This task is designed to allow you develop skills to evaluate the broad range of research designs applicable to exploring business problems and synthesise options for innovative solutions. You will be developing skills that are relevant to gaining agreement from others, by convincing Board Members of an organisation to approve the cost of employees being given time away from their normal duties to conduct the research that you are proposing.
Your task is to write a research plan that would convince a company’s board about the importance of research that you are proposing. You can choose to write a research plan relevant to the organisation where you work or where you would like to work or the one that you are familiar with.
Note: We have deliberately used the term ‘research plan’ rather than ‘research proposal’ to emphasize that we are looking for content and structure suitable for presenting to a team of business executives or members of a company’s Board rather than the type of content and structure suitable for presenting to academic supervisors if you were preparing to enrol in a PhD Program.
Contents of your research plan must include:
Note: A list of interview questions or survey questions or observation protocols can be included as an appendix.
In this assessment task, you can choose to write a research plan relevant to the organization that you are familiar with (e.g., where you currently work, with a focus on either one of the four primary or one of the four secondary practices).
Remember, your task is to write a research plan that would convince a board to approve the cost of the proposed research into this topic. Your aim is to prepare a research plan that is so clearly important and likely to lead to success that top management in the business will be prepared to spend money implementing the plan (i.e. carrying out the research). Much of being convincing and credible will depend on the details you present in the methodology section: How you will collect and analyse data. You are welcome to adopt the structure used by examples that have been studied during the second half of the course; however, your problem has to be clearly different from the problems researched in those examples.
In the learning materials, we have used three examples as exemplars: Example A, which focused on training needs (culture) and used qualitative interviews to gather data; Example B, which focused on how best to provide excellent services to Chinese guests (execution and strategy) and used a quantitative survey to gather data; and Example C, which focused on the future role of the Chief Information Officer (structure and culture) and used case study method.
The topic for example A was: Recruitment, Training and Retention of Talent in China – Challenges and Opportunities for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
For example, B the topic was: The Evolving Role of the CIO in Hospitality
For example, C the topic was: Service Quality Issues of Luxury Hotels in China.
Note that the research topic in these examples is not the same as the research question (or questions); this means you must identify a business challenge or an area of opportunity for this assessment task (individual research plan) and formulate associated research question (or questions).
Please note: there is no opportunity to resubmit failed assessments.