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MB709 Dissertation Buckinghamshire New University

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Module code and title:MB709 DissertationModule leader:Dr Ewa Carlton
Assignment No. and type:CW2: Research PlanAssessment weighting:25%
Submission time and date:Before 28th October 2022, 14.00 UK TimeTarget feedback time and date:After 18th October 2022,14:00 UK Time
Assignment task
The RESEARCH PLAN should be approximately 4,000-5,000 words (+/- 10%) in length.   In order to complete your dissertation, you must first establish the theoretical basis for your research, which is provided by the Literature Review.    You will then need to develop your Research Methodology, explaining how you plan to build on your literature review, with your own primary research.   These are the purposes of this Research Plan assignment which should be structured as follows:   Title   A working title for the dissertation that reflects its focus. This may be the principal research question that it seeks to answer.   Introduction and research purpose   This section should explain the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of your investigation. It should include the following: a clear statement of the issue, problem or research question(s) to be addressed in the dissertation, the overall purpose or goal of the research, a discussion of why this issue is important, within a wider organisational and business context. It will be useful to refer to appropriate secondary sources, in justifying the importance or topical nature of your investigation.     Literature review   Here you need to explain where your investigation fits in the wider body of literature and perhaps informs a current debate in that literature. You should critically evaluate carefully selected concepts, theories and ideas which might be useful for investigating your research topic and taking it forward. You will need to discuss material from a range of relevant academic journal articles, as well as appropriate secondary research.  All sources must be referenced using the Harvard system.   A key requirement here is to develop a clear argument, linking the literature to the issue, problem, or questions that you have identified in the introduction; so that we can see how your investigation is informed by current knowledge and how it might enhance that knowledge.   At the end of your review, you should conclude by summarising the key ideas in the review, which will be helpful for the development of the primary research.   Note: please do not present ideas from the articles one by one, as in the proposal – you must now compare and contrast, creating an argument and discussion.   Methodology   This section will explore ‘how’ you will conduct your primary research and ‘why’ you have chosen to design your research in that particular way. It needs to demonstrate how your chosen strategy and methods will help to inform the question(s), problem or issue which you identified in the introduction and it needs to build logically on findings from the literature review. You will need to consider any constraints you might face – typically time and money.   You will need to identify clearly: –Approach-explain what approach to research you intend to use and why (making reference to research methods manuals)  -Design -explain what design you intend to use and why (making reference to research methods manuals) –Methods-explain what method(s) of research you intend to use and why. (making reference to research methods manuals). You need to provide here (not in appendix) the questionnaire form that you have developed (if your research is based on conducting a questionnaire) or the interview guide (if you are using interviews). –Participants-explain who your participants will be the sampling method (sample size and the size of the population). For qualitative research explain what criteria you will be using to select your participants.  –Validity and reliability-explain what measures you will be taking to enhance the validity and reliability of your research. (If a qualitative approach is employed you need to explain what measures you will be taking to ensure the credibility and trustworthiness of your research including a short explanation on reflexivity. –Ethical considerations. You are expected to identify and discuss ethical issues relevant to your research. -Respect for the autonomy, privacy and dignity of individuals and communities. Explain what procedures you are going to put in place for valid consent, confidentiality, anonymity and fair treatment. These could include the Participant information form; Participant Consent form; -Scientific integrity. Explain what measures you will be taking to ensure that your research is based on authentic data that you have collected from the participants described in your “methods” section. -Social responsibility. Explain how your research supports and reflect respect for the dignity and integrity of persons and organisations involved. Explain how your research contributes to the “common good”. -Maximising benefit and minimising harm. Explain what you will be doing to avoid potential risk to the personal values, invasion of privacy and risk to psychological well-being of your participants and organisations. Explain who could benefit from your findings and how. –Data analysis-explain briefly how you intend to analyse your data.   Note: all International MBA students are expected to collect some primary data for their final dissertations. Dissertations purely based on literature reviews will not pass.     List of References   Your plan should also include a list of all your references, using the Harvard system. Please note: For the final dissertation submission, you will be required to submit: An electronic copy uploaded to Turnitin Selected evidence of original work. This may include, copies of completed questionnaires, interview recordings or transcripts, draft work etc….so keep all your work in progress. Your dissertation may fail if you do not provide sufficient evidence of the originality of your work, especially your primary research. You should assume that you will be invited to a viva (oral examination) to provide further evidence if the appropriate evidence is missing from your final dissertation.   A viva may be held if academic misconduct is suspected.
 
This assignment has been designed to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate your achievement of the following module learning outcomes:
LO 1: Define and contextualise the research issue and specify appropriate aim, objectives and research questions.
LO 2: Critically evaluate and analyse theories and concepts relevant to the chosen topic to be researched in the form of a literature review
 
Task requirements
Should be presented using 1.5 line-spacing and 11 or 12 sized Arial Font.      The Research Ethics Checklist will need to be signed by your supervisor, by the due date for this assignment. You should aim to email the completed ethics checklist to your supervisor at least 7 days before the deadline for this assignment.  The Research Ethics Checklist can be found under the formal documents tab. Further information about the university’s research ethics procedures is on: http://bucks.ac.uk/research/research_ethics/research-ethics-guidance/   It is compulsory to use academic texts, (journal articles rather than textbooks) which should be cited in the Harvard format (e.g. Bloggs, 2010). You should therefore ensure you access the university’s electronic databases such as ABI Inform (Proquest) and/or Emerald. Pay particular attention to how recent your sources are. The 1990s are now some twenty years ago so depending on your research topic, knowledge at that time may have been superseded.     IMPORTANT NOTE: If, after submission of the research plan, you want to change your dissertation to consider a completely different business problem or question, you would need to complete the Change of Topic or Core Focus form on Blackboard and have it signed by your supervisor before proceeding. This is because a major change to the direction and focus of the work would require different literature and different primary research.
 
Referencing and research requirements
Please reference your work according to the Harvard style as defined in Cite Them Right Online (http://www.citethemrightonline.com). This information is also available in book form: Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2019) Cite them right: the essential reference guide. 11th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Copies are available via the University library.  
 
How your work will be assessed
Your work will be assessed against the assessment criteria which have been provided at the end of this brief.   These criteria have been designed specifically for this assignment and are intended to measure the extent to which you have demonstrated your achievement of its associated learning outcomes (see above). They have been aligned with the institutional grade descriptor appropriate for your level.   The assessment criteria provide a basis for fair and consistent marking and indicate what is expected of you in this assignment. It is strongly recommended that you engage with them while you are working on the assignment and use them in combination with any feedback you receive once your work has been marked to help you plan for future learning and development.
 
Submission details
This assignment should be submitted electronically. Please use the relevant Turnitin submission point in the Submit your work area in your Blackboard module shell. •         Please ensure that your work has been saved in an appropriate file format. Turnitin will only accept the following file types: Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint, PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, OpenOffice (ODT), Hangul (HWP), Google Docs, or plain text. Your file must also contain at least 20 words of text, consist of fewer than 400 pages and be less than 40MB in size. •         You can submit your work as many times as you like before the submission date. If you do submit your work more than once, your earlier submission will be replaced by the most recent version. •         Once you have submitted your work, you will receive a digital receipt as proof of submission, which will be sent to your forwarded e-mail address (provided you have set this up). Please keep this receipt for future reference, along with the original electronic copy of your assignment     You are reminded of the University’s regulations on academic misconduct, which can be viewed on the University website: https://bucks.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0024/9546/Academic-Misconduct-Policy.pdf. In submitting your assignment, you are acknowledging that you have read and understood these regulationsPlease also note that work that is submitted up to 10 working days beyond the submission date will be considered a late submission. Late submissions will be marked and the actual mark recorded, but will be capped at the pass mark (typically 40%), provided that the work is of a passing standard. Work submitted after this period will not be marked and will be treated as a non-submission.
Before you submit
Work that is submitted up to 10 working days beyond the submission date will be accepted as a late submission. Late submissions will be marked, and the actual mark recorded but will be capped at the pass mark (typically 40%), provided that the work is of a passing standard. Work submitted after this period will not be marked and will be treated as a non-submission.   Please use the provided checklist below to make sure you are ‘fit to submit’ your workWe recommend you use this checklist as soon as you get this assignment brief to help you plan your work. Get help in assignments with best assignment helper agency in UK !!
Fit to Submit:  Assignment Checklist
This brief assignment checklist is designed to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes students make in their coursework. Have you read the assignment brief? If not, do so now! In it you will find details of the assessment task, word count, the assessment criteria your work is marked against, and the learning outcomes – the basis for the assessment strategy in each module.   Students often lose marks by forgetting some of the more straightforward elements of their assignments. We recommend that you “tick off” each of the points below as you prepare your work for submission. If you need any help, ask your tutor and/or visit https://bucks.ac.uk/students/academicadvice/assessment-and-examination   Have you read and understood the assessment criteria?   Have you met the learning outcomes? You will lose marks and your work may even be failed if you have not.   Have you demonstrated you can think and write critically in the completed work? This means you have supported your arguments/explanations appropriately e.g. using relevant academic sources and you have offered discussion points which extends your own or others’ viewpoints to make reasoned conclusions/judgements.   Have you maintained an appropriate tone throughout your work? Is your work formal, focused, developed and clear?   Have you checked that the referencing in your assignment is in line with your programme requirements?   Have you proof-read your work and used spellcheck software to check your spelling and grammar?   Have you checked the presentation of your work is as specified by your tutor, for example, are font size, colour, style, line spacing and margins as the tutor specified?   Have you kept to the word count (or equivalent)? If you are not sure, check with your tutor.   Can you confirm that the work submitted is your own and maintains academic integrity?      
 FailFailPassPassPassPassPass
 0-34 (F) – Fail35-39 E – Marginal fail40-49 (D)  50-59 (C)  60-69 (B)  70-79 (A)  80-100 (A+)  
 Not successfulBelow required standardSatisfactoryGoodVery GoodExcellentOutstanding
Criterion 1 Defining the research question and setting in a business context weighting 20%  The nature of the research problem is not clear and must be largely assumed. Rationale is absent Relationship to an appropriate area of business / management is tenuous.The nature of the research problem is not clear. Rationale is ill-defined. Relationship to an appropriate area of business / management is weak.The student is able to define the research problem, although the terms of reference and rationale lack clarity. Some links are made to an appropriate academic area of business / management, even if contextualisation is limited. Strategic importance of dissertation is stated, but with little substantiation.Research problem is stated, objectives and rationale are reasonably clear. Related to an appropriate academic area of business / management, and reasonable links are made to the wider overall context. Strategic importance of problem is explicit, although requiring some assumptions by the reader.Clear definition of research problem, objectives and rationale. Well related to an appropriate academic area of business / management in a wider context. Strategic importance of problem clearly presented.Excellent definition of research problem, objectives and rationale. Thoroughly related to an appropriate academic area of business / management in a wider context. Strategic importance of problem very clearly presented.Originality in identifying a research problem. The ai and the objectives developed independently .Thoroughly related to an appropriate academic area of business / management in a wider context. Strategic importance of problem very clearly presented.
Criterion 2 Review of a wide range of existing literature and critical evaluation of sources 30%  Very few sources. Sources are irrelevant to the topic; review is largely superficial and descriptive. Material likely to be drawn mainly or entirely from web sites. Literature review bears little relation to the objectives set.Many key sources are omitted; review is largely superficial and descriptive. Material likely to be drawn mainly or entirely from web sites. Literature review bears little relation to the objectives set.Shows evidence of ability to identify assumptions and to evaluate and critique complex concepts, although much of the review borders on the descriptive side. The material selected is partially related to the objectives set. Very limited range of sources consulted, few or no journal articles.Reasonable range of sources consulted and demonstrates reasonable ability to evaluate and critique complex concepts, with mostly sensible relevance to the argument. Reasonable range of journal articles. A few original insights. Relevance to the objectives is clear, even if not always consistent.Material selected from a good range of sources, level of evaluation and critique is mainly but not consistently high, some original insights. Good use of journal articles. Generally systematic presentation with a high degree of persuasiveness, generally relevant to objectives.Material selected from a wide range of appropriate sources; scholarly level of evaluation and critique. Excellent use of journal articles. Material followed logically, systematically and persuasively with direct relevance to objectivesSources selected from a wide range of texts and mostly based on research; scholarly level of evaluation and critique, many original insights. Excellent use of journal articles. Material followed logically, systematically and persuasively with direct relevance to objectives
Criterion 3 Methodology and creation of principal research instrument weighting 30%  Methodology is ineffective for producing useful findings, or, approach taken does not take literature review into account. Research instrument is unlikely to shed significant light on the research question. Limited understanding of key methodological terminology.Methodological approach taken does not take literature review into account. Research instrument is unlikely to shed significant light on the research question. Overall superficial attempt which would not be passed at undergrad level, let alone Master’s.Demonstrates a problem solving orientation in the design of methodology even if the execution of it is weak. Offers some critical reflection on research design and execution. Research instrument attempted with a few useful ideas but major reworking needed to address the research question and link to the literature review.Likely to show a range of strengths and weaknesses rather than an overall consistent approach e.g. good methodology, evaluation and critique of approach but further refinement of research instrument needed. Follows logically from the literature review but some stronger links could be made.Methodology is sound and student shows ability to identify limitations and critique own approach. Sampling is appropriate. Some minor changes are needed to the research instrument but overall this student is almost ready to embark on the primary research.Methodology is well explained and justifiable in relation to objectives, high level of reflection. Sampling is appropriate and very fit for the purpose. Demonstrates a high level of scholarship in developing methods chosen. The research instrument is ready for use and will shed significant light on the research question.Methodology is well explained and entirely justifiable in relation to objectives, high level of reflection on and critique of own approach. Sampling is appropriate and very fit for the purpose. Demonstrates a high level of scholarship in developing methods chosen. The research instrument is ready for use and will shed significant light on the research question.
Criterion 4 Written communication and inclusion of the research ethics checklist weighting 20%  Badly written and presented, brief largely ignored. Poor citing and referencing of sources. Overall sloppy appearance. Word count (+/- 10% permissible) ignored. Ethics Checklist not includedBadly written and presented, brief largely ignored. Poor citing and referencing of sources. Overall sloppy appearance. Word count (+/- 10% permissible) ignored. Ethics Checklist not includedPoorly written and presented, does not follow the brief set in places. Inadequate citing and referencing. Limited attention to detail. Word count (+/- 10% permissible) ignored. Ethics Checklist includedReasonably well written, long winded in parts. Citing and referencing could be improved. Reasonable level of attention to detail. Word count (+/- 10% permissible) observed. Ethics Checklist includedWell written, professionally presented, easy to follow. Correct academic citing and referencing of sources. An interesting read. Good level of attention to detail. Word count (+/- 10% permissible) observed. Ethics Checklist includedVery well written, professionally presented, easy to follow. Correct academic citing and referencing of sources. High level of attention to detail. Word count (+/- 10% permissible) observed. Ethics Checklist includedVery well written, professionally presented, easy to follow. Correct academic citing and referencing of sources. A fascinating and insightful read. High level of attention to detail. Word count (+/- 10% permissible) observed. Ethics Checklist included