Begin by identifying a practical management problem (symptom) that draws the interest to do the research. Write an Introduction report of only Four (4) pages (including the references’ page)showing how you arrive at a research question that will help address the management problem.Use 12 pt Times Roman with 1.5 line spacing. The mark allocation and some guidelines are shown below. Insert a titleat the top centre of your paper and headings on the left of your paper. Use the spellcheck and grammar check available in Word. Remember that effective communication requires anticipating readers&...
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Begin by identifying a practical management problem (symptom) that draws the interest to do the research. Write an Introduction report of only Four (4) pages (including the references’ page)showing how you arrive at a research question that will help address the management problem.Use 12 pt Times Roman with 1.5 line spacing. The mark allocation and some guidelines are shown below. Insert a titleat the top centre of your paper and headings on the left of your paper. Use the spellcheck and grammar check available in Word. Remember that effective communication requires anticipating readers' needs, giving them exactly the information they need just when they need it.
TITLE (The title must be related to your management question. Thus first complete the task below and then formulate a title). Use the headings as below.
MANAGEMENT PROBLEM/OPPORTUNITY(30 marks allocated) (this is a weighting and marks are for how you identify a problem and not how much you write about)
From your work environment or other interests identify and then describe a practical problem or opportunity faced by managers and convert this into a management question. This situation might involve a problem (e.g. rising costs, declining sales, increasing employee turnover, a large number of product defects during manufacturing, an increasing number of complaints about after sales service or an opportunity (to launch a new product or open a new branch).
Example of statement of Management Problem: Declining sales at VW dealerships (merely a symptom at this stage). Write “Management at VW SA are concerned about……” Use the SEE approach to elaborate on the statement of the management problem.
MANAGEMENT QUESTION(MQ) (10 marks allocated)
Convert the statement of Management Problem into a MQ: e.g. What are the causes of low sales at XYZ? Write “The management question is: ……? (Ensure keywords here match to keywords used above)
PRELIMINARY LITERATURE REVIEWplus citations (author, year) in the text (30 marks allocated)
The management question seems to be related to a symptom of the problem. To get to the underlying problem we need to find out more about the symptom i.e. locate existing information and knowledge about the symptom. We need to move from a practical management problem into developing a research problem. Note that this cannot be a literature review if you do not cite (surname, year) any of the literature that you use
Read academic papers and textbooks. Look for possible answers to the management question. The answers will often not be directly available but you can infer them from definitions and other descriptions of research into “declining sales”, for example. Develop one hypothesis (answer to above management question that you wish to test), which you can then and convert to one research question.
Example: You read that poor customer service can lead to declining sales. You also read in your textbook that customers are often concerned about the level of courtesy, responsiveness and reliability of staff. You and your fellow managers at several VW dealerships discuss your findings from the literature review and you all suspect that customer service is the issue and you hypothesise that staff responsiveness and reliability are the cause of poor customer service which in turn leads to declining sales.
Example hypothesis: Poor staff responsiveness and reliability have led to declining sales.
RESEARCH QUESTION (10 marks allocated)
Now convert the above hypothesis to a research question. (Ensure keywords here match to keywords used above). Write “The research question is: ………..”
Example: The research question is: Has poor staff responsiveness and reliability led to declining sales?
INVESTIGATIVE QUESTIONS(10 marks allocated)
These questions reveal the specific pieces of information the manager needs to knowto answer the above research question. Conduct more in-depth reading of the previous research in the literature about the issues that you identified.
In the example of VW, the manager reads that responsiveness can be gauged by whether a) staff set up appointments and whether b) invoices are ready when customers fetch their vehicles. Reliabilitycan be gauged by whether a) the service is performed correctly on the first occasion b) invoices are accurate and c) customer records are up to date. Converting these to questions we arrive at:
Are appointments set up quickly?
Are invoices ready when you fetch your vehicle?
The service is performed correctly on the first occasion 5 Strongly disagree, 4 disagree, 3 uncertain, 2 agree 1 strongly agree
Invoices are accurate 5 Strongly disagree, 4 disagree, 3 uncertain, 2 agree 1 strongly agree
Records are up to date 5 Strongly disagree, 4 disagree, 3 uncertain, 2 agree 1 strongly agree
Note: for this point 1.5., My work must also reflect something similar in its own context.
In-text citations are needed in all the sub-points (or sub-heading) of the Introduction (from 1. , 1.1. to 1.5.)
REFERENCE LIST(10 marks allocated)
References have to be from books, Journal articles, Online Journal articles
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