(Solution) Oakwood CIPD Level 7 7C004 Business Research in People Practice


The business research project

LO1:      be able to plan a people practice business research project aimed at adding organisational value.

Task 1.1: Explain how and why you chose the terms of reference for your project

In this research, the area of focus is impact of diversity and inclusion on the employee’s productivity. As a people practice area, HBR (2021) identify diversity and inclusion threshold as being defined by the Gartner Inclusion Index (see figure 1);

Figure 1: Diversity and Inclusion Index Metrics

Generally, as evidenced in Rosenkranz et al. (2021), in this year (2022) and future, organisations will holistically invest more resources and time towards increasing on their employee’s diversity, inclusion and equity. The business case of this include the increased globalisation and need to invest appropriately on diversification to achieve long-range financial goals with risks minimised. This is an area IHCC organisation is yet to consider significantly hence the rationale of this research.

In this research, the use of quantitative research would mean that costs are incurred in its implementation process. This is with the different methods which are pursued in this research being supported. The entire research would cost an approximately 20,000SARs in managing all the research instruments and findings, professional data analysis and professional data analysis and would be implemented within 12 weeks approximately. This project would be completed in a period of six months (see GANTT chart in Appendix 1). 

Task 1.2: Develop a literature review which focuses on the key people practice issues you are investigating, and critically analyses a targeted range of literature from academic, professional and practitioner sources

People practice professionals benefits of holistic D&I

Through organisations implementing holistic D&I, apart from people practice professionals being provided with an opportunity for career growth, organisation performance is increased. This is supported by Ohunakin et al. (2019) quantitative research investigating impact of D&I on employees performance and found a direct correlation with performance. In a more specific findings, Dixon-Fyle et al. (2020) qualitative study found that for organisations having a large percentage of women in their leadership, performance of people professionals is higher than 70% compared to those which does not include women. This is due to the opportunities offered to the women executives whose voice is allowed to put forward their input. Also, by embracing D&I, Ohunakin et al. (2019) further argued that such organisations increase on profitability and market dominance with more than 80%. The findings are affirmed in Fortune 100 (2021) report which had noted that Microsoft rank as the most successful organisation with 40% for integrating people of diverse ethnic backgrounds and race in their workforce with 50% race and ethnic and race majorities.

People practice strategies for organisation employees; supporting increase in diversity and inclusion

From the reviewed literature, it is evident that there exist different people practice strategies which can be adopted for increasing D&I in organisations. According to Kirton and Gereene (2019) qualitative (500 consultants respondents) research, the best practice include building representational diversity and inclusion (what can be seen and counted), fostering an interactional diversity (capacity of engaging diversity holistically) and commitment to structural diversity (organisation/institution enacting commitment). For representational diversity, Yadav and Lenka (2020) argue that it entail inviting and including, enabling, engaging and investing. This is with interactional D&I including educating and training, motivating, engaging and discussing and empowerment. The structural D&I is identified in Salter and Migliaccio (2019) as evaluating all efforts, rewarding and incentivising, networking and investment on long-term and interlinked approaches. This is through people practice professionals establishing career-based leadership, appropriate culture and learning needs analysis (People Skills Hub, 2021).

The above findings are different from Swartz et al. (2019) and Spector et al. (2019) studies which found that diversity and inclusion entail appropriate data analysis, goal setting and measuring their progress. In CIPD HR Professional Map, people practice professionals achieve this by investing in workforce planning and including local, regional and international employees (CIPD, 2022; Kollen et al., 2018).

Perceptions of Employees on D&I in Organisations

The reviewed literature identify employees as possessing varying perceptions on D&I approaches adopted. Brottman et al. (2020) report focusing on 89 peer reviewed articles in healthcare industry observed that the inclusion and diversity is a process adopted to handle patients of diverse culture, capacity development opportunities, longitudinal interventions among other best practices. While evaluating context of application of D&I amongst the employees, O’Donovan (2018) and McCleary-Gaddy (2019) argued their perceptions as guided by effectiveness in their performance and leverage on competitive advantage. Further, the differences in perceptions is informed by complexities in definition of D&I. This is due to its selective, context dependent and relativity (Jonsen et al., 2021). Owing to the lack of consensus on applicability of these constructs, it impact on theoretical and practical application.

Further, Stewart (2018) was in support of McCleary-Gaddy (2019) and identified diversity as representing an organisation opportunity leverage to an entity to develop value and to leverage on competitive advantage. However, a clear explanation is provided in CIPD (2021) which identify both concepts as relevant in strategy and practice. Hence, inclusion make employees perceive they are belong to a group and positioned to work distinctively and jointly. Conversely, diversity is a practice of recognising existence of differences in areas of race, disability, age, gender and other protected characteristics. At the end, the workforce is identified as appropriate representatives of an entity clients.

Research Gap in Saudi Arabia (IHCC business sector)

In Saudi Arabia, few studies have focused on evaluating the impact of diversity and inclusion on success of the organisation operations (Aldabas, 2020; Aljedaani et al., 2021; Almathami et al., 2022 and Nawaz et al., 2020). Nevertheless, the research does not effectively evaluate the best practice for organisations to implement D&I owing to the current culture in KSA. Also, in line with del Carmen Triana et al. (2019) which note that the best practice need to integrate the aspects of communication, cultural practices, mitigation of any form of discrimination, offering substantial financial support to the people practice professionals, the Saudisation policy fails to link this concept hence lack of a direct link of the research and best practice. This is a research gap that this report will focus on filling. Nevertheless, organisations such as Saudi Aramco, Shell and MCC have focused on implementing holistic diversity and inclusion to guarantee their operations. This would be a significant methodological issue in the current research.

Task 1.3: Devise one or more research questions to examine during the research and in the final report

Based on the literature review and expected recommendations, the research questions selected include;

RQ1: What does the academic literature tell people practice professionals about the benefits of holistic D&I?

RQ2: What people practice strategies can be integrated/or developed for organisations and employees to support increased diversity and inclusion?

 RQ3: How do employees at IHCC perceive D&I in the organisation?

RQ4: What specific changes could be made at IHCC to address the above?

Hence, from the findings, it is expected that it would be evident that by pursuing HR reporting requirements effectively through gender pay reporting approaches, it is possible to note on the diversity, changes essential and to an organisation context. This means that the success of this is based on people practice professionals’ effectiveness in supporting all stakeholders in the process implementation. Despite diversity and inclusion representing major factors which influence contemporary organisations successful operations, they are fairly new people practice areas which is limited in terms of consensus and the constructs theoretical underpinnings.


Brottman, M.R., Char, D.M., Hattori, R.A., Heeb, R. and Taff, S.D., 2020. Toward cultural competency in health care: a scoping review of the diversity and inclusion education literature. Academic Medicine95(5), pp.803-813.

CIPD 2021. Inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Available [Online] https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/relations/diversity/factsheet#gref [Accessed on 4th July/2022]

CIPD 2022. Specialist knowledge: Diversity and Inclusion. Available [Online] https://peopleprofession.cipd.org/profession-map/specialist-knowledge/diversity-inclusion#gref [Accessed on 4th July/2022]

del Carmen Triana, M., Richard, O.C. and Su, W., 2019. Gender diversity in senior management, strategic change, and firm performance: Examining the mediating nature of strategic change in high tech firms. Research Policy48(7), pp.1681-1693.

Dixon-Fyle, S., Dolan, K., Hunt, V. and Prince, S., 2020. Diversity wins: How inclusion matters. [online] Mckinsey & Company. Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/diversity-wins-how-inclusion-matters [Accessed on 4th July/2022].

Fortune 100 2021. The top 20 fortune 500 companies on diversity and inclusion. Available [Online] https://fortune.com/2021/06/02/fortune-500-companies-diversity-inclusion-numbers-refinitiv-measure-up/ [Accessed on 4th July/2022]

HBR 2021. How to measure inclusion in the workplace. Available [Online] https://hbr.org/2021/05/how-to-measure-inclusion-in-the-workplace [Accessed on 4th July/2022]

Jonsen, K., Point, S., Kelan, E.K. and Grieble, A., 2021. Diversity and inclusion branding: a five-country comparison of corporate websites. The International Journal of Human Resource Management32(3), pp.616-649.

Kirton, G. and Greene, A.M., 2019. Telling and selling the value of diversity and inclusion—External consultants’ discursive strategies and practices. Human Resource Management Journal29(4), pp.676-691.

Köllen, T., Kakkuri-Knuuttila, M.L. and Bendl, R., 2018. An indisputable “holy trinity”? On the moral value of equality, diversity, and inclusion. Equality, diversity and inclusion: an international journal.

McCleary-Gaddy, A., 2019. Be explicit: Defining the difference between the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Office of Diversity & Equity. Medical teacher41(12), pp.1443-1444.

O’Donovan, D., 2018. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management (pp. 73-108). Springer, Cham.

Ohunakin, F., Adeniji, A., Ogunnaike, O.O., Igbadume, F. and Akintayo, D.I., 2019. The effects of diversity management and inclusion on organisational outcomes: a case of multinational corporation. Business: Theory and Practice20(3), pp.93-102.

People Skills Hub 2021. Diversity and Inclusion. Available [Online] https://peopleskillshub.cipd.co.uk/planning-people-strategy/diversity-inclusion [Accessed on 4th July/2022].

Rice, D.B., Taylor, R. and Forrester, J.K., 2020. The unwelcoming experience of abusive supervision and the impact of leader characteristics: turning employees into poor organizational citizens and future quitters. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology29(4), pp.601-618.

Rosenkranz, K.M., Arora, T.K., Termuhlen, P.M., Stain, S.C., Misra, S., Dent, D. and Nfonsam, V., 2021. Diversity, equity and inclusion in medicine: why it matters and how do we achieve it?. Journal of surgical education78(4), pp.1058-1065.

Salter, N.P. and Migliaccio, L., 2019. Allyship as a diversity and inclusion tool in the workplace. Diversity within Diversity Management.

Spector, N.D., Asante, P.A., Marcelin, J.R., Poorman, J.A., Larson, A.R., Salles, A., Oxentenko, A.S. and Silver, J.K., 2019. Women in paediatrics: progress, barriers, and opportunities for equity, diversity, and inclusion. Pediatrics144(5).

Stewart, D.L., 2018. Minding the gap between diversity and institutional transformation: Eight proposals for enacting institutional change. Teachers College Record120(14), pp.1-16.

Yadav, S. and Lenka, U., 2020. Diversity management: a systematic review. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal.

LO2:      be able to justify the most appropriate research methods to collect data for the chosen project.

Task 2.1: Analyse the main differences between primary and secondary data and when they should be used

Adopting the definition of Ruggiano and Perry (2019), primary data is sourced by the researcher by application of surveys, interviews, experiments which are appropriately designed to understand and solve the issue of focus. Conversely, secondary research involve the application of already existing data sourced from government institutes, healthcare facilities. For instance, in HR, the CIPD Research Reports and Office for National Statistics are relevant. As evidenced in Pandey and Pandey (2021) the primary data is more appropriate for use as it involve collection of information for specific purposes of a study. Nevertheless, this is dependent on what the research is focusing on finding out.This means the questions being customised towards the secondary research being appropriate. Despite of the secondary research being significantly accessible and clearly presented, it is not highly suitable for research of this nature. This is since the data sourced is limitedly detailed and authoritative as it transition from primary to secondary information (Easterby-Smith et al., 2012). This means secondary research would rarely offer all the answers required. Considering it had been set to source answers on questions different from the research area, gaps would be prevalent in answering the problem.

Task 2.2: Justify your choice of research methods for collecting data to achieve your own project outcomes

In a research, sourcing of primary data can be double fold which is quantitative and qualitative. According to CIPD (2021) for the quantitative research, a researcher is basically involved in explaining a situation of interest by the available data existing numerically and could hence be of analysed by using statistical methods. Considering the appropriateness of the quantitative data, it is relevant in research context whose core focus is provision of relevant answers for questions which relate to how often, how much and how many and who. For these types of questions, they call for application of numerical data in answering them (Hutchings et al., 2019). The survey can either be designed from already existing questions or gain the guidance of the research objectives to generate the questions. A core aspect which differentiate quantitative research from the rest is evident in its main focus of attempts to in detail measure the topic of research (Liao, 2020). It hence offers the extent in which IHCC performance is affected by lack of holistic diversity and inclusion integrated in their operations. In contrast, the qualitative research include the information, which is categorised as non-numerical including the descriptions, and observed trends. In this case, the best ow type question answers are generated for optimum satisfaction of the researcher by evaluating the how type of questions.

In the current report, quantitative research is the preference owing to a set of rationale. First, according to Liao (2020) how the quantitative research is carried out offers an appropriate opportunity of supporting successful testing of hypothesis. For example, by using the quantitative research approach, there is a possibility of testing the implication of the identified independent variables including employee’s performance, productivity and motivation on the dependent variables which are the diversity and inclusion. As evidenced in O’Connor and Joffe (2020) the reliability of the statistical data is evident in quantitative research which offers a researcher with an opportunity of making definitive conclusions pertaining to the characteristics of these relationships. Secondly, a successful sourcing of quantitative data is done in a manner that the researcher leverage from a limited engagements with the different respondents and as such avoiding any form of biasness which can have a potential of distorting the sourced study outcomes. This is not the case in qualitative researcher where it involve an engagement of an investigator who is an active player and catalyst of the research. This is identified in Stapleton (2019) as an increased researcher biasness. Further, operationally, sourcing quantitative data is regarded as limited time being consumed while at the same time allowing an easier categories development, comparing them and eventual analysis.

Despite of the merits which are linked with the application of quantitative research work, the main limitation include being implemented in a tightly controlled environment. For example, Aspers and Corte (2019) note that the quantitative research as opposed to qualitative research is holistically source in a tight control practice. The results of such an undertaking is a phenomenon where the richness and in-depth information is sacrificed negatively impacting the success of the data analysis. The quantitative data is similarly limitedly effective in a phenomenon where diverse and conflict in theoretical perspectives are found as it fail in successfully explaining the underlying aspects (Easterby-Smith et al., 2012). Considering this research work, the different recommendations would be managed by using a holistic literature review on the relationships prevalent amongst the study variables including the influence the options of specific integration of diversity and inclusion and the organisations productivity and overall performance.

In table 1, a summary of the differences of quantitative and qualitative research are generated;

Research AgendaQuantitativeQualitative
FocusDescribe, explain and predict relationships characteristics of various study variablesUnderstand and also interpret the different research variables used in a study
Involvement of a researcherInvestigators leverage from a limited inclusion for the purpose of reducing biasness scopeThe investigator involved is holistically involving a participant or a catalyst appropriate for the research
PurposeFocuses on testing the theories in placeFocus on establishing an in-depth appreciation and building new theories or complementing the ones in existence
Sampling designEnsuring there is a probability informed by the sampling techniquesUtilise the non-probability informed by sampling techniques applied

Hence, as illustrated in table above, in order to gather relevant insights on the diversity and inclusion in productivity of IHCC organisation, the quantitative research would be pursued. Also, part of the research questions involve investigating dependent and independent variables and how they correlate. Through this, the quantitative research would be most appropriate.

Task 2.3: Explain how you have addressed the ethical issues connected with your project

In a research, ethical issues are a common occurrence in a research project. The most common ethical issues are identified by CIPD (2019) as inclusive of signing of ethical approval form, reassurance that names won’t be disclosed, commitment not to share personal data and securing data shortages. In an ethical context, the different participants were called upon to freely issue a consent prior active participation in this study.  Also, for the respondents in this report, they would be allowed to note that information offered would be maintained in the highest and strict confidentiality with the researcher ensuring that all participants are in a direct link with data. In the project implementation process, different participants would also be made aware that it is not a requirement for offering information that is personalised or disclosing either their address or names. Considering the aspect of confidentiality, all the respondents in the study had an assurance that only aggregated data sourced from the different participants being reported (Roth & Unger, 2018). The consent used in this study is as illustrated in appendix 2;


Aspers, P. and Corte, U., 2019. What is qualitative in qualitative research. Qualitative sociology42(2), pp.139-160.

CIPD 2019. Ethics at work: an employer’s guide. Available [Online] https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/culture/ethics/ethics-work-guide#gref [Accessed on 4th July 2022]

CIPD 2021. People analytics. Available [Online] https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/strategy/analytics/factsheet [Accessed on 4th July 2022]

Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Jackson, P.R., 2012. Management research. Sage.

Liao, B.H., 2020. Links between important values of (Cremastra appendiculata) and elevations by long-time investigation and qualitative analysis and quantitative statistics of” Big data”. International Journal of Science and Research Archive1(2), pp.044-050.

O’Connor, C. and Joffe, H., 2020. Intercoder reliability in qualitative research: debates and practical guidelines. International journal of qualitative methods19, p.1609406919899220.

O’Connor, C. and Joffe, H., 2020. Intercoder reliability in qualitative research: debates and practical guidelines. International journal of qualitative methods19, p.1609406919899220.

Pandey, P. and Pandey, M.M., 2021. Research methodology tools and techniques. Bridge Center.

Richards, D.A., Bazeley, P., Borglin, G., Craig, P., Emsley, R., Frost, J., Hill, J., Horwood, J., Hutchings, H.A., Jinks, C. and Montgomery, A., 2019. Integrating quantitative and qualitative data and findings when undertaking randomised controlled trials. BMJ open9(11), p.e032081.

Roth, W.M. and Unger, H.V., 2018. Current perspectives on research ethics in qualitative research. In Forum qualitative sozialforschung/forum: Qualitative social research (Vol. 19, No. 3, p. 12). DEU.

Ruggiano, N. and Perry, T.E., 2019. Conducting secondary analysis of qualitative data: Should we, can we, and how?. Qualitative Social Work18(1), pp.81-97.

Stapleton, P., 2019. Avoiding cognitive biases: promoting good decision making in research methods courses. Teaching in Higher Education24(4), pp.578-586.

LO3:      be able to analyse data to make decisions and provide business and people management insights.

Task 3.1: Calculate the costs of different options for collecting and analysing data

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