TU-E3090 - Research Assignment in Organization Design and Leadership / fall term 2018
Empirical research assignment
Empirical research assignment is done in a group of 3
students. The topics of the groups’ empirical research assignments are brainstormed
and worked together in 2-hour guided session. The time of the guided session
for framing student groups’ assignment topics will be agreed at the beginning
of the course.
Topic of the empirical assignment is “Organization Design and Leadership in the Aalto context”. Student groups need to define and
propose a research objective and research questions for their research.
Similarly, the group will define how they will solve their research problems
using empirical data (to be collected by the group). Students groups explain
this in a short research plan that will be submitted by October 14th 2018.
Students will get feedback on their research plans right after submission.
Students can not start collecting empirical data before getting feedback from
the course teachers.
Research plan instructions (for the course TU-E3091 -
Research Assignment in Organization Design and Leadership)
Writing a research plan (research proposal) is a starting
point of your empirical assignment in this course. The same applies in other
research projects too (e.g. doing a Master’s Thesis). It has several purposes:
it helps you to clarify your thoughts, it helps your communication between
group members, it helps explicating important aspects of your research (e.g.
key concepts can be defined, data & data collecting methods are explicated,
schedule is specified, etc.). Research plan is also the most important media to
communicate with different stakeholders: those who may sponsor the research,
your advisor, those who will participate the research (e.g. an organization
where you intend to do your research), etc.
In this course, the sufficient length of the research plan
is around 3-7 pages. You may organize your research plan with the instructions
- Title (something that describes well the subject area of the research)
- Include the names and email addresses of the authors (students) in the front page.
- Table of contents
The aim of this chapter is to motivate a reader and give an
overall picture of the topic (Who is interested in the topic? What is the
motivation, relevance, novelty, and possible contribution of this research?
Etc.). Here you are expected to express the rationale of your research and
indicate why it is worth doing. This chapter tells the research problem,
purpose and objectives of the research and the specific research questions that
will be answered.
- Literature study
You may include a short literature study, but its importance
in this particular course is minor. This chapter shows your understanding on
the phenomenon, and it helps you at understanding what is known and what is not
known of the topic. Also key concepts can be defined here if they are not defined
in the Introduction chapter.
- Material and methods
This chapter can include sub-chapters (e.g. Data, Case description, Data collection, Data analyzes, etc.). Be very explicit in this chapter, because the reader must get a clear picture of your idea of data and its collection, and how the whole study will be carried out. If you intend to do interviews, please include the interview skeleton into appendix. If you intend to collect your data using survey, please include your survey questionnaire into appendix. Define the population of your research (e.g. Aalto professors, Master's students of programme X, etc.) and then describe your sample or data set, and justify why you have selected this particular data set. Describe in detail how the data will be collected and how it will be analyzed. Use data that is accessible and helps you in answering your research questions at most precise and economic way.
Before you submit your research plan, please check the following matters in your research plan:
Objectives of research
- Does the research provide new knowledge?
- Are the objectives realistic?
- Are the objectives understandable and unambiguous?
- Are the objectives clearly specified and divided into research questions?
- Is it possible to get answers to the research questions?
- Are research questions interesting? To whom? How is this justified?
- Are the key
Material and methods
- How are the research questions operationalized?
- Explain how and why your operational definitions measure the theoretical concept at hand.
- What kind of data will be used?
- Why was this data chosen?
- Is random sample or theoretical sample needed? Is the sample size fair? Which criteria (and why) were used when selecting interviewees?
- How the data will be collected? (Questionnaire or interview skeleton must be added to the research plan).
- Does the data help at answering to the research questions?
- Is the data available?
- Can you find enough right people to be interviewed? How many respondents do you need to conduct statistical analysis?
- How the data will be analyzed?
- Be specific if you are using statistical methods. In other words tell which methods you chose and why and consider how they fit with the data.
- Are there enough or too much data?
- Don't ask anything you don't need to know to answer the research questions - but make sure that you are not missing anything relevant piece of data.
- Are the any
ethical problems related to the data collection?
- Is the schedule feasible?
- Is the workload realistic?