Business Research Methods

Aims of this Unit

As a practicing manager it is essential to know whether or not you can rely on the veracity of conclusions provided by researchers to business issues. Having confidence in evidence-based insights backed by conceptual frameworks appropriate to your business context provides a good foundation upon which management action can be based.

This unit aims to introduce you to the foundations of business research by examining the core concepts, methods and values involved. The unit will explore both qualitative and quantitative research methods and the appropriate frameworks for the application of each to researching business problems.

Putting this into practice, the unit will guide you through the preparation of a research proposal based on a review of literature relevant to an issue that is important to you or in your workplace. The proposal will clarify the research question(s) and develop a research methodology that can provide robust answers.

Knowledge and Understanding

This unit is designed to provide students with an understanding of:
• The variety of research methods that can be used to collect and analyse data
• Which practices need to be followed to implement your chosen research method correctly as well as understanding many of the pitfalls to be avoided
• The stages in the research process so you can be more confident that the method to be used will connect with your research questions
• What constitutes good and poor research as well as the limitations of research that you read
• How to embark on your own research either personally or in setting the brief for others to proceed

Learning Outcomes

Following completion of this course, participants should be able to:
1. Produce a written literature review document by:
• accessing electronic database resources using various retrieval techniques;
• critically evaluating research-focused business literature and applied research journals;
• framing the research question(s).
2. Produce a written research proposal that demonstrates:
• an understanding of what comprises good research design;
• an appreciation for qualitative and quantitative methods of gathering and analysing data;
• ethical issues to be considered when undertaking business research.
3. Demonstrate a high order of skill in analysis, critical reflection, evaluation and professional application.
4. Demonstrate creativity and flexibility in the application of knowledge and skills to new situations, to resolve problems and to think rigorously and independently.
5. Understand the major approaches and strategies used in business research and the methodological choices that are available within the alternative approaches.

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