The ultimate purpose of this paper is to create/integrate/summarize knowledge that would help improve the performance of a business. Your paper should NOT summarize knowledge that is generally available to “everyone”—I’m looking for a new perception that would be generally unavailable to competitors. If your information is truly useful for increasing the performance of a business, this would give you a competitive advantage over your competitors.
TOPIC OF THE PAPER
Your paper will be an original, academic paper based on readings that you do in academic journals. Its purpose will be to study a variable of interest that affects the performance of firms. Example:
In business-to-business selling, you may be interested in how the trust between buyers and sellers might affect customer satisfaction, loyalty, and customer relationship management between the two firms.
ORGANIZATION OF THE PAPER
Your paper will be written in the third person, with virtually NO use of the first or second person. It will also be organized in a “standard” academic manner. Generally, the following organizational scheme is preferred:
I. IntroductionThe introduction will present an argument for why this paper has been written. It will present the topic as one of either interest or importance (or both) to the performance of a business. Answer one or both of these questions: Why is this topic interesting? Why is this topic important to a business?
II. Literature review—summarizes the current state of knowledge—what other authors have researched and written about the topic.1. The lit review starts by defining the problem to be addressed or the variable to be studied—discuss different definitions used by different authors (if they differ) and reconcile them into your own definition.2. It then continues by presenting causes for the problem or antecedents to the variable of interest.3. Next, the consequences of the problem or variable are discussed.4. Finally, previous speculation about the problem or variable would be presented. Draw a model of what your literature review has shown. Identify relationships among variables that have NOT been previously tested. YOUR speculation about these untested relationships may be formally stated as a series of propositions or hypotheses.
III. Managerial implicationsIn this section, you will write about how the knowledge developed previously in your paper can be used by managers to improve their businesses. Here you will use a line of logic to present how your problem-solution or the antecedents and consequences of your variable can be manipulated by a manager for maximum advantage for the business involved.
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