Thesis Outline

Building theory by measuring Reality, one variable at a time.

Ch. 01

Introduction

Ch. 02

Literature Review

Ch. 03

Research Design, Data, Methods, and Limitations
+
Research Instruments

Ch. 04

Results & Discussion

Ch. 05

Conclusion

References

& Appendices

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”

– Lewis Carroll

The thesis template (MS WORD) that you received in this course and this thesis outline are a kind of map and your conceptual framework is a kind of compass. You need a map and a compass in order to follow the “critical path” of your Master Thesis Research Project and complete a high quality thesis in the allotted eight months.

A note of encouragement: If you follow the outline below, your thesis will naturally exceed the minimum 50 page requirement established by the Graduate School and and a higher caliber of quality [i.e. at a global standard of thesis quality] will be “baked” into your thesis.

I. CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION

1. Introduction

Directions: Please provide a brief overview of your study in this section. Please write using the first person/active voice. Please use “align left” not “justified.”

The first sentence of your thesis should be exactly like this: “This thesis is about [Y].” [Y refers to your Dependent Variable at the Theory Level]. The second sentence should outline what your thesis seeks to explore or establish. For example, “This thesis seeks to explore whether there is a relationship among [insert your variables of interest here].” In one or two sentences, explain why investigating this relationship is important.

The second paragraph is for identifying your Dependent Variable (construct), locating it within a larger body of academic research (with references) with an emphasis on how other researchers define it, select one researcher’s definition (if you are using validated, published scales to measure your variables of interest, then you should use the same definition that the author of your scales used) and quote it. If the validated scales you are using also measure factors or dimensions, you can briefly name and describe those dimensions here. You should “ground” your Dependent Variable (construct) in the same theory that the scale authors used. Grounding a variable in theory means that you are providing a theoretical justification and boundaries for what the variable is representing. Since robust theory is stronger than opinion or gut instinct, grounding a variable in theory gives it extra credibility. (This means that you need to include the name of the theory in which you are grounding your Dependent Variable (construct), describe what the theory explains and/or predicts, and provide a reference 1) to the scale (again) and 2) to the article about the theory that the scale creators referenced).

The next paragraph is for identifying your Independent Variable (construct). Basically, you need to follow the same structure and approach as described in the paragraph above.

If you have more than one Independent Variable, then repeat the process described above for each of your Independent Variables.

Finally, this section needs some variation on the theme of: “To address the research question and test the hypothesis/hypotheses, this study draws data from a sample of _________.

[At this point, the reader knows that you have all the elements for an academic study. He or she is motivated to continue reading].

Transition to the next section.

1.1 Model (Theory Level)

[Insert Figure A. Model (Theory Level) for this study about here.]

A Model is a Conceptual Framework that has been “grounded” in Theory and “generalized” and otherwise made fit for academic research purposes: Refining, Extending, or Building Theory. The Model explains visually what constructs [variables] you are interested in measuring and then analyzing as part of your study. It also makes visible (i.e. visualizes) your research question: Is there a relationship between X and Y?

A Model (Theory Level) uses constructs [variables] and theories that are commonly found in academic journal articles.

If you are new to management research, then I strongly suggest you skip over 1.1 Model (Theory Level) and work on 1.2 Conceptual Framework (Phenomenological/Operational Level) first. Once we understand your Conceptual Framework correctly, then we can ground it in Theory together.

1.2 Conceptual Framework (Phenomenological Level)

The Conceptual Framework is like a compass and this outline is like a map: You need both to complete the journey! Without a Conceptual Framework, it is very difficult for me — or any professor — to give you meaningful feedback….

[Insert Figure B. Conceptual Framework (Phenomenological Level) for this study about here.]

The Conceptual Framework explains visually what you are interested in measuring and then analyzing as part of your study.

In quantitative research, the fundamental building blocks of Conceptual Frameworks are called Variables.

In most quantitative studies there must be at least one Independent Variable and one Dependent Variable.

Most students in this Lab are professionals on academic leave for one year. They frequently start the program with an idea of what they want to study. Specifically, they often want to study a problem that they observed in the “real world” of work. In this Lab, we refer to the “real world” as the Phenomenological Level or as the Empirical Level or as “on the court” (as in where all the action and middle manager leadership happen at work).

Frequently, students know the problem that they want to study really well, but they struggle to explain it in words that academics can understand. However, if you can draw what you would like to study in the language of independent and dependent variables assembled into a Conceptual Framework at the Phenomenological/Empirical Level, then together we can connect your ideas to a very similar-looking Model at the Theory Level.

My students and I have found that this dualistic approach (i.e. Model – Theory Level & Conceptual Framework – Phenomenological Level) to research projects designed and implemented in this lab helps ensure that you will be better positioned to conduct a proper academic literature review, operationalize the variables in your conceptual framework, and make a contribution to both theory and practice.

1.3 Statement of the Research Problem

“A research problem is the problem or issue that leads to the need for the study.”

– Creswell & Creswell

Sources of Research Problems:
• A workplace or personal life experience that caught the researcher’s attention;
🠐 most graduate students who are on academic leave (and will return to their employer upon graduation) identify a research problem first encountered in their workplace. Alternatively, pre-career and very early-career graduate students who intend to pursue a career in management will tend to ask practicing managers to help them identify a Research Problem in their workplace.
• An ongoing debate in a stream of research literature (i.e. academic journals);
🠐 most graduate students with limited professional work experience AND with plans to pursue a career in academia identify a research problem in the literature.
• Policy debates in government and/or business.

1.3.1 Statement of the Research Problem at the Theory Level
1.3.2 Statement of the Research Problem at the Phenomenological Level

1.4 Studies that have addressed the problem

This paragraph “should summarize large groups of academic studies.”

Different from the Literature Review in Chapter 2, the purpose of including this paragraph(s) in Chapter 1 is

a) “to justify the importance of the study, and”
b) “to create distinctions between past studies and this study.” – Creswell & Creswell

1.4.1 Studies that justify the importance of this study
1.4.2 Distinctions between past studies and this study

1.5 Deficiencies in prior studies

Deficiencies are usually things like “methodological flaws or missing variables or missing topics in previous studies.”

Creswell & Creswell

In this section, it is important to identify the deficiencies (or gaps) in prior studies.
Gaps might include one or more of the following:

  • An important topic that has not yet been studied in a certain geographic setting or with a certain population.
  • The realization that a previously published article used a research method that was somehow inappropriate for the study.
  • Too few studies on a particular topic.
  • A failure to replicate prior research results.
  • A lack of recent research.
  • A sub-topic(s) that could be researched, but thus far have not been researched based on your review of the literature.

Finally, you should note how your research is intended to address some gap (i.e. some deficiency) in the literature.

1.5.1 Deficiency #1
1.5.2 Deficiency #2
1.5.3 Deficiency #X
1.5.4 How this study addresses one or more of these deficiencies

1.6 Purpose Statement – The purpose of the research

This paragraph is the most important in the research proposal. It should clearly state “WHY you want to do the study and WHAT you hope to accomplish.”

1.7 Significance of the study

1.7.1 How this study contributes to the body of scholarly research on this topic
1.7.2 How this study contributes to management practice 
1.7.3 How this study contributes to policymaking

1.8 Research Questions

Research questions serve to narrow and focus the Purpose of the study. Your thesis must have a minimum of 1 Research Question.

1.8.1 RQ#1
1.8.2 RQ#2
1.8.X RQ#X

1.9 Hypotheses

If you only have one hypothesis, please state the null hypothesis and the corresponding alternative hypothesis that you intend to test in this thesis.

Note: Hypotheses are tested through the collection and analysis of data as specified in your Research Design and Research Methods (Chapter Three).

Next, please fill in the table below.

[Note: If you did not include your hypotheses in your Model and Conceptual Framework earlier in this Chapter, please update them now.]

Research QuestionsHypothesesMethodsExpected Results & Key FindingsProspective Recommendations
RQ1.H1.
RQ2.H2.
RQX.HX.
Table 1. Summary of Proposed Research Questions, Hypotheses, Methods, Expected Results & Key Findings, and Prospective Recommendations. [Summarizing your study using this table has a focusing effect on your research project, helping you to “detect signal” and “filter noise.”]

1.10 Conclusion and Thesis Outline


II. CHAPTER TWO – LITERATURE REVIEW

2. Introduction

2.1 Definition of Terms

2.1.1 Definition of Key Variables (i.e. Constructs in Model & Variables in Conceptual Framework) [in Table format]

Note: The table below has been calibrated for use in research projects that use a survey questionnaire (ideally made with validated scales) to collect data on one Dependent Variable and one Independent Variable. If your research project has more than two variables, then your table will be different than the one blow. The key point is that you need to define every variable in your Conceptual Framework in a way that maps to your Model, and the way that you intend to measure your variables needs to be specified.

In any research project that collects data using validated scales, the ① Key Variables must be defined in a way that the reader can understand that the ⑤ Operational Level (Variable) Measurement Items are, in fact, measuring the ④ Phenomenological Level Variables as intended – sometimes early career researchers select validated scales that were designed to measure something other than the target variable in their conceptual framework – AND in a way that easily maps to the ③ Theory Level Constructs.

Moreover, the definition for each Theory Level Construct will ideally be the same definition that was used when creating the relevant validated scales, and the definition of each Phenomenological Level Variable will be a “copy-paste-adaptation” of the relevant Theory Level Construct definition. If the Measurement Items, Variable Definitions, and Construct Definitions are all tightly “mapped and aligned,” then it becomes easier to generalize statistically significant results from the Phenomenological/Empirical Level to the Theory Level.

Additionally, if your study uses categorical variables (for example, “Low” and “High”), then you need to develop ② Categorizations. This means that each Category must be defined in a way that can be mapped logically to the outcomes of the process of transforming the data you collect (i.e. your observations) into data that are fit for purpose vis-à-vis statistical analysis.” For example, “Low” is often transformed into “0” while “High” is often transformed into “1.” So, “0” and “1” are the outcomes from data transformation, but the author also needs to provide definitions that explain the “meaning” of each category.

– SMH

2.2 Background [of the Problem]

2.2.1 Background of the Problem at the Theory Level
2.2.2 Background of the Problem at the Phenomenological Level

(Note: You specified the Problem in Chapter 1. This subsection is your opportunity to explain to the reader the Background – or Context – of the Problem. A compelling Background will help the reader to stay interested in your work).

2.3 Literature Review

In a thesis, a literature review is an objective, critical summary of published academic articles relevant to a topic under consideration for research. Its purpose is to create familiarity with current thinking and research on a particular topic, and may justify future research into a previously overlooked or understudied area. A literature review focuses on academic journal articles, not books. You should search for the articles using scholar.google.com

Introduction [of academic literature review] – Use this paragraph to explain your approach to conducting your literature review. (Note: If you read enough academic articles that are literature reviews, you will understand what this means). Note: You will find more high-quality academic articles that pertain to the Theory Level of your study. Many students review articles at the Theory Level and the Phenomenological Level.


2.3.1 Theme 1 – This is a discrete area of research related to your topic.
2.3.2 Theme 2 – This is a discrete area of research related to your topic.
2.3.3 Theme 3 – This is a discrete area of research related to your topic. 
2.3.X Theme X – This is a discrete area of research related to your topic. 

2.4 Conclusion [of Chapter Two]

Summarize and synthesize the main issues/themes related to your topic area and research questions as identified in the academic literature.


III. CHAPTER THREE – RESEARCH DESIGN, DATA, METHODS, and LIMITATIONS

3. Introduction

3.1 Overview of Research Design & Research Methods

3.1.1 Research Design and Research Methods

Research Design refers to the strategy for conducting the study. Please include a diagram (figure) and a general description of your research design.

Typical Research Designs in this lab include:

  • QUANTITATIVE. Correlational with a Deductive Hypothesis Testing Approach. (e.g. large sample survey research using validated scales or indices, proprietary database analysis, etc.) 🠐 Most graduate students in this lab take this approach.
  • QUANTITATIVE. Semi-experimental (quasi-experiment, field experiment, etc.)
  • QUALITATIVE. Descriptive with an Inductive Model Building Approach. (e.g. case study, interview, simple survey, etc.)

Research Methods refer to the tactics and processes used to accomplish the study by collecting and analyzing data. Please include a process diagram and a general description of your research methods.

For a nice explanation of Strategy and Tactics, click here.

3.1.2 Variables

List the independent and dependent variables. If any of your variables are multidimensional then please also list the factors (or dimensions) that “load” onto the relevant variable.

If you are collecting data using a survey questionnaire with validated scales, then you need to provide a table that lists Variable Name, Factors (if any), Items on the Survey Instrument, Directions/Question Stem, and Scale Responses. Please see the example below.

Table X. Measuring the Key Variables in the Study with Previously Published [and Validated] Scales
Variable NameFactorsItems on Survey Instrument
Dependent Variable:


Directions/Question Stem:
[Example Text:] Please select the answer that most accurately indicates your level of agreement or disagreement with each statement.

Scale Responses (example)
1 = strongly disagree;
2 = disagree;
3 = neither agree nor disagree;
4 = agree;
5 = strongly agree.

If the variable is multidimensional (i.e. if it has factors) then list the factors here. If the variable is unidimensional, then you can leave this space blank.List the survey items here. (A “survey item” is a question that a respondent reads and then selects an answer).

Provide the reference for the academic article in which the survey items were published. (Author, Year).
Variable NameFactorsItems on Survey Instrument
Independent Variable:


Directions/Question Stem:
[Example Text:] Please select the answer that most accurately indicates your level of agreement or disagreement with each statement.

Scale Responses (example)
1 = strongly disagree;
2 = disagree;
3 = neither agree nor disagree;
4 = agree;
5 = strongly agree.
If the variable is multidimensional (i.e. if it has factors) then list the factors here. If the variable is unidimensional, then you can leave this space blank.List the survey items here. (A “survey item” is a question that a respondent reads and then selects an answer).

Provide the reference for the academic article in which the survey items were published. (Author, Year).
3.1.2.1 Operationalizing the Independent Variable(s)

Please explain in detail how you are operationalizing your Independent Variable. An operationalization is a formula, or recipe, or algorithm that explains how the Variables in the Conceptual Framework will be measured systematically in the study and then how the measurement data will be transformed for the purpose of analysis. For example, if your Independent Variable is categorical (e.g. “Low” and “High”) and you collect data that are not specifically “Low” and “High,” then you need to operationalize the data systematically so that your measurements are transformed into “Low” or “High” respectively and then given a numerical value. (Note: If you are using “low” and “High,” “Low” usually is assigned a value of “0” and “High” usually is assigned a value of “1.” You should provide enough detail that another researcher could replicate your study.

3.1.2.2 Operationalizing the Dependent Variable

Please explain in detail how you are operationalizing your Dependent Variable. You should provide enough detail that another researcher could replicate your study.

3.1.3 Internal & External Validity

Internal Validity = Do the Independent Variables actually affect the Dependent Variable? Or are some other factors affecting the Dependent Variable?

External Validity = Are the findings generalizable beyond the population under study?

3.2 Sample, Population, or Subjects. 

(When human subjects are involved in the study please describe your participants without revealing their identity unless they gave you written permission to identify them in your thesis.)

3.2.1 Institutional Review Board

Please indicate whether Institutional Review Board approvals were required.

(Note: Currently, in Japan, most management studies led by graduate students are exempt from IRB review).

3.2.2 Demographics

Describe participants in the aggregate (i.e. preserve anonymity) with enough detail that readers can make appropriate inferences.

3.2.3 Sampling Procedure

If you intend to use sampling as part of your data collection methods, please describe your methods for sample selection in detail. For example, if a sample of convenience is used, this should be explicitly stated. Specific inclusion and exclusion criteria should also be noted in this section.


3.2.4 Response Rate

If a survey is used, please report the rate of return in this section.

3.3 Measures

3.3.1 Unit of Analysis

The unit of analysis describes the level at which you are conducting your study. According to Michael Harris, “one of the best ways to help identify your unit of analysis is to think about what you want to make recommendations about when you finish your thesis.

If you are using a survey, it is helpful to define your unit of analysis before you make your survey so that you are clear in your own mind that what you are measuring with your survey is what you need to measure to successfully complete your study.

Typical units of analysis include, but are not limited to, individual, group, organizations, social phenomena, and policies/values/principles.”

3.3.2 Unit of Observation

Contrastively, “a unit of observation is the level at which you are collecting data. For example, you might collect data from individuals (such as through interviews), groups (such as observing a class), or documents. Sometimes the unit of analysis and the unit of observation are the same. But, sometimes they are not the same. For example, “you could study student preparation for final exams by interviewing students in which the unit of analysis is the department and the unit of observation is the individual.”

3.3.3 Research Instruments

Research Instruments are the tools that you develop so that you can collect data for your study. It takes a long time and multiple attempts to develop valid and reliable research instruments.

3.3.3.1 Survey Instrument

If you have developed a survey instrument with which to collect data, then please describe the survey instrument and its development process in detail. Please provide a copy of the survey instrument as an Appendix.

3.3.3.2 Interview Protocol

If you have developed an interview protocol with which to collect data, then please describe the interview protocol and its development in detail. Please provide a copy of the interview protocol as an Appendix.

3.3.3.3 Proprietary Database

If you have developed a proprietary database from publicly available sources of information, then please describe the database and its development in detail. Please provide a sample of your database as an Appendix.

3.3.4 Procedures and Timeline

Please describe the procedures you used to collect data. The procedures should be described in sufficient detail that a reader could replicate the study if so desired.

3.4 Data Analysis Plan

This is a two or three-page section that effectively and efficiently communicates how you intend to collect, clean, transform and then analyze your data.

3.4.1 Data Sources and Planned Analytical Techniques for Each Hypothesis

Please fill out the Data Analysis Plan At-A-Glance table below.

Research QuestionsHypothesesMethodsData Sources and Planned Analytical TechniquesExpected Results & Key FindingsProspective Recommendations

[Note: The only difference in Table 1 and Table 3 is the addition of a column named “Data Sources and Planned Analytical Techniques.”]

Please describe the source of data and the analytical technique you plan to use to test each hypothesis.

3.5 Ethics and Limitations

Outline the ethical considerations of the research and any [potential] problems and limitations (weaknesses), as well as any [anticipated or actual] threats to the validity of the results.

3.6 Conclusion [of Chapter Three]

Summarize what you did in Chapter Three.

References [WIP]

Please format your references using APA guidelines. At the conclusion of Thesis 1(B), please move the References so they appear after Chapter Five.

Appendices [WIP]

Each Research Instrument is a separate Appendix. At the conclusion of Thesis 1(B), please move these Appendices so they appear after the References.


STOP!

Please Defend Your Thesis Proposal (i.e. the first three chapters + Research Instrument(s) + References [WIP] + Appendices [WIP]) and Get Your Professor’s Approval Before Proceeding to the Data Collection Stage.


IV. CHAPTER FOUR – RESULTS & DISCUSSION

This chapter presents the results of the analysis of the data you have collected for your study. Typically, results are presented in the order of the research questions (i.e. RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, etc.)

Note: The outline below assumes that you have taken a mixed-methods approach for your research design and, to collect data, you first conducted interviews and later you administered a survey. Your research design may be different; if it is different, the order of your chapter outline will change as needed.]

4. Introduction

4.1 RQ1/H1 Results & Findings [Assume Interviews – Qualitative]

4.1.1 Profiles of the Participants

Note: Please do not reveal their identities unless they gave you written permission.

4.1.2 Results
4.1.3 Key Findings

Please connect these key findings to the appropriate research question(s).

If the Key Findings for RQ1/H1 require you to update your Conceptual Framework from Chapter Three, please do so and insert the updated Conceptual Framework here.

4.2 RQ2 Results & Findings [Assume Survey – Quantitative]

4.2.1 Profile of Respondents

Note: Please do not reveal their identities unless they gave you written permission.

4.2.2 Descriptive Statistics
4.2.3 Statistical Analyses Results
4.2.4 Key Findings

Please connect these key findings to the appropriate research question(s).

If the Key Findings for RQ2/H2 require you to update your Conceptual Framework from above, then please do so and insert the updated Conceptual Framework here. (The goal is to show the Conceptual Framework evolving as you create new knowledge with your study results).

4.X RQX Results & Findings [Assume Proprietary Database – Quantitative]

4.X.1 Data Coding, Analysis, and Interpretation
4.X.2 Descriptive Statistics
4.X.3 Statistical Analyses Results
4.X.4 Key Findings

Please connect these key findings to the appropriate research question(s).

If the Key Findings for RQX/HX require you to update your Conceptual Framework from above, then please do so and insert the updated Conceptual Framework here. (The goal is to show the Conceptual Framework evolving as you create new knowledge with your study results).

4.4 Conclusion [of Chapter Four]

Summarize the findings for each research question.

Research QuestionsHypothesesSupported? (Yes/No)MethodsData Sources & Analytical TechniquesResults & Key FindingsRecommendations
RQ1.H1.
RQ2.H2.
RQX.HX.
Table 4. Results At-A-Glance

V. CHAPTER FIVE – CONCLUSION

5. Introduction


5.1 Summary & Limitations of the Study


5.1.1 Summarize the study and the results from Chapter 4 briefly.

5.1.2 Discuss the results in non-statistical, easy to understand terms.


5.1.2.1a If you did a deductive study, please provide a figure that shows, side-by-side, the Conceptual Framework (or Model) from Chapter 01 and the final updated version of your Conceptual Framework (based on the results you obtained).
5.1.2.1b If you did an 
inductive study, please provide a figure that shows, side-by-side, the Conceptual Framework (or Model) from Chapter 01 and the final updated version of your Conceptual Framework (based on the results you obtained). Please use your results to generate Propositions which can be converted to testable Hypotheses in future research. Please add these Propositions to your updated version of your Conceptual Framework.

5.1.3 Limitations

Describe any limitations to your study. For example, was your sample size small?


5.2 Discussion 

Discuss the implications of your results. [Were the results you obtained the results you expected to obtain?


5.2.1 Contributions to Research

How does this study contribute to the body of scholarly research on this topic? Do the results support existing theory or received wisdom? Can the results be connected to the literature you reviewed?

5.2.2 Contributions to Management Practice

How does this study contribute to management practice? 

Note: This is where you finally get to be a consultant. But, please remember, academic research is very conservative in the sense that you can only make claims based on evidence. The data that you collected have a story to tell, and you get to help the data tell their story. But, you cannot make claims beyond what the data support and you have to be mindful of the limitations of your study while you are helping the data to tell their story.

5.2.3 Contributions to Policymaking

How does this study contribute to policymaking?

5.3 Future Research

Offer suggestions and recommendations for future research.

5.4 Conclusion [of Chapter Five… and the thesis.]


References (APA formatting)

APPENDICES

• Copy of Validated Survey Instrument(s) and/or Interview Protocol(s) to be used in the Data Collection Stage. (Note: This only applies if you are conducting a study that makes use of a Survey Instrument and/or an Interview Protocol).

THESIS FORMAT

  1. Paper: A4 (single-sided printing)
  2. Length: about 50 pages (or 15,000 words) or more, not including front matter and any appendices.
  3. Font: Times New Roman, 12 point
  4. Spacing: double-spaced (or about 25 lines per page)
  5. Margins: side (left/right): 3 centimeters/1.25 inches,top/bottom: 3 centimeters/ 1.25 inch
  6. Justify: paragraphs should be left justified.

For any other questions about formatting please refer to the Academy of Management’s Style Guide for Authors.


*Thesis Proposal Defense | Thesis Defense Slide Decks

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then please let your Slide Decks be as visually driven by figures and tables from your thesis as possible.

Also, academic presentations are typically in black and white. This means that you should not use colorful templates. Your background should be white and your font should be black. If you use color in your presentation, please use it sparingly. For example, to highlight a difference or to help explain something visually. Finally, please use a font that is easy for people in the audience to see and read. Try to use a font size of 30 or bigger whenever using bullet points.

– SMH

Please use the outline below to help you to structure your *Thesis Proposal Defense presentation slide deck and your Thesis Defense presentation slide deck. Items with a red asterisk (*) below are slides that should be included in your Thesis Proposal Defense Deck (which is also your Interim Report Deck). Items below that are given in bold are also figures or tables that should appear in various chapters of your thesis. Please include these figures or tables in your slide decks.

  1. *Thesis Overview
    • This is a one-paragraph abstract of your thesis.
  2. *Agenda
    • This slide is a courtesy slide that lets the audience know where you are taking them (i.e. the outline of your presentation).
  3. *Summary of Research Questions, Hypotheses, Methods, Expected Results/Findings & Prospective Recommendations
  4. *Original Conceptual Framework (Phenomenological Level) and Model (Theory Level) (Ch 01)
  5. Updated Conceptual Framework (Phenomenological Level) and Model (Theory Level) (Ch 05) The conceptual framework from Chapter 01 needs to be updated in Chapter 05 with your research results in order to demonstrate what was learned as a result of conducting the study. Please make this slide as simple and easy to understand as possible.
    • Sometimes this slide uses a “Before” and “After” approach to communicate what was learned. Other times this slide involves adding new labels to the Conceptual Framework which clearly and simply answer the Research Question(s).
    • The key point is your audience should be able to see What is New/Different/Updated as a result of your research.
    • It might feel odd showing the results of your study so close to the beginning of your presentation. But, remember, “In management research, there are no mysteries and no surprises… Fundamentally, your thesis defense consists of making clear 1) what your Research Questions were, 2) the Answers you obtained to your Research Questions by conducting your study, and 3) the process you used in order to conduct the study.”
  6. *Key Concepts (Ch 02)
    • This slide introduces 1) the background or setting of the problem that you studied, 2) the theoretical lens(es) that you used in your study, and 3) the terms that you defined in Chapter 02.
    • The purpose of this slide is to give the audience just enough background information and technical information to be able to understand your thesis.
  7. *Problem Statement
  8. *Purpose of the Study
  9. *Research Questions
  10. *Literature Review (Ch 02)
    • Please describe the main themes that you identified in your literature review.
    • You need to include references.
    • You do not need to spend a lot of time on the literature review. Your goal is to convince the audience that you did an effective literature review, and you successfully located your research project within a larger body of academic work.
  11. *Research Design (Ch 03)
  12. *Research Methods (Ch 03)
  13. *Research Instruments (Ch 03)
    • If your primary research instrument is a survey questionnaire, please use the table that provides the operational definitions of the variables at the Theory Level and at the Phenomenological Level. Please also include validated scale items and the citation(s) that identify the source article for the scale items.
    • If your primary research instrument was an interview protocol, please consider using small screenshots of each page of the protocol on a single slide.
    • If your primary research instrument is a proprietary database, please include a visual description of how your database was created.
    • The key point is that the audience should be able to understand that you developed an instrument for the study rather than simply “winging it.”
  14. *Data Analysis Plan (Ch 03)
  15. Data & Analysis
  16. Key Results/Findings
  17. Recommendations
  18. Summary of Research Questions, Methods, Results/Findings & Recommendations (Ch 05)This slide is presented as a Table with the following Headings (i.e., 1st Row):
    • Research Questions (ch 01),
    • Methods (Ch 03),
    • Results/Findings (Ch 04), &
    • Recommendations (ch 05)
  19. *Conclusion

THESIS PROPOSAL DEFENSE FORMAT

The presentation is approximately 20 minutes long. It happens in Thesis 1(A) Session 13. Q&A is 5 minutes long. (Note: Green lights for data collection are typically not issued until after the semester ends).

INTERIM REPORT (a.k.a. Mid-Term Report) FORMAT

The presentation is approximately 20 minutes long.

Your thesis advisor and two readers are present. They have about 5 minutes of Q&A time. Questions come mainly from the two readers as your thesis advisor is already quite familiar with your research.

THESIS DEFENSE FORMAT

The presentation is approximately 25 minutes long.

Your thesis advisor and two readers are present. They have about 5 minutes of Q&A time. Questions come mainly from the two readers as your thesis advisor is already quite familiar with your research.