Your coursework assignment is designed for you to demonstrate your knowledge of management research methods and to prepare you for writing your research proposal to meet the requirements of the dissertation module. You are required to write a report of 5000 words on a topic of your choice as explained in the brief below.
Step 1: Select a topic of interest or business problem relevant to your degree specialism or pathway, i.e. if you are on the generic International Management degree, your topic will have an International Management theme. If you are taking a pathway within that degree, you will focus on a topic related to the pathway (marketing, finance, or HRM). The MBA would focus on topics relevant to strategic or operations management within an international business context. Choose one of these topics that motivates you and that you are likely to pursue for your dissertation (you may change your mind later, but it will be to your advantage if you stick to it, so choose carefully). This will require quite a lot of preliminary research into that specific area.
Step 2: For your chosen topic identify the body or bodies of knowledge that you consider relevant and find at least four or five academic journals that publish literature in this field. You should use key words or terms to search for the most relevant articles in these journals on your topic and identify the key authors by comparing the cited references across these papers. You should start to build up a bibliography of relevant literature, which you will analyse to ascertain the research questions or problems addressed, theories drawn upon or developed and the range of research methods used.
Step 3: Present your analysis within a report containing 6 elements as detailed below:
- An introduction that provides a brief commentary of key relevant literature. Be sure to justify your choice of these references in introducing the existing knowledge on your topic.
- A further section discussing particular conversations taking place in the relevant journals you have selected with a map of the literature using a visual presentation in the form of either a mind map, Venn diagram, or grandfather, father, son literature map. The map should show the relationship between key knowledge contributions (seminar 3 will cover suggested formats for your map).
- An analysis section which documents the research questions, theories and methods used in the literature, including at least one table to show the extent of use of alternative research methods (seminar 3 and 4 will cover suggested formats for this table).
- A detailed critique of at least two well-used research methodologies in the literature you have reviewed. Discuss a) how they are applied; b) how the methods were deployed to provide a worthwhile contribution to theory and research and c) what gaps the methods may leave that could lend the area to further analysis (and an opportunity for your own research).