- Ensure that all work had been proof-read and checked prior to submission.
- Ensure that the layout of your documents is in a professional format.
- Ensure that all references are quoted at the end of the document using Harvard referencing
- Ensure that you complete the assignment cover sheet with your details, the unit details and your lecturer’s name. (Please sign the statement of authenticity)
- It is advisable for you to keep a copy of your assignment for your own record
- Use a report format (According to the structure explained in the class)
- Use diagrams and tables of figures where appropriate and reference their source
This unit requires you to conduct a research project relating to a specific area of business and to record your findings in an accepted format. You could select a host organisation or a job situation or use your own work experiences to help you to complete the tasks.
"You will need to agree the subject, process and action plan with your tutor before you commence the project."
This module will be assessed by a research report produced by you on a business or management topic of your choice. However, it is important that your choice of topic meets the following criteria to get a high mark:
1. The research must be focussed on a business or management problem/issue (or opportunity) for a specific organisation. The introduction to the research report needs to present some good supporting evidence of this (e.g. if the research is about staff absenteeism, what is the absenteeism rate in the chosen organisation? how does it compare with the sector average? has it been increasing? what problems/costs have resulted?).
2. The research report must include primary data (i.e. data that you have collected and analysed). It is strongly recommended that you use either a questionnaire survey or semi-structured interviews. If carrying out a questionnaire survey, the minimum number of completed questionnaires to be analysed should be 40, but it would be preferable to collect more – 60-80 would be good. If doing semi-structured interviews, the research should be based on at least six interviews, each lasting around 15-20 minutes. Primary data can be collected from staff and/or managers within an organisation, if you have access, or from customers of an organisation.
3. There should be enough academic literature on the chosen subject to allow you to produce a good literature review.
4. The topic should be one that is realistic to complete within the time available. As a general rule, avoid topics that are too hot and too big. You should also avoid combining two different subjects in one piece of research ‘avoid the AND plague’
Further advice will be
provided in class, along with an opportunity to discuss your proposed topic
with fellow students. You should also
agree the topic and broad approach with the module tutor before commencing your
Research reports generally follow a standard format, with each chapter having a specific purpose. You are expected to follow this approach:
You must fill in the Research Proposal Form provided by your tutor on research project specification, which will set the baseline of your research. (This must be submitted to tutor on the deadline given before the project is approached) (A copy of the final version must be attached as an appendix at the back of the report).
(Important: This chapter should introduce the problem, issue or opportunity that is the focus of the research. It needs to provide some evidence to show why this topic has been chosen and why the research is potentially going to help the organisation. Background on the chosen organisation should be kept short, relevant and factual. You should indicate how the research was planned. Further add to the report a table showing how you broke the work down into stages and the key considerations relevant to each stage. The chapter should contain a research aim, objectives and research questions. The information related to the Research design: type of research e.g. qualitative, quantitative, systematic, original; methodology; resources; statistical analyses will be briefly developed)
This chapter should include a review of relevant books and articles on the subject. It is not necessary to look at a wide range of sources; relevance and a demonstration that you understand the material are more important.
a) to find out what other people have written on the subject that is directly relevant in addressing your research topic (e.g. good practice ideas for reducing absenteeism at work);
b) to give ideas about how to conduct your primary research, including the main questions to ask (e.g. by identifying a model used in previous research that could be used, perhaps with some modifications, in your primary research).
This chapter should explain the research design and data collection methods chosen. It further outlines an action plan of the main stages you went through in collecting and analysing the data.
This chapter needs to record the results as well as an analysis and interpretation of the data collected. The approach taken will depend on whether the primary research uses a quantitative or qualitative method. Analysing quantitative data does not require you to use complex statistical techniques, although you will need to be able to use percentages and create and interpret charts, cross-tabulations etc.
You need to have collected and recorded data in an appropriate format such as samples of questionnaires and interviews and recording, compiling and collating the results from these appropriately in the form of charts/ graphs etc. You must include all raw data (questionnaires etc.) in an appendix.
The conclusions need to set out what you found in your research, compared with the original research aim, objectives, questions, literature review etc. The recommendations follow on from this and should set out 2-4 specific ideas for the organisation to consider, based on the evidence you have collected from the literature and your primary research. You can further make recommendations towards future research.
In a piece of writing, analyse the purpose and role of research in the sector, drawing on the piece of research undertaken. What are the implications of your own research and research in general on professional practice? Does it help? Why? If not, why not?
The overall outcome will be assessed based on the overall structure and coherence of the research report, including referencing of sources using the Harvard referencing system.