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100-150 words that summarise what you are thinking of doing in your research project.
a brief overview of the research problem, argument, and themes of your project report.
extract concepts (or the key themes) from your data.
seeing where a concept or group of concepts occurs
a rigorous approach to testing hypotheses from qualitative data.
a process of building up a conceptual model from your open codes and categories.
the list of major and minor activities involved in completing a miniproject or the overall project.
research where the researcher is involved in making a change and participating and observing the consequences
a list of thanks to anyone who has helped you with your research.
where the examiner is unaware of the identity of the student or students who have submitted a project report.
more of a craft than an exact science.
the rules that examiners must follow when marking your project report.
material that might be useful to understanding the report, but is not important enough to go in the main text.
a survey in which data are collected only once.
research that focuses on secondary data, especially from archives.
a collection of documents, images, and other data in unprocessed form; especially a collection of documents or other artefacts that organisations or people create as part of their ongoing activities.
starting with a given completion date, and working backwards towards the start of the project (or today) to see how the activities that need to be completed in that time can be fitted in.
materials included after the main body of the project report.
a list either of the resources that you consulted for the research project, or only those sources that you have actually cited in the main text; also known as a reference list.
tests of the relationships between pairs of variables.
project directions that initially masquerade as interesting and relevant but ultimately will not help you solve your research problem or answer your research questions and so represent time wasted on interesting information or activities that will not contribute to your finished research project.
marking done independently by each examiner without knowledge of the other person's mark.
a technique for generating and selecting ideas in a group by coming up with as many ideas as you can, without censoring them or subjecting them to critical review.
the accumulated time savings or any time built into individual activities or the entire project to absorb late finishes.
a single, bounded entity, studied in detail, with a variety of methods, over an extended period'.
a figure that presents relationships among two or more independent variables.
when you are confident that if you stop gathering data you will not miss anything new.
looking for common patterns or significant variations across your cases.
choosing a sample based on ease of access.
observing people using surveillance technology or in semi-private or private settings in your project.
avoiding getting so involved with the situation that you are unable to carry out the reflection necessary for it to be a useful piece of research.
a library that is enstrongd to a free copy of any book published within a country.
limits the use of materials created by other people.
a change in one causes a change in another
a survey in which data are collected from every member of the group being studied.
a question whose answers can be specified in advance.
hint or cues that your supervisor gives you about likes and dislikes, especially if he or she will be marking it.
a database or data set that lists company names, sales, profits, geographic profiles, industry profiles, and other useful data.
Computer-assisted protocols for interviews
software for asking questions and recording responses directly on the computer, often with the capability to transfer them to the programme that you will use to analyse them.
holding constant those factors you want to rule out as causing the changes in the output variable so that you can maximise your certainty that the changes are due to varying your input.
the group that gets no experimental treatment.
the habits and rituals that many of us require before getting down to a major piece of work.
What more you know about this problem as a result of this research project.
a significant group of concepts such as sources of ideas, drivers for ideas, or search process.
translating your respondent's language into your own language of concepts.
a number that represents each of the possible responses to each question, whether it was originally in numerical or other form.
converting raw data to standardized responses using codes.
the strength of the linear relationship between a pair of variables, for example the Pearson product-moment correlation.
people who do not know you personally and with whom you have nothing in common.
giving advice to an organization, usually in return for money. A consultant can take on different roles.
you have kept all of your field notes, tapes, and transcripts.
Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software
ethnographic software used to manage the complexity of qualitative analysis, such as Ethnograph, QSR nVivo, and winMAX.
a descriptor for an issue, movement, thought or pattern of words that would be recognisable particularly to the researcher.
letting your concepts emerge from your data, rather than from your literature review through identifying the key issues, ideas, or other meaning units in your data.
personal, such as a series of feelings or memories, or research-based, such as transcripts of interviews, evidence.
using a structured or unstructured process to identify themes in texts or other materials
a research method for analysing the structure of conversations.
you present evidence to support any contentions made.
a repository for survey data.
a set of information collected by academic or professional researchers about one or more social units using a consistent research design, or research protocol.
a structured data set, usually a matrix of data that allocates a row allocated to each social unit (e.g., organisation, household, or person) that you are studying, and a column to each variable or other measure related to that social unit.
a table containing data, for example, one that uses rows to represent your cases (each separate organisation, household, individual, or other social unit) and columns to represent each variable or characteristic of the case that you have recorded.
experimental bias or error resulting from characteristics or behaviours of the experiment's participants.
a factor that you propose is influenced by another factor (effect or outcome).
a research project based on indirectly collected data.
relationships between activities where one activity has to be completed before the other can begin.
the specific activities involved in completing a mini-project.
the range of values a category can take on.
a research method for interpreting language in its social and historical context.
structured information in print or electronic form.
Data protection act
a legal act that restricts what data you can collect about people, and enstrongs the people named in any electronic database to find out what information you are keeping on file about them and to get a copy of the information
Duty of care
your responsibility for avoiding provocative statements that could be taken out of context and used against the organisation or individuals that you have been working with.
the logic of the task undertaken by the scientist.
the repeatability of the process of inducing theory from data (rather than the repeatability of the findings themselves).
background or general information.
What your findings say about the more general research problem that you were investigating, what your findings mean within the broader context of the research project, including the theoretical literature and/or frameworks that were presented in the literature review.
the activities that we engage in whilst putting off working on your project report that we fool ourselves into thinking that they are worthwhile or even necessary.
the process by which more than one person marks your script, independently.
an investigation of the culture of a particular organisation or group and trying to find make sense of the particular situation.
the moral principles that determine how we think and act in particular situations.
multiple case studies conducted within a single setting, such as the study of multiple divisions within a single company, or the study of multiple project teams within new product development.
Enfolding the literature
turning to the literature to find vital points of reference and comparison.
people making judgemental statements about an issue or individual.
what is and isn't considered as acceptable knowledge in a field.
letting your expectations about the outcomes of the experiment influence your design of the experiment to increase the likelihood that that outcome actually occurs.
a structured process for testing how varying one or more inputs affects one or more outcomes.
what you predicted would happen before you conducted the experiment.
the input or condition you are trying to vary in an experiment.
intentional or unintentional mistakes in how you collect, record, interpret, or report your data and findings; or interactions between you and the experimental treatment, participants, and or setting.
a brief (about one page or 250 words) summary of the practical problem, your analysis of the practical problem, the alternative solutions, your recommendations, and any implementation issues.
someone from outside your institution who marks your research project.
becoming intimately familiar with your data.
an experiment that takes place in the natural setting of the social units being studied.
data that result from the identification of physical traces, such as physical changes in the environment due to erosion or accretion.
the organization that you are studying
seeing how long it will take to complete all subsequent activities starting from a given date
what you found out about the problem and what it means.
research that involves direct contact with people or organisations; the opposite of library or desk research.
your first complete version of all of your report.
starting with a broad overview of the topic and progressively narrows it down.
a total for each individual response to a question.
additional material before the main text that helps your reader navigate through your project report; it is essential for long or complex projects and optional for short and simple projects.
a very simple type of chart where time runs from left to right on the horizontal axis and where activities are represented by horizontal bars whose lengths are proportional to the amount of time involved, and milestones are indicated by diamonds (lozenges).
avoid over- or understating the wider applicability of your findings.
a research method for generating theory directly from data.
high-level objectives that help guide your decisions before and during the project.
Good subject effect
participants change their behaviours to help (or hinder) the experimenter, thus making the experimental results invalid because they do not represent how people usually behave.
Golden rules for doing field research
a set of guidelines for getting the most out of your work and avoiding the most obvious sorts of trouble.
a figure that that presents relationships among one or more sets of independent and dependent variables, especially where data follow a linear or other recognisable pattern.
Grounded case study
a procedure for capturing the evolving insights and determining your evolving research design using an approach where data collection and data analysis overlap.
an approach to qualitative research.
a list of key terms and definitions, such as the present document.
rules for the structuring of words into sentences.
a research method for interpreting texts, originally sacred texts such as the Bible, but today applied to both documents and social actions.
Hierarchy of concepts
a progressive focus or breaking down of your topic from general to specific.
a simple graph of the frequency of different responses to a question.
the logic of the task undertaken by the ethnographer.
the view that people cannot understand the world directly.
a factor that you propose influences another factor (cause or input).
giving your participants information about the experiment before they agree to participate, before you begin the experimental treatment, and after the experiment.
a 'script', or list of questions to be used in a structured interview.
a research method where the researcher collects information by asking questions of one or more respondents.
finding out things by asking questions.
an overview of your entire project report that tells your reader what you did in your project, why it was important, and what you found out.
Indirect data collection
collecting data when you can't be present for various reasons, where you have little or no direct contact with the organisation or people that you are studying, and have only their words and other records to speak for them.
collecting data through physical clues to people's behaviour, where you collect data directly through watching someone doing something, but still have little or no direct interaction with them.
a diagram that not only shows the concepts and whether there are relationships between them, it also shows the proposed cause-and-effect relationships.
someone from your institution who marks your research project.
the number assigned to an answer is based on the interval (or distance) between numbers being constant and corresponding to the numerical difference between successive answers.
gathering and reporting information about business and management organisations, people, and trends, in newspapers such as the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal and magazines such as the Economist and Fortune.
a model for understanding how to analyse qualitative data.
the theoretical problem that you want to find out more about.
data are more tightly clustered around the mean than for a normal distribution, or has data more spread out than for a normal distribution (negative Kurtosis).
the loop that is closed by reflecting on what you have learnt and what you have not yet learnt.
the record of other people's research; a specific body of knowledge.
a critical analysis of research on your research topic that describes what other people have found out about this problem and what is not yet known.
finding out more about your research topic, in particular your theoretical problem.
a diagram that shows the logic or preconditions for an event or set of circumstances to occur and provides either the ability to structure the logic of the current situation, or to indicate the necessary conditions for that situation to arise.
a critical analysis of the business and management research on your topic that positions your research it its theoretical context; shows that you understand the current state of the research topic; and supports any conceptual framework (theories, models, concepts, hypotheses) that you plan to investigate.
Logic of research
what research questions you can ask and what methods you can use to answer them.
an experiment conducted in an artificial setting, not the natural setting where participants would normally be found.
a research project based on indirectly collected data.
an important deadline or completing a substantial project output such as a project proposal that marks the completion of a mini-project.
a subproject that can be managed as a discrete part of the overall project.
taking action to avoid or reduce the effects of risk.
Mode i research
research directed towards theoretical problems.
Mode ii research
research directed towards practical problems.
everything between the first word of your introduction and the last word of your conclusions.
a person who is responsible for editing material written by different project members and making sure they are consistent in style and content.
weekly, monthly, or quarterly publications of general interest.
periodicals, typically not peer-reviewed, which are written for managers rather than academics.
Market research report
a proprietary research report on an industry, company, or product.
the arithmetic average (the sum of values divided by the number of observations) of the values in a data set.
Measures of central tendency
a statistic that describes the central point of a measure, for instance the arithmetic average.
Measures of dispersion
a statistic that describes how widely your data are spread around this central point, such as the range or the standard deviation.
a search engine that searches other search engines for information.
marking done by one examiner checking and verifying the first examiner's mark.
a specialist book written on a single subject by a single author or a single set of authors
a case study that focuses on several units of analysis.
a research methods for interpreting the stories told by individuals by focusing on the patterns that people find in their lives over time.
a very simple type of chart that shows what activities you will undertake and their sequence and interdependencies.
the settings in which people or organisations are usually found.
developing strategies to avoid unrecognised subjectivity that might bias research findings.
daily or weekly publications of general interest.
not drawing the units that you study randomly from your population, e.g., through convenience sampling.
sample error that occurs if you cannot contact all of the social units that you have selected or if some of these refuse to participate.
collecting data directly through watching someone doing something, but with little or no direct interaction with them.
noting down any issues that might be worth returning to during the interview, should any topics need probing or the conversation need more direction.
the number assigned to an answer is arbitrary, rather than representing an essential aspect of that variable, for example 1 for male and 0 for female.
statistical tests that do not rely on a normal distribution of the data.
a regular pattern where data are clustered around a point halfway between the maximum and the minimum, and symmetrically distributed around that point; sometimes called the bell curve, because its shape is roughly that of a church bell.
a library whose holdings are accessible to its users.
the view that people can understand the world directly.
a question whose answers cannot or have not been specified in advance.
a verbal presentation of the key points of your project report.
a chance to improve the project outcome or completion that you cannot identify a priority.
a systematic process for identifying concepts starting with codes that emerge when the researcher highlights the key ideas.
the number assigned to an answer represents more or less of some quality that can be placed in some order, rather than being completely arbitrary.
include any objectives that you want to achieve from the research project, such as supporting your career development, personal interests, or job prospects.
a one-off activity carried out with limited resources (particularly time and cost) to meet a given objective.
Project breakdown structure
a breakdown of a project into phases that identifies the tasks that need to be undertaken during each phase.
a generic project structure that can be applied at a high level to the main stages of a research project, including project definition, project design, project execution, and project p.
a systematic approach to managing projects, including a well-developed body of knowledge and a large set of tools.
the research objectives that you want to achieve from your research project and any personal objectives. They should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-framed.
a detailed plan of how you will actually execute each mini-project and its goals and objectives.
the detailed set of activities involved in a project.
a problem that the organisation needs to solve
a state of uncertainty about how to go on with the research process because of the number of possibilities.
a statement of your research topic, your research questions, and the main perspective that identifies what is in and what is out.
regularities in phenomena, which ethnographers try to identify.
statistical tests that assume your data have a certain distribution such as the normal distribution.
Philosophy of science
a p of the beliefs, values, and logic associated with the natural sciences, which is applied to some areas within business and management.
Philosophy of social science
a p of the beliefs, values, and logic associated with the social sciences, which is applied to some areas within business and management.
an epistemological position which is derived from the philosophy of science and is consistent with the view of the scientist.
the process used to make sure that published research meets quality standards by subjecting it to scrutiny by other academics working in the same academic area before publication.
publications that appear regularly -- daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly or irregularly, including newspapers, magazines, and academic journals.
a form of theft in which you do not give appropriate credit to other people for their ideas.
The entire set of social units that you want to study; the set that contains all members of the social units that you want to study.
a questionnaire that is sent to a respondent by post and the respondent returns the completed questionnaire the same way.
data that you have collected yourself specifically for your project.
drawing the units that you study randomly from your population.
additional statements or questions to be used in an interview.
a data set or database created as a product to be sold.
personal involvement with the subject of your investigation, with the objective of deriving knowledge from a total experience of the situation.
Participatory action research
a type of participant observation where you are trying to change the organisation in some way through your involvement as a researcher, not just analyse and report the situation
avoid by crediting the source of any ideas or words that you have taken directly or indirectly from someone else, and listing all of the relevant sources in your reference list or bibliography.
the art of putting off to tomorrow what we really should be doing today.
your circle of friends or contacts.
a change in project scope that starts as a seemingly small request or series of requests to change a small part of the project and ends up being a major or complete change.
the behaviour you are actually studying.
aspects or attributes of a category.
a statement of what is included in the project and what is excluded.
an experiment where one or more aspects of a true experiment is lacking, but the general design is experimental.
a survey where respondents are asked to record their answers to a series of questions on paper or electronic forms.
conducting unstructured or semistructured interviews.
collecting data without any contact with the social units you are studying.
a record kept by a researcher during the research project.
dictionaries, encyclopaedias, yearbooks, writing guides, thesauruses, and statistical abstracts.
sources that you have used in your research.
the real-world context in which you will investigate your research problem.
you or another researcher would get the same findings if you repeated your study.
the pattern of decisions associated with a research project.
the general approach that you will take to answering your research questions, as well as the specific techniques that you will use to gather, analyse, and interpret data.
how you will translate your research perspective into a way of studying the world.
the techniques that you will use to collect and analyse data in a particular research design, comprising specific techniques and tools, the physical or electronic artefacts associated with particular methods, e.g., a web survey or a questionnaire or an interview schedule
a 'theory' of research in a particular field which explains the assumptions concerning the nature of reality and how we can know reality that underlie the research approach.
assigning the experimental participants to experimental and control groups in a random way to ensure that differences in your experimental outcomes (dependent variables) aren't due to pre-existing or systemic differences between the people in your groups.
a survey in which data are collected continuously or at regular intervals.
a systematic process that includes defining, designing, doing, and describing an investigation into a research problem.
what you want to achieve from the research project, such as satisfying your project requirements (coursework degree work assignment).
an interest or a general area of inquiry that you want to pursue.
a formal statement of your research topic, research problem and research questions.
questions about your research topic, which define what areas of that topic you will investigate and guide what you do in your project.
where you will conduct your project.
a general area of business and management that you can investigate, which will lead to either a practical problem or theoretical problem that you can address in your research, and which can be expressed as a statement of the general area that you plan to research.
the probability that an activity fails or takes more or less time than you have estimated.
a risk associated with a project activity.
either a practical problem (real-life situation) based on an issue that you have observed in a real-life setting or a theoretical problem (general principles or observations) posed by a business or management topic about which you would like to know more but for which we have incomplete information.
a specific set and sequence of activities, which has tangible and intangible inputs and outputs, such as information, time, resources, and knowledge, and results in something (such as knowledge about the world, and actions that are taken based on that knowledge) being transformed.
a question that you ask about your research problem in order to understand more about it
Random number generator
an apocryphal method for assessing a large amount of project reports.
the number assigned to an answer take account of its distance from a zero point.
data in their original form, before you process them.
what a student who enjoys the research process may go on to do.
your ideal or actual audience for your project report.
a p of your research design and your sources of data, including references for your specific research techniques.
the second stage of Kolb's learning cycle.
your transcripts or other records are a faithful record of your discussions or observations; your main points and conclusions are robust rather than fragile.
summarising the data to reflect the patterns that you see in the data.
a first set of written versions of your core chapters.
the real-world sites in which you will gather your evidence.
inaccurate results that result from problems with sampling.
a librarian who specialises in business and management studies, or a more general specialist in social sciences who takes responsibility for business and management studies.
how you should enter your search terms and how you can combine these search terms to increase the relevance of your results
an approach to designing and doing research based on the natural sciences and the philosophy of science.
an epistemological position derived from the philosophy of social science, and consistent with the view of the ethnographer.
a subset the population that you want to study.
the amount of buffer built into a project or mini-project.
the difference between the sample that you select and the population that you take it from.
a list of all the units in the population.
a research design based around collecting (or acquiring) and analysing secondary data, data that you do not directly collect from organisations or people in their natural settings.
data that other people have collected for their own research projects or for commercial purposes.
relying on just one person as the source of data about an organisation, workgroup, household, or other group of individuals.
a case study that focuses on a single unit of analysis, such as a corporation.
a research method for interpreting the meaning behind signs and symbols, to show how messages are communicated as systems of cultural meaning.
comparing your findings to a conceptual framework that you have developed or found in the literature or analysing your qualitative data through the lens of a conceptual framework that you have already selected before collecting the data.
a survey where the respondent reads the questions and records the answer without the assistance of the researcher.
data are not symmetrically distributed around the central point.
behaviours or attitudes that respondents perceive as positive.
sending unsolicited mass emails.
Structured content analysis
a method for finding and counting the how often concepts, ideas, or other 'meaning units' occur within a document or other texts.
a survey which is conducted face-to-face, over the telephone, or electronically, based on a standard set of questions (which may be called an instrument or a schedule).
a methods for collecting data from a range of respondents by asking them questions.
data that other people have collected for their own research projects or for government or commercial purposes using a survey methods such as postal questionnaires.
the people who have the information that you need, the people that you will report your findings to or make your recommendations to, and the people who will be affected by what you find out.
an apocryphal method for assessing a large amount of project reports.
someone who spends some time even before choosing their research topic understanding how it will be assessed to maximize their return to effort.
the front page of your project report, usually in a specified format.
identifying the choices you make about what to research and how to research it, and the logic that guides these choices.
Socially desirable responding
data are affected by social pressures for people to give the 'right answers to researchers.
a document of what is included in the project and what is excluded.
Sensitive personal data
data that are included under the Data Protection Act or otherwise need careful handling, such as someone's political opinions, religious beliefs, or organisational memberships.
a list of the major elements of the report and their page numbers.
Theoretical or purposive sampling
instead of choosing people to interview based on how well they represent the group you are studying, you will select them to create the maximum variety in their responses.
to record your interviews or observations word for word, particularly from a tape or electronic recording.
a written record of an interview or observation.
books written specifically to support teaching, a good source of standard information, such as this book.
a formal report on research projects submitted by a student to fulfil a degree requirement (see also thesis).
the variation in the research process created by people working together (rather than together), including both synergy and conflict.
seemingly worthwhile project-related activities that do not contribute to project completion or success (see also blind alleys).
a research p that incorporates how it felt for you to be doing research as well as what you observed
a source of information about a commodity or organization.
studying the same phenomenon from several perspectives, for example using more than one method or more than one source of data.
an experiment where all of the principles of experimental design experimental treatment, random assignment, control groups, before-and-after measurement are met.
in analysing your data when you are no longer getting any new insights from coding your data or reviewing your concepts or categories so it is when you can stop collecting data, and when your analysis is complete.
you can demonstrate where a particular piece of data came from.
data gathered indirectly from research subjects by observing the traces that they leave in the physical environment or other natural settings.
answers to questions from all possible answers.
tests of a single variable at a time.
events that you are unaware of and cannot estimate.
letting meanings and themes emerge from your data, rather than imposing them on the data.
the extent to which you have captured the reality of the situation, and not been misled by particular influences, such as key individuals.
an electronic library.
a citation and reference system infrequently used in business and management research.
Viva voce examination
an oral examination in which you are tested on your project report.
how accurately you have conducted your research.
the process within the scientific method of going from data back to hypotheses to theory.
people who volunteer to participate in studies are different from the general population, and again the experimental results may not represent how people in general (rather than experimental subjects) usually behave.
someone with whom you already have a connection, such as a family member, acquaintance, sporting teammate, or professional associations.
a process by which you focus your analysis only on an individual case, without trying to bring in the findings or lessons from any other cases that you might have been investigating.
a set of activities that lm a citation and reference system infrequently used in business and management research.