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Navigating (7BUS2104-0101) Business Research Methods in UK Universities: A Comprehensive Guide

Business Research Methods is a fundamental course offered at many UK universities, including the University of Hertfordshire. This course equips students with the necessary skills to conduct research in the business world effectively. In this blog post, we will take you through the various components of the dissertation process, focusing on the Research Proposal, which is the first step in this journey. Additionally, we’ll explore the subsequent chapters, such as the Critical Literature Review, Research Methods Table, Research Methods, Analysis, and Discussion Chapter. Moreover, we’ll delve into the significance of completing an ethics form when undertaking secondary research as part of this module.

Organizing the Dissertation Process into Sequential Chapters:

A typical business research dissertation is structured into distinct chapters, each serving a unique purpose in the research process. This structure helps students break down the complex task of conducting research into manageable steps. Let’s explore these chapters in detail:

  •       The First Part – Research Proposal:

The Research Proposal is the starting point of your dissertation journey. In this section, you will outline your research topic, objectives, research questions, and the rationale for your study. You’ll also discuss the significance of your research and the methodology you intend to use. A well-crafted research proposal lays the foundation for your entire dissertation.

Components of the Research Proposal

  1.     Research Topic: The proposal begins by defining your chosen research topic. This is where you concisely introduce the subject matter that your study will revolve around.
  2.     Research Objectives and Questions: It outlines the specific objectives you aim to achieve and the research questions that will guide your investigation. These objectives should be clear, measurable, and directly aligned with the purpose of your study.
  3.     Methodology Overview: You provide an overview of the research methods you intend to employ. Whether it’s quantitative, qualitative, or a mix of both, this section gives a glimpse into your research approach.
  4.     Rationale: Why does your research matter? Here, you articulate the significance of your study and explain how it contributes to the existing body of knowledge in the field of business.
  5.     Literature Review Preview: While the detailed literature review comes later, briefly mention key theories and studies that inform your research at this stage.


  •       The Second Part – Critical Literature Review:

The Critical Literature Review is the chapter where you evaluate and synthesize existing research and literature relevant to your topic. It helps you identify gaps in current knowledge and justifies the need for your study. This section demonstrates your ability to critically analyze existing work and build upon it.


Defining the Critical Literature Review

The Critical Literature Review is an exhaustive examination of existing scholarly literature and research relevant to your chosen topic. It serves as a foundation for your study by providing a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and the context in which your research will unfold.

Key Elements and Objectives

  1.     Synthesis of Existing Knowledge: It involves a thorough review, synthesis, and critical analysis of academic articles, books, research papers, and other sources related to your research area.
  2.     Identification of Gaps: The Critical Literature Review identifies gaps, inconsistencies, or areas of contention in the existing body of knowledge. This helps justify the need for your research and ensures that it adds value to the field.
  3.     Theoretical Framework: It helps in developing the theoretical framework for your study. By drawing on established theories and concepts, you build a solid foundation for your research.


  •       The Third Part – Research Methods Table:

The Research Methods Table is essentially a comprehensive plan that outlines the methods you intend to use for data collection and analysis. This table provides a clear overview of your research design, sampling methods, data collection tools, and data analysis techniques. It serves as a roadmap for the practical aspects of your research.

Within this table, you succinctly summarize essential elements of your methodology, including:

  1.     Research Approach: Indicate whether your study will adopt a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods approach.
  2.     Data Sources: Specify the primary sources from which you will gather data, whether it’s surveys, interviews, archival documents, or secondary sources.
  3.     Sampling Methods: Describe how you will select your study’s participants or data sources, ensuring that your sample is representative and suitable for your research objectives.
  4.     Data Analysis Tools: Highlight the statistical or analytical techniques that will be used to interpret and draw conclusions from your data.


  •       The Fourth Part – Research Methods:

The Research Methods chapter elaborates on the details presented in the Research Methods Table. Here, you provide a comprehensive explanation of your research design, data collection procedures, and data analysis techniques. This chapter offers readers a deeper understanding of how you intend to execute your research.

In the “Research Methods” chapter, you delve deeper into:

  1.     Research Design: Explain the overall strategy you employ for your study, such as case study, experimental, or survey research. Justify why this design is appropriate for your research objectives.
  2.     Data Collection: Describe the methods and instruments used to gather data, whether through surveys, interviews, observations, or document analysis. Detail how you ensure data quality and reliability.
  3.     Sampling: Clarify the criteria and procedures for selecting participants or data sources. Discuss the representativeness of your sample and its relevance to your research questions.
  4.     Data Analysis: Outline the specific techniques and software employed to analyze the collected data. Elaborate on how these methods align with your research objectives and hypotheses.

This chapter transforms your research from concept to practice, offering a comprehensive view of how you will execute your study. It demonstrates the rigor and validity of your research methods, ensuring that your dissertation is built on a solid methodological foundation in the field of business research.


  •       Analysis Chapter:

In the Analysis chapter, you present the findings of your research and analyze them in light of your research questions and objectives. This section may involve statistical analysis, qualitative coding, or other relevant methods to draw meaningful conclusions from your data.

In the “Analysis” chapter, several key elements come into play:

  1.     Data Processing: This is where the collected data is cleaned, organized, and prepared for analysis. This step ensures data accuracy and consistency.
  2.     Data Analysis Techniques: Explain the specific methods and techniques used to analyze the data. This can include statistical tests, coding for qualitative data, or other analytical approaches relevant to your research design.
  3.     Findings and Patterns: Present the results of your analysis, highlighting significant findings and patterns that emerged from the data.
  4.     Alignment with Research Objectives: Demonstrate how your analysis directly addresses your research questions and objectives.
  5.     Visual Aids: Incorporate visual aids such as graphs, charts, and tables to enhance the presentation of your findings.

The “Analysis” chapter is where the research comes to life, where data transforms into valuable insights. It showcases your ability to interpret data critically, linking it back to the research objectives, and sets the stage for the subsequent “Discussion” chapter, where you interpret the significance of your findings and their implications for the business field.


  •       Final Chapter: Discussion

The Discussion Chapter is where you interpret the results of your analysis and relate them back to your research questions and objectives. You also discuss the implications of your findings, their relevance to the existing literature, and any practical recommendations or future research directions.

Key components of the “Discussion Chapter” include:

  •       Interpretation of Findings: Here, you delve into the implications of your research results, offering insights into what they mean in the context of your research questions and objectives.
  •       Comparison to Existing Literature: Discuss how your findings align or diverge from existing literature, emphasizing the contributions and advancements your study brings to the field.
  •       Limitations and Validity: Acknowledge any limitations in your research and assess their impact on the validity of your findings.
  •       Practical Implications: Explore the real-world applications of your research and how it can inform business practices or policies.
  •       Future Research Directions: Suggest areas for future research, building on the insights gained from your study.

The “Discussion Chapter” adds depth and significance to your dissertation by contextualizing your findings and emphasizing their relevance. It demonstrates your critical thinking and ability to contribute meaningfully to the field of business research, ultimately concluding your research journey on a high note.


Why Completing an Ethics Form is Mandatory in Secondary Research:

Ethical considerations are paramount in research, and this holds true for secondary research as well. Even though secondary research involves using existing data and literature, it is crucial to ensure that you handle the information ethically. Completing an ethics form serves several purposes:

  •       Transparency: It demonstrates that you have considered the ethical implications of your research, even when working with pre-existing data.
  •       Permission: In some cases, when using data collected by others, you may need permission or consent to use that data. An ethics form helps document this process.
  •       Data Protection: It ensures that you handle sensitive or personal data with care and in compliance with data protection regulations.
  •       Credibility: Ethical research practices enhance the credibility of your study and ensure that your research is conducted with integrity.

In conclusion, the Business Research Methods course, as taught in UK universities like the University of Hertfordshire, offers a structured approach to conducting research in the business field. The step-by-step progression from the Research Proposal to the Discussion Chapter equips students with the skills and knowledge required to carry out robust and ethical research. Completing an ethics form in secondary research is vital to maintain the integrity of the research process and ensure that ethical standards are upheld throughout the study.

Why it is recommended by Writospark to get the topic outline done for this module ?

Writospark insists on having a topic outline for this module to provide clarity and focus to the research, align it with the course objectives, save time, facilitate productive discussions with supervisors, allocate resources effectively, and address ethical considerations proactively.

The Significance of Passing the (7BUS2104-0101) MSc IB Advanced Research Project Module

The MSc IB (International Business) Advanced Research Project module holds paramount importance for students pursuing this program for several compelling reasons. Passing this module is mandatory, and failing in a single step can lead to the failure of the entire module, necessitating a repeat of the course. Here’s why this module is crucial:

  •       Research Skills Development: This module equips students with advanced research skills necessary for conducting rigorous and insightful research in the field of International Business. These skills are invaluable for both academic and professional pursuits.
  •       Integration of Learning: It allows students to integrate the knowledge acquired throughout their program, applying it to a real-world research project. This consolidation of learning is vital for demonstrating mastery in their field.
  •       Independent Research: The module fosters independence in research, a skill essential for postgraduate students. It challenges them to design, execute, and manage a substantial research project autonomously.
  •       Practical Application: The research project often addresses real-world challenges in international business, contributing to practical solutions and insights that can benefit businesses and industries.
  •       Critical Thinking: It encourages critical thinking and problem-solving abilities as students grapple with complex issues and formulate research questions.
  •       Academic Integrity: Emphasizing academic rigor and integrity, the module reinforces ethical research practices, which are fundamental in academia and the business world.
  •       Preparation for Future Careers: The research project provides valuable experience for students pursuing careers in academia, consulting, or managerial roles, where research and analysis are integral.

Failing in a single step can lead to the failure of the whole module because each step in the research project is interconnected. A single weak link can compromise the integrity and validity of the entire research endeavor. Additionally, this stringent requirement ensures that students thoroughly understand and apply the research process correctly, preparing them to conduct high-quality research and contribute meaningfully to the field of International Business. Ultimately, this module serves as a cornerstone for the program’s academic and professional objectives.

Why You Need Writospark for Your Academic Success

Writospark is your indispensable academic ally, offering expert guidance, resources, and support to ensure your educational triumph. With a team of seasoned academic experts, Writospark provides subject-specific assistance, rigorous quality checks, and time-saving strategies to enhance your work’s quality while allowing you to focus on mastering your coursework. Their customized approach caters to your unique needs, whether it’s crafting research proposals, essays, or dissertations, and their guidance on structuring, referencing, and adhering to academic conventions ensures that your submissions consistently meet high academic standards, positioning you for success in your academic endeavors.


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