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Hamilton Ltd : A case in research consultancy


This case examines a research consultant’s experience in providing organisational survey services to Hamilton Ltd, a large manufacturing firm based in Australia. After re-listing on the Australian stock exchange in 2003, Hamilton’s senior management team concluded that productivity gains could be obtained from organisational development initiatives that were based upon the results of an employee survey. Like many organisational surveys, however, there were a number of practical issues with the Hamilton case that show how designing a research project is rarely a simple case of designing questionnaires and implementing suitable sampling strategies. The case takes the perspective of the research consultant and considers the types of decisions that such a person is likely to face in evaluating an organisation’s previous surveying attempts and in designing a survey that will meet the organisation’s research aims. In the Hamilton case, the consultant was faced with a senior management team that had certain objectives in mind that were not necessarily suited to finding useful and valid information via an employee survey. Coupled with a senior HR manager not well versed in the design of employee surveys or of research in general, the current case provides a brief insight into some of the complexities involved with business based research. The case provides teaching notes and has been designed for both classroom use and as a form of assessment.

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Case Description
Business Case Study NoUA-2005-012
Number of Pages6
CategoryHistorical narrative; Teaching case
Teaching NotesTeaching notes available
CompanyHamilton Industries Limited
Setting - CountryAustralia

SourceAuckland, NZ. Publisher: University of Auckland Business Case Centre. Pages: 1 - 7