MANAGEMT 7250 - Research for Decision Makers

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 1 - 2022

This course is designed to develop skills in designing, conducting and evaluating action research in the context of management practice. Action research is a methodology commonly used by management practitioners to affect change. It is an iterative, cyclical, collaborative approach to identifying, critically and reflectively analysing, evaluating and synthesising data in relation to a given problem or question. Practitioners are simultaneously learners, researchers and agents for change. This approach is particularly useful when dealing with complex and complicated systems as it allows practitioners to respond to the emerging and changing needs as the situation changes with each iteration of the process. Students will consider leading theories in this field, the relationship between action research and other common business research methodologies and the relationship between action research and complexity and systems theories.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MANAGEMT 7250
    Course Research for Decision Makers
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Trimester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 36 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available to Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master of Business Administration students only - other students must first meet with program director for enrolment approval
    Course Description This course is designed to develop skills in designing, conducting and evaluating action research in the context of management practice. Action research is a methodology commonly used by management practitioners to affect change. It is an iterative, cyclical, collaborative approach to identifying, critically and reflectively analysing, evaluating and synthesising data in relation to a given problem or question. Practitioners are simultaneously learners, researchers and agents for change. This approach is particularly useful when dealing with complex and complicated systems as it allows practitioners to respond to the emerging and changing needs as the situation changes with each iteration of the process.
    Students will consider leading theories in this field, the relationship between action research and other common business research methodologies and the relationship between action research and complexity and systems theories.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Rajeev Kamineni

    Dr Rajeev Kamineni
    Adelaide Business School
    Room 10.47, Nexus 10 Building
    Phone: +61 8 8313 7521
    Email: rajeev.kamineni@adelaide.edu.au
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The course provides a strong grounding in understanding the research process enabling students to either engage an external research organisation to undertake a study on their behalf in a business environment or, alternatively, action and complete a research project themselves as either the sole researcher or as part of a research team. In addition to the technical skills and knowledge required to be successful in these endeavours, the course also provides students with a clear understanding of the ethical considerations involved in undertaking research and the special challenges evidenced in international and cross cultural studies.
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. Apply an advanced understanding of business research design options, methodologies and analysis methods (both qualitative and quantitative), including respective terms, definitions and applications to the design, implementation and evaluation of a research project.
    2. Distil an identified business problem into a succinct research problem (or problems) and articulate this into a comprehensive research brief for investigation by a research team locally or internationally.
    3. This brief will include a statement of the resulting research problem and the objectives that need to be achieved to provide the information necessary to tackle the business problem and the decisions that need to be made respective to it.
    4. Complete, from the brief created, a research proposal for implementation at either a local or international level.
    5. This will include (but not be restricted to), a literature summary at the necessary level of depth to ensure a thorough understanding of what is already known about the problem to be addressed, the proposed research design, data collection, sampling, analysis methods to be employed along with an indicative time frame for each stage of the research proposed and budget.
    6. Apply a broad understanding of issues specific to undertaking business research across international boundaries, including cultural, geographical, language and cost related challenges and respective strategies and approaches that may be employed to solve them to the design, implementation and evaluation of a research project.
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    All

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    2, 3

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    3, 4, 5

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    All

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    3, 4, 5

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    3, 4, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    David E Gray, Doing Research in the Business World, Sage, 9781473938434
    Recommended Resources
    For the required level of Advanced Excel Skills: these skills are articulated on the university's ITS online training site. If you are unsure if you have the necessary level of Excel expertise, book the online courses provided by ITS. Note: Excel online training has 3 courses (levels 1, 2 & 3). You need all three. You can only book one at a time. You have 2 weeks to accomplish each level (but can progress faster if you wish or rebook to repeat a level). You will need to have accomplished level 3 by commencement of session 1 in Business Research Methods.

    ANDREWS, Frank et al. (2nd edition / 1981). A Guide for Selecting Statistical Techniques for Analyzing Social Science Data, University of Michigan Press (more recent editions exist).
    BOYD, Jr. Harper W., R. Westfall, and S.F. Stasch (6th edition / 1985). Marketing Research: Text and Cases, Irwin.
    CASSELL, Catherine & Symon, Gillian (Eds). 2004. Essential Guide to Qualitative Methods in
    Organizational Research - Pub ISBN-10: 0761948880 | ISBN-13: 978-0761948889
    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.
    LYNN, Kelley, D. (1999). Measurement Made Accessible: A Research Approach Using Qualitative, Quantitative, & Quality Improvement Methods, Sage Publications.
    MARTIN, William E. and K.D. Bridgmon (2012). Quantitative and Statistical Research Methods: From Hypothesis to Results, Jossey-Bass/Wiley, (ISBN: 978-0-470-63182-9).
    MAXWELL, Joseph A. (2012). A Realist Approach for Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, Inc.
    NEUMAN, William L. (2010). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, Pearson.
    ROBSON, Colin (3rd edition / 2011). Real World Research, Wiley.
    SILVERMAN, David (2005) Doing Qualitative Research. 2nd ed. Sage: London.
    SYMON, Gillian & Cassell, Catherine. 2012. Qualitative Organizational Research: Core Methods and Current Challenges. SAGE Publications Ltd (• eBook ISBN 13:9781446258279• Print ISBN 13:9780857024114
    SUDMAN, Seymour, and N.M. Broadway (1986). Asking Questions, Jossey-Bass.
    ZIKMUND, William G., 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).
    Online Learning
    3.2 ONLINE LEARNING
    Course Website: www.myuni.adelaide.edu.au

    3.3 QUALTRICS DATA COLLECTION SUITE
    As an important part of your course, you will need to become familiar with the collection of quantitative data using a web survey. You will need to get yourself an account by going to www.adelaide.qualtrics.com and using your university password.

    3.4 “ADAPT” FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
    ADAPT (Any Device, Any Place and Time) allows staff and students to access their learning and teaching applications on personal devices: desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones, anywhere:

    • On campus via the UofA wireless network; and
    • Off campus via broadband access and 3G/4G Mobile networks.

    Through this “virtual suite” you will be able to use a range of licensed software products such as Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and the nVIVO Qualitative Data Analysis suite.

    Details for ADAPT can be found at:

    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/technology/yourservices/learning-teaching/adapt/

    3.5 NVIVO QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS SOFTWARE
    If you have a PC or a Windows MacIntosh, you can download and install nVivo11 Pro version from QSR International. You can install on a two week trial licence and then contact servicedesk@adelaide.edu.au to receive a license code. nVivo11 will not run through ADAPT and the version for Mac does not perform adequately. So we request that you either use the nVivo through the pool computers or on your own PC.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    4.1 TEACHING & LEARNING MODES
    Seminars consist of lectures, practical, and student presentations. Essentially, your job in this course is to develop a well thought out, well justified research proposal and an associated set of research methods to embark on a project of your own, under close supervision. We will also strongly support the face to face work with digital content through the MyUni platform. This will include:
    • Three intensive sessions
    • Discussion board
    • Broadcast Emails
    • Powerpoints, Readings and Case Studies all posted online
    • Lecture recordings on video
    • Digital Feedback on assignments – PDF of assignment rubric & video feedback (YouTube Link)

    4.2 GROUP ROTATIONS
    Based on student feedback we have set up a “group rotation” system. You will be assigned your ‘rotation 1” group before the first intensive and you will do your first “research brief” group assignment with them.

    4.3 YOU ARE BUILDING A RESEARCH TOPIC
    Importantly, this whole course is designed around you developing your own research topic. Sure, there are some practical assignments in there as well – nVivo Qual and a Quant assignment – but by the end of this course we expect that you’ll have your head around a research topic, reflected in a well thought out and well justified research proposal.
    Workload

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

    Our face to face sessions are a total of 36 hours long. You can expect to spend about the same amount of time preparing for each class. Assignments and exam preparation will demand additional concentrated periods of non-classroom study, on your own or with your allocated student group. So you could expect to spend in the order of 120 hours of study time to complete the course, of which 36 hours would be in class.
    Learning Activities Summary
    YOU ARE BUILDING A RESEARCH TOPIC
    Importantly, this whole course is designed around you developing your own research topic. Sure, there are some practical assignments in there as well – nVivo Qual and a Quant assignment – but by the end of this course we expect that you’ll have your head around a research topic, reflected in a well thought out and well justified research proposal.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Proper class attendance must be observed (this includes, for instance, proper attendance, punctuality, 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 Task Task Type Length Weighting Learning Outcome
    1 Engagement with the course Individual 10% 1, 5, 6
    2a Research Brief - Presentation Group 5% 2, 3
    2b Research Brief - Document Group 15% 2, 3
    3 Quantitative Assignment Individual 15% 1, 6
    4 Qualitative Assignment Individual 15% 1, 6
    5 Research Proposal Document Individual 40% 2, 4, 5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    The critical things to note about the assessments in this course are that:
    • Discussion forum assignments are very interdependent - built on the concept of community of practice and peer support. ie: if you miss deadlines or mess up, your colleagues suffer as well as you.
    • The assessment activities contribute significantly to your actual research project.

    Therefore:
    • be timely - meet deadlines
    • but be sane - when you can only do it by half-killing yourself - negotiate
    • collaborate (note: acknowledged collaboration is a powerful professional and academic strength; UNacknowledged collaboration is called 'collusion' and is seen as cheating)
    • have fun (if you don't learn to enjoy it now, it will be 'unpleasantly hard work')
    • know that it DOES get easier - every piece you do makes the next one easier; every impossible-to-understand article you read makes the next one more possible and more readable - and your blogs will help you scale that wall faster and more easily than you can expect... the discussion board collaboration with your peers will make a world of difference. Therefore, your feedback to one another is critical!
    Assessment Detail
    Engagement with the course; Participation / attendance, Discussion Forums, Blog
    Get involved. Participation in class as well as online contribution, including creating a blog in the public domain.


    Research Brief (presentation and paper)
    You are required to submit a research brief that summarises a stated business problem that requires specific information in order for Managers to decide a strategic direction to address the issue.


    Quantitative Assignment
    Students are required to read a short case study provided in this brief and answer questions, selecting the appropriate statistical test to answer each business problem.


    Qualitative Assignment
    Submit an NVivo Project that supports the development of the Literature Review (Background and Introduction) of your Research Proposal, identifying your Research Gap and Research Questions and/or Hypotheses.


    Research Proposal
    This Proposal is not only the culmination of the work in this course, it is also the official proposal that will be used to shape the required research in the 6 unit Research Project for most degree programs (or the equivalent for students in other disciplines).
    Submission
    Presentations inclass
    Research Brief, Quant and Proposal Through MyUni
    Qual Assignment inclass

    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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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.

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