Research Methodology


Course Objectives
This course presents the process of research from the inception of a purpose statement or research thesis through to the writing up of a report or essay. Through exposure to different research methods, students will learn which method is appropriate for the research questions and/or hypotheses they generate.
The class will be primarily hands-on with students formulating their own topics and ideas for the course. During the course they will design a research plan, and begin the work on their own essay or thesis. This course may serve as the first step in formulating the topic, purpose and research method for their thesis. At the end of this course, students should have a fully developed research plan, and will be assigned a thesis advisor to oversee their thesis project. The course brings students to examine the why and what for of research by reading up on different theories and methods. This will include qualitative and quantitative methods, mixed methods, as well as inductive vs. deductive inquiry. In addition, students will learn to recognize research integrity and validity, formulate research questions and hypotheses, and develop the design for a thesis or report, as well as how to conduct a literature review and prepare an annotated bibliography.
Expected Outcome / Learning
This research methods course provides learning in terms of critical thinking and evaluation of other people's research, and it places an accent on the importance to learn clear communication to distinguish a fact from a finding, from knowledge gathering, or from arguments based on unexpressed assumptions. Students will have learned to use both qualitative and quantitative research methods, and to analyze research - their own and others' on the basis of the validity and appropriateness of the research tools and methods used for the given subject and research objective.
Upon the successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Develop a purpose statement that may be in the form of a research question or a hypothesis.
  • Understand the principal tendencies in the theory of research
  • Design a research plan and understand the detail of the various necessary steps.
  • Conduct a thorough literature review and prepare an annotated bibliography.
  • Understand why quantitative and qualitative methodologies are used in gathering data and which methods benefit what kind of outcome.
  • Analyze the data collected.
  • Write up and present the findings.
At the end of this course, students should have a fully developed research plan, and will be assigned a thesis advisor to oversee their thesis project.
Prerequisites
Entry into graduate studies is the only prerequisite. This course is a must for all graduate students who study and work in the social sciences, business management, humanities, economics and finance.

Required Textbook
Donald R. Cooper, Pamela S. Schindler, Business Research Methods, 11/e, McGrawHill, 2011 (ISBN-13 9780073373706)

Suggested Readings
Creswell, John W., Research Design: Qualitative Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches, Los Angeles, London, Sage Publications, 2009 (3r edition) (ISBN: 978-1-4129-6557-6 paperback) 
Publisher's website: www.sagepublications.com

Glossary Research Methodology, click here
COURSE SCHEDULE


Module 1

Description
Research in Business. Thinking like a Researcher.
Read
1. Textbook, ch. 1, 3
2. Textbook, Appendix 1a: How the Research Industry Works
Discussion
a. “You observe the following condition: “Our female representative have lower customer defections than do our male sales representative.” Propose the concepts and constructs you might use to study this phenomenon.”
b. Look through Sample Project Report. Think about you report topic. Send out your topic to your fellows and to the instructor.
c.Part I: Write Background and Description of Problem

Module 2

Description
The Research Process. Clarifying the Research Questions.
Read
Textbook, ch.  4-5
Discussion
a. “Discuss the problem of trading off exploration and plot testing under tight budgetary constraints. What are the immediate and long-term effects?.”
b. Part II: write Main Research Objective of your project

Module 3

Description
The Design of Research
Read
Textbook, ch.6 – obligatory, ch. 7-10 – up to your Project needs.
Discussion
a. “Why not use more control variables rather than depend on randomization as the means of controlling extraneous variables?”
b. Part III. Define Methodology of your research. Explain your choice.

Module 4

Description
The Sources and Collection of Data
Read
Textbook, ch. 11, 13, 14
Discussion
a. “Why is the survey technique so popular? When is it not appropriate?”
b. Part IV: Collect Data for your Project.

Module 5

Description
Analysis of Data
Read
Textbook, ch. 15
Discussion
a. “How should the researcher handle “don’t know” responses?”
b. Part V: Findings.

Module 6

Description
Exploring, Displaying, and Examining Data
Read
Textbook, ch. 16
Discussion
a. “Describe your project and explain how you analyzed Data.”
b. Part V: Findings. Organize Appendixes.

Module 7

Description
Presenting Insights and Findings.
Read
Textbook, ch. 20
Discussion
a.“The president of the company has asked for a study of the company’s pension plan and its comparison to the plans of other firms in the industry. What type of report would you suggest?”
b. Complete your Research Project. Send it to your professor.

Module 8

Description
Final Project


Prepare
1. Make corrections of you report according to professor’s recommendations.
2.      Send out your final report to your fellows.
3.      Be ready to discuss: “Discuss Research Reports of your fellows. Be sure that you answer all the questions about your project and make comments on your fellows’ projects.”




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