The selection of a suitable “topic” or “area of research” is the first major step in writing a doctoral dissertation and it is a major challenge in conducting research. In this program we expect you to identify your area of research interest as soon as you start the program so that you can use assigned course research papers as a means of doing preliminary work on your projected research (Lunemburg & Irby, 2008). This selection topic could be as broad as your program concentration (i.e., accounting and finance, management, information technology management), or more specific, such as “factors that influence compliance with information security regulations within organizations.” As you begin to focus progressively on a broad search for a research topic, you gain a more thorough understanding of what has been done so far in an area, as well as what is missing and needs to be done to fill a knowledge gap.
In this assignment you will analyze the criteria to make an informed decision. Remember that your degree is a Ph.D. in Business Administration (not in Information Systems, Accounting and Finance, Education, etc.). Hence, your area of research should fit within the field of Business as well as within your own concentration.
Some sources of ideas for research topic areas include: scholarly journals, professional journals, dissertations, area of work experience, professional associations, etc.
After you have gone through the resources, discuss the following questions:
- What should be the criteria for topic selection? Identify at least five characteristics of a good dissertation topic.
- Identify two potential dissertation topics. Make sure you identify at least one dependent variable and one independent variable for each topic. Justify your topic selections using the criteria discussed in question 1.
- Which academic journals in your field would publish such topics? List two journals for each topic. Make sure the journals you mention are reputable and have a high impact factor.
Organize your paper in a scholarly way. Add section titles when necessary. Explain your logic and when appropriate, use external sources and proper citations.
Conclude your report with a paragraph or so evaluating the entire exercise in terms of what you have learned and your reflections on the topic.
The paper is usually between 5 and 12 pages long.
- Use appropriate and current scholarly journals (at least 50% of the literature should have been published in the last five years).
- Understand the key themes in the reading list.
- Answer the questions with clarity, depth, and critical thinking.
- Work shows completeness and coherence: Chain of thought is easy to follow.
- Collect relevant evidences and consult additional papers/resources to support the propositions.
- Paper is clearly written with appropriate format. Reference list is complete. Citation is properly done.
Saha, S., Saint, S. Christakis, D. A. (2003) Impact factor: a valid measure of journal quality?. J.Med.Library Assoc. 91(1): 42-46. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC141186/
Harvey, C., Kelly, A., Morris, H. & Rowlinson, M. (2010). Academic Journal Quality Guide. Version 4. ABS The Association of Business Schools. Available at
Harzing (2016). Journal Quality List. Harzing.com Available at http://www.harzing.com/resources/journal-quality-list
ASSESSING JOURNAL QUALITY: JOURNAL QUALITY. University Libraries, Boston University. Available at http://libguides.bc.edu/journalqual
Trident’s Dissertation Template. Available at http://phdtrident.pbworks.com/w/page/107047575/MyTLC%20Help
Common software downloads for students at Trident http://support.trident.edu/
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