More than half of the nation’s 2. 1 million federal workers are being furloughed over the next four months. The specific effects that the furloughs have had on federal employees is not known, and this proposed study seeks to gain some insight of those effects, in particular in the areas of the furloughs perceived as being beneficial or harmful. This research proposal is believed to assist in the reduction of uncertainty and provide focus for future decision making among the leadership at the U. S. Army Yuma Proving Grounds.
As the government furlough has taken effect at the Yuma Proving Ground, managers are faced with select research problems that affect the federal work force. “While qualitative research is being used increasingly because of the methodologies’ ability to generate deeper understanding, it still is perceived by many senior-level executives as a stepchild of quantitative data collection”. The proposed study will scrutinize the effects on the financial welfare of the 1400 plus federal employees assigned to various jobs and operations currently being undertaken at the Proving Ground.
“The mandatory federal budget cuts that went into effect earlier this year are finally cutting into the workers at the government’s single largest employer. Starting this week, 650,000 civilians who work for the Defense Department will be forced to take an unpaid day off from work every week for the remainder of the current fiscal year, 11 days in total”. Federal employees who have been furloughed under a shutdown historically have received their salaries retroactively.
However, there appears to be no guarantee that employees placed on shutdown furlough would receive such pay. As congress and the President debate the future of the federal budget, the sequestration cuts causing a temporary work stoppage will immediately affect the financial welfare while increasing stress, personal hardship and uncertainty of future employment status. Theoretical Framework It is apparent that there are both negative and positive externalities resulting from federal Department of Defense workers being furloughed.
Clearly, the lost wages from being furloughed would be considered by most to be a negative externality, but for some employees who have dependents, the time afforded to spend time with their young children, wives, or significant others may perhaps be considered a positive externality. The overall theory behind this study is to discover the financial, psychological, and economic effects that potentially will engulf the lives of affected employees. Here locally, the U. S.
Army Yuma Proving Grounds began its work furlough on July the 8th realizing that military training and weapons buying would suffer if the Department of Defense has to absorb the $52 billion in budget cuts. Several estimated variable will be addressed from the survey responses found in Appendix A. The questions that will be answered by this proposed research study are as follows: 1. How the government furlough affects employee welfare? 2. What affects does the furlough have on single individuals? 3. What affects does the furlough have on married/partnered individuals?
4. What affects does the furlough have on single/married individuals with children? In conclusion to the administered surveys, a qualitative analysis will evaluate the specific results provided from each demographic that has been selected. Methodology This study will compare and evaluate the responses from randomly selected demographics stated in the research questions. The sampling frame will be closely associated with the specific demographic groups that will be selected to test our hypothesis on the government furlough effects.
Using simple random sampling of each federal employee category we deduct that it will provide the purest form of probability sampling. A sample size of 25 people will be selected from each demographic group while keeping the research costs into considerations while maintaining validity and a high confidence level of accuracy. Our research group has chosen to use a nominal scale (Appendix A) to measure to measure the three independent variables of single, married, and single/married with children.
By using a nominal scale we can collect information on chosen variable that naturally, or by design, be grouped into two or more groups by classifying a set of demographics into equivalent classes . Each affected population will be assigned a numerical value between one and three; one for single individuals, two for married/partnered, and three for single/married with children. “This type of scale is also widely used in survey and other research when data are classified by major subgroups of the population” .
The second measuring scale will be an ordinal Likert scale (Appendix B). The measuring instrument will be used to gauge the effects of the furlough on the overall welfare both financially and psychologically of the federal employee. Each test subject will be issued a letter of participation with contact information attached (Appendix C) as well as an Informed Consent Statement form (Appendix D) ensuring the participant what the research will intends to discover, their rights to privacy and confidentiality.
Overall our standard will be to analyze the effects of the furlough with accuracy while maintaining a high degree of ethical standards in relation to the rights of privacy of the participants, operating within federal ethics laws, rights to quality, and safety. “In general, research must be designed so that a participant does not suffer physical harm, discomfort, pain, embarrassment, or loss of privacy”. Data Analysis The analysis of the captured data will be examined for differences in responses from the Likert Scale and given a ranking order to determine variances on how the effects of the furlough have influenced a random federal employee.
The data will then be segregated into the three demographics previously stated allowing the Team B researchers to view the data independently within each population criteria. The data will then be presented in table form and displayed as an overall “effect”. Graphing will follow as a visual aide to allow for an overall picture using a one-tailed test or directional test to determine the level of significance the furlough has on the random federal employee. Expected Results The expected results of this study are to find the clear consequences that have originated from the government sequestration and enacted furlough.
Team B desires that this data will allow senior leadership to have a positive example of how the effects of the budget cuts have allowed a decrease in employee morale and a reduction in overall productivity. Conclusion This study began with an introduction into what was an unprecedented event in the history of the federal government. Due in part to serious financial shortfalls with the federal budget a presidentially mandated work furlough has affected roughly 1000 federal employees at Yuma Proving Grounds.
Team B wishes that this research study will allow leadership the opportunity to make informed decisions on the future welfare of its workforce and how these circumstances can and will affect the local economy, the family stability and the overall psychological health of its employees. Also Team B desires that the data collected will be forwarded to the appropriate congressional channels allowing lawmakers to visually see the influences that a restrained budget has cast on a larger population of the nation’s civil servant workforce.
The challenges faced here are the need to develop concepts the will allow those affected a clear understanding of the issue. Communicate these issues and build responses from the data collected. References Brass, C. T. (2013, April 23). Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes and Effects. Retrieved from Congressional Research Service: http://www. fas. org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34680. pdf Cooper, D. , & Schindler, P. (2011). Business Research Methods 11th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin Company. Fox, D. W. (2013, March 13).
LA-13-02: Reminder that ethics laws and regulations continue to apply to Federal Government employees during furlough periods. Retrieved from OGE. GOV: http://www. oge. gov/OGE-Advisories/Legal-Advisories/LA-13-02—Reminder-that-ethics-laws-and-regulations-continue-to-apply-to-Federal-Government-employees-during-furlough-periods/ Freed, B. R. (2013, July). Furloughs for 650K Pentagon Civilian Employees Begin Today. Retrieved from DCIST. com: http://dcist. com/2013/07/furloughs_for_pentagon_civilian_emp. php Appendix A Nominal Demographics: General Information: (select one answer) Appendix B.
The instrument for measuring the effects of employee welfare due to government furlough. Instructions: Please complete the following questions. The answer that most closely matches your response to each question should be checked. The questions refer to the effects of employees under government furlough. You are free to decline to participate in this study. No record will be kept of that information. All of your answers will be separated from your email address by a computer to insure your privacy. My answers are for the impact on employees under the current 2013 fiscal year furlough: 1.
I have lost wages due to the furlough? Yes______ No_________ 2. The furlough will affect my ability to pay bills on time? ______ _______ _______ _______ ________ Strongly Agree Neither Disagree Strongly Agree Agree nor Disagree Disagree 3. I believe the furlough is a political posture at my financial expense? ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ Strongly Agree Neither Disagree Strongly Agree Agree nor Disagree Disagree 4. I feel uncertainty about my employment status? _____ ______ ______ ______ ______ Strongly Agree Neither Disagree Strongly Agree Agree nor Disagree Disagree.
5. I believe management has exhausted every avenue to avoid furlough? _____ ______ ______ ______ ______ Strongly Agree Neither Disagree Strongly Agree Agree nor Disagree Disagree 6. I will be seeking a second job to compensate for lost wages? ______ _______ _______ _______ ________ Strongly Agree Neither Disagree Strongly Agree Agree nor Disagree Disagree 7. I feel the furlough has created a hostile work environment? ______ _______ _______ _______ ________ Strongly Agree Neither Disagree Strongly Agree Agree nor Disagree Disagree 8.
I am satisfied and understand management’s explanation for the furlough ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ Strongly Agree Neither Disagree Strongly Agree Agree nor Disagree Disagree 9. I feel my stress level at work is much higher than before the furlough took effect ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ Strongly Agree Neither Disagree Strongly Agree Agree nor Disagree Disagree 10. I found the following managerial actions to be helpful: Directors Notes: Most useful 1 2 3 4 5 Least useful I did not use this tool. _____ Mark if this statement is true. Town Hall with the Colonel: Most useful 1 2 3 4 5 Least useful I did not use this tool.
_____ Mark if this statement is true. 11. Describe in a short paragraph your overall assessment of the effects furlough has had in your work and personnel life: Appendix C Dear Federal Employee: You have been randomly selected to participate in a research study that will evaluate the lasting effects of the government mandated furlough that you are currently experiencing. The project will present you will a quick demographic question related to your household dimension followed by a questionnaire on the financial and mood effects associated with the change in your work schedules and paychecks.
You will not be asked to alter your normal responses in any way and we ask for honest and forthcoming responses. All answers are confidential and the responses to this questionnaire will be separated from your name before responses are saved for analysis. Your name will be deleted before the attachment is saved. This assures you of complete anonymity. Once the analysis is completed, the data will be deleted for complete confidentiality. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and you time is greatly appreciated. Any question related to this study can be forwarded to Pete Kunkel at [email protected]
com. Respectfully Submitted Peter Kunkel, David Dupuis, Lucy Sedano, & Ken Craig Appendix D Statement of Consent. I _________________________, agree to participate in Team B’s research study. (Name, Last, First Mi. ) The purpose and nature of the study has been explained to me in writing. I am participating voluntarily. I understand that I can withdraw from the study, without repercussions, at any time, whether before it starts or while I am participating. I understand that I can withdraw permission to use the data within two weeks of the interview, in which case the material will be deleted.
I understand that anonymity will be ensured in the write-up by disguising my identity. I understand and consent for this information to be used to analyze data and potentially could be used in presentations, publications, or any other legitimate uses within scientific research by Team B. (Please select one box) I agree to quotation/publication of extracts from my survey results.? I do not agree to quotation/publication of extracts from survey results? Signed_____________________________Date_________________.