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Unit 6: Managing a Successful Business Project

Unit 6: Managing a Successful Business Project 

Course

Pearson HND in Business

Academic Year

2019-2020

Unit Number & Unit Title

Unit 6: Managing a Successful Business Project

Assignment Title

Equality and Diversity in the Workplace

Date issued

23.09.2019

IV Name and Date

 

Formative Submission Deadline

Summative Submission Deadline

       

ASSIGNMENT BRIEF AND GUIDANCE

Purpose of this assessment

The aim of this assessment is to offer you an opportunity to plan and carry out a piece of original research, demonstrating the skills required for managing and implementing a small business research project.

 

Scenario

You need to carry out a piece of primary research on the subject of equality and diversity in the workplace. Equality in this context means ensuring that everybody has the same access to the same opportunities without any discrimination.  For example, people are not rejected for a job, denied promotion, given less important work, awarded lower performance appraisal marks or treated in any other way that is unfair because of their race, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability etc.  Diversity in this context means placing valuing on and respecting people’s different backgrounds, knowledge, skills and experiences and using these differences to create a productive and effective workforce.

Unit 6: Managing a Successful Business Project

Specifically, your topic needs to look at what issues and challenges may arise out of equality and diversity in the workplace and what measures could be taken to resolve them?  You are doing your research within a limited word count and timeframe, so you cannot address this topic in general terms – it must be focussed on a specific organisation to which you can gain access to gather primary data.  The organisation could be in the UK, your home country (if not the UK) or anywhere else.  Given the limitations within which you are working, you should focus on either equality or diversity, not both. You may also decide to look at equality in relation to a specific characteristic – for example, racial equality – rather than equality generally within the organisation.  The proposed research should be a realistic one 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 report will include a short literature review, it is also important to consider whether there is enough literature when choosing your subject. This should not be a problem – there is a lot of material about equality and diversity in the workplace and finding one or two examples on which to model your own research should be perfectly possible and would be a very good idea.

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. 

Task 1: Unit 6: Managing a Successful Business Project

Based on the topic above, you are expected to create a project plan that addresses the feasibility of your research project. The plan needs to include:

  1. A brief explanation of your proposed research topic and why you have chosen it.
  2. An aim and some objectives for your proposed research.
  3. A brief discussion of the scope and limitations of your proposed research.
  4. Resources and cost considerations relating to your proposed research.
  5. A project plan, Gantt chart or work breakdown structure in order to provide timeframes and stages for completion of your research.
  6. A risk register covering the five main risks with the proposed research, including the size of each risk, planned mitigation measures and residual risk.

 This provides evidence for LO1

Word count: 750 words +/- 10%, excluding project plan/Gantt chart/WBS and risk register.

Submission Format

A research proposal identifying the topic you plan to research and including a rationale for the research, an aim and supporting objectives, a brief discussion of scope, limitation and resources, then a project plan and risk assessment for the research project.

 

Task 2: Unit 6: Managing a Successful Business Project

When your project plan has been approved, you will be able to carry out the research project. The required elements of the research report are set out in the diagram below, along with an indication of the length of the respective sections.  There is no need for a contents list for the report.

Title Page

CHAPTER 1       Introduction [around 500 words]

CHAPTER 2       Literature Review [around 1,000 words]

CHAPTER 3    Methodology [around 1,000 words]

CHAPTER 4    Results [around 1,000 words]

CHAPTER 5    Conclusions and Recommendations [around 1,000 words]

CHAPTER 6    Reflections [around 500 words]

References

Appendices

Chapter 1. Introduction

In the introduction you should introduce the reader to the background to the study and the nature of the problem/issue/opportunity. It should therefore set the study in context explaining why this study is important. The main focus of the justification should be on why the research would be useful to the specific organisation to the wider sector.  But you could also mention the academic interest of the topic – for example, how it would fill a gap in the literature.  The aim and objectives should be stated clearly in this chapter. This chapter should be based on your project plan (Task 1), suitably updated to address any feedback you received on it.

Chapter 2.  Literature Review

You are expected to provide a critical review of the existing literature on the research area being investigated.  Key factors to take into account are:

•   You cannot read every book and article on your chosen topic.  Nevertheless your review should indicate that you have studied some good quality academic work in the field, including journal articles reporting relevant empirical research and/or credible stories from specialist or general news sites. 

•   The literature review should be relevant to your research aim and objectives. It should also inform your choice of methodology (e.g. you should consider what primary research methods previous researchers have used and consider whether this suggests you should propose the same method or a different one, or variations in your approach to build on what others have done).

•  Critically reviewing past research is essential. You cannot just describe what you have read, with each article summarised in turn.  The material needs to be organised into relevant themes/topics.

•  The literature must be up-to-date.  You should be looking to use plenty of recent literature (not older than five years).

Chapter 3.  Methodology

The purpose of this chapter is to justify and explain your chosen primary research method.  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.

This chapter should cover the following:

•          why you chose your primary data collection method.  In other words, what are the advantages of the proposed method in your specific case and, where there are potential disadvantages of the method, why are these not so important or how you minimised them through a good research design

•          sampling – define the population, explain the sampling method and discuss the sample size

•          primary data collection instrument – note the main themes, links to the literature, question formats and piloting. A copy of your questionnaire or interview questions should be included as an appendix.  This should be annotated with comments on each question so that the reader can see how each of them links to the literature on the topic

  • data collection - how you arranged and conducted the survey or interviews

•          ethical issues relevant to the research, including how you conducted the research ethically, with particular mention of data storage

Chapter 4. Results

This chapter should set out and analyse the results of the primary research that you conducted.  The content of the chapter will vary depending on whether you have used a qualitative approach (e.g. semi-structured interviews with staff or managers) or a quantitative one (e.g. a questionnaire survey of staff).  Whatever the method, you will be expected to take an analytical approach when examining the data, including suitable references back to your literature review, and not simply to describe what you found.

Chapter 5.  Conclusions and Recommendations

This chapter needs to bring together what you have found out on the subject of your research, taking into account your initial aim and objectives and the findings of your literature review and primary data collection.  The conclusions should summarise what you have actually found.  The recommendations should set out the actions which you believe the organisation or sector should implement, or at least consider.  Recommendations need to be specific, supported by the evidence you have gathered and also ones that look to be realistic and cost-effective for the organisation where you carried out your research.

Chapter 6.  Reflections

This chapter should reflect on what you learnt about the research process during your project.  Think about the following questions and address one or two of them in your reflections:

•          How do you evaluate the success of your research?

•          With the benefit of what you now know, would you have modified your original topic in any way?

•          Did the research go as you had expected or were there things that surprised you?

•          Would you do some elements of the research differently if you had a second chance?

•          What are the most important lessons you have learnt from the research project?

Appendices

You will also need to include the following:

a) Project log-book: you need to have a minimum of four supervision meetings in total with your supervisor over the two terms. After each meeting, you will need to complete an entry in your log-book.  Annex 1 comprises a template which you should use.  (For students doing the module over one term, you should complete an entry after each discussion of your topic with your module tutor/supervisor, plus at other key stages - e.g. after completing the literature review or the primary research - so that you also have a minimum of four log-book entries in total.)

b) An annotated copy of your questionnaire or interview questions, showing the links to relevant literature  It is not necessary to include all of the completed questionnaires or recordings/transcripts of interviews.  However, you should keep such materials until after your results for this module have been confirmed, in case there are any questions about the authenticity of your data and you are required to provide evidence to show that you did carry out your primary research. 

This provides evidence for LO2, LO3 and LO4

Word count: 5,000 words +/-10%.

Submission Format

A research report which implements your proposal and sets out how you conducted the primary research, analyses the data you collected, sets out your overall conclusions and recommendations and reflects on the experience.

Unit 6: Managing a Successful Business Project


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