ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE DISSERTATION
1.Setting a Context for the Topic Chosen
You must provide an insight into the context underpinning the topic – eg. you may need to give a review of what is currently happening within a specific organisation or particular business sector and to review some key themes relating to the international strategic problems you are investigating in the organisation or sector. Setting an appropriate context will help the reader to appreciate why you have chosen the topic and illustrate why the topic is significant.
2.Undertaking a Literature Review
You must do a comprehensive review of the published work from secondary sources which is of specific interest to the central themes of the investigation you are undertaking. The secondary sources may be chap
ters of a book, papers in academic journals, professional body publications, newspaper reports, management consultancy reports etc. You must identify the leading authors and practitioners in the topic you are investigating and reflect upon the implications of their contribution to the central themes of your topic area. The literature review will help you to identify significant concepts, ideas and perspectives affecting the key themes of the topic under consideration. In your dissertation you must state clearly the aims and objectives of the review and you must provide a logical presentation of the research work done thus far in the topic area you are investigating. You are expected to include in your literature review a review of key Strategic management models ( ie competitive models by Porter, Barney and non competitive models by W.Kim and Mauborgne ) to provide a strategic foundation to your research .
3.Stating clearly the dissertation Research Question and Objectives.
You must provide a coherent statement of what you hope to achieve by undertaking your investigations. That is you must state clearly your research question and objectives. The stated objectives will help the reader to appreciate the scope of the work undertaken. A specific research question or questions needs also to be stated and this would often be supported by specific research hypotheses.
4. Developing valid Methodologies to underpin your investigations
You must provide a brief discussion of philosophy of your research design to include ontological and epistemological assumptions underpinning your research
You must provide substantive evidence of why you have used particular research methods and techniques to take your investigations forward. You need to explain why such techniques and methods are appropriate and indicate that you are aware of the scope and limitations of the methods adopted. You must discuss the theories, concepts and models you have found useful in your investigations. The rationale for using the theories, concepts etc. must be made clear and you must acknowledge the specific ways in which the theories and concepts have been applied. In summary the Methodology chapter/s of the dissertation is concerned both with the research methods you have used [ eg. personal interviews, focus groups, quantitative methods etc.] and the theories and concepts that you have found appropriate in investigating your topic area.#p#分页标题#e#
5.Reviewing your own Personal Development
As you commence the project you must reflect upon the personal development objectives that you wish to achieve in conducting and completing your project. As part of your completed project you must include a commentary as a subsection of the research methods review discussing the extent to which your personal development objectives have been achieved and the skills you have refined or acquired in achieving those objectives within your wider management experience to date. This section of the dissertation on personal reflection/development is part of the PALS development process.
6.Data Analysis and Findings resulting from your Investigations
You must provide a discussion on the methods of data analysis that you will employ to analyse the data that you have collected. Please ensure that you provide an analysis of the data using appropriate methods of data
analysis( ie for qualitative data include categorisation, unitisation and recognising relationship; for quantitative data include hypothesis testing for example chi –squared test ).
It is important that you have critically evaluated and analysed factors/issues/ collected data relating to your chosen topic area, rather than being purely descriptive and anecdotal. You must recognise that there are often different perspectives on problems and issues and on the solutions to those problems. Thus you need to generate balanced arguments and use illustrative examples to justify your findings.
You must summarise the results of your investigations and emphasise the significance of the results. You are likely to be stating some solutions to problems and making recommendations [ for future action or for further research ] and in proposing these it may be helpful to assign levels of priority to the recommendations. The recommendations must include a timescale relating to their review and potential implementation together with the resources and management actions likely to be required to support the measures that need to be taken.
References used in your Dissertation
You will have used a wide range of sources in undertaking the dissertation. All sources must be appropriately acknowledged and referenced in accordance with the Harvard referencing system.You might find it useful to look at the following URLs of web sites that will help in referencing and citation ---
A general guide to citation
‘Cite them Right’ --- how to organise bibliographical references’#p#分页标题#e#
A more detailed guide to referencing Harvard style:
This is the URL for the research node of the Library web resources. It has further links to Word or PDF documents giving advice on ‘Launching your research in the Library’ including citations, electronic journals, planning your research etc.
Additional Notes on a Framework for Research and the Dissertation structure .
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