Identify a concrete practical problem or theoretical issue that currently interests you in a human resource management, marketing, economics, accounting, finance, entrepreneurship, organisational behaviour or general management area.
Assume you are an organisational consultant in this domain and have been asked by a contracting company to put forward a proposal to conduct a research investigation in the area you have identified. Your goal in this assignment is to put together such a proposal. You should assume that, within reason, you will have access to sufficient resources to conduct the research (e.g., staff, time, funds, equipment) if your proposal is accepted. Assemble a coherent and well-defended proposal to conduct a research investigation into the problem you have identified.
You will need to ensure that all sources you refer to or quote are listed in the References section for your proposal and that any direct quotes are correctly attributed and formatted.
Your proposal must include the following sections:
Cover Page: which shows the title of the proposed study, your name and student number, the date of submission, your university affiliation, and contact details (which can include an email address).
Table of Contents: which indicates the major headings in your proposal along with appropriate page numbers.
Executive Summary: which provides a brief (one-half page only) summary of the context and approach of the proposed research.
clearly sets out the research problem;
sets out the proposed context for the study and intended role of the researcher;
briefly reviews some immediately relevant literature and/or other sources of secondary data (try to keep this literature review to about 5 or 6 of the most immediately relevant references) to set up foundations and, where appropriate, the theoretical framework or orientation for the research and, perhaps, establish a logical basis for the methodological approach as well; and
clearly sets out the research questions/hypotheses that you have built up to through your literature review.
5. Research Design: which clearly sets out proposed methodological approach(es) in terms of:
describing the overall design of the research (which, for positivistic research, would include setting out any experimental or quasi-experimental design intended and, for interpretive research, would include summarising the intended methods/modes of data gathering to be used)
providing descriptions of key constructs & measures, as appropriate (obviously, this section is most relevant to a positivistic research approach)
providing a description of intended sampling scheme, including indications of how you will identify & select participants & other data sources, as appropriate, and indicating if and how you might wish to generalise what you learn to other people, contexts, places and times (positivistic research) or if and how you might wish to transport your interpretive account(s) to other contexts (i.e., would the story produced by your proposed research have meaning for contexts beyond where your study focused?)
detailing your proposed procedures for:
gathering, recording and safeguarding the data (including, for example, any instructions to be provided to participants, how instruments/surveys would be administered and processed for analysis, how interviews of various types would be conducted, recorded and transcribed for analysis)
passing gatekeepers and gaining access to organisations, participants & other data sources, as appropriate
handling the protection of participants and other ethical issues
approaching the analyses of the data [where you would discuss how the data you collect might be analysed (for quantitative data, don’t just mention that the quantitative measures will be statistically analysed, suggest, by name and implicated measures or variables, what specific techniques or procedures you might use to address particular hypotheses or research questions; for qualitative data, describe how you might approach the analysis and display of such data.].
including and discussing a draft instrument or survey, where relevant, or interview protocol/topical sketch (in the case of semi-structured interviews) and drafts of cover letters and other documents needed to pass gatekeepers & gain informed consent from potential participants. [If your design is predominantly guided by the positivistic tradition, you must create a preliminary (pilot) version of the proposed measures, observation forms, cover letters and so on. which you plan to utilise – these preliminary, draft or pilot versions must be included in the Appendix to the proposal. If your design is predominantly guided by the interpretive tradition, you need to work up a detailed description of the steps you will go through to obtain specific types of data, including cover letters for seeking access and informed consent, topical coverage intended in any qualitative interviews and so on ? this detailed description must be included in the Appendix to the proposal. If your design involves mixed methods, then pilot instrument versions as well as detailed procedural descriptions must be assembled and these must then be included in the Appendix to the proposal.]
providing a proposed timeline, showing approximately how many days or weeks would be needed to accomplish each phase of the study, and giving an indication of resources that would be required to properly execute the research and analyse the data.
6. Strengths/Limitations:where you discuss the various strengths and limitations you see in your proposal including any ethical or unclear design issues, ‘validity’ or research quality problems that may remain. Here, you should highlight the trade-offs you have made to make the research feasible to conduct within the specified time period.
7. References:which lists, using APA, all sources cited and/or quoted in your proposal.
Pay close attention to the clarity of your writing and expression, organisation and structure of your assignment, referencing style, proofreading, completeness of your list of references (which should include, at a minimum, all of the articles you have reviewed in your literature review and the unit materials) and appropriately dealing with quoted material from those references. These presentational issues will constitute 10% of the marking criteria
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