The course gives students an opportunity to investigate a business issue through original research or design of a business plan. The course has lectures and in-class activities on research design and methodology, and on business plans. Students are then expected to develop an independent business research or business plan as their final project. Students have also an introduction to consultancy projects, and can write their original research based on a consultacy project.
The module aims to enable students to conduct research into business and management issues, either to produce a new piece of research or to elaborate a new business plan. Students will gain knowledge and experience in the following areas: research design and business plan design, data collection, data analysis, synthesis and reporting.
The module is delivered in a 3-hour block through a mix of lectures and activities. Private reading and research is an essential part of the module and students are expected to read a substantial amount of theoretical and practical literature. Students are expected to define their own research focus and object, and to find the means to execute a particular project through finding or creating relevant data and information.
By successful completion of the module, students should be able to
- Identify different research designs and business plan frameworks which are appropriate for diverse contexts.
- Apply appropriate techniques to carry out research into business and management issues.
- Collect and analyse data including the evaluation of relevance and validity of acquired and published research and industry and consultancy reports.
- Understand the relevance of theory and how to apply theory in research and business plans.
- Synthesise a range of information for the development and interpretation of knowledge in business and management.
- Communicate effectively by a writing report.
- Make informed recommendations based on critical analysis.
The module covers the following topics in the lectures and readings:
Doing a consultancy project
Preparing a business plan
- Designing management research
The elements of successful research
Doing a literature review
Creating and making sense of qualitative data
Creating and making sense of quantitative data
Software to support data collection and analysis
Project Proposal 30%, Project Report 70%
Key references for research methods:
Gray, D.E. (2017). Doing Research in the Business World. Sage.
Saunders, M. & Lewis, O. (2012). Doing Research in Business and Management. An essential guide to planning your project. Prentice Hall. Pearson.
Key references for business plans:
Aulet, B. (2013). Disciplined Entrepreneurship - 24 Steps to a Successful Startup. Wiley.
Chernev, A. (2017). The Business Model - How to develop new products, create market value and make the competition irrelevant. Cerebellum Press.