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Research Methods

MBA7016 (2013-14)

Research Methods


Credits

20

Level

HE7, PG/Masters

Type

Standard

Duration

1 Trimester(s)

Trimester 3?

No

ECTS

10

Marking Scheme

Numeric mark scheme (i.e. mark of 0-100)

Pass Mark

40%, No Notes

Delivery Type

This Module requires you to attend particular classes or events at particular times and in particular locations.

Pre-Requisites

None

Co-Requisites

None

Barred Combinations

None

Module Outline

This module directly precedes the dissertation and will enable you to develop a research proposal, a more fully developed version of which will form the first three chapters of your dissertation. You will develop feasible research objectives and an understanding of the research context (towards Chapter One of your dissertation); an appropriate conceptual/analytical framework to analyse your data following a critical review of the appropriate literature (towards chapter Two of your dissertation). This module will allow you to make informed decisions about which research philosophies, strategies and methods are suitable for your research. The subjects of triangulation, reliability, validity and research ethics will be explored and a combination of methods to form a critically robust research design (towards Chapter Three of your dissertation) will emerge

Taught (T), Developed (D) and Assessed (A).

Indicative Content

 

Description

1

Developing feasible objectives

2

Critically reviewing the literature extant, to include books, journals and websites.

3

Developing a conceptual framework from the literature; the significance of critique, thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis

4

Research Philosophy – positivism, realism, interpretivism. Research strategies.

5

Review and application of popular research methods: interviews, questionnaires, secondary data, observation.

6

Access and ethics.

7

Triangulation, validity, reliability.

Learning Outcomes

 

Description

1

Produce feasible objectives (congruent with M level study) and an understanding of the significance of the research context.

2

Produce a critical appraisal of relevant literature synthesised into an appropriate conceptual framework.

3

Demonstrate a firm grasp of differences between research philosophies and the justification of that selected.

4

Produce a critically informed research design with the appropriate combination of methods; sample sizes and selection criteria.

Learning And Teaching Strategy

You will be expected to attend a tutor-led all day workshop prior to the commencement of trimester 1. The date will be arranged in conjunction with the student body allowing several months notice for the vast majority. This workshop is designed to acquaint you with the research process inherent in M level study, a complete overview of the dissertation format and the more skeletal assessment of the first three chapters required as the submission for this module. Formal sessions address sections of the content in an ordered fashion to reflect the structure of the dissertation/research proposal. The theme of the sessions is announced and you will be expected to prepare yourself for the formal session by reading the relevant material placed upon the virtual learning environment. In addition to discussing the materials uploaded onto the VLE, tutors will use annotated drafts of your work as the centre of class based discussions to permit improvement in one particular draft and learning throughout the cohort. You are encouraged to seek clarification by telephone or email of any points raised on your draft that you may not understand. An important resource at the proposal/dissertation stage is the University’s repository where several research proposals/dissertations can be consulted to acquaint you with the format, style and structure of these submissions.

Learning & Teaching Methods

Method

KIS

Hours

Lecture

Scheduled

24

Guided independent study

Independent

176

Formative Assessment Strategy

Formative feedback is offered 3 times; on the feasibility of the proposed research; appropriateness of the conceptual frame and coverage of appropriate literature; research methods.

Summative Assessment Strategy

There are two assessments for this module. The first is the submission of feasible research objectives, accompanied by form RE1 (Research Ethics form). The second assessment is a more challenging piece, which asks you to develop a conceptual frame from a critical review of appropriate literature and provide a detailed overview of the research methods intended for use

Summative Assessments

 

Assessment

KIS

Description

 

Learning Outcomes

Marking Scheme

Passmark

KIS Weighting

001

Essay

Coursework

1,,000 word Introduction to the research proposal, to offer an introduction to the research context, the research question and research objectives

 

1

Not applicable

-

20%

002

Essay

Coursework

1x 4,000 word essay outlining the rest of the research proposal to include a brief literature review; a conceptual framework; research philosophy, strategy and methods; triangulation

FINAL

2 3 4

Not applicable

-

80%

Learning Resources

Description

Past examples of dissertations/research proposals are available at: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/index.php?action=listCategoryProcess&id=5

Essential Text Saunders, M., Thornhill, A. and Lewis, P. (2012) Research Methods for Business Students, 4th Edition, Harlow: FT Prentice Hall, 6th edition

Further Reading Bell, J. (2005) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education, Health and Social Science, 4th Edition, Open University Press, Maidenhead

Further reading Cassel, C. and Symon, G. (2004) Essential Guide to Qualitative Methods in Organisational Research, Sage, London

Further reading Fisher, F. (2007) Researching and Writing a Dissertation: for Business Students 2nd Edition, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow

Further reading Hair, J.F., Money, A.H., Samouel, P. and Page, M. (2007) Research Methods for Business, John Wiley, Chichester.

Further reading Crowther, D. Lancaster, G. (2009) Research Methods in Management, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford,

Online resources Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2009) Research Methods for Business Students, Pearson Education (4th Ed) is available via the e-books collection at: http://lib.myilibrary.com/Browse/Open.asp?ID=177101

Online resources Lancaster, G.A. (2005) Research Methods in Management: A Concise Introduction to Research in Management & Business Consultancy, Elsevier Science is available via the e-books collection at: http://lib.myilibrary.com/Browse/open.asp?ID=101438

Online resources Collis J. and Hussey, R. (2003) Business Research – a practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students (2nd Ed) Palgrave Macmillan is available via the e-books collection at: http://lib.myilibrary.com/Browse/open.asp?ID=25100

Online resources Fisher, C. Buglear, J. Lowry, D. Mutch, A and Tansley, C. (2004) Researching & Writing a Dissertation for Business Students, Pearson Education is available via the e-books collection at: http://lib.myilibrary.com/Browse/open.asp?ID=60122

Feedback to Students

Formative: within 3 working days Summative: Maximum 4 weeks

 

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