In the current competitive business environment, firms are struggling to maintain sustainable operations despite several challenges they face. According to Russell and Arlow (2015), operating in a highly competitive business environment requires an understanding of the market. A firm should understand the needs of its customers, their purchasing capacity, buyer decision-making pattern, and any other relevant factor that defines what they purchase. Having state-of-the-art production and transport system is just one of the factors that would define the ability of a firm to achieve success. Shankar (2013) emphasises the need to be innovative as a way of ensuring the relevance of a company. Creativity and innovation make it possible to develop unique products, which are superior to those of rival companies. It also enables a firm to develop unique production strategies that lower the cost and increase output. Campbell and Göritz (2014) believe that innovation is defined by the type of employees that a firm has and the environment created for them in the workplace.
Workers always interact directly with various forces that affect the normal operations of a firm. They understand challenges in the market, issues on the production floor, difficulties that the firm faces to access the needed raw materials, changing tastes and preferences in the market, and the strength of their competitors. As such, they are in the best position to develop ideas of managing these challenges based on their experience. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries have invested a lot in diversifying their economy to reduce their reliance on the exportation of oil and gas (Hanieh, 2018). The conducive business environment created by these governments has promoted business in the region. The strategy has helped to promote a competitive environment in different industries, making it necessary for individual firms to empower their employees to encourage innovation.
Research Aim and Research Objectives
It is important to define research aim and objectives to help in determining the information that needs to be obtained from various sources. In this project, the researcher will investigate the impact of technological innovations on the organisation’s performance in GCC countries from a human resource perspective, with a special focus on the oil and gas industry. The following are the specific objectives that the researcher seeks to realise through this research:
- To determine the steps taken by oil and gas companies in GCC countries to promote technological innovation;
- To investigate how technological innovations affect the overall performance of human resources in the oil industry within the region;
- To identify the challenges that these firms face as they seek to embrace technological innovation as a way of enhancing workers’ performance;
- To determine what can be done to enhance the ability of these oil and gas companies to embrace technological innovation.
The researcher will realise these objectives by collecting and analysing data from various sources. As discussed in this proposal, data will be obtained from both primary and secondary sources. The following are the questions that will be used to guide the process of collecting data from these sources:
- What are the steps taken by oil and gas companies in GCC countries to promote technological innovation?
- How does technological innovation affect the overall performance of human resource in the oil industry within the region?
- What are the challenges that these firms face as they seek to embrace technological innovation as a way of enhancing workers’ performance?
- What can be done to enhance the ability of these oil and gas companies to embrace technological innovation?
Gulf Cooperation Council, as a geopolitical and economic block, has registered impressive growth over the past two decades. According to Al-Maamary et al. (2017), these oil-rich regions have been attracting local and international companies to explore emerging opportunities. A country such as the United Arab Emirates has invested heavily in infrastructural development, education, security, transport, and tourism, among other industries to help diversify its economy. The city of Dubai is currently one of the leading global tourists’ destinations and business hubs (Alnachef and Alhajjar, 2017). Oil and gas companies operating in this country have to manage the stiff competition that is likely to get worse as more firms continue to emerge. Gaining a competitive edge over rivals in the market is critical in ensuring that a firm remains sustainable in its operations. The liberal laws that govern the business environment mean that local companies cannot rely on government protection to ensure that they are competitive in the market. They have to find internal solutions to overcome challenges and to take opportunities in the market.
Promoting Technological Innovation
Innovation is one of the best tools for overcoming stiff market competition. Gautschi and Gautschi (2016) define innovation as “the creation, development and implementation of a new product, process or service, with the aim of improving efficiency, effectiveness or competitive advantage.” On the other hand, technological innovation, according to Gautschi and Gautschi (2016), refers to “a new or improved product or process whose technological characteristics are significantly different from before.” A firm should find ways of doing things differently from the way its competitors do or produce unique products that meet customers’ needs in a superior way. However, Hasan and Azman (2015) warn that creativity and innovation do not come easy. This continuous process starts with creating an environment where workers can try new ideas without feeling that they will be punished if they make an honest mistake trying to develop a new way of doing things. When an appropriate environment is created, the next step is to have the right expertise within the firm. The management will have to recruit talented individuals who have the capacity to think creatively when assigned different tasks. The experts should be properly motivated to ensure that they remain loyal to the firm.
In the oil and gas sector, innovation is critical in lowering the cost of production and delivery of products to the market. As Gautschi and Gautschi (2016) observe, many firms in this industry are automating their systems as a way of enhancing productivity. Technological innovation also helps in simplifying the work of employees in this sector. It makes it possible for workers to improve their productivity when they use modern technology. However, the management must be willing and committed to investing in emerging technologies to achieve the desired levels of success.
Education is another important factor that should not be ignored. According to Alnachef and Alhajjar (2017, p. 1156), human capital performance is “the process of helping people to acquire expertise.” When recruiting employees, one of the most important factors is to ensure that one’s level of education is aligned with the job requirements. Once the candidate is hired, the management should create a system that enables them to continue learning. Vargas (2015) explains that the firm may consider on-job or college education to enhance the skills of the employees and make them think creatively. Research and development are critical components of innovation. The firm should fund regular research to understand the changing tastes and preferences in the market and then develop unique ways of meeting them (Alnachef and Alhajjar, 2017). Technology is an important tool that can enhance innovation within a firm. The new technological concepts and tools can enable employees to redefine the approach that they take when conducting different activities.
Impact of Technological Innovation on an Organisation Performance from Human Recourses Perspectives
Creating an innovative workplace environment has a direct positive impact on the performance of an organisation. It may be challenging to create such an environment, but this is the only option that local firms within GCC have to ensure that they remain competitive in the regional and international market. According to Nirwan and Dhewanto (2015), the productivity of employees is directly influenced by their creativity in the workplace. When an employee comes up with a unique way of undertaking a given task within a shorter period, his or her overall performance will improve. Shazly and Lou (2016) argue that improved productivity of a single employee has a significant ripple effect on the performance of the firm (94). If new ideas of production are successfully implemented, the company will achieve a competitive edge over its rivals in the market.
When using key performance indicators (KPI) in the oil and gas industry, it is possible to measure the effectiveness of the innovative strategies in enabling the firm to achieve specific goals (Al-Maamary et al., 2017). KPI can be used to evaluate the progress made by a firm towards achieving specific goals. When employees are taken through training to empower them and promote creativity, the outcome of the training should be reflected in their performance. They should be efficient in their activities and capable of managing change when necessary. According to Hasan and Azman (2015), one of the main barriers to change is resistance from employees because of fear and lack of skills needed to change from one system to another. When they are empowered through regular training, they will not only embrace change but also initiate it by developing new ideas of undertaking different tasks.
The conceptual framework helps to demonstrate the relationship between innovation and organisational performance. The framework helps to understand how independent variables directly affect the dependent variable (Bielenia-Grajewska, 2017). When a firm improves creativity of its employees, it empowers them in a way that makes it easy to develop new ideas that can transform their output. Their efficiency will improve their productivity, enhancing the performance of the firm. As shown in the conceptual framework below (figure 1), it starts with recruitment of talented employees. Once a firm has the experts, the next step is to ensure that they are taken through training/education to improve their skills and capacity to embrace change (Colombo, 2014). They should understand that success of their organisation depends on its ability to transform its operations based on the emerging market forces. The framework also emphasises the need to embrace research and development as a way of developing new innovating ideas. Technology has a role in improving the capacity of employees to improve their performance (Giniuniene and Jurksiene, 2015). Through human capital performance, the productivity of the employees, which can be measured using KPI, will improve. It is important to note that that education and technology are two external factors, which are not controlled by the organisation. The other four are the internal factors.
Secondary data makes it possible to understand what other scholars have written about the impact of innovation on the organisation’s performance. Literature review makes it possible to identify the existing knowledge gaps so that a researcher can define the focus of the study. One is then expected to conduct a primary research to address the identified gaps and to improve on the existing knowledge body. In this section, the researcher explains how the primary research will be conducted to achieve goals and objectives of the study. The chapter will explain the research philosophy, research approach, research strategy, target population, and sampling method that will be used to collect data from respondents. The chapter also discusses data collection and analysis approaches that will be employed. Ethical considerations and limitations expected in the project are also discussed.
When conducting research, one of the first steps that must be taken is to define the appropriate philosophy that would guide the entire process of data collection and analysis. Walliman and Buckler (2016, p. 45) define research philosophy as “beliefs regarding ways in which data about a phenomenon should be collected, analysed, and used.” Defining research philosophy makes it easy to choose the appropriate method of collecting and analysing data. One can use realism, positivism, interpretivism, or pragmatism depending on the nature of the research. The research will use positivism as the most appropriate philosophy for the study. It allows a researcher to use both qualitative and quantitative methods.
When an appropriate research philosophy has been defined, the next step is to determine the approach, which should be in line with the chosen philosophy. According to Bishop (2014), research approach refers to a procedure and a plan that define steps that will be taken in collection, analysis, and interpretation of data based on specific assumptions. The approach used in a given study is defined by what a researcher seeks to achieve in the project. As Card (2016) observes, one can use inductive approach, abductive approach, or deductive approach based on the selected philosophy. The most appropriate research approach for the study is inductive research approach.
The third step after defining the research philosophy and research approach is to define research strategy. Research strategy refers to a systematic plan that defines actions that should be taken to collect the needed data, which will involve survey as explained below, within a given period (Beins, 2019). The strategy identifies the specific approaches that will be used to collect the needed primary data from a sample of respondents. In this study, survey and case studies will be the appropriate strategies that will be used to collect data from sampled respondents. Each of these strategies will be discussed in the main paper to explain why they were chosen.
Target Population and Sampling
The concept of innovation and its impact on organisation’s performance affects almost every single entity in the GCC region. The ability of a firm to be creative in addressing challenges that it faces defines its level of success. As such, it is possible that primary data needed for this study can be collected from various governmental and non-governmental institutions in this country (Poth, 2018). However, various constraints such as time and resources available for the study make it necessary to define a manageable sample from the entire population. The researcher intended to use judgmental sampling technique to identify individuals who will take part in the study based on specific characteristics. McNabb (2015) explains that this sampling method allows a researcher to choose participants who meet certain criteria to ensure that they can provide accurate information on the issue being investigated. It eliminates cases where a researcher ends up with respondents who cannot provide trustworthy information. The researcher intends to involve 100 participants who are currently working in the oil and gas industry in the GCC countries. The targeted population will be employees holding managerial and non-managerial positions in this sector.
The next step after defining the sampling strategy and the sample size is to conduct the actual data collection process. The researcher will identify a specific institution that will be requested to take part in this study. The researcher will make a formal request to the management of this institution to allow its employees to take part in the investigation. When permission is granted, the researcher will develop a consent letter that will be sent to the identified participants explaining the goal of this research and the role they are requested to play. When they agree to be part of the study, the researcher will use an appropriate instrument of data collection, a questionnaire, to collect data from them. The questionnaire will be used to conduct the survey.
The questionnaire will have three sections. The first section of the questionnaire will focus on biographical information of the respondents. Given that the study focuses on GCC countries, it will be necessary to ensure that participants are citizens of these nations or they have been residing in any of the countries long enough to understand the local forces. Factors such as age and gender may also help in identifying a possible bias that may exist among the participants. The second section will focus on the academic qualifications and experience of the participants. As Walliman (2016) explains, experience and academic qualifications of a respondent help in determining whether they have the knowledge about the issue under investigation. The third section will focus on understanding the impact of innovation on the organisational performance in the context of GCC countries. The document will be attached in the final document.
When data has finally been collected from the participants, the final step is to analyse and present it in a way that responds to primary research questions. When investigating the impact of innovation on an organisation’s performance, it will be necessary to use mixed method research. The strategy allows a researcher to use both qualitative and quantitative data analysis (Creswell, 2014). Quantitative data analysis will make it possible to use mathematical methods to explain the magnitude of the impact of innovation on the organisation’s performance while qualitative analysis will provide a detailed explanation of why and how the independent variables affect the dependent variables. As explained above, it will also be necessary to conduct a case study of a successful firm in any part of the world to help understand how innovation enabled it to achieve growth and development. The performance and creativity culture of the foreign firm will be compared with that of the local firm.
The researcher will take into consideration various ethical concerns throughout the study. Prescott (2016) explains that it is an ethical requirement for one to seek the permission of relevant authorities when planning to collect data from their employees. As explained above, the researcher will ensure that the permission is granted before contacting the employees. It is also ethical to explain to the participants their role in the study. They will be informed that their participation is voluntary. According to Pruzan (2016), it is also ethically important to protect the identity of the respondents. This requirement will be met to ensure that my participants are not subjected to criticism or any form of victimisation because of their view that may be different from that of the majority of the population.
|Activity/Time||May-Aug. 2021||Sep-Oct 2021||May 2021- Feb 2022||Nov-Dec 2021||January 202||February 2022|
|Primary data collection||X|
|Analysis of data||X|
|Writing of report||X|
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