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Department of Financial and Management Studies (DeFiMS)

Research methods in management

Course Code:
15PFMC062
Unit value:
0.5
Taught in:
Term 2

This course focuses on dissertation research skills. In preparing students for their MSc dissertation, the two main objectives are:

  • to enable students to interpret and critically appraise published research in the field of international business, and
  • to enable students to design and conduct their own theoretical and empirical research in international business.

The course consists of three parts: Applying Scientific Thinking to Management Problems, Qualitative Research Methods and Quantitative Research Methods (including computer laboratory sessions).

Topics addressed include: basic concepts related to research, deduction versus induction, exploratory studies versus formal studies, causal studies, hypothesis, models; data collection, surveys, sampling, interviews, case studies, database management, statistical analysis, hypothesis testing and introduction to the EVIEW or SPSS computer program.

The final session of the course will be devoted to the discussion of students’ research proposals for their dissertation. Students will be set an essay consisting of a research proposal that must be presented at the end of the course. Students might apply their proposals to planning and writing their MSC dissertation.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

The course is designed to provide basic knowledge of conducting research. The content of the course consists of the following elements: 

  • applying scientific thinking to management problems; 
  • research proposal and literature review; 
  • data collection methods, including surveys, interviews, experiments, observation, case studies, and secondary data; 
  • data preparation and descriptive statistics; 
  • hypotheses tests; 
  • the basics of regression analyses; 
  • presenting research results. 

The course covers issues related to all essential steps in the research process, which combines the qualitative and quantitative approaches of conducting research. Another important feature of the course is to include at least three sessions of computer practice in the environment of SPSS.

The learning outcomes of the course can be summarised as the following: 

  • To learn how to interpret and critically assess published research in the field of business and management
  • To learn general skills of writing a master degree dissertation 
  • To learn how to solve management problems in a structural and systematic way
  • To learn how to conduct an independent research

Method of assessment

Assessment for this course is by one tutorial presentation at 10%; an essay of 4,000 words at 30%; an unseen written examination at 60% of the total grade; all elements except the presentation may be resubmitted

Suggested reading

  • Cooper, Donald R. and Pamela S. Schindler (2003), Business Research Methods, 8th Edition, McGraw-Hill.
  • Robson, Colin (2002), Real World Research, 2nd Edition, Blackwell.
  • Yin, Robert K. (2003), Case Study Research: Design and Methods, 3rd edition. London: Sage Publications
Suggested text (not mandatory)
  • Wooldridge, J. (2009) Introductory Econometrics 4e, A Modern Approach, International Edition (with Economic Applications & Data Sets Printed Access Card), South Western