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Review of the week

Review of the week
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Let’s review the different activities we have completed over the week.

In the first set of activities, we explored themes around the importance of research and how it is used. Here we looked at the role of research in society and also how it is discussed in the media. From there, we looked at the core principles of research and set out the main features of your research project. Next, we considered the role of theory in research and the choice of either inductive or deductive research. Finally, we considered the nature of management research and its focus on making an impact on the way that organisations are run. Combined, these activities should have made you think about the significance of your research and some of the core decisions you will need to make.

In the second set of activities, we started to do more to establish your main area of focus and the type of research topic you could identify. This involved looking at a series of factors which can influence your decision-making and how to judge viable research projects. Initially, we examined how to identify a problem in your organisation that might form the basis of research. This meant reflecting on issues where you had key knowledge but also some areas to avoid if they were too abstract. We then moved onto look at who the stakeholders might be for different problems that you had identified and how they might play different roles in your research. The next step was to consider how different topics could be linked to external factors, including theories and debates that could themselves be the basis for research problems. Finally, we looked at the issue of impact and the ‘so what?’ question, drawing your attention to the need for your research to have a wider purpose.

Overall, this week has focused on some of the fundamental underlying issues that you need to consider when deciding the topic you want to study for your research project. This should have meant that you have finished these activities with a much clearer idea about the type of research problem that forms the basis of an appropriate project and you may even have made a decision about the direction you would like to take.

This might seem like a lot of time spent in preparation but these issues are critical because if you try to move forward without a clear notion of what you want to achieve, the whole research process will be more difficult. This does not mean that your research can’t or won’t change during this process. In fact, it is important that it does develop as it becomes more refined. But it is easier to do this when you begin from a solid foundation.

In Week 2, we will start thinking about the research process itself and how you can translate broader ideas about the what and why of research into the how and when.

Time to reflect

As you have come to the end of the week, it is useful to reflect on what you have learned.
What was good or useful this week in expanding your understanding of management research?
What questions arose for you?
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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Academic Research Methodology for Master’s Students

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