The aim of this assignment is for students to complete a formal, written proposal for their MBA dissertation research. Students will not be permitted to progress to dissertation unless the research proposal is of a sufficient quality.
Instructions for this Assignment:
Students should develop the research proposal gradually over time, ideally building on the idea that they presented in Research Methods 1 during the first semester and which they received feedback on. Students will be required to outline the rationale and aims underpinning the study, formulate research questions, write a literature review, thoroughly describe the details of the methodological approach that will be used, demonstrate that their research has been designed and will be conducted in an ethical manner and highlight the skills that they will need to carry out the project.
The format for submitting the research proposal is a form (Research Proposal Submission Form) available on moodle. Students must complete every section of this form and answer all questions. Each question carries a word limit, to which students must adhere. The exception to this is the Ethics section. Where a student is not working with any human data, they may not need to provide thorough answers to each question in that section and therefore may not reach the word count. However, those students must still answer the questions by briefly explaining why they do not apply to their project as opposed to simply leaving the question blank.
In some sections of the proposal it may be acceptable for students to refer to further details containing within an appendix (for instance, where appropriate you should include a draft of a questionnaire, a set of interview questions or additional technical details relating to the methodology and data collection procedure. You may also include diagrams to support an answer).
Language and Writing style:
Students should adhere to the academic style of writing. Academic writing should have the following characteristics:
- Formal Tone (do not use conversational language or phrases)
- Simple Vocabulary and simple sentence structure.
- Clear and coherent structure
- Balance of descriptive and analytical language
- Evidence based (rather than merely opinion or general knowledge) â€“ Use academic and professional literature.
As with most assignments that you will complete during your studies, it is essential that you provide both in text citations and references formatted according to the Harvard Referencing style. All students are expected to undertake the responsibility themselves of ensuring that they comply with the rules and regulations in this regard. Students are encouraged to attend a referencing class in the Library. Failure to appropriately reference will be considered plagiarism.
References/citations should be provided when defining a concept, discussing a theoretical framework, describing empirical findings and quoting statistics. They should also be provided when describing a company or organisation. It is not necessary to reference/cite when you are referring to common knowledge that is uncontroversial (see below for examples of controversial vs uncontroversial statements). References/citations are also not necessary when presenting ideas that are uniquely yours.
Controversial vs Uncontroversial Statements
Most people nowadays own a smartphone (uncontroversial)
A lot of people nowadays use their smartphones for banking (uncontroversial)
Most people nowadays rely on their smartphones for banking (controversial! â€“ where is the proof??)
Fintech is a growing market (uncontroversial)
Fintech is the fastest growing market (controversial! â€“ where is the proof??)