Deep Understanding Through Research
You have to understand a situation before you can address it. Pelerei has experience in many research techniques to help you see the situation more clearly in order to understand and design the right response. Here are a few of the most called for techniques.
Survey Design and Administration
Pelerei has designed attitude surveys, evaluation surveys, and opinion surveys. The design depends on the objectives of the client and good survey design principles.
Example: Pelerei was asked to design career stream families and position descriptions with them for a large Knowledge Management organization. There was no time or budget for traditional techniques. Pelerei designed a survey of four substantive questions (plus demographic questions) for staff to respond to. Thanks to the brevity, response rate was 90% and the data was fully sufficient to accomplish the overall task. The client not only used the career stream families, they asked Pelerei to take on other career streams using the same technique.
Pelerei is expert in institutional analysis. To make good decisions, management needs to have information. Often this requires that information and data from the organization itself is brought together and advanced statistical techniques are applied to discover meaning. When the data needed to do this analysis is contained within the organization, e.g., salary data, performance data, internal financial data, the analysis is referred to as institutional analysis.
Example: Pelerei was asked to examine and analyze the personnel actions (promotions, salary raises, and evaluations) taken by line managers to determine if discrimination had occurred among sub-groups of staff. The results gave management the evidence that discrimination had occurred and the specific areas where management attention should be placed as future decisions were made about staff.
There are many statistical techniques for analyzing numeric data. When the data is text, exploring the meaning requires other techniques. Pelerei has developed a process that analyzes text in a manner that retains human judgment while reviewing thousands of items. The results contain a quantitative element, as well as a qualitative element so that the reader can see both meaning and trends. This type of analysis is useful for analyzing performance evaluations, news articles on a particular event or issue, interview results, write-in survey responses, and other types of text-related examples with multiple cases.
Example: Pelerei has conducted numerous content analyses of performance evaluations to show whether there is a difference in the use of language when women or men are evaluated. . The goal in these organizations was to assure that the evaluation process created an even playing field for all. Clients have used the results of the studies to inform managers of the differences and to instruct staff about how to write their own portions of the evaluations and what to look for in the writing from their managers.
Benchmarking is a study that compares one organization with several others, usually about a certain area of concern. The techniques vary depending on the topic to be explored, the time allowed for the project, and the type of organizations to be studied.
Example: Pelerei compared eleven organizations from around the world with the client's performance in the area of personnel management structures. Clear evidence showed where the organization was out of alignment with other organizations and why. The vice president and his task force were able make the structural decisions needed to correct imbalances and improve productivity.
Information Flow Analysis
Cumbersome and lengthy processes have been used to discover who needs what information, when they need it, and in what form can be done. Usually during the time taken, executives have gone on to other priorities. Pelerei offers a process that can gather the information necessary to make an effective information strategy within 2 months. The process is swift and efficient and harnesses staff knowledge so that buy-in is part and parcel of the study.
Example: When Pelerei was asked to review the information needs of a New York-based organization, Ms. Blair realized the organization would not survive another operating cycle without a new approach to information. The Executive Director asked her to conduct an Information Flow Analysis using a team of both Pelerei and client members. Within two months, the executive had her answers, had made her decision, and funded the implementation of the new approach. A year later, the organization was able to reduce costs while enhancing services. Ten years later, it continues to 'survive'.