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 Palaa
GroupT31DY18S/Degree Programme in International Business Management, Master's Degree (Tornio)
Study unitT31DY61 Business Research and Development Methods, 5.00 ECTS credits, 133 h
ADVANCED PROFESSIONAL STUDIES
ImplementationPerustoteutus/18001
UnitMinerva (Kauppakatu 58) Tornio
Time of implementationAutumn2/2018-2019, Spring1/2018-2019, Spring2/2018-2019
Responsible teacherRyabov Vladimir
Other teachersJauhola Esa
Status of implementationOngoing

Description status Ready
  
Language of instruction English
Starting and ending dates23.10.2018 - 20.06.2019
Minimum number of participants  
Maximum number of participants  
Enrolment period15.04.2018 - 31.12.2018
Implementation method Virtual studies
Virtuality 5 ECTS credits
R&D integration 5 ECTS credits
Resit dates of the exam
Koulutuksen aikataulu (www-linkki)
Description language English 
Objectives

This course is an essential part in the overall learning process during Master studies. 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 applied in Master studies as well as in the Master thesis process. Students get practical knowledge and skills on selecting and defining the business development problem in the case company. During this course, students prepare a research proposal, which is the actual beginning of the MSc thesis work.

 
Assessment criteria

.

Assessment 1,2,3,4,5.

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. The criteria for assessing the competencies of students:

Grade 0: The 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.

Grades 1-2: The 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: The 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.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.

 
Pedagogical arrangements

Every course session includes discussions between the instructor(s) and participating students. Students get feedback on their thesis ideas and are expected to be active and contribute to the sessions. In addition, students learn how to complete the thesis research proposal, which is the first step in the thesis process. Thesis supervisors are assigned based on the topics of completed proposals.

Material

General literature about business management research

  1. Collis, J. & Hussey, R. 2009. Business research. 3d Ed. Palgrave Macmillan.
  2. Easterby-Smith, M. & Thorpe, R. & Jackson, P. 2012. Management research. 4th Ed. Sage Publications Ltd.
  3. Hair, J. & Money, A. & Samouel, P. & Page, M. 2007. Research methods for business. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  4. Hallebone, E. & Priest, J. 2009. Business & management research: paradigms and practices. Palgrave Macmillan.
  5. Sekaran, Uma 2003. Research methods for business: a skill building approach. 4th Ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

More specific research methods literature

  1. Coghlan, David & Brannick, Teresa 2014. Doing action research in your own organization. 4th Ed. Sage Publications Ltd.
  2. Craig, Dorothy 2009. Action research essentials. Jossey-Bass. A Wiley Imprint.
  3. Groves, R. & Fowler, F. & Couper, M. & Lepkowski, J. & Singer, E. & Tourangeau, R. 2009. Survey methodology. 2nd Ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  4. McNiff, Jean 2014. Writing and doing action research. Sage Publications Ltd.
  5. Oakshott, Les 2009. Essential quantitative methods for business, management, and finance. Palgrave Macmillan.
  6. Stringer, Ernest 2014. Action research. 4 Ed. Sage Publications Ltd.
  7. Yin, Robert 2009. Case study research: design and methods. 4th Ed. Sage Publications Ltd.

Scientific writing

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

Content

The main topics in this course are:

-Key concepts of business research.Research process in general. Research paradigms: positivism, interpretivism, constructionism. Main concepts of research, such as topic, scope, questions, methodology, originality, plagiarism. Business research and development. Logic of doing research. Reliability and validity.

-Research techniques and methods. Information sources. Document analysis. Observations. Interviews. Questionnaires. 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 already completed MSc theses. Supervision process. Involvement of case companies and their role. MSc thesis research proposal.

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. The criteria for assessing the competencies of students:

Grade 0: The 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.

Grades 1-2: The 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: The 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.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.

 Palaa