BUS020X604H Business and Management Dissertation
The Business and Management Dissertation module is an essential component in allowing the student to meet the goals that underpin the degree programme. It consists of an individual student led investigation into an applied business problem or issue selected by the student. The dissertation is an individual piece of work that presents a thorough and critical review of literature relevant to the research area under consideration. Dissertation is also a research project which tests the independent research skills and it employs gathering a first hand empirical data OR using secondary data (both options are feasible, both come with their own specific challenges). Finally, while dissertation is a piece of academic work that will draw on existing theory and practice, it should also make sense to a business practitioner. It will have academic references like a good essay or journal article and may make recommendations as to how to solve a business problem.
The short research proposal which constitutes a summative assessment in Part 1 of this module requires developing a clear outline for research which will be undertaken in Part 2.
How the module develops Business Readiness
Students gain in-depth knowledge of business and management or their degree subject and can identify their own investigation through designing a research question for which they can plan an appropriate methodology and areas of research to explore and address issues. Students learn how to communicate their plans effectively and succinctly. Through the short research proposal students have demonstrated their curiosity and value for new learning and its application.
Module learning outcomes –
Knowledge outcomes – You will be able to plan how you will conduct a dissertation based on your own area of investigation which will consolidate your in-depth knowledge of business and management or of the specialism of your business degree and its relationship to the wider organisation.
Intellectual /transferable skills outcomes – You will be able to identify and outline an appropriate methodology you will use to conduct an investigation, the results of which, through synthesis and evaluation, address a problem related to your degree discipline and/or its practice; plan which range of sources of information you will draw upon to support the investigation and which procedures and techniques will be appropriate to the analysis of a complex business situation. You will be able to plan how you will demonstrate criticality (independent thinking) in the evaluation and synthesis of information relating to the discipline and/or its practice. You will be able to present your plans/proposal in a professional or academic style.
Write a review of the main body of published work. This acts to set out your project in the context of existing knowledge. It is therefore your main evidence of secondary research effort. It should show how much theory you go into and from where your research questions or hypotheses were developed.
Look for gaps in the knowledge which your research may fill, or you may wish to replicate or amend someone else’s research for the purposes of comparison. The Literature review provides a critical insight, especially to a new reader, into current thinking around your topic of interest. You need to demonstrate a broad range of references majoring on academic articles (journals). These sources may also be supported by textbooks, web references, newspapers and professional magazines.
This section should provide sufficient detail about the methodology or methodologies you employed for an outsider to replicate the study exactly. You need to justify the methodology you use by demonstrating the particular benefits of qualitative or quantitative approaches in the context of your research objectives or hypotheses. If you used triangulation, report it and state the rationale for using it. You should also report on the characteristics of the research respondents in the case of qualitative research e.g. job position, years in service for example, also stating why these are important to providing information which address your research questions/hypotheses. If you use quantitative research, state the type of sampling you used e.g. convenience, cluster quota for example and again provide your rationale. Remember random sampling means statistically defined sampling which may be beyond your resources. Also provide detail on which data analysis package you used.
Results and Findings
This section should include the results of your analysis. Even when you have used secondary data for your dissertation, you will still need to present and analyse these data and generate new findings.
For qualitative research, you need to report on the content analysis of your transcripts, pulling out the key themes and sometimes including quotations from your interviewees. However, ensure the quotations don’t rule the roost! Your findings will address your research objectives and perhaps also include some emerging areas that developed out of your interviews.
For quantitative research, ensure your findings reflect the objectives/hypotheses also. The data needs to be presented clearly with a title to each table/chart and then a small amount of commentary for non-numerical readers! If you use comparative statistics e.g. chi-square, t-tests or ANOVA, ensure you state the level of significance, normally 0.05.
Analysis/Evaluation of Results/Findings
In this section you will need to make sense of the overall findings presented in your previous chapter. Interpret the data critically. You can do this by: drawing together specific themes; making comparisons with similar research, as well linking and integrating with the literature that you have referred to earlier in your Dissertation. Other aspects to consider are: to what extent have you provided some answers to your questions, how generalisable are the answers to other organisations/populations and what are the implications for business practice? Be self-critical about any shortcomings you may have about your chosen methodology e.g. sampling, breadth and depth of findings, validity and reliability issues.
Formative Assessment – Feedback on project plan and chapter/section structures through group supervision processes in learning sets
– Business and Management Dissertation – 8,000 words (excluding bibliography). The final dissertation is expected to build on and develop the project undertaken in term 1 (Dissertation part 1 module), therefore it is possible to expand on the sections already included in the summative assessment in term 1, while their elements may still be used in the same form they were already submitted. It is advisable however to use feedback received in term one and further improve those elements, which makes it likely that the 3000 words submitted previously will need rewriting (no penalty is incurred however if the same material is used).
– Alternative Critical literature review (excluding bibliography). Details are provided in the separate document.
In submitting work for marking the student guarantees it is their work, is original, authentic, fairly and correctly sourced and is plagiarism free. Contravening these rules may result in penalties recording a mark of zero. Students are allowed to resubmit their work before the assessment deadline to address any issues arising from the Turnitin similarity report.
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