The academics considered it is an interesting and substantively relevant choice of research problem. However, the proposal does not evidence sufficient familiarity with the literature and it is unclear why and how the study adds value.

Research proposal should look something like this:

  • Rationale for the research project, including: a description of the phenomenon of interest, and the context(s) and situation in which you think the research will take place; an explanation of why the topic is of interest to the author; and an outline of the reasons why the topic should be of interest to research and/ or practice (the ‘so what?’ question); a statement of how the research fits in with that of potential supervisor(s) in the Department of Management.
  • Issues and initial research question. Within the phenomenon of interest: what issue(s) do you intend to investigate? (This may be quite imprecise at the application stage); what might be some of the key literatures that might inform the issues (again, indicative at the application stage); and, as precisely as you can, what is the question you are trying to answer?
  • Intended methodology: How do you think you might go about answering the question? Do you have a preference for using quantitative methods such as survey based research, or for qualitative methods such as interviews and observation?
  • Expected outcomes: how do you think the research might add to existing knowledge; what might it enable organisations or interested parties to do differently?
  • Timetable: What is your initial estimation of the timetable of the dissertation? When will each of the key stages start and finish (refining proposal; literature review; developing research methods; fieldwork; analysis; writing the draft; final submission). There are likely to overlaps between the stages.

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