Business Research Methods: Research Proposal I





In conjunction with the second assignment, this assignment forms your complete research proposal. It will serve as a guide to your dissertation next year and should contain the following sections:


Framing the Study


  1. What is the dissertation about and why is it important? Short overview explaining why anyone would want to undertake this study and why anyone should want to read it. [Refer to your notes from lecture 2 and tutorials 1 &2] [350 Words]


  1. What are your aim and objectives? Summarise what you want to achieve with the entire study (Aim), and the specific, short-term steps you will need to take to achieve this

(Objectives). [Refer to the work you did in tutorial 2] [150 Words]


  1. What is the theory you are using? Specify which theoretical body of knowledge you are basing your study within, and what are you using that body of theory to understand in your study. [Refer to your notes from lectures 2, 3 & 4 and tutorials 1, 2 & 3] [700 Words]


  1. What is the context for the dissertation? Are you applying the theory to a particular business, industry, sector, country, etc.? Why is this an appropriate context? [Refer to your notes from lectures 2 & 4 and tutorial 3] [300 Words]






N.B. Please remember that your coursework should be heavily referenced, drawing on journal articles and books.  The number of references will vary, but you should be aiming for at least 20 to 30.





Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Do I need to specify a theoretical framework?
  2. You do not necessarily need to specify the particular theoretical framework that you will use, but you should be able to articulate relevant theories (and frameworks and concepts) arising in the literature that are relevant to your topic, and explain why they may or may not be suitable.


  1. Do I need to say if I am theory building or testing?
  2. It’s fine if you do, but it is not required.


  1. What is the context of my study?
  2. For those struggling with their context, try to avoid looking at something too broad. Try to have a narrow, specific focus, looking at a particular sector or industry, and perhaps even a specific company and role within this. For example, if looking at SMEs or private sector organisations, then you might want to look more specifically at a particular type, e.g. Finance Industry or Accountancy firms, and even specify, for example, a managerial or customer facing role. Make sure that you clearly articulate the rationale (reason) for your choice, and justify this rationale with references to academic sources.



Please note that it is your responsibility as an independent adult learner to seek out and study the meanings and applications of the various aspects of research methods beyond the lecture materials. Writing and responding to emails asking for definitions and meanings that are freely available in libraries (on and offline) is not a good use of anyone’s time. Please also refer to the examples of previous submissions on Vision. While these are not perfect, they are a useful guide.