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sub: research in business
You should choose your own project topic and then briefly write a problem statement followed by aim, objectives, sources of secondary data and a brief methodology of the project.
NOTE: pls choose topic narrow ex case study on particular field or industry pls dontchoose topic broad
Please provide an outline of a research project that you intend to use as the basis for your final assessment task 3, full project proposal.You should brieflywrite:
Title of the project(up to 25words)
Abriefstatementoftheproblemthatyouwouldliketoinvestigate; and researchaimandobjectivesthatcansolvetheproblemyouhaveidentified.
Abriefmethodology:Providedetailsabout what type of methodology you will choose such as quantitative or qualitative or mixed methodology;
Clearly identify secondary data source(s) and datathat require for your research; also identify the methods and tools that you will use to analyse the collected data.
This is an individual research task. As a Masters student, you are required to engage in research and demonstrate your understanding of the relevant body of works that have discussed recent developments in a discipline and/or area of professional practice. You are also required to demonstrate knowledge of research methods applicable to a real-life business research. We expect you to read and reflect on at least ten recent refereed journal articles on your topic supported by any other evidence or information that can help identify the problem of your research and the methods of data collection and analysis.
Youcan write600words maximumforthisassignment.Thecoverpageandthelistofreferencesarenotcountedinthe wordlimit.
You should submit docx/doc/rtf file and no other type of file (such as pdf or ppt) is acceptable.
Assessment Criteria (all criteria are equally weighted)
1. A statement of the problem, research aim and objectives
2. A brief methodology
3. Sources of secondary data, data presentation and analysis methods
4. Accurate referencing, use of correct English and logical sequences between sentences and paragraphs
5. Topic presentation
We expect you to read and reflect on at least ten recent refereed journal articles on your topic supported by any other evidence or information that can help identify the problem of your research and the methods of data collection and analysis.
BUSN20016 – Research in Business
interests in the rail
industry in Australia:
A case study to
candidates at Metro
By DISTANCE STUDENT
Assessment 1 – Project Outline
1. Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….1
2. Aim and objectives………………………………………………………………………………………………………………1
3. A brief methodology ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………2
4. References …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………3
5. Appendix ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………4
BUSN20016: Assessment of Assignment 1
Criteria Total marks Marks
1. A brief statement of the problem, research aim and objectives 16
2. A brief methodology
3. Sources of secondary data, data presentation and analysis
4. Accurate referencing, use of correct English and logical sequences
between sentences and paragraphs
5. Topic presentation (for on-campus students)/ topic discussion on
the unit Moodle side (for distance mode students)
Total = 20
Penalty for late submission (5% reduction for each day of late
Penalty for high level of Turnitin similarity (Marker/UC decides)
GRAND TOTAL = 20
1. Problem Statement
The dominance of male employees in the rail industry in Australia has been well
documented (Van Barneveld & Jowlett, 2005; Wallace, Lings, & Cameron, 2012; Wallace
et al., 2010). According to the Rail Track Association of Australia (2015), as of 2014,
women only make up approximately 17% of the Australian rail workforce, up from 15%
in 2006 (Brennan et al., 2009), and although there are gains over the past decade, the
industry still lags behind the national average of 46.2% female representation (WGEA,
2016). The contribution that female employees make to the performance of firms has
been related to increased work team performance and improved engagement and
financial gains (Yan & Liwen 2012; Perryman, Fernando, & Tripathy 2016), however
evidence suggests that the degree of this efficacy is industry specific (Ali, Kulik, & Metz,
2011) and is only facilitated when additional moderating variables are present (Dwyer,
Richard, & Chadwick, 2003).
Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) is the private metropolitan rail service provider
charted by the Victorian government to manage and deliver safe and reliable suburban
rail services to the people of Victoria, Australia. MTM’s diversity and inclusion policy
encourages the career development of women in their organisation, however despite
this, current female applicants only represent approximately 1 in 3 of all external
applications at MTM, with the lowest rates being in operations and engineering roles (R.
Christianson, interview, March 20, 2017). MTM recognises that the lack of female
interest in rail industry careers is impacting on their long-term workforce planning
strategy. They are seeking innovative ways to increase the quantity and quality of
female candidates to career paths offered at MTM, especially in engineering and rail
operations (services) roles.
2. Aim and objectives
This research proposal aims to investigate the significance of an increased female
employee representation on MTM’s business performance goals, and to establish the
factors that are deterring female career interest to positions within the Australian rail
industry. The objectives are to:
• Determine the current rate of female participation in rail;
• Examine the benefits of increased female participation on MTM’s business;
• Examine the factors that influence the low rates of female applicants to
positions/careers in the rail industry, and;
• Develop strategies for MTM to help increase the attractiveness of careers for
women in rail industry.
3. A brief methodology
To accurately assess the variables effecting the attraction of women to careers in rail
and to assess their impact on MTM, this study has chosen mixed methodology to
conduct this study.
• Literature Review – to assess the current issues effecting the rail industry in
Australia, which may include the economic situation, the performance of women
in the workplace, and factors external to rail. Sources will include government
data, rail industry association reports, academic journals, and other relevant
publicly available reports.
• Data collection –Secondary data will be collected from government and
industry sources and advocacy groups.
• Interviews – To support the findings from the secondary data, this study will
also conduct key stakeholder interviews with Melbourne Metro, Advocacy group
and female staff . Combined with key findings, these will assist in the discussion
on the development of future workforce planning strategies.
4. Secondary data and data analysis methods
As mentioned earlier, this study will mainly use secondary data from the Victorian
government and MTM database, which would be available online. In particular,
demographic characteristics of all staff of MTM, workplace flexibility and safety data
such as flexibility in work schedule, occupational health and safety data and literature
will be collected from MTM website and from their annual report.
After collecting all data, all variables such as demographic characterises, workplace
safety indicators and flexibility will be structured in an Excel sheet and then a
correlation analysis will be conducted to find the relationship between attraction
variable such as safety and flexibility and demographic variable such as gender and age
Ali, M., Kulik, C.T., & Metz, I. (2011). The gender diversity-performance relationship in
services and manufactoring organizations. The International Journal of Human Resource
Management, 22(7), 1464-1485.
Brennan, T., Wills-Johnson, N., Larsen, P., Mahendran, A., Hughes, B., & Wang, J. (2009,
July 20). The business of australia’s railways. Proceedings from the Australian Railways
Business and Economics Conference, Perth, Australia.
Dwyer, S., Richard, O.C., & Chadwick, K. (2003). Gender diversity in management and
firm performance: the influence of growth orientation and organizational culture.
Journal of Business Research, 56(12), 1009 – 1019.
Perryman, A.A., Fernando, G.D., & Tripathy, A. (2016). Do gender differences persist? An
examination of gender diversity on firm performance, risk, and executive compensation.
Journal of Business Research. 69(2), 579 – 586.
The Rail Track Association Australia (RTAA). (2015). The business case for women in rail.
Preceedings of a forum hosted in Sydney, Australia. Retrieved from
Van Barneveld, K. & Jowlett, R. (2005). Violence, harassment, and bullying at work: how
does the australian rail industry compare and what can be done?, Journal of Public
Wallace, M., Lings, I., & Cameron, R. (2012). Industry branding: attracting talent to
weaker profile industries, Asia pacific journal of human resrouces, 50(4), 483 – 502.
Wallace, M., Sheldon, N., Lings, I., & Cameron, R. (2010). Attraction and image for the
Australian rail industry. Proceedings of British Academy of Management Conference,
Workplace Gender Equality Agency (2016, March 23). WGEA data explorer, Retrieved
Topic Discussion for DISTANCE STUDENT (but not for face to face students)
DISTANCE STUDENT 1- Thursday, 16 March 2017, 9:34 AM
As part of my masters in HR, I plan to research an issue which has impacted on my previous
employer, and is one that is a hot topic of discussion in the HR world – gender diversity in the
workplace. Recent news stories have focused on the gender pay gap that has placed the spotlight
on gender issues in the workforce. My research area will be an applied piece based on female
representation in the workplace and more specifically on that of gender quotas (perceived or
otherwise). While there is extensive research on this topic, and much of which promote the benefits
of a equal representation of gender, I have found that there is little research on the organisational
cultural effects of gender quotas. I will therefore be looking at the psychological factors that affect
the implementation of gender diversity programs in the workplace. My research will be focused on
the rail industry in Victoria – an inherently male dominated industry.
I am interested to hear all comments – from both genders smile
DISTANCE STUDENT 2 – Monday, 20 March 2017, 9:54 PM
Fantastic topic!! I personally am employed by Queensland Rail as a tradesperson. From personal
experience working in the rail industry and particularly in a male dominated trade in the rail
industry, the struggle is real! Our government controlled company promotes gender diversity in the
workplace, offering females positions in non traditional roles. I don’t believe that on ground there is
much of a female quota requirement within our company due mainly to the nature of the work that
we do. However, it would not surprise me if these quotas did exist elsewhere in the company,
particularly in the more traditionally gender neutral roles. We have recently lost our first female CEO
who by all reports in the media was forced out due to the south-east Queensland timetabling and
driver debacle, regardless of gender this pushing out of CEOs seems to be the status quo when
things turn pear shaped in big organisations such as ours.
Your focus on the cultural effects of gender quotas is very interesting. I think that this research has
the potential to open up a can of worms that will make the data just that little bit more difficult to
sort through. I believe that there is a potential for the lines between the cultural effects of gender
quotas and the cultural effects of quite simply having women in non traditional roles and in largely
male dominated organisations to become blurred. In my experience, there are plenty of people out
there who are very supportive of letting women have a go and who even appreciate the different
skill sets that we can bring and just as many who believe that women have no place in these
industries let alone that there should be quotas put in place to secure their positions over their male
Good luck, this is definitely research that I would be interested in seeing the results for!
DISTANCE STUDENT 1 – Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 9:57 AM
Thanks for your input, ***.
My motivations for this topic were certainly driven by self-observation in rail. As you mentioned the
idea of quotas (referred to as preferred candidates) are probably not implemented (implicitly) across
all departments and I expect to see this in my findings. The issue I found was that male staff would
not bother applying for internal promotions because they expected that a female would be
appointed to the position. I think this had a compounding negative impact on the small number of
females in our department and I certainly witnessed negative sentiments towards females on many
occasions. I agree that there are certainly many men who are supportive of equal opportunities for
women in any role, however, variances in rail departments is extreme. Finding out why, really is the
aim of my piece.
DISTANCE STUDENT 3- Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 11:48 PM
What a hot topic indeed! Will you be comparing your data from the rail industry in Victoria with
other rail industries from other parts of Australia or the globe? It could be interesting to see if it is a
world trend due to the male dominated history of the rail industry. Are you also focusing on all
aspects of operations? (Eg HR, marketing, logistics, etc)
I think one interesting point of your topic is how you will aim to see how gender quotas effect
culture – will it create a negative atmosphere among the genders (such as feelings of inadequacy) or
will it create a more positive environment.
Another point could be to compare absenteeism rates between organisations with and without
gender quotas as this is usually a sign of employee satisfaction.
I am currently working in a large company in Germany, all of my seniors are men and the secretaries
are all women. Could be interesting to see how ‘traditional’ gender roles in the workplace have or
haven’t changed over time.
Thanks and good luck, I look forward to reading more about your topic!
DISTANCE STUDENT 1 – Wednesday, 22 March 2017, 11:40 AM
Thanks *** for your insight.
I had a recent meeting with my industry partner and they have swayed the direction of my research
somewhat and have asked that I look more towards the side of female candidate attraction during
the recruitment process. They argue that this will be more useful in their future workforce planning
strategy. Apparently they only get between 25-35% female applicants across different departments.
Current data that they actually have. So my research will now focus on the factors that prevent
women in applying for roles in the rail industry. This will probably include a small survey of samples
to gauge women’s perceptions of the rail industry.
I think to answer this question accurately, it certainly would involve looking across industries to
assess common reasons as to why some industries attract more female candidates than others and I
expect to find the bulk of these answers during my lit review. What separates this topic from a
simple exploratory lit review is that there really isn’t a lot of research on human resource issues
within the rail industry.
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