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De La Salle University

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Academic year: 2023

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First, I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to pursue a Master of Business Administration at DLSU. Second, I would like to thank the De La Salle University Graduate School of Business, including all its professors and staff, for providing one of the best MBA educations in the country.

Background and Context

Company Profile

The company introduced its products and services related to the industrial refrigeration industry due to the growing market in the country. As a representative office in the Philippines, its primary responsibility is to market the company's products and services locally.

Position of the Inside Action Researcher

This means that all marketing activities and project inquiries and support are handled and monitored by the Philippines office. In contrast, most transactions such as project costing, preparation of tender documents, negotiations, sales, budget approvals and administrative functions are carried out by the head office.

Purpose and Rationale

Issue

They then agreed and gave their support as they understood that this would be beneficial for the company to be sustainable which depended on keeping our jobs. Considering that the company was new to the Philippine market, the company does not have many project inquiries or requests for quotations from its side.

Significance of the Action Research

Methodology and Methods of Inquiry

  • Action Research Design
  • Researcher and Collaborators
  • Data Generation
  • First Person Inquiry
  • Second Person Inquiry
  • Third Person Inquiry
  • Managing Role Duality and Organizational Politics
  • Ethical Considerations

On the other hand, the definition of each stage of the marketing funnel framework is more specific and detailed. The main feature of the political dynamics in the company is the lack of project inquiries.

Table 1. Researcher and Collaborators’ Designation and Role in the Action Research  Researcher and Collaborators’ Designation and Role in the Action Research
Table 1. Researcher and Collaborators’ Designation and Role in the Action Research Researcher and Collaborators’ Designation and Role in the Action Research

Stories and Outcomes First Cycle

  • Constructing
  • Planning
  • Taking Action
  • Evaluating Action

Being new to the company, I noticed that all inquiries were about spare parts from existing customers. They admitted that looking for new potential clients was not a priority because they already have too much on their plate, considering that there were only two of them in the company.

Table 4. Utilizing ORJI in the Number of Project Inquiries  Utilizing ORJI in the Number of Project Inquiries
Table 4. Utilizing ORJI in the Number of Project Inquiries Utilizing ORJI in the Number of Project Inquiries

Meta-Learning After First Cycle

Content Reflection

Although we did not reach our goal on our cycle one, we were able to address and reduce the limiting forces of our force field analysis. We realized we are on the right track, but we need to do more. My co-workers admitted that the company did not have enough new project inquiries from potential new customers that could help the company significantly increase its sales and be sustainable in the long run.

It was my fault for suddenly jumping to conclusions when I could have asked them first. There were only two people in the company who were doing many things at the same time. That's when I realized that multitasking can cause a person to fail or miss a particular task.

When solving the issue of the number of project requests, it was not only about fulfilling the company's legal role as a representative office, but also as a question of everyone's job security and the sustainability of the company. What was happening in the company before this action research may seem enough, but then we realized that if we do not receive inquiries from new potential customers, then we will not have new projects and we will also be heavily dependent on our existing customer base .

Process Reflection

Premise Reflection

I consciously hid my emotion in the hope that I would forget it completely because I realized that I don't want to ruin our friendship. For example, due to my non-confrontational personality, when I assumed that Niel would find his own ways to accomplish our task, I only realized that most of the details like what to say during the initial phone call to the content of our email were were made and improved with its implementation. It wouldn't have to be like that if I asked Niel if he knows what to do and say to our prospects.

Niel has just called the companies whose contact numbers are on the list, when he could have made the extra effort to find them on the internet. I should have clarified with Niel first what happened to his process when he was unable to contact everyone on his list. I could have avoided the feeling of anger if I had only asked him, or better still, I could have phrased it in a way that made it clearer.

I also realized that maybe I was too quick to judge him without considering his reasons. I could have avoided inappropriate feelings and reactions if only I had been braver and more open to questioning them before jumping to conclusions and assumptions.

Stories and Outcomes Second Cycle

  • Constructing
  • Planning
  • Taking Action
  • Evaluating Action

Besides the Technology Day Seminar we hold once a year here in Manila, we could be more active on our social media accounts to attract new customers. We have LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, but I noticed that we are only active on Facebook. I was nervous about not completing this action research and my MBA degree in time because I already thought we would follow Arnold or Niel's suggestion.

As the audience is not particularly targeted, and Niel is right that we do not have access to that. We did this because we realized that we could use our established relationships with our existing and potential clients to our advantage by getting referrals from them. By getting referrals, we realized that we could increase our market reach and our chance of achieving our goals.

Let's hope we have more questions next month. I was elated after my conversation with Niel because there was a good chance that we would reach our goal.

Table 11. ORJI on Assessing Potential Solution – Cycle 2  ORJI on Assessing Potential Solution – Cycle 2
Table 11. ORJI on Assessing Potential Solution – Cycle 2 ORJI on Assessing Potential Solution – Cycle 2

Meta-Learning After Second Cycle

Content Reflection

Afterwards, I realized this scenario was similar to what happened to me during our first cycle when I assumed Niel was belittling me because of the tone of his voice. I also realized that I was doing the right thing by not getting my hopes up because I didn't want to be disappointed if it ever didn't happen. Although there was still a sense of uncertainty as to whether or not we would achieve our goals when we started cycle two, it was our determination to save the Philippine operations and our jobs that motivated us.

This was not only for my benefit of a possible promotion, but also for the sustainability of the company and everyone's job security. I realized that I have to think and suggest another way without being selfish and pushy considering a win-win suggestion. It was then that I realized that despite having my own personal goal, I always considered the thoughts and feelings of others.

Our failure has taught us to be the better version of ourselves, to be more patient in dealing with our prospective clients and to be more driven in achieving our goals. At the end of the day, we realized how our failure helped us strengthen our determination to achieve our goal.

Process Reflection

Three forms of inquiry helped me confirm with my colleagues that they agreed with my idea without me being intrusive. We were interested in how we could increase the number of project requests, which in turn could make the company sustainable in the long term. This allowed us to expand our reach with the help of our existing and potential customers from the first cycle.

There are things worth holding on to, and creating and nurturing a harmonious working environment with our clients is one of them. At first I was just more concerned about my personal perspective, but I was able to manage my emotions and consider others. I became more aware of my assumptions and their impact on my co-workers and the company.

Premise Reflection

Moreover, I could reflect that I am the kind of person who wants to avoid conflict. I learned how to avoid conflict while at the same time taking into account the point of view of my co-workers. There were differences in our behaviors and personalities, but when we understood the impact of this research in addressing our common issues, we learned to put our differences aside and focused on our unique goal for the company.

I was thankful for this action research because it shaped me to become a better person and see the bigger picture.

Extrapolation to a Broader Context and Articulation of Usable Knowledge

Also, larger markets through the company's expansion in the Philippines means the potential for greater profits, especially in emerging markets where opportunities are riper compared to more saturated markets where competition is fierce. In our case, before its formal expansion in the Philippines, the company had already received some local project inquiries and repeat purchases. This led the head office of Malaysia to formally register a local company as a representative office in the Philippines to basically support local clients.

It also serves as a training ground for the company's employees to harness their interpersonal and presentation skills, and technical knowledge to thrive and be experts in the industry. In this action research, good working relationship with customers should be included in the marketing funnel framework. AIDA marketing communication model: Stimulating a purchase decision in the minds of the consumers through a linear progression of steps.

ABC • NRS Malaysia has been doing business in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao, for almost three years now. The owner decided to establish a formal extension office or representative office in the Philippines to market the company's products and services due to the increasing number of potential customers in the country. Malaysia head office also offers products and services related to industrial gas compression, but we have not tried to offer it here in the Philippines.

RLD • Apart from what NAM mentioned that we do not have our own processes, it seems that the head office in Malaysia is not familiar with some procedures followed by most companies in the Philippines.

Figure 13. Revised Marketing Funnel Framework
Figure 13. Revised Marketing Funnel Framework

Pigura

Figure 1. Organizational Chart of NRS Process Systems Sdn. Bhd. Representative Office in the  Philippines
Figure 2. Action research cycle from “Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization” by  Coghlan, D., & Brannick, T., 2014, Singapore: SAGE Publications Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
Table 1. Researcher and Collaborators’ Designation and Role in the Action Research  Researcher and Collaborators’ Designation and Role in the Action Research
Figure 3. Schein (1999) Basic ORJI Model
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