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1) Define the objectives of a research project and plan a valid and practicable project to meet the objectives.
2) Carry out a critical literature review to provide a structure and focus for a research project.
3) Analyse research material systematically and critically evaluate research methods
4) Competently apply a selection of research methods to a business project.
5) Produce written research proposals, with appropriate justification and prescribed format.
The Assignment Task:
- Working title This need not be the final title, but should give an indication of your intended research topic
- The management or business problem that you seek to solve, and its context What is the management or business problem you wish to investigate? Briefly explain the research question(s) you are seeking to answer and make clear what the purpose or aim of your research is, i.e. What do you want to find out by the end of your dissertation, that you do not already know? (Note: it is appreciated that the area of investigation may be refined, after further work and discussion with your supervisor. Supervisors will be allocated on the basis of your proposal). Having identified the problem, what are the objectives of the research (= the problem broken down into manageable steps)? In this section, you should also include a brief explanation of the business context in which your research will be set e.g. organisation or industry, in other words, the background to your research – what has given rise to your intended research and why is there a need for it? You can start with the context and move on to the aim and objectives of the research, or vice versa, whichever flows best for you.
- Academic context Which areas of theory do you think will be particularly helpful for exploring the problem/question e.g. marketing of services, organisational culture? i.e. which academic literature is relevant? Whilst in section 2 you have explained the business context, this section is about the academic context. Dissertations and academic articles are often catalogued by keywords. Which keywords or combination of keywords might be applicable to your work? Include them in this section. Test your keywords on Proquest and briefly comment on how effective they are in producing useful articles – use the search tips to identify better keyword combinations as necessary and record these in this section. You can now use them to help with section
- Review of current thinking Using the Harvard method, provide the full references of TWELVE peer reviewed scholarly articles (not text books) and THREE other secondary sources e.g. reports, policy documents etc. which you think you might include in a review of current thinking (literature review) For each, write a short paragraph explaining:
- Why you might (or might not!) consider the source to be credible and authoritative
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