The main component of the EBMGN461 course is the Final Research Report, which should be an academic challenge for you. The purpose of the report is to allow you to carry out a self-managed piece of work that provides an in-depth investigation of an issue relevant to your field of work, field of study or area of interest. Instructions on how to select a research topic are in the sections below.

As a general guideline, the Final Research Report should be 6,000 words minimum and 7,000 maximum (not including the Bibliography, Title page and Table of Contents).

By now, you have been trained in how to research a topic and gather data to support your conclusions. You have taken courses such as Technology and Management, Research Methods or the Industry Project that have given you the necessary training and tools. You will be required to use skills from these courses for this project.

For your report, you will research data through both primary and secondary resources. As part of the research element, you will have to produce a detailed research proposal. After this is approved, you will then start to create the report.

You are expected to present a substantial piece of work in the form of a written project.

Objectives

1. Research and analyse issues in your chosen subject
2. Formulate strategies for successful research
3. Select and use the right research methods to collect data to support your research
4. Synthesize and analyze data to generate and support conclusions
5. Present and justify conclusions and associated recommendations

Project Weightings

The entire project will be 100% of the total grades for this project.

  Topic Total Marks Weight
1. Research Terminology & Skills
a. Research Terminology 100 20%
b. Research Skills 100 10%
2. Management Report
a. Research Proposal and Oral Defense 100 30%
b. Research Report 100 40%

Research Terminology and Skills (100/30%) - Group

Before starting the research process, it is important to understand different ways to conduct research and research-specific vocabulary. This first task gives the student the opportunity to broaden their research vocabulary. 

The collection of primary and secondary data is only one step in the research process. The method used to transform the data into information is of equal if not greater importance. The display of information can affect how easy it is to understand and use. This task is to help refresh some of the terms that you may have already learnt and introduce a couple of new ones.

Part 1: Useful research terms (100/20%)

Research terms have been selected for you. You will find them here.

1. research strategies 5. quantitative research (examples/tools)
2. research proposal 6. secondary research (examples/sources)
3. data collection methods 7. primary research (examples/sources)
4. qualitative research (examples/tools) 8 literature review

Once you have understood your research term and have discussed it with your instructor, you will research this item and make a summary of approximately 1500 words (in groups of three students) of the main points in your own words, with references. This summary should then be posted under the discussion heading Task 1, Part 1 - Research Terms.

You will need to reference quotes and use relevant examples for your chosen research term in order to get higher marks. Use many sources and include them in your posting and provide clear definitions and explanations. This is to be posted by September 20, 4:00 pm.  Late submissions will lose marks as per the late policy in the Student Handbook.

Peer grading of the papers must be completed by October 2, 8:00 pm.

The weight for the marks are below:

  Category Marks Weight
1. Sources 20 20%
2. Examples 50 50%
3. Definition/Explanation 30 30%
  Total 100 100%

Part 2: More research terms (100/10%)

Select one item from the second list below of research terms:

1. management information systems 5. how to display information collected by surveys and questionnaires
2. resources for secondary information 6. diagrams that can be used to display visual information
3. statistical tools used to summarise data 7. how to use interviews to collect information
4. how questionnaires and surveys are used to collect information 8 meaning of research

Students are required to investigate their chosen concept and make a summary (max 700 words) of the main points and make a posting under the discussion heading Task 1, Part 2 - Further Research Terms.

You will need to reference quotes and use relevant examples for your chosen research term in order to get higher marks. Use many sources and include them in your posting and provide clear definitions and explanations. This is to be posted by October 4, 2011 4:00 pm.  Late submissions will lose marks.

Peer grading of the papers must be completed by October 11, 8:00 pm.

The weight for the marks are below:

  Category Marks Weight
1. Examples 60 60%
2. Definition/Explanation 40 40%
  Total 100 100%

Research Proposal & Oral Defense - (100/30%) - Individual

You are now in the final steps to obtaining your Bachelor's degree. You have conducted research in your previous studies and this project is to help you link everything together. You can use issues at work or personal interests. In any of these, you should be able to identify management research areas and techniques which you will eventually research in more detail.

This is great opportunity to showcase your research skills to your employer, your classmates and your instructor.

How to select a research topic

Your first step is to select a research topic within your area of interest. Your instructor may ask you to select up to three good ideas which will be narrowed down after discussions with your instructor. In order to have a good research topic, it must be:

  Criteria Description
1. Local i.e. you must be able to get your primary research done first hand and therefore you need to keep your sample and sources within easy access.  Using only internet research is not acceptable for this project. (source: Penny Archer)
2. Researchable i.e. Government Departments are not happy about giving out information to students so unless you have a lot of influence or connections within these departments, please be aware that getting data will/may be difficult. (source: Penny Archer)
3. Specific i.e. make sure that your idea is as focussed as possible. For example, here is a very general idea - "Blackberry addiction in the UAE". To narrow a topic like this, ask questions like "who do I want to focus on?" The options in this case would be either UAE nationals or expatriates of all nationalities or both. Doing both would mean the research paper would be extensive. To make it more manageable, you may want to research blackberry addiction only amongst UAE nationals. If this is the case, you need to further narrow this down to a particular age group (especially the age group that uses Blackberries extensively). After further narrowing the topic, your final idea may be something like "Blackberry addiction amongst UAE nationals in the 15-25 age group" which makes it very specific.

After selecting your local, researchable and specific research ideas, submit your idea(s) to your instructor for approval.

All research ideas, proposals and reports must be individual and original!

Research Proposal Guidelines

You need to prepare a research proposal on an approved topic. As mentioned above, you can use issues at work or personal interests. Please see the approved list of topics here.

The research proposal should not be more than three pages and should be fully referenceded. You must do in-text referencing for both your proposal and final research paper. As a general rule, referencing should be done for any numbers, facts, figures or claims you make in both your proposal and final research report.

You will need to include the following in your proposal:

1. Title
2. Background
3. Research objectives or questions
4. Methodology
5. Timescale
6. References

You will also have to be prepared to discuss and defend your chosen topic during a formal presentation to your instructor and classmates. This will take place during classes between October 23 to October 30.

Deadline

You need to complete the research proposal by October 18 @ 4:00 pm. Presentations start on October 23. The Oral Defense schedule is here.

Grading Criteria:

Category: 10 (Excellent) 8.5 (Very Good) 7.5 (Good) 6 (Needs Improvement)
Research Question Has a good, coherent, and researchable research question. Has a solid, coherent, and researchable research question. Has a fairly good researchable research question. Has a research question that isn’t focused.
Introduction Creates an introduction that justifies and explains the significance of the subject. Creates an introduction that attempts to justify and explain the significance of the subject. Creates an introduction that begins to justify and explain the significance of the subject. Creates an introduction that does not justify and explains the significance of the subject.
Annotations Creates three annotations that do a good job summarising the texts. Creates three annotations that do a solid job summarising the texts. Creates three annotations that do a fair job summarising the texts. Creates three annotations.
Reliability of Sources All sources appear reliable All sources might be reliable. All sources are verifiable. There are not at least three sources.
Outline The outline will help the writer create a high quality research project. The outline might help the writer create a high quality research project. The outline has an limited chance of helping the writer create a quality research project. The outline is not extant or is poorly done.
Grammar Precise terms.

No tense or agreement problems.

No misused words.

Rich language. 
Some imprecision.

1-2 tense or agreement problems per page.

Misused words.

Average language. 
Imprecise language.

3+ agreement problems per page.

Many misused words.

Repetitive language. 
Very imprecise language.

4+ agreement problems per page.

A great many misused words.

Very repetitive language. 
Oral Defense (see below for more detail) Is able to defend topic well and shows a good understanding of components Is able to defend topic and shows a sound understanding of components Is able to defend topic somewhat and shows little understanding of components Is unable to defend topic and shows a little understanding of components

Oral Defense Guidelines

You have 30 minutes (and no more) to do your Oral Defense. You will have to set up your laptop (5 minutes or less), deliver your defense (15 minutes or less) and answer questions (5 minutes). The last 5 minutes is for the audience to do their peer grading. You have 15 minutes (or less) of speaking time ONLY. That means that you have to  be on track to meet the criteria below. If you have equipment problems and take longer to set up, you may not have enough time to deliver your defense which will affect your grades.

Make sure you know and understand everything in your proposal. You are the EXPERT on your topic.

For those you who who are scheduled to do your Oral Defense on that date, you can either sit in class and watch until it's your turn or come at your appointed time.

My advice to everyone is to make sure your laptop works, that you have tested this and know how to hook it up to the projector IN ADVANCE.

For those who are doing peer grading, you need be in class before 4:00 pm. Doors will be locked once Oral Defense begins and you will have to wait until the next defense before you can come in. Otherwise it is too distracting for everyone.

Peer graders - if you are absent for any or all of your peer grading duties, you lose 15% of your grades. So if your Oral Defense grade is 100% and you are absent for any or all of your peer grading duties, you will get only 85%. That means that if you come late to class and are locked out, you automatically lose 15% of your marks.

If you are absent for your Oral Defense for any reason, you will get a failing grade for the Oral Defense component.

The Oral Defense schedule is here and an approximate grading criteria is below:

Scale

Description

85 - 100
  • A professionally organised presentation, using logical sequences with clearly differentiated sections using appropriate aids.
  • Demonstrates clear understanding of the subject matter of the project with clear explanations of the construction and operation.
  • Fields all questions well and demonstrates clear understanding of the basic concepts of the project.
  • Reflects fully on the activities of the project and presents sound logical conclusions
60 - 84
  • An organized presentation, using logical sequences with differentiated sections using appropriate aids.
  • Demonstrates mostly clear understanding of the subject matter of the project with mostly clear explanations of the construction and operation.
  • Fields most questions well and demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts of the project.
  • Reflects on most of the activities of the project and presents mostly logical conclusions.
0 - 59
  • A poorly organised presentation, no logical sequences with little differentiation between sections.
  • Demonstrates little understanding of the subject matter of the project with little explanations of the construction and operation.
  • Fields few questions well and demonstrates only little understanding of the basic concepts of the project.
  • Very little reflection of the activities of the project and presents mostly very poor or no conclusions.

Research Report (100/40%) - Individual

The purpose of the research report is to allow the student to carry out a self-managed piece of work that provides an in-depth investigation of a management issue relevant to the student’s own field of study or particular interest.

The research report allows the student to critically evaluate and synthesize relevant philosophies, theories and models of management, by undertaking a process of enquiry, using primary and/or secondary data sources to contribute to the body of knowledge in the domain of management.

It is a major part of EBMG461. The Final Research Project and should be an academic challenge for the student.

Instructions

You need to do what you outlined in the research proposal:

1. In order for you to succeed in this project you may need to rethink and produce a more detailed action plan for the project than what was provided as part of your initial research proposal. This revised action plan will need to cover the next seven (7) weeks in detail. Please see the Semester Calendar on when you need to submit the action plan. It must be complete and detailed and it is recommended that you use either MS Project or Excel and present this as a Gantt chart.
2. For your primary research, if you are doing surveys, plan on upwards of 100 surveys (minimum).

For interviews, plan on at least 5 and make sure that these interviews are transcribed. The transcription should be added as an appendix at the end of your research report.

For secondary sources, plan on at least 30 (minimum) and they should include some internet (no more than 30% or 10) and scholarly research.
3. You must do in-text referencing for your final research paper.
4. Please use the Bibliography and Citation and other referencing features of MS Word so that ALL your references are included in the MS Word file. Do not use any other tool such as Noodlebib that is external to your MS Word file.
5. You need to execute your proposal and follow your action plan deadlines.
You need to produce a research report of approximately 6,000 words minimum.

There are various ways to construct a research report but all must contain table of contents, good headings, and references. A suggested structure is set out below together with a suggested content size for each area. This is a suggestion only as your research topic will influence the format of the report. Some may have a greater portion devoted to reviewing current literature while others may have a greater emphasis on the analysis of data.

1. Title Page Title of Report, Date, What course, Prepared for, Prepared by: Name ID and Section
2. Table of Contents  
3. Executive Summary a detailed summary of the whole report (also called an "Abstract")
4. List of Illustrations a list of all charts and figures in your report. This is a table of contents for charts, figures and illustrations
5. Introduction and Background Purpose, Background information required by reader,
Brief description of report contents (10% of content)
6. Literature review 25% of content
7. Research Methodology justification and evaluation of methodology, sampling, pre-testing and piloting of measuring instruments, ethical issues (10% of content)
8. Data Analysis the main body of the report (40% of content )
9. Conclusions and Recommendations summary of findings and next steps
10. References Sources used to prepare report in MLA format. Make sure to include all references in your MS Word file through MS Word's referencing features.
11. Appendices Numbered in order and includes additional information or proof. Transcription of interviews is an example of what you can put here

Final Submission:

Please check the Semster Calendar for the submission deadlines. The report must have a Safe Assign report attached and reports will not be accepted without one.

To have an acceptable paper, please make sure the Safe Assign result is less than 20% matching.

Research Report Formatting Guidelines:

Please see the Report formatting document for a detailed description on what is expected in terms of formatting and content. In addition, please refer to the MLA Referencing document on how to use proper referencing in your report and to avoid accidental plagiarism.