Question: Research Methods in Finance
You are required to write a 2,000 word critical review of the literature on a topic, of your choice, in finance.
The topic - strategies for SME restructuring and recovery
The purpose of this assignment is to assess your abilities to research a topic in finance or accounting. In particular, you need to demonstrate you can
(1) identify and formulate an inquiry question,
(2) search and locate the relevant literature,
(3) evaluate existing literature in terms of key trends, omissions, biases etc.,
(4) synthesise knowledge into a literature review with coherently linked ideas.
The review must include at least ten research articles from peer-reviewed journals. You will likely need to supplement your literature review with additional materials such as unpublished papers and books. Majority of the articles should be published within the last ten years.
Basic outline for the literature review
1. Introduction(one-two paragraphs): It provides an outline of your research topic and its rationale. It should cover
• What are the questions for this review?
• Why are they important?
• Brief summary of the common themes you found.
2. Main body
In this section, you should synthesise and evaluate the information in the literature you chose. This is not just a summary of the articles or a series of abstracts you have read. It should provide a thoughtful analysis of the strengths/weaknesses of the literature, and identify the gaps. The opinions about usefulness or relevance of the articles should be supported by logic or evidence. You are looking to create a big picture by looking for connections and contradictions in the literature.
3. Conclusion (one-two paragraphs)
Overall, what can you say is known about the topic you chose? Is there general agreement in the literature? If not, what are the main reasons for the disagreement? How were your inquiry questions answered (or not)? What is still unknown about your topic?
All the articles, books etc. cited in the paper should be listed here. There should be a one-to-one correspondence, and the references must be arranged alphabetically. They should be in Cranfield author-date format.
5. Tables and Figures (if any)
Not more than one per page, no more than three pages. They should also follow the same style guidelines (see below), except the font size may be reduced to 10.