importance of research approach

Important Tip for preparation of Research and Analysis Project (RAP) -Understanding the importance of the overall research approach

Students can get confused by the requirement to “explain the general research approach” that is outlined in the guideline for preparing the RAP. A proposed explanation that the research is the “framework… developed in order to meet the project objectives and provide answers to the research questions”, does not satisfy the student’s expectations. What is this, what does it mean, and why it’s importance?

A good explanation can be: the base structure which shapes and guides the student’s Research Report. This provides the link between the goal that the student is trying to find out and an outline to the methods the student has used to give the necessary answers. This sets a series of parts that are important to the research process, and the ones related to the RAP are noted below:

  1. The original problem or issue that is defined by the topic the student  selects in the context of the selected company.
  2. The specific research questions and report objectives which the student sets or proposes, to answer or meet.
  3. Review of literature relevant to the concepts/theories/models in accounting and business in order to determine which the student will use, identification of their limitations, and develop the understanding of the issues in the context of the selected company.
  4. Methods of gathering information the student will use including a discussion of the limitations of the information gathering process, and any ethical issues arising and how their resolution.
  5. The analysis and evaluation the student conducts based on the business/accounting techniques etc. applied in providing answers to the proposed research questions and meeting the report objectives.
  6. Conclusions and all (if any) relevant recommendations of practical benefit that have come out from the performed research.

Even though the above explanation makes the research process to look like an orderly and sequential, it is not so much in practice. In reality this process is tangled, disorganised and messy. It is still very helpful for the student to set a plan of action before proceeding with the actual research.

Every student should write a short statement that will outline the selected approach before the actual information gathering begins, or in the list above this is between stages c. and d. After this, the student should ask the following questions:

  • Will this approach enable me to answer the research questions and meet the report objectives I have set?
  • If not, do I need to gather more information from a wider range of secondary sources, or conduct some primary research, or both?
  • Or do I need to review and revise my research questions or project report objectives?
  • After the student has ensured themselves that they are familiar with all the important facts about research, only then they should proceed with the investigation and information gathering process. The clear way of consideration of the general research approach and the layout of a statement based on that act as guides during the whole research process, and influence on the structure of the student’s actions and deeds.

The layout of a clear statement about the general research approach enables the examiner to note that the student has in fact adopted a systematic approach that is appropriate and helpful for reaching the set objectives.

Click here for detail about complete guidance of Research and Analysis Project

Important Links

Click here to access Registration Form.