Research Methods for Accounting and Finance

THE UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX

 

989N1: Research Methods for Accounting and Finance

 

Report (50%) Assignment Requirement

 

2020/21 Spring Term (A2)

 

 

Report Assignment Description

 

This research Report is to assess your understanding on Topic 6 to 10, to conduct a small scale of research adopting both quantitative and qualitative research methods as the preliminary research practices to prepare you for your Summer Term module of Research Dissertation, Research Project, or Business Analysis Report, depending on the MSc course you undertake.

To allow you to freely explore your research interests, it would be your decision to make, whether this assignment ‘Report (50%)’ would be on the same, or a different research area, from your first assignment of ‘Project (50%)’. If the same, the variables you use in Report Investigation One should be different from the ones used in Project (50%), thus the literature review and hypothesis development would be different.

 

Report structure and writing requirements, with the guidance on wordcount allocation

1. Investigation One: Using Quantitative Research Method – OLS Multivariate LinearRegression

 

1.1 A brief literature review and hypothesis development (15 marks)

 

Briefly describe THREE most relevant research literature on the research area of your interests, which help to narrow down your research interests to ONE testable research hypothesis. Elaborate what probably will be a true hypothesis as the main body of your hypothesis development and propose it as a clear statement in one sentence. (Approximately 250 words)

 

1.2 Quantitative Research Method and Research Design (15 marks)

 

This section will document (1) how you design the variables for testing the above hypothesis, (2) how you collect the data, and (3) other important considerations in the research design of this investigation using OLS Multivariate Linear Regression. You are required to explain why you collected the data in that way and justify your methods in detail. You might include some in-text references to research methods literature to help explain your choice of method.

(Approximately 200 words)

Variable required: One Dependent Variable and at least three independent variables. Sample size required: for each variable, at least 20 effective observations.

 

1.3 Results (5 marks)

 

In this section, you will report the regression results using tables. Interpretate the key coefficients and the signs. State whether the findings support or reject your hypothesis. (Approximately 100 words)

 

1.4 Discussion of Results (15 marks)

 

In the discussion you should comment on your results (Approximately 200 words), including:

  • Describe and suggest possible reasons for the above results.
  • Explain what the key coefficients and the signs imply in the context of your research topic. Comment on to which extent your findings agree or disagree with the literature.
  • Consider the accuracy and reliability of your results and especially address the limitations of your research (e.g., omitted variables, small sample size, causality considerations, etc.)

 

2. Investigation Two: A Single-case Design Case Study Using Qualitative Research Method

 

2.1 A brief literature review and proposition development (15 marks)

 

Briefly describe THREE most relevant research literature on the research area of your interests, which help to narrow down your research interests to ONE proposition or pattern you would like to investigate using qualitative data. Elaborate on what you propose and state it as a clear statement in one sentence. (Approximately 250 words)

 

2.2 Qualitative Research Method and Research Design (15 marks)

 

This section will document (1) definition of your research question and broad models or mind maps for investigation, (2) data you will observe, such as interview (video/audio), social media data (e.g. Twitter posts), Survey results, and how you collect the data, and (3) other important considerations in the research design of this investigation. You are required to explain why you collected the data in that way and justify your methods in detail. You might include some intext references to research methods literature to help explain your choice of method. (Approximately 200 words) Sample size required: at least 10 effective files.

 

2.3 Results (5 marks)

In this section, you will report the observed pattern using charts and/or tables. Interpretate the pattern you find. State whether the findings support or reject your proposition. (Approximately 100 words)

 

2.4 Discussion of Results (15 marks)

 

In the discussion you should comment on your results (Approximately 200 words), including:

  • Describe and suggest possible reasons for the above results.
  • Explain what the pattern implies in the context of your research topic. Comment on to which extent your findings agree or disagree with the literature.
  • Consider the accuracy and reliability of your results and especially address the limitations of your research (e.g., small sample size, limited access to data, etc.)

Submission instructions

Assignment Weight: 50% of your overall marks on this module.

Word Count Requirement for the Written Report: 1,500 words ±         10%, excluding the word count of references and appendices.

General Style of the Written Report: font size 12, in Times New Roman, double-spaced.

Submission Due Date: London Time 16:00 Thursday 6th May 2021

Submission Requirement: each student should submit TWO documents:

  • Report, in Word (.doc or .docx) and
  • Data Analysis, in Excel (.xls or .xlsx)

Submitting both through Canvas > 989N1 > Assignments > Report (1,500 Words) PS2 Week

 

This Report assignment assess the following Learning Outcomes

 

  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in planning and designing an ethical research project in accounting or finance.
  • Systematically recognise and apply an appropriate research methodology and methods to collect, analyse, and interpret data based on theory and research questions.
  • Comprehensively identify, critique, synthesise and apply knowledge of the different kinds of inquiries employing quantitative and qualitative methods to an accounting or finance problem or issue.
  • Demonstrate creative communication skills in gathering, interpreting, and reporting on quantitative or qualitative data.

 

 

Assessment Criteria

Your Report submission will be marked in accordance with the Level 7 (for master’s degrees) Marking Criteria of University of Sussex Business School as below and also available in high resolution via https://canvas.sussex.ac.uk/courses/11791/files/1990885?wrap=1. You will receive a Rubric in Assignments as the marking feedback, demonstrating how your Report has been marked in the following five criteria including:

  • Knowledge and Understanding,
  • Application,
  • Critical Thinking, Reading and Research,  • Presentation and Style.

 

Note: ‘Teamwork’ criterion does not apply to this individual essay assignment.