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DBA Research Report: Conceptualizing Management Research and Its Application to Organizational Probl


A senior executive in your organisation is interested in how completing a DBA might help to address organisational problems. He is interested in what a suitable research project might involve and how it might be carried out in a manner that he considers ethical.

Your task is to respond to your manager by writing a full report.

•Conceptualise ‘management research’ (up to 750 words)

Here you should draw inspiration from Unit 6 to decide what is meant by ‘management research’ and how it may differ from other types of social science research. If you want to start by conceptualising management then material from Unit 1 will be helpful.

•Identify a subject area (e.g. HR, leadership, marketing, etc) and critically consider leading areas of knowledge within that subject area, drawing on existing research (up to 1,500 words)

Units 2-5 were devoted to different areas of management research, with a focus on strategic management, leadership, human resources and marketing. Choose one of these areas of knowledge (or another one, such as Finance, if you are willing to do some further research) and discuss some important aspects of that subject area, particularly anything contemporary or new – e.g. ‘green marketing’, recent developments in strategic HRM, etc. Be careful to narrow down your subject, perhaps starting the section with a sentence such as:

The following section contains a critical discussion of recent developments in the field of Strategic HRM (or Employee Engagement, Green Marketing, Transformational Leadership, etc).

Do not try to cover too much within a subject area! Narrowing down your topic will help prepare you for conceptualising your field of study for the Literature Review of your DBA thesis.

•Identify an organisational problem (within your own organisation, or one you know well) which is suitable for DBA research and explain why it is suitable for such research (up to 1,000 words)

Hopefully, within your organisation, there is an organisational issue (e.g. a specific innovation or change, high staff turnover, new source of competition, the effect of covid in a specific area, etc) which is suitable for DBA research.

(i) Identify the issue;

(ii) Explain the background / context;

(iii) Explain why you think this problem is appropriate for DBA research (identifiable field of study for a literature review, ‘size’ and sensitivity of the topic, identifiable group of participants, etc).

You might find it helpful to use material from Units 6 and 7 to help you.

Assessment Task

•Explain how you might conceptualise a research question to address that problem (up to 500 words)

Using the material in Unit 7, think about how you might design a research question which might help you to explore the problem you have already identified. Set out the research question clearly and explain why it is a good question to help you explore the research problem (see also appendix).

•Identify the different stages you would need to consider in the research process (up to 750 words)

This section should be informed by the materials we considered in Unit 8 and should contain a discussion of concepts, methodology and methods. You might find it helpful to use the Four Frameworks approach to provide a structure to this section (Quinlan et al., 2015). To illustrate your answer, you could apply the four frameworks approach to the research problem/question you have identified in your own organisation.

•Critically consider ethical issues in research and state how you would design your research in an ethical fashion (up to 1,000 words).

This section considers the ethical considerations which you will need to work through when you design your research. They are chiefly concerned with the research design (methodology and methods). Common concerns are ensuring the anonymity of participants, of ensuring your research is not unduly influenced by others (e.g. senior managers in your case study organisation, etc) and of dealing carefully with potentially sensitive issues or vulnerable participants. These issues are explored in detail in Units 9 and 10.

•Introduction (up to 250 words) and Conclusion (up to 250 words).

Introductions set out the structure of your assignment and some key areas you are going to consider (in this case, you will largely set out and slightly expand on the various bullet points you have been asked to consider). Conclusions summarise what has gone before and present your final word on the subject. There is clearly no need to make recommendations in this assignment.

The report should be up to 6,000 words in length.

You may choose how to allocate this word count across the different elements of the assignment. However, a possible target word count has been provided in brackets next to each bullet point – this is indicative only! This report will be an academic one, fully referenced, and drawing on scholarly literature (in order to demonstrate a core DBA competence to your intended audience!).

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