Culture and International Business (An International Business Topic)

Culture and International Business (An International Business Topic)Order Description
The coursework assessment is designed to enable you to partially demonstrate the learning outcomes required for the successful completion of the module, with particular reference to the business/market/academic research skills development outcomes for this component as detailed in the module specification and module handbook:
• Evaluating secondary data sources such as academic literature and market research reports to frame research question
• Demonstrating understanding of development, conduct, analysis and interpretation of business, market and academic research to propose a research plan
• Working creatively with qualitative and quantitative (and potentially alternative research methods)
• Understanding of ethical issues in business, market and academic research that apply to your proposal
• Producing a succinct, well-argued and well-presented research proposal.
This Research Proposal is based on topics you have covered over your degree programme so far, giving you a choice of topics to focus upon (see below): you must choose just one to develop.

You are asked to play the part of a business researcher or market research agency, submitting a proposal document to the client for their approval of your plan to research the question you choose. In order to create an appropriate proposal, you are required to analyse the existing academic and practitioner literature in the area, identify an aim and objectives, develop a strategy for sampling, collecting, analysing and interpreting data, and discuss the ethical and other limitations of your research.

Although practically-focused, this assessment requires an academic slant uniting academic and practitioner knowledge. You are expected to integrate academic concepts and theories from your other modules, and your own reading, to underpin your work and support the judgements you are making. In this regard it is essential that you properly reference all books, academic articles, websites and other reference sources used in your report.

Your Research Proposal is expected to cover the following (N.B. Word counts given here are approximate guidelines only):

• Introduction briefly covering justification for research (approx. 200 words)
• Background – a short literature review identifying clear gap in theoretical and practical knowledge (approx. 900 words)
• Aim and objectives (approx. 75 words)
• Research methods covering both quantitative and qualitative approaches in a mixed methods study. These approaches should be covered separately (in whichever order you prefer and which makes sense for your study) and in each of the two sections should cover:
o Clear sampling plan for each stage, including sampling frame, sample size, intended recruitment methods and any requirements for incentives (approx. 200 words i.e. approximately 200 words on the qualitative and 200 words on the quantitative sampling plan)
o Outline of data collection methods for each approach, and commentary on how any surveys or moderators guides will be developed. This should include consideration of issues such as socially desirable responding, issues with literacy etc. Details about conducting the research (e.g. environment, recording data, any materials required) should be covered (approx. 800 words for EACH of quantitative and qualitative)
o Plans for data presentation, coding, analysis and interpretation suitable for each research approach (approx. 300 words for EACH of quantitative and qualitative).
• Consideration of ethics issues arising from the research and how you would address these (approx. 300 words)
• Description of any limitations of the research (approx. 150 words)
• Proposed time frame for the research, ideally using Gantt chart (approx. 150 words)
• Brief closing summary

More detail is provided below about content for each section and marking criteria.

Formatting
The report should
• Be in a Microsoft Word format (i.e. a .doc or .docx file) to allow feedback, with 1.5 line spacing and 12 sized font.
• Be submitted online via Blackboard
• Use headings and subheadings to provide a clear structure
• Use diagrams, charts or images where they help support your argument
• Be spellchecked and grammatically correct
Criteria for marking

We expect cohesive and logical research methods that build on each other to achieve your research aim and objectives. The marking criteria are split between the key sections of the assignment, and reflect the content and quality of each section and the proposal as a whole. See the marking grid below on how this is applied at each grade level, with details on expected content.

Background and literature review: 20%
• Effective summary of, and introduction to, the research issue
• Clear signposting of structure and content of proposal
• Review of key academic literature (8-10 papers) on the research topic, identifying key theoretical constructs and leading to justified aims and objectives

Aims and objectives: 10%
• Clearly defined overall research aim
• Objectives suitable for each research approach
• All answering research brief while using theory from literature review

Rigorous and appropriate methods: 30%
• Clearly defined sampling, data collection and data analysis methods
• For both quantitative and qualitative approaches: these can be sequential or parallel, and in whichever order is most suitable to address the research aim
• Described simply using terminology from module
• Detailing any special considerations such as addressing socially desirable responding (if appropriate), use of incentives, or access to difficult to reach groups
• Detailing measures taken to avoid errors or bias to ensure robust and valid findings

Meaningful coherence: 20%
• Sections of the proposal should make sense and ‘hang together’
o Aims and objectives should be clearly linked to practitioner and academic literature
o Sampling and data collection methods should support the aim and objectives
o Data analysis and presentation methods should be suitable for the type of data collected and aims and objectives
o Interpretation methods should be suitable for the type of analysis used
• Plans for integrating the quantitative and qualitative methods should be briefly outlined

Ethics & Limitations: 10%
• Ethical considerations (including researcher safety if applicable) should be outlined and addressed
• Limitations of the study should be outlined and addressed

Overall presentation: 10%
• Develop an effective structure for addressing all the tasks
• Maintain a succinct and compelling style throughout
• Clear links between sections to build arguments consistently
• Provide accurate references for all researched or quoted material (including background information on organisations)
• Use grammatically correct English without spelling errors
Culture and International Business (An International Business Topic)
Due to mass globalization and other factors the level of international trade is at an all-time high. One of the many challenges that are faced by companies that work with international partners is that of differences in cultures. Some differences remain clouded by a shared language or by geographical proximity but cultures and ‘the way we do things here’ still cause difficulties. Your research proposal is to prepare for a project that looks at what UK companies have done to both understand the impact of culture and to change their business practices so as to work more effectively with overseas partners. You will look at both how the companies address these issue and to what extent have they been successful in addressing them.
References: Carté, P. & Fox, C. (2008) Bridging the Culture Gap: A Practical Guide to International Business Communication. 2nd ed. London, Kogan Page.
Hofstede, G. (1983) The cultural relativity of organizational practices and theories. Journal of International Business Studies. 14(2), pp. 75-89

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