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Getting Started: Research and Literature Reviews An Introduction.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting Started: Research and Literature Reviews An Introduction."— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting Started: Research and Literature Reviews An Introduction

2 Objectives  To explain the concept of research  To outline the main differences between primary and secondary sources of data  To identify some of the secondary sources that you may find useful  To describe how to carry out a literature review  To warn against the moral dangers of plagiarism

3 Research Defined Systematic investigation into a problem or situation, where the intention is to identify facts and/or opinions that will assist in solving the problem or dealing with the situation

4 Research and Project  ALL projects require students to carry out research Development projects – desk research on development methods, tools, hardware, software, trends in the business environment that may affect the development Research projects – desk research (literature review) but also field work to gather data first hand

5 The Hallmarks of Good Research  Serves a purpose and is relevant  Clearly focussed and scoped  Scientific (depends on context)  Uses appropriate techniques & methods of data collection  Findings are presented as objectively as possible  Conclusions are based on the findings  Sources of information and ideas are clearly attributed

6 Research and Data Collection  Research and data collection are not synonymous. Data collection is: Part of the research PROCESS Provides answers to some of the questions addressed by the research TOPIC Helps us to draw conclusions about the research QUESTION(S) we have investigated

7 Primary and Secondary Data Sources  Primary Questionnaires Interviews Observation Participant observation Informal conversations Structured group discussions  Secondary Textbooks Specialist books Journal papers Conference papers Magazine articles Government & industry reports Web pages Acts of Parliament Company reports

8 Literature Reviews  Find out what is known about the subject  Find out whether the research has been done before  Build a case for carrying out research  Show your expertise in the subject

9 Literature Reviews: Field Work Projects  Read a chapter of a well known textbook  Note references  Formulate some questions  Use questions to direct further reading  Jot down answers to questions  Use answers to build an argument

10 Literature Reviews: Development Projects  Read general textbook to identify key concepts, authorities  Carry out an author/subject search  Read a number of books, papers and synthesise key points  Write up what you have found out and explain how it relates to YOUR project

11 Research Methods: Field Work Projects  Surveys  Case Studies  Action Research  Scientific Experiments

12 Surveys  A means of data collection, usually in the form of a questionnaire or interview schedule, that enables a large amount of data to be gathered about a particular subject

13 When to Use Surveys  To explore a topic about which relatively little is known  To replicate/test/extend findings of a piece of research  To collect large amounts of data so that statistical analysis can be carried out  To make generalisations based on quantifiable findings

14 Case Studies (1) “A strategy for doing research which involves an empirical investigation of a particular contemporary phenomenon within its real life context using multiple sources of evidence” (Robson, 1993, p.52)

15 Case Study (2)  A case study can be conducted at any level of analysis An individual Pairs, groups Sections, departments, divisions within a company An entire company or several companies in the same or different sectors Different industrial sectors Entire nations

16 Case Studies (3)  Use multiple methods of data collection Observation Questionnaires Interviews Document Analysis Diary Method

17 Action Research A research method that involves researcher(s) and practitioner(s) collaborating to engender a change/improve a particular situation

18 Plagiarism – Just Don’t Do IT!  Plagiarism involves: Intentionally copying someone else’s ideas or words and not attributing them Colluding with other students on work when prohibited from doing so Cutting and pasting text from the Internet and passing it off as your own Purchasing someone else’s work and describing it as your own

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