UG Programmes

Faculty of Business & Management

Contemporary Management in Action

Level 6: 30 Credits

Brief – Summative Assessment 1

Research Proposal

Autumn Term 2020

Assessment Brief

Overview: This module gives you the opportunity to complete a significant action research report within your area of specialism of Management. In preparation for your pathway action research report, students are required to develop a research proposal. Assessment 2 of this module will follow on from this assessment, so you must choose an area which is aligned to Management. It is strongly suggested that you choose an area which is of interest to you given that you will be working on this area for a year. The key is to ensure that the focus is on Management practices and potential challenges/opportunities that might arise for the chosen company/industry.

Learning Outcomes to be met by the Assessment

  • Propose solutions to a range of complex and/or unpredictable problems that arise from management practice.
  • Critically evaluate the impact of strategic decisions upon an organisation and its integrated practices.
  • Demonstrate capacity for independent learning and self-directed development.

TASK: The research proposal enables you to identify a research question aligned with your Management pathway area. The research proposal requires you to ascertain the scope of your research, its aims, research question and objectives. It also includes a brief overview of key literature to help illuminate the research question and offers insights into primary or secondary evidence-based data collection methods, and timeline to prompt your thinking. The research proposal needs to be feasible and well-thought out since it will be executed in assessment 2. The word count for the proposal is 2500 words (+/- 10%) and you must submit proposal and ethics form by the deadline to their respective submission links on BB.

Scope: You are on the Management pathway and so your research focus should be on topics from this area. Of course, you can refer to the outside influences of Marketing, Finance, Economics etc, but they shouldn’t be the focus. You need to demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of Management issues.

Independent Learning: This is an assessment that requires independent learning. This means that you are expected to research autonomously and with peers in order to make decisions e.g. it is up to you to research the various available theories and apply appropriate theory. Prior to submitting your work, please ensure that you have self-checked covering the objectives and requirements of this assessment.

Missed Deadline: If you are in danger of missing an assignment deadline due to a valid reason (e.g. illness); or have missed a submission date due to technical issues you are advised to contact the Student Hub as soon as possible to engage with the Extenuating Circumstances procedure.

SSA’s: For students who have Student Support Agreements (SSAs), it is your responsibility to pass on this information to your seminar tutor. Depending on the SSA’s the support needs will vary. Please email this to your seminar tutor as soon as possible so we can make any necessary alternative arrangements for you.

Structure, Content and Marking Criteria

Executive Summary (250 words)This summary should accurately and succinctly summarise the contents of the report. It should present the essential elements about the research aim, question and objectives, real world comparison, offer research approach/ methods used to answer the research question(s). (5 Marks)  
Table of ContentsTable of contents page with numbered topics and page numbers.
Section 1: Introduction (500 words)  Describe what research problem you have identified that you would like to pursue further in this proposal. You must ensure you use references to provide where the research problem has come from and to highlight the significance of the problem. You need to include a well-formulated research aim, question and 3-4 objectives to underpin the research question. It should also outline the scope of the research, summarising the nature of the management issue(s), the rationale behind pursuing such an investigation and any personal motivations. (20 Marks)
Section 2: Real-world Comparison (750 words)This chapter should demonstrate critical and in-depth knowledge of what others have written on the subject relevant to the research topic and research question. It should also present solid understanding of relevant debates, concepts & theories related to the topic and research question and a discussion of methodology used by others to research the topic. In addition, this chapter should also capture how other companies/countries etc. with similar Management issues are dealing with the management issue. (30 marks)    
Section 3: Research Approach (1000 words)    This chapter should explain and justify the approaches proposed to answer the research question/objectives outlined in section 1. An account of the research question/hypothesis and resulting objectives to be investigated.  An account of the chosen research approach, research strategy and justification as it relates to the research question/hypothesis.  Clear description of the methods to be used to conduct the investigation.  Justification as to why the selected methods are the most appropriate for responding to the research question. A brief description of secondary sources and/or primary sources and discussion of the sample, instruments (design, pre-testing, administration), and data collection process to be undertaken. Explanation of the methods/models/concepts to be used to analyse the collected data. Description of any anticipated difficulties associated with gathering and analysis of data and how they can be overcome. Description of ethical issues, validity and reliability and how these are proposed to be dealt with. A research plan or timeline is to be included here capturing how the implementation stage of this plan is planned. This should be for 24 Weeks. You may want to use a Gantt Chart. (35 Marks)
ReferencesThis part of the proposal gives you the opportunity to show the reader what research sources were used in developing this piece of work. All books, articles, sources of statistical data and web sites used must be listed in the References. Entries in this section should be formatted using the Harvard Referencing system. (Not included in the word count)
AppendicesTo qualify for inclusion in the Appendices, material should be relevant and referred to somewhere within the body of the proposal.
PresentationProfessionalism of report; observation of 2,500-word limit; effective organisation, logical structure, good spelling and grammar and careful proofreading; Effective use of tables, graphs and appendices. Appropriate proposal format. Quality and quantity of effective and relevant sources used in the dissertation; correctly formatted using the Harvard Referencing system. Please use font size 12 and the font should be Arial or Times New Roman. (5 Marks)
Overall ImpressionAn overall impression mark allows the marker to consider matters such as: . overall coherence and the way the material is linked together . the impact of the proposal as a whole . unique or innovative features of the students’ approach to the issue
. ability to reflect on the research experience .(5 Marks)

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