5BUSS006W: International Business Research
Coursework 2: Weight: 25%
Alternative Research Project (indv)
Word count: 1000 +/- 10%
Submission: July (date to be confirmed) 2019 on Turnitin – 13:00 UK time
Use Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2016) Research Methods for Business Students. 7th ed. Pearson:Harlow as your guidance in the research process.
Aim: This assignment is designed to test your ability to:
● Develop, plan, implement, evaluate and communicate outcomes for a piece of research into a (international) business issue making effective use of research methods.
● Use a relevant software package to analyse data.
● Communicate research findings in an appropriate academic format.
This will require you to research in the area of (international) business, applying suitable and relevant research method(ology) that is determined by you with the agreement of your tutor to answer your research question (Appendix 1). The Westminster Harvard referencing system must be used.
• See Appendix 1 for research topics.
• Your task: write a research report using primary and/or secondary research on the topic.
o Structure the report as follows:
Introduction – background about the subject with a brief review from three seminal articles that you used in CW1 for your literature review.
Methodology – justify choice of methodology (ch 5: quantitative and/or qualitative), sampling method (ch 7), data collection and analysis methods (chs 8-13). All aspects of the methodology should be supported using Saunders et al (2016).
Findings and Analysis – present the data in graphs or tables were appropriate and compare your findings critically with those in the literature (the three references from the introduction and others).
Conclusion – overall answer to the research question and research aim (remember this may be inconclusive) and limitations of the study where you comment on method and what you would do differently if you were to study the subject again.
o The Harvard referencing system must be used. All work should be: word-processed, single-sided, black print, legible font (Arial, min 11 point and 1.5 spacing), paginated and you must keep to the maximum word count specified.
● Clear aim and plan of report and rationale for research
● Clear and focused summary of three articles regarding the research topic
● Clear line between introduction, literature, and research question and objectives 25%
● Research questions are clear and achievable
● Methodological approach is clearly justified
● Sources of data are wide and appropriate
● Research methods are applied appropriately
● Samples obtained for primary research are realistic and fully described 25%
Findings and Analysis
● Clear framework for analysis
● Development of critical argument
● Application of knowledge gained from more than one subject area
● Analysis is appropriate and thorough, demonstrating independent thought, supported by theory from taught modules 25%
● Conclusions are relevant and well formulated
● Clear connection to original aims & objectives
● Clear links made with literature review and analysis
● Appropriate recommendations 15%
Structure & Presentation
● Clear Abstract (not in word count)
● Chapters have clear titles, logical flow between chapters, well structured
● References are cited and listed correctly (not in word count)
● Documentation standard (word processing, structure, logical flow, use of English)
● Appendices used appropriately (not in word count) 10%
Absence, late submission of coursework & Mitigating Circumstances
● If you submit any element of your CW late but within 24 hours or one working day of the specified deadline, 10% of the overall marks available for that element of assessment (i.e. 10 marks for a 100 mark piece of work) will be deducted, as a penalty for late submission, except for work which obtains a mark in the range 40 – 49%, in which case the mark will be capped at the pass mark (40%).
● If you submit your CW more than 24 hours or more than one working day after the specified deadline you will be given a mark of zero for the work in question.
● If illness or some unforeseen circumstances unavoidably and significantly affect your performance in assessment (e.g. missing a coursework deadline or failing due to unrepresentative performance), you can submit an application for Mitigating Circumstances (MCs) to be taken into consideration.
Plagiarism is a particular form of cheating. Plagiarism must be avoided at all costs and students who break the rules, however innocently, will be penalised. It is your responsibility to ensure that you understand correct referencing practices. As a University level student, you are expected to use appropriate references and keep carefully detailed notes of all your sources of material, including any material downloaded from the www.
Plagiarism is defined as submission for assessment of material (written, visual or oral) originally produced by another person or persons, without acknowledgement, in such a way that the work could be assumed to be your own. Plagiarism may involve the unattributed use of another person’s work, ideas, opinions, theory, facts, statistics, graphs, models, paintings, performance, computer code, drawings, quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words, or paraphrases of another person’s spoken or written words.
Plagiarism covers both direct copying and copying or paraphrasing with only minor adjustments:
● a direct quotation from a text must be indicated by the use of quotation marks (or an indented paragraph in italics for a substantive section) and the source of the quote (title, author, page number and date of publication) provided;
● a paraphrased summary must be indicated by attribution of the author, date and source of the material including page numbers for the section(s), which have been summarised.
General Assessment Criteria:
Work will be marked according to the general criteria listed below.
Level of Achievement
Overall clarity, focus on the requirement, and coherence
Extensive use of pertinent reference material, correctly referenced
Critical and comparative use of relevant concepts and theories and the contextualisation of theory where appropriate
Clear evidence of independent thinking based on analytical material, yielding novel insights supported by appropriate evidence and pertinent theory
Very well written, with clear and lucid discussion of even the most complex concepts
Free from grammar/spelling errors
Overall clarity, focus on the requirement, and coherence
Selective use of reference material, correctly referenced
Critical and comparative use of relevant concepts and theories
Clear evidence of independent thinking based on analytical material
Very well written
Free from grammar/spelling errors
Focus on the requirement, clarity
Correctly referenced research material
Identification and grasp of appropriate concepts and theories
Where appropriate, the ability to apply theories
Very few grammar/spelling errors
Mostly focused on the requirement, reasonable structure and coherence
Some use of reference material, adequate referencing
Evidence of identification of some of the issues, mixture of descriptive and analytical material, some substantiation of ideas and opinions
Reasonably well written
Grammar/spelling errors do not significantly impede readability
Partly focused on the question, evidence of attempt at structure, little coherence
Little use of reference material or inadequate referencing
Little evidence of identification of the issues, descriptive rather than analytical, ideas presented as unsubstantiated opinions
Not terribly well written
Grammar/spelling errors sometimes impede legibility
A demonstrable lack of structure, textual reference or analysis
Grammar/spelling errors make it (very) difficult to comprehend the text
Submission of Coursework
Unless explicitly stated otherwise in writing by the module leader, all coursework on this module is submitted via Blackboard only. It will automatically be scanned through a text matching system (designed to check for possible plagiarism, though as all group members will have a similar report, this will be taken into consideration).
● DO NOT attach a CA1
To submit your assignment:
● Log on to Blackboard at http://learning.westminster.ac.uk;
● Go to the relevant module Blackboard site;
● Click on the ‘Submit Coursework’ link in the navigation menu on the left-hand side, as advised by the module teaching team;
● Click on the link for the relevant assignment;
● Follow the instructions.
You will be given details by the module teaching team about how and when you will receive your marks and feedback on your work.
● It is a requirement that you submit your work in this way. All coursework must be submitted by 1pm (13.00) on the due date.
● If you submit your coursework late but within 24 hours or one working day of the specified deadline, 10% of the overall marks available for that element of assessment will be deducted, as a penalty for late submission, except for work which is marked in the range 40 – 49%, in which case the mark will be capped at the pass mark (40%).
● If you submit your coursework more than 24 hours or more than one working day after the specified deadline you will be given a mark of zero for the work in question.
● The University’s mitigating circumstances procedures relating to the non-submission or late submission of coursework apply to all coursework.
Economic research is based on copious amounts of data, statistics and calculations aiming to formulate methods allowing the prediction of economic processes. Economic research is widespread and differs substantially from area to area. For instance, the economic aspect of income generation in the developing world is the focus of the branch of development economics and hence dissertation topics deal with various aspects related to this central theme.
Example research areas:
• An analysis of waste management/working hours/gender pay gap (etc.) in … industry in the UK compared to …
• Globalisation in business (e.g. foreign direct investment (Eurostat: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/economic-globalisation/globalisation-in-business-statistics))
• Labour migration and development economics- investigating the relationship
(International) Marketing/consumer behaviour
Market research provides relevant data to help solve marketing challenges that a business will most likely face–an integral part of the business planning process. In fact, strategies such as market segmentation (identifying specific groups within a market) and product differentiation (creating an identity for a product or service that separates it from those of the competitors) are impossible to develop without market research.
Examples of research areas:
• Consumer response to unethical retailer behaviour
• Do packaging aesthetics affect perceptions of taste and purchase intentions?
• Do shoppers really care about buying local foods?
This branch is mostly concerned with the expanding role of strategic human resource management in a fast-changing environment and can focus on areas of strategic management, international business, organizational behaviour, personnel management; i.e. management decisions that affect the relationship between an organization and its employees.
Example research areas:
• Does the Gender Composition of Executive Boards Affect Corporate Profits?
• The future of work for people with … disabilities/ethnic minority
• Working conditions across Europe (e.g. comparing UK with S)
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