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LO1: Understand the scientific process, its application in economics and business, and its utilization in the problem-solving approach to business and management challenges.

 RM Assignment Brief

Course/Programme:

BA Business

Level:

5

Module Title:

Research Methodologies

Module Leader:

 

Assignment titles:

Research Proposal

Assignment number:

1

Weighting:

100%

Date given out:

April 2021

Submission date:

 

Eligible for late submission (3 working days, with penalty)?

Yes

Method of submission:

X

Online only

 

Online and paper copy

Special instructions for submission (if any):

 

Date for results and feedback:

Not known yet

Employability skills assessed:

C1: Reading, selecting, analysing and synthesising information from a range of sources

C2: Producing different types of document

C3: Participating in discussions

IT1: Preparing information

N3: Presenting your findings

S1: Plan personal work schedules

WWO2: Working towards identified targets

 

 

 

Learning outcomes assessed:

LO1: Understand the scientific process, its application in economics and business, and its utilization in the problem-solving approach to business and management challenges.

LO2: Demonstrate the skills necessary to assess and interpret existing research as a prelude to carrying out further investigation

LO3: Critically describe, comprehend and discuss the role, principles, function and application of research design within both academic and/or applied business contexts

LO4: Understand, critically comprehend different research strategies and be able to apply with insight appropriate research methodologies to differing types of research problems, hypotheses, or fields of investigation

LO5: Conceptualise and formulate a research project, including the formation of a hypothesis; the identification of field and evidence; the identification of research methodological approaches; the carrying out of a sustained piece of research, and the forming of conclusions while evaluating and applying the outcomes of research to a context/problem or issue

LO6: Demonstrate and apply the researching skills and project management skills which are required and which are necessary to carrying out a successful and sustained piece of individual work which may be applicable to academic and/or business contexts

 

TASK DESCRIPTION –

TASK 

Select a research topic of your choice based on a business issue and design a research proposal for this topic. The topic may be discussed  with your Lecturer or the Teaching Assistant at the start of the term in order to facilitate a smooth development of the research proposal . This proposal should not exceed 3000 words. (+/- 10%)

Based on the selected topic, you are required to:

  • Select and develop a research  topic with  an appropriate set of research aim and  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, in turn,  require you to develop a research design and justify your methodological choices.

Your research design should include the following:

(1) Research Philosophy (e.g., positivism, interpretivism, realism and/or pragmatism)

(2) Research Approach (inductive or deductive)

(3) Research strategy  

(4) Research methods

  • 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 is  both valid and reliable
  • Discuss any possible limitations to this research
  • Provide a research plan for time management  (timescale)
  • Support with relevant references (Harvard format)

In your data collection and data analysis section, if appropriate, 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.

 LENGTH REQUIRED


3000 words +/- 10%

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.
  • Document format: Report
  • Ensure a clear title, course, and name or ID number is on a cover sheet and the referencing conforms to the Harvard system.
  • 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. All referencing should be in Harvard style.

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 Aim   and an appropriate set of Research 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:

  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. The “Onion” framework, designed by Saunders at al (2015) will be introduced during the course lectures.
  2. 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
  • Use of Academic English and appropriate research terminologies  required

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.

marking criteria and Student FEEDBACK

This section details the assessment criteria. The extent to which these are demonstrated by you determines your mark. The marks available for each criterion are shown. Lecturers use a similar format to comment on the achievement of the task(s), including those areas in which you have performed well and areas that would benefit from development/improvement.

Common Assessment Criteria Applied

Marks available

Marks

Awarded

1. Research-informed Literature

Extent of research and/or own reading, selection of credible sources, application of appropriate referencing conventions.

20

 

Students are expected to critically review the relevant literature pertaining to their selected research topic and specific research question. This Literature should be derived from credible and current sources. Harvard Referencing conventions are expected to be followed.

Similarly the Research Methodologies and methods aspects of the work should be supported by appropriate literature.

 

 

 

2. Knowledge and Understanding of Subject

Extent of knowledge and understanding of concepts and underlying principles associated with the discipline.

30

 

Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the main models and theories pertaining to the selected research topic.

Similarly, the Research Methodologies and methods aspects of the work will demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of its main academic features.

 

 

 

3. Analysis

Analysis, evaluation and synthesis; logic, argument and judgement; analytical reflection; organisation of ideas and evidence

25

 

Students are expected to organise the material in the Research proposal such that it contains analysis, synthesis and evaluation. In this context, in the Literature Review, schools of thought may be identified, key themes outlined, and other means of demonstrating good organisation of the material demonstrated. Throughout the work, justification for choices made will be apparent.

 

 

 

4. Practical Application and Deployment

Deployment of methods, materials, tools and techniques; application of concepts; formulation of innovative and creative solutions to solve problems.

15

 

Students are expected, in this aspect of the work, to relate what has been learned in the Literature Review to the actual undertaking of the forthcoming research, primarily through the development of a conceptual (or theoretical) framework.

Practical and justifiable recommendations relating to methodology and method should be evident.

 

 

 

5. Skills for Professional Practice

Attributes in professional practice: individual and collaborative working; deployment of appropriate media; presentation and organisation.

10

 

Students are expected to communicate and present the Proposal effectively, understandable to both specialists and non-specialists alike. This criterion includes the structure of the work and the standard of English used. It also includes an ability to work at an individual level.

 

 

  1. TOTAL

     100

 


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