MSc Organisational Change and Development
Year of entry: 2024
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Course unit details:
Research Methods and Skills in Organisational Contexts
|Unit level||FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree|
|Teaching period(s)||Full year|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
The module is delivered over two semesters. A key element of the module is that it offers students an opportunity to develop literature-related research skills at an early stage of their studies.
The unit aims to:
Develop students’ knowledge and skills in order to enable them to:
1. learn how to conduct research linked to the management of people, systems, and/or projects in organisational settings;
2 undertake and present the findings of a research project on a subject within the central field of knowledge of their degree programme;
3. operationalise this knowledge of research methods and these research skills in an applied fieldwork context.
Knowledge and understanding
• define and critically explore literature on a specified subject using paper-based library stock, electronic databases, electronic journals and other web-based sources of data, such as government policies and reports.
• through the presentation of a dissertation research proposal:
i) demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of key research terms and methodologies;
ii) show their ability to construct a well-designed and realistic research plan for gathering primary data in an organisational setting;
iii) explain the importance of ethics to the work of researchers.
• formulate a set of clearly stated research aims, research objectives, and research questions and/or hypotheses;
• construct and present in writing a critically-focused and concisely written literature review together with an associated bibliography using standard conventions for citing academic literature;
• through the construction of a learning log, demonstrate their ability to engage in critical self-reflection when undertaking research-based activities.
• work critically in an applied/field setting in order to design, operationalise and present the findings of, an organisationally based research-based project;
Transferable skills and personal qualities
During this course unit, students will be encouraged to develop::
• their ability to review and analyse critically contrasting information.
• their self management skills including their ability to manage time effectively.
• skills which they need to articulate clearly their point of view particularly in response to questioning.
• willingness to question and develop their understanding, perspectives and values in response to listening to others.
• the ability to identify key contextual variables which affect their behaviour and the behaviour of others.
• the ability to engage in critical thinking, reflection, and self-awareness. Responsibility for their own learning.
Introduction to Research in Organisational Contexts
Introduction to Library Resources
Introduction to My Learning Essentials
Reference Management Software
Conducting a Literature Review
Searching Academic Literature : Tools/Approaches
Critical Reading and Writing (Developing Arguments)
Working with Theories and Frameworks
Writing a Dissertation Proposal
Choosing a Dissertation Topic
Identifying Research Problem/Gap
Developing Research Questions/Objectives
Ethics in Research
Three Research Approaches: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods
Data Analysis and Discussion
Teaching and learning methods
The teaching and learning methods are designed to balance more formal lecture-based inputs with opportunities for the students to engage with the subject area in a participative and applied manner. A variety of teaching and learning methods will be used. These are likely to include formal lectures, group-based workshop activities, tutorials, and practical work in a fieldwork setting.
The content of this module will be delivered at strategically-located points throughout Semester One and Semester Two. As an indication, the introduction to the module, inputs on conducting research using literature, and the assessment of the literature-based essay will take place in Semester One. In Semester Two, there be lectures, seminars and tutorials on the subject of research methods relating to organisational contexts, and students will be required to submit their dissertation proposals.
|Written assignment (inc essay)||15%|
The assessment is likely to have two components:
- a 1000-word literature-based essay: 15%
- a 2250-word dissertation proposal: 60%
- a fieldwork-based assignment/learning log: 25%
Resit assessments will reflect the original assessment tasks and marking criteria
Feedback is provided in writing, approximately 14 days after submission of each assignment
Anderson, V. (2013) Research Methods in Human Resource Management: investigating a business issue (3rd edition). London: CIPD
Barrett, C. and Cason, J. (2010) Overseas Research: A Practical Guide, Routledge, London (ebook).
Bell, J. (2018) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education, Health and Social Science (7th edition). Maidenhead, England: Open University Press
Davies, M (2007) Doing a Successful Research Project: Using Qualitative or Quantitative
Methods. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Fisher, C. and Buglear, J. (2007) Researching and writing a Dissertation: a guidebook for business students, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow. 2nd Edition (ebook).
Gill J. and Johnson, P. (2011) Research Methods for Managers (4th edition). London: Paul Chapman
Horn, R. (2012) Researching and Writing Dissertations: A Complete Guide for Business and
Management Students (2nd edition). London: CIPD
Robson, C. and McCartan (2016) Real World Research (4th edition). Chichester: Wiley
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2019) Research Methods for Business Students (8th edition). Harlow: Pearson
Yin, R. (2018) Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods (6th edition). London: Sage Publications
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Nafisatu Irene Okhade||Unit coordinator|
|Mohammed Ibrahim||Unit coordinator|