BBS301 Applying Mixed Methods Research to business
Phase 2: Review the literature (group assignment) For this phase, you will complete a systematic literature review as an exploratory research technique. The systematic literature review is your first assignment. Systematic literature review 1500 words (15%) Group submission The main purpose of the literature review is to determine what has already been written about your topic. Reviewing the literature is an important part of the research process. If we are to research a topic systematically, we need to build upon what others have already learned. We need to know the current state of knowledge, critically engage with the literature and identify gaps in knowledge in order shed light on the management dilemma being faced by the client. You will use this assignment to help you to design your research project and to analyse and interpret your data later in the unit. If you are unsure of what you should be focusing on regarding topic, you should read through the information in the previous sections again. You have been given a consultancy brief, and you should use this to direct your engagement with the literature. A systematic literature review is a particular style of a literature review. The systematic review process, as the name suggests, is methodical in nature, with the reviewer following a prescribed set of steps to search the literature and identify relevant material for review. These steps are made explicit in the write-up of the review. Due to limitations regarding time and scope, for this assessment, the systematic review process has been simplified. The steps that you need to complete are outlined below. Learning activities designed to address the purpose and importance of the literature review should be referred to when completing this section of the project. A marking guide for the systematic review is also available on LMS and in this document. Conducting your systematic literature search and writing your systematic literature review It is crucial that your search process is systematic and replicable and that your review includes all the elements specified in these instructions. 1. Read an example systematic review 5 Read the following publication for an example of a systematic literature review. Pay particular attention to how the sections which outline the approach followed (pp. 135-7) and the themes found in the literature (pp. 140-4) are written. Remember that your systematic review will be a simplified and much shortened version of a complete review such as this. Riebe, L. Girardi, A. and Whitsed, C. (2017). “Teaching Teamwork in Australian University Business Disciplines: Evidence from a Systematic Literature Review.” Issues in Educational Research. 27(1): 134-150. 2. Review learning materials relating to literature reviews Read, watch and complete any readings, videos or learning activities that have been provided to help you to complete your systematic literature review. 3. Generate search terms Develop a list of search terms (including different combinations of words) to use when completing your systematic search for literature. Make sure to keep a record of the searches you complete once you begin looking for literature to include. Remember that this process needs to be systematic and replicable. 4. Begin searching for articles Begin to search for literature using your search terms and the following inclusion and exclusion criteria below. Download all articles which seem relevant and store these in a folder on your computer (refer to the flowchart on page 137 of the Riebe et al. (2017) article for an example of the literature search and selection process). Inclusion and exclusion criteria a) Limit your search to the database ProQuest – available via the Library website. b) Limit your search to articles published between 2018 and 2020. If you cannot find relevant literature within this timeframe, you should expand your search backwards by one year at a time. c) Articles must be empirical, peer-reviewed and written in English. 5. Screen articles Scan the article titles and abstracts and discard those articles you deem irrelevant or unsuitable for your review. 6. Read and assess articles for suitability Read the remaining articles and exclude any additional articles that you find to be irrelevant or unsuitable for your review. Your final review should include at least ten articles in total. 7. Prepare a summary table Take extensive notes and prepare a summary table of the articles you have decided to include. See Table 1 on page 138 of Riebe et al. (2017) as an example. In addition to the categories included by Riebe et al. (2017), include columns for results/findings, argument and any other information you think will be useful. Information in the summary table should 6 be paraphrased wherever possible, with any direct quotes indicated with quotation marks and page numbers. Use the Chicago style for referencing where necessary. Note that this step will take time, so make sure to get started as soon as possible. If done well, a good summary table and notes will be invaluable when you are writing up your review, and later in the teaching period when you are analysing your data and writing the final report. 8. Write your systematic review You are now ready to write up your systematic literature review. Use your summary table to help you to write up a critical analysis of the articles you have chosen. The structure of your systematic literature review Your systematic literature review must contain the following: Introduction A succinct introduction which includes your project aim, objectives and research questions and outlines the purpose and focus of the review. Description of search process A clear description of the search process used to conduct your systematic review. Your search process should be clear and replicable. If appropriate, use diagrams to illustrate your search process. Critical analysis of the literature This section should be organised by themes (see Riebe et al. 2017 to see how this should be written). This should make up most of your word count. Do not discuss each article individually (this is not an annotated bibliography) but rather synthesise the literature by comparing and contrasting the different articles, critically assessing their content, interpreting meaning and implications and drawing conclusions. A literature review is more than just description. Implications and Conclusion A succinct conclusion which identifies gaps in the literature. Reference list Include full bibliographic detail of the articles you have included in your review. This is not included in your word count. Summary table A table containing information about the peer-reviewed papers that you include in your review. This can be placed in the appendix or in your review. The summary table is not included in your word count. See LMS for the Marking Guide for Systematic Literature Review. Resources to assist you in completing your systematic literature review Blumberg, B., Cooper, D. and Schindler, P. (2014). “Literature Review.” In Business Research Methods. 4 th ed. 88-119. London: McGraw-Hill Education. Creswell, J. (2014). “Review of Literature.” In Research Design. 4th ed. 25-50. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Jackson, P. (2015). “Reviewing the Literature.” In Management and Business Research. 5th ed. 13-44. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. 7 Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Jackson, P. (2015). “Writing up the Literature Review.” In Management and Business Research. 5th ed. 305-308. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Meriam Library (2010). Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test. Chico: California State University.
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