Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 455,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

PhD research proposal draft development 3.0

business school phd Problem Solving Research
New answer on Mar 13, 2024
4 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Mar 11, 2024

Hi there.
Let it be as a diary, sharing research development and question as well.

So, I have several consultations with academia representatives and 2 MBB consultants with PhD degrees.

So, the field of my research going to have more boundaries.

The DRAFT: Research Proposal Summary
•    Title: A Qualitative Examination of Business Problem-Solving Consultant Methods (Methodologies?) and Academic Research Methods (Methodologies?)
•    Research Question: What are the boundaries, overlaps, limitations, and opportunities between Business Problem-Solving Consultant Methods (Methodologies?) and Academic Research Methods (Methodologies?)?
•    Data Collection: Analysis of literature on methodological approaches and case studies. Semi-structured (?) interviews with both academic researchers and business
•    Keywords:
#Methodological Comparison in Consulting and Academia
#Business Problem-Solving Methodologies
#Academic Research Methodologies
#Epistemological Structure
•    Objective/Goals: ?
•    Significance: ?

I have two questions:
•    Do you find the research topic understandable and relevant?
•    Can this topic have clearly defined research Objectives/Goals and Significance?
While I find the topic intriguing, I am struggling to articulate its practical application - it seems to me as a “research about research”, or exploring not the “knowledge gap”, but “methodological gap” (if I could find one).

Any insights or directions you can guide me towards?  Any keywords to emphasize or add?

Thanks for sticking around till the end! Hope it us fun for you!


1.0 PhD research proposal draft development  - What academic research related to consulting can be most interesting to you? |

2.0 PhD research proposal draft development  - be part of academic research partly related to consulting field |

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Content Creator
replied on Mar 11, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

I like your perseverance. 

My main issue with your research question is that it is too exploratory and too wide. 

‘Boundaries, overlaps, limitations and opportunities’ are already 4 categories of content that are enormous. 

'Business Problem-Solving Consultant Methods (Methodologies?) and Academic Research Methods (Methodologies?)'  are also two categories that are enormous. 

If you look at the crossroads of these themes, you'll be writing for the rest of your life. 

I would recommend you look for something significantly more convergent. For instance, how first principles thinking is used by both consultants and academics (predominantly those in STEM). But even then, you need to go on to explain WHY this research is important and how it can contribute (i.e., what it DOES). 

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?
replied on Mar 12, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

I will state this again, as I have already answered a similar question from you before. YOU DONT KNOW THE OBJECTIVE, BUT YOU NEED ONE!

You need an objective. If you don't have one, then it is not interesting, but POINTLESS. 

Start with the objective. THEN, and ONLY then, think about how you can reach the objective.

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Mar 13, 2024
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

I am not sure this is the right place for the question :) I suggest you contact with your PhD mentor to clarify all your questions.

Good luck!


Check out my latest case based on a real MBB interview: Sierra Springs

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Mar 12, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Please stop.

This isn't the right forum for this. Talk to your professor. They're there to advise you.

We are not academics. We are not PhD thesis paper advisors.

This is the 3rd time now…

Was this answer helpful?
Cristian gave the best answer


Content Creator
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach
Q&A Upvotes
218 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely
You are a true consultant! Thank you for consulting us on how to make PrepLounge even better!