Overview of a Management Dissertation

Management dissertations are usually the climax of postgraduate studies.

It is used to test your capacity in:

1) identifying research area(s) and developing research objectives,

2) finding, organizing, and critically examining credible literature and secondary data,

3) generating a suitable research methodology,

4) analyzing obtained primary data and relating it to relevant literature, coming up with conclusions,

5) making recommendations, and

6) identifying areas for future research.

Notably, all dissertations are formal documents and they should therefore have to be presented in a particular manner.

Such presentation is facilitated by an appropriate dissertation structure

The dissertation writing process should accordingly seek to generate answers and explanations, while making comparisons that help arrive at generalizations that can be used to extend theory.

In so doing, it is important for you to understand the content of each part of the dissertation. The respective content is as discussed below.

a) Abstract

The abstract should be the last part to write.

As a summary of the dissertation research results, it should be brief but detailed.

It should provide the reader with an overview of the research results without having to go through the entire work.

The contents of the abstract should include:

1) Aims and objectives:  this entails all the key ideas, themes, or theory areas being studied.

2) Methodology: the methodology should focus on the processes followed in the realization of the study results.

3) Boundaries: this looks at the background and context of the dissertation. It also examines the areas of business aspects or theory being focused on.

4)  Results: the abstract should contain a summary of the study results. This includes the study’s main findings.

5) Conclusions: the conclusions examine your key summation point of the whole dissertation. The reader you understand what you resolved.

6) Recommendations: importantly, you should stipulate the solutions to the study problem you examined.

The abstract should contain your proposal as a solution to the research issues being studied.

b)  Introduction

The introduction is usually the first chapter of a business dissertation. It highlights the background for the study.

In this, it looks at three key areas that include: 1) context of the research study, 2) reasons for conducting the study, and 3) organization of the dissertation.

1) Context if the research study: this examines the circumstances within which the research was conducted, the significance of the issue under study, fundamental variables, key participants, and research aims and objectives.

2) Reasons for conducting the study: this looks at the purpose of the study, whether it is theoretical analysis or search for solutions to a business problem.

3) Organization of the dissertation: this involves clearly stipulating the topics and areas to be explored in the business dissertation.

By the reading the introduction, the reader should therefore be able to understand the foundations of the study, the parameters of the study, the anticipated results, and the processes used to arrive at the results.

c) Literature Review

Usually, literature review is the second chapter in a business dissertation.

It involves critically analyzing already existing bodies of knowledge in a particular area of study.

It is important to note that journal articles are the most suitable sources of such knowledge.

Per se, the literature review should be well developed to serve some important purposes that include:

1) Providing a context for your study: therein, the literature review should critically analyze published works to create a better understanding of the environment within which the study was carried out.

2) Demonstrating you understanding of existing knowledge: literature review at this level should be used to illustrate your understanding of specific topics and pertaining knowledge.

This includes the prevalent knowledge of theoretical and empirical gaps. 

3) Creating a measuring rod for evaluating your dissertation: the literature review plays an important role in the evaluation of what your work has achieved.

It helps readers determine the value you have added to existing knowledge as well as your ability to conduct research and write a good dissertation paper.

4) Developing a platform for testing study validity: particularly, you should use the literature review to build a framework within which the readers can examine the appropriateness of the research methodologies and processes used to obtain the study results.  

5) Illustrating an in-depth understanding of key variables: conducting a literature review in a topic area should seek to identify the various trends and variables exerting pressure on the issue(s) under study.

d) Methodology

This is usually the third chapter of a business dissertation and succinctly explains the processes employed in deriving the study results.

At the beginning, it should start by highlighting the study objectives.

There should be a clear explanation as to why one particular choice was made against the rest.

The reader must understand the philosophy behind the research processes adopted in the dissertation.

This requires you to justify every single decision made in the research process.

To realize this, there has to be lucid explanations of all the choices made.

The chapter should conclude with a summary of the key points.

e) Findings

This chapter presents the primary research results obtained from the study.

Data presented is usually quite voluminous, which requires a logical and coherent organization to ensure that it reflects a complete picture of what the study has unearthed.

Results presentation should pay attention to detail to enable the reader easily understand what is being presented and the relevance of the respective data.

It should include only the most important set of evidence with the relevant data illustrating all relevant methods, assumptions, and relationships.

The presentation should adopt such creative forms as pie-charts, diagrams, and graphs.

f) Discussion

Discussion entails the analysis of the data presented in the findings chapter.

This analysis should aim at providing answers for the management dissertation research questions.

In this chapter, you should begin by highlighting the study objectives and connect the literature review to the respective themes and frameworks and issues pertinent to the study.

Discussion is considered the core of the dissertation and should therefore be less descriptive and more analytical and critical.

You should strive to illustrate the key differences or similarities between the research data and the studies covered in the literature review.

g) Conclusions

This chapter should illustrate how the employed research plan facilitated the realization of results that are credible enough to act as evidence for the dissertation.

It should stipulate how the study objectives were achieved.

Per se, no new ideas or references should be introduced in this chapter. It should as well incorporate some suggestions on areas that might require further research.