Brighton School of Business and Management Limited

Unit 8: Research Project Description of unit This unit is designed to introduce students to the techniques and methods of research. The unit addresses a variety of research methodologies, including the opportunity to carry out interventionist or action research. Students will be required to produce a project report based on independent research into an area of professional business practice that interests them and will add to their professional development. The study should use both primary and secondary sources of information, and should be an exploration of a current major issue. The study undertaken should build on knowledge, skills and understanding that have been achieved in other units. Tutor approval should be sought before commencing study. Summary of learning outcomes To achieve this unit a student must: 1 Prepare a research proposal relating to a specified area of business 2 Conduct research using primary and secondary sources of information 3 Carry out the research project into a specified area of business 4 Present and evaluate, in written format, the findings with regard to the initial proposal. Content 1 Research proposal    Research methodologies: intervention, non-intervention, action research. Hypothesis: definition, suitability, skills and knowledge to be gained, aims, objectives, terms of reference, duration, ethical issues. Action plan: rationale for research question or hypothesis, task dates, review dates, monitoring/reviewing process, strategy.

2 Primary and secondary sources   Primary: questionnaires — type, layout, distribution, original research data gathered by the student; interviews, selecting interviewees, bias, verification of data, time, place, style. Secondary: eg books, journals, library search, use of IT, internet, media.

3 Research project  Preparation: identifying ideas/topics/areas of investigation, research question(s), scope and feasibility, hypothesis, literature search, agreeing the process, targets, milestones, action plan, timetable and procedure, monitoring and revision. Methodology: literature search, eg library, internet, sector data sources; pure and applied research, developmental, longitudinal, survey, case study, research and development, concepts and theories, terminology, validity and reliability. Qualitative data analysis: interpreting transcripts, coding techniques, categorisation, relationships, trends, use of computers; presentation of data. Quantitative data analysis: coding/values, manual/electronic methods, specialist software; presentation of data, eg bar/pie charts, graphs, statistical tables; comparison of variables, trends, forecasting.

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1 Brighton School of Business and Management Limited

critical analysis. benefits. discussion of evidence and findings. their focus of interest and the anticipated outcomes. eg using the findings. but this unit formalises the research into a style similar to a thesis. diagrammatic or graphical figures. Outcomes and Assessment Criteria To achieve each outcome a student must demonstrate the ability to: 1 Prepare a research proposal relating to a specified area of business • identify a research question or hypothesis and justify choice • justify the chosen methodology in terms of the research question • prepare an action plan with target dates and methods for monitoring and updating • devise a code of ethics for the conduct of the study 2 Conduct research using primary and secondary sources of information • undertake primary and secondary research relating to the proposal • describe and justify the chosen methodology 3 Carry out the research project into a specified area of business • prepare for the research project and agree process and action plan with supervisor • monitor and revise schedule when required • collect and review data using appropriate methods. with correct referencing and bibliography details. objectives. Students will need further guidance to support the written presentation and evaluation of their work. the proposal. format. critique of the methods used in the study. the context of their area of learning. It is important that students understand the elements that make up formal research. 2 Brighton School of Business and Management Limited . sequencing success. including the different methodologies. focus. including primary and secondary research techniques • analyse and interpret appropriate qualitative and quantitative data 4 Present and evaluate the findings with regard to the initial proposal • record findings in an accepted format • present and summarise the findings using suitable methods • evaluate the methodology used and critically analyse the findings • propose recommendations based on the findings which identify and justify areas for future research Guidance Students may have developed a range of investigative skills during the programme of study. The unit should draw together a range of other areas of content within the programme of study to form a holistic piece of work that makes a positive contribution to commercial practice. Evaluation: planning. recommendations. areas for future research. editing. carrying out the research itself and presenting their findings.Brighton School of Business and Management Limited 4 Present and evaluate     Presentation: formal written format. difficulties. The written presentation of their research should follow formal presentation practice. Tutors will need to cover the theory underpinning formal research to enable students to complete this unit satisfactorily. To accomplish this. action planning. students will need to establish relationships with commercial and industrial organisations in order to generate data that will lead them to such conclusions. recommendations for the future. The research project itself is dependent on the student. Methodology: presentation via formal written format. It is essential for the tutor to monitor the development of individual research projects closely to ensure they are following the correct guidelines and working towards agreed objectives. Criteria: purpose.

1997) ISBN: 185396350X Hoinville G and Jowell R — Survey Research Practice (Heinemann. achievable and economically viable within the scope of the unit. Students will require close supervision and organised tutor support in order to design a study which is realistic. and to provide evidence of an individual approach in the finished work. It should look at the present day and the current culture and operation of the service. There should also be an appreciation of historical events which impact most strongly on current structure and operations. 1997) ISBN: 0137740182 Cohen L and Manion L — Research Methods in Education (Routledge Falmer. C — Real World Research (Blackwell Publications. The student will need to demonstrate the ability to work independently. Tutor approval should be sought before beginning the study. 1999) ISBN: 0335203892 Best J — Research in Education (Prentice Hall. 1996) ISBN: 0340679379 Elliott J — Action Research for Educational Change (Open University Press. 1978) ISBN: 0435824198 Kane E — Doing Your Own Research (Marion Boyars. 2001) ISBN: 0415219949 Robson. 1991) ISBN: 0335096891 Gill J and Johnson P — Research Methods for Managers 2nd Edition (Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd. with a view on the issues which impact most strongly upon it. demonstrating a sound understanding of research methods and protocol. Support materials Books Bell J — Doing your Research Project 3rd Edition (Open University Press. 1997) ISBN: 0714528439 Lock D — Project Management (Gower publications. 2000) ISBN: 0414195411 Coolican H — Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology (Hodder and Stoughton. 1997) ISBN: 0273620177 3 Brighton School of Business and Management Limited .Brighton School of Business and Management Limited Assessment Evidence for this unit should be generated through a written assignment or report. 2000) ISBN: 056608225X Marshall L — A Guide to Learning Independently 2nd Edition (Open University Press 1996) ISBN: 0335191711 McNiff J — Action Research: Principles and Practice (Routledge Falmer. The study should show evidence of both primary and secondary research. 2001) ISBN: 0631213058 Saunders M/Lewis P and Thornhill A — Research Methods for Business Students (Pitman Publishing.

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