Choosing a topic
You need to choose a topic for your assignments within the general subject area of globalisation. Background material can be found in the document Research Project Theme 2018, which is on the Moodle page for this module.
Pearson suggest that the range of topics students could cover includes the following:
- The benefits and drawbacks of a global business environment
- How globalisation can drive business success
- The benefits and the risks of offshoring and outsourcing
- The interrelationship between global business and global politics and the challenges that can create
- The different strategies employed by businesses to enter emerging markets
- Competing with multinational companies and survival strategies for local companies in emerging markets
- The impact of globalisation on the corporate structures of large multinational companies and the major challenges they face.
Before you do a lot of work on this assignment, you should discuss your ideas for a topic with the module tutor and ensure that he agrees that the topic is a suitable one. One key factor to consider if whether you can get access to a suitable business/organisation – some of the topics suggested by Pearson really need such access if you are to gather primary data. If you cannot get access to a suitable organisation, you need to think about a research topic that can be carried out by gathering data from actual or potential customers or members of the public – for example, to assess their views on the advantages and disadvantages of globalisation or to do market research relevant to a UK company seeking to enter a foreign market (or a foreign company looking to expand into the UK).
The research topic must be focussed on a problem/issue (or opportunity) for a specific organisation or sector, or a specific issue/problem relevant to globalisation more generally. And the intended audience for your research report is the senior management of that organisation.
You should not choose an organisation/sector and subject where everything is proceeding satisfactorily, as this would not lead to an interesting and analytical piece of research. This is an absolutely fundamental point and it is important that the introduction to the proposal sets out clearly what the problem/issue/opportunity is, with strong supporting evidence.
Identifying a specific problem/issue/opportunity as the focus of the research should also help you to start developing an effective conceptual framework for the research, as illustrated below. If the problem (or issue or opportunity) is not clearly formulated at the start of the research, the later parts of the conceptual framework will be hard to formulate and the value of the research will be unclear.
The proposed research should involve primary data collection – in other words, data that you will collect yourself. You should choose a topic that it would be realistic for a student to do in the time available. You are not expected to propose a topic that would require a large research team or take years to complete!
As your research proposal will include a short literature review, it is also important to consider whether there is enough academic literature on the chosen subject.
You are strongly recommended to propose only one method of collecting your primary data – e.g. a questionnaire survey or semi-structured interviews, not both.