Any topic (writer’s choice)

    Business Administration is an empirical science which means that both practical and theoretical problems and insights must be tested empirically. Good management science builds on these empirically validated insights to generate new theory and advice for management practice. For instance, a newly developed theoretical model that suggests that a specific managerial practice increases employee motivation could be tested in a field study among employees; or a new advertisement that aims at increasing the sales of a specific product could be tested in a marketing experiment with potential customers. In order to get trustworthy, reliable & valid data and information, empirical studies need to be planned and executed carefully by applying scientific methods. In this sense business research methods are an essential part of business administration.

    The assignment is to write an individual essay (3000 words of pure text, i.e., not counting references or table of content) that explores a methodological topic of business research methods. This topic should be linked to the field of research design, data collection, or sampling. You can, for example, choose to:

            investigate the pros and cons of case studies;

            write your essay about when and how to use qualitative interviews;

            compare different sampling methods;

            compare an experimental with a non-experimental quantitative design, like a field survey study;

            describe the advantages and disadvantages of a scenario experiment compared to a laboratory experiment;

            compare the pros of cons of online versus paper-and-pencil surveys and develop suggestions when to use which type of survey;

            investigate the pros and cons of using online samples like MTurk or Prolific and propose when these can best be used;


    Whatever the topic, make sure you primarily use scientific articles from academic sources/journals such as Organizational Research Methods or the Journal of Marketing Research! Please also note that a lot of journals from different business content areas publish methodological articles (e.g., Journal of Business & Psychology, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Management Science).

    In sum, you should formulate a clear, specific question you aim to address in your essay, provide an overview of and summarize the relevant academic literature in this area, and answer the question with this literature. In doing so, please use at least three academic textbooks and ten articles from academic journals. And dont forget to include a cover page including your name and student number.


    The basics.

            Do you use a clear structure: a BRIEF introduction (including a problem statement), the main body of your argument, and a strong conclusion.

            Is there a logical order and cohesive argument running through the paragraphs? (Conclude paragraphs properly; introduce new ideas properly; link points together.)

            Are there clear topic sentences in each paragraph?

            Do you use enough typesetting signals to clarify the structure of the text?

            Is your English correct?  Please run Spelling and Grammar before submitting your work!

            Do you use all relevant theory? Do you use it correctly?

            Do you support your judgements based on theoretical insights?

            Is your discussion of ideas in the literature parsimonious (i.e. not too long and detailed)?

            Do you provide sufficient empirical basis for your statements/ conclusions (through references to previous research, or case descriptions)? Remember: unsubstantiated statements are merely your opinion back them up with evidence.

    Critical/analytical quality
            Do you present insights in a scientific manner?

            Does every point contribute to your answer? Or are some points unnecessary?

            Do you indicate the different angles from which you can view the problem (different theories often highlight different aspects of the situation, and people may have very different perspectives on the same issue, depending on their stake and involvement)?

            Do you present pros and cons of solutions?

            If you draw conclusions did you make clear why (because.)?

    Referencing and use of the Internet.
            Do you make use of the academic literature (i.e., academic textbooks and articles from academic journals)  in your answer?

            Do you reference material properly in your answer? Please do not use footnotes for your references. You can use the APA system or the Harvard system (the example here below is the Harvard system). In any case make sure you are complete and if you literally quote someone that you add the page number:

    o  In the text: Author (Year: Page number) Brewster (1996: p24) says

    o  In the Bibliography/ References: Author(s), Initial(s), Year, Title of article, title of journal or book, page references.

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