MSc Operations, Project and Supply Chain Management

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Professional skills: Research and Evaluation Methods

Unit code BMAN70120
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

This course unit explores the tools and approaches for undertaking advanced level management research projects. The objective is to provide students with transferable qualitative and quantitative skills and capabilities to successfully carry out MSc dissertation projects and to adequately assess operation management, supply chain management, and project management research in practice. The unit covers a range of research related objectives such as identifying research topics and questions, identifying gaps in existing knowledge, selecting methods, undertaking analysis, and writing up research results. 

* Required for CIPS accreditation

Pre/co-requisites

BMAN70122 Programme Req: BMAN70122 is only available as an elective to students on MSc Operations, Project and Supply Chain Management

Aims

The course aims to introduce students to the tools and approaches for undertaking advanced level management research projects. The objective is to provide students with transferable qualitative and quantitative skills and capabilities to successfully carry out MSc dissertation projects and to adequately assess operations management, supply chain management, and project management research in practice. The course covers a range of research related objectives such as identifying research topics and questions, identifying gaps in existing knowledge, selecting methods, collecting data, undertaking analysis, and writing up research results. The course helps students develop understanding of research process and methods as they prepare for their MSc dissertation. The students will submit a research proposal to demonstrate the application of academic knowledge and research skills.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the project, the student should be able to:

  • Develop and defend novel research questions relevant to their programme;
  • Effectively search and evaluate existing scholarship and secondary data to produce a critical literature review;
  • Understand the relationship between theoretical frameworks and research methodology;
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of different methods for collecting and analysing primary data, and conduct data collection and analysis in application of own individual research;
  • Identify success criteria, evaluate alternative solutions and make design choices;
  • Conduct literature surveys and collect, manage, analyse and evaluate data;
  • Take a structured approach to the execution of a research proposal development, employing a number of stages in the analysis of the problem and the synthesis of a solution;
  • Demonstrate a range of technical skills in processing of data and information; and
  • Communicate research issues, ideas and progress by means of a written research proposal.

Teaching and learning methods

Formal Contact Methods

Minimum Contact hours: 20 

Delivery format: Lecture and Workshops 

Assessment methods

Assignment 1 ‘Research Proposal’ – 3000 words (100%)

 

 

Feedback methods

  • Informal advice and discussion during lectures and workshops.
  • Responses to student emails and questions from a member of staff including feedback provided to a group via an online discussion forum.
  • Written and/or verbal comments on assessed or non-assessed coursework.
  • Generic feedback posted on Blackboard regarding overall examination performance.

Recommended reading

Core Textbook: 

  • Saunders, Mark, Lewis, Philip, and Thornhill, Adrian. Research Methods for Business Students. 8th Edition, 2019

Supplementary Readings

  1. General Research Methods Books:

Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2011). Business Research Methods. 3rd ed. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

  • Easterby-Smith, M.; Thorpe, R. and Lowe, A. (2002). Management Research. Sage Publication.
  • Johnson, P. and Duberley, J (2000). Understanding Management Research: An introduction to epistemology. London: Sage
  • Hussey, J and Hussey, R. (1997). Business Research. Palgrave Publishers.
  • Malhotra, N. and Birks, D. (2003). Marketing Research: An Applied Approach. Prentice Hall.
  • Robson, C. (2011). Real World Research: A Resource for Users of Social Research Methods in Applied Settings. 3rd ed. Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Sekaran, U. and Bougie, R. (2009). Research Methods for Business: A Skill Building Approach. 5th ed., John Wiley & Sons.
  1. Literature Review:
  • Baker, M.J. (2000). Writing a Literature Review. The Marketing Review, 1, pp.219247.
  • Tranfield, D.; Denyer, D. and Smart, P. (2003). Towards a Methodology for Developing Evidence-Informed Management Knowledge by Means of Systematic Review. British Journal of Management, 14, pp. 207–222.
  1. Qualitative Research and Qualitative Data Analysis:
  • Cassell, C. and Symon G. (2004). Essential Guide to Qualitative Methods in Organisational Research, London: Sage.
  • Coffey, A. & Atkinson, P. (1996). Making Sense of Qualitative Data. Sage
  • Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, Y. S. (2000). Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
  • Guba, E. and Lincoln, Y.S. (1994) Competing Paradigms in Qualitative Research, in N.K. Denzin and Y.S. Lincoln (eds) Handbook of Qualitative Research, Sage: Newbury Park.
  • Miles, M.B. and Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis. 2ed. London: Sage.
  • Potter, W. (1996) An analysis of thinking and researching about qualitative methods. Mahwah:Erlbaum Associates

3.1 Case Study Research:

  • Eisenhardt, K.M. (1989). Building theories from case study research. Academy of Management Review, 14(4), pp: 532-550.
  • Gibbert, M.; Ruigrok, W. and Wicki, B. (2008). What passes as a rigorous case study? Strategic Management Journal, 29, pp. 1465-1474.
  • Yin, R. (1994). Case Study Research: Design and Methods. 2ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

3.2 Ethnography, Participant Observation, Action Research, Interviewing and Focus Groups:

  • Atkinson, P. and Hammersley, M. (1994). Ethnography and Participant Observation. In: Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, Y. S. (eds.). Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
  • Bell, E. (1999). The negotiation of a working role in organizational Ethnography. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 2(1), pp. 17-37.
  • Bloor, M. et al. (2001). Focus Groups in Social Research. London: Sage.
  • Cronin, A. (2008). Focus Groups. In Gilbert, N. (ed.) Researching Social Life. London: Sage
  • Eden, C. and Huxham, C. (1996). Action research for management research. British Journal of Management, 7, pp. 75-86.
  • Fontana, A. and Frey, J. H. (1994). Interviewing. In: Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, Y. S. (eds.). Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thous

     

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Duncan Shaw Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Informal Contact Methods

Office Hours

Drop in Surgeries (extra help sessions for students on material they may be struggling with)

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