Identify the academic body of literature underpinning your research.

have the following observations for your consideration. I concur with Paul’s original observations; there is still much to do. As a minor point there is no need to include the question as a separate statement at the beginning to the introduction. You can instead start off by stating this as the research issue and then follow on from what is then said. This is about introducing the research issue and justifying the research right from the start.

The objectives would benefit from further refinement. In particular, and as evidenced from the literature review, you have not adequately defined the academic literature to the work. You need to address this. I would suggest adopting the following approach to your objectives:

To critically evaluate the XXX literature(s) in order to shed light on YYY
To apply a mixed method approach in order to examine YYY
To develop a set of recommendations that……..

You simply need to fill in the blanks.

As already mentioned you need to identify the academic body of literature underpinning your research. The internet/IT is not an academic literature, instead this is the context to your study. Neither is background information on the industry. Aspects of operations has the potential to be a literature but is too broad and needs narrowing. You need to develop this literature review, perhaps building upon aspects of operations management. What is clear is that you need to incorporate a much higher degree of relevant research which is academic in outlook and not industry specific (hence operations might be relevant?).

For the methodology you need to more clearly explain what was done, how it was done and why it was done this way. The key headings for this chapter should be something like:

Philosophical Position
Research Design
Mixed Method Approach
Primary Methods
Sampling Strategy
Data Analysis
Validity, Reliability, Generalisability
Ethical Issues

As its stands you have not discussed your philosophical position. You need to develop the research design (which is the same as research strategy so please have one or the other but not both as headings). So for example is the a case study approach or something else? Each method needs discussing and justifying in full. If using all three methods you need to ensure these are written up in detail in the findings. My advice would be to remove reference to observation and go with interviews and questionnaires. You need to detail for the form of sampling for each method and why this was adopted. Likewise data analysis approach for each method needs detailing in full. Issues around validity, reliability and generalizability require much further development. My advice would be to read the online text by Saunders et al on this and other methodological issues. Ethical issues and limitations all need full consideration.

The findings are quite descriptive. Do you need to detail all the demographic responses in the main body of the work (could use appendices for some of these?)? You need to look at trying to evaluate the quantitative data further by adding commentary. For the qualitative data (interviews) you need to use quotes from the interviews to develop the themes from the data. Having analysed this data in full you can then develop a final section to this chapter that fully compares and contrasts the quantitative and qualitative data.

The concluding chapter needs to be approx. 2500 words and address how your findings agree with, differ and extend the literature (chapter 2) in addressing your research issue. This is about addressing your research issue and objectives and in doing so bringing your work to a close. Recommendations need to be developed further.

I would suggest looking at past dissertations, available on Blackboard to give you further guidance on the approach to finalising your work.

Please work on the above in conjunction with the assessment criteria and submit once you are happy you have addressed the criteria

As the document is today you will be hard pushed to get enough good marks to ensure a pass but you have time to do something about it now.
Most of these points I have made to you before.

1. English – the English is very poor and often detracts from the meanings that you are trying to transmit – my advice is to get help now in rewriting your document in good English.

2. Focus – your document lacks focus – it is a research project so your research question is your focus – and everything comes from that – at the moment your aims and objectives and your research are all trying to address too many questions and are not focussed on addressing your research question. In fact your research topic is not a question it is a consultancy project title – I would suggest that you revisit this and word it more as a research question. Maybe something along the lines of “Using IT to improve SME operations management in Macau – the case of small restaurants”

3 Unsubstantiated statements – there are still too many unsubstantiated statements – you make statements without explaining where the information comes from – it can only come from your research so use references.

4. Too much repetition

5. Other Important Points

Abstract – too long should be short and to the point and only act as a very basic overview of your project – currently yours reads like the Introduction Section. Should be written in the past tense not present or future tense.

Introduction – needs more focus and less repetition. Aims and objectives need to focus and reflect your research question

Literature Review – this is not good – a Literature Review is a review of academic literature (texts, journals etc) to establish what is already known and not known (written about) your topic so that it establishes the role of your topic in the context of current knowledge – i.e. your work adds to current knowledge or refutes current knowledge. This is to be a research of literature – you have almost turned this into part of your introduction. Please read your Project Handbook as this gives a good description of what a Lit Review should be.

Methods – again read your Project Handbook – we have discussed this previously Methods Chapter should set out what research methods and approach you considered, what you chose and why, and be substantiated by references and also explain your sample and data collection and data analysis methods, plus detail your Pilot Study and also clarify your study re Ethics. Your Chapter is very mixed up and needs more focus on the requirements as per your Project Handbook. You must explain why you used three or four approaches – customer-staff-owners plus your own observation and why your questionnaires are so long (over 30 questions most questionnaires have less than 20 questions for quantitative studies)

Results – you need a section setting out the results of all four approaches clearly and using appropriate tables, charts etc i.e. .statistical for quantitative and themes for qualitative

Your Chapters 5, 6 and 7 lack substance and focus

You need chapters to show
a) Discussion – this section discusses your findings and results in respect to your Research Questions
b) Conclusion – conclude how your study answered your research question.
c) Further Work – recommendations for any further work and why.

Margaret – my feeling is that you have focussed on undertaking your Primary Research and not given enough thought to the other MBA requirements as far as this document is concerned – so it’s done you now need make the best use of it and quickly – so address my points 1,2 and 3 above PLUS re visit your Literature Review – given the short time left this may be best accomplished if you can seek the help and advice of someone locally who a) has very good use of English and b) has experience of writing a Research Document / Report.

Much of this we have discussed previously and I addressed this in Feedback to you.

I believe that if you can adequately address these points fully you may stand a better chance of better marks. Margaret you have time and with some hard work and some local advice you have time to put this into better shape. As I said previously had you sent me this a month ago we could have had time to work through it but time is now short so my advice as above is, given the time available, to use your primary research as the basis of structuring what you have already written into a better more focussed document in good English.

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