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Business Research Case Study

Business Research Case Study
Part 1: Business Research Case Study
Weighting = 80% mark
Word Limit: 4000 words (+/- 10%)
Part 2: Reflective Journal
Weighting = 20% mark
Word Limit: 1000 words (+/- 10%)
The module is designed to enable students to apply secondary research and a range of business and organisational analysis techniques to a particular business
or organisation within the context of a case study.
The aim of the module is to provide students with the ability to analyse and interpret the key operational features of a chosen organisation and to
critically evaluate its performance.  It also provides an opportunity to reflect those aspects of learning which will enhance employability through the application of
business analytical skills.  A range of business management perspectives will be applied including organisational issues, strategy and resource use.  Students will be
encouraged to make links between these various aspects and their own specialism or to integrate the various perspectives to produce a holistic analysis.  Accordingly
students will apply their knowledge in marketing, finance, human resources and the business environment to produce a well researched and cogent evaluation of the
business/organisation in its operational context and make informed recommendations for improved performance.
Module Learning Outcomes
1.    Apply case study methods to interpret a business/organisation
2.    Research and evaluate the performance of an organisation in its business environment
3.    Make recommendations about operational performance based on research and evaluation of data
4.    Produce a reflective journal which reflects upon professional, academic and employability skills
Business Research Case Study task (module learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3):
Using secondary sources produce a Business Research Case Study on a topic relevant to your degree specialism.
Organisation: Unilever
The research topic: The corporate management strategy of Unilever
There are three problems/issues that are relevant to that organization and should be employed for your case study:
1.    To what extent does the literature argue that there is link between organisational strategic management and their organisational performance in Unilever?
2.    What strategic management  is adopted by managers in Unilever(or is available in Unilever before 2015)?
3.    What lessons can be learnt from Unilever in relation to corporate strategic management?
Your assignment should include:
1.    A summary of the topic to be covered. The topic should focus on an issue or problem that you have identified the organisation needs to address.
2.    A literature review which critically examines the topic you have chosen to address.
3.    A short introduction to the background of the organisation you have chosen to study and its environment.
4.    An critical evaluation of secondary data in relation to the issue or problem that you have identified within the case study organisation
5.    Recommendations for improvements in the case study organisationbased on your literature review and your secondary data
Reflective Journal tasks (module learning outcomes 4):
Read a minimum of 5 journal articles and 5 text books which are relevant to the literature review for your Business Research Case Study topic. Summarise them into key
themes and outline the skills you have gained in completing this task.**
Identify a minimum of 6 secondary data sources about your chosen organisation which are relevant to your Business Research Case Study topic. Identify the strengths and
weaknesses of the secondary data sources and outline the skills that you have gained in completing the task.****
Using literature sources, critically evaluate ONE research skill that you need to improve. Explain how you will develop this skill.
**It is expected that these articles, text books and secondary data sources are utilised in your Business Research Case Study.
****You should include the titles in your list of references, highlighting the ones you have utilised in your reflective journal.
Assignment Structure Guide
1.    Abstract/executive summary. A synopsis of the issue or problem that you have identified your chosen organisation needs to address, including a brief summary of
the content of your assignment. Here you can include the key research questions [in bullet points] that you will address in your essay. 200-250 words
2.    Introduction. A short background to the organisation you have chosen to study and its environment. You can include plan of essay’s structure.  250-300 words
3.    Literature review. A critical examination of the topic you have chosen to address, based on your research of authoritative sources (journal articles, text
books, news, etc). 1300-1500 words             please focus on corporate of strategy management
4.    Critical evaluation. Evaluate your secondary data in relation to the issue or problem that you have identified within your chosen organisation. 1400-1600 words
Please focus on corporate of strategy management in Unilever
5.    Recommendations. How your chosen organisation could improve its operational performance based on your research. 450-350 words
6.    Reflective journal. To reflect upon your professional, academic and employability skills.
1000 words
7.    References. Using Harvard referencing system, a list of your academic sources in alphabetical order.  30
8.    Appendices. You can include in appendices any additional information i.e. annual accounts, diagrams/ charts/tables/graphs or any visual image.
AUTHOR    YEAR    TITLE (including format if not books e.g. journal, CD-ROM, video)    PUBLISHER
Ellett, W.C.    2007    The Case Study Handbook: How to Read, Discuss, and Write Persuasively About Cases    Harvard Business School Press.
Finlay, P.    2009    Strategic Management,    London: Prentice Hall
Hill, C.W.L. & Jones, G.R.    2006    Corporate Strategy, an Integrated Approach    New York: Houghton Mifflin
Lynch, R.    2010    Corporate Strategy    London: Pitman
Gomm, R., Hammersley, M. & Foster P.    2000    Case Study Method: Key Issues, Key Texts    London: Sage.
Thomas, G.    2010    How to do your Case Study: A Guide for Students and Researchers    London: Sage
Yin, R.K.    2008    Case Study Research: Design and Methods. 4th ed.     London: Sage

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