COMMERCE 4100 - Qualitative Methods (H)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

The course information on this page is being finalised for 2016. Please check again before classes commence.

This course is designed for students to fulfil the following learning objectives; Understanding the characteristics, roles and importance of qualitative research; Achieve a working familiarity with a range of qualitative methods; Acquire skills in qualitative data collection and analysis methods, including use of NVivo; Develop the ability to select, justify and execute qualitative methods appropriate to central research questions. Topics covered in this course may include: Qualitative research features and approaches; Theoretical traditions in qualitative research; The interface between qualitative and quantitative research; Qualitative data collection; Qualitative data analysis; The theory and application of a range of qualitative methodologies which may include components such as field based case study, interview methods, historical method, ethnography, grounded theory, action research and hermeneutical method.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMERCE 4100
    Course Qualitative Methods (H)
    Coordinating Unit Business School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 36 hours
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Course Description This course is designed for students to fulfil the following learning objectives; Understanding the characteristics, roles and importance of qualitative research; Achieve a working familiarity with a range of qualitative methods; Acquire skills in qualitative data collection and analysis methods, including use of NVivo; Develop the ability to select, justify and execute qualitative methods appropriate to central research questions. Topics covered in this course may include: Qualitative research features and approaches; Theoretical traditions in qualitative research; The interface between qualitative and quantitative research; Qualitative data collection; Qualitative data analysis; The theory and application of a range of qualitative methodologies which may include components such as field based case study, interview methods, historical method, ethnography, grounded theory, action research and hermeneutical method.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Cate Jerram

    Dr Cate Jerram
    Email cate.jerram@adelaide.edu.au
    Work Phone 088313 4757
    Office Location 09.03 Nexus 10
    Office Hours: Flexible about time, but email for appointments.
    Personal Link http://www.adelaide.edu.au/directory/cate.jerram




    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    By the end of this course students should be able to:

    1. Design a research approach that appropriately and ethically addresses a research objective within a consistent conceptual framework, selecting from a range of methods.
    2. Investigate, evaluate and select research methods for data gathering and data analysis that are appropriate to the chosen research approach and design.
    3. Understand how question design relates to survey, focus group and interview question creation; and to design and evaluate questions for semi-structured interviews (with understanding of variations for structured and unstructured interviews) and focus groups.
    4. Conduct (and record / transcribe) interviews and focus groups in a professional and ethical manner.
    5. Apply and evaluate different methods and orders of analysis to rich, complex, qualitative data.
    6. Select and use appropriate techniques, methods and tools for management of rich and complex research data and information.
    7. Use Nvivo11 Pro (software) to support data management and facilitate data analysis.
    8. Present the results of qualitative research in a professional academic manner in both oral and written formats.
    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Required Resources

    [1] (absolutely required)
    Symon, Gillian & Cassell, Catherine. 2012. Qualitative Organizational Research: Core Methods and Current Challenges. SAGE Publications Ltd
    • eBook ISBN 13:9781446258279
    • Print ISBN 13:9780857024114

    [2] (very strongly recommended - highly desirable)
    Cassell, Catherine & Symon, Gillian (Eds). 2004. Essential Guide to Qualitative Methods in Organizational Research [Paperback]
    - Pub ISBN-10: 0761948880
    ISBN-13: 978-0761948889
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended Resources

    **strongly recommended**
    ** King, Nigel & Horrocks, Christine (2010) Interviews in Qualitative Research. Sage, London.**
    ** Gill, J & Johnson, P. (2010) Research Methods for Managers 4th Ed. Sage: London. **
    ** Neuman, W. Lawrence (2010) Social Research Methods: Qualitative & Quantitative Approaches (7th Ed) Allyn & Bacon (6th ed 2005)**

    Depending upon personal preferences and methodological inclinations:
    Checkland, Peter & Holwell, Sue. 1997 Information, Systems and Information Systems: Making Sense of the Field. Wiley.
    Cresswell, John W. (2007) Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: choosing among five approaches. 2nd ed. Sage: London.
    Crotty, M (1998) The foundations of social research: meaning and perspective in the research process. Sage: London.
    Eriksson, Paivi: & Kovalainen, Anne (2008) Qualitative Methods in Business Research. Sage: London.
    Flick, Uwe (2006) An introduction to qualitative research. 3rd ed. Sage: London.
    Silverman, David (2005) Doing Qualitative Research. 2nd ed. Sage: London.
    Online Learning
    This course is a combined offering for Honours, MBR, MPhil & PhD students and candidates. Consequently, difficulties are often encountered in enrolling in / accessing MyUni.

    IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE ACCESSING the MyUni site for this course: “COMMERCE 4100 Qualitative Methods (H)”, please contact the Lecturer in Charge (LIC) Dr Cate Jerram immediately! (Remember to give your official name, your preferred name, and your student id#.)

    Note: An enrollment into MyUni takes 24 hours to take effect, so - the sooner the better!
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course uses Blended Learning (combined face-to-face and online) and is very much geared to developing independent and inter-dependent researchers.

    The course is designed to contribute to the overall output of a thesis at the end of the year (ie: as much as possible, all assignments and activities should become a part of your research, your thesis, and journal papers you will write*)**.

    This means that:
    - participation in face-to-face classes is vital
    - participation in online activities is crucial
    - participating in and developing a community of practice is not only important now, but will ideally start to build a network of collegial peers who will continue as a support network for life

    *Qualitative Methods is primarily designed for students undertaking qualitative or hybrid research. Students who plan to use quantitative methods in their thesis but are required to take this Qualitative Methods course need to communicate with the LiC so some negotiation of applicability can be arranged.

    **Important note: in coursework, using material from one course in another is considered "self-plagiarism" and is unethical and unacceptable practice. In Higher Degree by Research (HDR) work - and therefore in this course - an important part of professional practice is peer review and building on works to produce more works (with appropriate referencing). It is acceptable and advisable practice to use the work produced in this course in your thesis (&/or proposal) and any journal articles you write about your research. However, it is NOT acceptable to use material produced in this course to submit  as an assessment activity in any other course during your Honours / MBR / MPhil or PhD program.
    Workload

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

    This course has a 6-8 hour per fortnight face-to-face component, and requires multiple (asynchronous) online engagements each week.

    Note: 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 you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours (for a three-unit course) or 13 hours (for a four-unit course) of private study outside of your regular classes.

    Auditing Students

    Being permitted to audit a course is a privilege, and it is requested that students who have been granted this privilege honour the workload, reading, preparatory and participatory requirements to the same degree as enrolled students. Non-participatory auditing of the class is unfair to enrolled students, as engagement, interaction, and peer-learning are critical factors in the success of the class.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Topics (note: This course is constructed on emergent design principles, so is built with a flexible design. Printing in bold refers to fixed topics, other topics are negotiable).

    01. Pragmatics of planning research design (includes iterative and emergent design).
    02. Common research methods (& the methodologies in which they are commonly used) (Case Study; Action Research; Grounded Theory; Historical Method; Hermeneutics; Phenomenology; Ethnography...) [Different methodologies can be studied at student request]
    03. How conceptual lenses and theoretical frameworks are used in framing research questions, planning research design, and managing data analysis and different orders of data analysis.
    04. Common data gathering Methods (Interviews: Semi-structured (and Structured & Unstructured; and electronic interviews); Focus Groups; Participant Observation; Archival; Oral Histories; Critical Incidents; Journaling & Memos; Repertory Grid; Web Analysis; Hermeneutic Circles) [can vary by student request].
    05. Data analysis Methods (various forms of inductive and deductive coding, thematic and pattern analysis; filtering through theoretical lenses; soft systems analysis; data matrices; repertory grids; content analysis). [selection by student request].
    06. Building theoretical models and concepts as a posterior formative or summative research output, or implementing them a priori.
    07. Analysis and evaluation of methodological literature.
    08. Discussant & Peer Review: theory, practice and example.
    09. Writing and evaluating the Methodology Chapter of a Research Proposal or Thesis.
    10. Use of CAQDAs (particularly NVivo) to conduct many of items 1 – 11 above.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Participation in both face-to-face and online activities is critical and therefore is required.

    Any need to deviate from any of the stated expectations must be negotiated with the Lecturer-in-Charge.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    There is no official "teamwork" or "groupwork" in this course.

    However, this course, with a focus on developing independent and interdependent researchers capable of producing professional journal articles, theses, and peer reviews, moves students to the next stage of collaboration beyond the Small Group Discovery Experience and works at the level of Community of (Research) Practice.

    Collaboration is encouraged. Collusion is unacceptable.
    Peer Review and support is required.
    Critical Analysis (of own work and each other's) is absolutely necessary.

    Ideally, if a Community of Practice is genuinely developed during this course, it will help each of you create a network that can build to sustain and support you throughout your entire career.
  • 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
    Weight
    Assessment Item
    Due
    Learning Outcomes
    20% Method/ology Class (plan & deliver) assigned & negotiated date in-class 1-4, 7, 10
    30% Weekly readings and activities Thurs 23:59 pm (readings) weekly 
    Sat 11:59 am (feedback) weekly 
    Sun 18:00 pm (defence) weekly 
    1-10
    20% NVivo11Pro Project Monday 23 May 09:00 am 8, 9 & 10
    30% Methodology Chapter: Data 
    Collection & Analysis component
    First draft:Wednesday 27 April 12:00 noon
    Final submission: Friday 20 May 12:00 noon
    1-7
    [alt 30%] Alternative Final Assignment (quant) First draft:Wednesday 27 April 12:00 noon
    Final submission: Friday 20 May 12:00 noon
    1-7

    Assessment Detail
    Wherever possible, assessment details remain consistent but due to the emergent design nature of the course can sometimes change. Any and all changes will always be posted in the Assessment Folder in MyUni and in the Announcements, with accompanying Email.

    Submission Dates & Times
    1. Presentation in class individually negotiated
    2. Weekly Readings, Responses & Exercises weekly due dates & times posted MyUni
    3. Methodology Chapter DC & DA (Mandatory First Draft) Wednesday 27 April 12:00 noon
    4. NVivo11 Pro Project (in class) Monday 23 May 09:00 am
    5. Methodology Chapter DC & DA (Final Submission) Friday 20 May 12:00 noon

    Marking Rubrics and greater detail on assessment items are available in MyUni in the Assessments folder.
    Method/ology Specialty Class

    The goal of this assignment is to teach your peers about a method (or methodology) so that they may understand it well enough to know whether to use it or not themselves, and to be able to recognise and evaluate research using that method.
    Arrange with the LiC to select two (or one) of the topics from the Method/ology Topics list.
    • Prepare a 20 minute class on your topic/s with Handouts (use of whiteboard is encouraged. PowerPoints are discouraged except where necessary)
    o giving a comparative analysis of two (research) methodological approaches or research methods (or one of each)
    OR
    o sharing an extensive review of a single methodology or method and how it might best be used to support Business Research for the research topics of at least two members of the class.
    o Note: activities or exercises that help acquire an understanding of the method through practice are encouraged but not required.
    • Teach your planned class to your peers.
    o 20 mins presentation and 10 mins Questions & Answer time = 30 mins (this timing may be modified if there is an activity or practice incorporated)
    o This class/presentation MUST NOT BE READ – no reading from notes or slides – TEACH the class, don’t read aloud to them.
     Note: sourcing teaching notes from elsewhere is acceptable but must be credited appropriately
    Rubric available in MyUni.
    Possible Specialty Class Topics

    1 Action Research & Research Action 10 Historical Analysis & Archival
    2 Analytic Induction 11 Metaphor as Analysis
    3 Cognitive Mapping 12 Netnography
    4 Content Analysis – quant & qual approaches 13 Pictorial / Imagery & Graphic Method
    5 Critical Incident Technique 14 Repertory Grid
    6 Discourse Analysis (vs) Paradigms 15 Soft Systems Analysis
    7 Ethnography & Phenomenology 16 Story & Narrative
    8 Grounded Theory 17 Symbolic Interaction
    9 Hermeneutic & Hermeneutic Circles 18 Other topics by negotiation with Cate

    Weekly Readings & Activities

    Each week, students are required to do the set readings including text chapters and selected journal articles.
    (Readings schedule is posted in MyUni.)

    Some weeks, specific additional activities will be scheduled and required (eg: Participant Observation Exercise).
    (Activity schedules and deadlines will be posted in MyUni.)

    Students are required to post annotated bibliographies in their own blogs. These analytical responses to readings must be posted by Thursday 23:59 pm every week.
    Students are then required to read and provide feedback to peers’ blogs (by Sat 12 noon).
    (Schedule for postings & feedback on MyUni).

    Readings, analyses, feedback and activities will be discussed in class. Students must be prepared to defend their postings and their feedback.
    (In-class discussions will be on Mondays between 09:00 and 17:00).

    Methodology Chapter, Data Collection & Data Analysis (Mandatory First Draft)

    (100% quantitative researchers can negotiate alternative assessment with the LIC - see Alt Assessment below)

    Write a methodology section of a Research Thesis or Proposal (appropriate to your current HDR research) including:
    • your research question/s and/or objectives;
    • a literature-based methodological justification and explanation;
    • detailed explication of your chosen method steps for data gathering, data analysis and meta-analysis;
    • ethics;
    • participant selection;
    • and all other relevant detail specific to your thesis and methodology and method-sets;
    • anticipated problems, and planned strategies for dealing with them.

    NOTE: First draft submission & deadline are mandatory. Inadequate attempts at first submission, or missed deadline, result in 10% – 30% being deducted from final submission marks.

    A comprehensive marking rubric is available. It is advisable to use the rubric as a guide for the writing and submitting of this assessment chapter.

    [Quant] Alternative to Methodology Chapter, Data Collection & Data Analysis

    (must be negotiated with LiC)
    Source a significant research work (or 2 works maximum) from your discipline, appropriate to your current HDR research, which was conducted using either qualitative research approach or hybrid design with a significant qualitative component.
    Write a review paper that
    critically evaluates the research study/ies methodologically; and
    can contribute to the literature review for your own research (ie: it/they must be relevant to your thesis study).
    Your critical evaluation should take into account all aspects of research design including (but not limited to):
    relevance and applicability of methodology to the research question/s or objective/s;
    relevance and applicability of methods to the methodological approach and to the research question/s or objective/s;
    rigour and trustworthiness (eg: credibility, transferability, dependability, confirmability, and member checking);
    ethics;
    consistency of methodological language (ie: using qualitative not quantitative terminology);
    how these methodological approaches and methods might be applicable (or not) for your research, and why you have chosen not to use them / why your chosen design and methods are more appropriate.
    The finished review should require approximately 2500 – 3000 words to address all issues adequately.
    NOTE: First draft submission & deadline are mandatory. Inadequate attempts at first submission, or missed deadline, result in 10% – 30% being deducted from final submission marks.

    NVivo11 Pro Project

    Objective: demonstrate the ability to use fundamental tools in NVivo11 Pro to support research activity
    Deadline: this NVivo project will be built (partially) during classes throughout semester, and will be assessed during the last scheduled class of semester.
    Details:
    Create a number of relevant folders for organizing your project and your data. Include:
    Admin folder
    Ethics sub-folder
    Literature folder
    Folders relevant to your data collection (relevant to your chosen methodology).
    Import a minimum of:
    3 articles (including both Word.docx and .pdf files)
    1 image (.jpeg) and
    1 one audio or video file
    1 dataset (questionnaire, survey or classification sheet) including classifiable & code-able data
    1 social media (facebook, linked in, or twitter) or EverNote or OneNote file
    that are relevant to the development of your research questions/propositions/(hypotheses if doing a quantitative thesis).
    Import EndNote meta-data and link to journal articles in your project.
    Create an internal document named “Research Journal”. Populate your research journal with a number of relevant date-and-time-stamped entries.
    Create a coding list including at least 10 nodes, incorporating at least two parent/child nodes (child nodes with ‘siblings’).
    Create a minimum of
    2 memos (at least one linked and one unlinked)
    1 see-also link
    1 annotation
    1 hyperlink.
    Create at least one set.
    Create at least one relationship type and at least one linked relationship.
    Create at least one set of node classifications with attributes and assigned values.
    Create at least two dynamic Maps (Concept Map or Project Map that are linked to Project Items (minimum 5 shapes connected, including three linked to data). The Map may be a priori, a posteriori, or both, your own creation or a theoretical framework, conceptual lens or theory you are applying to your research.
    Design, run and save at least three different types of query.
    Generate at least two different visualisations (additional to the 2 Maps) of some element of your data. These may include 2- or 3-dimensional charts; tree maps; word trees; or cluster analysis.
    Export (as a Project): One node (entire content) including references from text; audio OR video (both is fine); and a minimum of one (coded) image/picture. Email the export to your LiC (Cate) as a zipped file incorporating the html file and the html folder.
    The entire NVivo project must have some basic coherence as a single project that is genuinely representative of the students’ research and proposal or thesis.
    * Although this is a Qualitative Methods course, and Literature Reviews are taught and developed in your discipline-specific Readings and Theory courses, Literature Review materials (rather than your research Data Gathering and Analysis) are developed in this assessment activity because:
    Development of research question / propositions / hypotheses (ie: identifying gap) is a core component of methodology and method and is usually built through and justified in the Literature Review.
    The timing of this course requires assessment item completion at a date before most students will have completed adequate data gathering, but at a similar time when they will need to use exactly the same processes as data analysis to complete their Literature Review.
    ALL students taking Qualitative Methods as a course will need to conduct a Literature Review, even if they are not using a qualitative methodology for their research design, thus making this assessment item completely relevant to all students.
    The design of this course is purposefully geared to ‘usefulness’ in the students’ thesis year, and this assessment item in NVivo will be useful for students’ Literature Review assignment in Readings courses as well as the Literature Review in their theses.
    For students using qualitative research design or methodology for their thesis, having the Literature Review already complete within an NVivo project will simplify, speed and aid further use of NVivo for data gathering and analysis.
    Methodology Chapter, Data Collection & Data Analysis (Final Submission)

    (100% quantitative researchers can negotiate alternative assessment with the LIC - see Alt Assessment below)

    Write the Data Collection and Data Analysis component of the method/ology section of your Research Thesis or Proposal (appropriate to your current HDR research) including:
    • your research question/s and/or objectives;
    • a literature-based methodological justification (of your methods choices - not your research gap);
    • detailed explication of your chosen method steps for data gathering, data analysis and meta-analysis;
    • ethics;
    • participant selection;
    • and all other relevant detail specific to your thesis and method-sets (framed within your methodology and consistent to that methodology);
    • anticipated problems; and planned strategies for dealing with them.

    NOTE: First draft submission & deadline are mandatory. Inadequate attempts at first submission, or missed deadline, result in 10% – 30% being deducted from final submission marks.

    A comprehensive marking rubric is available. It is advisable to use the rubric as a guide for the writing and submitting of this assessment chapter.

    [Quant] Alternative to Methodology Chapter, Data Collection & Data Analysis (Final Submission)

    (must be negotiated with LiC)
    Source a significant research work (or 2 works maximum) from your discipline, appropriate to your current HDR research, which was conducted using either qualitative research approach or hybrid design with a significant qualitative component.
    Write a review paper that
    critically evaluates the research study/ies methodologically; and
    can contribute to the literature review for your own research (ie: it/they must be relevant to your thesis study).
    Your critical evaluation should take into account all aspects of research design including (but not limited to):
    relevance and applicability of methodology to the research question/s or objective/s;
    relevance and applicability of methods to the methodological approach and to the research question/s or objective/s;
    rigour and trustworthiness (eg: credibility, transferability, dependability, confirmability, and member checking);
    ethics;
    consistency of methodological language (ie: using qualitative not quantitative terminology);
    how these methodological approaches and methods might be applicable (or not) for your research, and why you have chosen not to use them / why your chosen design and methods are more appropriate.
    The finished review should require approximately 2500 – 3000 words to address all issues adequately.
    NOTE: First draft submission & deadline are mandatory. Inadequate attempts at first submission, or missed deadline, result in 10% – 30% being deducted from final submission marks.
    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

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

    M11 (Honours Mark Scheme)
    GradeGrade reflects following criteria for allocation of gradeReported on Official Transcript
    Fail A mark between 1-49 F
    Third Class A mark between 50-59 3
    Second Class Div B A mark between 60-69 2B
    Second Class Div A A mark between 70-79 2A
    First Class A mark between 80-100 1
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN

    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.

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