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1.1 Introduction and guidance
This assignment contributes to developing your research skills along with project management skills. It is an attempt to blend and direct your learning towards developing plans and organising resources in order to conduct a research that covers a business topic or idea.
This assignment, in addition to the taught materials in research project, intends to provide you with understanding and skills relating to project management principles, methodologies, tools and techniques that are used in business research. You will develop the skills needed to plan the activities required to carry out the research project, including how to set up a project plan and how to control and execute a project, and how to carry out a research and utilise its outcomes. You will also become confident using research techniques and methods starting from proposal, research methodologies, and action planning, carrying out the research itself and presenting the findings. Mastering research and managing its preparation, planning and execution motivates making a positive contribution to your area of interest in business studies and will help you plan, research and decide in business investments and practices.
Think of yourself as an entrepreneur who is looking forward to establish a business that provides a product or a service to a certain market. This module gives you the opportunity to conduct a research (Market Research) that will help you consider all aspects of potential market and its circumstances in addition to exploring the marketability and profitability of your product/service.
In order to conduct a successful and informative research, you are required to prepare a research proposal that explores your research planning on how you will conduct the assessment of the company, what data you will use, its sources, how will you collect this data and how will you analyse it. You will also provide information on how you will measure and assess processes and activities performance as an indication of your planning success (Task 1).
After your proposal is approved by your tutor / lecturer, you will start the process of applying all data collection and analysis techniques you have suggested in your proposal (Task 2). Furthermore, based on the data analysis you gather, you will be able to compare the results and debate them with the literature review. This will help you draw conclusions and summaries to decide about launching your business (product or service).
You are required to discuss your topic with your lecturer/ personal tutor for validation before starting to write up your project proposal.
Task 1: Project planning and Research Proposal
LO 1: Understand how to formulate a research specification.
Task 1 –This task offers you an opportunity to achieve: ACs 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, M1,M2 and D1
As part of your research exercise, you are to propose a research to be conducted in order to address a certain aspect of your chosen business (product/service).
The following outline will provide the shape of a Project Proposal:
- Provide a provisional title and prescribe three objectives for your research project.
- Provide a rationale for your research by (1.1):
- Describing the background and principles of the research project in light of your proposal. (1.2)
- Analysing the reasons for your investigation.
- Review the literature that is relevant to your research topic and analysis (1.3).
- Prescribe the proposed methods of your research (1.4).
- Plan and specify the resources required to conduct your research /project (2.1).
- Provide an action plan that you are likely to follow in the process of implementing your proposed research. Apply project scheduling; estimating and cost control techniques in line with the Gantt chart; appraise the viability of your project, developing success/failure criteria (1.5 and 2.1).
Task 2: Project Implementation and Presentation
LO2 Be able to evaluate the research outcomes
Task 2 –This task offers you an opportunity to achieve: .2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, M3, D2 and D3
You have been appointed as a company’s external consultant and requested to conduct a research in order to address a certain aspect of your chosen company. Critically reflect on your performance throughout the project/research. When making your evaluation you should consider the following points:
- Conduct the research you have justified and planned in your proposal and collate and analyse data to address your research question and objectives (2.2 and 2.3).
- Describe and evaluate factors that affected the achievement of your project (3.1).
- Interpret and analyse the results in terms of the original research specification (3.2).
- Propose recommendations based on the findings, which identify and justify areas for future research. (3.3)
- Use an agreed format and appropriate media to present the outcomes of the research to an audience (4.1)
On successful completion of this unit all learners will
LO1 Understand how to formulate a research specification
1.1 formulate and record possible research projectoutline specifications.
1.2 identify the factors that contribute to the process of research project selection.
1.3 undertake a critical review of key references.
1.4 produce a research project specification.
1.5 provide an appropriate plan and procedures for the agreed research specification
LO2 Be able to implement the research project within agreed procedures and to specification
2.1 match resources efficiently to the research question or hypothesis.
2.2 undertake the proposed research investigation in accordance with the agreed specification and procedures.
2.3 record and collate relevant data where appropriate
LO3 Be able to evaluate the research outcomes
3.1 use appropriate research evaluation techniques
3.2 interpret and analyse the results in terms of the original research specification
3.3 make recommendations and justify areas for further consideration
LO4 Be able to present the research outcomes
4.1 use an agreed format and appropriate media to present the outcomes of the research to an audience.