Assessment #1 – Research project proposal

Assessment #1 – Research project proposal

Details of assessment submission and return are listed under each assessment task. Assessments will be returned to you within two to three weeks of submission.

Please refer to the Assignment Guideline (Internal) document for specific instructions regarding all assessments in SP3 2015.

There are two assessments in this course and they are interconnected to assist students to complete a research project using secondary data. The first assessment is a proposal for the project and the second assessment is the project report. Note that a strong problem solving approach that assists in business decision making underpins these assessments. Students will be given specific guidelines that will assist them to decide on a research question (Please refer to the Assignment Guideline (Internal) document available via course Learnonline page for specific instructions regarding all assessments in SP3 2015).

When choosing a research question, students should consider the availability of secondary data that will allow them to answer their research questions within the course duration. A list of potential secondary data sources is available on the course homepage. While students do not have to limit themselves to these data sources, the data sources should be credible (we will be discussing credibility of sources in Week Three).

Students can use a range of sources including academic journal articles, popular press and industry reports in their literature review and project report. However, emphasis should be on academic literature in both their assessments (e.g., articles in academic journals, scholarly book chapters). A minimum number of academic references (other than the text book) is expected in each assessment (see specific requirements for each assessment under Assessment 1 and 2 information below). We will be discussing how to search academic literature in Week Three. It is essential that you search UniSA Library’s electronic databases as part of your literature search. You are also encouraged to use the textbook (Zikmund et al., 2013) and the recommended readings associated with this course.

Please use APA referencing style in the assessments.

All tables, graphs, data referred to in the text of the assessments should be embedded in text and not placed in the appendices.

Assessment 1 — Research Proposal
The objective of this assignment is for students to write a detailed Research Proposal that demonstrates understanding and application of the material covered in this course.

In order to complete the literature review segment, conduct a search of published material mainly focusing on academic literature and prepare a summary. Your literature review should provide a succinct overview of the field’s state-of-the-art knowledge about your research topic.

Warning: “Reviewing the literature” means reviewing the actual research on your topic, do not rely on the literature reviews that the authors present in the introductions of their papers.

This section of the assignment is deliberately broad. Part of your responsibility is developing a clear structure for the review: You will need to make some decisions about how you define your research topic and the constructs/concepts that you will be using in your study. You will need to create a framework with which to organise the articles that you locate. You will need to provide a “big picture” set of conclusions that accurately describes the broader literature.

The proposal should include:
o Introduction that contains arguments to support why the business problem/issue you identified matters in this context
o A comprehensive review of relevant academic and other literatures
o A clear research problem that is arising from the literature review
o A clearly defined research aim and objectives
o Definitions of concepts/constructs that will be examined in the research project
o Identification of secondary data sources that are to be used in the project
o Arguments how the proposed plan can achieve the research objective

Your research proposal should be accompanied by a full reference list (not part of the word limit). A minimum of 10 academic references (other than the text book) are expected in this assessment.

Length (i.e. 1,500 words) does not include the reference list, bibliography, and appendices.

On each page, insert a footer that includes your student ID, Name and the page number, on the first page top right hand corner include the word count of the document.

Submit your complete research proposal including references and appendices as one document through the LearnOnline system.
Assessment #2 – Project Report
Please refer to the above assessment overview outlining the two assessments.

The objective of this assessment is for students to produce a comprehensive research report that contains the findings of their research project.

The report should include an updated version of the research proposal. Please update the proposal based on feedback you received for Assessment One. This section will NOT count in the 5,000 word limit. However, this section is needed so that the research report is a comprehensive standalone document. The research proposal and the new content together should form a comprehensive research report. Clearly mark the section where new content begins by adding the following line: New content from this point onwards.

The report must include:
o A table of contents including page numbers etc.
o An executive summary.
o Information about research methods used and analyses, e.g., sampling, how data were collected, details of data analysis, justification for these method/s.
o Findings: provide information about your findings, you are encouraged to use tables, graphs and other tools that will assist you to present your data in a succinct and user friendly manner.
o Conclusions: this section should include key takeaways from your project and discuss these by integrating them to the material presented in the literature review. This section should also include any recommendations you can make based on your findings.
o State potential problems or limitations of the project

On each page, insert a footer that includes your student ID, Name and the page number, on the first page top right hand corner include the word count of the document.

Appendices – any additional material which is not essential to the report but will give more details to enhance the readers’ understanding can be included as appendices.

Your research report should be accompanied by a full reference list (not part of the word limits). A minimum of 20 academic references that were not cited in the research proposal as part of Assessment One are expected in this assessment. Mark the additional references by highlighting them in a different font colour. Please use