According to researchers, a large number of case study researches use qualitative methods for collecting data (Bryman, 2004). It has been seen that using qualitative method for data collection is very context sensitive as compared to quantitation method for data collection. When qualitative method of data collection is used, the data that is collected is very detailed and is very true to reality. Qualitative data is more flexible and subtle (Whipp, 1998).
The method of qualitative data collection would be very beneficial when a researcher is making an attempt to uncover hidden aspects of employment relationships by means of interview questions, etc. Therefore, the significance of using qualitative data collection method in order to find out from employees about organisational commitment and non-cooperation in organisations is very clear. So, this dissertation study used qualitative method of collecting data, which included observation, interviews, etc.
The researcher chose to carry out semi-structured interviews so that the interview questions could be more or less open ended and the respondents could feel free to answer the questions in which ever way they deemed fit. The researcher also wanted to make the respondents comfortable by having a semi-structured interview process, as this would let the respondents and the researcher to turn the interview into effective communication, thus resulting in the flow of conversation divulging information that could prove beneficial to the researcher for answering the research questions with ease.
When a researcher has to prepare a questionnaire for the respondents, the questions have options and are very closed. They also have to be prepared much in advance. A lot of money is involved in printing and posting of the questionnaires and a lot of time is involved in collecting the questionnaires and deciphering the results. Hence, the researcher chose to use the semi-structure interview process with a lot of general questions and topics leading seamlessly to the research questions. Most questions were formed during the interview itself keeping in mind the research questions. This was very helpful to the researcher as well as the respondent as it seemed like a conversation and the respondents felt comfortable in expressing themselves with ease.
Another reason why interviews were chosen for this research was because with the help of interviews the respondents would be able to share their experiences at NHS and in the healthcare sector in general. This is a much better way of getting an answer to research questions that participant observation as that involves moving around in places that are meant for employees and observing what they are doing without actually making conversation with them (Bryman, 2004).
Since the researcher is a part of NHS a lot of time was spent on the premises of NHS in order to observe what was going on in various departments. The relationship shared between the workers and the management was observed in great detail. In addition, the way in which workers interact with one another and with the management was observed and taken into account, together with the atmosphere and the work environment of employees, etc.
As time available for this research was not a lot, therefore, ethnographic observation was not carried out but the researcher did learn a great deal about the working of the healthcare sector, commitment, non-cooperation, conflicts, etc. (Thomas, 2004). It must be known that a good research cannot be conducted only through observation, hence, the interview process was significant in this study to get opinions of workers on issues related to commitment, non-cooperation and so on.
The interviews began by making the respondents comfortable and striking a conversation about their background, hometown, educational qualifications, family, etc. They were then asked questions about their working hours, work environments, etc. The questions then became more detailed and were directed towards commitment and non-cooperation within their organisation. The questions kept getting more detailed in an attempt to understand how an employee’s day at work looked like, the way the management was with them, the breaks they were given at work, the overtime they were given, etc.
The workers were also asked questions like if was intentional that they decided to work for an organisation within the healthcare sector or not. The researcher asked them questions in detail about commitment in an attempt to understand how they were committed to the organisation. Many short and open-ended questions were asked so that the employees could elaborate and add stories and events explaining organisational commitment and non-cooperation within this sector. The interview ended when the researcher asked the respondents to add any additional comments, stories, incidents that would aid in understanding how they felt for the organisation. The respondents were made very comfortable and they were given complete freedom to express their opinions, share incidents, etc. to aid the research.
Limitations of the Study
Every research has some limitations linked with this and this research study was no different. The biggest issue here was that the researcher worked in the organisation where the study was being conducted hence the researcher’s opinion on things may be coloured and could have impacted the results drawn out of the study conducted. Therefore, any bias that may have occurred due to this was attempted to be avoided, so as to ensure that the results of this study reflected the actual opinions of employees working in this organisation.
There were other limitations such as issues related to confidentiality, etc. since the researcher was a part of the organisation in question she understood the importance of confidentiality in the organisation. Knowing this was very helpful and it proved to be very advantageous as the researcher made sure that the data gathered by interviews was carefully interpreted and any bias of any kind was kept at bay. This research was conducted in a very short span of time and hence every important worker was not interviewed. Only some selected employees were interviewed which is why the information obtained could be considered to be somewhat incomplete. If time permitted more employees could be interviewed and a better analysis could be carried out for this dissertation.
Bases of Commitment in Organisations
The research questions aimed at understanding the bases of commitment in a public funded healthcare organisation. The literature available on bases of commitment was primarily available in sectors such as manufacturing and customer service and very little literature was available on a public funded healthcare organisation. This research aims to delve deeper into understanding if commitment exists in such an organisation and if it does what kind of commitment is found in workers. The National Health Service provides a large number of services to its patients, therefore, it would not be wrong to say that workers at NHS demonstrate many types of commitment within this organisation.
Therefore, in order to understand if workers showed a particular type of commitment, questions were asked related to that particular type of commitment in order to see if they were committed to that organisation in that particular way. For instance, to see if a worker was displaying calculative commitment to the organisation, questions related to rewards, benefits, overtime, etc. were asked. The respondents stated that they were working for a healthcare organisation like NHS because they desired to work there owing to the satisfaction they felt in being associated with such an organisation.
The statement, “I travel 1 hour to reach my workplace, I think that shows how committed I am to my work”, clearly demonstrates the altruistic commitment of the worker to the organisation. However, some workers did suggest during the interviews that they were associated with this organisation as NHS is a very recognisable brand and they would move on if they found a better opportunity elsewhere. “This is a brand, a big company, I will gain experience and move on if I have the opportunity to leave.”
Another worker who had just joined NHS said: “I am not attached to NHS now, I’m still new here, in a few years maybe, let’s see how things pan out. Right now I just see that the pay is good for a person like me!” Most workers at NHS did not show calculative commitment to the organisation. However, the new employee was attached with the organisation due to the benefits associated with it, hence demonstrating calculative commitment to NHS. When a worker is new to a company the only attachment he/she may feel to the company may be related to money and benefits, etc. However, as time passes a worker may feel more attached to the organisation and the causes it stands for.
The next set of questions was aimed at finding out if workers showed affective commitment to the organisation. Mixed responses were received to questions related to affective commitment. Workers that were associated with the organisation for a very long time were deeply or emotionally attached to it. However, workers who had just joined the company did not obviously seem very attached to it. The given comments substantiate the above statements, “I have spent my life working here at NHS.” and “No, I have not been with NHS long enough to be emotionally attached!”
By means of the detailed research findings it would not be wrong to state that workers associated with the healthcare sector are not just committed to the cause that the organisation stands for. As a matter of fact, through this research it was seen that there are many kinds of commitment that are present in the workers of the healthcare sector. In the present research study it is clear that workers show many different bases for organisational commitment but there is a variation in the degree of commitment that is seen in these workers.
On the one hand some new workers at NHS were seen to demonstrate calculative commitment to the organisation, others who had been with NHS were deeply connected with it demonstrating affective commitment to the organisation. It was also observed that normative commitment was the most common type of commitment that was seen in most workers at NHS, i.e. most workers felt a sense of moral obligation to their patients and in turn to the organisation.
Non-Cooperation, Types and Causes
To truly understand if non-cooperation exists in a public funded healthcare organisation and if it does exist, what form it exists in; the respondents were asked many questions related to non-cooperation, conflict, etc. The literature related to area states that when a worker is not feeling very committed to the organisation they may indulge in non-cooperation and acts of conflict. Due to the current economic situation, the workers are being made to work extra long hours, overtime, etc. They work on bank holidays too and they are not compensated for it. In addition, they are also experiencing pay cuts.
The workers at NHS are very calm and composed and understand to a great extent the situation of the economy in the United Kingdom but prolonged hours, unreasonable shifts, etc. may result in non-cooperation and conflict in NHS. By means of this research isolated incidents of non-cooperation, conflict, etc. were observed but by and large the workers at NHS are facing the current situation and developments in a very professional manner. The last research question was, is there connection between commitment and non-cooperation in a public funded healthcare organisation? In the context of NHS, it will not be wrong to say that employees are committed and if due to the acts of management commitment is reduced, workers are likely to demonstrate non-cooperation and conflicting behaviour.
This section will summarise the main points, answers to research questions and topics covered in this dissertation study. This dissertation aimed to delve deeper into the bases of organisational commitment in a public funded healthcare organisation. This has also aimed to understand what is the kind of commitment is found in a healthcare organisation. Finally, the study also tries to uncover if non-cooperation exist in a public funded healthcare organisation and if it does exist, what form of non-cooperation found in such an organisation.
This study has uncovered that in the healthcare sector importance is given to commitment which is related to the cause that the organisation stands for, i.e. caring for patients, etc. This research has shown that there are other bases of commitment in healthcare organisations as well. It was seen at NHS that workers were committed to the organisation for different reasons and a very strong connection to the organisation was related to the length of the time they were associated with NHS. It was uncovered that all kinds of commitment are found in NHS including calculative, normative, etc. but they were present in the organisation in fluctuating degrees.
New workers in the company were associated with it due to calculative commitment, i.e. to get good experience from such a reputable organisation and workers who had been working with NHS for years were associated with it due to a very strong emotional bond with the organisation. A large number of workers felt morally obligated to be associated with the organisation owing to the work NHS does.
The study also goes on to discuss non-cooperation and conflict in a public funded healthcare organisation. There were a lot of instances uncovered during the study that indicated that non-cooperation, conflict, etc. does exist in the organisation. However, the degree to which non-cooperation and conflict were found to be very low. There were certain employees who did not follow all the rules, however, the number was so limited that it did not stand out.
Overall, it can be stated that this dissertation indicates and demonstrates that while commitment related to what healthcare organisations stand for could be one of the reasons for worker’s commitment, it is not the only one. Workers at NHS portrayed all different kinds of commitment in the organisation. Also, it was seen that even though employees were committed to the organisation, NHS was not free of acts of non-cooperation and conflict. This demonstrates that it is not necessary that if an employee is committed to the organisation they will not act deviant manner, or engage in conflicts. Conflicts, non-cooperation are a part of an organisation and commitment and non-cooperation do not seem to have any real connection or link with one another.