The research of a company capabilities to grow during the economic crisis in the European construction industry, B2B sector.
This is your opportunity to sell the report! It is important that a large amount of effort is spent on the Executive Summary. An additional reason for this is that in writing this section it forces you to focus on the main findings of the investigation. It should give a brief background stating why the investigation was carried out, how it was done, outline the most important findings and state the conclusions and recommendations. Imagine that you have to present the report to a busy manager who will probably have time to read only the Executive Summary.
The main document should be broken down into the following chapters:
Chapter 1: Introduction
Note it is best to start every chapter with a brief introductory paragraph. The body of Chapter one will include:
? Background to the organisation which you will have researched, and possibly some secondary research findings relating to the industry etc. This should lead to the reason for the study and Problem Definition.
? The Purpose, Decision Problems, Research Question, Objectives and the Scope should all be included in Chapter one.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
Covers the theories relevant to the topic.
Chapter 3: Research Methodology
Start with the overall methodology used. Then think in terms of providing the basis (or recipe) for someone else to be able to repeat your study at some future date. You start with the broad approach and get down to the specific points that made your study unique.
The chapter should include:
? Secondary research
? Primary research
– qualitative – this will include discussion, interviews, focus groups, observations, interpretations
– quantitative – you will need to elaborate on the sampling frame, sampling technique, sample size, number of respondents, the fact you pre-tested the questionnaire, the type of questionnaire etc.
? Limitations need identifying as they predominantly relate to the methodology you have adopted or peculiarities of your investigation. (It is generally good to also bring these into your chapter conclusions).
Chapter 4: Results/Findings
Often the secondary findings will be relating to background information or aspects of methodology. Some reports will be largely based upon qualitative research and therefore these findings will make up a large part of the results chapter. However, some investigations will rely on quantitative findings and the qualitative information will largely form the bases upon which to build a questionnaire. The results in this chapter should be reported in a factual objective style with no discussion. It should be easily read without having to refer to the appendices unless extra detail is required. Do not repeat the data in several different formats; for example, if you present all the results from a question or section in a table, then you do not need to write all the individual results in the text. You would merely draw attention to the most important aspects of the data. Tables must have a comprehensive title that allows it to stand alone. Also, show the source of the data underneath the table (Source: Questionnaire x, Question y, Appendix z)
Chapter 5: Discussion
Often the best way to write this chapter is to base your discussion around the individual research objectives that you set. When discussing specific findings from your results chapter make sure you cite the source (Table x). You can draw all of the discussion together around the purpose of the investigation taking into account findings from the literature and other secondary research that you wish to cite. This is your opportunity to make full use of your knowledge.
Chapter 6: Conclusions and Recommendations
This will be your shortest part of the report. This is your opportunity to precisely state your conclusions which are based on the discussion of your results. For each conclusion there should be corresponding recommendation/s, written before giving the next conclusion (these recommendations can be written as bullet-point statements). This chapter contains also the limitations of the research and the further research.
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