Oxford Brookes Business School

Three Excellent Undergraduate Research Projects Completed During Lockdown

Thursday, 02 July 2020

Undergrad research winners

Three First Class Honours Business and Management undergraduate students Harriet Hall, Theodore Kilham, and Rachel Thornton have won Oxford Brookes Business School prizes for excellent research projects on business and environmental sustainability, and influencers and consumer trust.

The projects were undertaken as part of the Business and Management degree programme on the level 6 module Critical Enquiry Research Project.

Their projects were judged by Professor Juliette Koning, Director of the Centre for Business, Society and Global Challenges who said:

The three prize winners have been able to produce well-balanced research reports based on solid data collections and written in the appropriate academic styles of their chosen approach. The use of visuals, whether in presenting findings from surveys or to support arguments or as elicitation tool is – surprisingly – something all three winners share. The three projects convey an almost perfect fit between chosen approach and research objectives.

Best Qualitative Research Project:

Rachel Thornton: To what extent is the coffee shop sector acting responsibly in regard to single use plastic and environmentally sustainable alternatives - using Taylors of Oxford as a case study.

The strength of this qualitative research project is found it the extremely mature and well-executed data analysis; I propose that this report is used as best-practice example for future students who want to do qualitative research. This report offers many helpful insights into the way in which those data are analysed. The tables, coding flow charts and mind maps are amazing! In addition, it is a great example of what the use of secondary/visual data can bring in terms of richness and context to a qualitative research project. Well-done and congratulations.

Best Quantitative Research Project:

Theodore Kilham: How effective is influencer marketing for developing consumer trust for fitness brands?

This research report is well-written, well-argued, and well-conducted. It stands out due to its clarity; sometimes a ‘simple’ project that is carefully executed is all that is required for great research and this one is a good example. I’m impressed by the response rate, so clearly a well-thought through approach was chosen as well as a topic that interviewees care about. The critical reflection is to the point and offers ways forward. Congratulations and well-done!

Best Innovative Research Project:

Harriet Hall: An investigation into whether visuals of plastic pollution can arouse emotions that will motivate a change in plastic-related consumer behaviour

This research report stands out due to its use of visuals and the way in which the student has been capable to adapting the use of visuals during lockdown. This is nicely reflected upon. The report is not only a winner because of its creative and innovative use of visuals before and during lockdown but also because it is just a very good piece of qualitative research with a proper balance between literature, data collection, presentation and interpretation. Well-done and congratulations!