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Title

Thesis Submitted to Arts, Sciences, and Technology University in Lebanon Faculty of Business Administration in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of

MASTER IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

by NAME

Beirut, Lebanon Month Year

APPROVAL PAGE

Title by Student Name

Approved by:

_______________________________________________ ________________ Supervisor: Dr. Name Date

Member: Dr. Name

Member (if any): Dr. Name

Certified by:

_______________________________________________ ________________ Dean of the Faculty: Dr. Name Date

Abstract Contents: 1. Introduce the research area briefly. 2. Clearly articulate the problem statement. 3. State the research method (quantitative, qualitative). 4. Identify Design/research strategy (for quantitative research identifies the design. For qualitative research identifies the typology/strategy of inquiry. 5. Identify the participants. 6. Present key results (for quantitative studies include relevant test statistics and p values). 7. Present conclusions and recommendations.

Hints: 1. Guidelines: Left justified; no indents. 2. Maximum length is 200 words. 3. A thesis is written in the past tense. 4. Do not include citations in the abstract.

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Here you may place an optional acknowledgements page

Table of Contents List of Tables .................................................................................................................... vii List of Figures .................................................................................................................. viii Chapter 1: Introduction ....................................................................................................... 1 Problem Statement ........................................................................................................ 1 Purpose.......................................................................................................................... 1 Research Questions ....................................................................................................... 2 Hypotheses (Quantitative Only) ................................................................................... 3 Significance of the Study .............................................................................................. 4 Definitions..................................................................................................................... 4 Summary ....................................................................................................................... 4 Chapter 2: Literature Review .............................................................................................. 5 Subtopic ........................................................................................................................ 5 Summary ....................................................................................................................... 6 Chapter 3: Research Method ............................................................................................... 7 Research Methods and Design(s).................................................................................. 7 Participants .................................................................................................................... 8 Materials/Instruments ................................................................................................... 8 Operational Definition of Variables (Quantitative Studies Only) ................................ 9 Data Collection, Processing, and Analysis ................................................................... 9 Methodological Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations .................................. 10 Ethical Assurances ...................................................................................................... 10 Summary ..................................................................................................................... 11 Chapter 4: Findings ........................................................................................................... 12 Results ......................................................................................................................... 12 Evaluation of Findings ................................................................................................ 13 Summary ..................................................................................................................... 13 Chapter 5: Implications, Recommendations, and Conclusions ........................................ 14 Implications................................................................................................................. 14 Recommendations ....................................................................................................... 14 Conclusions ................................................................................................................. 14 References ......................................................................................................................... 15 Appendixes ....................................................................................................................... 16 Appendix A: Title ....................................................................................................... 17 Appendix B: Title ....................................................................................................... 18

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List of Tables [Use Words Table of Figures feature (using caption style = table) to create this section. Note that each table title needs to be created as a caption style format above the table. The List of Tables entries should mirror the APA format of table titles within the body of the paper.]

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List of Figures [Use Words Table of Figures feature (using caption style = figure) to create this section. Note that each figure caption needs to be created as a caption style format below the figure. The List of Figures entries should mirror the APA format of figure captions within the body of the paper.]

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1 Chapter 1: Introduction Content: Briefly describe the study topic to establish the main ideas and context. Include appropriate scholarly source citations for each assertion. Hints: This section should be one or more paragraphs (2 pages maximum). Problem Statement Content: The problem statement is a brief discussion of a problem or observation succinctly identifying and documenting the need for and importance of the study. 1. Present the general issue/observation that in theory or practice leads to the need for the study. 2. Present a focused problem that led to the need for a research response. 3. Please consider: Whose problem is it? How big is this problem? What are the potential negative consequences if the study is never conducted? Include appropriate sources to document the existence of a problem worthy of a Master level research. 4. Include appropriate sources to document the existence of a problem worthy of an MBA level research Hints: Approximately 250 to 300 words. Purpose Content: The purpose statement is a concise paragraph that describes the intent of the study, and it should flow directly from the problem statement, specifically address the reason for conducting the study, and reflect the research questions. 1. Identify the research method as qualitative or quantitative. Start this section by: The purpose of this (experimental, quasi-experimental, or non-

2 experimental), (qualitative/quantitative) study is to ... (succinctly describe the overarching study goal that reflects the research questions). 2. Follow with a brief overview of how, with what instruments/data, with whom and where (as applicable). Identify variables/constructs and/or phenomenon/concept/idea: a. Quantitative research variables/constructs are briefly identified (including potential confounding variables, covariates, mediating variables, etc.). Research variables/constructs from valid and reliable instruments are identified and cited, if appropriate. b. Qualitative research identifies a single phenomenon, concept, or idea that was studied. 3. Identify the specific population of study, including an estimate of the number of participants who served as the sample, based on conventions as detailed in chapter 3. 4. Identify the geographic location of study (as applicable). Hint: this section should not exceed two paragraphs (250 words). Research Questions Content: Provide some introductory discussion context followed by a list of the research questions. Research questions are distinct and answerable, given the identified constructs/phenomenon and population. The research questions must directly align with the study purpose. Alignment means each successive section is the logical evolution of the previous section. For quantitative research, follow with corresponding null and alternative hypotheses.

3 Q1. Q2.. 1. Quantitative a. State the research questions b. Research questions are aligned with the purpose of the study and the statement of the problem. 2. Qualitative a. State the research questions as they relate to the phenomenon under investigation. b. Align the research questions with the purpose of the study and the statement of the problem. c. Include the qualitative method(s) by which the research questions were answered. Hint: Mixed research is not allowed for Master Degree Students due to the time constraint. Mixed research requires both qualitative and quantitative methods and as thus much time is needed to finish compared to only qualitative or quantitative methods. Students interested in such research may conduct either qualitative or quantitative research leaving the other half of their research to post MBA research. Hypotheses (Quantitative Only) Content: Include the hypothesis(es) and the rationale for the hypothesis(es). Hypotheses should be stated in testable, potentially negatable form with each variable operationalized. H10. Null Hypothesis Text

4 H1a. Alternative Hypothesis Text Hint: Each hypothesis represents one distinct testable prediction. The phrasing of each hypothesis clearly reflects the nature of the statistical analysis used to test each hypothesis (i.e., comparisons, relationships, associations, model prediction).] Significance of the Study Content: Demonstrate why the study was important and describe the contribution(s) to the field of study. Definitions Content: Provide definitions for (a) key operational terms, (b) words used in a unique way, and/or (c) words not commonly used or understood. Definitions might include terms related to your research design, qualitative inquiry, and/or analytical strategy. Support definitions with citations and/or note when definitions are those of the researcher. Hint: Use APA heading level 3 to format your terms. Below is an example of how to format an item (i.e., management practices) and how to define it. Management practices. Management practices is defined as .. Summary Content: Summarize key points presented in chapter 1 and include supporting citations. Hint: This section should be 500-600 words.

5 Chapter 2: Literature Review Content: Begin with a summary of the purpose statement that leads to a brief explanation of the logical organization of the literature review. Include a paragraph that explains the literature search strategy and describes the sources. Note: Conduct a thorough literature search based on a variety of relevant key words and databases. It is extremely rare for there to be no existing literature on a topic worthy of doctoral level study. Hint: Approximately 20-40 pages. Please note the literature review will contain several subtopics that will be specific to the thesis. The subtopic will identify the main idea discussed. Below is how a subtopic should be organized. Subtopic Content: Present the theoretical or conceptual framework(s) related to the study. Present historical research as well as research related to the topic of study. Include appropriate scholarly source citations for each assertion. Ensure the discussion has depth and presents a critical analysis and synthesis of the literature that provides a context for the thesis study. Discuss conflicting findings and/or theoretical positions causing intellectual tension in the field. Ensure the discussion is comprehensive, organized, and flows logically. Use themes and/or subtopics as headings. Hint: A literature review is discursive prose, not a list describing or summarizing one piece of literature after another. Avoid stringing together articles and beginning every paragraph with the name of a researcher. Instead, organize the literature review into sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory. One should not attempt to list all the material published, but rather synthesize and evaluate the

6 relevant scholarly research according to the guiding concept of your thesis or research question. Summary Content: Summarize key points presented in chapter 2 and include supporting citations for key points. Highlight contradictions and uncertainties that support the need for the study. Hint: This section should be 500-600 words.

7 Chapter 3: Research Method Content: Begin with an introduction and/or restatement of the research problem and purpose. Conclude the introduction with a brief overview of the chapter. Restate the research question(s)/hypotheses. 1. Quantitative research questions and hypothesis(es) clearly stated and clearly aligned with each other and with the problem statement. 2. Qualitative - research questions clearly stated and aligned with problem statement. Note: Students are encouraged to use the same wording used in chapter 1. Research Methods and Design(s) Content: Accurately describe the research method and design(s). Substantiate the appropriateness of the method and design(s); include a statement about why the method/design(s) was/were chosen over others. 1. Elaborate on the research design or strategy (e.g., case study, phenomenology, grounded theory, causal-comparative, correlational, quasi-experimental, etc.) appropriateness to respond to the study purpose. 2. Clearly describe the design steps. Ensure the discussion is not simply a listing and description of research designs. Provide appropriate support for the use and application of the chosen design. 3. Demonstrate why the design accomplished the study goals and why design was the optimum choice for the research. Hint: Describe in enough detail so that the study could be replicated by other researchers if needed.

8 Participants Content: Provide a description of the population (as appropriate), estimated size and relevant characteristics with appropriate support. Identify the sampling method and explain selection of participants, including known population characteristics and recruitment strategy. Describe participant characteristics. Describe and justify the sampling method and minimum sample size. Include references that support the number of participants. Hint: Even though an a priori power analysis is not required for sample size determination at this level (i.e. Master Thesis), it is recommended that students pursuing a quantitative research support their minimum sample size determination by citing works of researchers who conducted similar research designs. Materials/Instruments Content: In this section, include a description of (a) Published instruments: Adequately describe constructs measured, coding schemes, and psychometric properties (include both indices of reliability and validity). Include the published instruments, if used, as an appendix; (b) Materials (including survey/instruments developed for study): Describe the development process and final product. If a self-developed instrument was used, describe the measures used to demonstrate validity and reliability. Include the final product as an appendix; (c) Apparatus: Adequately describe any apparatus including model/make, how it was used, and outcome(s) it provided.

9 Operational Definition of Variables (Quantitative Studies Only) Content: Text (optional) Identify each of the primary constructs associated with the topic, problem, research question(s), and hypotheses. Include a brief overview of how each was operationally defined for the study. Describe the nature of each variable and how it was measured and collected. The nature of the data must be consistent with and appropriate to the purpose, research design and statistical analyses. Construct/Variable. Define the type of variable (nominal, ordinal, ratio,..), range, and measuring instrument (i.e., interview question). Follow by a description of the variable if needed. Hint: A well operationally defined variable allows researchers to measure what they are supposed to measure (i.e., the variable). Validity issues may alter the measurement values and as thus bias the findings. Data Collection, Processing, and Analysis Content: Describe the collection, processing and analyses in enough detail so that the study could be replicated. Provide specific details relative to the execution of the design in each appropriate section. Describe the types of data to be collected, and how the data were coded, and what statistical analysis and software were used. 1. Quantitative: restate each hypothesis and fully describe the analysis strategy used to test each hypothesis. Present a valid argument for the choice of the analytical strategy.

10 2. Qualitative: fully describe how the data were processed and analyzed (including any efforts for triangulation). Present a valid argument for the choice of the analytical strategy. Explain the role of the researcher. Methodological Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations Content: Thoroughly discuss the assumptions about the population and design (and rationale/support for assumptions). Provide a thorough discussion of the study limitations (potential weaknesses to interpretation and validity). Discuss any measures taken to mitigate limitations in this section. Review any potential threats to the internal and external validity (specific to the study design) and how they were addressed. Describe the study delimitations (specific choices made to narrow the scope of the study). Discuss the scope of data used in the study in this section. Ethical Assurances Content: There are four categories of ethical issues in research including protection from harm, informed consent, right to privacy, and honesty with professional colleagues. When research involves human beings, ethical issues may occur. Discuss compliance with the standards for conducting research as appropriate to the study design. Describe the informed consent procedures and how you maintained confidentiality of the participants as appropriate. Describe how you obtained assurances for formal approval of the study. Hint: State that IRB approval was obtained prior to any data collection conducted.

11 Summary Content: Summarize key points presented in chapter 3 and provide supporting citations for key points. Hint: This section should be 500-600 words.

12 Chapter 4: Findings Content: Begin the discussion with a brief overview of the purpose of the research study. Organize the chapter around the research question(s)/hypotheses. Results Content: Data analyses Report results without discussion or comments (interpretation and speculation appear in the next section): 1. For Quantitative analysis, a. Give appropriate descriptive information, b. Present the results in a logical fashion, answering the research question(s)/hypotheses as stated and appropriate to the type of data collected, c. Identify assumptions of statistical tests and address any violation of assumptions, d. Make decisions based on the results of the statistical analysis (for example: Are the results statistically significant?). Include relevant test statistic and p values. e. See the APA manual regarding how to present results in text, tables and figures, f. Present sufficient information so the reader can make an independent judgment about what you have found. 2. For Qualitative analysis a. Present results logically and in a way that answers the research question(s) by distillation steps of the discernment process,

13 b. Present sufficient information so the reader can make an independent judgment about what you have found, c. It is helpful to review published articles that use similar designs for examples of how to present qualitative, thematic findings, d. Ensure that no potentially indentifying information is published. Hint: Tables and figures, where appropriate, are necessary and referred to in the text. Ensure compliance with APA format of tables, table titles, figures and figure captions. See APA, 6th ed., chapter 5 for guidelines on displaying results. Evaluation of Findings Content: In this section, please report your findings. Interpret results in light of the theory (or theories) and/or the conceptual framework(s) you have identified. Compare and contrast findings to other studies. Clarify how the field(s) of study is/are affected by your inquiry. Hint: Your findings may contradict your expectations. Dont consider this as something wrong. Many important discoveries were achieved by chance! Summary Content: Discussion summarizes key points presented in chapter 4. Hint: Limit this section to 500-600 words.

14 Chapter 5: Implications, Recommendations, and Conclusions Content: Begin the discussion with a brief review of the problem statement, purpose, method, limitations, and ethical dimensions. Implications Content: Discuss each research question and (when appropriate) hypothesis individually, and draw logical conclusions. Support all conclusions with the research findings. Discuss how any potential limitations may have affected the interpretation of the results. Describe how the results fit with the purpose, significance, and existing literature in chapter 2. Hint: Avoid drawing conclusions that are beyond the scope of the study results or that are not supported by data. Recommendations Content: Present all recommendations for practical applications of the study. Present recommendations for future research. Hint: Support all recommendations with the research findings. Conclusions Content: In this section, summarize all key points in chapter 5.

15 References All references listed in text appear in reference section.

Appendixes [Each Appendix referenced in text should appear in this section at the end of the thesis]

17 Appendix A: Title [Insert/type Appendix A content here]

Appendix B: Title [Insert/type Appendix B content here]