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This assessment requires you to design and set out a research proposal in response to one (1) of the scenarios set out below. You are to imagine that you are responding to an invitation to submit a research proposal sponsored by a particular organization. Choose one from the following:
1. A large retail company is exploring the need to take account of, and embrace Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainable Development (SD) strategies and policies into its business. It wishes to consult with its diverse stakeholders on their understanding and importance of these issues, and how they might influence the policy and decision-making processes of the company
2. The leadership and management profile of a local Council in South Wales reveals that women, BME (Black and Minority Ethnic Groups) and disabled groups are not well represented. The Council wants to understand why these groups are underrepresented, what the problems and barriers are to their progression in the organization, and what policies and interventions can be adopted to address this issue.
3. A French male cosmetics company offering a wide range of products is looking to expand its market into Wales. It wishes to explore the potential of this area and is looking for information on existing markets and potential customer behaviour to inform its future investment strategy.
4. A multi-national company offering financial services is keen to establish what makes effective leadership to improve its performance and inform its future leadership development programmes. It wishes to understand which leadership styles, factors and approaches produce the most effective business outcomes and overall business success. It is keen to understand whether factors such as age, experience, professional and management training are influential in any degree, and whether there are differences between different parts of the company or different parts of the world.
5. A large University wishes to encourage the greater use of teamwork amongst its staff and external stakeholders in its future development. What are the benefits of this approach to management, what are the barriers and main issues involved, and how might it be fostered?
Your research proposal should be structured as follows:
Background and Aims of the Study: This should include your interpretation of the brief – setting out the reasons for the research and a clear statement of the aims and objectives of the research (or central research question and sub-questions) It should also provide a suitable context and background for the issues and topic under investigation.
Review of the Literature: This should include a relevant and critical overview of the existing literature on the topic of study. What is already known, what are the key issues and areas of debate? You will need to establish the current state of knowledge on the topic under investigation (the theories, concepts, ideas, issues, debates and so on) A literature review is not simply a description of relevant books/journals that you have read or that you think will be helpful to your research. You should paraphrase and critique (i.e. restate, in your own words, the main points made by the writer(s) in question, in addition to evaluating their contribution.
Research Design: This sets out your proposed research methodology and design including sampling strategies, data collection methods and techniques, and methods of analysis. You need to provide a concise explanation of the approach and method(s) that you proposing in order to operationalize your research objectives. You should mention the options open to you (e.g. a quantitative, qualitative approach, multi-method), state and justify the reasons for the option you have chosen. Thought should be given to the sample (who, how many, where and so on) and for example, in the case of a questionnaire survey, reflect on issues such as the likely response rate, the type and wording of questions, and the statistical tests to be used in analysis of the data. For qualitative methods such as focus groups, and interviews, thought should be given to the potential participants, the methods of recording and transcription, and the analytical techniques to be used. For documents, comment on the availability of archive material, and the method(s) of textual analysis to be employed. You will also need to comment on matters of ethics, validity, reliability and generalisability.
Appendices: Rather than disrupt the flow of the research proposal writing, relevant documentation can be placed in an appendix.
List of References: a full and detailed list of references should be included particularly relating to your literature review and research methodology.
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