BUSINESS MANAGEMENT DISSERTATION GUIDELINE

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BUSINESS MANAGEMENT DISSERTATION GUIDELINE

  1. 1. 1 MIDLANDS STATE UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF COMMERCE DISSERTATION RESEARCH GUIDELINES BUSINESS MANAGEMENT [HMAN] Published by: Midlands State University P. Bag 9055 GWERU ZIMABABWE Year: April 2014
  2. 2. 2 UNIT ONE RESEARCH REPORT PRESENTATION INTRODUCTION The purpose of this section is to go over the specifications in the presentation of the research report in order to achieve uniformity and consistency at undergraduate level. The section focuses on:  The Preliminary (Front) Pages  The Research Report Text  Text Formatting  Back Pages/materials(references and appendices)  Binding 1.1 The Preliminary Pages In the preliminary or front of the research report you present the following materials:  The Title Page  The Approval Form  The Release Form  Dedication  Acknowledgements  The Abstract  Table of Contents  List of tables  List of Figures  Definition of key terms and acronyms 1.1.1 The Title Page It is considered as page (i) but is left unnumbered. Titles are single-spaced and are written in upper case. A good title should be self explanatory. It may seem contradictory both to urge specificity and to require that the title be short. However you can fit a good deal to specific information into a title if you avoid padding it with words that serve no explanatory purpose. Such expression as “study of” or “an experimental investigation of” don’t really add anything. If the title is more than 1
  3. 3. 3 line, (maximum length 12 to 15 words) it should break in a logical place for easy reading. The cover/ page shows:  Logo (font size 14)  Institution granting degree(font size 20)  Faculty and department (font size 18)  Title of Project font size (14)  Name of Writer(font size 12 final executive binding)  Registration Number font size (12)  Purpose of dissertation (in italics)  Purpose of Research Project (in italics) font 12  City  Name of country (font 12)  month  Year of Award (See Appendix I)  Supervisor’s name (final executive binding)  The Release Form This is a form that grants the university permission to produce copies of the project and also reserves the author’s publication rights. (See Appendix II).  Signed Approval Form This serves as official acknowledgement and acceptance of the project as satisfactory. It is signed by your supervisor(s) and an external examiner/Programme Coordinator/Tutor/Regional Coordinator where applicable. (See Appendix III).  Dedication (Optional) (centred and bold) : 2-3 sentences This serves as a tribute or recognition to a specific individual or individuals. (See Appendix IV). 1.1.5 The Abstract (centred and bold)
  4. 4. 4 The abstract is used by potential readers to determine at a glance, the contents of the project. You should present it as a precise and well-written summary. Our abstract should contain:  The purpose of the study  A clear statement of the problem/problems being researched on.  A description of the methods used in the study, which is the design, the sample size and the sample composition.  An indication of where and how the data/ information was obtained.  A description of the data analysis technique.  A summary of the findings, conclusions, recommendations and suggestions for further research. Your abstract should be at most a page in length. (Se Appendix V). 1.1.6 Acknowledgements (centred and bold) : maximum length half a page In this section you thank persons to whom you are indebted for guidance and assistance in making your study successful. You must present this section on a separate page. (Appendix VI).  Table of Contents: Title case bold and centred) You present an outline of the components of your research report. These components include: the preliminaries and these are typed in lower case. They are arranged as follows as they appear in the project:  Title Page (i)  Release Form (ii)  Approval Form (iii)  Dedication (iv)  Acknowledgements (vi)  Abstract (v)  List of Tables (viii)  List of Figures (ix)
  5. 5. 5 After the preliminaries you then list chapters and chapter headings and sub-headings giving the page(s) where these are located in your research report. You present the back page materials, which are references and appendices after chapter v.. For typing you should ensure that:  Chapter numbers and preliminaries’ page numbers are typed in Roman numerals;  Chapter titles and chapter numbers are typed in upper case;  Sub- headings of each chapter are typed in lower case and single spaced;  Margins are 3.8 cm on the left and 2.5 cm at the top, bottom and right sides;  Numbering of the pages should be at the center bottom edge;  References and appendices are presented in Arabic numerals and typed in upper case. (See Appendix VII).  List of Tables You should show the table number, its title and reference page. This should be done in lower case. (See Appendix VIII). 1.1.9 List of Figures Anything other than tables should be considered as a figure. You should write the figure number, title and reference page. Type these in lower case. (See Appendix IX). 1.2 The Research Report Text This refers to Chapters 1 – 5 since these constitute your main report. You need to split up your chapters into clear enough and appropriate sub-headings. The components of each of the five chapters will be discussed in subsequent units. 1.2.1 Text Formatting This sub-section concentrates on the presentation specifications of the research report text or main body. Reference is made to:  Margins  General typing rules
  6. 6. 6  Text spacing  Quotations  Tables included in text  Figures included in text  Hyphenated words  Book titles  Pagination 1.3 Margins All paged should have top, bottom, left and right hand margins with the following specifications:  3.8 cm on the left margin to allow binding  2.5 cm at the top and bottom  2.5 cm on the right hand. 1.3.2 Typing Rules  A4 pager is to be used  Typing should be done on 1 side of the page only and should be one and half spaced use New Times Roman  All chapters should be numbered in Roman numerals, centered and typed in capital letters  All chapter titles should be centered between page in capitals and 2 spaces below the chapter number heading  For all sub-headings, use capitals and lowercase combinations. Sub-heading should be underlined and flushed against the left margin. However, if sub – headings are highlighted or done in bold but still in lower case, they must not be underlined as shown by the example which follows:
  7. 7. 7 CHAPTER 1 (font 14) 2 spaces INTRODUCTION (FONT 14) 3 spaces  If sub – headings are more than 1 line, they should be single spaced  Each chapter begins on a separate new page. 1.3.3 Text Spacing Begin 3 spaces below the last line of the title. A minimum of 2 lines must be used to divide paragraphs or when beginning a new sub–division. Consistency in the mode of typing should be used e.g. Computer, Electric or Manual. 1.3.4 Quotations Long quotations should:  Be indented  Be single spaced  Be in block typed form i.e. 4 spaces from left margin and right margin  To be enclosed in quotation marks  Begin 3 spaces below general text  Quotations less than 3 lines are enclosed in quotation marks and typed within the general text.
  8. 8. 8 1.3.5 Table Included in the Text Tables should be numbered and given a title/heading. When numbering tables take note that:  Arabic numerals should be used  Tables can also be numbered consecutively throughout the project e.g. Table 1; Table 2; Table 3 and so forth.  Tables can also be numbered by sub-topics or by chapter e.g. Table 1.1, Table 1.2, Table 2.1, Table 2.2, Table 3.1 and so forth  Tables and table titles should be done in lower case and underlined. If bold, do not underline.  Tables should have titles and source.  Table title and relevant table should appear on the same page.  The numbering system adopted for tables must be used consistently throughout the project.  Table title on top of table, table source to appear below table. 1.3.6 Figures used in the Text Figures refer to illustrations used other than tables. Figure number and title must appear at the bottom of each illustration and these are again typed in lower case. 1.3.7 Hyphenated Words Protruding words into right hand margins should be avoided. Avoid hyphenating last word on the page. 1.3.8 Bold Titles Titles of books and periodicals should be underlined if used in text. Use Harvard style of referencing
  9. 9. 9 1.3.9 Pagination The following specifications should be noted: (Preliminaries)  All front materials are numbered in the lower case of the Roman numerals, centered at the bottom of the page.  Arabic numbering begins on Chapter 1 and continues up to the end of appendices.  Numbering should be done at the bottom center of each page.  All numbering should be in the lower case. 1.4 Back Page Materials These refer to references and appendices. 1.4.1 References  Should come immediately after last chapter i.e. chapter V, that is, last Chapter of the research report.  Should reflect works consulted and appearing in the text.  Should be in alphabetical order and not numbered or butted  Should be in lower case, if longer than 1 line, they should be single-spaced and not go beyond the year of publication.  Underline titles of books and italics and journals. Titles of articles should be in inverted commas. Refer to Harvard style of referencing. 1.4.2 Appendices Being an extension of the research document, these should be paged normally. They include copies of research instruments used and other documents deemed necessary for inclusion but must be kept to a minimum. In addition to being numbered sequentially, each appendix must be provided with a title.
  10. 10. 10 1.5 Binding You must submit 2 loose spiral bound copies for marking. After making the necessary corrections, you should then submit 2 bound copies and a soft copy on CD. 1.5.1 The Cover Page The inscriptions on the cover must be the same as those on title page. 1.5.2 The Spine The following information should be inscribed on the binding spine and be abbreviated where necessary:  Title;  Name of Student;  Programme  University;  Year. 1.5.3 The Colour Preferably basic green or blue with inscriptions on both spine and cover. 1.5.4 Dissertation Length The length of the dissertation should be between 15 000 to 20 000 words.
  11. 11. 11 UNIT TWO Chapter I INTRODUCTION In the previous Unit of your guide, you were exposed to and became familiar with the faculty requirements for the presentation of a research report on an acceptable quality and standard. You are now ready to proceed to unit 2. In this unit an effort is made to describe and explain to you step by step how to write Chapter 1 of your research report. You should note that chapter 1 is entitled “Introduction” in order to emphasize its relative function. This unit of your guide has been split into sub-units that exactly correspond with the sub-units of Chapter 1 of your research report. You will find these sub-units presented in the subsequent paragraphs of this unit as you read along and study your guide.  Background to the Study The background places the research study into some intelligible context, touching broadly on some of the issues related to it. Generally, you will rely on some information, which led you to get to the resource of this particular research problem in the first place. For example, you might want to touch on the commercial, social, geographical, educational and or political context of the problem, or the various dimensions in which it manifests itself. The researcher should identify the gap that must be filled by the present study. Where the background to the study depend on literature, this must be cited. 2.2 Statement of the Problem This section should contain a brief and clear statement of the problem to be solved. Some of the characteristics of a good research problem statement are that it should be:  Researchable, that is it should be possible to investigate it empirically. It should be answered through the collection and analysis of scientific data.
  12. 12. 12  Precise, that is it should be written n clear unambiguous language.  Resolved through research. The researcher should make sure that the problem chosen offers definite sources of information, which when collected, can answer the key questions sufficiently.  Carefully fit into the broader context of current theory and relevant research.  Clearly and logically related to its sub-problems/research questions or hypothesis.  Related to a particular area of study covered during the Business Management course modules 2.3 Objectives (3 or maximum 4) This section succinctly clarifies the aims or objectives of the study, what the study seeks to accomplish. Research objectives should be smart and there is no room for vagueness, that is avoid usage of words like to understand, to show, to highlight or to explore. You may want to explore to explain or to infer. In some cases you might just want to replicate what is already known. You must make this clear. In summary, research serves the following primary purposes: to describe; to explore; to explain or to infer. These terms are further explained as:  To explore: is just to find out more about an area, which few or no people have ventured into. Exploratory studies are done in areas which are little understood, and where the relationship among variables is unknown or only a little is known.  To describe: that is, to reveal patterns and trends of situations, or events, objects, phenomena or behaviours. By describing them, the hope is that they will be understood better, and so answer the question, ‘why?’  To explain: is to reveal the linkages among the elements constituting situations, events and phenomena. Exploratory studies attempt to answer the question, ‘why?’
  13. 13. 13  Research Question/Sub-Problems Research questions are developed from research problem. Theses can be written as more statements. Good research questions ought to be amenable to some more or less definite answers. However while the question must lend itself to some answer, it must not be totally answered by a simple ‘Yes’ or a simple ‘No’. It must require you to collect and process research evidence as part of the answer. Research questions must specify variables. When the research questions/sub-problems are addressed individually, they yield responses, which can be reconstituted to make up a complete answer to the main research question or research problem. The research questions must be precise. 2.5 Statement of Hypothesis/Preposition using qualitative statistics Hypothesis is tentative answers or ‘intelligent guesses’ or ‘probable answers’ to the research question or sub-problems. There are statements about the expected relationships between variables. Each hypothesis will be tested from analysis of the researched data collected. A researcher who is not confident of statistical testing of hypothesis is advised not to state hypothesis but research questions instead, in his/her study. Hypothesis can be written in null or alternate (directional) form. 2.6 Significance (or Importance) of the Study In this sub-section you should point out how the solution to the problem or the answer to the research question can influence theory or practice. That is, the researcher must demonstrate why it is worth the time, effort, and expense involved in carrying out the research. You should point out and explain the practical benefits that the study is likely to provide. You should consider who would benefit from the study and the specific ways these benefits would be felt. Besides, you may also explain how the study provides benefits to the methods that will be used in collecting, presenting and analyzing data in a particular field. Theoretical, practical, student benefits (self) -gap
  14. 14. 14  Assumptions Assumptions are statements of what the researcher believes to be fact but theses cannot be verified. You should remember that assumptions are not the object of the research but strengthen the basis of your research. These assumptions, like the significance of the study have practical and theoretical implications. Without these assumptions, your research cannot be carried out. For you to be able to carry out the study you should hold certain facts about the study as given. These are the assumptions that your study makes which would influence your research findings. Expectations about research are a/ concept area relationships of variables  Definition of terms (Just before chapter I) in contextual You should identify all terms that require being defined in order to avoid any misinterpretations. These definitions help you to establish the frame of reference with which you as the researcher approaches the problem. The variables to be considered should be defined in operational terms, that is, they should either be observable or measurable so that they can be manipulated scientifically. These terms should be employed consistently throughout the report. Dictionary meanings do not serve adequately in defining terms of a research project.  Scope (Delimitation) of the Study Delimitations refer to the boundaries of the study. These enable you to point out clearly what is included in the study. A description of both conceptual and practical (physical) boundaries is need. Delimitations answer the questions:  What are the concerns of this study and;  What are not its concerns?  How far does it go into the treatment of the given issues and where does it stop?  How wide is the field from which it will source its data?  To cover – Theoretical - Geographical - Time frame
  15. 15. 15 In short, delimitations point out what is included in the study such as the population or sample size and the variables, etc.  Limitations (going to the root of research and remedies) written post facto Limitations are those conditions beyond the control of the researcher that may place restrictions on the conclusions of the study and their application to other situations. It is not enough just to state these limitations ( challenges, weaknesses or constraints) without suggesting the compensatory factors that ensure that the research remains valid and reliable. Tie it with areas of further research Limitations are weaknesses that are inherent in the research, which the researcher is given credit for pointing out and serve to alert the reader/user of the research about what to take note of when interpreting and generalizing the findings and conclusions of the study. These limitations should be comprehensive hence you need to sufficiently clarify them to the reader.  Chapter Summary You should highlight the constituent parts of chapter one. A statement linking ( main issues that come out, themes, data migration )this chapter with chapter two may be provided. In most research projects, you may find that this section provides an opportunity to summarize how the rest of the report has been organized. Thus you need to briefly describe the focus and content of the subsequent chapters of the report. What prompted this study?
  16. 16. 16 UNIT THREE Chapter II LITERATURE REVIEW INTRODUCTION This section discusses some cardinal points in reviewing related literature and gives some guidelines on how to do a good literature review. The purpose of a study of related literature is now given in summary form. Sub themes 3.1 Purpose of Literature Review A knowledge of related research enables you to defined the frontiers of the research field: For example, you may say; ‘Brown (1989) Muzadzi (1993) and Kwedungepi (1999) discovered this much about my research problem, the investigators Maeresera and Mushayabas (2000) added this much to our knowledge. This research proposes to go beyond Maeresera and Mushayabasa’s work in the following manner’ ………………. Throughout review of related theory and research enables you to pace your quotations in perspective You should review related literature for the purpose of finding a link between your study and the accumulated knowledge in your field of interest. Studies with no link to the existing knowledge seldom make significant contributions to the field. Such studies tend to produce isolated bits of information that are of limited usefulness. Reviewing related literature helps you to limit your problem or research questions and to clarify and define concepts of the study. A research question may be too broad to be carried out or too vague to be put into concrete operation. A careful review of the literature can help researchers to revise their initial question so that it can be investigated. It also helps in clarifying the concepts involved in the study and in translating these concepts into operational definitions. In social sciences many behavioural constructs like stress, achievement and motivation need to be clarified and operationally defined. These constructs and other behavioural concepts do not lend themselves to scientific research until they can be qualified. In reviewing literature, one
  17. 17. 17 becomes familiar with previous efforts to clarify these concepts and to define them operationally. Successful reviews often result in the formation of hypothesis regarding the relationships between variables in one’s study. Studies in which hypotheses are tested are usually useful than those without hypotheses or research questions. A critical review of related literature often leads to an insight into reason for contradictory results in an area. In research contradictory findings or inconsistencies may be caused by the research design used for resolving the problem or the type of instruments employed or the methodologies and analyses made. A comparison of the procedures of these studies may explain the inconsistent findings. Thoroughly studying related research helps you learn which methodologies have proved useful and which seem less promising. As you proceed through the related literature and develops increasing sophistication, you may soon find yourself seeing better ways in which some of the studies could have been done. A thorough search of the related literature avoids unintentional replication of previous studies. You should not carry out an investigation where a very similar study was done before. If you deliberately want to replicate a previous study you should state the reason for this replication. You might want to investigate a different aspect of the problem. For example, a study might have been carried out to establish the major causes of some firms in a certain industry. The study might have focused on a large firm in a certain industry in Zimbabwe. The study might have in industry. You may replicate the study by focusing on small to medium firms in a different industry. The study of related literature places you in a better position to interpret the significance of your own results. Becoming familiar with theory in the field and with previous research prepares you for fitting the findings of your research into the body of knowledge in the field. When you reach this stage of reviewing related literature you should consult a few books about research in general and research in business administration in particular. A good knowledge of theories,definitions, variables and previous research findings is necessary and can only be obtained by consulting authoritative sources. This stage of the research can be entirely sure of what you would be looking for. Some sources of literature review are given below:
  18. 18. 18  Sources of Literature  Summaries of theses and dissertations  Index of research journals  Bibliography  Dictionaries  Encyclopedia  Computerized information systems (internet)  Primary documents e.g. circulars and reports  No use of Wikipedia, yahoo answers, lecture notes, com answers The following general hunts on carrying out a review of review of related literature will help you to get started on your literature review. 3.3 Some General hints on Literature 1. You should begin with the most recent publication and work back to earlier publications. 2. Use primary sources as far as possible. 3. Write the bibliographical data of a source on a card (just one sources per card). 4. You should first read the summarized sections of a report to determine whether it is relevant to the research. Then skim through the source to find the relevant sections and begin with summaries and quotations of relevant material. Indicate quotations and their pages clearly. You should do this directly on the research cards and write legibly. 5. Very important sentences or paragraphs should not be summarized but quoted. 6. Use Photostats, particularly in the case of articles from journals. 7. You should consult the library staff if you need help. 8. A brief intensive study of the literature is worth more than an extensive superficial one. If you are dealing with a new problem about which a little research has been conducted, you should consult any source, which can render a significant contribution. The importance of a research problem does not depend on the amount of literature available on the subject. 9. All notes you have collected eventually have to be read through again before being incorporated in a well thought out, well integrated and systematic report. NB: For your literature review to be relevant, it must focus on:  The theory from which the research topic is derived  Stated hypotheses or research questions (at least four citations per page  Stated problem and sub problem  Identifying the gap in research that is filled by the current research.  That are not original and documented by accepted standards.
  19. 19. 19 Policy on Academic Dishonesty and Cheating All materials, which are not yours, must be reviewed and referred. Failure to do so results into academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty and cheating is unethical Christian education. You should not present work and materials that are not original and documented by accepted standards. UNIT FOUR Chapter Three RESEARCH METHODOLOGY INTRODUCTION This unit focuses on chapter 3 of the research report normally entitled “Research Methodology”. In this chapter a clear and concise description of how the study was carried out is given. This is a vivid description of all he activities and procedures undertaken during the course of the research. The review of related literature should have assisted you in deciding on the suitable methodology for the study. This is usually written in the future tense at the proposal stage as you will be suggesting what you intend doing. The report on what transpired during the research exercise is generally written in the past tense. It is important that you remember to revisit the proposal chapters so that you effect the necessary changes when you compile your research report. The various aspects of this chapter are discussed below: 4.1 Introduction This section gives you the opportunity to spell out in brief the main concerns and focus of the chapter, that is, “What the chapter is all about”. These concerns are the research
  20. 20. 20 design, research instruments, data collection procedures, data presentation and analysis plans and the chapter summary. 4.2 Research Design/ Plan The term ‘design’ and ‘plan’ mean the same thing in research as both refer to a description of the format and theoretical structure under which the study will be carried out. This also includes the discussion of steps to be taken in order to safeguard the validity or authenticity of the findings. The main concerns of this section are:  To identify the design, e.g. descriptive survey, experimental design, correlation research design, historical research design and case study research.  To describe the theoretical framework of the design so as to bring out its strengths and weaknesses.  To justify the choice of the design viz a viz the context in which the study will be done. 4.3 Subjects/Target population (figures) Subjects are research participants you intend to use in the study. You should describe the target population and sample to be used in the study. This entails a thorough discussion of sample size (figures) employed. 4.4 Research Instruments Data source The researcher should specify the type of instrument used and on which sub-group(s) as well as giving justification for using the particular instrument. N.B Interviews, observations or questionnaires represents broad methods of collecting primary data. The researcher must specify the type of interviews, observations or questionnaire used e.g. telephone interviews, personal interview, electronically distributed questionnaires or non-participant observations etc and in which sub-groups the instrument was administered. Research instruments are tools you would use for collecting information and data needed to find solutions to the problem under investigation for example tests, questionnaires, interview schedules and observation guides. There are various kinds of data collection
  21. 21. 21 instruments. Research instruments should be clearly described so as to bring out their strengths and weaknesses as a way of justifying their selection and suitability to the research. Measures taken to control the weaknesses identified should be spelt out so as to ensure the validity and reliability of these instruments and data to be collected. A research instrument should have clear instructions. Instrument items should be very clear, logical and should address the sub-problems identified in the introductory chapter. 4.5 Data Collection Procedures Validity and reliability Here the researcher should show how he/she ensured validity and reliability of research instruments for e.g. triangulation and pre-testing of instruments These are steps taken in administering instruments and collection of data from subjects under study. Such steps include:  Making appointments with research subjects through, for example telephone, letters, fax.  Distribution and administering of instruments on the sample for example, by hand, by mail or though research assistants.  Retrieval of instruments. These steps need to be clear, orderly and justified. They are a deliberate and well thought out strategy meant to enhance timely collection of comprehensive data. 4.6 Data Presentation and Analysis Procedures This section spells out the overall products to be used to organize, describe and analyze collected data. Statistics are tools used by the researcher to help make sense of the data collected. The process entails suggesting the manner in which findings are to be:  Presented according to logical themes for example using tables, graphs and or diagrams;  Described to reveal their meaning. These procedures should be clear, logical and justified. 4.7 Summary Gives a clear and brief description of the main concerns treated within the chapter.
  22. 22. 22 UNIT FIVE Chapter Four DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS DISCUSSION 4.0 INTRODUCTION In unit five we dwell on essential requirements for the fourth chapter of the research report. However we focus on data presentation techniques, discussion and interpretation of research findings. You will notice that as researcher the data presentation process will involve scanning and sifting the collected data, organizing it, and summarizing it. We also indicate that effective data presentation requires tables, figures or text. Further, it is important to remain focused throughout ensuring that data presentation focuses on the problems and sub-problems/sub- questions as outlined in unit 2, the first chapter of the research. We also expect that your discussion and interpretation of findings will remain equally focused through ensuring that all the results of the sub-problems/sub-questions/hypotheses are discussed. 5.1 Introduction The introduction for the chapter should describe briefly how the chapter unfolds. 5.2 Data Presentation Process Having collected data from the field, it is expected that the researcher at this stage of the research process will:  Scan and Sift the Data You should read the data to ensure it is complete, accurate, consistent and relevant. You should watch out for trends, which may emerge in the scanned data. Such trends could assist you to organize data into meaningful chunks.  Organizing and summarizing the Data
  23. 23. 23 You should make sense of the data by rearranging it into a manageable form. This could call for counting using rows and column. You may also compare responses from various respondents. You can categorize the responses. You need to identify patterns of responses to a question. This calls for use of descriptive statistics like the mean. You should utilize different ways of summarizing large amounts of data. You may resort to use of: Tables and figures for example pie charts when showing relationships of parts to the whole, scatter graphs, when demonstrating trends or patterns; histograms, when demonstrating comparisons between categories or line graphs, when you wish to underscore time and rate of change.  Statistical summaries: Here the researcher could use measures of central tendency and /or dispersion  Selected quotations, which could include selected direct statements from respondents. N.B a)Numbers used at the beginning of sentences must be in prose and not in figures for example, Seventy-five percent of the administrators indicated that they were worried about loss of power resulting from new policy. b) In answering the sub-problems/sub-questions, you should take each sub- problem/sub-question/research objectives separately and select data related to it. c) The answer to each of the sub-question/sub-problems/research objectives should contribute to answering the main research question/research problem  Presenting the Data Data presentation is effectively done using tables, figures and text. It should be structured around sub-problems. Variables to be discussed under background of the subjects usually include socio-demographic data such as age, sex, marital status, academic and professional qualifications. Such characteristics of the subjects will be useful in the interpretation of the results as they may have a bearing on how subjects respond.
  24. 24. 24 After presenting data on the background of the subjects, the researcher should move on to data presentation focusing on specific sub-problems/ sub-questions of the research study. These sub-problems/sub-questions should be answered logically and separately. Sub-headings in this section should emerge from the sub-problems/research questions. Avoid using direct questions as sub-headings.  The Use of Tables and Figures Results reported verbally are usually enhanced by tables and figures. Tables are used to show rows and columns of numerical data. Figures are used to make a graphic or pictorial presentation of data. Figures include histograms; scatter plots, graphs and charts. When using tables and figures you must observe the following:  Verbal descriptions should accompany tables and figures to ensure that readers understand correctly what is being shown.  Tables and figures should be neat, simple and accurate.  In tables, the title and source is placed at the top and in figures it should be placed below the illustration.  For uniformity, Arabic numerals should be used to number tables and figures.  Each table or figure should contain all the information necessary to interpret it.  A table or figure never precedes but rather follows as closely as possible the first reference to it in the report.  Only those tables and figures that present information essential to the understanding of the chapter should be included.  A table that will not fit into the remaining space of the page is placed on the next page. No blank spaces should be left.  Long detailed tables or figures that interpret the continuity of the discussion should be put in the appendix e.g. regression analysis  A well-constructed table should be self-explanatory and sufficiently clear to be understood without reading the textual explanation. Conversely the textual
  25. 25. 25 explanation should enable the reader to grasp the main ideas without examining the Table X. (See Appendix XI).  After studying each table or figure the researcher should write a paragraph or two explaining what it contains and drawing the reader’s attention to note-worthy findings. However, there is need to avoid discussing every entry in the table of figure. This style of presentation is boring and defeats the purposes of using tables and figures. In fact, an informative table supplements but does not duplicate the text.  Headings of tables are usually derived from sub-problems/sub-questions. 5.4 Data Analysis/research objectives -for quantitative research the following analytical tools can be used 1. Descriptive statistics e.g. measures of central measures of dispersion 2. Inferential statistical tools e.g. confidential, interval estimates, hypothesis testing, chi square regression/collective testing Qualitative e.g. - Discourse analysis - Content analysis - Comparative analysis - Thematic analysis 5.5 Discussion/Interpretation Section  The discussion of findings should focus on the results.  The discussion should tie together findings in relation to theory and review of literature.  If the results support or contradict previous research findings on the topic, this should be stated. (See Appendix XI).  If the results differ from previous findings, an explanation why this occurred should be attempted.  If the study was set up to test hypotheses, the discussion section must report the outcome of each hypothesis. The statistical test used must also be appropriate.
  26. 26. 26  Ensure that all the results of the sub-problems/sub-questions/hypotheses are discussed.  In terms of language be definite about the data and statistics but be tentative about interpretations and conclusions as shown by these statements. o It would appear that most managers in the study were against Gender segregation. o Results seem to suggest that training positively influences worker performance. o The explanation for this outcome could be distance education tutors were exposed to the theory of tutoring at a distance. On the other hand, one should be more definite when reporting data and statistics as shown by these statements:  The mean and standard deviation were 10 and 2.5 respectively.  The co-efficient of correlation was 0.8 N.B. Statistics support existence characteristics in a population on basis sample results. The writing style should be precise, simple and direct. 5.5 Chapter Summary The summary of the chapter should highlight the main findings of the study.
  27. 27. 27 UNIT SIX CHAPTER FIVE SUMMARY OF FINDINGS CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS INTRODUCTION This unit consists of three main sections, which conclude the entire research report. These are the summary, the research conclusions and the recommendations. After reading through this final chapter, the reader becomes informed of the research problem tackled, the research methodology used and its limitations, major findings of the study and their implications for practice. 6.1 Summary of findings Some students give a summary of each chapter rather than summarizing major finding in chapter 4. In a study where a researcher is investigating that causes of high staff turnover in the hotel industry, the summary could be as follows:  The study found out that although both sexes of workers are involved, males tend to be more affected than females. It can be concluded that males tend to be more intolerant to what they view as authoritarian leadership styles than their female counterparts.  A close association between high staff turnover and poor workers’ results on the part of employees was also established. The poor results could be attributed to insufficient training and long working hours.  While problem of staff turnover was quite prevalent, it was also observed that nothing was being done by the head offices to address this issue.  It can be concluded that the H.O is not supportive.
  28. 28. 28 6.2 Conclusions These are summed up answers to the sub-problems stated in Chapter One. They, however, should be drawn from summary of findings, hence they are termed research – based conclusions. For example the conclusion of the research study on major causes of staff turnover in the hotel industry can be highlighted as: 6.3 Recommendations It is common in the applied sciences for research efforts to yield findings that show the need for altering existing practices. In the recommendations section, the researcher examines his findings in the light of such suggested applications so as to enable to suggest possible ways of improving situation to address problem stating clearly what,when,how. The recommendations could read as follows: In the light of the above conclusions it is recommended that head offices should launch in- service workshops for workers with a focus on leadership styles so that they become more flexible in their leadership. While workers have very genuine reasons to move out, it is recommended that head off makes an effort to retain workers. This can be achieved by ……………………..  Research References  All sources referenced in the report must be traceable. If your readers wish to check a source you cite, they must be able to find it without having to contact you first.  All the articles, books, etc that you have cited must appear in your reference list. However, do not include any sources to which you have not specifically referred, even if you feel they provide ‘background’ material.  Start section on a separate page with ‘References’ centered at the top. Then list the reference alphabetically by surname (last names of the senior (first) author. If the same person is senior author for more than one reference in your list, then the references are ordered chronologically for that person. If the same person supplies
  29. 29. 29 more than one reference for the same year, then the different references are labeled ‘a’, ‘b’, etc in parentheses after the references, and when reference is cited in text, the letter is given in addition to the year. The purpose of this organization is to make it easy for the reader to match up any citation in text with its full reference in references. 6.5.1 Style of References (HBR)  Journal Articles: Only the first word of an article title is capitalized. Author(s), title, and journal information are separated from one another by periods. The name of the journal and the volume are underlined. At the end of each reference, the page numbers for the whole article are given.  Books: Books are identified by author, title, publisher and year. Only the first word of the book title is capitalized. Unlike the title of a journal article, the book title itself is underlined. The necessary publisher information includes the city of publication, the name of the publisher, and the year of publication.  A Chapter in a Book: Some books are collections of works by different authors. In this case you want both to reference the person who actually wrote the information you cite and to tell in what book to locate it.  Popular Magazines: You should usually don’t reference articles in popular magazines since they are not a verifiable source of scientific information. If you do need to reference a popular source, you will find that there is no volume number and that magazines do not follow the convenient journal policies of numbering pages in order throughout an entire year and of keeping all the pages in an article consecutive.  Technical Reports: There are some reports that have ‘semi-published’ status. They are issued by organisations, such as a university or government agency, and have limited circulation. Enough information must be given about them so that a reader can contact the organization and learn the whereabouts of a copy.  No Personal Author: Constructing clear reference without a personal author to cite can be inconvenient, if not an outright mess. If the ‘author’ is an
  30. 30. 30 agency or association, then the reference will be alphabetized according to the first significant word of the association’s name.  Thesis: Doctoral and masters thesis are usually unpublished, but the universities for which they were written have bound copies. It is better not to refer to these unless absolutely necessary since your readers will have difficulty obtaining the material. You should cite all and only references used in the research. Research References Kothari, C. R. (1985) Research Methodology: Methods and techniques. New Delhi: Wiley Eastern. American Psychological Association (1999) Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (4th Edition). Washington D. C.
  31. 31. 31 Appendix 1 Logo font 14 Title Page Sample MIDLANDS STATE UNIVERSITY (Font 20) FACULTY OF COMMERCE (Font 18) DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT (font 18) THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR AS THE LEADING SECTOR IN ZIMBABWE: AN INPUT MODEL APPROACH (font 14) BY PATRICIA MOYO (font 12) Reg No. (font 12) SUBMITTED TO THE MIDLANDS STATE UNIVERSITY IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR BUSINESS MANAGEMENT (Italics & font 12) GWERU, ZIMBABWE (font 14) YEAR: 2014 (font 14)
  32. 32. 32 Appendix II The Release Form Sample MIDLANDS STATE UNIVERSITY RELEASE FORM NAME OF AUTHOR: PATRICIA MOYO Reg. No TITLE OF PROJECT: The Manufacturing sector as the leading Sector in Zimbabwe: An Input – Output Model Approach. PROGRAMME FOR WHICH PROJECT WAS PRESENTED: Masters in Business Administration (MBA) YEAR GRANTED: 2005 Permission is hereby granted to the Midlands State University Library to produce single copies of this project and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves other publication rights and neither the project nor extensive extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author’s written permission. SIGNED: …………………………………………………………… PERMANENT ADDRESS: 4 Flamboyant Close Mornington Harare DATE: November 2014
  33. 33. 33 Appendix III The Approval Form Sample MIDLANDS STATE UNIVERSITY APPROVAL FORM The undersigned certify that they have read and recommend to the Midlands State University for acceptance; a dissertation entitled………………………………, submitted by Patricia Moyo in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Business Administration (MBA). ……………………………………………………….. Date:................... SUPERVISOR ………………………………………………….. ………………………………………………………………………. Date:...................... PROGRAMME/SUBJECT COORDINATOR ……………………………………………………. Date:....................... EXTERNAL EXAMINER
  34. 34. 34 Appendix (IV) Dedication Sample DEDICATION This research is dedicated to …………………………………………………
  35. 35. 35 Appendix (V) Abstract Sample Acknowledgements ABSTRACT The study sought to determine the effectiveness of supervision and evaluation of staff at Public Universities. In this study 200 lecturers, 100 administrators, 30 Deans and the chairpersons of the Departments were used as the research subjects. Questionnaires and interviews were used as research instruments. The documentary review method was also used to provide information on how Deans and chairperson supervised and evaluated their subordinated. The study showed that while lecturers and chairpersons supervised and evaluated staff, they lacked the necessary expertise and did not have adequate time to discuss supervision evaluation reports with their subordinates. This study recommends that Deans and chairpersons especially new ones, be given some orientation on supervision and evaluation. It is also necessary for these leaders to be provided with supervision and evaluation guides in order to enable them to carry out their tasks more effectively. Finally, it is also recommended that further research be undertaken in order to establish appraisal system used in universities.
  36. 36. 36 Appendix (VI) Acknowledgements Sample ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to acknowledge the assistance received from the following people who made it possible for this document to be put together. ………………………………………………… ………………………………………………. I also want to express my gratitude to personnel at Midlands State University Library for their help and assistance.
  37. 37. 37 Appendix VII Table of Contents Sample TABLE OF CONTENTS Cover Page i Declaration Form ii Release Form iii Approval Form iv Dedication v Acknowledgements vi Abstract vii Table of Contents viii List of Tables ix List of Figures x CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Introduction 1 Background of study 1 Purpose of the Study 3 Statement of the Problem 3 Sub – Problems 3 Hypothesis 4 Importance of the Study 5 Assumption of the Study 6 Delimitations of the study 7 Limitations of the Study 8 Definition of Terms 8 Summary 10 CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction 11 The Concepts of Staff Development 11 Rationale for Staff Development 14 Staff Development Needs and Their Sources 19 Models of Staff Development 21 Current Staff Development Practices in Zimbabwe 23 Summary 32
  38. 38. 38 CHAPTER III: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Introduction 31 Research Instruments 32 Data Collection Plan 33 Data Analysis Procedures 34 Summary 41 CHAPTER IV: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS Introduction 43 Establishing the Existing of Staff Development 43 Selection of Staff Development Topics Personnel involved in the Actual Staff Development 44 Effectiveness of Staff Development Programmes 46 Attendance of Staff Development Sessions in Schools 47 Whether Staff Development Sessions are Interesting 48 Ability of Presenters/Facilitators of Staff Development 49 Quality of Staff Development Programmes 54 Venue Suitable for Staff Development 56 Evaluating Staff Development Programmes 58 Summary 69 CHAPTER V: SUMMARYOF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS Summary of findings 75 Conclusions 77 Recommendations 82 References 86 Appendices Appendix i Letter of introduction Appendix ii Release form Appendix iii Approval Sample Form Appendix iv Dedication Sample Appendix v Abstract Sample Appendix vi Acknowledgement Sample Appendix vii Table of contents Sample Appendix viii List of Table Sample Appendix ix List of figure
  39. 39. 39 Appendix (VIII) List of Tables Sample LIST OF TABLES TABLE DESCRIPTION PAGE 1. Lecturers who Participate in the study 90 2. Respondents by Gender 94 3. Respondents by Marital Status 97 4. Objectives of Committees 98 5. Terms of Reference for Committees 99
  40. 40. 40 Appendix IX LIST OF FIGURES Figure Description Page 1. Comparison and Size of Committees 102 2. Number of Committees in each University 104 3. Total Contributions to Committee Meetings 123
  41. 41. 41 Appendix X Textual and Tabular Presentation of data Sample The title of the table below was derived from one of the sub-problems stated as: “Which power bases are perceived by school heads to very effective in influencing student teachers to comply with the demands. Presentation and Discussion of the Findings The first objective of the study was to examine the power bases perceived by the school heads to be very effective in influencing student teachers to comply with school head’s demands. Able below shows that most heads (32.5) perceived coercive power as the most effective power base influencing teacher compliance. The least effective power base was expert power (2.5%). Table School Heads’ Perceptions of Power Bases Influencing Teachers’ Compliance. Power Bases N % Rank Information power 40 20.0 3 Expert power 55 2,5 6 Referent Power 20 10.0 4 Position Power 50 25,0 2 Reward Power 20 10,0 4 Coercive Power 65 32,5 1 Total 200 100 When ranked (See Table 1), the results show that coercive base (32,5) was viewed as the most effective, followed by position power 25, information power (20) referent power and reward power (10%) and lastly expert power (2,5%). The results are not consistent with earlier findings by Magagula (1994) who found out that most high school heads in Swaziland perceived the position power base as the most effective and the coercive power base as the least effective. Position explanations for this disagreement could be that participants in Magagula’s study were school heads with relatively long experience as heads in addition to high academic and professional qualifications. On the other hand, school heads in the present study were relatively inexperienced with low academic and professional qualifications. Limited experience and low academic and professional background tend to limit one’s exposure to more acceptable professional practices.

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