UMCDC8-30-2 Methods of Enquiry (MET) Coursework

By April 20, 2018Academic Papers

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aCADEMIC YEAR 2017/18

 

assessment brief

 

Module Code:

UMCDC8-30-2

Module Title:

Methods of Enquiry (MET)

Submission Deadline:

2pm Tuesday 1st May 2018

Assessment Component

Component B: The Research Proposal

Assessment Weighting:

50 per cent of total module mark

 

Assessment Instructions

 

Objectives/ Learning Outcomes

 

The coursework assessment enables you to partially demonstrate the learning outcomes required for the successful completion of the module, particularly:

·       Evaluating secondary data sources such as market research reports and academic literature to frame a research question

·       Demonstrating understanding of development, conduct, analysis and interpretation of market, business and academic research to propose a research plan

·       Working creatively with quantitative and qualitative (and potentially alternative) research methods

·       Understanding of ethical issues in market, business and academic research that apply to your proposal

·       Producing a succinct, well-argued and well-presented research proposal.

 

This element of the coursework prepares you for final year project, in terms of content, structure and word count. It also prepares you for commissioning, using and developing marketing research in future careers. For more details see module specification and module booklet.

 

The Research Proposal

 

The Research Proposal is an outline of a proposed mixed methods research design for a topic chosen from the list of the 9 provided (see Appendix A). This is the kind of document that a market research agency would present to a client to pitch for, win and guide a large market research project. Examples are provided in tutorials, on Blackboard and in the recommended text books. No primary data collection is required.

 

Although practically-focused, this assessment requires an academic slant to justify your choices. You are expected to integrate academic concepts and theories from throughout the module, and your own reading, to underpin your work and justify the choices you are making. In this regard it is essential that you properly reference all books, academic articles, websites and other reference sources used in your report.

 

 

The research proposal follows the same overall structure as the module lectures and tutorials, taking you through the 4Ps of a market research plan:

 

·       Purpose: analysing existing academic/practitioner literature to develop a research aim and objectives, and to identify appropriate methods for your own proposal.

·       Population: identifying and justifying the sample size, type and recruitment methods, and ensuring participants are accessible, for each stage of the proposed research.

·       Procedures: outlining your proposed qualitative AND quantitative data collection methods, ensuring they would gather robust data, and how you will combine these methodologies, justifying your choices.

·       Publication: ensuring that resulting research would be robust, valid, and appropriate for your research aim, satisfying your client and other researchers in the area.

 

More specifically, the following word counts and content should be considered, with weightings for marking each section indicated accordingly:

 

Introduction and literature review: 20%

These consist of:

·       Executive summary (c.100 words)

·       Introduction summarizing and justifying the need for research, and signposting content of the proposal (c.200 words)

·       Literature review – a short review of key academic theories (8-10 papers) and practice relevant to the topic, also reviewing/critiquing research methods used by academics and practitioners in the field (c.900 words)

 

Aims and objectives: 10% (c.75 words)

  • Clearly defined overall research aim derived from literature review.
  • Objectives (as bullets) suitable for each research approach i.e. qualitative and quantitative, that will achieve your aim

 

The following methodology sections MUST link to what you found in your literature review, and achieve your aim and objectives. The qualitative section usually goes before the quantitative section, however as long as you use an integrated mixed methods approach, which you justify, this can be adapted to suit your own plan, but there must a section for each methodology. A brief introduction to how you plan to integrate the two methodologies is advised.

 

Qualitative methodology: 25%

This section requires:

·       Clear sampling plan, including population, sampling frame, sample size, intended recruitment methods/issues with access and any requirements for incentives (c.150 words)

·       Outline of qualitative data collection method(s), and commentary on how these will be carried out to ensure robust data is gathered. This should describe how you would prepare materials such as moderator’s guides (though no actual moderator’s guide is required) and details about conducting the research (where/when/how) (c.760 words)

·       Plans for data presentation, coding, analysis and interpretation suitable for qualitative research (c.150 words).

 

Quantitative methodology: 25%

This section usually goes after the qualitative section and requires:

·       Clear sampling plan, including population, sampling frame, sample size, intended recruitment methods/issues with access and any requirements for incentives (c.150 words)

·       Outline of quantitative data collection method(s), and commentary on how these will be carried out to ensure robust data is gathered. This should describe how you would prepare materials such as a questionnaire (though no actual questionnaire is required) and details about conducting the research (where/when/how) to maximize generalizability and reliability (c.760 words)

·       Plans for data presentation, coding, analysis and interpretation suitable for quantitative research (c.150 words).

 

Ethics, Limitations, Timings: 10%

·       Outline of ethical issues arising through the research and how these would be  addressed (c.150 words)

·       Description of any unavoidable limitations of the research that threaten robustness of the study, measures taken to reduce them (c.150 words)

·       Proposed time frame for the research, ideally using Gantt chart (c.50 words)

·       Brief closing summary (c.100 words)

 

Overall presentation: 10%

10% of the marks available will be used to assess the degree to which you:

  • Develop an effective structure for addressing all the tasks
  • Maintain a succinct and compelling style throughout
  • Provide accurate references for all researched or quoted material (including background information on organisations)
  • Use grammatically correct English without spelling errors
  • Provide a professional format for a document being used to ‘pitch’ for a valuable marketing research opportunity

 

Overall, we are looking for cohesive and logical research methods that build upon each other to achieve your research aim and objectives. The marking criteria have been split between the key sections of the assignment, and reflect the content and quality of each section and the proposal as a whole. See the marking grid below for how this is applied at each grade level.

 

Marking Criteria

Marking criteria are available in Appendix B of this document.

 

A marking grid is used to calculate your mark for each of the sections identified above. Sections are weighted as outlined above. Word counts reflect this weighting.

 

 

Format

 

All work should be word processed in 12 point font Times New Roman or Arial and double spaced.

 

All work must be submitted as a Word document (either with a .doc or a .docx extension)

 

Please ensure that you provide the following details on the first page of your coursework:

  • Student Number (but not your name)
  • Module Name and Number
  • Word Count
  • Coursework topic (from list in Appendix A)

 

We encourage you to present your work as a professional document as would be presented in a real-world pitch situation, in order to win an account worth £10,000-100,000 i.e. with a front cover, contents, page numbers, suitable headings and subheadings and attention to detail. Bullets, tables, diagrams and succinct writing are encouraged.

 

Word Limit

 

The word limit for this coursework is 4000 words

  • Word count includes everything in the main body of the text (including headings, tables, citations, quotes, lists, etc.).
  • The references are NOT included in the word count.
  • There is no direct penalty for exceeding the word count but the marker WILL stop reading once the word limit has been reached and nothing further will be taken into account in the allocation of marks.

You can view the UWE word count policy here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/aboutus/policies

 

Referencing:

 

Please ensure you adhere to the principles of good academic practice and ensure you use the UWE Harvard system to reference your work. Failure to properly reference your work to original source material can be grounds for the assessment offence of plagiarism and may result in failure of the assessment or have more serious implications.

 

For further guidance on correct referencing go to:

http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/studysupport/studyskills/referencing.aspx

 

Details of what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it can be found here:

http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/studysupport/studyskills/readingandwriting/plagiarism.aspx

 

For general guidance on how to avoid assessment offences see:

http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/academicadvice/assessments/assessmentoffences.aspx

 

Instructions for submission

 

You must submit your assignment before the stated deadline by electronic submission through Blackboard. Notification that the electronic submission portal is open for your assignment is displayed (usually two weeks before the submission date) in the Coursework tab in myUWE, the Assignments tab in Blackboard and via an announcement in the Blackboard course.

 

Please ensure you allow sufficient time to upload your script, noting that the system becomes busier and slower as the deadline approaches. Only your final upload will be counted. Ensure all your information is submitted at one attempt to avoid ‘overwriting’ your intended submission. Always check and retain your receipts.

 

Late submission in the 24 hours following the deadline will be accepted but the assignment mark will be capped at 40%. Submissions after 24 hours will not be accepted. For full guidance on online submission through Blackboard, see:

 

http://info.uwe.ac.uk/online/Blackboard/students/guides/assignments/default.asp

 

Submissions of coursework by any other method (including a paper copy, on disc, by email or by fax) are NOT permissible for this module unless specifically agreed in advance of the submission date.

 

Before submitting your work, please ensure the following:

  • That you have proof read your work thoroughly to ensure your work is presented appropriately
  • That you have addressed all the required elements of the assessment
  • That you have referenced in accordance with the guidance provided
  • That you have addressed each of the marking criterion
  • That the submission is in the correct format

 

Feedback

Students will normally receive marks and feedback on their submission within 20 working days of the submission deadline (not including any public holidays or university closure days). Any delay in returning students’ work will be communicated by the module leader via Blackboard.

 

Please note feedback can take many forms and can be summative (provided for work completed) or formative (provided for on-going work or activities i.e. final year projects).

 

Feedback on this module is provided as

·       Tutorials that cover similar examples, where you receive feedback to apply to the topic of your assignment

·       Workshops devoted to formative feedback on the structure and style of your work so far

·       Café MET drop-in to provide to formative feedback on the structure and style of your work so far

·       Written comments on individual written assessment submissions.

For further guidance on feedback, please refer to the module handbook.

 

Further Guidance

 

Guidance on study skills: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/studysupport/studyskills.aspx

 

Support from the FBL Academic Success Centre (2B076):

http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/bl/bbs/aboutus/studentexperience/academicsupportcentre.aspx

 

Guidance on UWE assessment regulations and terminology: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/academicadvice/assessments/assessmentsguide.aspx

 

Guidance on using the library: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/library/usingthelibrary.aspx

 

Personal difficulties affecting your ability to engage with, or complete assessed work

If you are experiencing difficulties in completing a piece of assessment on time due to unexpected circumstances (for example illness, accident, bereavement), you should seek advice from a Student Support Adviser at the earliest opportunity. Please note the module leader cannot grant extensions.

Appointments with a student adviser can be made via an Information Point or online at:

http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/academicadvice/studentadvisers.aspx

The Student Support Adviser will advise as to your options, how to proceed and what evidence is required to support the application.

Further details can be found here:

http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/academicadvice/additionalassessmentsupport.aspx

 

 

 

Appendix A: Research Proposal Topics (MET cluster)

You have a choice of 9 topics for your research proposal, as listed below. You can choose any one topic (irrespective of your degree – though sticking with a relevant topic may help your final year). You are advised to choose before the library tutorial in the second week, when you will start doing background research into the topic.

 

For all proposals, you are expected to follow the assignment guidelines (see the Assessments folder on Blackboard) and identify and apply key academic theories, learn from methods that other authors in the field have used, identify aims and objectives, and describe sampling, data collection and proposed analysis methods for an integrated mixed method (i.e. qualitative and quantitative) approach.

 

Primark and Consumer Responses to Ethical Fashion Retailing

A recent Mintel analysis has highlighted the negative environmental and social effects of the fast-fashion industry which is responsible for higher annual carbon emissions than international flights and shipping combined.  A number of fashion retailers (e.g. Asos, Adidas, Hugo Boss, H&M and Zara) have recently pledged to join the ‘circular fashion economy’ which involves sustainable practice at each stage of the product life cycle, including sourcing, producing, selling and extending or repurposing products at the end of their life cycles. Fast-fashion retailer Primark have recently taken some small steps towards more ethical practice, but are concerned about reports that consumers are unwilling to pay higher prices for sustainable fashion despite agreeing with the need for this. Primark has asked you to create a research proposal that investigates consumer concerns, expectations and purchasing intentions around ethical retailing practice. The research will be used to inform decisions on whether Primark should take some larger steps towards an ethical clothing retail practice and what this would involve.

Starter reference: Carrigan, M. and Attalla, A (2001) The myth of the ethical consumer – do ethics matter in purchase behaviour? Journal of Consumer Marketing. 18(7), pp. 560-578

 

Clearblue and Technology Acceptance

Adults under 45 are increasingly using wearable technology to monitor their health. In a wearable device report by Mintel 45% of women aged 16-44 expressed an interest in using a wearable device to monitor their health and wellbeing.  Mintel also reports that this has also been the case for women who are trying to become pregnant, with the average age of mothers giving birth in England rising to 30.3 years of age.  As older women may find it more difficult to conceive they are turning to fertility trackers and wearables to access more detailed information about their fertility status.  This has become a real challenge for standard brands and products (e.g. pregnancy tests) in the family planning category. Clearblue, a traditional family planning brand, have asked you to develop a research proposal for identifying the motivations for, and barriers to, the uptake of new types of technology for their target market(s). The research would be used to assess the viability of a new product line for Clearblue which potentially included the use of fertility apps and wearable devices.

Starter reference: Yiwen G., He L., and Yan L. (2015) An empirical study of wearable technology acceptance in healthcare. Industrial Management & Data Systems. 115 (9), pp. 1704-1723.

 

Business Models for Music

After a decade of decline, music sales are once again on the increase in the UK. According to UK music trade body, the British Phonological Industry (BPI), the sector is experiencing the fastest growth since the late 1990s with an overall increase of 9.5% in all music sales compared to 2016. This is largely due to a surge in music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music which increased by a mammoth 51.5% and helped to minimise falling sales of digital downloads and CDs. This means that for the first time music streaming accounted for more than half of all albums bought and listened to. Independent UK music label, IndiSounds, who release music via CDs and digital downloads, have asked you to create a research proposal that investigates whether they should move towards a streaming model. The research would be used to inform IndiSounds about the preferences of their target market(s) when it comes to particular streaming services, prices, and artists, etc.

Starter reference: Wagner, T. F., Rose, M., Baccarella, C. and Voigt, K. (2015) Streaming Killed the Download Star! How the Business Model of Streaming Services Revolutionizes Music Distribution. Journal of Organizational Advancement, Strategic and Institutional Studies. 7 (1).

 

Internal Relations at Ryanair

A one-day strike by Ryanair pilots was narrowly averted in December 2017. The planned strike would have had a significant effect on flights to-and-from Ireland in the run-up to Christmas. In 2017 the budget airline was involved in a series of disputes with its pilots including the mismanagement of pilots’ holidays which led to the cancellation of thousands of flights; and the historic refusal of the airline to recognise pilots’ unions. In addition to the threat of strike-action this has led to challenges from pilots based in other locations served by Ryanair including Germany, Portugal, Britain and Italy. Subsequently, airline boss Michael O’Leary wrote to pilots to offer them better pay and conditions, and agreed to recognise unions for the first time in the airline’s 32-year history.  The company’s marketing team have asked you to develop a research proposal that examines pilots’ attitudes to the airline, including perceptions around working conditions, pay, and relationships with management. The proposed research would also be expected to evaluate possible alternative internal marketing strategies, developing recommendations for a new communications strategy to be implemented across the locations serviced by Ryanair.

Starter reference: Barrett, D.J. (2002) Change communication: using strategic employee communication to facilitate major change. Corporate Communications: An International Journal. 7 (4), pp. 219-231

 

Generational Approaches to Charitable Giving

Millennials (the cohort of young people born between the early 1980s and mid-2000s) are often characterised as the generation who are least engaged in fundraising and donating to charity. However recent research by the Charity Commission has challenged this, arguing that millennials do give to charity in a variety of ways but that they are more careful about researching the charities they get involved with, and that that traditional charitable organisations haven’t engaged them through relevant channels. International charity UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), carry out work to help save and improve the lives of children in 190 countries and territories. UNICEF have asked you to create a research proposal to identify what motivates millennials in different countries to give to charity, and what kinds of giving they are likely to engage in.  The research would be used to develop a targeted mobile and online marketing strategy for UNICEF.

Starter reference: Paulin, M., Ferguson, R.J., Jost, N. and Fallu, J. (2014) Motivating millennials to engage in charitable causes through social media. Journal of Service Management. 25 (3), pp.334 348.

 

Travelling with Pets

According to a recent report by Mintel pet owners are now so close to their pets that the bond between them is starting to resemble that of parent and child. This presents opportunities for the emergence of new products and services in the pet sector. According to the report, many pet owners feel guilty about leaving their pet behind when they go on holiday, however many also find the idea of traveling with their pets stressful because of the lack of services catering for them. Premier Inn, a budget hotel chain in the UK, currently do not allow customers to bring their pets with them. They have asked you to develop a research proposal that investigates consumer demand for travelling with pets. In addition to overall demand, the research will be used to inform Premier Inn about the specific preferences, needs and expectations of pet owners.

Starter reference: Dotson, M. J., Hyatt, E. M. and Clark, J. D. (2010) Traveling with the Family Dog: Targeting an Emerging Segment. Journal of Hospitality Marketing and Management. 20(1), pp. 1-23.

 

Experiential Marketing and Competitive Socialising

According to Mintel urban millennials are fuelling the rise of entertainment based on smaller pop-up venues and boutique events. A new market has been identified in ‘competitive socialising’ – entertainment in which consumers can socialise and compete with each other at the same time (e.g. indoor ping-pong, indoor golf, and crystal maze-type escape rooms). Boutique events often take place in under-used, trendy urban venues and incorporate street food, pop-ups and late-night licenses. Legacy activities, such as those offered by larger out-of-town, family-focussed bowling and ice-skating venues, will need to evolve and diversify in order to keep up with this trend. Hollywood Bowl have asked you to create a research proposal that identifies the kinds of experiences and venues that would appeal to two target markets within their existing base of legacy consumers: young professionals without children, and families with children. The research will be used to help Hollywood Bowl innovate around their current offering.

Starter reference: Schmitt, B. and Zarantonello, L. (2013) Consumer Experience and Experiential Marketing: A Critical Review. Review of Marketing Research. 10, pp. 25-61.

 

The Social Impact of Notting Hill Carnival

Events such as the annual Notting Hill Carnival in London have a long history and are deeply embedded in their communities. The carnival first took place in 1959 as an attempt to bridge some of the tensions between different communities and residents of Notting Hill which had resulted in race riots the year before. The carnival has at times been contentious but continues to grow and is currently the largest street carnival in Europe with 2 million visitors attending every year. This year the carnival was once again in the spotlight as a result of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Some questioned whether it was appropriate for the carnival, which is also situated in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, to take place, while others argued that it was just what was needed to heal the community. Ahead of the 2018 carnival, the carnival committee have asked you to create a proposal that explores what the most important aspects of the event are for carnival-goers, how they understand the social and cultural role of the carnival, and how this might differ for different types of attendees. 

Starter references: Arcodia, C. & Whitford, M. (2006) Festival Attendance and the Development of Social Capital. Journal of Convention and Event Tourism. 8 (2), pp. 1-18.

 

Resurrecting CheeseFest

Festivals are one of the UK tourism industry’s biggest successes and in recent years there has been an increase in smaller niche events such as food and literary festivals. Food festivals in particular have become immensely popular, with events dedicated to specific cuisines, or types of cooking, and dietary preferences. However, the increase in range, number and size of festivals also means increased risk for consumers when things go wrong. CheeseFest UK, which bills itself as the “biggest touring cheese festival” in the United Kingdom, was one of many events that went disastrously wrong in 2017. Festival-goers attending CheeseFest at the Victoria Gardens in Brighton took to social media to complain about the lack of cheese, inadequate facilities and long queues at the event. The furore was picked up in the regional and national press resulting in significant damage to the reputation of the festival organisers and brand. CheeseFest UK are planning to re-stage the event in Brighton in 2018. In order to make sure that they are successful this time they have asked you to develop a research proposal that identifies the factors that impact on the success and failures of this kind of event.

Starter reference: Kinnunen, M. and Haahti, A. (2015) Visitor discourses on experiences: reasons for festival success and failure. International Journal of Event and Festival Management. 6 (3), pp. 251-268. 

 

 


Appendix B: Marking Grid

 

 

Introduction and literature review 20%

Aim and objectives

10%

Qualitative Methodology

25%

Quantitative Methodology

25%

Ethics, Limitations, Timings

10%

Presentation

10%

A

 

70% +

Engaging review of relevant academic literature and practitioner sources. Well-structured argument justifying aim and methods, using a highly cited and more recent papers to identify appropriate theoretical constructs. Good use of diagrams and tables to illustrate points.

16-20 marks

Highly specific aim and objectives clearly derived from literature review and addressing brief.

 

 

 

 

7-10 marks

Sufficient, robust and appropriate qualitative sampling and recruitment methods, data collection methods and data analysis and presentation procedures to provide valid findings for the stated aim and objectives. Clear measures are taken to avoid errors or bias. Strongly justified choices and excellent detail on maximising robustness throughout.

18-25 marks

Sufficient, robust and appropriate quantitative sampling and recruitment methods, data collection methods and data analysis and presentation procedures to provide valid findings for the stated aim and objectives. Clear measures are taken to avoid errors or bias. Strongly justified choices and excellent detail on maximising robustness throughout.

18-25 marks

Strong attempt to consider ethical implications of all aspects of the proposed study, and any limitations of the study, with appropriate ideas to address these and minimise potential harm to all participants. Timings appropriate to study.

 

7-10 marks

Presentation skills are immaculate, using appropriate referencing, citing sources correctly and with excellent spelling and grammar. Within word limit. Strong structure.

 

 

7-10 marks

B

 

60-69%

Good review of the findings of the body of literature. Well interpreted and documented, well organised, identifying theoretical constructs and contributing clearly to research aim and methods.

13-15 marks

Strong aim and objectives clearly derived from literature review and addressing brief.

 

6 marks

Proposed study uses good qualitative sampling, recruitment, data collection and data analysis methods but minor aspects may threaten validity. Good justification of choices and good detail on maximising robustness throughout.

15-17 marks

Proposed study uses good quantitative sampling, recruitment, data collection and data analysis methods but minor aspects may threaten validity. Good justification of choices and good detail on maximising robustness throughout.


15-17 marks

Good attempt to consider ethical implications of aspects of proposed study, and any limitations of the study, with good ideas to address these and minimise potential harm. Timings appropriate to study.

6 marks

Presentation skills and referencing which are generally competent, but with some minor errors. Within word limit. Well structured.


6 marks

C

 

50-59%

Brings out key issues from literature on the topic, but will miss subtle points and recent developments. Identifies key theories. Less clear links to research aim.

 

10-12 marks

Good aim and objectives with links to literature review and addressing brief.

 

 

5 marks

Proposed study uses reasonable qualitative sampling, recruitment, data collection and data analysis and presentation methods but minor aspects threaten validity. May fail to justify choices.

 

12-14 marks

Proposed study uses reasonable quantitative sampling, recruitment, data collection and data analysis and presentation methods but minor aspects threaten validity. May fail to justify choices.

 

12-14 marks

Some attempt to consider the ethical implications of the proposed study, and any limitations of the study, with basic ideas to address these. Timings may have issues.

 

5 marks

Presentation and referencing are competent, some errors/missions. Fail to give occasional sources. Within word limit. Basic structure.

5 marks

D

 

40-49%

Review focuses on only a few authors so is descriptive and superficial. Recent developments and some key areas missing.

 

7-9 marks

Broad aim and objectives that are weakly linked to literature review and brief.

 

4 marks

Proposed study uses basic methods but lacks detail. Aspects seriously threaten validity of findings. Fails to justify choices clearly.

 

 

9-11 marks

Proposed study uses basic methods but lacks detail. Aspects seriously threaten validity of findings. Fails to justify choices clearly.

 

 

9-11 marks

Little attempt to address ethical implications or limitations of the study. Lacking appropriate ideas to remedy these. Timings may have issues.

4 marks

Poor or careless presentation, poor referencing. Minor infringement of word limit. Poor structure.

 

4 marks

E

 

0-39%

Basic review, purely descriptive and lacking structured argument for the research aim or methods.

0-6 marks

Fails to provide clear aim/ objectives, or link to literature or brief.

0-3 marks

Proposed study lacks clear methods and any detail about measures to ensure validity of findings.

 

0-8 marks

Proposal lacks clear structure and coherence and fails to justify research objectives, sampling and data collection methods.

0-8 marks

No attempt to address ethics or limitations, missing key issues that undermine study. Timings unachievable.

0-3 marks

Consistently fail to give sources, poor spelling, grammar, presentation and structure.

0-3 marks

 

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