One of the most obvious things to be observed when you read through the interviews is that both participant 1 and participant 2's interviews were conducted in their offices. This seems to me like a common theme which seems to hold a meaningful value to the interviewer. The logical reasoning behind this approach is that interviewees tend to be repulsed by the setting that is usually typical of most interviews (Jones & Risi, 2015). Having a panel of stern-faced interviewers with all eyes on you can have an intimidating effect on an interviewee hence the idea of a more personalized, one on one interview with a single interviewer can bring about the notion of more confidence and security. Conducting the interviews for both participant 1 and 2 in their offices ensured that they felt secure and in the comfort of the familiar environment.
Coding is usually a prolonged and expensive practice, especially if a researcher is using full transcribing processes (Huberman & Saldana, 2013). For this research, I used partial transcription where instead of rewriting the whole interview, I used partial transcription which is writing down a summary which has well-elaborated details answering all the questions. This summary shows another theme that seemed to show great importance to the researcher, which is the hierarchy theme. The researcher asks both participant 1 and two about the structure of the chain of command at their workplace by telling them to describe how power is distributed along the chain of command. He goes ahead to ask the participants on how easy or difficult it is to get access- whether verbal or written, to the mid-level management and senior-level management. The researcher gets information on the overall quality of leadership at the company by asking both participant 1 and two about how they felt about approaching the management about issues facing them at the workplace whether positive or negative.
Another common theme addressed is the reward mechanism employed at the company. Participant 1 and two are both asked to describe the reward and recognition process at the company and what is required of an employee to achieve a reward. The questions seek to identify the roles that are stipulated to every employee and how willing the employees engage these activities and how they address issues such putting in extra work (Agwu, 2013). This theme also correlates with the other side of the coin which is punished or dismissal of an employee. Participant 1 and two are asked about the process of firing an employee, what constitutes poor performance and what activities could lead to the dismissal of a worker. The interviewer asks about the processes involved in assessing faults at the workplace and how the management deals with poor performance on the job and seeks to understand which mistakes are tolerable and which ones require drastic decisions to be made.
The researcher also asks the interviewees about their roles, duties and their level of satisfaction in the job. Through his questions, he tries to probe into know the extent of the participants' impact on the performance of the company based on their intuition and judgment (Feinholdt & Lang, 2013). This is important in determining the passion of the employees regarding the effort they put in at work and whether they feel that their work is being noticed and or appreciated. Another question about the reward mechanism at work and the appreciation of individual contributions to the good performance of the company is that of whom the participants felt were the heroes at the workplace. The researcher tries to determine the relationship between the participants of the interview and these said heroes and try to see if they emulate these heroes, values, assumptions, biases, and goals.
In the school-to-work segment, the theme of the level of education stands out. The researcher asks both the interviewees questions on their level of education. These questions include details about where both participant 1 and 2 studied for the high school diploma, the undergraduate program and the master’s level of education. This information is critical in determining the qualifications required during the hiring of new personnel at the corporation and understanding the level of expertise that the employees of a company possess (Kadushin & Harkness, 2014). The researcher, by using qualitative methods to collect his data, identifies the participants' personal opinions on how to develop the qualities of good performance at the company. He asks the respondents to give details on how their vocation towards the work they currently do start out. His asks about previous work experiences, their relation to the current line of work and how the activities from these experiences affected the outcome of the participants' attitudes towards their current work.
The researcher seeks answers on what the participants felt were the key attributes of Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes required to be successful in the world of work. These questions were coupled with questions seeking to address the relationship between KSA's and a good work ethic (Rutstein & Ziker, 2017). The questions also seek information on which of these attributes the respondents felt were most important and at which stage in their lives they acquired these skills.
The initial stages of the interviews were about the general reaction towards the workplace, particularly whether the respondents enjoyed working at the company or not. Most of the participants seemed to enjoy working at the company while participant 4 felt that he was still adjusting to the system and was still in the process of conforming to the new workplace culture and norms. The research made the effort of trying to make his respondents comfortable by conducting the interviews at their places of work, that is, their offices. The researcher went ahead to describe the nature of the interview and assured the respondents that the interview was confidential.
The 1st respondent had a more straight-to-the point approach and preferred to keep his answers on the topic. He had a positive attitude towards work and the general workplace. He felt that he enjoyed working at the company and described it as ‘fun.' Working at this company gave the respondent a sense of pride as he described his company as a top growth company in the top 20 IT services offering company. He was well-versed with the company's history as he described how the company grew from creating system software for the then more established technological giants in the field of IT in 1959 such as IBM and then expanding to government contracts in the 1960's. He noted that the company’s preferred customers were government agencies particularly the department of defense. According to respondent 1, the most powerful people at the company were the Chief Executive Officer, the company President and Chairman of the board of directors.
Matters of change at the company were handled delicately and slowly with emphasis on not making the same mistakes that International Business Machines (IBM) had committed in the past regarding responding to changes in the marketplace (Sciacca & Rossel, 2014). Respondent 2 didn't seem to have a particular interest in understanding the inner working mechanisms in the company especially about the company's past and growth development. She argued that her position only allowed for her to concentrate on the official roles and responsibilities delegated to her. She, however, mentioned that there were minimal supervision and oversight from senior management and that most of the leadership was based on a friendly tone and that rubbing shoulders with the senior staff often occurred at the workplace.
Communication at the workplace, according to participant 1, was done via Lotus Notes, IBM server-client software (Kaufman & Speciner, 2016). Respondent 1 felt that this method was efficient in conducting the day to day passing of information at the company. Respondent 2 argued that she found E-mail system to be more convenient. She mentioned that she found e-mail to be a potent tool in sending messages and information to one's superiors and employees and even admitted to using the email more than she used her phone. Participant 1 argued that most of the employees would agree to the fact that the e-mail system worked best, and this could be attributed that employees such as participant 1 felt more comfortable addressing sensitive or negative information via email rather than talking directly to their superiors although sending of negative mail to superiors was discouraged at the company (Men, 2014).
Workplace etiquette was also a concern and questions regarding some of the rules both written and unwritten were asked. According to the respondents, the written rules were put down in the company policy document which participant 2 described as a brief document that comprised of just a few pages. This meant that understanding and adhering to company policy, rules and regulations were not a cumbersome task and it also meant that the company conducted a more open and flexible relationship within the workforce. There were, however, few unwritten rules which the responded said were mentioned during the orientation training (Chater, 2014). These include codes of conduct such as proper and inoffensive language use and dressing code.
In conclusion, the employees had an open attitude towards working at the company, and they were academically qualified to be in those posts. Participant 1 was advancing his career, and the company was catering for his Masters University program. Having a company pay for its employees' further studies goes a long way in fostering loyalty and good performance among employees (Ton, 2014).
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