To analyze how local telecommunications companies can gain a competitive advantage through effective education and trainin

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Aims
The dissertation is an essential part of the process of achieving masters’ level. It provides you with the opportunity to work independently to develop your ability to make critical and evaluative judgements. It is expected that this will
provide an opportunity to integrate the course with practice, developing the ability to be an effective reflective practitioner. By completing the dissertation you should demonstrate that you are able to produce work that is relevant in practice and has an academic standing at masters’ level.
To achieve this you are required to produce an individual dissertation of approximately 20,000 words, with an emphasis on making clear and valid recommendations, which would be of value to an organisation. The
dissertation must be undertaken after the successful completion of the
Research Methods module.
Please note that if you are registered on to a specialist pathway programme, your Dissertation should be substantially in the area of the specialism. You must also refer to the Policy which details the process you
must undertake before engaging in any research project.
Learning Outcomes
After completing the module, you should be able to:
1 Select, evaluate and apply critical management thinking to an organisational issue or problem.
2 Critically evaluate the techniques and processes used to investigate an important organisational issue or problem.
3 Synthesise information to arrive at a coherent conclusion.
4 Critically evaluate the implications for the recommendations presented.
5 Critically reflect on his or her development of knowledge, skills and techniques used during the preparation of the dissertation.
Dissertation
The dissertation can take the form of:
1. an empirical investigation, based on primary data, of a management or organisational practice, justified and supported by detailed reference to relevant literature, theories and concepts, leading to practical recommendations.
2. the application of relevant theories/ concepts in conjunction with secondary data to the solving of a managerial or organisational problem, where practical recommendations arise from the interactions between theories/ concepts from the literature and the secondary data collected.
Historically students who are in full time employment have benefited from collecting primary data (option ONE). Where access is an issue, so for example with students not currently in full time employment, the dissertation
may be based on secondary sources (option TWO).
Examples of Titles of MBA Level Work
Starting the dissertation can be a daunting prospect. Within the Research
Methods Module you will have identified an appropriate topic, title, accompanying objectives, initial literature to be investigated and appropriate method(s) to undertake your research. Normally the assignment submitted for the Research Methods Module will be the basis of your dissertation. You do not have to use this topic but as you will have thought through the issues regarding methods etc and should have undertaken an initial literature review it makes sense to do so.
Below are some examples of titles of research. These are organised by primary and secondary approaches to the collection of the data. The title of the work gives a broad indication of the topic. This is subsequently refined within the dissertation itself by detailing the objectives of the study:
Primary Data Based Titles
1. The Perceived Fairness of the Performance Appraisal System at Vivi, and the Impact of this on Job Satisfaction.
2. An Analysis of the Mining Industry in Chile and the Proposal of a Strategy for an SME to Develop Competitive Advantage: The Case of an Engineering Consultant Firm.
3. Critical Success Factors in Preparing a High Technology SME in  Vietnam for Venture Capital Investment.
4. Innovation as an ‘Irresistible Habit’: A Case Study of a Nigerian Manufacturing SME.
Secondary Data Based Titles
1. Breaking into Competitive Markets: Tesco US Market Entry Strategy.
2. Consumer Behaviour and the Marketing Strategy: A Case Study of Carrefour in and the Chinese Market.
3. A Comparison of an MNC’s HRM Policies and Practices in a Developed and a Developing Country.
4. Drivers and Barriers of FDI within the Tourism Industry into Dubai.
Dissertation Guidelines
Structure and content
There is no best way of writing a dissertation or one model for an appropriate format. However, certain aspects are conventionally found in a dissertation and should only be varied after discussion with the supervisor for good reason. These are:
1) An opening section which should contain the following separate pages: Title page, declaration and statements page (see appendix 1), acknowledgements, abstract (a summary of 300 words, which should summarise all sections of the dissertation), table of contents, and list of tables/ figures.
2) The first chapter should be an introduction to the dissertation which should state very clearly the purpose and justification (rationale) of the project on which the dissertation reports. The objectives of the research should be clearly stated and explained where appropriate. A brief outline of the subsequent chapters of the dissertation should also be included. (Note: it is usual, somewhat paradoxically, to write the introduction after most of the dissertation is complete in order that a student has a clear idea of what is being introduced).
3) Chapter two should be a critical review of the relevant academic literature on which the dissertation builds, identifying the relevant theoretical ideas, concepts, debates and issues. In doing so you should:
• provide an evaluation and interpretation of relevant earlier work
• where appropriate develop a conceptual framework that draws together the key literature(s) / ideas
• ensure work of others is attributed (referenced) using the Harvard style
4) A chapter on Research Methods should state what methodologies are considered, what was selected and why. In doing so you should:
• justify the approach adopted including decisions surrounding the collection of primary/secondary data (where appropriate)
• consider the appropriateness of the approach within constraints present
• Detail with justification the sampling strategy adopted
• Detail how the data was analysed
• Address issues of validity, reliability and generalisability
5) Report on the research findings. Primary and/ or secondary data, clearly described, using as themes, what you have discovered and proposing reasons why this may be (interpreting the data). In doing so you should:
• if presenting quantitative data (primary or secondary) consider what charts are most appropriate to use. The commentary that accompanies these charts should explore key patterns and trends that you have identified. Specific decisions regarding data analysis will be contingent on whether you are using ‘descriptive’ or ‘inferential’ statistical techniques.
• if presenting qualitative data (primary or secondary) consider how best to structure and organize this data. You should make use of direct quotes where applicable when exploring the key themes that emerge from the data.
6) Clear concluding chapter setting out the main findings of the dissertation linking your literature review with the research findings so that a clear theme can be identified through the whole work. In doing so you need to address ‘how your findings agree, disagree and extend the research discussed within the literature review’. Make recommendations for future action and future research. These  recommendations should include detailed implementation issues and costings (financial and other types of relevant costs). Detailed consideration of the limitations of the study and a future research agenda including the application of alternative research designs. Finally, throughout this chapter make sure that you address all the objectives of the study.
7) References: There should be a complete reference list of all works used. This should be completed in a standard Harvard format listing works alphabetically by author. It should be noted that one of the routine sources of presentational problems comes in mistakes in the referencing bibliography and therefore students should take
considerable care in the compilation of the reference list and ensure that every work referred to in the texts is in fact listed in the references.
8) Appendices to the dissertation should include all relevant supplementary information.
It is important that the dissertation should be your own independent work as a formal examination script. A dissertation should not merely consist of a patchwork of other people’s thoughts and interpretations stitched together with a few threads of the student’s own devising.

The OVERALL LENGTH of the dissertation (excluding appendices) must not exceed 20,000 words and in practice the length of a dissertation would normally be expected to be within a range of 15,000 to 20,000 words. State the number of words at the end of your work.
Note as a Guide only
The word count for each chapter should normally be:-
Introduction 1500 – 2000 words
Literature Review 4000 – 6000 words
Methodology 2000 – 3000 words
Data and Analysis 3000 – 4000 words
Conclusions and Recommendations 4000 – 5000 words
ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
A clear statement of the purpose of the dissertation: The objectives of the research should be clearly stated and explained where appropriate. The rationale for the investigation is justified in terms of academic/ organisational importance
15% Critical review of the literature: Provide an evaluation and interpretation of relevant earlier work and where appropriate develop a conceptual framework that draws together the key literature(s) / ideas
20% State what methodologies were considered, what was selected and why. In doing so you should:
• justify the approach adopted including decisions surrounding the collection of primary/secondary data (where appropriate)
• consider the appropriateness of the approach within constraints present
• Detail with justification the overall sampling strategy adopted
• Detail how the data was analysed
• Address issues of validity, reliability and generalisability

Contents Page.
Structure your report using the following convention, unless otherwise
stated:
– Abstract
– Contents Page
– Introduction
– Literature review
– Method
– Findings
– Conclusions
– References
– Bibliography
– Appendices

Bibliography and References
Refer to the online learning material and Resource Centre contained in the Research Methods Module for further guidance.
Recommended Reading
Hart, C. (2004). Doing your Masters Dissertation: Essential Study Skills. Sage
Publications.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., and Thornhill, A. (2009). Research Methods for
Business Students. FT Prentice Hall .
Swetnam, D. (2000). Writing Your Dissertation: The Bestselling Guide to planning Preparing and Presenting First Class Work. How to Books.

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