Report an investigation of a business

Assignment Help Dissertation
Reference no: EM132233700 , Length: word count:16000

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

• negotiate and re-define, if necessary, the purpose and scope of a research project;
• undertake systematic search and review of relevant published theoretical and research-based literature relating to the research project;
• identify, critically evaluate and adopt research methods and intervention strategies that are appropriate and relevant to a specific task or to a research problem;
• establish the planning requirements of a project taking into consideration the management of ethical issues;
• schedule and prepare detailed plans;
• analyse data and relate those findings to the existing state of knowledge of the area studied;
• write a complete, well-structured and clearly argued academic dissertation dealing with the purpose and rationale of the study; the state of existing knowledge; choice of methodology and use an appropriate research design; the findings and ways in which they add to knowledge; and the implications of those conclusions.

Instructions for assessment

1: Dissertation research proposal (max. 3,000 words)

An MBA/MSc dissertation should report an investigation of a business or management related research question which:
• reflects the strategic management or international focus of the programme;
• is based on current research literature and current concerns;
• contributes to developing business practice and new knowledge.

The dissertation may be linked to a particular organisation to which you have access, but this is not essential. Whilst most dissertations are likely to involve the collection of primary data, any combination of primary and secondary data may be used. Your research proposal must take these requirements into account.

Prepare a research proposal on a theme relevant to the strategic management focus of the programme. The proposal should include detailed research objectives, a literature review and bibliography, research strategy and methods, and an outline of the methods of analysis, using pilot survey or simulated data. The research proposal will be completed by the beginning of the summer term, to allow formal assessment and to carry forward discussion with your supervisor regarding your project.

You should make good use of the learning and development opportunities provide by the Management Research Methods module (particularly the private study undertaken) and the discussion(s) with your appointed supervisor.

Format of the research proposal

Your research proposal should include the following:

• Title
Include a fully descriptive TITLE for the business research to be investigated. The title and scope of the proposal should have a strategic emphasis. This means that the research objectives should include a consideration of how the resolution of the problem affects the future development and direction of the organisation(s) concerned (investigation) and/or of other similar organisations. It may also include wider considerations in terms of sector, geographic or national policy implications.

• Section 1: INTRODUCTION and CONTEXT (ca. 300-500 words)
This sections should introduce the RESEARCH PROBLEM to be investigated; provide an explanation of why the problem is important and/or interesting (including brief references to relevant literature, both academic and business/ professional); provide an explanation of the research context or organisational background, and your access for data collection; provide a discussion of the SPECIFIC RESEARCH OBJECTIVES/QUESTIONS to be investigated.

• Section 2: LITERATURE REVIEW (ca. 800-1,200 words)
Outlining the results of the literature search you have carried out and identifying relevant theory/ theories. This must go beyond textbook material. Extensive use of academic journals is more essential and important for your conceptual framework.
You will already have done this for the first assignment Management Research Methods. You may use some of that material but you need to present it here much more briefly, to avoid exceeding the overall maximum word count.

• Section 3: INVESTIGATIVE APPROACH and METHODS (ca. 800-1,200 words)

This should cover the following areas, as appropriate:

1. what data (evidence/ information) you aim to obtain in relation to your research question/
objectives;
2. what are the sources for such data/ evidence/ information;
3. how you will obtain such data/ evidence/ information;
4. how you will analyse such data/ evidence/ information;
5. your approach to sampling;
6. specific data collection techniques and procedures, including where appropriate draft questionnaire, interview schedule, etc. (put as appendices, not included in word count);
7. brief justification of your choices, expressed in terms of key issues in social research philosophy.
You may use material that you have presented in the second assignment for Management Research Methods but must present much more briefly here.

• Section 4: ETHICAL ISSUES (ca. 100-500 words)
Give a brief discussion of the ethical issues that arise in respect of your proposed investigation.

• Section 5: TIME PLAN and RESOURCES (ca. 100-500 words)
An outline TIME PLAN for carrying out the research (this may be presented in the form of a table or a Gantt chart,) and a brief discussion of the RESOURCES involved. You need to demonstrate that your project is feasible and that you are in a position to manage it effectively.

• Section 6: BIBLIOGRAPHY (not included in word count)
A single list should be given, obeying the standard rules HARVARD REFERENCING STYLE for bibliographical details, including web sites, blogs or other digital materials. Refer to the library resources for more information (NB do not put URL for journal articles accessed via the web but published in print form).

• APPENDICES (not included in word count)
Full use should be made of appendices to provide supporting evidence e.g. sample documents from the organisation(s) involved, questionnaires, interview outlines, samples of secondary data etc. However, you must not use appendices to present key information as a ruse to exceed the word count.

Dissertation

Each of the assessment categories is elaborated below in the form of a checklist of questions. Please study the checklist of questions as you prepare relevant sections of your dissertation, and especially when you are editing the penultimate and final drafts of your dissertation.

• INTRODUCTION, CONTEXT, RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
o Is the research topic or problem clearly stated and shown to be worth investigating?
o Has appropriate background information been provided with special terms and concepts defined?
o Are the research objectives (research questions or hypotheses) clear, relevant, coherent and achievable?
o Do objectives etc. go beyond mere description, i.e. do they involve explanation, comparison, criticism or evaluation?

• LITERATURE REVIEW
o Has a comprehensive range of RELEVANT literature been used to discuss relevant concepts, models and theories?
o Are the sources used up to date, and of sufficient academic weight?
o Does the dissertation give evidence of a critical attitude towards source material?
o Are the key themes and issues surrounding the research questions clearly drawn from the literature?
o Have sources been acknowledged and cited fairly and properly, in accordance with the Harvard format? Is the references listing at the end of the dissertation complete and in the Harvard format?

• RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
o Is there a clear rationale for the research design and methodology adopted?
o Are the research methods fully described and the advantages and disadvantages of chosen methods discussed?
o Are any constraints or limitations identified?
o Are the relevant research instruments (e.g. blank questionnaire, interview questions etc.) included in the appendices? Are the research instruments well designed with all questions etc. relevant to research objectives?
o Are sampling methods described in detail? I.e. who the respondents are, how many there are and how they were selected?
o Are data analysis methods discussed?
o Is there evidence of care and accuracy in the data collection process? Are reliability and validity issues addressed?
o Has the methodology been critically evaluated in retrospect?

• RESULTS, ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION OF FINDINGS
o Is all data presented relevant to aims and objectives?
o Is the analysis thorough and appropriate to the data collected? E.g.:
- FOR QUESTIONNAIRES: Do the appendices contain a data matrix, and details of statistical analysis undertaken? Is statistical analysis correctly performed and interpreted?
- FOR INTERVIEWS, FOCUS GROUPS etc.: Do the appendices contain data collected and analysed such as interview transcripts? Has qualitative data been systematically analysed?
- FOR DOCUMENT, ARCHIVE AND OTHER SECONDARY DATA: Has the validity and reliability of the sources been addressed? Has quantitative or qualitative data been systematically analysed?
o Are the findings presented clearly and interestingly for the reader, with useful tables and charts embedded in the text and with the appendices being used appropriately for bulky and/or less interesting/essential data?
o Have the findings been discussed and evaluated?
o Have the finding of the primary research been compared and contrasted with findings, theories, models and concepts derived from the literature review?

• CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
o Have the research objectives (research questions) been reviewed and addressed?
o Do the conclusions and recommendations follow on from the findings? Are they well- grounded in the evidence and arguments presented?
o Has the relevance of the conclusions for management been discussed?
o Are the conclusions and recommendations discussed in context and are they more widely applicable?

• PRESENTATION, STRUCTURE AND WRITING
o Is the overall style and presentation of the dissertation in accordance with that specified in the Assessment Brief, i.e. cover pages, title page, word count, spacing, chapter and section headings, pagination, appropriate font, font size and font style (bold, italics, etc.).
o Is the title concise and appropriate?
o Is the executive summary a concise (no more than 300 words) summary of the main aims, methodology, findings and conclusions?
o Are acknowledgements made as appropriate?
o Is the contents page clear, concise and logically numbered? Are appendices, tables and figures numbered and listed in the contents page?
o Are all appendices referred to in the text?
o Is the writing clear and in an appropriate academic style?
o Is the standard of written English acceptable? Has the dissertation been spelling and grammar checked?

Attachment:- Dissertation.rar

Reference no: EM132233700

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Reviews

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:14:51 AM

Presentation, structure, and writing (10%) Outstanding and flawless. Fully documented and styled according to the brief; text (almost completely) free Very well documented and styled according to the brief; accurate spelling, from spelling, grammar, and grammatical, or punctuation; punctuation appropriate and errors; competent use of vocabulary vocabulary; appropriate to illustrations and topic with all tables well- specialist terms prepared; data defined; generally illustrations and integrated into tables well discussion. prepared; data presentation logically integrated into discussion in body of text/ appendices; appendices relevant.

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:14:39 AM

Conclusions, implications, and recommendations (10%) Outstanding and flawless. Appropriate conclusions accurately drawn from findings and very clearly Appropriate conclusions accurately drawn from findings and clearly presented; presented; conclusions conclusions drive substantiate the the argument argument/ test onwards, thesis, and are completely and comprehensive fairly; where and fair; general relevant, contrary awareness of findings used to potential contrary illuminate or conclusions extend the arising from argument; draws findings; draws appropriate and appropriate implications implications and/or and/or recommendations recommendations for policy/ for policy/ practice, justified practice, mostly on basis of justified on basis conclusions of conclusions drawn from drawn from analysis; analysis; implications/ implications/ recommendations recommendations very clearly clearly presented.

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:14:28 AM

Presentation and analysis of empirical findings (30%) Outstanding and flawless. Clearly and fully presents empirical findings, appropriate to Clearly and fully presents empirical findings, appropriate to methodology; methodology; analysis analysis undertaken undertaken accurately using accurately using appropriate generally analytical appropriate methods/ analytical techniques; methods/ analysis techniques; undertaken in analysis considerable undertaken in depth; focuses depth; focuses on clearly on key key issues/ issues/ questions questions relating relating to to research research objectives. objectives.

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:14:18 AM

Research design and methodology (15%) Outstanding and flawless. Design of empirical investigation fully and clearly presented and appropriately justified; sampling issues addressed appropriately and effectively; appropriate data collection methods adopted and indicating a degree of creative thinking (presented with examples); appropriate data analysis methods clearly explained; indicates clear awareness of constraints and limitations when designing investigation; provides thoughtful and critical retrospective

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:14:09 AM

Literature review (25%) Outstanding and flawless. All material selected from appropriate, authoritative sources; comprehensive, clear evidence of systematic search; systematically presenting cogent, structured analysis of key themes and/or issues relevant to overall research project; presents thoughtful and critical evaluation of issues, arguments, and claims; logical and persuasive discussion; draws explicit conclusions very well linked to empirical project; full, consistent adoption of Harvard format for citations and references.

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:13:47 AM

Excellent (80-89) 85 Very Good (70-79) 75 Context and rationale very clearly stated, indicating relevance to both Context and rationale clearly stated, indicating relevance to both arena of policy/ arena of policy/ practice and the practice and the research field; research field; clearly set up as very clearly set a worthwhile up as a investigative worthwhile project; provides investigative clear explanation project; provides of key terms; key clear and issues and comprehensive overall aim of the explanation of project explicitly key terms; key indicated; issues and research overall aim of the objectives clearly project explicitly stated and and effectively indicating overall indicated; depth of analysis research to be undertaken. objectives very clearly stated and indicating a thorough and in- depth of analysis to be undertaken.

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:13:35 AM

Presentation: clarity, structure, layout, Outstanding and flawless. Concise and effectively argued, within the length allowed; skilled use of academic conventions; accurate proof- reading. Very good control of length; skilled use of academic conventions; nearly all errors eliminated in proof-reading. Good control of length; skilled use of academic conventions; accurate spelling, grammar etc.; careful proof- reading. Length requirements observed; appropriate use of academic conventions; some errors in spelling, grammar etc.; some indication of proof-reading. Presentation is too long or too short in relation to content; several errors in Poorly presented work; presentation is either too short or too long Very poorly presented work, presentation much too short so missing key Missing. Wholly incorrect or not attempted.

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:13:08 AM

Discussion of ethical issues 15% Outstanding and flawless. Identifies all key issues, those actually identifiable now and some that are potential; clearly indicates how these will be addressed. Identifies most issues, those actually identifiable now and some that are potential; indicates how these will be addressed. Identifies some issues that are actually identifiable now; indicates how these will be addressed. Indicates some awareness of ethical issues, but rather generalised and lacking specificity; limited discussion of how issues will be addressed. Rather general discussion of ethical issues, not clearly related to specific project; quite limited discussion. General but unfocused discussion of ethical issues not related to specific project; limited discussion. Has paid very little attention to actual or potential ethical issues. Missing. Wholly incorrect or not attempted.

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:12:59 AM

Plan and timetable 15% Outstanding and flawless. Eminently achievable by the deadlines and in the order stated, Achievable by the deadlines stated, order appropriate; Mostly doable with few amendments likely by the tutor; Generally doable with some amendments likely by the tutor; Possible doubts about doing it in time as stated; chapter titles Several doubts about doing it in time as stated; chapter titles Unrealistic listing of sequence; deadline points trivial or Missing. Wholly incorrect or not attempted. possibly more done than one would have expected; chapter headings tackle all the issues clearly and succinctly. chapter headings show that the presentation of the whole argument has been thought through. chapter headings show that the requirements for presentation of the argument have been grasped. chapter headings show that the requirements for presentation of the argument have been generally grasped. over-general, and do not clearly indicate the argument in sufficient detail. over-general and unclear. uninformative; chapter titles trivial.

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:12:49 AM

Design of empirical investigation 25% Outstanding and flawless. Provides very clear indication of what empirical data/ material will be sought, from what sources, using what methods; effectively justifies choice in relation to overall research question/ aims and objectives; issues of sampling, validity, reliability, representativene ss discussed in an excellent manner; comprehensive and critical discussion of research philosophy for taught Masters student at this stage.

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:12:41 AM

Discussion of concepts, theory, literature Outstanding and flawless. Excellent discussion of key concepts, theories, and frameworks; very Very well- presented discussion of key concepts, theories, and (25%) clear indication of systematic frameworks; clear indication of search for systematic relevant search for literature; relevant appropriate and literature; thoughtful appropriate selection of selection of research research question and question and objectives; very objectives; clear clear evidence of evidence of critical approach critical approach to literature to literature discussed; discussed; provides very provides clear clear rationale for rationale for an an empirical empirical investigation that investigation that is likely to is likely to generate useful generate some knowledge; full useful

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:12:33 AM

Outstanding 100 Excellent (80-89) 85 Very Good (70-79) 75 Topic, objectives, research question Outstanding and flawless. Presents excellent rationale for choice of topic in terms of current Presents very good rationale for choice of topic in terms of interest and importance (10%) interest and importance for for policy and/or practice within a policy and/or business-related practice within a field and business-related contemporary; field; objectives research clear, ambitious question neat, but achievable; relevant, and research central to the question reflects topic. the most current developments and conversations on the topic.

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:12:14 AM

Process Three – A moderation meeting takes place where the members of the marking team will each review the marking of other and agree the mark and feedback Process Four – Work then goes to an external examiner who will review a sample of work to confirm that the marking between different staff is consistent and fair Process Five – Your mark and feedback is processed by the Office and made available to you.

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:11:57 AM

Between you handing in your work and then receiving your feedback and marks within 20 days, there are a number of quality assurance processes that we go through to ensure that students receive marks which reflects their work. A brief summary is provided below. • Process One – The module and marking team are reminded of standards, expectations and how feedback will be provided. • Process Two – Your supervisor and one other subject expert will mark your work using the criteria provided in the assessment brief.

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:11:29 AM

Dissertation: this is a substantial piece of written work with a range of 10,000 to 12,000 words (MBA) or 16,000 to 18,000 words (MSc) (excluding bibliography and a modest number of endnotes and essential appendices). The dissertation must provide a clear link to important and interesting business, strategic, managerial, and economic applications. A range of approaches may be adopted, including the original analysis of existing secondary data, but it is likely that most students will use a combination of published literature and primary research.

len2233700

2/13/2019 4:11:16 AM

Dissertation Research Proposal: this will be no more than 3,000 words submitted via Moodle, to provide the key information for supervisors to judge on the extent to which you have a well-developed plan for the research project you aim to carry out for your dissertation.

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