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Research Hints and Tips

Learn more about research hints and tips.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

Here are some hints for completing a piece of management research, drawn from a wide range of dissertation supervisors working with students. Many of these relate to the feasibility of the research and how to manage the process.

  • Time – If you are combining your research with a full-time role in an organisation, there are the inevitable challenges of securing time to complete the project. It can be a helpful idea to agree with any senior stakeholders how you can use some of your role to complete the research and also how you might secure time with participants.
  • Stages – It can be a useful idea to identify the main stages in the research process and when these need to be completed. To do this, work backwards from your deadline to work out how long you need. For example, you may need to complete the writing of the dissertation three weeks before the deadline in order to receive feedback and make changes. This means that you will need to have your analysis completed perhaps three weeks before and so on.
  • Research vs writing – It is important not to see the dissertation as a writing task but as a research project that you have to write up. If you focus too much and too soon on writing at each stage, you may find that you are not giving yourself sufficient time to plan and implement an effective piece of research. This is particularly true when it comes to analysis: make sure that you complete this before you begin to write up the results.
  • Keep reading – The more that you read about the theoretical basis for your research the more you will open opportunities to show the impact of your research. This means you should read as much as you can to develop your literature review section but try to keep reading throughout the process to refine your thinking.
  • What is it like to work here? – Management research in your own organisation (or one that you are familiar with) can often become too broad if it is not focused on a specific problem with clear research objectives and questions. Without this, there is a danger that the topic turns into a general study that answers the question ‘what is it like to work here?’ from which it is very difficult to identify a specific impact and recommendations. Once again this reinforces the need to begin the process of research by giving time and thought to your research problem.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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Academic Research Methodology for Master’s Students

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