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Any topic related to ebusiness and its various sub-domains (especially emarketing and IS) is a potential valid option

Post Date: 01 - Jan - 2024


2500 words

Minimum 20 references no older than 2012


Individual Work – 100%

The overall aim of this research essay is to demonstrate your ability to conceptualise a problem related to e-business using an appropriate theory and relevant literature by applying them to practice.

Theory and Literature: You can use the Theories Used in IS Research Wiki (https://is.theorizeit.org/) which provides visitors with summarised information on theories widely used in information systems research. You can find a summary for each theory, examples of IS papers using the theory, and links to related papers and sources. These should be used as a starting point for your theoretical coverage. You are expected to undertake further reading relevant to the topic you will be selecting. This will provide you with the necessary background sources to cover the topic in a comprehensive manner. If you choose this option you should not use the following theories and models: Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), Technology Acceptance Model (TAM/TAM2/TAM3) or the Unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT/UTAUT2). Any other theory may be used.

Alternatively you may opt to undertake a systematic literature review to cover the relevant to your chosen issue literature. For more information about how to undertake a systematic review please refer to Tranfield, D., Denyer, D. and Smart, P. (2003), Towards a Methodology for Developing Evidence-Informed Management Knowledge by Means of Systematic Review. British Journal of Management, 14: 207–222. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-8551.00375/abstract)

In either case, your references must include academic sources, both books and journal articles, allowing you to frame the discussion and structure it appropriately.

Research Topics

Any topic related to ebusiness and its various sub-domains (especially emarketing and IS) is a potential valid option. You will not lose or gain marks for the selection of the topic itself. During the lectures we will be spending time on brainstorming topics that you may find of interest for this assignment. Feedback will be provided on them in-class, in small-groups and electronically. 

The list below is a selection of titles from previous cohorts. This will hopefully give you an idea of range of topics covered.

  • User acceptance of assistive technologies
  • Explaining the proliferation of SNS criminology
  • Targeting health problems with the use of technology via active video gaming
  • The empowerment of women through online technologies
  • Applying social network theories to distance learning 
  • The use of online technologies in mental e-healthcare
  • Ageing and retailing

You may also want to consider challenges related to the three societal challenges set as a priority by Newcastle University (for more information visit: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/research/themes/).

Ageing: Our Changing Age theme is a development of our expertise on the ageing process and the implications for society. We have the largest number of academics working on aspects of ageing in Europe, many based on a purpose-built campus operated in partnership with the NHS Trust.

Social Renewal: Newcastle has significant strengths in research relating to how individuals, communities and organisations adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing and challenging environment. We have created the Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal as a hub for research activity which is focused on asking the big questions facing our society.

Sustainability: At Newcastle, we focus on the solutions that we can offer to the global challenge of sustainability, particularly in relation to our existing internationally leading research. Sustainability can be summarised as: `enough, for all, forever`.

For instance you may write a research essay on ageing and how online technologies are used for e-retailing or e-learning purposes by older users. Alternatively, you may want to consider the themes listed in Microsoft Imagine Cup (more information can be found here: http://www.imaginecup.com):

  • Ending hunger and poverty
  • Achieving universal primary education for everyone
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reducing child mortality
  • Improving maternal health
  • Combating widespread disease
  • Ensuring environmental sustainability
  • Developing a global partnership for development


The exact structure of your work will depend on the topic and approach. For example, if you are going to discuss a problem by applying a theory to it, then an indicative structure may be as follows:

  1. Introduction: setting the stage for the rest of your work, why is this of any importance, background information to demonstrate its significance
  2. Theory: What is your chosen theory? Why is this a good choice for the topic considered? What are the main tenets of the theory?
  3. Application of theory to practice, contextualising the main ideas of the theory using your chosen topic. You should also use relevant literature that has studied this topic (perhas using this theory) and present the main trends/findings. 
  4. Conclusion: What are the main conclusions? Are there any limitations in how the theory covered the topic in question? 

You can refer to the sample assignment for an example of this approach. 

If you choose the structured literature review approach, section 2 and 3 will be replaced with similar discussion on the literature covered and the analysis undertaken.


All submissions should adhere to the following rules:

  • Your research essay should be at least 2000 words but not exceed 2500. References do not count towards the word limit.
  • You should use at least 25 academic sources (journal articles or books).
  • Please use font size 11 or 12 with a reasonable font type of your choice. You essay should be structured appropriately and all sections and subsections numbered.
  • Please use the Harvard referencing style.

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