Structure of the research proposal

Structure of the research proposal

Your research proposal should include the following:

  • TITLE
    • Include a fully descriptive TITLE for the business research to be investigated. The title and scope of the proposal should have a strategic emphasis. This means that the research objectives should include a consideration of how the resolution of the problem affects the future development and direction of the organisation(s) concerned (investigation) and/or of other similar organisations. It may also include wider considerations in terms of sector, geographic or national policy implications.

  • Section 1: INTRODUCTION and CONTEXT (ca. 300-500 words)
    • This sections should introduce the RESEARCH PROBLEM to be investigated; provide an explanation of why the problem is important and/or interesting (including brief references to relevant literature, both academic and business/ professional); provide an explanation of the research context or organisational background, and your access for data collection; provide a discussion of the SPECIFIC RESEARCH OBJECTIVES/QUESTIONS to be investigated.

  • Section 2: LITERATURE REVIEW (ca. 800-1,200 words)
    • Outlining the results of the literature search you have carried out and identifying relevant theory/ theories. This must go beyond textbook material. Extensive use of academic journals is more essential and important for your conceptual framework.
    • You will already have done this for the first assignment Management Research Methods. You may use some of that material but you need to present it here much more briefly, to avoid exceeding the overall maximum word count.

  • Section 3: INVESTIGATIVE APPROACH and METHODS (ca. 800-1,200 words)
    • This should cover the following areas, as appropriate:
      • what data (evidence/ information) you aim to obtain in relation to your research question/ objectives;
      • what are the sources for such data/ evidence/ information;
      • how you will obtain such data/ evidence/ information;
      • how you will analyse such data/ evidence/ information;
      • your approach to sampling;
      • specific data collection techniques and procedures, including where appropriate draft questionnaire, interview schedule, etc. (put as appendices, not included in word count);
      • brief justification of your choices, expressed in terms of key issues in social research philosophy.
    • You may use material that you have presented in the second assignment for Management Research Methods but must present much more briefly here.

  • Section 4: ETHICAL ISSUES (ca. 100-500 words)
    • Give a brief discussion of the ethical issues that arise in respect of your proposed investigation.

  • Section 5: TIME PLAN and RESOURCES (ca. 100-500 words)
    • An outline TIME PLAN for carrying out the research (this may be presented in the form of a table or a Gantt chart,) and a brief discussion of the RESOURCES involved. You need to demonstrate that your project is feasible and that you are in a position to manage it effectively.

  • Section 6: BIBLIOGRAPHY (not included in word count)
    • A single list should be given, obeying the standard rules HARVARD REFERENCING STYLE for bibliographical details, including web sites, blogs or other digital materials. Refer to the library resources for more information (NB do not put URL for journal articles accessed via the web but published in print form).