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Recognize and describe a range of different academic and practitioner research methods for international business and management.

ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS

MOD006472 Research Methods and Ethics

Assessment

Individual Coursework: Research Proposal

Assessment code:

010

Academic Year:

2022-2023

Trimester:

1,2,3

Module Title:

Research Methods and Ethics

Module Code:

MOD006472

Level:

7

Module Leader:

 

Weighting:

100% (fine graded)

Word Limit:

3,000

This excludes bibliography and other items listed in rule 6.75 of the Academic Regulations: http://web.anglia.ac.uk/anet/academic/public/academic_re

gs.pdf

Assessed Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

  1. Recognize and describe a range of different academic and practitioner research methods for international business and management. Intellectual, practical, affective, and transferrable skills
  2. Develop conceptual instruments (aims, questions/hypotheses, models) to give structure to a research project in business and management.
  3. Evaluate the content and provenance of business and management data in terms of its value and utility to a research project.
  4. Negotiate the ethical imperatives and constraints presented by different types of business and management research.

Submission Deadline:

Please refer to the deadline on the VLE.

 

WRITING YOUR ASSIGNMENT:

  • This assignment must be completed individually.
  • You must use the Harvard referencing system.
  • Your work must indicate the number of words you have used. Written assignments must not exceed the specified maximum number of words.  When a written assignment is marked, the excessive use of words beyond the word limit is reflected in the academic judgement of the piece of work which results in a lower mark being awarded for the piece of work (regulation 6.74).
  • Assignment submissions are to be made anonymously. Do not write your name anywhere on your work.
  • Write your student ID number at the top of every page.
  • Where the assignment comprises more than one task, all tasks must be submitted in a single document.
  • You must number all pages.

SUBMITTING YOUR ASSIGNMENT:

In order to achieve full marks, you must submit your work before the deadline. Work that is submitted late – if your work is submitted on the same day as the deadline by midnight, your mark will receive a 10% penalty. If you submit your work up to two working days after the published submission deadline – it will be accepted and marked.  However, the element of the module’s assessment to which the work contributes will be capped with a maximum mark of 40%.

Work cannot be submitted if the period of 2 working days after the deadline has passed (unless there is an approved extension). Failure to submit within the relevant period will mean that you have failed the assessment.

Requests for short-term extensions will only be considered in the case of illness or other cause considered valid by the Director of Studies Team. Please contact  DoS@london.aru.ac.uk. A request must normally be received and agreed by the Director of Studies Team in writing at least 24 hours prior to the deadline. See rule6.64-6.73: http://web.anglia.ac.uk/anet/academic/public/academic_regs.pdf

Mitigation: The deadline for submission of mitigation in relation to this assignment is no later than five working days after the submission date of this work. Please contact the Director of Studies Team DoS@london.aru.ac.uk. See rules 6.1126.141:

http://web.anglia.ac.uk/anet/academic/public/academic_regs.pdf

ASSIGNMENT QUESTION

Research proposal

Students on Masters’ courses  are required, in their final semester  of study, to produce a dissertation based on a research project completed under the guidance of a member of academic staff with relevant expertise, who will act as the student’s research supervisor.

The Research Methods and Ethics module is  designed  to  provide  the  student with understanding of the fundamentals of doing postgraduate research and enable them to write their research proposal. The research proposal will act as the basis of your final year dissertation and will guide the student’s research project. The research proposal will also help the University to allocate a research supervisor for the student.

The Research Proposal is a highly structured plan outlining your proposed research project. Most of the problem-solving involved in creating this plan will be the same for everyone, but how you solve these problems will differ greatly based on many factors such as your topic, your research question, your research strategy and methodology, the availability of academic literature and data related to answering your research question.

You are strongly advised to adhere closely to the following outline structure and use the marks available as a rough guide to how much detail you should include in each section.

Task

Your task for this assignment is to produce a Research Proposal of no more than 3,000 words. Please carefully read the content in Table 1 as this should serve as a template for your research proposal.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

The assessment criteria outlined in table 1 closely follow the suggested structure for the assignment and therefore serve additionally as the answer outline.

Table 1: Research proposal template and guide

Section

Assessment criteria / points to consider

Marks

available

(1) Introduction

Title:

Give your proposed research a title which covers the main characteristics of the project: topic/problem, aim, scope, key concepts/variables of the study.

Research Topic:

Provide a background to your research topic and the key issues you wish to address through your research.

Research Aim & Objectives:

Outline your research aim and objectives based on your research topic.

Research Problem:

What problem are you trying to solve? This could come from a real-world issue you have seen or from a gap or argument in the academic literature you have investigated. Provide evidence using the literature for the research your topic outlined.

Research Question:

Identify your research question based on your research topic and research problem.

 

25

(2) Literature Evaluation

Literature Review:

Critically evaluate the state of the academic literature related to your topic. You should use the literature as the knowledge evidence for your research, providing an argument to describing, analyse and critically evaluating the literature based on your research questions and topic area. You may also use related models and theories as justification.

 

40

(3) Research Design

Research Methodology & Research Strategy:

As a researcher you will need to outline your research methodology and strategy

(i) What  is  research  methodology  you  will  use.  Are  you  using qualitative (e.g., unstructured interviews  or surveys), quantitative (e.g., corporate financial data, closed-ended questionnaires)? Are you using a single method or ‘mixed methods`?

(ii) What the research strategy you have chosen, and why. Are you using  a primary or secondary data strategy, and the techniques you will be using to collect data.

(iii) The process of your research project. Ideally you should give an outline project plan showing how the project will be feasible within 12-16 weeks.

 

25

(4) Formatting and referencing

You should aim to meet the following expectations in terms of formatting and referencing:

  • Correct and thorough use of Harvard referencing. This includes in- text references and an alphabetized bibliography.
  • Appropriate and consistent choice of visual elements, including correct selection of graphs and tables in relation to their explanatory purpose.
  • Legible and consistent presentation of data in graphs and tables including clearly labelled and denominated axes.
  • Organized and logical approach to structure, including table of contents,  list  of  figures  and  tables,  numbered  pages,  numbered sections and subsections, bibliography.
  • Spelling,  punctuation and grammar (SPG):  UK  English  consistent with good practice in business and management applications.

 

10

Table 2: RME Research Proposal AssessmentCriteria

Section

Indicative grading

Marks

available

(1) Introduction

Title

A qualifying title (1 mark) might cover one or two key characteristics of the project; they might be mis-identified; there might be a poor fit with the proposed research project.

A basic title (1-2 marks) might cover some of the characteristics of the project; they might be mis-identified; there might be a questionable fit with the proposed research project.

A satisfactory title (2-3 marks) might identify most of the key characteristics of the project, perhaps leaving some doubt or confusion about other characteristics.

A good title (3-4 marks) might identify many or all of the key characteristics of the project, using mostly correct terminology and syntax.

An excellent/outstanding/exceptional title (4-5 marks) might identify all of the key characteristics of the project, using correct terminology and syntax, and leave the reader in no doubt as to the intended topic/problem, aim, scope, and key concepts/variables of the proposed study.

Research Topic

A qualifying explanation of the chosen topic (1 mark) might be misleading, using incorrect or inconsistent terminology, covering a few of the proposed project’s key concepts adequately.

A basic explanation of the chosen topic (1-2 marks) might use somewhat correct terminology, covering some of the proposed project’s key concepts adequately.

A satisfactory explanation of the chosen topic (2-3 marks) might use mostly correct and consistent terminology, covering most of the proposed project’s key concepts adequately and some of them coherently.

A good explanation of the chosen topic (3-4 marks) might use correct and consistent terminology, covering most or all of the proposed project’s  key concepts coherently.

An excellent/outstanding/exceptional explanation of the chosen topic (4-5 marks) might  use  correct  and  consistent  terminology,  showing  particular  insight  or sophistication in argument, leaving the reader with confidence in the conceptual basis of the proposed project.

Research Problem

A qualifying statement of the research problem (1 mark) might fit badly with the proposed topic and neglect a majority of its dimensions; it might lack justification or be poorly justified; it might lack support or ilustration from reliable sources.  A qualifying statement of the research problem is unlikely to convince the reader that the problem is worth investigating through research.

A basic statement of the research problem (1-2 marks) might fit sub-optimally with the topic and/or neglect many of its dimensions, it might be poorly justified; lack support or illustration from reliable sources or use unreliable or questionable sources  in  support  of  the  existence  of  the  problem.  A  basic  statement  of  the research problem may lead the reader to acknowledge that a problem exists.

A satisfactory statement of the research problem (2-3 marks) might fit acceptably with the topic whilst neglecting some of its dimensions or placing inappropriate emphasis  on  others;  it  might  be  justified  with  reference  to  adequately  reliable sources.

A satisfactory statement of the research problem may well convince the reader that the problem  is  worth  investigating  through  research,  but  may  raise  questions  or objections.

 

25

 

 

A good statement of the research problem (3-4 marks) might fit well with the topic, covering all of its apparent dimensions with reasonable face validity; it might be well justified through reference to up-to-date information about the real-world experience of the problem and/or its context/setting.

An excellent/outstanding/exceptional statement of the research problem (4-5 marks) might fit very well/unimprovably with the proposed topic, covering all of its apparent dimensions with high face validity; it might be justified to a highly convincing degree with reference to well-chosen/authoritative information about the real-world experience of the problem and/or its context/setting. Recognize and describe a range of different academic and practitioner research methods for international business and management.

Research Question

A satisfactory/ good/ excellent/outstanding/exceptional research  question covering the key concepts or variables in the study, with an excellent fit against the articulated scope of the proposed  study; including the number of objectives that can be followed and aligned to the research question to drive a clear and quality direction of the research topic.

 

 

(2) Literature Evaluation

A qualifying evaluation of the academic literature (9-12 marks) might be vague, disorganised or impressionistic; drawonfewer thantenliteraturesources; rely heavily on academically negligible  literature  (e.g.  from  web  sources  or  Wikipedia); fail  to  show  how  the relevant literature is structured/organized; fail to explain the relevance/significance of literature to the proposed research project.

Abasic evaluation of the academic literature (12-15 marks) might lack organization or be poorly  organized; drawing on too few literature sources; rely  heavily on poor qualityliterature(i.e.frompopularbooks or web sourcesrather thanpeer-reviewed articles and monographs); make basic claims about how the relevant literature is structured/organised;   make   basic   claims  about   the  relevance/significance   of literature to the proposed research project.

A satisfactory evaluation of the academic literature (15-17 marks) might be reasonably organised; drawing on ten, mostly acceptable literature  sources; perhaps too reliant on tertiary literature (i.e. textbooks); show on the whole how relevant  literature  is  structured/organized;  explain  the  relevance/significance  of literature to the proposed research project in a mostly coherent way.

A good evaluation of the academic literature (18-21 marks) might be well organized; drawing on ten or more mostly high-quality literature sources from peer-reviewed articles and monographs; correctly depict how literature is structured/organized; explain the relevance/significance of literature to the proposedresearch project in a largely convincing and critical way.

An excellent evaluation of the academic literature (21-24 marks) might be very well organized; drawing on ten or more literature sources from peer-reviewed articles and monographs; explain the relevance/significance of literature to the proposed research project using appropriately critical arguments.

An outstanding evaluation of the academic literature (24-27 marks) might be organized with rigour according to the specific conceptual needs of the proposed research project, drawing   on at least ten high-quality academic sources; advance sophisticated critical arguments about the literature relevant to the proposed project.

An exceptional evaluation of the academic literature (27-30 marks) might be unimprovably well-organized, drawing on at least ten high-quality academic sources, perhaps indicating the relative impact or seminal character of the important literature; advance sophisticated critical and synthetic arguments about the literature domains relevant to the proposed project; approach doctoral sophistication in part or throughout.

 

40

 

(3) Research design

A qualifying research design (12-15 marks) might set out a badly chosen research strategy or fail to justify it; make inappropriate choices about methodology and/or offer  superficial  and  unconvincing  justifications  for  methodological  choices; suggest data techniques that are inappropriate, impractical or largely misunderstood;  fail  to  include  an  outline  project  plan;  fail  to  address  feasibility; include  a  rudimentary  or  otherwise  problematic  outline  project  plan.  In  general. design choices might be mostly misunderstood or inappropriate to the topic.

A basic research design (15-19 marks) might set out a rudimentary or sub-optimal strategy   with   superficial   justification;   make   some   inappropriate   choices   about methodology and/or justify them superficially; suggest data techniques that are sub-optimal or  somewhat  misunderstood;  include  a  rudimentary  outline  project plan without much specific detail as to resources and timings. In general. design choices might lack conviction or practicability.

A satisfactory research design (20-24 marks) might set out an appropriate research strategy but fail to justify it fully; make some appropriate choices about methodology and/or fail to fully justify some of them; suggest data techniques that may be feasible but sub-optimal; give a project plan that covers resources and timings adequately. Design choicesmight be on the wholeappropriate to the study; justifications may lack depth or critical understanding.

A good research design (24-27 marks) might advance an appropriate and well- justified research strategy; making appropriate choices about methodology with sensible  justifications;  suggest  data  techniques  appropriate  to  the  nature  of  the proposed study and the resources available; give a project plan that appears feasible with respect to resources and timings. Design choices will be appropriate to the project problem/research questions/hypotheses and justified coherently; they need not be optimal.

An excellent research design (28-32 marks) might advance an appropriate and well- justified research strategy; making well-reasoned and appropriate choices about methodology with sound justification; suggest data techniques entirely appropriate to the nature of the proposed study and the resources available; give a project plan that convincingly demonstrates feasibility  with respect to  resources and timings. Design choices will be overwhelmingly appropriate to the project problem/research questions/hypotheses and convincingly justified; they may draw on relevant methodological literature as well as tertiary literature on research methods.

An outstanding research design (33-36 marks) might advance an insightful and critically justified research strategy, making sophisticated and entirely appropriate choices about methodology with convincing justifications; suggest data techniques of unusual sophistication or particular relevance to the empirical research context; give a project plan that convincingly demonstrates feasibility with respect to resources, timings and externalities if relevant. Design choices may draw effectively and critically on relevant methodological literature and/or adapt published methodology to the needs of the proposed study.

An exceptional research design (37-40 marks) might advance an insightful and rigorously  justified  research  strategy,  making  robustly  critical  and  appropriate choices about methodology; suggest data techniques representing gold standard practice in a particular discipline (perhaps drawing on best practice guidance in a particular professional or empirical research context); give a project plan that convincingly demonstrates feasibility with respect to resources, timings and externalities if  relevant. Design choices might  draw effectively and critically on methodological literature and/or adapt published methodology to the needs of the proposed study in a nuanced and authoritative way. In general, the research design will approach doctoral sophistication in part or throughout.

 

25

(4) Formatting and referencing

A qualifying approach to formatting and referencing (3-4 marks) might use a referencing system other than Harvard or exhibit severe inconsistencies in bibliography or in-text citation. Visual elements such as graphs and tables may be poorly formatted to the extent that legibility is affected; presentation of graphs and tables   might   be   confusing;   structure   might   exhibit   considerable   flaws   and inconsistencies; spelling, punctuation and grammar might deviate considerably from expected norms at Level 7 with grammatical errors, ‘false friends’, wrong spellcheck language used.

A basic approach to formatting and referencing (4-5 marks), might use Harvard referencing adequately, with some inconsistencies in bibliography or in-text citation. Visual elements such as graphs and tables may exhibit some flaws in presentation but without  completely  losing  their  explanatory  value.  Structure  might  be  generally consistent  but  exhibit  some  flaws  and  inconsistencies. Spelling,  punctuation  and grammar might deviate somewhat from best practice at Level 7.

A satisfactory approach to formatting and referencing (4-5 marks), might use Harvard referencing consistently with perhaps some minor mistakes in in-text citation and bibliography. Visual elements such as graphs and tables will generally be clear and legible with some minor flaws. Structure will be generally consistent with perhaps minor flaws and inconsistencies. Spelling, punctuation and grammar might adhere adequately to best practice at Level 7.

A good approach to formatting and referencing (6-7 marks), might use Harvard referencing consistently throughout. Visual elements such as graphs and tables will be clear  and legible for  their  type. Structure will be consistent and  logical throughout. Spelling, punctuation and grammar will be generally consistent with best practice for Level 7, with a few minor flaws.

An excellent approach to formatting and referencing (7-8 marks), might use Harvard referencing consistently throughout. Visual elements such as graphs and tables will approach optimal design characteristics for their type. Structure will be almost entirely clear, consistent and logical. Spelling, punctuation and grammar will exhibit few flaws and some sophistication as to language and syntax.

An outstanding approach to formatting and referencing (8-9 marks), might use Harvard referencing consistently throughout, implementing in almost all respects the Anglia Ruskin version of the Harvard standard. Visual elements such as graphs and tables will be optimally designed and presented for their type. Structure will be entirely clear, consistent and logical. Spelling, punctuation and grammar will exhibit minimal flaws and considerable sophistication as to language and syntax.

An exceptional approach to formatting and referencing (9-10 marks) might use Harvard referencing consistently throughout, implementing in every respect the Anglia Ruskin version of the Harvard standard. Visual elements such as graphs and tables will be entirely  flawless.    Structure  will  be  entirely  clear,  consistent  and  logical.  Spelling, punctuation and grammar will exhibit faultless UK English at a high level of sophistication as to language and syntax; approaching doctoral or publication quality in places or throughout.

10

 

ARU GENERIC ASSESSMENT CRITERIA AND MARKING STANDARDS: LEVEL 7 – postgraduate taught

 

Level 7 is characterised by an expectation of students’ expertise in their specialism. Students are semi-autonomous, demonstrating independence in the negotiation of assessment tasks (including the major project) and the ability to evaluate, challenge, modify and develop theory and practice. Students are expected to demonstrate an ability to isolate and focus on the significant features of problems and to offer synthetic and coherent solutions, with some students producing original or innovative work in their specialism that is worthy of publication or public performance or display.

 

 

Mark Bands

 

 

Outcome

Characteristics of Student Achievement by Marking Band for ARU’s Generic Learning Outcomes (Academic Regulations, Section 2)

 

Knowledge & Understanding

Intellectual (thinking), Practical, Affective and Transferable Skills

 

 

 

 

 

90-

100%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Achieves module outcome(s)

Exceptional analysis of key issues/ concepts/ethics with very clear originality and autonomy. Exceptional development of conceptual structures and argument making an exceptional use of scholarly conventions.

Demonstrates exceptional independence of thought and a very high level of intellectual rigour and consistency. Work pushes the boundaries of the discipline and may be considered for external publication. Recognize and describe a range of different academic and practitioner research methods for international business and management.

Exceptional analysis of key issues/concepts/ ethics. Exceptional development of conceptual structures and argument, making consistent use of scholarly conventions. Exceptional research skills, independence of thought, an extremely high level of intellectual rigour and consistency, exceptional expressive/professional skills, and substantial creativity and originality. Exceptional academic/ intellectual skills. Work pushes the boundaries of the discipline and may be considered for external publication

 

 

 

80-

89%

 

Outstanding analysis of key issues/ concepts/ethics with clear originality and autonomy. Outstanding development of conceptual structures and argument making an exemplary use of scholarly conventions. Demonstrates outstanding independence of thought and a very high level of intellectual rigour and consistency

 

Outstanding analysis of key issues/concepts/ ethics. Outstanding development of conceptual structures and argument, making consistent use of scholarly conventions. Outstanding research skills, independence of thought, a high level of intellectual rigour and consistency, outstanding expressive/professional skills, and considerable creativity and originality. Outstanding academic/intellectual skills

 

 

 

 

70-

79%

 

 

Excellent analysis of key issues/ concepts/ethics. Excellent development of conceptual structures and argument making excellent use of scholarly conventions. Demonstrates excellent independence of thought and a high level of intellectual rigour and consistency

Excellent analysis of key issues/concepts/ethics. Excellent development of conceptual structures and argument, making consistent use of scholarly conventions. Excellent research skills, indepen- dence of thought, excellent level of intellectual rigour and consistency, excellent expressive/ professional skills, and considerable creativity and originality. Excellent academic/ intellectual skills, and considerable creativity and originality

 

60-

69%

Good analysis of key issues/concepts/ ethics. Development of conceptual structures and argument making consistent use of scholarly conventions

Good analysis of key issues/concepts/ethics. Development of conceptual structures and argument, making consistent use of scholarly conventions

 

50-

59%

Sound knowledge of key issues/ concepts/ethics in discipline. Descrip- tive in parts but some ability to synth- esise scholarship and argument. Minor lapses in use of scholarly conventions

 

Sound knowledge of key issues/concepts/ ethics in discipline. Descriptive in parts but some ability to synthesise scholarship and argument. Minor lapses in use of scholarly conventions

 

 

40-

49%

 

A marginal pass in module outcome(s)

Adequate knowledge of key issues/ concepts/ethics in discipline. Generally descriptive, with restricted synthesis of existing scholarship and little argument. Inconsistent use of scholarly conventions

 

Adequate knowledge of key issues/concepts/ ethics in discipline. Generally descriptive, with restricted synthesis of existing scholarship and little argument. Inconsistent use of scholarly conventions

 

 

30-

39%

A marginal fail in module outcome(s).

Satisfies default qualifying mark

 

Limited knowledge of key issues/ concepts/ethics in discipline. Largely descriptive, with restricted synthesis of existing scholarship and limited argument. Limited use of scholarly conventions.

 

Limited research skills impede use of learning resources and problem solving. Significant problems with structure/accuracy in expression. Team/Practical/Professional skills not yet secure. Limited academic/ intellectual skills. Limited use of scholarly conventions

 

 

20-

29%

Fails to achieve module outcome(s).

Qualifying mark not

satisfied

Little evidence of knowledge of key issues/concepts/ethics in discipline. Largely descriptive, with little synthesis of existing scholarship and little evidence of argument. Little evidence of use of scholarly conventions.

Little evidence of research skills, use of learning resources and problem solving. Major problems with structure/ accuracy in expression. Team/ Practical/Professional skills virtually absent. Little evidence of academic/intellectual skills. Little evidence of use of scholarly conventions

 

 

 

10-

19%

 

Deficient knowledge of key issues/concepts/ethics in discipline. Wholly descriptive, with deficient synthesis of existing scholarship and deficient argument. Deficient use of scholarly conventions.

Deficient use of research skills, learning resources and problem solving. Major problems with structure/accuracy in expression.

Team/Practical/Professional skills absent. Deficient academic/intellectual skills. Deficient use of scholarly conventions

 

 

1-

9%

No evidence of knowledge of key issues/concepts/ethics in discipline. Incoherent and completely but poorly descriptive, with no evidence of synthesis of existing scholarship and no argument whatsoever. No evidence of use of scholarly conventions.

 

No evidence of use of research skills, learning resources and problem solving. Incoherent structure/accuracy in expression. Team/ Practical/Professional skills non-existent. No evidence of academic/intellectual skills. No evidence of use of scholarly conventions

 

0%

Awarded for: (i) non-submission; (ii) dangerous practice and; (iii) in situations where the student fails to address the assignment brief (eg: answers the wrong question) and/or related learning outcomes

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