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BUS8401 Research Methodology 1

Semester 1, 2011 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business
School or Department : Faculty of Business
Version produced : 8 March 2013

Contents on this page

Staffing

Examiner: Melissa Johnson Morgan
Moderator: Glenda Adkins

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at <http://www.usq.edu.au/ict/students/standards/default.htm>.

Synopsis

This course provides an introduction to basic research for students undertaking postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Business and Law. Students will discuss the philosophy of research and gain a deep understanding of theoretical perspectives and epistemological assumptions underpinning different research approaches in the social sciences. The focus of this course is on preparing students to develop their research proposals and to ensure that they have skills which allow them to identify and formulate meaningful research problems, to plan and execute a critical literature review, to ground their research in a theoretical perspective that will inform their methodology, research strategy and design. Students will be expected to improve their critical thinking skills and to learn to read and critique previous research published in journals associated with their discipline. The course provides an overview of both qualitative and quantitative research methodology and associated methods. Research quality is emphasized throughout the course as students begin to make critical decisions about the formulation of their research question and the most effective research design to address that question. The course also serves as an introduction to data collection and analysis decisions in preparation for BUS8402 Research Methods 2.

Objectives

On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. understand the theoretical perspectives and epistemological assumptions underpinning different research approaches and methodologies in basic business research
  2. evaluate the role of theory in research and understand the importance of the selection and use of a theoretical framework in conducting basic research
  3. develop the research skills required for planning and executing basic business research, including conducting literature searches and reviews, formulating research questions, choosing and defending a research approach and methodology, and selecting specific methods and techniques appropriate for answering a research questions.

Topics

Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to social science research 10.00
2. Formulating and clarifying the research topic 5.00
3. Theory and the critical review of literature 20.00
4. Research philosophy 10.00
5. Research design 10.00
6. Qualitative research methods 10.00
7. Qualitative research sampling and analysis 10.00
8. Quantitative research methods 10.00
9. Quantitative research sampling and analysis 10.00
10. Issues of research presentation 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (https://bookshop.usq.edu.au/bookweb/subject.cgi?year=2011&sem=01&subject1=BUS8401)

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (https://bookshop.usq.edu.au/contact/)

  • Saunders, J, Lewis, P & Thornhill, A 2009, Research methods for business students, 5th edn, Financial Times-Prentice Hall, Harlow, England.
  • Summers, J & Smith, B 2010, Communication skills handbook, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Queensland.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Dooley, D 2001, Social research methods, 4th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
  • Graziano, AM & Raulin, ML 2010, Research methods: a process of inquiry, 7th edn, Allyn & Bacon, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Leedy, PD & Ormrod, JE 2010, Practical research: planning and design, 9th edn, Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
  • Neuman, WL 2010, Social research methods: qualitative and quantitative approaches, 7th edn, Allyn & Bacon, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Sekaran, U 2010, Research methods for business: a skill-building approach, 5th edn, John Wiley and Sons, New York.
  • Zikmund, W 2010, Business research methods, 8th edn, South-Western, Mason, Ohio.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 69.00
Directed Study 48.00
Private Study 48.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives assessed Graduate skill Level assessed Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 11 Apr 2011 1,2 U1,U3,U4 3,3,3
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 60 06 Jun 2011 1,2,3 U1,U3,U4 3,3,3

Graduate qualities and skills

Elements of the following USQ Graduate Skills are associated with the sucessful completion of this course.
Ethical research and enquiry (U1)Advanced (Level 3)
Academic, professional and digital literacy (U3)Advanced (Level 3)
Written and oral communication (U4)Advanced (Level 3)

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    If you are an international student in Australia, you are advised to attend all classes at your campus. For all other students, there are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at http://policy.usq.edu.au/portal/custom/search/category/usq_document_policy_type/Student.1.html.

Assessment notes

  1. Assignments: (i) The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the examiner. (ii) Students must retain a copy of each assignment submitted for assessment. This must be produced within 24 hours if required by the examiner. (iii) The examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances. Applications for extensions should be in writing and must include supporting documentary evidence. Extensions are only granted in unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances. The examiner shall consider all documentary evidence (including statement from a doctor, employer, counsellor or independent member of the community as appropriate) accompanying an application for extension and decide on the outcome. Length of extensions: Up to one week's extension (five working days) may be granted if a signed statement with supporting documentation is sent with the assignment, proving that an unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstance caused the delay, for example unusual and unpredictable work or family commitments. If the signed statement and supporting documentation does not show that unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances were present for the days claimed, then the normal reduction in marks for a late assignment of 5% per working day will apply. Extensions beyond one week are not allowed unless express permission is obtained from the examiner. Extensions beyond one week are only granted in extreme circumstance because model answers may be distributed after this time. If you are likely to require an extension for a longer period than one week, you must contact the examiner for advice. In most cases, you will be required to complete an alternative make-up assignment. However, make-up assignments are only granted if you have passed all other pieces of assessment for the course. Medical extensions: In the case of an application for extension for medical reasons, the documentation should include a statement from a doctor stating: the date the medical condition began or changed; how the condition affected the student's ability to study; when it became apparent that the student could not submit the assignment. As a rule, you will be granted an extension for the number of working days covered on a medical certificate. In the case of a medical extension, you do not need to contact the examiner unless you require an extension of longer than one week. Extensions for family/personal reasons: In the case of an application for extension for family/personal reasons, the documentation should include a statement from a doctor, counsellor or independent member of the community stating: the date the student's personal circumstances began or changed; how the circumstances affected the student's ability to complete the assignment; when it became apparent that the student could not complete the assignment. In the case of an extension for family/personal reasons you must contact the examiner before the due date to discuss the reason for the extension and to negotiate the length of an extension if granted. Extensions for employment-related reasons: In the case of an application for extension for employment-related reasons, the documentation should include a statement from the student's employer stating: the date the student's employment began or the conditions of employment changed; how this prevents the student from completing the assignment. In the case of an extension for employment-related reasons you must contact the examiner before the due date to discuss the reason for the extension and to negotiate the length of an extension if granted.

  2. Text books: Please note that it is the responsibility of the student to acquire a copy of the text book as soon as their enrolment in the course has been confirmed. Extensions will not be granted on the basis of the student not having a copy of the text, if the text is available from the USQ bookshop.

  3. Referencing in assignments: Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at <http://www.usq.edu.au/library/help/referencing/default.htm>.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access: Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at <http://www.usq.edu.au/ict/students/standards/default.htm>.