Project Report Format

Text-only Preview


HYDERABAD - 500007



As a student of Master of Business Administration (MBA) you are required to undertake a
major individual piece of research work - the Project or Dissertation. In contrast to the other
elements of your programme, where you are guided fairly closely, the aim of the Project is to
give you the opportunity to learn independently and show that you can identify, define and
analyse problems and issues and integrate knowledge in a business context. It is an important
part of the programme that tests your ability to understand and apply the theory, the concepts
and the tools of analysis to a specific problem situation. This project handbook has been
compiled to clarify the framework of the project and suggest some ways of assuring success.

The only precise rule on what constitutes an acceptable project is that it should be an ordered
critical exposition, which affords evidence of reasoning power and knowledge of the relevant
literature in an approved field falling within the subject matter of the programme -
Management. The emphasis should be on applied research and the investigation of some
practical problem or issue related to the situation in which an organisation or system operates.

Please note that the project must not be treated as just another assignment. The Project
provides the opportunity to judge the student‟s time and self-management skills and his/her
ability to successfully undertake a long and in-depth study. Hence it is not only the product
that is important, but also the process itself. Students must therefore ensure that they
maintain regular contact with their supervisor and also that they provide the supervisor
with drafts of their work at regular intervals. Finally, to keep yourself up-to-date and under
control as regards your project, it is imperative that you meet your supervisor regularly.



The project is a practical, in-depth study of a problem, issue, opportunity, technique or
procedure – or some combination of these aspects of business. Typically, you will be required
to define an area of investigation, carve out research design, assemble relevant data, analyse
the data, draw conclusions and make recommendations. Your project should demonstrate
organisational, analytical and evaluative skills, and, where appropriate, an ability to design a
suitable implementation and review procedure.

The project is the longest (24,000 words) and most original piece of work you will undertake
in your post-graduate study. It will occupy, with varying degrees of commitment, a period of
two semesters.


The purpose of the project is to give students the opportunity to carry out an in-depth study of
an applied nature, synthesizing various elements, yet pursing one area of interest in depth.
Your project report should make clear what you have attempted and why you have attempted
it; the methods that you have used to collect, collate and analyze the information obtained;
and how you have evaluated it. Any recommendations made should be supported by the
evidence presented and by logical argument using deductive and inductive reasoning. For a
Project to be of a high quality it is imperative to avoid detailed description devoid of
analytical content. The assessment criteria for the Project are shown in the Project Grading
Sheet attached as Appendix B to this Handbook. You should ensure through the entire period
that you work on your project that it meets these requirements.


Choosing your topic is probably the hardest thing you will do. The choice of topic is up to
you, with guidance from your supervisor, but, he/ she is not there to make the decision
for you. To a large extent, your ideas will be influenced by your situation. If you are in
employment you may be able to research into a real life problem or, if you are not employed,
you may choose a more general business issue. In either case, initial ideas are likely to
originate in a vague form and may lack a clear focus. These then need to be developed into
something manageable and practical by consideration of available literature/ texts and
discussion with your project supervisors once allocated.


4.1. Most Project ideas come from:
Personal experience of employment: this is an obvious starting point for the project
because in every organisation there would be some issue that can be researched into.
An example of a project originating from this way could be an evaluation of the
Training Department of your organisation or an evaluation of the performance
appraisal systems used for salesmen in your organisation.

Observation of events: Personal observation of events in the organisation/
environment can serve as a starting point for a project idea. An example of this could
be that as an employee you observe that the employee turnover in your organisation is
very high and as your project you could research into the reasons for this and make
suitable recommendations.

Issues of current interest: Reviewing key issues of broader relevance may be
another useful indicator for a project idea. Specific consideration of the aspects of the
effect of a government policy or a phenomenon on the performance of an
organisation/segment/system may provide suitable ideas for a Project. You need to
take care when dealing with issues such as these. It may be necessary to confine
yourself to an aspect of the issue or you could find yourself tackling something that is
too big to handle effectively and gives you a very wide project area, which inevitably
lacks depth of analysis.

Whatever the source of your project idea, familiarity with the area is imperative for the
successful completion of the project.


An acceptable project will normally fall into one of the following categories:

Exploratory- a study that involves carrying out original research in order to meet the
organization‟s continual need for new information for forward decision-making. The
main issues may be human, economical, functional etc, but the construction and/or
application of some kind of research instrument are the focus of the study. The
analysis of the research findings (e.g. client‟s responses to questionnaire about
changing product specifications) should take place, resulting in proposals about how
to manage relevant aspects of the organisation‟s future.

Explanatory- a study, which would involve studying relationships between different
variables like a cause & effect relationship study.


Descriptive- a study that would need an in-depth portrayal of an accurate profile of
events or situations from the business environment.


This section presents some of the norms associated with a project. It is strongly
recommended that you follow these guidelines. The final report should be presented in the
following sequence:

 Title page
 Student‟s Declaration (Annexure-I)
 Supervisor‟s Certificate (Annexure-II)

 Abstract

 Acknowledgements

 Table of Contents:

 List of Tables

 List of figures

 List of Appendices

Chapter 1. Introduction: This chapter includes the research problem, need for
study/significance of the project, objectives, hypotheses, methodology – scope, sample
design, sources of information, tools and techniques of analysis, structure of the study
with sound justifications/explanations.

Chapter 2. Literature Review: This chapter should reflect the student‟s understanding
of the relevant theoretical and empirical background of the problem. Focus should be
more on the logical presentation of the empirical evolution of conceptual and
methodological issues pertaining to research problem. Also highlight the methodological
clues drawn through this review for your project.

Chapter 3. The company/Organisation/System: This chapter should contain a brief
historical retrospect about the entity of your study.

Chapter 4 & 5: Present your data analysis and inferences

Chapter 6. Summary and Conclusions: Gives an overview of the project, conclusions,
implications and recommendations. Also specify the limitations of your study. You may
indicate the scope for further research.

Bibliography: List the books, articles, websites that are referred and useful for research
on the topic of your specific project. Follow Harvard style of referencing.



Your documents should be appropriately numbered. It is usual for Page 1 to start with the
Introduction. The sections prior to the Introduction are usually numbered with small Romans,
i.e. i, ii, iii. It is easier if appendices are numbered in a separate sequence (suggest A, B, C)
rather than as a continuation of the main report.

While presentation follows this sequence, it may be actually written in a very different order.
For example, the introduction is often the last major section to be completed.

6.1. Title Page (example)

Keep it very simple. Do not describe the contents. Have a working title and then decide a
final title when you have finished the Project. This is the standard format of the Title Page
that every student is expected to use.

Effectiveness of Liquidity Risk Management Policies, Procedures
and Strategies of ICICI Bank

(Name of Student)

(Student hall ticket number)

Project submitted in partial fulfilment for the award of the Degree of
Osmania University, Hyderabad -500007

6.2. Abstract

This is a summary of about 300 words (not more than one side of double-spaced A4) that
describes the topic; explains the aims and methods of the study and gives a brief resume of
the main conclusions and recommendations.


6.3. Acknowledgements

Here you have the opportunity to thank the various people who have helped in the
development of the project. It might include specific individuals who have given information,
offered insights, or generally been supportive. Gratitude may be expressed to groups of
people, like those who were studied, or fellow students. Try not to be too flippant or too

6.4. Table of Contents

The contents page gives the reader the first view of how the project is structured and how the
author attempted to develop the topic. It lists sequentially the sections and major sub-
divisions of the sections; each identified by a heading and located by a page number. The
following box gives an example.

Table of Contents


List of Tables


List of Figures








4.1 Presentation and Analysis

4.2 Interpretations







Appendix A – Organisational structure of Bloggs Ltd 66

Appendix B-


Your precise structure will have to be tailored to the needs of your own projects. If in
doubt, discuss with your project supervisor at an early stage.


6.5. List of Tables and Figures

Throughout the project, it is likely that you will want to present material in tabulated or
diagrammatic form. Some such presentations will bear only indirectly or partially on your
arguments, and in such cases you will need to decide about their proper location. Additional
or less relevant information may be better placed in an appendix.

Whether you decide to locate your tables/figures in the main body of the report or the
appendices, it is conventional to provide special “contents pages” so that readers can easily
find the information. Tables and figures should be listed on a separate page as shown below.

Examples of List of Tables




Redundancies in the Food Industry, by age, 1980-1987


Employee’s Attitudes to Motivational Factors,

by occupation


Employee’s Attitudes to Motivational Factors,

by gender


Examples of List of Figures




Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs


Vroom’s Expectancy Theory



6.6. Introduction

The introduction is crucial, since it sets the tone and context for the rest of the project. In the
introduction, it is important to outline the reasons behind the study – your motives or
rationale for conducting the study. You must give a broad introduction to the topic under
review and types of issues it raises.

Central to this part of the project is the setting of clear objectives, which you intend to
achieve by the end of the study. Your statement of objectives should be concise and precise,
and should be carefully considered in the light of your original aims and what you have been
able to achieve in your study.

Finally, you should include a summary of how you are going to treat the chosen topic,
running briefly through the sections to show how the structure of the project allows you to
explore the topic in your selected way.

6.7. The Main Body of the Project

The structuring of the project will reflect your preferences, so there is no one best way to do
it. However, there are predictable issues that need covering and your structure should permit
you to deal with them in an orderly fashion. For example, a project will include a literature
review; most will involve the reporting of primary research; all will need to draw conclusions
and consider recommendations. Additionally, all projects will include a section outlining, and
justifying, the methodology you have adopted and should link research methods to the
objectives and literature review.

The main body of the project must take the reader logically through a variety of linked
arguments, relating theory and practice, concepts and concrete observations, so that the
reader can understand and identify with the conclusions and recommendations of the author.
Your arguments need to be drawn demonstrably from your own observations and grounded in
an authoritative set of ideas. They should not be anecdotal. Although the arguments should
be presented in a tight structured form – using headings at regular intervals to achieve this –
they should also have an essential discursive character, i.e. you should fully explore the
implications and ramifications of the topic by developing the arguments in a relevant way.

You should ensure that you have covered all the major issues pertinent to the topic by the end
of the main body of the project.


Depending on the nature of your project, it might be appropriate to include a summary of
your findings before embarking on your conclusions.

6.8 Summary and Conclusion

Your Conclusion should include a summary of your main arguments, drawing together the
various themes and issues so that they can be brought to bear on the defined objectives of the
study. As with all reports, there should be no new information introduced in this section.
Your Recommendations should be feasible, practical and must place your conclusions within
a concrete and practical framework. You need to consider your recommendations in the
context of their possible human, financial, political, managerial, etc, implications. Your
recommendations should be justified.
6.9 Appendices

You should locate in the appendices all that information which gives an additional, quasi-
relevant support to the arguments you are constructing. It is important that you put all the
information you require the reader to attend to, in the main body of the text. Appendices
should be consistently signified by letter (APPENDIX A, APPENDIX B) or by number
(Roman) and give titles that indicate their contents. Do remember to source information in
appendices appropriately.

6.10 Bibliography and Referencing

Referencing is necessary to avoid plagiarism, to verify quotations and to enable readers to
follow-up and read more fully the cited author‟s arguments. Reference is given within the
text of the project as well as at the end of the project. The basic difference between citation
and a reference list (bibliography) is that the latter contains full details of all the in-text
Citation provides brief details of the author and date of publication for referencing
the work in the body of the text.
Reference List is given at the end of the text and is a list of all references used with
additional details provided to help identify each source.

References should be made to sources of material throughout the report. Various conventions
are used for referencing but you must use Harvard Referencing, as shown in Appendix A,
throughout your report.