BUSN20016 - Research in Business
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for BUSN20016 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

This unit provides the essential skills and techniques for designing, implementing and evaluating research in business contexts. It provides an in-depth introduction to the critical thinking and planning required in the initial stages of a thesis or research project. You will undertake research problem definition, design a research project, development of a literature review, consider qualitative and quantitative methods, measurement concepts, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, reporting and presentation of results with the final outcome of the unit being the development of a research proposal. This unit is designed as the pre-requisite for the work you will undertake in your final year capstone unit Professional Project.

Details

Career Level Postgraduate
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 3A
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Brisbane
  • Distance
  • Melbourne
  • Sydney

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Practical and Written Assessment 20%
2. Practical and Written Assessment 30%
3. Written Assessment 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback Source Recommendation
Course materials and nurturing support from the lecturers and the course coordinator were very supportive Course evaluation report, emails and in class Many students appreciated the supports and the course materials that provided by the course coordinator and the lecturers and we will provide more case study materials in course moodle site next year.
Consider to provide more industry-based business research examples Course evaluation report We will provide more industry-based business research examples for Assessments 1 and 3 on the course moodle site next year.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. formulate problems in business studies into a concise and precise research question;
  2. develop and employ ethical practices that consider social, cultural and legal responsibilities of researchers and the research process;
  3. critically evaluate published academic research, identify secondary data sources, and review extant literature, to develop a theoretical framework for a business problem or opportunity;
  4. choose and apply the appropriate research strategies (qualitative and/or quantitative) and techniques to best address the research problem;
  5. demonstrate the application of data analysis techniques and measurement concepts; and
  6. prepare and communicate a comprehensive research proposal.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Practical and Written Assessment      
2 - Practical and Written Assessment        
3 - Written Assessment  

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Professional Level
  • Advanced Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Knowledge  
2. Communication
3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4. Research
5. Self-management    
6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility
7. Leadership            

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Professional Level
  • Advanced Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Practical and Written Assessment
2 - Practical and Written Assessment    
3 - Written Assessment  

Prescribed Textbooks

Research Methods for Business - A Skill Building Approach
Author/s: Sekaran, U. and Bougie, R. Year: 2016
Edition: 7th Publisher: Wiley
City: West Sussex
Country: UK
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop
Note: E-Text is available for this book, which is much cheaper than paperback book. However, if you do prefer a paper copy, you can purchase one from the CQUni Bookshop here.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
All submissions for this unit must use the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorDelwar Akbar (d.akbar@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

The nature and issues of business research

Chapter 1: Introduction to research (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016)

Week 2 13-03-2017

Business research process, design and ethics

Chapter 3: Defining and refining the problem (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016)

Chapter 4: Critical literature review (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016)

Chapter 6: Elements of research design (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016)

Week 3 20-03-2017

Types and scale of data

Chapter 11: Measurement of variables: operational definition (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016)

Chapter 12: Measurement: Scaling, reliability and validity (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016)

Week 4 27-03-2017

Data collection and sampling methods

Chapter 7: Interviews (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016)

Chapter 8: Data collection methods: Observation (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016)

Chapter 9: Administering questionnaires (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016)

Chapter 13: Sampling (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016)

Week 5 03-04-2017

Quantitative data analysis

Chapter 14: Quantitative data analysis (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016)

Project Outline and Topic Presentation Due Friday (07 Apr 17) 05:00 PM AEST
Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017

Hypothesis development and testing

Chapter 5 Theoretical framework & hypothesis development (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016)

Chapter 15: Quantitative data analysis- Hypothesis testing (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016, pp. 302-317)

Week 7 24-04-2017

Examining relationship: Correlation and regression

Chapter 15: Quantitative data analysis- Hypothesis testing (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016, pp. 318-332)

Week 8 01-05-2017

Basic qualitative data analysis

Chapter 16: Qualitative data analysis (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016)

Week 9 08-05-2017

Advanced qualitative data analysis

No set text

Open: Monday/Week 9/09:00 AM; Close: Sunday/Week 9/05:00 PM; Duration: 100 Minutes; Complete in one go.

Research Exercise Due AEST
Week 10 15-05-2017

Refining the problem statement and methods

Resources are available in the unit Moodle site.

Week 11 22-05-2017

Draft research proposal

The structure of a draft research proposal is available in the unit Moodle site.

Week 12 29-05-2017

Final research proposal

Chapter 17: The research report (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016)
Project Proposal Due Friday (02 Jun 17) 05:00 PM AEST
Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

1 Practical and Written Assessment

Assessment Title Project Outline and Topic Presentation
Task Description

Please provide an outline of a research project that you intend to use as the basis for your final assessment task 3, full project proposal.

You should briefly write:

  • Title of the project (up to 25 words)
  • A brief statement of the problem that you would like to investigate.
  • Research aim and objectives that can solve the problem you have identified.
  • A brief methodology: Provide details about what type of methodology you will choose such as quantitative or qualitative or mixed methodology; what type of study it will be such as exploratory or descriptive or explanatory; what method(s) of data collection you will use; how you will source the required data; and what methods and tools you will use to analyse the collected data.
This is an individual research task. As a Masters student, you are required to engage in research and demonstrate your understanding of the relevant body of works that have discussed recent developments in a discipline and/or area of professional practice. You are also required to demonstrate knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to a real-life business research. We expect you to read and reflect on at least ten recent refereed journal articles on your topic supported by any other evidence or information that can help identify the problem of your research and the methods of data collection and analysis.

In addition, as a part of topic presentation, all on-campus students are required to discuss their project topic and ideas during the tutorial sessions in front of other students. You are also expected to provide constructive feedback on each of the group members' project. Distance students will do the same activity in the online discussion forum of the unit Moodle site. Please see detailed guidelines about the project presentation and specific research requirements on the unit Moodle site. You can write 600 words maximum for this assignment. The cover page and the list of references are not counted in the word limit.

Assessment Due Date Week 5 Friday (07-Apr-2017) 05:00 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 7 Friday (28-Apr-2017)
Weighting 20%
Assessment Criteria

All the assessment criteria for this piece of assessment are outlined below with weights.

Assessment criteria:

Criteria Grade
1. A brief statement of the problem HD D C P F
2.Research aim and objectives HD D C P F
3. A brief methodology HD D C P F
4. Accurate referencing, use of correct English and logical sequences between sentences and paragraphs HD D C P F
5. Topic presentation HD D C P F

Key to grading and corresponding marking scale:

HD (84.5% to 100% marks): Student demonstrates outstanding understanding and interpretation of all aspects of the criteria.

D (74.5% to 84.4% marks): Student demonstrates excellence in understanding and interpretation of almost all aspects of the criteria with some minor corrections or additions needed.

C (64.5% to 74.4% marks): Student demonstrates very good understanding and interpretation of most aspects of the criteria with some need for additional work, additions or improvement.

P (49.5% to 64.4% marks): Student demonstrates good understanding and interpretation of the criteria to warrant the award of a Pass but requires considerable additional work, additions or improvement.

F (below 49.5%): Student demonstrates an unsatisfactory understanding and interpretation of the criteria and requires major additional work, additions or improvement to achieve a passing grade.

Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. formulate problems in business studies into a concise and precise research question;

2. develop and employ ethical practices that consider social, cultural and legal responsibilities of researchers and the research process;

3. critically evaluate published academic research, identify secondary data sources, and review extant literature, to develop a theoretical framework for a business problem or opportunity;

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research

5. Self-management

6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility

7. Leadership



2 Practical and Written Assessment

Assessment Title Research Exercise
Task Description

This is an online and individual research exercise. The online link will open on 9:00 am Monday in Week 9 and will close at 5:00 pm on Sunday in the same week. The link will open for only 100 minutes. You need to complete this task in one go. You cannot exit and re-enter the site.

There will be 20 short questions based on several brief case studies. You will read these case studies, do some calculations (if required) and then provide the correct answer to each question. Each correct answer is worth 1.5 marks and 20 correct answers are worth 30 marks. Please see detailed guidelines and practice tests on the unit Moodle site.

Assessment Due Date Open: Monday/Week 9/09:00 AM; Close: Sunday/Week 9/05:00 PM; Duration: 100 Minutes; Complete in one go.
Return Date to Students Results are available once the link is closed.
Weighting 30%
Assessment Criteria

Questions are automatically graded. Each correct answer is worth 1.5 marks.

Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

4. choose and apply the appropriate research strategies (qualitative and/or quantitative) and techniques to best address the research problem;

5. demonstrate the application of data analysis techniques and measurement concepts; and

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Knowledge

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research

5. Self-management

6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility



3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Project Proposal
Task Description

Assessment task 3 requires the preparation of a full project proposal that should contain the following components:

  • A detail statement of the problem that you would like to investigate.
  • Research aim, objectives and research questions: What are the potential research objectives and questions that can address the problem?
  • Justification and potential output of the research project: Why is your chosen project important both theoretically and practically? What are the potential outputs and outcomes of your research?
  • Conceptual framework: An analysis of the literature relevant to the research topic that will give you the conceptual basis for conducting this research.
  • Methodology: Based on the conceptual framework, research aim(s) and objectives, you need to provide a detail description of the data collection methods and tools, data sources and the methods/tools that you will use to analyse the data.
  • Organisation of the study, project budget and schedule: Write the names of the chapters/sections of your research report, and briefly discuss what you will write in those chapters/sections followed by a brief description of budget for conducting this study and project schedule i.e., Gantt Chart.

This is an individual research task. You are required to demonstrate your understanding of the relevant body of works to a real-life business research. We expect you to read and reflect on at least twenty recent refereed journal articles on your topic supported by any other evidence or information that can help refine the problem of your research, formulate conceptual framework and the methods of data collection and analysis. Please see detailed guidelines about specific research requirements on the unit Moodle site. You can write 3000 words maximum for this assignment. The cover page and the list of references are not counted in the word limit.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-2017) 05:00 PM AEST
Return Date to Students This is a summative assessment. Students will not receive any feedback for this piece of assessment.
Weighting 50%
Assessment Criteria

All the assessment criteria outlined below are equally weighted for this piece of assessment.

Assessment criteria:

Criteria Grade
A statement of the problem, research aim, objectives and research questions HD D C P F
Justification and potential output of the research HD D C P F
Conceptual framework HD D C P F
Methodology, organisation of the study, project budget and schedule HD D C P F
Accurate referencing, use of correct English and logical sequences between sentences and paragraphs and a good introduction HD D C P F

Key to grading and corresponding marking scale:

HD (84.5% to 100% marks): Student demonstrates outstanding understanding and interpretation of all aspects of the criteria.

D (74.5% to 84.4% marks): Student demonstrates excellence in understanding and interpretation of almost all aspects of the criteria with some minor corrections or additions needed.

C (64.5% to 74.4% marks): Student demonstrates very good understanding and interpretation of most aspects of the criteria with some need for additional work, additions or improvement.

P (49.5% to 64.4% marks): Student demonstrates good understanding and interpretation of the criteria to warrant the award of a Pass but requires considerable additional work, additions or improvement.

F (below 49.5%): Student demonstrates an unsatisfactory understanding and interpretation of the criteria and requires major additional work, additions or improvement to achieve a passing grade.

Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

2. develop and employ ethical practices that consider social, cultural and legal responsibilities of researchers and the research process;

3. critically evaluate published academic research, identify secondary data sources, and review extant literature, to develop a theoretical framework for a business problem or opportunity;

4. choose and apply the appropriate research strategies (qualitative and/or quantitative) and techniques to best address the research problem;

5. demonstrate the application of data analysis techniques and measurement concepts; and

6. prepare and communicate a comprehensive research proposal.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research

5. Self-management

6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility




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