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Discuss problems encountered, if any, that affected the results relating to sample characteristics a


These guidelines address postgraduate students who have completed course

requirements and assumed to have sufficient background experience of high-level

engagement activities like recognizing, relating, applying, generating, reflecting and

theorizing issues. It is an ultimate period in our academic life when we feel confident

at embarking on independent research.

It cannot be overemphasized that we must enjoy the experience of research process

and not look at it as an academic chore.

To enable such a desired behaviour, these guidelines consider the research process

in terms of the skills and knowledge needed to develop independent and critical

styles of thinking in order to evaluate and use research as well as to conduct fresh


The guidelines should be viewed as briefs which the Research Supervisors are expected

to exemplify based on their own experience as well as expertise.

8.1 Chapter 1 – Introduction

INTRODUCE the subject or problem to be studied. This might require the

identification of key managerial concerns, theories, laws and governmental rulings,

critical incidents or social changes, and current environmental issues, that make the

subject critical, relevant and worthy of managerial or research attention.

• To inform the Reader (stylistically – forthright, direct, and brief / concise),

• The first sentence should begin with `This Study was intended

to’….’ And immediately tell the Reader the nature of the study for the

reader’s interest and desire to read on.

8.1.1 The Research Problem

What is the statement of the problem? The statement of the problem or problem

statement should follow logically from what has been set forth in the background of

the problem by defining the specific research need providing impetus for the

study, a need not met through previous research. Present a clear and precise

statement of the central question of research, formulated to address the need.

8.1.2 The Purpose of the Study

What is the purpose of the study? What are the RESEARCH QUESTION (S) of

the study? What are the specific objective (s) of the study? Define the specific

research objective (s) that would answer the research Question (s) of the study.

8.1.3 The Rationale of the Study:

1. Why in a general sense?

2. One or two brief references to previous research or theories critical in structuring

this study to support and understand the rationale.

3. The importance of the study for the reader to know, to fully appreciate the need

for the study – and its significance.

4. Own professional experience that stimulated the study or aroused interest in the

area of research.

5. The Need for the Study – will deal with valid questions or professional concerns

to provide data leading to an answer – reference to literature helpful and


8.1.4 The Significance of the Study:

1. Clearly describe the significance of the study.

2. Justify why the subject requires attention.

3. Identify key contributions of the research that can be achieved.

4. Highlight the contributions that the study seeks to achieve towards – management

practices; theoretical and methodological applications; governmental procedures,

policies and laws; nation building.

8.1.5 The Scope of the Study:

1. Break general research problem down to specific sub problems

2. Major analysis of the data exposed as one of sub problems

3. Identify the dimensions / population of the subject that you plan to study.

4. Discussion on issues such as types of data the subjects or sources of information

utilised, the time period involved and the geographic locations covered in the research

may be discussed in this section.

5. What aspects of the subject do you intend to study? What are the key questions to

be investigated?

8.1.6 Definition of Terms

Define the terms used in the study that are not usually encountered by readers, generally.

If the study focuses on only one institution or company then a short background history

of it should be included in this chapter.

8.1.7 Summary

A synopsis of the contents of the chapter that leads to the introduction of the

following chapter.

8.2 Chapter 2 – Literature Review

1. Identify the appropriate academic and / or professional fields

2. Evaluate and critique the literature – challenge the assumptions

3. Be highly selective and include only those aspects of the research literature and

non-research or conceptual literature that are relevant to developing the foundation

of the current study.

4. Each major previous study is discussed in a separate paragraph (s) with the findings

summarised collectively – same as with non-research or conceptual literature by

authorities who hold similar views.

5. A review of literature should read as a synthesis, written by someone who has

read all of the literature and so is able to look across it all, select the highlights,

and synthesise these into a totally integrated section in the context of the current

study, for further use when writing the discussion of the results and conclusions.

8.2.1 History of Research:

Provide a brief history of the empirical research on the subject. Pioneering studies,

thrust of prior research on the subject i.e. which issues have received attention, theories

explored, viewpoints expressed, and research methods typically used.

8.2.2 Review of Key Studies

1. Identify and summarise the key empirical studies that have a bearing on the


2. Provide a tabular summary of the subjects, issues studied, research methods used

and other pertinent details relating to the studies.

3. Summarise the findings of the studies.

8.2.3 Evaluation of Key Studies:

1. Evaluate the findings of the studies in the light of your concerns.

2. What has been accomplished and what remains to be done?

3. How do you intend to use the experience of these studies in your research?

8.2.4 Summary:

A synopsis of the contents of the hypotheses / research questions and the

rationale derived from the researcher’s experience and from the readings of

research and conceptual literatures should be stated effectively at the

conclusion of the review of literature chapter that leads on to the following chapter.

8.3 Chapter 3 – Theoretical Framework and Research Methodology

THEORETICAL / CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK – using material from the previous

chapter, produce the working definitions of the main concepts you will use in your study.

If possible, form them into a conceptual framework of theories or hypotheses to be


8.3.1 Research Methodology

1. Discuss the nature of the questions you are asking and choose an appropriate

methodological stance for answering them.

2. Justify the research methods you are using.

3. Describe the practical and technical aspects of conducting the research.

8.3.2 Theoretical Framework

Identify the various variables investigated in the study. Illustrate how the

variables interact with each other as hypothesised in the research by the aid of

diagram (s) (if possible).

8.3.3 Research Approach

Describe the approach adopted in the study, justification for

using the approach and issues related to adopting the approach.

8.3.4 Research Subjects

1. Provide details about the population and sample used.

2. What sectors of the labour force, industry or groups is the sample drawn?

3. What are the characteristics of the population sample?

4. What are the strong points and limitations of the sample?

5. What is the justification of choosing the sample?

6. Can the findings be generalised to the population?

8.3.5 Questionnaire

1. Describe the questionnaire used in the study

2. Background of the questionnaire

3. Is it original? If any items are taken from existing questionnaire, identify the


4. Describe the question categories

5. Describe the scaling methods used and state the reasons for choosing them

6. Issues on validity and reliability

7. Pilot test to check the clarity and appropriateness of the survey questionnaire prior

to the actual conduct of the actual survey.

8.3.6 Administration of the Questionnaire

1. Describe how the questionnaire was administered

2. Discuss problems encountered, if any, that affected the results relating to sample

characteristics and their potential impact on reliability and validity of the data.

3. Ensure that in collecting the data, individual respondents / organization were duly

briefed and made aware of the ethical practices including ensuring the

confidentiality of the information gathered and data protection, voluntary and non

– monetary inducement to participate in the intended research. Full consent of

participations by individual respondents is solicited without any form of coercion.

8.3.7 Statistical Methods

1. Discuss the selected Descriptive and Inferential Statistical methods [as in the

SPSS] used in analysing the results. Having selected the variables for your study,

you assume that they would either help to define your problem (dependent

variable/s) and its different components or that they were contributory factors to

your problem (independent variable).

2. The purpose of data analysis is to identify whether these assumptions were correct

or not, and to highlight possible new views on the problem under study.

3. The ultimate purpose of analysis is to answer the research questions outlined in

the objectives with your data.

8.3.8 Summary

1. A synopsis of the contents of what has been written about in the Theoretical /

Conceptual Framework and Research Methodology used.

2. The description of the sample used.

3. Descriptive data and the instrument used.

4. The design of the study and the way data were collected.

5. The way data were analysed – assumptions and limitations of the study.

8.4 Chapter 4 – Data Presentation, Analysis and Findings

1. Describe what you found out and what it means.

2. Refer back to the Literature Review and your Theoretical/ Conceptual


3. Present the Data in the form of tables, figures, charts or other illustrations as

needed and sequenced in terms of the research questions or hypotheses tested.

4. Discuss your findings in terms of what the data actually means in terms of each

segment or cell of data gathered.

8.4.1 Summary

State the findings as concretely as possible in terms of each segment or cell of

data gathered to answer the research questions and hypotheses.

8.5 Chapter 5 – Conclusions and Recommendations

1. As an introduction to the chapter, Summarise [recapitulate] the argument of the

dissertation in terms of what you attempted to find out and what you

accomplished i.e. address the research questions / hypothesis(es).

2. The final chapter is entitled `Conclusions and Recommendations’. Conclusions

here mean that for each of the findings that address the research questions and

hypotheses, the researcher draws a conclusion.

3. Recommendations mean that for each Conclusion, the researcher suggests a


4. Consider:

a. Discussion: Discuss the findings of Study in terms of the main Research

Questions and Hypotheses as well as the Title of the Research and relate the findings

to the Literature Review. In addition, try to explain the significance and non-

significance of the results using available theory, data and facts as well as the

validity and reliability of the findings and

arguments in the dissertation as a whole.

b. Implications: What are the substantive implications of the experience for –

Management, unions and other interest groups; for public policy; Nation building. –

The Methodological or procedural implications of the experience for other


c. Limitations of Research: Describe the possible limitations faced in the study

especially from the methodological perspective.

d. Suggestions for Further or Additional Research: Provide concrete suggestions

for FURTHER RESEARCH in the field or additional research (if possible) in the

research methodological areas encountered in the study The researcher’s last

Recommendation will be Suggestions for Further


e. The FINAL CONCLUSION to the chapter addresses the TITLE of the Research as

the title reflects the whole study. Discuss how the objectives and research questions

of the study have been met with the research.

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