The Research Philosophy
Explaining the research philosophy helps in understanding the interrelationship amongst the key components of the research and makes room for improvement in the methodology. This also helps in recognizing different positions concerning the research methods and defending the position being adopted for a particular research study.
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It is believed that if the ontological and epistemological basis of the research is not clear to the researcher then it might result in missing some of the important factors influencing the research topic. For this study, the philosophical aspects of the research study can be summarised as follows;
Ontological assumptions help in pointing out the factual position about the strategic management initiatives in public sector units in Singapore. It is worth pointing out that in today’s context, competition happens to be the key challenge for companies to retain the goodwill of stakeholders like the clients, the shareholders, the government, etc. While on the one hand sound strategies help the company in taking on the competition, it also helps the company in coming out with cost-effective solutions and better profitability. Hunger and Wheelen (2007) state that differing views about the role of business in society also significantly contribute towards strategy formulation and management. Singapore is a multicultural society with diversity in different forms. Therefore, the public sector units are supposed to take into consideration the interest of diverse stakeholders before finalizing the strategic policies.
It indicates how we can have the requisite knowledge about the subject area of our study. A research carried out objectively is bound to help the researcher in coming out with realistic outcomes. In general, the emphasis will be on analyzing the kind of strategic policies adopted by the government companies in Singapore. This will also help in finding out the extent to which such policies help in implementing the change or bringing about professionalism in these companies.
In addition, the overall outcome of the research has the potential to influence the existing strategic management initiatives being undertaken by some of the companies, as it will provide feedback on the existing policies while pointing out high points as well as scope for improvement. To carry out such a study in general we resort to the following steps;
- Carrying out a comprehensive literature review with the help of journals and books on strategic business management
- Comprehensively analyzing the reports of the 63 statutory boards of Singapore to find out the types of strategic management policies being adopted by them and find out the effectiveness of such policies in pursuing the stated objectives.
- Further analysis and surveys will be carried out to find out the key initiatives involved in making strategic moves by those companies which have been able to display a record of such strategic management.
- In the final phase interviews would be conducted to figure out the intricacies involved in planning, implementing, and controlling the strategic moves. This will help the research study to come out with some contemporary standards in strategic management parlance.
A positivistic approach will be adopted during the study while objectively collecting the data with the help of a questionnaire. Factual information will also be collected during the study by sifting through the annual reports of these companies and the latest news reports appearing in the mainstream media.
It is indeed worth mentioning here that the policies being adopted by the 63 statutory boards cannot be tested in isolation. Besides comparing the performances of these companies amongst themselves and within the context of Singapore, an effort would also be made to seek benchmarks from across the globe. This will also help in finding out the competitiveness of these companies in the global arena. Tslakklros and Pashlardls (2002) discuss the model developed by Johnson and Scholes to come out with sound strategies for any organization. Three main elements of strategic planning discussed in the model include;
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- Strategic analysis: It helps the company in understanding its position in the prevailing competitive environment.
- Strategic choice: After undertaking the analysis, the team of strategic experts is supposed to generate several strategic alternatives and subsequently zero in on the best available option.
- Strategy implementation: This step requires planning and allocating adequate resources for the best strategy and managing the change.
Value creation and value addition happen to be the core purposes of any business, besides sustenance and profitability. If we take a look at the competitive era, we find that on the one hand companies try to come out with innovative marketing strategies to attract clients, while on the other efforts are made to project themselves as socially responsible corporate houses. Corporate social responsibility or philanthropy is also considered an important element of strategic management.
This approach finds its roots in the epistemology itself and it helps in identifying the social positioning of the subject area being studied. This study is primarily being undertaken to analyze the strategic management being undertaken in public sector units in Singapore. As these are government agencies, therefore the effectiveness of the management approach and the efficiency of functioning reflects the effectiveness of the government’s role in running these organizations.
- Hunger, J. David and Wheelen, Thomas L. (2007). Essentials of Strategic Management. Pearson-Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458.
- Singapore Government (2010). Connecting You with the Government.
- Tslakklros, Andreas and Pashlardls, Petros (2002). ‘Strategic Planning and Education: The Case of Cyprus’. The International Journal of Educational Management, 16/1, MCB UP Limited.