The research project consists of designing, conducting and reporting research on a topic of your interest within the organization you work for or have worked for in the past.
The research proposal explores the topic in depth based on primary and secondary data.
The proposal entails a description of the problem statement, a literature review and the method of research for empirical data collection.

Description and instruction
Two of the Learning Outcomes of this course are:
Demonstrate critical thinking and skills of comprehension, analysis, synthesis, and application with respect to material covered in the course.
Synthesize real-life business situations and theoretical frameworks to produce a plan for organization development.

Keeping the above LO’s in mind while aiming at providing flexibility to focus on areas that you have a particular
interest in, the table below shows possible topics of research.

Table I research topics
Ethical dilemmas in the workplace
Survival as an entrepreneur
Leadership styles
Cross-cultural conflict
Managing diversity Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Biases in decision making
Managing change International Management
Lack of employee motivation
Communication Managing technology and Innovation

The specific topic will be decided following consultation with your professor.

Research Proposal Requirements
In the introduction, you describe the issue(s) in your organization in the problem statement section and you state the purpose of your research. Then you present the objectives of your research followed by a main research question and three to six sub questions.
In the theoretical framework, you discuss the topic and issue in the light of the relevant and contemporary literature. In so doing, you address theories and models frequently cited in the literature.
Tip: use the textbook as a valuable source of theories and models.
You use perspectives and concepts covered in the course to explore the issue(s). Consecutively, you describe why these theories and models are relevant in your empirical research.
Please note:
Although you will, to some extent, describe what is discussed in the articles, it is crucial that you also venture into analysis and evaluation in your paper. Do not be afraid to adopt a critical perspective and question what you read when there is disagreement in literature; present your own viewpoint as long as it is supported by evidence. There is little merit in a purely descriptive research paper.
In the Method section, you describe firstly your research design, i.e. qualitative, quantitative or mixed-method research (see for more info
Second, you describe who would be part of your research, the so-called sample. You describe whether it is a random or non-random sample and which type of sample (see for more info:
Third, you describe the data collection, i.e. through which instrument(s) you propose to collect the data, which could be archival data, surveys, interviews and/or observations. Please note that you need to base the instrument on literature to safeguard the validity and reliability of your research.
Lastly, you describe how you intent to analyze the data, e.g. through content or thematic analysis (qualitative research) or Excel/SPSS or another data analysis tool (quantitative research).

Tip: use the Research Proposal Template to write up your proposal


1 The issue discussed should ideally refer to one organization. If more than one organization is discussed care should be taken to compare organizations of similar size, industrial sector, and line of business.

2 You need to use a minimum of ten (10) sources to write your proposal. The textbook is a valuable source, which refers to other sources that you could use. The majority of sources must be dated after 2014. Unreferenced/undated Internet sources are NOT acceptable.

3 All sources used must be listed in alphabetical order at the end of the paper.

4 Preferably, use articles in academic and business journals, not books.

5 Length of the proposal is 3000 words (+/-10%).

Notes on citing sources.

It is recommended to use the APA citation style.
See APA citation style guide on Blackboard.
You are allowed to use another citation style as long as you use it consistently and correctly throughout the paper.


Timetable project planning

TASK and week planning
chapters, topics AND ACTIVITIES Timeline
Introduction to the project
Brief outline of the research project. Week 1
Tuesday 3 September 2019

Research topic decision
Decide on the topic of research and conduct an initial literature search to arrive at a problem statement, objectives and research questions of the business research based on sources. Week 2
Tuesday 10 September 2019
Describe the background, objectives and research questions of the business research based on sources Week 3
Tuesday 17 September 2019
Literature review
Conduct a review of the literature using scientific sources such as the textbook, academic journal articles, business reports etc. Week 4
Tuesday 24 September 2019
Literature review
Write up the literature section using scientific sources such as the textbook, academic journal articles, business reports etc. Week 5
Tuesday 1 October 2019
Describe the sample type and size, the data collection procedure, select the measurement instrument, i.e. the interview protocol/guide and describe the data analysis procedure. Week 6
Tuesday 8 October 2019
Approach potential participants in your research to ask for their participation. Week 7
Tuesday 15 October 2019

Present the measurement instrument to the professor for approval and make changes if necessary. Week 7
Tuesday 15 October 2019
Research proposal
Finalize the research proposal and submit it through Blackboard. Week 8
Tuesday 22 October 2019
11.59 PM

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