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Independent Study by Dissertation Key points • In addition to regular contact with your supervisor, there will be a series of dissertation workshops (in addition to those during PAE weeks). Dates and times will be confirmed on Moodle. • There is guidance on Harvard Referencing and Research Ethics on Moodle. • You should arrange your supervision contacts in consultation with your tutor and keep a record of your progress; these must be submitted with your dissertation. • Your supervisor will submit a Dissertation Progress Review report (see Appendix 2) by 9th January 2014, which they will compile jointly with you. In addition, your supervisor will complete (with your input) three Supervision Logs (see Appendix 1) due 20 Dec 2013, 06 Feb 2014, and 06 March 2014. You will need to submit your ‘work in progress’ via Turnitin on each of these three dates. • The dissertation hand-in date is 10 April 2014. • Your ethical approval form should be signed and bound into the back of your dissertation. • You must hand in two (2) hard copies of your dissertation, and submit an electronic copy via Moodle. • The absolute maximum word limit is 11,000 words (i.e. 10,000 words with an allowance of 10%). There are severe penalties for not adhering to the limits. See page 4 of this guide. CONTENTS PAGE 1. INTRODUCTION 5 1.1 Module Synopsis 5 1.2 Learning Outcomes 5 1.3 Teaching and Learning Methods 5 1.4 Assessment 5 1.5 Word Limit 5 2. WHAT IS A DISSERTATION? 6 2.1 Types of Dissertation 6 3. SUPERVISION 7 3.1 Responsibility of the Supervisor 7 3.2 Responsibility of the Student 7 3.3 Monitoring Progress 7 4. HOW TO PROCEED 8 4.1 Selecting a Topic and Focus 8 4.2 Getting Organised 8 4.3 Structuring your work 9 4.3.1 Introduction 9 4.3.2 Literature review 9 4.3.3 Aims and Objectives 9 4.3.4 Methodology 10 4.3.5 Findings 11 4.3.6 Discussion and analysis 11 4.3.7 Conclusions 11 4.4 Planning 11 4.5 Writing Up 12 4.5.1 The Process 12 4.5.2 Style 13 4.5.3 Referencing 13 4.5.4 Plagiarism 13 5. SUBMITTING YOUR DISSERTATION 14 5.1 Format 14 5.2 Submission arrangements 15 6. ASSESSMENT 16 6.1 Assessment criteria 16 6.2 Some common problems 16 7. HELP 17 8. RECOMMENDED READING 17 APPENDIX 1: SUPERVISION LOG APPENDIX 2: PROGRESS REPORT APPENDIX 3: PLANNING AND WRITING AIDS: Inspiration 8 and ClaroRead PLUS APPENDIX 4: STRUCTURED ABSTRACT APPENDIX 5: ASSESSMENT CRITERIA ANNEX 1: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY ANNEX 2: ETHICAL APPROVAL FORM UNDERGRADUATE DISSERTATION 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Module Synopsis The Dissertation is an extended piece of work on a topic of your own choice related to your degree programme. It allows you to draw together and build on the skills and subject expertise you have developed throughout your time at University. It is a double semester module and is worth 30 CATS points. It is worth noting that writing a dissertation is not for everyone, as it requires a fair degree of self-directed learning, commitment and drive. Not to mention the ability to critically judge and evaluate a sizeable amount of reading. Successful dissertation candidates will be allocated a supervisor who will guide and advise you in your work. 1.2 Learning Outcomes On completion of the dissertation you will be able to: • Demonstrate that you can work on your own initiative and independently on a major piece of work • Design, plan and complete a substantial piece of research • Demonstrate the ability to collect and analyse primary and/or secondary data • Critique appropriate concepts, hypotheses, general theory, analytical techniques and methods to a focused topic area relating to problems or issues within a business context • Express yourself clearly and accurately • Demonstrate your ability to analyse and critically evaluate ideas and information • Demonstrate that you understand the relevance and limitations of concepts and theory as applied to the analysis of practical problems and issues. • Synthesise ideas from a range of contexts • Demonstrate familiarity with the current academic literature on your chosen topic area • Construct logical and coherent arguments • Show evidence of personal thought 1.3 Teaching and Learning Methods The dissertation takes the form of student-managed self-directed learning supported by an academic tutor with expertise in the general area under investigation. Tutorials between the student and their supervisor are held at intervals to be negotiated between them. 1.4 Assessment 100% on the final submission.   1.5 Word limit The indicative word limit is 10,000 (plus or minus 1000 words). This means that the absolute maximum is 11,000 words. The word limit includes everything, apart from the abstract, appendices, footnotes, the reference list and bibliography. Please be aware that work of much less than 10,000 words is not likely to be of sufficient depth to reach the required standard. Submissions above 11,000 words will be penalised, as examiners assess the key skills of selectivity and clarity of expression as well as content. Anything above 15,000 words will be classed as a non-submission. 2. WHAT IS A DISSERTATION? A dissertation is a self-managed programme of study which requires a range of skills to be developed and used, such as organisation and planning, time management, reading and comprehension of advanced texts, research skills, intellectual enquiry and analysis, and producing effective documentation. 2.1 Types of Dissertation There are three basic approaches to a dissertation: 2.1.1 Theory or literature based: This involves comparing, evaluating and reflecting on alternative theories drawn from the literature relating to a particular topic area. In addition to constructing logical theoretical arguments, you will be expected to discuss the practical implications of your findings and conclusions. 2.1.2 Problem-solving: This involves investigating a practical problem or issue being faced by an organisation. It is likely to involve some form of primary research and the findings should enable evidence-based conclusions and recommendations to be made. The problem should be set in the context of previous work done in the field and this should be demonstrated through reference to your literature review. 2.1.3 Problem-centred: This involves investigating a problem or issue confronting a particular group of organisations or an industry sector. In essence, the aim is to better understand the nature of the problem. You will not necessarily be concerned with the solution to a problem(s) but with the causes and implications of the generalised situation. As above, the problem should be set in the context of previous work done in the field and this should be demonstrated through reference to your literature review. Please note that you should avoid project or placement-based dissertations which lack evidence of academic underpinning as these will not meet the learning outcomes shown in 1.2 above. You should study the ethical guidelines on Moodle and get approval from your supervisor before embarking on any primary research. (ANNEX 2). Attend the workshop on Research Ethics SUPERVISION Although the dissertation is your own work, most students benefit from contact with a tutor who can provide guidance and support. 3.1 Responsibility of the Supervisor The supervisor will:  provide guidance about the nature and planning of the work, and the standard expected;  remind students about the problems of plagiarism or use of dishonest means, as outlined in the University regulations;  be accessible to students for tutorial sessions, as agreed with the student;  request written work and accounts of progress as appropriate, and return any work with constructive comments within a reasonable period of time;  ensure that the student is clearly informed of any inadequacies of progress and of any work which fall below the level generally expected;  maintain a supervision log;  supervisors cannot give indications of the mark or classification a dissertation is likely to receive;  Supervisors will not read full drafts during the final 4 weeks prior to hand-in. It is the student’s responsibility to present work in good time to receive feedback upon which they can take action before submission. 3.2 Responsibility of the Student The student will:  initiate contact with the tutor;  discuss with the tutor the type of guidance and comment found to be most valuable and agree a schedule of meetings;  take the initiative in raising problems or difficulties, however elementary they may seem;  maintain the progress of the work in accordance with the schedule agreed with the tutor, including the presentation of written work, in sufficient time for comments and discussion to inform subsequent work;  maintain a supervision log;  Allow reasonable time for supervisors the read their work. If submitting a full draft for review, it is recommended that this be done at least 7 weeks (and no less than 5 weeks) prior to the hand-in date, to allow time for the supervisor to provide feedback and for you to act upon it. 3.3 Monitoring Progress Towards the end of December, your supervisor will submit a report on your progress to the module co-ordinator. There are sections for both you and your supervisor to complete. This is an opportunity to reflect on how you are getting on and identify any problems and how to deal with them. In addition, your supervisor will compile a Supervision Log (on at least three occasions) and you will submit regular ‘work in progress’ via Turnitin (see Key Points on p.2). CHECK OUT THE PROGRESS REVIEW FORMAT IN APPENDIX 2   3. HOW TO PROCEED Selecting a topic and focus The dissertation should address one main research question which will be reflected in the title. The topic should reflect the course for which you are registered. When selecting a topic, you should:  carry out a preliminary literature search to provide you with an overview of the topic area, and an individual focus which may be pursued;  make sure you have access to the necessary resources to carry out the work;  make sure you have made a realistic assessment of the amount of time that the work will take (equivalent to a double-module: 30 CATS points) and set yourself a realistic schedule;  make sure you have a genuine interest and purpose in pursuing the work. You need to choose something that will continue to interest you when the going gets tough!  make sure you are selecting the most appropriate research methods, given the nature of your question and the limitations of time and resources. Having found an area or topic of interest, you should then consider what angle or focus you intend to adopt. You might want to:  ‘brainstorm’ by writing down all issues connected with the area;  consider the boundaries of the problem area;  use a ‘questioning’ approach (What? When? Why? How? Who? Where?);  reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses and play to your strengths;  use library research to identify current issues relating to the topic;  generate a hypothesis and set out to test it. GO TO THE WORKSHOP ON FOCUSING YOUR TOPIC 4.2 Getting Organised Draw up an action plan; identify sources of information, focused questions, and appropriate models and hypotheses. Then, construct a draft structure, where appropriate outlining chapter headings and a brief overview of the content of each chapter, together with an indication of the research methods that you intend to use. Discuss your plans with your supervisor and identify the key texts and leading authors/researchers in the field. 4.3 Structuring your work The structure of the body of the work will depend on the content and is not prescribed. However, the structure given below is commonly used and helps to ensure that you cover everything and that your work is logical and progresses towards a conclusion. 4.3.1 Introduction The introduction sets the context for your work. It should give your reasons for investigating the subject and provide a clear statement of the aims and objectives of the dissertation. It should also state the scope and limitations of your work. Be clear on your aims and objectives but also be alert to the fact that they can change over the course of the project. For this reason, the introduction is often the last section that you write! 4.3.2 Literature review The literature review is a critical analysis of the existing literature and sets the context for your research. It may also address some of the preliminary questions that you raise in your initial plan. You should compare and contrast the findings and views of different authors, critically evaluate their arguments, identify the main themes and key issues, and relate all your discussions to your dissertation topic. There are two basic types of literature: 1. Theoretical/academic 2. Market-based/secondary data, commentaries, policy documents You certainly need to do the first. This sets the theoretical framework for your work. The second is a source of secondary data and market analysis for your chosen field of application. The literature review section should cover Type 1. Type 2 may also be appropriate here, but in some instances it will form part of your secondary data, in which case it should be analysed in your “findings” section (see 4.3.4 below). Why do a literature review? The literature review helps you to clarify your research questions by understanding the state of current thinking in your discipline and identifying gaps in the existing knowledge base, contrasting opinions and unresolved debates. It demonstrates that you are able to collect, analyse, evaluate and summarise information, that you can explain ideas and concepts clearly and concisely, and that you can relate existing knowledge to new ideas. During the literature review you will be able to see what methods have been used by other people and get an idea of their advantages and disadvantages. This may help you design your own methodology. Finally, once you have carried out your own research, you can discuss your findings in the context of your original review illustrating where they are consistent with current literature, where they differ and/or where they might close some gaps. How long should it be? This depends on how much literature there is to review and on the nature of your particular research question. Your review should be comprehensive and relevant, focused and concise. If you are doing your own original research (empirical work) your literature review might account for around a third to half of your total dissertation. If you are doing a more theory-based dissertation, the literature review is likely to be longer. Be careful to be selective and put the emphasis on interpretation and analysis, do not just list who said what to demonstrate how much you have read. In effect, you need to analyse, compare and debate, not just describe, précis or summarise. What kind of sources should I use? Use up to date sources that reflect current thinking, plus important historical work. Articles from refereed journals are more reliable sources than those from non-refereed journals. Critically evaluate all your sources and use them with due caution. Reliability and validity can be a particular issue with materials accessed via the Internet. This is not to say that you cannot use biased or non-academic sources but you must justify your selection and demonstrate your awareness of any limitations. GO TO THE WORKSHOP ON CONSTRUCTING A LITERATURE REVIEW 4.3.3 Aims and Objectives This is an elaboration of the aims and objectives that you have stated in your introduction. The reader should have a clear idea of your overall research question and how this is supported by your research objectives. 4.3.4 Methodology Your research question may require you to carry out some primary research involving questionnaires, interviews, observation, or other methods. Discuss the feasibility of your approach with your supervisor. Think about whether you have the necessary time, money, and skills to do what you are proposing and how valuable the results are likely to be. Study the ethical guidelines attached and get clearance for your work from your supervisor (see ANNEX 2). USE THE ETHICAL APPROVAL FORM IN ANNEX 2 Carrying out original research can add a unique dimension to your work, but it must be set in the context of current thinking in the field and this means you must still carry out a literature review. The methodology section describes the way in which the research has been carried out, showing what methods, approaches and sources were used, and explaining why these were selected. All methods have advantages and limitations and you should discuss these so that the reader can assess how reliable and valid your findings might be. You should explain how your chosen methods are appropriate to your research questions and, if you carry out empirical research: • Why you have chosen a particular sampling method • The nature and size of the sample and how this impacts on the validity and reliability of the findings • How the data were collected • The nature of the relationship between the researcher and the subject • The timing of the study • Any ethical considerations and how these were addressed • The representativeness, robustness, reliability or replicability or the research GO TO THE WORKSHOP ON RESEARCH METHODS 4.3.5 Findings This is the section where you present a clear and concise summary of your secondary and primary research findings. It is here that you start to answer the research question you set yourself in the aim which you stated in your introduction. If you have used a qualitative method, you may combine the presentation of the findings with their analysis and discussion. 4.3.6 Analysis and Discussion All the information you have gathered from whatever source needs to be organised, evaluated, selected and presented in a way which ‘tells a story’ to the reader. It should be relevant to the research question (topic) of your dissertation and inform a logical argument in narrative form which links the conclusion you reach with the aims and objectives of the dissertation, the investigation and the findings. In this section, you analyse and synthesise what you have found, drawing out the key themes and relating them to what you found in your literature review. You should highlight similarities and differences between your own findings and those of other authors and comment on the possible reasons for these. Through doing this, you will show how your work fits in to the current body of knowledge in your subject area and also indicate the boundaries of the scope of what you have done. You should differentiate clearly between the actual findings and the interpretation you put on them. A good dissertation tends to have fewer references in this section but if you need to support your interpretations you can refer back to elements of the literature review here. It is unusual for large numbers of new references to appear at this stage. 4.3.7 Conclusions This is where you present your conclusions for the whole dissertation and answer the research question and research objectives you set originally. You may also use this section to reflect on the limitations of your research, make recommendations for further research and suggest how future researchers might learn from your experience and do things differently. 4.4 PLANNING Plan ahead if you need to order inter-library loans for material not accessible from the Library and if you are intending to carry out any fieldwork, allow enough time not only for the data collection but also for the analysis and interpretation of your findings. Make a full record of all your references as you go along including the page numbers. This will enable you to construct a comprehensive bibliography and reference your work fully. Agree a schedule of appointments with your supervisor and advise them in advance if you are not able to make a meeting. Keep a log of your supervision sessions, noting action points to be completed and discussed (see APPENDIX 1). USE THE SUPERVISION LOG IN APPENDIX 1 The dissertation is 25% of your final year workload. Allocate your time to it accordingly. Leave enough time to reflect on, edit and print your completed work. Last minute computer failure will not be accepted as a mitigating circumstance. Back up your work regularly. It is the considered judgement of academics that Microsoft designers do not like students and researchers, as something always goes wrong with formatting at the last minute! 4.5 WRITING UP 4.5.1 The Process Everyone works in different ways. Some people write up the work as they go along, while others only begin after they have undertaken all research. It is your work and you have total and final control over the project, your approach and its content. However, it is worth considering the reasons you have a tutor assigned to you – to support and guide as you progress. Writing up as you go along is beneficial in that it allows your tutor to comment on your style, methods and content as you progress, helping you maintain your focus, and s/he may be able to suggest exploration of areas/angles you had not considered. Writing up after undertaking all research and then presenting it to your supervisor, results in something of a fait accompli and may mean you have to put in a lot of extra time and effort re-working the draft or undertaking further research you had not anticipated. A recommended way to write up is to start with the main body, followed by your conclusions. Regardless of the subject of the work and the approach you use, try to adopt a structured, logical, analytical and critical approach throughout. Compile the reference and bibliography sections as you go along. Consider using RefWorks or a similar computer package if that helps you. And please familiarise yourself with Word’s referencing function – it will make your life easier. Write the introduction last, when you know what you will want to outline to the reader. Then write the abstract. This gives a short overview of the complete work and should be no more than 250 words. Its purpose is to allow other researchers to do a quick check on the relevance of the work for them. SEE APPENDIX 4 FOR THE ABSTRACT STRUCTURE AND AN EXAMPLE Finally, carefully consider and, if necessary, amend the title to ensure the content of the dissertation is precisely reflected. The title should be agreed with your tutor. Having completed your work, give yourself time for reflection. Check that your arguments are logical and coherent and that your conclusions are backed up with evidence and arguments drawn from the main body of the text. Proofread your work checking for grammatical and spelling errors. Note that spellcheckers tend to default to American English; this is not acceptable. Standard British English is required. Ensure all work is correctly referenced and that your reference list and bibliography are complete. 4.5.2 Style You are expected to write in a concise, informative, lively but formal, style. You should be analytical rather than descriptive in your approach and communicate clear, coherent arguments in a narrative style. As a general rule, jargon, slang, the first person (I), use of stereotypes and generalisations should all be avoided. Also, do not simply replace “I designed a questionnaire…” with “the researcher designed a questionnaire…” Consider the passive voice: “A questionnaire was designed to be completed by….for the purpose of…” There are times when the first person can be used effectively to emphasise the role of the researcher or your particular interpretations or opinions but you should recognise where this might be appropriate from the academic texts that you read. Similarly, the use of jargon and slang may be appropriate if you are citing interview data or reflecting a particular context but should only be used with care. 4.5.3 Referencing Referencing identifies the source of ideas, texts, tables, diagrams, etc. that have been drawn from authors other than you. It enables the reader to follow up on sources that may interest them and also protects you from allegations of plagiarism. You are required to use the Harvard referencing system. FOLLOW THE GUIDE TO HARVARD REFERENCING ON MOODLE Give a list of all references referred to in the text in alphabetical order of author at the end of the dissertation. Follow this with a bibliography. This should include all references plus details of sources consulted but not referred to directly in the text.   4.5.4 Plagiarism Please see the University Regulations ANNEX 1 and ANNEX A3 accessed via http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/registry/secretariat/regulations.htm for full guidelines on plagiarism and academic offences. Correct referencing avoids inadvertent plagiarism. You are required to submit an electronic copy of your dissertation via Moodle using the TurnitinUK software. This enables you and the staff to check your work for plagiarism. There may be a 24 hour delay on feedback from Turnitin, so leave yourself enough time to check your work before the hand-in date. As there are different ‘levels’ of plagiarism, e.g. inadvertent v. deliberate, students may (at our discretion) be offered an opportunity to prove their authorship by undergoing an extended viva voce (i.e., oral examination). This does NOT ‘make it all better’, but may provide the student with an opportunity to avoid an outright fail. NB. IF YOU ARE FOUND TO HAVE PLAGIARISED, YOUR WORK WILL BE AWARDED A MARK OF ZERO (and you may not be offered a resit opportunity) 5. SUBMITTING YOUR DISSERTATION 5.1 Format for Submission The dissertation should contain the following in this order: • Cover • Title page • Acknowledgements • Abstract • Table of Contents • List of tables and figures • The body of the work divided into chapters (e.g. Introduction, Literature Review, Aims and Objectives, Methodology, Findings, Analysis and Discussion, Conclusions) • References • Bibliography • Appendices (if any) • Annexes (if any) On the cover there should be:  the title of the work;  your full name;  your enrolment number  the title of your award (degree name)  The University of Lincoln  the date of submission.  the word count excluding the abstract, appendices, footnotes, the reference list and bibliography On the first page inside the cover the title of the dissertation and your name should appear again. The second page should be the ‘Acknowledgements’ page – state here the name(s) of any person(s) who assisted you in the preparation of this work and briefly state how they helped you e.g. contacts in organisations. Acknowledgements should be brief and factual. On the third page there should be an ‘Abstract’ of the dissertation. This should be a summary of the aims and scope of the work, when and how it was carried out, and the results and conclusions emerging from the work. It should be about 250 words long. The fourth page should be the ‘Contents’ page, showing the titles of the different sections of the dissertation and corresponding page numbers. This is the final task you will complete when the whole of the work is finished and checked. On the fifth page put a ‘List of tables and figures’ and the numbers of the pages on which they occur. If the tables or figures are referred to more than once, they should be placed in the Appendices; if you refer to them just once, you may place the table or figures within the texts. On the sixth page start the main chapters Following the main body of the text give the list of References and, starting on a new page, the Bibliography. Finally, add any Appendices and Annexes. These can include material such as long tables, lengthy quotations, and other material used in the study which gives additional evidence but which is too cumbersome to include in the main body of the text. The material must be referred to in the main body of the text (for example, ‘see Appendix 9 for a copy of the questionnaire……….’). An annex is a document produced by another author and its pages are usually independently numbered. The body of the dissertation is a stand alone piece and so information in the appendices should not be critical to the content. Appendices should not be used as a way of getting round the 10,000 word word count. The entire work must be paginated. 12 point lettering must be used with 1.5 spacing on one side of good quality A4 paper. Colour printing is not necessary. Margins must be 30mm on the left-hand side of the page and 25mm on the right-hand side, top, and bottom of the page. Your dissertation must be bound using spiral binding or heat binding methods. 5.2 Submission Arrangements You are required to submit bound two (2) hard copies of your work and one (1) electronic copy submitted via Moodle. One hard copy will be retained for the library and one will be available for your collection after the assessment process has been completed. The electronic copy will be used to check for plagiarism. You are strongly advised to make an extra copy for yourself. THE SUBMISSION DATE IS 10 APRIL 2014 Late submissions are subject to University Regulations that deduct 10 marks for each 24 hour period of lateness or part thereof. For example, an original mark of 56% would be reduced to 46% if it were to be handed in up to a day late, and reduced to 36% if handed in between 1 and 2 days late, etc. Extensions will only be considered if extenuating circumstances apply which are supported by evidence. Computer failure is not accepted. Applications for extensions should be made to the Programme Leader for your course. Applications can be made up to and including the due date for submission. If you have Extenuating Circumstances which may affect your ability to complete your work on time or affect the quality of your work and which cannot be accommodated by an extension, you should apply to the Extenuating Circumstances Board to consider your case. Forms are available from the Student Support Centre. 6. ASSESSMENT 6.1 The Assessment Criteria GET TO KNOW THE ASSESSMENT CRITERIA IN APPENDIX 5 Familiarise yourself with these criteria and use them to assess your progress as you start to produce your work. All dissertations are double marked and a sample is reviewed by the External Examiner. You will be notified of your mark following the July Award Board Supervisors are not able to indicate the mark or classification in advance. 6.2 Some Common Problems Check the following points which might help you to avoid some commonly recurring problems. Lacks critical analysis … One of the most common criticisms is that the work lacks critical and analytical thought. In your approach, always question ‘why’ rather than ‘what’. Too descriptive … Descriptive dissertations do not usually attract good grades. Students using their own experiences often produce descriptive dissertations. Your findings must be critically interpreted and examined and should include academic underpinning. Some introductions are also overly descriptive and lengthy. Include only information which is relevant. Not making good use of information … Students often put a lot of effort into researching the topic they have chosen, but then struggle to put the information to good use. Make sure the information you collect is usable. This means identifying what you wish to collect and determining what you are going to do with it before you start collecting. Lacks Structure … Frequently the work ends up as a number of discrete essays, with either a very fine link, or no link whatsoever. This is inevitably due to a lack of structure and/or focus. The importance of a draft structure cannot be stressed enough, otherwise you have little or no control over the final structure. Makes generalisations … Avoid making sweeping statements which cannot be substantiated. Ignores limitations … If you have encountered limitations of any sort, don’t ignore them; acknowledge them. Losing work … Save your work on a regular basis (e.g. every 30 minutes) to a memory stick as well as the hard disk. Sustaining motivation … This can be difficult and there is no easy answer. Keeping the printed work in a binder may help your motivation, as you can see the individual sections and chapters developing into the final piece of work. Plagiarism … This is a serious offence. Plagiarism is detectable and rigorous checks are made. If proven, a fail grade may be awarded, which has serious implications for your Degree. Avoid this by attributing all ideas where necessary and sourcing all material. See THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY in Annex 1 7. IF YOU NEED EXTRA HELP During the supervision process, if any issues arise which cannot be resolved directly with your supervisor, please contact the Dissertation Coordinator Pedro Regina on 01724 295398 or [email protected] 8. RECOMMENDED READING Brown, R. B. (2006) Doing your dissertation in business and management: the reality of researching and writing London: Sage Clough, P. and Nutbrown, C. (2007) A student’s guide to methodology: Justifying enquiry London: Sage Collis, Jill & Hussey, Roger (2009) Business Research: A Practical Guide for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students. London: Macmillan Daymon, C. and Holloway, I. (2002) Qualitative Research Methods in Public Relations and Marketing Comunications, London: Routledge Gill, J and Johnson, P (2002) Research Methods for Managers London: Sage Hackley, C. (2004) Doing Research Projects in Marketing, Management and Consumer Research, London: Routledge Lewis, Roger (1994) How to Manage Your Study Time. London: Harper Collins O’Leary, Zina. (2004) The essential guide to doing research. London: Sage Robson, C. (2011) Real World Research (3rd edition) Wiley-Blackwell Saunders, Mark, Lewis, Philip & Thornhill, Adrian (2007) Research Methods for Business Students. London: Prentice Hall. Sharp, John. (2002) The management of a student research project. 3rd Edition. Aldershot: Gower Silverman, D. (2005) Doing qualitative research: a practical handbook 2nd edition London: Sage (see also 2000 edition) Silverman, D. (2001) Interpreting qualitative data: methods for analysing talk, text and interaction London: Sage (see also 1993 edition) Swetnam, D. (2000) Writing your dissertation: how to plan, prepare and present successful work Oxford: How to Books Tranfield, D., Denyer, D., and Smart, P. (2003), “Towards a methodology for developing evidenced-informed management knowledge by means of a systematic review”, British Journal of Management 14(3) 207-222 Walliman, Nicholas S. R. (2004) Your undergraduate dissertation: the essential guide to success. London: Sage White, B. (1999) Dissertation Skills for Business and Management Students. London: Cassell [See also, http://www.economist.com/research/styleguide/]   APPENDIX 1 LINCOLN BUSINESS SCHOOL DISSERTATION SUPERVISION LOG The log should be completed for each meeting/contact. Supervisors and students should sign to show agreement on the outcomes. Copy additional pages as required. STUDENT NAME COURSE EMAIL TEL ADDRESS DISSERTATION TITLE SUPERVISOR Supervision Date Start time: End Time: Issues Action Points for next meeting Student Signature: Supervisor Signature: DISSERTATION SUPERVISION LOG Supervision Date Start time: End Time: Issues Action Points for next meeting Student Signature: Supervisor Signature: Supervision Date Start time: End Time: Issues Action Points for next meeting Student Signature: Supervisor Signature: DISSERTATION SUPERVISION LOG Supervision Date Start time: End Time: Issues Action Points for next meeting Student Signature: Supervisor Signature: Supervision Date Start time: End Time: Issues Action Points for next meeting Student Signature: Supervisor Signature: APPENDIX 2 Dissertation Progress Review: Submit by 09 Jan 2014 This is an opportunity for the student, supervisor and module coordinator to reflect on progress to date. The supervisor should send the completed form to Pedro Regina, together with a copy of the ethical approval form. Student name Course Enrolment number Supervisor name Student seen Yes No Working title of dissertation Support workshops attended and rated by student Event Attended? 1 = not useful 5 = very useful Research Ethics 1 2 3 4 5 Focusing your topic 1 2 3 4 5 Constructing a literature review 1 2 3 4 5 Research Methods 1 2 3 4 5 Survey Design and Analysis 1 2 3 4 5 STUDENT’S summary of progress to date SUPERVISOR’S summary of progress to date Signed ___________________________________________STUDENT Date_______________ Signed ___________________________________________STAFF Date_______________ APPENDIX 3 PLANNING AND WRITING AIDS (Available at the University of Lincoln) Students seeking help to plan, structure or proof check their work assignments, should consider the following two applications: Inspiration ® is a useful piece of software to help you plan and structure your essays, presentations or reports. Inspiration lets you easily express your thoughts and ideas onto a computer screen as a visual diagram or mind-map. Press a button, and the diagram can be converted into a text based outline plan to guide your essays, etc. Inspiration also offers easy re-structuring of your plans, with a single-click option to transfer them into Microsoft Word, for you to then expand on. Inspiration diagrams can visually show associations between ideas that are hard to spot when they are in a list, and especially benefits visual learners. Ask at the Centres about help sheets for Inspiration or you can download copies from by typing in the following address: https://portal.lincoln.ac.uk/C15/C6/DocLib/default.aspx ClaroRead PLUS ® is software that can read aloud words as you type them, or any text you highlight on a computer screen. It is available on the University’s networked computers (excluding Macs). It is particularly beneficial for anyone who finds reading, writing or using language difficult. Its simple tool bar offers a perfect aid to proof-reading, spell checking, and identifying those words that can be spelt in various ways (e.g. there and their). Headphones are required, and can be purchased in the Learning Resource Centres. Ask at the Centres about help sheets for ClaroRead PLUS or you can download copies from by typing in the following address: https://portal.lincoln.ac.uk/C15/C6/DocLib/default.aspx   APPENDIX 4 SAMPLE ABSTRACT Title: Promoting Business with Corporate Gifts – The case of the UK airline industry. Purpose The main objective was to investigate the use of corporate gifts and incentives in the UK airline industry and to examine the role of corporate gifts in the marketing communications mix. Methodology A critical review of the literature was carried out plus an email survey of 21 companies in the UK airline industry. Findings The companies surveyed believed that corporate gifts could considerably aid their marketing communication strategy. However, the key to the successful use of gifts lies in making sure that they add value to their service offering, enhancing their corporate image and creating goodwill. Research limitations/implications This survey was carried out in a single industry with a small sample so caution should be exerted when the findings are generalised. It would be interesting to conduct a similar survey in other industry sectors to find out whether there is any significant difference between sectors or different sized companies in terms of business gift giving behaviour. Practical implications Companies, who use corporate gifts, should use them in co-ordination with other tools in the marketing communication mix, and should have a well-defined objective for their use and ensure that they are correctly targeted, creative and ethically accountable. Originality/value As there is very little published academic research on the topic, this study provides useful insights on how corporate gifts and incentives are used in practice and their role in the marketing communications mix. APPENDIX 5 Undergraduate Dissertation Feedback Sheet 2013/14 Student name:……………………..……… ………Enrolment no……………………………..Agreed Mark: ……..……% Note, the categories below are only a guide to illustrate the features that we are looking for in a good dissertation. It is not intended that these all carry equal weighting in the overall score, this will be left to the markers’ judgements depending on the type of dissertation and topic chosen. 70+ 60-69 50-59 40-49 35-39 Fail Clarity of expression Excellent Fluent, clear. Correct use of terminology and English. Careful proofreading Very clear Very few grammatical or spelling errors Mostly clear Most words correctly spelt Some points unclear A little misuse of words and grammatical errors Careless proof reading/spelling Difficult to understand. Spelling grammar and general use of English needs urgent attention Referencing Comprehensive, flawless, and in Harvard style Comprehensive and in Harvard style Comprehensive Reasonably extensive, but not full Harvard style Limited and/or considerably removed from Harvard style No referencing, reference list and/ or bibliography Research question, research objectives The research question is rigorous and the supporting objectives clear and focussed The research question is rigorous and the supporting objectives clear and focussed Good insightful research question with sufficient, clearly detailed, research objectives Satisfactory research question underpinned by some research objectives Vague research question with research objectives which do not properly support it No research question or research objectives Structure Develops logical argument. Links aims, objectives, investigation, findings and conclusion Develops logical argument. Links aims, objectives, investigation, findings and conclusion Generally good. Some minor inconsistencies Does not always follow through arguments Objectives unclear/key themes not clear but a core thread exists. Conclusion unclear. No aims and objectives. Disorganised. Haphazard No conclusion Literature Review Selective and clearly focused elaboration of the academic issues underpinning the research. Critiques the relevance of the material drawn from extensive reading. Selective and clearly focused elaboration of the academic issues underpinning the research. Evidence of extensive reading around the topic. A substantial elaboration of academic material underpinning the research question. Good use of academic sources. Just sufficient use of relevant sources Lack of focus on research question Limited academic support for the research question. Some irrelevant material Over-use of general internet sources Use of only one or two sources Most material irrelevant Methods Appropriate and technically excellent. High level critique of approach taken. High level awareness of limitations. Appropriate methods, with substantial critique, justified clearly. Well aware of limitations Appropriate methods with some critique. Not justified fully. Not aware of all limitations Generally relevant method with some minor flaws Reasonable awareness of limitations Not all elements of method appropriate to task Limited reference to limitations. Method not recognisable and/or valid. No awareness of limitations Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation Demonstrates clear understanding of subject. Evaluates concepts in relation to practice and theory Logical, insightful and highly focused Clearly identifies defines and explains key issues. Relates theory and practice Use of insight and critical thought. Identifies most issues. Gives clear explanations Gives some relevant illustrative examples Reflective stance on most points Misses some key points. Definitions and explanations generally clear Some attempts at evaluation Some irrelevant material. Misunderstands some concepts Unsupported assertions Descriptive rather than evaluative Clear and consistent evidence of not understanding basic concepts Sweeping generalisations Regurgitates/ cuts and pastes material No evidence of critical evaluation n Conclusions Reviews findings and discusses particular applications Identifies opportunities for further study Provides a strong evidence- based conclusion Objectives achieved Conclusion largely backed by evidence Objectives mostly achieved Limited evidence base for conclusion. Objectives not fully achieved Limited conclusion Objectives not achieved. No conclusion or limited conclusion unrelated to objectives Originality Original and creative Extends material into new areas, ideas and/or applications High level critical analysis Extends material into new areas, ideas and/or applications Substantial evidence of personal thought. Some original material Some evidence of personal thought Little evidence of personal thought None Communication Research (investigative work and academic presentation of findings) Existing knowledge and understanding of the subject Critical/analytical thinking Originality Overall impact (for fails, please indicate what is required to bring the work to a pass standard) Signed: 1st marker 2nd marker ANNEX 1 THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY By Robin Croft and Graham Spickett-Jones EXAMPLE ONE: SPORTS SPONSORSHIP This student is extremely interested in sports – all sports: he wants to write his dissertation on some marketing aspect of it. As well as being actively involved in sports, he has family connections with a 2nd-division football club which may give him access to some of the key management. The Good… Topic The student chooses to focus chiefly on football and to take a key marketing topic, sports sponsorship. After discussions with his tutor he floats a hypothesis that sponsorship can never be a cost-effective part of the promotional mix. Research The student finds a considerable amount of theoretical material on sponsorship in general, and sports sponsorship in particular. This comes in two forms: academic data (mainly from marketing journals and texts) and current data (from newspapers, magazines and other sources). To this the student adds much of his own observation and sets up interviews with the commercial side of the football club. The format The student presents the arguments (academic and otherwise) which support the hypothesis and those which argue against it. He analyses them critically before forming his own judgement: does the original hypothesis stand or fall? the Bad… The student decides to focus on sports sponsorship. He finds hundreds of references to sponsorship in the media and backs this up with all the references he can find about the topic in textbooks and journals. The report is a lengthy compilation of abstracts of all the data he has found. There is no plan, no format, no analysis, no focus. Although a great deal of work has gone into the project it makes a poor dissertation because it lacks structure and focus. and the Ugly… The student has an interview with the management of his football club and keeps asking them about marketing. They tell him how important sponsors are. He then sends a questionnaire to all the Football League clubs, but most of them fail to reply. The report has some useful empirical data but has no structure and no academic underpinning. EXAMPLE 2: THE FASHION INDUSTRY This student is particularly interested in the fashion industry – clothes, fragrances, accessories. She has spent part of her placement year working for a small fashion house in Pads and hopes to make a marketing career in the industry on completion of her degree. She is on good terms with her placement company and is confident that they would find some time for her when she needs additional data. The Good… Topic The student chooses to focus on clothes retailing within the fashion industry, and to look at ways in which the concept of the marketing mix is adapted by it. She floats the hypothesis that companies in the fashion business cannot be said to be marketing oriented as they manifestly exploit consumer needs and wants. Research The student is able to draw on a considerable amount of theoretical material concerning the marketing concept and the marketing mix. She also locates some good texts covering the fashion industry, retailing and the marketing of luxuries. To this she adds contemporary sources which address the more controversial elements in the hypothesis. In the event there is no particular need to supplement the theoretical work with company interviews, although the student does discuss her final conclusions with her former placement firm. Format The student starts with setting the ground, defining elements of the marketing concept and profiling (briefly) the fashion retailing industry. The various arguments which both support and contradict the hypothesis are then brought out and a conclusion argued based on detailed critical analysis. the Bad… The introduction fails to identify any particular theme or hypothesis, its stated aim being to examine the role of marketing in the fashion industry. The report is strong on theoretical background – in fact the student finds that she has spent months establishing what the marketing concept is. The final report consists of two almost separate themes – what is marketing and how does the fashion industry do its marketing? Although a huge amount of work has gone into the dissertation it comes to no particular conclusion because of poor focus. and the Ugly… The report concentrates on the former placement company and includes a good deal of irrelevant financial data. The student finds some texts on the fashion industry, including a so-called expos6 by a freelance journalist. She has some interviews with her former colleagues who complain about the difficulties of breaking into the market due to the dominance of the major players. Finally the student adds a SWOT analysis of the company. The report contains no great insights, lacks structure and academic underpinning, is short on originality, analysis and critical thinking. EXAMPLE 3: PARTY PLAN SELLING The student is intrigued by Party Plan, having several relations involved in schemes including Tupperware and Ann Summers. She feels that this is an under-researched subject area, and is confident that she will be able to produce some good original insights into the method, using family connections within the various companies concerned. The Good… The topic The student chooses to examine the social interaction taking place in the party-plan situation using the inductive approach. This is to be compared with other more conventional forms of retailing. The research The student effectively blends material from business (the basis of selling, promotional communication, retailing, industry statistics), psychology and sociology. Her original research is clearly focused, being based on observation at several selling parties. She starts to build a theory regarding the effectiveness of social interaction in selling. Conclusions The student presents a tentative paradigm which tries to make sense of what distinguishes party-plan selling from other more conventional forms. She identifies a range of areas worthy of further research. The Bad… The student identifies a body of knowledge regarding selling which is summarised effectively in the early stages of the dissertation. Almost as a second separate report she adds a lengthy section on direct selling in general, with a large amount of data concerning the growth of the industry, the major players, industry trends, etc. Finally, as a third separate section, the student adds some notes based on the comments of the family members working in direct selling. Unfortunately student seems unsure what to make of the colossal amount of data she has amassed and is unable to interrelate. The fact that there are no real conclusions is as a direct consequence of failing to set objectives for the dissertation as a whole. and the Ugly. The student obtains a mass of promotional material from the various firms and attempts to make sense of them. She obtains financial data on the companies concerned, various reports on direct selling and some newspaper articles. Without focus the final report comes across as a collage of items connected by a common theme, but coming to no particular conclusion. ANNEX 2 Appendix 1 Ethical Approval Form: Human Research Projects UNIVERSITY OF LINCOLN UNIVERSITY ETHICS COMMITTEE ETHICAL PRINCIPLES FOR CONDUCTING RESEARCH WITH HUMANS The following ethical principles govern research with humans conducted under the authority of the University: • The principle of respect for persons acknowledges the dignity and autonomy of individuals, and requires that people with diminished autonomy be provided with special protection. This principle requires that subjects give informed consent to participation in research. On account of their potential vulnerability, certain subject populations are provided with additional protections. These include children, prisoners, the mentally disabled, and people with severe illnesses. • The principle of beneficence requires us to protect individuals by seeking to maximise anticipated benefits and minimise possible harms. It is therefore necessary to examine carefully the design of the study and its risks and benefits including, in some cases, identifying alternative ways of obtaining the benefits sought from the research. Research risks must always be justified by the expected benefits of research. • The principle of justice requires that we treat subjects fairly. For example, subjects should be carefully and equitably chosen to insure that certain individuals or classes of individuals – such as prisoners, elderly people, or financially impoverished people – are not systematically selected or excluded, unless there are academically or ethically valid reasons for doing so. Unless there is careful justification for an exception, research should also not involve persons from groups that are unlikely to benefit from subsequent applications of the research. Each of these principles carries strong moral force, and difficult ethical dilemmas arise when they conflict. A careful and thoughtful application of the principles will not always achieve clear resolution of ethical problems. However, it is important to understand and apply the principles, because doing so helps to assure that people who agree to be research subjects will be treated in a respectful and ethical manner. Nothing that is said in these principles and guidelines will absolve the responsibility of the researcher to act in accordance with the best interests of the participants. These principles are to apply to research with human participants. They are intended to provide both the general principles and rules to cover situations encountered by researchers. They have as a primary aim, the welfare and protection of the individuals and groups with whom researchers work. It is the individual responsibility of each researcher to aspire to the highest possible standards of conduct in carrying out research. Researchers should respect and protect human and civil rights. Some areas of experience and behaviour will be outside the reach of research for ethical reasons. These guidelines have been adapted from the ethical guidelines of a variety of professional and other bodies involved in conducting research with human subjects. 1. GENERAL FRAMEWORK 1.1. The membership of the University Ethics Committee consists of a Chair nominated by Academic Board – currently the Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) – representatives nominated by each Faculty/Institute, the University Chaplain (or nominee) and relevant co-opted members. 1.2. It has responsibility for agreeing protocols for research on people, on behalf of Academic Board – as well as issuing guidance and advice to colleagues undertaking research on people. 1.3. As a central part of its role, the University Ethics Committee has formal responsibility for the approval of all research on humans conducted under the authority of the University. 1.4. This responsibility is normally sub-delegated to the Faculty/Institute Research Committees, which may in turn devolve responsibility for approval as appropriate while retaining overall oversight of the process. 1.5. The Faculty/Institute Research Committees should include an external member in the discussion of ethical issues. 1.6. In all cases of research with human subjects, whether conducted by staff or students of the University, approval must be obtained prior to the commencement of the research from the Faculty/Institute Research Committees. 1.7. In cases of uncertainty at Faculty/Institute level, the projects must be referred to the University Ethics Committee for adjudication. The University Ethics Committee will also consider appeals against decisions related to ethical issues of the Faculty/Institute Research Committees. 1.8. In the case of research involving individual students, the research must have the prior approval of the research supervisor whose responsibility it is to ensure that the planned research accords with the above ethical principles for conducting research. 1.9. Where research also requires approval from an outside body, for example, the NHS Local Research Ethics Committee, the research proposal shall be submitted for approval to such bodies. This will normally take place once it has been approved through University procedures. 1.10. The Faculty/Institute Research Committees will supply an annual report to the University Ethics Committee in December of each year that will include a summary of their actions in relation to research ethics and any issues for consideration by the University Ethics Committee. The latter will monitor their activities. The University Ethics Committee will in turn submit its annual report to the Academic Standards Committee in February of each year. 1.11. Members of the University Ethics Committee and Faculty/Institute Research Committees will display appropriate levels of confidentiality in discussing ethical issues. 1.12. In all cases researchers must consider the ethical implications of their research and the personal consequences for the participants in that research. 1.13. The investigation should be considered from the point of view of all participants in the research – such that any foreseeable threats to their well-being, health, values or dignity are ethically justifiable in terms of the benefits. 1.14. In conducting research, researchers should interfere with the participants or context from which data are collected only in a manner that is warranted by an appropriate research design and that is consistent with researchers’ roles as academic investigators. 1.15. Researchers should recognise in terms of the participants that in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society with diverse religious belief and value systems, where investigations involve individuals of different ages, gender and social background, researchers may not have sufficient knowledge of the implications of any investigation for the participants. It should be borne in mind that the best judge of whether an investigation will cause offence may be a member (or members) of the population from which the participants are to be drawn. 2. CONSENT TO RESEARCH 2.1. Prior to conducting research (except research involving only anonymous surveys, naturalistic observations, or similar research), researchers should, whenever possible, enter into an agreement with participants that clarifies the nature of the research and the responsibilities of each party. 2.2. Researchers should use language that is understandable to research participants in obtaining their appropriate informed consent (except as provided in section 4 on Dispensing with Informed Consent). Such informed consent shall be appropriately documented prior to any research being conducted, in accordance with the standards of any professional body. 2.3. Using language that is reasonably understandable to participants, researchers should inform participants of the nature of the research; they should inform participants that they are free to participate or to decline to participate or to withdraw from the research; they should explain the foreseeable consequences of declining or withdrawing; they should inform participants of significant factors that may be expected to influence their willingness to participate (such as risks, discomfort, adverse effects, or limitations on confidentiality, except as provided in section 7 on Deception in Research); and they should explain other aspects about which the prospective participants inquire. 2.4. When researchers conduct research with individuals such as students or subordinates, researchers should take special care to protect the prospective participants from adverse consequences of declining or withdrawing from participation. 2.5. Where research is being conducted with children or other individuals who are unable to give consent, or who are unable to understand the nature of the research process for other reasons, special care should be taken to safe-guard their interests. 2.5.1 Where children, or other individuals, who are unable to understand the nature of the research process, may be the subjects of research lack of participation in the research procedures should be taken as a withdrawal of consent at that point. 2.5.2 For people who are legally incapable of giving informed consent, researchers nevertheless (a) should provide an appropriate explanation, (b) should obtain the participant’s assent, and (c) should obtain appropriate consent from a legally authorised person, if such substitute consent is permitted by law. 2.5.3 If harm, unusual discomfort, or other adverse consequences for the individual’s future life might occur, the researcher must obtain the disinterested approval of the relevant Faculty/Institute Research Committee, inform the participants, and obtain real, informed consent from each of them. 3 CONFIDENTIALITY 3.1 Subject to the requirements of legislation, including the Data Protection Act, information obtained about a participant during an investigation is confidential, unless agreed in advance. In principle, research participants have a right to remain anonymous. This right should be respected both where it has been promised explicitly and where no clear understanding to the contrary has been reached. These strictures apply to the collection of data by means of cameras, tape recorders, and other data-gathering devices, as well as data collected in face-to-face interviews or in participant-observation. Research participants should understand the capacities of such devices; they should be free to reject them if they wish; and if they accept them, the results obtained should be consonant with their right to welfare, dignity, and privacy. In the event that anonymity and/or confidentiality cannot be assured to participants, the participant must be warned of this prior to giving consent 4 DISPENSING WITH INFORMED CONSENT 4.1 In exceptional circumstances before determining that planned research does not require the informed consent of research participants, resea

Independent Study by Dissertation
Key points

• In addition to regular contact with your supervisor, there will be a series of dissertation workshops (in addition to those during PAE weeks). Dates and times will be confirmed on Moodle.

• There is guidance on Harvard Referencing and Research Ethics on Moodle.

• You should arrange your supervision contacts in consultation with your tutor and keep a record of your progress; these must be submitted with your dissertation.

• Your supervisor will submit a Dissertation Progress Review report (see Appendix 2) by 9th January 2014, which they will compile jointly with you. In addition, your supervisor will complete (with your input) three Supervision Logs (see Appendix 1) due 20 Dec 2013, 06 Feb 2014, and 06 March 2014. You will need to submit your ‘work in progress’ via Turnitin on each of these three dates.

• The dissertation hand-in date is 10 April 2014.

• Your ethical approval form should be signed and bound into the back of your dissertation.

• You must hand in two (2) hard copies of your dissertation, and submit an electronic copy via Moodle.

• The absolute maximum word limit is 11,000 words (i.e. 10,000 words with an allowance of 10%). There are severe penalties for not adhering to the limits. See page 4 of this guide.

CONTENTS

PAGE

1. INTRODUCTION 5
1.1 Module Synopsis 5
1.2 Learning Outcomes 5
1.3 Teaching and Learning Methods 5
1.4 Assessment 5
1.5 Word Limit 5

2. WHAT IS A DISSERTATION? 6
2.1 Types of Dissertation 6

3. SUPERVISION 7
3.1 Responsibility of the Supervisor 7
3.2 Responsibility of the Student 7
3.3 Monitoring Progress 7

4. HOW TO PROCEED 8
4.1 Selecting a Topic and Focus 8
4.2 Getting Organised 8
4.3 Structuring your work 9
4.3.1 Introduction 9
4.3.2 Literature review 9
4.3.3 Aims and Objectives 9
4.3.4 Methodology 10
4.3.5 Findings 11
4.3.6 Discussion and analysis 11
4.3.7 Conclusions 11
4.4 Planning 11
4.5 Writing Up 12
4.5.1 The Process 12
4.5.2 Style 13
4.5.3 Referencing 13
4.5.4 Plagiarism 13

5. SUBMITTING YOUR DISSERTATION 14
5.1 Format 14
5.2 Submission arrangements 15

6. ASSESSMENT 16

6.1 Assessment criteria 16
6.2 Some common problems 16

7. HELP 17

8. RECOMMENDED READING 17

APPENDIX 1: SUPERVISION LOG

APPENDIX 2: PROGRESS REPORT

APPENDIX 3: PLANNING AND WRITING AIDS: Inspiration 8 and
ClaroRead PLUS

APPENDIX 4: STRUCTURED ABSTRACT

APPENDIX 5: ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

ANNEX 1: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

ANNEX 2: ETHICAL APPROVAL FORM

UNDERGRADUATE DISSERTATION

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Module Synopsis

The Dissertation is an extended piece of work on a topic of your own choice related to your degree programme. It allows you to draw together and build on the skills and subject expertise you have developed throughout your time at University. It is a double semester module and is worth 30 CATS points.

It is worth noting that writing a dissertation is not for everyone, as it requires a fair degree of self-directed learning, commitment and drive. Not to mention the ability to critically judge and evaluate a sizeable amount of reading.

Successful dissertation candidates will be allocated a supervisor who will guide and advise you in your work.

1.2 Learning Outcomes

On completion of the dissertation you will be able to:

• Demonstrate that you can work on your own initiative and independently on a major piece of work
• Design, plan and complete a substantial piece of research
• Demonstrate the ability to collect and analyse primary and/or secondary data
• Critique appropriate concepts, hypotheses, general theory, analytical techniques and methods to a focused topic area relating to problems or issues within a business context
• Express yourself clearly and accurately
• Demonstrate your ability to analyse and critically evaluate ideas and information
• Demonstrate that you understand the relevance and limitations of concepts and theory as applied to the analysis of practical problems and issues.
• Synthesise ideas from a range of contexts
• Demonstrate familiarity with the current academic literature on your chosen topic area
• Construct logical and coherent arguments
• Show evidence of personal thought

1.3 Teaching and Learning Methods

The dissertation takes the form of student-managed self-directed learning supported by an academic tutor with expertise in the general area under investigation. Tutorials between the student and their supervisor are held at intervals to be negotiated between them.

1.4 Assessment

100% on the final submission.

1.5 Word limit
The indicative word limit is 10,000 (plus or minus 1000 words). This means that the absolute maximum is 11,000 words. The word limit includes everything, apart from the abstract, appendices, footnotes, the reference list and bibliography.

Please be aware that work of much less than 10,000 words is not likely to be of sufficient depth to reach the required standard. Submissions above 11,000 words will be penalised, as examiners assess the key skills of selectivity and clarity of expression as well as content. Anything above 15,000 words will be classed as a non-submission.

2. WHAT IS A DISSERTATION?

A dissertation is a self-managed programme of study which requires a range of skills to be developed and used, such as organisation and planning, time management, reading and comprehension of advanced texts, research skills, intellectual enquiry and analysis, and producing effective documentation.

2.1 Types of Dissertation
There are three basic approaches to a dissertation:

2.1.1 Theory or literature based:
This involves comparing, evaluating and reflecting on alternative theories drawn from the literature relating to a particular topic area. In addition to constructing logical theoretical arguments, you will be expected to discuss the practical implications of your findings and conclusions.

2.1.2 Problem-solving:
This involves investigating a practical problem or issue being faced by an organisation. It is likely to involve some form of primary research and the findings should enable evidence-based conclusions and recommendations to be made. The problem should be set in the context of previous work done in the field and this should be demonstrated through reference to your literature review.

2.1.3 Problem-centred:
This involves investigating a problem or issue confronting a particular group of organisations or an industry sector. In essence, the aim is to better understand the nature of the problem. You will not necessarily be concerned with the solution to a problem(s) but with the causes and implications of the generalised situation. As above, the problem should be set in the context of previous work done in the field and this should be demonstrated through reference to your literature review.

Please note that you should avoid project or placement-based dissertations which lack evidence of academic underpinning as these will not meet the learning outcomes shown in 1.2 above.

You should study the ethical guidelines on Moodle and get approval from your supervisor before embarking on any primary research. (ANNEX 2).

Attend the workshop on Research Ethics

SUPERVISION

Although the dissertation is your own work, most students benefit from contact with a tutor who can provide guidance and support.

3.1 Responsibility of the Supervisor

The supervisor will:

 provide guidance about the nature and planning of the work, and the standard expected;
 remind students about the problems of plagiarism or use of dishonest means, as outlined in the University regulations;
 be accessible to students for tutorial sessions, as agreed with the student;
 request written work and accounts of progress as appropriate, and return any work with constructive comments within a reasonable period of time;
 ensure that the student is clearly informed of any inadequacies of progress and of any work which fall below the level generally expected;
 maintain a supervision log;
 supervisors cannot give indications of the mark or classification a dissertation is likely to receive;
 Supervisors will not read full drafts during the final 4 weeks prior to hand-in. It is the student’s responsibility to present work in good time to receive feedback upon which they can take action before submission.

3.2 Responsibility of the Student

The student will:

 initiate contact with the tutor;
 discuss with the tutor the type of guidance and comment found to be most valuable and agree a schedule of meetings;
 take the initiative in raising problems or difficulties, however elementary they may seem;
 maintain the progress of the work in accordance with the schedule agreed with the tutor, including the presentation of written work, in sufficient time for comments and discussion to inform subsequent work;
 maintain a supervision log;
 Allow reasonable time for supervisors the read their work. If submitting a full draft for review, it is recommended that this be done at least 7 weeks (and no less than 5 weeks) prior to the hand-in date, to allow time for the supervisor to provide feedback and for you to act upon it.

3.3 Monitoring Progress

Towards the end of December, your supervisor will submit a report on your progress to the module co-ordinator. There are sections for both you and your supervisor to complete. This is an opportunity to reflect on how you are getting on and identify any problems and how to deal with them. In addition, your supervisor will compile a Supervision Log (on at least three occasions) and you will submit regular ‘work in progress’ via Turnitin (see Key Points on p.2).

CHECK OUT THE PROGRESS REVIEW FORMAT IN APPENDIX 2

3. HOW TO PROCEED

Selecting a topic and focus

The dissertation should address one main research question which will be reflected in the title. The topic should reflect the course for which you are registered.

When selecting a topic, you should:
 carry out a preliminary literature search to provide you with an overview of the topic area, and an individual focus which may be pursued;
 make sure you have access to the necessary resources to carry out the work;
 make sure you have made a realistic assessment of the amount of time that the work will take (equivalent to a double-module: 30 CATS points) and set yourself a realistic schedule;
 make sure you have a genuine interest and purpose in pursuing the work. You need to choose something that will continue to interest you when the going gets tough!
 make sure you are selecting the most appropriate research methods, given the nature of your question and the limitations of time and resources.

Having found an area or topic of interest, you should then consider what angle or focus you intend to adopt. You might want to:
 ‘brainstorm’ by writing down all issues connected with the area;
 consider the boundaries of the problem area;
 use a ‘questioning’ approach (What? When? Why? How? Who? Where?);
 reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses and play to your strengths;
 use library research to identify current issues relating to the topic;
 generate a hypothesis and set out to test it.

GO TO THE WORKSHOP ON FOCUSING YOUR TOPIC

4.2 Getting Organised

Draw up an action plan; identify sources of information, focused questions, and appropriate models and hypotheses. Then, construct a draft structure, where appropriate outlining chapter headings and a brief overview of the content of each chapter, together with an indication of the research methods that you intend to use. Discuss your plans with your supervisor and identify the key texts and leading authors/researchers in the field.

4.3 Structuring your work

The structure of the body of the work will depend on the content and is not prescribed. However, the structure given below is commonly used and helps to ensure that you cover everything and that your work is logical and progresses towards a conclusion.

4.3.1 Introduction

The introduction sets the context for your work. It should give your reasons for investigating the subject and provide a clear statement of the aims and objectives of the dissertation. It should also state the scope and limitations of your work. Be clear on your aims and objectives but also be alert to the fact that they can change over the course of the project. For this reason, the introduction is often the last section that you write!

4.3.2 Literature review

The literature review is a critical analysis of the existing literature and sets the context for your research. It may also address some of the preliminary questions that you raise in your initial plan.

You should compare and contrast the findings and views of different authors, critically evaluate their arguments, identify the main themes and key issues, and relate all your discussions to your dissertation topic.

There are two basic types of literature:

1. Theoretical/academic

2. Market-based/secondary data, commentaries, policy documents

You certainly need to do the first. This sets the theoretical framework for your work. The second is a source of secondary data and market analysis for your chosen field of application. The literature review section should cover Type 1. Type 2 may also be appropriate here, but in some instances it will form part of your secondary data, in which case it should be analysed in your “findings” section (see 4.3.4 below).

Why do a literature review?

The literature review helps you to clarify your research questions by understanding the state of current thinking in your discipline and identifying gaps in the existing knowledge base, contrasting opinions and unresolved debates.

It demonstrates that you are able to collect, analyse, evaluate and summarise information, that you can explain ideas and concepts clearly and concisely, and that you can relate existing knowledge to new ideas.

During the literature review you will be able to see what methods have been used by other people and get an idea of their advantages and disadvantages. This may help you design your own methodology.

Finally, once you have carried out your own research, you can discuss your findings in the context of your original review illustrating where they are consistent with current literature, where they differ and/or where they might close some gaps.

How long should it be?

This depends on how much literature there is to review and on the nature of your particular research question. Your review should be comprehensive and relevant, focused and concise. If you are doing your own original research (empirical work) your literature review might account for around a third to half of your total dissertation. If you are doing a more theory-based dissertation, the literature review is likely to be longer.

Be careful to be selective and put the emphasis on interpretation and analysis, do not just list who said what to demonstrate how much you have read. In effect, you need to analyse, compare and debate, not just describe, précis or summarise.

What kind of sources should I use?

Use up to date sources that reflect current thinking, plus important historical work. Articles from refereed journals are more reliable sources than those from non-refereed journals. Critically evaluate all your sources and use them with due caution. Reliability and validity can be a particular issue with materials accessed via the Internet. This is not to say that you cannot use biased or non-academic sources but you must justify your selection and demonstrate your awareness of any limitations.

GO TO THE WORKSHOP ON CONSTRUCTING A LITERATURE REVIEW

4.3.3 Aims and Objectives

This is an elaboration of the aims and objectives that you have stated in your introduction. The reader should have a clear idea of your overall research question and how this is supported by your research objectives.

4.3.4 Methodology

Your research question may require you to carry out some primary research involving questionnaires, interviews, observation, or other methods. Discuss the feasibility of your approach with your supervisor. Think about whether you have the necessary time, money, and skills to do what you are proposing and how valuable the results are likely to be.

Study the ethical guidelines attached and get clearance for your work from your supervisor (see ANNEX 2).

USE THE ETHICAL APPROVAL FORM IN ANNEX 2

Carrying out original research can add a unique dimension to your work, but it must be set in the context of current thinking in the field and this means you must still carry out a literature review.

The methodology section describes the way in which the research has been carried out, showing what methods, approaches and sources were used, and explaining why these were selected.

All methods have advantages and limitations and you should discuss these so that the reader can assess how reliable and valid your findings might be.

You should explain how your chosen methods are appropriate to your research questions and, if you carry out empirical research:
• Why you have chosen a particular sampling method
• The nature and size of the sample and how this impacts on the validity and reliability of the findings
• How the data were collected
• The nature of the relationship between the researcher and the subject
• The timing of the study
• Any ethical considerations and how these were addressed
• The representativeness, robustness, reliability or replicability or the research

GO TO THE WORKSHOP ON RESEARCH METHODS

4.3.5 Findings

This is the section where you present a clear and concise summary of your secondary and primary research findings. It is here that you start to answer the research question you set yourself in the aim which you stated in your introduction.

If you have used a qualitative method, you may combine the presentation of the findings with their analysis and discussion.

4.3.6 Analysis and Discussion

All the information you have gathered from whatever source needs to be organised, evaluated, selected and presented in a way which ‘tells a story’ to the reader. It should be relevant to the research question (topic) of your dissertation and inform a logical argument in narrative form which links the conclusion you reach with the aims and objectives of the dissertation, the investigation and the findings.

In this section, you analyse and synthesise what you have found, drawing out the key themes and relating them to what you found in your literature review. You should highlight similarities and differences between your own findings and those of other authors and comment on the possible reasons for these. Through doing this, you will show how your work fits in to the current body of knowledge in your subject area and also indicate the boundaries of the scope of what you have done.

You should differentiate clearly between the actual findings and the interpretation you put on them. A good dissertation tends to have fewer references in this section but if you need to support your interpretations you can refer back to elements of the literature review here. It is unusual for large numbers of new references to appear at this stage.

4.3.7 Conclusions

This is where you present your conclusions for the whole dissertation and answer the research question and research objectives you set originally.

You may also use this section to reflect on the limitations of your research, make recommendations for further research and suggest how future researchers might learn from your experience and do things differently.

4.4 PLANNING

Plan ahead if you need to order inter-library loans for material not accessible from the Library and if you are intending to carry out any fieldwork, allow enough time not only for the data collection but also for the analysis and interpretation of your findings.

Make a full record of all your references as you go along including the page numbers. This will enable you to construct a comprehensive bibliography and reference your work fully.

Agree a schedule of appointments with your supervisor and advise them in advance if you are not able to make a meeting.

Keep a log of your supervision sessions, noting action points to be completed and discussed (see APPENDIX 1).

USE THE SUPERVISION LOG IN APPENDIX 1

The dissertation is 25% of your final year workload. Allocate your time to it accordingly.

Leave enough time to reflect on, edit and print your completed work. Last minute computer failure will not be accepted as a mitigating circumstance. Back up your work regularly. It is the considered judgement of academics that Microsoft designers do not like students and researchers, as something always goes wrong with formatting at the last minute!

4.5 WRITING UP

4.5.1 The Process

Everyone works in different ways. Some people write up the work as they go along, while others only begin after they have undertaken all research.

It is your work and you have total and final control over the project, your approach and its content. However, it is worth considering the reasons you have a tutor assigned to you – to support and guide as you progress. Writing up as you go along is beneficial in that it allows your tutor to comment on your style, methods and content as you progress, helping you maintain your focus, and s/he may be able to suggest exploration of areas/angles you had not considered. Writing up after undertaking all research and then presenting it to your supervisor, results in something of a fait accompli and may mean you have to put in a lot of extra time and effort re-working the draft or undertaking further research you had not anticipated.

A recommended way to write up is to start with the main body, followed by your conclusions.

Regardless of the subject of the work and the approach you use, try to adopt a structured, logical, analytical and critical approach throughout.

Compile the reference and bibliography sections as you go along. Consider using RefWorks or a similar computer package if that helps you. And please familiarise yourself with Word’s referencing function – it will make your life easier.

Write the introduction last, when you know what you will want to outline to the reader.

Then write the abstract. This gives a short overview of the complete work and should be no more than 250 words. Its purpose is to allow other researchers to do a quick check on the relevance of the work for them.

SEE APPENDIX 4 FOR THE ABSTRACT STRUCTURE AND AN EXAMPLE

Finally, carefully consider and, if necessary, amend the title to ensure the content of the dissertation is precisely reflected. The title should be agreed with your tutor.

Having completed your work, give yourself time for reflection. Check that your arguments are logical and coherent and that your conclusions are backed up with evidence and arguments drawn from the main body of the text.

Proofread your work checking for grammatical and spelling errors. Note that spellcheckers tend to default to American English; this is not acceptable. Standard British English is required. Ensure all work is correctly referenced and that your reference list and bibliography are complete.

4.5.2 Style

You are expected to write in a concise, informative, lively but formal, style. You should be analytical rather than descriptive in your approach and communicate clear, coherent arguments in a narrative style.

As a general rule, jargon, slang, the first person (I), use of stereotypes and generalisations should all be avoided. Also, do not simply replace “I designed a questionnaire…” with “the researcher designed a questionnaire…” Consider the passive voice: “A questionnaire was designed to be completed by….for the purpose of…”

There are times when the first person can be used effectively to emphasise the role of the researcher or your particular interpretations or opinions but you should recognise where this might be appropriate from the academic texts that you read. Similarly, the use of jargon and slang may be appropriate if you are citing interview data or reflecting a particular context but should only be used with care.

4.5.3 Referencing

Referencing identifies the source of ideas, texts, tables, diagrams, etc. that have been drawn from authors other than you. It enables the reader to follow up on sources that may interest them and also protects you from allegations of plagiarism.

You are required to use the Harvard referencing system.

FOLLOW THE GUIDE TO HARVARD REFERENCING ON MOODLE

Give a list of all references referred to in the text in alphabetical order of author at the end of the dissertation.

Follow this with a bibliography. This should include all references plus details of sources consulted but not referred to directly in the text.

4.5.4 Plagiarism

Please see the University Regulations ANNEX 1 and ANNEX A3 accessed via http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/registry/secretariat/regulations.htm for full guidelines on plagiarism and academic offences.

Correct referencing avoids inadvertent plagiarism.

You are required to submit an electronic copy of your dissertation via Moodle using the TurnitinUK software. This enables you and the staff to check your work for plagiarism. There may be a 24 hour delay on feedback from Turnitin, so leave yourself enough time to check your work before the hand-in date.

As there are different ‘levels’ of plagiarism, e.g. inadvertent v. deliberate, students may (at our discretion) be offered an opportunity to prove their authorship by undergoing an extended viva voce (i.e., oral examination). This does NOT ‘make it all better’, but may provide the student with an opportunity to avoid an outright fail.

NB. IF YOU ARE FOUND TO HAVE PLAGIARISED, YOUR WORK WILL BE AWARDED A MARK OF ZERO (and you may not be offered a resit opportunity)

5. SUBMITTING YOUR DISSERTATION

5.1 Format for Submission

The dissertation should contain the following in this order:

• Cover
• Title page
• Acknowledgements
• Abstract
• Table of Contents
• List of tables and figures
• The body of the work divided into chapters (e.g. Introduction, Literature Review, Aims and Objectives, Methodology, Findings, Analysis and Discussion, Conclusions)
• References
• Bibliography
• Appendices (if any)
• Annexes (if any)

On the cover there should be:

 the title of the work;
 your full name;
 your enrolment number
 the title of your award (degree name)
 The University of Lincoln
 the date of submission.
 the word count excluding the abstract, appendices, footnotes, the reference list and bibliography

On the first page inside the cover the title of the dissertation and your name should appear again.

The second page should be the ‘Acknowledgements’ page – state here the name(s) of any person(s) who assisted you in the preparation of this work and briefly state how they helped you e.g. contacts in organisations. Acknowledgements should be brief and factual.

On the third page there should be an ‘Abstract’ of the dissertation. This should be a summary of the aims and scope of the work, when and how it was carried out, and the results and conclusions emerging from the work. It should be about 250 words long.

The fourth page should be the ‘Contents’ page, showing the titles of the different sections of the dissertation and corresponding page numbers. This is the final task you will complete when the whole of the work is finished and checked.

On the fifth page put a ‘List of tables and figures’ and the numbers of the pages on which they occur. If the tables or figures are referred to more than once, they should be placed in the Appendices; if you refer to them just once, you may place the table or figures within the texts.

On the sixth page start the main chapters

Following the main body of the text give the list of References and, starting on a new page, the Bibliography.

Finally, add any Appendices and Annexes.
These can include material such as long tables, lengthy quotations, and other material used in the study which gives additional evidence but which is too cumbersome to include in the main body of the text. The material must be referred to in the main body of the text (for example, ‘see Appendix 9 for a copy of the questionnaire……….’).

An annex is a document produced by another author and its pages are usually independently numbered.

The body of the dissertation is a stand alone piece and so information in the appendices should not be critical to the content. Appendices should not be used as a way of getting round the 10,000 word word count.

The entire work must be paginated.

12 point lettering must be used with 1.5 spacing on one side of good quality A4 paper. Colour printing is not necessary.

Margins must be 30mm on the left-hand side of the page and 25mm on the right-hand side, top, and bottom of the page.

Your dissertation must be bound using spiral binding or heat binding methods.

5.2 Submission Arrangements

You are required to submit bound two (2) hard copies of your work and one (1) electronic copy submitted via Moodle. One hard copy will be retained for the library and one will be available for your collection after the assessment process has been completed. The electronic copy will be used to check for plagiarism.

You are strongly advised to make an extra copy for yourself.

THE SUBMISSION DATE IS 10 APRIL 2014

Late submissions are subject to University Regulations that deduct 10 marks for each 24 hour period of lateness or part thereof. For example, an original mark of 56% would be reduced to 46% if it were to be handed in up to a day late, and reduced to 36% if handed in between 1 and 2 days late, etc.

Extensions will only be considered if extenuating circumstances apply which are supported by evidence. Computer failure is not accepted. Applications for extensions should be made to the Programme Leader for your course. Applications can be made up to and including the due date for submission.

If you have Extenuating Circumstances which may affect your ability to complete your work on time or affect the quality of your work and which cannot be accommodated by an extension, you should apply to the Extenuating Circumstances Board to consider your case. Forms are available from the Student Support Centre.

6. ASSESSMENT

6.1 The Assessment Criteria

GET TO KNOW THE ASSESSMENT CRITERIA IN APPENDIX 5

Familiarise yourself with these criteria and use them to assess your progress as you start to produce your work.

All dissertations are double marked and a sample is reviewed by the External Examiner. You will be notified of your mark following the July Award Board Supervisors are not able to indicate the mark or classification in advance.

6.2 Some Common Problems

Check the following points which might help you to avoid some commonly recurring problems.

Lacks critical analysis … One of the most common criticisms is that the work lacks critical and analytical thought. In your approach, always question ‘why’ rather than ‘what’.

Too descriptive … Descriptive dissertations do not usually attract good grades. Students using their own experiences often produce descriptive dissertations. Your findings must be critically interpreted and examined and should include academic underpinning.

Some introductions are also overly descriptive and lengthy. Include only information which is relevant.

Not making good use of information … Students often put a lot of effort into researching the topic they have chosen, but then struggle to put the information to good use. Make sure the information you collect is usable. This means identifying what you wish to collect and determining what you are going to do with it before you start collecting.

Lacks Structure … Frequently the work ends up as a number of discrete essays, with either a very fine link, or no link whatsoever. This is inevitably due to a lack of structure and/or focus. The importance of a draft structure cannot be stressed enough, otherwise you have little or no control over the final structure.

Makes generalisations … Avoid making sweeping statements which cannot be substantiated.

Ignores limitations … If you have encountered limitations of any sort, don’t ignore them; acknowledge them.

Losing work … Save your work on a regular basis (e.g. every 30 minutes) to a memory stick as well as the hard disk.

Sustaining motivation … This can be difficult and there is no easy answer. Keeping the printed work in a binder may help your motivation, as you can see the individual sections and chapters developing into the final piece of work.

Plagiarism … This is a serious offence. Plagiarism is detectable and rigorous checks are made. If proven, a fail grade may be awarded, which has serious implications for your Degree. Avoid this by attributing all ideas where necessary and sourcing all material.

See THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY in Annex 1

7. IF YOU NEED EXTRA HELP

During the supervision process, if any issues arise which cannot be resolved directly with your supervisor, please contact the Dissertation Coordinator Pedro Regina on 01724 295398 or [email protected]

8. RECOMMENDED READING

Brown, R. B. (2006) Doing your dissertation in business and management: the reality of researching and writing London: Sage

Clough, P. and Nutbrown, C. (2007) A student’s guide to methodology: Justifying enquiry London: Sage

Collis, Jill & Hussey, Roger (2009) Business Research: A Practical Guide for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students. London: Macmillan

Daymon, C. and Holloway, I. (2002) Qualitative Research Methods in Public Relations and Marketing Comunications, London: Routledge

Gill, J and Johnson, P (2002) Research Methods for Managers London: Sage

Hackley, C. (2004) Doing Research Projects in Marketing, Management and Consumer Research, London: Routledge

Lewis, Roger (1994) How to Manage Your Study Time. London: Harper Collins

O’Leary, Zina. (2004) The essential guide to doing research. London: Sage

Robson, C. (2011) Real World Research (3rd edition) Wiley-Blackwell

Saunders, Mark, Lewis, Philip & Thornhill, Adrian (2007) Research Methods for Business Students. London: Prentice Hall.

Sharp, John. (2002) The management of a student research project. 3rd Edition. Aldershot: Gower

Silverman, D. (2005) Doing qualitative research: a practical handbook 2nd edition London: Sage (see also 2000 edition)

Silverman, D. (2001) Interpreting qualitative data: methods for analysing talk, text and interaction London: Sage (see also 1993 edition)

Swetnam, D. (2000) Writing your dissertation: how to plan, prepare and present successful work Oxford: How to Books

Tranfield, D., Denyer, D., and Smart, P. (2003), “Towards a methodology for developing evidenced-informed management knowledge by means of a systematic review”, British Journal of Management 14(3) 207-222

Walliman, Nicholas S. R. (2004) Your undergraduate dissertation: the essential guide to success. London: Sage

White, B. (1999) Dissertation Skills for Business and Management Students. London: Cassell

[See also, http://www.economist.com/research/styleguide/]

APPENDIX 1

LINCOLN BUSINESS SCHOOL

DISSERTATION SUPERVISION LOG

The log should be completed for each meeting/contact. Supervisors and students should sign to show agreement on the outcomes. Copy additional pages as required.

STUDENT NAME
COURSE
EMAIL
TEL
ADDRESS

DISSERTATION TITLE

SUPERVISOR

Supervision Date Start time: End Time:
Issues

Action Points for next meeting

Student Signature: Supervisor Signature:

DISSERTATION SUPERVISION LOG

Supervision Date Start time: End Time:
Issues

Action Points for next meeting

Student Signature: Supervisor Signature:

Supervision Date Start time: End Time:
Issues

Action Points for next meeting

Student Signature: Supervisor Signature:

DISSERTATION SUPERVISION LOG

Supervision Date Start time: End Time:
Issues

Action Points for next meeting

Student Signature: Supervisor Signature:

Supervision Date Start time: End Time:
Issues

Action Points for next meeting

Student Signature: Supervisor Signature:

APPENDIX 2

Dissertation Progress Review: Submit by 09 Jan 2014

This is an opportunity for the student, supervisor and module coordinator to reflect on progress to date. The supervisor should send the completed form to Pedro Regina, together with a copy of the ethical approval form.

Student name Course Enrolment number

Supervisor name Student seen Yes No

Working title of dissertation

Support workshops attended and rated by student
Event Attended? 1 = not useful 5 = very useful
Research Ethics 1 2 3 4 5
Focusing your topic 1 2 3 4 5
Constructing a literature review 1 2 3 4 5
Research Methods 1 2 3 4 5
Survey Design and Analysis 1 2 3 4 5

STUDENT’S summary of progress to date

SUPERVISOR’S summary of progress to date

Signed ___________________________________________STUDENT Date_______________

Signed ___________________________________________STAFF Date_______________

APPENDIX 3

PLANNING AND WRITING AIDS (Available at the University of Lincoln)

Students seeking help to plan, structure or proof check their work assignments, should consider the following two applications:

Inspiration ® is a useful piece of software to help you plan and structure your essays, presentations or reports.

Inspiration lets you easily express your thoughts and ideas onto a computer screen as a visual diagram or mind-map. Press a button, and the diagram can be converted into a text based outline plan to guide your essays, etc.

Inspiration also offers easy re-structuring of your plans, with a single-click option to transfer them into Microsoft Word, for you to then expand on.

Inspiration diagrams can visually show associations between ideas that are hard to spot when they are in a list, and especially benefits visual learners.

Ask at the Centres about help sheets for Inspiration or you can download copies from by typing in the following address: https://portal.lincoln.ac.uk/C15/C6/DocLib/default.aspx

ClaroRead PLUS ® is software that can read aloud words as you type them, or any text you highlight on a computer screen.

It is available on the University’s networked computers (excluding Macs).

It is particularly beneficial for anyone who finds reading, writing or using language difficult.

Its simple tool bar offers a perfect aid to proof-reading, spell checking, and identifying those words that can be spelt in various ways (e.g. there and their).

Headphones are required, and can be purchased in the Learning Resource Centres. Ask at the Centres about help sheets for ClaroRead PLUS or you can download copies from by typing in the following address: https://portal.lincoln.ac.uk/C15/C6/DocLib/default.aspx

APPENDIX 4

SAMPLE ABSTRACT

Title: Promoting Business with Corporate Gifts – The case of the UK airline industry.

Purpose
The main objective was to investigate the use of corporate gifts and incentives in the UK airline industry and to examine the role of corporate gifts in the marketing communications mix.

Methodology
A critical review of the literature was carried out plus an email survey of 21 companies in the UK airline industry.

Findings
The companies surveyed believed that corporate gifts could considerably aid their marketing communication strategy. However, the key to the successful use of gifts lies in making sure that they add value to their service offering, enhancing their corporate image and creating goodwill.

Research limitations/implications
This survey was carried out in a single industry with a small sample so caution should be exerted when the findings are generalised. It would be interesting to conduct a similar survey in other industry sectors to find out whether there is any significant difference between sectors or different sized companies in terms of business gift giving behaviour.

Practical implications
Companies, who use corporate gifts, should use them in co-ordination with other tools in the marketing communication mix, and should have a well-defined objective for their use and ensure that they are correctly targeted, creative and ethically accountable.

Originality/value
As there is very little published academic research on the topic, this study provides useful insights on how corporate gifts and incentives are used in practice and their role in the marketing communications mix.

APPENDIX 5

Undergraduate Dissertation Feedback Sheet 2013/14

Student name:……………………..……… ………Enrolment no……………………………..Agreed Mark: ……..……%

Note, the categories below are only a guide to illustrate the features that we are looking for in a good dissertation. It is not intended that these all carry equal weighting in the overall score, this will be left to the markers’ judgements depending on the type of dissertation and topic chosen.

70+ 60-69 50-59 40-49 35-39 Fail
Clarity of expression Excellent Fluent, clear.
Correct use of terminology and
English.
Careful proofreading Very clear

Very few
grammatical or
spelling errors Mostly clear

Most words
correctly spelt
Some points unclear
A little misuse of
words and grammatical errors
Careless proof reading/spelling Difficult to understand.

Spelling grammar and general use of English needs urgent attention
Referencing Comprehensive, flawless, and in Harvard style Comprehensive and in Harvard style
Comprehensive
Reasonably extensive, but not full Harvard style Limited and/or considerably removed from Harvard style No referencing, reference list and/ or bibliography

Research question, research objectives The research question is rigorous and the supporting objectives clear and focussed The research question is rigorous and the supporting objectives clear and focussed Good insightful research question with sufficient, clearly detailed, research objectives Satisfactory research question
underpinned by some research objectives Vague research question with research objectives which do not properly support it No research question or research objectives
Structure Develops logical argument. Links aims, objectives, investigation, findings and conclusion Develops logical argument. Links aims, objectives, investigation, findings and conclusion Generally good. Some minor inconsistencies Does not always follow through arguments Objectives unclear/key themes not clear but a core thread exists. Conclusion unclear. No aims and objectives. Disorganised. Haphazard
No conclusion
Literature Review Selective and clearly focused elaboration of the academic issues underpinning the research.
Critiques the relevance of the material drawn from extensive reading. Selective and clearly focused elaboration of the academic issues underpinning the research. Evidence of extensive reading around the topic. A substantial elaboration of academic material underpinning the research question.
Good use of academic sources. Just sufficient use of relevant sources

Lack of focus on research question Limited academic support for the research question.
Some irrelevant material
Over-use of general internet sources Use of only one or two sources

Most material irrelevant
Methods Appropriate and technically excellent.
High level critique of approach taken.
High level awareness of limitations. Appropriate methods, with substantial critique,
justified clearly.

Well aware of limitations Appropriate methods with some critique. Not justified fully.

Not aware of all limitations
Generally relevant method with some minor flaws

Reasonable awareness of limitations Not all elements of method appropriate to task

Limited reference to limitations. Method not recognisable and/or valid.

No awareness of limitations
Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation Demonstrates clear understanding of subject.
Evaluates concepts in relation to practice and theory
Logical, insightful and highly focused Clearly identifies defines and explains key issues.

Relates theory and practice

Use of insight and critical thought. Identifies most issues.
Gives clear explanations
Gives some relevant illustrative examples

Reflective stance on most points Misses some key points.

Definitions and explanations generally clear

Some attempts at evaluation Some irrelevant material.

Misunderstands some concepts

Unsupported assertions

Descriptive rather than evaluative Clear and consistent evidence of not understanding basic concepts

Sweeping generalisations

Regurgitates/ cuts and pastes material

No evidence of critical evaluation

n
Conclusions Reviews findings and discusses particular applications

Identifies opportunities for further study Provides a strong evidence- based conclusion

Objectives achieved Conclusion largely backed by evidence

Objectives mostly achieved Limited evidence base for conclusion.

Objectives not fully achieved Limited conclusion

Objectives not achieved.
No conclusion or limited conclusion unrelated to objectives
Originality Original and creative

Extends material into new areas, ideas and/or applications
High level critical analysis

Extends material into new areas, ideas and/or applications
Substantial evidence of personal thought.

Some original material
Some evidence of personal thought
Little evidence of personal thought

None

Communication

Research (investigative work and academic presentation of findings)

Existing knowledge and understanding of the subject

Critical/analytical thinking

Originality

Overall impact (for fails, please indicate what is required to bring the work to a pass standard)

Signed: 1st marker 2nd marker

ANNEX 1

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
By Robin Croft and Graham Spickett-Jones

EXAMPLE ONE: SPORTS SPONSORSHIP

This student is extremely interested in sports – all sports: he wants to write his dissertation on some marketing aspect of it. As well as being actively involved in sports, he has family connections with a 2nd-division football club which may give him access to some of the key management.

The Good…
Topic

The student chooses to focus chiefly on football and to take a key marketing topic, sports sponsorship. After discussions with his tutor he floats a hypothesis that sponsorship can never be a cost-effective part of the promotional mix.

Research

The student finds a considerable amount of theoretical material on sponsorship in general, and sports sponsorship in particular. This comes in two forms: academic data (mainly from marketing journals and texts) and current data (from newspapers, magazines and other sources). To this the student adds much of his own observation and sets up interviews with the commercial side of the football club.

The format

The student presents the arguments (academic and otherwise) which support the hypothesis and those which argue against it.
He analyses them critically before forming his own judgement: does the original hypothesis stand or fall?

the Bad…

The student decides to focus on sports sponsorship. He finds hundreds of references to sponsorship in the media and backs this up with all the references he can find about the topic in textbooks and journals. The report is a lengthy compilation of abstracts of all the data he has found. There is no plan, no format, no analysis, no focus. Although a great deal of work has gone into the project it makes a poor dissertation because it lacks structure and focus.

and the Ugly…

The student has an interview with the management of his football club and keeps asking them about marketing. They tell him how important sponsors are. He then sends a questionnaire to all the Football League clubs, but most of them fail to reply. The report has some useful empirical data but has no structure and no academic underpinning.

EXAMPLE 2: THE FASHION INDUSTRY

This student is particularly interested in the fashion industry – clothes, fragrances, accessories. She has spent part of her placement year working for a small fashion house in Pads and hopes to make a marketing career in the industry on completion of her degree. She is on good terms with her placement company and is confident that they would find some time for her when she needs additional data.

The Good…
Topic
The student chooses to focus on clothes retailing within the fashion industry, and to look at ways in which the concept of the marketing mix is adapted by it. She floats the hypothesis that companies in the fashion business cannot be said to be marketing oriented as they manifestly exploit consumer needs and wants.

Research
The student is able to draw on a considerable amount of theoretical material concerning the marketing concept and the marketing mix. She also locates some good texts covering the fashion industry, retailing and the marketing of luxuries. To this she adds contemporary sources which address the more controversial elements in the hypothesis. In the event there is no particular need to supplement the theoretical work with company interviews, although the student does discuss her final conclusions with her former placement firm.

Format
The student starts with setting the ground, defining elements of the marketing concept and profiling (briefly) the fashion retailing industry. The various arguments which both support and contradict the hypothesis are then brought out and a conclusion argued based on detailed critical analysis.

the Bad…

The introduction fails to identify any particular theme or hypothesis, its stated aim being to examine the role of marketing in the fashion industry. The report is strong on theoretical background – in fact the student finds that she has spent months establishing what the marketing concept is. The final report consists of two almost separate themes – what is marketing and how does the fashion industry do its marketing? Although a huge amount of work has gone into the dissertation it comes to no particular conclusion because of poor focus.

and the Ugly…

The report concentrates on the former placement company and includes a good deal of irrelevant financial data. The student finds some texts on the fashion industry, including a so-called expos6 by a freelance journalist. She has some interviews with her former colleagues who complain about the difficulties of breaking into the market due to the dominance of the major players. Finally the student adds a SWOT analysis of the company. The report contains no great insights, lacks structure and academic underpinning, is short on originality, analysis and critical thinking.

EXAMPLE 3: PARTY PLAN SELLING

The student is intrigued by Party Plan, having several relations involved in schemes including Tupperware and Ann Summers. She feels that this is an under-researched subject area, and is confident that she will be able to produce some good original insights into the method, using family connections within the various companies concerned.

The Good…
The topic
The student chooses to examine the social interaction taking place in the party-plan situation using the inductive approach. This is to be compared with other more conventional forms of retailing.

The research
The student effectively blends material from business (the basis of selling, promotional communication, retailing, industry statistics), psychology and sociology. Her original research is clearly focused, being based on observation at several selling parties. She starts to build a theory regarding the effectiveness of social interaction in selling.

Conclusions
The student presents a tentative paradigm which tries to make sense of what distinguishes party-plan selling from other more conventional forms. She identifies a range of areas worthy of further research.

The Bad…

The student identifies a body of knowledge regarding selling which is summarised effectively in the early stages of the dissertation. Almost as a second separate report she adds a lengthy section on direct selling in general, with a large amount of data concerning the growth of the industry, the major players, industry trends, etc. Finally, as a third separate section, the student adds some notes based on the comments of the family members working in direct selling. Unfortunately student seems unsure what to make of the colossal amount of data she has amassed and is unable to interrelate. The fact that there are no real conclusions is as a direct consequence of failing to set objectives for the dissertation as a whole.

and the Ugly.

The student obtains a mass of promotional material from the various firms and attempts to make sense of them. She obtains financial data on the companies concerned, various reports on direct selling and some newspaper articles. Without focus the final report comes across as a collage of items connected by a common theme, but coming to no particular conclusion.

ANNEX 2

Appendix 1

Ethical Approval Form: Human Research Projects

UNIVERSITY OF LINCOLN
UNIVERSITY ETHICS COMMITTEE
ETHICAL PRINCIPLES FOR CONDUCTING RESEARCH WITH HUMANS

The following ethical principles govern research with humans conducted under the authority of the University:

• The principle of respect for persons acknowledges the dignity and autonomy of individuals, and requires that people with diminished autonomy be provided with special protection. This principle requires that subjects give informed consent to participation in research. On account of their potential vulnerability, certain subject populations are provided with additional protections. These include children, prisoners, the mentally disabled, and people with severe illnesses.

• The principle of beneficence requires us to protect individuals by seeking to maximise anticipated benefits and minimise possible harms. It is therefore necessary to examine carefully the design of the study and its risks and benefits including, in some cases, identifying alternative ways of obtaining the benefits sought from the research. Research risks must always be justified by the expected benefits of research.

• The principle of justice requires that we treat subjects fairly. For example, subjects should be carefully and equitably chosen to insure that certain individuals or classes of individuals – such as prisoners, elderly people, or financially impoverished people – are not systematically selected or excluded, unless there are academically or ethically valid reasons for doing so. Unless there is careful justification for an exception, research should also not involve persons from groups that are unlikely to benefit from subsequent applications of the research.

Each of these principles carries strong moral force, and difficult ethical dilemmas arise when they conflict. A careful and thoughtful application of the principles will not always achieve clear resolution of ethical problems. However, it is important to understand and apply the principles, because doing so helps to assure that people who agree to be research subjects will be treated in a respectful and ethical manner. Nothing that is said in these principles and guidelines will absolve the responsibility of the researcher to act in accordance with the best interests of the participants.

These principles are to apply to research with human participants. They are intended to provide both the general principles and rules to cover situations encountered by researchers. They have as a primary aim, the welfare and protection of the individuals and groups with whom researchers work. It is the individual responsibility of each researcher to aspire to the highest possible standards of conduct in carrying out research. Researchers should respect and protect human and civil rights. Some areas of experience and behaviour will be outside the reach of research for ethical reasons. These guidelines have been adapted from the ethical guidelines of a variety of professional and other bodies involved in conducting research with human subjects.

1. GENERAL FRAMEWORK
1.1. The membership of the University Ethics Committee consists of a Chair nominated by Academic Board – currently the Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) – representatives nominated by each Faculty/Institute, the University Chaplain (or nominee) and relevant co-opted members.
1.2. It has responsibility for agreeing protocols for research on people, on behalf of Academic Board – as well as issuing guidance and advice to colleagues undertaking research on people.
1.3. As a central part of its role, the University Ethics Committee has formal responsibility for the approval of all research on humans conducted under the authority of the University.
1.4. This responsibility is normally sub-delegated to the Faculty/Institute Research Committees, which may in turn devolve responsibility for approval as appropriate while retaining overall oversight of the process.
1.5. The Faculty/Institute Research Committees should include an external member in the discussion of ethical issues.
1.6. In all cases of research with human subjects, whether conducted by staff or students of the University, approval must be obtained prior to the commencement of the research from the Faculty/Institute Research Committees.
1.7. In cases of uncertainty at Faculty/Institute level, the projects must be referred to the University Ethics Committee for adjudication. The University Ethics Committee will also consider appeals against decisions related to ethical issues of the Faculty/Institute Research Committees.
1.8. In the case of research involving individual students, the research must have the prior approval of the research supervisor whose responsibility it is to ensure that the planned research accords with the above ethical principles for conducting research.
1.9. Where research also requires approval from an outside body, for example, the NHS Local Research Ethics Committee, the research proposal shall be submitted for approval to such bodies. This will normally take place once it has been approved through University procedures.
1.10. The Faculty/Institute Research Committees will supply an annual report to the University Ethics Committee in December of each year that will include a summary of their actions in relation to research ethics and any issues for consideration by the University Ethics Committee. The latter will monitor their activities. The University Ethics Committee will in turn submit its annual report to the Academic Standards Committee in February of each year.
1.11. Members of the University Ethics Committee and Faculty/Institute Research Committees will display appropriate levels of confidentiality in discussing ethical issues.
1.12. In all cases researchers must consider the ethical implications of their research and the personal consequences for the participants in that research.
1.13. The investigation should be considered from the point of view of all participants in the research – such that any foreseeable threats to their well-being, health, values or dignity are ethically justifiable in terms of the benefits.
1.14. In conducting research, researchers should interfere with the participants or context from which data are collected only in a manner that is warranted by an appropriate research design and that is consistent with researchers’ roles as academic investigators.
1.15. Researchers should recognise in terms of the participants that in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society with diverse religious belief and value systems, where investigations involve individuals of different ages, gender and social background, researchers may not have sufficient knowledge of the implications of any investigation for the participants. It should be borne in mind that the best judge of whether an investigation will cause offence may be a member (or members) of the population from which the participants are to be drawn.
2. CONSENT TO RESEARCH
2.1. Prior to conducting research (except research involving only anonymous surveys, naturalistic observations, or similar research), researchers should, whenever possible, enter into an agreement with participants that clarifies the nature of the research and the responsibilities of each party.
2.2. Researchers should use language that is understandable to research participants in obtaining their appropriate informed consent (except as provided in section 4 on Dispensing with Informed Consent). Such informed consent shall be appropriately documented prior to any research being conducted, in accordance with the standards of any professional body.
2.3. Using language that is reasonably understandable to participants, researchers should inform participants of the nature of the research; they should inform participants that they are free to participate or to decline to participate or to withdraw from the research; they should explain the foreseeable consequences of declining or withdrawing; they should inform participants of significant factors that may be expected to influence their willingness to participate (such as risks, discomfort, adverse effects, or limitations on confidentiality, except as provided in section 7 on Deception in Research); and they should explain other aspects about which the prospective participants inquire.
2.4. When researchers conduct research with individuals such as students or subordinates, researchers should take special care to protect the prospective participants from adverse consequences of declining or withdrawing from participation.
2.5. Where research is being conducted with children or other individuals who are unable to give consent, or who are unable to understand the nature of the research process for other reasons, special care should be taken to safe-guard their interests.
2.5.1 Where children, or other individuals, who are unable to understand the nature of the research process, may be the subjects of research lack of participation in the research procedures should be taken as a withdrawal of consent at that point.
2.5.2 For people who are legally incapable of giving informed consent, researchers nevertheless (a) should provide an appropriate explanation, (b) should obtain the participant’s assent, and (c) should obtain appropriate consent from a legally authorised person, if such substitute consent is permitted by law.
2.5.3 If harm, unusual discomfort, or other adverse consequences for the individual’s future life might occur, the researcher must obtain the disinterested approval of the relevant Faculty/Institute Research Committee, inform the participants, and obtain real, informed consent from each of them.
3 CONFIDENTIALITY
3.1 Subject to the requirements of legislation, including the Data Protection Act, information obtained about a participant during an investigation is confidential, unless agreed in advance. In principle, research participants have a right to remain anonymous. This right should be respected both where it has been promised explicitly and where no clear understanding to the contrary has been reached. These strictures apply to the collection of data by means of cameras, tape recorders, and other data-gathering devices, as well as data collected in face-to-face interviews or in participant-observation. Research participants should understand the capacities of such devices; they should be free to reject them if they wish; and if they accept them, the results obtained should be consonant with their right to welfare, dignity, and privacy. In the event that anonymity and/or confidentiality cannot be assured to participants, the participant must be warned of this prior to giving consent
4 DISPENSING WITH INFORMED CONSENT
4.1 In exceptional circumstances before determining that planned research does not require the informed consent of research participants, researchers should consider any applicable external regulations and institutional requirements, and they should obtain the explicit approval of the relevant Faculty/Institute Research Committee.

5 INFORMED CONSENT IN RESEARCH FILMING OR RECORDING
5.1 Researchers will obtain informed consent from research participants prior to filming or recording them in any form, unless the research involves simply naturalistic observations in public places and it is not anticipated that the recording will be used in a manner that could cause personal identification or harm.
6 OFFERING INDUCEMENTS FOR RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS
6.1 In offering professional services as an inducement to obtain research participants, researchers should make clear the nature of the services, as well as the risks, obligations, and limitations.
6.2 Researchers shall not offer inappropriate financial or other inducements to obtain research participants, particularly when it might tend to coerce participation or to risk harm beyond that which they risk without payment in their normal lifestyle.
7 DECEPTION IN RESEARCH
7.1 It is accepted that there may be occasions where deception in research is necessary and justified. However, researchers should not conduct a study involving deception unless they have determined that the use of deceptive techniques is strongly justified by the study’s prospective scientific, medical, or educational value and that equally effective alternative procedures that do not use deception are not feasible. This should have the explicit approval of the relevant Faculty/Institute Research Committee.
7.2 . The withholding of information or the misleading of participants is unacceptable except where strong justification is given and where prior approval has been received from the relevant Faculty/Institute Research Committee.
7.3 . Researchers should never deceive research participants about significant aspects that would affect their willingness to participate, such as physical risks, discomfort, or unpleasant emotional experiences.
7.4 . Any other deception that is an integral feature of the design and conduct of an experiment must be explained to participants as early as is feasible, preferably at the conclusion of their participation, but no later than at the conclusion of the research.
8 PROVIDING PARTICIPANTS WITH INFORMATION ABOUT THE STUDY
8.1 Researchers should provide a prompt opportunity for participants to obtain appropriate information about the nature, results, and conclusions of the research, and researchers should attempt to correct any misconceptions that participants may have.
8.2 If scientific or humane values justify delaying or withholding this information, researchers must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of harm.
8.3 Researchers should inform research participants of their anticipated sharing or further use of personally identifiable research data and of the possibility of unanticipated future uses.
9 WITHDRAWAL FROM THE INVESTIGATION
9.1 At the outset of the research (except in the case of justified covert research, or anonymous research) investigators should make it plain to participants that they have the right to withdraw.
9.2 In the light of the experience of the research, or as a result of debriefing, the participant has the right to withdraw retrospectively any consent given, and to require that their own data, including recordings, be destroyed.
9.3 Researchers must take measures to honour all commitments they have made to research participants.
10 PROTECTION OF PARTICIPANTS
10.1 Researchers have a primary responsibility to protect participants from physical or mental harm during the investigation. Normally the risk of harm must be no greater than in ordinary life i.e. participants should not be exposed to risks greater than or additional to those encountered in their normal lifestyles. Where the risk is assessed as being greater than in ordinary life the provisions of paragraph 2.3 should apply. Participants must be asked about any factors in the procedure that may create a risk, such as pre-existing medical conditions, and must be advised of any special action that they should take to avoid risk.

10.2 During the research, a researcher may obtain information about, or evidence of physical, medical or psychological problems of which the participant is unaware. In such a case, the researcher has a duty to inform the participant if the investigator believes that by not so doing, the participant’s future well being may well be endangered.
10.3 If during the research a participant solicits advice or help from the researcher, caution should be exercised. If the issue is serious and the researcher is not qualified to offer help, then the appropriate source of professional advice should be recommended.
10.4 Participants should be informed of procedures for contacting the researcher within a reasonable time period following participation, should stress, potential harm, or related questions or concerns arise despite the precautions required by these principles and guidelines. Where research procedures might result in undesirable consequences for participants, the researcher has the responsibility to detect and remove or correct these consequences.
10.5 Where research may involve behaviour or experiences that participants may regard as personal and private, the participants must be protected from stress by all appropriate measures, including the assurance that answers to personal questions need not be given. There should be neither concealment nor deception when seeking information that encroaches on this privacy.
10.6 In conducting research with children, great caution should be exercised.
When discussing the results with parents, carers, teachers or others in loco
parentis since evaluative statements may carry unintended weight.
11 OBSERVATIONAL RESEARCH
11.1 Studies based upon observation must respect the privacy and well-being of the participants. Unless those concerned give their informed consent to being observed, observational research is normally only acceptable in those contexts where those observed would expect to be observed by strangers. Additionally, particular account should be taken of any belief systems or local cultural values and of the possibility of intruding upon the privacy of individuals who, even when in a normally public place, may believe that they are unobserved.

Annex 2

Appendix 2

GUIDANCE ON RISK ASSESSMENT IN RELATION
TO ETHICAL APPROVALS

It is requirement of the university that all research projects that raise potential ethical issues must be approved prior to commencement by faculty or institute research committees. As part of this process, research leaders must complete the appropriate “ethical approval form” which requires a short statement of the risk assessment of the project based on the vulnerability of participants, the extent to which it is likely to be harmful, and whether there will be significant discomfort. This note provides guidance on the key issues that should be addressed in such an assessment.

Key issues to be addressed in project risk assessment:

• Is there a physical risk to participants or might participants be harmed in any way? If so, what is the likelihood of this happening and the potential consequences ?

• Is there a psychological risk to participants ? If so, what is its likelihood and consequences ? (Psychological risk can include: loss of status, privacy or reputation, feelings of embarrassment, being demeaned, becoming worried or upset etc.)

• Is any deception of individuals involved ? What are the possible reactions to this and consequences ?

• Where the research involves clinical interventions, what are the potential side effects, risks, or hazards, and what are the potential risks of not intervening ?

• Are any of the potential physical or psychological risks identified above applicable to the researchers themselves ?

• Are members of particularly vulnerable groups involved in this research and, if so, is there a possibility that the physical or psychological impacts and the consequences of those might be of a more serious nature because of their increased vulnerability ? (Particularly vulnerable subjects include minors; adults with learning disabilities, dementia, or mental illness; prisoners; adults who are unconscious, seriously or terminally ill. This list is not exhaustive and research leaders are expected to consider whether any research participants might be considered to fall into particularly vulnerable categories).

• Might the research expose the university to unusual financial or legal risks ?

Where the risk of any of the above is more than minimal, or where particularly vulnerable subjects are involved, this must be stated on the relevant Ethical Approval Form. In such cases, full ethical approval for the research may need to be sought from the University Research Ethics Committee as well as from the Faculty or Institute Research Committee.

ANNEX 2

Ethical Approval Form: Human Research Projects

This form must be completed for each piece of research activity whether conducted by academic staff, graduate students or undergraduates. The completed form must be approved by the designated authority within the Faculty/Institute.

Name of applicant

University of Lincoln Faculty:
Department:
Position in the University

Role in relation to research

Project title

Brief description of project with approximate start and completion dates

Principal investigator or supervisor, including phone number and e-mail address

Other researchers or student investigators

Type/number of subjects involved and how de-briefing will be carried out

Location(s) at which project is to be carried out

The ethical issues involved and how they are to be addressed, including a risk assessment of the project based on the vulnerability of participants, the extent to which it is likely to be harmful and whether there will be significant discomfort

Note: This will normally cover such issues as whether the risks/adverse effects associated with the project have been identified and dealt with, whether the benefits of the research outweigh the risks, whether the information and consent arrangements are adequate, and whether the level of any inducements to participate are appropriate.

Signature of applicant

I certify that I have read the University’s ETHICAL PRINCIPLES FOR CONDUCTING RESEARCH WITH HUMANS AND OTHER ANIMALS

Signed by the lead applicant (with date)

———————————————————————
then print name

———————————————————————

Approval

Does this research require the approval of an external body?

Yes/No

If so, which body?

———————————————————————

Signed on behalf of the Faculty/Institute Research Committee (with date)

LINCOLN BUSINESS SCHOOL

Dissertation Topic Form 2013/14

Student name
Email address Phone number
Title of Award Enrolment number
Name of agreed supervisor if any
If you have not agreed a supervisor and would like me to allocate you one, please write in the names of your preferred supervisor(s), if any, here. Please note that whilst I will try to match your preference, this will depend on tutor availability and can’t be guaranteed.

Date Topic Form submitted

Provisional dissertation title
(E.g. A study of shock advertising with particular reference to its use by charitable organisations)

Please give a brief outline of the topic. This should include the focus of the theory to be considered and its application.
(E.g. I will review the literature on the use of advertising designed to shock. I will define different types of shock advertising and review how they are used by charitable organisations. I will then make some recommendations based on my findings as to which approaches seem to be the most appropriate and discuss my reasons.)

PLEASE RETURN TO [email protected] by Thursday 10th October 2013

Dissertations Calendar 2013/14

Date Event Responsibility Venue Time
26 Sept An introduction to Your Dissertation
Pedro Regina HELEC1 See induction schedule
24 Oct Getting Started on Your Dissertation
(review and Handbook) Pedro Events Centre 3.30pm
24 Oct
The Research Question (workshop on focusing your topic)
Pedro / Rob /
Simon / Jackie Events Centre 4.30pm
24 Oct Research Workshop
(using UoL Portal)
Jackie / Simon / Pedro A106 / A071 / A113 7.00pm
TBA Constructing a Literature Review (workshop) TBA TBA
TBA North Lindsey College
E-Learning Resources Belinda Allen TBA
TBA Research Methods workshop TBA TBA
TBA Research Ethics workshop
TBA TBA
TBA Survey Design and Analysis workshop TBA TBA
TBA Writing up your Dissertation workshop TBA TBA
20 Dec 13 Supervision Log Supervisor
20 Dec 13 Work-in-Progress Student Turnitin 10am-4pm

09 Jan 14 Submission of Progress Review form Supervisor
06 Feb 14 Supervision Log Supervisor
06 Feb 14 Work-in-Progress Student Turnitin 10am-4pm
06 Mar 14 Supervision Log Supervisor
06 Mar 14 Work-in-Progress Student Turnitin 10am-4pm
10 Apr 14 Hand-in Student HE Office 10am-4pm
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