MSc Management and MSc International Management
Part A: Planning the Dissertation …………………………………………………………………………..1 Part B Dissertation Proposal and Supervision ………………………………………………………..6 Part C: Structure, Style and Format of the Dissertation …………………………………………..8 Part D: Assessment Criteria…………………………………………………………………………………12 Part E: Most Frequently Asked Questions ……………………………………………………………14 Appendix A (Sample Layout of Title Page of Dissertation) ………………………………….17 Appendix B (Dissertation Proposal Form) …………………………………………………………..18 Appendix C (Gaining Research Ethics Approval) ………………………………………………..21 Appendix D (Qualtrics) ………………………………………………………………………………………24
Part A: Planning the Dissertation Introduction The final stage of your Master’s degree is concerned exclusively with a written dissertation of 8,000 words. The dissertation will enable you to undertake a sustained investigation into a management or organizational topic of your choice. The dissertation provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competencies acquired during the taught elements of the course. For most of you, this will involve diagnosing a management, finance, marketing, strategic or organizational behaviour problem, devising a research project that will provide an evidence-base for the evaluation of solutions and development of realistic, acceptable recommendations for action. This does not, however, preclude the possibility of undertaking a more theoretically focused piece of work that analyses in detail an issue in management thought.
The dissertation provides an opportunity for students to:
1. Develop an ability to formulate and undertake a piece of original research which has relevance to contemporary management issues and problems.
2. Integrate and inter-relate concepts, techniques and skills acquired in the course of the programme.
3. Acquire an appreciation of existing research and relevant theoretical perspectives that have a direct bearing on the dissertation topic.
4. Develop and apply analytical and communication skills as required by the dissertation process.
Choosing your Dissertation Topic
There are two types of dissertation available and you must pick one or the other.
The two types of dissertation are:
• Desk-Based Dissertation.
• Empirical Dissertation.
An empirical dissertation is defined here as one which involves collecting data from human participants. This may take the form of, amongst other things, surveys, interviews, or observations. Online data collection involving human participants is also classed as empirical research. In contrast, a desk-based dissertation is one that draws only on secondary sources and already published data (such as written texts, reports, visual images, etc.) and does not involve human participants. If you plan to collect data from human participants, you must complete the online ethical approval form. Failure to do so will result in you receiving a mark of zero. If you are undertaking a desk-based dissertation you are not required to complete an ethical approval form.
For ‘desk-based’ dissertations, you are required to identify a possible management or organization situation, problem or issue that you wish to explore in depth through the use of publicly available data (i.e. secondary data). You can pick any topic you wish within the broader parameters of the modules covered on the programme. Rather than gathering new primary data, this kind of dissertation draws on existing data that has been collected by others. This is used to build a case study or provide evidence for answering your research question. Desk-based dissertations must still contain research questions, a review of literature relevant to your topic area and a discussion of the methods used to collect your data.
There are many different ways in which you could approach a desk-based dissertation. The following are just a few examples you might like to consider:
1. A case study or report exploring a particular organizational issue drawn from secondary data sources (such as HR practices, culture, diversity and inequalities, leadership, power relations, processes and/or consequences or change, structure, international growth, etc.).
2. A market or industry analysis.
3. An analysis of an organization’s strategy.
4. An analysis of a particular leader, marketing campaign, strategic decision, innovation, or similar.
5. An analysis of a company’s response to changes in its external environment (e.g. new regulations/ public expectations, a corporate scandal, or failure).
6. An analysis of a controversy surrounding a particular company and an assessment of its response.
7. A comparative analysis of two or more organization’s strategies in a given market.
8. Analysis of arts-based methods, such as representation of workers in photographs, films or television programmes.
9. Discourse analysis of a company brochure, annual report, or advertising campaign.
It is important to note that, although the data you are using is secondary, your research must still be original, adding something new to our current understanding of management and organization.
This type of dissertation involves carrying out a small-scale piece of original research using primary data you have collected yourself, involving human participants. Typically, this involves conducting interviews, observations or questionnaire surveys, either face-to-face or online. The process of research entails identifying a research topic then developing a question that your research hopes to answer. You are required to conduct a literature review, design a research methodology and then collect and analyze your data before presenting the results in an organized and systematic way.
Again, there are many different ways in which you could approach an empirical dissertation. The following are just a few examples you might like to consider:
1. A piece of consumer research into a particular purchase behaviour (this could be collected through an online or face-to-face survey).
2. A netnography of an online community.
3. A workplace survey addressing a particular organizational issue.
4. Interviews with organizational members or leaders around a particular issue or topic.
5. Interviews or focus groups with consumers around a particular product, service or experience.
An important component of empirical research is the need to collect primary data yourself. This takes time and organization. The time period for the dissertation is relatively short so you will need to plan and manage your time carefully to ensure that you are able to collect and analyze your data and write-up your dissertation.
All empirical dissertations must have ethical approval. This is completed through the online ethics approval process (outlined in Appendix C). If you are unsure whether your dissertation is ‘empirical’ please speak to your supervisor. There will also be opportunities in the Research Methods module to explore different types of dissertation.
MSc International Management
If you are registered for the MSc International Management programme, please note that it is a condition of your degree that you complete your dissertation in a topic related to international management or business. This does prevent you from undertaking any of the project types listed above but you must ensure that your dissertation topic has an international aspect to successfully complete your degree.
Managing the Dissertation Process
The dissertation is the culmination of the MSc programme. As such it presents a considerable challenge. In our experience there are a number of common difficulties encountered by students. This section seeks to outline various issues which need careful consideration.
The preparation of the dissertation takes place within strict time constraints. This calls for careful and methodical planning. A dissertation has a number of stages which are both resource and labour intensive. It requires careful management to allow for ample time to conduct a comprehensive literature review, identify an appropriate methodology, collect sufficient data for analysis and finally to write up the final version of the dissertation. It is very easy to overrun and not to allow sufficient time to write and edit the dissertation.
Partly as a consequence of poor time management, but also as a result of the challenges of producing an extended piece of scholarly work, many students encounter problems with the fluency and structure of their dissertations. It is vital, as a part of good research practice, to allow time to self-review a dissertation prior to submission. For students writing in a second language, this stage is particularly important and extra attention should be paid to it. It is also always a good idea to ask a friend or get a professional copy editor to read through your work to see if the structure is logical and the content clear and concise – but please remember that they should act as a proof reader only as opposed to actually helping you to write your work. The latter would be an instance of academic dishonesty.
The limitations of time that are placed on an MSc dissertation require that a student identifies a realistic dissertation objective. This necessitates careful consultation with the dissertation supervisor during your first meeting. In particular, you need to consider in some detail how you will collect data. This raises the issue of access. Securing access to gather data will require consent from staff in the organisation/s you are interested in or from the participants you intend to collect data with (if undertaking empirical research). Indeed you may require the consent of senior management, whether the research focuses on their activities or not. And even if data are to be gathered through a postal or online questionnaire, so that you do not actually visit the organisation/s in question, this will need considerable thought as to the design, the timing, the cost and the mechanism for managing responses. Think carefully about how you are going to gain access to the type and number of participants you wish to research. Questionnaires for example typically require large numbers of responses to be statistically valid, whereas interviewing will require you to build up relationships with a smaller, but more specialised group of respondents. In short, many dissertations encounter serious difficulties through unrealistic objectives being coupled with an inability to operationalise the idea into a practical research plan.
Many students, through no fault of their own, experience problems over access to a data set midway through a research dissertation – for example, an organisation may get taken over or go out of business, or access may simply not materialise. Certain types of participants might be very difficult to access over the summer. Ask yourself whether your respondents are likely to be away on vacation, or likely to move away before you can complete your research. Any thorough research plan will consider this risk and will make provision for a contingency plan.
Reflecting the many different ways of approaching the dissertation, there is no one single recommended text; however individual tutors and supervisors may recommend texts on research, problem solving, data collection and analysis methods from their disciplines. As a start, you may find some of the following useful:
• Anderson, J., 2002. Assignment and thesis writing. John Wiley and Sons Inc.
• Berg, B. L., Lune, H., c2014. Qualitative Research methods for the social sciences. Pearson.
• Biggam, J., 2015. Succeeding with your master’s dissertation: a step-by-step handbook. McGraw-Hill Education.
• Bryman, A., Bell, E., 2015. Business research methods. Oxford University Press.
• Collis, J., Hussey, R., 2013. Business research: a practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Palgrave MacMillan.
• Cottrell, S., 2014. Dissertations and project reports. Palgrave MacMillan.
• Creswell, J. W., 2014. Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage.
• Davies, M., Hughes, N., 2014. Doing a successful research project: using qualitative or quantitative methods. Palgrave Macmillan.
• Eisenhardt, K. M., Graebner, M. E., 2007. Theory building from cases: opportunities and challenges. Academy of Management Journal, 50(1), 25–32.
• Saunders, M., Lewis, P., Thornhill, A., 2012. Research methods for business students. Pearson Education Ltd. 12
• Wallace, M., Wray, A., 2011. Critical reading and writing for postgraduates. Sage.
• Yin, R. K., Case Study Research. Sage.
Part B Dissertation Proposal and Supervision Once you have decided on your dissertation topic, you will be required to complete a short proposal form that will be used to allocate a supervisor. Failure to complete this form means that we will not be able to allocate a supervisor and you will not be able to proceed to the dissertation. A copy of the proposal form can be found in Appendix B.
The deadline for submitting this proposal is 3.00pm Tuesday 12th June.
Please complete this form electronically and then print off and submit in HARD COPY to the Astley Clarke Reception before 3pm on 12th June 2018. Failure to complete this proposal means that we will not be able to allocate a supervisor and you will not be able to proceed to the dissertation.
Students are entitled to the following supervision: 1 x 20 minute meeting to discuss the initial proposal; 1 or 2 further 20 minute meetings during the summer as required; reasonable e-mail contact/discussion; and the reading of 2 draft chapters (or 40%) once, and provision of detailed feedback on those draft chapters (in addition to the face-to-face meetings).
In certain circumstances your supervisor may agree to arrange supervision via email or skype if you intend to conduct your research away from Leicester. This must be agreed with your supervisor in advance.
The role of the supervisor is to:
• Help assess the feasibility and ethical compliance of the proposed research.
• Give feedback on the process of research and the quality of academic work. Feedback can be either spoken, written or a mixture of both.
• Provide written feedback on one draft of two chapters or 40% of your dissertation.
• Keep a record of times and dates of all meetings with students, and keep a copy of minutes of meetings produced by the student.
The role of the supervisor is to provide advice and feedback; it is for the student to reach agreement with the supervisor about timing, scheduling sessions and session format. If you choose not to attend a supervision meeting that has been arranged for you then you forfeit that meeting and it will not be rescheduled.
Students should understand that it is not the supervisor’s responsibility to:
• Proof read the dissertation for spelling/grammar errors.
• Organise access to external organisations.
• Organise access to datasets or databases.
• Provide a title, focus or content for the dissertation.
• Read an entire draft of the dissertation.
• Read multiple versions of drafts.
Students are strongly advised to maintain contact with their supervisors throughout the period of the dissertation by telephone, face-to-face or email communication.
The ultimate responsibility for the management of the dissertation lies with the student.
There are a number of things you can do to ensure a good constructive relationship with your supervisor:
• Keep your supervisor informed (via phone or email) about any problems or issues with your dissertation. Supervisors will aim to reply to emails within 3 working days.
• Allow plenty of time to arrange appointments with your supervisor. It is often difficult for supervisors to make meetings at short notice.
• It is your responsibility to ensure that you have received your allocated amount of supervision.
• Allow sufficient time for your supervisor to read through and provide feedback on drafts. Expect a lead time of up to 2 weeks for feedback.
• Follow the advice of your supervisor.
You are required to keep a set of summary meetings with your supervisor. Your minutes should include an overview of progress to date, a record of the key issues discussed, and a list of recommended actions or activities needed to be undertaken. Your supervisor will expect you to send a copy of your minutes via email within a week of your meeting.
Part C: Structure, Style and Format of the Dissertation Structure
The precise structure of a dissertation in terms of chapter headings can vary from one dissertation to another. Most dissertations, however, will be likely to include the following:
• Title Page
• Contents List
• Main Body of the Dissertation:
• Literature Review
• Findings and Analysis
• Conclusions and Recommendations
The dissertation title is important as it needs to indicate quite clearly what the dissertation is about. It is useful when considering a title to also bear in mind how the work may be indexed and coded for information storage and retrieval purposes (so think about the key words the title should incorporate). Abbreviations and specialist jargon should be avoided. It is also important that you complete the declaration on the title page before submitting your dissertation. See Appendix A for a sample layout of the title page.
A table of the various chapters and sections of a dissertation must be included together with clear page numbers for each of these. Well documented contents will quickly show any reader the scope and direction of the work.
A brief statement acknowledging the help and contributions of, for example, collaborating firms, managers, supervisor and peers, if relevant.
The Abstract should be on one side of A4 paper and should contain:
• An introduction telling the reader what the dissertation is about (its research aims, objectives and questions), why these issues are important and the project’s terms of reference.
• A description of the literature reviewed.
• An overview of the methodological approach and data analysis technique.
• A summary of main findings, conclusions, recommendations.
The introduction is essential in order to tell the reader what the dissertation is intended to provide – it is more than just the first section of the dissertation. It should include a statement of the research aims, objectives and questions on which the inquiry is based, its terms of reference, the sources of information used and how this information was collected. It should include at least an outline of the research methodology. The introduction sets the scene and puts the whole inquiry into its proper context. It should explain why the research was carried out and outline the significance of related work on the topic.
A sensible way to approach the introduction is therefore to begin with a clear definition and justification of the topic or problem to be investigated, including a statement of the management issues involved, and perhaps also some discussion of how the topic and issues changed as the work evolved. This can then lead into an overview of the dissertation as a whole, chapter by chapter.
Main body of the dissertation
It is likely that the main body of a dissertation will contain several chapters, sections and sub-sections. All such divisions should be identified using a decimal notation system whereby major sections are given single numbers 1, 2, 3 and so on in sequence. The first level of sub-section will follow a decimal point (for example, 1.1) and the first subsection under this sub-section will repeat the process (that is 1.1.1), and so on. See example below.
1. Title of chapter (e.g. Literature Review)
1.1 Title of first major subheading
1.1.1 Title of first subsidiary heading 1.1.2 Title of next subsidiary heading 1.1.3 etc. …
1.2 Title of second major subheading
1.2.1 Title of first subsidiary subheading 1.2.2 Title of second subsidiary subheading 1.2.3 etc. …
1.3 Title of third major subheading etc. …
However, do be careful to avoid too many subsections as this will simply lead to confusion and reading difficulties.
Chapters here might include:
• A review of the existing work in this field.
• A detailed account of the methodology used and why it was chosen.
• An analysis of the empirical data collected during the dissertation.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The conclusions must be drawn from the body of evidence presented in the main sections of the dissertation. Each separate conclusion should be acknowledged – possibly by numerical subsections. The conclusions should be seen to flow clearly from the preceding analysis and should also indicate any problems or opportunities which will be the subject of recommended solutions. Finally, there should be an account of the extent to which the research process has answered the initial research questions and met the stated research objectives or aims.
This section will contain an analysis and evaluation of the overall research process, particularly an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the dissertation, any problems or constraints encountered during its compilation and how these difficulties were resolved where appropriate. In addition, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the chosen methodology can be expected together with an assessment of how your own individual research and management competencies have been developed.
The following questions may be useful in providing a framework for this section:
• Were the dissertation objectives well defined? were they fulfilled?
• How did the outcomes of the research compare with initial expectations?
• Was the research well planned and executed?
• What went well and what should have been done differently?
• How sensitive was the researcher to the abilities and contributions of others?
• What was learnt in terms of management experience?
• How would you improve the dissertation in the light of your experiences?
Any material derived from publications (books, journals, the Internet etc.) must be referenced in the body of the dissertation and full details provided in the references section.
When compiling lists of references the entries are listed in alphabetical order of the names of the authors. Where reference is made to more than one work by the same author the entries are listed in chronological order of the dates of publication. When reference is made to more than one work by an author which were all published in the same year, the works are differentiated by appending the letters a, b, c and so on to the year of publication – e.g. (Smith, 1974a); (Smith, 1974b); (Smith, 1974c). References to the specific texts within the dissertation itself must necessarily maintain such designations.
Further details on referencing can be found in your MSc programme handbook. Please note again that material sourced from the Internet needs to be referenced, and if you are in any doubt about referencing please discuss this with your supervisor.
Appendices are essential where there is a lot of detailed information which, if presented in the main body, would interrupt or spoil the flow of the dissertation. Examples could be a clean version of your questionnaire or interview schedule, a copy of your letter requesting access, detailed tables of statistics or a series of graphs relating to your data analysis, etc., but remember that important items should be included in the text (Please see Section 9.6., regarding what MUST be included in the Appendix if you did primary empirical research). Requiring frequent reference to the appendices can irritate readers. The appendices should also be mentioned at appropriate points in the text – and please do not overdo them. The rule of thumb is, if the main text can survive without it, leave it out.
The following standard is required for the submitted dissertation.
• The dissertation (excluding References and Appendix) should be no more than 8,000 words long (+10 %).
• If the dissertation contains confidential information, this should be indicated by the student on the title page. The University will treat all such information in the strictest of confidence and will undertake not to pass confidential information to a third party. Please also note that by submitting a dissertation you agree to the department’s right to use all means at its disposal to verify that the work is your own in the unlikely event that poor academic scholarship is suspected. As advised previously, do avoid poor academic scholarship.
• The front cover should be a title page laid out as in Appendix A of this booklet.
• A left hand margin of 25/40 mm should be used with all other margins being 20 mm. Double line spacing should be used for typescript, except for indented quotations where single spacing may be used.
• Pages must be numbered consecutively throughout the text. Page numbers should be located centrally at the bottom of each page.
• Any abbreviations used should be those in normal use and writing in full the first time they are used. Where necessary a key to abbreviations should be provided.
• These requirements must be adhered to. Beyond this, however, the exact format of the dissertation is likely to vary according to the particular purpose and subject matter of the dissertation.
Part D: Assessment Criteria Each dissertation will be assessed by the dissertation supervisor and another tutor for moderation, before being passed to the external examiners. This process ensures that a consistent and appropriate standard of marking is being applied. Assessment consideration will include the following:
Clarity of the Dissertation’s Purpose and Objectives
It should be clear to the reader what the organisation involved does or, if the study is not organisation-based, what the context of the inquiry is. There should be a definite statement of the purpose of the study. The topic or problem should be clearly explained and there should be an outline of what it is intended to achieve in practical terms. Theories or conceptual frameworks guiding the work should be outlined and their application explained.
Use and Critical Understanding of Theory
Relevant previous work should be reviewed and appraised. The dissertation should demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate and make use of relevant sources.
Relevance and Justification of Methodology
The methodology used should be adequately explained and must be appropriate to the research topic and the data needed to explore it. Reasons for using particular techniques should be explained. Data must be carefully collected, and unnecessary bias avoided. Data must be relevant to the purposes of the dissertation.
Critical Understanding and Analysis
The dissertation should demonstrate rigour in analysis, taking an appropriately critical attitude to data and findings. There should be a high standard of interpretative skills in analysing and understanding the results of the investigation.
Demonstration of Study’s Implications and Limitations
The dissertation should discuss what the student learned about the application both of concepts and techniques in carrying out the dissertation. This should include an appraisal of research and management competencies enhanced, reflections on successes or failures, more general lessons of interest and any areas identified as needing further investigation. This should demonstrate a high standard of understanding of the reality of the research process, a developed awareness and understanding of the relevant business setting and a genuinely thoughtful and well considered critique.
Conclusions and Recommendations
These should be based on the evidence and be clearly derived from the preceding analysis. Practical effectiveness and sensitivity should be shown in conclusions and recommendations with realistic awareness of constraints where appropriate.
Quality of Presentation
The dissertation should be written in good English and be well presented with appropriate use and quality of graphics and illustrations. It should be clearly structured with self-explanatory chapter and section headings. The sections of each part of the dissertation should proceed logically. Dissertations should be correct in terms of basic mechanics i.e. typing, spelling, punctuation, grammar, tables, references.
Part E: Most Frequently Asked Questions Depending on your educational background and experiences, some of you may have already prepared dissertations for other courses of study. For those that have written dissertations previously you will find that many of your experiences will prove valuable as you approach your Master’s dissertation. However, it is likely that some aspects of the dissertation process here at the University of Leicester will differ from elsewhere.
If you have not written a dissertation before there is no need to worry. You will receive guidance and advice throughout the programme in the form of an assessed Research Methods module as well as guidance from a supervisor who will be assigned to advise you on all aspects of the process.
All of the advice contained in this section is equally relevant to students writing a dissertation for the first time as it is to those who have done dissertation type work before. Remember, the dissertation is your piece of work. How you approach your project is largely your responsibility. Others, including supervisors, fellow students and lecturers will be able to advise and discuss your work with you but you must manage and plan your project yourself. Here is a list of questions that students often ask us each year:
About the Dissertation
What makes a good dissertation? Although there is no one set of definitive criteria, work
that is original, relevant, well written, critically informed and interesting tends to make a good dissertation.
How long should my dissertation be? No greater than 8,000 words (+10%).
What should I do if I am having problems keeping to the word limit?
Discuss this with your supervisor at the earliest opportunity.
Does my dissertation need to be an original piece of work?
Yes. It must be your own work and must not have been submitted elsewhere. You will be required to complete a declaration form to confirm this. See your programme handbook for further details on academic honesty.
Must my dissertation include new empirical research?
This is only required if undertaking an empirical dissertation.
What subjects are allowed? Broadly any area related to one or more of the subjects covered on the course.
Are there any restrictions on my choice of topic? You must also be aware that you need a supervisor willing to approve your dissertation topic and provide you with support. Your proposed research must also meet the ethical standards required of all research at Leicester University.
Whose role is it to identify a project? You must do this yourself. Staff will try to help by giving some ideas of research areas and you should use the guidance provided by this handbook and given in the Research Methods module to help you.
Will the School of Business offer any Company- based dissertations?
No. If you would like to undertake a company project then it is your responsibility to secure access.
Will the School of Business pay any expenses incurred in doing my dissertation?
No. You should bear this in mind when selecting your dissertation topic and methodology.
Do I need a supervisor? Yes, without a supervisor your work cannot be
How do I get a supervisor? Supervisors will be allocated by the Programme Leader after students have submitted their Dissertation Proposal proforma (see appendix B).
Can I change my mind about my topic once I have written my Proposal?
This is not encouraged but can be done with the consent of the supervisor. A new proposal form has to be completed.
How do supervisors select their dissertations?
Supervisors are allocated student dissertations that are in an appropriate area of research.
What help can I expect from my supervisor? Your supervisor will assist and monitor you in the progression of your dissertation project. The supervisor is responsible for supervising the process of the dissertation but not necessarily the content. The role of the supervisor is largely to advise and not to instruct the student what to do at the different stages of the process.
How do I get access to my supervisor? Unless the supervisor stipulates otherwise please use e-mail to make appointments.
What if I miss an appointment? You should advise your supervisor as soon as possible if you are unable to keep an appointment. Do not just fail to turn up, because you have a limited amount of contact time available and cannot afford to lose it.
What if I do not get on with my supervisor? Try to resolve any difficulties that arise on a face-to- face basis at an early stage. See your Programme Leader if you still have problems.
Will my supervisor be available throughout the summer?
Supervisors will inform you when they are going to be away from the University for a long period. These dates need to be worked into your research plan.
Can I get a second opinion from a different supervisor?
If you are having difficulties with your supervisor, please contact the Programme Leader.
About the Submission
Are there any requirements regarding the format of my submitted dissertation?
Yes. Details of the format are provided in this handbook.
Can I submit my dissertation by e-mail or fax? No, under no circumstances is this acceptable. Your dissertation must be submitted via grademark.
What is the deadline for submission of the dissertation?
3pm, 13th September 2018
What are the consequences of handing the dissertation in late without an extension?
Please see your Programme Handbook for the rules governing the late submission of assessed work and on the process for applying for Mitigating Circumstances.
Who will mark my dissertation? Your supervisor and a second marker. How will it be graded? Exactly the same as your assignments. Will I get feedback? You will get feedback throughout the dissertation
process from your supervisor.
When will I get the results? The Board of Examiners meets in November 2018 and your dissertation results will be available following this meeting.
What happens if I fail the dissertation? Dependent upon the circumstances you may be given an opportunity to resubmit an improved version of the dissertation.
Do I need to reference the work of others in my dissertation?
Yes. You always need to reference work accurately and consistently. Failure to reference the work of others may result in an accusation of plagiarism. The issue of plagiarism is covered in your Programme Handbook.
Appendix A (Sample Layout of Title Page of Dissertation)
Managing stress in a virtual workforce: The role of online support communities
Dissertation submitted to the University of Leicester in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of
Masters in Management
Student Declaration I confirm that the research I have conducted does/does not (delete as appropriate) involve human participants. If my research has involved collecting data from human participants then I confirm
that I have completed an ethical approval form, and that my supervisor has signed-off this form. I understand that failure to secure ethical approval for research involving human participants will
lead to an automatic mark of zero and I will fail my dissertation.
Appendix B (Dissertation Proposal Form)
Guidelines for the Proposal
Please complete this form electronically and then print off and submit in HARD COPY to the Astley Clarke Reception before 3pm on 12th June 2018. Failure to complete this proposal means that we will not be able to allocate a supervisor and you will not be able to proceed to the dissertation. A copy of the proposal template is provided and can be downloaded from Blackboard. Important Note: The dissertation proposal is of a formative nature. That means it does not count towards your dissertation mark or towards any other mark of your MSc Management degree course. However, it is essential that this form is completed so that we can assign a supervisor.
Dissertation Proposal Template: MSc Management 2017/2018 Submission Deadline: 12th June 2018 Submission Instructions Please complete this form electronically and then print off and submit in HARD COPY to the Astley Clarke Reception before 3pm on 12th June 2018. Failure to complete this proposal means that we will not be able to allocate a supervisor and you will not be able to proceed to the dissertation.
Full name and Student ID number
Type first name and SURNAME Type student ID number here
UoL username @student.le.ac.uk
Dissertation Title (5-15 words)
Maximum 15 words
Provide a brief outline of your topic (no more than 100
Maximum 100 words
Select which type of dissertation you will undertake (select one only):
Empirical Dissertation1 (you will be required to complete an online ethics form) Desk-Based Dissertation
1 An empirical dissertation is defined here as one which involves collecting data from human participants. This may take the form of, amongst other methods, surveys, interviews, observation. Online data collection involving human participants is also classed as empirical research. In contrast desk-based research draws only on texts (written, visual, etc.) and does not involve human participants. If you plan to collect data from human participants, you must complete the online ethics form. Failure to do so will result in you receiving a mark of zero. If you are undertaking a desk-based dissertation you are not required to complete the online ethics form.
Which area(s) of management will your dissertation cover (select up to 3 options): Organizational Behavior
Accounting and Finance Business Economics Marketing Strategy and Leadership
International Business Operations and Innovation Management Human Resource Management
Governance and Ethics
Proposed Research Methods (select one only) Qualitative Quantitative
MSc International Management
If you are registered for the MSc International Management programme, please note that it is a condition of your degree that you must complete your dissertation in a topic related to international management or business. This does prevent you from undertaking any of the project types listed above but you must ensure that your dissertation topic has an international aspect to successfully complete your degree.
Appendix C (Gaining Research Ethics Approval) IF YOU ARE UNDERTAKING AN EMPIRICAL DISSERTATION THEN YOU NEED TO COMPLETE AN ETHICAL APPROVAL FORM. IF YOU ARE CONDUCTING A DESK-BASED DISSERTATION THEN ETHICAL APPROVAL HAS ALREADY BEEN AWARDED VIA A MODULE LEVEL EXEMPTION. YOU SHOULD ONLY COMPLETE THIS ETHICS APPLICATION FORM ONCE YOU HAVE DISCUSSED YOUR DISSERTATION PROPOSAL WITH YOUR SUPERVISOR.THIS APPLICATION SHOULD BE SENT BEFORE YOU BEGIN YOUR DATA COLLECTION. The University of Leicester requires research projects concerning human participants to receive ethical approval. The ethics approval process begins by the researcher completing and submitting an Ethics Application Form. The Ethics Application Form can only be completed online, at: https://wads2.le.ac.uk/ethics/Ethics.aspx Applicants will need to log in using their CFS username and password.
In addition to completing the Ethics Application Form applicants also required to include any additional information (e.g. participant information sheets, consent forms, questionnaires, debriefing material, correspondence, interview questions, advertisements). This additional information is provided through the same online page.
The application process begins by the applicant selecting their status (staff or student) and the name of the authorizer. The name of the authorizer varies for different applicants but will normally be your supervisor. Applicants can also download an Ethics Application Guide (in MS Word format) which provides a detailed description on how to complete each section of the Ethics Application Form.
Once the applicant selects ‘Start Application’ they will be redirected to the next page where details of the project should be inserted. The form is structured as follows:
• Section 1. Project Details
o Project Reference (assigned automatically) o Project title o Statement of Research Purpose: o Project Aims/ Research questions: o Proposed methods: o Method of recruiting research participants: o Criteria for selecting research participants: o Estimated start date: o Will the study involve recruitment of participants from outside the UK? If
yes, please indicate from which country(s). o Estimated number of participants:
• Section 2. Application Details o Your name: o Your department: o Your status: o Your contact addresses: o Your telephone numbers: o Other Applicant Details:
• Section 3. Course & Department Details o Module name and number or MA/MPhil/PhD course and department: o Module leader’s name: o Authorisers/Supervisors Email address: o Contact address:
• Section 4. All Research Applicants
o Please outline whether or not your research raises any particular ethical issues and how you plan to address these issues:
o Are you using a Participant Information and Informed Consent Form? Yes/No – If YES please save attachment using the attachment panel below
o Have you considered the risk to yourself, to the associated researchers and, to the research participants?” Yes/No
• Section 5.Research Ethics Checklist o Does the study involve participants who are particularly vulnerable or
unable to give informed consent? (e.g. children, people with learning disabilities, your own students) Yes/No
o Will the study require the co-operation of a gatekeeper for initial access to the groups or individuals to be recruited? (e.g. students at school, members of self-help group, residents of nursing home) Yes/No
o Will it be necessary for participants to take part in the study without their knowledge and consent at the time? (e.g. covert observation of people in non-public places) Yes/No
o Will the study involve discussion of sensitive topics (e.g. sexual activity, drug use)? Yes/No
o Are drugs, placebos or other substances (e.g. food substances, vitamins) to be administered to the study participants or will the study involve invasive, intrusive or potentially harmful procedures of any kind? Yes/No
o Will blood or tissue samples be obtained from participants? Yes/No o Is pain or more than mild discomfort likely to result from the study?
Yes/No o Could the study induce psychological stress or anxiety or cause harm or
negative consequences beyond the risks encountered in normal life? Yes/No
o Will the study involve prolonged or repetitive testing? Yes/No o Will financial inducements (other than reasonable expenses and
compensation for time) be offered to participants? Yes/No o Will the study involve recruitment of patients or staff through the NHS?
Yes/No o Does this research entail beyond minimal risk of disturbance to the
environment? If yes, please explain how you will minimise this risk under panel 4 above. Yes/No
o Have you gained the appropriate permissions to carry out this research (to obtain data, access to sites etc?) Yes/No
o Measures have been taken to ensure confidentiality, privacy and data protection where appropriate. Yes/No
• Section 6. Declaration o In drop down panel ‘5. Research Ethics Checklist.’ If you have answered
‘yes’ to any of the questions 1-12 or ‘no’ to questions 13-14, please return to panel ‘4. All Research Applicants’ and ensure that you have described in detail how you plan to deal with the ethical issues raised by your research. This does not mean that you cannot do the research only that your proposal raises significant ethical issues which will need careful consideration and formal approval by the Department’s Research Ethics Officer prior to you commencing your research. If you answered ‘yes’ to question 11, you will also have to submit an application to the appropriate external health authority ethics committee. Any significant change in the question, design or conduct over the course of the research should be notified to the Module Tutor and may require a new application for ethics approval.
o Declaration o I have read the University of Leicester Code of Research Ethics o The information in the form is accurate to the best of my knowledge and
belief and I take full responsibility for it. o I understand that all conditions apply to co-applicants and researchers
involved in the study, and it is my responsibility to ensure they abide by them.
• Section 7. Attachments
• Section 8. Notes Once all of these sections have been completed applicants can choose to ‘Save’, ‘Validate’, or ‘Send for Authorisation’.
Once ‘Send for Authorisation’ is selected this will validate the application. If the application is valid it will automatically send the application to the nominated authoriser specified in the application. To track progress on the application, select ‘My applications’ and ‘ + ‘ against the sent application.
The authorizer will receive an email that will direct them to the Ethics Approval Form site. They will then be able to review the application and take a decision on whether or not to approve the research. Once the authorizer selects ‘approve application’, the applicant receives an email confirming that Ethics Approval has been authorized. The applicant can then proceed with the research.
Appendix D (Qualtrics) Survey/Questionnaire Research with Qualtrics
The School of Management has a licence for a major commercial survey development software (Qualtrics).
Qualtrics is an online survey creation, delivery and management tool which allows users to produce online or paper based surveys. The data gathered from the survey can be fed into SPSS or Excel etc.
Further information is available here: www.qualtrics.com/why-survey-software There is an excellent package of help and support for all users from Qualtrics ‘University’ – you can access this here: www.qualtrics.com/university/researchsuite/
To register for Qualtrics:
1. Open your web browser and copy the following address into the address field: www.ulsm.qualtrics.com.
2. A login screen will appear asking for your username and password. Select ‘Please click here to create an account’ (this is directly below the username).
3. You will be asked to provide a username and create a password. Your username is your University of Leicester email address e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org or abc123@student. le.ac.uk Your password is whatever you want it to be.
4. You will be invited to provide your name and telephone number however this is optional.
5. Click ‘Finish’
6. On the next page you should insert the following access code: “t6MSx” (without quotation marks).
An email will be sent to your University of Leicester email account. Once you have verified your identity by clicking on the link within this email you will have an account and you can access Qualtrics.