Management Research Methods (MRM)

Learning outcomes assessed within this piece of work as agreed at the programme level meeting Knowledge:
You will be able to develop a deep understanding of the epistemology and ontology bases for research, as well as research methodology in the field of management. You will appreciate the different phases of research, and the nature and characteristics of each of them.

Intellectual/transferrable:
You will be able to (1) critically examine scholarly literature and to select, focus, and reflect on choice literature that motivates your (business and management) research to write up a critical review of your chosen literature; (2) understand research design issues, and conceive, frame, and articulate one or more personal research questions that motivate(s) your research; (3) critically evaluate, draw on, and present, orally and in writing, appropriate research methods to collect empirical data for your research project; (4) critically evaluate, select, and draw on quantitative and/or qualitative data analysis methods for your research project.
Type of assessment: Formative assessment:
Individual interim draft version of selected elements of summative assessment (maximum 3 sides of A4)
Summative assessment:
Individual report on a topic of interest (3,500 words)
Assessment deadline: The deadline is given on Moodle


Instructions for assessment
A. Summative assessment
For the submission deadline please see the information on your Moodle page.

Your coursework assignment is designed for you to demonstrate your knowledge of management research methods and to prepare you for writing your research proposal to meet the requirements of the dissertation module. You are required to write a report of 3,500 words on a topic of your choice as explained below.

Step 1: Select a topic of interest or business problem relevant to your degree specialism or pathway, i.e. if you are on the generic International Management degree, your topic will have an International Management theme. If you are taking a pathway within that degree, you will focus on a topic related to the pathway (marketing, finance, or HRM). The MBA would focus on topics relevant to strategic or operations management within an international business context. Choose one of these topics that motivates you and that you are likely to pursue for your dissertation (you may change your mind later, but it will be to your advantage if you stick to it, so choose carefully). This will require some preliminary research into that specific area.

Step 2: For your chosen topic identify the body or bodies of knowledge that you consider relevant and find at least four or five academic journals that publish literature in this field. You should use key words or terms to search for the most relevant articles in these journals on your topic and identify the key authors by comparing the cited references across these papers. You should start to build up a bibliography of relevant literature, which you will analyse to ascertain the research questions or problems addressed, theories drawn upon or developed and the range of research methods used.

Step 3: Present your analysis within a report containing 6 elements as detailed below:

1) An introduction that provides a brief commentary of key relevant literature. Be sure to justify your choice of these references in introducing the existing knowledge on your topic. (About 250 words)
2) A further section discussing particular conversations taking place in the relevant journals you have selected with a map of the literature using a visual presentation in the form of either a mind map, Venn diagram, or grandfather, father, son literature map. The map should show the relationship between key knowledge contributions (seminar 3 will cover suggested formats for your map). (About 750 words)
3) An analysis section which documents the research questions, theories, and methods used in the literature, including at least one table to show the extent of use of alternative research methods (seminar 3 and 4 will cover suggested formats for this table). (About 500 words)
4) A detailed critique of at least two well-used research methodologies in the literature you have reviewed. Discuss a) how they are applied; b) how the methods were deployed to provide a worthwhile contribution to theory and research and c) what gaps the methods may leave that could lend the area to further analysis (and an opportunity for your own research). (About 1500 words)
5) A conclusion with regard to those research question(s) you consider worthy of further investigation in the light of your analysis above, and a suitable research methodology for your own proposed investigation and potential research question/s. (About 500 words)
6) A bibliography containing a minimum of 12 references to relevant journal articles from good academic sources, including at least 6 published in the last 24 months and all cited in your analysis (seminar 4 will cover how to find quality articles and reference correctly).

Your report should be presented in good academic style, having been formatted using the Harvard referencing system and proof-read for grammatical errors. It should not exceed 3,500 words including tables and figures, but excluding references.

The final report should be submitted via Moodle to a turn-it-in box and will be graded according to the ollowing marking criteria:

• Introduction to the topic and description of the relevant literature using appropriate mapping methods (items 1 and 2): 15%
• For the literature analysis, breadth and depth of explored research with a clear focus emerging (item 3): 20%
• Comprehensive critique of two specific research methods (item 4): 40%
• Balanced conclusions following on from earlier analyses (item 5): 10%
• Quality of sources and correct presentation (item 6): 15%

B. Formative assessment
Formative assessment is non-marked work designed to help you develop your main piece of coursework to an acceptable standard for submission. We expect all students to complete the formative assessment which is an interim draft version of report elements 1, 2, and 6 (introduction to topic, literature map, and bibliography, as described above), handed in as a hard copy of no more than 3 sides of A4 during class in Week 6 of the module. This work will then be peer reviewed by a fellow student on the module with final comments from the module tutor. You will be asked to review someone else’s work as part of this peer review process. By Week 8, the work will be returned to you and you will be assigned a dissertation supervisor. This interim work will not attract marks but will provide you with valuable feedback on your progress to help you develop your own critiquing skills, and it will be used to assign you to an appropriate dissertation supervisor.

Resit assignment details
For the submission deadline please see the information on your Moodle page.

For students who are offered a resit you are required to improve and resubmit your original work as well as adding a further reflective commentary discussing what you have learned from the process.
You must resubmit your work using the specific resit Turnitin link on Moodle.
You should:

  1. Review your previously submitted work and read carefully the feedback given by the marker.
  2. Use this feedback to help you revisit and rewrite your work, improving it in the areas identified as weak in the original marking process
  3. Include with your resubmission an additional reflective piece (up to 500 words) on what you understand was weak, how you set about addressing this and what you have learned from this that may help you with further assignments. You should address the following specifically:
    i) Identify tutor feedback points on your original work and identify where/how the resit work has changed (give page number) in response to feedback
    ii) Identify the lessons you have learnt from doing the resit
    iii) Reflect on how your feedback and this process will help you improve future assignments
    If you did not submit work at the first opportunity you cannot reflect on your feedback. However, you are still required to submit a reflective piece in which you identify your reasons for non-submission, the implications of non-submission for your future success and how you propose to address this in the future. If you have issues with confidentiality of your reasons for non-submission then you could reflect on how you have met the learning outcomes for the module, how you can use what you have done on the module to support your future career and what skills/employability attributes you feel the module has helped you to develop.
    If you were deferred at the first assessment opportunity you do not need to include the reflective piece as this is a first submission at a later date, not a resit.
    The original marking criteria will still apply (see marking grid provided above) except that the 10% weighting for presentation will be awarded instead to your reflective piece

How will we support you with your assessment?
• Assessment briefing in Week 1.
• An early draft of sections 1, 2 and 6 to be prepared for Week 6 of the module. This work will be assessed by peers with feedback from the tutor by Week 8.
• Every seminar session is linked to your final piece of work to provide guidance and practice.
• FAQs will be posted on the module’s Moodle site.

How will your work be assessed?
Your work will be assessed by a subject expert who will use the marking grid provided in this assessment brief (see last page). When you access your marked work it is important that you reflect on the feedback so that you can use it to improve future assignments.
Referencing
You MUST use the Harvard System. The Harvard system is very easy to use once you become familiar with it.
Assignment submissions
The Business School requires a digital version of all assignment submissions. These must be submitted via Turnitin on the module’s Moodle site. They must be submitted as a Word file (not as a pdf) and must not include scanned in text or text boxes. They must be submitted by 3:00 pm on the given date.
Mitigating circumstances/what to do if you cannot submit a piece of work or attend your presentation
The Mitigating Circumstances Policy can be found in the Student Guidelines. If you have questions regarding this, please ask the Academic Office for aid.
Marking and feedback process
Between you handing in your work and then receiving your feedback and marks within 20 days, there are a number of quality assurance processes that we go through to ensure that students receive marks which reflects their work. A brief summary is provided below.
• Step One – The module and marking team meet to agree standards, expectations and how feedback will be provided.
• Step Two – A subject expert will mark your work using the criteria provided in the assessment brief.
• Step Three – A moderation meeting takes place where all members of the teaching and marking team will review the marking of others to confirm whether they agree with the mark and feedback.
• Step Four – Work at Levels 5 and 6 then goes to an external examiner who will review a sample of work to confirm that the marking between different staff is consistent and fair.
• Step Five – Your mark and feedback is processed by the Office and made available to you.
Outstanding
100 Excellent
(80-89)
85 Very Good (70-79)
75 Good
(60-69)
65 Adequate
(50-59)
55 Marginal Fail (40-49)
45 Fail
(30-39)
35 Not done
0
Introduction to topic & relevant literature map (15%)
Outstanding and flawless. Topic introduced in an articulated and well-supported fashion; extensive use of appropriate examples or references; clear and comprehensive literature map. Very good effort at introducing the topic; insightful examples and very good references provided to support arguments; literature map is mostly clear and comprehensive. Good effort at introducing the topic; good examples or references provided to support arguments; literature map lacking minor parts or contributions. Generally adequate effort at introducing the topic; some examples or references provided to support arguments; literature map lacking some parts or contributions. Some effort at introducing the topic; few examples or references provided to support arguments; literature map lacking major parts. Weak effort at introducing the topic; very few examples or references provided; literature map not appropriately developed. Missing. Wholly incorrect or not attempted.
Literature analysis
(20%) Outstanding and flawless. Comprehensive, systematic, and critical analysis; authoritative sources included; all citations and references in Harvard format. Critical review and synthesis of ideas; material mostly selected from authoritative sources; almost all citations and references in Harvard format. Good analysis of the literature, quite critical and well-developed; material selected mainly from authoritative sources; most citations and references in Harvard format. Ideas organised into a coherent argument; some critical analysis of ideas; material selected from a mix of sources, including non-authoritative ones; some errors in citations and references. Relatively poor organisation and analysis of ideas; material selected mainly from non-authoritative sources; significant errors in citations and references. Very poor organisation and analysis of ideas; limited sources selected; major errors in citations and references.
Missing. Wholly incorrect or not attempted.
Critique of two specific research methods
(40%) Outstanding and flawless. Appropriate research method selected and very well-explained; full awareness of constraints and limitations deriving from investigation. Appropriate research method selected and well-explained; very good awareness of constraints and limitations deriving from investigation. Appropriate research method selected and presented and clearly explained; general awareness of constraints and limitations deriving from investigation. Generally appropriate research method selected; some awareness of constraints and limitations deriving from investigation.
Selection of research method not well explained or not fully appropriate; limited awareness of constraints and limitations deriving from investigation. Selection of research method not explained or not appropriate; very limited awareness of constraints and limitations deriving from investigation.
Missing. Wholly incorrect or not attempted.
Conclusions
(10%)
Outstanding and flawless. Insightful evaluation and critical discussion of implications for own dissertation. Perceptive appraisal of implications for own dissertation. Good appraisal of implications for own dissertation. Satisfactory appraisal of implications for own dissertation. Limited appraisal of implications for own dissertation. Very limited appraisal of implications for own dissertation. Missing. Wholly incorrect or not attempted.
Quality of sources & presentation
(15%) Outstanding and flawless. Clear, concise, and effectively argued within the length allowed; skilled use of academic conventions; accurate proof-reading. Very good control of length; skilled use of academic conventions; nearly all errors eliminated in proof-reading. Competent control of length; good use of academic conventions; accurate spelling, grammar, etc.; careful proof-reading. Length requirements observed; appropriate use of academic conventions; minor errors in spelling, grammar etc.; quite careful proof-reading. Presentation is either too long or too short in relation to content; errors in application of academic conventions; some errors in spelling, grammar etc.; little indication of proof-reading. Very poorly presented work; presentation is either too short or too long (waffling); missing key elements or parts; major errors in spelling, grammar etc.; no indication of proof-reading. Missing. Wholly incorrect or not attempted.