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Research Methods Module

February 2013 Module Resource Book

Research Methods
Module Aims: This module provides a comprehensive introduction to research as practised in business and management disciplines. It provides an overview of the key quantitative and qualitative methodologies that are needed to undertake, evaluate and present a small scale research project. Following an introduction to research the module will move on to explore the major paradigms and debates in business research. It will help students to build appropriate strategies for reviewing literature and developing a coherent set of aims and objectives for a research study. The module will cover the major research methods (observation, surveys, case studies, interviews and action research), the implications of using them as well as the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data and presentation of findings. It identifies how to develop research questions/hypotheses and how to produce a robust and realistic research proposal and research design considering issues of data validation, triangulation and reliability. Following satisfactory completion of Part 1 students will progress to implementing the research proposal and writing up the dissertation.

Module Status:

Complusory component of Part 2 of the Master in Business Administration programme, credit rated at 20 M level credits.

Teaching Staff: Professor Eleri Jones (ejones@cardiffmet.ac.uk) Barbara Kennedy (bkennedy@cardiffmet.ac.uk) Dr Mukul Madahar (mmadahar@cardiffmet.ac.uk) Asif Zaman (azaman@cardiffmet.ac.uk) Telephone: Telephone: Telephone: Telephone: 02920416937 02920416226 02920416307 02920416374

Learning Outcomes: After successfully completing the module, you should be able to: 1. Interpret existing research as a prelude to carrying out further investigation and demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of a range of research designs and their appropriate utilisation. 2. Source, evaluate and appropriately reference information from a range of sources; 3. Integrate the findings of existing research to ask a new research question; 4. Engage in critical thinking when reading and comprehending research articles; 5. Critically evaluate a range of quantitative and qualitative research paradigms; 6. Conceptualise a problem; formulate hypotheses/propositions and objectives; design a research strategy, collecting, analysing, and interpreting quantitative and qualitative data, as appropriate; 7. Apply theoretical principles underlying descriptive and inferential statistics; 8. Select and justify the most appropriate analyses, interpret the results, and write up the results accurately and completely; 9. Develop a robust research proposal appropriate for an MBA dissertation. Teaching Programme Lectures and Workshops Lectures: 12:00 to 13:00 on a Wednesday Room O1.01

Workshop sessions: 09:00 to 11:00 on a Thursday 11:00 to 13:00 on a Thursday 16:00 to 18:00 on a Thursday
Notes: 1) Five workshops each contributing to 8 marks, totalling 40 marks; 40% of module assessment. 2) The remaining 60% of the assessment for the modulewill be for the Dissertation Proposal.

Room D0.02 (Groups 5 & 6) Room E1.01 (Groups 1 & 2) Room O2.16 (Groups 3 & 4)

Please note that you are allocated to a workshop group. In your workshops you will have the opportunity to develop your research proposal and discuss issues with a tutor. Attendance is compulsory. You will have the opportunity to earn 8 points in each of the five workshops. This is identified as Coursework on the Module Descriptor.

Week /Week No.


W/C 18 Feb Lecture 20 Feb
Week No.30

W/C 25 February Lecture 27 February


Week No.31

Lecture (1 hour) Introduction to business research and selection of topic. Key word searches, reviewing literature, citing literature plagiarism, Turnitin, etc (MM) Research onion/methodology/methods overview (EJ)

Workshop (2 hours) No workshop

Methodology and Data Collection Methods. Developing a realistic Gantt chart. First graded assignment (EJ). How to develop a literature review appropriately citing references. Key word searches. Explanation of role of Turnitin. Second graded assignment (MM). Ethical issues and ethics applications. Third graded assignment (BK). No workshop

W/C 4 March Lecture 6 March


Week No.32

Conceptual framework, research questions, propositions and hypotheses (MM)

W/C 11 March Lecture 13 March


Week No.33

Ethics (BK)

W/C 18 March April Lecture 20 March


Week No.34

Qualitative data collection - Interviews and focus groups, discussion for a, etc (MM)

W/C 15 April Lecture17 March


Week No.38

Qualitative data analysis (MM)

W/C 22 April Lecture 24 April


Week No.39

Questionnaire design (AZ) Descriptive and inferential statistics appropriate to analysing a questionnaire (t test, chi square test, etc) (AZ) Conclusion - drawing it all together (EJ) No lecture

Qualitative data analysis. Fourth graded assignment (MM). Questionnaire design (AZ). Quantitative data analysis 1. (AZ).

W/C 29 April Lecture 1 May


Week No.40

W/C 6 May Lecture 8 May


Week No.41

Quantitative data analysis 2. Fifth graded assignment (AZ). Workshop to discuss research proposals (MM, EJ, AZ, BK).

W/C 13 May NO Lecture 15 May


Week No.42

Hand-in date for proposal 12.00 midday on 04th June 2013.

Module Title

Research Methods Level Credits

M 20 Teaching Period Semester 1 Module Leader Professor Eleri Jones

JACS ASC Subject Category/ies Code MBA7004 X210 11B ECTS Credit Module % Module Type Value Taught in Welsh 10 1.0 0 Taught Pre-requisites None Schools Campus Cardiff School of Colchester Avenue Management

Module Number

Assessment Methods Assessment Type Duration/Length Weighting of Approximate Date of Assessment Assessment of Submission Type Coursework Ongoing in 40% Through Semester workshop sessions Dissertation proposal 3000 words 60% Week 4 Semester 2 Aims This module provides a comprehensive introduction to research as practised in business and management disciplines. It provides an overview of the key quantitative and qualitative methodologies that are needed to undertake, evaluate and present a small scale research project. Following an introduction to research the module will move on to explore the major paradigms and debates in business research. It will help students to build appropriate strategies for reviewing literature and developing a coherent set of aims and objectives for a research study. The module will cover the major research methods (observation, surveys, case studies, interviews and action research), the implications of using them as well as the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data and presentation of findings. It identifies how to develop research questions/hypotheses and how to produce a robust and realistic research proposal and research design considering issues of data validation, triangulation and reliability. Following satisfactory completion of Part 1 students will progress to implementing the research proposal and writing up the dissertation. Learning Outcomes At the end of this module students should be able to: Interpret existing research as a prelude to carrying out further investigation and demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of a range of research designs and their appropriate utilisation. Source, evaluate and appropriately reference information from a range of sources; Integrate the findings of existing research to ask a new research question;
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Engage in critical thinking when reading and comprehending research articles; Critically evaluate a range of quantitative and qualitative research paradigms; Conceptualise a problem; formulate hypotheses and objectives; design a research strategy, collecting, analysing, and interpreting quantitative and qualitative data as appropriate; Apply theoretical principles underlying descriptive and inferential statistics; Select and justify the most appropriate analyses, interpret the results, and write up the results accurately and completely; Develop a robust research proposal appropriate for an MBA dissertation.

Learning and Teaching Delivery Methods Lectures Workshops Student-centred learning Total Indicative Content

12 hours 24 hours 164 hours 200 hours

Introduction to research: academic and non-academic research (e.g. market research; opinion polls; economic indicators; media research). Ontology, epistemology, methodology and method. Alternative paradigms of business and management research. Reviewing the field: Choosing a research question and methodology: Writing a research proposal. Critical analysis of published research. On-line and library research skills. Research skills: writing and presentation skills; referencing procedures. Time management. Research ethics: confidentiality; plagiarism; copyright; IPR. Measurement & data collection strategies: Types of measurement. Choice of qualitative/quantitative variables. Sources of data. Quantitative methodologies: surveys; experiments; modelling, sampling; questionnaire design; choosing survey media. Small sample surveys and analysis. Qualitative methodologies: Ethnography; action research; hermeneutics; discourse analysis; history; biography. Qualitative methods: sampling; interviewing; participant observation; self-reporting; data recording and transcription; critical incident diaries; deep description. Data analysis, interpretation & evaluation: Quantitative data analysis: Data coding and management. Factor analysis. Regression, correlation, causality; extrapolation. Quantitative analysis software: Excel and SPSS. Qualitative data analysis: Categorising; comparing; the use of narrative. Qualitative analysis software: NVIVO. Writing the dissertation.

Recommended Reading and Required Reading Required Reading: Bryman, A and Bell, E (2007), Business Research Methods (2nd edition), Oxford: Oxford University Press. Collis, J and Hussey, R (2003), Business Research (2nd edition), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Gill, J and Johnson, P (2002), Research Methods for Managers (3rd Edition), London: Sage. Lancaster, G (2005), Research Methods in Management, Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann. Saunders, M, Lewis, P and Thornhill, A (2007), Research Methods for Business Students (4th Edition), New Jersey: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.

Recommended Reading: Alreck, PL and Settle, RB (1995), The Survey Research Handbook, Chicago: Irwin. Babbie, E (2006), The Practice of Social Research (International Student Edition), Belmont: Wadworth Publishing. Bell, J (2005), Doing Your Research Project (Fourth Edition), Maidenhead: Open University Press. Black, TR (1999), Doing Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences, London: Sage. Creswell, JW (2007), Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design Choosing Among Five Traditions (2nd edition), London: Sage. Easterby-Smith M, Thorpe R, and Lowe A (2002) Management Research: An Introduction (2nd edition), London: Sage Gilbert, N (2001), Researching Social Life (2nd edition), London: Sage. Gillham, B (2008), Developing a questionnaire (2nd edition), New York: Continuum. Gray, DE (2004), Doing Research In the Real World, London: Sage Publications Huberman, AH and Miles, MB (2002), The Qualitative Researchers Companion: Classic and contemporary readings, London: Sage. Hussey J and Hussey R (2002), Business Research: A practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students (2nd edition), London: Macmillan. Keats, DM (2000), Interviewing: A Practical Guide for Students and Professionals. Buckingham: Open University Press. Pallant, J (2007), SPSS Survival Manual (3rd edition). Buckingham: Open University Press. Partington, D (2002), Essential Skills for Management Research, London:

Sage Peterson, RA (2000), Constructing Effective Questionnaires, London: Sage. Robson, C (2002), Real World Research: A resource for social scientists and practitioner- researchers (2nd edition), Oxford: Blackwell. Scheyvens, R and Donovan, S (2003), Development Fieldwork: A Practical Guide, London: Sage Sekaran, U (2003), Research Methods for Business: A Skill Building Approach, Chichester: John Wiley. Straus, A and Corbin, J (1998), Basics of Qualitative Research, London: Sage Travers, M (2001), Qualitative Research Through Case Studies, London: Sage Wilkinson, D and Birmingham, P (2003). Using Research Instruments: A Toolkit for Researchers, London: RoutledgeFalmer. Wolcott, HF (2001), Writing Up Qualitative Research (2nd edition), London: Sage. Yin, RK (2003), Case Study Research: Design and Methods (Third Edition), Sage.

Access to Specialist Requirements Library and learning resources

DISSERTATION PROPOSAL (60%) Use the heading in the markscheme to structure your proposal. The markscheme is shown overleaf. Your proposal should not exceed 3000 words, excluding references. Student number: SECTION ONE (approximately 1500 words) WorkingTitle:

Introduction including rationale, literature review, purpose, questions and scope:

Purpose:

Research questions:

Scope:

SECTION TWO (approximately 1500 words) Research methodology including research strategy, sampling strategy, data collection and analysis methods and validity and reliability:

Access:

Gantt Chart:

References:

Name: Student number: WorkingTitle:


Does the study have a working title; defining the subject/topic/variables of the title and reflecting the dissertations content?(4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good Very good 0 1 2 3 4

Introduction including rationale, conceptual underpinnings, purpose, questions and scope: Rationale:
Is the study rationalised/justified? (Is there an economic/social/environmental and/or political benefit and who might be interested in the research?) (4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good Very good 0 1 2 3 4

Literature review:
Is the study based on appropriate concepts/ideas/theories? (4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good Very good 0 1 2 3 4 Is the study based on relevant and up-to-date literature (e.g. academic journals and books)? (4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good Very good 0 1 2 3 4

Research questions:
Does the study specifically state what is to be found out on the subject? (E.g. 1-2 general research questions, like, what..., or how... etc) (4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good Very good 0 1 2 3 4

Purpose:
Does the study clearly say why it is being done? (E.g. 1-2 purpose statements, like: to explore..., or to investigate...etc) (4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good Very good 0 1 2 3 4

Scope:
Is the scope of the research defined and rationalised? (E.g. whose perspective/viewpoint/position is to considered [employer, employee, government, industrial sector, size of company, etc]) (4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good Very good 0 1 2 3 4

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Research methodology including research strategy, sampling strategy, data collection and analysis methods and validity and reliability:
Has the study identified and rationalised an appropriate methodology (e.g. approach [deductive or inductive reasoning] and strategy [e.g. case study]) (4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good Very good 0 1 2 3 4 Has the study identified and rationalised an appropriate sampling procedure (e.g. judgemental or non-judgemental/probability sampling)? (4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good Very good 0 1 2 3 4 Has the study identified and rationalised an appropriate data collection method procedure (desk study [review of documents], interviews, questionnaires and/or observations)? (4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good Very good 0 1 2 3 4 Has the study identified and rationalised an appropriate data analysis procedure (e.g. techniques for reducing, displaying and conclusion drawing/verification)? (4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good Very good 0 1 2 3 4 Has the study addressed the issue of validity and reliability? (How will the student check the research for correctness/credibility, for instance)? (4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good Very good 0 1 2 3 4

Access:
Will the study be able to negotiate and gain access to the participants? (4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good Very good 0 1 2 3 4

Gantt Chart:
Is the study feasible on what and when things are to be done? (e.g. Gantt Chart) (4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good Very good 0 1 2 3 4

References:
Does the proposal conform to Harvard referencing? (4 marks) Not evident Weak Satisfactory Good 0 1 2 3 Very good 4

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