What are the current attitudes and values of the general population toward the consumption of fast food.

Health and fitness have become increasingly important issues in the twenty-first century. With concerns about rising obesity levels and a greater understanding of the importance of good nutrition, consumers have been demanding healthier food options from their out-of-home dining choices.

Responding to the market – assignment overview

A local fast-food restaurant has recently been put into receivership and the receivers want to collect more information about the operating environment of this business ultimately to determine if it has a viable future or not.  To do this they want to know the answers to 3 main questions.  They have decided to tender a contract for a research company to get these answers and as luck would have it you have just started your own research company.

Food Receivers Inc, has put out a tender for research companies to provide answers to ONE of the following questions.  Food Receiver’s Inc is very clear that it wants a different research company for each question so your bid only needs to address one of these questions.

  1. What are the current attitudes and values of the general population toward the consumption of fast food and how can this be used to identify any opportunities or gaps in the market that this business could exploit?

OR

  1. What are the issues related to quality productivity and professionalism amongst employees in this industry given the high reliance on casual and part-time workerswho are often teenagers and who do not see these jobs as careers?

OR

  1. How does the local community feel about this business, given that the previous owners have left people without jobs and suppliers unpaid for services? What do people think in terms of the social responsibility of this company and will it have any negative impact on the company for future trading business models.

The Assignment Task

You are required to pick ONE of these questions to focus on for your assignment.  You are to write a bid to conduct a program of research for Food Receiver’s Inc. to uncover the answers to one of these questions.  In your bid you need to outline the research design you would recommend and what data collection and statistical tests, if any, should be used to answer the question and you need to defend your recommendations with appropriate theory.

When research companies bid for work in these cases they expect their proposals to be compared to other organizations.  You need to therefore consider this in the way you present the information in your proposal, in the language you use and in ensuring that all recommendations are well supported and defended.  Remember that Food Receiver’s Inc is looking for this information to determine whether and under what business models, the business should continue.  So your research proposals need to consider the managerial decisions that are going to be made with this information.

Assignment Structure

Your report should include the following elements:

  1. A brief introduction identifying the question you have focused on and the background for your bid (keep this short and to the point).
  2. A short literature review or summary of secondary data from existing sources that relates to your research question (approximately 500 words) for example if you are exploring people’s fast food eating preferences then you might explore what is already known about the changes in food preferences, food values and society’s reaction to fast food. By contrast if you were exploring consumer sentiment about social responsibility you would investigate what currently we know about this issue. This literature review is specifically designed to provide background information on the issue (what we already know so that you can build on this knowledge); what previous research has been done in this area (what techniques and tools were used that you might also use); and what remains still unknown (the focus of thisresearch).  You should look to build on the research designs previously used in any existing studies;
  3. A statement of the research question(s) and objectives for this piece of research – what is it you intend this research program to achieve and what questions it will address – keep this focused and brief;
  4. A recommended research design and methodology justified and supported with appropriate theory (from the applied business research literature) and evidence that will best address the research question and provide answers to the receivers. This includes discussion about whether you are recommending a qualitative or quantitative approach (and why – justified and supported with theory), and within this what specific methods you are recommending (from the list of possible options) and why;
  5. Recommendations about the most appropriate sample unit and sampling methodology (also with justification) to match the design you are recommending and in this discussion show you have identified issues related to the research ethics of this proposed research and how you will address these;
  6. A discussion of the data (questions) that would need to be collected – being as specific as possible and showing evidence of an understanding of the form and level of data required to answer the research questions and how these ultimately will allow you to address the overarching research objective or question;
  7. A discussion of the type and level of analysis that should be conducted with this data to address the research questions (supported with theoretical justification); and
  8. A discussion about the validity and reliability elements of your proposed research plan and any limitations of the research that should be considered by theFood Receivers Inc board when viewing your findings and suggestions.
  9. Finally, a summary statement about how this design will address the issue that Food Receivers Inc is interested in exploring and will provide the answers to their questions – about one or two paragraphs at most.

You DO NOT have to collect data, actually design a questionnaire or conduct any primary research for this assignment.

Format of the Assignment

This assignment is to be presented as a full formal report (including letter of transmittal, executive summary etc) See the Communications Skills Handbook for more information if you are unsure of this format and the requirements.  The assignment needs to be submitted through the study desk by the due date (see the study desk).

 

 

 

Marking Criteria for Assignment 1

  Below the standard required.

0 – 49%

Meets acceptable standard.

50 – 65%

Exceeds acceptable standard.

66 – 85%

Far exceeds the required standard

86 – 100%

Introduction of the program of research

 

10 marks

The student has failed to provide a sound overview of their proposed program of research and does not clearly align it to one of the three key question areas proposed. The student has provided an acceptable overview of their proposed program of research and it aligns it to one of the three key question areas proposed. The student has provided a sound overview of their proposed program of research and clearly aligns it to one of the three key question areas proposed. The student has provided a comprehensive overview of their proposed program of research and clearly aligns it to one of the three key question areas proposed.
Short literature review

 

25 marks

The student has presented a literature review that is below the standard required based on the following:

·         Does not provides an adequate coverage of known research.

·         Does not clearly identify the gaps that are linked to this program of research.

·         Does not show evidence of a depth of analysis

·         Shows little evidence of an appropriate standard of information literacy techniques.

·         Is largely descriptive with limited attempt to review and critique the information provided.

·         Does not evidence alignment to the overall research objective and questions.

The student has presented a literature review that is acceptable based on the following:

·         Provides an adequate coverage of known research.

·         Generally identifies the gaps that are linked to this program of research.

·         Evidence of an acceptable depth of analysis.

·         Shows emerging mastery of appropriate level of information literacy techniques[1].

·         Is largely descriptive with some attempt to review and critique the information provided.

·         Shows some alignment to the overall research objective and questions.

 

The student has presented a literature review that is very good based on the following:

·         Provides and sound coverage of known research.

·         Clearly identifies the gaps that are linked to this program of research.

·         Evidence of a good depth of analysis.

·         Shows some mastery of appropriate level of information literacy techniques.

·         Is generally not descriptive with a high standard of review and critique of the information provided.

·         Shows clear alignment to the overall research objective and questions.

 

 

The student has presented a literature review that is excellent based on the following:

·         Provides an excellent and detailed coverage of known research.

·         Clearly identifies the gaps that are linked to this program of research.

·         Evidence of an excellent depth of analysis.

·         Shows mastery of appropriate level of information literacy techniques.

·         Is critical and analytical and reviews the information provided to a high standard

·         Shows clear alignment to the overall research objective and questions.

 

 

  Below the standard required.

0 – 49%

Meets acceptable standard.

50 – 65%

Exceeds acceptable standard.

66 – 85%

Far exceeds the required standard

86 – 100%

Statement of the research question

 

10 marks

The student has largely failed to identify one focused research project that aligns with their identified key research question areas.

 

The student may not have provided a clear statement of the research question and objectives for this piece of research.

 

The objectives do not appear to be measurable, rational, focused and or clearly relevant for the main program of research identified in the first section.

 

The student has identified one focused research project that aligns with their identified key research question areas.

 

The student has provided a clear statement of the research question and objectives for this piece of research.

 

In general, the objectives are measurable, rationale, focused and relevant for the main program of research identified in the first section.

 

The student has identified one focused research project that aligns with their identified key research question areas.

 

The student has provided a clear and well-articulated statement of the research question and objectives for this piece of research.

 

The objectives are measurable, rational, focused and are clearly relevant for the main program of research identified in the first section.

 

The student has clearly justified one focused research project that aligns with their identified key research question areas.

 

The student has provided a clear, well-articulated and succinct statement of the research question and objectives for this piece of research.

 

The objectives are measurable, rational, focused and are clearly relevant for the main program of research identified in the first section.

 

Recommended research design and methodology

25 marks

The student has presented a research design and methodology recommendation lack lacks many or all of the elements required as follows:

•            theoretical justification for the design and methods proposed

•           Consideration of the various merits and disadvantages of the various methods provided as further evidence of the final recommendation

•            Alignment of final recommendations to the research question and objectives.

The student has presented a satisfactory research design and methodology recommendation and has included most of the elements required as follows:

•            Attempted to use theoretical justification for design and methods proposed

•            Some consideration of the merits and disadvantages of the various methods provided as further evidence of the final recommendation

•            Attempted to show how final recommendations align to research question.

The student has presented a good research design and has included all of the elements required as follows:

•            Good use of theoretical justification for the design and methods proposed

•            Discussion and critique of the various methods provided as further evidence of the final recommendation

•            Final recommendations show consideration of alignment to the research question and objectives

The student has presented an excellent research design and has included all of the elements required as follows:

•            Consistent and detailed theoretical justification for the design and methods proposed

•            Discussion and critique of the various methods provided as further evidence of the final recommendation

•            Final recommendations show clear alignment to the research question and objectives

 

  Below the standard required.

0 – 49%

Meets acceptable standard.

50 – 65%

Exceeds acceptable standard.

66 – 85%

Far exceeds the required standard

86 – 100%

Discussions about the sampling unit and methods of sampling

10 marks

The student has provided insufficient evidence of their  understanding of issues related to sampling methods.

•               Sample unit is either not discussed or poorly presented

•               Sampling method does not clearly align to research question and objectives

•               Appropriate and relevant theory has not been used to support and defend recommendations.

The student has provided sufficient evidence of their  understanding of issues related to sampling methods.

•        Sample unit is adequately discussed and defended

•        Sampling method aligns to research question and objectives

•        Attempt to use appropriate and relevant theory to support and defend recommendations.

The student has provided good evidence of their  understanding of issues related to sampling methods.

•    Sample unit is clearly and fully discussed & defended

•    Sampling method aligns clearly to research question and objectives

•    Appropriate and relevant theory used to support and defend most recommendations.

The student has provided sufficient evidence of their  understanding of issues related to sampling methods.

•     Sample unit is discussed and defended to an excellent standard

•     Sampling method aligns clearly to research question and objectives

•     Appropriate and relevant theory used to support and defend all recommendations.

Discussions about data and analysis methods including issues of validity and reliability

 

10 marks

 

 

The student has provided an unsatisfactory level of discussion about the data to be collected and analysis techniques required for the research proposed.

 

•       Little or no attempt to identify the questions to be answered

•       Little or no attempt to address issues of levels of data and types of data

•       Little or no attempt to align discussions about data requirements to data analysis

•       Little or no attempt to discuss data analysis issues and recommendations made

•       Few if any recommendations are supported with theoretical justification.

•       No discussion on validity and reliability issues.

The student has provided a satisfactory level of discussion about the data to be collected and analysis techniques required for the research proposed.

 

•       Attempted to identify the questions to be answered

•       Attempted to address issues of levels of data and types of data

•       Attempted to align discussions about data requirements to data analysis

•       Attempted to discuss data analysis issues and recommendations made

•       Most recommendations are supported with theoretical justification.

•       Issues of validity and reliability discussed in brief.

The student has provided a good level of discussion about the data to be collected and analysis techniques required for the research proposed.

 

•       The questions to be answered by the research plan have been mostly identified

•       Discussion regarding levels of data and types of data has been presented

•       Discussions about data requirements mostly align to data analysis recommendations

•       Data analysis issues and recommendations have been made

•       Recommendations are supported with some form of theoretical justification.

•       Issues of validity and reliability discussed in detail.

The student has provided an excellent level of discussion about the data to be collected and analysis techniques required for the research proposed.

 

•       The questions to be answered by the research are well documented and clearly aligned to the research objectives

•       Issues of levels of data and types of data have been explored and discussed fully

•       Discussions about data requirements align closely and clearly to data analysis recommendations

•       Data analysis issues have been identified and recommendations made

•       All recommendations are supported with sound and appropriate theoretical justification.

•       Issues of validity and reliability comprehensively discussed.

  Below the standard required.

0 – 49%

Meets acceptable standard.

50 – 65%

Exceeds acceptable standard.

66 – 85%

Far exceeds the required standard

86 – 100%

Structure and format

10 marks

The student has not submitted an error free manuscript and/or has failed to adhere to the required format as follows:

•       incorrect formal report style

•       not within the word limit

•       does not contains labelled tables, graphs and figures to present data;

•       contains grammatical and/or typographical errors

•       contains referencing style errors

The student has mostly submitted an error free manuscript and has generally adhered to the required   format as follows:

•       correct formal report style

•       within the word limit

•       contains labelled tables, graphs and figures to present data;

•       contains few or no grammatical and/or typographical errors

•       few or no referencing style errors

The student has submitted an error free manuscript and has adhered to the required   format as follows:

•       correct formal report style

•       within the word limit

•       contains labelled tables, graphs and figures to present data;

•       contains few grammatical and/or typographical errors

•       few referencing style errors.

The student has manuscript that is exemplary and adheres to the required format as follows:

•       correct formal report style

•       within the word limit

•       contains labelled tables, graphs and figures to present data;

•       contains no grammatical and/or typographical errors

•       no referencing style errors.

 

 

Total        / 100

 

Less marks for lateness (up to 5% per working day or 5 marks per day)

 

General feedback:

 

 

 

 

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