An Illustration to Write a Research Proposal * Dr. Azadeh Asgari
An Illustration to Write a Research Proposal Table of Contents1.0 Introduction (write-out an introduction paragraph to give a broad overview of the scenario surrounding the title) 1.1 Problem Statement Develop your research problem (include motivation for research) Identify the research gaps from the literature Close this section with a statement of your research problem 1.2 Research Objectives (describe your main research objective) (list out the sub-objectives) Make sure the objectives support you research problem 1.3 Research Questions Your research questions must be a mirror image of your research objectives 1.4 Significance of Research Include the contribution of your study here2.0 Literature Review (write-out an introduction paragraph to give a broad overview section) 2.1 Small-medium Enterprises 2.2 Business performance of SMEs 2.2.1 Financial performance 2.2.2 Non-financial performance 2.3 Strategic issues in SMEs 2.4 Technology Management in SMEs 2.4.1 Technology adoption strategy 22.214.171.124 Integration flexibility 126.96.36.199 Systematic information flexibility 188.8.131.52 Strategic alignment 2.4.2 Organizational context 184.108.40.206 Organizational structure 220.127.116.11 Management support 18.104.22.168 Capabilities of SMEs 2.4.3 Business environment 22.214.171.124 Types of business environment
3.0 Research Methodology 3.1 Research framework 3.1.1 Dependent variable: Business performance 3.1.2 Independent variables 126.96.36.199 Technology adoption strategy 3.1.3 Moderating variable 188.8.131.52 Organizational context 184.108.40.206 Environmental dynamism 3.2 Hypothesis development 3.2.1 Technology adoption strategy and business performance 3.2.2 The moderating effects of organizational context 3.2.3 The moderating effects of environmental dynamism 3.3 Research design 3.3.1 A causal relationship among variables 3.3.2 Unit of analysis Writing a Research Proposal1.0 Introduction 1.1 Problem Statement 1.2 Research Objectives 1.3 Research Questions 1.4 Significance of Research2.0 Literature Review*Note • As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). • It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries. • A literature review is a review of reading materials of what has been published on a topic by previous scholars and researchers • The purpose is to convey to the reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. • You need a good literature review because it: demonstrates that you know the field justifies the reason for your research allows you to establish your research framework and methodological focus
• A literature review is a piece of discursive (a series of logical discussion) writing style, not a list describing or summarizing one piece of literature after another. • Its usually a bad sign to see every paragraph beginning with the name of a researcher. • Organize the literature review into sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory. • You are not trying to list all the material published, but to synthesize and evaluate it according to the guiding concept of your thesis or research question.Writing a Literature Review• At the end of this part you should be able to: 1. Explain what is a literature review 2. Conduct a proper literature review 3. Use the online databases 4. Cite and reference literature 5. Construct the literature review for your research proposalRevision:Why you must do literature review: 1. it is to ensure that through proper documentation you are able to justify that your current study has not been duplicated elsewhere making it worthy to be added to the body of existing knowledge 2. by understanding the current literature you will be able to take a stand in your study by refuting or supporting previous works 3. The exercise of searching for materials helps enhance the research skills in conducting a desk researchSteps in writing a literature review:1. Identify key terms to use in your search for literature Start with a working title: a. “Technology adoption in SMEs” b. “Strategic technology management and business performance in SMEs”2. Locate literature about a topic by consulting several types of materials and databases3. Critically evaluate and select the literature for review Is the problem statement presented clearly? Does this study build upon previous research? Will the study make a contribution to the field? Is there a theory that guides the research? Are methods used in the study explained in a clear manner? Is the research design appropriate for this study?
Are the measures of the variables valid and reliable? Do the conclusions results from the findings of the study? Do conclusions give a clear answer to the main research question? Has limitations been considered and presented?4. Organize the literature by abstracting or taking notes on the literature and developing a visual diagram of it5. Write a literature review that reports summaries of the literature for inclusion in the report The Research FrameworkAt the end of this lesson, you should be able to: 1. Conceptualize the research 2. Diagram the research framework 3. Establish the variables and 4. Construct the hypotheses Steps to conceptualize the researcha. Recall the working title “Strategic technology management and business performance in SMEs”b. Restate the problem - Berry & Taggart (1998), Zahra et al. (1994), Bessant (1993) and Voss (1988) reported that a big portion of company failure is due to non-strategic technology management amongst industries, particularly for SMEs.c. Restate the main objective - This study intends to find answers for “What are the technology strategies adopted by SMEs and how do these strategies influence their performance?d. Restate the sub-objectives: i. To identify and examine important factors that will drive or inhibit the success of technology adoption process and their impact on company performance ii. To identify technology strategies adopted and implemented by SMEs iii. To propose a conceptual model that can become a guideline in order to understand management, adoption and implementation process of new technology adoption through technology adoption strategies of SMEs Translate your research idea into a diagrama. From the research objectives, identify: a. Independent variable b. Dependent variable c. Moderating variable
d. Mediating variableb. Transform the relationships between variables into a schematic diagramc. Once the variable have been identified, you can now construct the hypothesis Writing Exercises – IllustrationRefine your research methodology section followed by a write-up for focusing on yourresearch framework and research design.4.0 Research Methodology 4.1 Research framework 4.1.1 Dependent variable: Business performance 4.1.2 Independent variables 220.127.116.11 Technology adoption strategy 4.1.3 Moderating variable 18.104.22.168 Organizational context 22.214.171.124 Environmental dynamism 4.2 Hypothesis development 4.2.1 Technology adoption strategy and business performance 4.2.2 The moderating effects of organizational context 4.2.3 The moderating effects of environmental dynamism 4.3 Research design (Describe a basic research design, followed by your choice of the research design, for example, a quantitative research design) 4.3.1 A causal relationship among variables (may describe the time horizon here) 4.3.2 Unit of analysis