LONDON SCHOOL OF COMMERCE
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL - HANDBOOK
1. Introduction Page: 3
2. The Role of the Supervisor 3
3. The Business Development Proposal Seminar Programme 3
4. The Business Development Proposal Seminar Content 4
5. Structure of the Business Development Proposal 6
6. The Research Reflective Report 7
7. Module Descriptor SBLC7020 9
8. Research Ethics and Risk Assessment 17
9. Academic Regulations 19
10. Business Development Proposal Assessment Form 22
11. Research Reflective Report Assessment Form 29
Notice of Candidature Form and Declarations Statements 31
This handbook sets out the procedures for the preparation and submission of the MBA Business Development Proposal. It also includes a brief discussion regarding the related Research Methods module, which is conducted in the second semester. If a successful submission is to be made within the time available, regular attendance at seminars and scheduled supervisory meetings, and a strict adherence to a clearly defined programme of work are essential. The procedures set out in this document are intended to provide maximum support to the student so as to ensure the successful submission of a Business Development Proposal that meets the University requirements. This document should be read in conjunction with guidelines provided by The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (See the current Academic Quality Handbook, http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/academic-office/academic-quality-handbook/ ).
2. THE ROLE OF THE SUPERVISOR
The supervisors play a key role in the research and Business Development Proposal process. They are a specialist in the subject area chosen by the student and are experienced in the supervision of Masters Business Development Proposal Analysis. The student needs to have a close and continuing relationship with the supervisor and use him/her as a source of advice and support. The Business Development Proposal seminars and student-supervisor meetings scheduled on a weekly basis in the third semester are aimed at supporting the development of this crucial relationship.
Students will be assigned a Supervisor in the third semester. They are assigned a supervisor with expertise in the research area that they have chosen. The supervisor is given a group of students with a common area of interest.
3. THE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL SEMINAR PROGRAMME
Students have 7 seminars and individual student-supervisor meetings during the third semester. Each session is of three hours duration. Attendance at these sessions is compulsory and a prerequisite for submission of a Business Development Proposal. Attendance is monitored by means of the standard attendance register currently in use for all other courses.
The final Business Development Proposal seminar programme is scheduled in such a way that 2 weeks before the submission deadline students are expected to provide their supervisor with a full draft of their Business Development Proposal for review at this point before the final submission. Their supervisor will then sign a Supervisor Declaration to verify that they have seen a final draft. (Students will be unable to submit their Business Development Proposal without this document.)
• The first hour of the Business Development Proposal Seminar should focus on discussing issues of common interest to the supervisory group (e.g. How to carry out and present the literature survey, how to present tables) and permit each student to present their research progress. A presentation and report should be made every two or three weeks. This enables supervisors to monitor progress, provide objectives and motivation for students and minimise the risk of plagiarism. It will also create a feeling of group cohesion by making them aware of the progress of others.
• The second two hours of the three hour session is devoted to individual supervisory tuition. These are scheduled so that each student knows the time at which they will meet their supervisor each week. Because of numbers, each student will probably receive an individual meeting of a minimum of 30 minutes in length on a fortnightly basis. A record is kept by the student and supervisor of the content of the discussion of each meeting, the agreed actions to be taken by the student before the next meeting and the time of the next meeting. The Record Form is shown in Appendix B. This form is completed at the end of each meeting and signed by the supervisor and the student. A copy is kept in the Attendance Record Register.
• Students who fail to attend the seminars will receive a warning after missing the first seminar. If a second seminar is missed the student will be called in for a disciplinary meeting and warning. If there are subsequent failures to attend (unless a medical certificate is provided), the student may be suspended and required to repeat the semester or asked to leave the School.
• Monitoring of progress. Students are required to submit written work for the supervisor’s approval in week 4 (2000 words) and week 8 (7000 words) of the Business Development Proposal phase and this should be recorded on their monitoring sheets in the Register. The staged submission of written work is an essential part of the strategy to reduce plagiarism. In addition to assessing and advising the student on the academic quality of their work, the supervisor is required to check for plagiarism and report any cases to the Programme Leader.
4. BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL SEMINAR CONTENT
The content of the Business Development Proposal seminars in the third semester may follow the pattern below, although it may also vary depending on the needs of the particular group.
Review of the relevant University Business Development Proposal Guidelines with emphasis on Plagiarism, Citation and Referencing Guidelines. Students should be informed about the importance of correct citation and referencing, and the consequences should their work be found to be plagiarized. Details of the submission process should also be explained during this session. Introduction to the module to students and identifying as suitable business and set-up relevant information (UK Government and similar websites for small businesses) Alternative scenarios for the BDP
Discussion / Explanation of a sample project. A presentation by each student of his/her project. Each presentation will be followed by a discussion and supervisors comments
Market Research - Primary and secondary (proper identification of customer market, competition, sales potential). Strategy -Review of Models for Strategic Analysis. Appropriate Business Models (business configuration that will enable achievement of results through the selected strategy)
Financial Feasibility; Sales Forecasts and profitability; Forecasting Sales; Cost-Volume Profitability Analysis; Financial statements preparation; Planning capital requirements; Drawing up cash flow, P&L, Balance Sheets; Investment Appraisal; Project Implementation Schedule
Progress reports on the process of data collection. Discussion of problems encountered.
Open sessions for review of students’ work and signing off.
Open sessions for review of students’ work and signing off.
5. STRUCTURE OF THE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL (Recommended)
Recommended Chapter Structure (to be preceded by a one page executive summary ). Use this structure as guidance and together with the Marking Scheme/Assessment Form shown in Section 10.
Chapter Word count guide (approx):
Introduction 2,000 words
Literature Review 4,000 words
Methodology 3,000 words
Data / Results analysis 3,000 words
Discussion, Conclusions and Recommendations 2,000 words
Appendices Not counted
Total word count 13000 words (+ / - 10%)
You will need to consider:
• The business idea -scenario chosen, aim, strategic fit, feasibility of idea and important assumptions for success, brief implementation plan
• The Business Idea explained - rationale for the business idea; scenario chosen; Aims and objectives of the work: structure of the work
• Primary and secondary market research - Feasibility (product/service, industry/market, organisational, financial feasibility issues; Resource requirement evaluation
• The Business Model – Strategic Analysis of the new business idea; identification of sources of competitive advantage and sustainability ; selection of strategies for success; development of appropriate Business Model
• The Business Plan - Business Plan schedule......from raising capital...stage by stage….setting out key events/ resource requirements for successful operation of the Business Model; Discussion of critical success/failure factors
The Business Development Proposal Assessment Form is shown in Section 10
6. THE RESEARCH REFLECTIVE REPORT
The Research Reflective Report is designed to support the student’s self-critical consideration of the research and related business skills. Students are expected to demonstrate that they can:-
• Reflect and comment critically on what they have learnt during the MBA programme and during the process of conducting the research
• Carefully consider the research which they have carried out and critically comment on this
• Discuss the relationship of the research, research sources and evidence, and researching activities to the production of the dissertation
• Critically comment on the key areas, examples, sources of the research
• Consider the relationship of the research, and researching, to both the dissertation and possible future employment opportunities
The Research Reflection Report is not only an academic exercise but also a piece of work which the student may wish to use in future employment contexts to demonstrate the ability to consider the importance of research and researching to:-
• business planning,
• business success,
• organisational contexts
• academic and business skills and the contribution which students can make to an organisation as a result of developing these skills
The Research Reflective Report therefore aims to support the student’s ability to be self-critical about their research. It also develops the students understanding and application of the core concepts of business and academic skills while developing their ability to perform more effectively within organisation in a real world context. The Report therefore encourages reflection on:-
1) Research Processes
2) The research methodologies considered and applied
3) Research and researching as a problem solving process
4) The identification and discussion of key learning points which could be applied to other situations.
5) The relationship of research and the dissertation to professional development opportunities and career development intensions.
Things to think about when completing your Research Reflective Report:-
The nature of your research and your Major Project
Why is it being done; why are you working on this subject and how significant is it to you and to future employers?
Plan of your schedules
Have you managed effectively your research and Major Project schedules and are they logical?
What resources (i.e. people, evidence, references, and ideas) have you used and how are you using these? Why are they important?
Are the methods which you have used specified clearly, and are they sufficiently rigorous? Are data/evidence/literature sources specified and available? Are you conducting the research and the Major Project in a professional manner? What analytical frameworks will be used to make sense of the work? Are these appropriate?
Support and Barrier Issues
Have these been thought through by you? How any barriers to be/being overcome?
Anticipated Benefits to you and to a future employment organisation
What are they? – Knowledge? : Ideas? : Learning Experience? : Efficiency? : Effectiveness? Financial?: Organisational?: Skills?
How will the project satisfy you?
How will the work contribute to your personal development? How wide a range of skills and knowledge does it use from your programme? Will it demonstrate that you have an understanding of your programme subject areas?
Major Project Conclusions: The conclusions which you are forming for your Major Project – are they based on rigorous reasoning and argument?
Report Writing Skills
Write your reflections, critical views, clearly and simply.
The Research Reflective Report Assessment Form is shown in Section 11.
7. THE MODULE DESCRIPTOR:
MODULE CODE: SBLC7020
TITLE: Business Development Proposal (Major Project)
JACS CODE: NO
The module aims to:-
• Provide a critical overview of scenario planning contexts and Case Study Analysis and their application in the development of a viable Business Development Proposal to a “live”, presentational, and business launch stage.
• Provide the student with specific opportunities to reflect upon and integrate the knowledge acquired in the modules forming the early stages of the programme within an employability and career development focused learning framework
• Provide the student with the opportunity to develop the skills to communicate proposed solutions and the rationale behind them to an audience of potential investors, peers, business professionals, and academic mentors;
Provide a formal experience in the preparation and delivery of a business venture and development proposal and presentation which is suitable for formal presentation to business investors and for submission for financial investment support.
Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:
• Conceive and undertake, from initiation to completion, an autonomous and independently identified Business Development Proposal in an appropriate approved subject area of enquiry and demonstrate critical expertise, breadth, depth, and detailed knowledge of the subject area through the use of research, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and the formation of critical judgments and conclusions and present these within an approved Business Development Proposal format.
• Demonstrate and articulate a critical awareness and understanding of existing and emerging developments, theories, applications and insights in the subject chosen for their Business Development Proposal and critically analyse theories, concepts and problems, evidence and data, from a variety of sources and contexts using appropriate methodologies, and conceptual and interpretive frameworks.
• Prepare a critically conceived business development proposal at a professional level of presentation, incorporating a business case analysis and proposal; a business model and business plan; details of the context, vision, features and scenarios for the business; areas of innovation, invention or change addressed in the Business Development Proposal and in accordance with the scenario briefs required within the BDP Module.
• Selection of scenario
• Statement of assumptions
• Review of current position
• Environmental analysis leading to SWOT analysis
• Statement of future desired position
• Gap analysis
• Bridging the identified gaps
• Requirements for implementation
• Outcomes for key stakeholder groups
• Resource implications
• The budget including investment and working capital requirements
LEARNING AND TEACHING STRATEGY
All Part Two students are provided with an individual Supervisor who has responsibility for the oversight of the completion of the Major Project. Supervisors provide academic guidance and oversight of the Major Project within an agreed and scheduled series of supervisory meetings – discussion sessions. These may be conducted on a face to face, or through video link, or skype, or internet links, or telephone conference basis.
Supervisors are specifically appointed who have knowledge of the Major Project subject area which has been identified and agreed with the student by the Programme Director and the programme academic team. Students are provided with a Major Project Handbook and are required to attend a specified and scheduled number of tutorial support/discussion sessions with their supervisor. Student participation in teaching and support sessions may be extended beyond the formal teaching contact period for the module dependent on the full or part time nature of the student studies.
Each student is responsible for the preparation of a Major Project Proposal for consideration by the Programme Director. The Programme Director will be responsible for, and will, in consultation with the Campus Head, senior campus academic team, and the university link tutor/moderator (as appropriate and defined by university regulations), agree the proposal, and will agree identification of an appropriate Major Project supervisor for each Part Two student. Students may not commence their Major Project until the mode and field of research, topic and proposal have been agreed by the Programme Director.
The responsibilities for the Learning and Teaching strategy for the supervision and completion of the Major Project are subject to the regulations and requirements of the University which are indicated below.
Responsibilities of the Programme Director
The Programme Director for the MBA programme will be responsible for ensuring that all Part Two students are provided with written guidelines with regard to:-
• university regulations related to the conduct, undertaking, submission, assessment completion, and presentation of their Major Project
• required attendance at supervisory tutorials and/or group discussion-tutorial sessions related to the development of their Major Project and the carrying out of the research associated with the development and completion of the Major Project;
• study commitment requirements from the student;
• tutorial and supervisory arrangements including the schedule of calendar tutorial sessions and other teaching and supervisory support sessions;
• frameworks for meetings and general expectations (see Section 7.17.6 of the university regulations);
• ensuring that the implementation of the guidelines is monitored on a regular basis;
• attending all examination boards relating to the programme;
• ensuring that the nature of the tutorial supervision is made explicit in the Programme of Study Handbook.
Responsibilities of the Supervisor
All full time and part time Part Two students are allocated an appointed supervisor who has responsibility for the individual supervision of the student throughout the period of study for their Major Project module.
Supervisors provide an allocated number of hours of individual supervision, and group supervision, which is defined within the university specifications for masters level supervisory responsibilities. (See below). Supervisors for Part Two of the programme are based in the campus at which the student is registered for their programme.
Supervisors are allocated a maximum number of supervisees according to the university specifications for supervision. Supervisors may vary in their background and academic and/or professional focus dependent on the nature and choice of Major Project identified by, and agreed with, the student. Students may also be supported by teaching staff that have a particular area of experience in for example Business Development areas or sector specific areas and the programme team
The Major Project supervisors will be responsible for:-
• encouraging the candidate to explore a range of possible research topics within the area chosen for study and indicated in the proposed title;
• ensuring that Major Project proposals are feasible in terms of the timescale and resources available;
• providing appropriate advice and guidance in relation to the candidate’s initial Major Project proposal;
• ensuring that the student is provided with advice and guidance with the aim of facilitating the production of a Major Project of the requisite standard for a taught master’s Degree by:-
o providing support with the selection of an appropriate mode of Major Project option selected from one of the following – a Dissertation, a Business Development Proposal, an Integrated Case Study;
o providing guidance on the nature, scope, focus, identification of the Major project field of enquiry and the nature of the definitive research topic;
o assisting in the clarification of aims and objectives;
o recommending appropriate research sources and methods;
o providing guidance with the structuring and presentation of the dissertation;
o generally supporting, encouraging and motivating the student’s research.
o ensuring that appropriate ethical approval is obtained at every stage of preparing the Major Project;
o ensuring that the student’s initial choice of mode of presentation and Major Project proposal and field of enquiry is refined as necessary in consultation with the student;
o agreeing a timetable with the student for the submission of work and the scheduling of regular meetings (see Section 7.17.6 of university regulations);
o keeping a careful record of all such formal meetings, including dates, action agreed and deadlines set;
o recording a summary of the outcomes of each meeting on the Postgraduate Taught Supervision Record Form;
o ensuring that the record of the meetings and the record form is signed by both the supervisor and the student and that a full record is kept of all tutorial and support advice and of any other matters arising with reference to the carrying out of the Major Project by each student;
o ensuring that work is returned according to specified deadlines and accompanied by constructive comment and feedback;
o Ensuring that Major Projects are not accepted for assessment unless they have undergone a process of tutorial supervision.
Responsibilities of the Student
The student who is submitting a Major Project will be responsible for:
• ensuring that the Major Project produced is first and foremost his/her own work, albeit achieved with benefit of advice and guidance from the supervisor;
• agreeing a timetable with the supervisor for the submission of work and the scheduling of regular meetings;
• keeping a careful record of all such formal meetings, including dates, action agreed and deadlines set;
• ensuring that a summary of the outcomes of each meeting is recorded on the university Postgraduate Taught Supervision Record Form and signed by both the supervisor and the student;
• making a considered case to the supervisor if requesting additional meetings;
• ensuring that their work is appropriately edited, particularly with reference to accuracy of referenced sources, grammar, spelling and critique, argument and the formation of required conclusions as appropriate to the Major Project;
• ensuring that any relevant material resulting from his/her research, such as transcripts, are included in the dissertation or are presented as appendices;
• Completing the work within the agreed framework, with any problems relating to late or unsatisfactory submission being brought to the supervisor’s attention in writing as soon as possible.
Major Project Teaching and Supervisory and Tutorial Support Entitlement
Major Projects are benchmarked against the university regulations for the undertaking and completion of a masters level dissertation/major project. The requirements include the following:-
• Major Projects shall not normally be accepted for assessment unless they have undergone a process of tutorial supervision. The nature and demands of such tutorial supervision shall be made explicit in the Programme of Study Handbook or other formal information provided for students.
• A Major Project study and completion contract should be prepared for each student prior to and confirmed at the start of Part Two in order to formally agree the choice of mode of presentation for the Major Project, the terms of the Major Project supervision arrangements and the time scales for completion and scope of the Major Project .
• The student and the supervisor are expected to form an agreement based on partnership, with both parties providing inputs and having responsibilities. This section is intended to offer guidance to students and to supervisors regarding the amount of support that a supervisor can be expected to provide during the course of a student’s Major Project.
• Students must be provided with clear guidelines regarding the assessment criteria for the Major Project.
• The total amount of supervision should not normally exceed 25 hours, including any preliminary work in identifying a Major Project topic, field of enquiry, focus for the Major Project. Tutors are required to keep a record of the supervision time spent with each student, using the university model Postgraduate Taught Supervision Record Form This will include time spent on providing support by different means including phone, e-mail, letter, skype or other form of communications and supervisory support.
• A proportion of the total amount of Major Project supervision as specified in university regulations, may take the form of group tutorials. Such supervision should not exceed 15 hours in total.
• The maximum amount of individual Major Project supervision should not exceed 10 hours per student.
• Within the Major Project contract, it should be agreed that students are required to report to their supervisor at regular intervals, and are also required to produce draft versions of the Major Project, or reports on progress and activity.
• Supervisors are required to monitor student progress on a Postgraduate Taught Major Project Supervision Record Form, reporting absences from tutorials and taking any appropriate subsequent action.
The allocation of teaching to deliver the module is:
Activity type Hours Percentage
Scheduled learning; 25 4.2
Independent learning 575 95.8
Placement learning 0 0
TOTAL 600 100%
Assessment Component 1 – 20%
Coursework: - Research Reflective Report - 2000 words maximum
(In Formal Template Presentation Format)
Assessment Component 2 – 80%
Coursework: - Business Development Proposal
12000-13000 words maximum
Activity type Percentage
Written exam 0
EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (ESD)
Does the module contribute to ESD? Yes
If yes please provide brief details (no more than 100 words):
The module contributes to sustainability in the following ways:-
• The module is designed to enable students to engage with their own sustainable career and professional development while ensuring that this is able to be evaluated within the demands of continuing approaches towards career competencies, capability and future career enhancement.
• The module is also designed to be delivered within the international market and to encourage the development of graduate attributes aimed at developing learning activities based on real world and international scenarios and problem identification/solving; working with diversity in cultures and with differing perspectives; critical thinking, reflection, and appreciating differing international perspectives and viewpoints.
• The module contributes to Sustainability Statement – 1 Futures thinking; 2. Critical and Creative Thinking; 3 Participation and Participatory Learning; 4. Systemic Thinking; 5. Partnerships
• Bell, J. (2010) Doing Your Research Project, (5th edition), Open University Press.
• Bell J (2014). Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education, Health and Social Science (6th Edition) Open University Press
• Black, T.R. (1993) Evaluating Social Science Research, Sage.
• Bryman, A. and Bell, E (2011) Business Research Methods, Oxford, OUP
• Bryman, A. (2012) Social Research Methods, 4th Edition. Oxford University Press
• Collis J and Hussey R (2013). Business Research: A Practical Guide for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students (4th edition). Palgrave Macmillan.
• Easterby-Smith, M. Thorpe, P. & Lowe, A. (2001) Management Research an Introduction Sage
• Gill J and Johnson P (2010). Research Methods for Managers (4th edition) Sage.
• Keleen M. L. and Rumens N. (2008), An Introduction to Critical management Research, SAGE
• Lancaster, G and Crowther D. (2008). Research Methods: A Concise Introduction to Research in Management and Business Consultancy (2nd edition) Rutledge
• Quinlan C. (2015), Business Research methods, Cengage Learning
• Saunders, M.N.K., Lewis, P., and Thornhill, A. (2012) Research methods for business students ; FT Prentice Hall
• Schutt, R.K. (2014) Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research (8th edition), SAGE
• Seale, C. (2012). Researching Society and Culture, 3rd Edition, London, Sage.
• Simons, H (2009) Case Study Research in Practice Sage Publications Ltd.
• Thomas, G (2011) How to do your Case Study: A Guide for Students and Researchers Sage Publications Ltd.
• Yin, RK (2013) Case Study Research: Design and Methods (5th edition)Sage Publications, Inc;
• Alreck PL and Settle RB (1995). The Survey Research Handbook. McGraw-Hill.
• Babbie E (2012). The Practice of Social Research (13th International Edition). Wadsworth Publishing.
• Beech J. (2014) Doing Your Business Research Project, SAGE
• Bell J and Waters S. (2014). Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers (6th edition). Open University Press.
• Blunch, N. (2008). Introduction to structural equation modeling using SPSS and Amos. London: Sage.
• Blunch N. (2013) Introduction to Structural Equation modeling Using IB SPSS Statistics and AOS, (2nd edition) SAGE
• Byrne, B. M. (2009). Structural equation modeling with AMOS: Basic concepts, applications and programming. London: Routledge Academic.
• Cameron S (2000). The MBA Handbook. Study Skills for Postgraduate Management Study. Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
• Cohen, J. and Cohen P. (2013). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences. (3rd edition) Routledge.
• Collis J. And Hussey R (2013). Business Research: A practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students (4th edition), London: Macmillan.
• Corbin J and Strauss A (2015). Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory (4th edition). Sage.
• Creswell JW (2012). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design Choosing Among Five Approaches (3rd edition). Sage.
• Crowther D. and Lancaster G. (2008) Research methods: A Concise Introduction to Research in Management and Business Consultancy (2nd Edition) Routledge
• Dancey, C.P. & Reidy, J.G. (2014). Statistics without maths for psychology (6th edition), Pearson
• Field, A. P. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS. (4th edition). SAGE
• Gilbert N (2008). Researching Social Life (3rd edition)). Sage.
• Gillham B (2008). Developing a questionnaire (Second Edition). Continuum.
• Gray D. E (2013). Doing Research in the Real World. (3rd edition) Sage.
• Hennink M., Hutter I. and Bailry A. (2010) Qualitative Research Methods, SAGE
• Huberman AH and Miles MB (2002). The Qualitative Researcher’s Companion: Classic and contemporary readings. Sage.
• Jankowicz, A.D., (2004) Business research projects, 4th ed. Thomson Learning.
• Keats DM (2000). Interviewing: A Practical Guide for Students and Professionals. Open University Press.
• King N. and Horrocks C. (2010) Interviews in Qualitative Research, SAGE
• Lancaster G (2004). Research Methods in Management: A Concise Introduction to Research in Management and Business Consultancy. Butterworth-Heinemann.
• Marsden P. V. and Wright J. D, (2010) Handbook of Survey Research (2nd edition) Emerald Group Publishing
• May T (2011). Social Research: Issues, Methods and Research (4th edition). Open University Press.
• Pallant J (2013). SPSS Survival Manual: A step by step guide to data analysis using IBM SPSS (5th edition). Open University Press.
• Partington D (2002). Essential Skills for Management Research. Sage.
• Patton M. Q, (2015) Qualitative Research and Evaluation methods: Integrating Theory and Practice, (4th edition) SAGE
• Peterson RA (2000). Constructing Effective Questionnaires. Sage.
• Quinton S. and Smallbone T. (2006) Postgraduate Research in business: A Critical Guide (Sage Study Skills), SAGE
• Robson C (2002). Real World Research: A resource for social scientists and practitioner- researchers (Second Edition). Blackwell.
• Robson C (2011). Real World Research (3rd edition) John Wiley & Sons
• Saunders. N. K. and Lewis. P. (2011) Doing Research in Business and management: An Essential Guide to Planning your Project, FT/ Prentice Hall
• Scheyvens R and Donovan S (2014). Development Fieldwork: A Practical Guide. (2nd edition) Sage.
• Sekaran U and Bougie R. (2013). Research Methods for Business: A Skill Building Approach (6th edition). John Wiley and Sons.
• Somekh B and Lewin C (2004). Research Methods in the Social Sciences. Sage.
• Kara H. (2015) Creative Research methods in the Social Sciences: A Practical Guide, Policy Press
• Smith, J.A., & Osborn, M. (2008). Interpretative phenomenological analysis. In J.A. Smith J. A. (2007.), Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to methods. (2nd edition Sage.
• Smith, J.A., Flowers, P., & Larkin, M. (2009). Interpretative phenomenological analysis: Theory, method and research. London: Sage.
• Travers M (2001). Qualitative Research through Case Studies. Sage.
• Wilkinson D and Birmingham P (2003). Using Research Instruments: A Toolkit for Researchers. Routledge Falmer.
• Wolcott HF (2009). Writing Up Qualitative Research (3rd edition). Sage.
• Yin RK (2013). Case Study Research: Design and Methods (5th edition). Sage.
8. RESEARCH ETHICS AND RISK ASSESSMENT ( ETHICS FORM – PG2-E1 available at: http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/academic-office/appendices-and-forms/ )
Your research must give due respect to current research ethics which must ensure the consideration of the following issues:
• Scientific objectivity
• privacy-impartial reporting
• findings reported fairly and accurately
It is absolutlely necessary to ensure that you have undertaken a risk analysis prior to commencing a research project at any level.
This concerns your own safety in all respects, and full security and ethical treatment of your subjects (sources of evidence, by interview, questionnaire survey, business, government and agency concerns as well the rights and regard of individuals who may be contacted or whose data may be used during the course of the project).
The information below requires you to think, to consider how your gathering of data, approaches and any use made of sources, and yourself may be influenced in the course of the work.
- respect for sources and their owners intentions and requirements for
them, as well as
- your own personal safety and acknowledgement of the work of any contributors, and
- the respect for the anonymity of any providers of information as well as the
acknowledgement where their permission to use their evidence has been
agreed, and on what terms.
Please submit the Ethics Form as a part of your research proposal. Check each item, consider its relevance.
Please seek advice from your supervisor if there are any queries.
You may be at risk in situations of meeting people.
Others may be at risk in situations of your approraching them for data, and in terms of restricted information that you must only use on careful
agreement with them.
You must allow informants (subjects) to withdraw from investigations if they wish
You must endanger neither yourself or your informants in the process of
You must not deceive any informants.
NB:- ALL QUESTIONNAIRES THAT ARE BEING SENT EXTERNALLY SHOULD BE CHECKED AND HAVE THE PRIOR AUTHORITY OF THE DISSERTATION SUPERVISOR BEFORE BEING SENT OUT.
Ethics research approval form
Using the Ethics form, you must identify the main risk element regarding your health and safety and assess the potential risk. Risks may be categorised as tolerable,
Moderate, substantial or severe. Indicate the actions that you have taken
To reduce the risk and then indicate the residual risk.
• Tolerable risk is Acceptable.
• Moderate risk must be managed carefully.
• Substaintial or Severe risks which are serious and likely to happen are not acceptable and you should not proceed.
9. ACADEMIC REGULATIONS
The rules relating to Progression from Part 1 taught modules to the Dissertation in Part 2, and to Final Awards, can be found in the Academic Quality Handbook Section 6.8 (http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/academic-office/academic-quality-handbook/)
MBA Dissertation: Students are required to submit 2 typed and bound hard copies and one soft copy on Turnitin. This should be submitted to the Exams Office on the submission deadline. One copy should include a set of forms available on the student portal at the beginning of the third semester. The second copy should include the Student Declaration Form verifying that the dissertation submitted is their original work.
9.1 Procedure for Non-Submission
Work cannot be accepted more than 1 week after the submission deadline and must be recorded as a non-submission. A dissertation that is not submitted by the deadline date and time will be considered a fail by non-submission. Late submission penalties must be applied to work that is not submitted by the published deadline. Work that is submitted up to 1 week late will be capped at the bare minimum pass mark (50% for Level 7). Students who do not submit due to exceptional circumstances may request that those circumstances are recognised by the University. Claims for Extenuating Circumstances are judged on clear and transparent criteria as set out in the regulations (see Academic Quality Handbook section 13.2).
Members of staff of the University may not grant extensions. A student seeking an extension may apply with Extenuating Circumstances to the UWTSD EC panel, via UWTSD Academic Office. Exceptional circumstances usually relate to illness or personal tragedy and all extension applications must be supported by documentation. (see Academic Quality Handbook - section 13).
9.3 Suspected Unfair Practice Prior To Submission
If a supervisor suspects that a student’s work has been plagiarised prior to formal submission they should report this to the Programme Leader or Course Administrator immediately. A meeting will then be arranged with the supervisor and student where they will be informed of these suspicions and asked to justify their work. The procedures for suspected unfair practice after submission will be explained to the student so that they are given the opportunity to revise their work or make a decision about submission. The academic and cost implications for non-submission will also be explained so that the student can make an informed decision about how they wish to proceed. In all cases where there is an issue of non-submission, this decision must be taken by the student only.
9.4 Unfair Practice and Plagiarism
The University defines unfair practice as ‘any act, intentional or otherwise, whereby a person may obtain for himself/herself or for another, an unpermitted advantage…’.
Committing unfair practice in assessment is one of the most serious offences in academic life, and its consequences can be severe. It undermines the integrity of scholarship, research, and of the examination and assessment process.
Plagiarism is one type of unfair practice. Plagiarism is passing off, or attempting to pass off, another’s work as your own. It includes copying the words, ideas, images or research results of another without acknowledgement, whether those words etc. are published or unpublished. It is plagiarism, for example, to copy the work of another student, of a member of staff or a published article without crediting the author. Persons who allow their work to be plagiarised are also guilty. Plagiarism is also submitting work for an assignment that has been submitted for another assignment before without acknowledging that this is the case – this is self-plagiarism.
The guidance that follows explains what is meant by plagiarism, describes the University’s regulations for dealing with it, and provides help in avoiding it. All students are asked to submit an electronic copy of their work. This is so that the work can be checked against the database of the UK Higher Education
Plagiarism Detection Service, Turnitin. Your tutors have the right to do so since, in
University Regulations registering as a student at the University you have consented to the submission of your work, if necessary, to Turnitin.
9.5 How can I avoid plagiarism?
Coursework, dissertations, or creative work are meant to be your own original work.
Obviously you will use the work of others. Not only is this inevitable, it is expected. All scholarship builds on the work of others. The important thing to remember is always to acknowledge your sources (see Appendix 2 for additional guidance). All Schools will provide sessions on referencing and plagiarism but as a general rule of thumb observe the following guidelines:
• Anything that is copied or quoted from another source, including electronic sources such as the internet, must be in quotation marks and attributed to the original author. This may be in the body of the text or as a footnote. Full details of a source may be contained in a bibliography. Whatever method is used, always acknowledge your source and give full details of it (i.e. title, author, and page number).
• Synthesising the work of others involves putting their ideas into your words. This is fine but you must acknowledge your source. This can be done in a number of ways depending on the context. For example: 'Hart maintains that...’ 'Hart provides evidence for..’: 'It is argued, or submitted by Hart that...’ Then give the source of the original work.
• Where you are generally indebted for your ideas to one or two main sources, this can be a bit trickier. If the ideas or the way they are presented come from one or two sources, make this clear. Do the same if they come from lectures. It is important not to claim originality where it does not exist but to indicate in general where the information comes from.
The golden rule is; 'if in doubt, provide references'. Consult your tutors if you have any problems, in particular with the method of citing books and articles, which may differ from subject to subject. There are no penalties for asking for advice and guidance; there are severe penalties for plagiarism!
9.6 What are the penalties?
Plagiarism by students in coursework, other forms of continuous assessment, examinations, dissertations or theses will be dealt with according to the Unfair Practice Procedure and regulations. The same regulations apply to any other form of unfair practice. These regulations can be found in Chapter 7 of the AQH at http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/academic-office/
The University applies a range of penalties, varying in severity, where unfair practice is confirmed. All tutors are required to be vigilant in the detection of plagiarism and are required to take action in all cases where it is suspected.
With every piece of coursework you present for assessment, you will be required to fill in
a pro-forma stipulating that the work is your own original work. Your work may not be
University Regulations marked if you do not include a plagiarism statement with your assessment. It is your responsibility to make sure that the appropriate form is included with your work. Copies of the form are included in this handbook (see Appendix 3).
10. BDP ASSESSMENT
Coursework: - Business Development Proposal - 12000-13000 words maximum
Your Business Development Proposal (80% weighted) will be assessed using the following marking sheet.
LONDON SCHOOL OF COMMERCE
2017 - 2018
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL ASSESSMENT
Name of Student:
Title of Proposal:
Guideline Criteria for Assessment
Possible % 1st 2nd Agreed
ii) Literature review
iii) Research Methodology
iv) Analysis of results
v) Conclusions /recommendations
vi) Presentation 15
(i) INTRODUCTION/ RATIONALE (15%)
Marks will be awarded for:
Over all coherence/justification
Rationale for the business idea
Clear aims and objectives
Background to subject area
Structure of the Project COMMENTS:
ii) LITERATURE REVIEW (20%)
Marks will be awarded for:
Range of literature on that industry & appropriate use and review of literature
Evaluation and review of both theoretical and secondary research data about industry size, growth rate, major players / competitor analysis
Business idea explained in details
Marketing mix analysis
Thorough knowledge and comprehension of the industry
Understanding of relevant concepts and theories about the business model
Discussion of conceptual and theoretical issues-Business model canvas
Summary and clear understanding of principal issues relevant to topic
iii) RESEARCH METHODS (20%)
Marks will be awarded for:
Selection of appropriate models/ tools /concepts and theories for doing strategic analysis
Selection of clear aims and objectives
Selection of appropriate research methodology
Theoretical and applied research methods knowledge
Effective survey techniques if applicable
Primary / Secondary market research
Feasibility ( Product/ Service/ Industry/ Market/ Organisational /Financial feasibility issues)
Effective Sample framework ( if applicable)
Critical evaluation of such methodology
Clear understanding of research limitations
iv) ANALYSIS OF RESULTS (20%)
Marks will be awarded for:
Clear presentation of results based on the strategic analysis / Findings from data collected (Primary / Secondary data)
Appropriate analytical interpretation of results
Application of results to research objectives and literature
Identification of sources of competitive advantage and sustainability
Selection of strategies for success
Development of appropriate Business Model for the business.
Appropriate synthesis and evaluation of research results, inferences and implication COMMENTS:
v) CONCLUSIONS / RECOMMENDATIONS (15%)
Marks will be awarded for:
Logical and clearly structured conclusions
Business plan schedule from raising capital stage by state/ setting out key events / resource requirements for successful operation of the business model
Appropriate synthesis between research and literature
Effective completion of aims and objectives set
Evaluation of main concepts and issues and discussion of critical success / failure factors
Potential applications of findings to future management/policy or research issues COMMENTS:
vi) PRESENTATION (10%)
Marks will be awarded for:
Structure & layout
visual material (where applicable)
1st MARKER SIGNATURE: DATE:
2nd MARKER SIGNATURE: DATE:
Coursework: - Research Reflective Report - 2000 words maximum
Your Business Development Proposal Research Reflection Report (20% weighted) will be assessed using the following marking sheet.
11. THE RESEARCH REFLECTION REPORT ASSESSMENT FORM
Student Name:……………………………………………………………………(as on passport)
Student ID Number:………………………………………………………………
RESEARCH REFLECTION REPORT (should have the details given below) Marks
Research Methods and Processes:-
How and why - have you chosen/decided on the research methods and processes which you are using/have used for the development of your Major Project?
How would you describe these to :
1)a reader of your Major Project and/or
(2) a future employer
(Max. 275 words) 15
Literature and Sources:-
1)What are the most important theories/literature sources /evidence sources which you are using to justify your research and your Major Project
2) Why are these sources important and fundamental to your work?
(Max. 275 words) 15
What key areas of knowledge have you gained from undertaking your research and the Major Project?
Indicate why these are so important to you?
Max. (200 words) 10
What are the most important aspects/examples of learning and/or skills which you have gained from:
(1) undertaking the MBA programme,
(2) following through your research, and
(3) applying your knowledge and what you have learnt in your Major Project
Max. (200 words) 10
Your Critical Thinking and your ideas:-
In carrying out your research, your analysis, your evaluation of evidence, and in identifying or proposing conclusions ,what has been the most important discovery, or piece of evidence, or theory, or viewpoint, or critical idea, or critical addition to your knowledge, or other item of importance? and why?
(Max. 200 words) 10
What were the main difficulties and barriers which you were faced with in:-
(1) undertaking your research, and
(2) completing your Major project
(Max. 200 words)
Your Professional Development
What are the most important business and/or management skill(s) or academic idea(s) or lesson(s) which you have learnt from undertaking your research and your Major Project? and why ?
(Max. 200 words) 10
Based on your Research and the work which you have done in the MBA Programme and its use in your Major Project, what were your objectives and how far have the objectives of your major project been achieved?
(Max. 250 words)
Findings and Outcomes:-
How useful and/or feasible are the findings, recommendations, conclusions, or outcomes of your Major Project to you and/or to a future Employer?
You must justify your answer with specific examples.
(Max. 200 words) 10
NOTICE OF CANDIDATURE FORM
The following form needs to be completed and submitted with your dissertation. A copy is available on the Moodle page for the dissertation module:
EXAMINATION OF TAUGHT MASTER'S DEGREE DISSERTATION:
NOTICE OF CANDIDATURE FORM
Please complete this form when your dissertation is ready to be submitted for examination.
Surname/Family Name Date of Birth
Forenames (in full) Title
Institution Number (if known)
Title of Degree (eg MA, MSc, MBA etc).................................................................................................
Title of Taught Master's degree scheme followed (eg Equine Studies)
Department/School in which study pursued
Name of your Supervisor
Full Title of dissertation submitted
Please indicate that the following will all be submitted along with this form:
two permanently bound copies of your dissertation plus 1 electronic copy submitted via Turnitin;
SUBMISISION OF DISSERTATIONS
Final Business Development Proposal submission
Proposals to be submitted via Turnitin, together with
2 paper copies (Heat bound).
Paper copies to be forwarded to :
LSC to complete address here:
This work has not previously been accepted in substance for any degree and is not being concurrently submitted in candidature for any degree.
Signed ...................................................................... (candidate)
This work is the result of my own investigations, except where otherwise stated.
Other sources are acknowledged by footnotes giving explicit references. A bibliography is appended.
Signed ..................................................................... (candidate)
I hereby give consent for my work, if accepted, to be available for photocopying and for inter-library loan, and for the title and summary to be made available to outside organisations.
Signed ..................................................................... (candidate)
Disclaimer. This document was published in ……………. 2017 and was correct at that time. The Department* reserves the right to modify any statement if necessary, make variations to the content or methods of delivery of programmes of study, to discontinue programmes, or merge or combine programmes if such actions are reasonably considered to be necessary by UWTSD. Every effort will be made to keep disruption to a minimum, and to give as much notice as possible.
Please note: the term ‘Department’ is used to refer to ‘Departments’ ‘Centre’s’, ‘Schools’ and approved Partners.
Good luck, work hard and we wish you all success!