MGT726 – Managerial Project

MGT726 – Managerial Project
Study Guide
Semester 2, 2018
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Table of Contents
Module 1 Overview and Research Proposal ………………………………………………………………………… 1
Outcomes …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
Resources …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
1.1 Overview …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1
The Topic ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2
The Approach ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Identifying your Theoretical Framework …………………………………………………………………….. 4
1.2 Checklist of Activities ………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
Module 2 – Reviewing Secondary Data ……………………………………………………………………………… 8
Outcomes ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8
Resources ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8
1.3 Reviewing Secondary Data …………………………………………………………………………………. 9
1.4 Checklist of Activities ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
Module 3 – Ethics …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
Outcomes …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
Resources …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
1.5 Ethics Approval ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
1.6 Checklist of Activities ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 12
Module 4 – Data Gathering …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 13
Outcomes …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13
Resources …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13
1.7 Course Approach………………………………………………………………………………………………. 13
1.8 Checklist of Activities ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
Module 5 – Data Analysis ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 17
Outcomes …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 17
Resources …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 17
1.1 Data Analysis ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 17
1.2 Checklist of Activities ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 18
Module 6 – Presenting Results ………………………………………………………………………………………… 19
Outcomes …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 19
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Resources …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 19
1.3 Course Approach………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19
1.4 Checklist of Activities ………………………………………………………………………………………. 20
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Module 1: Overview and Research Proposal
Outcomes
On completion of this Module you will:
• have revised and/or drafted your research question and objectives
• identified your key theoretical framework(s)
• outlined your methodology
• developed a time schedule for the remainder of the course.
Resources
The following resources for this module are available through the BlackBoard Learning Materials for Module 1.
Resource
Comments
BUS703 Managing Research Study Guide
This Study Guide is a good summary of research methods for those of you who did not study research methods recently and need a refresher.
BUS703 Research Project Toolkit
This Toolkit has some tips and worksheets that you may find helpful at different stages of your project.
An Example
Galan et al. (2016)
Social Media’s use in Postgraduate Students’ Decision-Making Journey: An Exploratory Study
This is an example of a previous student project that was then published as a journal article. We will use this example in each Module to highlight various key points.
1.1 Overview
This course is a capstone course in the MBA, the Master of Management, the Master of International Business and Master of Information and Communications Technology to allow you to undertake an applied and specialised project in an area of interest to you. You will be expected to draw on your previous studies in other management subjects and use research skills in this project.
In this first Module, the focus is developing your Project Proposal with the following sections looking at identifying your topic, the approach used in this course and finally a section on helping you identify and refine the theoretical framework you will use to inform your study. The Module will finish with a checklist of activities to undertake to complete the Module and a suggested time frame of activities that you may find useful to keep on track.
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The Topic
Many of you may already have an idea of the topic (management problem) you want to investigate and indeed may already have a draft proposal from your studies in BUS703 Managing Research. Some of you may be happy to continue working on this topic – others may want to change to an alternative project – either option is fine. A key thing to keep in mind when selecting a topic are the time constraints of this course – you will have 12 weeks to plan, execute and report on this project – so it must be targeted to this timeframe – so not so big that it would take several people years to complete – but at the other extreme not so small it can be done in a few weeks. Some of you may need to gather primary data to answer the research question, for example you may do some depth interviews or focus groups or perhaps conduct a survey, while others may be able to rely only on secondary data to complete the project. The common theme to every project is the application of theory to practice.
Here are a few recent examples of projects.
1. One student focused on the new product development (NPD) area of her company. She was interested in how the NPD process could be improved, as in her recent experiences, projects had run over time and over budget and success was not clear. So first, she documented the existing process that was being used within her company, then she looked at the theory and evaluated several different frameworks from theory about NPD. She then compared the NPD theory with her firms’ current practice and came to conclusions and recommendations about how her company could improve their NPD processes.
2. Another student’s organisation (with several different branches) had identified that the rate of returning customers had been decreasing over time. The student began by analysing existing company data to see if the pattern was consistent across all branches or varied across branches. Then after reviewing the relevant literature about customer loyalty and repeat purchasing, she conducted 10 phone interviews with recent customers (who had not returned) to explore the reasons for them not returning, and based on these findings came up with recommendations about potential causes (and for further research to confirm her initial findings).
3. Another student was very interested in organic foods and simply wanted to better understand why consumers buy (or do not buy) organic products – and why rates of organic food consumption varied so highly between different countries. Her project was heavily based on reviewing and analysing the existing literature around organic foods and consumer preferences – with a detailed ‘recommendations’ section for practitioners.
So, you can see a wide variety of approaches are possible – every student will be doing something different but again – the common theme is applying theory to practice.
Here are some examples of recent past projects and potential projects:
• An exploratory study into absenteeism: A case study on relevant factors impacting on the Australian Army Reserve
• Retention strategies for an electronics chain store in Sweden: A descriptive study
• Individual orientation to self-managed work team environments
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• The impact of organisational climate on job satisfaction in the KPO sector in India
• Managing cross-cultural employees at ABC company.
• Impacts of merger and acquisition strategy on human resource management at ABC company.
• Implementing a new employee compensation system at ABC company.
• Identifying employee training and coaching needs at ABC company
• Understanding intrinsic and extrinsic rewards impacting job satisfaction at ABC company
• Understanding online consumer behaviour for an online start-up store in China
• Investigation of the effect of ambient marketing on European city tourism
• Consumer’s preferences for visual characteristics of chocolate packaging
• Consumer behaviour associated with buying illegal products
• Exploring customer value and appropriate promotional strategies for the male bridal wear market for ABC company
• Pop-up restaurants as a market entry strategy
• Improving customer satisfaction with the online grocery purchasing app
• Improving online websites of certified organic restaurants
• Satellite tourism: Attracting the international tourist market
• Improving delivery service efficiency at **** company
• Investigating the benefits of social media marketing for a small business
• Social media impacts on customer patronage for *** airline.
Consider the following when coming up with your topic:
• If you are currently working in an organisation, do you have a current issue/problem/opportunity that needs to be addressed?
• If you do not wish to focus on your own organisation, do you have an outside management issue that you are passionate about (e.g. gender pay equity, alternative capital funds, crowdsourcing, customer co-creation, etc.) or do you have an idea for a new venture?
• If you are considering a career change or just starting to look at developing your career – what industry knowledge or skills would you like to be able to demonstrate currency in and is there a research project that would help you to develop that knowledge and skills?
It is critical that your project be based on an authentic managerial problem and that you independently research the problem. Please note, the following approaches to identifying a research project are NOT appropriate.
Do NOT select a research project which has already been completed or is currently being undertaken. This is not appropriate because before you collect data, you need to have presented and gained feedback on your research proposal (Task 1) and then your literature review and proposed method and analysis plans (Task2).
Do NOT select a research project based on a well-known multinational company (e.g. Walt Disney, Toyota, etc. ) that is not your own organisation. This is not appropriate because there
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is already a massive amount of information on these large multinational companies already available on the Internet, and this means that your work is unlikely to be original or authentic.
Approach
You will find recorded PowerPoint presentations on Blackboard (if you are an online students) and for on-campus students, we will have weekly workshops in the first 5 weeks and then one to one meetings for the remainder of the semester. Online students can post questions to the relevant discussion boards. In the learning materials and workshops, we will be addressing the common underlying content and theory relevant to where you should be at with your project – so in the first few weeks, we will be looking at the design and proposal stage, the literature, reviewing ethics and so on. We will look at different examples and critique them – what do they do well, what could be improved. We will also explore different presentation formats – in line with what industry is moving to. You will also find we have provided the content of BUS703 Managing Research – so if you did this course or a similar one some time ago you will have this as a resource.
In each module, you will find a variety of resources to assist at that stage of your project including references back to the relevant sections of BUS703 Managing Research materials and a checklist to ensure you are on track.
I have included a Guideline table at the end of the Module that outlines the Modules in this course and gives a suggested guideline on what you should have completed on a week by week basis. Given you only have 12 weeks to design and undertake the project, it is critical to keep on track. Note this is a guideline only and each students project will be different.
Identifying your Theoretical Frameworks
Remember this course is about applying theory to practice – so it is critical that you identify the relevant theoretical frameworks and approaches you will be using very early in this course as they will help you frame your Research Question and Research Objectives. You may find the following approach helpful.
1. Start by identifying the subject/course that you have already studied that is closest to your identified management problem, so this could be marketing, tourism, entrepreneurship, organisational behaviour, human resource management or supply chain management, etc. Think of this are as your ‘parent’ discipline – meaning it is the starting point, but your immediate discipline is likely to be an smaller area within this broader ‘parent’ discipline.
So, for a project focusing on social media marketing, the parent discipline would be marketing. For a study of employee compensation systems, the parent discipline would be human resource management. For a study focused on improving the logistics or physical distribution of a product, the parent discipline would be supply chain management. For a study focusing on cross-cultural management, the parent discipline would be international business or management, etc.
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2. Now look at the chapters/topics in the text or study materials for that subject/course and narrow down and focus on the topic area most relevant to your management problem and associated research question – this will be your immediate discipline.
So, for a project focuses on consumers use of social media marketing, the immediate discipline within marketing would be consumer behaviour. For a study focused on employee compensation systems project, the immediate discipline would be compensating and rewarding employees.
3. Now spend some time reading through this topic to identify the relevant theoretical frameworks and approaches used in that area.
In the social media marketing example, you might narrow down the discipline even further to the topic of consumer decision making – and within that area you would find a theories or frameworks of how consumers make purchasing decisions (e.g. high involvement or extended decision making process – problem recognition, information search, alternative evaluation and choice) that may become the framework for your project.
In the employee compensation example, you might narrow down the discipline further to look at areas of extrinsic motivation, motivational theories (such as Herzberg’s two factor theory) equity theory or expectancy theory for example.
A few other things to consider when developing your theoretical framework/approach…
Context vs discipline. Be careful to differentiate between your context versus your discipline. Context (the area and setting within which the managerial problem exists) will not give you a framework but will influence how your framework is used. For example, if your research question is about improving management or marketing strategy in Not for Profit Organisations – ‘strategy’ is the discipline, however the context of a Not for Profit organisation will have some features that will impact on the strategy process. Moreover, your context may be confined to a particular geographic area (e.g. Australia or China) or region (state or province or a particular group or market (e.g. females or a millennials). It can be useful to narrow down the context so that you can get depth in your study.
1.2 Checklist of Activities
1) Listen to the ‘Getting Started’ overview outlining the course objectives and approach.
2) Familiarise yourself with the Course Outline and in particular the assessment tasks and assessment criteria.
3) Familiarise yourself with the resources in the Assessment folder making sure you listen to the ‘Overview of Assessments’.
4) Browse through the examples provided to give you an idea of expectations and different approaches.
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5) Look at the specific requirements for Task 1 (Proposal Template) on BlackBoard in the Assessment area for Task 1 and jot down some initial thoughts.
6) Review the materials from BUS703 Managing Research, focussing on Module 3 of the Study Guide (Problem Definition) and the related section of the Research Toolkit.
7) Read through the example provided in this Module of a previous project and see if you can work backwards and complete the template for Task 1 based on this project.
8) Go back and review or draft your Task 1. For those of you revising your proposal from BUS703, make sure you take on board any feedback provided and think about what you can realistically expect to complete in the time expected from this course (about 120 to 144 hours i.e. about 10 to 12 hours a week for 12 weeks). This may mean you need to reconsider your methodology and perhaps limit the scope of the research.
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Table 1 Suggested Time Schedule of Activities
Week
Module
Topic/Activities
Submit
Week 1
Mod 1 Overview and Research Proposal
• Course overview and approach
• Topics
• Research Proposals
• Identifying theoretical frameworks
• Revise/draft Task 1
Week 2
Mod 2 Reviewing Secondary Data
• Secondary Data Review
• Finding data
• Analysing data
• Writing lit reviews
• Revise draft of Task 1
• Beginning drafting/gathering secondary data
Week 3
Mod 3 Ethics
Mod 4 Data Gathering
• Ethics review
• Overview of methodology
• Continue drafting literature review
Submit Task 1
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Mod 4 Data Gathering
• Revise Task 1 based on feedback
• Complete gathering and analysing secondary data
• Refine methodology (based on review of secondary data to date)
• Begin draft of Task 2
Week 7
• Complete Task 2
Note – if you complete Task 2 before the due date please submit early.
Submit Task 2
Week 8
Week 9
Mod 4 Data Gathering
• Gather further data (primary or secondary)
• Analyse data
Week 9
Week 10
Mod 5 Data Analysis
• Start developing conclusions and recommendations
• Begin preparing Task 3 (PPT presentation)
Week 11
Mod 6 Report Writing (PowerPoint)
• Review guidelines for preparing a PPT presentation
• Draft Task 3
Week 12
• Finalise Task 3
Week 13
Submit Task 3
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2.0 Module 2 – Reviewing Secondary Data
Outcomes
On completion of this Module you will:
• develop a search strategy and have begun gathering relevant secondary data from academic and practitioner sources
• have a plan for your approach to reading articles and taking notes
• develop an outline of your literature review (numbered headings/sub-headings)
• be able to review your writing to make sure it is relevant, analytical and comprehensive and addresses the research objectives
• use theory as both process and content.
Resources
The following resources for this module are all available through the BlackBoard Learning Materials for Module 2.
Resource
Comments
BUS703 Managing Research Study Guide
BUS703 Research Project Toolkit
An Example
Galan et al. (2016)
Social Media’s use in Postgraduate Students’ Decision-Making Journey: An Exploratory Study
This is an example of a previous student project that was then published as a journal article. We will use this example to highlight various key points.
Library Presentation – Finding and Evaluating Secondary data
This presentation focusses on searching skills and goes through the various databases (and associated search strategies). The presentation also covers how to evaluate secondary sources.
Academic Skills – Literature Reviews
This presentation addresses how to write a literature review (including analysing and synthesising literature).
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2.1 Reviewing Secondary Data
Before starting, remember that your research/project objectives must drive everything you do. Print your research question and research objectives and stick them in front of where you working, so that everything you find and read stays focussed on them.
Secondary data can be used in all stages of the research process. You will use secondary data to initially establish and identify your management problem and project topic. You will use secondary data to explain and understand your research topic. You may use more secondary data as part of your method to identify address your research objectives.
Take for example a project looking at new product development (NPD) in a company. You may have an initial feeling that the process could be improved. You may then confirm that feeling by investigating secondary data (internal company records) in terms of previous company NPD projects – were they completed on time or did they take longer? Were they completed on budget or did they go over? How successful were they? This analysis of internal company (secondary) data may confirm that the NPD process could be improved. Your method could then be to gather secondary data by documenting the existing process, then going to the academic literature and other sources of external secondary data to identify models of NPD (e.g. the stage gate approach). Further, analysis could be evaluating the various models and theory from the academic literature before evaluating practice versus theory to come up with recommendations for how the NPD process could be improved in your company.
Find relevant secondary data (both academic and practitioner)
At this stage of your studies you should be expert in this area. Importantly, remember you need to consider all sources of secondary data – so not just academic journal articles (and previous research conducted on the topic), but also non-academic sources such as newspaper articles, government websites, industry association reports, and so on.
Additionally, if you are doing your project for a specific organisation remember to think about the internal sources of secondary data that are available to you.
Review the School of Business Librarian’s presentation for a refresher on searching for secondary data.
Evaluate relevant secondary data
Make sure you are evaluating the secondary data as you gather it – using all the standard questions:
• How credible is the source? Is it reliable and accurate?
• How old is the data (and is it still relevant?)
• How was it gathered? Was the method rigorous?
Given the increased use of online information, pay particular attention to the tips included in the School of Business Librarian’s presentation regarding evaluating websites.
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Create a literature matrix as per below:
Author/Year/Source
Research Aims/Objectives
Context
Methodology
Data collection and sample
Key findings
Synthesize secondary data
Refer to the presentation by the academic skills advisor about writing a literature review. Again, remember your research objectives drive everything and will provide the structure for analysing and synthesising secondary data.
Be analytical and not descriptive. You may also like to consider the approach presenting in BUS703 of starting with a table of sources and objectives and then making sure you report by objective, that is, being analytical, rather than simply summarising by author, that is, being descriptive. Provide a synthesis (summary) of what other researchers have found around topics/objectives– in what ways do they agree and in what ways do they disagree and how do these findings relate to your research?
Identify gaps in relation to project objectives
A key purpose of reviewing secondary data is to establish as much as possible from existing information before looking to other sources, like primary data, to fill gaps. So at the end of any section reviewing secondary data you need to summarise what is known and then go back to your objectives and highlight what information still needs to be identified (what is not known – the research gap). This then leads to a clear statement of how your research will address the research gap and contribute to the body of knowledge.
Use theory as both process and content
All project require reviewing and incorporating secondary data – possibly in different formats depending on the nature of the project. Theory can be used to explain the topic of the research and for some projects it can be used to inform the process of the research.
2.2 Checklist of Activities
After completing this Module, you should be able to identify the subject and key theoretical frameworks relevant to your Management Problem. Use the checklist of activities below to achieve this outcome.
1) Review the relevant BUS703 Study Guide Modules about sources of secondary data and how to critically review the literature.
2) Review the PPTs regarding secondary data and literature reviews.
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3) Revisit Task 1 requirements and review and refine the questions about secondary data, i.e. –
• Subject area (parent discipline)
• Key theoretical frameworks
• Identification of three key academic journals (identify one or two relevant articles from each)
• Identification of three key company/industry/government sources
4) Go back to the project example and consider how they have approached the literature review.
5) Draft the major headings and possibly sub-headings for your literature review (number these)
6) Use a literature review matrix/table to summarise your reading
7) Start gathering relevant secondary data remembering to focus on your research questions and objectives.
Once you have a draft literature review, here is a checklist for making sure it is relevant, focussed and analytical.
• How well do the headings and subheadings reflect your research objectives (ROs) (match each heading to the relevant RO)
• Does the order flow logically from general (broad context and theoretical domains) to specific theoretical frameworks
• Revise headings and sub-headings as necessary
• How comprehensive was your review e.g. range and number of sources, mix of academic journals and practitioner sources?
• Were they relevant i.e. focussed on the relevant sub-discipline and not a parent or grandparent discipline?
• Check each paragraph – how many references in each one (if only one source you are being descriptive)?
• Are the gaps in the literature clearly identified at the end of the literature review?
• Did you use any tables /figures? If so, review these and consider how they could be improved. Have you thought about the order of columns and tables and do the tables have appropriate headings?
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3.0 Module 3 – Ethics
Outcomes
On completion of this Module you will:
• be aware of key ethical issues that may arise when conducting your research
• identify the parties involved in the proposed research – client, supplier, respondents
• consider the rights and obligations of each party involved in the research
Resources
Resource
BUS703 Managing Research Study Guide
BUS703 Research Project Toolkit
An Example
Galan et al. (2016)
Social Media’s use in Postgraduate Students’ Decision-Making Journey: An Exploratory Study
3.1 Ethics Approval
All research should be conducted ethically. Review the BUS703 Managing Research Study Guide as a refresher re the rights and responsibilities of respondents, and researchers in Module 1.
3.2 Checklist of Activities
1. Reread BUS703 re ethics
2. Remember to consider ethics at each stage of your project. Ethics is not just about the people you get the information from, but also the clients you undertake the research for.
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Module 4 – Data Gathering
Outcomes
On completion of this Module you will:
• Design an appropriate approach to gather data to address your research objectives
• Plan the appropriate methods to gather data required
• Implement the planned data collection methods
• Consider how the gathered data will be analysed.
Resources
Resource
Comments
BUS703 Managing Research Study Guide
BUS703 Research Project Toolkit
An Example
Galan et al. (2016)
Social Media’s use in Postgraduate Students’ Decision-Making Journey: An Exploratory Study
Review the annotated Recruitment Protocol and the Interview Guide that were used in the example project.
Also note and review the methodology section of the paper.
3.3 Course Approach
Designing your approach
• Go back to your research objectives – how do you propose to gather the information required to address each objective? Who/where do you need to get the information from?
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• Consider the use of a table as per the examples below. Note you would not use all of these methods, they are examples to indicate some of the possibilities.
Research Question: State your research question in question format here
Research Objective
Data Collection Method/Sampling plan
Justification
Data analysis plan
RO1: To ……
e.g. Secondary data collection – name sources and number of sources to be used
e.g. Relevant information already available
Table of themes/dates/sources
RO2: To ……
e.g. depth interviews of 10 managers across departments
e.g. Exploratory study to uncover key issues/themes – rich insights
Thematic content analysis – looking for patterns/similarities/different viewpoints by research objective
RO3: To ……
e.g. survey of 40 current customers
(If you survey less than 30 people you can only draw inferences)
e.g. Issues are known and now wish to measure customers’ attitudes/preferences etc.
Statistical analysis (must be at least 30, otherwise can only make inferences) – descriptive statistics (frequencies/percentages/median, means) – tests of difference (t-test, ANOVA, etc). Results presented in tables and bar or pie charts.
RO4: To …..
e.g. 3 focus groups of 6-8 employees/customers
e.g. Exploratory study to gain feedback some new approaches, processes, concepts and/or ideas
Thematic content analysis – looking for patterns/similarities/different viewpoints by research objective
• Review Module 4 in BUS703 as a refresher on possible approaches and associated data collection methods.
• Keep in mind the time limits on this project
• Remember you can use a combination of primary and/or secondary data approaches and sometimes one or more of your research objectives can be addressed by secondary data, while others require primary data collection.
• You must justify your overall data collection approach (why you think it is the best method for addressing each research objective) and outline the details of the specific data collection method to be used (e.g. interviews vs. focus groups vs. survey).
• IMPORTANT: Consider your level of ability to undertake the statistical testing if you are using survey data. We do NOT expect sophisticated statistical analysis, but you should be able to at least calculate frequencies, percentages, modes, medians and means. Some students may have higher level abilities such as being able to a look at differences across group (compare means, etc.) or test for relationships (associations). If your statistical analysis skills are limited, you should avoid a quantitative study and look at qualitative methods of data collection.
• Review the annotated example (re social media) – note the justification of the approach (exploratory) and then the details of the qualitative method used (i.e. depth
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interviews). In particular, note how the selection of respondents (sampling plan) is justified and described.
• Make sure you include a section outlining your proposed data analysis plans.
Tips
• Given the time constraints, you may have to restrict your approach to some exploratory methods for example:
o depth interviews
o a focus group/(s)
o secondary data sources
o observations
o an exploratory survey (brief questionnaire)
o combination of these approaches.
• In some cases, a descriptive survey may be possible, especially if the survey instrument i.e. the questionnaire is very simple or has partially been developed and if a ready database of potential respondents is accessible. However, remember that you must NOT base your study on primary research that has already been conducted, so any questionnaire you will be using would need to be presented in Task 2 for feedback and then will need to be modified in the light of feedback BEFORE the data is collected.
• If you are gathering primary data, you must justify and outline how respondents were selected and how they will be recruited – your sampling method, size and plan.
• Also, remember to describe how the data collection form (i.e. interview or focus group protocol or questionnaire) was developed and provide a copy in an Appendix to Task 2. Again refer to the annotated examples provided for the Social Media example. A protocol explains what will be done, with whom, where and when, and what will be asked/discussed.
• Ensure your questions are linked to your objectives. Once again a table can be used to make sure you have questions to cover each objective, and you have measured things on the right scale to allow you to answer the research questions, as per example below.
Research Objective
Question/Level
Data Analysis
RO1: To ……
Secondary data inquiries – what, when, where, etc.
Tables/thematic analysis
RO2: To ……
Q1 …………….? (Nominal – yes/no)
Descriptive statistics (frequencies/percentages/
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Q2 ……………? (Interval – importance scale)
Q7 ……………? (Interval – agreement scale)
modes/means)
Differences by gender (t-test – compare means)
Tables and bar charts
RO3: To ……
Q3 ……………? (Ranking – 1 to 10 – least to most prefered)
Q6 ……………? (Interval – likelihood scale)
Q7 …………….? (Nominal – yes/no/don’t know)
Descriptive statistics (frequencies/percentages/
modes/median/means)
Differences by age group (ANOVA – compare means)
Differences by gender (t-test – compare means)
Tables and pie charts
RO4: To …..
Q4 ……………?
Q5……………?
Q8……………?
Etc.,
Respondents
Relevant demographics to be gathered (e.g. age, gender, education level, years of service, etc)
May be used for tests or difference – could use cross-tabs etc.
• If secondary data is the focus of the data collection, make sure the theoretical framework is very clear and the method is linked back to relevant theories and concepts to be used.
• Develop ‘dummy’ tables i.e. thinking about how you will analyse and present results and draft up the tables you will use to present results around each research objective.
3.4 Checklist of Activities
1. Go back to your research question and objectives – is your chosen research design appropriate?
2. Consider your data collection methods – will you be able to complete in the time frame available?
3. How are you going to analyse the data? If so, are you collecting data in the right form.
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Module 5 – Data Analysis
Outcomes
On completion of this Module you will:
o Develop a profile of respondents (if gathering primary data)
o Use appropriate methods to analyse your data
o Design ‘easy to interpret’ presentation formats (charts, tables, etc.)
o Recognise and report any limitations of the data gathered.
Resources
Resource
Comments
BUS703 Managing Research Study Guide
BUS703 Research Project Toolkit
An Example
Galan et al. (2016)
Social Media’s use in Postgraduate Students’ Decision-Making Journey: An Exploratory Study
Review the analysis of results section of the paper. Note how the section starts with a profile of respondents before addressing each of the research objectives.
Also, note the use of clearly labelled and well organised tables throughout the results to convey results easily.
3.1 Data Analysis
There is a broad range of possible analysis techniques available.
For quantitative data (gathered in a survey), you will likely use descriptive techniques (frequencies, percentages, modes, median, means, etc) and possibly if you have higher level skills and you research objectives require you may conduct tests of difference (t-tests, ANOVA) or tests of association (regression etc.). Note that you need to think carefully about
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the level of measurement – nominal, ranking, interval or ratio. Where possible try to measure things on higher levels (e.g. interval or ratio level). This allows for higher level analysis. For example, you could use a 5 or 7 point importance, agreement, frequency or likelihood scale and then you can calculate the mean and, if you have the skills, you can compare groups (for example gender or age groups) based on the mean or test associations (e.g. if they agreed with this, how likely is it that they also agreed with that?).
For qualitative data you will use thematic, pattern or content analysis. You will be looking for key themes or issues arising – you will be looking for similarities or differences in the data collected. If you use interviews, you will be identifying some quotes that illustrate the key themes. The key thing to remember is that your research objectives are driving everything you do – so keep focusing on these.
3.2 Checklist of Activities
• Analyse each research objective (i.e. do not analyse each question on a survey separately, but rather look at the questions related to each research objective in turn)
• With exploratory techniques such as depth interviews or focus groups remember you are looking for patterns and themes – what do the respondents think about each issue raised, what do the respondents agree about – where do they disagree? Capture and report some quotations that illustrate key themes and similarities and differences of viewpoint.
• Use your research objectives as a structure for analysis and presenting your findings, finishing with a clear summary of how your findings have answered the research question.
• If you have a large data set, start by looking at each variable individually (run some descriptive statistics such as frequencies/percentages and means, etc.) to really understand your data before proceeding to analyse each research objective.
• Are all tables, charts and figures clearly labelled – have you considered the order of rows and columns in tables to convey maximum information easily? Do NOT simply cut and past the tables from the statistical output – create a meaningful, reader friendly table.
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Module 6 – Presenting Results
Outcomes
On completion of this Module you will:
• present a professional report in PowerPoint format
• apply the guidelines for developing effective PowerPoint presentations
• present clear conclusions and recommendation around your research question.
Resources
Resource
Comments
BUS703 Managing Research Study Guide
BUS703 Research Project Toolkit
PPT presentations of Guidelines for PPTs
This presentation highlights the do’s and don’ts of preparing PowerPoints – with examples.
Example ppt reports
While some examples have been provided, you need to note that these are not necessarily perfect and in most cases, have some significant flaws.
3.3 Course Approach
Many companies and consultants no longer prepare formal written reports but instead prepare PowerPoint presentations. This serves two key purposes:
o First, it makes an easier and quicker for management to read summary of key points.
o Second, it is quicker and easier to put together, and can serve multiple purposes e.g. as a report and as a presentation, should an oral presentation be required.
For Task 3, you are required to submit a PowerPoint presentation (40 – 60 slides). You do NOT actually make an oral presentation, it is just the slides that need to be prepared.
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The following breakup is an example of how many slides may be in each major section of the final report, however remember every project will be different:
• Title/cover (1 slide) – Title of the research, Student name, Student number, Date
• Background (2 – 3 slides) – Key points from the background section of Task 2 and clear statement of the managerial problem
• Research question and research objectives (2 slides) – Clear statement of the research question and research objectives from Task 2 – taking on board any feedback provided.
• Literature review (4 – 5 slides) – as per Task 2 taking on board any feedback – covers previous research (key academic studies), main findings from your secondary data search – the research gap (implications) leading to your research question.
• Method (2 – 3 slides) – sampling plan, data collection methods and data analysis techniques used.
• Results (20 – 30 slides) – respondent profile (if primary data has been collected) and key findings linked to each of your research objectives.
• Recommendations (4 – 5 slides) – to management to assist them to make the decision and solve the management problem.
• Limitations / further research (2 slides) – limitations of your study and what else needs to be researched in the future.
• List of references – as many as needed.
Within the slides you need to reference key sources of information used. You can use a smaller font for the references so they do not clutter the slide.
Some basic tips for effective PowerPoint presentations:
1. Consider font size – not too small to read (not less than 18 point) and not too large.
2. Consider contrast – make sure the text can be readily distinguished from the background.
3. Don’t put too much on the slide.
4. Use bullet points rather than whole sentences. Never use whole paragraphs.
5. Make appropriate use of visuals that are relevant to the content and add to the visual appeal of the presentation.
6. Use appropriate headings and sub-headings.
3.4 Checklist of Activities
• Report results in PowerPoint format based on each of your research objectives.
• If you have gathered primary data make sure you begin the data analysis section with a profile of respondents (age, gender, etc.) so your audience knows who has provided the data.
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• Review the examples provided and note how results are reported
• If you are using tables make sure you consider how to make the tables as reader friendly as possible.
• Review the Guidelines for PPT presentations provided in the resources for this Module.
• Review the examples provided of ppt final reports. Note that all of these examples have flaws in some areas, so please do not copy their approach without considering the guidelines for preparing ppts.
• Consider incorporating an infographic (to capture key points) for either literature or results.
• Include a list of references at the end.