An abstract allows the author to communicate to his audience the critical information of his original research in a concise manner. Foote (2006) and December and Katz (nd) recommend that in writing a good abstract, it should contain four elements – background or objectives, methods, results and conclusion. The background highlights the research questions and/or hypotheses, the methods describe the study population, data gathering techniques and statistical analysis. The results indicate the most pertinent findings and should contain actual data (Maughan 2001) and illustrative examples.
The conclusion summarizes the findings and implications of the study (Rooryck & van Heuven 2003). The abstract should be between 100 and 250 words (Foote 2006, Shannon 2000, Guidelines for writing an abstract n. d. ) and should never be longer than a page (Rooryck & van Heuven 2003). Staiger (1965) suggests that a good abstract can have as little as 150 words once the information is concisely presented. Shannon (2000) and December and Katz (n. d. ) advise that nonessential information such as literature reviews should be avoided.
In terms of style only common abbreviations should be used and only minimally (Foote 2006, Shannon 2000) and jargons should not be used (Maughan 2001). The future tense, adverbs and adjectives should also be avoided. The text should flow and be intelligible and easily comprehended by non-specialists and international readers. Abstract The traditional pattern of negotiation and placing of insurance risk between brokers and underwriters follows a face-to-face and paper approach but the new electronic placing system (EPS) is available to allow for submitting, transmitting and negotiating risks and processing claims electronically.
This study explores the reasons for introducing, causes for the slow adoption and resistance to the implementation of the EPS systems. In a longitudinal research between 1993 and 1996, we surveyed 94 senior Market management, IT directors and staff, brokers and underwriters in the London Insurance Market using semi-structured interviews, observations of insurance risk placement work practices along with resource reviews. Reasons for introducing, delaying or resisting EPS introduction were copied verbatim and categorized based on its impact on work transformation or professional identity in the workplace.
EPS was implemented because of the benefits of productivity, efficiency, speed and cost, its capability to facilitate simultaneous risk transmissions and potential to broaden job horizons. Reasons for resisting or delaying introduction of EPS were the resulting minimization of client, broker and underwriter interaction, the EPS’ inability to transmit supporting customer documents to potential underwriters and its potential to undermine the professional role and identity of brokers and underwriters and to worsen employment conditions and job satisfaction.
Brokers also saw EPS as a potential threat to their employment security. There is resistance to technological change in the London Insurance Market and failure to adopt these technologies. EPS challenges the traditional mode of operation. We recommend that there be a balance between the use of computer technologies and traditional methodologies. References December, J. & Katz, S. nd, ‘What is an abstract’ The writing center, [Online] Available at: http://www.
rpi. edu/web/writingcenter/abstracts. html Foote, M. 2006, ‘Some concrete ideas about manuscript abstracts’, Chest, vol. 129, no. 5, p. 1375-1377. ‘Guidelines for writing an abstract’, Sigma Theta Tau, International, [Online] Available at: http://www. umassd. edu/nursing/theta_kappa/research_committee/guidelines_abstract. doc Maughan, R. 2001, ‘Editorial: abstract thoughts’, Journal of Sports Sciences, vol. 19, no. 5, p. 305. Rooryck, Johan & van Heuven, V.
2003, ‘Guidelines for writing abstracts’, Leiden University, [Online] Available at: http://www. unc. edu/linguistics/confinfo_files/hil-tips. pdf Shannon, S. 2000, ‘Writing a structured abstract’, Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal, vol. 51, no. 6, p. 328-329. Staiger, D. L. 1965, ‘What today’s students need to know about writing abstracts’, Journal of Business Communication, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 29-33. Walsham, G. 2001, Making a world of difference: IT in a global context, Wiley, Chichester, pp. 150-160.