Wrapping up a Business and Public Administration Research Report
Like the first component of a research report (introduction to the research), the last component (research summary, conclusions, limitations, and recommendations) is an important component in business and public administration research as is the case in any humanities and social science research. In sum, the ‘introduction to the research’ component focuses on conceptualising the research, that is, ‘what’ research we are pursuing and ‘why’. The ‘research summary, conclusions, limitations, and recommendations’ focuses on four related aspects of a research report. First, it provides for the outputs of research by summarising its process and content. Second, it provides for the outcomes of research by pointing out its conclusions. Third, it documents aspects that took away (limitations) from the research process and its resulting content. Lastly, based on the foregoing, it proposes some policy, operational, practical, and future research recommendations. However, when undertaking this ultimate component, we often fail to explicitly tie in all that happened (research process) and how this led to the content. Therefore, this paper pursues the question, ‘how can we effectively summarise a business and public administration research report and critically point out its conclusions as well as limitations and recommendations’. In doing so, we propose some approaches and considerations when wrapping up our business and public administration research. Generally, we should realise that this component feeds off and links in with the other five components of a research report, implying that its quality is only as good as the quality of the other components. Further, since this component also feeds into the other components of a research report, we can use it to improve our research report especially the first component (research conceptualisation) and the second (the conceptual framework). Specifically, the four subcomponents namely, research summary, conclusions, limitations, and recommendations, are interlinked and, therefore, we should have this in mind when dealing with this component. Like any other component, it should be well structured, well written, and its content comprehensive and critical. We should remember that it is a platform for us to stand out from anyone else doing similar research. We believe that the approach proposed in this paper provides a firm starting point for wrapping up our business and public administration research.
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