Understanding Business and Management Research | My Assignment Tutor

MG5615Understanding Business andManagement ResearchVirtual SeminarAssignment Guidance 2021Vers 1.3 09/02/2021Introduction● This assignment guide is based on the personalexperience of the tutors● As well as the numerous questions students askabout the assignment● As a result the guide is regularly being changed,improved updated● Please keep checking back as you complete yourassignment● This version (1.3) has been amended to make clearwhen we are referring to the Assignment Brief.The assignment and this guide (1)● It is important that you download the assignment (theAssignment Brief) from Wiseflow or Blackboard and study it● The Assignment Brief may change to reflect new conditionsrelating to the impact of Covid-19 on the university● The Assignment Brief details what is expected of you● Study it, study this guide, and contact your seminartutor if there is anything that is not clear● This guide is based on the Assignment Brief● It tries to explain what is meant● Anything in parentheses “like this” is a direct quote fromthe Assignment BriefThe assignment and this guide (2)● This guide is just that – advice● Base your work on the Assignment Brief onWiseflow● A lot of what is in this guide is justrecommendations● eg. we give indicative word counts for each section:you can write more or less as long as your final totalis not more than 2000 words.● Where the assignment says “typically” or “normally” itmeans you can make your own choicesThe assignment and this guide (3)● The Assignment Brief has a marking grid whichshows you how marks will be allocated– Check your work against this template– Your mark and feedback will be based on thesecriteria● At the moment the assignment is due at 12 noon on26 April 2021.OutlineThis guide examines all the key elements of theassignment, as well as instructions on how to presentyour work.It approaches the assignment in this way:● The written instructions, and what they mean● The review: what and how● Recommended structure● Sources for your assignment● Marks● Format and presentation● Resources available to youThe assignment● Submission April 26– This date may change, so please keep checkingBlackboard and Wiseflow.Coronavirus crisis– The March exam/test has been canceled– Assessment for this module is now 100% based onthe assignment– This is a critical analysis of the literature• It is not a full literature reviewChoice of topic● Should be in the field of study of your MSc● Eg a topic in accounting, marketing, HRM● Ideally something you propose to study for yourdissertation● Because you can use this review (2000 words) as thebasis of your dissertation literature review (5000words)● Although you can choose another topic● Maybe something you did for an assignment inanother moduleReviewing what (1)?● “Significant literature review”– Not just a summary of a few articles● “Underpinning methodologies adopted in previousresearch”– The philosophical positions – positivist, realist,social constructionist? Inductive or deductive?● “Research method(s) adopted in previous research”– The practical tools and techniques used– Try to ensure you review articles that use qualitativeresearch AND ones that use quantitative– Interviews, surveys, action research, etc.Reviewing what (2)?● “Range of viewpoints and perspectives”● On what points do the authors agree?● Where do they disagree?● The most important word to use is “however”● “Critical analysis”● Not just what is said, but what is meant● “Knowledge and understanding”● Show you understand what has been done and why● “Evaluate theoretical and technical aspects”● Distinguish between methodologies and methods● In particular qualitative and quantitativeOther instructions● “Demonstrate both breadth and depth ofunderstanding”– Show you appreciate the importance of each of theindividual articles– As well as their importance overall in the subjectarea or field of study● “Explain,discuss and evaluate the methodologiesapplied in the reviewed literature.”– The philosophical positions adopted: why were theychosen, how were they used?– Did they achieve the research objectives?– What alternatives might have worked better?Recommended structure:(a) Executive summary● This should be very short– Maybe just 50-100 words● Summarize your assignment– in a way that a reader can rapidly learn what itis about– without having to read the whole thingRecommended structure:(b) Introduction● Should be short– Maybe 100-150 words● Describe– The area of study (eg. eCommerce and SMEs)– Why this area is important– How you are going to review the literature– What the main issues areRecommended structure:(c) literature review● Should be the main bulk of the assignment– Maybe 1000 – 1500 words● Look at the whole field generally– The main themes, the main authors– Any gaps you see in the research● Focus on 3-4 journal articles in detail– Contrast and compare methodologies, etc.– In particular qualitative vs quantitative.– You don’t have the word count to revieweverythingRecommended structure:(d) Analysis, discussion, etc● Analysis, discussion and evaluation of researchmethodologies used, and methods employed. Maybe500 words● Analysis– Key similarities and differences between yourchosen articles – philosophical and practical– eg. 2 papers were inductive, 2 deductive● Discussion– Why were different approaches adopted?● Evaluation– Which do you believe worked better?Recommended structure:(e) Findings● Findings and what you have learned from thisassignment– A brief summary, maybe 200-300 words● In general what have your learned about thisarea of study– eg. most studies are inductive/quantitative– eg. most studies are out of date– eg. there is very little written about this– eg. most studies are based on Europe and USARecommended structure:(f) references● Use the Harvard Referencing System● Make sure your 3-4 key articles are included● List another 15-20 articles– Ones you have seen, but not reviewed– Ones that are referenced in the papers youreviewed● Try to find recent references, 2018-2021– If these don’t exist, discuss why● Use the Brunel guide to Harvard referencing● Be consistent in your referencingMarks: Knowledge● 25% of the marks are awarded for knowledge● You need to demonstrate that you have readwidely in● Business research methods● Your chosen subject area● You will show this by● Citing a wide range of up-to-date sources● Outlining the research philosophies andtechniques used by the authors you reviewMarks: Understanding● 25% of the marks are allocated tounderstanding● You need to show that you understand whatyou have read● And appreciate the context of the articles youreview● As well as being able to articulate the theoriesunderpinning the researchMarks: Analysis● 25% of the marks are assigned to analysis● You need to show that you can identify all thekey arguments emerging across the articlesyou review● In particular the arguments (debates, points ofview)● You can give examples of these in the texts● Analysis of concepts, methods and theory● What are they and what do they mean?Marks: evaluation● 25% of the marks are awarded for evaluation● You need to show that you are able toappreciate● Relative strengths and weaknesses of differentresearch ideas, theory and concept● You need to demonstrate, if possible● An appreciation of your own limits in terms ofjudgement and knowledgeSources for your assignment (1)● “Academic research books”– More for background, rather than analysis● “Academic empirical journal articles (CABSranking listed journals)”– Ideally focus on 3-4 articles from quality journals– https://charteredabs.org/academic-journal-guide-2018/Sources for your assignment (2)● “To support your analysis and arguments”● Give references, not your opinions● “Backed with appropriate academicreferences and examples where necessary.”– But bear in mind the word countWhat if you can’t find journal articles?● Think about broadening your focus● eg. instead of SMEs in eCommerce in China, widento SMEs in eCommerce generally● Find more general articles in ‘quality’ journals● But show how more relevant/focused articles areavailable in other publications● In the analysis section discuss why there are norelevant publications● eg. this is a very new field/topic● It’s better to say you couldn’t find any articles, than tosay there are no articlesPresentation● Use 12 pt. Times New Roman font● Line spacing of 1.5● Word limit is 2000 words maximum– Excluding references– Word counts less than 1800 will be penalized● Minimum 15 academic journal articlereferences● Harvard referencing system must be usedFormat● Save your assignment as PDF● Word documents and other formats will not beaccepted● Use your student number as the file name● eg. 1987654.pdf● Fill out the electronic coursework coversheet● Upload to WISEflowResources available to you (1)● There are some examples of previous assignmentsfor you to look at on Blackboard● These are good pieces of work, so use them tounderstand what you need to do to get a good mark● These are not templates– In other words you can use alternative formats– As long as you address all the points in theassignment brief● Do not copy or cut-and-paste any of these– WiseFlow automatically checks your work forplagiarismResources available to you (2)● You will find links to useful research resources viaBrunel’s ASK programme.– You can access this through BlackBoard (top line)– Or you can go directly to the ASK websitehttps://www.brunel.ac.uk/study/academic-skills– Resources include• academic writing• statistics, etc. including SPSS ●The Brunel library has a range of resources for studentshttps://libguides.brunel.ac.uk/subject/business Summary● There are many suggestions in this guide● The assigment PDF is the formal document to refer to● Make sure you use the latest version● If there is anything unclear about the assignment,please contact your seminar tutor:● Dr Abraham Althonayan([email protected])● Dr Robin Croft ([email protected])• Dr David Sarpong ([email protected])● Dr Cristina Stoian ([email protected])● Dr Asieh [email protected]


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