Researching in Business Management

write a critical review of literature on one of two set topics. The critical review is a stage that precedes any piece of academic research. It surveys, in a focused way, the available writing and research, in order to establish what is known and what is not known about the subject. This wider knowledge is important in helping you to design your own research project.

Details of the task

You should produce a critical review of literature based on one of the following topic areas:

1. Issues for Multi-national Organisations


2. Aspects of Power in Organisations
Develop your own more focused title or research question, so read the following guidance note before starting your literature review.
Your objective in this critical literature review is to survey the literature on one of these topics. However, it is up to you to find your own focus for the review. You might explore your own interests and focus on an industry, a specific organization, or a specific region. You might explore your own academic specialism. Think about issues based in the fields of HRM, strategy, marketing, accounting and finance, tourism, events, music industry management, and so on.

Devise your own title or research question to reflect your focus. You can refine the focus as you start to review the literature and develop your knowledge of the topic. Your module leader or seminar tutor will be able to give you guidance on developing your focus and title. A brief appointment early in the process should help you.
A critical literature review is not just a summary of a few published sources on the topic that you happen to find. You need to be systematic in your search for relevant, good quality, academic sources and to develop you own argument, using these sources to support that argument as it develops. You also need to subject the sources to ‘critical analysis’. Further information on what this means and how to go about it can be found in the assessment criteria on page 3 and by reading the relevant pages 100-105 in Collis and Hussey (2009). If you want good marks make sure you read this well before the deadline.


Logical Sequence and Development

Does your review have:
A clear introduction to what follows in the review?
A main body with clearly-defined subsections (or clearly signposted paragraph structure)?
A linked and logical progression between sub-sections/paragraphs?
A structure which moves from wider, general survey of the subject, to more specific, detailed focus?
A conclusion that summarises what you know, what you do not know, and what insights you have developed about the subject?

Evidence of Background Reading

Does your review:
Identify key authors in the field?
Refer to specialist books?
Refer to up-to-date research articles in academic journals?
Not rely on questionable Internet sources
Have a minimum of 15 references?

Critical Evaluation of Issues/Results

Does your review:
Compare and contrast different theories, concepts and research findings?
Highlight strengths and weaknesses in these theoretical arguments and research?
Agree with/accept or disagree with/reject the arguments put forward by others?
Synthesise and develop your own arguments and insights from these different points of view?
Show how the limitations of the current work leave a gap for you to research?

Use of Referencing System and Bibliography

Does your review:
Have references in the text to all your sources, using author surname/s and date?
Include page numbers in in-text references where you have used a quotation?
Have a reference list at the end, using Harvard-style layout?
Include all the in-text references in the reference list at the end?
Refer in the text to all references shown in the reference list?


Researching in Business Management