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INSTITUTE of BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

College of Business Management


Department of Business
COURSE SPECIFICATION
Methods in Business Research
University: Institute of Business Management

Faculty: Kausar Saeed

Course specifications
Programme(s) on which the course is given:
Major or minor elements of programmes:
Department offering the programme:
Department offering the course:
Academic year/Level:
Date of upgraded specification approval:

BBA(H)
BBA(H),
College of Business Management
Marketing
Level 3/4
Sept. 2012

A. Basic Information
Title: Methods in Business Research

Code: MKT 404

Credit hours: 3
Tutorial: 2

Lectures: 2
Total: 3

Practical: 1

B. Professional Information

1. Overall aims of course


Objective of this course is to familiarize students with the research process and to
provide them with the necessary knowledge in designing and conducting scientific
research which can be applied to practical problems encountered in a business
organization.
On completion of the course students will be able to:
Translate management problem into feasible business research questions.
Write a research brief and research proposal
Develop a sound research design.
Develop hypothesis
Suggest appropriate data collection methods
Analyze and interpret data using appropriate statistical analysis tests
Write a research report
Present the research findings.
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2. Intended learning outcomes of course (ILOs)


a. Knowledge and understanding:
Students completing this course should:
be familiar with the research process
understand issues associated with ethics in business research
comprehend basic research design methodology
be able to differentiate between the levels of measurement
comprehend the data collection process
know how to prepare and analyze data
be able to competently discuss approaches to hypothesis testing
understand measures of association and multivariate analysis
have the ability to coherently report and present research results
b. Intellectual skills:
At basic level MBR students learn to comprehend
Research terminology, design and process
Tutorial discussions
research projects set with well defined tasks
At advanced level:
students identifying their own area of research,
applying the techniques to carry out aims and objectives set by
the student for that research
mooting or debate on problems involving substantial analysis
and research literature reviews or surveys
c. Professional and practical skills:
This course has been designed to enable students to:

To develop a practical understanding of different methods of data collection and


analysis
To develop skills in the facilitation of Management and Business decisions
To develop skills in making inferences within the business environment

d. General and transferable skills

Organizational skills
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i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
vii.
viii.
ix.

Confidence
Critical thinking and problem-solving skills:
Ability to convince/argue
Research skills:
Ability to meet deadlines, thrive under deadline pressure:
Ability to handle multiple tasks:
Ability to achieve goals:
Report Writing skills:
Presentation skills

Contents:

Topic

No.
of
hours

Lecture

Introduction to Business research

1.5

1.5

1.5

Tutorial/P
ractical/
Case
Studies/
Videos
etc.

This introductory session provides an overview of the


nature and scope of business research. It gives a
definition and classification of business research. Role of
research in decision making process and its importance
management decision making tool is emphasized
The role of social media and ethical considerations,
topics of current relevance, are discussed. When research
is needed and when it should be conducted is included.
Learning outcomes:
- The role of research in successful business
decision.
- Define business research and distinguish between
problem-identification and problem-solving
research.
- Differentiate between applied and basic research.
Pedagogy

Lecture and class discussion on various situations in the


real world (with special reference to Pakistan) where
research has been used to make decisions and Class
assignment.
2

Scientific research and theory building

0.5

The scientific method is a set of prescribed procedures


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for establishing and connecting theoretical statements


about events, for analyzing empirical evidence, and for
predicting events yet unknown.
Seven operations may be viewed as the steps
involved in the application of the scientific method: (1)
Assessment of relevant existing knowledge
of a phenomenon, (2) formulation of concepts and
propositions, (3) statement of hypotheses,
(4) design of research to test the hypotheses, (5)
acquisition of meaningful empirical data,
(6) analysis and evaluation of data, and (7) proposal of an
explanation of the phenomenon and statement of new
problems raised by the research. In sum, the scientific
method guides us from the abstract nature of concepts
and propositions, to the empirical variables and
hypotheses, and to the testing and verification of theory.
Theory is a formal, logical explanation of some events
that includes predictions of how things relate to one
another. There are two primary goals of theory. The first
is to understand the relationships among various
phenomena.
This session provides with general understanding of what
constitute the scientific research
What is theory
What are concepts, propositions and variables
How are theories generated?
Learning Outcomes:
- Understand the scientific method of research
- Explain Induction and Deduction
- Understand the terms concepts, propositions,
variables, and hypotheses
- Discuss how theories are developed
Pedagogy

Lecture and Class assignment.


3

The Business Research Process overview

1.5

Decision making occurs when managers choose among


alternatives and research helps them in making educated
guess that which alternative is best to pursue.
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Exploratory, descriptive and causal are major types of


business researches and the decision situation determines
whether exploratory, descriptive, or causal research is
most appropriate. The six major phases of the research
process will be discussed 1) defining the research
objectives, 2) planning the research design, 3) sampling,
4) data gathering, 5) data processing and analysis, and 6)
drawing conclusions and report preparation. Each stage
involves several activities or steps.
Learning Outcomes:
-

Define decision making process and understand


the role research plays in making decisions
Classify business research as exploratory
research, descriptive research, or causal research
List the major phases of the research process and
the steps within each stage.

Pedagogy

Lecture
Class Discussion
Class Activity
4

Problem Definition, research objectives.

1.5

This session will emphasize the importance of defining


the business research problem and address the
complexities involved in its definition. The distinction
and the relationship between the management-decision
problem and the business research objectives are
emphasized.
Learning Outcomes:

1.
2.

3.

Understand the importance of and the process


used for defining the business research problem.
Describe the tasks involved in problem definition,
including discussions with decision makers,
interviews with industry experts, secondary data
analysis, and qualitative research.
Discuss the environmental factors affecting the
definition of the research problem: past
information and forecasts, resources and
constraints, objectives of the decision maker,
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4.
5.

buyer behavior, legal environment, economic


environment, and business and technological
skills of the firm.
Clarify the distinction between the managementdecision problem and the business research
objectives.
Explain the structure of a well-defined business
research problem, including the broad statement
and the specific components.

Pedagogy
Lecture
Discussion
Exercises
Case discussion :National Markets---Nutritional
Labelling

Exploratory Research and Secondary data analysis

.1.5

0.5

This session discusses how past researches and other


information that can be obtained with the help of desk
research can be used to understand the present problem.
Secondary data are data that have been gathered and
recorded previously for purposes other than those of the
current researcher. There are three general categories of
secondary research objectives: fact-finding, model
building, and database marketing. The issues related to
the use of secondary data is explained
Learning outcomes:
- List and understand the differences between
qualitative research and quantitative research
- Understand the role of qualitative research in
exploratory research designs
- Prepare a focus group interview outline
- Recognize common qualitative research tools and
know the advantages and limitations of their use
- Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of
secondary data
- Define types of secondary data analysis
conducted by business research managers
Pedagogy
Lecture
6
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FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION


7

Theoretical Framework and Hypothesis Development


In this session four types of variables independent,
dependent, intervening and moderating are examined.
Identification and labeling variables associated with any
given situation is discussed. Students should be able to
trace the link among the variables and evolve a
theoretical framework.
Hypothesis development: A hypothesis can be defined as
a logically conjectured relationship between two or more
variables expressed in the form of testable statement.
How to develop a set of hypothesis that is to be tested
and state them in null and alternate form is explained and
practiced
Learning Outcomes:

Identify and label variables associated with a


given situation
Trace and establish the link among the variables
and evolve a theoretical framework.
Develop a set of hypothesis to be tested and state
them in null and the alternate

Pedagogy

Lecture,
Exercises
Class Assignments
Case Discussion: Sleepless nights at Holiday Inn
8

Sampling Designs And Sampling Procedures


Sample design involves identification of population of
interest, the sampling method and the sample size.
Sampling is a procedure that uses a small number of units
of a given population as a basis for drawing conclusions
about the whole population. The two major classes of
sampling methods are probability and non probability
techniques. A researcher who must determine the most
appropriate sampling design for a specific project will
identify a number of sampling criteria and evaluate the
relative importance of each criterion before selecting a
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design. The most common criteria concern accuracy


requirements, available resources, time constraints,
knowledge availability, and analytical requirements.
Learning Outcomes:

Explain reasons for taking a sample rather than a


complete census.
Describe the process of identifying a target
population and selecting a sampling frame
Identify the types of probability and
nonprobability sampling, including their
advantages and disadvantages
Discuss how to choose an appropriate sample
design, as well as challenges for Internet sampling

Pedagogy

Lecture,
Exercises
Class Assignments
Case Discussion: Corporate Fashion Inc

Determination Of Sample Size


Determination of sample size requires a knowledge
of statistics. Descriptive statistics describe characteristics
of a population or sample. Inferential statistics investigate
samples to draw conclusions about entire populations.
The statistical determination of sample size
requires knowledge of (1) the variance of the population,
(2) the magnitude of acceptable error,
and (3) the confidence level.
Several computational formulas are discussed for
determining sample size.
Learning Outcomes:

Understand basic statistical terminology


Interpret frequency distributions, proportions,
and measures of central tendency and dispersion
Explain the central-limit theorem
Summarize the use of confidence interval
estimates
Discuss major issues in specifying sample size
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Pedagogy

Lecture,
Exercises
Class Assignments

10

The research proposal


.
The session explains the research proposal which is a
written statement of the research design that will be
followed in addressing a specific problem. The research
proposal allows managers to evaluate the details of the
proposed research and determine if alterations are
needed. Most research proposals include the following
sections: decision description, purpose of the research
including the research objectives, research design, sample
design, data gathering and/or fieldwork techniques, data
processing and analysis, budget, and time schedule.
Along with the research proposal, the research brief is
also discussed. Students learn on how to write a research
brief and a research proposal.

Case
discussio
n
Nutritio
nal
labeling
this case
would
provide
a
situation
in which
the
students
would
need to
identify
the
problem
and
based on
the case
make a
research
proposal

Learning Outcomes:
- understand the purpose of the research proposal
- Outline the components of a research proposal
Pedagogy

Lecture,
Sample Proposal
Assignment

11/ MID TERM 1


12
13
Presentations of Research Proposal
14

0.75

0.25

Measurement and scaling, Reliability and validity


This session provides a discussion on Ranking and rating
scales. Different tyes of Continuous and itemized rating
scales are discussed. The construction of multi-item
scales is described. The evaluation of scales in terms of
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measurement accuracy, reliability, validity, and


generalizability is discussed at some length. The issues of
reliability and validity are critical in applied marketing
research, because actual decisions will be made and
dollars spent based on the assumed reliability and validity
of a scale.
Learning outcomes:
- Explain the differences between measurement and
scaling.
- Explain the differences among Likert, semantic
differential, and Stapel scales.
Describe the decisions involved in constructing
itemized rating scales, and the options that should
be considered.
- Discuss the evaluation of scales, and the
relationship between reliability and validity.
- Understand the considerations that are important in
implementing noncomparative scales in an
international setting.
Pedagogy
Exercises on designing questions using scales

15

Data collection methods in Survey research.

3.0

1.5

1.5

This session begins with an explanation of the different


survey methods. The discussion continues to explain
which method i.e personal interviews, telephone
interviews or self administered interviews should be
conducted in order to collect data. The merits and
shortcomings of each of the data collection methods is
discussed.The session ends with discussing how digital
technology and internet research are dramatically
changing survey research.
Learning outcomes:
1. to understand the different data collection methods
2. to understand which data collection method i.e
personal interviews, telephone interviews,or self
administered surveys should be used under what
situation.
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3.to understand how to increase the response rate of mail


survey.
4. to understand the ethical issues related to data
collection.
5. to understand how internet technology has
dramatically changed survey research
Pedagogy
1. lecture with discussion
2. Case discussion which helps the students to think
about which data collection method would be appropriate
to obtain the best quality data.
3. Case The Gift Shop
16

Questionnaire design
This session begins with the importance of questionnaire
designing and the importance of wording the
questionnaire in order to avoid mistakes and biases. It
goes on to explain the procedure that needs to be
followed to design a good questionnaire. The importance
of relevance and accuracy in order to meet the
researchers objectives are discussed.

1.5

1.5

Learning outcomes:
1. Students will understand how managers questions and
research objectives are to be met through the questions in
the questionnaire.
2. Learn how questionnaire designing is not an easy task
and that proper wording and relevant questions can
contribute greatly to the quality of information obtained
through surveys.
3.To recognize that decisions about the data collection
method will influence question format and questionnaire
layout.
4.To understand the guidelines that help to prevent the
most common mistakes in questionnaire design.
5.To understand how to plan and design a questionnaire
layout.
6.To understand the importance of pretesting and revising
questionnaire.
Pedagogy
Lecture 2. Critical discussion of sample questionnaires
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17

3. case discussion to help understand the most suitable


method of data collection.
4. Case Brackman National Bank
.
Students Individual questionnaires related to their term
research project will be discussed and corrected.

1.5

0.5

Learning objectives:
1. Students will understand if their individual
questionnaires are meeting their research objectives.
2. To understand how the questions should be worded.
3. To understand how the questionnaire layout should be.
4. to make them understand if the questions are loaded or
leading by pointing these out in their questionnaires
Pedagogy:
One on one discussion as well as class discussion where
the class critiques the questionnaires of the other groups.

18

Editing and coding.


During this session the importance of editing and coding
as a pre-step to data analysis is explained.
Learning Objectives:
1. To understand and explain the terms editing and
coding
2. To understand the purposes of field editing and in
house editing.
2. to be able to code fixed alternative questions and open
ended questions.
3. To understand how computerised data processing
influences the coding process.

Data Analysis descriptive


Students would be explained how raw data is
transformed into a form that will make it easy for them to
understand and interpret the data. The session continues
to discuss how frequency distributions ad percentage
distributions are the most common ways of summarising
data.
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Learning outcomes:
1. To understand descriptive analysis
2. To understand what simple tabulation is and cross
tabulation
3. To understand quadrant analysis.
Pedagogy
1. Exercises to help them understand the use of
descriptive analysis techniques in analyzing data.
2 Students are asked to transform sample raw data into a
form that can be analysed
3. students are given an exercise to analyse data with the
help of quadrant analysis
2

Univariate Analysis and Bivariate analysis


Students to be shown the difference between bivariate
and multivariate analysis.
The session begins by explaining how hypothesis testing
is done using univariate analysis. Hypothesis and its
importance in research is explained. The difference
between null and Alternate hypothesis is reemphasized
and the hypothesis testing procedure is explained.
The presence of Type I and type II errors is pointed out
The appropriate use of T tests and Chi square tests is
explained
It is pointed out that Bi variate analysis is used in a
situation when the investigation involves two variables.
Again the use of the T test and Chi square test with
relation to bivariate analysis is explained.
Learning outcomes:
1.To understand the steps in the hypothesis testing
procdedure.
2. to distinguish typ I and typeII error
3.To be able to calculate the hypothesis test utilising the T
test, the Z distribution and the chi square test
Pedagogy:
Several exercises are undertaken in class to help in
understand the concepts

20/ SPSS Sessions

3.0

3.0
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21

The class will be held in the lab. It will be through


experiential learning of students. The major focus will be
on the effective use of SPSS with the relevant theoretical
input through hands on experience on SPSS software.
Students will be provided with the relevant industry
example data sets for the purpose of analysis in order to
facilitate the experiential learning. Each student will
work independently.
SPSS
Data entry (data view and variable view)
Working on edit, view, data, transform
Analysis : statistics/graph

22

Multivariate analysis. The students are shown how three


or more variables are analyzed.

1.5

1.5

1.5

.5

Learning Outcomes:
1. To be able to distinguish among univariate analysis,
bivariate analysis and multivariate analysis.
2. To understand the concept of multiple regression
analysis
3. To be able to analyse the results of multiple regression
anlaysis.
4. To define and discuss cluster analysis.
Pedagogy:
1. Interactive class sessions
2. Students are made to do class exercises involving the
use of multivariate analysis
23/ MID TERM 1I
24
25

Data Collection by Observation Method


The use of scientific observation as a method of data
collection. What is observed and how is it observed.
Direct and contrived observation
Learning objectives:
1. To distinguish between scientific and casual
observation
2. To understand when an observation study is an
appropriate research design
3. To discuss the various situations in which direct
observation studies may take place
4 To understand mechanical observation.
5. Contrived observation
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26

Pedagogy:
1. Discussions with examples.
2. Role playing exercises for contrived observation.
3 Small assignment in the field to understand how data
can be collected using observation.
Experimental research
The session focuses on how to conduct experimental
research, the choice of independent and dependent
variables, how to control extraneous variables, field and
laboratory experiments, the issues of external validity.
Learning objectives:
1. To be able to define experimentation and the
requirement for a true experiment.
2. To be able to understand the factors that influence the
selection and manipulation of independent and dependent
variables.
3.To understand the two basic types of experimental error
4. to learn how to contro; extraneous variables.
5.To distinguish between internal and external validity.
Pedagogy:
Discussion of specific examples, situations and cases.

27

Communicating Research Results and Report Writing


Importance of the research report as a means of
communicating the whole research project.
Explanation of the format of the report and the use of
graphs and diagrams in the report.

1.5

1.5

Learning objectives:
1.Students will be able to learn how to present their
findings in an acceptable and attractive manner.
2.The importance of oral presentation of the report.
3. Inmportance of various types of research charts
Pedagogy:
Sample presentations are shown and discussed with the
students.
28/ Presentation of term papers
1.5
29 Students will be presenting their group research projects.
Each student is given 4 mins to make his/her
presentation. They are critiqued by the faculty as well as
the other students so that there is free flow of discussions.

1.5

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Learning Objectives:
1. To learn new and creative methods of presenting the
research results.
2. Verbal communication skills
Pedagogy:
Critique ofindivudual presentations by faculty as well as
other students
30

FINAL EXAM

4. Teaching and learning methods


1. The teaching methodology includes lectures, class discussions, case studies, course
assignments field assignments and reading assignments. The students are expected to
study the assigned chapters cases and readings before coming to class.
2. Each session starts with a review of the previous session; key concepts learnt so far
its link to the current session and ends with a students review of topics covered in the
session.
3. Students are encouraged to take notes of key points discussed in the class to enhance
retention of concepts. Soft Copies of class presentation will be available to the
students after the session has ended.
4. Discussion questions are posed to the students during the session a number of times to
engage the students in creative thinking.
5. Field assignments are designed to keep the students up to date with the use of
research in various organizations and to see how research can aid decision making.
Students are asked to visit organizations and study the use of business research in that
organization. They are asked to present their findings to the class so that the entire
class gains from each others knowledge.
6. Reading assignments are given to help the students in being up to date with the latest
research studies and findings from across the globe.
7. The term paper assigned covers every topic in the course and the students are given
guidance at every stage while they are conducting the research project.
Guidelines for Written Work, Assessment, and Plagiarism

At the undergraduate level, a high quality presentation and content is


required. All
works should be typewritten, proofread, and checked for accuracy before
submission.
Marks will be deducted for lack of referencing.
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All students should be aware of the rules concerning misconducts in


assessment, which prohibit certain behaviours, such as:
No part of the work has been copied from any other persons work except
where
due acknowledgement is made in the text,
No part of the work has been written by any other person except where
such
collaboration has been authorised by the lecturer concerned, and
No part of the work has been submitted for assessment in another course in
this
or another part of the university except where authorised by the lecturer
concerned.

5. Student assessment methods


Final Exam
2 Mid-Terms (15 marks Each)
Term Paper
Assignments and Class participation
Total

40 %
30%
15%
15%
100

6. Recommended Books:
1. Business Research Methods By William Zikmund.(ZIK)
2. Research Methods for Business A skill building Approach 4th edition. By Uma
Sekaran(US)
Other recommended readings:
Business Research: A practical Approach for the New Millinium By Hair Bush
Ortinau.
Business Research An Applied Approach, 5th edition, by Thomas C. Kinnear and
James R. Taylor
Business Research Methods by Dolald Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler.
Business Research Measurement and Methods by Donald S.Tull and Del I. Hawkins.
c. Periodicals, Websites,.etc. Pakistan Business Review and other research journals

7. Facilities required for teaching and learning: Class Room equipped with White Board,
OHP and multi media.

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8.

Course Rubrics

Research
foundation
knowledge

Deliver key
ideas or
points;
evaluation,
analysis,
and
comparison

Exemplary

Satisfactory

Show
superior
understandin
g of related
perspectives
or theories in
economics,
business, and
management
Accurate
identification
of academic
questions;
good ability
to analyze
and compare
alternative
choices and
justify the
argument or
solution with
strong
evidence
support or
references

Show
understandin
g of related
perspectives
or theories in
economics,
business, and
management

Innovative
mindset

Often have
innovative or
creative ideas
and
perspectives

Conclusion
and
generalizati
on

Good ability
to synthesize
and draw
conclusions,

Acceptable

Demonstrate
understandin
g of some
basic
perspectives
or theories in
economics,
business, and
management
Fair
Limited
identification identification
of core ideas
of some
or issues;
components
ability to
of the core
analyze and
ideas or
compare
issues;
alternative
ability to
choices and
analyze and
justify the
compare
argument or
alternative
solution with
choices to
some
some extent,
evidence
and to justify
support or
the argument
references
or solution to
some degree
Sometimes
Occasionally
have
introduce
innovative or some new
creative ideas ideas and
and
perspectives
perspectives
Some ability
to synthesize
and draw
conclusions,

Some ability
to synthesize
and draw
conclusions,

Below
Expectation
Fail to
understand
basic theories
or
perspectives
in economics,
business, and
management
Repetition of
data facts,
with failure to
identify key
components
of the core
ideas or
issues;
lack of ability
to analyze
and compare
alternative
choices and
to justify the
argument or
solution
Stereotyped
ideas or
perspectives;
repetitively
following
what others
have said
Lack of ability
to synthesize
and draw
conclusions,
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and to
reconcile and
integrate
different
views

and to
reconcile and
integrate
different
views

and to
reconcile and
integrate
different
views, but
only when
task is
relatively
easy

and to
reconcile and
integrate
different
views

Rubric for Case Study Assignment

4
Criterion

A-level qualities B-level qualities C-level qualities


(90100)
(8089)
(7079)

F-level qualities
(below 70)

Completeness Complete in all


Complete in most Incomplete in
respects; reflects respects; reflects many respects;
all requirements most
reflects few
requirements
requirements

Incomplete in most
respects; does not
reflect requirements

Understanding Demonstrates a
sophisticated
understanding of
the topic(s) and
issue(s)

Demonstrates an
inadequate
understanding of the
topic(s) and issue(s)

Analysis and
application

Writing
mechanics

Demonstrates an
accomplished
understanding of
the topic(s) and
issue(s)

Demonstrates an
acceptable
understanding of
the topic(s) and
issue(s)

Score

Presents an
Presents an
Presents a
Presents an
insightful and
effective analysis superficial
incomplete analysis
thorough analysis of all questions
analysis of some of the questions
of all questions
of the questions
Makes
appropriate and
powerful
connections
between the
social
entrepreneur
featured and the
concepts studied
in the reading

Makes
appropriate
connections
between the
social
entrepreneur
featured and the
strategic
concepts studied
in the reading

Makes
appropriate but
somewhat vague
connections
between social
entrepreneur
featured the and
concepts studied
in the reading

Makes little or no
connection between
the social
entrepreneur featured
and the strategic
concepts studied in
the reading

Writing
demonstrates a
sophisticated
clarity,
conciseness, and
correctness;
includes
thorough details
and relevant data

Writing is
accomplished in
terms of clarity
and conciseness
and contains only
a few errors;
includes sufficient
details and
relevant data and

Writing lacks
clarity or
conciseness and
contains
numerous errors;
gives insufficient
detail and
relevant data and
information; lacks

Writing is unfocused,
rambling, or contains
serious errors; lacks
detail and relevant
data and information;
poorly organized

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and information;
extremely wellorganized

information; well- organization


organized
Total:

Note: Criteria are evaluated on a 4-3-2-1-0 basis. Total rubric points are converted first to a letter grade and then to a numerical
equivalent based on a 0100 scale: 1920 = A (93100); 18 = A (9092); 17 = B+ (8889); 1416 = B (8387); 13 = B (8082); 12 =
C+ (7879); 911 = C (7377); 8 = C (7072); 47 = D (6069); 03 = F (below 60).

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