BUS2018 Research Methods Assessment brief for research proposal assignment (Semester 2) (70%) Task Your task is to produce a 2,800-word research proposal for a project that you could present to a prospective employer. In devising your research proposal, you are required to apply your knowledge of conducting research to a specific project situated in an industry, sector or organization that (1) you are keen to work in and (2) is related to a specific issue encountered in this setting. Your research proposal should further highlight (3) your awareness of the issue that the industry, sector or organization is facing and (4) how you might conduct research to better inform them of the issue. As such, the task is specifically designed to allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of how and why academically-informed research can be applied to practice in a specific industry, sector or organizational context that might play a part in your future career. The research proposal assignment is a stand-alone piece of work used to assess your learning on BUS2018 Research Methods; however, you may choose to use the proposal as a foundation for your final-year research project on Management Dissertation, Management Consultancy Project, Advanced Business Practice or Advanced Business Topics. The assignment requires you to design and plan a focused study with its scope being appropriate for a final-year undergraduate research project. You must select a topic area, review the extant research, develop a research question devise an appropriate research design and consider any ethical implications. We will cover all these issues in class over the course of the academic year. You may want to start early with your assignment and deal with the different parts as we go along, which will make it easier to compile the assignment before the deadline. The word count is 2,800 words +/-10%. Your assignment must be word processed and submitted as a Word or PDF file, following the formatting guidelines below. The assignment will be marked anonymously; please do not put your name or student number anywhere on the script. Structure You should follow this structure for your assignment: 1. Introduction This concise section sets the scene for your research project by outlining the key issue that the chosen industry, sector or organization is facing and that you seek to examine further. It should also contain your research question – what your proposed project is about. Your research question should be phrased as a question (not a statement) and you should add an explanation of why it is important and worthwhile to study it (see Lecture 6 for details). 2 2. Literature review This section explains how your proposed project relates to research that has already been done in your chosen topic area. This is important because the purpose of research is to develop new knowledge (see Lecture 5 for details). Your literature review should outline the main points of reference in a broad topic area to establish the background for your proposed project. More words should be devoted to those aspects that are directly relevant to your proposed project and that help you to justify its importance. Most studies will make only small, incremental additions to our understanding of a particular phenomenon, but it is important to show what these additions are to. The literature review will help you to justify your study beyond a specific industry, sector or organizational context. For example, well-established topics such as employee motivation or customer satisfaction may not have been studied in the specific setting that you have in mind, but it will be hard to make a contribution to the extant research. So unless you can find a novel angle on such topics, it may be best to consider something that is less well established. 3. Research methodology and methods This section explains how you seek to go about answering your research question, including research approaches and designs (Lectures 2-3) and specific methods to collect and analyse data (Lectures 8-20). The most important thing here is to ensure consistency between your research question, and the approach and methods used to answer it. For example, quantitative methods tend to be associated with questions such as ‘Is it?’, ‘Does it?’ or ‘How much?’ that can be answered through correlation of clearly defined variables. Qualitative methods tend to be concerned with ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions that require more differentiated answers. We have no preference for any particular method as long as it is low risk (see Lecture 7 for details). There is no expectation that you generate your own data through questionnaires, interviews, observations etc. It is perfectly acceptable to use secondary data (such as existing statistical datasets) or naturally occurring data (such as documents or video clips) for your research. In many ways, it is preferable for you to draw on such data because you do not rely on access to an organization, which is often hard to get. In any case, you must detail the method(s) by which you seek to collect and analyse data. You should consider questions such as: 1. What is the best type of data to help me answer my research question? 2. What data and how much is already available for analysis? 3. How will I analyse the data? What data analysis protocol will I use and why? 4. Is there benefit in using a particular software package to support my analysis? If you wish to generate your own data, you should consider the following questions, too: 1. Who are the best people to participate in my research? 2. How many participants do I need to get a robust answer to my research question? 3. How will I gain access to potential research participants? 4. Will I need a gatekeeper who brokers access to my research participants? 5. How can I convince a gatekeeper to give me access to my research participants? 3 These questions are not exhaustive but give you an indication of the level of detail that we expect. Writing this assignment requires you to ‘think through’ your proposed project and plan how it could be done. This is important because you will have to conduct your final-year project within a roughly six-month timeframe available (October – April) alongside all your other commitments and do not want strain yourself. 4. Research ethics This section identifies the key ethical issues involved in the proposed research and how you seek to mitigate to ensure that no harm comes to your research participants and yourself. We have discussed ethical issues in Lecture 7 and also expect you to draw on your learning from the Semester 1 assignment. You may want to consult the ESRC Framework for Research Ethics (2015) for this section, which is available on Blackboard. 5. Conclusion This concise section brings your assignment to a close by giving a brief summary of the proposal as a whole and by showing how the various elements knit together into a coherent whole. You may also want to explain here the contributions that your study may make to the current understanding of your topic. Additional readings To help you develop your project proposal, we recommend the following texts: Hart, C. (2018) Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Research Imagination. 2nd ed. London: Sage. Punch, K. (2006) Developing Effective Research Proposals. 2nd ed. London: Sage. Deadline and submission Your research proposal assignment is due for submission no later than 4pm on Friday 15th May 2020. It must be submitted electronically through the TurnItIn link provided in the ‘assessment submission’ folder on Blackboard; no hard copy is required. Please note: • You only have one opportunity to submit your assignment via TurnItIn. • You will receive a receipt for your TurnItIn submission. You should keep this receipt until you have received the mark. • If you do not receive a receipt, your submission has been unsuccessful. This means that TurnItIn has no record of your assignment and that it cannot be marked. You will be penalized for late submission and may have to be reassessed. • You must keep all documentation relating to your assignment until the marks have been confirmed by the Board of Examiners at the end of the academic year. Marking and feedback Your assignment will be marked in accordance with the marking scheme provided on Blackboard. We endeavour to provide you with your grade and individual feedback via TurnItIn as well as generic feedback via Blackboard by Friday 12th June 2020. 4 Formatting guidelines Word count: You must adhere to the word count for the assignment. The word count has been set by faculty following the University policy and may vary according to the task set or the number of assessments being undertaken in a module. The word count for this assignment provides a flexibility of +/- 10%. Instructors will not mark beyond the assigned word limit; hence you will effectively lose marks by not ensuring your work is within the limit. What is included in the word count? o In-text citations. For example, if you cite (Author, date) this will be counted in Microsoft WORD and other word processing software as two words. You need to use appropriate in-text citations that are relevant and central to your argument and avoid those that are not. o Headings and subheadings. o Text in tables in the main part of the assignment. o Text in JPEG or other text-based ‘pictures’ or PowerPoint slides inserted into your document. Generally, these sorts of devices are to be avoided and should only be used where they represent your OWN novel creation and are difficult to create in a word processing software. They should not be used if copied from other sources. What is excluded from the word count? o The reference list. o Tables that are composed mainly of numbers with words used to describe the column or row titles (for example, a table of financial performance, a table of market shares, a table of employee turnover). o A diagram that portrays connections between ideas and contains no more than 20 words (e.g. a flow chart, an organization chart, a map showing key distribution nodes). o The use of a page number to indicate a quote e.g. (Porter, 2006: p. 10) would only be two words not four. o The title of the assignment, module number etc., your name, your Student ID number and page numbers of your assignment. o Any appendices allowed by the assignment (e.g. tables, figures, diagrams). Appendices are often used as a place where you can provide evidence of research that you have undertaken for the assignment. Assignments may specify the maximum number of pages for appendices to ensure you focus on core data or evidence and apply it to appropriate theoretical frameworks in a useful and meaningful way. Formatting: Please adopt the following formatting: • 12-point font, such as Times New Roman or Calibri (but 11-point Arial). • Standard margins (e.g. the default 1 inch or 2.54cm in WORD or another word processing software). • Number all pages consecutively in the Footer using the settings in WORD or another word processing software. • 1.5 line spacing. 5 Other formatting suggestions to improve the presentation of your work include: • Exceptions to 1.5 line spacing include: o block quotes indented within the page; o the reference list at the end of your assignment using a ‘hanging indent’ in WORD or another word processing software; or o tables, charts or figures. • It is helpful for the reader if you use the Format function in WORD or another word processing software to set the line spacing with “0 pt before” and “0 pt after” (you may have to change the default settings for this). • Use a single line space between paragraphs - and make sure you use paragraphs. • Use the ‘insert page break’ function in WORD or another word processing software to separate sections of your work (e.g. for the reference list or appendices). • Ensure clarity by avoiding contractions, by writing words in full and by abbreviating key terms thereafter. • If you are provided with a structure for an assignment, such as a report or a reflective account, then adhere to the guidance and follow this throughout your writing. Referencing: • Ensure you use the Harvard Business Style of referencing (see http://libguides.ncl.ac.uk/referencing/harvardatnewcastle) and that you follow the correct style for author, year, title, and either the book and publisher or the journal, volume and page numbers. • Ensure your references are in alphabetical order. • Do not use bullet points or numbers when creating your reference list. • Ensure all sources you cite are included in the reference list (and that all items in the reference list are cited in your work). • Consult a good referencing guide if in any doubt. Please remember: poor referencing may result in an assessment irregularity, for which you will be penalised!
DESIGN OF AIRLINE RESERVATION SYSTEMS
The application of Information and Communication Technology in the Aviation industry has numerous advantages. It was in 1950 when the stand-alone system for Airline Reservation Systems (ARS) was first launched. Stand-alone is the application of computer software or hardware that operates independently from other software or hardware. Systems such as flight inventory, loading aircraft, flight schedules as well as maintenance of the flights are the type of stand-alone systems used in aviation. Davis and Davis (2016) stated that up until the 1950s, airlines used manual reservation procedures at the centralized reservation hub using physical cards representing inventory or aeroplane seats made it rather difficult to retrieve or provide accurate detail of each seat. However, it was not until the 1970s that travel agents worked to gain access to this system and made a business out of it. Today, with the advancement in technology, airline reservation information is connected, stored and collected by a web of computer reservation systems. Williams and Rhoades (2017) expressed that the Global Distribution System (GDS) gateways and portals on the internet allow customers to buy tickets, select suitable seats, rent airport taxi and even hotel rooms. The implementation of information technology has enabled better performance. Therefore, this particular research proposal has chosen to discuss the designing of ARS through the assessment of issues and information related to travelling linked by the computer network and accessible by various airlines as well as travel agencies.
Aims and Objectives
Aim: This project aims to develop a base for the research study by illustrating the growing network-based systems of airline reservations.
According to Kerr, International Business Machines Corp (2017), a large percentage of airline seats are sold on as it is called a ‘sell and report’ system, making it rather desirable to maintain a close check on the progressive loading of a specific flight. The sell and report system typically confirm a seat to the interested passenger before he/she leaves the site or agent’s premise across the globe. However, once a flight gets fully booked, a stop sales and waitlist mail or message get activated on the system as a result of complete reservation of limited flight seats. Thereafter, the system allows an individual or agent to request a wait-listing seat on the next available flight for sale. The problem mirrored from the information was that the interested passenger is not receiving any immediate confirmation on the seats that he requires. It has been seen as a problem because there will be multiple listings for the same passenger under various other flights. Currently, this problem is viewed as a disadvantage on the part of the airline for lousy control. This proposed research will attempt to look into suitable prevention processes controlling overbooking of seats on a wait-listed airline flight.
2. Literature review
In today’s aviation business, every airline company takes advantage of information technology to perform business-related operations. The literature will elaborate the uses of information technology and further look into the key issues found in the web concept of airline reservation using information systems which inspired this research proposal to look into the current components, application and benefits associated with CRS.