verview: You will select appropriate research literature to review key theoretical concepts and discuss them in this section. The purpose is to explore issues surrounding your hypothesis (from Chapter 1). The strategy for this literature search does NOT require you to locate specific information about your company and its problems (you already presented that information in Chapter 1 and you will add more in Chapter 3).
Instead, use this section to discuss various articles in the literature describing research on key theories, concepts and other businesses in the industry with similar problems. For example, look for articles on your company’s competitors or articles on companies in similar industries experiencing the same type of problems you outline in your hypothesis. Explain how the problem was addressed and consider if the solution implemented would be applicable to your organization. Also, research and discuss any theoretical concepts you mention in your hypothesis. For example, cost leadership, integration, differentiation, customer service problems, loss of strategic vision, poor executive leadership, etc. Chapter 2 has three major subheadings as described below:
Section I: Literature Search. Based on the Research Proposal and Introduction (Chapter 1) and the hypothesis presented there, you will have a clear understanding of the type of key theoretical concepts to review in the research literature for this chapter. For example, if your hypothesis suggests your company is unprofitable due to a lack of strategic leadership, you might research key theories and concepts about companies that have failed when their corporate leaders lack strategic vision. If your hypothesis asserts that your company is failing to attract a growing customer base, you might look for research on marketing theories and concepts for similar companies and industries.
Again, do not forget to discuss theoretical concepts mentioned in your hypothesis. If you attribute your organization’s problem to a lack of profitability, inadequate profit growth, lack of leadership, poor customer service, lack of research, development, and innovation, or ineffective planning, controlling, and organizing, you must research these areas. This section should reflect the use of peer review sources consulted during your literature search.
You may further divide Section I by offering subheadings for the types of key theoretical concepts or business problems you are researching. For example, one subheading might be Research on Strategic Vision Failures and another might be Research on Failed Marketing Strategies or Research on Successful Marketing Strategies. Throughout this literature search, possible weaknesses or threats are uncovered for you to discuss. As these areas become apparent, organize the research paper so that—near the end of this section—you can bring focus to the main problem.