PRJ692 MGT610 VITA Contact


Course Description
This course provides an opportunity for students to conduct an applied research project where they will utilize and integrate program learnings and skills. Students will have a choice of projects: they may opt to select their own project or they may opt to work on the faculty-selected project. Students who select their own project will also have the option of selecting members of their work team. Regardless of the project, students will have full responsibility for the design and completion of their specific Masters Project. Projects should be of significance to the student and /or the client organization. Class sessions will include topical lectures relevant to the consulting and research process and hands-on work time. During the scheduled class sessions student work in progress will be subjected to both faculty and peer review. The course ends with the presentation of the completed project.

The topic of this course is the planning and completion of a business research project for a client organization. Much of the emphasis of the course is on project planning, processes and implementation. However, some specific topics will be discussed in order to facilitate effective completion of the project. These include:

  • Consulting skills and client relations skills
  • Applied business research methods
  • Project planning and management techniques
  • Data analysis and presentation
  • Presenting complex information (report and presentation)

Course Outcomes

Individual Outcomes

  • Through classroom lectures and practical application, gain competence in the various components of a research-focused business consulting project.
  • Participate in a complete research-focused consulting project, moving from project conceptualization through data collection and analysis to reporting of findings and recommendations.
  • Via a written assignment (Reflection Paper), demonstrate understanding of application of principles and processes related to project management.

Work Group Outcomes

  • Through creation of a project plan and work plans, develop project objectives and describe the steps and processes required for project completion.
  • Through completion of a full, detailed written report, demonstrate completion of research activities, application of curriculum content and integration of research findings.
  • Through completion of a full, detailed written report, demonstrate use of appropriate methods, analysis and interpretation of results.
  • By means of a group presentation, demonstrate the ability to orally communicate project activities, findings and recommendations. Through on-going team work activities, demonstrate the ability to work quickly and effectively with peers.

Course Materials

  • Cooper, Donald R. and Pamela S. Schindler (2003). Business Research Methods, 8th ed. Boston, MA: Irwin McGraw-Hill.
  • Martin, Paula and Karen Tate (1997). Project Management Memory Jogger. Salem, NH: GOAL/QPC.
  • American Psychological Association (2001). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Evaluation of Student Work
Individual grades will be assigned based on the following criteria:

Reflection Paper, Week 12
Quiz, Week 2
Group (Moderated)
Periodic drafts (6 items noted as DRAFT on class schedule)
Project management (Charter, Project Plan, minutes, log)
Research Report, Week 12

Group grades are moderated by the numerical average of the Peer Assessment ratings (see page 11 of Participant’s Module). You are accountable to each other for making a fair contribution to the project and its success.

Project quality will be evaluated on a number of criteria. These criteria and explanations of the criteria are summarized below. Assignments, evaluation and grading policy will be:

Criteria for Evaluating Project Quality

Problem Conceptualization and
Development Of Objectives
  • key issues were identified and described
  • clarity, specificity, and/or “concrete-ness” of objectives
  • objectives flow from statement of problem
  • appropriate amount of work / breadth and/or depth
  • multiple methods are used
  • methods are adequate to address objectives
  • description of methods is clear, precise, and thorough
  • explicit discussion of strengths and weaknesses of approach
Graduate Level Problem Solving Skills
  • application of graduate level knowledge or techniques (reference MBA coursework, textbooks, etc.)
  • approach or analyses go beyond the purely descriptive level and are inferential or deductive in nature
Integration of Findings
  • integration of findings from different sources and/or methods, or from different content areas
  • rationale and logic flow from data to findings to conclusions to recommendations is clear and compelling
  • innovative, unique, or non-obvious approach or solution
  • conclusions are “more than the sum of their parts”
Success in Achieving Project Objectives within Project Constraints
  • each of the objectives, as stated, were achieved
  • findings/conclusions/recommendations are relevant to the project objectives
Technical Adequacy of Report
  • organization and flow
  • accuracy (of data presentation, for example)
  • clarity of expression
  • grammar, format, and style
  • professional appearance
Technical Adequacy of Presentation
  • organization and flow
  • appropriate delivery style (“meeting design”)
  • effective use of media (slides, handouts, discussion, etc.)
  • interesting and engaging presentation style


Assistant Professor Kathy Dye • Thomas More College • 333 Thomas More Parkway • Crestview Hills, Ky 41017