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Dissertation Project
 
 
Research Proposal
 
A research proposal presents a problem, discusses related research efforts, outlines the data needed for solving the problem, and shows the design that will be used to gather and analyze the data.
 
A research proposal includes the following:  
 
  1. Project Title – usually a single sentence title that clearly explains to the reader what the dissertation is going to be about.
  2. Research Objectives/Aims – includes a set of objectives (usually 3 to 4) that clearly describes the aims of the research study.
  3. Problem Statement – what exactly is the problem, which is being analyzed through the research study.
  4. Literature Review – existing knowledge, related to the subject matter of the research study, that is already   published in books, magazines, journals, on websites etc.
  5. Research Design – what will be the broad research methodology or approach for collecting data, both primary and secondary, for your research
  6. Resources Required – the physical, financial, human resources that will be required to carry out the research study.
  7. Project Plan - a detailed explanation of the time frame required for each aspect of the dissertation
  8. Form Of Presentation – the way in which the completed dissertation will be structured and presented for final submission.
  9. Business/Management Implications Of The Study – how does your research study help businesses and/or the industry that you have analyzed through your research? Any there any implications for the business.
  10. Limitations Of The Research – are there any geographical, scope, time, financial, or other limitations that you might encounter in doing your research.
  11. Bibliography – sources used for gathering the information to prepare your research proposal.
 
 
Writing a Good Research Proposal
 
 
A good research proposal clearly answers the following questions:
 
 
§         Does the proposal offer a focused research question?
 
§         Where a number of aims are stated, is the primary question clearly specified?
 
§         Does the proposal convey evidence that the methodological issues raised by the research
      question have been thought through?.
 
§         Does the student appreciate what kind of data will be required? Is the proposed methodology justified?
 
§         Does the proposal indicate a familiarity with the appropriate theoretical concepts needed to underpin the project?
 
§         Is discussion of the theoretical concepts supported by reference to the appropriate literature?
 
§         Does the proposal include an appropriate preliminary structure?
 
§         Is there an appreciation of the business issues inherent in the proposal?
 
 
Sample Research Proposal 1
 

1.1 Proposed project area/ Title 

A study of the strategic relationship between service quality and marketing services in DHL Worldwide Express, U.A.E.
 
1.2 Aims of the Dissertation
 
1          To identify 'quality' in the context of the air express industry with the main focus on DHL Worldwide Express in the UAE, by the empirical testing of the theoretical constructs of quality service and services marketing.
2          To provide a valid, quantifiable, objective means for measuring the performance and perceptions of DHL from the perspectives of its customers.
3          To assess if DHL, UAE does have a differential advantage and/or strategic advantage over their competitors in terms of 'service quality'.
4          To examine the connection and role of 'service quality' in the strategic marketing of services by DHL, UAE
5          Identifying specific improvement areas as well as leverageable strengths in both DHL's 'service quality' and 'services marketing'.
 
1.3 Statement of the Problem
 
Services dominate most economies and many are financially successful, but customers still express dissatisfaction with the service they receive.
 
Berry and Parasuraman (1991) seriously contend that, though an innovative service concept may give a company an initial edge, it is superior quality which is vital to the sustaining success of that company. The elements involved are inspired leadership; a customer focused culture, an excellent service-system design and effective use of information and technology. All these elements should be synchronized and integrated to produce a very superior quality throughout the entire system.
 
The UAE economy is growing, not only in size but also in sophistication. Consumers are becoming more demanding of good service, less accepting of inferior quality and broken promises. Their needs and expectations are shifting from the simple to the complex. As the market continues to develop, it poses new challenges for DHL to upkeep its image in terms of service quality for its customers and to maintain its market leadership position. Thus, it becomes all the more crucial for DHL to constantly upgrade its understanding of it customers in terms of the various factors that they perceive as important in service quality and services marketing.
 
This dissertation makes an attempt to dissect and analyze all the interlocking issues associated with providing a high quality service and enhancing the challenge of creating a strong services marketing message within DHL Worldwide Express, UAE. The study would also assist the management and employees of DHL, UAE  to understand areas of service failures, which cause discomfort to their customers. It will also aid in the formulation and facilitation of effective customer management methods by using quality service as the differentiating factor. This should in theory enhance current relationships across all channels and functions. The final outcome for DHL UAE would be to become a better services marketing company.
 
1.4 Literature Review
 
An important aspect of any type of service is the fact its quality, unlike as in the case of products, cannot be tangibly measured. The different attributes that make up a superior quality service are designed to impact the services marketing message in a very positive manner. These two main ingredients are explained below:
 
Services marketing
 
Earlier marketing was described as being a process, which matches the supplier's capabilities with the customer's wants. The marketing mix was, in effect, the 'flexible coupling' between the supplier and customer, which facilitates the marketing process. From this, the short hand term for the marketing mix became the 4 Ps, for reasons that are obvious.
 
Since World War II, the West (especially) has seen a steady and unrelenting decline in its traditional manufacturing industries and their place has been taken over by numerous service-based enterprises.
 
With the service sector taking such a predominant position in the market, those charged with developing the application of marketing in the service sector have questioned whether the 4Ps approach to the marketing mix was sufficiently comprehensive.
 
The 'Q' Factor

Numerous textbooks have stressed the four Ps of marketing - product, price, place and promotion - but in the service business in particular, none of this would work very well without the Q factor - the Quality. Therefore in services marketing, the 4Ps needed to be expanded into a new matrix containing elements such as Customer Service, People and Processes. These are the primary elements that the Q factor revolves around.
"Service quality is the foundation for services marketing because the core product being marketed is a performance., The performance is the product;  the performance is what the customers buy". (Berry and Parasuraman, 1991)
 
High performance services marketing begins and ends with excellent service. Quality service is the essence, the core, of services marketing. Effective services marketing is a strong service concept delivered well, a desired service performed excellently. This synergy of strategy and execution fuels service industry builders and leaders. "Yes, service is the heart of service marketing, but the heart alone cannot keep a service alive. Marketing is the brains of service marketing. If the brain fails, the heart soon will fail." (Beckwith, 1997, p15)
 
Quality Service
 
"With business organizations facing more intense, dynamic competition than ever before - world class quality and service are no longer optional - they are - the price to entry into today's global marketplace, and the only way to stay alive once you're in it. (Covey S., 1996) Narrowing down Covey's comments to the air express industry, the same sentiments were echoed by the President of American Airlines, Bill Boesch (1998), where he states, "Very simply in the very competitive years ahead, quality of service will be the key. It will differentiate us from our competitors. Service quality will be everything.” Over seven years down the line from Boesch's comments, evidence does imply that service quality is a large part of everything. Service quality is the foundation for services marketing because the core product being marketed is a performance. The performance is the product, the performance is what the customers buy. A strong service concept gives companies the opportunity to compete for customer; a strong performance of the service concept builds competitiveness by earning customers' confidence and reinforcing branding, advertising, selling and pricing. Superior execution is vital to sustaining the success inititated by an innovative service concept. An innvoator's service quality is usually more difficult to imitate than its service concept. This is because quality service comes from inspired leadership throughout an organization, a customer-minded corporate culture, excellent service-system design, the effective use of information and technology, and other factors that develop slowly in a company, if at all. Service reliability i.e. performing the service dependably and accurately is the heart of services marketing excellence. When a company performs a service carelessly, when it makes avoidable mistakes, when it fails to deliver on alluring promises made to attract customers, it shakes the customer's confidence in its capabilities and undermines its chances of earning a reputation for service excellence. From the customers' perspective, the proof of a service is its flawless performance. Quality service is thus the essence, the core, of services marketing.
 
1.5 Research Methodology
 
The aims of this study are intended to be achieved by mainly using the 'positivist paradigm' or otherwise known as the 'deductive methodology'.
 
The Positivistic Paradigm
 
As Gill and Johnson (1997) quite clearly indicate that the whole logic behind the 'deductive methodology' necessitates the development of a conceptual and theoretical structure prior to its testing through empirical observation. Therefore by creating the conceptual and theoretical structure it enables the making of a refined and explicit definition of what needs to be observed.
 
Indicators and variations of an abstract concept can be observed and also measured. To add to this, it can also do one of two things, either confirm the theory or indicate the need for its modification.
 
The reason this approach will be mainly used is due to the objective requirement of the study, which is to gather quantifiable data from DHL's existing and potential customers. It also offers the opportunity of a clear analysis of the findings without any possible distortions or ambiguities.
 
"The positivistic approach  seeks the facts or causes of social phenomena, with little regards to the subjective state of the individual. Thus logical reasoning is applied to the research so that precision, objectivity and rigour replace hunches, experience and intuition as the means for investigating research programs”. (J. Hussey and R. Hussey, 1997)
 
The Phenomenological Paradigm
 
The study will also consist of ethnography, which is a phenomenological methodology. This approach will be used to observe the working style, culture, team involvement etc of DHL UAE’s employees. This will involve watching, listening and asking relevant questions wherever necessary.
 
Apart from this, the desk research will be complemented with exploratory research wherein unstructured meetings and interviews will be conducted with quality experts, marketing specialists, DHL department heads, employees and customers.
The purpose behind using a multi-method research strategy is mainly to achieve a greater validity and reliability and to enrich explanations of the outcome.
 
Sampling method
 
Sampling involves the collection, analysis and interpretation of the market data so that the results of the analysis can be then generalised to the larger group.
 
Probability and non-probability sampling are the two methods that are used for social researches. Probability sampling is "a sampling technique in which every member of the population has a known, non-zero probability of selection." (White, 2000, p256). Whereas non-probability sampling is a sampling technique in which units of the sample are selected on the basis of personal judgement or convenience; the probability of any particular member chosen is unknown. " (Martyn, 1999).
 
A comprehensive use of primary and secondary data will be used for this study. Primary data will be gathered with the help of a carefully drafted questionnaire which will include both open-ended and close-ended questions. A non-probability quota sample of 100 companies who use the services of DHL will be analysed. It is important to note that since the entire air express market is quite large, only a representative sample base of the entire market region will be covered.
 
Secondary data will be assessed from in-house information available at DHL, UAE which includes employee opinion surveys, market research data, etc. Other forms of secondary data will include Industry Market Reports, local and international newspapers, articles, World Wide Web, brochures and books. Moreover, secondary research will continue throughout the study to give a more clear understanding of the situation.
 
The study will use a variety of scaling methods to derive the required information from the respondents. These will include, but will not be limited to, dichotomous scale, likert scale, rating scale and intention-to-buy scale etc.
 
1.6  Resources required
 
Inorder to complete the research study the researcher will require access to various texts on services marketing, service quality, services marketing journals and other business magazines and newspapers. All the above mentioned will be accessed through various private and public libraries. Apart from these a PC with access to Internet; and writing materials will be required.
 
1.7 Project Plan
 
Phase One:
Once the dissertation proposal is approved, literature searching on DHL Worldwide Express, UAE, their product and service offerings, prices and quality measures etc. will be done. This will be complemented further with other relevant information gathering on areas such as quality measures, service recovery, need for Total Quality Management etc .
 
Phase Two:
The second phase will largely cover the primary research activities with the information collected being gathered to explore the aims of the research study.
 
Phase Three:
The raw data that will be gathered from the previous stage will now be juxtaposed for further analysis. This will help the researcher reach meaning findings and analysis of the study.
 
Phase Four:
The last stage will involve word processing, editing and finally the completion of the dissertation.
 
1.8  Form of  Presentation
           
The dissertation will be presented in the conventional form as laid down by the university with separate pages for the following
·         cover sheet,
·         title,
·         acknowledgements,
·         abstract,
·         contents,
·         list of tables and figures.
 
There will also be separate chapters for each of the following major sections:
 
Introduction – introducing the areas of study, the research aims, methods of data collection and data analysis will be explained briefly.
 
Literature Review  - all relevant information about the topics under study and the various issues of service quality and services marketing will be highlighted.
 
Research Methodology – this will include a detailed explanation about the research design adopted for the study and the reasons for the same.
 
Findings – this chapter will use tables and charts to help group the raw data collected through the research methods. This chapter will lay down the basis for meaningful analysis of the study
 
Conclusion and recommendations – this will form the last chapter of the study. It will sum up all the major issues uncovered by the study and will put forward suggestions and recommendations in line with the aims of the research.
 
The dissertation would also include a reference list at the end of each chapter and a full-fledged bibliography at the end. Sample questionnaires, and other relevant material will also be included in the appendix.
 
1.9  Limitations of the Research
 
Consideration needs to be given with an error of margin for possible biased information. Individuals who will be asked to fill up the questionnaire may possibly have had a recent service issue with DHL, which may have tarnished their general impression. The outcome of such experiences has the probability to influence the way in which the person might fill the questionnaire.
 
Many of DHL’s customers who will be asked to complete the survey may not have physically experienced the service offering of DHL’s competitors, which might lead to a bias in favor of DHL.
 
Also it is important to consider that larger companies get associated on most attributes due to their sheer presence in the market. Similarly, powerful brand leaders also tend to lead in most attributes due to their brand strength and image, and if coupled with an aggressive advertising campaign, has the possibility of swinging certain perception, which may not be the reality of the actual service offered.
 
1.10 Bibliography
 
1          Beckwith Harry (1997) “Selling the Invisible” New York: Warner Books
2          Berry Leonard L. and Parasuraman A. (1991) “Marketing Services: Competing through Quality”, New York: The Free Press
3          Covey Stephen R (1996) “In Search of Quality “ :Chicago: Executive Excellence Publishing
4          Gill John and Johnson Phil (1997) “Research Methods for Managers” : London: Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd.
5          Jill Hussey & Roger Hussey (1997) Business Research: "A Practical Guide for Undergraduate and Post graduate students", London: Macmillan
6          White, Brian (2000) "Dissertation Skills for Business and Management Studies", London: Cassell.
 
Sample Research Proposal 2
 
1.1Topic
An analysis of the fast food companies promotional activities, affecting the demand for junk food in the UAE market.
 
1.2 Background of the study
Fast food for a quick bite sounds great because of the mouth-watering taste, but the after effects are very hazardous. Fast food has become popular in the past few years. The factors, which make people consume more fast food, are
·        The drastic changes in lifestyles.
·        As women started working, there is nobody to cook hence fast food has become a quicker source of killing hunger.
·        Fast food is very cheap and easily available, it’s just a phone call away to any of the nearest outlets, and home delivery is done as soon as possible.
Promotions are one major way to attract a customer to consume more junk food. Its either because of the special offers there is consumption or just because they feel lucky that particular day.
 
1.3 Research Question
How does the fast food companies promotions, encourage people to eat more junk food?
 
1.4 Research Objective
·        To analyze the fast food companies promotional activities.
·        To analyze the factors, which make people, consume more fast food.
·        To offer recommendations to fast food companies for more effective promotional activities.
 
1.5 Literature Review
What is Marketing?
The Chartered Institute of Marketing in the UK defines marketing as ‘the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.’
A simpler definition of marketing is’ Marketing is the selling of goods that don’t come back to people who do.’ (Marketing Communications, An integrated approach third edition, PR Smith with Jonathan Taylor.)
 
Marketing Mix
The marketing mix is essentially a conceptual framework, which helps to structure the approach to each marketing challenge. The marketing mix variables are usually considered as internal variables over which a manager has control and makes decisions.
There are 4p’s in the marketing mix, which are
Product- any poor quality product says more to the user than any amount of advertising.
Price- price communicates, e.g. high prices send a different message to low price, and many buyers use price as an indicator of quality.
Place- place of purchase also communicates, e.g. an item purchased in a designer store has a different perceived value to an item purchased from a street store.
Promotion- sales promotions, premiums, incentives and motivation schemes are used for both products and services in consumer, business-to-business and industrial markets. There are 3 main categories:
Customer promotions- Premiums, gifts, prizes and competitions e.g. on the back of cereal boxes.
Trade promotions- special terms, point-of-sale materials and free pens, diaries, competition prizes.
Sales force promotions- incentive and motivation schemes etc.
(Marketing Communications, An integrated approach third edition, PR Smith with Jonathan Taylor.)
 
History- KFC
Colonel Harland Sanders, born September 9, 1890, actively began franchising his chicken business at the age of 65. When the Colonel was six, his father died. His mother was forced to go to work, and young Harland had to take care of his three-year-old brother and baby sister. This meant doing much of the family cooking. By the age of seven, he was a master of several regional dishes.
Now, the KFC business he started has grown to be one of the largest quick service food systems in the world. And Colonel Sanders, a quick service restaurant pioneer, has become a symbol of entrepreneurial spirit.
Kentucky Fried Chicken became a subsidiary of R.J. Reynolds Industries, Inc. (now RJR Nabisco, Inc.), when Reynolds acquired Heublein Inc. in 1982. KFC was acquired in October 1986 from RJR Nabisco, Inc. by PepsiCo, Inc., for approximately $840 million. In 1980, Colonel was struck with Leukemia and he died at the age of 90.
There are over 11,000 KFC outlets in more than 80 countries and territories around the world serving some eight million customers each day.
A foretaste at the menu- French fries, various varieties of combos, kids meals, snack box, dinner combos, twister meals etc. (www.kfc.com)
History -Mc Donald’s
Mc Donald’s rich history began with the founder, Ray Kroc. The strong foundation that he built continues till today with McDonald's vision and the commitment of the talented executives to keep the shine on McDonald's arches for the following years to come.
Mc Donald’s is the world's leading food service retailer with more than 30,000 restaurants in 119 countries serving 47 million customers each day. It is one of the worlds most well-known and valuable brands and holds a leading share in the globally branded quick service restaurant segment of the informal eating-out market in virtually every country in which they do business.
Some of the world famous and favorite foods from their lip smacking menu are-World Famous French Fries, Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, Chicken McNuggets and Egg McMuffin.
 
Growth in the Gulf-
In the Arab nations, all McDonald's restaurants are locally owned and operated by Arab entrepreneurs. The first restaurant in the region opened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on December 8th, 1993; then Jeddah, KSA on January 19th, 1994; Oman in March 1994; Kuwait in June 1994; Bahrain on December 15th, 1994; the UAE on December 22nd, 1994; and Qatar in December 1995.
McDonald's has 25 restaurants in the UAE with the first restaurant opening on 22 December 1994.
 
Franchising:                   
McDonald's has always been a franchising Company and has relied on its franchisees to play a major role in its success. McDonald's remains committed to franchising as a predominant way of doing business. Approximately 70% of McDonald's worldwide restaurant businesses are owned and operated by independent businessmen and women, i.e. franchisees.
Our franchising system is built on the premise that the Corporation can be successful only if our franchisees are successful first. We believe in a partnering relationship with our owner/ operators, suppliers and employees.                (www.mcdonald’s. com)
 
1.6 Research Design
Research design is the plan and structure of investigation so as to obtain answers to research questions. The plan is the overall scheme or program of the research. It includes an outline of what the investigator will do from writing hypothesis and their operational implications to the final analysis of the data. A structure is the framework, organization, or the configuration of the relations among variables of a study. (Business Research Methods, Tata McGraw- Hill Edition, Eighth Edition, Donald R. Cooper, Pamela S. Schindler.)
Research design is an activity and time based plan. This design is always based on the research question. It guides the selection of sources and types of information. The design outlines procedures for every research activity.
Exploratory Research:
Exploratory research is appropriate for the total study in topic areas where the developed data are limited. In most other studies, exploration is the first stage of a project and is used to orient the researchers and the study. The objective of exploration is the development of hypothesis, not testing.
Descriptive studies:
Descriptive studies are those used to describe phenomena associated with a subject population or to estimate proportions of the population that have certain characteristics.
I shall be using an exploratory research.
 
1.7 Methodology
Census: census is a count of all the elements in a population.
Total Population of UAE
Sampling:
The basic idea of sampling is that by selecting some of the elements in a population, one can draw conclusions about the entire population. A population element is the subject on which the measurement is being taken.
Types of sampling
Random sampling:
This is a special case in which each population element has a known and equal chance of being selected into the sample. Sample is drawn using random number table/ generator.
Systematic sampling:
This method selects an element of the population at a beginning with random start and following the sampling fraction selects every kth element.
Stratified sampling:
It divides the population into subpopulation or strata and uses simple random on each strata. Results may be weighted and combined.
Cluster sampling:
In this sampling method, the population is divided into internally heterogeneous subgroups. Some are randomly selected for further study.
Double (sequential or multiphase) sampling:
This process includes collecting data from a sample using a previously defined technique. Based on the information found, a sub sample is selected for further study. 
I shall be using random sampling methods, because my research topic needs a mixture of people. I shall be distributing my questionnaires to different populace to get their opinions.
The age groups are as mentioned below:
13 below
Teenage
20-30 years
30-40 years
40-50 years
50+
Sample Size
50
The reason why I am targeting to the above-mentioned age groups is because those are the ages, which consume fast food, and especially the youth.
A good sample has both accuracy and precision. An accurate sample is where there is little or no bias or systematic variance. A sample with adequate precision is one that has a sampling error that is within acceptable limits for the study’s purpose.
 
1.8 Data Collection Method
I shall be using primary data as well as secondary data.
Primary Data – Primary data are sought for their proximity to the truth and control over error. These cautions remind us to use care in designing data collection procedures and generalizing from results.
Secondary Data – Secondary data has at least one level of interpretation inserted between the events and recording.
Personally administered questionnaires will be used to gather better information for my research. The questionnaire would include scales to offer a meaningful analysis. It would include both open ended and closed ended questions.
 
Scaling is a “procedure for the assignment of numbers (or other symbols) to a property of objects in order to impart some of the characteristics of numbers to the properties in question.”
Scales such as-
Likert Scale- this is the most frequently used variation of the summated rating scale. Likert scales help us compare one person’s score with a distribution of scores from a well-defined sample group.
Ratings scale- rating scales are used to judge properties of objects without reference to other similar objects. Ratings may be in such a form such as “like-dislike,” “approve-indifferent- disapprove” or other classifications using various more categories.
I shall be referring to substantial Journals, Articles, Books, Internet and Magazines in context to my topic.
I shall be distributing the questionnaires to all the selected age groups.
The amount of questions that shall be there in the Questionnaire would be 15-20
 
1.9 Business Implications
How my research would help the fast food company’s promotional activities?
The companies would get to know how well their promotions are flourishing in the market and whether people are loyal to their food or is it just because of the promotions that they consume. They would also get to know how competent is their company in comparison to other brands.  
 
1.10 Limitations
The factors, which would limit my research are-
·        Time is a major factor as the topic is very vast and needs a lot of time for research.
·        Cost is another hindrance, as research is very expensive in this part of the world.
·        As fast food companies are increasing every second day and as I cannot take all of them into consideration, I shall be targeting my study only to KFC and Mc Donald’s.
 
1.11 Form of Presentation
The dissertation will be presented in the conventional form as laid down by the University with separate pages with the following cover sheet title, acknowledgement, abstract, contents, list of tables and figures. Apart from the above-mentioned sections, the dissertation would also include a reference list at the end of each chapter and a full- fledged Bibliography at the end of the report. Sample questionnaires and certain useful appendix would also be included.
 
1.12 Project Plan
Phase 1
After approval of the dissertation proposal, literature searching will be done. This will be enhanced further with the review of information on other related aspects of the research. Though literature searching would continue through out the project, it will be intense during the 1st phase.
Phase 2
An extensive study of research objective will be carried out and questionnaire will be floated to consumers to collect primary data.
Phase 3
Data collected from the various interviews and reports will be analyzed and will be structurally laid for further interpretation.
Phase 4
The last stage will involve word processing, editing and finally the completion of the dissertation.
 
1.13 Resources Required 
Apart from the physical and mental efforts of the student, the dissertation supervisor, respondents, library, families and friends, the dissertation will also require access to various text on the market consumer buying behavior, sales and marketing, journals and other business magazines and newspaper. All the above-mentioned will be accessed through various private and public libraries. Apart from these a pc with access to the Internet and writing materials will also be required.
  
1.14 Bibliography
1)     Business Research Methods, Tata McGraw- Hill Edition, Eighth Edition, Donald R. Cooper, Pamela S. Schindler.
2)     Marketing communications, An integrated approach third edition, PR Smith with Jonathan Taylor.
3)     Press release- KFC.com
4)     www. Mcdonald’s. com
5)     www. KFC.com
 
 
Here is a sample questionnaire showing the use of different types of scaling methods:
 
 
QUESTIONNAIRE
 
Please place a " Ö" mark in the appropriate blank.
 
Kindly fill in the information requested below.
 
Name                      : _______________________________________________________                             
Age                        : _______________________________________________________             
Nationality            : _______________________________________________________             
Profession             : _______________________________________________________             
 
Monthly Income  : c Below 5000                     c 5001 – 10000                    c Above 10000
 
(Multiple Choice Scale)
Q.1. How often do you eat at restaurants?
 
 
c More than once a week                 c Once a week
c Once a month                                  c Once in few months
 
(Multiple Choice Scale)
Q.2. With whom do you eat in restaurants?
 
c Alone                                                c Family                               c Friends
 
(Multiple Choice Scale with an open option)
Q.3. What type of food do you prefer?
 
c Indian                                               c Arabic              
c Chinese                                            c Others (please specify) ______________________
 
 (Dichotomous Scale )
Q.4. Do you consider the fat and calorie content of your food when dining in a restaurant?
 
c Yes                                                    c No
 
(Rating Scale)
Q.5. How would you rate the following aspects of restaurants in your locality:
Text Box: Poor
 
Text Box: Excellent
Text Box: Very Good 
Text Box: Good 
Text Box: Fair
 
 

 
·         Food Quality            1 c                      2 c               3 c                   4 c                5 c
·         Food Variety            1 c                      2 c               3 c                   4 c                5 c
·         Prices                        1 c                      2 c               3 c                   4 c                5 c
·         Service efficiency              1 c                      2 c               3 c                   4 c                5 c
·         Hygiene                                 1 c                      2 c               3 c                   4 c                5 c
·         Ambience                             1 c                      2 c               3 c                   4 c                5 c
 
(Satisfaction Scale)
Q.6 How would you rate your overall satisfaction level with the restaurants in your locality
 
 
c Highly dissatisfied                         c Dissatisfied                      c Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
c Satisfied                                           c Highly satisfied
 
(Importance Scale)
Text Box: Extremely Important 
Text Box: Very Important 
Text Box: Important 
Text Box: Somewhat important 
Text Box: Not at all important

Q.7 .How important are the following factors in a restaurant?
 
 
 
 
·         Quality of food                     1 c                         2 c              3 c                    4 c              5 c
·         Variety of food                     1 c                         2 c              3 c                    4 c              5 c
·         Quality of Service                1 c                         2 c              3 c                    4 c              5 c
·         Speed of Service                  1 c                         2 c              3 c                    4 c              5 c
·         Price                                       1 c                         2 c              3 c                    4 c              5 c
·         Hygiene                                 1 c                         2 c              3 c                    4 c              5 c
·         Ambience                              1 c                         2 c              3 c                    4 c              5 c
·         Separate family room           1 c                         2 c              3 c                    4 c              5 c
·         Parking space                       1 c                         2 c              3 c                    4 c              5 c
 
(Multiple Choice Scale)
Q.8. Do you think restaurants should provide home delivery services?
 
c Yes                                    c No                                     c Not sure
 
       If yes, do you think home delivery service should be charged separately?
 
c Yes                                    c No                                     c Not sure
 
 (Intention to Buy Scale)
Q.9. If better services and food were available at higher prices in a restaurant, would you eat at that restaurant?
 
c Definitely                        
c Probably                          
c Not sure
c Probably not                   
c Definitely not
 
(Multiple Choice Scale)
Q.10. Do you recommend a restaurant to others if you are happy with its food and service
                
c Always                                             c Sometimes                        c Rarely
 
 (Semantic Differential Scale)
Q.11 How would you rate the health aspects of the food provided in local restaurants
 
Unhealthy             _              _              _              _              _              Healthy
 
 
(Open ended question)
Q.12. What additional services do you think should restaurants provide to their customers ?
 
 
_____________________________________________________________________ 
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
 
Thank you for taking part in the survey
 
 
Sample Dissertation Titles/Topics
 
 1.      An assessment of the potential of a major domestic and international food manufacturer within the children’s confectionery market.
 2.      The impact of developments in IT on the marketing of financial services.
 3.      The impact of ozone depletion and the greenhouse warming effects on the marketing policies of the refrigeration industry in recent years.
 4.      From job interview to promoting a business: how effective is marketing yourself?
 5.      The evaluation of advertising effectiveness in the service industry
 6.      A critical review of the prospects for interactive services to the home and the implications for marketing strategies  
7.      Has modern technology destroyed customer services within the financial services sector?  
8.      The role of information technology in marketing communications
 9.      Women in sales job: the glass ceiling
 10.  An evaluation of the promotional strategies and tools in achieving greater sales in retail organizations
 11.  A study on the evolution of the use of target marketing in the media, entertainment and show business.
 12.  An investigation into marketing activity aimed at children
 13.  Marketing strategies in the airline industry
 14.  Marketing in non-profit organizations
 15.  The development of mail order/home shopping
16.  Selling to the Japanese: a critical evaluation of current theories and practice for successful market entry
 17.  Effectiveness of billboard advertising in UAE
18.  A comparative study of positioning strategies in soft-drink business  
19.  Marketing tourism in urban areas : a comparison of Dubai and Sharjah
 20.  A study of cause related marketing in UAE business organizations
 21.  Critical appraisal of marketing strategy of Government of India Regional Tourist Office (GOIRTO) with special reference to the Gulf market
 22.  An evaluation of telemarketing as one of the best tools compared to other promo tools in the hotel industry
 23.  Critical evaluation of marketing strategy in Lufthansa Cargo Airlines
 24.  Marketing of new investment projects in the Middle East region
 25.  Evaluation of marketing strategies for promoting retail banking: a case study of ABN Amro Bank
 26.  Evaluation of credit card marketing by Mashreq Bank, UAE
 27.  Critical appraisal of the impact of information technology in direct marketing: a case study of Ultimate Industries Limited, Sharjah, UAE
 28.  Marketing of telecommunication services: a case study of Etisalat
 29.  Evaluation of the marketing of retail banking services and products at Mashreq Bank
 30.  A comparative study of the promotional strategies of two leading newspapers in UAE with special reference to Gulf News and Khaleej Times
 31.  Evaluation of marketing strategies and reader’s perception for U magazine
 32.  Evaluation of Citibank’s NRI services as compared to the NRI services offered by HSBC and Grindlay’s Bank
 33.  Study of customers’ perception of products and services of Etisalat
 34.  The development of home shopping/mail ordering in UAE
 35.  A comparative study on the marketing communications strategy of two international airlines, viz. Saudi Arabian Airlines and Czech Airlines for the UAE region
 36.  Evaluation of advertising effectives: a comparative study of fast moving consumer goods and durable products  
37.  The study of electronic media as a marketing tool in the UAE  
38.  The study of key marketing strategies and approaches used by P&O Container lines
 39.  An evaluation of marketing strategies for Iridium, Middle East  
40.  A comparative study of marketing strategies of Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF) and Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah  
41.  Study of customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction with respect to the medical services offered by Zulekha Hospital , Sharjah UAE  
42.  Introduction and marketing of branded water pumps in the Sultanate of Oman for M/s Metel Trading Co.
 43.  Evaluation of Customer Services in the marketing of construction products in UAE
 44.  Evaluation of effectiveness of sales promotion tools in marketing of fast moving consumer goods: a case study of Al Gurg Lever Company
 45.  Effectiveness of Personal Selling in UAE’s retail textile business.
 
 
Dissertation Tips
 
SamA dissertation can be defined as the communication of a piece of investigative academic work which demonstrates in the context of existing knowledge both understanding and critical analytical thinking of an original kind.
 
Communication
The work is clear and accurate, concise and relevant
Grammar and spelling are correct
Style of writing is lively and concise
Investigative
Work must find something relevant
Research must have aims and objectives to give the work focus
Academic
Work must have an academic underpinning appropriate to your degree
All information provided should be supported with facts and figures and accurately sourced.
Context of Existing Knowledge
A research work is not an isolated investigation
It must relate to the existing knowledge in the subject area
Understanding
Work should develop and demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of the subject
Critical
Question everything
Identify trends, provide evidence
Seriously  examine assumptions and ideas that have emerged
Analytical
Do not accept anything on face value
Compare one thing with another
Consider advantages, disadvantages and implications
Draw your own conclusions
Original
Dissertation must be your own work
It must represent your own thinking, investigation and presentation
Quote from the work of others provided the source is fully acknowledged, but do not fall into the trap of copying or plagiarizing other people’s work
 
BASIC STRUCTURE OF THE DISSERTATION
 
Appropriate length of report should be around 10,000 words. Your dissertation should include tables, charts and figures.
Work must be printed out on numbered pages, bound and presented in a smart, well-designed cover.
Typing should be on only one side of the pages in double or one-and-a-half line spacing
The font should be 12 in ‘Times New Roman’ or similar typeface such as ‘Arial’
A wide left margin is necessary to allow for binding (minimum 3 cms) with sufficient margins (minimum 2.5 cms) at the top, bottom and right hand side of each page.
Two copies of the dissertation should be submitted.
 
DRAFT STRUCTURE
 
In the beginning of your work itself, draw up a draft structure of your work and examine it critically before determining the final structure of your dissertation.
The draft structure should include chapter headings, areas that you intend to cover, and a brief outline of the contents of each chapter
Discuss the draft structure with your supervisor
Draft structure gives you a plan to work on, but it may change as your work progresses.
 
DISSERTATION FORMAT  
 
On the cover of your dissertation the following information should be provided:
 
The title of the dissertation
Your name
The name of your center or college
The name of the course or award for which you are presenting the dissertation
The date of submission
Any suitable graphical design
 
The first page inside the cover includes:
 The title of the dissertation and your name
 
The second page:
Acknowledgements page
 
The third page:
Abstract of the dissertation: approximately 300 words. An abstract is a summary of the aims and scope of the work, when and how it was carried out, results and conclusions emerging from the work.
 
The fourth page:
Contents page – showing the title of the different sections of the dissertation
 
The fifth page:
List of tables and figures and the numbers of the pages on which they occur
 
The sixth page:
Main chapters or sections will start from this page onwards
 
 
WRITING A DISSERTATION
 
Please prepare your dissertation in accordance with the guidelines given below:
 
Preliminary pages must include
 
i.         Title page                           (this will include your dissertation title, your name, your
college name, and date of submission) 
 
ii.       Acknowledgements            (thank all teachers, librarians, other officials and respondents
you met …everyone who played some major role in helping you complete your dissertation can be offered a word of thanks)
 
iii.      Abstract                             (a summary of your work …around one or two pages at the
                                          most…300 – 500 words
 
iv.     List of contents                   (a detailed list of all the headings and sub-headings in your
dissertation along with the correct page numbers
 
v.       List of figures                      (a list of all the diagrams in your dissertation along with their
corresponding page numbers)
 
vi.     List of tables                       (a list of all the tables in your dissertation along with their
corresponding page numbers)
 
vii.    List of graphs                      (a list of all the graphs in your dissertation along with their
corresponding page numbers)
 
The dissertation must include the following 5 chapters:
 
Chapter 1 – Introduction
Chapter 2 – Literature review
Chapter 3 – Research methodology
Chapter 4 – Data findings and analysis
Chapter 5 – Conclusion and recommendations
 
Ø      As a general rule, each chapter should start with its own separate introduction which informs the reader what is written in that chapter.
 
Ø      Each chapter should also have a separate reference list, at the end of the chapter. This should include those sources (books, magazines, websites, journals etc.) referred to for preparing that particular chapter only. Thus, you will have 5 separate reference lists for the 5 chapters.  Remember, referencing is very very important and must be done in the right format. Thus, referencing involves the following:
 
 
 
Scroll down for details on how to write referencing in the text, and bibliography.
 
Ø      Appendix must be included after the bibliography. Make sure to include a sample blank questionnaire and other relevant information. Do not fill the appendix with material that may not really be essential.
 
You should also take care to structure the dissertation as follows:
 
Ø      Arial/Times new roman, one and a half spacing, font size 12, alignment justified. Leave at least one inch for top, bottom and right margin and one-and-a-half inch for left margin (to allow for binding).
 
Ø      Do not enlarge headings and sub-headings. These could merely be made bold.
 
Ø      Numbered bullets and sub-bullets should be used for headings and sub-headings respectively.
 
Ø      All tables and graphs should be numbered, and must have a title. The color and type of the graphs should reflect neatness, consistency and professionalism.
 
Ø      Including appropriate headers and footers will help enhance the look of your dissertation.
 
Remember, pages must be numbered. Pages are numbered in the following format:
 
to the last page of the bibliography                                1, 2, 3 …
 
Your dissertation is assessed on the following parameters:
 
Style of communication, Investigate work, Academic work, Context of existing knowledge, Understanding of the subject, Critical thinking, Originality, Overall presentation
 
Remember, your dissertation should not be merely descriptive but analytical and must reflect your original research. 
 
 
THE DISSERTATION CHAPTERS
 
Total Word Limit : 10,000 – 12,000 Words
 
Chapter One
 
Introduction
 
Length : 1000 – 1500 words
 
This is the first chapter of the dissertation which introduces the subject matter to the reader. This chapter includes various subheadings which are as follows:
 
1.1  Introductory aspects of the study (introduce your topic in a very general manner)
1.2  Background information about the topic (check the background information / problem statement written in the proposal)
1.3  Research question (check your research proposal)
1.4  Research objectives (check your research proposal)
1.5  Hypothesis (if any – check your research proposal)
1.6  Brief literature review (check your research proposal)
1.7  Research design (check your research proposal)
1.8  Research methodology (check your research proposal)
1.9  Business implications of the study (check your research proposal)
1.10          Form of presentation (check your research proposal)
 
References (books and other sources that you have used to write the contents of ONLY the first chapter. This section should begin on a new page)
 
  
Chapter  Two
 
Literature Review
 
Length : 3000 – 3500 words
 
In this chapter, students have to write information collected from the various sources that are relevant to the current study. It should include prior work done by other researchers that has been published in books, magazines, journals, newspapers, internet and other sources.

 
What is required is not the mere compilation of different information gathered through various sources, but the comparing and contrasting of the current study with what has been done earlier and elsewhere. The idea behind doing so is to ensure that the content is analytical and not mere descriptive.

Do include figures, diagrams, models, tables etc.that are related to the study.
 
Ensure that your literature review includes a variety of sources and not merely limited to only one or two types of sources.
 
References (all sources that you have used to write the contents of ONLY this chapter. This section should begin on a new page)
 
 
Chapter Three
 
Research Methodology
 
Length : 2000 – 2500 words
 
This chapter “details” the entire process by which the data has been gathered for the research. It includes the following:
 
3.1 Introduction: introduce what is methodology ( a general introduction of the chapter – 1 or 2 paragraphs in length
3.2 Statement of the problem (check your research proposal)
3.3 Rationale for investigating the topic – Justification (check your research proposal)
3.4 Scope of the study (what areas of investigation, geographical location etc does your research cover) (check your research proposal)
3.5 Research aims / objectives (check your research proposal)
3.6 Hypothesis – if any (check your research proposal)
3.7 Research methodology
            3.7.1 Inductive methodology – define, state whether used or not, why or why not?
            3.7.2 Deductive methodology – define, state whether used or not, why or why not?
3.8 Research design
            3.8.1 Exploratory research – define, state whether used or not, why or why not?
            3.8.2 Descriptive research – define, state whether used or not, why or why not?
            3.8.3 Causal research – define, state whether used or not, why or why not?
3.9 Data Collection methods
            3.9.1 Secondary research – the various books, magazines, journals, website, etc that
you have referred to gather information
            3.9.2 Primary research – explain the term, describe what tools you have used for
gathering primary research and how did you go about collecting the data
3.10 Sampling methods – describe what method of sampling you used and why?
3.10.1 Population and sampling frame
3.10.2 Sample size – what is the size of your sample
3.10.3 Probability and non probability sampling – state which one you are using and
why
3.11 Research Instruments – (questionnaire, interviews etc used and the questions asked and
why?)
3.12 Research approach – the exact way in which the survey was conducted – email,
telephone – how exactly )
3.13 Data Analysis and Interpretation – (one or two paragraphs explaining how the raw data collected was analyzed, what statistical tools were used – percentages, charts, graphs, mean values, ranks etc)
3.14 Limitations of the study
 
References (books and other sources that you have used to write the contents of ONLY this chapter. This section should begin on a new page)
 
 
Chapter Four
 
Data Analysis and Interpretation
 
Length: 3000– 3500 words
 
This chapter includes the findings gathered from the results of the primary research. Each of the question in the questionnaire has to be analyzed through the use of:
 
  1. Tables
  2. Graphs
 
Make sure to include the real and percentage values for each of the responses in your table. Further a separate graph should be included for each question. You may also combine a few questions and analyze the responses through a single graph for further (in addition to the individual graphs)  detailed analysis.
 
References (books and other sources that you have used to write the contents of ONLY this chapter. This section should begin on a new page)
 
 
Chapter Five
 
Conclusion and Recommendation
 
Length: 1000 – 1500 words
 
The last chapter of the dissertation summarizes the overall findings of the research work carried out and more importantly states the implications of the findings. It is very important to ensure that the conclusion must be out of what evidence you have gathered and not mere statements out of the blue. Care should be taken not to introduce any new concepts in this chapter as this chapter primarily summarizes your dissertation and the conclusions arising from your analysis. 
 
Students should make sure that a separate topic i.e Recommendations should be included in this chapter. Suggestions for future research may also be included as the last part of this chapter.
 
References (books and other sources that you have used to write the contents of ONLY this chapter. This section should begin on a new page)
 
 
Bibliography
 
A full fledged bibliography must be included at the end of the dissertation. This should be classified under different categories i.e. books, magazines, journals, websites etc. Further the classification should be in an alphabetical order of the author’s surname. Your bibliography should include at least 30 to 50 sources.
The Text must be clearly referenced by using either the Harvard or Footnote style of referencing. In order to avoid being charged with plagiarism you must make sure that you use a proper referencing in your text and also provide an adequate and systematic bibliography at the end. Any idea, definition, statement, data, diagram, model etc that you take from some outside source should be properly acknowledged. There is no harm in using such information. You are more than welcome to use information from various sources but they MUST be properly acknowledged !! Various aspects and types of referencing both in the text and in the bibliography have been explained in complete detail below.
 
Referencing
 
Referencing in the text
 
The Harvard system uses the author's name and date of publication to identify cited documents within the text.
 
·        For example: It has been shown that…(Saunders, 1993) 
·        When referring generally to work by different authors on the subject, place the authors in alphabetical order: (Baker, 1991; Lewis, 1992; Thornill, 1983). 
·        When referring to dual authors: (Saunders and Cooper, 1993). 
·        When there are more than two authors: (Bryce et al., 1995). 
·        For corporate authors, for instance a company report: (Hanson Trust plc, 1990). 
·        For publications with no obvious author, for example the Employment Gazette: (Employment Gazette, 1998). 
·        When referring to different publications by the same author then the works should be ordered by date in ascending order: (Lewis, 1987, 1991). 
·        To differentiate between publications by the same author in the same year use a, b, c etc.: (Forster, 1991a). Make sure that this is consistent throughout the research project and corresponds with the bibliography. 
·        To reference an author referred to by another author where the original publication has not been read: (Granovetter, 1974, cited by Saunders, 1993). In this case the author who cites and the original document's author both should appear in the bibliography. 
·        Only use author's initials to differentiate between authors with the same surname. 
·        Quotations should be placed in inverted commas and the page number given, for example: the Harvard method of referencing provides a simple way of coping with the main text and also bibliographies (Bell, 1993:28)
 
Bibliography
 
In the bibliography the referenced publications are listed alphabetically by author's name and all author's surnames and initials are listed in full. If there is more than one work by the same author, these are listed chronologically. Also remember that you should use numbered bullets to list the various sources. 
 
·        An example of a reference to a book would be:
Saunders, M N K  and Cooper , S.A. (1993) Understanding Business Statistics, London , DP Publications.
 
·        A reference to a book other than the first edition would be:
Morris, C. (1996) Quantitative Approaches to Business Studies (3rd edn), London , Pitman Publishing.
 
·        A reference to a book with no obvious author would be:
Department of Trade and Industry (1992) The Single Market. Europe Open for Professions UK Implementation, London , HMSO.
 
·        A reference to a particular chapter in a book would be:
Robson, C. (1997) Real World Research, Oxford , Blackwell, Chapter 3.
 
·        A reference to a particular chapter in an edited book would be:
Craig, P.B. (1991) 'Designing and Using Mail Questionnaires', in Smith, N.C. and Dainty, P. (eds) The Management Research Handbook, London , Routledge, pp.181-89.
 
·        An example of a reference to an article in a journal (in this example volume 20, part 6) would be:
Brewster, C. and Bournois, F. (1992) 'Human Resource Management: A European Perspective', Personnel Review, 20:6, 4-13.
 
·        A reference to an article in a (trade) journal with no obvious author would be:
Local Government Chronicle (1995) ' Westminster poised for return to AMA fold', Local Government Chronicle, 5 November, 5.
 
·        A reference to an item found on the Internet would also include the fact that it was accessed online, the date of access and the full Internet address.:
Jenkins, M. and Bailey, L. (1995) 'The role of learning centre staff in supporting student learning', Journal of Learning and Teaching, 1:1, Spring (online) [cited 29 Mar 1996 ] Available from Internet
URL:http://www.chelt.ac.uk/cwis/pubs/jolt/issue 1.1/page 2.html
 
 
Appendix
 
This should include the master table, the table of raw data, blank questionnaire and any other useful information which is relevant and pertaining to your topic but not included in the main body of the dissertation. It is important to note that any item included in the appendix must be referred to in the main body of the dissertation. Further, students should also remember that the text included in the appendix will not be counted in your dissertation word limit.
 
ASSESSMENT OF THE DISSERTATION
 
The assessment of your dissertation is based on the following key criteria:  
Communication
Investigate work
Academic work
Context of existing knowledge
Understanding of the subject
Critical thinking
Originality
Overall presentation
 
Remember every little detail counts such as  header and footer, page numbers, neatness of the work, analytical approach, professionalism in work etc.  
 
The table below shows the kind of skills, approach and nature of work that is desirable
 
GRADE
SUBJECT
METHOD OF INVESTIGATION
COLLECTION OF INFORMATION
STRUCTURE AND ARGUMENT
PRESENTATION
 
 
A
Subject valid and interesting; purpose clearly stated and fulfilled; imaginative but not over ambitious with some degree of originally
Relevant to purpose, well planned appropriate and relevant methods of analysis, appropriate scale; well communicated method and approach well understood
Use of wide range of appropriate and well researched information sources
Clear, convincing logical, imaginative, critical, Cohesive and coherent, well integrated
Meets all specifications,  e.g. cross referencing, and is so well laid out that it is a pleasure to read
 
B
Subject valid and interesting; aims achieved; may be a little over ambitious in scope
Relevant and well planned with appropriate method but may be too large/small or inconclusive
Good coverage of relevant information
Good structure and well developed argument
Specification complied with and so presented that it is easy for the reader to follow
 
C
Subject valid but some shortcomings in awareness of purpose, fulfillment of aims or scale of projects
Is potentially relevant but poorly planned and executed
Some knowledge of relevant information, but not well used and some information missed
Adequate structure and argument
Specifications complied with, but not laid out with maximum clarity
 
D
 
Considerable confusion in purpose and aims but project nevertheless carried to coherent conclusion
Poor choice of method in addition to being poorly planned and executed
Insufficient use of relevant information
Some structure but argument often irrelevant or illogical with unsupported assertions
Specifications not always complied with, but adequate presentation
 
F
Great confusion in purpose and aims – no coherent conclusion
Inappropriate and misapplied method, approach poorly understood
Excessive use of irrelevant information and factual error, over reliance on limited quality sources
No developed argument, misunderstanding of issues involved, lacks coherence
Specification not complied with and presentation inadequate
 
 
 
Wishing You All The Best !!!