Course Title: Research Methods

Part A: Course Overview

Course ID: 040060

Course Title: Research Methods

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


660H Grad School of Business


Sem 1 2007

Course Coordinator: Dr Tim O'Shannassy

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5951

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 108.11.11

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This course is available to part-time Research Candidates enrolled in the Doctor of Business Administration. The pre-requisites for the DBA include successful completion of a MBA or equivalent.

Course Description

This course aims to enable students to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills, or to further develop their existing knowledge and skills to be able to design and successfully complete a post-graduate research project involving a substantial amount of business management or organisational research.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The course will develop the following student capabilities:
Knowledge: Material covered and provided in classes will cover both ‘classic’ and current theoretical and practice issues. Written work will require demonstration of knowledge of relevant theory.

Creative: Readings, class discussions and assessment tasks will aim to develop candidates’ ability to creatively apply theories to practical situations.

Critical: Debate and discussion as well as written work will emphasize the need for critical thinking and the ability to demonstrate a critical perspective.

Responsible: The importance of business ethics and personal integrity will be integrated into class material and discussion.

Employable: This course involves substantial self-directed learning and candidates will be required to be self-motivated and adaptable, with good communication skills. Successful completion of the assessment will require an appreciation of practical factors and complex issues commonly faced in business.

Life-long learners: The importance of refinement & development of the skills through practical, critical experience will be stressed. Amongst other objectives assessment will require students to think broadly, take in new concepts and explore possible effects of competing influences as part of their professional development.

Potential leaders: This course integrates aspects of theory with practice, and contributes to the development of leadership traits such as vision, communication and strategic thinking.

By the completion of this course students will:
• Understand the major approaches and strategies of business management and organisational research and the methodological choices that need to be made;
• Understand the various aspects of research design and be able to design and write a plan of a business management or organisational research project;
• Understand the role of theory in research and be able to select and apply relevant theory;
• Understand the effective use of literature in justifying methodology and method choices;
• Understand the principles of quantitative and qualitative data gathering and have detailed knowledge of methods appropriate to the project;
• Understand the principles of quantitative and qualitative data analysis;
• Be able to access library resources using various retrieval techniques;
• Be familiar with ethical issues involved in management and organisational research;
• Present an outline of a research design
• Understand options, techniques and priorities in writing up a research thesis;
• Understand the publication process.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course will be taught with a variety of teaching and learning activities. The learning sessions will be interactive and participatory.

Through directed readings and research, students will further develop their critical appreciation of the many issues to consider in conducting DBA research.

Overview of Learning Resources

References/resources/articles will be provided in class.
Candidates will also need to engage in literature searches for relevant material for class exercises and assessment tasks.

Recommended Texts (Students may wish to purchase these texts to develop their research library; copies available in library):
Blaikie, N, 2000, Designing Research: The Logic of Anticipation, Cambridge: Polity Press
Creswell, JW 1994, Research Design: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, Sage Publications, London, Eng.
Sarantakos, S. 2004, Social Research., 3rd edition, Melbourne: Palgrave Macmillan
Thomas, RM, 2003, Blending Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods for Theses and Dissertations, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, Ca.

Other References (indicative):
Coakes, SJ, and Steed, LG 2001, SPSS Analysis Without Anguish, John Wiley and Sons, Milton, Qld.
Miles, M. B. & Huberman, A. M. 1994, Qualitative Data Analysis, 2nd edn., Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Punch, K. 1998, Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, London: Sage
Tabachnick, BG, and Fidell, LS 2001, Using Multivariate Statistics, 4th Edition, Allyn and Bacon, Needham Heights, Ma

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is available as a Pass or Fail grade only in this course. Candidates must complete each assessment task to pass this course. The assessment in this course consists of:

1. Individual Class Presentation#

Length: 20 minute presentation# (PowerPoint presentation to be hand delivered to Course Facilitator at start agreed session) 
Purpose: For the student to make a presentation addressing the key issues in the topic area agreed with the lecturer on an aspect of methodology or method.

2. Research Methodology and Design Paper

Length: 4000 words (approximate)
Weighing: 80%
Due Date: June 25 
Purpose The purpose of this assessment task is to give the doctoral candidates an opportunity to explore their preferred research methodology and method and prepare a report in that area. It is intended that the paper will assist the student in writing their proposal in their candidature review and the “Research Methodology and Design” chapter in their DBA thesis