How To Write An MBA Dissertation

How To Write An MBA Dissertation
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Writing an MBA dissertation requires a blend of creative and technical skills. University committees assess several aspects of your dissertation, such as the uniqueness of your topic, the participants chosen for the study, and the practical contribution of your research, all of which can impact your dissertation’s success or failure. Therefore, it is crucial to focus on these aspects while writing your dissertation. However, many students overlook important elements related to submission and formatting requirements, causing them to lose points or undergo several revisions. After months of hard work, you may feel exhausted and eager to finish quickly. To overcome this final hurdle, you need a well-structured plan to ensure that you don’t miss any critical elements.

The checklist below includes all the critical components that must be reviewed to decrease the possibility of failure in your MBA dissertation, from picking a subject to creating the last presentation for your defence. You can directly access the section that is most relevant to your current stage of the dissertation writing process.

Getting Started With An MBA Dissertation

A wise approach to avoid issues is to proactively prevent them right from the outset. Embarking on an MBA dissertation project is a significant undertaking that spans over several months and demands substantial time and resources. Starting without a well-thought-out plan is akin to committing academic suicide, as evidenced by the relatively high failure rates in this domain. However, when reframed positively, writing a dissertation can be the crowning achievement of your academic journey as an MBA student. As such, it’s crucial to design an optimal plan that maximizes your “return on investment” ratio. It is possible to complete an MBA dissertation by sacrificing work-life balance and immersing oneself in the challenge, but the key is to achieve similar results without burning out and squandering unnecessary resources on activities that do not contribute to the end result.

In this section, we will examine various aspects of such planning that can potentially save you from weeks of frustrating revisions and subpar academic outcomes. Some of these recommendations may pertain to your personal skills and competencies, while others may be associated with your external activities and university arrangements. Although you may choose to skip some of them based on personal preferences, employing them simultaneously can create a synergistic effect that ensures your future success as a dissertation writer. Few things are more disheartening than having to revise major structural elements in the middle of your project and missing interim deadlines as a result. A strong start is halfway to victory, which is why investing several weeks in the elements discussed in this section can pave the way for a seamless academic journey thereafter.

MBA Dissertation Topics Selection

Selecting a research topic is a critical decision for MBA students embarking on their dissertation journey. Despite the wide array of potential topics to explore, there are key elements that are often overlooked, even by experienced dissertation writers. These include considering your supervisor’s knowledge and willingness to explore a particular topic, your ability to reach target audiences and collect primary data, the resources available for your project, and potential competition in the same field. Therefore, choosing a suitable MBA dissertation topic can be challenging, and it is advisable to generate multiple ideas and create a shortlist of meaningful and engaging topics by reviewing academic journals, course materials, newspapers, and other relevant sources.

Take your time to carefully evaluate the importance and focus of your chosen topic, and consider the appropriate research methods even at this early stage. This foresight can prevent potential difficulties down the road, as some students may realize that their chosen topic is not manageable from a methodological perspective in the midst of their dissertation writing process. Hence, thorough consideration and planning during the topic selection phase can save you from unnecessary troubles during your dissertation journey.

Once you have identified 3-5 potential topics for your MBA dissertation, you may consider discussing them with various individuals, such as potential supervisors, dissertation writing experts, academic practitioners, and fellow students. These additional opinions can assist you in narrowing down your topic focus or prioritizing certain options on your list. Moreover, having multiple opportunities enables you to engage in negotiations with your prospective supervisors and mutually agree on interesting ideas for your research. 

Ensure that your MBA dissertation meets all the necessary requirements

Although it may appear obvious, many students overlook the importance of checking the requirements of their MBA dissertation, which can result in avoidable mistakes related to formatting, referencing, or word count distribution. These errors may not lead to a complete failure, but they can significantly impact the quality of the dissertation, particularly if aiming for a first-class result. To avoid such issues from the beginning, it is essential to diligently review all module handbooks, ethics protocols, and format requirements such as fonts, margins, and referencing styles. Creating a list of key recommendations and word counts for each section, and clarifying any ambiguous requirements with your supervisor, can be helpful. Paying attention to these details can prevent the loss of marks due to formatting mistakes or minor errors that could have been easily avoided with a little extra effort.

Choose Your Research Approaches or Techniques

Your MBA dissertation research can take different approaches depending on various factors:

    • Your preference for secondary research (desk research) or primary research (interviews/surveys/observations).
    • The specific problems you’re addressing and the data required to answer your research questions.
    • Your focus is on unique industry experts or a larger sample of non-unique population members.
    • The resources available to you for conducting research.
    • Availability and accessibility of respondents.

Once you have a realistic MBA dissertation topic, it’s important to develop your research aim, objectives, and questions and consider how to address them.

This understanding is crucial for discussions with your supervisor and the development of your research proposal.

Organize Your MBA Dissertation Structure

Many MBA projects follow a standard structure, allowing for advanced planning of their completion. Here is a list of typical elements that should be included in most dissertation scenarios:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Introduction
  3. Literature Review
  4. Dissertation Hypotheses
  5. Methodology
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Conclusions
  9. Recommendations
  10. Reference List
  11. Appendices

Ensure that your structure aligns with your university’s requirements and includes specific word count distribution per section. As discussed below, not all sections need to be completed in the first draft. For instance, the Executive Summary, Introduction, and Conclusion can be postponed until the revision phase to make them more tailored to the results obtained.

Develop a Plan

A previously submitted proposal for your MBA dissertation typically includes a Gantt chart that outlines your planned timeline for the upcoming weeks and months. While some students may write approximate dates in a haphazard manner, we recommend taking this document seriously and going one step further:

  1. Create a list of the sections that need to be included in your dissertation.
  2. Break down each section into smaller objectives that need to be completed.
  3. Write down the estimated duration of each activity and the resources needed.
  4. Discuss the final plan with your supervisor or a professional dissertation writing service.

A well-developed plan serves as a safety net, keeping you on track and helping you prioritize the most important aspects of your dissertation. It also ensures that you have a thorough understanding of all aspects of the writing process before you begin, allowing you to focus your time and efforts on the most impactful elements rather than wasting time on unnecessary refinements.

Select A Suitable Mentor

The right supervisor can provide you with a significant advantage when it comes to writing your dissertation. When choosing a supervisor, opt for someone who has a track record of successfully guiding students through the process. It’s important to select a supervisor who is not only academically proficient but also socially engaged, attentive to degree requirements, and capable of offering appropriate advice. If you find it difficult to understand your current supervisor and have questions about the dissertation writing process, don’t hesitate to seek additional support from our tutoring service. It’s important to note that some supervisors may have limited time available to provide thorough consultations to every student. So, finding the right fit is crucial for your success.

Have a Plan B

The most effective way to prevent contingencies is to acknowledge the possibility of their occurrence. Here are some risk management strategies that can safeguard you from harm even in worst-case scenarios:

  • Research how your university handles extensions for submission delays or personal obstacles in completing MBA dissertations.
  • Explore the option of changing your supervisor during your research project.
  • Seek the guidance of a reliable dissertation writing service for a second opinion in complex situations.

If we could offer one piece of advice for writing your dissertation, it would be to thoroughly plan it from the beginning. A well-designed research project sets the stage for success, with a unique topic supported by realistic and measurable objectives and reliable methodological instruments. While it still requires time and effort, a well-planned dissertation can be seamlessly integrated into your personal life without major conflicts. Many students make the mistake of starting with writing sections of their project before finalizing their research objectives or adjusting their topic along the way. This approach is suboptimal and leads to a disjointed study without a clear main argument. Therefore, it is crucial to seek professional guidance and lay a solid foundation. The Academic Assignments team is here to help with dissertation writing and share our expertise in achieving top marks. Feel free to review our sample dissertations to ensure we provide the best academic service. You can start with a dissertation proposal to mitigate the risk of ordering a full project at once.

Getting Ready to Write: Starting the Initial Draft

The following checklist provides an opportunity to create a preliminary version of your MBA dissertation. Aim to cover about 80% of the word count for each section while addressing all the key requirements identified earlier. The purpose of this phase is to bring you close to completion in terms of readiness while allowing room for further revisions and additions. There are several reasons for adopting this approach:

  1. It is unlikely that you will get everything perfect on the first attempt. Further revisions often lead to new insights, connections, and ideas.
  2. Writing an effective Introduction or Conclusion section usually requires a finished work to seamlessly integrate signposting elements and directly reference your findings.
  3. A nearly completed draft allows space to incorporate an overarching line of argument, which is why we recommend reserving room for such additions.
  4. During subsequent revisions, you may choose to relocate some parts of your text to the Appendices or make other adjustments to your initial work.

To create a preliminary draft that is likely to receive a passing grade with minimal revisions, follow these points. Keep in mind that this draft will be further improved in the next phase of your MBA dissertation writing process.

  1. Ensure that all essential sections, such as Abstract, Acknowledgements, Table of Contents, Lists of Tables and Figures, Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Analysis and Findings, Conclusion, List of References, and Appendix, are included in your work.
  2. Clearly outline the key theories and conceptual framework of your study in the Literature Review, and consider revising its contents to better align with the overall direction of your dissertation.
  3. Consider including a table of key theories and authors at the end of your Literature Review to improve readability and facilitate referencing in your Discussion chapter.
  4. In the Methodology section, provide a table of variables for quantitative studies and a clear description of all methods and instruments used.
  5. Discuss all threats to validity and reliability.
  6. Clearly define your analysis process so that any other researcher in your field can follow it and obtain similar results.
  7. Include all key figures and tables presenting your results in the Analysis chapter.
  8. In the Discussion, refer to critical sources and theories from your Literature Review.
  9. In the Conclusion and Recommendations section, revise your objectives and clearly demonstrate how you have addressed them.
  10. Ensure that all tables and figures have headings and are referred to in the main text. If taken from other sources, mention these sources below the tables and figures, as well as in the reference list.

Progressing Further: Editing Your Initial Version

After completing your initial draft, there are two important tasks to be done. Firstly, you need to thoroughly proofread and edit your draft to identify any missing elements and improve its overall quality. This may involve revising your main sections and ensuring the coherence of your main argument across all chapters, particularly focusing on the quality of your Analysis chapter.

Secondly, you need to add a number of auxiliary sections to your final dissertation draft, such as the Abstract, Acknowledgements, Appendices, informed consent forms, ethics forms, and other obligatory parts. These sections should be included in your document, and you should also consider adding any additional elements to enhance the readability of your work.

  1. The Abstract, which provides a concise overview of your research and its main outcomes, is usually placed at the beginning of the dissertation before the table of contents and is written last. 
  2. The Acknowledgements, expressing gratitude to those who helped you in your research or supervision, are also written after completing the main text of the thesis. 
  3. You may want to revise your Introduction chapter, which shows the relevance of the topic, background, aim, objectives, and structure of your MBA dissertation, to make it more specific and engaging to readers after completing the rest of your dissertation. 
  4. The Conclusion should summarize your work and discuss whether the aim and objectives of the study were achieved, with reference to your results and prior studies. 
  5. Including signposting in your dissertation wherever possible can make it more coherent and understandable, even for non-specialists. 
  6. To achieve a high standard dissertation, outline the key contributions to academics and practitioners, discuss all key limitations of your project in detail, and ensure you have all signed informed consent forms necessary to comply with the ethical standards of your institution.

Finalizing Your MBA Dissertation

To ensure that your dissertation is ready for submission, a final inspection is necessary. This step is particularly crucial when you have already completed your document draft and are preparing it for submission. The checklist includes recommendations that cover all important aspects of dissertation projects. However, it is important to review your university’s specific requirements, as some may have unique submission procedures, referencing styles, document formatting, and guidelines for visual materials and appendices. This process can be divided into two main parts.

  • Content Revision

The first step in revising your draft is to ensure that it meets all the necessary requirements regarding its content, grammar, style, and constituent elements.

The thesis chapters should present a clear and consistent narrative that is critical and free of errors. Additionally, the text should be formatted according to the university’s guidelines, with all pages, tables, and figures numbered appropriately.

Check that all sources mentioned in the text are included in the Reference list and that the referencing style is consistent throughout the work. Ensure that all figures and tables are correctly referenced and that the Appendices contain all relevant materials, such as questionnaire forms, informed consent forms, additional figures, and interview transcripts.

It is recommended to read your dissertation from beginning to end in one sitting to ensure that the text flows logically and coherently. Also, check the word count for all sections if it is specified by the university’s requirements.

Proofread the entire document, ensuring consistent spacing and font formatting, and use both electronic and printed copies to avoid eye strain.

Verify that the title page is correct and formatted correctly. Analyze the implications of your research for practice and provide sufficient examples of how your dissertation findings may be valuable to industry practitioners.

Lastly, suggest future research directions and outline how your fellow researchers can expand your analysis and address any limitations and knowledge gaps.

  • Technical Aspects

The final part of the checklist focuses on the technical aspects of your dissertation to ensure that it is free of any technical issues. Although such problems are uncommon, it’s a good idea to have a contingency plan in place just in case.

Before submitting your dissertation, try opening the file on multiple computers to detect any bugs or compatibility issues. If possible, submit the document in PDF format to ensure that it maintains its integrity and can be viewed on most computer systems. Formats like .doc or .docx may cause formatting problems if the reviewer uses a different software version than you. Ensure that all figures in your document are embedded JPG or PNG files and avoid cross-referenced elements. Include any required declarations, such as a statement confirming that the dissertation paper is being submitted for the first time. Leave at least three days for binding your dissertation to make any necessary page replacements or changes. Verify that the document was successfully uploaded and received by your university. Use any spare time to prepare for your future defense.

In case you face difficulties with any of the above-mentioned aspects of MBA dissertation writing, our website offers various solutions. You can browse through our MBA dissertation examples, explore our sample MBA dissertation topics, or seek MBA dissertation help from our team of assignment writers who are industry professionals with extensive experience in supervising projects in this field. We provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee for all our services, including dissertation writing, essay writing, and assignment help. You can also order individual elements, such as MBA project topics or specific chapters. We can assist you with any part of your dissertation that you are struggling with or provide a second opinion to determine if your current choices are appropriate for achieving a high-quality dissertation.