Research Paper

The objective of the final research project is for you to experiment in applying the concepts and methods learned in class to a real world problem. You may choose any problem that interests you; for example, you may conduct a marketing research study to test a new product/service concept, or conduct a research study to offer recommendations to existing products and services. Either way, the problem should be relevant to a business or governmental organization and should look like a professionally crafted proposal for work to be done.

Guidelines for the Proposal Project:

When selecting a project, make sure you have a clear understanding of the research problem(s) at hand, a realization of the organizational constraints for dealing with such a problem (including time and budgetary restrictions), and an understanding of how the information provided by your research will facilitate decision making.

1. Background Section: DESCRIBE the problem in detail, making sure you showcase your knowledge of the issue. Identify the information needed to address the research problem. Make sure this section identifies and explains the issue in detail, citing external sources to justify the research idea. I STRONGLY suggest you include some tables or background DATA in this section to support your research idea.

2. Methodology Section: Choose a research design and justify its choice (e.g., survey, experiment, focus group, or combination of methods).  This again should be written out IN DETAIL.  Why the path you are choosing?  What are the drawbacks and benefits? (HINT: Do not just say “qualitative” or “quantitative” – which type, how will you conduct it, what other strategies will be used, WHO will do it?  Where?  When?  Timeline…etc. Develop the data collection method(s). This should include a sampling plan (who will you talk to and WHY THAT GROUP?) and instrument design (e.g., questionnaire or interview/focus group guide).

3. Limitations Section: What are the problems you foresee in this research and how do you plan to address them?