|TASK DESCRIPTION – ASSIGNMENT (50%)|
|BACKGROUND / INTRODUCTION|
Select a research topic of your choice based on a business issue and design a research proposal for this topic. The topic should be agreed with your Lecturer at least 4 weeks before submission date. This proposal should not exceed 2500words. (+/- 10%)
Based on the selected topic, you are required to:
- Develop a research question and an appropriate set of research objectives
- Justify the choice of research topic including the background and context of the research
- Develop a critical literature review of the research topic
- Design a research methodology based on the topic selected. This would require you to develop a research design and justify your choice as appropriate. Your research design should include the following:
Research Philosophy (e.g., positivism, interpretivism, realism and/or pragmatism)
Research Approach (inductive or deductive)
- Discuss and justify the data collection methods – type of data, sampling method and target group
- Discuss the data analysis procedure to be adopted
- Discuss the possible ethical issues that need to be considered in this research
- Discuss the methods by which you would ensure that the research was both valid and reliable
- Discuss any possible limitations to this research
- Provide a research plan (timescale)
- Support with relevant references (Harvard format)
In your data collection and data analysis section, discuss how you would collect primary data through the use of one or a combination of methods of data collection methods e.g. questionnaire, interview, focus groups, observation, etc., and how you would analyse this data.
The above requirements are indicated as the required areas of focus for you to articulate your individual responses. The submission of your work for assessment should be organised and clearly structured in the order outlined below.
Suggested Structure – Research Proposal
- Research Proposal Title – Reflect as accurately as possible the content of your chosen topic.
- Abstract – This is a brief statement of what you are intending to research. It should be no more than 150 words. This also needs, in brief, to describe the proposal content.
- Relevance of the proposed research to Business research
- Place the proposed study in context
- Justification of the chosen topic
- Value of this research
- Research Question and Research Objectives
(The research question would normally be one overall question, but, exceptionally, a small number (up to 3) question(s) that the research process will address.
Research objectives (usually 4-5 different research objectives) must be clear statements that identify what the research process seeks to achieve.
Both the research question(s) and research objectives must relate to the literature review)
- Literature Review
- Clear and precise knowledge that relates to the research topic.
- Explains how the proposal relates to the academic debate which has been identified as part of the literature review.
- Demonstrates a link between previous work and current work that has been done in your field of research interest.
- Highlights in the literature review where your research question(s)/objectives came from.
- Concludes with a Conceptual (or Theoretical) Framework.
This has to relate to the research questions and research objectives and shows how they will be achieved.
Your method consists of the following parts:
(1) Research design – relates to the research onion (philosophies, approaches, strategies, choices, time horizon). You are expected to make strong justifications in support of your chosen research design.
(2) Data collection – relates to the last phase of the research – the techniques and procedures. Identify how specifically the data will be collected (i.e. questionnaire, focus group, etc…). You are expected to provide the advantages and disadvantages of the various data collection methods and select the most appropriate data collection method(s).
(3) Data analysis – although no data is collected, an indication of the types of analysis to be conducted and how it might be presented is expected.
(Your chosen method (1) Research design and (2) Data collection must relate to the purpose of your study.)
(3) Ethics considerations
(4) Validity and Reliability issues
(5) Resource Requirements and
(6) A Time plan – perhaps in the form of a Gantt chart
- Appendix (if required)
2500 +/- 10%. Any deviation from this will be penalised.
|FORMATTING AND LAYOUT|
Please note the following when completing your written assignment:
- Writing: Written in English in an appropriate business/academic style
- Focus: Focus only on the tasks set in the assignment.
- Length: 2500
- Formatting: Typed on A4 paper in Calibri font 12 with at least 2.5 centimetre space at each edge, double spaced and pages numbered.
- Document format:
Ensure a clear title, course, and name or ID number is on a cover sheet and a Reference List using Harvard Referencing throughout is also provided.
- Research: Research should use reliable and relevant sources of information e.g. academic books and journals that have been peer reviewed. The research should be extensive.
The use of a range of information sources is expected – academic books, peer reviewed journal articles, professional articles, press releases and newspaper articles, reliable statistics, company annual reports and other company information.
The instructions below will provide you with some more, hopefully helpful, advice
Research Proposal Title: The title is to create interest and reflect seriousness and relevance. Avoid vague and sweeping phrases covering broad areas of subjects. Endeavour to be clear, specific and precise. Remember that a title, brief as it may be, needs to be faithful to the contents of the research.
Abstract: This is a brief statement of what you are intending to research. It should be no more than 1-2 paragraphs. This needs to describe the proposal content. Think of this as an executive summary.
Introduction: You need to define the problem. Evidence of analytical thinking, argument analysis, theory application, and data management analysis is required as part of research. Remember to emphasis:
- Relevance of the Proposed Research to Business Research
- Place the proposed study in context
- Justification of the chosen topic
- Value of this research
Research question and objectives: This is to form the heart of the research proposal, creating interest and raising queries while serving to discipline and monitor thinking. Good research questions should be clear, specific, and answerable. The research objectives will comprise a general statement on the purpose, intention, or desire outcome of your research project. Please remember:
- There must be 1 research question (exceptionally up to 3) and an appropriate set of objectives
- The research questions and objectives are linked to your Literature review.
Literature review: This is designed to situate your research project in a scholarly tradition, acknowledging the contributions made by other scholars and/or practitioners while highlighting the innovative approach of your project, which is expected to shed a new light on the subject or fill a gap in the available literature on it. A critical survey (or critique) of the literature in the research area will also help you define or single out a major work, theory or school of thought you could use or build. (A conceptual or theoretical framework)
Research method(s) used: This is to inform the reader how you intend to proceed regarding data (based on what you need, where the data are located, how to get them, what to do with them). The two main methodologies in this connection are Qualitative and Quantitative.
Your method consists of two parts:
- Research design – relates to the “research onion” (philosophies, approaches, strategies, choices, time horizon). You are expected to make strong justifications in support of your chosen research design. The “Onion” framework, designed by Saunders at al (2015) will be introduced during the course lectures.
- Data collection and analysis – relates to the last phase of the research (techniques and procedures). Identify how specifically the data will be collected (i.e. questionnaire, focus group, etc…). You are expected to provide the advantages and disadvantages of the various data collection methods and select the most appropriate data collection method(s). For data analysis, you need to discuss whether or not you will use descriptive or inferential statistics….or both. Also you need to consider which software might be used for the analysis.
Note that aspects of ethics, validity and reliability must be addressed, either in the course of your writing or in a separate headed section. Also your research proposal must include a time plan for the actual research to be undertaken.
It is also likely that your work will have its limitations. It is necessary for you to identify and briefly discuss this aspect.
More general advice on approaching the assignment:
- Identify the key terms and requirements for a Research Proposal
- Use the Marking Criteria to understand the expectations of the reader.
- Create an outline of your assignment.
- Use your Research and Referencing to support and justify all your points
- Use Evidence to support your proposed research design and methodology
Your assignment should include in-text citations and be supported with a full List of References. You are expected to use the Harvard Referencing Style.
Please remember that when you submit your assignment, you need to include your name, student ID (also as a footer) and the title of your assignment.