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Business Dissertation Topics

Business Dissertation Topics

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Example business dissertation topic 1:

For economic growth within the UK, low levels of customer service within the services industry is a major concern. How can this situation be improved with reference to the views of customers and managers?

This study looks at three specific businesses upon the British high street: Marks and Spencers, Next, and Jigsaw. Using a mixed-method approach of research, the dissertation utilises street based interviews in co-ordination with management based face-to-face interviews. This is done to first ascertain different viewpoints as of the problem before analysing them via reference to a number of pertinent theories: principally SWOT and Porter's Five Forces.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Blocker, C.P., Flint, D.J., Myers, M.B. and Slater, S.F. (2011) ‘Proactive customer orientation and its role for creating customer value in global markets', Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 39(2), pp. 216-233.
  • McMullan, R. and Gilmore, A. (2008) ‘Customer loyalty: An empirical study', European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 42(9/10), pp.1084-1094.

Example business dissertation topic 2:

An analysis of how oil companies in Kuwait should alter their existing business strategies to attract greater foreign investment.

This dissertation enables a global analysis of two specific countries: an oil producer (Kuwait) and a nation from which further investment is sought (Japan). There is a wealth of existing literature and thus this research is readily grounded in existing academic opinion. The research discusses different entry modes for investment and desired business models of investment. In addition it also evaluates, human resources and political economies as well as discussing cultural dimensions and the effects that cultural differences have on the development of business and investment strategies.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Porter, M. (1985) Competitive advantage: Creating and sustaining superior performance. New York: Free Press.
  • Porter, M. (1990) The competitive advantage of nations. New York: Macmillan.
  • Wietfeld, A. (2011) ‘Understanding Middle East gas exporting behaviour'. Energy Journal, Vol. 32(2), pp. 32-40.

Example business dissertation topic 3:

Nissan's implementation of a coherent internalised system of knowledge management, innovation and learning: To what extent has this been rooted in academic interpretations of SECI models?

Using Nissan as a case study this dissertation first provides an analysis of the development of SECI models and thereafter contextualises them to both Nonaka and Ichijo (2007) as well as the car industry. The second part of the dissertation thereafter presents an evaluation of the present market position of Nissan. Having outlined both SECI model theory and the global positioning of the brand in question, the third part of this work offers an analysis of the positives that have been brought to Nissan by the adoption of SECI before offering, in conclusion, a series of observations as to how the firm's existing SECI model could be further enhanced for future profitability.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Ichijo, K. and Nonaka, I. eds, (2007) Knowledge creation and management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Lefebvre, L.A., Cassivi, L. and Lefebvre, E. (2001) ‘An e-commerce transition model for supply-chain management'. Journal on Chain and Network Science, Vol. 1(1), pp.23-32.
  • Nonaka, I. (1991) ‘The knowledge-creating company: How Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation'. Harvard Business Review, Vol., 23(1), pp. 96-104.
  • Nonaka, I. and Teece, D. eds, (2001). Managing industrial knowledge: Creation, transfer and utilization. London: SAGE.

Example business dissertation topic 4:

Consumer expectations: An analysis of the John Lewis Partnership

Lewis and Booms (1983) posit that ‘service quality is a measure of how well the service level delivered matches customer expectations. Delivering quality service means conforming to customer expectations on a consistent basis'. This statement is considered with especial regard to the culture of meeting consumer expectations with the John Lewis Partnership. The dissertation undertakes extensive primary research through interviews and surveys with John Lewis staff, management and customers. Finally it synthesises this research and presents the John Lewis model, including its advantages and disadvantages, as well as ways in which it could improve.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Lewis, R.C and Booms, B.H. (1983) ‘The marketing aspects of service quality'. In Berry, L., Shostack, G. and Upah, G. (eds). Emerging perspectives on service marketing. Chicago, IL: American Marketing, 99-107.
  • Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V.A. and Berry, L. (1985) ‘A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research'. Journal of Marketing Vol. 49, pp. 41-50.

Example business dissertation topic 5:

A discursive analysis charting the present position of e-commerce within Iraq with recommendations as to how to facilitate its further usage.

E-commerce is used extensively throughout the world. It is a vital tool for business bringing with it lower costs and greater efficiencies. However, within Iraq, huge swathes of the population have no access to e-commerce and its benefits. This dissertation accordingly has three primary objectives. First, it explores the existing infrastructural networks existent within the country and evaluates the extent to which they can be adapted for greater e-commerce traffic. Secondly, it analyses the different methods that could be used by the government of Iraq to encourage more persons to use e-commerce. Thirdly, it identifies potential foreign investment factors that could favourably impact upon the development of e-commerce in the country.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Ahmed, A. M., Zairi, M.and Alwabel, S. A. (2006) ‘Global benchmarking for internet and e-commerce applications', Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 13(1/2), pp.68-80.
  • Ahn, T., Ryu, S., and Han, I. (2004) ‘The impact of the online and offline features on the user acceptance of internet shopping mall', Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, No.3, pp.405-420.
  • Alden, D. L., Steenkamp, J-B. and Batra, R. (2006) ‘Consumer attitudes toward marketing globalization: Antecedent, consequent and structural factors', International of Research in Marketing, Vol. 23 No.3, pp. 227-239.

Example business dissertation topic 6:

A market analysis of Sports Direct

Using a range of appropriate analytical tools, this dissertation evaluates conditions in the market environment that the sports equipment company Sports Direct occupies and through so doing evaluates both the micro environment and the macro environment in which the firm operates. Thereafter it evaluates, using a strategic fit analysis, the resource capability of the firm and highlights specific strengths and weaknesses within its existing business model. Accordingly in addition to using a series of corporate publication this study is also grounded in existing academic literature and in particular that which relates to (in addition to strategic fit analysis), market environment analysis, Pestel analysis, Porter's five forces, and value chain analysis. The study concludes by offering a range of reasoned recommendations for the on-going profitability of Sports Direct.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • D'Aveni, R.A. (1994) Hyper-competition: Managing the dynamics of strategic maneuvering. New York: Free Press.
  • Lussier, R.N. and Kimball, D.C. (2009) ‘Five competitive forces in sport business environments', Applied Sport Management Skills, Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, pp. 30-36.

Example business dissertation topic 7:

An investigation into the business opportunities to Chinese oil companies that the State of Qatar offers

Many Chinese companies are currently in the process of expanding their operations overseas. As an oil rich nation Qatar offers a number of potential investment opportunities which may be attractive to existing Chinese oil companies. This dissertation looks at a range of options available and ascertains the potential barriers that need to be overcome focusing on cultural issues as well as economic issues and the Qatari business environment. Using predominantly pestle and Porter's Five Forces, this dissertation offers a number of recommendations as to the desirability of Chinese expansion into the oil refining business of Qatar.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Li, R. and Leung, G. (2011) ‘The integration of China into the world crude oil market since 1998'. Energy Policy, Vol. 39(9), p. 5159-5166.
  • MEED (2011) ‘Qatar Science and Technology Park, Doha'. MEED: Middle East Economic Digest; 2/11/2011 Supplement, p. 24.
  • MEED (2012) ‘Total identifies deep oil prospects in Qatar'. MEED: Middle East Economic Digest, Vol. 56(6), p. 10.

Example business dissertation topic 8:

Supply chain management: A case study based discussion of the management of external resources with especial reference to relationships, risks and communication

There are, during the lifetime of a project, different entities and different individuals involved. Accordingly there is a multitude of external factors that impinge upon the successful completion of any given work. Looking at the building of the Olympic Stadium for London 2012, this dissertation evaluates the supply chain management difficulties faced in co-ordinating the roles of the project team, suppliers, and subcontractors. Grounded in existing academic theory this dissertation also offers new insights into the arena of supply chain management through the conducting of a number of interviews with key personnel involved in the successful delivery of the building project.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Norrman, A. and Jansson, U. (2004) ‘Ericsson's proactive supply chain risk management approach after a serious sub-supplier accident', International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 34(5), pp.434-456.
  • Stecke, K. and Kumar, S. (2009) ‘Sources of supply chain disruptions, factors that breed vulnerability, and mitigating strategies'.  Journal of Marketing Channels, Vol. 16(3), pp.193-226.

Example business dissertation topic 9:

An analysis of aspects of corporate social responsibility: An investigation into the issues of sustainability and carbon footprints.

As businesses increasingly focus on unique selling points to appeal to their buying public, the issue of green credibility has become increasingly contested. Focusing on a selection of high street retailers whose core business is focused upon food (McDonald's, Sainsbury's and Costa Coffee) this dissertation charts not only the initiatives undertaken by the individual firms to cast themselves as more eco-friendly but also assesses the impact that those initiatives have had on the buying public. Using both primary and secondary data this dissertation seeks not only to analyse the existing status quo of these companies but also to offer key recommendations for the future as to how they may yet further improve their green credentials.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • BBC News (2011), ‘Food waste recycling roll-out "successful" so far'http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/blackcountry/hi/people_and_places/newsid_9414000/9414396.stm, accessed 22/05/2012.
  • Sim, S. (2009) The carbon footprint wars: What might happen if we retreat from globalization? Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Example business dissertation topic 10:

Organisational performance and employee engagement - A review

Based on the premise that that organisations need to invest in employment engagement, this dissertation analyses the effects that improved employee engagement can have upon the ability of a firm to realise and exceed its stated goals and objectives. In an economic era in which there is an ever greater need for firms to maximise their potential the importance of the linkage between active employee engagement and profitability is a developing field of study with several studies showing that the level and nature of engagement helps determine productivity and safety, employee retention, customer loyalty and profitability. Using a review of existing literature this dissertation discusses the relevance and lessons to be learned from the literature with particular reference to the construction industry within England.  

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Perrin, T. (2003) Working today: Understanding what drives employee engagement. New York: Talent Report.
  • Robinson, D., Perryman S. and Hayday S. (2004) ‘The drivers of employee engagement'. Report 408. London: Institute for Employment Studies.

Example business dissertation topic 11:

The effects of social networks on e-commerce; With especial reference to consumer buying behaviour and demand patterns

This dissertation analyses how the emergence and growing popularity of social networking sites have impacted upon the demand patterns of consumers. In so doing it focuses primarily upon the on-line fashion industry and the effect that such new technologies has had upon buying behaviour. Through a combination of quantitative and qualitative research (in which street-based interviews are also used), this dissertation posits that the changes have been far reaching for both consumers and organisations.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Darlington, Y. and Scott, D. (2002) Qualitative research in practise: Stories from the field. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Example business dissertation topic 12:

An analysis of the agency problem in German public companies and the ways in which changes to corporate governance can overcome these.

This dissertation firstly outlines the agency problem in german with reference to both existing literature and actual organisations. Thereaftre it outlimes the existing processes of corporate governance in the organisations chosen for study before evaluating their effectiveness. In the third part of the dissertation international comparisons are made with corporate governance modesl used in the UK from which German corporations could learn a range of lessons. Accordingly, this is a dissertation that combined grounded research with practical application within the business world.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Shleifer, A. and Vishny, R.W. (1997). ‘A survey of corporate governance'. The Journal of Finance. Vol. 52(2), pp.737-783.
  • Strausz, R. (1997). ‘Delegation of monitoring in a principal-agent relationship'. Review of Economic Studies Vol. 64, pp.337-357.

Example business dissertation topic 13:

A case-study based analysis of how channels of communication with employees may be improved in a multinational organisation

The primary research objective of this study is to investigate how the channels of communication with employees might be improved in multinational  corporations. Thereafter, factors such as organisational structure, formal and informal communication flows and international internal integration are assessed. Through so doing this research further considers situation analysis and the identification of management objectives.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • DuBrin, A.J. (2008) Essentials of management, 8th edn. London: Cengage.
  • English, L.M. and Lynn, S. (1995) Business across cultures: effective communications strategies. White Plains: Addison Wesley Longman.
  • Nieuwenhuizen, C. and Rossouw, D. (2009) Business management: A corporate approach. Capetown, SA: Juta and Company Ltd.
  • Oliver, S.(1997) Corporate communications: Principles, techniques and strategies. London: Kogan Page Publications

Example business dissertation topic 14:

Ethics in PR and cultural diversity: a mismatch of ideologies within a Middle-Eastern environment?

This dissertation seeks to address the seeming confrontation between the role and purpose of the PR consultant and the societal code of ethics that governs Middle Eastern Islamic countries. In so doing this dissertation focuses primarily on the PR industry within Saudi Arabia though references are also made to its sister organisations in Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq. This is an empirical study that combines primary and secondary research to provide a range of conclusions and recommendations as to how PR practitioners in the Middle East can successfully fulfil the wishes of clients whilst also remaining true to their cultural beliefs.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Freitag, A.R. and Stokes, A.Q. (2009) Global public relations: Spanning borders, cultures.  New York: Routledge. Grunig, J.E.,(2001) ‘Public relations and international affairs, effects, ethics and responsibility', Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 47(1), pp. 137-162.
  • Holtzhausen, D.R. and Voto, R. (2002) ‘Resistance from the margins: The postmodern public relations practitioner as organizational activist', Journal of Public Relations Research, Vol. 14(1), pp. 57-84.
  • Huang, Y.H. (2001) ‘Should a public relations code of ethics be enforced?' Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 31(3), pp. 259-270.

Example business dissertation topic 15:

A review of the fashion industry and child labour within the Chinese, Indian and African labour markets

The regional variability of child labour rates employed within the last twenty years has been seen by leading academics to be partially dependent upon economic growth rates experienced within individual developing countries. Basu (1999) notes that Africa still has a higher preponderance for child labour and this dissertation, focussing on the contracting out of fashion manufacturing to India, China and Africa analyses both the procedures that western firms put into place to mitigate against the continued exploitation of children as well as the underlying societal values that continue to permit the on-going degradation of children within the host nations.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Jensen, P. and Neilsen, H.S. (1997) ‘Child labour or school attendance? Evidence from Zambia', Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 10(4), pp. 407-424.
  • Myrstad, G. (1999) ‘What can trade unions do to combat child labour?', Childhood, Vol. 6(1), pp. 75-88. 

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