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Dissertation Topic Ideas


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Management Dissertation Topic Ideas

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its role in organisational sustainability

In accordance with the stakeholder theory, companies engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities to fulfil their duty to the society and environment (Terouhid and Ries, 2016:912). In turn, the shareholder theory implies that the only real obligation of any business is to make profit (Wang et al., 2016:534). Although CSR does not lead to profit maximisation, most profit-oriented enterprises still invest heavily in infrastructure and networks. This project attempts to identify the real purpose of CSR and its role in organisational sustainability relying on primary quantitative data collected from 100 managers of large multinational corporations. On the basis of the produced empirical findings, relevant recommendations on how to add to organisational sustainability through CSR are formulated.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Wang, H., Tong, L., Takeuchi, R. and George, G. (2016) ‘Corporate Social Responsibility: An Overview and New Research Directions’, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 59(2), pp. 534-544.

Terouhid, S.A. and Ries, R. (2016) ‘Organisational sustainability excellence of construction firms – a framework’, Journal of Modelling in Management, Vol. 11(4), pp. 911-931.

Workplace diversity management using corporate culture in the information technology (IT) industry

During the recent globalisation era, the issue of workforce diversity has become of strategic importance to firms that operate on an international level. Recent studies indicate that diversity strongly correlates with organisational performance (Ntongho, 2016:524). However, managing diversity in the workplace is a challenging task and organisational culture is considered as an effective tool that helps companies take advantage of diversity. This study assesses and compares the effect of two large UK-based information technology (IT) companies’ culture on the overall tolerance to employee diversity in the workplace. Using predominantly quantitative research techniques, this project analyses the results of 100 survey questionnaires delivered to the enterprises’ full-time and part-time employees.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Ntongho, R.A. (2016) ‘Culture and corporate governance convergence’, International Journal of Law and Management, Vol. 58(5), pp. 523-544.

Davis, P.J., Frolova, Y. and Callahan, W. (2016) ‘Workplace diversity management in Australia: What do managers think and what are organisations doing?’, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, Vol. 35(2), pp. 81-98.

Examining the critical success factors of construction projects in Nigeria

In accordance with Karna and Junnonen (2016:2092), more than a half of all construction projects fail to meet their schedule, budget and quality objectives. This dissertation attempts to identify the most important factors that influence project success in the construction industry in Nigeria. The analysis of the primary data gathered from 100 managers of large construction organisations has demonstrated that the lack of executive commitment, changing stakeholder requirements and raw material price fluctuations are among the main barriers to the successful delivery of construction projects in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Karna, S. and Junnonen, J.M. (2016) ‘Benchmarking construction industry, company and project performance by participants’ evaluation’, Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 23(7), pp. 2092-2108.

Rostami, A. and Oduoza, C.F. (2017) ‘Key risks in construction projects in Italy: contractors’ perspective’, Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 24(3), pp. 451-462.

The role of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation stimuli in employee performance in the hospitality industry

Employee motivation is considered as an important human resource management (HRM) construct, which explains individual behaviour in the workplace. From this perspective, companies should develop an effective HRM system in order to create powerful extrinsic and intrinsic motivation stimuli to ensure high levels of employee performance (Gkorezis and Kastritsi, 2017:101). Nevertheless, there is still no consensus on the role of these motives on employee performance in the hospitality industry. This study contributes to the existing HRM literature by collecting primary data from 100 hotel employees by means of self-administered questionnaires. In addition, 10 in-depth interviews with hotel managers were conducted to investigate the research issue from various standpoints.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Amin, M., Aldakhil, A.M., Wu, C., Rezaei, S. and Cobanoglu, C. (2017) ‘The structural relationship between TQM, employee satisfaction and hotel performance’, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 29(4), pp. 1256-1278.

Gkorezis, P. and Kastritsi, A. (2017) ‘Employee expectations and intrinsic motivation: work-related boredom as a mediator’, Employee Relations, Vol. 39(1), pp. 100-111.

The use of reward management as an employee retention tool in the retail sector

Reward management can be viewed as a set of policies and strategies designed to reward employees fairly for the value which they bring to their employer (Prouska et al., 2016:1259). Using the retail sector as a background, this project attempts to identify the degree to which financial and non-financial rewards influence a level of workers’ morale and willingness to stay with their current employer. For this purpose, primary quantitative data is gathered from 100 workers of large retailer chains in the UK. On the basis of the produced outcomes, this study concludes on whether the traditional model of reward implemented by large retailers is sufficient to effectively retain their employees.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Stumpf, S.A., Tymon, W.G., Ehr, R.J. and van Dam, N. (2016) ‘Leading to intrinsically reward professionals for sustained engagement’, Leadership & Organisation Development Journal, Vol. 37(4), pp. 467-486.

Prouska, R., Psychogios, A.G. and Rexhepi, Y. (2016) ‘Rewarding employees in turbulent economies for improved organisational performance: Exploring SMEs in the South-Eastern European region’, Personnel Review, Vol. 45(6), pp. 1259-1280.

The effect of empowerment on employee job satisfaction

With the growing complexity of the business environment, employees are continuously provided with a wider range of responsibilities and duties. In accordance with Lee et al. (2016:1), managers tend to give their subordinates the instruments and resources necessary to make independent decisions in the workplace. However, the effect of employee empowerment on workers’ satisfaction with their job remains under-researched. This study adds to the understanding of this issue by establishing the relationship between employee empowerment and job satisfaction in the context of the service industry. 100 workers of service organisations participated in this project by filling out a self-administered questionnaire. On the basis of the acquired knowledge, the researcher formulates a set of recommendations as how to achieve a higher level of job satisfaction in the service sector.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Lee, G., Kim, P.B. and Perdue, R.R. (2016) ‘A longitudinal analysis of an accelerating effect of empowerment on job satisfaction: Customer-contact vs. non-customer-contact workers’, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Vol. 57(1), pp. 1-8.

Kong, H., Sun, N. and Yan, Q. (2016) ‘New generation, psychological empowerment: can empowerment lead to career competencies and career satisfaction?’, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 28(11), pp. 2553-2569.

Marketing Dissertation Topic Ideas

The impact of social media on information search and post-purchase evaluation of alternatives

The emergence of social media has revolutionised the way in which consumers search for goods and services. Today, social media is actively used by market players to advertise their products and communicate with customers and potential purchasers (Varkaris and Neuhofer, 2017:102). However, little evidence is available on the link between social media and the process of information search and the evaluation of alternatives. This project attempts to bridge this gap by collecting primary data from 100 social media users who prefer making online purchases. Through interpreting the empirical results, the researcher formulates a set of recommendations as to how to use social media more effectively to stimulate consumer purchase intentions.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Varkaris, E. and Neuhofer, B. (2017) ‘The influence of social media on the consumers’ hotel decision journey’, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 8(1), pp. 101-118.

Song, S. and Yoo, M. (2016) ‘The role of social media during the pre-purchasing stage’, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 7(1), pp. 84-99.

The moderating role of culture in the relationship between celebrity endorsement and consumer purchasing behaviour

Celebrity endorsement is a popular form of marketing strategy, which involves celebrities and well-known persons to advertise a product or service. According to McCormick (2016:41), consumers who identify themselves with a celebrity used in an advertising campaign buy advertised goods and services more actively. At the same time, the role of culture in this relationship is still under-researched. This project investigates the moderating role of culture in the relationship between celebrity endorsement and consumer purchase intentions in the UK and China. Primary quantitative data is gathered from 100 British and 100 Chinese consumers and processed graphically and statistically. The analysis findings indicate that cultural characteristics have a strong impact on consumer behaviour in both cultural backgrounds.

Suggested initial topic reading:

McCormick, K. (2016) ‘Celebrity endorsements: Influence of a product-endorser match on Millennials attitudes and purchase intentions’, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol. 32(1), pp. 39-45.

Jain, V. and Roy, S. (2016) ‘Understanding meaning transfer in celebrity endorsements: a qualitative exploration’, Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, Vol. 19(3), pp. 266-286.

Consumer loyalty in the retail industry: A case study of Sainsbury’s

This dissertation examines how large retailers build their customers’ brand loyalty at the example of Sainsbury’s, one of the largest chains of supermarkets in the UK (Murray et al., 2017:148). By collecting and analysing primary quantitative data from 100 Sainsbury’s customers, this study demonstrates that large retailers can significantly add to their customers’ brand loyalty through better customer experience, reward programmes and loyalty schemes. Practical recommendations as how to use these marketing instruments more effectively are formulated in the conclusion.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Dwivedi, A. and Merrilees, B. (2016) ‘Holistic consumer evaluation of retail corporate brands and impact on consumer loyalty intentions’, Australasian Marketing Journal, Vol. 24(1), pp. 69-78.

Murray, J., Elms, J. and Teller, C. (2017) ‘Examining the role of store design on consumers’ cross-sectional perceptions of retail brand loyalty’, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol. 38(1), pp. 147-156.

Leadership Dissertation Topic Ideas

Transactional and transformational leadership styles in the context of organisational change

The leader is a person who is capable of managing an organisation as well as the process of organisational change effectively and successfully (Feng et al., 2016:855). However, considering numerous leadership styles and approaches, the extent to which leaders can successfully manage organisational change varies (Luo et al., 2016:242). This project investigates the impact of two leadership styles, namely transactional and transformational on the extent to which the company can successfully complete the change implementation process. For this purpose, primary qualitative data is collected from large multinational companies’ managers and leaders and processed using content analysis methods. Based on the empirical findings, the researcher formulates a number of recommendations as how to better manage change using both leadership styles.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Feng, C., Huang, X. and Zhang, L. (2016) ‘A multilevel study of transformational leadership, dual organisational change and innovative behaviour in groups’, Journal of Organisational Change Management, Vol. 29(6), pp. 855-877.

Luo, W., Song, L.J., Gebert, D.R., Zhang, K. and Feng, Y. (2016) ‘How does leader communication style promote employees’ commitment at times of change?’, Journal of Organisational Change Management, Vol. 29(2), pp.242-262.

The relationship between leadership and employee motivation in the service industry

Employees have recently become one of the most important resources that lead to the development and maintenance of a competitive advantage (Akram et al., 2016:154). That is why the issue of employee motivation should be given close attention by both leaders and managers. This project attempts to establish the relationship between various leadership styles (i.e. transactional, transformational, autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire) and employee motivation in 10 service companies. 100 workers within these firms were surveyed to gather primary quantitative data and the analysis outcomes suggest that some leadership styles are more effective in generating employee motivation than others. On the basis of these findings, a set of recommendations is given to the organisations as how to improve their existing employee motivation rates.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Law, C.C. (2016) ‘Using bonus and awards for motivating project employees’, Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 24(7), pp. 4-7.

Akram, T., Lei, S. and Haider, M.J. (2016) ‘The impact of relational leadership on employee innovative work behaviour in IT industry of China’, Arab Economic and Business Journal, Vol. 11(2), pp. 153-161.

Gender differences in leadership and their effect on organisational performance

There has been a long debate about whether male leaders are more effective compared to female leaders. For instance, Ng et al. (2016:11) argued that males were more effective leaders since they were able to take faster strategic decisions and respond more promptly to external pressures. At the same time, Eagly and Heilman (2016:350) indicated that the gender advantage theory offered a simplistic and stereotypical view, which ignored the significance of contextual contingences. This project attempts to shed light on this issue by examining the extent to which gender differences impact leadership effectiveness and organisational performance in five large multinational corporations. The methodology relies on primary and secondary data collected from 10 male and female leaders and the companies’ financial reports, respectively.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Eagly, A.H. and Heilman, M.E. (2016) ‘Gender and leadership: Introduction to the special issue’, The Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 3(27), pp. 349-353.

Ng, T.W., Lam, S.S. and Feldman, D.C. (2016) ‘Organisational citizenship behaviour and counterproductive work behaviour: Do males and females differ?’, Journal of Vocational Behaviour, Vol. 93(1), pp. 11-32.

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