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The Structure of a Research Proposal (1500 Words)

An MBA research proposal is undertaken to demonstrate the students intention to study an organizational
problem using scientific research methodology in order to propose potential solutions to eliminate or reduce
the impact of the problem. It may be possible to undertake research into an envisaged problem arising from
impending environmental forces which may affect the organizational performance. The proposal can be
viewed as a Strategic Plan for your dissertation. A well compiled proposal is a basic requisite for the
successful completion of the dissertation. A structure for such a proposal is provided below;

1. Title - This should be finalized after deciding on the research questions and the scope of the study.

2. Introduction
o Broad introduction to thesis topic.

o Problem Statement - What’s is the general problem?, evidence to support the existence of the
problem, justifying (rationale) that the problem exist with some numbers. Why is it important?
Who is affected by the problem? What is the purpose and significance (academic and practical)
of the research? How do you intend to find the answers? (methodologies), What is the population
under investigation? - Sampling, What are the possible solutions and benefits? What is the scope
of the project? Significance of the research - Potential contribution to management practice and
theory, Justify the need for the research - Who will benefit? Discuss applied and scientific
contributions.
o Research Questions and aims
o Reseach Objectives
o Definitions - Define central terms.

3. Litereature review
o Review of recent research in the proposed problem area - Peer reviwered Journal articles from
Ebsco, Emerald, Google Scholar, Sci- Hub, academic books and industry reports.
o Relevant theories that underpin the problem area with critical analysis.

o Development of a conceptual framework of the problem based on a critical evaluation of the


literature.
o Scope of the study - Theoretical assumptions, discuss limitations they impose.

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4. Methodology and research design
o Deductive or inductive research
o Primary research - Qualitative or Quantiative
o Secondary research - Internal or external

o Observational research - Ethnographic studies, mechanical observation, mystry shopping, online


observation.
o Experimental research - Laboratory experiments, placement tests, store tests, test markets,
simulated test markets, panel research

5. Data collection & sampling


5.1 Quantitiative data collection instruments - Survey reseach through a
questionnaire o Self administered questionnaires.

o Interviewer administered
questionnaires. o Telephone interviews.

o Email surveys/ CAPI/


CAWI o Coding questions

o Closed set questions - Dichotomous, multiple choice, likert scales, semantic differentials,
importance scales, intern to buy scales.
o Pilot questionnaire

5.2 Qualitative data collection instruments - Topic Guide with projective techniques

o Focus group studies - 7 to 9 respondents.


o In depth interviews - One to one interviews.
o Open ended questions - Word association, sentence completion, story completion, TAT tests

5.2 Sampling strategy and Sample Size


o Define universe or population, census?
o Sampling frame
o Method of Sampling - Probabiity Vs non probability sampling sampling
o Determinig the size of the sample

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6. Data analysis techniques

o Qualitative through transcripting - Tabulation, cut and paste method, Spider diagrams or mind
maps, Annotation, computerized analsysis.
o Quantitative data analysis - Coorelation and regression analysis, Anova, standard deviation,

6. Refferencing (Havard referencing)

o Citations
o End text refferences
o Bibliography