2 General Introduction: 1. 1 General Introduction: 1.1 Before selecting a topic, read at least 30 to 35 current sources on an area of interest Make annotated notes on key words, ideas, headings and sub–headings. 1.3. Formulate a PROVISIONAL TOPIC has BUSINESS MANAGEMENT BIAS Ensure that the knowledge acquired in the MBA coursework can be incorporated in the research. Introduce the reader to the topic. This must be a brief account.
3 2. Aims/Objectives: 2.1 Formulate a clear and definite aim that sheds light on the whole topic Break the aim into 4 subsidiary aims [research questions/objectives] Research questions are required to answer the problem under investigation Ensure that your research questions focus on BUSINESS Management Ensure that your aim, objectives and research questions are aligned. This is a critical success factor.
4 3. Literature Review or Secondary Research: 3 Literature Review or Secondary Research: This is the most critical and important aspect of the proposal and dissertation Read widely on the topic and provide a comprehensive account of the current theoretical knowledge of the proposed study Select appropriate literature from your MBA coursework and weave it into your body of research The review provides a conceptual framework based on your objectives so that your research questions and methodology can be better understood. Only CURRENT sources should be ideally used [not more than five years old] This section should be at least 8 to 10 pages in length for the proposal and pages for the dissertation itself It should be written up after consulting a minimum of 25 current sources Note: The objectives form the foundation of your literature review. In other words your objectives and literature review must be aligned
5 4. Research Methodology: This section is also referred to as the strategy for the research. You need to clearly indicate: The methods of data collection within a quantitative or qualitative methodology [paradigm] The techniques for data collection [questionnaires, interviews, observation, case studies] The measurement for validation of the techniques [attitude scales, rating scales, etc] The target population [definition, who constitutes your target population, size] Provide theoretical underpinnings on Research design, Target population, Sampling procedure, Development of research instrument It is imperative that you give reasons for your choice of methodology, sample framework, mode of data collection etc Ethical considerations, procedure for data collection and processing and finally limitations of the study Provide a concise summary of the key issues which the study intends to address.
6 5. Measuring instruments: Measuring instruments are applied to test or measure the reliability of the methods of data collection. There are two types: 5.1 Attitude scales which measure different degrees of attitudes towards specific issues. 5.2 Rating scales that assess behaviour of respondents eg. The Likert scale. 5.3 Rating scales are always weighted. Each point on the scale is assigned a score [weight] of 1 to 5 or 5 to 1 depending on the nature of the questions.
7 6. Validity and reliability of data measuring instrument The validity and reliability of data measuring instruments are crucial to scientific study Validity refers to the potential of a design or measuring instrument to measure what it is supposed to measure and or achieve Cite the following types of validity and explain which ones were utilised in the study and why: Content validity Criterion –related validity Construct validity Face validity External validity Reliability Reliability pertains to the accuracy of measures. The same instrument must be able to produce the same result at a later stage under similar conditions You may use the test- retest method, cronbach alpha test for reliability of the instrument The Pilot Study is a preliminary investigation carried out to acquire pre-knowledge, concerning the subject matter of a main study to be conducted later.
8 6.5 The pre-test is a trial run of the instrument with a group of respondents to screen out problems in the design of the instrument. 6.6 A total of 20 test items are adequate for the MBA instrument. The objectives and the literature review provide guidelines for formulating the t test items. 6.7 Limit your demographic factors to those that will be used for testing purposes eg gender and work performance.
9 7. Bibliography: Provide a detailed list of all the sources consulted in the preparation of the proposal in the Harvard format. Ideally you should consult about 40 sources for the proposal. The dissertation should be written after consulting about 70 to 80 Current sources
10 8. Appendices: Attach a copy of the Research Instrument to be used.Attach a copy of the letter granting permission to conduct this study in your select organisationGuidelines on preparing the instrument – slide 11
11 Preparation of the Research Instrument: Complete the literature Review first.Select themes from your research questions and formulate questions.Ensure that these areas have been discussed in the literature Review.All quantitative and qualitative questions should ideally have their foundations In the literature Review.This will assist you in linking primary and secondary sources when it comes to writing your dissertation.Its is preferable to use the likert type questions as they lend themselves to analysis and correlation tests.Do not use double barrel type test items.
12 Submit the first draft of your Research Proposal and Research Instrument. It is important to note that both the topic and Research instruments are Provisional working documents.