Category : Articles
Business Research applications Paper
December 20, 2010
Michele Y. Burpeau-DiGregorio
Business Research applications Paper
I work for Federal Court for the United States of America. I work in the jury office and we have ongoing research in many areas. We are currently conducting research in the following areas behavioral research, cost analysis and market research.
The area of behavioral research is very important in our office. The state of Pennsylvania is divided into three sections and I manage the jury office for the Western District of Pennsylvania. One of the areas that we conduct behavioral research is responses to a jury summons. We have jurisdiction over 23 countries. We do comparisons from each county to non-responses to jury summons. We try and target that county to build our percentage to our summons. We also conduct behavioral research to see how jury verdicts are decided and what geographic area they come from. We also research income, race and gender. Our office needs to have a fair and true cross-section of every county in our jurisdiction. We recently went on-line with our jury summons procedures to make it easier to respond to the summons. The last piece of research we are currently doing is studying and analyzing the counties that have the highest and lowest percentage of filling out our summons on-line through our software called e-juror.
The research of cost analysis to our court is mainly conducted to see how we can save the court money. We are currently conducting research to see how we can become a more cost effective department. Our jurors are paid by a paper check. The research that is on-going is to see ways we can financially compensate our jurors by EBT or a debit card. The court just recently concluded research just on postage alone that results in mailing out checks. It would save the court approximately $100,000 if we deposited the juror??™s pay electronically. The area that is still under research is how the jurors that don??™t have a banking account will be compensated. The purposed idea is to issue debit cards that a juror could use to withdraw the money from an ATM. We will supply a pin number and then the card will be inactivated. The finance department is trying to work with local banks to honor our debit cards. A contract will be issued to the banking institution and they will supply the debit cards and handle the customer service aspect of it. Questionnaires have been issued during our research process to determine if the general public would welcome this change. The response has been overwhelming in a positive nature.
The last area that we have conducted research is the marketing area of our department. The main focus was trying to determine if the public would be interested in our online software to print documentation and fill out court summons for jury duty. The research was conducted and we implemented a software program called e-juror. The response was positive and the court invested the money to purchase this software. The postage paid envelopes we were using paid for our software within one year. The research in the marketing areas proved beneficial to the court and general public. It showed that both the juror and court as a whole saved time and money. The maintenance fee to maintain the software which covers trouble shooting and upgrades is still lower than the cost of postage.
The biggest area in the court system that needs research is leadership in management. The skills it takes to effectively manage people is lacking within some departments. Questionnaires need to be created to give to employees to get feedback on how they feel concerning leadership from management. Training in areas of effective communication and management skills need to also be offered on a regular basis. It would also be beneficial to address the questionnaires with an action plan to show employees that management is sincere and values their input. Once the areas that need addressed are identified and thoroughly assessed the outcome of the changes being successful is critically related to the implementation of an action plan. Yearly reviews and employee feedback is also critical. This gives the employee a sense of responsibility in the workplace. The moral in each department will increase once employees feel they have voice in change.
The second area in my organization that I think needs research is upgrading equipment that processes our summons and also checks in jurors. This day and age of ???go green??? the amount of paper that is wasted and not recycled needs major improvements. The process we utilize now is all paper when processing and checking in jurors. Our court calendar is also printed and hung throughout the courthouse. The research that needs done is looking at monitors to hang on the wall in the entrance and in the corridors of the halls with a running calendar for the day. The general public is always wandering around trying to find the correct location. This would help decrease these issues. Also, there are companies that build and sell Kiosks to allow jurors to have a more hands on approach to the jury process. They can check themselves in and print attendance letters without having to wait in lines. It??™s a benefit that would cut down on man power with the courts and also reduce time the juror is waiting around idle.
The third area that needs addressed through research is Human Resources. The research should be conducted to investigate software availability that allows employees to log on to their information and change benefits, request leave and change of personal information. This would allow the employee to manage their affairs confidently. Many issues arise that employees don??™t feel comfortable discussing. This would also save the court time and money. You could reduce man power needed to process such request. It also reduces the time to fill out paperwork and reduce the amount of paper that is being used. The cost of paper and ink involved in these actions would most likely pay for such software.
Taken all together, these improvements that have been implemented through research within the courts have been proven beyond beneficial to everyone involved. The research that I suggested would improve the moral and efficiency of all departments within the courts.
Brief, A.P. Dukerich, J.M., & Doran, L.I. (1991). Resulving ethical dilemmas in management. Journal of Applied Socail Psychology, 21, 380-396.