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Opintojakson toteutussuunnitelma

GroupT31DY16S/Degree Programme in International Business Management, Master's Degree (Tornio)
Study unitT301DY14 Business Research and Development Methods, 5.00 ECTS credits, 133 h
Multidisciplinary Development of Working Life
ADVANCED PROFESSIONAL STUDIES
ImplementationPerustoteutus/16001
UnitMinerva (Kauppakatu 58) Tornio
Time of implementationAutumn1/2016-2017, Autumn2/2016-2017, Spring1/2016-2017, Spring2/2016-2017
Responsible teacherRyabov Vladimir
Other teachersAlatalo Pirjo
Status of implementationFinished

Description status Ready
  
Language of instruction English
Starting and ending dates01.08.2016 - 29.05.2017
Minimum number of participants  
Maximum number of participants  
Enrolment period15.04.2016 - 13.01.2017
Implementation method
Virtuality 5 ECTS credits
R&D integration 3 ECTS credits
Resit dates of the exam
Koulutuksen aikataulu (www-linkki)
Description language English 
Objectives

The main objective of this course is to introduce the main concepts and methods of business research and development activities. These include the most practical terms and ideas to be used in Master studies as well as in the Master thesis process. This course is also covering important issues such as topic and scope of a Master thesis, case company involvement, and thesis assessment criteria. By the end of this course, students will prepare a Thesis Research Proposal.

The main topics in the content of the course:

- Key concepts in business research. Research process. Types of research. Research paradigms (positivism, interpretivism, constructionism).Main concepts (topic, scope, questions, methodology, originality, plagiarism).Business research for MSc thesis.Classification of research methods and techniques.Logic of doing research.Reliability and validity.

- Research techniques.Information sources.Document analysis.Observations.Interviews.Questionnaires.

- Research methods. Case study.Survey. Action research. Other methods.

- Qualitative research design. Research questions and objectives of qualitative research. Approaches to data analysis. Analysis of interviews. Validity of qualitative research.

- Master thesis process. Timetable. Thesis scope and examples. Analysis of a published MSc thesis. Supervision process. How to select a topic? Involvement of case companies and their role. Thesis research proposal.

 
Assessment criteria

         Grade 1 - 2

         Grade 3 - 4

         Grade 5

A student understands mostly correctly the main concepts of business research and a Master thesis scope.

The student is able to propose an relevant idea for thesis project and to complete the research proposal answering all the questions. By this, this completed research proposal has a room for further development although it doesn't include any serious methodological mistakes.

The student knows basic information on the research methods, data collection and analysis techniques and is able to select them for own thesis proposal. There is no indication of the use of literature on business research or the subject topic.

The thesis ideas proposed by the student, although mostly correct, need further development and refinement.

A student understands well the main concepts of business research and a Master thesis scope.

The student has some knowledge in philosophical paradigms used in business research and is able to apply them mostly correctly.

The student is able to select a theoretically and practically relevant topic for MSc thesis project and to elaborate on this topic completing the research proposal answering fully all the questions in there. Nevertheless, the thesis ideas might be developed on a more detailed level or these include some small methodological flaws.

The student has good knowledge of the research methods and data collection and analysis techniques and is able to plan their usage in thesis project.

The student is able to motivate and explain the methodological choices s/he made and uses correct academic and scientific writing practices most of time presenting own ideas in the text.

The student has read some relevant literature on business research methods and the subject topic which shows in the text of the proposal.

The student understands excellently the main concepts of business research and a Master thesis scope; philosophical paradigms used in business research and is able to apply them correctly in own research proposal.

The student is able to select a theoretically and practically relevant topic for MSc thesis project and elaborate on this topic completing the research proposal answering fully all the questions in there.

The student has very good knowledge of the research methods and data collection and analysis techniques and is able to plan their usage in thesis project.

The student is able to motivate and explain the methodological choices s/he made and uses correct academic and scientific writing practices presenting own ideas.

Finally, from the research proposal it is evident that the student has read the relevant literature on business research methods and the subject topic and is able to apply that knowledge practically.

 
Pedagogical arrangements

The course is delivered distantly and includes several iLinc sessions. The content of them is based on the topics of the course. Every session is supplemented with discussions and practical exercises. Students are expected to be active and contribute to the class sessions.

In addition, students will learn to use the Thesis Research Proposal Handbook to prepare their thesis proposals.A research proposal is a document written by a researcher which describes in details the proposed research project. Please, notice that research proposal is a plan, although detailed, and therefore further updates,modifications, and changes could be possible. Research proposal neither reports nor assumes that the research project has already been done. Nevertheless, background information on the subject and a deep insight into the research case are necessary. A successful completion of the research proposal is the first step in the thesis process after which the thesis project gets a "green light"and the thesis supervisor is assigned.

Scientific writing:

iLinc sessions will be held on September, 2015 in academic/scientific writing. Materials for the iLinc work will be made accessible for students during the contact week for discussions during the iLinc session.

Material

Literature:

  1. Myers, M., 2013,Qualitative Research in Business & Management, 2nd Ed., SAGE.
  2. Collis, J. & Hussey, R. 2009. Business research,3d Ed., Palgrave Macmillan.

  3. Easterby-Smith, M. & Thorpe, R. & Jackson, P. 2012. Management research, SAGE.

  4. Groves, R. et al., 2009. Survey methodology, 2nd Ed., Wiley.

  5. Hair, J. et al., 2007. Research methods for business,John Wiley & Sons.

  6. Hallebone, E. & Priest, J. 2009. Business & management research: paradigms and practices,Palgrave Macmillan.

  7. Oakshott, Les 2009. Essential quantitative methods for business, management, and finance,Palgrave Macmillan.

  8. Sekaran, Uma 2003. Research methods for business: a skill building approach,4th Ed., John Wiley & Sons.

  9. Yin, Robert 2009. Case study research: design and methods,4th Ed., SAGE Publications

Scientific writing:

Learning materials for academic/scientific writing will be provided to the students via Moodle, with further reading suggested in the materials.                                                             

Content

Research methods:

- Key concepts in business research

- Research techniques (information sources, document analysis, observations, interviews, questionnaires)

- Research methods (case study, survey, action research)

- Qualitative research design

- Master thesis and research proposal

Scientific writing:

The discussions during the iLinc session focus on core aspects and practices of academic/scientific writing for writing the course work successfully.

Assessment criteria for the written course work from the point of view of academic/scientific writing will be provided as soon as the Master's Guide is completed, drawing from the European Framework of Reference for Languages document specified by the European Commission. The students may use these criteria for self-assessment and peer-assessment of their written course work during their studies.

Assessment

The assessment is based on the quality and the content of research proposals completed by students at the end of the course. The proposals are following the Thesis Research Proposal Handbook template which is presented during the course. Additionally, the active and informed participation of students(being present during the lessons, participation in class discussions, doing the class exercises) is affecting positively the final grade. The criteria for assessing the competencies of students:

Grade 0: A student didn't deliver a research proposal or the quality of the research proposal is unacceptable. Questions in the handbook are not answered or answered very poorly and shortly. The student is not able to select a relevant thesis topic and doesn't have correct knowledge on business research process; s/he doesn't understand the main concepts, and methods. Furthermore, the student didn't read any literature and shows very week knowledge even in the material discussed in the class. Finally, academic writing practices are completely neglected which shows in the text of the research proposal.

Grages 1-2: A student understands mostly correctly the main concepts of business research and a Master thesis scope. The student is able to propose an relevant idea for thesis project and to complete the research proposal answering all the questions. By this, this completed research proposal has a room for further development although it doesn't include any serious methodological mistakes. The student knows basic information on the research methods, data collection and analysis techniques and is able to select them for own thesis proposal. There is no indication of the use of literature on business research or the subject topic. The thesis ideas proposed by the student, although mostly correct, need further development and refinement.

Grades 3-4:A student understands well the main concepts of business research and a Master thesis scope. The student has some knowledge inphilosophical paradigms used in business research and is able to apply them mostly correctly. The student is able to select a theoretically and practically relevant topic for MSc thesis project and to elaborate on this topic completing the research proposal answering fully all the questions in there. Nevertheless, the thesis ideas might be developed on a more detailed level or these include some small methodological flaws. Additionally, the student has good knowledge of the research methods and data collection and analysis techniques and is able to plan their usage in thesis project. The student is able to motivate and explain the methodological choices s/he made and uses correct academic and scientific writing practices most of time presenting own ideas in the text. Finally, the student has read some relevant literature on business research methods and the subject topic which shows in the text of the proposal.

Grades 5: The student understands excellently the main concepts of business research and a Master thesis scope; philosophical paradigms used in business research and is able to apply them correctly in own research proposal. The student is able to select a theoretically and practically relevant topic for MSc thesis project and elaborate on this topic completing the research proposal answering fully all the questions in there. Additionally, the student has very good knowledge of the research methods and data collection and analysis techniques and is able to plan their usage in thesis project. The student is able to motivate and explain the methodological choices s/he made and uses correct academic and scientific writing practices presenting own ideas. Finally, from the research proposal it is evident that the student has read the relevant literature on business research methods and the subject topic and is able to apply that knowledge practically.