Business or Management Report
Produce an analytical report that contains five sections – Introduction or Terms of Reference, Procedure or Research Methodology, Findings and Discussions, Conclusions, and Recommendations. The nature of research should be analytical rather than informational and focused on a contemporary business/management problem/issue. The main purpose of a business report is to make data that is relevant to the company, such as information regarding efficiency, financial health, competition, or procedures, easily available to stakeholders. In general, it provides information and analysis to assist business in making nformed decisions. Students must design an appropriate research methodology, collect relevant primary and/or secondary data, analyse the findings and develop cogent conclusions and recommendations on the basis of their critical analysis. The following is a brief outline of the approximate length and contents of each section and chapter.
The Title of a business project is important. It is, however, expected to evolve with the research process. Students can choose a provisional title for their project proposal and use a working title for their project as they conduct their research. The title should as much as possible encapsulate the topic and approach taken to the research.
The executive summary is typically 250 words long, and is not included in the 6,000-word count for the report. It should provide the reader with an overview of the focus of the report, the methodological approach and data collection, key findings and conclusions and recommendations of the project. The executive summary should not contain academic references and is intended to provide a short summary for the reader of the work. Students should invest time into this section, as it’s often the very first paragraph an examiner will read. Although the executive summary appears first, it should be the last thing you write.
An Acknowledgements page is optional, but some students like to use this opportunity to thank their family, friends, colleagues, sponsor and supervisor for support during their studies. Students should not feel compelled to include this section however. The acknowledgements section is not included in the overall word count for the dissertation.
Table of Contents
A Table of Contents is absolutely essential for a business project and is used by examiners to navigate the various sections of the project. A Table of Contents can be quite simply added using Microsoft Word®, and students should familiarise themselves with how to use this function. There are also some excellent tutorials available on Youtube for students who wish to develop their skills in this area. The Table of Contents is not included in the overall word count for the dissertation.
Introduction or Terms of Reference
The Introduction chapter should be 500 words in length approximately. It sets the scene for the entire report and introduces the topic. In this section, the student should outline the focus of the project. If possible, the student should frame the professional/industry context for the inquiry, and provide some industry insights in the form of background commentary and/or statistical facts. In this section, the student introduces the research question and objectives/hypotheses, and provides rationale and justification for them. Students should ensure that their research question is phrased as a question (i.e. a sentence expressed in such a way as to elicit information), the research objectives are relevant to the research question and phrased in appropriate Masters Level language (EG: “To critically evaluate…”, “To investigate…”, “To determine…” etc.). In this chapter, students should also introduce the structure of the thesis and provide readers with an overview of the contents of each chapter.
In summary, the introduction should:
- briefly describe the context
- identify the general subject matter
- describe the issue or problem to be reported on
- state the specific questions the report answers
- outline the scope of the report (extent of investigation)
- preview the report structure
- comment on the limitations of the report and any assumptions made.
Procedure or Research Methodology
The Procedure or Research Methodology should be 1,000 words in length approximately. In this chapter, the student should re-state the research question and objectives/hypotheses for the benefit of the reader. The focus of the research project should be made clear. Students should explain the research methods used/procedure of gathering data and provide rationale and justification for the research design of the study. Students should also explain how they will be conducting their analysis and interpretation of the data they have generated during the inquiry, and the ways they have ensured the trustworthiness, reliability and validity of their data and analysis.
In this chapter, students should also discuss the limitations of their research, and any challenges they may have encountered in the research process (access to interviewees, survey response rates, etc.). Students can use a single methodology (EG: Questionnaires/Depth Interviews), or use multiple data collection approaches as part of either a case study or mixed methods study. Primary and/or secondary data collection approaches are acceptable for the dissertation project. Students are advised to collect a minimum of 8 hours of qualitative data (for a qualitative study), 100 questionnaires (for a quantitative study), or whatever appropriate balance for a mixed methods study. The nature of the topic and the methodology must also be considered in how much data the student will collect, and consultation with the supervisor is vital prior to the data collection phase of the project. Students collecting secondary data as part of a Case Study or other secondary data project should agree an appropriate level of data collection with their supervisors.
Findings and Discussions
The findings should be 3,500 words in length approximately. The discussion is the main part of your report and should present and discuss your findings. It should give enough information, analysis, and evidence to support your conclusions, and it should provide justification for your recommendations. Its organisation will depend on your purpose, scope, and requirements, but it should follow a logical and systematic organisation. The discussion should be subdivided into logical sections, each with informative, descriptive headings and a number.
Where your report’s purpose is to recommend the best solution to a problem, you should show clear analysis of all options. You should explain any analytical framework you used, such as SWOT or cost benefit analysis. This analysis of options can often be presented effectively in tables.
The Conclusion chapter should be 500 words in length approximately. In this chapter, students should reflect upon their research question and objectives/hypotheses, and the answers they have developed from the findings of their research project. They should also consider the theoretical (do the findings challenge existing theory?) and managerial implications (what do the findings imply for practicing managers/practitioners/public sector leaders of the research project). Crucially, students must show how they have addressed the research question and objectives they originally formulated for the research project.
When writing conclusions:
- interpret and summarise the findings; say what they mean
- relate the conclusions to the report issue/problem
- limit the conclusions to the data presented; do not introduce new material
- number the conclusions and present them in parallel form
- be objective: avoid exaggerating or manipulating the data.
The Recommendations chapter should be 500 words in length approximately. It should consider what recommendations would be made on the basis of the findings of the study and the answer to the research question/objectives/hypotheses posed. Students should make recommendations for management practice, wider society (if applicable) and importantly for future research projects, which may be particularly helpful for students undertaking dissertations in future cohorts. Students should also critically reflect upon their findings and consider their implications.
When writing recommendations:
- make specific suggestions for actions to solve the report problem
- avoid conditional words such as maybe and perhaps
- present each suggestion separately and begin with a verb
- number the recommendations
- describe how the recommendations may be implemented (if you were requested to do this)
- arrange the recommendations in an announced order, such as most important to least important.
Summary of the Business or Management Report Structure
You have been asked to produce a postgraduate piece of applied work. In summary it should contain the following:
• Title Page, including the given title in full.
• Word count; excluding abstract, appendices and reference list
• Executive summary (No more than 250 words and not included in the overall word count)
• Contents Page
• Introduction or Rerms of Reference (500 words)
• Procedure or Research Methodology (1,000 words)
• Findings and discussions (3,500 words)
• Conclusion (500 words)
• Recommendations (500 words)
• Appendices, which should be numbered – Make sure you refer your reader to them as required.
Presentation of Business Projects
Your work should be word processed in accordance with the following:
• Font style, Lucida Sans, font size 12
• 1.5 line spacing.
• The page orientation should be ‘portrait’
• Margins on both sides of the page should be no less than 2.5 cm
• Pages must be numbered
Pay particular attention to:
• Your introduction,
• Your conclusion,
• The use of headings and/or signpost words
• Paragraph structure
• Include any additional commentary on aspects of the dissertation in endnotes or footnotes
Type of service-Academic paper writing
Type of assignment-Research Paper
Pages / words-22 / 6000
Number of sources-15
Language style-UK English