MNGT501-18B (HAM)

Research Methods in Management Studies

30 Points

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Waikato Management School
Te Raupapa
Waikato Management School Dean's Office


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Paper Description

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This paper aims to introduce students to the assumptions underlying and differences between available methodologies for performing research in the social sciences. The focus is on interpretive and positivist methods. The paper attempts to give students the conceptual and methodological resources needed to think and converse as researchers and scientists in organisations and to develop a certain level of competence in at least one research methodology. This is accomplished through the generation of a research proposal in a field of interest to the student and critiques of methodological approaches found in the academic literature. The student will be required to submit a report on their research findings at the end of the term which will include all the cycles of the research process - generation of a research idea, literature review, choosing an appropriate methodology, >Sub-objectives of the paper include:

1.To acquaint students with the methodologies of research in management studies: both positivism and interpretivism;

2.To educate students in the theory-centred elements of research methodology, providing them with an appreciation of how theories are developed and/or tested;

3.To familiarise students with a broad repertoire of research methodologies and methods relevant to organisations, society and process;

4.To apply different methods in a real research project, and

5.To develop the ability to critically evaluate management articles.

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Paper Structure

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The formal part of the course consists of in-class lectures, seminars, and Moodle forum discussion. However, the emphasis is put on in class discussion and sharing of ideas and experiences. Students are expected to have read the recommended readings. For domain-specific knowledge, students are encouraged to contact their department. In this course, the lecturer will give advice primarily on methodological issues and how to create a good survey design.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Understanding
    Understand how to design a research project and be able to discuss general frameworks for and approaches to research.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Performance
    Be able to perform a comprehensive literature review of a chosen area of research
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Critical Analysis
    Be more able to critically read and evaluate research articles; more specifically, they should be able to critically analyze the comparative strengths and weaknesses of different research strategies for a given research question
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Research Process
    Be able to understand the research process and the literature, tools and techniques associated with each phase of the process from library research through objective specification, topic analysis, hypothesis formulation, selection of the research strategies and design, data collection, and analysis, to the preparation of publishable research reports.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Discipline Familiarity
    Have a familiarity with important issues and papers, past and current, in their fields.
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  • Ethics and Referencing
    Understand proper research ethics and referencing.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Preliminary Research Topic
24 Jul 2018
No set time
  • Email: Convenor
2. Annotated Bibliography
7 Aug 2018
9:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Seminar
11 Sep 2018
12:00 PM
  • In Class: In Lecture
4. Take Home Test: Case Study in Management Research
11 Oct 2018
9:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Management Research Project
2 Nov 2018
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Reading list :

Saunders, Mark; Lewis, Philip and Thornhill, Adrian (2016) Research Methods for Business Students, 7ed, ISBN: 978-1-292-01665-8, Pearson Education Limited

Introduction, Paradigms, Design

Alvarado, F., (1996) "Concerning Postmodernity and Organizations in the Third World: Opening a Debate and Suggestions for a Research Agenda", Organization Science, 7, 6, 667-681.

Burrell, G., and G. Morgan, (1979) Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis, Heineman, London.

Meredith, J.R. (1995) "What Is Empirical Research?" Decision Line, March, 10-11.

Moore, N. (2000). Develop the Research Objectives. How to Do Research, London: Facet Publishing. ix-xv, 3-9.


Frankfort-Nachmias, C. and D. Nachmias. (1996). Ethics in Social Science Research, In Research Methods in the Social Sciences, Ch4. St. Martin’s Press, NY.

Literature Reviews

Parsons, L.C. and M.S. Harris. (2002). Relevance, Writing Style, and Synthesis: Key Elements in a Focused Review of the Literature. Orthopedic Nursing, 21(5). 65.

Rowley, J. and F. Slack. (2004). Conducting a Literature Review. Management Research News, 27(6), 31-39.

Torraco, R. J. (2005). Writing Integrative Literature Reviews: Guidelines and Examples. Human Resource Development Review, 4(3), 356-367.

Webster, J. and Watson, R.T. (2002). Analysing the Past to Prepare for the Future: Writing a Literature Review. MIS Quarterly, 26(2). xiii-xxiii.


Orlikowski, W.J. and J.J. Baroudi, "Studying Information Technology in Organizations: Research Approaches and Assumptions", Information Systems Research, 2, 1, March 1991.

Deetz, S. (1996)"Describing Differences in Approaches to Organization Science: Rethinking Burrell and Morgan and Their Legacy", Organization Science, 7, 2, 191-207.

Doolin, B. "Field Research in Information Systems". Working paper. U of Waikato.

Robey, D. (1994) Diversity in Research on Information Systems. Decision Line. 6-7.


Pope, J.A. (1995) "Improving Survey Response Rates", Decision Line, March, 3-4.

Pinsonneault, A. and K. Kraemer, "Survey Research Methodology in Management Information Systems: An Assessment", Journal of Management Information Systems, Fall 1993, Vol. 10 No. 2., pp 75-105.

Validity and Reliability

Cook, T.D., and D.T. Campbell, "The Design and Conduct of Quasi-Experiments and True Experiments in Field Settings", in Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, M Dunnette, ed. Wiley&Sones, NY. pp 223-246. 1983.

Dröge, C. (1996) "How Valid are Measurements?" Decision Line, Sept/Oct, 10-12.

Straub, D.W. and C.L. Carlson, (1989) "Validating Instruments in MIS Research", MIS Quarterly, 147-165.

Case Research

Eisenhardt, K.M., (1989) "Building Theories from Case Study Research", Academy of Management Review. 14, pp 532-550.

Doolin, B., "Case Research in Information Systems: An Alternative Perspective", Research Report Series, 1994-8, Department of Management Systems, University of Waikato

Benbasat, I., D.K. Goldstein, & M. Mead, "The Case Research Strategy in Studies of Information Systems", MIS Quarterly, September 1987, p 369-386.

Walsham, G. (1995). “Interpretive case studies in IS research: Nature and method,” European Journal of Information Systems, 4(2), 74-81.

Action Research

Checkland, P. (1991) "From Framework Through Experience to Learning:The Essential Natureof Action Research", Information Systems Research, 397-403.

Elden, M. and R.F. Chisholm, (1993) "Emerging Varieties of Action Research: Introduction to the Special Issue", Human Relations, 46, 2, 121-142.

Chisholm, R.F. and M. Elden, (1993) "Features of Emerging Action Research",Human Relations, 46, 2, 275-298.

Robertson, J. (2000)“The Three Rs of Action Research: reciprocity, reflexivity and reflection-on-reality,” Education Action Research, 8, 2. 307-326.

Grounded Theory

Strauss, A. and J. Corbin. (1994). Grounded Theory Methodology. In Handbook of Qualitative Research, N. Denzin and Y. Lincoln, Sage.


Hannabuss, S. (1996). Research Interviews. New Library World, 97-107.


Alvesson, M. (2002). Postmodernism and Social Research. Buckingham,UK; Open University Press. 1-17.

Interpreting Text

Van Dijk, T.A. (1998). Principles of Critical Discourse Analysis. In The Sociolinguistics Reader, Vol 2, Ch 14, Gender and Discourse. J. Cheshire and P. Trudge, Arnold, London. 367-393.

Lacity, M. C. and Janson, M.A. (1994). Understanding Qualitative Data: A Framework of Text Analysis Methods. Journal of MIS, 11(2), 137-155.

ReadingsThe main text for the paper is:Saunders, Mark; Lewis, Philip and Thornhill, Adrian (2016) Research Methods for Business Students, 7ed, ISBN: 978-1-292-01665-8, Pearson Education Limited.This book is stocked at Bennetts Bookstore at the university and the library has reserve copies. Any basic research methods text can substitute for this text.The intent is to have a reference for questions that might arise during the course or in the future.The paper will not follow the text per se, but it is anticipated that students will wish to consult it periodically now and throughout their research lives.Also, two other texts are held in the university library and will be on course reserve.These books are:Case Study Research: Design and Methods, R.K. Yin, Sage, London, 2009. (H62.Y56 2009)Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method, Don A. Dillman, Wiley-Interscience, New York, 2000. (HN29.D55 2000)In addition, several journal articles are prescribed reading for this paper. A partial list appears in this outline (more articles might arise during the paper which have yet to be identified).Most of the prescribed journal readings will either be supplied by the lecturer or are available online on the course web pages.Finally, several indexing resources are available in the library [online].See the School's database page - LibraryLink pages you require further information on the following:ACM Guide to Computing QA76.C7392 ACM Digital Library - Web of Science Citation IndexQA36.C738 (A&I)Computing ReviewQA76.C739Computer AbstractQA76.C783 – see EmeraldKnowledge Index

OtherThe following websites are good sources of information regarding

Resources research methodologies/methods – an expanded list is found later in this outline:

Peter Newsted at the University of Calgary:

Varun Grover at the University of South Carolina:

APA style of citations:

Michael Myers (Univ of Auckland) qualitative research methods:

Action Research from the University of Sydney

Experimental Methods at Hong KongUniversity:

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Other Resources

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Action ResearchWeb Links to Participatory Action Research sites to AR resources, for both students & practitioners
Action Research International info, papers, links to more AR info. Grounded Theory info too.
The Qualitative Report online journal dedicated to qualitative research & critical inquiry, since 1990.
Action Research to journals, list servers, projects, research models, & web-based AR
References on Action Research of journal & book references
Grounded TheoryGrounded Theory Methodology to GT resources. E.g., references, papers...
“The Creation of Theory: A Recent Application of the Grounded Theory Method” paper by Naresh R. Pandit
Case Study ResearchReferences on Case Study Research of journal & book references
Case Study Research Methods of info about conducting CS. Taken from material for a course on CS Research Methods
“Case Study Research”
Very good. Lots of info about conducting CS. Taken from material for a course on CS Research Methods
7 Backsteps to Case Study Research guide to CS research. Includes list of CS references.
Naturalistic Observation & Case Study Research of info on conducting CS.Survey research info too.
Interpretiv-ist ResearchReferences on Interpretative Research of journal and book references
Qualitative Research in Information Systems good. Lots of info about qualitative research.
Qualitative ResearchNUD*IST about this software, for analysing qualitative data
Software for Qualitative Research about what Q.D.A is & links to NUD*IST…
“Theory building in qualitative research & computer programs for the management of textual data”
Kelle, 1997. Sociological Research Online, 2(2)
Postmodern-ismDefining Postmodernism article defining postmodernism
Postmodernism...aka, the way “we” think, now. of references to journals and other resources about postmodernism
Contemporary Philosophy, Critical Theory and Postmodern Thought & links to info about postmodernism, critical theory, & other stuff
Research Design
(in general)
Research Design Discussions discussions defining research design issues like: sampling, unit of analysis, validity, data, inductive vs deductive reasoning…
Theory Building & Research Design

(University of Minnesota)
Long list of references to articles about theory building & research design; for a range of research methods. Includes an “evaluation criteria” list for research proposals.
Statistics, Statistical Consulting, Data, Content Analysis, Research Designs
Info on: data analysis, content analysis, experimental designs, survey plans, computations, and statistical reports and proposals…
Survey ResearchSurvey Research Methods to info about survey methodology, ethics, privacy…
e-Surveys for Online Populations: User-friendly, Quick, Confidential and Low-cost
Provides examples of and info aboute-surveys
Survey Research Centre: University of Maryland links to info about sampling methods, phone, mail, web, & email surveys…
ExperimentalResearchExperimentation about everything to do with experiments
Experimental Research
Bullet points about the experimental research advantages, disadvantages, & design
Literature SearchesThe Literature Review Tutorial to conducting a literature review
Ethics & ResearchEthical & Legal Aspects of Human Subjects Research in Cyberspace report & other info on the ethical implications of researching over the Internet…
Tips on Informed Consent on informed consent
Analysing TextDiscourse Analysis and links on Discourse Analysis methods
References on Hermeneutics of article references on hermeneutics
Resources related to content analysis & text analysis, software, electronic texts…
Thematic Analysis and info on how to do a thematic analysis
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Online Support

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All course materials are available through MyWeb.
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This is a 500 level course, and the 30 points represents approximately 300 learning hours on the part of the students. This course runs over 13 weeks, students are expected to put in at least 25 hours per week of learning effort over the duration of the course.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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The intention of this course is to get you going on your masters or PhD dissertation or thesis. That is, the proposal written for this paper can serve as the basis for your thesis or dissertation to start in the course taken after MNGT 501. You should thus be able to hit the ground running in the semester following this course.
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