MSYS552-18A (NET)

Applied Research Methods and Project

30 Points

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Waikato Management School
Te Raupapa
School of Management and Marketing


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Paper Description

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This paper will introduce you to the concepts and methods of applied business research methods and will act as a guide as you engage with an organisation to conduct a real, applied research project.

You will learn what distinguishes applied research from academic research; you will learn how to select and apply a range of applied research methodologies, and you will gain experience in applied research by carrying out a business applied research project within an actual organisational setting.

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Paper Structure

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This is a fully online paper with the major deliverable being an applied research project report.

To start there are a number of short online-delivered mini lectures to watch, divided into two introductory and further information groups. These will introduce the concept of applied research and cover all of the pertinent issues to prepare you to carry out an applied e-business research project within a organisational setting.

Then, before the start of semester, or within the first two weeks of semester, you will begin your search for an appropriate organisation (willing to host you) that has an e-business 'problem' which you can address through an applied research methods project.

There may not be enough time for you to watch ALL of the mini lectures before commencing the project. And it is likely that you will need to re-watch some of the mini lectures again later, or indeed seek out further, more specific, material to guide you.

The following timeline for watching the video mini lectures and submitting the ethics application apply:

  1. You are required to have watched ALL of the Introductory mini lectures (those which talk about the paper, the project, and ethics) by the end of Week Two.
  2. You are required to have identified your intended company, the basic research problem/opportunity that you intend investigating, and have submitted your ethics application by the end of Week Three
  3. You are required to have watched ALL mini lectures by the end of Week Five (this will be necessary for you to be able to contribute to the early online discussions)
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • distinguish between academic and applied research
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • select an appropriate applied research methodology for a particular situation
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • carry out an applied e-business research project within an organisational setting
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • present the findings of an applied research project through a formal report
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment is conducted following the University Assessment Regulations that is stated on the Calendar.

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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. Ethics application
16 Mar 2018
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Contribution to Online Topic Discussion
  • Online: Moodle Forum Discussion
3. Progress Report Video Presentations (x 3)
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Applied Research Report 1
12 Jun 2018
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Applied Research Report 2
13 Jun 2018
11:30 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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Other Resources

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You may find the following of interest/value to you - depending on the chosen approach you take with your research.

Business Research

Zikmund, William G. & Quinlan, Christina (2015) Business Research Methods, Cengage Learning;

Alan Bryman and Emma Bell, Business Research Methods, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003/2007. (HD30.4 .B79 2007)

Bryman, A. (2015). Social research methods. Oxford university press.

Introduction, Design

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


Wallace, M., & Sheldon, N. (2015). Business research ethics: Participant observer perspectives. Journal of Business Ethics, 128(2), 267-277.

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

Machi, L. A., & McEvoy, B. T. (2016). The literature review: Six steps to success. Corwin Press.

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.


Ang, S. H. (2014). Research design for business & management. Sage.

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.

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


Engel. U., Jann, B., Lynn, P., Scherpenzeel, A. and Sturgis, P. (2014). Improving Survey Methods: Lessons from Recent Research. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-81762-2

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.

Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method, Don A. Dillman, Wiley-Interscience, New York, 2000. (HN29.D55 2000)

Alreck, P. and Settle, R. (2004). Building Questionnaires. The Survey Research Handbook (3rd ed). NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin. 146-178.


Hollway, W., & Jefferson, T. (2000). Doing qualitative research differently: Free association, narrative and the interview method. Sage.

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

Interpreting Text

Denzin, N. K. (2008). Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials (Vol. 3). Sage.

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.

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Online Support

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Please contact the paper convenors if you require any assistance.
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The workload is typical of a 5th year, 30 point paper.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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This is a research focused, graduate level course. Students will be expected to have completed an undergraduate degree or equivalent, or be in their Honours year of an undergraduate degree, and be engaged in a programme of postgraduate studies comprising other 500 level courses.

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