Research and Collaboration
AMBA’s Research and Insight Centre provides thought leadership and understanding to the global Business School and wider business community. This includes Deans, senior Business School professionals, MBA students and graduates, employers and senior business managers.
AMBA’s reach is extensive and wide-ranging. Our research harnesses the perspectives of these influential thought leaders with high-quality, original and impactful research and collaboration.
We regularly harness their understanding and knowledge of key issues, the latest trends and future thinking within business management.
Should you choose to work with us, AMBA will utilise its dedicated communications team to ensure the study maximises its reach and impact. We could also explore further ways to project the research to target audiences.
AMBA’s research sponsors have the opportunity to add questions to existing business education research, have a strong brand association with our headline reports, and work collaboratively with our research and insight team to create a bespoke and ground-breaking piece of research on an area of interest.
By sponsoring research, you’ll have the chance to demonstrate thought leadership and establish your position as a prominent resource for global Business Schools.
Key data collection steps
AMBA generates research and insight through primary quantitative and qualitative research, supplemented through desk research, where appropriate.
Quantitative research is useful for generating robust datasets that provide an understanding of the strength of perceptions, range of experiences, and views on the past and future.
Qualitative research can provide a deeper understanding, with participants offering context and explanations behind their perspectives. It looks to provide insight into the ‘why’.
We will design a bespoke methodology for each research project, defined by its individual objectives.
1. Agree approach
Following an initial brief or conversation, AMBA will provide a proposal document for research partners. This will include a note on key research objectives, topics, methodology, timings and price. Once this document is agreed upon, we can then run a research project according to the outlined specification.
2. Questionnaire design
AMBA will design a high-quality questionnaire, taking question structures that have been cognitively tested to ensure they produce unbiased and unambiguous responses. AMBA’s Research and Insight Manager has extensive experience in producing questionnaires that deliver robust metrics across a range of measurements and topics.
3. Conducting quantitative fieldwork
AMBA will send online invitations for participants (whichever audience was chosen) to conduct fieldwork.
Fieldwork participation will be closely monitored and boosted throughout the period through a series of reminder emails.
Depending on the topic and nature of the research, we may recommend a small participation incentive such as entry into a prize draw, a charitable donation made by AMBA, or a non-financial incentive such as the opportunity to write in AMBA’s Business Impact hub.
4. Conducting qualitative fieldwork
Qualitative research is typically conducted following a quantitative study. For example, online survey participants could be asked whether they would like to take part in a further discussion where we would expand on the survey themes. AMBA will design a ‘topic guide’ to form the basis of interviews. This contains standardised open questions, along with prompts to delve more deeply.
AMBA will typically conduct the interviews within a month of the quantitative study. Interviews normally take place over the telephone by AMBA, would be recorded, and would last 30-45 minutes. As with our quantitative research, we may need to explore incentivising participants depending on the audience and topics.
There are three core ways in which research partners can collaborate on a project with AMBA.
1. Adding sections to an existing AMBA research project
Should your organisation wish to conduct its own thought-leading body of research or generate some internal insight, without sponsorship, we offer the option to reserve space on an existing AMBA survey.
This means that you can generate data for internal needs, or for events and thought pieces, without committing to a full research partnership.
You would be able to market the research data for your own purposes. These questions would need to be placed onto regular AMBA research.
2. Sponsoring research
Each year AMBA produces a number of high-profile flagship annual surveys. These projects include membership, careers, employer/business/corporate, and public surveys.
Research partners would have exclusive sponsorship of the survey (on a yearly basis) and have the opportunity to contribute to some questions. AMBA would lead on topic development and use data for internal marketing and communications purposes under the direction of its charitable objectives, and membership and accreditation requirements.
3. Bespoke, sponsored research
This would be an exclusive piece of work between AMBA and our research partner. The research partner would collaborate with AMBA on the audience and topic of interest. They would also provide input on the data collection materials for the project (in agreement with AMBA).
The research partner would hold the sole sponsorship rights for the project, meaning that the report and communications would include the research partner’s name and/or logo. We would also be open for the research partner to collaborate on an event presentation.
Research analysis and communication
Following any quantitative and qualitative research, AMBA would conduct an analysis of the data. A document would be drafted in order to define the key themes and variables that we would want to explore in detail. Statistically significant correlations and trends over time (if applicable) would be given prominence in the analysis. As part of this analysis process, a key findings data sheet and a top-line results document would be produced.
AMBA would write up and produce a final report of the findings. The report would look to convey the results of the research in a compelling manner, through a strong and punchy narrative. The report would be produced to a publishable standard, with appropriate charts, graphics and design fed into the final document.
A full report could incorporate AMBA’s research partner’s logo and some commentary on the findings should you wish. The length of the report would depend on the detail of the research and the length of the study.
3. Communicating research findings
AMBA would utilise its dedicated communications team to ensure the study maximises its reach and impact.
As standard, we would release and distribute the report to AMBA’s key stakeholders (Deans, Directors, and other Business School professionals). We would also put in place a bespoke PR strategy, which would encompass the distribution of a press kit (containing a press release, the research outputs and a fact sheet) to targeted print, online and broadcast media organisations within higher education and business sectors from across the globe.
We could also explore further ways to project the research to target audiences. This could be in the form of a roundtable with senior stakeholders, a conference presentation (AMBA hosts a range through the year) or another marketing event.
Timings and working arrangements
Outline of timings
Below we outline an initial indication of the timetable for an AMBA project. A project-specific timetable would depend on the methodology employed, the type of target audience, the length of the questionnaire and the communication strategy employed. We would agree on a project-specific timetable in advance of conducting a new study.
Week 1: Agreeing approach with research partner
Weeks 2-3: Questionnaire design
Weeks 4-8: Quantitative fieldwork
Weeks 6-12: Qualitative fieldwork
Weeks 8-13: Analysis
Weeks 12-17: Reporting
Weeks 18-22: Communications
AMBA’s Research and Insight team would run and manage the study fully. This would include designing the research materials, managing survey fieldwork, writing research outputs and delivering a communication strategy. We would welcome AMBA’s research partners’ input into this process and would seek your signoff on key documents.