The aim of this module is to explore the nature and associated complexities of research methods and methodology. This is explored specifically in relation to methods and methodology as they are applied in a business and organisational context. Business research is based on the principles of social science methodology and is a broad term which encompasses many diverse aspects and interests. The basic elements encompass the development/application of theory and a clear definition of the problem. From there we collect data/information and subject that to suitable analysis then communicate and apply our findings. In essence business research is designed to promote a well-informed critical decision-making process for managers and business owners alike. Therefore, ultimately this module is designed to equip you with the knowledge to pursue research at mastery level, and, be able to apply this in a specific organisational context in your later proposal and final project.
In order to equip you with the relevant knowledge we examine ten key topic areas as follows:
1. What is research in Business and Management?
2. Understanding research philosophies and approaches
3. Critically reviewing literature
4. Formulating the research design and selecting samples
5. Using secondary data
6. Collecting primary data through observation
7. Collecting primary data using semi-structured, in-depth and group interviews
8. Collecting primary data using questionnaires
9. Analysing quantitative data
10. Analysing qualitative data
Each area builds on each other in a development way so that you appreciate fully research journey. Each topic also contributes to the knowledge needed to be able to apply yourself to the assignment and meet the core learning outcomes as set out below.
Module Learning Outcomes (LO’s)
1. To explore the main research paradigms within the field of management research.
2. To critically understand the methods of quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis
3. To demonstrate advanced skills in data handling, using appropriate statistical software.
4. To demonstrate high-level skills in qualitative research methods.
5. To demonstrate deep competence in quantitative research methods.
Reading Resources (Journal Articles)
Clark, Alexander M. ‘The Qualitative‐quantitative Debate: Moving from Positivism and Confrontation to Post‐positivism and Reconciliation’. Journal of Advanced Nursing 27, no. 6 (June 1998): 1242–49. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2648.1998.00651.x.
Edley, Nigel. ‘Unravelling Social Constructionism’. Theory & Psychology 11, no. 3 (June 2001): 433–41. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959354301113008.