A developed justification for the doing the research that needs to be embedded in the literature and not just based on personal motivation;






Graduate Business School

Lecturer Name:



Research Methods

Study Mode:

Full time




Assignment Title

RM Dissertation Proposal

Learning outcomes addressed and assessed in this assignment:

1.             Have identified a dissertation topic with workable research questions/objective/hypotheses;

2.             Have identified some of the relevant literature and critically reviewed the most pertinent for their proposal;

3.             Have generated and evaluated an appropriate research design and method which is consistent with their research philosophy/paradigm;

4.             Have a proposal capable of operationalising for the MSc/MBA dissertation;

5.             Be able to present work in a professional manner, communicating results clearly and confidently


The following provides the structure for the research proposal. It is important that you relate each section back to the logical flow of the dissertation process/structure and that each component is connected (this is reflected in the marking scheme). It is important to remember that the quality of the proposal rests to a very considerable extent on the intrinsic logic of the proposed research.  The word count for each section is indicative only and will differ between proposals but proportions between sections should be relatively similar to the word counts indicated.

Proposal Section

Word Count

Developed, detailed description of the researchable topic ensuring that it is connected to what you are going to address through the collection and analysis of data rather than just the literature review.


Aims and objectives of the research

Clear and coherent outline of the aims and objectives of the research that are going to be addressed through the collection and analysis of data. You are required to specify what it is you want to find out and why.  You will need to consider the question; what will we know once you have completed the research that we do not know now?  You need to explicitly address the following items:

·         Provide a comprehensive background to the research objectives, identifying the relevant issues underlying the research you intend to undertake;

·         A developed justification for the doing the research that needs to be embedded in the literature and not just based on personal motivation;

·         Place the research focus in the relevant business discipline(s) and academic area(s) that relate to the research to indicate where you will access relevant theories and frameworks that you can use to operationalize the research.


Literature Review

This literature review should be an improvement on what you did in Topic and Literature Review paper for research methods. The literature review needs to illustrate clear and significant progress on the literature reviewed for the RM1 submission.  Thus, along with completing the following:

Provide a critical, rather than just descriptive, review of the peer reviewed literature rather than just a summary that is pertinent to the focus of the research. This should focus primarily on the

Ø  A review of the relevant contextual literature for your topic (covering the development of ideas central to your research focus, recent developments, etc.);

Ø  Identification, description and review of the relevant conceptual (theory/models/frameworks related to the research objectives;

Ø  Relevant empirical literature (data based) completed on the research focus;

Ø  Identification and review of the debates within the literature;

Ø  A commentary on the nature of the literature; theory, research, policy, prescriptive;

Ø  An indication of the implications of the literature you have reviewed for your research objectives.


The literature review should be written in a narrative style, organized under themes rather than an article by article summary of the literature.  This will have a significant impact on the grading of the proposal. You should finish your literature review with a draft structure or outline of the full dissertation literature chapter with a detailed breakdown of headings and associated bullet points with citations of the relevant literature that you intend to read to complete the literature review at dissertation stage. These should be ADDITIONAL to the ones you used in the proposal thus far.


1,500 – 2,000

Conceptual Framework

In additional to the review of literature, you MUST ensure that you include a Conceptual Framework - the literature review in your proposal should include some sense of how the literature will influence data collection and / or analysis.  This should be indicated through the use of a conceptual framework.  The proposal should have at least an early draft of a conceptual framework based on the literature reviewed thus far.



Research Paradigm and Overall Approach

You need to outline the philosophical influences on the approach to the research and provide a justification for the choices being made based on your own understanding of your research preferences AND the nature of the research purpose and objective.  It is important that you identify the influences on your research, that you provide a justification for the choice of influences and that you explain the implications of those choices on your research design.



Research Design

·         Research strategy – the overall logic that links the various

·         Methods for collecting data and the sources of DATA you intend to access (NOT LITERATURE) including the criteria for selection of respondents, sector, companies, people, etc.

·         Nature of data you intend to collect; the kind of questions you are going to ask, the kind of observations you are going to make, the kind of documentary sources (NOT LITERATURE) you intend to use and the justification for each of the choices you make

·         Access and research ethics issues to collecting your data

·         A detailed description of the techniques you intend to apply for analyzing/interpreting data – this should be clearly linked to your conceptual framework identified at the end of the literature review. This should provide details of the type of statistics (descriptive, inferential, etc.) you intend to use if doing quantitative data or the themes and coding from your conceptual framework, etc. you intend to use if collecting qualitative data.

It is vitally important that for each component of your research design, that you provide justifications for your choices at every stage and, where relevant, the implications of those choices.

1,500 – 2,000

Potential Outcome of your research

This is an idea of what you imagine the nature of the outcome of the research will be focused on the research objectives.



Timetable for research over the 14-15 weeks (or 30-32 weeks for part-time students) covering the following with a DETAILED BREAKDOWN and justification of the timetable:


·         Refining research objectives

·         Literature

·         Methodology

·         Research design

·         Collecting primary data

·         Data analysis / interpretation

·         Discussion

·         Final write up


Gantt chart 300


An absolute minimum of 20 peer review references from journals (e.g. Sage and EBSCO) and scholarly research handbooks (e.g. Oxford Handbook Series, etc) are to be included.  You may have other references from web sources, trade publications, etc. but you must ensure that at least 20 are peer reviewed or from scholarly research handbooks (e.g Oxford Handbook series).


Related Questions in others category

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