COMMERCE 7037 - Research Methodology (M)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

This course is designed for students to fulfil the following learning objectives: Understand the philosophies, concepts and elements of designing a research inquiry; Appreciate alternative approaches to research in commerce and the social sciences, with emphasis on deductive empirical research; Have knowledge of methods of collecting, measuring and in a broad structural sense, analysing, quantitative and qualitative data; Be familiar with designing and administering field surveys, laboratory experiments, case study, archival analysis and action-based approaches to research. Topics covered in this will include: Science, research and theory; The research process and the research proposal; Deductive empirical research; Constructs, variables, hypotheses and empirical schema; Deductive empirical research: measurement and sampling; Inductive qualitative research: Design issues, concept formulation, methods of analysis; Field surveys and questionnaires; Experimental designs; Observational studies: case studies and interviews; Non-reactive research: content analysis and secondary data mining; Other research methods: Historical-comparative research, action research; Presentation of a research proposal. Students will engage in interactive discussion of set questions and presentations of reviews of methodologies in selected research articles. A full research proposal for their dissertation will be presented at an academic staff seminar; students will use feedback from this seminar in the final write-up of their proposal.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMERCE 7037
    Course Research Methodology (M)
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 2 courses at specialisation level
    Assumed Knowledge At least 2 courses within a specialisation
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Ercan Tirtiroglu

    Location: Nexus Tower – Room 10.23, 10 Pulteney Street

    Telephone: 8313 4513 (office)
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    01)  March 04
    A General Introduction to the Course  &  to RM (Research Methods)
    Material From Chapters 1,3,4
    Read S.Campbell’s book
    02)  March 11
    Data, Information, Knowledge
    Chapter 2
    Study Chris Medlin Slides
    03)  March 18
    Theory & Measurement/Scales
    Chapters 3 and 13; Material by Dr. C.Medlin

    04)  March 25
    How to Write a Literature Review, and Ethics in Research
    Materials Provided, plus Chapters 19, 25, 5
    SPSS / Hande Akman (1hr)
    STATA / Sujin Kim (1.5 hrs)
    (SPSS & STATA assignments given)
    05) April 01
    Academic Writing Style (see 4.4; PLC Workshop), and tips for Research Proposal and Thesis
    Materials Provided, plus Chapters 19 & 25
    SPSS / H. Akman (1hr)
    STATA / S. Kim (1.5 hrs)

    06) April 08
    Attitude Measurement, Questionnaires, and Qualitative Research Tools
    Chapters 14, 15, 7
    H. Akman: Factor Analysis example with SPSS (1 hr)

    07)  April 29
    Secondary Data and Primary Data (from Surveys)
    Chapters 8, 9, 10
    08) May 06
    Primary Data (Observation methods, & Experimentation)
    Chapters 11, 12
    3 assigned papers for (ethical) comparison

    09)  May 13
    Chapters 16
    10) May 20 
    Review of Common Statistical Methods in Business
    Research (ANOVA, Regression, and more...)
    Materials Provided & Chapter 23
    Read Conjoint Analysis handout

    11)  May 27
    Continue with material from sessions 08, 09, and 10 & Proposal Checklist
    Chapters 12, 16, 23
    12)  June 03
    Proposal Presentations (all, tentatively, during the week of Monday, June 02, 2014)
    June 11:  Final Research Proposals (due by 2:00 PM)
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    1) To develop a sound understanding of the nature and dimensions of academic research and its role in business and society

    2) To develop proper academic writing skills and professional presentation skills

    3) To develop a basic understanding of various methods/analyses/techniques employed in typical business-oriented academic research projects

    4) To develop a sound understanding of the component parts of the research thesis (in order to undertake the required research task with success), and produce and present the research proposal

    5) To be able to defend the research proposal, its orientation and objectives
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,4
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3,4,5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1,2,5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1,2
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 3,5
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    William G. ZIKMUND, B.J. Babin, J.C. Carr, and M. Griffin (9th edition / 2013). Business Research Methods, South- Western/Cengage Learning, (ISBN: 978-1-111-82692-5).
    Recommended Resources

    ➣ William E. MARTIN, and K.D. Bridgmon (2012). Quantitative and Statistical Research Methods: From Hypothesis to Results, Jossey-Bass/Wiley, (ISBN: 978-0-470-63182-9).

    ➣ Frank ANDREWS et al. (2nd edition / 1981). A Guide for Selecting Statistical Techniques for Analyzing Social Science Data, University of Michigan Press (more recent editions exist).

    ➣ D. Lynn Kelley (1999). Measurement Made Accessible: A Research Approach Using Qualitative, Quantitative, & Quality Improvement Methods, Sage Publications.

    ➣ Joseph A. MAXWELL (2012). A Realist Approach for Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, Inc.

    ➣ William L. NEUMAN (2010). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, Pearson.

    ➣ Colin ROBSON (3rd edition / 2011). Real World Research, Wiley.

    ➣ Harper W. BOYD, Jr., R. Westfall, and S.F. Stasch (6th edition / 1985). Marketing Research: Text and Cases, Irwin.

    ➣ Seymour SUDMAN, and N.M. Broadway (1986). Asking Questions, Jossey-Bass.
    Online Learning
    Additional course-related material is available viaMyUni. Students are also expected to read all course-related announcements posted on the course website.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    In order to perform well in this course, students must have a strong command of the relevant research theories and concepts covered in class and successfully apply them in their assessment and project. Therefore, students are expected to have reviewed the topic to be discussed every week and be fully prepared. In addition, there is a strong assumption that students will engage in seminar discussions in an informed way. The communication skills developed in seminars by regularly and actively participating in discussions are considered to be most important by the School and are highly regarded by employers and professional bodies.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that, for this course, you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours for private study (i.e., the study time outside of your regular classes). Students are required to attend all class sessions.
    Learning Activities Summary
    As per Course Timetable
    Specific Course Requirements

    • Document preparation guidelines should be observed in order for work submitted in this course to receive consideration.
    • Proper class attendance must be observed (this includes, for instance, proper attendance, returning from a break in a timely way, and the like).
    • Academic writing PLC Workshop sessions are available. Students must attend at least one session.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment                                         Due Date                                Weight
    1000 to 1500 word essay                  April 08, 2014                               10%
    SPSS or STATA assignment               May 13, 2014                                10%
    Participation/"presence"                      All sessions                                 10%
    Research Proposal Presentation        Week of June 02, 2014                    25%

    Final Research Proposal                        June 11                                     45%
    Assessment Related Requirements

    In order to pass this course, students must achieve at least 50% overall, and achieve a passing mark of, at least, 50% for their final research proposal.
    Assessment Detail
    The assessment components are as follows:

    1000 to 1500 (max.) word essay     (10%):
    An essay on your research… You all have decided on a broad area of interest to pursue with your research, defend your topic (doesn’t have to be specific to propositions etc.) in terms of its value to business practitioners and to the academic community.

    Essay assessed on points 1-5 below:

    1. The level of understanding and critique

    2. Depth of research evident in discussion

    3. Quality and relevance of support material (up to 10 references ONLY)

    4. Strength of argument (evidence of critical thinking)

    5. Grammar, structure and presentation

    Due: April 08, 2014 pm. Please submit a hardcopy of it to me in class by 2:15 pm, OR put a hardcopy in my pigeonhole (on Level 9) by 1:30 pm (either way, please email me an electronic copy by 2:00 pm). Submission is to be final and fully in final form (printed, assembled/stapled, etc.) in advance of class or submission time. 


    SPSS or STATA Assignment   (10%):
    Hand in a printout of the output file from SPSS or STATA exercise/assignment (to be provided later). The exercise will be used to give you some important practice in how to develop a quantitative survey instrument and/or analyse data or results, and interpret them (to include a discussion of your findings). More information will be provided in class and on the MyUni website.
    Due: May 13, 2014 in class.

    Research Proposal Presentation   (25%):
    All research students are required to present their research proposal to the school at the end of 1st semester.
    This is scheduled to take place during the week of June 02, 2014 (part-time students; at the end of the year).
    The main purpose is to get valuable feedback and suggestions for improvements to your proposal and study from staff.

    Assessment will be based on:

    1. Quality of brief literature review

    2. Development and justification of the research question

    3. Identification and justification for the research propositions/hypotheses

    4. Explanation and appropriateness of the data collection/ analysis methods

    5. Quality of discussion/questions generated

    6. Quality of presentation/communication skills


    Research Proposal   (45%):
    The written proposal is the culmination of your work in this course and provides the basis for your study and the resulting thesis. This document will be assessed on:

    1. Adequate assessment of the literature

    2. Clear identification and justification of research problem

    3. Clear identification of underpinning theoretical or conceptual framework

    4. Testability and clarity of hypotheses

    5. Justification of research design and proposed methodology

    6. Proposed analytical methods

    7. Research budget and justification

    8. Quality of written presentation (referencing, grammar, punctuation and clarity)

    For the purposes of this course, this document is expected to be no more than 25 pages (not including references), and follow the “Document Guidelines.”
    Due: June 11, 2013 by 5:00 pm.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.