Section 5 Methodology & Presenting Findings Of Research Proposal

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1 Section 5 Methodology & Presenting Findings Of Research Proposal Learning outcomes By the end of this section you should be able to: (Total 10 hours) 1.1 Evaluate appropriate research methodologies in terms of the research question 1.2 Choose an appropriate methodology in terms of the research question 1.3 Justify the methodology selected in terms of the research question 1.4 Record findings on research question, literature review and methodology in an agreed format 1.5 Summarise the findings using suitable methods 1.6 Present the findings using suitable methods 1.7 critically analyse the findings Presenting Your Management Research Project Formal written format To prepare a captivating research report it is vital that you prepare an engaging introduction that describes both the purpose and scope of the study. This in turn involves preparing a high quality background to the problem in question, as well as expressing the problem statement and the research hypothesis. It is essential to prepare a proper review of the literature, as well as explaining the research methodology that you will adopt. A good methodology will provide a persuasive plan of how the data will be collected and analysed and the theory underlying the study as well as the drawbacks / limitations faced. It is very important to remember that you may not always start writing the first section of your research report when undertaking your study. It is more appropriate to begin writing those elements of you report that you are most at ease with. Then move about in your writing by finishing the sections as you feel appropriate. Then as you build upon your report you will be able to see what areas need to be developed.

2 Tips for writing your research report Begin writing with sections you know the best. Rewrite your proposal into dissertation sections. Print each draft on a different color paper. Use hand drawings of graphics/tables for early drafts. Make your writing clear and unambiguous. Review other dissertations/research before you begin to write. Introduce tables in the text, present the table and then describe it. Use similar or parallel wording whenever possible. Let your Table of Contents help you improve your manuscript. Write real conclusions and implications - don't restate your findings. Make your Suggestions for Further Research meaningful. Source: - Date: - 21 / It is important to understand what needs to go into your research project and how it should be structured. This is an essential element to discuss with your tutor as each research project will be approached in its own unique way. The main body of your research report will be sub-divided into sections. The sections you might typically find in a research project are, as follows: Executive summary Introduction Background Literature Review Methodology Findings Conclusions Recommendations See appendix 1 for suggested layout

3 1. Writing your Management Research Project Executive Summary The executive summary tends to be the last thing written. This is the most important section and summarises in around two pages what is written in detail within the other sections. Thus providing the reader with a good idea of what the report contains, without having to read it in detail. In essence a summary of the following should be provided:- Introduction Literature Review Methodology Findings Conclusions Recommendations The summary should stand alone. It should include, very briefly, the background and purpose of the report, the main points covered, the significant findings, conclusions and recommendations. Introduction What are the circumstances to your interest in this subject area and in carrying out this research study? Provide a brief summary of the reasons why this topic is likely to be of interest to your organisation, you and others. Provide a brief summary of:- Who asked for the report i.e. manager etc What have they asked for i.e. report investigating the implications and impact of the merger process on staff morale Why have they asked for it i.e. to solve a problem etc? When for - submission date A good introduction should provide the direction of the research report. It is essential that you provide an introduction of what the specific business related problem / issue is being addressed. You should put your study into a particular social, commercial, theoretical or historical context which supports the explanation of your research. If the project is centred on a particular organisation, you would describe the nature of

4 the business and then outline the background to the issue, situation or phenomena you are investigating. Literature Review Watch: - Literature Review Video In the literature review section of your research report you should outline what previous research has been done on the topic and how it has guided or informed your own research. You may want to test or challenge findings from previous research. You should engage with some or all of the following questions: 1. What previous research has already been done on this subject area? 2. Details of the researcher / author. Who did it, when and why? 3. What conclusions / recommendations did the previous researchers arrive at? 4. Are the conclusions relevant in today s context generally and for your own study? 5. How will your research build upon the previous research? 6. What theories / models etc are particularly pertinent to prepare your research study / findings? 7. How has previous research influenced your intended research methodology?

5 Methodology What methods do you intend to utilize to collect the information in pursuit of answers for your research study? Ask yourself:- 1. Where and how will you gather secondary data? & 2. Where, how, and when will you gather primary data. Secondary data Primary data The methodology section should enlighten the reader as to the overall research methodology you adopted and why - and what research tools i.e. questionnaire / interview etc you adopted to gain and analyse your results. You should a description of the participants involved numbers, selection approaches utilised and their characteristics etc. A reflection on the limitations of the methodology and methods used should be provided within. Record some answers in the boxes below Categories of research You need to think about the overall theoretical nature of your research. This topic will have been presented and discussed in Section 2 (Unit 10 - Research Methods). However, just to remind you of a few basic points:

6 Types of research (your research project may contain more than one type): Exploratory Descriptive Analytical Predictive This genre of research simply allows the marketer to gain a greater understanding of something that s/he doesn t know enough about. For example, just because we know that 3G phones exist, it doesn t necessarily mean that we understand how they work. Exploratory research can help in this instance. Differing mainly in design from descriptive research, exploratory research is used principally to gain a deeper understanding of something. The design is far more flexible and dynamic than that of descriptive research. Source:- et/index.php?option=com_content&t ask=view&id=798&itemid=78 Date:- 19/10/09 This research is the most commonly used and the basic reason for carrying out descriptive research is to identify the cause of something that is happening. For instance, this research could be used in order to find out what age group is buying a particular brand of cola, whether a company s market share differs between geographical regions or to discover how many competitors a company has in their marketplace. Source:- earchworld.net/index.p hp?option=com_content &task=view&id=800&ite mid=64 Date:- 19/10/09 This is a continuation of descriptive research. The researcher goes beyond merely describing the characteristics, to analyse and explain why or how something is happening. Source:- uk/dissguide/hm1u 1/hm1u1text2.htm Date:- 19/10/09 Predictive research goes further by forecasting the likelihood of a similar situation occurring elsewhere. It aims to generalise from the analysis by predicting certain phenomena on the basis of hypothesised, general relationships. Source:- e/hm1u1/hm1u1text2.htm Date:- 19/10/09

7 Findings The findings section presents a summary of the data or other information you gathered. This section should present the data information with discussion of the implications of your data. This section should present analysis and discussion of the results, including implications, consequences and issues raised. It will also compare and contrast results with previous research findings that you have identified and discussed earlier in your Literature Review. Graphical presentation of results can be placed within this segment and can also be referred to in the Appendix from this section. Please refer to Unit 10 - Research Methods - Section 2 Research for guidelines on Presentation of data Graphs and charts as well as Guidelines for Formatting Graphs and Charts Page 20 & 21. Conclusions / Recommendations At this point you should have a positive contribution to knowledge or organisational change as a result of your work. It may not be on a large scale however some of the best research projects focus on affecting small but highly important changes within the business. It is important to remember that you should introduce any new information here. This section involves you pulling together the main points of the report in a brief summary. The conclusions should link back to the purpose of the report which you stated in your introduction. The conclusions may also contain some summary points about the limitations of your research findings and how future researchers might take your work a stage further. It is essential to finish well leave the reader with something significant to think about. The recommendations provide you with an opportunity to suggest how things could be improved or progressed. The recommendations should flow logically from your conclusions, so that the reader can see the groundwork for your suggestions. You can

8 bullet point or number your recommendations. Always remember it is important that recommendations are realistic! References/Bibliography This section should provide full details of all the sources you have utilised within your research project. A bibliography tells the reader all the sources you have consulted, but not necessarily referred to. Appendices Appendices are materials you have referred to which are not essential for the reading of the report, and which could distract the reader from its logic. However, they need to accompany the report so the reader can refer to them. Examples: - tables, graphs, and diagrams etc. Appendices are numbered, for referencing in the text. Writing tips 1. Get started 2. Answer the question 3. Research your answer 4. Make the case 5. Structure your answer 6. Aim for clarity 7. Get the right tone 8. Avoid plagiarism 9. Edit your essay 10. Learn from feedback Source: - Date: - 19/10/09 Guidelines on presentation of research project 1. Your research project must be typed or word-processed on A4 paper 2. Your own text must be double-spaced. 3. Indented quotations must be single-spaced. 4. The pages of the dissertation must be numbered. 5. It must have a title page. 6. You must follow the format as outlined in Appendix 1.

9 Research tips Basic steps you should follow: 1. Define your problem or question 2. Decide what sources of information you can use (make a list) 3. Locate your sources 4. Start reading, printing, taking notes 5. Organize all the data you have and write your paper or complete your assignment 6. Evaluate how well you did. What could you do differently next time? Source: - Date: - 19/10/09 Oral Presentation Tips First of all:- Think about what you want to achieve Think about your audience Then:- Brainstorm your topic and write a rough outline. Research your topic. Don t get carried away remember you have a limited time for your presentation. Organise your material and write a draft think about the length of time you have to talk. Summarise your draft into points to write on overheads and/or cards. Plan and prepare your visual aids. Rehearse your presentation and get its length right. Ask a friend to listen and time you. Organising the content:- Introduction (may be written last) The Body The Conclusion Delivering your presentation:- Watch your language! Use your voice to communicate clearly Use your body to communicate, too! Interact with the audience Using visual aids Checking out the facilities Dealing with nervousness Source: - Date: - 19/10/09

10 Summary Some basic principles to follow:- 1. It is essential to set yourself deadlines for drafting sections and for completing the final research project. 2. Read through each completed section. Check that your argument flows logically. 3. Even if you write the introduction last, write it as if you have yet to find the answers to your questions. Don't give away the ending! 4. Finally, check that the title refers accurately to the finished research project. If it does not - change the title!

11 Appendix 1 REPORT STRUCTURE To: - Managers name (Organisation name) From: - Students name Ref: - Initials of person sending report & Date: - Start date individual receiving report Report On: - Title of report research title as agreed with tutor Table of Contents: - Keep this as a separate page List of major sections and headings with page numbers (1-2 pages) Executive Summary: - Keep this as a separate page This should provide a short summary of the longer report. It should allow the reader to become quickly acquainted with the body of material without having to read it all. It will usually contain a brief statement of the problem or proposal covered in the major report, background information, concise analysis and main conclusions. It is intended as an aid to decision making by business managers. (1 ½ - 2 pages) 1.0 Introduction Who - asked for the report i.e. manager etc What - have they asked for i.e. investigation of??? Why - have they asked for it i.e. to solve a problem etc? When for - submission date (½ / 1 page) 2.0 Literature Review 2.1 Other relevant research in this subject area (2-3 pages)

12 3.0 Methodology 3.1 What you did and how you did it i.e. primary and secondary research etc (4-5 pages) 4.0 Findings 4.1 Results / Discussion - What you found / Relevance of your results, how it fits with other research in the area. (18-20 pages) 5.0 Conclusions 5.1 Summary of results/findings Conclusions should be drawn from the information section (summary points do not re-explain) (1 1 ½ Pages) 6.0 Recommendations 6.1 What needs to be done as a result of your findings? Drawn from conclusions (don t justify why) (1 ½ pages) References All references used in your report Appendices Any additional material which will add to your report

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