Focus of the Research Project
The final version of your research project should be 10-12 double-spaced pages (not including the title page, reference page, tables, appendices, etc.). The paper will be an original business research project that tests a hypothesis of your choice. The research can relate to your place of current/previous employment or other contexts of interest. Sample topics could include, but are not limited to:
- Manufacturing Quality/Cost Improvement
- Service Quality Improvement
- Systems Design
- Accounts Receivable/Billing/AR Aging
- Marketing/Advertising Issues
- Sales of Goods
- Product Safety
- Workplace Safety
- Labor Pools
- HR matters of broad concern
- Population Studies
Include the following in your paper:
- Introduction: In one or two paragraphs, explain the problem and state the management dilemma as well as the research question.
- Literature review: Do some background research in the Ashford University Library about studies that have already been done that relate to your topic. Find at least three scholarly resources, and cite them in your literature review.
- Hypothesis: State the hypothesis. It should be a possible cause and effect relationship regarding a process, underlying assumption, or plan that is important to the business. It should not be too broad. Your background research, as well as (possibly) your own work and life experience can help you write your hypothesis.
- Methodology: Describe the planning, data sampling, data collection and data evaluation you used in your study. The type of study should be defined and justified. Collect a small representative data sample. Fifteen is the recommended sample size. The data can be collected from observations, surveys, or existing data such as historical records.
- Results: Summarize and display the results of your research. Provide charts, graphs, tables, etc. as they might apply to your research. What is the answer to your research question? State whether you reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis based on your study.
- Discussion and conclusion: Summarize the entire study, and reflect on it. What are the “take-home” messages that management and other decision-makers can use from this research to make informed business decisions? In retrospect, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the study? What are your suggestions for future research on this topic?
- References: List your references in correct APA format.
- Appendix: If applicable.
- Writing the Research Project
The Final Paper:
- Must be 10 to 12 double-spaced pages in length (not including the title page, reference page, tables, appendices,
etc.) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
- Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
- Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
- Must use at least three scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library, in addition to the text.
- Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.