Topic: Research Methodologies
Maximum Word Limit and wordage for each aspect within the assignment:
The overall limit for the assignment is 4,000 words, with the Research Design Proposal limited to 2000 words and the Literature/Evidence Review also limited to 2000 words.
Description of Assessment Requirements
You are required to create a proposal for a research project aimed at solving a business related problem or opportunity. This will necessarily include both a research design and a literature review and evidence review, fully referenced, on your research proposal.
The work is to be handed in as ONE entity via Turnitin.
Guidelines for undertaking the Assignment
The assignment consists of ONE piece of coursework made up of two tasks.
Task 1 The Research Design Proposal (50%)
The research proposal must include a background which describes the basic situation underlying your project.
It must include a statement of the problem or opportunity that is the aim of your project. It must describe the rationale for your project, why you wish to carry out this research and the benefits that will accrue from its successful conclusion.
You must create research objectives that, when you successfully complete them, will have the information that enables you to solve the problem or capitalise on the opportunity that is the aim of your research.
You must evaluate and fully describe the research methods that will be necessary to successfully complete the research. Data collection methods must be selected and described which are consistent with the research philosophy necessary for its completion: these will include secondary and primary data sources. The methods by which the data you collect will be analyzed need to be justified.
Finally, ethical, validity and reliability issues relevant to the research must be discussed and a time plan for its completion must be calculated and displayed as a Gantt chart (or another suitable format).
Task 2 The Literature/Evidence Review (50%)
The research proposal must also include a Literature/Evidence review which evaluates the context for your research and sources academic research and models that are relevant to the project. It should include a critical evaluation of relevant theoretical and practical references and include breadth of understanding and depth of critical evaluation. Reviews will require analysis and evaluation of evidence and sources and be informed by theory and appropriate practice.
• A Case Study, Business Development Plan or Dissertation topics can be used if desired but it is not mandatory
• Discussion and debate on the above mentioned topics should be seen.
• There must be sufficient linkage between theory and practice.
• Harvard style of referencing should be used
Guidance to the contents and recommended structure of the Proposal is shown below:
(Note that Ref: applies to the Assessment Form included in this document.)
Part 1: Introduction and Background (400 words) Ref: Assessment Form Task 1, Section1
Is the overall context for the research well established?
Is the research topic interesting from an academic and practical perspective?
Is there a statement of the problem?
Is there a rationale for the topic?
Is it clear what aspects of the chosen topic will be researched?
Do the boundaries of the research make sense?
Is there a clear statement of the aim of the research?
Are research objectives included and are they specific?
Are the research questions well-conceived?
Are the research objectives matched to the research questions?
Part 2: Literature Review (2000 words) Ref: Assessment Form Task 2
Section 1 The LR Introduction (200 words) Ref: Assessment Form Task 2, Section 1
Is the domain explained?
Is there an identification of the main sources to be used?
Is there a pointer to the upcoming structure?
Section 2 The Main Body of the LR (1550 words) Ref: Assessment Form Task 2, Section 2
Is there a clear structure?
Does the review have a logical progression?
Does the review convey the critical thinking of the writer?
Is their good use of secondary sources, citation, references, synthesis, critique, chronology, seminal works, models?
Is the current position conveyed?
Section 3 Conclusion (250 words) Ref: Assessment Form Task 2, Section 3
Is there a clear concluding statement?
Is there a clear implication for further research?
Are research questions specified?
Are there emergent themes?
Is a conceptual framework established?
Part 3: Research Methodology (1100 words) Ref: Assessment Form, Task 1, Section 2
Is there a logical and cohesive structure to the proposal?
Is the underlying philosophical approach adequately explained?
Are the proposed research methods appropriate to the research task?
Have the data types been defined and classified?
Have target populations and samples been defined and justified?
Part 4: Data Analysis (500 words) Ref: Assessment Form, Task 1, Section 3
Is the proposal for analysis linked back to the literature and the research questions?
Have analysis methods been specified?
Are ethical issues considered?
Are validity and reliability issues discussed?
Is there an adequate time plan for the research?
Have academic protocols for referencing been met?
Note that the suggested number of words should only be an approximate guide. The quality of the work, not the quantity is the factor which needs to guide the writing of the proposal.
Upon successful completion of this module students will be able to:
• Formulate research questions and describe and critically evaluate differing research methods, including the formation of hypotheses, or other research models, or paradigms and justify the selection and use of specific research methodologies;
• Integrate and plan key research activities and schedules including the setting of timetables and research objectives, and the acceptance of accountability for all aspects of the conduct of a research project
• Understand the importance of, and be able to effectively demonstrate skills in, the conventions which are required for the carrying out of a major research project including the design of experimental and non-experimental research projects; the preparation of an integrated research proposal and effectively manage the design and delivery of this.
• Comprehend and critically evaluate the differentiation between qualitative and quantitative methods as they are used in research design and evaluate the appropriateness of their application, use, and value in differing aspects of business functions and requirements.
• Critically appraise the importance of, and the definitions and nature of, primary and secondary data, and be able to plan for (a) the selection, collection, or creation of data for interpretation and data analysis; and (b) critically analyse, interpret and manipulate data, and (c) synthesis results and interpretation of data and form conclusions.
• Assimilate and review an appropriate range of literature sources and other appropriate sources/evidential materials.
• Identify the underlying principles of various analytical methods commonly applied in business and management research;
• Select appropriate analytical techniques according to the nature of the research;
• Compute descriptive and inferential statistics using SPSS;
• Be able to communicate effectively in, numeric, verbal and literary form to a variety of audiences using appropriate business language, terminology, and concepts including Construct questionnaires, evaluate their reliability, and analyse and evaluate the data produced (quantitative/qualitative or other)