Week1 NaA assignment; DBA/Management Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods.
Week1 NaA assignment; DBA/Management Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods.
In this module, qualitative and quantitative frameworks for inquiry are introduced. The basics of qualitative designs including case study, phenomenology, narrative inquiry, grounded theory, and ethnography are presented. This module also helps develop the student’s skills in understanding reports involving descriptive statistics; statistical inference; quantitative techniques, including analysis of variance and covariance; multiple linear regressions; and various nonparametric techniques. Basic quantitative designs are also introduced, including experimental and quasi-experimental, survey, and causal-comparative. The module also introduces mixed methods research. The ‘frame of reference’ for this module is primarily not simply a demonstrated understanding of particular techniques. Rather, the focus is on applying this understanding towards ‘making meaning’ of published research. Assignments, therefore, focus both on skill development and demonstration—primarily understanding when specific techniques are appropriate to answer particular questions or knowledge generation goals—as well as on the effective interpretation of published research and the application of that research to workplace problem solving
Module Learning Outcomes
By the end of the module the student will be able to:
• Describe the range of management research approaches available to them and demonstrate an understanding of how each reflects a different ontological and epistemological position;
• Define and formulate appropriate research question(s) or hypotheses;
• Critically evaluate and select the most appropriate methodology for their purpose and justify this choice in relation to their question(s) or hypotheses;
• Demonstrate a rigorous approach to collecting, analysing, and interpreting data, and demonstrate how validity, reliability, generalisability (for positivist research) or credibility, authenticity, and transferability (for social constructionist research) can be addressed in research design;
• Demonstrate the ability to use a range of tools for collecting and interpreting quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research;
• Reflect on the practical, ethical, and access issues surrounding good management research, and the principles and considerations that need to be taken into account.
The mode of delivery of taught modules is by distance learning over the Internet. This mode of study enables students to pursue modules via home study. Module delivery involves the establishment of a virtual classroom in which a relatively small group of students (usually 12–15) work under the direction of the Doctoral Tutor both as a larger group and in two smaller learning sets, using an internet-based distance learning package. Communication within the virtual classroom is asynchronous, preserving the requirement that students are able to pursue the module in their own time, within the weekly time-frame of each seminar.
All communications that take place within the virtual classroom, including all assignments carried out by students and assessments by Instructors, are recorded and are available for scrutiny by staff with appropriate access permissions. This enables two aspects of quality control:
• Module delivery is monitored by staff of the University of Liverpool Management School to ensure that defined syllabuses, procedures, and assessment processes are followed, appropriate standards are maintained and to check that plagiarism has been detected.
• All assessment is subject to moderation both by the Management School e-Learning Unit and by the external examiner.
In addition to the online learning paradigm discussed above, this Programme integrates Critical Action Learning (CAL) as a means of both intensifying the learning experience in general and linking theory to practice in particular. In the Programme’s instantiation of CAL:
• Students will be formed into learning sets (functioning as applied problem-solving and learning groups) during each module.
• The primary purpose of the learning sets is to aid team members in the critical identification, review and resolution of particular, workplace-based problems that each student brings to their team.
• The learning sets will be “facilitated” by the Doctoral Tutor.
• It is through this facilitated critical review process whereby the student identifies and defines an issue to work on (known as “problematising” in the literature) and then subsequently works on the resolution of that problem aided by conversation with and insightful questioning from other members of the team. Through this process, the students develop significant, doctoral-level depth of learning in each module.
• The instructor will assess the quality of each student’s input to their team members during the course of the module. This assessment will form 25% of the student’s grade and this element must be passed in order for the student to pass the module.
• Having worked through this process with the team, students write up this problem identification, review, and solving process. This piece of work (known as the CAL Project) constitutes a significant portion of the student’s grade.
• Each CAL Project is developed and graded within the context of its associated module. However, students will be encouraged to view these “mini projects” as opportunities (1) to hone successively their doctoral research skills and (2) to identify appropriate problems for their action research thesis.
The self-study part of the course includes:
• Required and recommended reading related to each week’s topics
• Hyperlinks to Web-based materials related to each week’s topics
• Links to media that support the week’s activities
Required Texts and Software
The required texts for this module are:
• Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Jackson, P. (2012) Management research. 4th ed. London: Sage.
• Creswell, J. (2013) Qualitative inquiry and research design: choosing among five approaches. 3rd ed. London: Sage.
Students should have access to word processing software in order to complete activities and assignments.
Students can access all of the required journal articles online in the Liverpool University Library for Online Programmes at http://www.liv.ac.uk/library/ohecampus/index.htm. Links to these articles are also provided in the appropriate Weekly Learning Resources Areas.
Students are encouraged to make use of related academic and professional journals to supplement the module materials and to assist in the preparation of assignments. Many of these serials can be accessed through the University of Liverpool Library for Online Programmes.
Overview of Module Work
See the “Syllabus by Week” section at the end of this document for weekly activities and assignments, as well as due dates.
NB: Please note that for each of the following module work items, word counts for responses and submitted documents are approximate. It is acceptable to submit a work product that is within 25% of the approximate word count.
• Literature Syntheses are required in Weeks 1, 2, and 3, and Weeks 6, 7, and 8, and pertain to the weekly assigned readings.
• Learning Set Participation is required in each week of the module. Remember that your responses will be assessed based upon the timeliness and quality of your work in the set. You are expected to participate substantially; specifically, to post at least 3 or 4 meaningful and insightful responses to your Learning Set. For example, the Instructor will look for the following items in your posts:
o Asking insightful questions
o Offering contributions based upon the literature and their practice
o Must be adding to the learning of the group
o Must be critically collaborative inquiry
o Should promote critical reflection in team members
Your Learning Set participation will be assessed in two segments. Following the completion of Week 5, you will receive feedback and an initial grade based on your Learning Set participation in Weeks 1-5. This assessment will form 10% of your total grade. At the end of the module, you will receive additional feedback and a second grade based on your
Learning Set participation in Weeks 6-10. This assessment will form 15% of your grade, for a total of 25% for Learning Set participation overall.
• The Critical Literature Review, due in Week 4, is a 2,000-word document and is the first component of the CAL project. In this module, this document should:
o Frame your research question in the context of relevant literature;
o Identify and analyse different approaches that have been taken to studying your problem or similar problems in the literature;
o Critically evaluate methodological literature on approaches to studying your problem or similar problems.
• The Problematising Write-up, due in Week 5, is a 750-word document and is the second component of the CAL project. In this module, this document:
o Summarises how the identified issue can be studied and the desired outcomes of a research project focused on the identified problem.
• The CAL Final Report, due in Week 10, is a 2,500-word document (beyond the literature review and problematising write-up) that details how you approached solving the identified problem, issues encountered during the problem-solving process, and outcomes from the process. As such, the final report is the final component of the CAL project and, in this module:
o Provides a narrative account of the iterative process of engaging with management research concepts to achieve enhanced understanding and potential resolution of your workplace-based problem;
o Identifies the steps taken to formulate research questions, choose research approaches, methods, and tools, and set research goals;
o Indicates how the literature informed the process of reviewing, evaluating, and making decisions about research methods in the context of your identified problem;
o Indicates how dialogue and activities in the Learning Set informed this process;
o Addresses a plan for putting chosen research approaches into practice and linking your research goals with your goals for taking action in your professional setting.
Students will have an opportunity to resubmit this element of assessment if the first submission does not reach a pass standard.
It is understood that issues may arise in the workplace which may prevent students from undertaking or completing such “change” oriented projects. It is the role of the Doctoral Tutor to work with the students in such situations to identify an appropriate project which may be based more on a literature review and the development of a proposal for a change project rather than the actual implementation of a change project. This will be allowed in two modules only.
The module assessment structure is designed such that student progress is monitored on a week by week basis. Therefore, student progress issues will be managed in a timely fashion during the module and throughout the programme.