Comprehend the problems of applying business theories to ‘live’ business problems
Academic year and term:
2017/18 – Semester 2
Learning outcomes assessed within this piece of work as agreed at the programme level meeting
- 1. Comprehend the problems of applying business theories to ‘live’ business problems
- 2. Consider the alternative approaches to investigation and analysis
- 3. Examine alternative solutions by using primary and secondary data with an emphasis on secondary data
- 4. Critically evaluate and draw relevant conclusions from a multiplicity of resources
- 5. Present data clearly and logically, e.g. in diagrams, figures and tables
- 6. Demonstrate the application of management skills of diagnosis, analysis and planning
- 7. Collect and evaluate relevant information
- 8. select, apply and evaluate the usefulness of problem-solving methods and techniques
- 9. Identify potential options and to select and substantiate the most suitable
- 10. Consider the feasibility of recommendations within an organisational context
Type of assessment:
Written assignment – report setting out the project work
Instructions for assessment
Your assessment for this module takes the form of a project report.
Specific instructions are provided below:
1. Project Report (100%)
The Business Project report should be formatted using a professional font. Well-written reports have plenty of white space in page design. Pages should be numbered. There should be a margin of at least one inch at the top bottom and right side margin, with at least one and a half inches on the left margin to allow for spiral binding.
The report length is 5,000 words, maximum. Please state the word count at the end. There will be a mark penalty for exceeding the word limit. This word count excludes the bibliography and appendices. An additional 500 to 800 words are set for your Personal Learning Statement. An important transferable skill, which is part of the assessment, is the ability to select and process material and to write appropriate English. Please note the following points:
Any acronyms must be translated in full the first time they are used.
Any jargon must be explained.
Use tables or graphs to present numerical data: number them.
The report should flow in a logical and structured way.
Main sections should be numbered including sub-sections e.g. 1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3.
Use indents for sub-sections.
Each main section should start with an introduction and end with a brief summary to ensure coherence.
Appendices, if used, should be coded with either Roman numbering or capital letters e.g. I, II, III, IV or A, B, C.
A project report will normally have the following parts:
Acknowledgements (including your supervisor)
Project Aims & Identification of the Business Issue
Literature Review (relevant to the issue)
Analysis of Case Example (application of theory, model, etc.)
Personal Learning Statement
Notes on each part of the project:
This should be centred on the page with the main title in upper-case. Any longer sub-title should be in lower case. Put your student number to the bottom right. [The reports should be anonymous].
These are not essential but can be useful for recording organisational help and should include your supervisor.
This is a summary of no more than one page. It should contain a statement of what you set out to do in your project, what you did, what you concluded, what you recommended. Busy managers often only read the title and summary of a report so it is a key part of the work. You cannot really write the abstract until all the work is finished.
This should be your table of contents showing the section titles and the subsections (indented) against page numbers.
Introduction, Project Aims & Business Issue:
Briefly give a background to your project, why the topic is of importance and why it is of interest to you. Make a clear statement of your project aims and business issue. Let the reader know the outline of what will follow, section by section, giving an overview of how you propose to tackle the business issue.
Approx 1000 words
Write a review of the main body of published work relevant to the business issue. This acts to set out your project in the context of existing knowledge. It should show how much theory you use and where, for example, your issue is positioned. The Literature Review provides a critical insight, especially to a new reader, into the topic under investigation. A couple of textbooks and a few web sites are not adequate. Make use of academic journals, company reports, annual reports, and other authoritative sources.
Approx 1000 words
Analysis of Case Example:
Interpret the data. Relate back to the introduction where you set out the project aims and the business issue. Be self-critical about any shortcomings in your data collection and the sources in terms of validity and reliability. You must link the literature review to the data. Too often students write two unrelated ‘mini-reports’ and fail to see that the analysis of the data must be informed by the work presented in the literature review.
Approx 2000 words
The conclusion should begin by relating what you set out to do then give a brief summary of each section of the report showing how you developed your ideas. Provide an overall conclusion of your analysis. If appropriate, suggest further investigation or developments in the area, but, avoid introducing new material as this would be a new piece of analysis.
Approx 500 words
This section is appropriate if your project title suggests a terms of reference calling for recommendations about the way forward for the organisation. Try to keep recommendations separate from conclusions. Don’t make the common mistake of recommending before concluding on your analysis. A good Business Project is problem focused and therefore would normally have a recommendations section.
Approx 500 words
Recording your sources in the Bibliography is an important task. A quick guide to tutors for the potential quality of a project is to look at the bibliography and to see how extensive and realistic it is.
No suggested word limit for this section; the reference list is not included in the word count.
Please refer to the university guidelines on referencing using the Harvard system and make sure that you follow the instructions carefully.
In the library, there are many general books on case studies, data collection and analysis, and report writing. More specialist books deal with particular topics, e.g. up-to-date Marketing books can help you with case-study data collection and analysis.
Don’t pretend you have used sources you haven’t. Try to make your references as correct and complete as possible. Always ask yourself: “Is it possible, from the information I have given, for someone to walk into a library and readily find the source I am referring to?”
Appendices should contain any material too bulky or detailed to go into the main text. In particular, if you have large quantities of secondary data, you may wish to put this in tabular form as an appendix and in graphic form in the main text.
Personal Learning Statement:
This is the postscript statement where you reflect on how you did the project, what transferable skills you used and developed and perhaps offer comments about changes you would make if you were to do the project again. Try and not be too self-congratulatory and link to specific modules you have done on the degree programme.
Approx 500 – 800 words
The total word limit for this assessment is 5,800 words
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