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BUU22593 Qualitative Research Methods

(5 ECTS credits)

Lecturer

Dr. Daniel Malan

Module Description/Content

This module introduces students to the area of qualitative research. As opposed to quantitative research, with a focus on numbers, with qualitative research the focus is on text, and geared towards understanding social and cultural phenomena. Instead of mathematical modelling and statistical analysis, qualitative research employs research methods such as action research, case study research, ethnography and grounded theory. The module will explore research design and selected research methods, underlying assumptions and ethical principles related to research as well as data collection and data analysis techniques.

Learning & Teaching Approach

The approach in this module is primarily asynchronous. Students will follow the same sequence of events per unit: pre-reading, watching a video prepared by the lecturer and engaging with the lecturer and fellow students in a chat room or physical environment. Tutorials will be used for syndicate group presentations.

 

Learning Outcomes

Having completed this module, you should be able to: 

1. Explain the difference between qualitative and quantitative research; 

2. Develop a qualitative research proposal; 

3. Explain the underlying assumptions and ethical principles related to research; 

4. Apply – at a basic level – four distinct qualitative research methods; and 

5. Explain – at a basic level – approaches to data collection and data analysis

This module forms part of a suite of modules of Trinity Business School across the four years of our business-related degree programmes. This suite is focused on developing qualitative skills that will enable the development of technically capable and conceptually proficient graduates who can thrive in a dynamic and fast-changing environment. The module will serve to develop students’ understanding and skills in relation to qualitative research and will serve as a foundation for possible qualitative research projects at a postgraduate level.

 

Textbook and Readings

Required core course textbook: 

Myers, M.D. (2019). Qualitative Research in Business & Management. Sage.

General Supplemental Readings 

Gatignon, H. (2018). Ethical behaviours versus behaviours that contravene deontological research principles in the publishing process. Recherche et Applications En Marketing (English Edition). Available at https://journals.sagepub.com/stoken/rbtfl/FTB2K09LDNIIUIVH4JPM4/pdf/10.1177/2051570718815973 

Palmer, D., Dick, B., & Freiburger, N. (2009). Rigor and Relevance in Organization Studies. Journal of Management Inquiry, 18(4), 265-272. Available at https://journals.sagepub.com/stoken/rbtfl/0QYNQJXU7INORYI7F9XHY9/pdf/10.1177/1056492609343491

Assessment

Individual assignment  (70% of final grade)

Using course material along with any other material deemed relevant, prepare a 1 500 word research proposal on a topic of your choice involving one of the qualitative methods discussed in the module. Your research proposal should set out your philosophical assumptions, research question, research method, data collection techniques as well as data analysis approach. The purpose of the assignment is to improve your skills in writing a proposal. To be clear, you have to submit the plan to do the research, not the research itself!

Select a topic that is of interest and one that might be relevant for future studies. Follow the proposed structure of the text book (table 3.2). The list of references does not have to be extensive, but should include at least 10 academic articles.

The assignment is due by the specified due time and date and must be submitted in PDF format. Permission for any deviations from these conditions must be obtained from the lecturer in advance. Students who are unable to submit the assignment for medical reasons must produce a medical certificate to the Trinity Business School office within three working days of the missed submission date.

Group assignment (30% of final grade)

The group assignment is a 1000 word analysis of a published academic article of your choice that demonstrates one of the four research methods addressed in this module. The article must have been published in a respected academic journal, and should not be one that is referenced in the text book. Your report should include the following:

  • Your description of the research method that was applied in the article as well as the underlying assumptions (not more than 100 words);
  • Your own summary of the key findings of the article (not more than 200 words);
  • A discussion of the key elements of the article that demonstrate the research method, data collection and data analysis techiques – given the topic of the article, why do you think the selections made by the author(s) were appropriate (or not)? (not more than 500 words); and
  • An assessment of both the rigour and the relevance of the article (not more than 200 words).

Each syndicate group also has to prepare a 15 minute presentation.

The assignment is due by the specified due time and date and must be submitted in PDF format. References should be according to the APA method and all sources should be referenced.Permission for any deviations from these conditions must be obtained from the lecturer in advance. Students who are unable to submit the assignment for medical reasons must produce a medical certificate to the Trinity Business School office within three working days of the missed submission date.