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APPENDICES AND TEMPLATES

QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH PROPOSAL FORMAT


a. Title/Topic
The title clearly describes what the study is about. This should be done in 20 words or less.
b. Background/Introduction
The rationale of the study and explanation of the existing situation. The purpose is to make the
reader feel the urgency of the problem and the need to study it.
c. Research problem/statement of the problem
The specific research question (s); it should clearly state what the research sets out to find.
d. Objective/Aim/Purpose
Why the research is being conducted and what it aims to accomplish. In general, quantitative business
research papers are about finding relationships between variables of interests, not just about collecting
data on one variable, like market share.
e. Significance/justification
Why is the problem interesting/important? Who will benefit and who will be the
users of information created by this research?
f. Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
(i) Theoretical Framework
This section gives a discussion of the theory or theories that are useful in understanding, proposing
and testing a solution to the problem. This has to be supported by one or more references to original
scientific literature that are relevant for the chosen topic. Such an article may be a review or followup article.
and/or
(ii) Conceptual Framework or Model
A scheme of concepts that the researcher will use to find a solution to the problem. This
can be presented graphically (diagrammatically)
g. Limitations, Scope and anticipated problems
The scope establishes the boundary of the research in terms of depth of investigation, sample
size, geographical and theoretical coverage. It clarifies what the research will and will not
include. The anticipated constraints imposed by methods/locations/situation of research. It also
considers potential sources of bias in the proposed study.
h. Hypotheses
Statements following from the theoretical framework, the conceptual framework of the model
that are testable. The researcher must show in the research if the hypothesis is supported or not
supported by means of a correct statistical analysis.
i. Methodology.
A description of Research Methods to be used. The methods chosen should be appropriate to
show if the hypothesis is supported. It comprises:

Research design, which describes the nature and pattern the research intends to follow
e.g., whether it is depending on surveys or on other data (either to be collected by the
student, or secondary data), and if applicable, if the research is experimental or quasiexperimental.

Description of the geographical area and where population of the study

exists (optional). Description of the population from which samples will


be selected.
Sampling strategies, by which the researcher will select elements/subjects from the
population. Both random and non-random methods can be acceptable, depending
on the research question
Data collection methods; including instruments and procedures to be used
in the research described.
Data quality control, which refers to reliability and validity of instruments.
Measurements, which refer to the formulae or scales in the study.
Data analysis, which involves organization and interpretation of the data generated.

j. References
A list of all works cited in the proposal and should be written according to the approved format.
k. Appendices
i Explanatory Notes
Include research approval letters, maps and lists of areas to be visited, and a letter of approval from the
supervisor.
ii Instruments
These are details of tools used in the research e.g. equipment, questionnaire, interview, schedule, scales
and tests etc.

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH PROPOSAL FORMAT

A qualitative research paper can in principle be a case study, a narrative, a paper using grounded
theory, a phenomenological paper, or ethnographic (participatory research). Also Action Research is
possible, this is discussed separately under Project.
The format for a proposal follows as closely as possible the format for a quantitative proposal.
Differences are highlighted

a. Title/Topic
The title clearly describes what the study is about. This should be done in 20 words or less.
b. Background/Introduction/Approach
The rationale of the study and explanation of the existing situation. The purpose is to make the reader
feel the urgency of the problem and the need to study it.
In general, qualitative papers can be classified as case study, a narrative, a paper using grounded
theory, a phenomenological paper, or ethnographic (participatory research). Mixed approaches are also
possible, as well as mixed qualitative/quantitative work. Mention here what approach is being taken
c. Research problem/statement of the problem
The specific research question (s); it should clearly state what the research sets out to find.
d. Objective/Aim/Purpose
Why the research is being conducted and what it aims to accomplish.
e. Significance/justification
Why is the problem interesting/important? Who will benefit and who will be the users of
information created by this research?
f. Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
(i) Theoretical Framework
This section gives a discussion of the theory or theories that are useful in understanding, proposing
and testing a solution to the problem. This has to be supported by one or more references to original
scientific literature that are relevant for the chosen topic. Such an article may be a review or follow-up
article.
and/or
(ii) Conceptual Framework or Model
A scheme of concepts that the researcher will use to find a solution to the problem. This can be
presented graphically (diagrammatically).
Some qualitative work, like Grounded Theory, builds theory inductively from the data. In such cases
the proposal needs to list what kind of data will be collected and what kind of theory-building is aimed
at.
g. Limitations, Scope and anticipated problems
The scope establishes the boundary of the research in terms of depth of investigation, sample size,
geographical and theoretical coverage. It clarifies what the research will and will not include. The
anticipated constraints imposed by methods/locations/situation of research. It also considers potential

sources of bias in the proposed study.


h. Hypotheses
Much, if not most, qualitative work does not use hypotheses. In the rare cases that they are used, they
are statements following from the theoretical framework, the conceptual framework or the model that
are testable (this is usually a problem in qualitative research). Describe the way such statements are
tested, in general this is not by statistical means.
i. Methodology.
A description of Research Methods to be used. The methods chosen should be appropriate to show if
the hypothesis is supported. It comprises:

Research design, which describes the nature and pattern the research intends to follow e.g.
whether it is depending interviews, other literature, business or government publications or
other data (either to be collected by the student, or secondary data), if the research is
experimental or quasi- experimental and location (optional).

Description of the geographical area and where po pulation of the study exists (optional).
Description of the population from which samples will be selected.

Most qualitative work aims for saturation, to reflect all possible aspects of the research
question. Describe how saturation will be achieved (if applicable)

Data collection methods; including instruments an d procedures to be used in the research


described.

A description of how the data is coded and if software like NVivo is being used for that.

j. References
A list of all works cited in the proposal and should be written according to the approved format.
k. Appendices
i Explanatory Notes
Include research approval letters, maps and lists of areas to be visited, and a letter of approval
from the supervisor.
ii Instruments
These are details of tools used in the research e.g. equipment, interview, schedule, scales and tests etc.

PROJECT PROPOSAL FORMAT


Note: two types of projects are in principle possible for BUSN 6250.
A qualitative scientific project: Instigating change in a company. The student must have
had substantial influence in the formulation and introduction of the change. The
emphasis is on describing effects of the change by documenting initial and posterior
situation. The size of the change is usually moderate (at department level). The
scientific framework is Action Research. The emphasis is on the employee level. This is
called here a scientific process proposal
A non-scientific project in which the BUSN 6250 paper proposes changes in processes.
This should be a sizable change. Usually either a deep knowledge of the companys
processes is necessary or a sufficiently qualified mentor inside the company must guide
this. The emphasis is at the process level. This is called here a non-scientific process
proposal
PROPOSAL FOR A SCIENTIFIC PROCESS
CHANGE RESEARCH PAPER
a. Title/Topic
The title clearly describes what the study is about. This should be done in 20 words or less.
b. Background/Introduction
The rationale of the project and explanation of the existing situation. The purpose is to make the
reader feel the urgency of the problem and the need to study it.
c. Research problem/statement of the problem
The specific research question (s); it should clearly state what the research sets out to find. For a
project this is usually a research question like: What is the influence of applying shock X to system Y
and what explanations are there?

d. Objective/Aim/Purpose
Why the research is being conducted and what it aims to accomplish. In general, projects are about
describing a current situation and its problems, coming up with a solution for change, and
describing and analyzing the situation and attempting to improve it
e. Significance/justification
Why is the problem interesting/important? Who will benefit and who will be the
users of information created by this research?
f. Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
Projects are about implementing change in an existing environment. They should be based on good
research or business insight. A theoretical basis for a project is based on the idea of Action Research,
developed by Kurt Lewin. Action Research is about applying a systemic shock and then scientifically
researching what happened. Such research is usually qualitative, but not necessarily so. Here are the
steps for such Action Research:
a. Formulate the goal of the shock and why it is necessary.
b. Identify the stakeholders. Everybody affected is a stakeholder
c. Interview the stakeholders about their feelings, attitudes, concerns and support for the
shock. Document thoroughly. Or survey them, if there are many stakeholders (usually
there are not enough stakeholders for quantitative research). Descriptions should
show the formal and informal relationships between the stakeholders and focus on the
support or resistance that can be expected for the project. The researcher should also
be aware of the possibility of sabotage of the change.
d. The previous step requires to mentally step out and become an observer instead

of somebody advocating the choice. This is not as easy as it seems, and should be
discussed.
e. Get the stakeholders to support the goal or at least not actively undermine it.
This step usually makes it necessary to adjust parts of the project. That is
perfectly fine.
f. Develop a detailed plan for the project
g. Discuss again with the stakeholders.
h. Carry out the (modified) plan
i. Interview/survey the stakeholders about how they experienced the shock and
what the result is
j. Analyze what happened. Try to make an interpretation in terms of existing theory or
formulate a new theory (grounded theory). This analysis is usually done by
classifying the unstructured answers. This requires again a role change from
advocate to impartial observer.
k. Formulate what was learned, either in terms of new knowledge (active and tacit)
for the company or in terms of wider applicability (the latter is usually
speculation).
This section of the proposal describes the planned steps to develop issues a-f during the
development of the BUSN 6000 project. This section should also contain a short
discussion of the feasibility to carry out steps g-k
It depends on the project what additional theoretical frameworks will be needed. A
short discussion of the expected areas needed for the analysis should also be in this
section.

g. Limitations, Scope and anticipated problems


The scope establishes the boundary of the project research in terms of depth of investigation,
sample size, geographical and theoretical coverage. It clarifies what the research will and will not
include. The anticipated constraints imposed by methods/locations/situation of research. It also
considers potential sources of bias in the proposed study.
h. Hypotheses/
Statements following from the theoretical framework, the conceptual framework of the
model that are testable. The researcher must show in the research if the hypothesis is
supported or not supported. Not all qualitative work uses hypotheses.
i. Methodology.
A description of Research Methods to be used in the analysis of the changes. The methods
chosen should be appropriate to show if the hypotheses are supported if hypotheses are used.
It comprises:

Research design, which describes the nature and pattern the research intends to follow
e.g. whether it is qualitative or quantative and which kind of qualitative research is used,
and if it is depending on interviews or other data (either to be collected by the student,
or secondary data)
Description of the geographical area and where population of the study exists (optional).
Description of the company where the research will be carried out.
Data collection methods; including instruments and procedures to be used in the
research described.
Data quality control, which refers to reliability and validity of instruments.

PROPOSAL FOR NON-SCIENTIFIC PROCESS IMPROVEMENT PROJECT


a. Title/Topic
The title clearly describes what the study is about. This should be done in 20 words or less.
b. Background/Introduction
The rationale of the study and explanation of the existing situation. The purpose is to make the
reader feel the urgency of the problem and the need to study and change it. Note: the BUSN
6250 paper is a proposal of the deficiencies of the current processes and methods and a proposal
for improving it, usually within one particular company. The goal is to benefit that company.
The round table document for which this is a template describes the preliminary work that is
needed to carry out the BUSN 6250 paper
c. Statement of the problem
The specific process or processes that are proposed to be changed
d. Objective/Aim/Purpose
Why the research is being conducted and what it aims to accomplish. In general, BUSN 6250
proposals try to identify errors or inefficiencies in the current way things are done inside a company
and have a detailed proposal how to improve them. The round table document describes what tools
and methods will be used to make writing the BUSN 6250 paper possible.
e. Significance/justification
Why is the problem interesting/important? Who will benefit and who will be the
users of information created by this research? Describe in this section also who will
be the sponsor inside the company and what kind of support and commitment the
student can expect.
f. Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
While the BSN 6250 dissertation is not a science paper, proposed solutions are expected to be an
application of existing sound business research.
(i) Theoretical Framework
This section gives a discussion of the theory or theories that are useful in understanding, proposing
and testing a solution to the problem. This has to be supported by one or more references to original
scientific literature that are relevant for the chosen topic. Such an article may be a review or followup article.
and/or
(ii) Conceptual Framework or Model
A scheme of concepts that the researcher will use to find a solution to the problem. This
can be presented graphically (diagrammatically)
g. Limitations, Scope and anticipated problems
The scope establishes the boundary of the research in terms of depth of investigation, sample
size, geographical and theoretical coverage. It clarifies what the research will and will not
include. The anticipated constraints imposed by methods/locations/situation of research. It also
considers potential sources of bias in the proposed study.

h. Hypotheses
Usually there is no statistical testing in the work for such a BUSN 6250 paper.
\

i. Methodology.
A description of Research Methods to be used.
Research design, which describes the nature and pattern the research intends to follow
e.g. whether it is depending interviews or other data (either to be collected by the student,
or secondary data), based on sources from inside the company or also from outside, etc.
Description of the company it concerns, its geographical area and where population of
the study exists (optional).
Data collection methods; including instruments and procedures to be used in the research
described.
Data analysis: how will the collected data will be analyzed and presented
A summary how the success of a possible implementation would be measured
A time line for implementation in the company
A rough estimate of financial consequences (both costs and gains).
Data quality control, which refers to reliability and validity of instruments.

j. References
A list of all works cited in the proposal and should be written according to the approved format.

k. Appendices
i Explanatory Notes
Include research approval letters, maps and lists of areas to be visited, and a letter of approval from the
supervisor.
ii Instruments
These are details of tools used in the research e.g. equipment, questionnaire, interview, schedule, scales
and tests etc.

FORMAT FOR A PROPOSAL FOR A BUSINESS PLAN

An explanatory note about the Format for a Proposal for a Business Plan.
If the title sounds confusing, replace in mind the word BUSINESS PLAN by Pitch (a pitch made to
persuade others about the feasibility of starting or expanding a business).
The proposal for the pitch discusses the tools and strategies that will be used for the development of the
pitch and to write it. This proposal for the pitch is the document that will be presented at the round
table.

a. Title/Topic
The title clearly describes what the business proposal is about. This should be done in 20 words or less.
b. Background/Introduction
The rationale of the study and explanation of the existing situation. The purpose is to make the
reader feel the feasibility of the business proposal. The business proposal can be for a new
business of for a new endeavor of an existing business.
Describe in this section what the new business or the additional venture is about, what kind of
business it is, where it will be located, and other information that can be helpful for understanding
the new venture.
c. Statement of the opportunity
The specific opportunity; it should clearly state what the new business sets out to accomplish
d. Objective/Aim/Purpose/Mission Statement
Why the new business is being founded, what mission does it have?
e. Significance/justification
Why is developing this business interesting/important? Who will benefit and who will
be the users of information created by the research needed to write the business
proposal?
f. Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
(i) Theoretical Framework
This section gives a discussion of the theory or theories that are useful in the development of the
business proposal. This has to be supported by one or more references to original scientific literature
that are relevant for the chosen topic. Such an article may be a review or follow-up article.
and/or
(ii) Conceptual Framework or Model
A scheme of concepts that the developer will use to find a solution to the problem of establishing
the new business. This can be presented graphically (diagrammatically).
Examples are theories from marketing, finance, and other areas from business research
The business proposal is a capstone; this means that it should explicitly show the contributions of the
various courses in the MBA program and other learning, and be in agreement with accepted scientific
principles.
g. Limitations, Scope and anticipated problems
The scope establishes the boundary of the research in terms of depth of investigation, sample
size, geographical and theoretical coverage. It clarifies what the research will and will not
include. The anticipated constraints imposed by methods/locations/situation of research. It also
considers potential sources of bias in the proposed study.

h. Hypotheses (if applicable)


Statements following from the theoretical framework or the conceptual framework/model that
are testable. The researcher must show in the research if the hypothesis is supported or not
supported by means of a correct statistical analysis. This can be a part of the development of a
business proposal. In practice, business proposals rarely contain testable hypotheses.
i. Methodology.
A description of the research methods considered to establish the feasibility of the different
aspects of the business plan, and what provisional decisions have been made about these
research methods. For most new startup venture, the following points are relevant:

What is the plan/approach to establish what the company's product or service solves?
What is the plan/approach to establish what niche will it fill?
What is proposed to establish how viable the company's solution to the problem is?
How will market research been done to see who will be the company's potential customers,
and how will be researched how the company will market and sell its products to them?
How will be during the development of the business proposal be established what the size of
the market is for the intended solution?
How will during the writing of the business plan be established what the business model for
the business (what techniques/tool will be used to estimate the feasibility that the proposed
business is able to make money)?
Who will during the development of the plan be researched who the competitors of the
proposed business are and how will the company maintain a competitive advantage (in the
sense of Michael Porter)?
How will a plan be developed during the writing of the proposal about managing its
operations as it grows?
How will the selection procedure be researched for who will run the proposed company and
to see what makes them qualified to do so?
How will during the writing of the proposal be researched what the risks and threats are
confronting the business and what can be done to mitigate them?
How will during the writing of the proposal be researched what the company's capital and
resource requirements are?
What kind of additional supporting information will be collected during the writing stage?
For instance, how will projected financial statements be developed?
What will be the planned business plan design which describes the nature and pattern the
plans author intends to follow e.g. , what supporting information will need to be collected
Description of the geographical area of relevance for the plan.
Proposed pilot studies and strategies, by which the business plans author will select
elements/subjects from the population. Both random and non-random methods can be
acceptable, depending on the plan. Examples are proposals for pilot projects, surveys, focus
groups, and other marketing tools.
Data collection methods; including instruments and procedures to be used in the development
of the business plan.
Data quality control, which refers to reliability and validity of instruments and estimates used
in the development of the plan.
What is the first step that you would take and mention when you would have only a few
minutes to pitch your plan to an outsider like a potential investor?
How will you decide on what your exit strategy is in case the start-up business or the
expansion of the company fails?
If useful for your purpose, how will you develop a scenario plan?
How are you going to develop estimates for the maximum amount you are going to risk
before the start-up is considered a failure and the exit strategy needs to be started