Almost all higher educational institutions have built some kind of fieldwork project into the advanced stages of their programmes and the research project should integrate theory, practice, knowledge and skills.
Students should be able to apply their acquired knowledge and understanding in a manner that indicates a professional approach to their work or vocation, and have the ability to integrate knowledge and handle complexity, and formulate judgements with incomplete or limited information. It is important that they can communicate their conclusions and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously.
Business Research Projects offers the reader a comprehensive framework for going through the successive process steps of the fieldwork project. There is a logbook which provides for each of the ten steps a checklist enabling students to document the progress of their projects and communicate about the project with their coaches and supervisors.
Successful projects require specific process knowledge and skills:
• Recognition and description of an organisational problem.
• Design and organisation of a research project.
• Communication with people on different levels within the organisation.
• Interviewing, listening, negotiating, giving presentations, persuading people.
• Project management.
• Developing solutions in collaboration with people in the organisation.
• Implementation of accepted solutions.
Preface; About the authors; Part 1: Model of a Fieldwork Project - The field work project as a consulting process: Graduating and consultancy; Effective consulting; Ten-Step Plan (TSP); Chapter notes; The three main phases of the consulting process: Orientation phase; Research and solution phase; Implementation phase; Chapter notes; Part 2: The Ten-Step Plan - Preliminary step: Acquisition of a fieldwork project: List of action points; Step 1: External orientation: List of action points; Chapter notes; Exercises for Step 1; Step 2: The intake meeting: List of action points; Chapter notes; Exercises for Step 2; Step 3: Orientational interviews: Topics for discussion; Interview technique; List of action points; Chapter notes; Exercises for Step 3; Step 4: The analysis: Description of the processes; Differences of opinion; What should be the result of the feedback session?; Platform group; Further plan of action; Examples of fieldwork projects; Definite assignment formulation; List of action oints; Chapter notes; Exercises for Step 4; Step 5: Feedback/contracting: Organization of the feedback session; Contents of the feedback presentation; List of action points; Chapter notes; Exercises for Step 5; Step 6: Work planning and organization: Justification mode; Work planning and project organization; List of action points; Chapter notes; Exercises for Step 6; Step 7: In-depth research: Formulation of the research questions; Methods of collecting and analysing information; Analysis from the outside in; Coping with several common problems; List of action points; Chapter notes; Exercises for Step 7; Step 8: Solution plan: Reporting on the solution; Opposition; List of action points; Chapter notes; Exercises for Step 8; Step 9: Implementation: Implementation plan; Change organization; Selecting your own role; Risk factors; Intervention tools; 'Small steps' forward; Suggestions; List of action points; Chapter notes; Exercises for Step 9; Step 10: Conclusion and evaluation: Final report; Concluding interviews and evaluation of assignment; Your own evaluation; Chapter note; Exercises for Step 10; Part 3 - Divergent Scenarios - Alternative consultancy processes: Profile of the customer in the TSP approach; Conclusion; References; Index.