MBA Project Proposal Form

MBA Project Proposal Form: Purpose of the Project and your Reasons for Choosing it.


MBA Project

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Proposal Form

1             Your Contact Details

Name xxxxxx
Degree MBA
Registration Number 201170372
Mobile Number 07990 554830


2             Project Title

1 – Does giving voice to end users have a positive impact upon identifying strategic direction and implementation?

2 – Does involving end users and operational staff in strategic analysis support commitment to purpose?

3             Purpose of the Project and your Reasons for Choosing it.

Not for profit organisations rarely have fully inclusive strategic plans. The key stakeholder (the end user) often has little power and is rarely consulted, conversely as a result of the organisation being reliant upon them; the powerful stakeholders, contract owners, philanthropic funders and the board of trustees are in a position to guide strategy in a manner which may not be in line with that of the vision of the charity. An inclusive strategic analysis would provide a fuller picture of the needs and wants of the end user and in turn better inform the key stakeholders.

The objective of this study is to undertake an inclusive strategic analysis. The findings will contribute two fold, they will build upon the knowledge and literature currently available whilst intelligence gathering for a not for profit organisation.

4             Project Question(s)

How will involving end users and delivery staff in a strategic needs analysis impact upon their commitment to facilitating the strategy?

Will demonstrating procedural justice and political feasibility through involvement of staff increase commitment to the cause?

Will involving end users in a socially acceptable process increase reported procedural rationality?



5             Personal Learning Objectives

This project will allow me to contribute to determining the strategic direction of my charity through carrying the voice of our end users and staff to the Senior Team (of which I am a member), who will ultimately create the strategy. It will allow me to increase my competence at using Decision Explorer not only as a means of  identifying potential strategic focus but also as a tool for identifying key issues and objectives in a variety of situations.

6             Relevant Past Studies

The predominant study which will be used as a basis for conducting and analysing this project will be Strategy as a Social Process in Ackerman and Eden’s “Making Strategy”, mapping out strategic success (2012). To investigate potential cause and correlation I will draw upon the lessons learned in Managing People in Organisations, University of Strathclyde Core text and the 6th edition of Organisational Behaviour, Andrzej, Huczynski and Buchanan (2007).

7             Sources of Data

Primary Data – Pre and Post group-work questionnaires with end users and staff, interviews with individuals and groups.

Primary Data – Participant observations.

A research diary will be used to aid observations made during the process, capturing interview feedback and informal feedback.

8             Proposed Methodology

End Users – The primary objective is to identify whether involving and engaging end users in a strategic analysis increases their perception of procedural rationality and justice, does it make sense, is it fair?

The end users will complete a questionnaire prior to the issues management workshop. The questions will be (not exact and not exhaustively):

Pre Workshop

  1. How well do you think “you” understand the issues/problems you have regarding finding a job, good training or an apprenticeship? Scale
  2. Why do you think that?
  3. How well do you feel you are listened to when it comes to giving advice to adults who try to help you? Scale
  4. Why do you think that?
  5. How well do you feel that adults understand the issues/problems you have regarding finding a job, good training or an apprenticeship? Scale
  6. Why do you think that?


Post Workshop

  1. Do you think you understand the issues/problems facing you better than you did before the workshop?
  2. Why do you think you answered that way?
  3. Do you think that the adults involved with this workshop listened to your issues/problems?
  4. Please give an example of being listened to
  5. Do you think you have helped others understand your issues/problems more?
  6. Why do you think that?
  7. Do you think workshops like this will help adults’ better support young people?
  8. Why?

Staff – Will demonstrating procedural justice and political feasibility through involvement of staff increase commitment to the cause?

The staff will complete a questionnaire prior to the issues management workshop. The questions will be (not exact and not exhaustively):

Pre Workshop

  1. How well do you feel “your” issues/problems/ideas are understood by management? Scale
  2. Please explain
  3. How do you feel this affects achieving strategic success? scale
  4. Please explain
  5. How do you feel this affects you striving to achieve strategic objectives? Scale
  6. Please explain

Post Workshop

  1. Do you feel “your” issues/problems and ideas have been heard? Scale
  2. Please give an example
  3. How do you think this will affect WorkingRite creating a stronger strategic focus? Scale
  4. Please explain
  5. Will having an input into creating strategic objectives encourage you to strive towards achieving those objectives?
  6. Please explain

Workshops         Note all issues and Ideas will be collected and ordered using Decision Explorer.

End User:            Young People

To conduct three issues gathering exercises with two distinct groups of young people circa 6-10 per group. One group will be in the north east of Scotland, it is likely that rural exclusion will be an issue. The second group will be in Glasgow, poverty and competition may be issues.  Information gathered using a variety of methods:



This information will be collected and input directly as a group session using DE or GE


9             Anticipated Problems

I am anticipating that unless the exercise is framed correctly that the end users may not understand with and thus engage with the process. Ironically it is rare that they are asked for their opinions. Regarding staff, it is a potential issue that the workshop will be facilitated by me, their senior manager. Unless an environment which encourages openness with no retribution is created then the engagement may be false and inhibited.

To date an ideal method of getting the young people to open out has not been identified, Decision Explorer may not be the best method, and currently I am investigating using Mind Mapping, Buzan (1974) as a means of issue collecting.

10           Outline of Chapters

Literature Review

Review of strategy literature focussing on strategy as a social process Ackerman and Eden. Review of literature focussing on Motivation and Empowerment, Managing people in Organisations, University of Strathclyde.  Review of literature focussing on individuals within an organisation and groups, teams in an organisation, Organisational Behaviour, Huczynski and Buchanan.


This chapter will detail and explain how the data was collated and analysed.


This chapter will detail the major findings and explain how they relate to the thesis questions.


This section will discuss how the findings can positively or negatively impact upon WorkingRite.


The conclusion will answer whether the thesis questions were answered and how, if at all, the answers may potentially be used to increase performance of a third sector organisation such as WorkingRite.



11           Expected Schedule

Approval of project proposal 28 February
Literature Review Mid March
Workshop group one First half April
Workshop group two Mid April
Workshop staff End April
Methodology write up Mid May
Findings write up End May
Discussion and Conclusion write up Mid June
First draft reviewed End June
Redraft Mid-July
Second draft End July
Final draft submitted Beginning August
Submission Mid August




12           Group Agreement (NA)


13           Supervision

The supervisor’s role is to guide you through your project and to monitor your progress. Use the Supervisor Index on the intranet to identify a supervisor who has expertise in the area of your project.


Supervisor’s Name:         

Supervisor’s Signature:  

Date:      24 February 2014

  • Ethics Application


Does your research involve people?                                                             Yes

Will you be sending out questionnaires?                                                       Yes

Will you interview people on the telephone or face-to-face?                      Yes

Does your research involve observing people at work?                              No


If you answered Yes to any of these questions, please complete an Ethics Application (the form is available on the Intranet) and attach it to this Project Proposal Form.




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