RSCH5500 JWU Marketing Research Paper An Unlikely Story Bookstore and Café in Plainville, MA (www.anunlikelystory.com/) has, traditionally, done modest advertising and promotions through the local newspaper (The Sun Chronicle).However, they have the impression that newspaper readership is declining and that the trend in advertising is shifting toward the Internet.Realizing that they are a small business, and this trend may not apply, they are interested in learning whether Internet based adverting would be effective for them, or whether they should stay with traditional newspaper advertising.What can you tell them? Term Project Rubric
Business Information & Decision Making
The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate your understanding of the
various sources of information business decision makers should use when evaluating
options (courses-of-action) for mid- to long-term decisions. As discussed in class
throughout the term, information can come from a variety of primary and secondary sources.
Primary information is typically collected and used for the purpose of the instant decision, while
secondary information comes from other sources – and is used for a variety of decisions and
Each student will be assigned a typical business research question/scenario and expected to provide
a description of the sources of information they would use to address the issue.
The project will have two parts. The first will be an examination of the known material (e.g., past
research) relating to the subject. The second will be the development of primary research to address
in the information gap(s) that relate to the specific problem situation.
The first thing you must do is formulate your research problem as best you can (the original
problem statement may be vague, if so seek clarification). Then identify the information you would
need to answer the question; that is, don’t answer the question, but rather, identify the
information/knowledge that would help you to answer the question. Once that list is complete, you
should identify sources of that information. If you try to identify the sources first, you usually end
up answering the wrong question (committing an “error of the third kind.”).
Note: both parts of the project will be subjected to TurnItIn (see turnitin.com). Details will follow.
Part I – Annotated Bibliography (20% of course grade, due session #5)
This part of the assignment will consist of an annotated literature review.
Sources should include published empirical research relating to the subject (e.g., peer reviewed
academic articles), trade journal articles, industry reports, government reports, and/or third party
information sources (e.g., Hoover’s online). If sources with known bias are used (e.g., company
websites), the bias must noted and the source be properly counter-balanced with other perspectives
providing an alternative view.
I. Introduction: An explanation of the decision to be made (or problem solved or issue
addressed). A description of the intended consequences of the process.
II. Source List: A description of the sources of information that will be utilized in reaching the
decision. (See below)
III. Conclusion: A summary that ties together the sources of information to demonstrate a
comprehensive covering of the relevant information. As part of the conclusion, a more
formalized and specific problem statement will be developed, along with a testable
A minimum of eight sources will be researched and described. (Note: while the use of press
releases and news media summaries is permitted, they will not count toward the required
For each source, you will need to demonstrate the relevance of the material to the decision to be
made. That is, you should determine how “credible”— think pyramid of evidence — the source
is as it relates to the problem. If the source reports on primary research (e.g., an empirical
study), then you will need to describe/summarize that research and provide an assessment of its
results – including an evaluation of the conclusions. For all secondary sources, you should
identify any sources of “bias” and report on how the bias may affect the conclusions.
I will evaluate each source (and your description of it) individually as to its relevance to the
decision to be made (and your formulation of the decision to be made). That is, it will be
evaluated as to what information it provides that will enable an informed decision to be made.
I will evaluate the collective body of sources to the extent that they, as a group, are likely to
provide the necessary information to make an informed decision.
Reports for both MBA programs and employers must be error free. They must be written using
complete sentences, appropriate paragraph structure, and include properly spelled words.
The paper must be written in a professional style: third person (no “I” or “we”) and reflect an
unbiased perspective. The document must have a logical flow. In this case, the sources should
be presented in an order that builds an argument. The conclusion should “connect the dots.”
The sources shall be properly referenced using APA format (see: public folders/Providence
Campus/The Graduate School/APA Basic Manual for a brief description of the required citation
See the following sites for descriptions and examples of annotated bibliographies:
Part II – Research Design (20% of course grade, due session #10)
This part of the assignment will consist of a description of primary, applied/empirical, research (e.g.
customer or potential customer surveys) to address the specific information requirements of the
situation. This is a description of “applied” research to be conducted to provide knowledge that
will assist in the decision making for your assigned problem.
You will describe: 1) the specific information to be collected (i.e., the variable(s) to be measured),
2) the relevance of the information to the decision process, and 3) the methodology by which the
information will be collected (the research design). The methodology is where the researcher
identifies the specific steps that will be taken to collect the information needed to answer the
The design of an unbiased research methodology is the focus of the second part of this course. It is
imperative that you understand, and can control, the potential sources of bias in a study.
An explanation of the decision to be made (or problem solved or issue addressed). An
explanation as to what information will be generated and how that information would be used
to assist in the decision process for the problem assigned. This section should provide a clear
description of the concepts to be studied and the variables that will be measured.
II. Research Plan
A description of the methodology/research plan. (See below)
A summary that ties together the sources of information (From both Part I and Part II of this
term assignment) to demonstrate a comprehensive covering of the relevant information. Note:
the conclusion of the paper cannot, for obvious reasons, present the results of your proposed
research. But it should present a summary of how the information to be gained will inform
the decision to be made.
Identify the type of research to be conducted: exploratory, descriptive and/or causal/experimental
(and your logic for your decision).
The research design will:
a) Define the nature of the information to be collected,
b) Identify the population of interest, the sampling frame, and the sample from which the data
will be collected,
c) Describe the instrument (e.g., questionnaire) to be used to collect the information –
including scales to be used,
d) Outline the fielding technique (the data collection method for administering the
questionnaire, incentives, etc.), and
e) Explicitly state any known shortcomings of the research design.
When causal/experimental studies are proposed, this section should also define the experimental
design to be used to control threats to internal and external validity. For complex hypotheses, this
section will also include a description of the method by which subjects will be assigned to the
various experimental and control groups.
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