Tips For Writing MBA Dissertations

Tips For Writing MBA Dissertations In Entrepreneurship

You are supposed to work out a research proposal that clarifies or specifies the research questions, indicates the methods that will be employed etc.

It is also possible to take these suggestions simply as inspirations for developing your own research topic, research question and methodological choices

MBA Dissertations Writing Tips

  • Probably the main reason for MBAs struggling with their dissertations, is the lack of a coherent single driving question, or one that is far too broad. For instance, “Developing a growth strategy for small firms,” or “The secrets of business success”, are fine ideals but not one that an MBA project should attempt to pursue. They generally result in diffuse pieces of work, which generally deteriorate rather than improve with further effort. It is critical then to have a single focused, workable question and we strongly urge you to discuss this issue with your supervisor at the outset
  • Work with existing theories and frameworks. You do not have the time, resources, skills or credibility to invent completely new models of small business or entrepreneurship
  • Find something that has the potential to be of ongoing use/interest. It’s a pity to put in all that effort “just” to pass the project and get the MBA. You’ll also find it easier to stay motivated.
  • Work on something on which you can gather credible data.
  • Always remember that you are working toward recommending something, and that your recommendations should usually be twofold. First, some particular recommendations for your (nascent) company or subject. Second, some more general suggestions for the field, or for other companies facing similar situations, in the light of your analysis. We say this because we know that you are usually having to satisfy two masters with this project: one practical, the other academic. It is too easy to focus on one to the detriment of the other unless you are mindful that you must satisfy both.
  • You can do yourself a favour by selecting a title that always reminds your dual aims. For example: “Developing an entry strategy for a new start-up – The case of Venturecorp”; is more helpful than “Venture Strategies for start-ups” (too general and unfeasible) or “A strategic plan for Venturecorp” (too particular, not academic enough).

The Basic Layout Of an MBA Dissertation

The structure of the dissertation will be very similar to that of the proposal i.e.

The title page, it must be final by this stage, and again you should also include on this page your name, the academic institution to which you are submitting the dissertation and the degree for which the dissertation or thesis is being entered

A contents page with full details of the contents and page number

The abstract – a one page summary of what is contained within the dissertation as a whole

The preface – where you acknowledge help received, especially from your supervisor

The introduction – giving the thesis statement and expanding on it, developing the central idea and leading into the main body of the dissertation

A detailed list of chapters with titles for each. (Remember that though each chapter is a separate facet of the dissertation, they should be linked both with each other and the central argument, all supported by evidence, correctly cited

The conclusion, more important than you may think, particularly as you should include the limitations of the present work and possible future research

Bibliography – containing a complete list of your reading, subdivided into primary and secondary texts. This must be in the required referencing style of your college or university

Appendices – these are usually essential in a business dissertation and you need to say how you have used them and what is contained within them, usually supplementary data which is referred to within the dissertation.

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