MKT 791
Marketing Models

Guidelines for Research Proposal


The purpose of the written research proposal is to give students an opportunity to develop their research skills.  The student must design a research study with a modeling component.  The design can entail an experiment, quasi-experiment, descriptive study (e.g., utilizing survey data, scanner data), and so forth.  The following chart provides an outline that you may find useful to follow.

Heading Content
Research Problem Describe the rationale for the study: background, research objectives, and potential contributions of research.  (The length of this section should be about 2-3 pages.)
Literature Review Briefly describe the context for your research, and how it relates to prior work.  Define your key constructs.  Identify research gaps. (The length of this section should be about three or four pages.)
Model Specification Develop your model.  Completely describe your model specification, including any assumptions and hypotheses. Provide a brief explanation that outlines the logic of your model development.  (The length of this section should be about 8-10 pages).
Methodology Describe the method in detail.  For example, in an experimental study, describe the procedure (how you will select subjects, assign them to conditions, the instructions you will give them, the manipulations and the dependent variable).  For example, for a survey, describe a method of administration (mail, phone, internet) and describe how you will obtain cooperation.  For all measured constructs, show three to five sample items that will be used to measure the constructs.  (This section should be about two pages.)
Data Analysis Plan Outline the analyses you plan to conduct to evaluate your model.  Review the threats to internal and external validity with respect to your study.  Indicate which threats are a problem and which are not, and why.  (This section should be about two pages.)
Managerial Relevance This section should be about one page.

You must submit a short (two or three page) description of your idea for a research proposal  for approval, and meet with the instructor to discuss it. The completed proposal should be no longer than 25 pages, typed and double-spaced, excluding relevant references.  It is due on Friday May 6th, 9am.

Notes: (1) Do not include a huge literature review in your research proposal! (2)  The research that you propose  must be “doable” -- e.g., possibly as a summer research project.  You are encouraged to meet with the instructor before April 8th to make sure you are "on track".