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Research methods for business students 4th edition pdf

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Research Methods for Business Students (4Th Edition), Mark Saunder. She therefore decided to download and save them caite.info files prior. Get this from a library! Research methods for business students. [Mark Saunders; Philip Lewis; Adrian Thornhill] -- Using real-life case studies and written with a. QXD 12/2/09 pm Page i Research Methods for Business Students Visit the Research They Bell, J. () Doing Your Research Project (4th edn). last five years which were all available as pdf documents on their corporate website.


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Methods for Business Students. Visit the Research Methods for Business Students, Fifth Edition Fourth edition Fifth edition Visit the Research Methods for Business Students, Fourth Edition. Companion Website at caite.info to find valuable student learning. caite.info: Research Methods for Business Students (4th Edition) ( ) by Mark Saunders; Adrian Thornhill; Philip Lewis and a great selection.

You could also scan one or two recently published operations manage- ment textbooks for overviews of research that has been undertaken. The contributions of Lynette Bailey to Chapter 3 and of Andrew Guppy to Chapter 12 in earlier editions of this book are gratefully acknowledged. Advice on how to undertake such inter- views is offered including the conduct of focus groups Internet-mediated including online and telephone interviews. This is emphasised by Figure 1. She can reduce the dissonance by changing her behaviour i.

Mark has published a number of articles on research methods service quality and trust and organisational justice perspectives on the management of change. He is co-author with Phil and Adrian of Employee Relations: He teaches HRM and research methods to postgraduate undergraduate and professional students and is involved in research degree supervision.

He is co-author with Mark and Adrian of Employee Relations: He has undertaken consultancy in both public and private sectors. Prior to his career in higher education Phil was a training advisor with the Distributive Industry Training Board. He teaches HRM and research methods to postgraduate undergraduate and professional stu- dents and is involved in research degree supervision. Adrian has published a number of articles principally associated with employee and justice perspectives related to managing change and the management of organisational downsizing and redundancy.

He is co- author with Phil and Mark of Employee Relations: A European Review. Martin Jenkins is Academic Manager of the Centre for Active Learning at the University of Gloucestershire with a special interest in information literacy.

Dr Catherine L. Reviewers We would like to express thanks to the reviewers who have been involved in the devel- opment of this book. We are grateful for their insight and helpful recommendations. Illustrations Figure 1. Reproduced with permission Figure 3. Google Inc. Reproduced with permission of the Ashgate Publishing Company Box 8.

From Laurie J. Financial Times Prentice Hall. Reprinted with permission of Pearson Education Ltd Figure From W. Cambridge University Press. Question layout screenshot from SurveyMonkey reproduced with permission Figures Reproduced with permission Figures From the Harley-Davidson Inc.

Annual Report. Developed from Raimond P. Design Research and Presentation London: Chapman and Hall p. Reproduced with permission of Thomson Publishing Services. Tables Table 3. Developed from Robson C. Blackwell Publishers. Reproduced with permission Table Table from C. Reproduced with permission. Photos Page 3: Pearson Education Ltd. Reproduced with permission Science Photo Library Empics Rex Features Text Box 3.

Reproduced with permission of the publisher Box 5. Developed from Walker R. A Handbook for Teachers London: Reproduced with permission Box Reprinted by permis- sion Box Abridged abstract from Higgins M. Blackwell Publishing. We are also grateful to the Financial Times Limited for permission to reprint the fol- lowing material: Box 1. In some instances we have been unable to trace the owners of copyright material and we would appreciate any information that would enable us to do so.

It provides a clear guide on how to undertake research as well as highlighting the realities of undertaking research including the more common pitfalls. The book is written as an introductory text to provide you with a guide to the research process and with the necessary knowledge and skills to undertake a piece of research from thinking of a research topic to writing your project report.

After reading the book you will have been introduced to and explored a range of approaches strategies and methods with which you could tackle your research project.

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Of equal importance you will know that there is no one best way for undertaking all research. This means you will be able to make an informed choice about the approaches strategies and methods that are most suitable to your own research project and be able to justify this choice. When selecting and using these techniques you will be aware of the contribution that the appropriate use of information technology can make to your research.

However before you continue a word of caution. In your study you will inevitably read a wide range of books and articles. In this book we have been more precise in our use of these terms. Throughout the book we use the term methods to refer to techniques and procedures used to obtain and analyse data. This therefore includes questionnaires observation and interviews as well as both quantitative statistical and qualitative non- statistical analysis techniques and as you have probably gathered from the title is the main focus of this book.

In contrast the term methodology refers to the theory of how research should be undertaken. In the s 3M research scientist Spence Silver was looking for ways to improve the adhe- sive used in tapes. However he discovered something quite different from what he was looking for an adhesive that did not stick strongly when coated onto the back of tapes What was unclear was how it might be used.

A new product development researcher working for 3M Art Fry was frustrated how the scraps of paper he used as bookmarks kept falling out of his church choir hymn book. Whilst your research project will be within the discipline business and management rather than natural science such as developing a new adhesive our introductory example still offers a number of insights into the nature of research and in particular the business and management research you will be undertaking.

It also emphasises the importance of dis- cussing your ideas with other people. For this reason we also discuss a range of philosophical assumptions upon which research can be based and the implications of these for the method or methods adopted. The survey of more than students com- missioned by GTI the specialist graduates careers publisher found that most students were unwilling to look beyond large employers.

GTI said 44 per cent of students complained that employers had either not bothered to reply to their applications or took weeks or even months to respond. Some 32 per cent of graduates had applied to more than 10 companies. Chris Phillips GTI publishing director said the way companies treated students risked damaging their reputation. Some 71 per cent of students had gone on to tell others about their bad experiences. Another 60 per cent said they had been put off dealing with that employer in the future.

BOX 1. As part of this he highlights ways in which the term is used wrongly: While collecting data may be part of the research process if it is not undertaken in a systematic way on its own and in particular with a clear purpose it will not be seen as research.

The second of these is commonplace in many reports. Data are collected perhaps from a variety of different sources and then assembled in a single document with the sources of these data listed. However there is no interpretation of the data collected. Again while the assembly of data from a variety of sources may be part of the process of research without interpretation it is not research. In such instances when you ask for details of the research process these are either unclear or not forthcoming.

Based upon this brief discussion we can already see that research has a number of characteristics: As part of this your research will involve an explanation of the methods used to collect the data will argue why the results obtained are meaningful and will explain any limitations that are associated with them.

Easterby-Smith et al. Ongoing debate within the British Academy of Management has explored the status of management research. One feature which has gained considerable support is the transdisciplinary nature of such research. While this has similarities to Easterby-Smith et al.

In other words using knowledge from a range of disciplines enables management research to gain new insights that cannot be obtained through all of these disciplines separately. Another feature of management research highlighted in the debate is a belief that it should be able to develop ideas and to relate them to practice. This in turn becomes a blueprint for managerial practice thereby increasing the stock of relevant and practical management knowledge.

Thus business and management research needs to engage with both the world of theory and the world of practice. Consequently the problems addressed should grow out of interaction between these two worlds rather than either on their own. In recent years debate about the nature of management research has focused on how it can meet the double hurdle of being both theoretically and methodologically rigorous while at the same time embracing the world of practice and being of practical relevance Hodgkinson et al.

Much of this debate has centred around Gibbons et al. Mode 1 knowledge creation emphasises research in which the questions are set and solved by academic interests emphasising a fundamental rather than applied nature where there is little if any focus on utilisation of the research by practitioners.

In contrast Mode 2 emphasises a context for research governed by the world of practice highlighting the importance of collaboration both with and between practitioners Starkey and Madan and the need for the production of practical rel- evant knowledge. Based upon this Starkey and Madan observe that research within the Mode 2 approach offers a way of bringing the supply side of knowledge rep- resented by universities together with the demand side represented by businesses and overcoming the double hurdle.

However this would negate the observation that Mode 2 practices develop from Mode 1. This Huff and Huff argue could jeopardise future knowledge creation as research that is currently not valued commercially might have value in the future.

Building upon these ideas they highlight a further form of knowledge production: Mode 3. This emphasises the importance of broader issues of human relevance of research. For some research projects your purpose may be to understand and explain the impact of something such as a particular policy.

Research methods for business students

For other research projects you may wish to explore the ways in which various organisations do things differently. In such projects your purpose may be to discover and understand better the underlying processes in a wider context thereby providing greater understanding for practitioners. For yet other research projects you may wish to place an in-depth investigation of an organisation within the context of a wider understanding of the processes that are operating.

Despite this variety we believe that all business and management research projects can be placed on a continuum Figure 1. At one extreme of the continuum is research that is undertaken purely to understand the processes of business and management and their outcomes. Such research is undertaken largely in universities and largely as the result of an academic agenda.

Its key consumer is the academic community with relatively little attention being given to its practical applications. This is often termed basic fundamental or pure research. Through doing this the research would start to move towards the other end of the continuum Figure 1.

At this end is research that is of direct and immediate relevance to managers addresses issues that they see as important andispresentedinwaysthattheyunderstandandcanacton. Wherever your research project lies on this basic—applied continuum we believe that you should undertake your research with rigour. To do this you will need to pay careful attention to the entire research process. Using the dimensions of theoretical and methodological rigour and of practical relevance they identify four quadrants: Theoretical and methodological rigour Practical relevance Quadrant higher lower pedantic science lower higher popularist science lower lower puerile science higher higher pragmatic science Pedantic science they argue is characterised by a focus on increasing methodological rigour at the expense of results that are relevant and can sometimes be found in refereed aca- demic journals.

In contrast popularist science is characterised by a focus on relevance and usefulness whilst neglecting theoretical and methodological rigour examples being found in some books targeted at practising managers. Puerile science both lacks methodological rigour and is of limited practical relevance and although unlikely to be found in refereed academic journals can be found in other media.

Finally prag- matic science is both theoretically and methodologically rigorous and relevant. Inevitably your own beliefs and feelings will impact upon your research.

Similarly as we discuss in Chapter 2 practical considerations such as access to data and the time and resources you have available will also impact upon your research process. The precise number of stages varies but they usually include formulating and clarifying a topic reviewing the litera- ture designing the research collecting data analysing data and writing up.

In the majority of these the research process although presented with rationalised examples is described as a series of stages through which you must pass. Articles you have read may also suggest that the research process is rational and straightforward. Unfortunately this is very rarely true and the reality is considerably messier with what initially appear as great ideas sometimes having little or no relevance Saunders and Lewis While research is often depicted as moving through each of the stages outlined above one after the other this is unlikely to be the case.

In reality you will probably revisit each stage more than once. In addition as highlighted by some textbooks you will need to consider ethical and access issues during the process. This textbook also presents the research process as a series of linked stages and gives the appearance of being organised in a linear manner.

However as you use the book you will see from the text extensive use of cross-referencing examples of research by well- known researchers and how research is reported in the news worked examples and case studies that we have recognised the iterative nature of the process you will follow. This we believe should be expressed as one or more research ques- tions that your research must answer accompanied by a set of objectives that your research must address.

Often this will involve revisiting stages including your research questions and objectives and working through them again. There is also a need to plan ahead thereby ensuring that the necessary preliminary work for later stages has been undertaken.

This is emphasised by Figure 1. However be warned: This means that early on in your research project you will need to be clear about what you are doing why you are doing it and the associated implications of what you are seeking to do. You will also need to ensure that you can show how your ideas relate to research that has already been undertaken in your topic area and that you have a clear research design and have thought about how you will collect and analyse your data.

As part of this you will need to consider the validity and reliability of the data you intend to use along with associated ethical and access issues. The appropriateness and suitability of the analytical techniques you choose to use will be of equal import- ance. Finally you will need to write and present your research project report as clearly and precisely as possible.

The structure of each chapter Each of the subsequent chapters deals with part of the research process outlined in Figure 1. The ideas techniques and methods are discussed using as little jargon as is possible. The application of appropriate information technology is con- sidered in most instances as an integral part of the text. These will enable you to utilise whatever software you have avail- able most effectively. Included within the text of each chapter is a series of boxed worked examples.

These are based on actual research projects undertaken by students in which points made in the text are illustrated. Quantitative methods Chapter 12 Formulate and clarify your research topic Chapter 2 Critically review the literature Chapter 3 Understand your philosophy and approach Chapter 4 Negotiate access and address ethical issues Chapter 6 Wish to do research Plan your data collection and collect the data using one or more of: Sampling Chapter 7 Secondary data Chapter 8 Observation Chapter 9 Semi- structured and in-depth interviews Chapter 10 Questionnaires Chapter 11 Qualitative methods Chapter 13 Write your project report and prepare your presentation Chapter 14 Submit your project report and give your presentation forward planning reflection and revision Formulate your research design Chapter 5 Figure 1.

Further illustrations are provided by focus on management research and research in the news boxes. Focus on management research boxes discuss recent research in business and management.

These are normally derived from refereed academic journal articles and you are likely to be able to download the actual articles from online databases at your university.

Research in the news boxes provide topical newspaper articles that illustrate pertinent research-related issues. All these will help you to understand the technique or idea and to assess its suitability or appropriateness to your research. Where a pitfall has been illustrated it will it is hoped help you to avoid making the same mistake.

There are also a series of boxed checklists to provide you with further focused guidance for your own research. At the end of each chapter there is a summary of key points which you may look at before and after reading the chapter to ensure that you have digested the main points.

To enable you to check that you have understood the chapter a series of self-check ques- tions is included at the end. These can be answered without recourse to other external resources. Answers are provided to all these self-check questions at the end of each chapter.

Self-check questions are followed by review and discussion questions. These suggest a variety of activities you can undertake to help you further develop your knowledge and understanding of the material in the chapter often involving discussion with a friend. This contains a series of questions that will help you to consider the implica- tions of the material covered by the chapter for your research project. They are designed to help you to focus on the techniques that are most appropriate to your research.

However as emphasised by Figure 1. Each chapter is also accompanied by references further reading and a case study.

Further reading is included for two distinct reasons: The main reasons for our choice of further reading are therefore indicated. They have been written to highlight real issues that occur when undertaking business and management research. To help to focus your thoughts or discussion on some of the pertinent issues each case is followed by evaluative questions. A case study follows every chapter other than Chapter 1.

An outline of the chapters The book is organised in the following way. Chapter 2 is written to assist you in the generation of ideas which will help you to choose a suitable research topic and offers advice on what makes a good research topic.

Research questions and objectives are referred to throughout the book. Finally the chapter provides advice on how to write your research proposal. The importance of the critical literature review to your research is discussed in Chapter 3.

This chapter outlines what a critical review needs to include and the range of primary secondary and tertiary literature sources available. The chapter explains the purpose of reviewing the literature discusses a range of search strategies and contains advice on how to plan and undertake your search and to write your review. The processes of ident- ifying key words and searching using online databases and the Internet are outlined.

It also offers advice on how to record items and to evaluate their relevance. Chapter 4 addresses the issue of understanding different research philosophies including positivism realism interpretivism objectivism subjectivism and pragmatism.

Within this the functionalist interpretive radical humanist and radical structuralist par- adigms are discussed. Deductive and inductive approaches to research are also considered. In this chapter we challenge you to think about your own values and how you view the world and the impact this will have on the way you undertake your research. These ideas are developed further in Chapter 5 which explores formulating your research design.

As part of this a range of research strategies are discussed and the differ- ence between quantitative and qualitative methods explained.

Chapter 6 explores issues related to gaining access and to research ethics. It offers advice on how to gain access both to organisations and to individuals. Potential ethical issues are discussed in relation to each stage of the research process and different data col- lection methods.

Issues of data protection are also introduced. A range of the probability and non-probability sampling techniques available for use in your research is explained in Chapter 7. The chapter considers why sampling is necessary and looks at issues of sample size and response rates. Advice on how to relate your choice of sampling techniques to your research topic is given and techniques for assessing the representativeness of those who respond are discussed. Chapters 8 9 10 and 11 are concerned with different methods of obtaining data.

The use of secondary data is discussed in Chapter 8 which introduces the variety of data that are likely to be available and suggests ways in which they can be used. Advantages and disadvantages of secondary data are discussed and a range of techniques for locating these data including using the Internet is suggested.

Chapter 8 also offers advice on how to evaluate the suitability of secondary data for your research. In contrast Chapter 9 is concerned with collecting primary data through observation. The chapter examines two types of observation: Practical advice on using each is offered and particular attention is given to ensuring that the data you obtain are both valid and reliable. Chapter 10 is also concerned with collecting primary data this time using semi-struc- tured in-depth and group interviews.

The appropriateness of using these interviews in relation to your research strategy is discussed. Advice on how to undertake such inter- views is offered including the conduct of focus groups Internet-mediated including online and telephone interviews.

Particular attention is given to ensuring that the data collected are both reliable and valid. It introduces you to the use of both self-administered and interviewer-administered questionnaires and explores their advantages and disadvantages. Practical advice is offered on the process of designing piloting and administering Internet-mediated postal delivery and collection and telephone questionnaires to enhance their response rates.

Particular attention is again given to ensuring that the data collected are both reliable and valid. Analysis of data is covered in Chapters 12 and Chapter 12 outlines and illustrates the main issues that you need to consider when preparing data for quantitative analysis and when analysing these data by computer.

Practical advice is also offered on the analysis of these data using computerised analysis software. The most appropriate diagrams to explore and illustrate data are discussed and suggestions are made about the most appropriate statistics to use to describe data to explore relation- ships and to examine trends.

Chapter 13 outlines and discusses the main approaches available to you to analyse data qualitatively both manually and using computer aided qualitative data analysis soft- ware CAQDAS. The nature of qualitative data and issues associated with transcription are discussed. Following an overview of the analysis process the use of deductively based and inductively based analytical procedures is discussed.

These include pattern matching explanation building data display and analysis template analysis analytic induction grounded theory discourse analysis and narrative analysis.

Above all it encourages you to see writing as an intrinsic part of the research process that should not be left until everything else is completed. As you begin to read you will need to keep a reference of what you have read using a recognised system the most frequently used of which are detailed in Appendix 2. When selecting your sample you may need to calculate the minimum sample size required and use random sampling numbers Appendices 3 and 4.

Finally when designing your data col- lection tools and writing your project report you will need to ensure that the language you use is non-discriminatory. Guidelines for these are given in Appendix 5.

A separate glossary of over research-methods-related terms is also included for quick reference. It is designed as an introductory text and will guide you through the entire research process. It is transdisciplinary and engages with both theory and practice. Answers to all self- check questions are at the end of the appropriate chapter. When you have also answered the questions in this section for Chapter 14 you will have written your research report.

Now examine the articles one at a time. Read the article carefully. To what extent do you believe that business and management research should always meet the twin requirements of rigour and relevance Give reasons for your answer. Available from URL: Easterby-Smith M.

Thorpe R. An Introduction 2nd edn London Sage.

Pdf students edition for 4th business research methods

Ghauri P. Gibbons M. Limoges H. Nowotny S. Schwartman P. Scott P. Hedrick T. Bickmann L. Hodgkinson G. Herriot P. Huff A. Saunders M. Starkey K. Taylor A. Walliman N.

Methods pdf research for 4th edition business students

Further reading Easterby-Smith M. Chapter 1 provides a very clear and readable introduction to manage- ment research and how it is distinct from other forms of research. This paper argues the need for relevant management research within a Mode 2 framework emphasising a need for research partnership. They are summarised in Figure 1. Forward planning needs to occur at all stages up to submission.

You should both consider the stage you have reached and revisit earlier stages and work through them again. This should be expected although large amendments in the later stages of your research project are unlikely.

After all this is something that they get to decide for themselves rather than having to complete a task decided by their tutors. We will stress in this chapter that it is important to choose something that will sustain your interest throughout the months that you will need to complete it. You may even decide to do some research that is some- thing that forms part of your leisure activities like playing video games Before you start your research you need to have at least some idea of what you want to do.

Up until now most of your studies have been concerned with answering questions that other people have set. This chapter is concerned with how to formulate and clarify your research topic and your research question. In this Alice asks the Cat Carroll Once you are clear about this you will be able to choose the most appropriate research strategy and data collection and analysis techniques.

The formulating and clarifying process is time consuming and will probably take you up blind alleys Saunders and Lewis However without spending time on this stage you are far less likely to achieve a successful project Raimond It may be that you have already been given a research idea perhaps by an organisation or tutor.

Once you have done this you will need to turn the idea into research questions and objectives Section 2. However before you start the formulating and clarifying process we believe that you need to understand what makes a good research topic. For this reason we begin this chapter with a discussion of the attributes required for a good research topic.

Quantitative Methods for Business (4th Edition) - PDF Free Download

This is one of the few places in the world where you can do PhD-level work in video game studies. Academic interest in computer games has like the industry grown rapidly in recent years. Universities have added computer game design and theory courses to their portfolio and academics undertake research. Video games Source: This means that you must choose your topic with care. For example some universities require students to collect their own data as part of their research project whereas others allow them to base their project on data that have already been collected.

You therefore need to check the assess- ment criteria for your project and ensure that your choice of topic will enable you to meet these criteria. If you are unsure you should discuss any uncertainties with your project tutor.

In addition your research topic must be something you are capable of undertaking and one that excites your imagination. Capability can be considered in a variety of ways. At the personal level you need to feel comfortable that you have or can develop the skills that will be required to research the topic. We hope that you will develop your research skills as part of undertaking your project. However some skills for example foreign languages may be impossible to acquire in the time you have available.

As well as having the necessary skills we believe that you also need to have a genuine interest in the topic. Most research projects are undertaken over at least a six-month period. A topic in which you are only vaguely interested at the start is likely to become a topic in which you have no interest and with which you will fail to produce your best work.

Some topics are unlikely to be possible to complete in the time allowed by your course of study. This may be because they require you to measure the impact of an intervention over a long time period Box 2. Capability also means you must be reasonably certain of gaining access to any data you might need to collect. Gill and Johnson argue that this is usually relatively straightfor- wardtoassess. However they may present considerable access problems.

You should therefore discuss this with your project tutor after reading Chapter 6. For most topics it is important that the issues within the research are capable of being linked to theory Raimond Initially theory may be based just on the reading you have undertaken as part of your study to date. However as part of your assessment cri- teria you are almost certain to be asked to set your topic in context Section 3.

These will along with a good knowledge of the literature enable you to assess the extent to which your research is likely to provide fresh insights into the topic. If you have already been given a research idea perhaps by an organisation you will need to ensure that your questions and objectives relate clearly to the idea Kervin It is also important that your topic will have a symmetry of potential outcomes: Whatever the outcome you need to ensure you have the scope to write an interesting project report.

Finally it is important to consider your career goals Creswell If you wish to become an expert in a particular subject area or industry sector it is sensible to use the opportunity to develop this expertise. It is almost inevitable that the extent to which these attributes apply to your research topic will depend on your topic and the reasons for which you are undertaking the research. However most of these attributes will apply.

For this reason it is important that you check and continue to check any potential research topic against the summary checklist contained in Box 2. The company undertook such major projects as the building of a hospital in Asia and the construction of a major conference centre in a southern European city. Andrew was an operations director and had had particular responsibility for introducing a company intranet three months previous to the time of his research proposal.

In part the intranet was introduced with the idea of forging a sense of shared community between the con- sultants working on projects whatever that project may be or wherever it was located. English would therefore be the medium for the intranet.

Students pdf methods research edition business for 4th

Andrew knew that the intranet was being used frequently and that informal feedback suggested that people liked it and found it useful. She also thought that to meet the objectives Andrew would need to do some qualitative work. That would involve talking to engi- neers of different nationalities in different locations throughout the world. Andrew felt dispirited when he left the meeting with Sarah. Maybe he would have to think of another approach. BOX 2. We therefore outline the techniques in Table 2.

These tech- niques will generate one of two outcomes: In either instance but especially the latter we suggest that you talk to your project tutor. Box 2. Examining own strengths and interests It is important that you choose a topic in which you are likely to do well and if possible already have some academic knowledge.

Jankowicz suggests that one way of doing this is to look at those assignments for which you have received good grades. For most of these assignments they are also likely to be the topics in which you were interested Box 2. In addition you may as part of your reading be able to focus more precisely on the sort of ideas about which you wish to conduct your research. As noted in Section 2. One part of your course that will inevitably be discussed at any job interview is your research project.

Looking at past project titles Many of our students have found looking at past projects a useful way of generating research ideas. For undergraduate and taught masters degrees these are often called dis- sertations. For research degrees they are termed theses. A common way of doing this is to scan a list of past project titles such as those in Appendix 1 for anything that captures your imagination.

Titles that look interesting or which grab your attention should be noted down as should any thoughts you have about the title in relation to your own research idea. In this process the fact that the title is poorly worded or the project report received a low mark is immaterial. Please choose whether or not you want other users to be able to see on your profile that this library is a favorite of yours. Finding libraries that hold this item You may have already requested this item.

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