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Westminster International College Module Title: Research Methodologies Programme: MBA Full Time Semester: Two Academic Year

Period: October 2012 - January 2013 Lecturer: Dr. Kui Juan Tiang Date of Completion and Submission: 17 December 2012 Submission Method: Online via turnitin Assessment Type: A type-written assignment Assignment Question: The aim of the module is to equip students to plan and conduct a research project leading to the production of a Masters level dissertation. The general goal is to introduce and develop the skills needed to conceptualise a problem and a viable research topic. Students will make use of available literature, design a research strategy, evaluate, organise, and integrate relevant data (both existing and new), derive useful solutions, and communicate those solutions in an appropriate form to clients and colleagues. The module will prepare students to continue their own professional education and contribute to the development of the profession as a whole, at a standard commensurate with the current level of knowledge. The module surveys the basic processes of research methodology as practised in the social sciences. Underlying principles of science and logic are emphasised and special attention is directed toward the recognition of common sources of error and bias in the implementation and interpretation of research studies as it affects the outcomes of research utilisation.

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You are required to submit a research proposal. The content of the document produced by each student is required to cover the specific areas and to be within specific maximum word lengths (marks allocation and word lengths in brackets) as follows: 1.0 Title and Introduction . Form a clear title of a proposed research. Elaborate on the background of the industry and/or company to be researched as well as the problem or issue identified. Also explain the significance and rationale of the proposed research. (15 marks / 800 words maximum) Research Questions. Construct the questions to be answered in the proposed research. (5 marks / 100 words maximum) Research Objectives and Framework. State the research objectives in terms of the factors or causes identified (independent variables) and their relationships with the identified problem or issue (dependent variable). Following the stated objectives, construct a proposed research model or conceptual framework. (5 marks / 100 words maximum) Literature Review. With reference to various relevant literatures, write a critical review and analysis of both the conceptual/theoretical and practical aspects of the identified problem/issue and factors/causes. (40 marks / 2,000 words maximum) Research Methodology and Design. Elaborate the concept, types and approaches in research. Propose a research design for the research topic selected with detailed explanation on elements such as the sample, sample size, types and sources of information, collection methods and operationalisation or measurement of variables. (15 marks / 800 words maximum) Ethical Considerations. Identify ethical issues involved and steps taken to prevent breach of research ethics. (5 marks / 100 words maximum) Timescale or Gantt Chart. Construct a Gantt Chart in weeks that includes the stages and milestones of the research tasks and their respective time allocations. (5 marks / 100 words maximum) References. Using the Harvard referencing system, provide a comprehensive list of references. (10 marks)

2.0 3.0

4.0

5.0

6.0 7.0

8.0

Assessment Requirements:

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The submission of your work for assessment should be organised and clearly structured in a report format as outlined in 1.0 to 8.0 above. Maximum word length allowed is 4000 words, which includes sections 1.0 to 7.0 in the report. The word count excludes section 8.0. This assignment is worth 100% of the final assessment of the module. Student is required to submit a type-written document in Microsoft Word format with Times New Roman font type, size 12 and line spacing of 1.5. The Harvard Style of Referencing system is COMPULSORY. Indicate the sources of information and literature review by including all the necessary citations and references adopting the Harvard Referencing System. Students who have been found to have committed acts of Plagiarism are automatically considered to have failed the entire semester. If found to have breached the regulation for the second time, you will be asked to leave the course. Plagiarism involves taking someone elses words, thoughts, ideas or essays from online essay banks and trying to pass them off as your own. It is a form of cheating which is taken very seriously. Take care of your work and keep it safe. Dont leave it lying around where your classmates can find it.

Malaysian Qualifications Agency Learning Outcomes Module Learning Outcomes: Demonstrate the skills necessary to assess and interpret existing research as a prelude to carrying out further investigation and the knowledge and understanding of range of research designs and their appropriate utilization. Conceptualise a problem; formulate hypotheses and objectives; design a research strategy, collecting, analyzing, and interpreting both quantitative and qualitative data, including commonly encountered statistical procedures. Understand the theoretical principles underlying inferential and descriptive statistics. Integrate the findings of existing research to ask a new research question. Engage in critical thinking when reading and comprehending research articles. Choose the most appropriate statistical analyses, interpret results, and write up the results accurately and completely.

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Notes on Plagiarism & Harvard Referencing Plagiarism Plagiarism is passing off the work of others as your own. This constitutes academic theft and is a serious matter which is penalised in assignment marking. Plagiarism is the submission of an item of assessment containing elements of work produced by another person(s) in such a way that it could be assumed to be the students own work. Examples of plagiarism are:

the verbatim copying of another persons work without acknowledgement the close paraphrasing of another persons work by simply changing a few words or altering the order of presentation without acknowledgement the unacknowledged quotation of phrases from another persons work and/or the presentation of another persons idea(s) as ones own.

Copying or close paraphrasing with occasional acknowledgement of the source may also be deemed to be plagiarism if the absence of quotation marks implies that the phraseology is the students own. Plagiarised work may belong to another student or be from a published source such as a book, report, journal or material available on the internet. Harvard Referencing The structure of a citation under the Harvard referencing system is the author's surname, year of publication, and page number or range, in parentheses, as illustrated in the Smith example near the top of this article.

The page number or page range is omitted if the entire work is cited. The author's surname is omitted if it appears in the text. Thus we may say: "Jones (2001) revolutionized the field of trauma surgery." Two or three authors are cited using "and" or "&": (Deane, Smith, and Jones, 1991) or (Deane, Smith & Jones, 1991). More than three authors are cited using et al. (Deane et al. 1992).

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An unknown date is cited as no date (Deane n.d.). A reference to a reprint is cited with the original publication date in square brackets (Marx [1867] 1967, p. 90). If an author published two books in 2005, the year of the first (in the alphabetic order of the references) is cited and referenced as 2005a, the second as 2005b. A citation is placed wherever appropriate in or after the sentence. If it is at the end of a sentence, it is placed before the period, but a citation for an entire block quote immediately follows the period at the end of the block since the citation is not an actual part of the quotation itself. Complete citations are provided in alphabetical order in a section following the text, usually designated as "Works cited" or "References." The difference between a "works cited" or "references" list and a bibliography is that a bibliography may include works not directly cited in the text. All citations are in the same font as the main text.

Examples Examples of book references are:


Smith, J. (2005a). Dutch Citing Practices. The Hague: Holland Research Foundation. Smith, J. (2005b). Harvard Referencing. London: Jolly Good Publishing.

In giving the city of publication, an internationally well-known city (such as London, The Hague, or New York) is referenced as the city alone. If the city is not internationally well known, the country (or state and country if in the U.S.) are given. An example of a journal reference:

Smith, John Maynard. "The origin of altruism," Nature 393, 1998, pp. 63940.

An example of a newspaper reference:

Bowcott, Owen. "Street Protest, The Guardian, October 18, 2005, accessed February 7, 2006.

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