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Guidelines for Choosing a Business Topic and Conducting Research

Factors Influencing Businesses

Students have to choose a business topic to research, develop a proposal to explain why the project is of interest, and explain how they plan to conduct their research. The information below provides more details about the task.

The business environment in the UK and internationally is constantly changing. Factors such as globalisation, the impact of Covid-19 global pandemic, advances in technology, innovation, emphasis on ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR), changing consumer behaviour, changes in the financial sector, new demands for renewable energy, limited resources, disruption in global value chains, Brexit and geopolitical conflicts etc are fundamentally affecting how businesses operate. To understand how these factors affect business it is often necessary to do research. Your task in this assessment is to conduct research on an area of business and management context. Section 2.2 below identifies a number of areas you may wish to consider.

There are several broad areas from which you can choose a topic for your research project. This means that you will have to focus on a specific aspect of the business and/or management area you have chosen for your research. Your specific topic will have to be agreed on by your tutor/supervisor. It is therefore important to do preliminary reading early on to identify a particular area of interest and choose a topic that you are confident you will be able to find sufficient secondary sources to conduct a literature review.

In choosing your topic you should bear in mind the following:
Undergraduate students have different strengths and preferences in their approach to collating and evaluating research evidence. For the Business Research Project, you have an opportunity to choose from various primary and/or secondary data collection methods. Whichever method you opt for, a critical approach to the topic will be required. 
Assessment Brief: Business Research Project (LSBM300) 2021-22 Page 3

Conducting primary or secondary research both present challenges. You will opportunities to discuss the research process, including the strengths and challenges of both primary and secondary research design, approaches, methodologies and appropriate methods for data collection and data analysis in the lectures and seminars with your tutor/supervisor, and in group discussions.

If you are planning to carry out primary research, you should choose a topic that will enable you to collect data from participants/respondents using methods such as questionnaire survey, interviews, document analyses, participant observation, focus groups etc. The chosen topic should be of interest to you and ensure that you can easily identify relevant literature from secondary (existing) sources to enable you to do a thorough literature review. You will get opportunities to discuss this research-related terminology in the module including some
guidance on how to access sources of relevant information from books, journals, business reports and several online databases and library resources. 

The Research Proposal should be submitted using the Business Research Proposal Form, which is downloadable from the Business Research Project module area in Canvas.

The Business Research Proposal template has two main sections:
• The Research Proposal Template
• The Ethical Review Form (Parts A, B and C)

You are required to complete both sections, and together these form the Business Research Project Proposal.
Additionally, if you are conducting research directly with a company, you will need to provide evidence of consent (e.g a signature from a senior manager in the company) to you carrying out your research.
The Research Proposal template, when completed should be 2,000 words in length*.
The Proposal structure contains the following chapters and sections (further instructions and guidance in Section 7.1.1):
• Cover page and Title
• Table of contents 

Assessment Brief: Business Research Project (LSBM300) 2021-22 Page 6
Chapter 1: Introduction and Terms of Reference
Research Question
Research Aim
Research Objectives

Chapter 2: Preliminary Literature Review
Chapter 3: Methodology
Research methodology (qualitative or quantitative?)
Sampling Data collection methods
Data analysis methods
Ethical considerations
Research Limitations
Appendices (optional)
Ethical Review Form 

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