July 31, 2013
The Government Furlough and the Lasting Effects: A Research Proposal Problem Statement More than half of the nation's 2.1 million federal workers are being furloughed over the next four months. The specific effects that the furloughs have had on federal employees is not known, and this proposed study seeks to gain some insight of those effects, in particular in the areas of the furloughs perceived as being beneficial or harmful. This research proposal is believed to assist in the reduction of uncertainty and provide focus for future decision making among the leadership at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Grounds. As the government furlough has taken effect at the Yuma Proving Ground, managers are faced with select research problems that affect the federal work force. “While qualitative research is being used increasingly because of the methodologies’ ability to generate deeper understanding, it still is perceived by many senior-level executives as a stepchild of quantitative data collection”. The proposed study will scrutinize the effects on the financial welfare of the 1400 plus federal employees assigned to various jobs and operations currently being undertaken at the Proving Ground. “The mandatory federal budget cuts that went into effect earlier this year are finally cutting into the workers at the government's single largest employer. Starting this week, 650,000 civilians who work for the Defense Department will be forced to take an unpaid day off from work every week for the remainder of the current fiscal year, 11 days in total”. Federal employees who have been furloughed under a shutdown historically have received their salaries retroactively. However, there appears to be no guarantee that employees placed on shutdown furlough would receive such pay. As congress and the President debate the future of the federal budget, the sequestration cuts causing a temporary work stoppage will immediately affect the financial welfare while increasing stress, personal hardship and uncertainty of future employment status.
Theoretical Framework It is apparent that there are both negative and positive externalities resulting from federal Department of Defense workers being furloughed. Clearly, the lost wages from being furloughed would be considered by most to be a negative externality, but for some employees who have dependents, the time afforded to spend time with their young children, wives, or significant others may perhaps be considered a positive externality. The overall theory behind this study is to discover the financial, psychological, and economic effects that potentially will engulf the lives of affected employees. Here locally, the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Grounds began its work furlough on July the 8th realizing that military training and weapons buying would suffer if the Department of Defense has to absorb the $52 billion in budget cuts. Several estimated variable will be addressed from the survey responses found in Appendix A. The questions that will be answered by this proposed research study are as follows:
1. How the government furlough affects employee welfare?
2. What affects does the furlough have on single individuals?
3. What affects does the furlough have on married/partnered individuals?
4. What affects does the furlough have on single/married individuals with children?
In conclusion to the administered surveys, a qualitative analysis will evaluate the specific results provided from each demographic that has been selected.
This study will compare and evaluate the responses from randomly selected demographics stated in the research questions. The sampling frame will be closely associated with the specific demographic groups that will be selected to test our hypothesis on the government furlough effects. Using simple random sampling of