How to Write a Business Dissertation

What is a business dissertation?

A business dissertation is a written document or essay that covers and explains a specific topic in business including accounting, finance, management, human resources, operations, supply chain, strategy, marketing, and specific case studies. The subject of the paper can pose a question, raise an issue in order to elevate awareness, provide answers, serve as an educational guide, be informative, or make an announcement. There can be a wide variety of essay types reflecting the large diversity of business uses. The dissertation’s tone, structure, and organization should be tailored according to the specific settings and circumstances in which it is used. Some are more formal, structured, and detailed than others. For instance, a document detailing a new patented technology to be disseminated to an audience of engineers, scientists, government officials, and business operators will have a more formalized structure and tone. A departmental-wide email announcing a social event on Friday night will have a more informal, outgoing tone and will likely be a concise message. The language and terms used in the essay should be appropriate to the anticipated audience reading it. For instance, scientific journals are replete with terms and jargon understandable only to the scientific community. If such a journal, however, is targeted toward a general audience, the author must take great care in defining and explaining technical terms without assuming prior knowledge of the scientific concepts covered.

As mentioned, forms and structures should be tailored to the needs of the audience and the objectives of the communication. However, there are certain devices employed to make for a more organized paper and to quickly inform the reader as to topic of the paper.

Business Dissertation - Abstract

An abstract at the beginning of the document serves to provide an executive summary of the arguments or data contained within the essay and the resulting findings, if any. Abstracts should be concise and highly informative so that an employee or reader can quickly scan this section and efficiently assess whether or not the entire document is relevant and should be read (given his or role within the organization).

Introduction to your Business Dissertation

Next comes the introduction section which explains any or a combination of the following: the background of the author or participating members, scope of the paper or work, purpose of the dissertation or project, any problems that are attempted to be solved, methodologies used, any inherent limitations in the study or project, timelines, and any further action needed by either the author, participants, or readers. Typically, a shorter length essay calls for a concise introduction. A much longer document, however, containing dozens if not hundreds of pages finds it useful to have a more comprehensive introductory section that engages the reader on the nature of the topic, study, or findings found in the large document.

Body of Your Business Dissertation

The body of the dissertation details the topic, challenges encountered, methodology, and findings of the author’s work. The best papers present ideas in a coherent and logical order that allows readers to follow the work step by step. Alternatively, concepts that have been jumbled together on a page or that lack clarity or direction are most likely to cause the audience to become confused or lose interest in the paper altogether. Communication skills are important in crafting an effective essay that achieves the purpose of the paper. If the document aims to help employees comply with a critical government regulation, and the author fails to properly convey the instructions or data needed, then the organization – or employees themselves – can be under risk of fine, penalties, tarnished reputation, and / or jail sentence.

The author should highlight key points, data, or arguments so that the reader understands which points are emphasized, and can bookmark these for later referencing. These may also be presented in visual charts and diagrams that help the audience understand and quickly assess certain trends. Oftentimes, visual aids are much more efficient in conveying information, especially trends, relative to word explanations. An individual who skims through the entire document is also in a better position to understand and retain the main points of the paper by going over visual aids and findings.

Business Dissertation Conclusion

The conclusion section covers some of the same material found in the abstract / summary and introduction. However, the conclusion again highlights the main topics, arguments, and findings contained in the body. This section is important to reinforce the main data for the reader and to help with memory retention. The conclusion also captures the value of the effort – that is, why the essay or project is important to the reader, employee, organization, and any other individual or entity affected by the dissertation. The conclusion can also remind the reader of any caveats or limitations in the data presented for his or her consideration as that reader formulates his or her views on the topic.

Here are examples of possible purposes and ways for writing a business communication:

  • A poll or survey may be conducted to the audience with the resulting findings and trends explained in a follow up essay.

Typically, survey questions are written carefully and often concisely. Given that the reader’s view is requested on a particular subject or issue, the author must use judgment in order to write a neutral question that allows the reader to examine his or her views. A poorly written question that is biased towards a certain answer can lead to skewed results and an inaccurate picture of the audience’s views.

  • A case study on the company or a related organization within the industry can be examined to cover the actions taken and the results of those actions.

Such a case study may serve as an educational packet for students, training session participants, or employees and managers. Case studies are important in that they address certain situations or events that actually happened as well as people’s actual reactions to the situation. These types of reports are typically employed in leadership, management, or training sessions that help participants better deal with organizational situations whether they are adverse in nature or opportunities.

  • An instructional “how to” guide written in a way that educates readers how to perform specific tasks, such as complying with regulations or entering data into a company-wide database.

These manuals usually have fairly straightforward language as the objective is to help the audience understand how to do a specific task. Complicated or confusing explanations obviously prevent this. Sentences are typically concise, and these types of documents are broken down into smaller, digestible sections. The criteria for writing a successful instructional guide is the extent to which the reader is able to perform a task effectively and efficiently.

  • A manual may be written to inform employees and individuals doing business with the organization on company policies and bylaws.

The form and structure may be similar to an instructional manual. However, a large portion of these policy manuals are educational and informative in nature. These explain the rules and guidelines to be followed. Sometimes, the consequences for breaking these rules are spelled out.

  • Managers or employees may announce an event such as a recruiting or social event. Additionally, there may be an announcement on new personnel changes.

These are typically short and straightforward announcements. Unusually complicated or long announcements for a simple social event can reflect very poorly on the author. Additionally, an insensitive message to the department announcing the retirement of a senior manager should be avoided. Authors should tap in to their emotional intelligence and human sensibilities in conveying these communication pieces to ensure an appropriate and attuned message.

  • Senior executives may make major announcements that have significant impact on the organization including earnings and performance releases, new strategic direction, major contracts or business won, or partnerships and alliances.

The information here can be considered “dry” as there can be extensive numeric and financial data conveyed. They can also be cerebral in nature as high level strategies and alliances can be discussed. Management announcements use simple, discernible language and do not disclose too much information that competitors can pick up on to the detriment of the organization.

  • A business or economic theory may be summarized or proposed such as the capital asset pricing model theory (CAPM).

An academic can lay out and explain a business or economic theory and substantiate these with data, experiments, findings, and interviews. These typically must be written in a way for a larger audience including students, colleagues, policymakers, and business practitioners.

  • Updates on important departmental or company initiatives may be provided including progress on process change initiatives or progress on increasing gross margins.

As with most business memos, these types of communications employ fairly straightforward language. These are intended to motivate or remind employees on adopted company culture, values, or progress on performance. There is an involved, participatory, active, or leadership component to these types of messages, and not simply a cerebral or passive exercise.

  • A marketing brochure may explain differentiating features and benefits of a product or service offering to inform customers of their options in the marketplace.

These are written in order to favor the organization promoting the product or service, however, all the data presented should be accurate. The information in these pieces allow prospective consumers and customers to evaluate the different product or service offerings available in the marketplace, and to choose whatever offering is optimal for them.