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摘要：Generic Dissertation Guidelines......
ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE DISSERTATION
1.Setting a Context for the Topic Chosen
You must provide an insight into the context underpinning the topic – e.g. you may need to give a review of what is currently happening within a specific organisation or particular business sector and to review some key themes relating to the international strategic problems you are investigating in the organisation or sector. Setting an appropriate context will help the reader to appreciate why you have chosen the topic and illustrate why the topic is significant.
2.Undertaking a Literature Review
You must do a comprehensive review of the published work from secondary sources which are of specific interest to the central themes of the investigation you are undertaking. The secondary sources may be chapters of a book, papers in academic journals, professional body publications, newspaper reports, management consultancy reports etc. You must identify the leading authors and practitioners in the topic you are investigating and reflect upon the implications of their contribution to the central themes of your topic area. The literature review will help you to identify significant concepts, ideas and perspectives affecting the key themes of the topic under consideration. In your dissertation you must state clearly the aims and objectives of the review and you must provide a logical presentation of the research work done thus far in the topic area you are investigating.
3.Stating clearly the dissertation Research Question and Objectives.
You must provide a coherent statement of what you hope to achieve by undertaking your investigations. That is you must state clearly your research question and objectives. The stated objectives will help the reader to appreciate the scope of the work undertaken. A specific research question or questions needs also to be stated and this would often be supported by specific research hypotheses.
4. Developing a Philosophy of the Research Design and valid Methodologies to underpin your investigations
You must provide a brief discussion of philosophy of your research design to include ontological and epistemological assumptions underpinning your research
You must provide substantive evidence of why you have used particular research methods and techniques to take your investigations forward. You need to explain why such techniques and methods are appropriate and indicate that you are aware of the scope and limitations of the methods adopted. You must discuss the theories, concepts and models you have found useful in your investigations. The rationale for using the theories, concepts etc. must be made clear and you must acknowledge the specific ways in which the theories and concepts have been applied. In summary the Methodology chapter/s of the dissertation is concerned both with the research methods you have used [ eg. personal interviews, focus groups, quantitative methods etc.] and the theories and concepts that you have found appropriate in investigating your topic area.
5.Reviewing your own Personal Development
As you commence the project you must reflect upon the personal development objectives that you wish to achieve in conducting and completing your project. As part of your completed project you must include a commentary as a subsection of the research methods review discussing the extent to which your personal development objectives have been achieved and the skills you have refined or acquired in achieving those objectives within your wider management experience to date. This section of the dissertation on personal reflection/development is part of the PALS development process.
6.Data Analysis and Findings resulting from your Investigations
You must provide a discussion on the methods of data analysis that you will employ to analyse the data that you have collected. Please ensure that you provide an analysis of the data using appropriate methods of data
analysis ( i.e. for qualitative data include categorisation, unitisation and recognising relationship; for quantitative data include hypothesis testing for example chi –squared test ).
It is important that you have critically evaluated and analysed factors/issues/ collected data relating to your chosen topic area, rather than being purely descriptive and anecdotal. You must recognise that there are often different perspectives on problems and issues and on the solutions to those problems. Thus you need to generate balanced arguments and use illustrative examples to justify your findings.
You must summarise the results of your investigations and emphasise the significance of the results. You are likely to be stating some solutions to problems and making recommendations [for future action or for further research] and in proposing these it may be helpful to assign levels of priority to the recommendations. The recommendations must include a timescale relating to their review and potential implementation together with the resources and management actions likely to be required to support the measures that need to be taken.
References used in your Dissertation
You will have used a wide range of sources in undertaking the dissertation. All sources must be appropriately acknowledged and referenced in accordance with the Harvard referencing system. You might find it useful to look at the following URLs of web sites that will help in referencing and citation ---
A general guide to citation:
‘Cite them Right’ --- how to organise bibliographical references’
A more detailed guide to referencing Harvard style:
This is the URL for the research node of the Library web resources. It has further links to Word or PDF documents giving advice on ‘Launching your research in the Library’ including citations, electronic journals, planning your research etc.
The Research and Supervisory Process
You are about to begin your studies on the final element of your degree programme. Most people agree that this aspect of postgraduate study is possibly the most challenging and rewarding. The module guide and these notes provide the basis of you being able to successfully complete your study.
It is very important that you read these notes in conjunction with the module guide and make sure that you comply with the requirements. The notes inform you how you are to be supervised and the commitments that you have to work to. They detail what you can expect from your supervisor and what they will expect of you.
It is important that you work within the specified timescales otherwise we cannot guarantee the support that you will need to complete the dissertation. We have organized a Team that can support a wide range of research projects that reflect the expertise of the staff. The level of postgraduate study demands that we allocate supervision on the basis of a higher level of subject expertise and experience.
Remember also that the dissertation module works in close harmony with the Research Methods module and you will be expected to draw on the ideas from that module to formulate your research.
Preparing the Research Proposal
During the Research Methods module, you will be required to hand in a Research proposal to the Learning Resource Centre. The date for the proposal to be handed in is Friday 6 May 2011
Working with your Supervisor
You will be placed in a small supervisory group of students with whom you will work as a support group. The designated Supervisor for your dissertation will be published on the notice board during the week commencing 16th May. The module leader will provide a general feedback session on a date to be agreed later in May. Your Supervisor will then set a framework of meetings that you are required to attend as normally supervision will not be offered outside of these sessions. The supervisory support will be based on the following events.
(Please note: You are required to attend each one of the supervisory meeting with your supervisor.)
Meeting One – week commencing 6th June
Supervisors will meet each of their groups once to discuss the following
1. to expand and define the dissertation in more detail
2. develop boundaries as to what the project will cover and not cover
3. to formulate clear objectives for the project as outcomes
4. to establish a strategic management context for the project
You will be asked to say more about your intentions and offer ideas in support of others , so come prepared ! This meeting is likely to last 1.5 hours.
Meeting Two – week commencing 27th June
Your supervisor will publish an agreed date to meet for the second meeting. Again you should allow for a meeting of 1 hour. Discussion will focus on the following areas
1. The literature review
2. Significance of the research methods to support the project objectives
3. How to structure the project
4. Discuss key management concepts and theories to use
5. Develop a set of ideas that need to be investigated in YOUR work
Your supervisor will provide you with feedback on your work to date.
Meeting Three- week commencing 11th July
This should be a progress report on the literature review and discussion of the key methodological issues.
Meeting four - week commencing 25 July
You will be invited to a meeting with your supervisor and will be expected to discuss your research methodology, data collection requirements, and data analysis. You are working exclusively on your project now so progress should be quite intense and the presentation and work completed should start to reflect this.
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