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Assignment Briefs 05-31-2024

BMG920 Business Development & Innovation

BMG920 - Management Project Dissertation

Module Handbook 2023/24

Module Code: BMG920 (50221)

Course: MSc Business Development & Innovation

Department of Management Leadership & Marketing Ulster University Business School

Notice

Please be aware the information provided within the module handbook is subject to change.

BMG920 Business Development & Innovation

Table of Contents

Welcome........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3

1. BMG920 Module Overview and Communication................................................................................................................................ 4

2. Aim & Learning Outcomes....................................................................................................................................................................... 5

Aims................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 5

Learning Outcomes........................................................................................................................................................................................ 5

Contents............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 6

3. Assessment and Feedback..................................................................................................................................................................... 8

Coursework 1........................................................................................................................................................................................ 8

Coursework 2..................................................................................................................................................................................... 12

Table 1: BMG920 Audio Research Proposal - Level 7 - Assessment Criteria...................................................................... 15

Distinction.......................................................................................................................................................................................... 15

Fail......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 15

Table 2: BMG920 Management Research Dissertation / - Assessment Criteria.................................................................. 16

Distinction............................................................................................................................................................................................. 17

Fail.......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 17

Additional Assessment Guidance.................................................................................................................................................. 18

  1. Learning Resources............................................................................................................................................................................... 19

Library’s Support Services............................................................................................................................................................... 21

Blackboard Learning Support......................................................................................................................................................... 21

5. Organisation and Management............................................................................................................................................................. 22

  1. Learning and Teaching Methods.................................................................................................................................................. 23
  2. Student Voice & Support Services.............................................................................................................................................. 27

UUSU Advice Bureau Service........................................................................................................................................................ 27

UU Student Wellbeing Service....................................................................................................................................................... 27

RG1a APPLICATION TO UNDERTAKE RESEARCH ON HUMAN SUBJECTS...................................................................... 31

It is assumed that as this study is being conducted on human subjects, an information sheet and associated consent form will be provided. A copy of the information sheet and form must be attached to this application. See Notes of Guidance... 35

Appendices

Dissertation Recommended Structure….................................................................................................................................................. 28

Research Ethics Form (for Primary Research Only)............................................................................................................................... 31

A sample Consent Form (for Primary Research Only).......................................................................................................................... 37

 

Dear Students,

Welcome to the BMG920 (50221) - Management Project Dissertation. This module aims to develop essential research knowledge and skills so that you can learn the methods of producing an effective research proposal and of completing a reliable, small-scale research project. This handbook contains all the necessary information you need to complete this module successfully. Please read, review and reflect on the teaching and learning schedule, the reading list, and the assessment requirements.

It is important that you have a copy of this handbook in your personal learning folder so that you can refer to this whenever you need it. You are most welcome to contact me by email if you have any questions or if you need additional information.

I hope you find this module interesting and useful.

Kind regards, Emmet Donaghey Module Coordinator May 2024

1. BMG920 Module - Overview & Communication

 

Course/s: MSc Business Development & Innovation (BDI)

Module Details

Module Title

Management Research Dissertation

Module Code

BMG620 (50221)

Module Level

7

Credit points

40

Module Status

Core

Semester

3

Location

 

E-learning

Blended learning (Face-to-face ‘Block Teaching’ and Online)

Contact Details & Communication Methods

Module Coordinator

 

Teaching Staff Contact Details

 

 

 

General Information, Queries and Consultations

If you require advice on any aspect of the module, please read the guidance provided here, in the Module Handbook. For General Queries, please send an email, clearly specifying your name, module name and your question. For Specific Queries or studies advice, you can avail of the ‘Student Hours’. Contact me by email to arrange a suitable appointment. Please note, we aim to respond to all queries within 24 hours during the working week.

Module Announcements

Key announcements will be presented during tutor-led activities. Out of class communication including notifications, reminders, etc will be distributed via the Blackboard Announcement tool. You will receive a duplication of the announcement direct to your student email inbox. It is essential that you check your emails regularly. It also advisable that you download the ‘Blackboard’ App as an alternative to access these announcements, notifications and reminders as well as content.

2. Aim & Learning Outcomes

 

As all organisations irrespective of the sector in which they operate face ever increasing pressures to achieve enhanced levels of performance. Creativity and innovation skills lie at the heart of company survival. It is therefore imperative for business development and innovation students to be equipped with the appropriate research, consultancy, and project management skills in order to translate creative and innovative ideas into successfully implemented projects. The entry understanding for this module is that students will likely have limited prior experience in designing or developing a management research report at postgraduate degree level in a business and management related subject. Therefore, it is essential that students undertake this module to develop essential research knowledge and skills to allow the students to add value to their organisations through applying appropriate research and project management techniques to a complex, live business issue of strategic relevance from a business development and innovation perspective.

Aims

 

  • To further develop business development and innovation skills.
  • To pursue an in-depth study within an area of business development and innovation management.
  • To develop skills required to identify, research, evaluate and solve an organisational issue of strategic value.
  • To devlop knowledge and skills in research methods and techniques to manipulate complex data to assist management decision making.
  • To equip students with the necessary competencies to prepare a structured, well-presented research report / dissertation.

Learning Outcomes

Successful students will be able to:

  1. Synthesise and apply multidisciplinary concepts, tools and techniques in resolving real- time management issues.
  2. Be creative in identifying and diagnosing a valid research topic and designing an appropriate method of investigation.
  3. Apply knowledge of business development, innovation and management issues creatively to a problem-solving situation.
  4. Use critical reflection to gain an insight upon existing business and management practice.

Contents

 

The following topics will be covered in this module so that the students are able to develop the requisite research and project management skills in completing their management project and dissertation:

Management Project & Writing a proposal

  • Introduction to requirements of the Project
  • Doing research in the real-world context
  • Doing research online
  • Primary and Secondary research
  • Aims and objectives
  • Choosing a topic
  • Defining the scope of the project
  • The art of writing research questions
  • Sample titles & Past projects
  • Writing a Research proposal (Title, background, research questions and objectives,
  • method, timescale, resources, references)
  • Creating an Audio Podcast and submitting an Audio File

Research Process, Implementation & Writing up Dissertation

  • Conducting a critical literature review
  • Ethics and trustworthiness of an empirical study
  • Data collection and sampling strategies
  • Quantitative research methods with a focus on designing survey studies
  • Qualitative research methods with a focus on interviews and focus groups
  • Data analysis methods (descriptive statistics, thematic analysis)
  • Validation of data
  • Presentation of results
  • Drawing conclusions and linking finds to existing research
  • Risks of bias, assumptions and inappropriate conclusions
  • Writing up research

Project Management Skills

  • Planning a research project
  • Making the most of literature review
  • Study skills (critical reading of literature, note taking, reference management)
  • Time management skills

The above contents will be delivered in four interconnected phases to methodically guide students in designing, developing, implementing a research project

  • Phase 1: Idea generation phase will equip students with the knowledge to further identify, and articulate reliable and valid research/project issues. Further, this phase will equip students with the skills to develop clear and articulate research objectives in support of their project idea; in partnership with their host organisation, where appropriate.
  • In Phase 2 of this journey, we will focus on developing skills for literature review and learn about research methodology and ethics.
  • In Phase 3, students will further develop their understanding of research skills, and cover a range of salient research methods and data analytical approaches.
  • In Phase 4, this is a `writing up your research phase` and students will be given support to write up their project

3. Assessment and Feedback

This module will be assessed via the followings items of assessment

 

 

Assessment Type

Weighting (%)

Feedback due date

COURSEWORK 1

Submit a Research Proposal as an Audio

Podcast, along with a 1500-word `show notes` document

15%

+3 weeks post submission date

COURSEWORK 2

Submit a 10000-words Management Project Dissertation

85%

+3 weeks post submission date

Coursework 1

Assessment Task

Create and submit a research proposal in the form of a 5-minute audio podcast, along with a 1500 word ‘show notes’ document.

Key information:

This assessment has two integral parts:

(1) It contains an audio research proposal. A research proposal is a concise and coherent summary of your proposed research project. (This document summarises what you ‘propose’ to do in your dissertation, which will be submitted in September 2024). You are required to submit this proposal in an audio format. This audio presentation (or a podcast) is a 5-minute long, spoken-word digital audio file that a student creates for submission. In that recording, the student explains the following:

1. the aim and objectives of the proposed research

2. the rationale for the research including the business value expected,

3. a short summary of the relevant literature,

4. an overview of the intended research methodology and methods to be employed and

5. a project plan including time (and cost) considerations.

(2) Along with the above audio proposal, each student will submit a `show notes` document to help the listener understand the recording with greater ease. In essence, this is the planning document that you would have used to structure the audio presentation/podcast.

  • Your `show notes` is a part of your coursework and will be used as evidence for demonstrating your knowledge and understanding of the proposed research, and as evidence of your engagement with reading additional materials.
  • The `show notes` document is a typed-up WORD document, with a maximum of 1500 words in length. It will contain the following:
  1. a general outline of the podcast,
    1. a short explanation for each of the five bullet points seen above, and
    2. a reference list (if sources are cited in the audio recording). This assessment constitutes 15% of the module mark.

ASSESSMENT DEADLINE: Friday 14th June 2024 by 5pm

Assessment Guidelines

  1. It is an individual assignment that involves developing a research proposal in an audio podcast format. In this proposal you must explain the central issues or questions that you intend to address in your Management Project. It should include research objectives and questions, an appreciation of the relevant literature for the research topic (relevant applied and theoretical business models should underpin this piece), an overview of the chosen methodology that will be employed, including the rationale for the research methodology to be used, and a detailed project plan.
  2. Primary Research is not mandatory, but you are encouraged to undertake primary research wherever possible, using web-based data collection tools. (Support will be given during the lectures).
  3. Students are encouraged to collaborate with their supervisors, as soon as possible, in exploring possible options to conduct primary research remotely. Ulster University Business School as a research-informed institution, and your supervisor as a teacher/active researcher may have links with local organisations. It is important that students take initiative to work with their supervisor to identify a piece of research that utilises primary sources of data.
  4. However, during this time of unprecedented change, undertaking secondary research is also sufficient for these modules. Sources of secondary data include, among others.

Bibliographies

Official statistics

Biographical works

Research Institutions (including UUBS)

Books/online blogs

Technical reports

Commentaries, criticisms

Textbooks

Dictionaries, Encyclopaedias

Trade Journals

Histories

National/regional/local survey data

Journal articles

Qualitative data collected earlier

How to do a piece of research using only secondary sources will be discussed during the virtual teaching sessions. There are several online resources also available on this topic. Datasets when available, will be shared with those students who wish to use them for this assignment.

  1. No one will be academically disadvantaged if they cannot undertake primary research.
  2. Marking Criteria: This coursework accounts for 15% of the overall assessment. Students should refer to the marking criteria attached in Table 1 (See page 15).
  3. How to submit Assessment? Students will submit their Proposals, via Turnitin Link placed on the Module page (See ‘Submit your Proposals here’ Link on the BMG920 module page).
  4. All submitted documents should have the file name: BMG920-Surname-Proposal.
  5. Late submissions will be penalised by the deduction of marks.

10. View additional ‘Standard Assessment Guidance,’ for further guidance applicable to all coursework elements.

11. Coursework Formative FEEDBACK: During the supervisor meetings, formative feedback will be given to all everyone. Students are encouraged to explore and discuss ways of submitting their drafts prior to the deadline so that they can get formative feedback from their supervisors.

12. Coursework 1 Summative Feedback and Marks: Assignment feedback will be returned electronically in written format by the Module Coordinator/the supervisors via Turnitin, using the grading sheet, seen in Table 1. Additional verbal feedback will be available upon request from the respective supervisors.

Coursework 2

Assessment Task

(Aligned with the research proposal submitted in Coursework 1) Submit a Management

Research Dissertation on an independent piece of research, based either on primary sources or secondary sources of data on a topic related to Business Development and Innovation.

A research-based Management Research Dissertation is a large, independent piece of work requiring a high level of critical analysis of the chosen topic (i.e., theoretical issue or an applied problem identified by an organisation). This assessment constitutes 85% of the module mark.

ASSESSMENT DEADLINE: Friday 6th September 2024 by 5pm

Assessment Guidelines

It is an individual, written assignment that involves submitting a research dissertation or a management project.

It has 10,000 words, so that you can do sufficient in-depth analysis and discussion of the chosen topic.

  • Abstracts, bibliographies, reference lists, appendices and footnotes are excluded from any word limit requirements.
  • Where the submission exceeds the stipulated word limit by more than 10%, the submission will only be marked up to and including the additional 10%.
  • Anything over this will not be included in the final grade for the assessment item.

It will have a structure. Please see pages 26-28 for a recommended structure, that contains a series of useful prompts.

It is acknowledged that certain sections of the dissertation (such as introduction, organisational overview and research questions/objectives, and literature review) may contain some elements the proposal. However, in the dissertation, these sections will be fully developed, with new/additional descriptions. In addition, the dissertation will have more-developed sections on methodology and data analysis, and new sections on findings, discussion, conclusion and recommendations.

Marking Criteria: This coursework accounts for 85% of the overall assessment. Students should refer to the marking criteria attached in Table 2 (See page 16-17).

How to submit Assessment? Students will submit their Dissertations / Management Reports, via Turnitin Link placed on the Module page (See ‘Submit your Dissertation here’ Link on the BMG920 module page).

All submitted documents should have the file name: BMG920-Surname-Dissertation

You are not required to submit a hard copy.

Late submissions will be penalised by the deduction of marks.

View additional ‘Standard Assessment Guidance,’ (see page 18) for further guidance applicable to all coursework elements.

Coursework Formative FEEDBACK: During the supervisor meetings, formative feedback will be given to all everyone. Students are encouraged to explore and discuss ways of submitting their drafts prior to the deadline so that they can get formative feedback from their supervisors.

Coursework 1 Summative Feedback and Marks: Assignment feedback will be returned electronically in written format by the Module Coordinator/the supervisors via Turnitin, using the grading sheet, seen in Table 2. Additional verbal feedback will be available upon request from the respective supervisors.

Primary Research requires Ethics Approval

  1. Primary research projects should be submitted with an UUBS ethics approval form, duly signed by your project supervisor.
  2. The blank ethics form and a sample consent form are available at the end of this assignment brief (see Appendix 1 and 2).
  3. Projects without a Signed Ethical Approval Form will not be marked until a form is provided. At this point, the project will be treated as a late submission.
  4. Students are advised to discuss ethical implications of their research well in advance so that the required ethics approval is obtained on time, before the data collection. For more info: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/internal/research/governance-and-ethics

Extenuating Circumstances: If, due to extenuating circumstances, an extension to the submission date is required, students should apply in writing to the Course Director, with an accompanying EC1 form (available via the UU website). This must be approved by the Course Director at least one week before the due submission date, otherwise submission beyond the deadline shall be deemed to have failed.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism occurs where acknowledgements are omitted or quotations from original sources are not clearly identified. If the University deems you to be guilty of this offence, the project may attract a mark of zero. Your submission will be subject to Turnitin anti-plagiarism detection software. Turnitin checks students’ work for possible textual matches against internet available resources and its own proprietary database.

Appendices (For Primary Research Only)

  1. Research Ethics Approval Form (Appendix 1)
  2. A sample Consent Form (Appendix 2)

You can read more about Research Ethics for LOW-RISK CATEGORY inquiries, here: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/internal/research/governance-and-ethics/ethics/low  You can also download various Ethics Forms on this page.

Table 1: BMG920 Audio Research Proposal - Level 7 - Assessment Criteria

Classification

Percentage Range

Introduction & Organisational Context (15%)

 

Is the project positioned well within its organisational and/or theoretical context, so that the research problem is clear to a reader?

Aims and objectives of study

(15%)

Is the general aim of the project clearly established?

Are the objectives clearly articulated?

Has the student explained the relevance of

this project?

Relationship to previous work (30%)

Is the background to the work clearly

explained?

Is it clear how the project will build upon

previous knowledge in the area?

Is the literature reviewed current, coherent and comprehensive?

Has an appropriate critique of salient

literature been presented?

Proposed Methodology (30%)

Has the methodology been outlined?

Is the proposed approach likely to meet the project objectives?

Is the proposed approach justified? Are the proposed sources of data (primary/secondary) justified?

Will the proposed analysis methods meet stated objectives?

Have proposed analysis methods been justified?

Project plan and timescale (5%) Has a feasible project plan been created?

Audio Production and Referencing (5%)

Are sound levels consistent and the voice projects clarity and confidence.

Both in the Show Notes and in the podcast, Is the linguistic expression of a good quality?

Is the structure appropriate? Is referencing complete and consistent?

Distinction

70-100

Exceptional level of

Exceptional level of

Exceptional synthesis of

Methodology is very appropriate to the

Thoughtful,

Sound levels are excellent and

 

 

clarity in positioning

clarity in ways the

relevant and recent

study and the choice is justified in

realistic project

consistent throughout. Voice

 

 

the project in its

project’s aim(s) and

literature acknowledging key

comparison with other approaches.

plan, with a wide

projects confidence. Voice is

 

 

theoretical and/or

objectives are

authors in the subject

Exceptional level of alignment of

range of milestone

clear and intelligible

 

 

organisational

articulated. The

domain; Exceptional level of

methodology with the objectives; Very

indicators clearly

throughout.

 

 

context. The

relevance of the project

balance in critically

high level of justification of the

identified.

Very high quality of written

 

 

rationale is crystal

is explained and

evaluating the literature.

proposed methods, sources of data.

 

expression, with a very good

 

 

clear.

justified well.

 

Very high level of clarity in the proposed analytical methods; Very

 

structure. Very high level of accuracy in referencing, that is

 

 

 

 

 

convincing level of justification of

 

complete and consistent.

 

 

 

 

 

chosen methods.

 

 

Commendation

 

Very good

Clarity in articulating the

Very good review of

Methodology is appropriate to the

Good project plan,

Sound levels are consistent

[Very Good

60 – 69

positioning of the

project’s aim(s) and

relevant and recent

study. Very good level of alignment of

with some of the

throughout. Voice is clear and

quality work]

 

project in its

objectives is very good.

literature acknowledging key

methodology with the objectives; Good

milestone

projects confidence.

 

 

theoretical and/or

The relevance of the

authors in the subject

level of justification of the proposed

indicators clearly

Well written proposal, with a

 

 

organisational

project is described

domain; There is evidence

methods, sources of data. Good level

identified.

good structure. Good level of

 

 

context. The

well.

of critically evaluating the

of clarity in the proposed analytical

 

accuracy in referencing.

 

 

rationale is

 

literature.

methods; Some justification of chosen

 

 

 

 

presented well.

 

 

methods.

 

 

Pass

 

Good positioning of

Acceptable research

Acceptable range of relevant

Methodology is acceptable to the

Acceptable project

Sound levels are good.

[Acceptable

50 – 59

the project in its

topic and clear

literature is used,

study. Reasonable understanding of

plan, with some

Voice was intelligible.

work]

 

theoretical and/or organisational

rationale. Acceptable clarity in the articulation

acknowledging some key authors in the subject

the research process. Some evidence for justifying the chosen methods.

indicators identified.

Acceptable presentation of references in the text and

 

 

context. The

of aim(s) and

domain. Some critical

 

 

reference section. Acceptable

 

 

rationale is

objectives. Some

analysis and evaluation of

 

 

level of accuracy.

 

 

presented at an acceptable level.

rationale is provided.

key issues.

 

 

 

Fail

 

The project/study is

Lack of clarity in the

Poor quality sources and

Methodology is not appropriate for the

Project plan is

Sound quality is poor. Voice is

(Unacceptable

0 – 49

not positioned in its

project’s aim(s) and

types of literature used with

study. Limited or no understanding of

inadequate, with

not intelligible.

work)

 

theoretical and/or organisational

objectives, require rework and attention.

little or no critique or evaluation of issues.

the research process.

limited or no indicators.

Inadequate / weak / incorrect presentation of references in

 

 

context. The

The relevance of the

 

 

 

the text and reference section.

 

 

rationale is not clear.

study is not articulated.

 

 

 

Grammatical errors and mistakes found.

 

Table 2: BMG920 Management Research Dissertation / - Assessment Criteria

 

 

Percentag e

Range

Aims and objectives (10%)

Review of relevant literature (25%)

Data Collection & Analysis (25%)

Findings, Discussion, Conclusions & Implications (25%)

Review & Reflective summary (5%)

Presentation and Referencing (10%)

Classification

 

Is there a clear

Have an in-depth knowledge

Does the work

How well has the student presented

How well has the

Quality of report

(business) rationale for

and understanding of the

demonstrate clear and

and discussed the findings in light of

student reflected on

structure and flow of

the Project?

relevant literature

robust understanding of

the literature reviewed and the study

completing their

arguments

Are the objectives of

demonstrated?

research methodology?

objectives?

management report?

Have sources been

the project clearly

Is there evidence of a

Have the proposed

How well has the study presented the

Has the student

consistently and

stated?

critical review/debate and

sources of data

conclusions? Are the conclusions of

demonstrated suitable

correctly referenced

Are the objectives of

evaluation of the relevant

(primary/secondary) been

high quality, logical, and coherent?

project management

using the Harvard

the project realistic

literature?

justified?

Do they demonstrate integration of

skills in completing the

referencing method?

and achievable, i.e., is

Is there evidence of

Have an in-depth

literature and project objectives?

project (e.g., met

How well has the

it a viable proposition

reviewing a wide variety of

knowledge and

How well has the student explain the

deadlines set by

report been checked

(e.g., scope,

relevant literature?

understanding of relevant

implications of the findings to

academic

for spelling and

resources: time, cost,

Have the themes in the

research methods

theory/policy/practice?

supervisor/project

grammar?

people)?

literature are clearly and

demonstrated?

The student has provided

sponsor, maintained

 

 

succinctly summarised and

Has an understanding of

recommendations that are

proactive engagement

 

 

presented?

research ethics

appropriate?

with supervisor/project

 

 

Have wider relevant external

demonstrated?

 

sponsor, completed the

 

 

factors and management

Has an understanding of

 

project within the set

 

 

issues been considered

the study limitations

 

objectives, resources)

 

 

(environmental, social,

demonstrated?

 

 

 

 

technological, ethical)?

Has sufficient data been

 

 

 

 

 

gathered to satisfy the

 

 

 

 

 

project objectives?

 

 

 

 

 

How effectively has the

 

 

 

 

 

data been analysed?

 

 

 

 

 

How effectively has the

 

 

 

 

 

data analysis and findings

 

 

 

 

 

been presented in line

 

 

 

 

 

with the research

 

 

 

 

 

objectives?

 

 

 

 

Distinction

70-100

Exceptional level of clarity in ways the project’s aim(s) and objectives are articulated. The relevance of the project is explained and justified well. Convincing justification for selecting topic and approach.

Exceptional synthesis of relevant and recent literature acknowledging key authors in the subject domain; Demonstration of a discerning, creative and critical engagement with what has been read.

Exceptional awareness of contextual factors and their influence.

Methodology is very appropriate to the study and the choice is justified in comparison with other approaches. Outstanding analytical techniques and approaches, evidence of creation of new approaches (if appropriate), thorough, rigorous and transparent analysis, exceptionally well justified.

Exceptional level of clarity in presenting the findings. Sophisticated and critical discussion of the issues involved, outstanding reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of the research, offers fresh/new insights on the problem; Exceptional conclusions that relate strongly to the topic of the dissertation with excellent links with literature and justification in the evidence.

An exceptional analysis of implications and solid recommendations.

Thoughtful reflection on resources invested in the study. Structured presentation of lessons learned. Contains an honest review of strengths and weaknesses of the researcher as a learner. Outstanding articulation of how this project improved the researcher

as a learner/reflective practitioner.

Very high quality of written expression, with a very good structure. Very high level of accuracy in referencing, that is complete and consistent.

the researcher’s ‘voice’ is heard, and their authority is felt in the writing.

Commendation

[Very Good quality work]

 

60 – 69

Clarity in articulating the project’s aim(s) and objectives is very good. The relevance of the project is described well.

Very good justification for selecting the topic and approach.

Very good review of relevant and recent literature acknowledging key authors in the subject domain; There is evidence of critically evaluating the literature.

Very good awareness of contextual factors and their influence.

Methodology is appropriate to the study. Very good level of alignment of methodology with the objectives; Good level of justification of the proposed methods, sources of data.

Thorough analysis.

Clearly presented findings. Very good discussion of the issues involved, good reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of the research, offers good insights on the problem; Conclusions relate strongly to the topic of the dissertation with good links with literature and justification in the evidence.

Very good analysis of implications and relevant recommendations.

Very good presentation of lessons learned.

Contains strengths and weaknesses of researcher as a learner. Very good articulation of how this project improved the researcher.

Well written Report, with a good structure. Good level of accuracy in referencing.

Noticeable evidence for the researcher’s voice.

Pass

[Acceptable work]

 

50 – 59

Acceptable research topic and clear rationale. Acceptable clarity in the articulation of aim(s) and objectives. Some rationale is provided. Some justification for selecting the topic and approach.

Acceptable range of relevant literature is used, acknowledging some key authors in the subject domain. Some critical analysis and evaluation of key issues. Good awareness of contextual factors and their influence.

Methodology is acceptable to the study. Reasonable understanding of the research process. Some evidence for justifying the chosen methods.

Acceptable level of analysis.

Findings are presented, with an acceptable level of discussion of the issues involved; some reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of the research, offers some insights on the problem; Conclusions relate to the topic of the dissertation with some links with literature and justification in the evidence.

Good analysis of implications and relevant recommendations.

Good presentation of lessons learned. Good articulation of how this project improved the researcher.

Acceptable presentation of references in the text and reference section. Acceptable level of accuracy. Some indicators of the researcher’s voice.

Fail

 

0 – 49

Lack of clarity in the project’s aim(s) and objectives, require rework and attention. The relevance of the study is not articulated. Justification is not provided.

Poor quality sources and types of literature used with little or no critique or evaluation of issues. Limited or no awareness of contextual factors and their influence.

Methodology is not appropriate for the study. Limited or no understanding of the research process. Limited or no information on analytical processes used.

Findings are ambiguous, with limited or no discussion of the issues involved; limited or no reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of the research; Conclusions poorly justified by

evidence, they have a poor relationship to the topic of the report, their development is of poor quality, implications and

recommendations are not of practical use.

Limited or no thoughtful reflection on what is learned, and how the researcher could improve his/her skill in future.

Poor presentation, many spelling and grammatical errors, difficult to understand, inappropriately

structured. The tone does not exhibit an understanding of the academic writing genre or

understanding of the topic.

BMG920 Management Research Dissertation

Additional Assessment Guidance

 

The following guidance is applicable to all coursework items.

  1. Word count includes in-text references and citations but excludes the title page, contents page, tables, reference list and appendices.
  2. Your work should include references to relevant journal articles and other good quality information sources, and should be properly laid out using the Harvard system of referencing. More detailed guidance is available in the ‘Guide to Referencing in the Harvard Style’. We encourage you to make good use of all the support services offered by your Faculty Subject Librarian, further details are in the Learning Support Services Section.
  3. You should refer to the assessment criteria to provide fuller details of the marking criteria for each classification band.
  4. In addition, you should refer to the standard assessment guidelines as presented in your Course Handbook/Support Area, this includes guidance and policies on referencing style, plagiarism, etc.
  5. We recommend the use of Studiosity which offers constructive feedback on draft written submissions within 24 hrs.
  6. Coursework must be submitted by the dates specified. Coursework submitted after the deadline, without prior approval, is not normally accepted. For further guidance on the late submission of coursework, please see the course handbook.
  7. Non-compliance with the word limit will result in a penalty being applied in accordance with the University Word Limit Policy which can be found on your Course Support Area in Blackboard.

 

 

4.     Learning Resources


BMG920 Management Research Dissertation

 

 

 

 

Reading List

Books Required (Must read)

  1. Denscombe, M. (2021). The Good research guide: research methods for small-scale social research projects. (eBook). 7th Edition. McGraw-Hill Education. (Important: Chapter 2 on Research Proposals).
  2. Saunders, M. N., Lewis, P. Thornhill (2023). Research methods for business students. 9th edition. Upper Saddle River.
  3. Creswell, J.W. & Creswell, J.D. (2023) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods approaches. 6th edition. Sage.
  4. Mertens, D. (2023). Mixed Methods Research: Research Methods. (eBook). Bloomsbury Publishing.
  5. Saunders, M. N., & Lewis, P. (2018). (eBook) Doing research in business & management: An essential guide to planning your project. 2nd Edition. Harlow: Pearson.
  6. Fielding, N. G., Lee, R. M., & Blank, G. (Eds.). (2017). The SAGE handbook of online research methods. (eBook) 2nd Edition. Sage.

Books Recommended (Could read)

  1. Schindler, P. (2022) Business Research Methods. (eBook). 14th Edition. McGraw-Hill.
  2. Hair Jr, J. F., Page, M., & Brunsveld, N. (2020). Essentials of business research methods. 4th Edition. Routledge. (eBook)
  3. Bell, E. Bryman, A. and Harley, B. (2022) Business Research Methods. 6th Edition. Oxford University Press.
  4. Easterby-Smith, M. Thorpe, R. Jackson, P.R. and Jaspersen, L.J. (2018) Management and Business Research. 6th Edition. Sage.
  5. Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldaña, J. (2020). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook. Sage publications.
  6. Sekaran, U., & Bougie, R. (2020). Research methods for business: A skill building approach. 8th Edition. John Wiley & Sons.
  7. Ghauri, P., Grønhaug, K., & Strange, R. (2020). Research methods in business studies. 5th Edition. Cambridge University Press.

On ‘Online Data Collection’ methods and strategies (eBooks and Journal Papers)

1.  Whiting, R. (2021) Collecting Qualitative Data using Digital Methods. Sage.

BMG920 Management Research Dissertation
  1. Couper, M. P. (2017). New developments in survey data collection. Annual Review of Sociology, 43, 121-145.
  2. Dillman, D. A., Hao, F., & Millar, M. M. (2017). Improving the effectiveness of online data collection by mixing survey modes. The SAGE handbook of online research methods, 220-238.
  3. Chetverikov, A., & Upravitelev, P. (2016). Online versus offline: The Web as a medium for response time data collection. Behavior research methods, 48(3), 1086-1099.
  4. Al-Salom, P., & Miller, C. J. (2019). The problem with online data collection: predicting invalid responding in undergraduate samples. Current Psychology, 38(5), 1258-1264.
  5. Granello, D. H., & Wheaton, J. E. (2004). Online data collection: Strategies for research. Journal of Counseling & Development, 82(4), 387-393.

Additional Journal Papers (Useful to read for deep learning)

Please refer to Teaching and Learning Plan (Page 25-26) in which lecture-specific readings are given for each day of teaching.

Useful Journals (as Ranked in Association of Business Schools Journal Ranking List)

  • Organisational Research Methods
  • International Journal of Qualitative Methods
  • Journal of Mixed Methods Research
  • Qualitative Inquiry
  • Qualitative Research
  • Survey Research Methods
  • Journal of Business Research

Useful Library Databases & Websites

Start from USearch (on our library homepage) ABI Inform Collection (ProQuest)

EBSCO

Emerald Management Scopus

https://methods.sagepub.com

Get help from our subject librarians to develop your literature-search skills (More info, see overleaf

 

BMG920 Management Research Dissertation

Library’s Support Services

 

In collaboration with teac In collaboration with teaching staff, your Business Librarian will be delivering timetabled workshops to ensure you are able to make the best use of the Library’s services and information resources in successfully completing your coursework. Furthermore, if you need specific help with an assignment or dissertation then you can make an appointment to meet with your Business Librarian by email, phone or through using the appointments schedule. Online support is also available through the Library’s subject pages for Business and Management and these

provide help in developing your information and research skills through literature searching , academic writing support and referencing.

Blackboard Learning Support

 

If you require help or support with any of the digital learning tools utilised within your module, please view Ulster’s Blackboard Student Support area. The Blackboard Helpdesk can be contacted via 028 9536 7188, or by e-mail to blackboardhelpdesk@ulster.ac.uk

5. Organisation and Management

BMG920 Management Research Dissertation is a 40-credit point module, this requires 400 hours of your commitment, distributed through the following learning and teaching activities over semester 3:

 

Activity

Duration

Total Hours

Lecture

20 hours

20

Workshops

10 hours

10

Tutorials

10 hours

10

Independent Study – Research Activities

360 hours

360

TOTAL

400

 

The teaching and learning plan provides a more detailed overview of content on a daily basis. Module delivery will consist of 4 block teaching sessions:

1.    WEDNESDAY 01/05/24): 10AM-5PM

  • ROOM: BC-03-115

2.    THURSDAY 02/05/24: 10AM-5PM

  • ROOM: BC-03-115A

3.    FRIDAY 03/05/24: 10AM-5PM

  • ROOM: BC-03-115

4.    FRIDAY 10/05/24: 10AM-5PM

  • ROOM: BD-01-006

5. Learning and Teaching Methods

The module is delivered fully on-campus and will be facilitated through the provision of the following learning and teaching activities

  • Live Lectures: We will have face to face lectures in teaching rooms at the Belfast Campus.
    • The module will develop students’ understanding of issues pertaining to applied research within the field of management. It will draw on material from different disciplines to explore the merits of research. It will highlight difficulties and dilemmas inherent in real world research, thus providing a comprehensive preparation for undertaking a management project at postgraduate level. The online sessions will assist students in diagnosing, designing and executing reliable and valid applied project ideas. They will also help students refresh their research skills or to gain a deeper understanding of the research process.
    • Use of the Module Page: During this time of emergency remote teaching, the University’s virtual learning environment will extensively be used for posting all relevant materials and for learning, teaching purposes, including assignment submission and feedback. Students should visit the page regularly to access course materials.
    • Pre-reading and Post-reading: By way of preparation, you are expected to read the relevant chapters in the recommended textbooks and to compile your own notes, before attending the lectures to derive maximum benefit. The teaching hours will be used to emphasise key issues, to introduce additional material or to introduce alternative perspectives

Supervisor Allocation & Role of the Supervisor

  • Supervisors have been allocated and the module coordinator will communicate this information. Supervisors’ role is to guide and support students through all steps of the process. It is important that students take the initiative to contact their supervisor as soon as possible. This early engagement supplemented by the online support sessions will prepare students fully for their management project.
  • It must be remembered that the management project belongs to the student and not the supervisor. This means that whilst a supervisor may provide advice and guidance, the student has to make a judgment as to whether or not to accept this. A student cannot come back and say that the supervisor ‘told’ him/her to put material into the management project. The final decision must rest with the student.
  • The supervisor`s role is to provide guidance and feedback at various stages of the project process.

It is not one of subject `expert`, but to guide students on methodology, structure and scheduling.

  • Students have to take responsibility for deciding when the management project is ready for submission. It is not the supervisor’s duty to tell a student that the work is ready for submission, thereby implying that the management project is of a pass standard. The process is largely self- driven, requiring significant self-discipline and time management skills. That said, students are strongly advised to seek the approval of their supervisor before formal submission of the project. This, in itself, is not a guarantee that the project will pass.
  • When conducting primary research, the supervisor will monitor any material (such as a questionnaire) that a student might be sending from the University to an external agency, as these need to fit within the remit of the Ulster Business School’s Ethical Approval Guidelines (see Appendix 4 & 5 for Ethics form and Consent Form).
  • Online Resources: These will be an integral part of the delivery. See the library reading list. You will be directed to academic, professional and open content resources to extend your knowledge, understanding and application every week.
  • Independent Study: Utilise this time to prepare for lectures and research your assessment tasks.
  • Electronic Assessment: TurnItIn Feedback Studio and/or Blackboard Learn Assessments will enable assessment information submission and feedback delivery

Learning and Teaching Plan – BMG920

Phase

Day

Content

Pre-Reading

Post-Reading

Introduction: Module Overview, Research Topics and Objectives

1

01/05/23

  • Introduction to the Module and assessment requirements
  • Understanding of the context and content of valid research issues
  • Diagnosing reliable and valid management project ideas
  • An introduction to the research process.
  • How to write a research proposal.
    • Denscombe, M. (2021). The Good research guide: research methods for small-scale social research projects. (eBook). 7th Edition. McGraw-Hill Education. (Important: Chapter 2 on Research Proposals).
    • Bell, E. Bryman, A. and Harley, B. (2021) Business Research Methods. 6th Edition. Oxford. Oxford University Press. Chapters 1 and 2.
   

Literature Review Introduction to various research strategies

2

02/05/23

  • An Introduction to effective literature review
  • The importance and purpose of conducting a literature review, various techniques to search, critique, evaluate and record literature,
  • An Introduction to research methodology.
  • An introduction to quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods research;
  • How to write a Methodology section of the report
  • Saunders, M. N., Lewis,

P. Thornhill (2019). (eBook) Research methods for business students. Pearson. (Access to Three users at one time, from UU library page) – Chapters 4 and 5.

  • Easterby-Smith, M. Thorpe, R. Jackson, P.R. and Jaspersen, L.J. (2018) Management and Business Research. 6th Edition. Sage. Chapter 4-5.

Data Collection Methods for research and consultancy projects

3

03/05/23

  • Undertaking research using secondary data sources.
  • An overview of various quantitative data collection methods.
  • An overview of online data collection tools.
  • How to design Survey tools
    • Quantitative data analytical techniques (descriptive statistics)
      • Smith, E., & Smith Jr, J. (2008). Using secondary data in educational and social research. McGraw-Hill Education (UK). (eBook) (Search in UU Library page)
        • Bell, E. Bryman, A. and Harley, B. (2021) Business Research Methods. 6th Edition. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
   

 

Learning and Teaching Plan – BMG920

Phase

Day

Content

Pre-Reading

Post-Reading

 

 

  • An overview of qualitative data collection methods (interviews & focus groups)

 

 

Data Analysis

4

10/05/23

  • Qualitative data analytical techniques (thematic analysis)
  • An overview of the importance of ethical considerations when undertaking research projects.
  • How to write ‘Findings, Discussion, Conclusions and Recommendations’ sections of the report.
    • Denscombe, M. (2021). The Good research guide: research methods for small-scale social research projects. (eBook). 7th Edition. McGraw-Hill Education. (Chapter 20& 21 on data analysis).
      • Bell, E. Bryman, A. and Harley, B. (2021) Business Research Methods. 6th Edition. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
   

Writing up Research

5

TBC

  • Review of project objectives
    • Writing up research/project report
    • Virtual support to project completion.
      • Denscombe, M. (2021). The Good research guide: research methods for small-scale social research projects. (eBook). 7th Edition. McGraw-Hill Education. (Chapter 22 on Research Reports)
        • Bell, E. Bryman, A. and Harley, B. (2021) Business Research Methods. 5th Edition. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
   

To achieve higher grades in this module (and broaden your current knowledge on Research Skills), it is important that you read recommended textbooks and high-quality academic journal papers.

6. Student Voice & Support Services

 

As a course team, we incorporate the key partnership principles set out in the joint UU & UUSU Student Voice Guidelines and proactively engage with the democratic election of UUSU

academic student reps (Faculty Reps, School/Dept Reps & Course Reps) to ensure that student opinion is heard at Ulster. We respect your views and welcome your honest and constructive feedback on the module.

There are several ways to do this:

  • You can contact your Module Coordinator about any queries related to your learning experiences on the module as/when you have them.
  • You can voice your opinions through the formal Staff/Student Consultative Committee process by contacting one of the elected UUSU Course Reps in your class.
  • You will have the opportunity to give feedback on the module through completing the online Student Module Feedback Survey.

UUSU Advice Bureau Service

If you are experiencing difficulties that are impacting your studies, you can contact the Advice Bureau in the Students’ Union (UUSU). You can get advice and guidance on issues such as - complaints, appeals, housing problems, disciplinaries, and info on various support providers available. To have a chat with the team, contact UUSU online.

UU Student Wellbeing Service

Ulster University’s Student Wellbeing team is available to help you manage common pressures many students experience while studying in higher education. Common pressures include stress, relationship issues, financial problems, and managing disability-related challenges, including mental health difficulties. There is no stigma to seeking support to maximise your wellbeing and achievement at UU.

Student Wellbeing support is free and confidential and you can make contact via

email studentwellbeing@ulster.ac.uk, telephone 028 9536 7000, or webchat during the hours of 08:45- 17:00 Monday to Thursday and 8:45-16:00 Friday. Other external helplines are also available.

Introductory Information

  • Title Page:

-     Course Name

-     Project Title

-     Student Name

-     Student Number

-     Supervisor Name

-     Date

  • Declaration page

Dissertation Recommended Structure


Appendix 1

 

-     Declaration stating that the project, submitted in partial fulfilment of the MSc (Business Development and Innovation), is your own work and due acknowledgement has been made to the work of others as appropriate

-     Include your Electronic Signature

-     Confidentiality Statement as appropriate (if your report contains data of a confidential nature its security can be guaranteed by clearly marking it ‘Strictly Confidential’ on the Title Page.)

  • Acknowledgements

-     Thank any people that have assisted/contributed to your project.

  • Abstract (Only for the Dissertations) OR Executive Summary (A short summary of the project) – [Only for the Management Reports]

Essentially this section is a concise summary of the different sections of the report. It is NOT an outline of all what you did. – For example, it should contain information about the research topic, a short description of the project, in terms of some background information, your project aim, your methodology, main findings, conclusions and recommendations from your research.

  • Contents Page (with page numbers)
  • Tables/Graphs (Headings are given with their page numbers)

Main Body

The main body of the report should not exceed 9,500 words and be structured into the following sections.

  • Introduction

-     What is the setting for your project?

-     What is your project about?

-     What are the aim and objectives/ research questions of your project?

-     Describe how your project will assist the organisation, if relevant and applicable.

-     Describe the consultation process you have undertaken with the organisation, if appropriate and applicable.

  • Review of relevant literature

-     What are the key concepts and theories that provide some background or platform for your research project? Discussing these entail, a thorough review of relevant studies related to your research. Make sure you consult a wide range of relevant literature/ studies. Ensure this is a critical review – not just descriptive or an annotated bibliography. All sources should be correctly attributed using the Harvard Referencing format.

  • Methodology used for data collection (when undertaking primary research)

-     What methodology did you adopt and why?

-     What is the principle or philosophy that guides & shapes your research project and why (example Positivist, interpretivist; inductive/deductive, etc.)?

-     Who is your research sample and why?

-     What methods did you employ for collecting data and why?

-     How did you ensure adequate ethical procedure?

-     What are your hypotheses, if applicable.

-     How did you analyse your data (analytical and statistical procedures employed) and why?

When undertaking secondary research (Consider the following)

-     Why did you select this data source? Why this dataset?

-     What are your source’s credentials?

-     Does it include a methods section and are the methods sound? What methods were used?

-     What’s the Date of Publication?

-     Who is the Intended Audience? Other researchers or the general public?

-     What is the Coverage of the Report or Document? Does the work update other sources, substantiate other materials/reports that you have read, or add new information to the topic area?

-     Is it originally a Primary or Secondary Source? If the source is secondary, does it accurately relate information from primary sources?

-     Does the author provide references for the data and information reported?

-     Do the numbers make sense? Are they the numbers you want – cases versus percentages?

When compared to related data are the measures somewhat consistent?

-     How are your research questions and the data related?

-     Will this dataset answer your research questions?

  • Findings

-     Clear and logical presentation of the findings or results of your research, sighting corresponding examples/ instances from your collected/ generated data

  • These might include tables, graphs or other diagrams

-     Ensure your results correspond with your stated research objectives/ research questions, or hypotheses (if applicable)

  • You might want to consider integrating this section with the Discussion section or it can be a standalone Section.
  • Discussion

-     An analytical/ critical discussion of your findings/ results aimed at addressing your research objectives or answering your stated research question(s)/ hypotheses

  • Refer to any diagrams, questionnaire results, graphs, etc. discussed/ presented in the Results/ Findings Chapter

-     What are the implications of your findings?

-     How do your findings link with existing research?

  • Conclusions and Recommendations

-     What do your findings show? What do you conclude from your findings?

-     What were the limitations of your project?

-     What recommendations would you make on the basis of your findings?

-     Do you think your recommendations are innovative or entrepreneurial? How and why are they?

End Matter

  • Reflective Review (should not exceed 500 words)
  • References
  • Signed Ethical Approval Form* (when undertaking primary research)
    • A Record of virtual meetings (A table with the date, medium of communication, points discussed, actions agreed)
    • Appendices, where appropriate.

-     These should include any material which is of interest but which is peripheral to the project,

e.g. a sample consent form, additional tables of results, graphs, photos, some sections of the raw data from surveys and one transcript of the interviews, etc.

-     You should try and keep any such appendices to a minimum.

Appendix 2

UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER

RESEARCH GOVERNANCE

RG1a APPLICATION TO UNDERTAKE RESEARCH ON HUMAN SUBJECTS

PLEASE REFER TO THE NOTES OF GUIDANCE BEFORE COMPLETING THIS FORM. (Available

from the Research Governance website at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/research/rg/)

All sections of this form must be completed (use minimum font size 11). If the form is altered in any way it will be returned unconsidered by the Committee.

This form should be used for research in categories A, B and D

Do not use this form for research being conducted in collaboration with the NHS/HPSS (category C).

SECTION A

Chief Investigator

Title of Project

Student and course (if applicable)

Additional Investigators

Declaration - Chief Investigator:

I confirm that

  • this project meets the definition for research in category* (please insert)
  • this project is viable and is of research or educational merit;
  • all risks and ethical and procedural implications have been considered;
  • the project will be conducted at all times in compliance with the research description/protocol and in accordance with the University’s requirements on recording and reporting;
  • this application has not been submitted to and rejected by another committee; and
  • Permission has been granted to use all copyright materials including questionnaires and similar instruments

BMG920 Business Development & Innovation is a dynamic course that explores the intricacies of fostering growth and innovation within the business landscape. Through a comprehensive curriculum, students delve into the strategic frameworks and practical methodologies essential for driving sustainable development and fostering a culture of innovation. From analyzing market trends to devising innovative strategies, this course equips students with the tools and insights needed to navigate the complexities of today`s business environment effectively. Through case studies, simulations, and real-world projects, students gain practical experience in identifying opportunities, overcoming challenges, and driving strategic change to propel organizations forward in an ever-evolving marketplace.

At the heart of BMG920 Business Development & Innovation lies a commitment to cultivating forward-thinking leaders capable of driving transformative change. Through a blend of theoretical learning and hands-on experience, students develop the skills and mindset necessary to lead innovation initiatives and capitalize on emerging opportunities. By fostering a collaborative learning environment and encouraging critical thinking, this course empowers students to challenge conventional wisdom, embrace uncertainty, and drive innovation that creates value for both businesses and society at large. With a focus on practical application and strategic thinking, BMG920 Business Development & Innovation prepares students to become catalysts for growth and innovation in today`s dynamic business landscape

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