The group project is conducted in groups of five to six students.
Groups are expected to contact a real-life organization to whom they conduct the market researchcourse project. The groups will be formed in the first lecture and the client organization should be onboard before the deadline for the research topic description.
Selecting your topic
Students are allowed to choose the topic of the course project by themselves in co-operation with the
client organization. However, the topic should contain the following elements:
- it bases on a specific business problem or challenge (usually in the market/customer interface)
- solution of the problem/challenge requires collecting data and either quantitative or qualitative analysis (or both!) of this data
- the topic and chosen research approach provide useful and valuable outcomes for the client organization
- the project is manageable given time and other resource constraints
The project comprises five deliverables, submitted in this order
When you have selected your tentative topic, write a max. 1 page description which includes:
- Names of group members and the client organization
- Tentative research problem and motivation for the study
- Tentative research approach(es) (i.e. data-collection methods)
If you are uncertain whether the topic is suitable for this course, please contact the instructors.
In general, you should cover all issues listed below. However, note that each study has individual characteristics and all the points below may not apply to your project. Be thorough but concise.
The optimal length of the proposal is usually somewhere between 6 and 10 pages (font 12pt, line space 1,5), excluding the title page and references.
- Title of your research
- Client organization
- Group members: namea and student number
Introduction and background for the study
- Background for the study: elaborate on the business problem or challenge the client organization is facing
- Description of the business problem, i.e. what is the phenomenon you are investigating?
- What is known in the existing (academic or practitioner) research about to the topic?
- Motivation forthe study and how it provides value to the client organization
Research problem and research questions
- Main research problem, which stems from the phenomenon you are investigating.
- (If applicable) research hypotheses that you are going to test with your analysis.
- Description and justification of the method for data gathering and, e.g., sampling frame
- Data to be gathered (who are interviewed / what is the population, sample, expected response rate / primary vs. secondary data, etc.)
- Data collection in practice
- Description of and justification for the methods for data analysis
Anticipated outcomes of the project
- Expected findings of the research project
- Relevance of the expected outcomes to the client
- Roles and distribution of work between group members
- Phases of the study and tentative schedule for each phase
- Resources needed from the client organization (e.g., time, data or contacts)
- Procedures for potential problem situations, such as changes in the topic, problems in datacollection, or problems in group dynamics
You are free to choose the style for your citations and references. However, once you have
made the decision, be consistent with that one specific style. To find a style guideline, you may
for example search for the “APA style guide”.
In addition, prepare a bried PowerPoint presentation (5% of the final grade) in which you summarize the research proposal.
A free-form poster, in which you present a summary of the project. All groups hang their posters on the wall. You will select 2 members of the group who are responsible for presenting your work to others. The other 3 members will review and comment on other groups' posters.
Since printing of large papers is challenging in the business school facilities, you may for example want
to create your poster using multiple A4 or A3 papers. You are allowed to be as creative with the poster
as you wish but the poster should be (at least mostly) understandable without additional vocal briefing.
Take a picture of your poster once it is on the wall, and upload that picture to MyCourses
Optimal length of market research report is usually somewhere between 25 and 40 pages (font 12pt, line
spacing 1,5). Pay attention to the structure and logical flow of the report.
Note that the report has to be understandable without reading the research proposal. However, you may use the guidelines for the research proposal as a guideline on how to structure the final report, and you may include parts of the research proposal.
You should also pay attention to the following issues:
- Include an executive summary (1-2 pages) that summarizes the key contents of your research
- Offer a comprehensive description of the data collection process, the data itself and data analysis
- Report the key findings relevant to the research problem, and reflect on them:
- How should the findings be interpreted (on a detailed level)?
- Did you accept or reject the proposed hypotheses?
- How well the research is able to solve the main problem?
- Discuss the reliability, validity and generalizability of the findings (if you are doing qualitative research, use appropriate assessment criteria)
- Place considerable attention to drawing concrete and meaningful recommendations for the clientorganization:
- How should the client adjust its operations/targeting/comminication etc. in light of the findings
- How significant are the research outcomes to the client?
- Are there avenues for future research?
- What are the limitations of your research?
- You may include, analytical details, data collection instruments, interview summaries etc. as appendixes.