore, within this interpretive understanding of employee behaviour, knowledge and meaning will be subject to the researcher’s interpretation (Maali & Jaara 2014).
The implication of adopting this research paradigm is that an intersubjective epistemology will be adopted within the broader understanding of the reality of employees pertaining to their work experiences as socially constructed from their own experiences.
This research paradigm aligns with the nature and purpose of the proposed study, which is to promote intergenerational synergy among employees at the Marriott Hotel Chain. The research paradigm aligns with this aim because the creation of synergy among employees is a variable of how workers perceive their colleagues’ inputs. For example, the perception of generation X towards baby boomers is a construct of their views regarding what they believe motivates the Baby Boomer generation to perform well.
Similarly, the perception of the Baby Boomer generation towards Millennials is also a construct of their views regarding what motivates this generation and how they could align their views with values that promote success.
Therefore, the implication of using the interpretive research approach in the proposed study is enshrined in the fact that it would be used to understand the subjective experiences of Marriott employees towards their colleagues, from an intergenerational perspective (Kivunja & Kiyuni 2017).
Since the interpretive paradigm is subjective, it offers a boundless approach to answering the research questions, which are centred on exploring key communication strategies for promoting intergenerational synergy, describing differences in work ethic among different generations of workers, finding out how to proactively prevent intergenerational conflicts and identifying strategies for improving teamwork among employees of the Marriott Hotel chain.
Data will be collected from employees of the Marriott group of hotels. Emphasis will be made to recruit senior employees of the human resource division of the company because they are more knowledgeable about employee workplace dynamics compared to other groups of professionals in the hotel. The researcher intends to interview 11 respondents through telephone interviews. Telephone interviews are selected as the preferred mode of communication because of the geographical barriers that separate the researcher from the respondents.
In addition, it would be difficult to travel to the respondents’ destinations of work to conduct the interviews. Scheduling discrepancies could pose a barrier in this regard. Therefore, telephone interviews emerge as a better way of conducting the interviews because they increase the odds of the researcher having a conversation with the respondents (Brayda & Boyce 2014; Pelzang & Hutchinson 2018).
Several researchers have highlighted the advantages of telephone interviews in collecting qualitative data, especially in conducting market research (Drabble et al. 2016; Brayda & Boyce 2014; Pelzang & Hutchinson 2018). Others compare its usefulness to innovative data collection methods used today, such as web surveys and emails (Brayda & Boyce 2014; Pelzang & Hutchinson 2018). One of the proven advantages of using telephone interviews as a data collection instrument in the proposed study is its high response rate (Grant 2017).
Similarly, since the researcher is targeting senior employees of the Marriott Hotel chain, the telephone interview technique will emerge as a tool for expediting the data collection process because the interviews can be completed quickly. Its potential to reach respondents across a wide geographical area has already been highlighted in this study and is supported by researchers, such as Liebenberg (2018) and Grant (2017).
The greatest limitation of this data collection method is that the questions posed to the respondents cannot be too succinct to the extent that the respondents deem them complex (Barwin et al. 2015). There is also a widespread aversion to telephone calls as a data collection method because of telemarketers. However, this limitation will be overcome with the sampling strategy highlighted below.
The snowball sampling technique will be used to recruit the respondents. According to TenHouten (2017) and Taherdoost (2016), the snowball sampling technique is a non-probability sampling method, which allows researchers to recruit their respondents from the acquaintances of the initial respondents. This type of sampling procedure is ordinarily used to get data from “hidden” populations (TenHouten 2017; Taherdoost 2016).
The difficulty of getting access to senior employees of the Marriott hotel manifests such a challenge because it would be difficult to contact them without prior knowledge of their schedules or activities. Therefore, the ability to locate “hidden” populations is one advantage of the snowball sampling method and it will be beneficial to the researcher because it would allow for the inclusion of respondents who would have otherwise been unreachable in the study (Naderifar, Goli & Ghaljaie 2017).
Another justification for using this sampling method is its ability to locate respondents who have specific knowledge (Kirchherr & Charles 2018). The research questions that will be investigated in this study require respondents who have a specific set of knowledge, skills and understanding about intergenerational workplace behaviours at the Marriott Hotel. The snowball sampling method will be employed to target this population.
The greatest criticism of this sampling method is the huge impact that the first few respondents interviewed will have on the quality of information (Kirchherr & Charles 2018). Stated differently, the quality of participants who will take part in the study will be largely influenced by the type of initial respondents contacted. Therefore, the researcher will only contact reliable members of staff. Nonetheless, the snowball sampling method is selected for the proposed study because of its immense benefits to the collection of reliable data from skilled employees (Marcus et al. 2017).
Nature of Data to Be Collected
The data that will be collected in the proposed study will be qualitative in nature. This type of data will be sourced from the respondents because, as mentioned in earlier sections of this study, the interview method will be used as the main data collection instrument. The qualitative data will be subjective in nature and they will align with the interpretive paradigm highlighted in earlier sections of this report. To recap, the interpretive paradigm allows researchers to develop their unique understanding of the data collected, relative to the individual perspectives of the respondents sampled (Fraser 2014). Thus, the qualitative data that will be collected in the study will represent the views of the respondents sampled.
Since the data collection process will be done over the phone, no physical observations will be made in the study. However, the respondents’ tone of engagement will be noted to review key areas of emphasis that need to be highlighted at the end of the study. The questions that the respondents will be designed to answer the research questions and fulfil the overall research aim of the study.
To recap, the research questions will centre on exploring key communication strategies for promoting intergenerational synergy, describing differences in work ethic among different generations of workers, finding out how to proactively prevent intergenerational conflicts and identifying strategies for improving teamwork among employees of the Marriott hotel chain. The research questions for the respondents will follow an interview protocol that is highlighted in the appendix section (see appendix 1)
As highlighted in earlier sections of this paper, the researcher will collect qualitative data from the respondents. This data will be analysed using the thematic and coding methods. As its name suggests, thematic analysis technique will be used to assess the data based on the emergence of unique themes of analysis. These themes would later be used to analyse aspects of the research topic, including providing the insights needed to make definitive conclusions about the research questions. As opposed to only summarising the information presented in the research, the thematic analysis method would be used to make sense of the information provided by the respondents.
The thematic technique involves the identification of unique themes in the study and coding them using numerical methods (Cassol et al. 2018). Broadly, the thematic and coding method follows six key steps, which are familiarisation with the data, generating initial codes, searching for themes, reviewing themes, defining themes and writing up the final research report (Maguire & Delahunt 2017). The thematic and coding method will be used in the proposed study because it has been extensively and successfully used to analyse data that was collected using interviews. Researchers such as Wang, Wang and Khalil (2018) have demonstrated its efficacy in this regard.
The thematic analysis method will provide the support needed to implement the conceptual framework for the proposed study, which is the interpretive paradigm. In other words, by using the interpretive paradigm, the researcher will have different interpretations of the research issues and more specifically how the management of the Marriott group of hotels could promote intergenerational synergy in the workplace.
These interpretations will be organised into different themes that would help to answer the research questions. In other words, the researcher will categorise the findings obtained from the respondents into four unique themes that focus on answering the four research questions. The implication of adopting this strategy is that the data, which will be collected from the respondents, will be better aligned with the research questions. Furthermore, the data analysis method chosen for the study will be better focused on the research aim, thereby making sure the information obtained always stays on topic.
Access and Research Ethics
The use of human subjects in research often attracts several ethical issues that researchers have to consider in the management of data and the treatment of respondents. In line with this view, Sanjari et al. (2014) say that in many qualitative research studies, ethical issues often emerge because of the implications of the researcher interacting with the respondents face-to-face. The ethical issues that will emerge in the study are addressed below.
Informed Consent: According to Abubakar et al. (2016), it is imperative for all researchers who use human subjects to seek voluntary informed consent. Similarly, it is important to get this consent because researchers should protect and respect the rights of the informants to participate in the study (Sanjari et al. 2014). All the respondents that will take part in the review will do so voluntarily. In other words, the researcher will provide a voluntary agreement to participate in the study.
In line with this vision, the participants will be furnished with important details pertaining to the investigation, including what it is about, areas of focus, procedures to be undertaken and the purpose for carrying out the research. Therefore, none of the respondents will be coerced or paid to participate in the study. The informants will also be notified that they could withdraw from the investigation without any repercussions.
Treatment of Data: Nowell et al. (2017) posit that the foundation of modern-day science is trust. All the interview transcripts that will be generated from the study will be stored safely in a computer and secured with a password. The implication of adopting this strategy is to minimise the possibility of data manipulation by third parties. Another goal of embracing this strategy is to protect the data from theft or the “leakage” of confidential information relating to the research participants. In line with this vision, after completion of the study, the information will be destroyed.
Anonymity and Confidentiality: Sanjari et al. (2014) say that anonymity and confidentiality are important tenets to the completion of ethical research studies. The information that will be presented in the final report will not reveal the identity of the respondents. In other words, the informants will be notified that the information they provide in the study will not be traced back to them. The aim of doing so is to allow the research participants to speak frankly without feeling that there will be repercussions to sharing their views about the research topic.
As highlighted in this paper, the research questions for the respondents will focus on exploring key communication strategies for promoting intergenerational synergy, describing differences in work ethic among different generations of workers, finding out how to proactively prevent intergenerational conflicts and identifying strategies for improving teamwork among employees of the Marriott hotel chain.
Based on the findings of the literature review highlighted in this proposal, the researcher expects that there would be significant differences in beliefs and values among the Baby Boomer generation and Millennials. Millennials are expected to be working in lower level positions of Marriott Hotel and employees who are in the Baby Boomer generation are expected to be holding senior positions. Based on their differences in work attitudes and behaviours, a generational divide between these two groups could emerge.
Since promoting intergenerational synergy will be a core part of the research proposal, the role of communication is expected to be elevated because effective communication has been highlighted as one of the key strategies for promoting group cohesion in a multigenerational work environment (Paterno 2016). The researcher expects that the role of management in promoting intergenerational synergy will manifest as an important driver for organisational change that will be based on the presumption that a strong and cohesive team is central to the realisation of organisational goals.
The proposed research is expected to be completed in 14 weeks. Within this time, it is expected that seven stages would be completed: refining research objectives, literature, methodology, research design, collecting primary data, analysing the data, discussing the findings and writing the final report. The Gantt chart below explains how these key research processes will be distributed across a 14-week research period.
According to figure 2 above, the most time-consuming process of the research is implementing the methodology. This stage takes a bulk of the time because the researcher will have to make sure that each aspect of the methodology is operationalised and aligned with the aim and objectives of the research to provide a coherent understanding of the project objectives.
The length of time allocated to the completion of this stage is also long because, within this stage of the research, the researcher will arrange to interview the respondents. Since the availability of some of the respondents may be limited, the maximum time is allocated to this stage of data collection.
The process of refining the objectives of the study takes the least time in the research project because this process is already complete and pending institutional approval. A review of the literature is also allocated a short time because this process was partly completed during the process of developing this research proposal. The collection of primary data is allocated two weeks because, as highlighted in earlier sections of this document, telephone interviews are a relatively fast way of data collection. Therefore, it is not anticipated that the data collection process will take a long time.
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