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One in three people in Australia will need blood or blood products during their lifetime, yet only approximately 3% give blood annually (Australian Red Cross Blood Service, 2018). The Red Cross estimates that Australia needs more than 1.3 million donations annually (25,000 per week) to cope with the current need, and this estimate will double in the next 10 years (Australian Red Cross Blood Service, 2018). There are currently 606,000 registered donors, according to the Red Cross Australia, however more donors are needed for the growing demand for blood and blood products. 

Red Cross Australia is interested in the characteristics of the market segment that is eligible to donate blood. Red Cross also wants to determine what motivates people to donate blood and what barriers to blood donation exist among the target population. Red Cross is also interested in understanding how the intention to donate varies among the different demographic and cultural groups, and how these demographic and cultural differences affect their bool donation behaviour. In addition, identifying the media and communication channels that this segment considers most important is also of interest as this information will help the organisation to develop more effective marketing strategies to improve blood donation rates.

For the purposes of this project, you will consider yourself a market researcher engaged by Red Cross Australia to provide the organisation with appropriate information to help with decision making on improvement of donation rates. As such, this project is a market research simulation exercise, and the following tasks are outlined below.

There are two parts to this project: Part 1 Assessment 1 (Problem definition) 30% and Part 2 Assessment 2 (Research Report) 50%.  Your first task (Part 1) is to clearly define the market research problem (Assessment 1) by undertaking a thorough background literature review of relevant scholarly research on the topic area. For this task you will also be required to develop an appropriate research aim and a number of suitable research objectives and hypotheses resulting from your background research (be mindful of the survey data actually measured). The word count is 1500-2000 words.

For Part 2 Assessment 2, you will be required to analyse the data which has been collected (see survey file) in terms of your research aim and objectives and present the results of your analysis in written form. You will be required to produce and submit a written research report containing a summary of your background literature review (modified from Assessment 1), the research aim, your research objectives, hypotheses, research method with rationale, the results of your data analysis and discussion of these results, and your conclusions and recommendations.  The maximum word count is 3000 words.


You are required to prepare a brief 1,500 – 2,000 word scholarly review of the literature surrounding the assigned research topic. It is useful to begin by describing your topic in a few words, phrase or sentence – e.g. “This research topic is about …” You can later use this to help you craft a suitable title (usually no more than 10 to 12 words) for your literature review. Going through this first exercise clearly stating your topic will keep you focused and oriented to what you are studying, and help you to critically evaluate the relevant literature (e.g. peer reviewed journal articles). 

Generally, you should aim to examine, summarize, and critically analyse the literature moving from broader issues to narrower or more specific ones. Use the model of an upside down triangle to help you think about this. You can start with identifying the contextual issues surrounding your topic area – i.e. setting the scene (the wide base of the upside down triangle). Your critical review should also cover cultural and demographic issues affecting the issue. In your critical review of the literature you will integrate what others have said and done in regard to the issue, articulating links between relevant topics, and then you will present your arguments together with the supporting evidence to arrive at your research objectives and hypotheses. This process helps you to present a clear definition of the specific information gap (the research problem) to be addressed in your research project, and why it is important.

General layout suggestions for Literature Review and Problem Definition:

  1. Title – clear and descriptive of the research study
  1. Introduction
  • Context and/ or background to the research.
  1. Main Literature Review
  • Analyse the existing literature surrounding the issue, identifying any deficiencies in the literature (i.e. the information gap/ research problem), which leads to the relevance of and need for the research study
  • Your literature review should also demonstrate understanding of demographic and cultural issues
  • Include an overall research aim (what you hope to achieve in terms of information to address the research problem)
  • You will also need to include research objectives, and hypotheses (3 or 4 research objectives and at least 7 to 8 hypotheses)
  • It is useful to include a conceptual or theoretical model within your literature review which illustrates in graphical form the key interrelationships between the variables of interest in your research study.


You are required to produce a written research report (2500 words) containing a summary of your background literature review (modified from Assessment 1), the research aim, your research objectives, hypotheses, research method with rationale, the results of your data analysis and discussion of these results, as well as your conclusions and recommendations.  Tables and graphs and your learning reflection are not included in the word count.

Please note that each of the relevant sections of your report does not have to be lengthy to be effective.  However, brevity should not be achieved at the cost of clarity or completeness (Malhotra, 2012).  

General layout suggestions for Research Report:

  1. Title page
  2. Table of contents
  3. Executive summary or abstract (not included in word count)
  4. Introduction and background to the issue
  5. Summary literature review, research objectives and hypotheses
  6. Method and rationale
  7. Results and discussion
  8. Conclusions, implications and recommendations (be sure to also address any limitations of the research)

Appendix 1: Personal learning reflection (marked)

Please note that effective justification for all points made, arguments presented, and any decisions should be evident throughout your research report.


Hint: It would be useful to examine some of the empirically based journal articles you used in your background research to obtain some ideas for layout and presentation of your final research paper.

Australian Red Cross Blood Service (2018)., retrieved 12 June 2018.

Malhotra, N. K. (2012). Basic Marketing Research. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson.

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