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Business Research Case Study

The module is designed to enable students to apply secondary research and a range of business and organisational analysis techniques to a particular business or organisation within the context of a case study.  The aim of the module is to provide students with the ability to analyse and interpret the key operational features of a chosen organisation and to critically evaluate its performance.  It also provides an opportunity to reflect those aspects of learning which will enhance employability through the application of business analytical skills.

A range of business management perspectives will be applied including organisational issues, strategy and resource use.  Students will be encouraged to make links between these various aspects and their own specialism or to integrate the various perspectives to produce a holistic analysis.  Accordingly students will apply their knowledge in marketing, finance, human resources and the business environment to produce a well researched and cogent evaluation of the business/organisation in its operational context and make informed recommendations for improved performance.

LEARNING OUTCOMES
1.    Apply case study methods to interpret a business/organisation
2.    Research and evaluate the performance of an organisation in its business environment
3.    Make recommendations about operational performance based on research and evaluation of data
4.    Produce a reflective journal which reflects upon professional, academic and employability skills

ASSESSMENT DETAILS

Part 1: Business Research Case Study
Weighting = 80% of module mark
Word Limit: 4000 words (+/- 10%)

Part 2: Reflective Journal
Weighting = 20% of module mark
Word Limit: 1000 words (+/- 10%)

Part 1 Business Research Case Study task (module learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3):
Using secondary sources produce a Business Research Case Study on a topic relevant to your degree specialism.
In order to do this you must select:
a)    An organisation to study. The choice of organisation must be approved by your tutor.
b)    A topic to study which is relevant to your degree specialism. The choice of topic must be approved by your tutor.

Your assignment should include:
1.    A summary of the topic to be covered. The topic should focus on an issue or problem that you have identified the organisation needs to address.
2.    A literature review which critically examines the topic you have chosen to address.
3.    A short introduction to the background of the organisation you have chosen to study and its environment.
4.    An critical evaluation of secondary data in relation to the issue or problem that you have identified within the case study organisation
5.    Recommendations for improvements in the case study organisation based on your literature review and your secondary data

Part 2 Reflective Journal tasks (module learning outcomes 4):
1.    Reflect on the research journey that journey that led you to choose your topic. Make reference to the academic articles and/or books that you read along the way.

2.    Critically evaluate one research skill that you have improved during this module. Explain how you developed this skill during your Business Research Case Study. Reflect on its applicability to your future career plans.
Both points in Part 2 carry equal weight.

You are encouraged to make use of Learning Support services such as writing development, language support (if English is not your first language) and to proof read your work thoroughly before submission.  You may ask others to proof read your work on your behalf for matters of punctuation, grammar and spelling, but UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should they comment on the subject content of your work.  While errors may be highlighted for your attention, edits and corrections must be your own.  You are reminded that any work submitted should be yours and yours alone.

If the faculty has concerns that an assessment submitted by you is not your own work, it may invite you to an oral examination to allow you the opportunity to demonstrate that the work is yours.  This may happen when, for example, the level of English in your assessment is very different to the level of English in your other work.  This oral examination will focus on the content of your work.  More details are available in the Academic Misconduct policy.

The regulations on Academic Misconduct (including cheating and plagiarism) can be viewed here: Academic Misconduct Policy & Procedures.

N.B. Please note the word count specified for assessments will exclude footnotes and bibliography.          It will also exclude tables and graphs.  Appendices will not count against the word limit but should not contain large amounts of text. (It will be expected that they will normally contain diagrams or tables or visual images).

Insert details here, including qualified failure statement.

ASSESSMENT DESCRIPTORS
Generic Assessment Descriptors (UG)

REGULATIONS ON ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT (including Cheating and Plagiarism)

Students are warned that the University will take the offences of Academic Misconduct (including cheating and plagiarism) very seriously. Please read the Academic Misconduct policy information carefully and seek further help via the Academic Misconduct Web Page.

EXTENSIONS AND MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES
Students requiring an extension of up to one week to the submission date should complete an Extension Form in advance of the submission deadline and email to: [email protected]
A longer extension will be considered if the student seeks mitigating circumstances, and completes the appropriate Mitigating Circumstances Form and supplies appropriate documentary evidence.  All requests for mitigation must be directed to the [email protected] mailbox.

The Business School policy on Extensions and Mitigating Circumstances can be accessed via Extensions and Mitigating Circumstances and the policy covers some of the following:
Short term extension (7 days): Reviewed against set criteria
How to Apply for an Extension
Late Submission without prior arrangement
Mitigating Circumstances (long term): Approved by Mitigating Circumstances Committee
Mitigating Circumstances Committee
How to Apply for Mitigating Circumstances

Further details regarding the University policy are available at:
Absence and Mitigating Circumstances Procedures
Late or Non-submission of Work and policy document: Late Submission of Work and Non-attendance at Examinations.

EXTERNAL EXAMINER
The External Examiner for insert programme name/module grouping is insert external name a insert external role title e.g. Senior Lecturer from insert name of institution.  Further information regarding External Examiners can be found in the ‘Important Information for Business School Students’ document (accessible via the link below).

Note to Students:
Classes will finish 5 minutes before the hour.  Academic staff are responsible for ensuring that any room used for teaching is completely vacated and ready for use by the timetabled end of the session.  This timing allows for interchange of students and installation of equipment.

Please note that it is expected that you may use mobile devices to support your learning, for example, taking notes, accessing learning materials and looking up information on the internet. Please however refrain from engaging in social use of your mobile device in class out of respect for your tutor, and to minimise distractions for yourself and your fellow students.  Please ensure that your mobile device is switched to ‘silent’.
Students must seek explicit permission from the tutor before taking photographs in class or audio/video recording lectures.

STUDY AND HOURS

The total study time which you should be setting aside for this module is 200 hours.  This comprises class time, tutorials, assignment work/assessments, preparation for tasks set in class and reading/private study.  [These figures are standardised in University-wide documentation]
You should note that only 36 of these hours are spent in class. Therefore, over 12 weeks you should allow sufficient time for you to successfully complete the module.

RESOURCES – KEY TEXTS

AUTHOR    YEAR    TITLE (including format if not books e.g. journal, CD-ROM, video)    PUBLISHER
Ellett, W.C.    2007    The Case Study Handbook: How to Read, Discuss, and Write Persuasively About Cases    Harvard Business School Press.
Finlay, P.    2009    Strategic Management,    London: Prentice Hall
Hill, C.W.L. & Jones, G.R.    2006    Corporate Strategy, an Integrated Approach    New York: Houghton Mifflin

Lynch, R.    2010    Corporate Strategy    London: Pitman

Gomm, R., Hammersley, M. & Foster P.    2000    Case Study Method: Key Issues, Key Texts    London: Sage.

Thomas, G.    2010    How to do your Case Study: A Guide for Students and Researchers    London: Sage

Yin, R.K.    2008    Case Study Research: Design and Methods. 4th ed.     London: Sage

Your Academic Liaison Librarian to contact for help is Jane Munks ([email protected])

STUDENT RESOURCES
Academic Integrity is of fundamental value throughout your university studies and beyond. Being motivated and consistently working with academic integrity will not only help you to make the most out of your learning experience and gain better marks, but it will also earn you and the university a fantastic reputation.

This handbook should be read in conjunction with:
Undergraduate Important Information for Business School Students
(accessible by clicking on this link)

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