Teaching and learning strategy
Management Research Component
The teaching and learning strategy for the Management Research component of the module is designed to encourage students to think critically about the different stages of the research process and to engage in evaluating the different research methods and techniques. It will include:
1. Lectures delivered by the module tutors designed to develop an understanding of theory.
2. Student-led class discussions of mini case studies and research scenarios to put theory into application and transform the acquired knowledge into practice.
3. Statistics, computer lab tutorials in which students will be introduced to and trained on the basics of conducting quantitative data analysis using SPSS.
Each session will be supported by detailed self directed learning:
1. Preparatory reading with questions to guide students’ note taking.
2. Follow up exercises to consolidate students’ learning, where appropriate applying this to new situations and including action learning.
3. Guided further reading to enable students to extend their knowledge and understanding.
The University’s virtual learning environment (ULearn) will be used to support student learning by providing them with, alongside teaching materials, formative self assessment test materials and additional resources and links to useful websites.
The teaching and learning strategy for the Dissertation component builds upon the Management Research component. It is designed to allow the students to take responsibility for their own learning and progress, supported by individual supervision during which students will be able to explain, discuss and refine their particular ideas (including organization specific research problems) with their supervisor through regular supervision. The regularity, timing and arrangements for these will be agreed between the supervisor and the student at the start of the period of research. Early in the supervision process, the students will discuss, refine and agree, via a formative research proposal the objectives of their applied research, the arrangements for fieldwork, the development of research instruments and ethics. This will be formatively assessed by the supervisor, the student having to successfully complete their proposal before formally proceeding with their dissertation. Students are required to complete an ‘Ethical Issues in Research Form’ before commencing data collection. The supervisor will also comment on one draft chapter and, in addition, one complete draft of the students’ work.
Assessment for will be in four parts:
Regular tests to self assess their knowledge, understanding and application during the Management Research component (formative), Research proposal (formative), a dissertation (90%) and a reflective essay (10%). Students will not be allowed to commence data collection until their research proposal has been approved by their dissertation supervisor and, as part of this, the School’s ‘Ethical Issues in Research Form’ completed and approved.
The research proposal for the students’ dissertations should be no more than 2500 (plus 10%) words. It is intended to be formative, helping the students to ensure that they have a valid and viable dissertation. Students will not be allowed to proceed further with their dissertation until they have successfully completed their proposal.
It will be assessed by the supervisor against the following criteria.
· Extent to which the subject falls within the subject matter of the MBA
· Extent to which the working title represents the dissertation subject
· Organizational and academic contexts and links to appropriate literature
· Clarity of research objectives
· Feasibility of method or methods that will be adopted to achieve the dissertation objectives including issues of access
· Research ethics
· Appropriateness of the intended time scale and resources required
The dissertation should be no more than 14000 (plus 10%) words falling within the subject matter of the MBA. It should have a clear applied focus and should be an ordered, critical exposition of knowledge providing evidence that the students have met the learning outcomes for the module outlined above.
The dissertation is the application of relevant theories and concepts to a managerial or organisational issue, where practical recommendations arise from the interactions between theories and concepts from the literature and the data collected. It can therefore, for example, be based within an organisation, a number of organisations or look at an issue across a variety of organisations. The dissertation will be assessed against the following criteria:
· Originality and relevance (20%): For example, thoroughness and coherence of literature review; critical examination and evaluation of the current business context using academic frameworks (concepts/ business models); identification of the main research problem; its relevance and implications; originality and creativity etc.
· Structure, Argument and Focus (20%): For example, clarity and definition of research objectives; use or development of appropriate conceptual frameworks and application of academic knowledge to the existing problem; logical development; continuity of themes; coherence and structure of arguments; use of evidence to support arguments, etc.
· Method and findings (25%): For example: critical evaluation of available research approaches and methods; selection of method appropriate to research objectives; selection of analytical techniques appropriate to data collected; validity, reliability and generalisability of findings obtained and relevance to research questions, etc.
· Insight and understanding (25%): For example: critical analysis, evaluation and application (rather than mere description) of results; interpretation of key findings; justifiability of conclusions and /or solutions to the problem identified; strategic action plan and recommendations for implementation; implications for management practice; recognition of limitations; suggestions for future research, etc.
· General presentation (10%): For example: executive summary; style, structure and layout; appropriate use of tables, diagrams, appendices; style of referencing etc.
The purpose of the reflective essay is to encourage students to engage in experiential and reflective learning and to relate their learning from the dissertation to their work role and/or personal development. The essay should be no more than 1000 (plus 10%) words in length. It will be assessed against the following criteria:
· Critical evaluation of learning through their dissertation and demonstration of reflective practise
· Provision of evidence to support the analysis
· Action planning for future personal and/or career development
· Application of reflective practice literature to the analysis