Overview: The assessment requires that students combine their pathway subject area knowledge across theory and practice with their abilities to problem solve, think critically and reflect on what it means to be a practitioner in their chosen pathway area of Management.
Learning Outcomes to be met by the Assignment
• Critically evaluate information to form a reflective understanding of contemporary theories and developments across a range of management practices.
• Propose solutions to a range of complex and/or unpredictable problems that arise from management practice.
• Review and reflect to synthesise current thinking and practice in the field of organisational management.
• Critically evaluate the impact of strategic decisions upon an organisation and its integrated practices.
• Apply one’s own criteria for self- and peer-assessment and consider not only the product outcome, but also the learning process.
• Demonstrate capacity for independent learning and self-directed development.
TASK: The research report executes the action research outlined in the Assessment 1 of this module. The research report executes the action research outlined in the research proposal. The report has two essential components i.e. research report and reflective statement. The aim of the research report is to execute research into current Management practices with a focus on the types of problems and challenges that managers face in their professional environment. This part must conclude with primary and/or secondary evidence-based proposed business solutions and recommendations that address or mitigate the identified problem. The action research report must include a reflective statement to demonstrate and evidence the reflective understanding and self-evaluation of the student focusing on personal transition through action research i.e. at the beginning of the project, mid-way through the project and at the end of the project. This reflective statement should be supported with a digital portfolio of evidence in support of student’s submission. The word count for the report is 6000 words (+/- 10%). This report is work 75%.
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.
Structure, Content and Marking Criteria
This summary should accurately and succinctly summarise the contents of the report. It should present essential facts about the research goals, previous research conducted in this area, research methods, key findings and recommendations. (Not included in the word count).
Describe what research problem you have identified that you would like to pursue further in this report. If you have chosen a company; provide a background of the company e.g. history, number and distribution of employees and operations, sector, products/services provided, any major management issues etc. A well-formulated research aim, question, aims and objectives needs to be provided. You should also include a brief overview of key Management literature to help illuminate 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.
Using and revisiting the research approach written in the research proposal, this chapter needs to indicate how you have approached your research question. It should be a reflective analysis of the methods used and their effectiveness. Research plan and timeline (e.g. Gantt Chart etc.) that were included in research proposal can be re-examined and assessed to their validity. This chapter gives you the opportunity to discuss the research that you have designed for your research. It should include the following: A detailed description of the methods used to carry out the research; An explanation for why you think your methods were the most appropriate for your question and circumstances; Discussion of the sample, instruments (design, pre-testing, administration), data collection process, response rates; Explanation of the methods/models/concepts used to analyse the collected data; Description of difficulties associated with gathering and analysis of data and how you overcame these; Description of ethical issues and how you dealt with these; Discussion of any variation in the research design from the original plan; Reflection on the experience of doing fieldwork and research in general capturing the impact of feedback of tutors and peers, iterations, piloting exercises. Research limitations may be highlighted based on reflection on the experience of doing fieldwork and research.
Findings & Discussion
The purpose of your project report is to communicate the answer to your research question to your audience in as clear a manner as possible. Therefore, you should structure your findings in a clear, logical and easily understood manner. There are many ways of doing this. One of the simplest is to return to the research objectives and let these dictate the order in which you present your findings followed by interpretations or analysis of the data, that is, say what it means, especially in relation to your research question/objectives. This chapter gives you the opportunity to present, analyse and discuss your research findings that you obtained through data collection. Make clear references to your Research Question and any relevant literature and present your objective interpretation of the research findings. Include models to support or refute your research question and to provide a directional ‘answer’ to your research question. You need to use this chapter to present primary and/or secondary data and to sustain your claims by real-world comparison. Secondary data (empirical evidence) include all documents you have collected during your research (includes textual, statistics, visual, electronic documents).
This chapter should contain a reflective statement to demonstrate and evidence the reflective understanding and self-evaluation of the student focusing on personal transition throughout the action research (for instance at the start, mid-way and at the end of the project). It should be supported by a portfolio of evidence on BlackBoard. Examples of this supporting evidence include (but are not limited to) in-class exercises, Iterations, feedback sheets, mind maps, tutor feedback, reflective entries etc.
Conclusion & Recommendations
This chapter should first return to the initially presented research aim, question and objectives and provide an overall response to them as derived from the preceding chapters. It should conclude the report by summarising the study and adding any concluding remarks that highlight thoughts you want to leave the reader with. The recommendations should focus on two types of Recommendations based on your Research Report.
• Specific Management focused key recommendations that would help solve the identified Management issues/challenges (This is your opportunity to showcase your Management skills, critical thinking skills and creative problem-solving skills.)
• You should also identify what new questions emerged from your research investigation to build on this (For instance more or different respondents, different research approaches, refined question/objectives etc.)
This part of the report gives you the opportunity to show the reader what research sources were used in your 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)
To qualify for inclusion in the Appendices, material should be referred to somewhere within the body of the dissertation.
Executive summary, professionalism of report; observation of 6,000-word limit; effective organisation, logical structure, good spelling and grammar and careful proofreading; Effective use of tables, graphs and appendices. Please use font size 12 and the font should be Arial or Times New Roman.
An 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 project as a whole
. unique or innovative features of the students’ approach to the issue
. ability to reflect on the research experience.