This module aims to:
- Develop students’ knowledge of different ontological and epistemological approaches to conducting research in management and related areas.
- Introduce students to writing a literature review, developing research questions and designing and conducting research projects in an ethical manner.
- Improve argumentation and inference skills. The module thus covers the fundamentals of the research process to complement the more specialist methodological modules that students take.
- Provide wider researcher development with dedicated sessions and master classes covering publishing and research outputs, academic careers and applying for and succeeding in a PhD.
By the end of the module, students should be able to understand and evaluate:
- Different ontological and epistemological approaches in management research: The different philosophical approaches encapsulated in positivism, interpretivism (phenomenology) and critical realism. The strengths and weaknesses of these approaches, how different approaches guide research choices.
- Literature sources and reviewing literature: Practical issues surrounding the collection and analysis of sources, types and purposes of a literature review.
- Research questions and design: How ‘researchable’ questions and sub-questions may be developed, types of research question, good and bad research questions, how research is designed to answer questions.
- How to manage a research project and conduct it ethically. Issues around planning and managing a research project; The importance of ethics in research; ethical risks that may arise in research and how to identify and manage these.
- Argumentation theory: The basics of developing and supporting claims from data and evidence. Examples of how people may construct arguments badly and make unsupported claims from their data.
- The nature and demands of an academic career. How to gain entry to academia; the pressures and expectations upon academics; publishing strategies.
- Written communication; oral communication; presentation skills; time management and organisational skills.
- Critical analysis; logic and argument development; application of abstract philosophies to research practice; the ability to frame and operationalise research problems.
This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester.