In the discussion you should comment on your results (Approximately 500 words), including: Summarise and find themes from your data analysis above.


989N1: Research Methods for Accounting and Finance

Report Assignment Description

This research Report is to assess your understanding on qualitative research methods. You are required:

  • To conduct a small scale of qualitative research on exploring the corporate sustainability approaches in the samples of your choice (in a specific region, industry, sector, etc.). (80% weight of this Report Assignment).
  • To create a video presenting your key research findings. (20% weight of this Report Assignment).

Report structure and writing requirements, with the guidance on word count allocation.

Refer to the following academic paper to develop your research report.

Formentini, M. and Taticchi, P., 2016. Corporate sustainability approaches and governance mechanisms in sustainable supply chain management. Journal of cleaner production, 112, pp.1920-1933.


  1. Literature review and proposition development (20 marks)

In this section, you are required to write a literature review on 6-8 journal papers on corporate sustainability approaches. Explain how the above literature help you to develop your research question that you would like to investigate using qualitative data. State your research questions, propositions or predicted patterns clearly. (Approximately 400 words)


  1. Qualitative Research Method and Research Design (30 marks)

You are required to adopt the same method as in Formentini, M. and Taticchi, P., (2016). This section will thus include:

  • Research methodology, which details the inductive case study approach, the interviews conducted in the sampled companies, and the coding process. Table 1 Sample used for data collection is required.
  • Description of the case studies, which details the within-case analysis and cross-case analysis. Table 2 Cross-case analysis is required. Alternative presentation of the analysis results is also encouraged, such as charts or word clouds, to present the pattern of the data analysis.

(Approximately 600 words. Tables do not contribute to word count.)

Sample size required: at least THREE companies.


  1. Discussion of Results (30 marks)

In the discussion you should comment on your results (Approximately 500 words), including:

  • Summarise and find themes from your data analysis above.
  • Highlight the interesting findings and data.
  • To which extent your findings agree or disagree with the literature? Write your answers to this question as the analysis of your results.
  • Consider the accuracy and reliability of your results and especially address the limitations of your research (e.g., small sample size, limited access to data, etc.)


  1. Appendix

In this section, you are required to copy and paste the raw data and data analysis outcomes as you produced in Word, Excel and NVivo (both or the ones relevant) to evidence the data analyses and results as you reported above. There is no formatting requirement for this section, as long as the data is clear to read. Marking on this section will be reflected in the above relevant sections. Please note that insufficient data and analysis reported in this section will result in low marks on the above relevant sections, as the research originality would be questionable.

Video Requirement

Introduction to the video project

The video part (20%) of this assignment is supported with £1,700 grant as the award of Education and Students Small Grant Awards 2021/22. This project aims to support students to create high quality, publicly available video contents to show case your key findings in your research results. This project could also:

  • help students to understand and to seek more details on their interest topics
  • bring some guidelines to students about related topics
  • use as evidence of showcasing students’ work at Sussex Business School, especially support their career planning as a track record
  • improve the communication skills of students as well as public speaking, planning, and executing as well as editing and production skills
  • raise public awareness of sustainable development
  • allow students to attempt to clearly communicate complex ideas and concepts learned in class into simpler and comprehensible terms
  • build students’ confidence around using tech and public speaking

Specific Video Requirement

Video Contents:

  • Introduction to your research questions, with a very brief literature review.
  • Introduce your data collection and analysis.
  • Present the key findings of your research.
  • Discussion on the implications of your research findings.
  • Address the limitation of your research.
  • Thank you and ending part.

 Video Design:

It is the student’s decision to make, regarding the video design, including: presentation in front of camera, voice over PPT, animation, documentary format, etc.

The following examples are illustrations of the possible designs that students may choose.

Video Format for submission: mp4

Video length: around 5 minutes (+/- 1 minutes)

 Students could opt for:

  • To release the video on a YouTube channel and/or Zhihu (Chinese equivalent to the educational function of YouTube) will be created for this project and public available. Students will get funded if they opt for this option. Budgeting, getting the video production budget approved, and guidance of purchasing video editing service is covered in Topic 10. Please note, you will be asked to agree with releasing this video to the public by signing up a separate consent form, addressing the GDPR issues.
  • To upload the video on Canvas for assessment purpose only. Please note that, video production in this category is not funded.

Noted that, marks will be awarded based on the quality of the research by applying the Marking Criteria as in the section below. The funding to videos only aims to improve the visual quality to serve the purpose of releasing them to the public.