MGMT589– THE INTERNSHIP RESEARCH PROJECT
Guideline approx. 2000-2500 words. Focus on quality and expressing your ideas clearly and concisely.
Remember – Business Research is not purely academic – it is undertaken to enable effective management decisions and prevent bad ones. Business research is undertaken to inform decisions that are grounded in making sense of data, thus reducing the risk of making decisions based on intuition or “gut feel”. As you are undertaking an MGM internship it is highly likely that your supervisor / management team / director may will be extremely interested in your research and the recommendations that you make. It may be that your research is shaped and supported by your company or organization and you will want to impress with the most professional product that you can create.
2. Project Title
Your project title should summarize your research project’s central idea, identify the variables under discussion and the relationship between them (Owl Purdue, Sample Papers. Your title should not be too long – maximum 16 words.
EG Investigating the Barriers to Online Banking for Seniors: A Case Study of XYZ bank
Brief introduction to the organization or sector which you intend to investigate
4. Problem Statement
Refer back to the research plan you developed for 580 and refine it to fully articulate a problem statement. (i) What do you see as the important problem or challenge facing this organization or sector that you propose to address? (ii) Why did this challenge arise and (iii) what are its impact(s)? Be precise and try to clearly articulate the issue that you want to examine. (200 words). If for whatever reason you will not be using the 580 plan that you developed (for example, if your organization suddenly decides that they want you to create a post pandemic recovery or marketing plan) please let me know as soon as possible.
5. Research Question (RQ)
This (the RQ) should stem from the problem or challenge you have developed in the Problem Statement section and is the question driving your research study. Your research question may well incorporate the name of your company as the research project links directly to your internship. You can have only one main question and possibly one or more sub questions that help you answer your main question. State your research question(s) main and sub below:-
(Max. 25 words)
Main Question: What barriers prevent older customers from utilising online banking applications and how can these barriers be overcome at XYZ bank?
Sub question: how can banks support older customers in their use of online banking?
6. Academic Discipline(s)
What will be the primary academic discipline(s) through which you will examine this subject? Identify the broad discipline you will explore (e.g. strategy, finance, operations, HR, OB, marketing, international business, etc.). If you can, identify the sub-topic(s) that you will examine within this discipline (e.g. change management, relationship marketing, strategic decision making, etc. (Maximum 100 words)
Primary academic discipline(s) that you will use
Sub-topics of the discipline(s)
7. Annotated Bibliography
Develop an annotated academic bibliography of 10 sources. Ensure that this literature is directly relevant to the research you want to undertake. Your bibliography must be properly formatted using APA 6th Edition. Use the Cornell University guide below (or similar) as an example for your annotated bibliography. (Maximum 1000 words)
This Annotated Bibliography will be further developed in the Literature Review section of your research paper.
For example – 2-3 (text)books, 2-3 academic journal articles, plus policy and industry reports and other sources (e.g. Conference Board of Canada reports, Statistics Canada, Real Estate Board of Greater Victoria, McKinsey, PWC).
8. Methodology (the framework) and Research Methods (the data collection tools)
Use the following sub-headings (a – g) to organize your content for this section (500+ words)
Methodology is the framework and refers to the ways in which you design your study (quantitative versus qualitative approaches) and collect your data – research methods are the tools that you use.
Data collection methods may be qualitative, quantitative, or mixed. Think carefully about the kind of data you need to answer your research question? Will you use quantitative or qualitative data, or a mix of both? The choice of data collection methods depends on your research question. Your research question may call for primary data or secondary data, or a combination of the two. Secondary data does not mean secondary research. Secondary research is your literature from peer reviewed articles, business sources, etc.) Secondary data is data / information collected by a reliable source (such as Statistics Canada, Conference Board of Canada, an Industry Association, etc.) and which you can analyse. You analyse secondary data, you don’t collect it directly.
b) Research Methods
What Research Methods (tools) will you use to collect data?
How do you anticipate that you will collect data? What primary research activities (e.g. interviews with senior management, online survey of employees, focus groups with potential customers) will you use? Make clear how the approach you are choosing will help you answer your research question. Think about how realistic it will be to conduct your research – don’t consider undertaking massive surveys or lots of face to face interviews. For face to face interviews, for example, think about a maximum of 15 as you also have to analyze the data coming from the interview (Maximum 200 words)
Tip – Think very clearly about how you can best answer your Research Question – how can you obtain good data on it?
Research Question Example
“Why do older customers at Best-in-Class Bank seem reluctant to engage in online banking and what can be done to mitigate this?”
Example of methodology used to address this question
I will use a sequential mixed methods approach. I will first use face to face interviews with senior managers in the bank to gather data about their opinions on why older customers seem reluctant to engage in online banking. I will then use the information from my interviews to create a customer survey tool to gather information from bank customers in the over 50 age group to obtain their views about online banking”.
In this example you would be collecting a combination of qualitative data (from your face to face interviews) and quantitative information (from your survey of customers).
c) Choice of methodology
In the next part of this section you will explain why you have decided to use a specific methodology and the particular methods you choose to use. The choice of methodology (the overall approach) and the specific methods (the tools) that you intend to use will depend on your research question. Some tools are more appropriate for some types of problems or questions. For instance, if you elect to conduct interviews with senior managers, you should explain why these data sources are relevant for your specific problem formulation.
You should reference the research methodology literature to support your choice of methods.
e.g:-I have chosen to use a sequential mixed methods approach to address the question of why older customers at Best In Class bank are reluctant to use online banking and what can be done to improve the take up of online banking by this demographic group. This type of methodology will enable me to gain rich data from senior managers regarding their perspectives on why older customers do not engage in online banking and how to solve these issues. Having identified perspectives from senior managers I will develop a survey questionnaire for older bank customers. This will enable me check out the assumptions of senior managers regarding technology use by older customers (on which our current mitigation measures are based) and to gain firsthand views of the customers themselves.
d) Data collection
In this section you will explain the process you will use to collect your data.
You should describe your sample (i.e. the sources of your data such as the people, data base, reports, etc.). Explain how you will obtain the data you need
(for example, the survey of older bank customers will be distributed to every customer who enters the branch during a one-week period).
If you are using more than one method explain “how” for each method.
Provide a draft of your likely interview questions, survey questions, focus group themes, observation procedures etc.
Talk about any problems you might encounter in gathering your data.
(for example, it might be difficult to identify older bank customers – how will I deal with this issue?)
Or – Older customers might be reluctant to answer an online survey – how can you try to ensure buy in from older customers?
e) Data analysis
In this section you will explain how you will analyse the data – and remember that before you analyse data you will need to organize it in some way and sort it. For instance, if you intend to record interviews and then transcribe them to sort into themes, this process should be explained and include how the themes were derived. Themes may come from the literature review and theories you have reviewed (deductive), or they may emerge from the data (inductive). You should reference the research methodology literature to support your methods for organizing, sorting, and analyzing the data.
f) Research Ethics
If you are using human subjects (focus groups, interviews, surveys etc.) in your research then you must use consent forms or other approved methods (such as a statement about informed consent at the top of a survey). Review the ethical approval material in the resources section of the course as it provides helpful information. However, remember that you will not be undertaking a full-scale ethical review (which means your research process is reviewed and approved by an RRU ethics committee) but you will need to obtain informed consent from your human subjects through consent forms or other approved methods.
g) Validity and Reliability
In this section talk generally about what you can do to ensure;
a. Validity: the extent to which the data accurately measure what they were intended to measure
b. Reliability the extent to which the data collection method will yield consistent findings if replicated by others.
9. Anticipated benefits
What use will this research be for your organization or for use in your future career? (Maximum100 words)
Think how you can make use of the MGM research project and in what ways it could be useful to your organization and your career objectives.