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Business Research Analysis

Assignment Requirements
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Module Code:

Module Title:
Business Research Analysis

Distributed on:

Hand in Date:

Please do not enter a date in this box. Please advise the relevant programme office of the preferred week for hand in.

Further information about general assessment criteria, ARNA regulations, referencing and plagiarism can be found on the module’s site on the e-Learning Portal. Students are advised to read and follow this information.
Instructions on Assessment:
Word limits and penalties for assignments
If the assignment is within +10% of the stated word limit no penalty will apply.
The word count is to be declared on the front page of your assignment and the assignment cover sheet. The word count does not include:

Title and Contents page
Reference list
Appropriate tables, figures and illustrations
Quotes from interviews and focus groups.

Please note, in text citations [e.g. (Smith, 2011)] and direct secondary quotations [e.g. “dib-dab nonsense analysis” (Smith, 2011 p.123)] are INCLUDED in the word count.
If this word count is falsified, students are reminded that under ARNA page 30 Section 3.4 this will be regarded as academic misconduct.
If the word limit of the full assignment exceeds the +10% limit, 10% of the mark provisionally awarded to the assignment will be deducted. For example: if the assignment is worth 70 marks but is above the word limit by more than 10%, a penalty of 7 marks will be imposed, giving a final mark of 63.
Students are advised that they may be asked to submit an electronic version of their assignment.
Time limits and penalties for presentations
The time allocated for the presentation must be adhered to. At the end of this time, the presentation will be stopped and will be marked based on what has been delivered within the time limit.
Submission of Assessment:

All assignments must be submitted via the Postgraduate Programme Office. Each assignment must be accompanied by an Assessed Work Form which must be completed in full. The assignment will not be accepted by the Postgraduate Programme Office unless the form is completed correctly.
Marked assignments will be returned to students. It is advisable to retain a copy of your assignment for you own records. Your mark will be returned on the Assessed Work Form via the Postgraduate Programme Office.
Mapping to Programme Goals and Objectives:
This assessment will contribute directly to the following Postgraduate programme goals and objectives. (Insert an ‘X’ in boxes where applicable, referring to appropriate programme specification for mapping details)
Goal One: Be independent, reflective critical thinkers


Demonstrate awareness of their personal strengths and weaknesses through critical reflective practice.


Understand and challenge personal patterns of thinking and behaving.

Goal Two: Be culturally and ethically aware


Demonstrate their ability to work in diverse groups and teams.


Reflect on their own ethical values.

Goal Three: Have developed leadership and management capability


Demonstrate their personal contribution to team effectiveness.


Communicate complex issues effectively.


Demonstrate decision making and problem solving skills.


Carry out presentations and lead discussions.

Goal Four: Have developed and applied knowledge of international business and management theory


Acquire, interpret and apply knowledge of international business, management and organisational functions.

Goal Five: Have developed a range of research skills and project capabilities


Plan and complete a major individual piece of research on a contemporary business, management or leadership topic of their choice.


Demonstrate skills of analysis and synthesis in the application of research methods to the exploration of contemporary business issues.

Goal Six: Have developed specialist knowledge about the theory and practice of your programme of study


Demonstrate specialist functional knowledge in relation to your programme of study.


Module Specific Assessment Criteria

1 – 39
40 – 49
50 – 54
55 – 59
60 – 69
70 – 100

Knowledge and Understanding
No appropriate quantitative techniques applied.
An attempt is made to apply quantitative techniques, but these are either the wrong techniques are incorrectly applied.
Correct techniques are applied but there are many errors and very little interpretation of the results.
Correct techniques employed, few major errors but numerous minor errors. Limited interpretation of the results.
Correct techniques employed, no major errors but some minor errors. Full interpretation of the results.
All correct techniques employed, limitations of the techniques fully explained. Very few minor errors, detailed interpretation of results including limitations.
All correct techniques employed, limitations of the techniques fully explained. Virtually no errors, extensive narration of the techniques and interpretation of results including limitations.

Structure, Alignment and Research
Poor structure, not aligned with assignment brief. No research employed.
Structure does not meet requirements for the most part. Extremely limited research grounding.
Structure has major errors and some key research concepts are missing.
Coherent structure, with acknowledgement of key research concepts.
Good structure, relevant research employed where appropriate.
Structure and narration guide the reader through the work very effectively, current research is critically appraised to a high degree.
Assignment makes full use of current research to support arguments. Excellent structure and presentation.

Note:   For those assessments or partial assessments based on calculation, multiple choice etc. Marks will be gained on an accumulative basis. In these cases, marks allocated to each section will be made clear.
Students must retain an electronic copy of this assignment and it must be made available within 24 hours of them requesting it be submitted.
Assignment Brief: In this assignment you are required to complete these parts:
Part 1              Total 40 marks
(a) Develop a questionnaire (15 marks)
(b) Discussion of distribution method and associated documents [250 words] (10 marks)
(c) Critical evaluation of the questionnaire [1000 words] (15 marks)
Part 2              Total 60 marks
Data analysis, findings and managerial implications [1750 words] (60 marks)
The word count should be declared on the front page of the assignment.
Part 1 (a) – Develop a questionnaire (15 marks)
Eclipse are a large multinational technology company with around 30,000 employees worldwide, about 2,000 of whom are currently living as expatriate employees i.e. they have been relocated to a new country as part of their contract with the company.
Eclipse would like to know what these 2,000 staff think of the current relocation support which is offered when employees move abroad as part of their job role. Currently this includes financial help which reimburses the costs of moving and pays for temporary accommodation in the first three months, but does not pay for trips home or offer any additional assistance with arrangements such as finding permanent accommodation or facilities such as schools for dependent children. They would like to know if the current levels of support are sufficient or if improvements could be made.
You have been asked to develop a short questionnaire (a maximum of three pages), covering the major issues related to this case scenario which Eclipse can use to explore their employees’ views. This questionnaire should be accompanied by a full and appropriate coding plan and any supporting documentation that will facilitate its implementation. The questionnaire, the coding plan and any supporting documentation should be presented in an appendix to the assignment. No other commentary or submission is required for this section of the assignment.
As a minimum your questionnaire should cover the following key areas which Eclipse would like to explore:
–       demographic data (to gain a profile of the expatriate employees and their work within the company);
–       employee opinions about how well the current relocation package meets employee needs, based on the information given above;
–       assessment of other elements employees might like to see included in the relocation package. You may wish to inform your work here by conducting brief internet searches to identify some of the common incentives offered to relocating staff by other companies.
You may also include any other areas you feel to be appropriate based on your own ideas and experience.
The questionnaire must be produced using the ‘Qualtrics’ software and should be printed out and presented in an appendix to the assignment.
Part 1 (b) – Discussion of distribution method and associated documents (10 marks)
In this section you should discuss how the questionnaire should be distributed. You should state whether you would use a survey or a census, justifying your choice. In your discussion, you should assess the benefits and challenges of using your chosen method of questionnaire dissemination, including methods for tackling non-response (word limit for this section is 250 words).
You should also design a full and appropriate coding plan for your questionnaire and include any other supporting documentation that would accompany the questionnaire.
The coding plan and any supporting documentation should be presented in an appendix to the assignment.
Part 1 (c) – Critical evaluation of your questionnaire (15 marks)
In this section of the assignment you are required to provide a critical evaluation of the questionnaire you have developed (word limit is 1000). The evaluation of the questionnaire will consider your design decisions: the structure, presentation, types of questions used and supporting instructions for the potential respondents. You should justify your design decisions by considering the case scenario presented above and your justification should be supported with reference to Research Methods textbooks and journal articles.
Important information: The questionnaire and associated documentation do not count towards the word limit because they are included in the appendices. You are not going to use your questionnaire to collect data and the questionnaire you design should not aim to collect the data as presented in Part 2 below, which involves a different aspect of the scenario as described in Part 1. Instead, you will be provided with a set of data in Part 2. Although the general scenario is the same for Parts 1 and 2 of this assignment, there is not a direct link between your questionnaire and the data in Part 2.
Part 2 – Data analysis, findings and managerial implications [1750 words] (60 marks)
Eclipse carry out a staff survey three times each year, surveying one third of their employees each time (so that over the course of a year all of the 30,000 employees have the opportunity to complete the survey).
For this part of the assignment, you have been provided with a data set consisting of a sample of responses from this staff survey over the last year. 160 records are provided and these can be found in the Excel file BM0421_SEM3_2013_14.xls and the SPSS file BM0421_SEM3_2013_14.sav on the BM0421 eLP site.
Description of the data provided:
The data consists of 160 employee responses and the following variables:
The employee respondent number, recorded as 1 to 160 inclusive.
The employee’s job type coded as 1=administrative/clerical staff, 2=management/executive grades.
The department where the employee works (1=research and development, 2=support functions, 3=sales, 4=transport and logistics)
The region where the employee is based (1=Asia Pacific 2=Europe 3=North America)
The length of time* they have been employed by Eclipse, in months.
How much influence* the employee feels they have on decisions affecting their day-to-day work (where 1=no influence and 10=very high influence).
Whether the employee feels they are valued* by the organisation (where 1=not at all valued and 10=highly valued).
Whether the employee expects to leave their job at Eclipse within the next 12 months (where 0=no, 1=yes)
The overall performance grading* the employee received in their most recent annual appraisal meeting (graded from 1 to 20 with 20 indicating top performance).
The employee’s current overall satisfaction with their job at Eclipse (where 1=not at all satisfied and 10=very satisfied): variable name satisfaction_current*
The employee’s overall satisfaction with their job at Eclipse last year (where 1=not at all satisfied and 10=very satisfied): variable name satisfaction_previous*
Note: Variables marked with an asterisk (*) should be treated as quantitative variables.
Analysis required:
In this section of the assignment, marks will be awarded for a justification of the displays, measures and tests undertaken, alongside their full interpretation. You should show the main results using Excel/SPSS tables and graphs, but these must be relevant and fully explained. You must include an explanation with your tables and graphs. Do not attempt Multiple Regression. It is recommended that you set out your answers as we have done in the workshops. Any very large tables or graphs should be placed in the appendices of your report. Where hypothesis tests are undertaken, you should state the significance level you have used.
It is important that for each section, you should provide a brief summary of the managerial implications of the results (this is particularly important when a null hypothesis has been rejected).
You are required to carry out the following analysis:
(i)                   Give a description of the following data using appropriate graphical displays and summary statistics: job type, department, region and length of time worked. Comment on your results to provide a summary to the management.
(10 marks)
(ii)                 Give an overview of the satisfaction scores for the current and previous years. Investigate whether there is any difference in the satisfaction scores between the current year’s results and the previous year.
(6 marks)
(iii)                Eclipse think that the current overall satisfaction score an employee gives may be affected by job type, department or region. Are there differences in current employee satisfaction scores across the different groups within these three factors?
(14 marks)
(iv)               Give a summary of the situation regarding whether employees intend to leave their job in the next 12 months. Investigate whether there is any association between the job type and whether an employee expects to leave in the next 12 months.
(6 marks)
(v)                 Provide a graph and summary statistics for the overall performance grading in their last appraisal. Is the grading related to department or region?               
(10 marks)
(vi)               Investigate whether there are any associations between the current overall satisfaction and these three variables: the influence a person has, whether they feel valued and their overall grading in their most recent appraisal. Using the most strongly associated rating score, develop and interpret a simple regression model to predict current overall satisfaction. Consider the following two cases:

one who has results of 5,5 and 12 for influence, feeling valued and appraisal grading respectively.
one who has results of 9,8 and 5 for influence, feeling valued and appraisal grading respectively.

Use your regression model to predict their likely overall satisfaction and comment critically on the predictions made.
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