MNM3MRC-Management Research Challenge

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Level:NA
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Lynn Thurloway

Email: lynn.thurloway@henley.ac.uk

Summary module description:
Aims:
• To develop programme members knowledge and understanding of key research skills required to undertake either a theoretical MBA Dissertation or an applied Integrated Business Project (IBR)
• To develop an understanding of the research process and research design and the need to reflect on and undertake effective planning when undertaking management based investigations
• To give programme members an awareness of the appropriate use of methodology, theory, data, use of literature and developing original research regardless of their choice of project structure
• To enable programme members to undertake a piece of original research in management and successfully report the approach, analysis and findings whether following the applied or theoretical route.
The Management Research Challenge (MRC) develops programme members’ knowledge, understanding and skills to enable them to undertake an in-depth investigation of a relevant management or business topic. The MRC comprises three core activities which are delivered over the course of the programme, one at each stage.

Aims:
Stage 1 MRC Research Skills 1
The delivery in stage one is a 10 hour self-study on-line course that introduces members to the research process, simple data collection and basic statistics including descriptive statistics and correlation It also introduces the use of spread sheets or data bases to process and manipulate data. Members are encouraged to practice their skills both in the module and within their studies of other modules when reading or reviewing data.
Learning Outcomes
• To develop a basic understanding of the research process
• To use information and data in a questioning manner to make decisions both in learning and management practice
• To understand and apply basic statistical terms and techniques

Stage 2 MRC Research Skills 2
The delivery in stage two is blended learning comprising of both self-study supported by learning material and a supporting workshop. The hours for this stage are 30 hours comprising 20 hours independent learning, reflection and developing the proposal and 10 hours for the workshop and related preparation. This stage builds on the first stage and encourages members to start to consider opportunities for their own personal investigation. The focus of this stage is to develop a deeper understanding of the research process and the importance of planning and developing a good research strategy regardless of their approach. This stage also considers issues around sampling and the philosophies and the use of both qualitative methods and statistical analysis beyond descriptive statistics so that they have the knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions when choosing a topic and developing their plan. The differences between the Dissertation option and the IBR will also be introduced in order that members can reflect on which approach will be the most relevant to their own personal development objectives and the potential opportunities available within their own context. Members will be encouraged to start developing their proposals using the knowledge and skills that they have developed so far in preparation for the final stage of the

Assessable learning outcomes:
• To develop a basic understanding of the research process
• To use information and data in a questioning manner to make decisions both in learning and management practice
• To understand and apply basic statistical terms and techniques

Stage 2 MRC Research Skills 2
The delivery in stage two is blended learning comprising of both self-study supported by learning material and a supporting workshop. The hours for this stage are 30 hours comprising 20 hours independent learning, reflection and developing the proposal and 10 hours for the workshop and related preparation. This stage builds on the first stage and encourages members to start to consider opportunities for their own personal investigation. The focus of this stage is to develop a deeper understanding of the research process and the importance of planning and developing a good research strategy regardless of their approach. This stage also considers issues around sampling and the philosophies and the use of both qualitative methods and statistical analysis beyond descriptive statistics so that they have the knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions when choosing a topic and developing their plan. The differences between the Dissertation option and the IBR will also be introduced in order that members can reflect on which approach will be the most relevant to their own personal development objectives and the potential opportunities available within their own context. Members will be encouraged to start developing their proposals using the knowledge and skills that they have developed so far in preparation for the final stage of the
Learning Outcomes
• To apply good research principles to the choice, planning and design of their investigation and justify the inputs including choice of topic, sampling approach and methodology
• To develop knowledge and understanding of methods in order to evaluate both qualitative and quantitative methods in order to support and justify the chosen methods for their own investigation.
• To apply the knowledge and skills from the module so far through the development of their ideas into a MRC proposal

Stage 3 MRC
Stage 3 focuses on applying the learning from the previous two stages in order to develop and undertake their own investigation and comprises 20 hours independent study, reflection and completion of the project proposal and a 20 hour workshop
There are three key elements in this stage; firstly, undertaking the investigation which includes analysis and writing up and secondly, finalising the proposal. The third element concerns members undertaking the investigation with the support of a supervisor who will be assigned on receipt of a 1,000 word proposal outlining their plan for the investigation and drawing on their learning from the module. Given at this stage members will need to choose whether they follow an academic dissertation route or, an applied route through the development of an IBR, there are assessable general learning outcomes for the MRC and specific learning outcomes for both options.

Regardless of which option members take participants will be expected to produce a 1000 word project proposal which clearly identifies their chosen route and their plan outlining how they intend to do their chosen project and address the requirements for their chosen route. At this point they are assigned supervisor who will give formative feedback and either agree that they may progress or outline areas to be addressed. The submission of a proposal is required.
Summative assessment is through the formal submission of a 15,000 word report which includes discussion of the topic, analysis, conclusion and recommendations and personal reflection. Prior to formal submission participants are encouraged to submit a draft and receive informal formative feedback which can be used in developing their final submission

Additional outcomes:
Demonstration of Mastery through
• The application of research techniques and development of the research process in undertaking the investigation, analysis and reporting of the outcomes
• Demonstration of the ability to apply learning from the MRC module appropriately and effectively
• Demonstration of the ability to be critical, evaluative and reflective in respect of applying knowledge and understanding gained within the overall programme and their personal research around the topic, including the use of wider reading, both in terms of appropriate theory and appropriate practitioner/commercial literature.
• Demonstration of the ability to collect and use evidence both (reading and fieldwork) to support the investigation, analysis and conclusions in a critical and evaluative manner.
• Application of appropriate methods, with justification, to their investigation and analysis.
• Demonstration capacity to critically reflect and review on the research process that they have applied and their own learning and development from the MRC experience.
Dissertation Option
The dissertation option within the MRC gives members the opportunity to develop an investigation which is more traditional and academic. It is a theory driven approach which will require members to demonstrate that they can define the topic clearly in order to develop a deep analysis of related theory and academic literature in order to build arguments and justification for the focus through the engagement with the literature. The outcomes from their analysis of the literature will be used to form a foundation for their empirical research. Key learning outcomes specific to this approach in addition to the general learning outcomes are:
Dissertation Learning Outcomes
Demonstration of Mastery through
• A critical and in-depth review of current academic thinking that is appropriate to the topic and informs and underpins the final choice of topic, the empirical investigation and the analysis.
• Conclusions and recommendations that are grounded in the theory and appropriate evidence from the fieldwork.
• Reflection of learning from engagement with the theory as well as the practice of the MRC.

The Integrated Business Project
The IBR takes an applied, problem solving approach which considers issues within business and management in an integrated way. The IBR recognises that problems and opportunities in practice have multiple drivers and factors that influence the way they both manifest and impact. Hence, it is expected that within the IBR members demonstrate an understanding of the context related to their topic including, where relevant the internal and external context and, addition relationships across subject boundaries. Members should be able to consider their topic and its relationships across at least two key subject areas although the overall content of each may not always be equal. Wider reading of relevant theory and practitioner literature offers an opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding from different perspectives around the problem or opportunity and support overall analysis of fieldwork data in order to make informed decisions and recommendations.
Integrated Business Project Learning Outcomes
Demonstration of Mastery through
• An Integrated approach to the investigation recognising both the importance of context and of different subject perspectives. It is expected that at least two subject areas will inform the overall analysis and report.
• The use of relevant wider reading of the topic both in terms of the content and the options in order to build knowledge and understanding that can be drawn upon to make more informed and effective decisions and recommendations
• Evidence based approaches that draw on wider reading and data from the field and offer opportunities to reflect and justify

Outline content:

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Programme members will be provided with core materials and a learning guide at stages one and two and a guide to support them through all three stages. Additionally they will be supported by workshops and Blackboard. In stage three, on submission of a proposal, they will be assigned a supervisor who will support them on a one to one basis in terms of further development of their proposal, the project and the writing up process.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Project Supervision 30
Practicals classes and workshops 30
Guided independent study 340
       
Total hours by term 400.00
       
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Project output other than dissertation 100

Other information on summative assessment:
NB The Executive Management Programme follow the same structure and process as described above with the exception that the self-study element of the module at stage one is supported by a one day workshop. This means that they have 42 hours self-study and 8 hour workshop delivery. Pre and post workshop preparation is based on the self-study material which all participants have access to in order to support their own personal development of basic research skills.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

These are in accordance with the mode of study arrangements laid out in the Programme Specification.
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
No examination

Requirements for a pass:
A minimum mark of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
By resubmission of the Management Report Challenge. Programme members only have the right to be reassessed once and in line with normal practice their resit mark with be capped at 50% if they are successful.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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