Business Research Method and Skill

Coursework – Option 1

For this coursework you can select either option 1 or option 2

In this assignment you are exploring and evaluating the design of a specific piece of research. You will address the 5 questions posed in the assignment brief. To understand the context of the research generally I have provided some information in the background to the research section. You are NOT reviewing this for the assignment – it is there merely to help you understand a bit more about the general background to the research plan. Please note this is a HYPOTHETICAL research plan – it is not running – you are NOT to contact any external organisations to comment on this.

 

Research Plan option 1

In this research we are testing the theory that providing a solar light to a family in a home that does not have electricity and living in the developing work results in a reduction in poverty and increased income generation by the household.

Firstly we undertake a literature review and identify prior research on this topic. We use this research to build a survey instrument with quantitative measures that capture poverty measures, household activity and income generation. Two villages will be identified in rural areas of Zambia and the women of each village given a solar light. There will be 300 lights given away. At the start when we give away the lights we gather baseline household data (T0) for each recipient of a solar light using local researchers employed by the project. These researchers will speak the local language, are from the community, and will be trained by the project leader from Essex University. The project leader will attend a selection of the initial surveys. Data collected will be entered by the research teams into an SPSS file and emailed to the project team leader. Repeat measures are taken at T1 after 6 months to capture data on quantifiable changes in indicators measures (e.g. in assets, income, schooling etc) and their activity (type of business they run, home production etc). At T2 after one year we measure again. Then we visit again at T3 after two years. Each time we visit to survey them we will give them a $10 payment. After year 1 all data collection will take place by the local researchers without the project leader present. We then analyse the data using SPSS to look for statistically significant differences across these measures over time.

 

In this assignment please produce a response to these five elements. In answering each question you should draw on theories and literature on best practice research methods and the specific techniques employed. The word counts are suggestions but you must address each section. The total word count is 2500 (+/- 10%). There is one composite mark given that covers the whole response (it is not judged proportionally based on word count) but failure to complete one element will result in a mark deduction

  1. With reference to the Saunder’s research onion describe the research philosophy, approach, strategy, choices and time horizon for this research plan. For each element of this you are to justify WHY you came to this conclusion (suggested length of 600 words)

 

  1. What are the key limitations and problems that might occur with this proposed research plan? You can comment here on things like the sampling frame, the issues with the specific techniques chosen, the way data might be collected, the analysis etc (suggested length of 500 words)

 

  1. Is it appropriate to consider the reliability, validity and generalizability of your research instruments and ultimate findings? Explain your answer (suggested length of 400 words)

 

  1. What are the key ethical issues this research raises and how might you address them? (suggested length of 500 words)

 

  1. Consider how you might investigate this research topic using either interviews or focus groups (or a combination of these). Describe the basic research plan for this explaining how you would collect data, (sample size etc) what the data might be and how you would analyse it (suggested length of 500 words) explaining and justifying your reasoning for these decision (9)

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