Human Resources management and Training/ Forth module assignment/ Research Methods/ Portfolio – exercise based/ Topic: Workforce planning and recruitment/ /Portfolio Exercise 1/ What is Your Research Question? (750 words) Having now been introduced to the dissertation, the aim of this portfolio exercise is to get you to think about your research question. • What is your research question? Write this out as a short sentence in the form of a question. • Write a synopsis of the central research problem you intend to address in your dissertation. Discuss a) why this problem was chosen; b) why it is a problem suitable for research at Master’s level; and c) what are the academic issues which underpin your research question? This portfolio exercise is part of your Module 4 assignment. Portfolio Exercise 2 Thinking Ahead (400 words) • Thinking about the time you have to complete the dissertation, sketch out a timetable for your research and the writing of the dissertation. Identify those stages that you feel will prove hardest to undertake or that will take the most time. This portfolio exercise is part of your Module 4 assignment. Portfolio Exercise 3 Locating Literature (600 words) This portfolio exercise will develop your bibliographic skills – you will need these to locate relevant literature for your literature review. • Go the university website and access the databases and other e-resources it hosts. Use one of the databases listed above (or others you know) to search for and retrieve three current (within the last 5 years) academic articles relevant to your research question. Once you have identified and downloaded your articles write a 150-word review for each article focusing on the main findings of the research, the research methods used and the strengths and weaknesses of the author’s approach. • Provide a list of ten additional academic articles or books that you intend to use in your research. References example • Jesson, J. and Lacey, F. (2006) ‘How to do (and not to do) a Critical Literature Review’, Pharmacy • Education 6(2): 139-148. • Marshall, G. and Brennan, P. (2008) ‘The Process of Undertaking a Quantitative Dissertation for a • Taught MSc: Personal Insights Gained from Supporting and Examining Students in the UK and Ireland’, • Radiography 14(1): 63-68. • Robson, C. (2002) Real World Research: A Resource for Social Scientists and Practitioner-Researchers, • (2nd edn.): ‘Developing Your Ideas’, pp. 45-76. Oxford: Blackwell. • Student Development (2009) ‘Planning and Conducting a Dissertation Research Project’. Leicester: • university of Leicester. This portfolio exercise is part of your Module 4 assignment. Portfolio Exercise 4 The Philosophy of Social Research and Your Approach (1000 words) All researchers need to justify the reasons why certain approaches are chosen and why others are not and the philosophical and practical rationale underpinning their research. This needs to be set within the context of positivist/post-positivist/interpretivist positions and the related quantitative/qualitative/mixed-methodological approaches. • Outline the approach that you will take in your own research, discussing the philosophical and methodological rationale that will underpin your research. You should consider which of the positivist/post-positivist/interpretivist principles will underpin your research and why, and reflect on whether your research question suggests one methodological approach over another, or a combination of approaches. You should consider the strengths and potential weaknesses/limitations of your chosen approach and why this was chosen over the alternatives. This portfolio exercise is part of your Module 4 assignment. Portfolio Exercise 5 Your Samples (400 words) For this exercise you need to consider and respond to the following: • Who will make up your sample? • Explain the size of your sample. • Explain why this choice of sample is appropriate for your research. • Have you agreed access to this sample/how will you access your sample? This portfolio exercise is part of your Module 4 assignment. Portfolio Exercise 6 Ethical Considerations (1000 words) All research raises ethical issues. This is the case throughout the research, not simply in the early stages. • Drawing on what you have learned from this section, outline in what ways your research raises ethical issues and how you plan to address these. It is a requirement of the University of Leicester that you complete the Research Ethical Review (RER) and receive approval before conducting any research. You cannot proceed with the dissertation until ethical clearance has been obtained. To do this, you will need to complete the RER once you have received feedback on your Module 4 assignment. The feedback will identify where to locate the RER and who you need to send it to. Please contact the Centre directly if you have any questions about the ethics form. Please note that if you make any potentially significant changes to your proposed research in the course of working with your supervisor, you may need to submit a new form. If you do plan to change elements such as the research methods, the sample or if your access changes, please contact your supervisor immediately. This portfolio exercise is part of your Module 4 assignment. Portfolio Exercise 7 Techniques (1500-2000 words) Having read about some research techniques available to you we want you to consider the following questions: • What research techniques do you intend to use in your dissertation? (remember that you can use more that one). • Why have you chosen to use these techniques? • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the techniques you have chosen? • What literature on research methods has led you to believe that this/these would be the best approach for your dissertation? • How do you propose to analyse the data you have collected?