Research Business Methods
Module Title: Research Business Methods Module Code: 7BUS2002-0901-2022
Assignment Format &Maximum Word count An Individual Research Proposal 2000 words (+/- 10%) Assignment weighting 70% of the overall grade
Coursework Submission: Date:19th December 2022
Method: On-line submission via Studynet/Canvas Coursework return Date returned to students:
4 weeks after submission
Internal Moderator Approved
Date:09/09/22 Module Board name
External Examiner Approved ☐
Date: Module Board date
Module eligible for an extension on submission date (subject to UPRs) YES
Learning Outcomes: Knowledge and Understanding assessed in this assignment:
Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary business issues and valuable project proposal : research issue, aim, objectives and question (s)
A contemporary business issue is a current or pressing concern that impacts businesses in a particular industry or sector. These issues can range from economic challenges and technological innovations to regulatory changes and social and environmental concerns.
To demonstrate an understanding of a contemporary business issue, it is important to conduct thorough research on the issue and its impact on businesses. This may involve reviewing relevant literature, conducting interviews or surveys with industry experts or stakeholders, and analyzing data and trends.
In order to develop a valuable project proposal to address a contemporary business issue, it is important to clearly define the research issue, aim, objectives, and questions. The research issue should be a specific problem or challenge related to the business issue that you are addressing. The aim of the project should be a broad statement of the overall purpose of the research, while the objectives should be more specific goals that you hope to achieve through the research. Finally, the research questions should be specific and focused queries that you hope to answer through the research.
For example, if the contemporary business issue is the impact of digital technology on traditional retail businesses, the research issue might be the challenges that traditional retailers face in adapting to the digital environment. The aim of the project might be to understand these challenges and identify strategies that can help traditional retailers compete in the digital marketplace. The objectives could include identifying the key factors that contribute to success in the digital retail environment, and examining the approaches that successful retailers are taking to adapt to digital technology. The research questions could include: What are the key factors that contribute to success in the digital retail environment? How are successful retailers adapting to digital technology? What strategies can traditional retailers use to compete in the digital marketplace?
Demonstrate a critical literature review: identifying and critiquing key literature, theories and authors relevant to specific topics
Critically examine range of relevant approaches to research methodology and research methods
Effectively plan and prepare a complex research activity in a systematic and creative manner for the final project, considering required ethics application process.
Learning Outcomes: Skills and Attributes assessed in this assignment:
Formulate effective research aim, objectives and research question(s) and make sound methodological choices
Critically evaluate relevant academic literature
Critically evaluate different applied research methodologies to achieve a research aim
Identify and justify the ethical requirements of an applied research project, potentially involving human participants
E.g. Use LinkedIn Learning to improve skills
USE AEB seminars
Feedback /Marking criteria for this Assignment
Performance will be assessed using HBS Grading Criteria (Rubric)
Feedback for improvement will be given in writing via your Canvas modulesite within 4 weeks of submission
Lateness Penalty: For each day or part day up to five days after the published deadline, coursework relating to modules submitted late will have the numeric grade reduced by 10 grade points until or unless the numeric grade reaches the minimum pass mark (UG 40/PG 50). Where the numeric grade awarded for the assessment is less than the minimum pass mark no lateness penalty will be applied. If the coursework is submitted more than 5 days after the published deadline, it will not be marked and a grade of zero will be awarded.Please note: Referred coursework submitted after the published deadline will be awarded a grade of zero (0).”
Extensions: Students do not have an automatic right to an extension. If you require an extension, this must be requested in advance of the submission deadline. Please give your reason(s) for needing an extension.
Detailed Brief for Individual/Team Assignment
Assignment Title: Research Proposal
Description of the assignment: This assignment is important in preparation for your final MSc IB Major Research Project which is a 60-credit module (weighting 1/3 of your degree).
It requires you to develop a detailed research proposal, which will identify and elaboratea contemporary business issue to be addressed; research aim, objectives, including proposed research question(s);an appropriate research methods andscope of the project. You must also identify and critically analyse an appropriate, up to date and relevant literature, indicate expected outcomes of your project and include a detailed project plan.
Specific instructions The word count should not exceed 2000 words (+/- 10%). Title page, references, and appendices (if used) are excluded from the word count. You can include tables, diagrams, and images where appropriate, but these must have a caption and be appropriately referenced. The use of Harvard Referencing style is essential.The font size (11or 12) must be the same throughout the proposal and you are expected to use either Arial or Times New Roman, as your font option.Your research proposal should include the following sections:
1. Contemporary business issue, research aim, research objectives and research question(s) In this section you should explain what the contemporary business issue is and why it is important to be addressed in your chosen organisation/business. There are four elements to this section:
Research background and importance of the research-what is the problem and why it is important to investigate
The overall aim of the project-describe what you hope to achieve
The research objectives – how you are going to achieve the research aim
The research question (s)- formulate the research problem that you want to investigate
Your aim should clarify what the overall achievement is intended to be and should reflect the title of your work. It will probably begin with something like: The aim of this project is to evaluate… or the aim of this project is to explore…and it should reflect the overall deliverable of your project. You should then have a list of measurable objectives to undertake your study, for example ‘undertake a review of the literature’, ‘identify a suitable methodology’, ‘collect data, ‘analyse data’ and ‘draw conclusions’. Identify specific research question(s) to show exactly what you will be focusing on, for example ‘why and how digital transformation can improve international business performance?’ ‘Why creating the social value is becoming a norm for both national and international businesses?’ You should also indicate the academic area your research falls under, for example ‘strategy’ or ‘project management’ or ‘marketing’ etc. This section might have approximately 400 words.
2. Literature Review Key to this section is a good range of up to date and relevant academic literature to discuss relevant concepts, models and theories. You should consider:
What is published on this topic and who are the main contributors?
What are the relevant concepts and theories?
What methodological positions have been adopted in this area?
What are the main issues identified in the literature?
What is specifically relevant to your research questions? (approx. 800 words)
3. Research Design and Methodology
This section should provide a clear rationale for the research design and methodology that you will adopt to undertake your project, including data/information gathering, sampling anddata analysis methods (Quantitative and/or Qualitative).
This section should identify methods that you are actually intending/proposing to use including:
Clear rationale for the research design and methodology
A brief description and the advantages and disadvantages of chosen methods
Any strengths or limitations of the proposed methods
Relevant research methods for data gathering (e.g.questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, etc.)
Sampling strategy(who are the respondents, how many there are and how they were selected?)
Proposed data analysis methods. (approx. 600 words)
Here you should explain how the results of this study might add value to your organisation or business(approx. 200)
5. Project Plan
Project plan must be developed using an appropriate tool (e.g. MS Project, Excel, or any online Project Planning tool). The charts should reflect how you will complete your IB Research Project and meet the deadline of. In this section you should show how the project is broken down into manageable tasks, what the main milestones might be and any dependences between the tasks.
6. References – HBS Harvard Referencing(See CASE website)
7. Appendices – If any.
Please Note: Do not use Wikipedia as a reference – perhaps instead use it to find links to case studies and other published material. Use the UH online library for literature searches of academic peer-reviewed journals. Consider using search engines such as Google Scholar and Scopusfor practitioner-focused trade publications and news sources.
As you write and structure your report, refer carefully to the grading criteria and assess how well you are addressing the marking scheme.
The CASE Guide to Harvard Referencing is an essential resource.
One copy of the final work submitted for marking must be uploaded to the module assignment portal by The 19th of December 2022, 23:59pm
It is essential that you:
Include at least 7 academic sources
Show ability to describe theoretical concepts and then use examples as illustrations of how theory is linked to practice.
Use Harvard Referencing throughout this report,.
Academic Integrity, Plagiarism and Essay Mills
You are NOT allowed to copy any information into your assignment without using quotation marks and a reference – this is ‘plagiarism’ (a type of academic misconduct).
You are NOT allowed to copy from other students (or allow other students to copy from you) – this is ‘collusion’.
You are NOT allowed to copy from your own assignments on other modules – this is ‘self-plagiarism’.
You must NEVER buy assignments from websites (essay mills) – this is called ‘contract cheating’ and it is now illegal in the UK.
If you commit academic misconduct, your mark will be reduced, and you will face disciplinary action for repeat offences.
Contact email@example.com if you are unsure of the rules or how to avoid academic misconduct, and you will receive help.
Student Support and Guidance
For further help on module content and assignment details, contact your Module Leader in his or her drop-in / office hours or by email.
Use the Learning Outcomes and HBS Grading Criteria(Rubric) to help inform you of the expectations of the assessment.
Use CASE (Centre for Academic Skills Enhancement) website resources: http://go.herts.ac.uk/CASE . Attend CASE workshops and drop-ins to develop academic skills to meet HBS expectations(see timetable on CASE website homepage or drop-in to CASE in L064, in the LRC).
Visit the Academic English for Business Programme Site for tips on developing your academic English and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
For help with Turnitin, look for the “Check your work (Turnitin Originality Report)” practice assignment in the Assignment section of all of your modules. For help with understanding plagiarism and how to make changes to your assignment, contact email@example.com.
Use the Online Library to access quality business information resources:
Library Search will help you find books, journal articles and more.
Use the Subject Toolkit for Business to access to industry standard databases.
Use Library SkillUP for guidance for searching and referencing.
Get help: use SkilIUP module chat, visit the Study Success Hub, or book an 1:1 with a librarian.
The relevant HBS Grading Criteria(Rubric)for your assignment should be added as a table immediately below the assignment description. If you are unable to find the Grading Criteria (Rubric), please contact your Module Leader.
IB Research Proposal Contemporary Business Issue, Project Aim, Objectives, and Research question
25% Literature Review
25% Research Method and Methodology
25% Presentation, Structure & Referencing
10% Project Plan
90-100 % Outstanding Outstanding
Provides an outstanding and concise introduction to the research issue or questions. Provides a detailed and substantial outline of the business/ organisational context in which the research will be carried out.
The research aim, objectives and research questions or hypotheses are relevant, coherent, and achievable. Outstanding Provides a comprehensive, wide-ranging and in-depth literature review and demonstrates a far-reaching understanding of key theoretical concepts. Engages in a critically informed debate of the literature.
Demonstrates a superior ability to evaluate contrasting viewpoints with a very high degree of independent thought. Outstanding Demonstrates an outstanding understanding of methodology and methods. Evidences an outstanding ability to critically evaluate many existing methodologies and suggest many new alternative approaches to current research and/or professional practice.
Excellent data collection methods which will enable the collection of excellent quality data that is valid, reliable, and perhaps extensive. Outstanding Outstandingly written in a very clear and concise manner with no errors of syntax or expression. Presents an outstandingly well-constructed argument, which flows very smoothly and coherently to a logical conclusion. The work is presented to a superior professional standard.
Harvard Referencing is used in a very comprehensive, appropriate and rigorous manner. Outstanding Demonstrates outstanding ability to frame a suitable research plan which is well explained and thoroughly justified
80-89% Excellent Excellent
Provides an excellent and concise introduction to the research issues or questions. Provides a very clear and detailed outline of the business/ organisational context in which the research will be carried out. The research aim, objectives and research questions or hypotheses are relevant, coherent and achievable Excellent
Provides a comprehensive literature review which rigorously covers a wide range of current and relevant sources and demonstrates an extensive and critical understanding of key theoretical concepts. Engages in a critically well-informed debate of the literature.
Demonstrates an excellent ability to evaluate contrasting viewpoints with a high degree of independent thought. Excellent Demonstrates an excellent understanding of methodology and methods. Evidences an ability to critically evaluate many existing methodologies and suggest a number of alternative approaches to current research and/or professional practice.
Excellent data collection methods which will enable the collection of excellent quality data that is valid, reliable. Excellent
Excellently written in a very clear and lucid manner with accurate syntax and expression. Presents an excellently constructed argument which flows fluently and coherently to a logical conclusion. The work is presented to a very high professional standard.
Harvard Referencing is used in a comprehensive, appropriate and rigorous manner. Excellent
Demonstrates Excellent ability to frame a suitable research plan which is well explained and thoroughly justified
70-79% Very Good Very good
Provides a very good introduction to the research issues or questions. Provides a very good general outline of the business/ organisational context in which the research will be carried out. The research aim, objectives and research questions or hypotheses are relevant, coherent and achievable. Very good
Provides an extensive literature review which covers a range of current and relevant sources and demonstrates a very good critical understanding of the key theoretical concepts. Engages in a well-informed debate of the relevant literature, evidencing some critical thinking.
Demonstrates a very good ability to evaluate contrasting viewpoints with a very good degree of independent thought. Very good Demonstrates a very good understanding of methodology and methods. Evidences an ability to thoroughly evaluate a number of possible methodologies and suggest alternative approaches. Employs a critically- considered methodology, which is very well understood, explained and justified.
Very good data collection methods which will enable the collection of valid, reliable and good quality data. Very good
Very well written in a clear manner with only a few errors in syntax or expression. Presents a generally well-constructed argument, which flows smoothly and coherently to a logical conclusion. The work is presented to a very good standard.
Harvard Referencing is correctly used and is comprehensive and appropriate. Very Good
Demonstrates Very Good ability to frame a suitable research plan which is well explained and thoroughly justified.
60-69% Good Good